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Please help with website review: www.blackstoneoutdoorgear.com

TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
edited March 2008 in Website Critique
I started this venture almost two years ago, and we are yet to turn a profit. Our product is called the Bedroll Protector. It is the only product on the market designed to keep you and your sleeping bag clean and dry. We have gotten a few favorable reviews from magazines and such, but still haven`t been selling hardly any of them online. I`m perplexed as to why we`re not selling any. Everyone that has used the product thinks that it`s just great. The only less than favorable review we got was from a fellow called the Gear Junkie. Can one person have that much bad influence?
Anyway, I just found the SUN website and would really appreciate any help. Is it the website that is dropping the ball? The company logo? The product name?
Also, if there`s anything I can do to help anyone out, please let me know.
Tom Wandel
Blackstone Outdoor Gear LLC



  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    The good news is a search on bedroll protector yielded good results.
    A few thing about your site:
    You use an image on your home page for product text rather than "real` text.
    There is no alt image tag for the image either. I suggest you change that so you have searchable text on the home page with images of the product.
    Your title tag is way too long. Search engines will not read/use the whole title. Pick your most important search terms and use that in your title.
    While I can buy the product online through your site, I can also purchase it onlie at at least one other website.  So, I guess the question is what is your prefered method to sell the product through your website or through other retail outlets? I`m assuming your goals is to sell your product no matter what the method (you site or others).
    Testimonial are good to have... you might also pursue outdoor blogs and forums to get reviews/comments about your product. You might need to send a sample to the person.
  • bizenezbizenez subscriber Posts: 0
    I`ve looked over your website and heres what I noticed. It`s always a great idea to put a picture on the front page showing your product in use, but in this case the layout isn`t all that good at all.
    The logo on the top doesn`t really stand out and say, look at me, I`m a reputable brand. I`d suggest a remake of the logo to where it stands out and makes a major statement about what your brand is all about. Remember that a logo is the first thing that a person will see when they visit your site. So make sure that it sticks in their mind.
    I`d also suggest reworking the buttons so that they really show up and that people get tempted to click on them. A suggestion would be to add a better graphically picture on the front page showing a nice nature background with a person on it using the product. Make sure it`s alot bigger than the pictures that you`re using and of high quality. The way you have it now, theres a bunch of small pictures of low quality. And make sure you add a nice headline such as an advertisement. Such as, as featured in ATV Magazine that links to the page with the advertisement. This will encourage visitors to click the link.
    Make sure you also add links on the bottom of the page. This helps increase your search engine ratings and makes it easier for your visitors to find their way around without having to scroll to the top of the page to visit other pages. Another point, that I saw that was mentioned, is add your alt tags to all images and links. This also helps search engine spiders find you, but also helps your site be more accesible to people with impaired vision.
    And make sure that you take the as featured part of the top of the page. It not only makes the layout unprofessional but also takes away from the product featured. Id suggest adding these adds to the bottom of the page or the side depending upon how you lay your page out, or add them to a whole new page all together. Just make sure that you place the link in the right spot and create a compelling ad to create attention. Id also suggest adding the testimonials on the front page, prefferable on the side, maybe even scrolling. This will establish your company as reputable right from the start without having the visitors looking all over for them.
    If possible try to get a SSL certificate on your site showing visitors that your site is safe. This will help make them feel more secure, seeing that alot of sites are fake these days and spammers are everywhere.
    And last but not least, make sure you have a secure shopping cart thats encrypted. It can make all the difference.
    Think about sosme of those points for a bit and if you have any questions feel free to ask me at [email protected]
  • TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
    Wow! What eye-opening advice! Unfortunately, and obviously, web copy and design is not my forte. I know my product and am very passionate about it. Where can I get good, honest, quality, help with this website for a reasonable price?
         I read through all the responses many times, and I`m taking alot from it, but I really think I need some expert skill at implementing it. My current website company only does exactly what I tell them to do. If I`m not on the mark on my end, the same thing comes out in the website. Right now, the only direct control I have over the website is the use of Adobe Contribute. Problem is, the capabilities of this software are limited, as are my abilities.
         Thanks again for all the great advice. I`m so glad I finally found this website!
    Oh, also. Right now I`m working on completely revamping and updating our Bedroll Protector product. I hope to unveil it soon. I think it`s imperative that the website be 110% when this product is "relaunched".
  • TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
    Yes, yes, yes! I`m definitely understanding the points and corrections that need to be made. Now, how can I find a company/someone I can trust to get this thing right? Should I attempt to do it myself? Will I need programming software to make it happen? I would also need to train myself to use the software.
         I guess I really need someone to help me "get the website right" so I can focus on the product and promotion outside of the web.
         I really appreciate all the help I`m receiving here, but I guess I still need some shoving in the right direction.
  • bizenezbizenez subscriber Posts: 0
    E-mail me at [email protected]. I will give you some free advice and tell you how to fix it. If you still feel like you need help I will direct you to a reputable design company. But first let me try to help you with free advice before you get burned.
  • TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
    Thank you all very much for the advice. I am taking all this into consideration when I redesign everything.
  • TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice. How can you not like the `NUGE`? lol Just kidding. I do see the point made about the dead animal. I guess it depends on what group I`m marketing to. I would think the hiking/backpacking crowd would be more likely to be offended by the picture. On the other hand, the hunting crowd would probably love it. Double edged sword I guess.
  • TomBOGTomBOG subscriber Posts: 3
       Thanks for the advice. I understand I need to go `niche`, but how do I know which `niche` to go for. See my post in New Member Welcome forum for a more complete answer.
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