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  • Website feedback

    Hey everyone, my name is Zac and I was hoping to get some professional feedback on a website we just had built. Our friend did it for cheap and I was hoping to provide him some feedback to clean it up or add to it. Suggestions are appreciated.
    Zac's Tree Pro
    www.portorangetreeremoval.com
    https://www.facebook.com/Stewarts-Tree-Pro-217471758693493/

  • #2
    I personally think this looks pretty good.

    Comment


    • #3
      As far as visually, the site is pretty well put together. Your menu Top Menu gets washed out with your background image. Consider adding a contrasting background color to your menu buttons. Also, your above the fold content (what you see without scrolling when the page loads), is image heavy. You have your phone number as a button there, which is good, but I would add a Call to Action with that button ("Call Now for a Free Estimate - (XXX) XXX-XXXX"). Your leading pitch is that you were Voted Best Tree Service Company in Volusia County. This is awesome, but it a bit like every coffee shop claiming to have the best coffee in the world. I would add credibility to this claim by attaching a link to a Press Release from the organization that gave you this title, or at least put "By the XXXXXXXXXXX Newspaper in 2016" or something along that line. Throughout your first page, you have Call Now links that allow a visitor to click. These are great for mobile sites, but on a desktop site, it just leads to a broken link, since there isn't call functionality. You may consider a different approach to this, perhaps these links should re-direct to a Contact Us page, that then has links for a the Call Now, as well as Mailto links, and a Contact Form. The last thing I noticed visually is that your pages are very white. While this is clean, it can beneficial to offer separation between sections using background colors, so a reader knows where one sections ends and begins. Otherwise, your page can look like one giant run on paragraph. My site isn't perfect, as I am still working on it too, but you can check it out at www.GeorgetownGrass.com See how I used the gray background color in my content boxes, and used banners throughout the page to create separation (such as the striped grass background a couple sections down).

      Now as far as back end website stuff, which is much more important for search rankings, I have a few suggestions too.

      It appears that this is a WordPress site. I would look into installing an SEO plugin if you don't have one already. I use YoastSEO for mine. Here are your performance scores from the 3 different sources. It's a little weird because gtmetrix and pingdom give you pretty good scores, but PageSpeed doesn't. PageSpeed is Google's, so pretty important. The biggest problem that PageSpeed is flagging is to optimize images. Make sure that your images are not oversized for what they are being used for. For example, if your banner image needs to be 1620x960, but you are using an image that is 2048x1200, it is loading a larger than necessary image and then shrinking it to fit. You can actually just use MSPaint to resize the images and then re-upload them to your FTP server. You can then also use a WP plugin call Smu**** that optimize the images even further. The next thing PageSpeed is fussing about is Render blocking CSS and Javascript. You are using a Content Delivery Network, which means this can't really be avoided. Also, jquery is causing issues, but you can't bypass jquery like most other Javascripts. I would say optimize your images, re-run these tests and see.

      https://developers.google.com/speed/...%2F&tab=mobile
      https://gtmetrix.com/reports/www.por...l.com/pFqGLedO
      https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/bdL7tJ/...eeremoval.com/

      Hope I'm not coming off critical, just trying to be constructive. I have been spending much of December and January doing all this stuff to my site.

      Best of Luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Hope I'm not coming off critical, just trying to be constructive. I have been spending much of December and January doing all this stuff to my site.
        Have you noticed any changes in your rankings by doing this? How long did it take to see a change in the results?
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        Comment


        • #5
          Hey @acrajchel, this is some awesome feedback. I'm building a site too and take a lot of this to heart!

          Comment


          • #6
            acrajchel - I really appreciate the in depth feedback! Thanks
            Zac's Tree Pro
            www.portorangetreeremoval.com
            https://www.facebook.com/Stewarts-Tree-Pro-217471758693493/

            Comment


            • #7
              Steve,

              It is definitely a process. Even with doing all this work on my site, which has taken well over 100+ hours, I'm only scratching the surface. I have moved on from doing this kind of stuff to building and linking social media profiles. I have created a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Angie's List, iCastle, Houzz, and Yelp account and am linking them all together whenever possible. I also am working with a 2D animator to create explainer videos to post on my site and social media profiles that are quick 45 second videos explaining a service, it's benefit, and why a customer would have me do rather than do it themselves.

              I have also started working with a company called BirdEye who does review collection and management. Jay Soneff is the guy I am working with and it is awesome. I highly recommend that anyone who wants an online presence give him a call at 720-773-8648. They have a free trial where you can play with it first. Their platform will also allow you to create a profile with them, then it sends it out to like 50 search engines, including the big ones automatically, this way you don't have to submit to each one individually, which takes forever. If you call, tell him Aaron with Leisure Lawn and Landscaping told you about him. I know this sounds like a pitch because I get a referral kickback or something, but I don't. It is just that their platform has helped me manage a part of my business I was really struggling with. I have got 10 reviews since using them, and they trapped 2 "bad reviews". Anytime someone leaves a review that is 3 stars or less, or no stars, it gets put in their BirdTrap, where it doesn't show on public profiles. The 2 reviews they caught for me weren't negative reviews, just people who didn't understand the system. One lady left a review of "Please call me, I want you to do our lawn next year" and another was a lady who said "I want to email my review to you and have you post it for me". These would have been fine to been posted, but would have just cluttered up my review pages.

              My next steps will be Pay Per Click Advertising. This can get costly though, and highly competitive. I've been talking to a company called Solomoto who has a platform for DIY campaign management, or you can hire them for a monthly fee to manage it. On a side note, Solomoto does offer SEO services for a very reasonable price, compared to other places I talked too. GoDaddy wanted $480/month, a local company wanted $7,500 one time, and Solomoto was I think $120/month. I will probably use Solomote SEO in the near future to take my site to the next level. Solomoto is also cool in that they want to train you to run your own campaigns and use their platform to do it, rather than have them do it. Their package is that they will setup everything, then hand it over to you. They of course are there if you need help, but it is mostly you running it.

              There is a new platform out there called Automate365 from Helorocity. It looks really cool but hasn't launched yet. I signed up for launch notifications, and the next day got a sales call from them. They were super high pressure in trying to sell me paid services and products, even though they advertised this as being a free platform. They even went so far as to have me talk to the CEO when I said no. I would stay away from them.

              As far as ranking now, I am generally ranking in the first 3 pages for my area. Some keywords are doing better than others. I have a couple keywords where I rank first. I am trying to encourage more referrals, so I am trying to find an easy and effective way to implement a referral program, and looking at joining my local Chamber of Commerce. I am also trying to network with other companies, but this is going slowly. I have a relationship with a handyman who services high-end homes and even high-end HOAs, am meeting with a hardscape only contractor later today (I don't do hardscaping), and met with an interior designer a few weeks ago who is looking for someone who can some out and help her with hanging stuff using a ladder, like christmas lighting, wreaths, etc.

              February I plan on going old school and putting out the 100 lawn signs I have at local shopping centers and neighborhood entrances, and handing out door to door flyers. I got a really good price on flyers and have like 30,000 flyers sitting around. I quickly found out though that flyers are a pain. I can hang like 300 a day, and might get 1 phone call out of that. So flyers are something I'll do only when there is absolutely nothing else to do. I've had better luck with lawn signs, but they can get expensive too. I found a place to print basic lawn signs for a couple dollars each, rather than VistaPrint which are like $15 each. I found quickly that lawn signs only last 1-14 days when you place them, before they get removed or destroyed by weather. The city mow crews just mow right over them with batwings, it's painful to watch knowing how much money those things cost.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is just unreal how much work you have put into all this! I am blown away! It sounds like the amount of time put into this could easily become it's own job description within your company where one person focuses solely on this!

                I am sure others are wondering, is it all worth it? Do you ever feel it takes away time from you doing the work you need to make money or do you see it simply as one of the steps you must take to make money?

                Do you feel the industry has become this competitive and it has raised the bar a lot higher than many startups can ever fathom taking on themselves?
                - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                Comment


                • #9
                  An online presence isn't necessarily important for every SEO. My target client is middle to upper end residential customers, and higher end commercial customers (nice restaurants, nice office buildings, etc.). The upper end residential clients are hard to reach with traditional methods, such as door to door. These neighborhoods prohibit soliciting. So SEO ranking is one of the few ways to get to these customers. I am also listing on Houzz, which targets these customers. If an LCO is going after purely commercial or entry level homes, a website probably wouldn't be as critical. These clients are better reached through lawn signs, door to door, and sales calls. As far as time, I don't have much winter work, and live in KY, so snow is hit or miss. We haven't had a plowable event yet, and only 2 events that needed some light salting. So I spend winter working on my website, setting up new processes and systems for next year, researching new equipment and techniques, performing equipment maintenance, cleaning and organizing my trailer, and trying to gain some new clients upselling existing clients. I've got 4 clients who I just moved from mow only to full service green contacts for 2017

                  Another issue in my area, is that I am competing with several large ($2-$5 mil) operations that are owned and operated by young owners (35 years old or less), who are millennials, and therefore tech savvy. They rely on social media, search rankings, and word of mouth heavier than the operations around here ran by older guys, who use their networking skills and door to door sales. Door to door and networking is very time consuming for a small operation. The places that do door to door will run 3-4 15 passenger vans filled with college kids canvassing neighborhoods. They can cover a lot of houses fast. Since I am on my own, I can only cover 160-200 houses a day door to door, a fraction of what these bigger guys can. SEO though is a more level playing field in my opinion. Sure the big guys probably have a marketing firm or an in house marketing team running their stuff, but Google ultimately decides, so I have a better chance of competing with them online.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have also started working with a company who does review collection and management. I have got 10 reviews since using them, and they trapped 2 "bad reviews". Anytime someone leaves a review that is 3 stars or less, or no stars, it gets put in their BirdTrap, where it doesn't show on public profiles. The 2 reviews they caught for me weren't negative reviews, just people who didn't understand the system. One lady left a review of "Please call me, I want you to do our lawn next year" and another was a lady who said "I want to email my review to you and have you post it for me". These would have been fine to been posted, but would have just cluttered up my review pages.
                    With these reviews are we talking about reviews that are posted on your own site or are these reviews that are put on sites like google or angieslist etc?

                    If these reviews are on other sites, how do you keep the negative ones from appearing?
                    - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                    Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      With these reviews are we talking about reviews that are posted on your own site or are these reviews that are put on sites like google or angieslist etc?

                      If these reviews are on other sites, how do you keep the negative ones from appearing?
                      Yes these are reviews on Houzz, Google +, Angie's List, etc.

                      I only solicit reviews from clients that I know were more then happy with their experience. When a customer compliments my work or tells me that it was an awesome experience, that is going to be the best time to ask for a review. Of course all clients are welcome to leave reviews, and I haven't received a bad one yet, but not all clients are going to rave about the experience.

                      I would hope that there wouldn't be cause for a negative review, but let's be honest, no matter how hard you try and how great you think the service was, there are going to be people who just aren't happy. I had a client that paid me to plant 6 Boxwoods for them. They went and bought the Boxwoods themselves, I just dug the holes and dropped them in. Of course I did my due diligence and explained to them that they will need to fertilize and water the plants for a while. Well they didn't, and the Boxwoods died. They are convinced that it was something I did that killed them. They didn't leave a review luckily. If they had and they went through the BirdEye platform, BirdEye actually takes negative reviews and holds them in a queue without posting them to Google +, Houzz, etc. I can then go through these negative reviews and followup with the client or jsut hold them in the queue permanently. Obviously BirdEye can't do anything if the customer posts directly to Google + a negative review, so that is why I have started soliciting reviews from all clients with BirdEye, so they can promote and positive and catch the negatives before they hit the web.

                      In the case that a negative review does make it out there, most review sites give you the opportunity to respond. I try to respond to all reviews anyway, such as "Thanks for the great review, look forward to working with you in the future." Now responding to a negative review can be tricky and I've seen other companies make things much worse. I think it is important when responding to a negative review to almost bypass the problem. The companies that take on negative reviews defensively tend to make themselves look worse. I would probably simply explain to the client (and the web readers) that I am sorry that I misunderstood their expectations, and am confused as to why there is a problem, since all aspects of the job were explained in detail beforehand. I would then offer for the client to call me to discuss rectifying the situation.

                      This way I am not really admitting fault, but I am not being defensive. I am offering a solution to the client, and showing potential clients that we stand behind our work.

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