We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

www.PerfectPaintLines.com SEO, social networking, & blogs

TapeSealTapeSeal subscriber Posts: 5
edited March 2008 in Website Critique
Hello, my name is Tammy Richardson.  My husband John and I created Tape-Seal.  It is a uniquely formulated clear acrylic gel brushed onto the edge of painters tape.  It seals the tape line, filling the small voids where your paint color would otherwise bleed under.  Tape-Seal bleeds under and dries clear.  Therefore, when you apply your paint color it won`t bleed under the tape, leaving you with Perfect Paint Lines.  With our product name having a hyphen & potential mispellings we found an easy to remember domain name in www.perfectpaintlines.com
We have a couple of other products for the paint industry that we hope to add in the next 9 - 12 months.  We are also considering  producing a how-to video for consumers to acheive really cool interior paint results.  (If you notice the photo gallery, that is a small sampling of Johns work)
We built our website thru Yahoo! ecommerce.  It was actually fairly easy to do.  We know that there are lots of things that we could do to fine tune it.  We did want to keep the site simple and to the point.  "Less is better" seems to be good for this product.  One part of the site I am concerned about, is the PHOTO GALLERY page.  Does it look OK the way it is set up now?  We can`t seem to figure out how to have each image as thumbnails, click on and have it enlarged on that very page.  So, we ended up having a bunch of extra pages as a result.
Now, my questions are about SEO, blogging, and social networking/linking.  I`ve read up on anything I could find here on SuN related to SEO.  For people like John and I it is overwhelming.  Due to the way my brain works I feel like I need a book where I can find info quickly by referencing an index (I know, pretty old school).  Can someone recommend a book?
For blogging, I`ve heard it is best to have a blog that is not on your website because there is the potential for more cross referencing leading to higher search engine results?  If this is the case, where is a good place to start a blog?  Then, how do I get the word out about the blog, is there is blogger press release service?
Social networking (is that even the correct term) is another thing I don`t get.  Is there an area in SuN, book, or websites you can refer where I can learn more about this?  What I know about it is the importance and that I see the icons everywhere but that is about it.
What are your thoughts on hiring this out?  My thought is that I could be more productive selling our product than spending 20 - 40 hours trying to figure out the basics, let alone implementing.  How much does something like this cost to hire out.  Even a range would be good.  Even if I could just have someone else set everything up and I maintain it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance for tips and info.  I`m almost embarassed to ask all of these questions....but I need the info!     


  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    I went to your web site and your product has potential [very high] the only problem that I noticed is your web site. I can tell by the looks of it that it was home made [you or john] created it with an html WYSIWYG program that Yahoo offers correct?
    Tammy! for what its worth hire a web designer, your product has potential but due to the coding errors that I found on your site, your potential customers might be going elsewhere.
    Now you may be asking yourself, Why should the coding matter? You wouldn`t buy a book with grammatical errors and faded images would you? The same applies to the web!, Im not saying that your images are blurred or that you have typos [so we would think]. but it shows in the coding.
    The HTML code is just as important as the content that goes into the web site. It`s like having a Ferrari with a Toyota Corolla engine in it ,"it defeats the purpose".
    My suggestion would be to have your web site redesigned by a professional, have him  SEO the site for you and you concentrate  on your end of the deal. I noticed that you will be attending an EXPO in May. You still have plenty of time to have a great looking web site designed for you "so you can show off at the expo".
    Do-it-yourself SEO might not be a good idea either, it might end up costing you more down the road.
    As for your blog question, here is what I don`t understand, why would you want it somewhere else rather than on your own site. Although, it is good practice to blog on others web site, it would be wise if you have a blog on your site as well.
    Drive traffic to your own web site not others. One way to get the word out is through the expo. Make sure you have a few written tutorials or do it yourself tips on using your own product.
    this would help you out a-lot.
  • TapeSealTapeSeal subscriber Posts: 5
    Thanks Nuevolution.  Your advice proves my point....I need advice.  I wouldn`t have thought about the coding issue.  Being the novices that we are we look at the site, images, etc and don`t think about much `behind the scenes stuff going on`.
    As for the blog issue I absolutely see your point.  When I first heard about the idea of putting together a blog I figured for sure it would go on our own site.  Then I read somewhere on the internet to have it somewhere else or maybe even its own domain for the potential cross clicking.  Then, that theory made some sense to me when thinking about SEO and cross referencing sites. 
    Thanks again for all of your advice and insight and taking the time to look over the site.  It is greatly appreciated! 
  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    Your web gallery loaded quickly and almost made me want to buy the product - but we just finished painting the rooms in our new home.
    I am not sure what errors that Egdar saw in your coding, but it loaded into Firefox (with HTML Tidy installed) and it did not detect any errors, but it did identify 18 warnings.  Egdar`s site was 0 errors, 1 warning.  Very clean.  (Amazon.com home page has 0 errors and 2,218 warnings).
    Steve Mann
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    If you run the HTML Validator tool you will see that she doesn`t have an encoding method. Default is utf-8 encoded. Once she fixes that problem we will be able to see all of the coding errors.
    Also, Just because something displays correctly doesn`t mean that there`s no coding errors, keep in mind that most current web browsers are smart enough to know when to skip a line of code and move on to the next to avoid the browser from crashing.
    As far as warning, well it is hard to create a dynamic web site without getting warnings. Sometimes querying php/database strings give you warnings when you use the & or ? in your code. That is OK since the HTML validator looks for HTML tags only and not at query (Database) tags.
    As for her gallery it does load fast, and yes she has very nice pictures but she can use a nice picture gallery to compliment her design.
    What warnings on my web site? Its fully vaidated both CSS and HTML go figure..
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Y`know that old expression "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Most
    people think of it as a way to reduce information into a more
    compressed form. But there`s another aspect to it: words require a lot
    of space in order to get across simple ideas.
    SEO, blogging, and social networking are all "buzz words." They`re
    mostly there as shorthand for the speaker, not the listener who`s
    unfamiliar witih the terms and underlying concepts. But they all refer
    to a single concept: marketing.
    Stop thinking for the moment about "doing it right." Instead, go back
    to basics. When you talk about your product, you`re not monitoring
    everything for its SEO content or it`s applicability to social
    networking. You`re just talkin` about this thing you guys have made,
    From what I`ve seen, a whole lot of entrepreneurs are trying to sell
    something someone else created. Because they didn`t make it themselves,
    they need all these extra things to stand out from the crowd.
    You`re selling what you created. How come you created it? Because you
    really needed that thing, nobody else had one, so you made it yourself.
    Go back to how you felt when you hadn`t yet created the tape---remember
    the frustration? Get into how that felt for a moment.
    What you essentially want is to empathize with other painters who *now*
    are feeling the frustration you *were* feeling back then. So talk about
    that. Show those people that you completely understand what they`re
    feeling. Then explain how you fixed it, and here`s the solution.
    The main thing is to keep your grammar, spelling, and sentence organization easy to read.
    SEO is only a process of including words that other painters (in your
    case) might use to search for a way out of their frustration. "Really
    straight lines in painting" would be an example. So use that "string"
    of words somewhere in whatever you write.
    If you build a blog, talk about what matters to you. Talk about your
    daily experiences in painting. Then talk about how life has become
    marvelous, now that you no longer have to deal with messy straight
    lines. What matters is that you`re talking about what interests
    YOU....and hoping that other people might have similar interests.
    You don`t need "social networking" as a confusing "thing." Just talk
    with people in your own way, when it`s convenient. If you like posting
    on forums, do so. If you want to go to local Chamber of Commerce
    meetings, that`s another thing. But if you don`t like it, then don`t do

    I strongly agree with CraigL, that a picture is worth a thousand words, but disagee a statement, you made "Forget about doing it right" I strongly disagree with this comment. As the internet continues to grow you have less than 3 seconds to convince your customers online. Remember the old saying "We all get 15 minutes of fame"? well on the internet that does not hold its more like "3 seconds of fame" which is why I emphasize that your web site should look good and you should concentrate on your content.
    The design of your web site counts for 10% of your business, it`s your products and content that make you stand out.
    I believe that there`s lots of room for growth for "perfectpaintlines.com" I would suggest using small video demos on how to use their product, a blog where they can post simple tutorials and DIY advise.
    Remember she does not have to spend thousands on SEO if she uses a few simple tools to differentiate her web site from others.
    I am a big believer that either you do things right the first time or you don`t do them at all.Nuevolution3/30/2008 2:59 PM
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    I agree with both Craig and Nuevolution on the major points they made.
    I think you did a good job of keeping the product label colors in the site; this helps keep things consistent and related between the product and the website. It may seem minor, but some products and their corresponding imaging/marketing look like they came from different planets.
    As far as coding, I never recommend sitebuilder programs; too much garbage code that doesn`t do any good, bloats your pages, and hinders SEO. Like Nuevolution referred to, Notepad may be "old school" and time consuming, but it still creates the cleanest code that you have total control over. Your main page is 9% code-to content, not terrible but could be improved.
    You have some css errors that should be fixed. Place "alt" text in your image tags.
    The How it Works is always a good touch; I echo Craigs` comments about making it more personal to a potential buyer as far as "Been there done that fixed it".
    Setting up a blog is not difficult. I believe you can go to Wordpress and set up a free one with your own domain name, or some hosting packages offer blog systems within a hosting plan. Probably the hardest thing to do is customize them if you aren`t familiar with coding. One good thing about them is that they can be crawled and indexed very quickly, from what I`ve seen much quicker than many websites.
    I would suggest getting just your main site in order and nailed down before venturing off into blogs. You really don`t need to try to get two sites under control at the same time when you`re trying to learn the basics of what`s behind them.
    Just my 2 pennies.

  • TapeSealTapeSeal subscriber Posts: 5
    OK, so Nuevolution, Videography, CraigL, & Webline thank you so much for all of the advice.  I think CraigL is right, for me and my personality.  While I need to take all of the other advice into consideration related to coding, I am feeling `overwhelmed` and need to get back to basics of marketing and PR.  Since my original post I`ve learned a little more about blogging so I`ll try to get that going in the evening time when I have a few extra minutes to focus.  I just really want you all to know how much I appreciate the advice!
  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    ... What warnings on my web site? Its fully vaidated both CSS and HTML go figure..

    Just looked again and it`s 0 errors, 0 warnings.  I rarely see a site this clean.
    Good work.  But we`re going off topic. 
Sign In or Register to comment.