August 21, 2008

I NEED WEBSITE ADVICE!

I finished my company website and have 2 questions that I really need YOU to answer:

1. Do you or someone you know, know how to maximize one's listing on big, free search engines (i.e. google, yahoo, etc.) I know about Google adwords and pay per click advertising, but I want to learn more about the regular Google listings. If so, please advise by commenting on the blog, call me at 505-366-3728, or email me at sharkmanbell@gmail.com, or have me call you or the person you know.

2. I would love your brutal, nay, cruel, malicious feedback about the website. Go to www.bewcs.com (in case you're wondering, I own www.bellexpertwindowcleaning.com and will have it redirect to www.bewcs.com, but It's just too long to use on stationary and advertising. And www.bewc.com is already taken. Also, make sure you do the www, as it doesn't work right now unless you do) and take a look around. I have no ego in this. Making money is 4o thousand times more important to me than nurturing my ego, which I truly don't have in this area anyway. It's a very simple, short, beginner site and that's the way I want it right now, but that said, there are plenty of things I could do differently without compromising any of that. So if you have a minute, take a look at it and give me any, any, any thoughts on anything about it.

Then after you've given any random criticism you can come up with, do me a favor and answer the following questions. Pretend you are Sally stay-at-home-mom or dad looking for a window cleaning company. Look through the whole site BEFORE you look at these questions below:

1. If you are looking to have your home's windows cleaned, does the abundance of commercial window cleaning pictures and shortage of residential ones throughout the site turn you off, intimidate you, or cause you to click away immediately because you feel like I either don't do residential at all, or it's not my specialty?

2. Does the orange "EVERY TIME" at the top of the page look garrish or blurry at all?

3. What would you change about the Home page? Need more concise info right away?

4. What about the other pages? Too much info? Not enough info? Too verbose?

5. Does it bother you that there isn't any pricing information? Would that prevent you from calling for a free estimate?

6. Do you wish there was a built-in email box to write a note right on the site, or would you simply copy the email address and email me from your own email anyway?

What else would you change OR definitely keep (the latter is important so that I can weigh it against someone who would change something you happen to like.)

Thanks so much for your time and help.

I'll pay at least half of you back at least halfway someday, and I've paid more than half of you back already a half more than you deserve.

17 comments:

hasselboff said...

wow. i'm impressed. my knee-jerk reaction upon going to the site was "this is a professional outfit." really nice work. i hesitate to answer your questions because i'm not a marketing wiz. but i did stay at a holiday inn last night, so here goes...

1. yes. i think you need to add images of residential products (homes, apartment buildings, etc). the website is commercial photo heavy. another idea is to add verbiage on the home page that says something like, "servicing commercial and residential buildings." or if you want to make it seem even broader you could say, "servicing residential, retail, office and industrial buildings."

2. no

3. i go back and forth. i think the text on the home page works. however, i wonder if it'd be better to just list a few bullet points with key information and leave the longer verbiage for the other pages.

4. no. the amount seems appropriate.

5. i prefer being able to get pricing information. i'm assuming you're leaving it off so that they call and you are able to use your kook-charm to win their business. not a bad strategy. but if you're prices are fixed and if you know they are the best rates around than it may be worth marketing.

6. no.

7. you may want to consider listing buildings or neighborhoods on/in which you have worked, if there are notable projects that can add to your track record.

over all, really nice job and very impressive.

DDD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shauna said...

i was expecting your website to look like bmoney put it together with how you were describing it. And i mean that in the nicest way to bmoney, hes a great guy but i think its safe to say he is probably not that great at building websites...

Anyway, i think the pricing situation is tough because i understand why you would want to leave it off...seeing as i am in the business of trying to sell people my services as well-a consult is much better than a fixed number they can talk themselves out of not paying for whatever reason...and going with someone else. So i would say maybe you could allude to a price like "pricing based on number and size of windows" or something. Maybe you already wrote something like that? I dont know. i would be lying if i told you i read everything on your website, IT ALL LOOKS GREAT THOUGH. And in my book, everything is based on looks.

The pictures on the home page, as "hasselboff" mentioned, are pretty heavy on the commercial side, but they are great pictures so maybe somewhere put a nice big house with nice shiny clean windows?

Im useless. Sorry chris.

IT LOOKS GREAT.

Kara, Garrick, Rylee and Jadyn said...

Very impressive! It really looks great. My opinion is probably fairly worthless seeing as I have no real experience in marketing, but here you go...
1. There are a lot of commercial pics that could be intimidating to residential clients. But then that might also be a positive feature for commercial clients. I guess it depends on who you are really trying harder to market to.
2. Slightly blurry but I think that is more because it's 11:30 at night and I've been going to bed so late watching the olympics. I didn't notice at all though until I read your question and looked at it. Keep it, it looks good with the logo and orange bar beneath.
3. Hard to say...I like that you have, what I would consider, the most important info to me as a potential client. That info being a) why I should chose you over another (QUALITY and experience) and b)why I should have my windows cleaned.
4. They are good. I like info and I think that they all answer what people would be looking for very well.
5. I agree with hasslboff and shauna. I understand why you wouldn't want to or even can't put pricing, but maybe add what Shauna said. And also try to highlight or enlarge something about "Call for a free quote" on both your home page and on services and process tab (because I would think to look there for pricing...)
6. No, copy and paste is fine. Those stupid boxes never work for me anyway (or maybe I'm stupid, haha)
Well anyway, it really is a great site. You could not even change anything and it would still be a big draw to use your company. Sorry this comment is so dang long...especially coming from somebody who has no idea. :) And sorry if nothing even makes sense, like I said it's late and I'm really tired...
Hope everything is going good for you guys, we miss you all!!!

Heber said...

I have done a little website stuff for my current employer. That is my reference...

To get to the top of organic searches (the official term for regular google listings) you need to know what words you want to be the top of. Examples: Utah Window Cleaning, Bell Expert Window Cleaning, dirty window washing
Once you have these words you just need to talk about them on your website. I would not devote whole pages to them... but just mention these words together once or twice on each page. If you add a tag line to the title of each page would help too. If this is a local business you need to mention the location a lot.

The look of the website is solid, simple, and easy on the eyes. It looks very professional. I would show more residential home pictures.

Also... the URL really helps with the organic search as well. If you can... the url: bewindowcleaning.com might be a bit shorter, but it keeps the window cleaning visible for people and search engines to see.

Heber said...

one more thing...

A 'contact us' page is very important... I see your contact information at the bottom of all the pages... but people like to see a physical address (even if it is just a mailing address). this gives the feeling this is a real business and not an internet scam. Also, google can pick up on contact us pages and start adding you to local business when someone is looking for local window washing.

Josh said...

Good work! At work I do a lot of searching for engineering products and I can't think of one that lists prices due to the fact that each project is unique. Personally I don't think I would list prices unless your competetors are listing their prices. Alot of the time, I'm just looking for a contact name and number.

Braden and Meredith said...

1. I hadn't thought about this until you asked, but yes, I think you are right about not having enough residential. Could your header background at the top of the pager be half residential and half commercial?

2. I don't like it aesthetically, but I think it is important for your business model. I'd keep it.

3. I like it the way it is.

4. Ditto

5. I wonder if you could at least give a price range.


6. I think a contact link is pretty important.

I think overall it looks very professional. Good work.

Andrea W. said...

Wow, super impressive. It's really nice, really professional looking. Do you really have that window/repelling device thingy?

1. Maybe that picture just below the header could be of you doing a residential job? Again, if you're really trying to get into more commercial work than it's great, but if you want the STAHM's I would maybe be a little intimidated to call based on the pictures.

2. Doesn't bug me at all. I like it.

3. I think the homepage works, with more specific details on other pages. In that first paragraph though I think it should say "process" rather than "processes".

4. I think it's great, but I think the suggestion to add contact us as a seperate link is a good one. Also, your 3rd sentence under "Why choose Us?" was hard to understand, maybe I was just tired but it took me a few minutes to get what you were saying "more than one might think". Also, I think if you could get a testimonial from someone saying how comfortable they were having you in their home that would be a big selling point to me.

5. I love knowing pricing upfront and hate being "sold", but the reason I hate it is because I have such a hard time saying "no" to people, so it probably is more effective for you not to, but maybe like the others said, give them something.

6. Doesn't bother me.

islandmom said...

You won't remember me, I'm sure, but I am an old friend of Braden and Andrea.

At first glance I am very impressed. I am always impressed when a business has a website and am far more likely to use them because of it.

As I understand it, to help raise your status in search engines, you need to have those keywords listed on your site. So, you want to have "window cleaner (insert your city)" listed in text on the site, more than once is even better. It does take time for all of the crawlers to figure out you are there, but it will happen.

I think the photo page would actually make a better homepage. People are far more likely to look at that than read the text. You only have 2.5 seconds to grab them before they click away...text just won't do it. Oh--and on the photo page, that last photo, you can see the refelction of the person taking the photo...the other two are great though!
Here are answers to your questions though:
1)Yes, I think my above suggestion would fix that though.
2)yes it does
3)Less text (see above)
4)Honestly, if I were really looking for a window cleaner, I would look at those photos, look at the process, and then I would want to know what the process is for a free quote. I would put in there as someone mentioned, pricing by amount and size of windows. That's all I will look at...I will not read anything else though.
5)see 4...the other thought I had is that the website looks SO nice, that I might worry you are too expensive for me...haha.
6)Nope, the fact that I can click on your email addy and an email opens up with your addy in there is good enough for me.

I like that you have your contact info. on each page. I think it is good that you have your licensing/insurance info. there because that is something that my husband would ask later and I would have to come back to see :)

Good luck! If you lived near me, I would hire you...or at least get a quote.
my site is www.fontologie.com

Jo said...

1. No, because you immediately make it clear that you do commercial AND residential. This si repeated on the various other sections of your site.

2. Not to me. It just calls attention to a fact that would be very persuasive to me.

3. I can't think of anything. The other parts listed are well thought out, easy and quick to get to, and I think, cover all the important aspects of this.

4. I really like the info there and didn't have any negative reactions.

5. No. I wouldn't expect that. The offer of a feee estimate would be sufficient.

6. Since I'm lazy, I always like those built-in e-mail boxes, but it would be easy enough to copy your address, and I don't think I'd think about it unless you'd mentioned it. The important thing to me is to have the e-mail access.

A. On the Home page, I like the choice and organization of the various sections. I think the "Why have your windows cleaned?" part is very strong and would influence me. I would recommend adding to the "have a look around" part, the option to e-mail.

B. I reacted very positively to the services and processes section. Makes me feel that you are a real professional and know what you're doing.

C. Why choose us is persuasive.

D. Facs-- again, informative and makes me trust you with the job.

E. Testimonials-- This is really good. Testimonials and recommendations are impressive and reassuring to me. Love that you listed their names so I know that they're not faked. The listing of the owner of Panorama Homes is especially convincing.

F. The pictures are a good idea, and the first two are impactful. On the third, I can't see the "after".

All in all, Chris, I think it's a great sight, easily navigated, concise and pointed (and this is from an internet dummy). Good job!

The Allred Family said...

I would liek to look at your website adn I am all about some criticism....after all, I am a Jewkes. Anyway, I feel so retarded saying this but I couldn't find your website. I copied adn pasted both websies you refered to and to no avail....what am I doing wrong???

The Allred Family said...

Okay, so turns out maybe I am a little "challenged". If you fail, try try again. And I did! And it worked! I found it. :) I REALLY liked it. I am sooo underqualified to even give you feedback but from a client point-of-view (b/c I could never give you feedback from a business or website expert point-of-view) it looks extremely professional. I really liked the pictures under the photo link....such a difference you are making in the world of scum!! :)

Christian said...

Thank thank thank you so much to all you good folks for your super helpful thoughts.

I wasn't expecting marketing professor advice, but simply wanted the reaction of normal people who are similar to my clients.

I'm eventually going to make quite a few specific changes that you have recommended, after I give the site some time to reveal some more bugs, so I can do a big revision all in one try.

Heber and Island Mom, your answers to my organic searches question was exactly what I was looking for. I think i'll end up not only changing the text to boost keywords, but the url as well (the acronym is kind of dumb and clumsy). And yes, Island Mom, I remember you, and knew your younger sister a bit.

Janalee said...

I really like your website! Do you do windows in New England? Ha Ha!
I woiuld definately put at least one residential picture on the site. Perhaps in the services and process tab. I know my mom always wanted someone to clean her upstairs windows. A picture of someone cleaning the outdoor top story windows of a residential home would certainly be a huge perk to your business.
I also agree with one of the previous posts that you need a physical address. Maybe even a PO box if you don't want to use your home address.
The pop-up e-mail box is a bonus for the lazy internet surfers.
As for the absent price list maybe you could have a "Starting base price" so people aren't so hesitant to contact you. But I wasn't so caught up in finding a price. Maybe because I can't afford to fly you out to my place to clean my windows!

I don't know anything about getting hits from a search engine, but you can always spread the word by asking your friends to add your link to their blogs.

Hope it helps! Best of Luck!

Janalee said...

One quick question I thought of that I would like to know if you were doing my windows:
Do you clean the inside tracks of the windows or just the screens?

Jordan said...

If you are targeting commercial clients, I think the commercial pictures are great. If you want to bring in residential, too, i'd probably add some pics of residential windows.

i'd probably add a pic of yourself, too.

try putting some bubbles (or something else friendly and dis-arming) on the website, too.

that's my "sally" feedback for ya.