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Site Progress

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Team-Green L&L, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Amani

    Amani LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    not sure if you have tried link exchange. If you are not aware of it it is basically trading links with other lawncare comapanies thus improving your ranking in google.
  2. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    Yes, if I understand you correct. I submitted a version of my web strategy as an online article once.

    One of my pages will be used for online Certified Arborist continuing education units, next autumn.

    I used to have two versions of a wide web page design. I did not like it, because the layout and text stretches all over the place depending on how wide a monitor or browing window is.

    After a couple of years, I found that I preferred the nice clean crisp looking site's that remain relatively consistent for width. And 800 pixels seemed to do the job.

    What's up now, is about the 4th version.

    As for traffic, most calls via the website were from people seaching, but a few from people that had by business card or a flyer.

    Medford barely counts for internet seaches now. The area is very small, and it's just starting to become internet friendly.

    But when I was in Portland, I'd get about 1 to 2 days worth of work per week from people searching for arborists, pruning or landscape designers in Portland. That was in spring to early fall. So it yielded about 15% of my revenue.

    I never started the site as a significant revenue generator. Just a supplemental revenue generator.

    I keep a Portland Arborist page still, even though I'm down south. The company I put on that page, gets enough work that he pays my web expenses entirely, plus a commission.

    I figure that if I get a $200 or a $1000 pruning project even once in two weeks, that's a 100% to 500% return on my yearly web expenditure within just that job.

    The big cities seem to lend a lot of boost to website presentations.
  3. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Posts: 11

    The problem is 800 wide was the "standard" on Windows 98 and at most 15" monitors. That's a long time ago, and like I said on wide screens like so many people have today it just looks "funny" because it doesn't fit the page (examples: any major web site from eBay to NBC or Ford...whatever...)
    If you can't handle making a page that resizes to fit and still looks right (you have to know which objects to fix in position and which to let move or how to make everything resize "relative" to the other objects) then I would at least investigate going wider than 800 since very few people still have that old of a computer.
    But do your homework 1st. Look at family, friends, businesses, whoever your normal type client would be then see what they are running.
    If they have Windows 2000 or XP or a bigger than 15" monitor make note (laptops don't count, they run higher resolution on smaller screens so a 14" is like a 17" regular, ANY size LCD counts as higher than 800)
    If you still see a lot of the oldies that's fine. But I would bet in the "tech heavy" west coast most people have traded up long ago.
    If so make the site for the majority, remember it's not about what you like, it's about the visitor, and people hate to scroll down. They hate to scroll sideways worse though so go with the majority.
    If most of your target market has the older systems the way it is is fine, but if they are few and far between then go for "hacking off" the fewest people.

    It's like playing odds, you want the most people to see the most of your 1st web page for the initial impact, and there is a % that just won't scroll unless they really want to bad...and most surf-shoppers don't. (people will scroll more on eBay or Amazon where they are "catalog" shopping and expect to scroll before they go there.)

    Not telling you personally, what you do is your business, you're happy & that's fine, but for other readers: you used one of those "key" phrases... "I found that I preferred the nice clean crisp looking site's that remain relatively consistent for width" and it's not about "you" for most businesses, it's about customers.
    You also mention 2 versions which seems a strange statement. A site that resizes doesn't have versions. It always re-arranges itself "on the fly" to "look right" on any size monitor at any resolution...not like there is a "big version" and a "small version".
  4. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Being an idiot to articles, do I just take our informative articles and submit them to ezine and stuff, or do I need to do something to link them first?
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    Actually, that's just a philosophy.

    There is a loss of design control when you attempt pages to resize to fit the screen.

    I have a 21" monitor. Other people have 15".

    When pages resize, images and text can stretch, alter and can move all over the place.

    With a preset page width, for many site's with a particular presentation and images, the lthe design, text and images can retain a more uniform presentation.

    Pages that resize, to me, is like trying to make a landscape design plan with a "set" number of plants and trees, and expecting it to expand and contract to fit 1/4 acre or 2 acre yards without altering the plant list.

    The resized page technique can work for certain web pages.

    But for others that are making a designed presentation of material, it's an inferior technique.
  6. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Posts: 11

    Like I said, it's what you like and that's fine by me.
    But all the major web sites don't have the problems you mention. It's all in how you do it.
    One thing I will note for everyone: Many "template" or "DIY site-builder" sites do not offer html custom code modification (only the way the template is set up) In that case you do get all the undesirable effects like you mention because they can't be fixed, the template or site-builder software doesn't allow for it.
    Many of today's newer programs do allow for the customization though. It all depends on what you've got to work with.
    But with anybody's web site, if you are happy it makes me no difference if it's green with purple stripes, it's your's not mine :cool2:
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

  9. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546

    hey webman how do you always have 0 posts just wondering?
  10. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Posts: 11

    Just one of the rules here.
    Because as well as being a contractor I am sometimes "paid" as a marketing/sales trainer/speaker/consultant/host/copywriter/yawn... :sleeping: as something I have taken up as age catches up with me...
    They (lawnsite) sent me an e-mail that unless I pay for being a "sponsor" I can't get a post count so there is no way I can get enough posts to send and receive private messages.
    I haven't seen a forum just fix it where you can't accumulate posts, others commonly just ban you if you abuse the system (like sending spam or advertising by PM, a very common and good rule for a forum to have and enforce, nobody likes junk PM's) but that's why "0" post count.

    It is strange they restrict stuff like that while at the same time I have asked 3 times and have never received a rate chart (a chart that would show what a "sponsor" is and what you get for whatever it costs etc. Most would also show all their advertising options like all the banners & stuff you see, the rates, and what comes with each, so you can see if you want to be a "sponsor" or is buying a banner what makes you a sponsor or is that 2 different things :confused: ). Usually forums appreciate free advice from people a little more than "laymen" on topics (like a mechanic offering advice on why somebody's engine is making that weird noise) as long as you aren't trying to "advertise" for free, and I haven't ever tried.

    I'm not complaining, it's their forum to set the rules, but I can't change it and I know that looks "funny".
    (And it's not a big enough thing to me to pay for a bunch of advertising but there have been a couple of people I might have sent a tip to now or then, that they might have found embarrasing if I had posted it; or things like a specific line of code I would never post vebatim because it would contain info about their site they might not want "public")

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