Hydroseeding website for review please. Thanks.

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Chautauqua, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I am obviously a novice (at best!) at website design. That being said, I put my website together by myself with guidance from the web-host. I would appreciate any constructive remarks (good or bad). Thank you very much. My website is: www.chautauquahydroseeding.com
  2. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    Well it is a template.

    Right off the bat I see

    <meta property="og:site_name" content="">

    see this to find out more about the OG tags.

    Visually I looks pretty good.

    This site has some of the same content.

  3. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Ok, gotta admit you lost me already! I truly have no idea what a "circular redirect path" is. The link you provided to explain this was just waaay over my head. Please remember I am truly a novice with websites. I graduated high school in 1976 and the only thing we used that was even close to a computer was a slide rule!! Learning to operate computers is still a bit of a mystery to me but putting my own website together was nothing short of agonizing. But... I stuck with it and it is finally published. I have learned that in the real world of business today you are dead in the water without computers and a company website. Sooo....it appears that you have found a significant problem with my website the needs fixin'..... sooo.... please put your tech advice in layman's terms for this country boy so I can try to straighten this problem out. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING PATIENT, YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW ALOT MORE ABOUT COMPUTERS AND WEBSITES THEN I DO. BUT I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO LEARN SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING WILLING TO HELP A COMPUTER NOVICE!
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Starting from the top and working down...

    - Homestead web sites are really bad, antiquated code, so you start out at a disadvantage to some others. They have validation issues galore, rely on inline css and tables for the layout, creating hugely inefficient sites. I reviewed another one this morning and it was also a Homestead site, so I see this is their standard code base.

    - The BBB logo is difficult to read on a green background.

    - The phone number is impossible to read on Chrome due to the phone number turning in to a blue "call now" link. In fact, I can't read it on any of the background colors.

    - The menu options jumping to bold italicized on hover just isn't visually appealing. You don't want elements of your page jumping and distorting like that.

    - "(Click on the tabs above to learn more about us)" You really don't need this under your main menu. People know how menus work and, to be honest, if you have to include directions on how to get around your site, you've done something wrong.

    - The white text and font, on a green background, is a very difficult read for me. I find the text to be visually distracting as I try to read it in that, while reading a stretch of words, my eyes are continuously pulled to the surrounding text.

    - At least in Chrome, the "we are a family-owned" line has an error causing text to double up/overlay other text.

    - In the footer, I don't "get" what this is:
    Business to Business>Commercial Building Services>Land & Erosion Services > Business Profile

    - On your Gallery page, add context and location-based info to your pictures. As a visitor, if I don't know what I'm looking at, neither do the search engines.

    - On the Contact page you have a QR Code that, when I took the effort to scan sent my phone to...your home page. I can tell you that misused QR Codes are one of the biggest aggravations for those who scan. This is one of those times. There was no convenience factor or payoff. If you choose to use it on signage, print media, etc, I would highly recommend having it going to a special landing page and not just your home page.

    - You have almost no on-page SEO. I'd recommend reading some of the previous site review threads and you'll find a lot of helpful info (Google and seomoz's beginner SEO guides). You'll also want to do the usual things and add a sitemap.xml file, Google Analytics, and create Google and Bing webmaster accounts.

    For a first effort, you're on the right track. You just need to deal with various usability and SEO issues and you'll be further along than you are now.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192


    Regarding the QR codes. I understand the reasoning for a different page than home so you can track the effectiveness. Do you think they should go to an offer of any type? Or just a page that expands on and id directly related the marketing message?

    you are not that much older than me. And about the age of my older brother. Both of us have self taught computers.

    Use various tools. Chrome browser and fire fox have some good tools. In particular is inspect element. When you click on an element of a page you can see the code for that portion. You need a basic simple understanding of these workings. Yes it takes time.

    Read and read more.
  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    An offer or call to action would help convert visitors to buyers, or at least a more tailored page, especially one that is suitable for mobile. If your QR is on a yard sign at a completed job site, something along the lines of a landing page that says, "Looks like you like what you see. If you'd like your [whatever] looking like this, call today and give us [offer code] for [offer]."

    I forgot to mention one key point as it pertains to Chautauqua's QR use, and that's that a QR is used by mobile devices. The larger issue is actually that the site does not look good on a phone. The formatting is thrown off and the colors make it pretty unreadable. Here's the way I'm seeing it, and exact size, after scanning the QR...

  7. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    WOW, I asked the right guys!!! Thank you very much fellas. I'll start working on this and maybe you can take another look at it in a week or two? (Please!) Thanks again.
  8. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I think it looks very nice. I was using IE and didn't notice the quirks that some seem to have had with Chrome. When I get a chance I will take a look at it in Chrome and Opera. The colors looked fine, the menu text didn't have any problems and the phone number is readable and fine.

    I like the colors, like the layout. Like that you have your company name and phone number right there and the first thing they see. I like the page layout and the information you supply on each page. I believe when I first saw this post I was on my Android phone and it looked fine.

    Now, the suggestions. The meta tags looked a little funky and you have two description meta tags and no keywords meta tags which probably is not that big deal.

    Visually, it might look a little better if the footer was the same color and width as your main block.

    I think on the What is Hydroseeding Page a photo above the description with someone spraying might be good.

    An IAHP logo somewhere would really make it look classy :dancing:

    I took a quick look at Advanced site and it didn't look like much was duplicated to me. I did like his quote page. I might think about adding something like that to my site.

    I think you did great for your first site. I have done a dozen or more sites and still wonder how I have any hair that I haven't pulled out and that I still have any sanity (maybe websites have driven me so nuts that I am just the last to know I have lost my sanity)

    Nice job
  9. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks Turboguy! I'm still trying to get my arms around working with meta tags and keyword meta tags... this is a whole different language to me. These meta tags are obviousely important though because this issue keeps coming up. If you have any layman's advice on how to fix them (or it?) I'm all ears!!! Anyway.... I am very proud of my IAHP membership so I added an IAHP logo to each page and you were right it did add a touch of class! I also changed the color and size of the footer (good suggestion). Not sure exactly what you mean about "Advanced site".... ???? Thanks Ray. --Bob
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    - Your changes are looking good. Menu is much easier to work with.

    - Re: the various meta tags, there's not much magic to it. The beginner's guides referenced will walk you through them.

    - The Keywords meta tag (<meta name="keywords" content="word, word, word" ) died 9 or 10 years ago.

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