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  #11  
Old 03-17-2010, 07:35 AM
lakesregionscapes lakesregionscapes is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tuftonboro,NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvaden View Post
Want to learn a bit about title and description tags?

Type in big city keywords like "Seattle landscape service" or "Atlanta Landscape Contractor".

Look at which sites look good, and take a guess at which ones have webmasters, rather than do-it-yourself sites. Odds are that most really big companies hire a pro web designer.

Anyway, right click on the page, and choose "view page source" or to up in your browser to VIEW and choose view page source.

Look at the choice of words they are using, especially the title and description. Look at how they order them, and use of commas.

Great tip! It kinda feels like cheating: takes out the headache and reading a dozen more or less useful articles... works for me. I like to challenge myself to learn a new skill (or update and old one) if only so I understand what I'm asking of the pro I hire later on. However, I'm out of time and ambition at the moment.
I'll make the changes this weekend - we just started our first (big) cleanup a couple of days ago, and I suddenly feel old and out of shape. Achy and tired... I love it!

Thank you to all of you for your input and suggestions, they have been most helpful (and nicely put - I admit I was a little apprehensive).
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2010, 01:45 AM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Westside Oregon
Posts: 1,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesregionscapes View Post
Great tip! It kinda feels like cheating: takes out the headache and reading a dozen more or less useful articles... works for me. I like to challenge myself to learn a new skill (or update and old one) if only so I understand what I'm asking of the pro I hire later on. However, I'm out of time and ambition at the moment.
I'll make the changes this weekend - we just started our first (big) cleanup a couple of days ago, and I suddenly feel old and out of shape. Achy and tired... I love it!

Thank you to all of you for your input and suggestions, they have been most helpful (and nicely put - I admit I was a little apprehensive).
Cheating?

Where do you think they learned?

Seriously.

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  #13  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:43 AM
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lawnman306 lawnman306 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Columbus, MS
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Here's my suggestions:

First, I would just put your company name and number in a normal font and not use the gradient in the letters or the wavy or arched letters. Just a nice font in one color that makes your company name and number visible. The gradients don't really match the rest of the site. Or hire someone to do a professional logo for you and use it on the site.

I know that you agree that the header photo is not a good one, however, I really like the photo of the landscape by the lake. I would take it and use it as the header photo instead. Nice photo.

As for the services offered, a way to unclutter that part would be to have no underlines and create more space between each word, not too much, but more than is there now. Keep it a different color though so that people will be ablee to easily see it. Maybe even make the words slightly bigger so as to stand out from the paragraph to the right of it.

It's easier on the eyes when there is more space and everything isn't bunched together and it allows people to not be overwhelmed when deciding what to look at first. It's all about leading the viewer from one part of the site to the next.

I think you have a really good start though.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:22 AM
lakesregionscapes lakesregionscapes is offline
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Location: Tuftonboro,NH
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Thanks lawnman306

Hmm... I'll look at the font size for the "services" words and try to tweak the spacing. You just reminded me indirectly that I need to check the page viewed in different browsers (I'm use Firefox 99.9% of the time). Very helpful tips for the services page - I did edit about half the text out of it and move things around since the first recommendations, but it still needs work.

The logo is what we've had on the trucks for several years (non-negotiable with my husband :P) and despite it's obvious shortcomings, it does look sharp on the truck doors (white or dark green) and has gotten many favorable comments from customers. It kind of stands out among the numerous, sleek professional stylings, and disturbing "homemade" letterings around here. I'm ambivalent about it at times, but I gotta work with it.

That lake photo has been a staple on all versions of our website, but I passed on it for the top, because there was no good way to crop it to fit the template (obvious drawback of using templates... no flexibility). I have the neighbors property in mind, very similar shot, but a view of the lake through big trees in the lush lawn: as soon as the lawn is lush, and not dormant... Going for overcast or early morning so the lighting is not too harsh, and the greens stay rich.
Got my work cut out for the next rainy day... Now I'm almost late to go to work cleaning up plow damage and loads of sticks! And payroll! Arrghh!
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:11 PM
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wildstarblazer wildstarblazer is offline
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Location: South Georgia
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Since all the services offered go to the same page when you click on one, you should just have one "services" link to get there.
Also, each time you click a new service, it opens in a new page or window.. Your site builder control panel should have a setting that lets you change that. Otherwise your viewers will have 10 windows open if they click each one.
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2010, 08:30 AM
lakesregionscapes lakesregionscapes is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tuftonboro,NH
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildstarblazer View Post
Since all the services offered go to the same page when you click on one, you should just have one "services" link to get there.
Also, each time you click a new service, it opens in a new page or window.. Your site builder control panel should have a setting that lets you change that. Otherwise your viewers will have 10 windows open if they click each one.
Very sharp observation - thanks!
I just got rid of the fact that it opens a new page each time (now it replaces current page with the new one) and I'm banking on the fact that the average web user doesn't have the attention span to go back and look at another link in the lineup more than once or twice; at least, personally I get distracted by page I just got sent to, and bored with the back button unless I'm methodically troubleshooting...
It does remind me that in another life, we had a page that would produce dozens of pop-up warnings in Mozilla: turned out that the photos that enlarged on mouse-over were considered pop-ups by the browser, and triggered anytime the cursor was remotely near the image... Special effects gone wrong.
Thank goodness for rainy days in the office or I'd never get to the tweaking...
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:59 AM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Location: Westside Oregon
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For the more part, my main 7 or 8 service related pages are set up so that a new window is not opened with each click.

But outside of those, for the advice topics, the goal is a new window. Because if my content triggers a quick thought and they do a fast internet search, once they have left my site on that short quest, the other open browser window anchors them to my site just in case.
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