Success - Help!

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I have a one-person carpentry business and built my own website last year.
The amount of traffic was laughable for the first eight months.  Then I
a magnetic sign for my work van, and began to see a slow, steady increase.
Now I'm getting about twenty hits per week of focused visitors, and my site
finally turned up in a search at, on the first page!  Unfortunately,
I haven't gotten one inquiry about work yet, and am putting it down to the
quality of my web page.  What I'm asking for here is a review, if anyone here
could oblige me.  The site is Thanks.

Re: Success - Help!

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First off, you images are WAY TOO BIG!!!  I have broadband and had to wait a
long time for them to download.

But, more to the point, you are not getting inquiries because there is no
where on the site that I could find where you ask anyone to make an inquiry.

Remember the basics of sales - you have to move the customer to take action.

John Merrell
Gateway Farm Alpacas

Re: Success - Help!

On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 20:26:37 -0700, "Gateway Farm"

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Assuming they're jpegs, which being photographs they should be, if you
open them then save them in Microsoft Paint it compresses them. They
look teh same but they're smaller in file size so they load quicker.


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SEO you could cuddle. Probably..

Re: Success - Help!


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And, er, one last thing...don't keep them in the cgi-bin! That's not
really what it's for!


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SEO that's fun to read!

Re: Success - Help!

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Uh..could you please elaborate on this?

Re: Success - Help!

On 16 Oct 2004 20:29:49 GMT, (BUB 209) wrote:

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Your cgi-bin folder is for keeping a certain kind of scripts in.
Really your graphics should be kept in a folder created for them. You
could call it graphics or images or similar. It's no biggie.

SEO that's fun to read!

Re: Success - Help!

On 16 Oct 2004 00:17:10 GMT, (BUB 209) wrote:

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I'm here all day now.
Search for arachnaphilia and open your index/home page in it.

Lose this.
<!-- \/ starthtml -->

Lose these.
<!-- The block of META tags is required by Homepage Studio  -->
   <!-- to identify this file as created by Freeform Editor.   -->
   <!-- Please do not remove them, but feel free to append     -->
   <!-- them with your personal data below. Meta tags help     -->
   <!-- search engines identify the content of your page.       -->
   <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html;

Lose these.
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="enter your name here">
   <META NAME="generator" CONTENT="FreeFormEditor 1.0">

Change your title tag<title> to read <title>Custom carpentry from the
chicago area from Ed's Woods</title>
Put it immediately after the <head tag>

Take the <description> tag and put that next. I think that can stay as
it is really.

Next up should be the keywords tag, we can leave that as it is too.
then you have the </head> tag.
Then your body tags which can stay as they are.

Your Hx tags are very important and must include your keywords. Change
your H1 tag to read <h1>Custom Carpentry from Chicago's own Ed's

That's a bit schmaltzy for my taste but you get the idea, yeah?

Outside of that, get some more text on the page containing those
keywords. First paragraph should start along the lines of "custom
carpenter Ed has been living and working in the Chicago are since
b;lah-de-blah etc. And give it a few more paragraphs of the same. Then
you can have your pictures and so forth.
I could go on and on but that'll get you going. Come back to us in a
few months and we can improve things some more.
The reason I say to get Arachnaphilia is because it's a very good FREE
html editor and you can lose all those crappy meta tags you don't
need. Ditch Home Site.
You may care to go to my site and work on getting your site in some
specialised directories. THAT's IMPORTANT! Get the site a bit better
organised first though. Don't forget, local search is beginning to
take off so you should start getting some calls soon!  And make your
email link bigger - I can barely see it! You want to have that and
your phone number on every page so that when people see a piece of
work you've done and they think "that's JUST what I want; how do I
contact this guy?" the details are right there in front of them. Get
the idea?

SEO you could cuddle. Probably..

Re: Success - Help!

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What you are asking is more a review of the site, rather than search engine
placement... to that end you probably would have been better off asking for
a review of your site and suggestions to improve it in the newsgroup:

That said I will give you a quick rundown on some thoughts about your
site... this is meant to be constructive criticism, so don't take it as a
personal attack or anything... I'm just trying to be helpful.

1) First thing I see is your page header... the "logo" area of the site.
And thats pretty much ALL I see.  Your logo and the blurb text is way too
big.  The image itself (of the old rocking chair, I take it?) is almost
indistinguishable unless you *really* look at it.  You should clean up the
image abit and probably do something that runs across the top of the page,
rather than down the page where it takes up the whole first thing the users

2) For "EMail Contact" you have "" my first thought here
is:  is that really your email address?  or do you

3) The color scheme is somewhat ugly with the yellow text over the blue
background.  For your business you should really be going with a white page
with brown highlights and black text... it'll be clean and actually maybe
try to make it look "woodsy"

4) "Chicago Area Onsite Carpentry,Cabinetmaking" you have to space after the

5) You have "Phone Contact" and "Email Contact"... if you are going to put
it like that the proper format is:
Your Business Name
123 Main Street
Anytown, AA  00000
Phone: 555-555-5555

Thats a proper contact info card... if you want to word it out like you have
on the site now you should instead go with something like: "For additional
information or a quote on your job, please give us a call at 555-555-5555 or
email us at"

6) Under your "Email Contact" info you have a <hr> horizontal line in
there... that serves no purpose.

7) The main section of your site... the tables look really lame

8) You have the "click on images for more detail" you can do this better by
putting in the image and then sub text.  Like for "Baths" you have a picture
of a bath... click the link and you get more information about the job.
Instead you should have the picture (you can still make it clickable to the
page) but then under it you could say "This is a bath I did for ...(blah
blah blah)...  <link>View additional details on this job</link>

9) All the sections looks really poorly designed and layed out.  You would
have to say "Ok, I have this site... have I seen any other sites that look
like mine?" and the answer would be "probably not".
What you might want to do here is break it up into sections, going across
the page.  Maybe put in a small thumbnail (the size of a postage stamp,
maybe a little bigger) and then some details next to the picture... they can
click the link to view more details..
As it is now, the visitor to your site has to scroll on and on to get
through your page... you do not make it easy to get through it (you might
not think its "hard" to scroll... but people are impatient and they want
things easy)

10) Under "Installations" you have this whole big long text that is a link.
That looks really bad.  Its so much text that is a link that it will
probably get alot of people just assuming its a big underlined text you
wanted to highlight.

11) At the bottom you have this blurb: "just a counter to avoid adware, do
not click "accessories" "
That should be taken out... most people wouldn't even notice your counter,
but now you are pointing it out with practically a huge banner there

As far as improving the site goes... there really isn't too much you could
do for it.  This is a case where you really should start from scratch and
build something new.

As well, I would seriously suggest that you hire a professional to build the
site for you... not doing it yourself or having a friend or family member do

You might be thinking that you don't want to shell out $1000 or so for a new
website when you can do it yourself for free... but think of it like this:
If you have a nice and clean site that is informative and brings you
customers, it will pay for itself.  What is $1000 or so?  One?  Two?  Three
jobs?  Thats all the site would have to bring in to pay for itself... and as
it is now it would be very hard to see it bringing in one job, let alone two
or three.

Yours is probably a business that could do well with a good website... its
one of those things where you can get people excited about the product and
services and into the whole idea of making that call to you about what you
can do for them.

Anyhow... thats just my two cents.  Not saying mine is the best advice or
the only advice... just that its the advice I am offering


Re: Success - Help!

Augustus wrote:
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Saves me having to say much since it covered most of what I had to say.

The crucial stage of creating a web site, the things that will decide
whether it will work or not, happens BEFORE you start. You have to clearly
define what the site is going to do and how it will do it. You need to go
back and really get that right and a lot of it will follow from there.

"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"

Re: Success - Help!

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I really don't want it to be recognizable in its current form, after the smoke
clears -
if that's what you mean.  Even that
"entertainment section", now that I've
gotten the ham out of my system, can
go.  What does it do for the site?  

Re: Success - Help!

Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies,
I'm saving all of them and may be getting
in touch with some of you professionals.
I just don't have time right now to learn
any more HTML!


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