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  #11  
Old 08-12-2006, 04:30 PM
WebMan's Avatar
WebMan WebMan is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: D/FW TX
Posts: 11
That will be a better description when it comes up in the engines, do get rid of the -Home in the title though, and think about my suggestion for changing it, your choice but you have no need for the -Home.

I can't keep doing step-by-steps for free for things people should get from reading what I have already said. (nothing personal)
But where did I say your most valuable "real estate" was?
The top of your home page.
So move the link buttons to vertical on the side in the order of importance from top to bottom and free up that high visibility space with something that makes me (Joe Customer) want to keep reading...remember you have seven seconds, and you just wasted 3 before I locate your text.

Then what do I find?
Get rid of the little green "welcome" it's useless. Then increase the size of that first paragraph (heading paragraph) and close up the line spacing to save that most valuable space (I have a 20" square LCD and I have to scroll down 3 screens on your home page = terrible! Nowadays people have some wide screens, they are getting more popular, but all you guys with "skinny" sites should remember, they will look REAL skinny on a wide screen and that person will have to scroll even more ...and people hate to scroll, I don't have a clue why so many of you make your sites so "skinny" like it was 1998

Your heading text is smaller than the bullet list, that's backwards.

Back to your content:
Change the first "Welcome" to "You've found"...would I (Joe Customer) be more engaged by a "welcome" or by being told "I found it"? Remember, read and think like Joe Shopper.
Which brings us to the bullet list, Not on a home page (at least not more than 3 or 4 items if you must) Remember nothing personal, but are you making a brochure or a web site? This bullet list only meets 1 of the 3 criteria I gave above...what you do. You only had 7 seconds to give me all 3. That complete list goes on your services page or something, not itemized in a huge long list that I can't see in one screen on your home page.

Everybody remember, "you only get one chance to make a first impression" and your home page is that first impression. Lose a visitor here and the rest of the site can be the best in the world and nobody will ever know... you have to "hook" me to get me to stay & keep looking.

Think of how to rework that from the point of value, just like changing your description to emphasize what I value change the text to hit me first with what I Joe Customer value most. Not what you think you are great at, or what you are proud of or anything you think... unless you are thinking like the opposite of who you are, a lawn service shopper, not a vendor. (And that is VERY hard to do).
I don't know what your customers or people in your area value or have commented on, what they said "I like that" about your company... you know more than I can unless I studied your business strategy and target market customer profile.
Your home page does nothing but "tell me" and it's job is to "sell me" and if the home page doesn't sell me enough I'll click away and never see anything else on your site.

After you have drastically shortened that and hopefully set the width to "float" to 100% (your top banner does, but not your text). The get rid of that HUGE PayPal logo. Use logos that are as small as possible and can still be identified (Visa, MasterCard, PayPal or whatever, just big enough they will be recognized).

And I'm out of time for now but all you have is a "call us" on your home page...give me an e-mail link!
I (Joe C.) may be sitting in my underwear drinking a beer at 11:30 at night looking for lawn services because I'm gonna be too hung over to mow after the week-end ball games , I can't call you then but I can e-mail you if I want...but you don't give me a chance.
You have a Free Estimate button but remember, don't make me hunt for it.
Change that to Contact Us or at least "Get a Free Estimate" just Free Estimate on a button doesn't tell me it's a contact form (even I had to hunt for it, I knew you were bound to have one, a customer wouldn't assume that.)
If not an e-mail put a text link "Click Here to request a free estimate" to the form over or under the phone number.

The scripture verse is OK but make it one line across the page and smaller or not bold text, again saving space.
And I'll bet you nobody signs up for your "newsletter" so it's not worth the space on the homepage, maybe on the specials page, tip of the month, or contact form page... maybey...

More later as you go along, keep up the good work and use the principles I have given you before as well as what I have put in other posts for ideas to work on this and your other pages
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2006, 07:20 PM
Amani's Avatar
Amani Amani is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 34
Your site looks pretty cool. But like webman said earlier the site looks alot like other sites that I have seen. Very god info in the site. Keep it up.
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2006, 11:35 PM
Ric3077's Avatar
Ric3077 Ric3077 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Saint Peters, MO
Posts: 1,113
Webman, I made a few more changes...can't figure out how to make the text go all the way across from left to right...I guess since it's a template I can't control it...any ideas?
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  #14  
Old 08-14-2006, 07:07 AM
WebMan's Avatar
WebMan WebMan is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: D/FW TX
Posts: 11
It's probably because it appears that bulleted list is in a table (no reason & not really a good idea but it may be the program) and not just that a table within a table by accident...
Just before your main header text...Look for code:
<tr>
<td>
<table width="760" border="0">
<tr>
<td>
<div class="content">
<table width="100%" cellspacing="8">
<tr>
<td colspan="2" valign="top">
<div class="textbox">
<font size="5"><span style="font-weight: bold;">

The first line tells it to make the table 760 pixels wide so that is holding up your text at 760
I think (guessing here) that is a "leftover". Try deleting everything below (4 lines):
<tr>
<td>
<table width="760" border="0">
<tr>
<td>

If that screws things up then put back the last two:
<tr>
<td>
But I can't see a reason for them.

All that can be "leftovers" from your old width settings that are now set at 100% below that but that coming first creates a table that is 760 so your 100% command is 100% of 760 the way the code reads.

Then look at (if that didn't fix it) an unusual line below that that might also be a problem:
<div class="textbox">
<font size="5"><span style="font-weight: bold;">
That's "DIY" site builder type code. The "text box" and font-weight code is the kind of stuff site builders use to talk to themselves. The concern is with what it means by "span style=" and "textbox"

If the above didn't "fix" it look and see if you can find anywhere a span style= something other than the font/size/style (that span thing may just be the site builder's "font" command)
I really think the part with the 760 will probably get it (fingers crossed here), it's on 2 or 3 pages I looked at and appears to be a leftover.
"Leftover" or junk code can easily get left being with programs, (especially DIY) if you don't insert & delete things EXACTLY like it thinks you should. It may look deleted to you but that old definition of a 760 pixels wide table probably got left behind even though you got in your new change to 100% below it. with:
<div class="content">
<table width="100%" cellspacing="8">

But the:
<div class="textbox">
Is definitely a site builder command and may be holding up everything if it thinks all "textboxes" should be that wide. I have no idea what program it is but if removing the 760 part doesn't fix it and/or screws things up (then put it back, if there is no change leave it out anyway)

In that case then see if anywhere in the program you can set the size for "text boxes" or "stretch" them or whatever. Look, look, look...

If the tabe width didn't set it then the width value of a "textbox" has to be defined somewhere, hopefully it is a setting you can edit (in some lesser site builders you might be "stuck" with a predefined size or you also may have chosen a size during a "start up wizard" or "quick start" type thing, without ever knowing you did.
Then it can be tough to find where to change it (although you usually can...eventually ).

However that is a "usually", a few programs out there are so "old school" they won't let you change that stuff. If not quit fretting over it (after a few hours of looking) and when you get time to rebuild switch to someone with a better builder. I hope the "760" gets it, if not it's worth going a little for a few hours because if the "760" doesn't do it; it affects all your pages it seems.
So if it is a defined "textbox" in one place changing that one place will fix the whole site (but may require fixing some layouts that get thrown "off" since you laid them out with the old width...line breaks in funny places, maybe a messed up form, hard to say.

Happy hunting and don't forget to get rid of the -Home at the end of your your title tag on the home page...keep on truckin'
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  #15  
Old 08-14-2006, 09:36 AM
Ric3077's Avatar
Ric3077 Ric3077 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Saint Peters, MO
Posts: 1,113
Thanks webman...as far as I can tell...this is the only html I can edit...

body
{
margin: 0px;
background-image: url(images/background.gif?3947);

background-color:#ffffff;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size: small;

line-height: 1em;

letter-spacing:0em;
word-spacing: 0em;

color: #000000;
}

td
{
font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size: small;

line-height: 1em;

letter-spacing:0em;
word-spacing: 0em;

color: #000000;
}

a:link, a:visited
{
color: #000000;
}

h1
{
font-size: medium;
font-weight: bolder;
color: #000000;
}

h2
{
font-size: small;
font-weight: bolder;
color: #000000;
}



/* CLASSES FOR EACH PAGE FEATURE */

.blog
{
}

.counter
{
}

.eteam
{
}

.events
{
}

.eventstitle
{
font-weight: bold;
}

.eventsnotes
{
}

.forum
{
}

.guestbook
{
}

.mailinglist
{
}

.mailform
{
}

.news
{
}

.newstitle
{
font-weight: bold;
}

.newsnotes
{
}

.photos
{
border: 1px solid #000000;
}

.photoscaption
{
font-size: small;
}

.photostitle
{
font-weight: bold;
font-size: medium;
}

.poll
{
}

.polltitle
{
font-weight: bold;
}

.store
{
}

.storetitle
{
font-weight: bold;
}

.storenotes
{

}

.textbox
{
padding:5px;
}

Can I change something here to make the text wider? Also I don't think I have any way to get rid of the - Home
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