Google ads

  hooligan 11:57 29 Dec 2004

I put 1 google ad on my site, uploaded all ok, but google said there was not enough content on thast page, it was just a test I did, then I put one on the homepage, and uploaded, and the buttons went missing on the left ? so give up.

Any Ideas, and what pages it would be best to put a few on, Im trying to get a few quid back!

No chance I know. but worth a try

click here

  Forum Editor 12:30 29 Dec 2004

It's very easy to spoil a site with a mass of unrelated links and icons, and to be honest your site is already beginning to look untidy. Why have you got a PayPal 'donate' button on the site? There's no earthly reason why anyone should want to give you money for nothing - your site is obvioulsy advertising a business, and asking people to donate money is tacky unless you're offering something in return - which you aren't.

I suggest that you spend some time tightening up the pages, making sure that everything works, that the navigation is simple and efficient - at the moment that drop-down menu on the homepage seems totally unnecessary.

You've done well to build this site from a standing start hooligan, but you're in danger of falling foul of the "because I can" syndrome, which leads people to cover their sites in links, banner ads, and click through icons. Consolidate what you have already, but don't spoil things with pages of rather meaningless content - what's that 'tools for sale' page all about?

  hooligan 13:49 29 Dec 2004

The donate was for if people wanted to give a bit, if the site helped, I thought it was worth a try, Ive never had a email from the site, or a question, I thought the ads might get it noticed more,The drop down, some one said they cant find all the pages, and the for sale, might have been a idea gone wrong! Ive lost intrest in the site now, if a could get a few quid from ads, it might add a bit of intrest.

  Taran 14:05 29 Dec 2004

Web sites for small businesses either work or they don't.

The reaosns behind this are often complex, but more often than not it may simply be that the nature of your business and/or the catchment area you are in combine against you.

I can well remember when you first started out and to say you've come along in leaps and bounds in an understatement. You were convinced that you couldn't do it at all and time has proven otherwise.

Some obvious faults with the site are as follows:

1. no dedicated domain name

2. the pages are a little too busy

3. navigation could be reduced to sub-sections (all your 'tips' pages could fall under submenus of one single Tips page)

There are other points I could make but that will do for now.

Expecting a site to earn its keep is reasonable, up to a point. Putting all your effots into creating the pages and filling them with content is only half the battle though. A proper domain name looks professional and lends your business a certain air.

Including the domain name and email address on every business card compliment slip, invoice, receipt, letterhead and other business stationary is vital to all small businesses. Faling to hand over said literature to every client reduces any chance of them visiting your site to nil.

Personally I wouldn't be impressed with anyone or inclined to use their services if they gave me a card with a Hotmail email address on it, or a www. myISP /my user name/ .co. uk type website address, or anything along those lines.

A thoroughly slick and professional site and business stationary is worth its weight in gold and missing any reasonable opportunity to publicise it/them is a crime.

You could do a lot with your site, but if your motivation has become purely financial, perhpas it's time to take leave of it for a while and come back to it later with fresh eyes.

  Forum Editor 14:06 29 Dec 2004

then I suppose you can hardly expect visitors to have much either. Web sites aren't like pictures which you can hang on the wall and forget - they're dynamic (or they should be), and must constantly be updated and tweaked. If someone visits the same site over a period of say, a month, and doesn't see any changes he/she is going to become bored, and isn't likely to come back.

Your subject is ideal - gardens change with the seasons, and I would have thought there was a constant stream of information which you could use to keep the site looking fresh.

Saying that you might be more interested if you "could get a few quid from ads" is looking at the problem from the wrong end - you'll get nothing by way of revenue if you can't be bothered to work at it.

  hooligan 15:31 29 Dec 2004

You could do a lot with your site, what like taren

Im lost as to what I can do ? Ive seen a lot of other garden sites and there all ads and laid out rubbish, so I dont want that but what else I can do Ive no idea, I dont think anyone looks at it apart from people i know, that why I thought of the google ads,

cheers fe and taren

I dont think I could put all the pages into one, without losing the lot.

  Taran 16:25 29 Dec 2004

I, for one, am not suggestng that you put your pages into one.

What I am suggesting is that you create a parent link for your tips pages, then hang sublinks below it to your various tips pages. At present you have several links to all the tips pages on every page of your site. This makes your navigation panel seem huge, so all I was bouncing around was a way to reduce the links on every page and start streamlining your navigation.

I am not a fan of gardening (never have been and never will be) but I CAN understand what a lot of people get out of it and I more than understand the need for people such as yourself to do the work that you do. Frankly, I wish I did enjoy gardening more, since our apple, pear and orange trees seem to be always getting out of hand, however, moving swiftly on...

From a purely objective point of view, what about this as a strategy ?

Plan your site around a quarterly (every 3 months) update, so that you can alter some of the content to reflect the tasks and jobs you would expect to do based on a particular season.

My own limited understanding of the subject still gives me a very firm grasp on the facts that each season brings its own set of challenges and each season might as well be disconnected from the others since they are often so fundamentally different.

That's just an idea from a non-gardener based on simple logic and the results our gardener manages to obtain throughout the year on our gardens.

I can think of lots more you could do, but I'm sure if you thought abut it yourself you could too.

Take a step back and try to see the problem from another angle. How about asking some of your clients whether they would mind looking at your site ? How about asking them for feedback - real feedback, and not the polite nonsense many people will mouth at you.

fourm member made a very, very important point in another thread:

"Many people who build sites get so caught up in the site design they forget what the content's about."

Every year and every seaon in it is different. I'd say on that basis alone you have a never ending scope for your site, if you choose to take advantage of it.

Good luck hooligan

  Forum Editor 18:14 29 Dec 2004

"keep it simple" applies here. You're designing something that has to appeal to people who like gardens but are too lazy/well off to want to bother doing it for themselves - you want them to employ you, or at least that's what I assume.

That being the case I would suggest that you make a big thing about how beautiful a garden can look. People buy with their eyes, and nothing looks better than a web site that has good images. I don't mean that you should swamp the site with pictures of fences being erected - try using a few well-chosen close-ups of flowers, and perhaps some ponds with water lilies in bloom - that sort of thing. Don't bother telling people how to lay out a patio, or what time of year they should be mulching their borders - you want them to employ you to do all that.

Think the site through as if you were a prospective client - keep it tight, and keep the navigation simple. You have a single, important message to transmit:- "Employ me and you, too can have a garden that looks like this".

Forget about generating income from adverts - it isn't going to happen.

  hooligan 21:43 29 Dec 2004

Cheers I will stick with the advice on the site though, as I would not give a job to someone from a web site, its all word of mouth, the site was just to pass some time and still is, and to stick a few pics, I will try a few pond pics and fix the links all over,

cheers fe and taren

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