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Work in progress, new website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by ss13, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. ss13

    ss13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm looking for some feedback on my web page. The site is still in the process of being built, therefore changes can easily be made. The goal of the page was to keep it as simple as possible, but yet provide enough information to the customers. I would like to add a testimonial page and possibly an images page. I would like to hear your opinions about page layout, content and your general impression.

    I would also like to hear about how to get rated higher on google and bing. The company is registered with both search engines, along with facebook. I'll take any tips on how to get a better search engine rank.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,057

    Blue phone number is hard to read.
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    It's a tough load, especially on mobile devices. Your header image (the evergreen) is 1600px wide photo saved as a .png, which makes for a 632k file size. You could probably have the same quality, if saved in the appropriate .jpg format, with less than 50k. Same goes for your wood grain background image, which seems to redundantly used as both page and container backgrounds. All together, it's a 1.3mb page.

    -12px main menu font is too small. It seems to be the smallest font on your site.

    - Your localized content borders on nonexistent. You'll want to beef that up for the search engines.

    - The blue phone number JFLGN pointed out is a result of Google Voice/Hangouts/Whatever issue and should be accounted for.

    - The Contact page is just a regurgitation of the info found on every page, plus your gmail address. It would also look, and sound, more professional to use your domain for your email address.

    - Re: the contact info on each page, plus the Contact page, I find it's actually just as easy to contact your web developer, via his linking, as it is to reach you. Make it easier to reach you.

    - Don't worry about the Meta Keywords tag. Hasn't been used since 1983. I'd also recommend reading the Moz Beginner's Guide to SEO. Your TITLE tags are also not helping you with the search engines. That's an important piece of SEO real estate.

    - You have 6 different Google Fonts loading. Once you go beyond 2, you start killing efficiency and load. If all 6 are actually being used, you could easily find native replacements for some of those. (Curiosity got me and I only counted 2 different fonts on the home page, so they seem to be loaded for no reason.)

    - This is going to be more subjective, but the entire design aesthetic, short of the tree in your logo, made me actually wonder if my monitor was too dim or there was something loading as an overlay. It just looks...grey and unwelcoming. Just turning off the transparent overlay makes a huge, more-welcoming, site.

    - I now notice that the two wood grain tiles that are used are also saved, incorrectly, as .png files. To add to the issues, their saved as semi-transparent, which is both inefficient and unnecessary. I'm not quite sure what the designer was thinking. Given the layering of the two, to create one, solid, not-at-all-transparent background tile, it actually defies logic.

    - I see a web "designer" in your footer. My hope is that this is just you helping a buddy out and you didn't actually pay for this. He may be a tech person, but he needs a lot of work on the design aspect. There are very low level, Web Design 101 issues that just shouldn't happen from someone purporting to be a web designer.
  4. ss13

    ss13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4


    Thank you for your input, your honesty is truly appreciated. I would like to respond to a few of your points.

    I agree with you on many of your points. The text size on the menu needs to be larger. I was also thinking about moving the contact numbers from below the logo onto the menu bar. The contact numbers don’t appear blue for me on my desktop. I think that is a mobile thing when looking at the website on your phone. The email contact can be changed to a domain email. I already have it set up, it just needs to be coded into the site.

    I'm not sure what you are talking about with the META tags. I will talk with him about the TITLE tags.

    "I see a web "designer" in your footer. My hope is that this is just you helping a buddy out and you didn't actually pay for this. He may be a tech person, but he needs a lot of work on the design aspect. There are very low level, Web Design 101 issues that just shouldn't happen from someone purporting to be a web designer. "

    In regards to the above. He is a friend who is helping out and I am paying him a small fee for the website. I think that several aspects of web design are new to him. The part we are really having issues with is search rankings.

    Also, recapping your opinion of the general content, you feel that I have streamlined the website too much correct?
  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    I explained what it is. It doesn't have anything to do with me looking at my phone. Attached is a screenshot of my desktop. Whether you do anything to style it is up to you, as it probably won't impact many, but give the current size and background it's up against, I can't read your number.

    You're putting the cart before the horse. If I'm not waiting around for your page to load, can't read your phone number, or read the small links to navigate your site, you really do have issues other than search rank. If your site ranked high, at this moment, it doesn't do you much good if you don't convert traffic to sales.

    Yes. You don't have much content and you definitely don't have anything "local" to rank you. Take your Services page...it's simply named "lawn". Think search engines (which is why I highly recommend you read the guide that we point out in every single review). Do people search "lawn", hoping to find a...lawn-care-service? What do your competitors rank for? How are their pages named? What content do they have? If you search this sub-forum for "lawn doctor", you'll find a thread that really goes over this.

    Your only location-based content is listing counties you service. Do people search "lawn care service [county]" or "lawn care service [city]"? The only place I find your cities is in the one place Google, Bing, and Yahoo don't care, and that's stuffed in your meta keywords tag. If anything, based on the thin content in the rest of your site, you're signaling that you might actually be a keyword-stuffed spam site. To the engines, that's the current value of the keywords tag.

    <meta name="keywords" content="uniform, uniformtree.com, uniform tree, uniform lawn, tree, lawn, service, land, care, green service, lawn service, tree service, uniform tree, uniform lawn, uniform service, Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, West Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay, Waukesha, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc, Hartland, Delafield, New Berlin, Muskego, Mukwonago, Burlington, Racine, Kenosha, Grafton, Thiensville, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Waterford, Mequon, Cedarburg, wisconsin, Port Washington, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Racine County, Ozaukee County ">​

    The other issue with the content, not locally-related, is that it could use some help. Your Mulch section reads the same way I used to shortcut my homework. :)

    Teacher: Tony, for tomorrow, your subject is to write a one page report about mulching.

    The homework I turned in: Mulching is when someone puts down...mulch. The End.

    Tell me what mulch is, why I want/need it, when you do it, etc. Write to educate, and sell, to your potential customer. This also feeds the search engines with the content you want them indexing.

    And, again, you guys really should read that Moz SEO Guide before doing anything else. If you don't, you're just wheel-spinning and creating a circular workload.

  6. ss13

    ss13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    It looks like we have a lot to do. I guess it&#8217;s time for me and my builder to read the Moz SEO guide. After that we can sit down and begin re working the website.

    Thank you for the brutal honesty. It&#8217;s really hard to know how good or bad something is without an outside unbiased opinion. When the website is re worked I will post an update.
  7. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    A couple of thoughts on your "Request an estimate" form -

    - Write "Preferred form of contact"
    -Get rid of "Low" as a priority option. Nobody wants to be thought of as low priority. And add a "Select" option as a default so you know if someone actually changes the priority option from the default.
    -You have a list of seven services immediately to the left of the Service dropdown menu and then only two options on your dropdown. Perhaps make your services check boxes option rather than a dropdown so that people can select more than one.
    -Move "Tell us a little bit about what services you would like done." Up to be the title of that text box.
  8. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Another issue not already mentioned:

    On your contact form, while if you use tab to move between the fields, as you enter each one it will auto select your pre-filled text in each field, so when they start typing, it replaces it. There are two main issues with this in terms of usability.

    1. It is ridiculous the number of people who will type in a field, take their hand away to go over and move their mouse to click into the next field... (drives me nuts), and when that happens, the cursor is wherever they clicked, and the whole thing isn't highlighted, so they have to go delete it.

    2. Almost as ridiculous are the number of people who if they do tab in, when they see it all highlighted, will then go to the mouse, click to the end of the text already there, then backspace till it is gone (if you thought I went nuts with #1....)

    Also, the form does absolutely no validation... Did you just get couple of "default" forms from me just clicking on "submit" without actually filling anything out? I'm being nice (and lazy) by not testing direct posts to your "contact.php" file, but my guess will be that it will allow me to directly post values to it to send you mail. Note, regular captcha (ie, from recapthca) is a "quick fix" for many developers, but IMO, just lowers my opinion of a site, unless it is on a site that would have a high demand for bot activity (ie, ticketmaster.com). Have Dan look into HoneyPots. Granted, my opinion is different than most being a web developer myself.

    Another issue with all the contact forms is that the labels for the fields is right up against the left side of the box, misaligned with the actual inputs.

    Lastly on the form. I was on the "Trees" page, submitted it, it thanked me and gave a "back" link. I clicked it, I was taken to the contact page, not "back" to the trees page.

    As I'm browsing around, the grass behind "Uniform" in your logo keeps catching my attention, as my first thought when it catches my eye is that it is potentially badly positioned/formatted text that is over the bottom of the word "Uniform". Again, this may just be me in that I deal with sites all day long.

    Also in looking at the source for the site, just about every link/src on the site that links to something on your own site is linking to the "parent directory" then the file (ie: <a href="../">Home</a> ) While browsers will figure out that there is no "parent directory" and work, it is just not good coding practices.

    Regarding the phone numbers in the header, a different issue that stands out to me is the inconsistency in the formatting of the two numbers (first one has a space after the area code, second one doesn't.
  9. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    A side note on the usability of the form, I noticed your developer lists on his site he is doing a site for a public university, so he really needs to be on top of usability, as those types of sites are legally required to be ADA compliant.
  10. the3ps

    the3ps LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,598

    looks good

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