Need advice. Have a site that sells landscape designs for download, I need help.

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by desynerguy, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. desynerguy

    desynerguy
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    7 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had 5 years to recouperate. I decided to take my knowledge (25 yrs in designing) and create a site for people to be able to download predesigned landscape solutions. Since I had 3 or 4 years of downtime to work on this I created over 300 designs available to instantly download. Clients can download-print-use right away. Now, Im not a web guru and learned a lot along the way but cant seem to get the clients. I know, I know, key words, meta tags etc, I am not a web guru as I said. So I need help with someone to get this off the ground. I have literally put in approx. 4-5 full time years to perfect the product, create a pdf secure package and even create variables of the product. The product is pleasing to look at, full colour designs, done to scale, 12 different series of desigs which include a generic version that can be sold anywhere instead of the normal planting zone area of where I live. (Details) anyway, my wife thinks Im nuts and I keep saying I am investing in my retirement because I really believe this is a product that would be useful,(everyone says that I suppose). Am I nieve? Do I just think that its a great product? Please guide me in the right direction. I am out of ideas and funds at this stage. So whatever the idea, has to be economical. Want to have a look to give me advice...landscapeplans.ca , Oh and By the way...I am cancer free. However I would now love to benefit from all the years I put into this product. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    Since you are not a web guru, I would suggest you hire someone to develop a marketing program for you, through either SEO or social marketing. Unfortunately, you mentioned you are out of funds, and there are very few options that are not going to require an outlay of funds at some point. It would also help to know if these designs would be for consumers or businesses, to determine the direction to guide you in.
     
  3. Fergal

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    Welcome to our Business Forum desynerguy, congratulations on making a recovery, I'm very happy for you.

    Your site looks pretty good, however, I'd suggest that it needs some improvement in terms of focusing on your visitors and on how they will benefit from your site. When you next visit your site, try to consider it from the perspective of a first time visitor. When they first visit you they will only spend a few seconds trying to figure out what your site is about and how it might help them. If they don't see those benefits within the first few seconds they will move on to another site.

    A large part of the introduction text on your site says the following

    "3 different products to suit your needs.

    12 Design packages that include 5 different plans so pick and choose! Order and we will ship."​

    Personally I feel that this is a key area of your site and that the text there is a little confusing. You might want to think about that text and come up with ways to improve it to draw your visitors in and make them want to know more about what you have to offer.

    By the way, do you own the Yahoo store on the store.yourdesignerlandscapes.net domain?

    Once you have made some changes to your site and you are happy that it is ready for promotion you can do some really simple things to start promoting it. For example, you could find some active forums and blogs related to landscaping. Then leave helpful posts there and include a link back to your site in your signature or profile.

    Please post back with your thoughts on my suggestions so far and I will give you further ideas and suggestions.
     
  4. dripworld

    dripworld
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    I wish all the best for your green world site and designing.I agree this will really rocks but you have to spend more time and money on this.A flash banner will attract to your visitor.
    If you want to promote your site or rank in search engines then try forum links guest blogging,Social media marketing.The above suggestions are perfect from fergal
     
  5. desynerguy

    desynerguy
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    Hi Joseph, thanks for your input. The designs I created are for the homeowner in general. I realize that there would be an outlay of funds at some point and I understand that. The problem I face is if I was to say...get help whether a SEO site or whatever, where and how much would this cost and how do I realise a ROI? Are there or do you know of sites that if you are or become members of for a monthly fee that produce results? I keep hearing or reading about "site build it" Even bought a monthly package to get started but not sure the best approach. Everybody says they are the best and can get you to the top. I dont believe everything I read. I figure that time invested so far is equal to 4 years of work so I do have something of value it is just how to get it out there at this point. Appreciate your input. Regards Fred

    Hi Fergal, Thanks for the reply. First, I do own the store. I built that years ago since that was what I could find at the time to have a site that would allow me to sell documents like mine where clients could choose products and download them for use. So yes it is mine and I also know it needs some cleaning up if you will... but for the time being, it works as a redirect from landscapeplans to sell a downloadable product. I like the idea of having a guest blogger (did not know that was out there) I even started bloggin myself because I heard it was good to give information. I dont mind blogging as I have 30 years of landscape experience in me so I could write till the cows come home as far as that goes. I am also creating videos for instruction and wondered it that would help.
    ? I am really dedicated to getting this off the ground and would also love it if you guys would look at my product to tell me if I am wasting my time or not. Thanks again. Fred
     
  6. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    Before I start, I had wanted to take a look at your site, but you didn't provide a link to it. I then saw Fergal's post, with the partial URL, and went to Yahoo trying to find your site, and couldn't find it. Finhally. I Googled "yourlandscapes.net", and found both the site "store.yourdesignerlandscapes.net", and another site called "yourdesignerlandscapes.net" with a logo that says"yourdesignerlandscapes.com". I also noticed that your email is "[email protected]". Are both sites yours?

    Now, to answer your questions in your post. I would not waste my time or money with membership sites such as "site build it". They provide the most basic service, and cannot provide the level of service that an actual web designer can. Also, if they provide any sort of marketing as an add-on, it is also going to be the most basic, not at the level that a marketing consultant or firm can provide. You've already mentioned that you do not believe everything you read. Good- you shouldn't. In addition to the few legitimate marketing firms, there are tons of companies that would like nothing more than to take whatever money you do have, and put it in their own pockets. Unfortunately, you are not yet in a position to pay even a legitimate firm for marketing services.
    Have you tried going directly to the source - the consumer? You can place ads on bulletin boards in local grocery stores. You can ask local realtors if you can give them fliers to give to their clients when they sell a house. You can place free classified ads on "free classified ad" websites. Fergal has also provided some helpful suggestions for you to try promoting the site yourself. It may take awhile for you to see results, but at least you have a place to start.
     
    #6 Joseph.Shivell, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  7. Fergal

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    Fred, my suggestion is that you have a look around online discussion forums that discuss topics related to gardening and landscaping. Pick a forum you like and then start posting there, include a link to your own site in your signature. For an example of a signature, have a look at Joseph's post above this one and you will see that he has a link to his site in the footer of that post - that is a signature link and most forums allow them. I've listed some examples of forums you might consider below, please note that I found these from a quick search on Google, I'm not a member of them and just give them as examples of the kinds of sites you could participate on and use to promote your own offers;

    http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/
    http://www.lawntimes.com/
    http://www.lawnserviceforum.com/
    http://www.groundtradesxchange.com/forums/
     
  8. dripworld

    dripworld
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    Ferbal
    most of this organic sites are banning signatures due to heavy spam but still their are sites which allow.

    desynerguy
    Try to join organic forums and make signatures link and even some have member advertising where you can post your site for a review too.Try submitting to directories which are related to your niche.
    Guest blogging is another way to get a link back to your site.Guest blogging means you need to write an article place a link at the end of your article and publish it on the other sites.
    I am developing a website for the green world where guest blogging is allowed and it is still under progress but if you wish to write an article to get a link then let me know.
     
  9. Fergal

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    Many sites do ban signature links, but I think you come outside of the webmaster and business niches, spam is not as big a problem and hence, as you say, some forums do allow those links.
     
  10. dripworld

    dripworld
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    no i have stayed on topic but did not posted anything two of the forums they banned just for registering.I remembered something the name is landscape irrigation.I have joined one site form your list but going to join remaining three too.
     
  11. GekiDan

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    I don't think the admins of these sites have any reason to ban you whatsoever, if you aren't doing anything.
    A reason I could see is maybe, your IP is banned o their site. You can still email the admin to ask why do they ban you if you aren't doing anything against the rules...
     
  12. dripworld

    dripworld
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    I had still waiting from groundtradesxchange forum but havent yet they activated my account.I had emailed to them let see when they will reply.Yeah i agree they may have banned the ip but the problem i asked them and never got a reply only few admins reply those who are good and always active
     
  13. desynerguy

    desynerguy
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    Hi Joeroxx. Thanks for the post. The site I was getting or trying to get comments on was www.landscapeplans.ca I made some changes since Fergal commented on it. I am working on promoting my site as you suggest but was not sure if I should hire a SEO company or not (suggestions welcome) Please have a look at the site and link to www.yourdesignerlandscapes.com. I own both but was working on having the landscapeplans work for me as a blog, video and information gateway to the landscape products I have forsale. I appreciate the info you guys send me.
     
  14. dripworld

    dripworld
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    You can hire seo companies and go with some link building as long as they build good links.Its hard to tell which company is going to build good links.I can really assist you that buy links on other sites.
    for seo company
    Give them link building like social bookmarking,directory submission,profile link building.article submission,commenting etc
    forum posting you have to hire for a long time and it should be posted on time to time or else try by yourself but that takes ages.
    landscapeplans is better domain than yourdesignlandscapes since this has more characters.
     
  15. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    A professional SEO firm will do much more than link building. I'm not sure what you mean by that last statement, but I would never recommend that anyone buy links.

    Why would he need to give an SEO company link building? they should be able to do that for him, and should have a variety of sites in a fairly large quantity available that can be used to provide links. Although I have a link to my site in my forum posts, the search engines are looking for editorial links in the content of blogs, articles, etc. These are the types of links that an SEO firm should be giving him.

    This one I do not understand. Why should the number of characters in his domain make any difference?
     
  16. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    Fred:
    I apolgize for the double post, but I was trying to email you some information, and my email was returned as undeliverable. I have sent you a PM asking for another email address to send the information to.
     
  17. desynerguy

    desynerguy
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    Hi Joseph.
    No problem, I think you have a space in there that is not supposed to be there Anyway, I will read your post and get back to you. Fred
     
  18. dripworld

    dripworld
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    Well this seo companies do everything and depends upon our budget however to normal webmasters they bought links in forums from other members.Anyway i too recommend a seo company let see the fun.
    If you cant find difference between both then check in domain forums where people tell about domains.I ask a question to you why people tries to catch one or two words domains rather than 5 words domains ?
    This is businessadviceforum and i dont know why fergal didnt bought businessadvice dot com domain ?Did he tried to get that domain or just he purchased this domain?
    I will see the answer from fergal too.
    If the OP cant get a perfect domain then he will be wasting all his money on SEO and whatever he bought.
     
  19. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    The two domains the OP has on his two sites are very similar, and neither one was 5 words long, so the length of his domain names are not a problem. In any case, a lengthy domain name would be harder to remember,but I don't see what that has to do with SEO.

    There is no such thing as a "perfect" domain name, at least as far as the use of SEO is concerned. Some people may try to use a domain name that closely matches their desired keyword phrase, thinking they won't need to use SEO to get ranked, but that limits them to one phrase, and there's no guarantee they will get highly ranked that way. And what about other phrases related to the website. With only one domain name, you can't match every phrase your site might be ranked for. Your domain name should match your company name, your service or product, or the content of your website. It's not worth it to play games with your domain name in an attempt to trick the search engines.
    Is it possible to waste his money on SEO, even with what you call a "perfect" domain name? Absolutely. There are, and have been for years, SEO firms that will tell people what they want to hear in order to take their money. There are also others, like ours, who put the client's needs first, and earn their money by giving the client the best service possible.
     
  20. Fergal

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    I'd love to own the domain name businessadvice.com, but unfortunately it's not available and I'm sure that if it was for sale it would be for a huge price, probably for much more than I could afford at this time. I'd even prefer to own business.com but again that would be well outside my budget :)

    Saying all that I feel that BusinessAdviceForum.com is a great domain, it describes exactly what this site is about and we have page one rankings on Google and other major search engines for our business related keywords.
     

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