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Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by TeamBowmanLawnCare, Jul 30, 2006.
Need any advice on website
It helps if I added the website
Few things on the service details page:
Make Payment link on the service details page goes to a tree trimming page.
Newsletter goes to calendar
Calendar goes to contact us.
On the calendar page: Is there a reason the background on the fertilizer images goes to paypal? Also may want to include a legend as to what each color means on the calendar.
There is a glitch in there somewhere. I got the same thing of the Calendar link going to the contact page but then after a refresh it started going to the calendar like it should. You may have to spend some time tracking that one down.
Like many other yahoo sites I have seen (can't imagine why people use yahoo...but many do), it's 1/2 screen all to the left. If you can with yahoo set it to "float" or 100% width, or at least to "center".
Yahoo sites seem to be plagued with that problem, it must be a default setting somewhere.
Other than that looks good but like so many sites it's a "brochure". All it does it tell me (Joe Customer) about your company; it doesn't give me any reason why I should use you instead of someone else or why I should pick up the phone or go to the contact page now because "hey, this outfit sounds better than what I have used or seen elsewhere! They do "X" and "Y" in a way that sounds better and do "Z" that other companies don't offer."
In the web world there is a couple of good sayings to remember: "differentiate or die" and "don't just tell 'em... sell 'em"!
What do you suggest to inmprove the site?
I like this site very much! Howd you make it?
I used a templet from the yahoo web hosting and then just added what I needed. The yahoo site is easy to use.
I can't really do tons of details because only you would know the answers.
But first see if you can fix the left layout thing I mentioned.
Then as some examples:
Your monthly specials aren't really a monthly special, it's a sidebar on that page and the special currently there wouldn't do anybody any good because it is a discount for annual or 6 month deals, there's not 6 months left in your advertised season so it should be replaced by something that will save me if I change to you NOW. Like a "we have been having an exceptionally hot-dry summer so your lawn needs (whatever). Sign up now (and in small print "ends August 31") for the remainder of this season and get (whatever) at (whatever discount or free)
This might or might not be an example but like on your services page your "Mow Day" might be worded like "With some companies you never know when your property will be maintained. Unlike them we have scheduled mow days so you can plan on us being there and not disturbing your plans for a BBQ or special dinner with the drone of mowing equipment in the background.
This is an example of differentiation.
To be really effective you need to study your competition, visit their web sites or look at their ads or flyers.
Remember on a web site perception is reality.
I don't know all that applies to your market or competitors, but look for things you can word differently (like my off-the-cuff "mow day" example) that will make you appear to be different than the other guys.
Do they bag instead of mulch? Explain the benefits of mulching. Look for anything like that.
It may be that in reality the particular thing is almost the same as what they do, maybe even exactly the same; but look at how they present that idea on their site or in their advertising and think of how you can change the perception of that service on your web site into a reason I should call you. It's all in the wording and how your site "comes across".
Sometimes that's the hardest thing about building your own site...you naturally have blinders on because you know what you do and why you are better at it. Often it's a good idea to get an unbiased friend or family member to look at it if they won't just say "wow, you got a web site, cool" but look at it like a total stranger shopping for a lawn care provider. If you can when looking at the other guy's ads or sites try to clear your mind and think like a "shopper" that doesn't know why you even need to fertilize at certain times and look at how the overall perception comes across and what you can do to motivate the viewer to take action NOW, be it e-mail, contact form, or call. Once they click away from your site, if they haven't done that, the odds are they won't be back & you've missed them. That's where good "specials" can really help in case you are the first site they see and they decide to keep shopping, it gives them a reason to remember to come back to the "guy with that special".
I'm running out of time... but to help your search engine results AND sales; talk about your area, mention the towns and North Ft. Worth in your text on some pages, (because people in Saginaw may search for Ft. Worth or Fort Worth) say things about why your area is special (like this year's heat & lack of rain) and why you know what to do better in your area (and name the area) for the areas unique conditions (more differentiation).
These are just some ideas to get you thinking, not specific instructions...
OH and every page needs a title. Look at the top of your browser when a page is open. I think it was your specials page that says "About Us" one of them says Blank and your Home page just says home. Those are tags, I have no idea where they are in yahoo, but home should say something like BOWMAN LAWN CARE and each page should have a matching title (If you look at the top of your browser now you will notice it says LawnSite.com followed by whatever page you are on. That's the space I'm talking about where yours isn't set up. Search engines read those titles, so they need to match up or say something relevant (plus it doesn't look right to visitors like it is)
All I can suggest for now...got to run...hope it helps
Not bad for a template, but it would certainly look better with a professional custom design.
On your service details page, the newsletter button points to the calendar - I think that's the problem previous posts.
I'd like to see a company logo on every page (smaller in the top bar on inside pages), so you better establish your brand identity.
As for colors, I'm OK with the neon green gradient in the navigation buttons, but the use of that color for the text and backgrounds on the buttons at the bottom of the home page is a little brash for me. I'd rather see the olive green you use in the header bar of that page with white text - and for both buttons to be the same colors. If want them to jump out a little more, you can use a thin white border.
The Service details page needs some padding around the text so it doesn't bump against the left of the light green box.
If your newsletter is really a newsletter, then you need a place for people to subscribe. I suggest using Constant Contact to provide an inexpensive newsletter creation and maintenance tool - it's great!
I wouldn't use bold text in your newsletter and I would prefer long text pieces like that to be left justified.
I don't understand what your calendar is showing and how it functions. You need a paragrap of descriptive text and maybe some instructions. Also, I'm not a big fan of calendars unless you have a lot of events - they give a negative impression when there are big empty spaces. Usually a listing of events is a better way to go and easier to maintain.
On your contacts page, you have a lot of bolded and capitalized text. I prefer sentence-case except for occaisional headings. Bolding a text makes it harder to read.
Like a previous post, I also like the page centered.
When I look at the source code, I see a complete absence of meta tags - most importantly description and keywords. It's unlikely you will get good results in search engines until you put those in place. Also, your page descriptions should have good keywords in them as well.
Despite all the comments, congratulations on a getting the site and going, it's a start. Unfortunately, since you used a yahoo template, I doubt you can implement many of my suggestions. What to do?
You have a good concept going but you will need to make some changes to make you site more efficient.
make sure your links are pointting to the right pages
the calendar is a good idea on the site but you want to make it work for your site. What I would suggest is you use a calendar that you can update for yourself so that you can keep track of the jobs that you have
The one thing that you will have to be careful about with you calendar is to make sure that it is secure beause you may have some people try and take business from you when they know who your clints are.
A good calendar to look at is the google calendar.
Hope this info is helpful.