Ok take a look at my site and tell me what is wrong!

farmerscottyfarmerscotty Posts: 3subscriber
edited August 2006 in Website Critique
Ok, after thinking about doing this for sometime, I have decided to let real intelligent people give me pointers.  Now remember that I am not dealing with city people, mainly 8 to 5 hard working folks.  I am trying to convey a high degree of honesty in my site also.  People commment to me they like it because it is in normal everyday language.  They also can tell I am honest when they read over the site.  So here is my site:  www.outsidewoodheater.com</A>   Since many of you will never need this I think I can get great feedback from you.  And since you don`t know me, you will be honest with what you say to me.
 
I have been doing all the website myself, and I do know it is not perfect.  Things I do know need improvements.
1)  My FAQ page is not hosted on my site since I don`t know how to make pages within pages.
2)  I use too many lines for breaks.
3) I use google ads at the bottom of the page.  They do however pay for my adwords!
 
Ok thanks for taking the time to at least read all of this!  I want to make it better but I don`t want to loose control of the site since I like to update very often.
 
Farmerscotty in missouri

Comments

  • SethSeth Posts: 2subscriber
    Farmerscotty,
    First off, anyone who puts their own website together deserves a big applause  .
    I would start by replacing the picture of the two hands in upper left hand corner with a picture of a family enjoying their  cozy home. Two hands have nothing to do with heat unless the hands are rubbing together (city sarcasim). In fact, I would save the pictures you have in the slide show for the products page. At your home page you are not selling a heater. You are selling 1) Comfort and 2) Savings.
    You may also want to brighten up the purple background. Black, blue, and especially red are hard to read against the purple. On the home page you may want to also have one of (or part of) your testimonials with a link to read more.
    You may also consider a "comparison" page. People like to compare and come to their own conclusions. You can show the difference between your product and another product in price, yearly savings, warranty, efficiency, whatever.
    You are off to a good start and I have come to realize buidling my own site www.coolbugstuff.com</A> that the job is never done! It`s an ongoing process and believe me, you`ll get great feedback from this community of great thinkers and even greater doers!
     
  • farmerscottyfarmerscotty Posts: 3subscriber
    great ideas........I will sure use some of them in the future as I get time to redo things.  Farming, school starting, my mom sick, and sales of heaters is keeping me going and going.  I thank you very much!
    Scott
  • JPJP Posts: 1subscriber
    Aloha Scotty,Great job getting your site up and running on your own! Doing things from scratch gives you a lot of "technical" things to focus on -- but that`s not what you as the owner should be focused on.Your #1 responsibility is marketing, and that means connecting with and influencing your target audience. There are dozens of ways to do that online, but here are three quick ideas to get you going:1. The place to start it all out is at the very top of your home page with an attention grabbing headline. You seem to know your ideal audience pretty well, so what are their highest needs? What are their hot buttons? Put their top need/want/desire in an easy to read straight up headline that resides right at the top of your home page. And link their wants with results, something like:Attention farmers, hunters, and all country folk:Discover The Wood Heating System That Slashes Your Propane, Electric, or Oil Bills By 60% Or More!The "Attention ..." is what`s called a superscript. That goes in smaller font off set to the left above the headline. The headline itself should be in a big/bold font (size 18+). Of course you`d need to be factual in what you claim (like the 60% reduction) -- but put that powerful benefit right up front!2. Next, remove all the clutter and direct people to take action. There is way to much going on the home page. Studies consistently show that when people are given too many options, they will not make a choice. (It has to due with our psychological need to be right. Too many choices makes a person feel like they might make the wrong choice.)To avoid this, make the second most prominent focus (after the headline) your call to action. And the most important actin is not what most business people think. It is NOT making a sale. It IS building your prospect list.This can be dome with a newsletter, ezine, e-course, etc. But in your case, I think a "special report" highlighting several case studies and success stories that show how simple and effective your units can be would be best. You have to "sell" the report, with a call to action like "Grab your special report that shows you how to slash your heating costs by 50%. Normally $29 -- it`s your for free!"3. As far as your desire for frequent updates, there is an exciting new software that you should really consider to replace your existing site. It`s open source (so it`s free) and it`s called WordPress. It`s actually a blogging software, but it allows you to integrate as many static (standard) pages as you want from an easy to use admin panel with no knowledge of code. As a matter of fact, it`s so easy to use that if you can use Microsoft Word to create and save a document, you can create and have a new web page live on the web in the same time.You can download this world class software for free at www.wordpress.org. Since you already know how to use FTP, the most difficult part is out of the way. If you have any other questions Scotty, feel free to contact me directly.       BTW -- one major benefit of WordPress is rock solid search engine rankings with the right strategy. Just one more reason to make the switch. Enjoy!   
  • farmerscottyfarmerscotty Posts: 3subscriber
    John Micek,  Wow, that is some great great ideas!  I love it!  I knew that I was stuck in a rut on this site.  But, I didn`t have a clue what I was missing.  Like you said the "call to action" is excellent idea.   I thank you so much for your time writing back to me and I will use alot of the ideas I have received from here in the near future.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
  • ryanwithanrryanwithanr Posts: 1subscriber
    Farmerscotty:
    First of all, congrats on taking on your own design. That`s the way I learned.
    Some things I notice about your site:

    As stated before, I would lose the hands graphic. It really has nothing to do with your business, or the image you are trying to convey.
    You have way too much content on your homepage. Two things to remember about web surfers, (even if they are looking for YOUR product)

    They have short attention spans. About the equivalent to a five year old on his first trip to Toys `R Us. If it doesn`t meet their needs within the first 10 seconds, they`re gone.
    Most surfers hate scrolling.
    Your homepage is information heavy.
    The different sized, colored, and bold text does serve as an eye catcher, however, it reminds me of those infomercial sites, the ones that try to get you to spend $300 on regurgitated real estate principles that are well known. No offense, but those sites are cheesy.
    Lose the free gift. It doesn`t tie in with the site and what your site is trying to accomplish. Plus you don`t want to turn anyone away. You never know.
    As far as your links go, you should consolidate. Lose "Games and Jokes", again, it has nothing to do with your objectives. Have one photo link that has photos which capture the message you are trying to convey to the customer.
    It`s a great idea to have others critique your site. Especially people who may potentially be customers. We all have different opinions. And again, kudos on designing your own webpage.
    If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I would love to help out. I`ve been designing websites, recreationally and professionally for the last few years now. I don`t mind sharing any tips.
    Cheers!
  • farmerscottyfarmerscotty Posts: 3subscriber
    You guys and gals are great!  Thanks for the ideas I feel so much better with some directions to go with my site!  Thanks and keep the ideas coming!  Have a great day!
  • farmerscottyfarmerscotty Posts: 3subscriber
    Ok I have implemented some of the ideas already.  I thank you for all the great ideas that have come out.  I will continue to update my site with the great ideas coming from here.  Keep sending me ideas!  Thanks!
     
    Scott
  • EmpressarioEmpressario Posts: 0subscriber
    Hi FarmerScotty,I think your website looks very honest.  And since I live in Ozark, if I didn`t already have a wood stove, I would definitely be looking into an outside wood heater!  I believe the gentleman that commented below was on to something, though, about the color scheme.  White backgrounds are classic and formal looking.  It also makes things easier to read.  You may want to make your font a little clearer as well.  Also, you can never go wrong with perfect grammar.  If you know someone that can proof read, ask them to look over your text.Keep up the good work, and since I`m in Home Construction, I`ll keep you in mind for clients that are wanting to heat with wood.
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