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ajmctree
02-20-2005, 03:51 PM
Just curious as to how many have web sites for thier companies.
I live and work in a town of about 11000 people and am not sure if theres value to it for the amount of cost .

would like some input or comments on companies that do .

Thanks
Ajmctree

turfsurfer
02-20-2005, 04:09 PM
In a town of 11000 it may not justify the cost unless you do most of the work yourself. Check out one of the sponsors, Gopher software. They have some real nice free templates that you can modify and use. Plenty of info on here if you search. In your town, having a website might really set you apart. Keep in mind that it can take awhile to make the big search engines.

tiedeman
02-20-2005, 04:15 PM
I had a website for about 5 years, and I found it was a waste and I live in a city about half your size. I finally got rid of it last year, just wasn't worth the money I feel.

Expert Lawns
02-20-2005, 04:20 PM
Tiedeman, what did you pay a year or a month? Were you responsible for updating it? I'm not real sure how these things work. Could you explain a little more indepth?

JRAZ
02-20-2005, 04:22 PM
If you live in a small town aren't there other small towns next to you or are you all out in the boonies? Reason being, you can attract other accounts in nearby areas, or get the big install jobs you want that may be one town over or what not. I have a website and think any serious business would be wise to have one. I did my website myself for the cost of sofware (90.00 or so), website hosting (96.00 per year). I find this rather affordable. If you are unable to do yourself may be you can barter with someone that can do it for you?

~ J

ajmctree
02-20-2005, 04:30 PM
In reality we do live some what in the boondocks ,theres one way in and one way out .The next cloesest town is 45 minutes away and unless you could get alot of work it probably wouldn't be worth trying out that market .
So far i haven't realy started looking at all the costs associated with building and maintaning a web site yet but i know it is coming.

AJ

tiedeman
02-20-2005, 04:39 PM
Tiedeman, what did you pay a year or a month? Were you responsible for updating it? I'm not real sure how these things work. Could you explain a little more indepth?

I service in an area of approx 10 mile radius. Basically very small cities. I service approx 3 cities, with about 6,000 or less people per city.

I had the site through Verisign. I paid $24.95 per month for 10 pages, and I could update it whenever I wanted to, and what I wanted it to be. I also paid for a search engine. The problem that I run into, yes some people used, but it was really my current customers that used it. I would have company info, certifications, newsletters, discounts, promotions, links, pictures, schedules, weather information, tips, latest industry news, etc.

I went as far as testing loading time, to make sure customers wouldn't be waiting forever for it to load on both dial up and DSL, all links worked, pictures were updated all the time so the same pictures were never there, tested it with friends and family to see their reaction was. Basically I covered all of my bases. I updated the website approx every 2 days. Complete waste of time I feel.

I even sent surveys out to current customers, and only 1% of my customers used the site. Even when I would get new customers I would ask them if they saw the site, and the same response, less than 1% of them had saw it or used or had internet connection.

I just felt that it was a complete waste of time and money so I shut it down. But before I shut it down, I had an online survey and also sent out another survey to customers to ask whether they would miss the site or not, and nobody responsed at all. That tells me that it was a 100% go to shut it down.

JRAZ
02-20-2005, 06:09 PM
AJ -

You up in the Charlottes? Prince George or Rupert area? My wife was born in the Charlottes and we visit there every now and again. Absolutely beautiful up there.

~ J

ajmctree
02-20-2005, 06:49 PM
J
I'M in Kitimat about 45 minutes south of terrace .
Your right this is beautifull country up here ,
I havent yet been to the Queen Charlotes ,have lots of friends that go deer hunting there .It's a shame that when we go on hollidays we'll go any where but travel the northwest..Oh Well

AJ

tonygreek
02-21-2005, 12:23 AM
as a web guy, the following are words i rarely use: unless you want a site to act as a brochure prospective customers can look at based on the address placed in your advertising, you might not want to hassle with it. the size of your market is so small that conventional advertising (newspaper, phonebook, flyers/doorhangers/mailings) will probably prove to be better at generating leads. the suburb i grew up in is about that size, so if i were to only target that population, i'd probably not go with a site that i've taken the time to properly market to people who've never heard of my business. search engine optimization and paid search engine placement really don't seem to fit the bill for what you would want, so at most i'd put up a site to showcase your work.

tony

GetSomeGOJO
02-21-2005, 12:28 AM
Just as a side line, I find web-site development and hosting a great off season hobby. Who wants a website? A domain name all their own? And a little expert help in making it pretty?

http://www.peakwebmedia.com

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 12:36 AM
websites are a waste of money unless you make a real one and unless you market it properly!

having a website is the equivelant of opening up a store in the middle of the desert! unless you draw people to it and man the store,,,,,it wont be of much use!

JRAZ
02-21-2005, 01:02 AM
What I am hearing is shocking my ears. Websites are rather easy and affordable. It is a great addition to your company. I do not pay for web advertising or search listings but may consider it in the future. Many of my clients go to my website before contacting me via email or phone. The website contains photos, general info, and other products we sell. In the future more and more of your customers will be utulizing this as a means of prescreening you. By not being on the web you may be limiting yourself. Like it or not it is the direction of the future of your client base. You might as well get hip to the idea, because if not the other guy that has a website will get the call.

~ J

Soupy
02-21-2005, 02:24 AM
My site only cost me $85 per year. I paid $500 for the site to be designed, but the guy was building a portfolio. It would probably be $750 and up now.

For $85 a year I wouldn't care if it got used a lot. If just 1 potential customers checks it out and it helps make them pick Us over another company then I am happy. MY SITE (http://www.lawn-tek.com/)

tiedeman
02-21-2005, 02:27 AM
that is a sharp looking site soupy. Very nice!

ajmctree
02-21-2005, 02:32 AM
soupy.
like your site as well easily to navigate

AJ

Soupy
02-21-2005, 02:54 AM
Thank You. The designer has a friend that does hosting on the side. He host it for $8 a moth or $85 for the year. I forgot to add that I pay $5.88 a year for the domain name. The $85 includes more space then I will ever need and more email accounts I would ever need too. I think I have about 5 emails now, Like info@, contact@, service@, etc. I think he said I could have 15 if needed.

kipcom
02-21-2005, 07:56 AM
websites are a waste of money unless you make a real one and unless you market it properly!

having a website is the equivelant of opening up a store in the middle of the desert! unless you draw people to it and man the store,,,,,it wont be of much use!


Maybe its not the best way for the person who posted this question...However, I beg to differ with you.

We are in a metro area and a large number of people use the web to seek services like lawn & landscape. We invest a couple hundred dollars a year into web advertising and the return on investment is about 10x that. Sure its not for everyone, but dont say it is a waste of time.

Build it and they will come...... :cool2:

coastallandscapesolutions
02-21-2005, 09:08 AM
I have a website and customers use it quite a bit. Cost me $149 to set up and $99 year thereafter. Unlimited bandwidth and email.

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 10:00 AM
kipcom,,,,,,,start working on your reading comprehension skilz!


soupy,,,,that is a very SWEET website!

tonygreek
02-21-2005, 10:26 AM
What I am hearing is shocking my ears. Websites are rather easy and affordable.

that's a tad on the subjective side. first, how many customers find your company through search engine terms that don't include your name? anyone can put up a website, yes. the field narrows as you drill down to the minority of people that can actually put up a good site. now, if you really want to see a small number, imagine how many can actually properly market their sites so that a prospective customer could find them without any previous knowledge of the lco's respective company. by this, i mean through vague search engine terms (cleveland AND mowing) and not through typing in the link taken from printed material or the lco name itself. from what i've seen on this board, it's 1 in 30 or so as a spitball number.

for a specific target town of 11k people, and not looking at possible outlying towns, a website as brochure/reference material is great. as a marketing tool discovered solely through a search engine is a different story. if it were me, i'd have a site for brochureware, but would i put the effort into marketing it like most people actually should? no. there are many other ways to get your name out there that require less time and are more immediate. on the flipside, would 2 or 3 customer's seasonal contract covering all dev and marketing costs? probably so, but the roi has greatly decreased in compared to someone that lives in an area of 300k people.

as a note, there is no bigger proponent or evangelist of web site usage to generate business than myself, but i don't think going the distance would be worth the significant time investment required for his application as he presented it.

tony

Norm Al
02-21-2005, 10:32 AM
i agree with you tony!
i have 2 websties so i to believe in websites,,,,and they are well worth the money ---->IF<---you do the things suggested!

ajmctree
02-21-2005, 12:00 PM
I Appreciate Everybodies Comments. Gives Me Something To Think About.

Aj

JRAZ
02-22-2005, 09:18 PM
Ok, may be I should have said, "Website can be rather easy and affordable." As you guys can see from other posts guys are not spending an arm and a leg on their site as well. We advertise our site on all marketing content and have it on all trucks. I want any potential client to check out our site prior to contacting me. Most do check it out before hand, a small amount do not. It is one of those little things that can help add credibility or a positive image of your company without anyone even talking to you.

As far as getting listed on search engines, well that's a matter of content not $$ spent. Having said that, however you can spend money to be listed in the top whatever of your favorite search engine.

As an example, I have done very little advertising over the winter months, yet we have averaged over 200 visits per month in that time.

If you are at the point of your scapin' career where retirement is near or rather close then I would say no need to bother with a site. If you plan to be around for a while and growing your business for the future then I suggest getting a decent site up. Barter your serivices if you have to. There are so many people out there that have the capability to do a website. It really is not that hard to get a site up if you want one ;)

Sites are low maintenance. All you have to do is return emails or phone calls from people that have visited your site, and that should be something you are already doing (rtning phone calls & emails). I update mine about twice per year sometimes more often, but you don't have to. That would be up to you. You can get one up and leave it up. At least you would be on the internet!

Hey, I don't care, don't do a site. More biz for me and the others that do have one.

~ J