is a website worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Up North, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    I have some questions concerning websites:
    What's the general concensus on having a website?

    Is it worth the investment?

    How many actual customers have you gained via your website?

    Do people in your area just stumble upon your website or are most of them directed there via advertising of some form?

    What kinds of costs are involved...set up, updates, on-going costs?

    Information on the website...what your company does, testimonials, pics of your work, tips, methods your company uses, what else?

    I'm sure there are other questions I should be asking but that's what's on my mind for now. I'm having a difficult time convincing myself that a website is a good idea, especially in my area. Seems most customers are aquired via word of mouth or advertising and not sure a website would make much of a difference. Convince me otherwise if you have a good arguement. Thanks!

    Buck
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I personally don't feel it is worth it, but that is my experience. I had a website for 6+ years and only my current customers would browse it now and then. Maybe if I was lucky about 2 to 3% would look at it. I never got customers from it, and I feel that it was just a waste.
     
  3. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    Tiedeman, that's kind of what I was thinking. Anyone else with any input on this?

    Buck
     
  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    After I look at a potential customer's job, I tell them to check out my web site while I work on the quote. Maybe stimulate some ideas, or find something they like.

    Mine is geared more toward my hardscape stuff though.
     
  5. turf9

    turf9 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 234

    When I was in the yellow pages last year i got a few call's cause of the on-line directory they put me in for free (promo). But it was by no means a web site.Come to think of it I got more calls from that than the actual pages.
     
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,937

    It's more than worth it for certain reasons. And my reasons make it worth it.

    One of the first things I wanted, was a place to place advice for my customers. Like suppose I planted for them; instead of explaining over and over ideas about watering - I just write it once on the website and tell them where on the site it is so they can read it.

    I have one page on safe woods for birds, that it's the best on the whole darn internet. There is no bird society or avian vet that has a better list for safe and toxic woods for pet birds. The result is that that page self-propagates itself. When I look at the STATS pages for my website, I find that people are posting my URL on parrot forums, cockatiel forums, bird forums, bird breeder websites and even chinchilla sites. All those URL back-links are votes for my site in Google's eyes.

    Oddly enough - being an arborist and designer - that woods for birds page generates more links independently than any other part of my website. Most other back-links I had to ask for.

    Now, last spring and summer, I was getting about 4 contacts from the site per week, of which I would get or take 2 customers.

    But I must add that I succeeded in getting my site ranked fairly high. But I will say that I'd be glad to have the website even if minimal work came in. It's a great place to list a phto archive of work. Suppose I show my photo album to a husband. If his wife is not home, he can take her to my website to point out photos - photos I would not want to leave laying around their house.

    If you click the caption under the deer on my home page, it will take you to my page that shows several off-site albums.

    That's one other way someone can have their site link to an album if they want to keep their webmaster costs down. That album - the separate one - can also be displayed to appear as if it's on my site. That album is very easy to load pictures on and only costs $25 per year for up to about 1500 images. I prefer to pay for an album space to avoid unsightly ads. The bandwidth is basically unlimited at that ImageEvent.

    Also - here's an option. Suppose that ALL a landscape wants a site for is to display work, and they plan for people to get there by direct word of mouth or business card. In that case, they could skip a website and simply put up a photo album like I use along with my site - only they could use it alone.

    For $25 on that Image Event, I can have many, many albums. The several you see, all fall within the $25. Easy to upload, easy to caption. And they can be open to all within the gallery, or accessed more limited, even to the point of needing a password.

    Image Event offers a free trial for about 10 days for about a dozen images.
     
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,937

    Just for fun, I checked my stats too, for November from the 1st to today (24th).

    It's:

    51,813 hits

    2913 visitors to the website

    5435 page views

    2448 unique visitors - meaning over 400 were repeats.

    226 page views per day

    :blob3:
     
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Seems to me a lot would depend on your target market. If you're doing $35 mow & go, then I don't think a website would be as beneficial. However, if you're doing large yards and estates, those people tend to be better educated and access the www more. Or, if as greenmonster you're doing more landscaping/hardscaping work, I think it would be greatly beneficial.
     
  10. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    MJ JustMowIt.com
     

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