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    21 Replies Latest reply on Jul 7, 2009 9:50 AM by david_aa

    I would like feedback on my website and services

    HappyTails Wayfarer

       

      First let me say Thank you for taking your precious time to review my site and give advice. I would like any input you have about my website, and the way my services are marketed on my website.

       

      Thank you again for your help

       

      HappyTails

       

      Happy Tails Dog Psychology Help

       

      http://www.dogpsychologyhelp.com/
        • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
          amspcs Ranger
          Hello Happy, hope you're having a good summer.

          I took a peek at your site per your request. My impressions in a nutshell: The content is superior, you obviously know your subject matter. However, I didn't find the pages particularly 'readable'. Font type not conducive to reading, very 'wordy', sparse very mediocre graphics and photos, little if any attempt at design flow.In short, I think if you took the same excellent content and presented it better, your site would be much more inviting to the eye and attention grabbing, which is what makes people WANT to read more.

          My site is kind of new too, about a year old and still a 'project'. How about returning the favor and reviewing mine as well. www.MerchantServices-help.com I'm betting your comments about mine will mirror mine about yours since it is strictly a homemade site, but always open to new suggestions to make it just a little better.

          Thanks, and best of luck to you.

          Barry G
          www.MerchantServices-help.com
          amspcs@juno.com
            • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
              HappyTails Wayfarer
              Thank You so much for your help. I am going to take your suggestions and try to improve my site.
              I did look at your site. Wish I had all that information a few years ago. Your content is excellent. Your site is very wordy, there is a lot to read through on the home page. I find the font on the left side buttons hard to read.
              Your are right, Web sites are a constant work in progress. My site is also new, about 8 months. I tried to model my site after similar content based sites. Maybe that was stupid since I don't really know how those sites are doing except for page rank.
              Thank you again, I wish you much success,
              HappyTails
              Happy Tails Dog Psychology Help
              http://www.dogpsychologyhelp.com
            • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              Excellent content! The only problem I have is that so much content is thrown at visitors all at once. It makes it very time consuming for them to find what they're actually looking for.

               


              My suggestion would be to think about why a visitor hits your home page in the first place. There are probably only a handful of summary reasons -- to learn about you and your qualifications, to see what services you offer, to see what products you sell, to diagnose doggie disorders (sort of a "canine WebMD"), to get news and info, to read articles or post blogs, to see where you're located, etc. With those visitor purposes in mind, I'd highlight those specific categories on the home page and provide a navigation link to the relevant sections that have all the details about each (and from there, everything you have is probably great, as is). There is just too much information on the home page for me. I'd trim the content there and present an attractive and uncluttered welcome page that allows the visitor to quickly navigate to the specific section of the site that he or she is there to check out. (Just one person's opinion. Hope it helps.)

               


              Best wishes.
              • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                Archangel Adventurer
                The site is not bad, but I have to reiterate previous comments as the site is a bit busy on the main page. It should highlight the main points of your services and then link to more details further in. Also, though it looks OK in IE, in Firefox the front page layout falls apart. While it has the lions share of the market at the moment, Firefox and other W3C standards complient browsers are gaining market share every day. The way it is, 10% of your potencial customers could get confused and go elsewhere.

                Archangel
                • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                  A_Ellicott Adventurer
                  I agree with the other opinions. Lot's of good information, but maybe too much overload on the homepage.

                  One other thing. I use the Firefox browser on a laptop with a big screen. The page content goes way off the screen to the right. It doesn't do that in Internet Explorer. You might want to look at making your site more accessible to all browsers and screen sizes.
                  • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                    VelvetBlues Wayfarer
                    Well, this is by no means a professionally designed website. But you do have a lot of good information to share, which is the most important thing.

                    Some suggestions:
                    1. Reorganize the home page and make it less chaotic.
                    2. Make sure it looks the same in IE and FireFox.
                    3. Instill trust before asking for payment... I clicked on services and the first things I saw were multiple Buy Now buttons... Your services are at the bottom of the page.
                    4. Keep a consistent design and color scheme for all pages.
                    5. The navigation is too long. Try to reorganize. Perhaps you can have sections with subpages. For example, 'Staff at work' and 'Meet the Staff' could be under one 'Our Staff' category. Similarly, 'Services' and 'Why Choose My Services' could be lumped together, etc...
                    6. Make your pages shorter as well.
                    7. Allow all services and products to be easily accessible, maybe from one location. You offer quite a lot, but it took me a while to find all of it.
                    8. Optimize your images for faster loading pages. (ie. Resize images... Look at the front page for example. Instead of controlling the size of the image by setting the height and width, they should be resized.)

                    Additionally, that wagging tail navigation is quite distracting. I'm not sure if that has to do with the movement of the tails or the fact that the image has a white background but is set on a blue header... Perhaps you can blend the white background into the blue, like a fading cloud or halo... or just remove the white altogether...

                    Things I like:
                    1. Sitemap - Awesome.
                    2. Meta tags. Most people don't realize that they should be unique for each page.
                    3. Unique & Quality Content

                    Good luck. I think this could be a very successful site if you clean it up a bit. How long have you had it?
                      • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                        HappyTails Wayfarer
                        Velvet Blues & Archangel,
                        Thank you so much for your time. I am hosted by Microsoft Office Live Small Business. I will have contact tech support about the FireFox issues. I am guessing it is the text boxes.
                        VelvetBlues,
                        You obviously took some considerable time and I greatly appreciate that. I am going to implement your suggestions. Your are right about the services being at the bottom of the page, and everything else you noted.
                        I went back to my Web site and tried to look at it as someone looking for services and products. You are right they are very scattered.
                        I wasn't sure when I picked the wagging tails that they would work well. I know when people come to my sight they are upset and frustrated because they are having problems with their buddy. I need to be sure the site helps them to calm down and feel like there is hope.
                        I have had the site for about 6-8 months. (mentalpause) can't remember anything. I am learning. The nuts and bolts of web site design is way above me. The help of generous people like everyone who replied is helping me to learn and get better.
                        I can't thank you enough for your time and your help, I wish you much success,
                        HappyTails
                        Happy Tails Dog Psychology Help
                        http://www.dogpsychologyhelp.com
                          • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                            RongDesign Adventurer
                            I read over a lot of the other posts but only skimmed, so I apologize if I am repeating anything already mentioned.

                            A few more notes to keep in mind when redoing your main page:

                            1. Your page title which currently is "Home Dog Psychology Help" needs work. If some one using a search engine searches for "Dog Psychology" they will find you but what if you are looking for "Dog Training"? I would use something like "Dog Psychology Help - Dog Training and Obedience". This adds in two more keywords. After you make that change, do it to every page but change the two keywords. (e.i. On the services page make it "Dog Psychology Help - Training Services and Products".

                            2. I'll be the one to say it. The waging tails, while cute, looks like a Spam Email. I personally wouldn't purchase from a site that has it on, but on the other hand my wife, who buys halloween costumes for our dog, would buy from your site and would be a repeat customer. So it does meet a certain audience.

                            3. Keep sizes consistent. A few pictures were a great size and I could see a nice dog, but a few others were to small and you couldn't enjoy them.

                            But with that said you have a lot of SEO potential here. Just fix your titles, ALT your images with Keywords and you should see number rise a good bit.

                            Take it easy,
                            Dave Moore @
                            www.rongdesign.com
                          • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                            HappyTails Wayfarer
                            Good Morning
                            I thank you again for your precious time. I have made some changes on my Web site. Do you think I am on the right track?

                            I did remove many of the navigation buttons on the left, and my site stats dropped drastically. Bounce rate on the home page went from about 10% to 50%, site useage dropped dramatically, so I put some of them back. Visitor numbers dropped more than 50%, I'm not sure why.

                            Part of my goal was to make the site more relaxing. When people are living with a dog that has behavior problems they are very stressed and frustrated. I am trying to give them a sense of hope. Everyone hopes that they will end up with Lassy, but most end up with "Dennis the Mennis"; very discouraging.
                            Thank you again for your help,
                            HappyTails
                            Dog Psychology Help
                            http://www.dogpsychologyhelp.com
                              • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                John_6x6 Adventurer
                                Oh by the way, try a search engine spider simulator tool at webconfs.com. This will give you a visual idea how a search engine reads your website. Use this as one of your tools to organize your content because it strips away all the presentation code and images. When viewing the text in the tool, if the content reads well and makes sense to you, it will makes sense to a search engine AND your website visitors.

                                Best wishes with your business and your site plans. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

                                John, 6x6 Design
                                • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                  A_Ellicott Adventurer
                                  Very much improved over the first version. Way to go! I personally think there are still too many navigation buttons down the side, but that could just be me.

                                  I'm not smart enough to understand all the technical stuff John6x6 said. However, I will second his comments about web browser compatibility. I use the Firefox browser and some of the content goes off the page to the right. Also, I'm guessing that if your site is not displaying the way you want it in Firefox, it likely is not displaying properly in other non-Microsoft browsers as well. If I were surfing the web for your services and the site came up the way it does now in my Firefox browser I would probably click back and go on to the next site rather than scroll back and forth.

                                  Over the weekend I started reading a book on promoting your website. One thing the author mentioned is that if you have too many keywords in your header or use the same word over and over again, that can hurt you in search engine rankings. I looked at your keywords and I think you have too many and have "dog" repeated too many times.

                                  As far as getting more visits, have you considered paying some of the search engines to be shown at the top? Just curious.

                                  Keep up the good work.
                              • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                tim13ga Wayfarer
                                Hello Happy Tails,

                                Velvet Blue said what you need to hear. The biggest thing about the page is that it hits you all at once with more information than you can take in comfortably. I had to hunt through the first half of the page just to find out where you where your business is located. If your locals can't tell your local, how are they to find you?

                                My 2 cents consists of: try putting the photos in a slideshow. This will allow for larger pictures to be used, they will not be spread all over the page, they can be changed or added to every now and then, and to have good movement on the page.

                                I hope this helps...
                                Tim...
                                • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                  A_Ellicott Adventurer
                                  I'm going to second the comment about the wagging tails. Lose them. They make your site look like a myspace page; not a serious business someone would give their money to.

                                  I hope you don't feel too beat up by the comments. Not only do you have a lot of good content but by learning this yourself you will be able to keep it fresh and updated as well. One of my pet peeves is to go to a company's website and find a nice, clean, professionally done site...that hasn't been updated in years and has old information on it.

                                  Keep working!
                                  • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                    billspecial Wayfarer
                                    I would have to agree with the advice you received from everyone else, Something I noticed just because I am anal when it comes to misspelled words, Your phrase on the home page that reads Blog A Question or Comment the word Comment is misspelled. However, not to be a professional site it looks good.
                                    • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                      britinusa Wayfarer

                                      Ok, Great content, and shows subject expertise. The rest of the replies have summed up my thoughts, tons of content but tough to figure out where it is.

                                      I suggest you reduce the content on any one page and let it spill it over to other pages.
                                      A visitor that clicks is engaged! That's good - make them click!!!

                                      A few technical(ish) things.

                                      • I didn't see a site map.. almost a must if you want to get noticed in the search engines.
                                      • Meta tags do pretty well, but you exceed a few ideal limits, check out seo centro for guidelines
                                      • missing page error is ugly, if a page is requested but does not exist, then send them to the home page.
                                      • Follow basic web practice - people don't read on the internet -- they click-n-skip -- so make the point in sound bites.

                                      Hope this helps.

                                      Paul

                                       

                                      • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                        John_6x6 Adventurer
                                        Hi HappyTails,

                                        Everyone seems to agree - content organization. However being a web developer, I have to say Archangel's point about statndards compliance is a VERY important one and needs further explanation. I highly reccomend before you reorganize, look carefully into finding a web designer and web hosting that's not Microsoft dependant. Here's why:

                                        Microsoft Office uses applications such as Microsoft Frontpage, a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get). This editor creates all kinds of horrible presentational code (inside the nuts and bolts) inter-woven with your website's content. Search engines only want to read and index your content. As a result, a search engine spider looking at your content has a very dificult time navigating and making sense of your website's code, hurting you in the long run. You see, you may have good content, but the "nuts and bolts" of your website can prevent it from being interpreted properly. An example of this is already evident - your page breaks apart in browsers other than IE.

                                        With a well designed site, this is not an issue because it it universally accepted AND accessible to those with disabilities or people needing special browsers like text readers. Government sites have to be accessible to those with disabilities. I dare say if the government has to, eventually so will everyone else. Why not save the expense now. You're planning to repair your site, be sure to get it right and universaly accepted.

                                        Benefits of proper redesign;
                                        1. People like it
                                        2. search engines love it
                                        3. you get more traffic
                                        4. its universally accepted
                                        5. works in most browsers
                                        6. prevents a forced redesign down the road and saves you a boat load of money.
                                        • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                          Yakimova Adventurer
                                          I didn't like the colors very much. The combination of blue, beige and brown make the home page look depressing. Also make sure that there is consistency in the use of upper and lower case letters. If you look at the links located in the left hand side of the home page you'll notice that some descriptions start with upper case letter and some with lower case letter.

                                          Best of luck! :)

                                          Sasha
                                          • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                            coffeebreak Newbie
                                            Your site actually looks nice. Your page is very user friendly and easy to navigate. Is this your first website, because if so, either have begainers luck or your had one heck of an IT department. Really it does look nice.
                                            • Re: I would like feedback on my website and services
                                              david_aa Adventurer
                                              My tip is to redesign the home page, make text more readable and put menu categories in less detailed groups.