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  #1  
Old 07-05-2013, 03:05 AM
Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Location: Stockbridge, GA
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Chilehead's website ver. 5.0

Hey, folks. I finally had some time (with all the recent rain) to retool my website. My two goals this time around were to work on proper tagging/coding, and simplify down to a one-page design (albeit I have a second "employment" page). And yes, I will be getting a top-level domain soon. This go-around, the overall theme is simple, professional, modern, and to-the-point. I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately pertaining to marketing. It turns out that the quicker a prospect can get the info they need about a service provider, the quicker they'll make a decision to buy. Complicated web navigation (like on some auto makers sites) is a hassle and frustration. The whole design of my site is around getting the sale upon first impressions--quickly, and efficiently. I just hope the coding is sufficient to make those impressions. Comments welcome.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2013, 06:46 AM
t608 t608 is offline
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I can agree as being simple, But modern and professional I don't think so.

I think it's to simple. You should have more than one page with a navigation menu. Google will like you better as you will have more content(content is king). I don't like the cartoon look, it would turn me off as a potential customer.

I have nothing to do with the following site but these are professional sites to me.
fullcirclelawncare . com
somervillelawncare . com
equinoxlandscapinginc . com

Just my opinion.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:10 AM
Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t608 View Post
I can agree as being simple, But modern and professional I don't think so.

I think it's to simple. You should have more than one page with a navigation menu. Google will like you better as you will have more content(content is king). I don't like the cartoon look, it would turn me off as a potential customer.

I have nothing to do with the following site but these are professional sites to me.
fullcirclelawncare . com
somervillelawncare . com
equinoxlandscapinginc . com

Just my opinion.
Certainly, and the other sites you listed were nice indeed.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:55 PM
Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Just got a top-level domain (see signature). My ability to be found has gone up anywhere from 7TH to 1ST on Google's local business listings, depending on the search term.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2013, 12:36 AM
Mayor of Mow Town Mayor of Mow Town is offline
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Good on you for taking the time to update your site.

The most obvious thing that could be worth reconsidering (or at least testing), is the auto-play music. That will make many people click away as fast as possible, and it's a little hard to find where to turn it off.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:35 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilehead View Post
It turns out that the quicker a prospect can get the info they need about a service provider, the quicker they'll make a decision to buy. Complicated web navigation (like on some auto makers sites) is a hassle and frustration. The whole design of my site is around getting the sale upon first impressions--quickly, and efficiently. I just hope the coding is sufficient to make those impressions. Comments welcome.
killthemusickillthemusickillthemusic...

My hope is that you weren't reading anything that recommended autoplay music, because it would call in to question the rest of the advice you picked up from it. Beside it being extremely intrusive, a large portion of your visitors are likely shopping for your services while on their employer's dime. Music firing up has a way of getting your tab closed on their browser as soon as it starts.

If I remember your old site correctly, you had a few sub pages and were trying to grow the content? It seems you've thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater to change your entire approach. While simple design can sell, I think you need to do a bit of reworking of your home page and adding a bit of page depth to a Services page, etc. Search engines like depth. You can rank a 1 page site, but you need to have a solid off and on site plan to do so. As it is, the new one page site of all black on white and black lines to separate, lacks any directional flow or visual engagement. I'm just not drawn in and, as a result, there is no sales process.

For example, take your "deal of the month". It looks no different than any other aspect of the site and is otherwise un-engaging. Sell me.

Back to the depth, there is a lot of keyword-rich content than can come from a "Complete Lawn Chemical Program" sub page. If you don't explain what that entails to me (your prospective customer), or Google, it's just a grouping of what could be any 4 words.

The Weather Plugin: People aren't checking your site for the weather so, to me, it always comes down to "fluff for fluff's sake". But, from a less subjective point of view, it makes me think your site's broken because my ad blocker treats it like an advertisement and all I see is a broken image error.

The new design does look good on my Kindle Fire, iPad, and Android phone, however none of them show me your slideshow. I'd find an alternative to Flash.

Code: Your tags look pretty good, however for as much text as you have on the page, it only accounts for 17% of the page weight. I would take your CSS to an external file, and that will significantly help. I'd also use CSS to do a better job of laying out your page elements. A couple of hundred      in a row is not how you want to space things out.

Overall, it's going to come down to how well this new page converts for you. How was the old site ranking and how is this one? How well is this going to actually convert vs the old? Atlanta is as tough a market as you can find, so is this new strategy going to do it for you?
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:41 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilehead View Post
Complicated web navigation (like on some auto makers sites) is a hassle and frustration.
I completely agree and could probably write a book just on this topic...however...

The vast majority of LCO's are not car companies. Yes, the navigation should be extremely easy, and not overwhelming, but it's also not a reason to go with only one page. Stick to the core Home/Services/Contact page and you're gold. You really have no reason to, nor should you, have 30 options in your nav bar. If you have 30 pages, have them logically linked from within your pages, but leave the nav bar for high-level. Take your visitors through their site in a logical way and you'll do great. Bonus to this approach? Search engines love it.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2013, 08:18 PM
Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
killthemusickillthemusickillthemusic...

My hope is that you weren't reading anything that recommended autoplay music, because it would call in to question the rest of the advice you picked up from it. Beside it being extremely intrusive, a large portion of your visitors are likely shopping for your services while on their employer's dime. Music firing up has a way of getting your tab closed on their browser as soon as it starts.

If I remember your old site correctly, you had a few sub pages and were trying to grow the content? It seems you've thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater to change your entire approach. While simple design can sell, I think you need to do a bit of reworking of your home page and adding a bit of page depth to a Services page, etc. Search engines like depth. You can rank a 1 page site, but you need to have a solid off and on site plan to do so. As it is, the new one page site of all black on white and black lines to separate, lacks any directional flow or visual engagement. I'm just not drawn in and, as a result, there is no sales process.

For example, take your "deal of the month". It looks no different than any other aspect of the site and is otherwise un-engaging. Sell me.

Back to the depth, there is a lot of keyword-rich content than can come from a "Complete Lawn Chemical Program" sub page. If you don't explain what that entails to me (your prospective customer), or Google, it's just a grouping of what could be any 4 words.

The Weather Plugin: People aren't checking your site for the weather so, to me, it always comes down to "fluff for fluff's sake". But, from a less subjective point of view, it makes me think your site's broken because my ad blocker treats it like an advertisement and all I see is a broken image error.

The new design does look good on my Kindle Fire, iPad, and Android phone, however none of them show me your slideshow. I'd find an alternative to Flash.

Code: Your tags look pretty good, however for as much text as you have on the page, it only accounts for 17% of the page weight. I would take your CSS to an external file, and that will significantly help. I'd also use CSS to do a better job of laying out your page elements. A couple of hundred      in a row is not how you want to space things out.

Overall, it's going to come down to how well this new page converts for you. How was the old site ranking and how is this one? How well is this going to actually convert vs the old? Atlanta is as tough a market as you can find, so is this new strategy going to do it for you?
Tony, I appreciate the positive criticism. The music has already been axed as I was going back and forth about it when designing the site. I now need to change my copyright message, omitting the composer. As far as cleaning up the code, that's where I have trouble. I am using Serif WebPlus X6, a WYSIWYG editor. This go-around, I focused on proper use of tag heiarchy (h1, h2, etc.). The last site came up when searched, but only for a very select few terms. This time, I at least come up in the search results for many more key words. The fact is, I am not a coder. Every time I go in to change something while viewing page source, I mess something up in the final result. Let me ask you a few questions now.....

1.) Although it would kill the whole "minimalist site" currently online, I had pondered making all services listed their own hyperlinks (recognized as anchor text) to their own pages (per your suggestion). Would this help, hurt, or be a wash?

2.)I had thought about writing a 10,000 word, keyword-rich laden essay on the grounds care/landscape industry, and placing it on my home page--but making the color of the text invisible so as not to disrupt the current design. What effects would this have?

3.) Why all the buzz in webmaster industry circles about how great single page designs are if what you said is true? I trust your knowledge on the subject, but these people are top pros. Not trying to argue, just an honest question. Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2013, 11:03 PM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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Not Tony, but I will throw in my 2 cents:

1- Not a problem. Maybe just check out moz guide on internal linking for best practices.

2- No. That puts you a manual review away from disappearing.

3- A one page site can work, done correctly. If you are only targeting a couple keywords I could see it making sense. However, it would be pretty hard to rank for "landscaper", "landscaping", "landscape design", "lawn care", etc... You would need an amazing link graph, old domain, tons of citations, steady stream of reviews- and maybe you could rank well for 10 keywords. If you are going to do just one page- do it really well. The effective ones I have seen were long pages, with a great flow, nice graphics, periodic calls to action, and most importantly, they told a story. If you only get one page take 3-4 sentences to say what you do and spend the rest of the time telling your story. Who are you? Why do you do what you do? It should be the best "About" page in your market with a couple fantastic graphics and compelling forms/calls to action.

If you are a niche provider who can tell a story- then go for it.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2013, 11:36 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Headz has made me obsolete. lol I'm on vacation most of this month, so I dig it.

1. It would help.

2. Music was a better idea than that. Hidden/white/negative margin text is an old, old black hat trick. I've seen Google spot it. I've seen them miss it. Either way, you're skating on very thin ice. As headz points out, you're a manual review, or algorithm advancement, away from purgatory.

If you're feeling the urge to write 10,000 words, break it in to multiple pages and just link them on your site. Or channel the energy and write 20 blog posts and just feed them to Google over a couple of months. This is one of those ideas that is a terrible idea, but with a slightly different lens applied, you realize you can do essentially the same thing, with a stronger outcome, by doing something that's 100% legit.

3. Top Pros can rank a one page site. It's like doing a landscape install. Anyone can do what amounts to a landscape install, but can Joe Homeowner really do what Joe Landscaper can do? Top Pros are Top Pros for a reason. My fiance is a Top Pro in her field. Trust me...I cannot do what she can do. On the other hand, she could do what I do, but it would taker her quite a bit of time and learning to do so.

Ranking a one page site is like ranking a full site. You have to have a plan, you have to properly implement it, and you have to see it through. I have no problem ranking one page sites, and neither would you, if done properly. A couple of weeks ago, entirely as a joke meant to prevent some local LCO's from getting screwed (long'ish story), I bought a domain and put up a one page site and got it ranking page 1 for a 17,000 population, Northern Virginia city in just a couple of days. It's now sitting as the #1 pure organic result, just under the 7 Pack. That's doable for any number of cities and towns, but it's not a method I would be using for a major metro area. There are just too many off-site strategies that need to help boost your cause. Headz has become an expert on that process.
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Last edited by tonygreek; 07-07-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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