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Need Website Review and Feedback Please!

victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
edited December 2008 in Website Critique
I finally opened my online store website December 1st.  I would like an overall critique of my site.  Is there anything I need to change?  Is it easy to navigate - look appealing, professional, etc.?  I would appreciate any feedback you can give me.
 
Please visit my store at:  www.yellowroselingerie.com
 
I did my own SEO using tools provided by a company my website suggested.  They also just submitted my site to the search engines.  I do alot of social bookmarking and am getting ready to advertise locally through business cards, newspaper ads, etc.  I am trying to treat my online store just like a brick-n-mortar store with fresh content, sales, discounts, etc.
 
I`ve had several hits just in the last two weeks, but only one order.  Any suggestions on keeping customers on my site, etc.?  I know I`ve had lookers, but only one customer.
 
I would appreciate any advice from anyone!  I had submitted my site last Spring when I first started and the Startup Nation advice really helped me change my focus and come up with a better site plan.
 
Thanks -
 
Vicki
 
 

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    JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi Vicki
    First off, congratulations on your website and I hope it blossoms
    A few things I would suggest to do:
    1. Make your front page smaller.
    What I would do is have a main picture with some explanation on the first page. and do the further explanation and pictures in other pages. Your front page should be eye catching and to the point, it shouldn`t confuse the visitor, instead it should guide him where you want him to go
    2. Add a site index. for better bot/crawler navigation (SEO)
    3. Add a navigation bar. I`m not saying you should work with frames or something sophisticated. just have a few permanent links on all pages (somewhere on top, below the logo, is what I would do). It should be short, containing a few links such as "My Cart" "Special offers" "Limited Items" etc... you should aim here for what the costumer would want combined with what`s more profitable/better for you
    4. Too much links... although this is SEO wise, it sort of confuses the costumer.. I would try to work around it using a site index, or something imaginative
    Remember, your visitors don`t always know what they want, and if they do, you still want to show them everything. navigation comfort and understanding of the site should be on your first priorities list
    I don`t own an online store myself, but I have dealt with it in the past.
    Please don`t take my advice for any sort of professional help, I`m just saying what I see is correct
    All in all, I wish you the best of luck
    Jmes
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    patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    have you registered any trademarks used on the website?
     
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    victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
    Thank for all the advice so far.  I have also thought that my home page was too long and I do agree that I have too many links on the home page.  I did that when I rewrote my home page to use my keywords more often.  I can still use my keywords on my front page - just not link them so often. 
     
    Craig - That title on the home page has bothered me too.  I am going to shorten it to what you said.  I like that better.  I also agree with the 2-store problem.  The Bridal Boutique just sort of came along when I found a certain supplier and thought I would take advantage of all the products that they have to offer.  I was already featuring Bridal  Lingerie and thought the rest of the wedding accessories could easily be added to my store.  But, I do think I need to split the store better by using the left-side navigation.  Alot of my pages are hidden from the left-side navigation bar  - that`s why I put a link index at the bottom of each page.  I`m not sure I can put the navigation bar at the top too like Jmes suggested.  My website will only let me put one - either on the side or at the top - not both.
     
    Craig - I don`t understand what you mean about the "alt text" on the images though.  My website just has me add the images.  I also agree that the images are too small (thumbnail) on the first pages, but that`s all my website will let me do when I set the page up that way.  You can click on the pictures and most of them are bigger once you get on the item catalog page. 
     
    I do like the italics in my main paragraphs on the front page though.  I am trying to give the home page an elegant look with the "cursive" look and the lingerie picture. 
     
    Thanks for all the advice & keep it coming!  Let me know what you think of the changes.
     
    Thanks -
     
    Vicki
     
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    WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    Your main page has 26 images and total 640+ kb is size .... the main page has 200+ W3C errors for validation, many of which should be easily fixed.
    Your code is not efficient .... if you used a site builder of some sort, that`s to be expected .... you could easily reduce the amount of code by half by using external css and better coding methods.
    Good basic SEO would go a long way, as well.
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    victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
    I don`t mean to sound dumb -- but I have no idea what your talking about concerning code, etc.  My site is one you build yourself with template, etc.  I just type and add images.  I don`t know anything about coding.
    I`ve had all kinds of companies calling me wanting to do my SEO, but they also want to charge me anywhere from $500.00 to $3,000.00 to start it and then up to $400.00 per month.  I just can`t afford that right now.
     
    I did sign up for a 90 day trial with a company to use their tools to check my site for SEO and I am currently working on that.
     
    Vicki
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    WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    To clarify, coding consists of html and css, and possibly dynamic scripting languages, to make your pages look and act the way they do. Code doesn`t always need to be done in an exact way to make your pages work, but in many cases the same layout/effect can be done with less and more efficient code, and SEO techniques can usually be added fairly easily.
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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    "I do like the italics in my main paragraphs on the front page though. 
    I am trying to give the home page an elegant look with the `cursive`
    look and the lingerie picture."
    Whether *you* like the look is irrelevant.  Mostly...  How does it look to the viewer?  Is it even readable on all browsers?  Right now your home page is cluttered, and as everyone else has said, vastly too many links.
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    NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Hello Victoria,
    First of all, before I critique your site, let me tell you that you did a "Hell of a Job" for someone that does not have extensive knowledge in HTML yet alone CSS. I`m assuming you`re not a web developer / designer so I will go lightly on you.
    Victoria, when you use a Template Generator (WYSIWYG - editors) you tend to get tremendous amounts of non-compliant code or code that is not up to the world web consortium the W3C.org standards (that is what webline was trying to tell you). At times, the code (the mark up language tends to render (display) well on Internet Explorer but looks chopped up in other web browsers like Mozilla, Opera, Chrome, or Safari.
    Although, I do agree that your pages are too long. you need to cut your pages down in size. I would also suggest that on the Left Navigation Menu, that you align the categories to the left rather than centering all of them. Try to show consistency on the navigation bar.
    Also, you can minimize the length of the pages by using the left column as well, rather than trying to cram everything on one page create drop downs and images so you can convey the right message.
    Don`t be afraid to use colors but make sure you use them correctly.
    On the thumb nails, if you`re going to keep them small make sure you use an image pop up Java-script.
    Finally, Don`t be afraid to give yourself more room, open up your web site, from the looks of it you`re web sites width is around 750 pixels, to 800. Open it up some more, perhaps 900 or so, just to give you more space to bring some of that content up. Other than that.... You have some lovely picture....
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    JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    There are lots of ways to increase your site ranking
    SEOing your site by just read&learn and trail&error should be ok for starts.. or at least get you enough know-how to know what you`re talking about with companies which offer you their services
    I usually recommend building personal online profiles for web presence and link building
    There are many more ways
    If you want any help feel free to contact me
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