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View Full Version : Websites...are they really worth it?


tiedeman
12-22-2005, 11:09 PM
March is coming soon again, time to renew my website provider. But before I decided whether I do want to renew or not, do you guys actually think that a website is worth it to a service provider?

How many customers have you really received off from it?

Is it just mostly for show and not to get customers?

Since I have had my new site up and going since March, I have had only about 800 visitors.

I have had only really two people actually talk about my website.

So once again, is it worth it?

kc2006
12-22-2005, 11:48 PM
My website costs me 4.95 a month to host and use godaddy's junk editor, the price of having it there isn't that bad. I use it mainly as a "reference". If someone see's my truck and forgets the number or just remembers part of the name they can go online and search for it and it will mostlikely come back with my site since the site adress is the same as the name.

If they do find it and look at it I figure I have them half way there, now they're going to read the about us page and learn about the business. I've only gotten 1 job from it this year but it was a very profitable landscaping job. Technically that one job paid for the website for about 10 years if you want to think of it that way.

Plus it makes me stand out from the competition since no one has a site around here. The largest landscaping company around here that has 15 or more crews and is very top notch doesn't even have one yet. I like that I have one and they don't.

tiedeman
12-22-2005, 11:52 PM
I guess the question then is to ask you, Why does the largest landscaping company that is very top notch not have a website?

I mean, I have a similar situation here. I am one of only two local companies that have websites. The largest company here as well, that has approx 4 crews, does not have a website as well. Why is that I wonder

ritchiem
12-23-2005, 09:42 AM
Websites for the green industry seem to serve more as a online portfolio. The final place where you can capture your potential client. It shows off your work and tells the visitor more about your company. Unless you rank very high in the search engines potential clients from your area probably will not find you on the net...however, if you market your services (flyers, postcards, newprint, radio etc...) and put your www address on the materials most people will visit your site to find out more information on services, quality of work, read testimonials, etc. I think that a website serves a very important role in your business. Think of this...if a company puts up a professional website, it shows me that they want to go the extra distance to serve me. You can take online payments to better serve your clients too! It is probably the most inexpensive marketing tool you can have (next to word of mouth).

Some things to think about...

Steve
12-23-2005, 02:43 PM
Hi tiedeman,

Here is my thought.
Do you need a website? No
Will it help compliment your marketing strategy? Yes

Quote[/b] ]Why does the largest landscaping company that is very top notch not have a website?
Here is my view on that. I think they should have a website to attract more business. I have talked to many large LCO's who don't do much in the way of advertising except for word of mouth.
That may work for them once they hit critical mass. By critical mass in this example I mean they have enough customers to fuel their desire to reach out to other customers.
Different marketing strategies will work best for different size companies depending on their goals.

You already have a nice website and hosting is very cheap now a days.

Any thoughts on why you would consider taking it down?

tiedeman
12-23-2005, 03:47 PM
getting going through and finding ways to cut the budget here and there. Sometimes the little things cut as well. WOuld I be cutting my throat by shutting down my website? How many customers would I gain or lose?

I guess that you could look at the long term advantage as well, but if I am only servicing a 5 to 8 mile radius area, would it be worth it. Wouldn't it be more worth it if I was servicing a larger area, say 30 mile radius?

Steve
12-23-2005, 06:30 PM
How much do you pay monthly for hosting now?

tiedeman
12-23-2005, 07:40 PM
$20 per month, and a $30 domain name fee for the year, so basically $270 for the year

NickN
12-24-2005, 07:58 AM
Check into Omnis web hosting.www.omnis.com
I paid for mine for 3 or 4 years,but if I remember,it was only 8 bucks a month.
As for the effectiveness of a website,ritchiem made very good points.All of my marketing materials have the website url on them.I went so far as to advertise the website via brochures.I notice that almost every prospect that I leave a brochure with,visits the website.I know this because I get their email address.When I check my stats,I notice their service provider is listed.
Also,I'm getting lots of visits from out of staters who are moving to the area due the BRAC reallignment.With no other lawn and landscaper in my area having a website,I've got a bit of an edge with these out of staters.I pay to advertise the site on a community website that lists business' in the area.They show up first on every search for my location,which helps people find my website listing.

Steve
12-24-2005, 10:32 AM
Hi tiedeman,

Check this out (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=1722). We just recently got this web offer to promote. If you think it would be good for you, contact Chuck Sinclair about it.

Also once you contact him, please feel free to promote this on other sites as well. He is giving away 15 free 3 month hostings and then a very reasonable price per month after.

Let me know what you think.

ritchiem
12-24-2005, 10:54 AM
Chucks offer seems pretty good...I use Omnis.com and I cannot complain. Godaddy.com is good for the price however their customer support is next to nill and it is very hard to install scripts.

LawncareMarketingMagic
01-10-2006, 11:27 AM
With the way the internet has become such an integral part of so many people's lives, I'd say a website can be a very important part of a successful marketing plan. As TG said, do you NEED a website? No.

However, with as cheaply as you can get a website these days, it's almost silly to not have one. The use of the internet will only continue to grow and as a result, more and more people will be going online to research, locate, and contact service providers.

The key to capitalizing on a website is integrating it into your overall marketing strategy. Establishing a relationship, educating your prospects, overcoming skepticism and showing your prospects how they'll benefit from your service are vital components of the sales process. A good website can do all of that for you without you ever having to be there. The nice thing too is that it works 24/7/365, never takes a day off, and never asks for a raise.

Now, the majority of lawn care sites I've seen are little more than an online brochure or portfolio. While that's not a bad thing for all the reasons I listed above, I think a website could and should do much more. A good website that's part of an integrated marketing strategy should capture the contact information of the visitors. This will allow you to continue delivering your sales message until either they buy or die.

Finally, as Ritchiem mentioned, for your website to be found online it takes some work to get it optimized and indexed by search engines. There's no shortcut for this, but there are also ways to be found online that really can happen almost overnight. Services like Google Local, Yahoo! Local, Angie's List, and Craig's List are all places people go to find service providers in their local area. Getting your business listed isn't a difficult process and it makes it super-easy for people to find you online.

Think about it. Someone in your area goes to Yahoo! Local, types in 'lawn care service', and up pops your company with a link to your website. They click over to your website, read a sales message that educates them on choosing a quality lawn care provider and why you'll provide them all the benefits they're looking for, and it offers them a free estimate for submitting their information online. Before you know it, you have a new customer and your website basically did all the selling for you! I know this may seem a bit over-simplified but it does happen.

Anyway, sorry about about being so long-winded but I hope it's help cast this topic in a new light.