First time Website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Nightscaper, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Nightscaper

    Nightscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    My wife and I have been working on our website since last night . It's comming along , Looking to get some input on how you boost it up the ranks on the search engines . We hosted on Fatcow. We are new to this hole thing so go easy on us. Most of the pictures on our site are temporary. So please don't judge on those. Was going to pay someone to do it but figured we'd give it a shot in the slow season. Thankyou ahead of time.
  2. silverado212

    silverado212 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    Not a bad site. Simple and clean. I would scrap the cursive text. To busy to read. Would go with something more simple yet stylish. Nice for a DIY site.
  3. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    I agree on the text style, I found myself first focused on that trying to read what it says (of course I just woke up 15 minutes ago.... LOL)

    I would suggest advertising an e-mail that is on your domain, looks more professional. (ex. )

    I just looked up your domain name, and a big red flag there. It is registered to FatCow, not to you. Now if you stay with fat cow, not such a big deal, but if you ever decide to leave them, you are at their mercy to let you take the domain. Have seen many people get in that position, and try to go somewhere else, and half end up having to get a new domain. Again, if you are staying with them, no problem, but in general always good to have the domain resisted to you, not your hosting company.

    When it comes to advertising your domain in places where people can't just click a link (vehicles, business cards, etc), since your domain is multiple words and two abbreviations, use some styling to make it more readable, compare the first two with the last three.

    Also, can't do it here, but you could also use small spaces between the parts, just enough to make the parts easier to read, not a full space.
    TLC Lawn Care (again, here can't show it, just giving suggestion for where to add spacing)

    On the site for how it looks, I would remove the underlining all over, as this is the default identifier for links, many people will think they are links to more info and my get frustrated they didn't get what they were expecting.

    I would also suggest repeating the navigation a the bottom of the page, and put in a footer that contains your contact info so it is as text on each page. For the bottom navigation, just need something simple like the following as links and centered:

    Home | Lawn & Landscape Maintenance Services | Landscape Construction Services | Photos | Contacts

    Along with the contact info in the footer, I would consider finding a way to give your general service area in the header of your site. Currently I have to read down in the content of your site to see where you server. Also, someone may search for a term and may get a page other than your home page in the results. Say I landed on your Construction Services page, the only clue I would have is your area code in your phone number.

    The other issues I would have are for the structure of the site, but since you are using a site builder, probably not much you can do with them.

    You have three images references on your site that do not exist. These are all called from you .CSS file:

    Other than that, as mentioned for a DIY site, pretty nice and clean.

    As you are building your site, consider how the search engines will see your site, use a tool such as this (just enter your URL and click "Simple")

    Also keep in mind what people searching for you online would enter into a search engine (hint, ask some clients what they would look for, at the very least get someone outside the "business" who will not know main terms to look for).

    As you get them, find ways to put them into the wording of your site.

    Lastly, see if your site builder can put in Google Analytics code. This is one of the best things you can do for your site if you are interested in monitoring it. Some people put web counters on the page to gauge how many people come to the site. Most of them that are free, are not accurate at all (when you see one, hold down SHIFT and click refresh, does the number change each time you do that? false count if so!)

    Google analytics is free, takes a little getting used to, but will not only track how many times your page is viewed, but also give you information such as what page are people entering your site, what search terms they are using to find it, etc. If nothing else, see what Fatcow offers for site stats. A popular one is AW Stats, which will give good information as well.

    Hope this info helps, let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Nightscaper

    Nightscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thank you so much to both of you . Greg you made some good recommendations. Already changed a few things but need to take a little break . Will be back at it in a bit. What do I do about the domain name being registered to fatcow . How do I take it over . Or can I.
  5. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    The domain issue you would have to check with FatCow, I've never used them, so not sure their policies on that. Now, there is the off chance that they are showing that information for privacy protection, but usually when companies do that, they are listed as privacy protection. Ie: from one of my domains:

    Twine Development, LLC
    c/o Whois Privacy
    PO Box 42319
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203

    (I like pair, as you can choose what level of privacy, from all of it or pick and choose Name/Address/Email/Phone)

    I have a friend who knows SEO quite well and he advised Google for business sites now compares your contact info on your site with your whois record. I'm still debating to turning mine to be fully visible. (of course I'm not actively seeking more business from my site)

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    As long as you're not running a link farm, you really don't have anything to worry about. It's been speculated on for years, as are most things related to Google's official SEO policies and what goes through search quality czar Matt Cutts' head. There are other red flags that could/will lead Google, or any search engine, down the path of using that particular data, but the typical site owner using private registration has nothing to worry about. I view it as similar to Cutts' overall recommendation to web things naturally and you won't likely have a problem.

    And from my more cynical, and valid, point of view, look at it from a business standpoint...Yahoo and Google both offer domain name registration services, with Yahoo (last I knew) charging a premium for privacy, and Google actually initiating it by default.

    Tony aka Consultantnomo (got my old login issue fixed)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  7. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Everyone else gave great advice, Nightscaper, and you're off to a great self-start, so I'll just throw a couple of ideas out. I'd add to the usability/readability issue and recommend to not lean so heavily on centered content. When it comes to paragraphed content, centered doesn't lend itself to a visitor's natural reading flow. Definitely lose the script font, and if you can work with getting your logo to pop better (solid color background, instead of the transparent gray might be something to look at), maybe play with that a bit.

    And by all means, follow Greg's advice on implementing Google Analytics. To add to what he said, you can also get a really nice drill-down of your visitor's location data. Short of Google Voice phone lines, there is no better free tool for your business.

  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,058

    I kinda like the see through logo and the script doesn't look so bad either. See it's all in who's looking at it. My wife always rags on my site but I like it so I take some advise on some things and not on others. P.S. I bet your wife liked the script, my wife says women like to see fancy stuff.:laugh:
  9. Nightscaper

    Nightscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I do like the logo how it is . We used it from a file we already had which had a brown background and we didn't want the brown to show that much . I do like the fancy righting at the top of the page . That will most likely remain. She did change some of the other texts that were in cursive, which I believe cleaned it up a little.
    On from that. I do appreciate everyones opinions. And will strongly consider everyone's recommendations. We are new at this and its going to take some time to tweak everything out . She's doing most of the work and I am doing most of the research. Just trying to understand some of the terms has been a challenge lol. I just learned what SEO stands for today. Between looking at my phone and laptop the last week my head feels like its going to pop . My wife gave up a few hours ago. Don't blame her she's basically been looking at the computer for like 18 of the last 24 hours. But it's worth it . Thanks for the help guys. Keep it coming. And please check back occasionally on the progress of the site to let us know how we are doing
  10. Nightscaper

    Nightscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13


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