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Bob K

Website questions

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One year ago we signed a 12 month contract with Dexmedia to build our first website for 140.00 per month. Until recently, we really didn't do much with customizing it with our own pics and new content. I just didn't make it a priority. So now that I am making marketing a part of my day, do you think I should end it and build one myself ? I just wonder if I'm paying too much. The score the site has is 55 out of 100. The rep showed me that the site had 1700 views and generated just over 700 calls. What do you think?

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The fact that the site generated 1700 views with 700 calls
(2-3 calls per day on average) tells me:

1) the site is being found in the search engines or somehow
having traffic driven to it. That means the search engines like
the existing content.

2) the site has a strong enough "message" to have the visitor
motivated to pick up the phone.

If you were to start making changes to the existing content,
it will affect the rankings in the search engines and could
cut down on the traffic and calls you're currently getting.

Unless you have a strong education on how to structure a website
the search engines like so they drive traffic to a brick & mortar
business, like a repair shop, you're going to be at a disadvantage.

As for adding new content, what kind of content were you
thinking you needed to add?

As for images...
It could be helpful to use images of you, your staff, etc
rather than stock images. Most visitors to your website are
either existing customers looking for your phone number or...
prospective customers that are not loyal to a shop in your
town and looking for someone they can trust. So having real
images could make you appear more friendly and trustworthy.

By the way, what is the score you're referring to? I tried to
view your site and I'm getting an error message.

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I'm not sure if there is a "right" answer. It's hard to say if $140 is a good rate without knowing what web-related services they are providing you with. If you are beginning marketing then you may want to add responsibilities slowly. As your goal is to maintain and improve your image and visibility not discredit it.

 

Taking on a project that you don't have time for may cause something else to slide and if you don't stay on top of things like social media, blogs, websites, etc. you can start to appear unprofessional in a potential customer's eyes. Have you ever looked up a business page on Facebook that had 10 posts from 3 years ago? Bet you chose to work with their competitor who maintains regular posts instead.

 

Overall you can find services that are easy for you to update and maintain without knowing code or paying someone but take your time with the research phase to ensure you are making the best decision from a business perspective. Also;

 

  • Keep your domain name
  • spend the $ to have someone build your site if you can
  • before transitioning to the new site make sure your customers know through messages on the site and SM among other things.

My companies blog has some articles you may find interesting http://gtsservices.com/news/

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Thanks for the replies. Just found out the site went down Saturday or Sunday due to the debit card it gets paid from getting replaced and not contacting them with the new card number. Will be resolved tomorrow.

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One year ago we signed a 12 month contract with Dexmedia to build our first website for 140.00 per month. Until recently, we really didn't do much with customizing it with our own pics and new content. I just didn't make it a priority. So now that I am making marketing a part of my day, do you think I should end it and build one myself ? I just wonder if I'm paying too much. The score the site has is 55 out of 100. The rep showed me that the site had 1700 views and generated just over 700 calls. What do you think?

My questions for you would be:

 

- What is that "score" you mentioned, the 55 out of 100? Is that Dex's score? If so, disregard it.

 

- How do you verify the stats they're giving you? Is that 1700 views for an entire year? 700 calls? What is the source of that traffic and how can you verify the validity of these numbers? Does the site have Google Analytics or some other known independent stats software installed so you can look at the data yourself and do some real world analysis?

 

- Are you actually getting 3 more calls a day than before you started with Dex? Are you (or your staff) asking where they found you?

 

- What was the conversion rate of those 700 calls they say you're getting? Were those quality leads or are you getting worthless calls from out of the area? 700 is a nice number, but what are the results of those calls?

 

- Where is the traffic coming from? Is it search engines or is Dex feeding it to you? Essentially, are you getting organic traffic or is it part of what you're paying for with Dex? Google Analytics would help tell you this.

 

- What are your goals for the website? Are you looking to get 10 jobs a month from it?

 

- What is your competition doing? Do a search for a service in your area that you would like your website to be found for and see what your competitors are doing. If you looked for "Dansville brake service" what sites come up? Does your site come up for any of your other bread and butter services? "your service dansville" - if not, you should be looking to change that.

 

I was going to look over your site to do a quick check but it's down. Let me know when it's back up and I'll take a look - the fact that it's down is an obvious red flag in itself, that should never happen. It's always best to build your own site and not have a company like Dex build it and manage it for you, but I know that sometimes it's easier for some business owners to do it that way. I'd still probably go in another direction, but that's me.

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DO NOT do it yourself unless you are trained and understand SEO (search engine optimization)

Most shop owners shouldn't be doing it themselves, at least not literally. They should hire someone to do it for them, assuming they don't have a good in-house designer/developer. Though I wouldn't use a one-stop-shop company like Dex, who is really just looking to keep you as a long term customer for their marketing programs, knowing that if they build your site you'll likely stay with them long term and keep paying them. It always seems easier to use a solution like that but it's usually not the effective way to do it.

 

Crazy that your site is still down. This should be a good indication to anyone looking at Dex to consider other options.

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