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EatingEmoKids
01-11-2009, 01:29 AM
Complete Lawn Care Business Website Makeover
Sponsored by GopherSoftware.com & LCOWebDesign.com

Hi, Iím Matt Lucas and I will be providing the following services to a lucky winner. I will work with the winner on producing a stylish website based on the winnerís preferences. During the design stages, the winner will work on providing me with content which we will work on together to try and tweak for search engines and marketing. Once the design and content is finished I will program the site and go live. We will track search engine ranking and traffic stats and base any additional changes off those results.

List of Makeover Services:

Custom Web Design
HTML + CSS
Search Engine Optimization
Up to 6 pages - including (Contact form and Photo Gallery)


A domain will not be provided but is required. If you do not already own a domain I would recommend buying one from one of the following websites:
www.namecheap.com -(I personally use this one) or www.godaddy.com - (I have used this one in the past)

The dead line for sign ups is January 17th, and the winner will be chosen by the 19th. We will begin working right away and the goal is to have the site live by the 31st of January.

The winner will be asked to write a testimonial for the services provided.

To sign up for a chance at the complete website makeover, go to the following link and fill out the required information.

http://www.lcowebdesign.com/website-makeover.html

Good luck!

ritchiem
01-11-2009, 10:34 AM
I look forward to seeing how this works out for you Matt. Keep up the good work.

Steve
01-11-2009, 12:38 PM
This is a fantastic opportunity for all of our forum members! I hope everyone that needs a website signs up for this!

I bet this one act alone could lead to a sizeable percentage of your income this year. When new customers find your site and sign up as customers because of it.

I wanna hear from who is signing up! Let me know who is in!

Matt, where is the latest template you made available for others to see? Can you remind us of where it is at?

EatingEmoKids
01-11-2009, 01:44 PM
I look forward to seeing how this works out for you Matt. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Ritchie, I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on whats going on :)

This is a fantastic opportunity for all of our forum members! I hope everyone that needs a website signs up for this!

I bet this one act alone could lead to a sizeable percentage of your income this year. When new customers find your site and sign up as customers because of it.

I wanna hear from who is signing up! Let me know who is in!

Matt, where is the latest template you made available for others to see? Can you remind us of where it is at?

Thanks Steve for your help with this. I hope people check out this area of the forum so that they see this offer.

So far only one person has signed up, and it was Chuck :)
Honestly if you would rather just sign up in this thread feel free to do so. It was just easier for me to set up that page because it keeps track of sign ups in a database and also emails me. The form to fill out is very simple and could easily be done in under 1 minute.

Here is a preview of that lawn care template:
http://www.lcowebdesign.com/free-templates/1/index.html
It will be available for download later this week. I just want to write up some instructions and have pages ready so that all you have to do when you download it is replace the text and everything else will just work.

Here is some other non lawn care related work I have done:
http://www.homestarvalues.com/
http://www.divazzy.com/test/ - I'm not sure how much longer that test page will be available.

Steve
01-11-2009, 05:08 PM
I got a banner up now to help promote this further.

EatingEmoKids
01-12-2009, 09:21 PM
I got a banner up now to help promote this further.

Thanks Steve, I'm sure that will help!

4 Sign ups so far, dont pass on this chance for a free website makeover!

Steve
01-12-2009, 09:38 PM
I am putting up a podcast and a video hopefully tomorrow to help promote this further.

musician/lawnman
01-13-2009, 07:10 AM
So far only one person has signed up, and it was Chuck :)


You do some nice work. I planned on revamping my site this winter anyway, I want to change the format, menu structure & really the look of it altogether.
What I have started with a free template from here & has been customized to the point that it now bears only a small resemblance to the template.
I really like the idea of being able to track traffic, results. etc.

Good luck everybody!

Steve
01-13-2009, 12:15 PM
I really like the idea of being able to track traffic, results. etc.

Chuck what will you be doing to track traffic and results?

musician/lawnman
01-13-2009, 04:05 PM
[SIZE="4"][B]We will track search engine ranking and traffic stats and base any additional changes off those results.


I dunno, Haha! Ask him. I have no clue?

ritchiem
01-13-2009, 04:14 PM
thats funny Chuck....lol

EatingEmoKids
01-13-2009, 07:11 PM
I dunno, Haha! Ask him. I have no clue?

Well dont look at me like I know everything! haha

We will be using Google Analytics to track traffic and seo results. If you already have a website and are not tracking your stats I highly recommend adding this to your site. And the nice thing is that it's free... Actually the nice thing is that it works extremely well, the bonus is that it's free ;)

Steve
01-13-2009, 09:13 PM
We will be using Google Analytics to track traffic and seo results.
Can you tell us a little about what that is because I think most people have no idea.

Can you use some screen shots to explain it?

EatingEmoKids
01-13-2009, 10:33 PM
Can you tell us a little about what that is because I think most people have no idea.

Can you use some screen shots to explain it?

Sure thing Steve, I have taken some screen shots and will try and explain to everyone whats going on in both screen shots.

Lets start off with what happens when you first bring up your websites stats.

- The Dashboard
http://www.lcowebdesign.com/analytics-dashboard.jpg

So the first thing up top is an orange bar which allows you to switch between stats for different websites, I'm assuming most of you wont have this but I have a number of sites I track stats on.

Next is your navigation menu on the left with links to different reports.

- Visitor Graph
The visit graph is the first list of stats on the main dashboard. It simply shows how many visits you have received in the past 30 days or so. You can hover over any of the blue circles to show the number of visits for a specific date.

- Site Usage
This shows stats like visits, pageviews, avg number of page views per each visit, bounce rate, average time on site, what percent are new visits. All stats are over a 30 day period.

- Visitors Overview
Almost the same as the visits graph except it shows the number of unique visitors.

- Map Overlay
This feature it kind of cool and may be useful for lawn care business owners. It shows where the visitors are coming from. You can bring up a bigger version and get much more detailed information about where your visitors are coming from. You can see by country, state and even cities!

- Traffic Sources Overview
A simple pie chart showing you where your visitors are coming from. It also gives exact numbers and percentages. As you can see most of my traffic comes from search engines and direct traffic (people who time in my url into the address bar).

- Content Overview
This shows your top 5 pages with the most page views and what percent of page views they have to your whole site.


- Traffic Sources
http://www.lcowebdesign.com/analytics-traffic-sources.jpg

Okay so the first two features are pretty much the same thing from the dashboard so I don't need to explain those again. But these other two features are very helpful with SEO.

- Top Traffic Sources
This shows your top 5 traffic sources, you can of course click "view full report" to get the whole list. Now if you click lets say "Google" which for that site of mine has sent 7,315 visitors over the past 30 days, it will give you a full list of what search terms where searched for to find your site. It also shows for each search term the number of visits, page views per visit, avg time on site, % of new visits, and bounce rate.

Now right there I'm sure you can understand how useful that tool can be. You see which search terms are bringing in traffic and which terms and bringing in traffic that's actually staying on your site.

- Top Keywords
This is the same deal as above, except it combines all the search engine traffic results instead of showing results for each individual search engine.

These are just some of the cool features of Google Analytics. I hope this has helped you all understand a little bit more.

Please note that those images were edited and are not showing accurate keywords listings or page listings. I did not want to give away the site those stats are really for.

Thanks, Matt

Steve
01-14-2009, 05:55 AM
Great explanation Matt. Now for the lawn care business owner who uses this, what ultimately should they be doing with this data? How does knowing all this help them?

EatingEmoKids
01-14-2009, 05:20 PM
Great explanation Matt. Now for the lawn care business owner who uses this, what ultimately should they be doing with this data? How does knowing all this help them?

Well they should be tracking what keywords are being searched to find their website. On one of my sites I noticed I was getting some results for some keywords which I thought to be strange. I tried searching for the phrase my self and found that I was on the top of the second page. I figured if I'm getting traffic from being on the second page, imagine being on the top of the 1st page. And you bet I optimized for those phrases and soon noticed being on the top or even close to the top on the first page brought me thousands of visits a month just for those keywords. So overall you might find new keywords your customers are searching for and then you can optimize for those keywords to gain better ranking.

Also with the "Map Overview" option, I think it might help businesses to see where their traffic is coming from. Maybe it's another city right outside of their zone but if they had enough clients they would offer services there too. It could be a great tool for growing your business.

Steve
01-14-2009, 07:56 PM
I figured if I'm getting traffic from being on the second page, imagine being on the top of the 1st page. And you bet I optimized for those phrases and soon noticed being on the top or even close to the top on the first page brought me thousands of visits a month just for those keywords. So overall you might find new keywords your customers are searching for and then you can optimize for those keywords to gain better ranking.

That is fascinating! So if I were a lawn care business and I was tracking what keywords brought viewers to my site, I may think they are looking for '(My town) lawn care' but instead I might find they are coming to my site because of searches like '(My town) mowing'.

So once I figure out which is bringing more people to my site, how do I go about optimizing my website to bring in more people from the search '(My town) mowing'? What do you suggest?

EatingEmoKids
01-15-2009, 08:54 AM
That is fascinating! So if I were a lawn care business and I was tracking what keywords brought viewers to my site, I may think they are looking for '(My town) lawn care' but instead I might find they are coming to my site because of searches like '(My town) mowing'.

So once I figure out which is bringing more people to my site, how do I go about optimizing my website to bring in more people from the search '(My town) mowing'? What do you suggest?

I would first start off with optimizing your <title> tag along with updating content and changing header tags. Just simple things like that will probably move your website up in rankings without many or any back links.

Now back links are very important, but from what I have seen, most lawn care businesses can get on the first page of Google with out them. The reason is, there is almost no competition. If you don't have competition using back links, then Google will base the results off content and a few other factors.

I do have a few ideas to gain back links for the winner and also anyone else who purchases my services.

On another note, only 2 days left to register! if you have not signed up yet I recommend doing it before Saturday. The total number of sign ups as of now is 8. I'd love to see this number double :)

Steve
01-15-2009, 02:22 PM
Matt,

I would first start off with optimizing your website

Can you tell all of us reading this post, what are some simple things we can do to optimize our website?

EatingEmoKids
01-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Matt,



Can you tell all of us reading this post, what are some simple things we can do to optimize our website?

sorry about that Steve, it seems that part of my post got cut off. Maybe cause I tried inserting some html? but either way..

back to what I was saying:
I would first start off with optimizing your title tags and then update your content with the similar phrases. Don't forget to make use of your header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc..). All these are very simple changes you can make that could make all the difference. As I was trying to say in my previous post, back links are important, but for a lot of lawn care business owners, you can probably get away with on site optimization and still get very high results.

Edit: My 100th post on the gopher forums :)

Steve
01-15-2009, 10:14 PM
Congratulations on your 100th post!

I would first start off with optimizing your title tags and then update your content with the similar phrases. Don't forget to make use of your header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc..). All these are very simple changes you can make that could make all the difference.

I think even this statement might be too big to digest for many of our readers. Can you tell us a little about what that mean to optimize your title tags? And how does using different headers help?

EatingEmoKids
01-16-2009, 02:20 PM
Congratulations on your 100th post!



I think even this statement might be too big to digest for many of our readers. Can you tell us a little about what that mean to optimize your title tags? And how does using different headers help?

Thanks Steve :)

Well, lets say your tracking your stats and you see that you are indeed getting traffic for the term Your Town Mowing. So now you want to optimize your site so that you come up higher in the search results for that term. What you want to do is include this term in your html title tag. So the code for this would look some thing like this:


<html>
<head>
<title>Your Town Mowing - Company Name </title>
</head>


Now of course there are most likely other meta tags like keywords, descriptions and links to css in your html head section, but this at least gives you an idea. This is one of the factors Google looks at when ranking your website.

Another of course is your sites content. So make sure to include this phrase in your content as well. You can even use header tags which google also factors in when ranking your website.

The code for a header tag looks like this:


<h1>Your Town Mowing</h1>


and you can use multiple header tags. Just don't continue to use more then one h1 on a single page. Label them h1, h2 ,h3 and so on (don't forget to end your header tag with the same number you started it with). Try to mix up the phrase in other header tags and use other keywords and phrases to go along with the first one. Just don't make it look "spammy".

Steve
01-16-2009, 02:44 PM
That is fantastic! That's something nice and easy every person can do! Thank you!

ritchiem
01-16-2009, 03:12 PM
retracted due to brain fart

Steve
01-16-2009, 03:14 PM
Careful they are called 'heading' tags not 'header' tags....big difference there. Also you can only use

LOL you are talking over my head. What is the difference?

ritchiem
01-16-2009, 03:17 PM
You know what....I am going to retract my last statement...I am doing some research now and I may have spoke too soon...the terminology seems to be different on who you ask.

Steve
01-16-2009, 03:20 PM
Well you know a lot more than me, can you share with us a little about what you were thinking? I'd love to hear it.

ritchiem
01-16-2009, 03:26 PM
double post oops

ritchiem
01-16-2009, 03:27 PM
Well from my schooling and teachings I was always taught that the < head > was called your header tags and < h1 > were called heading tags. But as I researched my thoughts (I always try to) I found that depending on where you look you'll come up with different answers.

ritchiem
01-16-2009, 03:41 PM
and to add to Matt's post. Some search engines analyze text inside header tags and use it to rank Web pages. They assume that anything important enough to put in larger text is also relevant to the page's content.

And you should never use the < h1 > < /h1 > tags as a replacement for the font tags. Anything you put within the tags spiders will read it as the pages topic. So if you do this < h1 >Donate< /h1 > spiders will think that page is only about 'donate' and not about what it really is.

EatingEmoKids
01-16-2009, 04:36 PM
and to add to Matt's post. Some search engines analyze text inside header tags and use it to rank Web pages. They assume that anything important enough to put in larger text is also relevant to the page's content.

And you should never use the < h1 > < /h1 > tags as a replacement for the font tags. Anything you put within the tags spiders will read it as the pages topic. So if you do this < h1 >Donate< /h1 > spiders will think that page is only about 'donate' and not about what it really is.

I agree I meant to point that out but did not. Use your heading tags wisely. And yes I have seen them called header and headings. I actually prefer heading, I probably typed header as I was working on the header code for a website for some one else while I wrote that :D

Quality-Hosting
01-16-2009, 08:25 PM
If I might make some suggestions regarding optimization.

One of the first things a person should do is to get rid of all the tables that are used for websites. You need to have a website that is both HTML and CSS validated. You should use CSS style sheets for your design and then use "div" "div id" and "div class" tags instead of the "table" tags. One of the reasons for this is when a search engine is spidering your page, it will only read so much of the html code, using a lot of table take up a lot of unnecessary code. Create ids & classes using css, it is much cleaner.

You should also have a sitemap.xml file in you root directory for google, this tells the googlebot what to look for and where it is located. Very helpful!

If you are not familiar with CSS there are many sites that explain it or you can hire some one to redesign your site. I use nothing but valid html and css for any site I design.

Steve
01-16-2009, 08:30 PM
This is all incredibly interesting.

You should also have a sitemap.xml file in you root directory for google, this tells the googlebot what to look for and where it is located. Very helpful!


Now does this have to be on a visible link in your homepage or how do the search engines ultimately find these sitemaps?

Quality-Hosting
01-16-2009, 08:38 PM
For more on getting you site listed higher in the search engines.

You need to get your PageRank higher. One way to help this is to have links from other relevant sites linking into you site. (notice the emphasis on relevant! If your site is about lawn care than a link from a furniture sale website is going to do nothing for you PR.

You also want to obtain links that have a higher PR than yours. This is also helpful when you first develop your website. The higher the PR of a linking in site will get you listed much faster in google. The reason is that as an example, a site that has a PR of 6 or higher is visited by the googlebot at least daily if not every hour, as this site has updated content regularly and if you have a link on the spidered page it will follow to your page.

There are many sites on the internet to find like sites to exchange links with. Also, I you have a new site, I would suggest that paying for a link on a relevant site with a high PR is a good idea as it will get you site listed in the search engines quickly.

Quality-Hosting
01-16-2009, 08:42 PM
This is all incredibly interesting.



Now does this have to be on a visible link in your homepage or how do the search engines ultimately find these sitemaps?

Googlebots are configured to look in the root directory of the file sitemap (or something similar) .xml

Yahoo also looks for a sitemap but the file name and config is different. it is a sitemap.html that also goes in the root directory.

You can read about sitemaps at http://www.sitemaps.org/

Steve
01-16-2009, 08:55 PM
Thank you for that great info. I have to start reading it now.

So I am guessing that you need to name your sitemap sitemap.xml and put it in the root directory. If you don't do that (different name or directory) it simply won't be found?

Also when you say page rank, is that the rank the page shows up in search engine results or is this something else?

EatingEmoKids
01-16-2009, 11:24 PM
Thank you for that great info. I have to start reading it now.

So I am guessing that you need to name your sitemap sitemap.xml and put it in the root directory. If you don't do that (different name or directory) it simply won't be found?

Also when you say page rank, is that the rank the page shows up in search engine results or is this something else?

When he refers to page rank (commonly known as PR) it's the rank that Google assigns to your page. Basically the higher your page rank the *more important* your website is. Your page rank is based on a number of factors but the main one being inbound links (other websites that link to yours) and also the number of outbound links (other websites you link to) and the quality of both inbound and outbound links. It's another factor in the way Google lists results on search pages.

Although there has been a lot of changes with page rank and talk whether it's as important as it once was in deciding your websites ranking.

I hope all that is clear, I'm pretty tired and about to head off to bed but I just wanted to reply to that first :D

Steve
01-16-2009, 11:44 PM
So then how does one find out their page rank?

Also are you saying it's important to link to important sites? Google is an important site, do you get better search result placement if you have a link from your site to their site?

EatingEmoKids
01-18-2009, 09:49 PM
So then how does one find out their page rank?

Also are you saying it's important to link to important sites? Google is an important site, do you get better search result placement if you have a link from your site to their site?

You can use a website like this to find out your page rank:
http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

I'm not saying if you link to a bunch of important sites you will get a higher rank, but if you link to a bunch of low quality or spam related sites then your page rank may drop and the quality of your outbound links will go down.

On another note, this contest has been kept open a few extra days as I was gone most of Saturday and today. I will leave this open until tomorrow after noon or morning. This will give a little bit more time for late sign ups and I'm also just to tired to close the contest at the moment. But if you are considering signing up, don't wait any longer cause this will close at any given time tomorrow and most likely without notice.

ritchiem
01-18-2009, 10:03 PM
if anyone wants to really understand PR you can read this amazing article.

http://www.webworkshop.net/pagerank.html

grounded
01-19-2009, 07:14 AM
So Who won?

Hope It was me! My Site needs a Makeover

Tom

EatingEmoKids
01-19-2009, 07:47 AM
if anyone wants to really understand PR you can read this amazing article.

http://www.webworkshop.net/pagerank.html

Thanks for the article Ritchie, there is a lot explaining page rank in that post.


They rightly figure that webmasters cannot control which sites link to their sites, but they can control which sites they link out to. For this reason, links into a site cannot harm the site, but links from a site can be harmful if they link to penalized sites. So be careful which sites you link to. If a site has PR0, it is usually a penalty, and it would be unwise to link to it.


This is not always true. The reason is, Google only updates page rank every 3 months or so? Some thing like that, so newer website's could go a couple of months without even getting the chance to have their Page Rank updated.
Just some thing to think about, cause not all pr0 websites are bad.

[TOP]

So Who won?

Hope It was me! My Site needs a Makeover

Tom

I have not picked a winner yet :eek: But one will be picked later today. I'll be sure to let everyone know once the winner is chosen.

Steve
01-19-2009, 05:02 PM
I have not picked a winner yet But one will be picked later today. I'll be sure to let everyone know once the winner is chosen.

I am looking forwards to this!

EatingEmoKids
01-19-2009, 11:32 PM
A winner has been randomly selected. Steve is there anyway I can edit my original post? I would like to be able to change a few things and update it with the name of the winner.

Steve
01-20-2009, 08:44 AM
There is something in a setting that doesn't allow it.

Can you let me know and I will change it? PM me?

Or just make a new post here?