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Old 06-09-2013, 08:15 PM
rdelahunr rdelahunr is offline
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Location: Park Rapids, MN
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Need website advice

Run a small company in a small community. I want to build a website as cheap as possible and design it myself using the hosting sites website builder. Only 1 lawn mowing company in my area has a website at all and it's not good, so getting high on google shouldn't be hard. When I search lawn care park rapids, all I see on the first page are yellowpages, dex knows, etc. will I be able to beat them out? What hosting site do you recommend?
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:07 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Hey

If you just need something simple, and you are not design-oriented, I would suggest you start with SquareSpace. They have some quality templates that will get you up and running in no time. The hosting is included.

You say you come from a small community, so the reality is that while you may be able to blitz your competitors on Google (in good time), the relationships you build and the good you do in your community will also play a part.

I guess I'm just trying to say that your website is only one part of your marketing mix, so don't forget the others.

I would spend some time focusing on the message you communicate on your website. Make it about the customer - their needs and wants; info and advice they are seeking (e.g. what do you do; how can you help; what does it cost; who are you; how to contact you; what areas do you service; how good is your work (real photos); what do your clients think, etc).

Tell your story well on your "about" page, and include a photo of yourself (and team, if you have one). Make it personal....people buy you as much as your business.

There are some smart guys on here that will be able to help you with the SEO stuff.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:09 PM
windflower windflower is offline
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Bought my domain at go daddy and used a template at wix. Template was very easy to use. Probably spent under $200 total. http://www.windflowermaintenance.com/
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:10 PM
rdelahunr rdelahunr is offline
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How about my chances of being ranked above all those generic yellow page ads and other things?
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:18 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdelahunr View Post
How about my chances of being ranked above all those generic yellow page ads and other things?
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I don't see why not (but I'm not an SEO guru).

You may also find that setting up your business on Google+ and other listing sites will help.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Another thought...

Try using the Google Keyword Tool to see whether people are even using Google to search for lawn care in your area (I did a quick search for "lawn care park rapids" & came up with no search volume i.e. there's not much).

People in your town may find their service providers in another way, such as flyers at the local grocery store or school notice board; via personal connections etc.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:39 PM
rdelahunr rdelahunr is offline
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Thank you, that was very helpful. Ill definately try that.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:55 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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rdelahunr, I think you'll find that, provided you put a little of effort in to some basic things, you'll have no problem ranking your site for your town. When I search for "lawn care Park Rapids, MN", your area does get enough respect from Google in that there is a local Pack of results (the blended result of a standard search result + the Google Local info and mapping). Your's is only a 2 Pack of results (Apex and Vintage), meaning you should appear quickly. Larger cities usually have 7 or 10 Packs, so if you create the Google/Yahoo/Bing Local accounts, point them to your site, and create directory/citation listings at the sites found on getListed.org, I think you'll find you can rank rather quickly. Just follow the cardinal rule and be sure your Name/Address/Phone (aka, the NAP) is the exact same everywhere.

Windflower pointed out his use of Wix, but the reality is that, while Wix does make it easy for anyone to quickly build a nice looking site, the SEO and value of the output is very, very low. Because you live in an area of low competition, combined with the usual off-site efforts, you can probably get away with Wix if you want to. If you decide to look at Wix as an option, I'd search the forums here for some detailed views a few of us have written.

In terms of "good" DIY builders, they are far and few between. The Mayor pointed out SquareSpace, and I completely agree with him. Simply put, they've just done the best job of making Google-friendly sites that are easy to build and that also look very nice. You'll find mentions of them in the archives as well. There are a couple of active users on here that love SquareSpace and have really pulled some great ranking results using them. When I've worked with SS sites, I was really pleased with the admin, themes, and code output.

The archives here should be pretty useful as you get started, especially site reviews, as we tuck in a lot of advice and useful links re: SEO. Good luck and just yell with questions.
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Last edited by tonygreek; 06-09-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:06 PM
rdelahunr rdelahunr is offline
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Thank you very much. Ill look into prices and if i have any more questions ill be sure to shout.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:31 AM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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One clarification on Squarespace: they do not include hosting. You will need to register your domain and host it elsewhere.

Don't be scared off by that. SS has great customer service and will walk you through all of it.
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