SEO NOT doing what I PAID to have it do

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Here's a question though (SEO totally aside) - does the fact it's a template mean that he got ripped off?
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    That is an interesting question. My two cents worth would be that using a template in and of itself does not mean he was ripped off. What he paid for the designer to use a template means to me that he got ripped off. For what he paid he could have had a custom website.

    Wordpress templates are designed for someone to do their own website. You have all the hard parts done and only need to change the words and photos. Lots of hosting companies provide the ability to create a wordpress website as part of their hosting package. There are lots of web designers who have templates they will use and modify for someone and typically those are in the $ 250-500.00 range.

    I think he was charged a lot more than what he got was worth. I have never used Wordpress to know how easy or hard it is to do. I use Dreamweaver to create any websites I use and usually find some really nice templates to use for my projects for free.
  3. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    Fair enough. I ask because even with a template, it takes some time to put a site together, along with a willingness to learn a system, collect photos, write intelligent sounding text, etc. Generally it's more time-consuming than people realize.

    Having a template is sort of like me hiring a landscaper and saying, "well I already have the mower, so it shouldn't cost much to do my lawn." In theory, yes that's true. Practically speaking, that's just one of the elements involved.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,852

    In this instance, yes. If you look at the footer of every one of "his" sites, you'll see why. The only "web design" he did was go in and click on the Going Green theme's canned "color selection" option. There's not one other bit of "design" that's been done. Really.

    But, in general, not at all. A legitimate WP template install, configuration, and content-porting to an off-the-shelf theme, from a qualified person, "typically" runs in the $400-$750 range, with some being closer to $1,000. If anything, one of the real values of having a qualified person doing a template setup would be to get the header branding looking good. The weakness of any template shows itself when a bad, or uncomplimentary, logo is shoved in to an otherwise good-looking template. To me, that's work the few hundred bucks alone.

    Now, back to this situation, the ripped off part comes by way of how it came to happen. Having looked through the actual work, I can say with 100% confidence that this self-proclaimed <fingerquotes> web designer </fingerquotes> doesn't know a thing about coding, design, or even Wordpress best practices and optimization. He cobbled together a site through pushing a couple of "install theme" buttons, a bit of drag 'n drop, and then walked away, hoping his client wouldn't question a thing. This is illustrated, quite amusingly, by the fact that he's using the tinymce html editor plugin for his footer text widgets. Until this site, I have never seen anyone need to do this. Also, it's completely unnecessary, but... yeah. Let's load another plugin to compensate for not knowing html, css, or the basic functionality of the theme.

    And, given his latest attempt at SEO-optimized TITLE tags, he knows absolutely zero about SEO. What he seems to excel at is talking a good game and cashing checks. The guy is simply a straight up clown (No, really. Google webv5, which is slapped in the footer of every one of "his" site designs. He's actually a clown. He should stick to clowning.).
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  5. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I have to agree that getting the info into the template can be the tough part. The reason it can be so tough is that dragging the info of what someone wants to say to personalize the site can be worse than pulling hen's teeth. Lots of guys just seem to have a mental block when it comes to knowing what info to put into the template.

    I am heavily involved with the Hydroseeding association and we had come up with a plan to help the members create a website. I had a professional web designer who was willing to do it cheap and after doing a few he threw up his hands in frustration. We had expected it to be mostly cut and paste and just since I am talking about it he was modifying a 5 page template for $ 100.00. I have seen guys advertise that service as low as $ 250.00. It definitely wasn't worth what he paid.
  6. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    In my experience, the challenge is the content, because in my experience, nobody gets into landscaping because they like to write.
  7. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    This is going to be just about ANY industry that isn't writing involved.

    Here is a good example of where as a developer, you are going to be charging a bit more. Imagine a skimpy website, maybe 4 pages total. No images, maybe 1-2 paragraphs per page, written in a "lets pass the time and I'll tell you what I do since we have nothing else to do" fashion. (ie, Not good for online marketing)

    That person comes across the following template and is in love with it:
    Not bad, only $75 to license a copy from

    The client wants their current site in that look... So if you look around this template, you can see where there is WAY more content area than the above described site. Some pages have more than the "main content" section, they have side bars... Guarantee you, you "strip" out the fanciness that there is currently no content for, and put a skimpy content in, they will be upset that they don't get the same feel. So yep, there is the pulling teeth to get content to fill the new site they want. Gotta factor in the fees for being a dentist... calls/emails back and forth....

    Then, on top of all those costs, I get paid to take the template that is chosen and prep it to be using on the CMS my client uses, PageLime. Well technically behind the scene, this template isn't for a straight plain website, it is for a CMS called Joomla, and what a mess that was to clean up! About doubled my fees.

    My client, who is offering the sites as part of a package for another service that is his main business, keeps begging me to take over getting content from his clients... I keep telling him, no way in hell, you get me content, tell me which section it goes in, and I will do that, billed hourly.

    So yeah, got a little long winded there (I know Tony probably rolled his eyes when he saw the length of this; this is why I don't write site content...), but just give more examples of how there are times when there are going to be a bit of fees involved in even taking something "premade" and using it. On the site in question for this thread, already mentioned, there appears from looking at the code behind the site, very little adjusting of a template, and it is being used on the CMS the template was designed for.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  8. webeminence

    webeminence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    My first question is what SEO service did you pay for. You can break it down into Onpage SEO (optimizing things on the site) and Offpage SEO (links to your site, social profiles, promotion, etc.). If you paid for Onpage SEO, they probably built this into the site with keyword content, title tags, image tags, etc. and that is all they are doing.

    The Offpage optimization is then up to you and is 90% of SEO in most cases. A lot of web designers say they include SEO but it's not a one time thing. They usually are just including Onpage SEO and that's just 10% of the battle.
  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,384

    They did absolutely nothing on page.

    Lol. He got taken for.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I think we most all agree that he didn't get a good value for his money. I think we all pretty much agree the SEO on the site is between poor and non existent.
    Why don't we talk about his original question. What can he do to improve the SEO on the site.

    I am at a handicap since I have never used Wordpress at all so let me ask if his access to the dashboard allows him to modify the meta tags. That would be a good start in getting better results for his site. Once we get some improvments in his site we can start discussing with him the offsite things he can do.

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