My new website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by TPnTX, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I just threw this together using site builder. I need some objective critique. So if you don't mind fire away. My next step is to add pics and some "flair" but this is my starting point

    www.pennylandscape.com
     
  2. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Looks pretty good. I'd balance out the first couple pages with pictures or something on the right side.
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    What is site builder? Is it a program you buy, and if so how much was it?
     
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    That site sucks!! Ha! J/k bud. Looks very good, get some pictures up there! Any lighting going on in your neck of the woods?
     
  5. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,959

    I think you did a pretty good job. Your text is good and does a nice job of presenting a postive image with few, but well thought out words and the photos are excellent. Good job.
     
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,171

    TP, sorry to disagree with the others but if I were a high-end homeowner visiting your site, I'd wonder about your professionalism. The site is very amateurish looking. Let me count the ways. . . poorly rendered logo; overly large and bold text; text centered in some places, flush left in others; ugly navigation buttons; ugly navigation bar; gradient background that creates an unbalanced appearance.

    On the positive side, your text is fairly well written (but the site appearance contradicts what you say about committment to quality and attention to detail).

    Sorry to be harsh here, but as a web design pro I've seen too many quality businesses like yours fail to recognize the importance of hiring a pro to design the most important marketing tool you have.

    My advice, take it or leave it, invest a few thousand dollars in a professional site that matches the quality of your business. You'll get your money back many times over.
     
  7. PestPro

    PestPro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    ok..check it out and let me know what you think...It is a Pest Control site, not Lawn care...sorry

    www.pestproservices.net
     
  8. tommyviv

    tommyviv LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 11

    to pest pro, bad: multi colored sentences look like an ebay ad. and maybe a nicer font. pictures take a long time (slower than we impatient people are accustomed to) to load as the links buttons, and I do have high speed connection too. I would move the links down to the bottom with buttons.
    Good: very informative I went thru the whole thing looking at all the pictures and read all the small words.
    Im no pro by any means ....maybe it shows ...just an opinion from a guy who tried to build his own site.....and I have NO training or patience!
     
  9. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Posts: 11

    One thing I do not understand about your site is the first time I opened it the two pictures on the right-hand side did not display. After going to one of your other pages and returning to the home page. Then those photographs appeared. The first time though was just a large blank space there. I will note that I opened it in Opera, and so it may be a problem with your site builder (some of them are geared specifically to Internet Explorer. And don't always display right on other browsers).

    The next thing involves the same thing (the old broken record) of what your site says to me in that all-important first 8 seconds that will be a benefit to me, rather than just a description of you. First off, the line "managing your landscape" should be eliminated. There's another bold text, directly underneath it and the managing your landscape part doesn't apply to anything in the following paragraph. Then that following paragraph says "Penny Landscape has built a reputation in our industry and within the community as a group of respected service professionals that are highly committed to providing quality landscape services to our commercial and residential clients." And right there you have burned up your all-important 8 seconds. You haven't done anything to tell me what you can do to benefit me, you have only told me about your reputation within the landscape industry and in your community.
    First I couldn't care less about your reputation in the landscape industry, because what I need is some landscaping done. I'm not another landscaper wanting to know about your reputation in our industry. Second, you mentioning your reputation in the community, which is dangerous; because if I am in your community and have not heard of you, then that line makes no sense. And I start to question the truthfulness of your text right there. About the only thing I have gained in that first 8 seconds that you have to get me as a potential customer, interested enough to continue reading your site and possibly contact you is that you provide quality landscape services to your commercial and residential clients. Since I am not already a client that doesn't apply to me either.
    Now please don't think I'm being "hard on you" you asked; and I'm just pointing out the subconscious messages your text sends.

    I am beginning to wonder if all of the tips that I have given people here, and the time I have spent trying to help people with their websites is kind of a waste. Because people continue to seem to miss that all-important "third-party" view of their website. I am not being critical of you in particular or her particular website. Probably 80% of the websites I see here are guilty of the same thing. But as I have said over and over in the Internet business. There is, what is called "the 8 second rule" which means that you have between eight and 10 seconds to catch my attention enough to let me know that you do, what I need done; and show me enough of a benefit to me that you can potentially provide that will interest me enough to continue reading your site and leave me to do what you want me to do, which is contact you. The goal of every service website is to initiate a contact. Because without a contact either by e-mail or filling out your contact form or calling you, you have no chance of selling your services to me. As I explained when commenting on another website just the other day, landscaping and lawn care is not something like an e-commerce site. Were, you can put up a picture of a beautiful lawn and say make your property look like this only $29.95 and a little checkbox where I can "add to cart.

    Then your services page is simply a list of the services you provide, and again gives me no reason that those services benefit me. It's simply a list. As far as websites go, and as far as "selling" me on using your company; it's totally useless.
    I suggest that you go back and look at your entire website as I always advise people to do; from the customer's point of view. Remember that all sales are initiated to someway relieve pain or bring pleasure. Then rework that all-important first paragraph of your website to tell me how your company is going to benefit me, by relieving some pain or bringing me some tight pleasure. Whether it's by giving me more free time, because I don't have to do my landscaping myself, or whether it's because my yard will look better than anyone else's on the block, or because you are as qualified as you say you are, and thus you can provide a more cost-effective solution to whatever my landscaping needs are, thus saving me money. And hopefully you'll come up with a brief concise paragraph that catches my attention about your company and makes me think "these people look interesting. I think I'll see what they have to offer." Then reworked your other pages like services, to tell me how each of those services is going to benefit me and use those pages to actually "sell" me on the idea of filling out your contact form or clicking on an e-mail link (which I did not see) or giving your phone call.

    Like I always advise people invent the mythical character. "Joe Customer" and look at your website from his point of view.
    Now your own particular "Joe Customer" should be the person that is your most profitable type of customer. The one that you want your website to reach.
    No one company can be everything to everyone. So you need to look at your website from the point of view of the type person, who has proved to be your most profitable client or else the ones who generally choose you.
    If you stop and look long enough you will find similarities in your customers and you can begin to get an idea of what the common factors might be that those people have and why that might have attracted them to using your company.
    Then design everything you do and write all your text in a way to be most appealing to that person. As an example, if most of your customers are not very highly educated going into the details of how your fertilizing program works, and improves the soil quality better than anyone else's is going to fall on deaf ears.
    However, if a lot of your customers are more highly educated, and "technical types" then the fact that you understand the chemistry that makes what you're doing work the way that it does might be a selling point or a benefit to them and be a "proof" you are as highly qualified, as you say you are, because you have all this knowledge. Two totally different approaches and i can't say which to use because I don't know your customers.

    Hopefully this has been of some help, as it is your website is just like a little newspaper ad. It just tells me a little bit about your company and who you are, and does absolutely nothing to "sell me" on using your company for my landscape needs over someone else.

    PS: Nice talking to a fellow Texan :waving:
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    In addition to other comments:

    1) Code needs to be cleaned up.
    2) There are layout/display issues that need to be addressed
     

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