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  #1  
Old 04-18-2011, 12:52 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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It is not about you - It is all about THEM !!

Here is one bit of advice that seems fine to share, as its not a make-or-break trade secret. But I think its a huge secret to a lot of website owners. Maybe even to a lot of SEO people.

When customers land on our websites, most of them care about THEM.

If we have a Facebook page - they could care less. If we have a News page about local coverage on our companies - they could care less. If we have a testimonials page - they do not care as much as they should.

It is available to tell from webstats and the number of views on various pages, photos, articles, etc., just where people are spending their time. The short story is that the home page needs to cover the basics about your company in the few short paragraphs, header, images and footer. Although other pages can ellaborate, the home page must have at least one word, phrase or image about our important components.

For that reason, most of us could easily get by with just a home page, and still draw 70% of the internet business we get from all our pages put together. It's like the home page is the cake, and the rest is the frosting on top. Because everybody who eats cake, eats the cake. Not all people eat the frosting, and I know no adults who scrape off the frosting and eat only the frosting. Everybody eats the bread-like center of the cake. Virtually everybody is interested in reading a website home page.

This big picture has come together from not just my own web stats, but from checking out how many people "like" facebook pages. Its remarkable how few people are listed as friends or followers on business facebook pages when compared to the amount of time the businesses put into the pages. Especially the big companies like Davey Tree. It was a shock to see how big that outfit is, and how few people really follow their page. Then consider how few projects or calls for estimates will ever come from those followers, compared to advertising and effort put elsewhere.

That is not a warning against doing facebook or extra web pages. Its just a note about the importance of the home page of a website. Its like the big gemstone in the middle of a ring.

This all boils down to people coming to us via the internet with themselves and their needs in mind. Only a few might be interested in the extra stuff we want to say about ourselves, like awards, news, associations, etc.. They initially just want to know if we deal with what they need and want.

So if the home page is to be about you, then make sure its the part about you, that is most directly connected to them, and what they need. Fact, brief details, confidence building statements and contact.
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Last edited by mdvaden; 04-18-2011 at 01:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2011, 09:30 PM
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kirkmbrown2001 kirkmbrown2001 is offline
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Mostly Agree

I agree with almost everything you said! People have a short attention span when it comes to websites. They don't want to have to look hard to find information. They shouldn't even have to think. Everything they need should be CLEARLY stated! I just looked at my website stats and 65.5% of all my visitors stay on my website for less than 30 seconds! Here is more proof, For April alone, my homepage received 575 visits. The second page that received the most visits was my services page with 75 visits!

What I disagree about is that no one cares about facebook and other social networking pages. While I do not have many people that like my FB page, it is a good free customer retension tool. You also have to remember that many of my current customers access my website so you should also tailor your site to them as well!
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:36 AM
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JFGauvreau JFGauvreau is offline
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Good tips , thanks for sharing
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:50 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmbrown2001 View Post

What I disagree about is that no one cares about facebook and other social networking pages. While I do not have many people that like my FB page, it is a good free customer retension tool. You also have to remember that many of my current customers access my website so you should also tailor your site to them as well!
Somebody will care about Facebook.

Percentage-wise - I'm guessing like 1/50th of 1% though. For example, I look at Davey Tree @ http://www.davey.com

Today, they have just over 1,700 who marked "like" for their Facebook page. They have almost the only website in the tree service industry with at least a Google Pagerank 6. For example, no landscape or tree company in Portland has over a Pagerank 4.

So maybe we can break-down that 1,700 likes by 50 states. That's 32 likes per state. Let's split that by 2 sizeable cities per each state, for 16 likes for each of those 2 major cities.

So, for Oregon, that indicates maybe 2 likes for Medford, Oregon, and 14 likes for Portland, Oregon. But it would make sense to divide that 14 into the larger adjacent suburbs which range up to 100,000 population: Sherwood, Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Clackamas, Troutdale, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Newberg.

So what is the final end of the math for Davey Tree (largest US tree website & tree service network?

It is about 1 "like" per suburb.

So like you said, somebody is interested. About one person per large suburb in that case.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2011, 01:46 PM
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kirkmbrown2001 kirkmbrown2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvaden View Post
Somebody will care about Facebook.

Percentage-wise - I'm guessing like 1/50th of 1% though. For example, I look at Davey Tree @ http://www.davey.com

Today, they have just over 1,700 who marked "like" for their Facebook page. They have almost the only website in the tree service industry with at least a Google Pagerank 6. For example, no landscape or tree company in Portland has over a Pagerank 4.

So maybe we can break-down that 1,700 likes by 50 states. That's 32 likes per state. Let's split that by 2 sizeable cities per each state, for 16 likes for each of those 2 major cities.

So, for Oregon, that indicates maybe 2 likes for Medford, Oregon, and 14 likes for Portland, Oregon. But it would make sense to divide that 14 into the larger adjacent suburbs which range up to 100,000 population: Sherwood, Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Clackamas, Troutdale, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Newberg.

So what is the final end of the math for Davey Tree (largest US tree website & tree service network?

It is about 1 "like" per suburb.

So like you said, somebody is interested. About one person per large suburb in that case.
I still have to respectfully disagree. I currently have 16 fans of my facebook page and I'm not even doing it full time. I service a small suburb too! You have to remember, people will like a lawn care facebook page if they support your work, good customer/owner relationship, and want to stay in the loop about your business

I feel like your comparing apples to oranges

First, Davey tree is 95% of the time an as needed service
I don't know anyone that has a weekly tree service come to their house. You might only ever use Davey tree once because of a bad storm and never call them again. Not because you don't like their work, it's because it is an as needed service. You can't build relationships with your customers with one service. That is why they don't have that many fans because the relationship is not there.

Second, they may not be marketing their facebook page. If you don't market it, you won't have fans!

Third, IT'S FREE! Why wouldn't you take advantage of it!

I'm not trying to argue, I would just say that that bold of a statment is not 100% accurate
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:22 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Yes, and on my redwood page, I got like 90 fans in a month.

Basically the same number for a month at Facebook, for the same number of visitors to my website in a single hour on a weekday.

With either one, I don't know every detail. For example, I don't know why the people landed on my site in every case, except that they were there. Nor do I know why people hit "like" or "friend" on a Facebook page.

But I do know that the Facebook people, in my case, are not all potential customers. Some rent apartments too. For other folks, it may be different.

The one thing that is a fact, is that the number on Facebook for me, or you is teensy weensy. That part cannot be disagreed with.

But if you can gain one project from even one of the 16 people which completely pays for the value of your time maintaining the Facebook page, plus some profit, then that's a good thing.

In Davey Tree's case, with 1 fan per suburb, the value of the wage maintaining their Facebook page, appears to be a loss of income: a slight drain on the company's resources.

That's pretty much Facebook's goal: investment of other people's time to send traffic to their site, whether or not it costs the participants. On the other hand, companies need to see a return on their investment. And that will vary with each company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmbrown2001 View Post

Second, they may not be marketing their facebook page. If you don't market it, you won't have fans!

Third, IT'S FREE! Why wouldn't you take advantage of it!
The Davey Tree company example illustrates well that it may not be free. Davey will be paying a relatively healthy wage for someone to monitor their Facebook page. And I noted that they average 1 fan per suburb of like 20,000 to 100,000 people.

Davey Tree needs employees to generate leads in the dozens if not hundreds per suburb.

And in this, we see that time invested to Facebook can be a loss of income. It only looks free from Facebook's point of view, and a few companies for which is happens to provide some income. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.

In my case, I could tell in 1 month that Facebook would be a loss from a complete big picture point of view. Except for one page. So I made a Facebook page for only one page in my website, for it could at least break even on that one.
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Last edited by mdvaden; 04-19-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2011, 11:19 PM
nativeCO nativeCO is offline
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I agree with you - I like what you have to say. Maybe this is something that I'm struggling with. I've spent a lot of time editing my homepage, tweaking my wording, etc. Could you maybe take a look at my page real quick and tell me what I could do better? Maybe how I could make it more catchy, if that's what you saying...
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:52 AM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeCO View Post
I agree with you - I like what you have to say. Maybe this is something that I'm struggling with. I've spent a lot of time editing my homepage, tweaking my wording, etc. Could you maybe take a look at my page real quick and tell me what I could do better? Maybe how I could make it more catchy, if that's what you saying...
Your header photo reminds me a bit of 7 dees header

http://www.dennis7dees.com/

I think they just facelifted their home page, but it was even more like your header some months ago. Not flash, but still arched.

Your header has a good look that way. Likewise with 7 Dees.

The text on your home page is a tad bit hard for me to read, with the white on a light green. Maybe darken the background color a little.

It's late tonight .... will ponder another day this week.
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