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  #1  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:41 AM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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Seo Critique

Hello All! I have been enjoying this forum for the last 4-5 months, thanks for all the great info.

My family business has had a website for quite a few years. However, until recently we were completely invisible to the search engines.

About 5 months ago I had lunch with another landscaper here in the Portland area. He has dedicated hundreds of hours to dominating the search results here- and has largely accomplished that. It got me interested and now I have a new hobby.

So- how am I doing so far? I know my site is nowhere near perfect. My current website template provider does not give me access to the html so I am somewhat limited. I will be switching to a different service this winter when I have time to redesign. In the meantime: what have I missed?

Thanks all!
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:42 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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It got me interested and now I have a new hobby.

I view it as a sport, which is why I don't take on clients from the same service area. lol It does get addictive.

So- how am I doing so far? I know my site is nowhere near perfect. My current website template provider does not give me access to the html so I am somewhat limited. I will be switching to a different service this winter when I have time to redesign. In the meantime: what have I missed?

Working within the confines of a locked-down template, looks like you're doing okay. Areas you can improve would be:

location keywords and info - i see portland as a recurring theme, which is a competitive term, and one of the reasons you are probably struggling to see great search results. battling for portland is great, but you should absolutely pick the low-hanging fruit of suburb names and related towns. people have become much more sophisticated with their internet searches, so someone living in hillsdale or portsmouth is just as likely to search using those as they are portland. shape your content around the more specific municipalities.

meta description - get more descriptive. it's gone the way of meta keywords and the Dodo bird, as far as ranking signals go, but it's useful on some search results.

alt tags for images - put in location-based keywords (ie, stone wall in lake oswego)

images - looks like you guys do some great projects, so you should really showcase those now and in the future. you work in a visual medium, so really feature that. as they currently are, each small image you have run about 200k each. with the current visible size, you could go down to 25k without noticing one bit.

Your site's pic is on the left, at 200k. Mine is on the right, at 25k.


I would also recommending rewriting the maintenance page to be a bit more keyword rich and descriptive. You can create some nice H tags out of those new additions.

Continuing the rewriting thought, your home page has quite a few services that you offer, but only as a list. Where it makes sense, link those to additional sub-pages and write about what those services are/entail.

If you haven't done so, create a Google Webmaster Tools account and upload an xml sitemap. Here's a quick and easy sitemap generator.

The key to everyone's success here is to take advantage of the idea that you guys are only competing within a very specific area. Use hyper local keywords and target your content as such and you'll absolutely start seeing results.

Also, flip the tree frog so he's looking the other way...
.
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Last edited by tonygreek; 06-28-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:41 PM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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location keywords and info - i see portland as a recurring theme, which is a competitive term, and one of the reasons you are probably struggling to see great search results. battling for portland is great, but you should absolutely pick the low-hanging fruit of suburb names and related towns. people have become much more sophisticated with their internet searches, so someone living in hillsdale or portsmouth is just as likely to search using those as they are portland. shape your content around the more specific municipalities.

Great idea- I will implement this soon!

alt tags for images - put in location-based keywords (ie, stone wall in lake oswego)


Unfortunately, my current template does not give me this level of control. At least, I don't think so- I will make sure.

images - looks like you guys do some great projects, so you should really showcase those now and in the future. you work in a visual medium, so really feature that. as they currently are, each small image you have run about 200k each. with the current visible size, you could go down to 25k without noticing one bit.

Thanks- we are slowly getting more pictures. I recently got a nice DSLR and have been visiting past sites. I will slowly incorporate them in this site- and unleash them all in the next update.

I would also recommending rewriting the maintenance page to be a bit more keyword rich and descriptive. You can create some nice H tags out of those new additions.

Will do.

Continuing the rewriting thought, your home page has quite a few services that you offer, but only as a list. Where it makes sense, link those to additional sub-pages and write about what those services are/entail.

I agree. I am maxed out on pages, but will have a lot more on the new one.

Also, flip the tree frog so he's looking the other way...
Ha! I am going to completely get rid of him!
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:10 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headz77 View Post
Thanks- we are slowly getting more pictures. I recently got a nice DSLR and have been visiting past sites. I will slowly incorporate them in this site- and unleash them all in the next update.
That's fantastic. If I were to write a "Top 5 Five Things Many LCOs Don't Do, But Should", it would be to keep a camera (or great cell camera) with them and know how to take decent pics.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:40 AM
n_carson n_carson is offline
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Looks good ...

I would put the contractor license and phone number in the header area so people do not have to scroll down. A lot a of people have limited time and profeciency with computers so you always want to keep a sales driven approach to make it as easy as possible to contact you.

As mentioned before, breaking out topics such as lawn care to one page will help your search results. A tightly worded topic page that has lots of synoyms for lawn care will do much, much better on search results than one page that lists everything.

If I type "portland contractor water garden" you are the second result on google. But, if I type "portland contractor lawn service" it will not be there. Lawn service is much more competitive web search, but it will only help you to have on dedicated page.

You have to write pages for search engines as well as people. Too much different topics and the search engine will not strongly link a search query to the page and you will go down in results. But on the same hand, you want to your page to be readable and pleasant to actually humans.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2012, 06:03 PM
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GreyFlames GreyFlames is offline
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I had a couple comments that should help converting those visitors into leads.

1) Put some of your customer testimonials in your site. A good spot may be the blank grey box on the right side. I always caution against linking directly to review sites as they often promote your competition as well.

2) Make it easy for visitors to contact you. Putting the phone number up top is a great idea. Either in your header maybe in that right side box again. You should also promote the words "Request an Estimate" in your main page text and link it to your contact page and form.

3) Consider breaking up your long content on the service pages. I would limit it to 300-500 words. Some of that content would make for killer educational articles. A nice addition to any site.

I think the frog up top really pops. I love it.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2012, 02:41 AM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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Kris-Thanks!

I am implementing as many of the suggestions as I can now. This winter I will completely redesign the site and try to really get it right.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:45 AM
HBFOXJr HBFOXJr is offline
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local seo

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
It got me interested and now I have a new hobby.

I view it as a sport, which is why I don't take on clients from the same service area. lol It does get addictive.

So- how am I doing so far? I know my site is nowhere near perfect. My current website template provider does not give me access to the html so I am somewhat limited. I will be switching to a different service this winter when I have time to redesign. In the meantime: what have I missed?

Working within the confines of a locked-down template, looks like you're doing okay. Areas you can improve would be:

location keywords and info - i see portland as a recurring theme, which is a competitive term, and one of the reasons you are probably struggling to see great search results. battling for portland is great, but you should absolutely pick the low-hanging fruit of suburb names and related towns. people have become much more sophisticated with their internet searches, so someone living in hillsdale or portsmouth is just as likely to search using those as they are portland. shape your content around the more specific municipalities.

meta description - get more descriptive. it's gone the way of meta keywords and the Dodo bird, as far as ranking signals go, but it's useful on some search results.

alt tags for images - put in location-based keywords (ie, stone wall in lake oswego)

images - looks like you guys do some great projects, so you should really showcase those now and in the future. you work in a visual medium, so really feature that. as they currently are, each small image you have run about 200k each. with the current visible size, you could go down to 25k without noticing one bit.

Your site's pic is on the left, at 200k. Mine is on the right, at 25k.


I would also recommending rewriting the maintenance page to be a bit more keyword rich and descriptive. You can create some nice H tags out of those new additions.

Continuing the rewriting thought, your home page has quite a few services that you offer, but only as a list. Where it makes sense, link those to additional sub-pages and write about what those services are/entail.

If you haven't done so, create a Google Webmaster Tools account and upload an xml sitemap. Here's a quick and easy sitemap generator.

The key to everyone's success here is to take advantage of the idea that you guys are only competing within a very specific area. Use hyper local keywords and target your content as such and you'll absolutely start seeing results.

Also, flip the tree frog so he's looking the other way...
.
I do my own site work and seo via wordpress and wp plugins. SEO has been my priority since last winter. The tools I'm using and work I have done, are paying off.

However, since Google dominates the search engine market and works hard to return relevant results, most especially local results, How does one beat that confinement?

We service about a 13 mile radius from our office. We want business from all over that area. We are based in Medford, NJ, just east of Philadelphia, PA. Since the Delaware river separates PA and NJ, people in our area do not consider themselves as being from the Philadelphia area. We live in "south Jersey", which is a huge geographic area that we don't wish to service.

We work the most populated areas of 2 counties. The area consists of many townships and zip codes. Many of the zip codes lack a defined main street business area. None of the areas are big enough, that traditional marketing and competition, allows any one to dominate to the point that their irrigation or lawn care business can derive their living from just one zip code or township.

So my question is, how do I beat the really local search results that naturally take place? Last week, I ran a report to see what search terms brought site impressions July 1 to Aug 22. Out of 470 terms virtually none used a town name or a zip code. All were general terms a a few may have contained all or part of our company name.

That same day I had a discussion with a friend in Omaha, and we compared our top 10 search queries. All of mine were general industry related terms. Her company's top 10 contained all or part of their name and/or Omaha and an industry term. Regional variation?

Do suburban searchers, not identify with a geographic area? Who or why would any one use local.com, yahoo local, merchant circle, etc when google drops local in your lap as a no brainer?
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2013, 04:47 PM
aradertree aradertree is offline
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The google Panda update hurt us a bit... We got in touch with a local seo firm here in Philly.... I would advise you look for a professional search marketing agent. Google has gotten really smart about SEO and are penalizing black hat seo methods.


Thanks Chris
Arader Tree Removal
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2013, 11:51 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Location: Lancaster, PA
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Welcome to the forum, Arader. In the year that this thread has been up, using the sweat equity approach, headz has done some great things to rank his site, as well as elevate the overall marketing of his company. If you don't have the time or inclination, hiring out is definitely the way to go.
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