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Considering a major overhaul

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Bill S, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    So here is my existing website. I am considering a major overhaul. What do you all think?

    Thanks for taking the time to look. Have a great season.

  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    Yup, time for an overhaul. You have the bones of good content, just could be expanded a bit more. In no particular order...

    Landscape design page. Explain a bit more about what you can offer, such as the customer mock-ups you display, and give them context. Maybe add in a design process flow chart of sorts that shows the steps you and the prospective client go through.

    Definitely needs a modern photo gallery, with details of what we're looking at.

    Menu-wise, you have Landscape Design, Services, and Landscape Lighting. To one degree or another, these are all "services", so to me, as it currently stands, it looks a bit awkward.

    Logo needs a serious refresh. Do you have something you use for print/trucks/clothing and the site just doesn't reflect it very well? This is the core of your brand, so it should be portrayed as such.

    Re: your brand, WJ Smallwood is a dream name. If it's your own, congrats. It has a name with the connotation of the staying power of a company that's been around for a century and prides itself on craftsmanship. Basically, it sounds legit. In this day and age, that means something.

    Some of the pictures should be trashed, with newer, more clear images worked in. Some that are stock photos, or demo pics given to you by your lighting suppliers, would definitely be ones I'd lose, as there is a clear quality difference.

    I see your completed Yahoo Local page, but you need to claim your Google Places page, and add the info about your business, web address, photos, etc.

    You need to give serious attention to your SEO. You site doesn't have any of the very key <H1><H2<H3> tags, etc.

    You'll also want to tag your reworked photos so that the search engines can make better use of your site, even though you currently rank pretty good to great, depending on how I searched.

    Anything else, or deeper explanations, just holla.

  3. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    A make over would be an excellent idea. I was bored (and being the geek I am), just went and looked at 60 lawn care sites that are within about 15 miles from you.

    On the plus side, not too hard to visually blow away your competition (seo wise can be big difference though, I mean a no so great looking site that is found is better than a fantastic one that people can't find at all)

    Now going for the redesign, think about what you would tell someone who is considering doing their landscape design themselves. I'm sure when you drive around, you can tell the yards that were done by a professional, and recognize where people just tried to do it themselves. Keep that in mind when you decide what route to take for a new site. (Don't get me wrong, there are probably DIY poeple out there that have a fantastic yard, but I think you will get my point).

    Also if you go the route of hiring someone to do your site for you, make sure to get good references. Not just the "currently completed". Look for referrals of their clients that they have had for over a year. Run those sites through http://validator.w3.org/ also look into getting a plugin for firefox that can give you a rough rating of site quality (Firefox with SEOQuake is good (may be a little more advanced to compare, SEO Doctor gives a decent summary too). You can also use something like http://www.domaintools.com/seo-browser/ which will show you more what search engines see on your site, plus has some rating into when you click on the (i) icon on the top left.

    Lastly, one easy route to go with sites is Wordpress, and if you go this route, keep in midn that also like everything else, there are good installs of it, and then there are overkill installs of it that will slow your site down (google now rates site speed as well) Search Engine Optimization isn't the only optimization that matters (I'm a geek and have worked with larger sites so I get picky about keeping sites fast loading)

    Good luck, as always if you have questions let me know.

  4. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    These guys have given great feedback. Follow what they say and you'll be in the 99th percentile of all sites like yours.

    The only thing i would add is there is a lot of text on that front page I doubt people will read, or at least not at first. I'd like to see some kind of "call to action" or tagline. Call us and if we don't pick up the phone we'll call back in 15 min. That's a big pain point for people is calling and leaving messages. Or email us and hear back the same day.

    In any case these guys have given you some great advice you'll just need to think about how you want to get it done.
  5. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Thank you for the input guys! All three of you hit on my thoughts, almost to a T. Looks like the website will be pushed up the "to-do list"

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