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Gary LA
01-29-2002, 12:11 AM
What is it most of you get from having your web page?
Is it easier to explain your services and how they are handled?
Have any of you ever gotten any actual work from your area by having a web site?
Do you get alot of unecessary emails and bogus leads?
I am sincerely interested in your opinions on this!:blob3:

Administrator
01-29-2002, 12:22 AM
You can use a website to save on "traditional" forms of advertising.

You an put a lot more information on your site than a business card. On your business cards have your normal content but add your web address.

If you have yellow page ads include your web address..... imagine how much it would cost to add everything to your yellow page ad that you can include on your website.

Include your web address on all your forms of advertising.

I used the Internet to promote my company website back in 98 and I received several new clients. That was 3 years ago and lots more people are using the Internet to find these types of services.

CindyHarris
02-07-2002, 02:58 PM
Being able to give people information when they are interested in it is always important. You have to have your goods on the shelf while the customer is browsing, not only when they ask for them.

As you've noticed from other company’s site, you know a heck of a lot more about them when they have a good site up and running.

One problem with having a site is promotion. Putting it on your cards, statements, letterhead is absolutely necessary. But, will your site be found when it is most needed. Do most of your customers find your business off of your business cards or letterhead?

Online directories like www.worldpages.com offers web sites that link from your listing. I am sure the others do to.

Keep the cost as low as possible and make sure your web page is informative, professional, easily accessible, & that it serves as a communication tool between you and your customers & it will be worth it.

Good Luck :)
CindyHarris

Stonehenge
02-07-2002, 04:02 PM
The goal when I created my site was to provide a chance for the potential client to get to know us better in a no-pressure environment, when their brains have not put up defenses to protect against sales pitches.

With that I wanted to create a place where we could demonstrate a little technical expertise, and show off some of our work (to show them what we are capable of). Like a 100 page brochure.

As far as finding you on the net, my views are a little different, I think. There are a few 'early adopters', in marketing speak, who will solely use the web to find contractors in their area. Those are as numerous as the famed 'laser beamers' from the IBM ad. Forget about them. At least for the next 10 years. Instead, I think you need to make sure that when they hit the google, yahoo or aol search engine, and type in 'Gary LA', you're on the first page of stuff they find.

There are too many flaws in the systems/sites designed to make shopping for services via the web easy. Either zip code problems, or not having your biz categorized broad enough, or having a case-sensitive engine looking for 'gary la' and not finding anything, because they didn't type 'Gary LA.' Most of your customers are not as web savvy as you are, and can't navigate those sites well. They are not as savvy as (most) all of us here.

You need to have your web addy on everything, and in the phone book. And then, when they hop on google and run a search for you or your services, they'll find you. Or, when they find all the co's that are listed in the YP that have a website, they'll hop on and check them out one by one. Once they're there, I think you need to do better than give them three pages of stuff that don't tell them anymore than your yellowpages ad did. That's why I updated my site from 8 to 130 pages.

The really nice part about this tool is, relative to other forms of advertising, this is pretty cheap. $500 will get you services for the year, domain registration, etc, and software to build a nice site. That same amount will buy me 8 column inches in the saturday paper 3X.

We don't get much interest from people finding us on a blind search of the web, but we do find that quite a few phonecalls we get, when asked, saw our website and looked it over, and it helped to generate the call, or make the sale. So this may not be something that you can directly tie to sales. But I think it's an invaluable tool.

CindyHarris
02-09-2002, 02:25 PM
Paying annually to get your listing lost in Yahoo might be too much hassle. For every $100+ way to list your site there are 500 cheap if not free ways to get out there. :p

Linking your site from others is not that hard and can be very beneficial. Imagine you are surfing the Internet for lawn care services, go to www.Lycos.com and type in "Lawn care services" with the quotes. If you could link your site with any of the first 20, that would be very beneficial. :D

Having your own site is worth it in the long run; just don't rely on search engine results.

Thanks
Cindy Harris:angel:

Stonehenge
02-09-2002, 06:38 PM
Huh?

I'm not sure why you'd pay to have your site listed, either. It can be done pretty effectively for free, and for whatever search engines you don't submit to, their spiders should find you anyway. Most of them are running off the Google database anyway, so hit them and you're off to a good start. And why would any of the first 20 sites that come up when you type "lawn care services" ever allow you to link to them? You'd invite your competition to advertise with you? :alien:

And I'm guessing you were confused about my $500 figure - I'm not really sure, but anyway....

$150 for FrontPage (can likely get it for $100 w/ rebates)

$100 for domain reg and internic fees (whatever those are).

$15/mo in hosting fees (or $180/yr).

Ok, so it's $430, not $500. :D


Oh - I just clicked on your web page - now I understand why you didn't like my comment about the 'service search'-type sites. :eek:

heygrassman
02-09-2002, 07:19 PM
$150 for FrontPage (can likely get it for $100 w/ rebates)

$100 for domain reg and internic fees (whatever those are).

$15/mo in hosting fees (or $180/yr).

Ok, so it's $430, not $500.

Try Coffee Cup to design trial works fine and it is free

Try www.poweredby.com to host $39 per year ($3.25 per month) and 500 email accounts

Try Verio.com for domain registration $19.95 per domain

Just got mine up and running with Front Page for under $100 for the year. The people that seek referrals from others will most likely look to a website b4 calling.

If anyone needs assistance getting one going let me know.

Jeff

Stonehenge
02-09-2002, 07:38 PM
HGM - that looks like it's pretty cheap, and you get a lot for it.

I'm not familiar with Coffee Cup - is that software, or a template service that's part of poweredby?

And I'd imagine you had to pay for the FrontPage, right?

And don't forget those interNIC fees. Who know if they're cheaper now, but it cost me $75 when I first did my page last year.

HGM, with that extra $$ you could buy a nice image editor, too - something from Adobe or elsewhere...

stslawncare
02-09-2002, 08:15 PM
i havent had any business do to web yet, however i havent advertised it yet either, im still in the building stages of it i think.
www.stslawncare.com

Stonehenge
02-09-2002, 10:09 PM
It looks like you're off to a great start! However, holy crap! those images are HUUUUGE! Here's the tractor image cropped, shrunken and compressed a little better:

http://home.earthlink.net/~stonehengebpl/tractor.jpg

Your pic page took a good 2 minutes to download. I can crunch the other two pics if you'd like.

NewOrleans
02-15-2002, 10:48 AM
I'm helping my son start his landscaping service business. He starting talking about getting a tiny little web site for pictures and your basic contact, insurance and other stuff. ANYWAY, we knew someone and got it made real cheap, so next the guy says, get your site submitted to the search engines and you're done!! Everybody I have talked to says Yahoo, Yahoo, Yahoo, nobody has ever told me yea check out Google, or Lycos, or whatever... Yahoo is great and my son says, "Yea, yea, Yahoo, everyone uses that!” About 4 months ago I was fuming because of their give us a couple hundred dollars and we might list you policy, but just yesterday I break down and tell myself, "it's just a one time fee". I looked and now it is annual!!!!!!! Are your sites on Yahoo, if so, was it worth the price????

stslawncare
02-15-2002, 11:10 AM
yes stonehenge i know i gotta crop them i just learned how to do it a week or two ago, ill get around to doing it to them too.

Stonehenge
02-15-2002, 12:25 PM
I only submit to the search engines that are free. I don't understand how one can have an effective search engine that only has sites that have paid to be listed. It would seem that that would eliminate most of the sites out there. And now that I think about it, we've gotten hits from Yahoo, and we've never paid them anything.

The $$ spent in those annual fees must just assure that actual eyes will look at your site and decide where it should fall in their database. That's my guess anyway. And all the rest are found by their web spiders.

NewOrleans
02-15-2002, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the advice, think we will do the same.
Should have started a new thread, but I just figured out what a thread was.

As for an answer to the original question...
I think the MOST you could get from a web page would be new clients! Unless some biz came along and wanted to buy your site name for MILLIONS! I would think websites make an excellent addition to an already established service.

heygrassman
02-17-2002, 11:21 PM
HGM - that looks like it's pretty cheap, and you get a lot for it.

I'm not familiar with Coffee Cup - is that software, or a template service that's part of poweredby?

And I'd imagine you had to pay for the FrontPage, right?

And don't forget those interNIC fees. Who know if they're cheaper now, but it cost me $75 when I first did my page last year.

HGM, with that extra $$ you could buy a nice image editor, too - something from Adobe or elsewhere...

Hey Stonehenge.. love that username. great marketability for hardscaping...

I had a copy of FrontPage with Office XP but coffeecup is a pretty cheap (free is you do not mind dealing with the trial provisions of the software) software package for download from www.download.com that is an HTML editor. Takes a little practice, but works well after a little time.

Not sure what is up with your INternic fees. Most web registrars are including the InterNic registration fees in the price for securing the domain. The numbers above got my site up.

jf

DaveK
04-05-2002, 11:30 PM
From Stonehenge:I don't understand how one can have an effective search engine that only has sites that have paid to be listed.

Well, first of all, they aren't search engines, they are directories.
That is the biggest misconception about Yahoo! since it first began in the early 90's. Yahoo began as a directory (the only sites listed were added by actual people) not an actual search engine like the rest (Altavista, Lycos, Google, etc.) Now, Yahoo! uses Google.com's search technology to actually search for pages to be added.

-----

Have any of you ever gotten any actual work from your area by having a web site? "One person I know explained it best. It shows that you are a progressive company. People love looking up new websites, and if they see your web address on your truck, or business card or in the yellow pages, they WILL look at it. This is your chances to impress them. They don't feel any high pressure sales tactics, they view all your services at their own pace. A website can make the sale or break the sale."

The companies that don't "get it" may be losing jobs to the companies that do have a website. After all, we all know that we usually aren't the only ones asked for a bid.