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  #1  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:22 AM
bodaggin bodaggin is offline
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Compare your website

Post your website to get some ideas flowing. Check out each other's sites and tell each other what you like and dislike (design, content, domains, hosts, navigation, etc).

Here's mine:http://www.herowinnipeg.com

Rip it to pieces
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2013, 09:11 AM
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Individual "critique my site" threads can get lengthy and have quite a few back and forth exchanges. I'm not sure how well one thread, full of them, will work.

Re: your site, I don't find it to be remotely engaging or displaying any personality. If you didn't list a specific service area, I would have a kneejerk assumption that your business is simply a lead gen site, aggregator, or another of the reddit "start a business with 100% sub contractors, but have them look like your employees" "startups". If it's not, I would think it's the initial rollout of one.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:23 AM
bodaggin bodaggin is offline
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Interesting perspective. All business websites are designed to generate leads and sales. I'm not familiar with any other purpose for a business website.

However the company has zero subcontractors, and only part time employees. It is owner operated by myself and actually says that right on the homepage with a big graphic.

Good to know the initial impression it is portraying though. That's what this thread is all about.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodaggin View Post
All business websites are designed to generate leads and sales. I'm not familiar with any other purpose for a business website.
They should also engage and provide confidence. I found it lacking both, but I'm also not your typical, potential customer. I'm looking at your site for flaws and features. I've looked at a lot of pure lead gen sites, as well as "typical", local business sites so, rightly or wrongly, that's how I sized it up. Much of that perception has to do with the generic artwork and lack of real copy writing. If I turn off the knowledge I have, and play Joe Customer, I'm still not sure I'm at the right place for what I want. By this, I mean you say that you are uniformed and have trucks. Show me this, not in generic clip art, but actually show me. That inspires confidence and a sense of "this is a real, local company".

The top nav bar, which is where we are to look for guidance, gives me cold, broad terms of "Home - Pricing - Tracking - FAQ - Contact", which one does not "normally" associate with something you see at a lawn services web site. It looks like any of a million lean software startups or generic lead gen sites. Engage me. In fact, I can safely say that I have never seen "Tracking" as a featured item, nor do I really know what it is (even though I do now). Even when I visit "Tracking", it's just an array of unfamiliar data that a potential customer either may not care about, or worse, not understand what they're looking at and why it's featured. Basically, you need a healthy dose of copy. Your home page has very few actual words, so spend a bit of time on that. The search engines will appreciate it, too.

On the Pricing page, I'd recommend adding some of the service detail I had to go to the FAQ to try and find. No need to make people look in a blanket FAQ to find out if plowing includes salting or do you string trim after you mow. Make it easy for people. You've got 2.4 clicks to tell me what you do, why I should hire you, and give me the confidence to make the next step of signing up.

Quote:
However the company has zero subcontractors, and only part time employees. It is owner operated by myself and actually says that right on the homepage with a big graphic.
Owner-operated, in this instance, didn't inspire confidence. You're an owner and you operate a business. That could just as easily be finessed in to me being an Owner/Operator, albeit with a call center in India. Again, this all goes in to my overall image, with the sum of the parts leading me to make an assumption on the whole.

I'd also recommend hitting Moz or Google for their beginner's guides to SEO. Your site could really use some of the typical beefing up of TITLE tags, H tags, etc. "Pricing" and "Services" just isn't good enough, especially when you're in as competitive market as I would guess you are.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2013, 03:11 PM
bodaggin bodaggin is offline
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All the recommendations you made were whati was trying to avoid (simple pictures instead of lengthy dialogue, clean modern vectors to represent professionalism instead of basic html formatting that any shmuck with a template builder and digital camera could post a picture of the same old lawn you see on anyone else's site, etc).

As for the string trimming and salting part I'm trying to filter if it's the site or the reader. "Trimming" is mentioned right under the services portion of the very first page, no need to click once let alone 2.4 times. Salting isn't listed because it isn't offered. In fact, only the services that are offered are listed, not sure why I would list everything I don't offer.

In any event, all feedback helps me whether it is positive or negative so I appreciate your comments Tony! Happy Holidays.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:56 PM
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Let me know how that approach works out for you. When it comes to organic search, I'll update my own notes that, apparently, simple vectors trump content any day of the week. Best of luck.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2013, 03:59 PM
bodaggin bodaggin is offline
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I agree they don't for SEO, but they do for the customer buying. Google isn't buying my lawn care, my customers are. Which means I have to sell to them first and Google second.
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Old 12-26-2013, 04:03 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Originally Posted by bodaggin View Post
I agree they don't for SEO, but they do for the customer buying. Google isn't buying my lawn care, my customers are. Which means I have to sell to them first and Google second.
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So, it's an online brochure. That does change how I view your site. I thought, given your competitive market, you were shooting for organic rank.
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Old 12-26-2013, 04:13 PM
bodaggin bodaggin is offline
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Exactly, bruchure and sales person. Still shooting for as much of an organic rank as possible with out sacrificing the ability to sell my product. If I really want to be top of Google I just buy adwords and I by pass everyone.

But I also know that the ability for my site to sell for me means less sales costs and a higher closure percentage when they do call me. I'd say I close roughly 80% of the contact requests I get which means I'm talking with customers who are bringing me money. It's also why I find listing pricing is so important, so that if someone doesn't like the price, they don't waste my time on the phone to ask. They just don't call.

The website weeds the sales work out for me.
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