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Unread 03-17-2004, 10:48 PM   #1
Airborne
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Web site advise

I recall John mentioning in the thread about shop locations that a web site is a really smart marketing tool. Tom among others have neat sites (not to mention this one). I'm not Einstien on computers but if it is an effective marketing tool I suppose I oughtta take the plunge. Any advise on establishing a website?
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Unread 03-18-2004, 06:46 AM   #2
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Art,

There's a thread or two in the computer forum on that. Check it out.
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Unread 03-18-2004, 08:28 PM   #3
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Unread 03-18-2004, 08:55 PM   #4
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Art I did mine on Publisher, but if I had it to do over again, I would use Front Page. I want to change about 90% of it that I'm not happy with, if I could find the time.
It has been helpfull in getting the high end work.
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Unread 03-18-2004, 09:03 PM   #5
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I heeded John's advice (got the spelling right this time!) and searched the computer area. I posted a question there regarding content, which is the real question I have... "Who is the target audience and what will be most useful to them in making an informed decision as to whether my services fit their needs?"

I know I ain't the dude to do the programing of a site.....gotta outsource that the the guys who were in school when I was more interested in bein' barefoot in the woods Seems like there is lots of noise/junk out on the web in terms of useless sites. If I'm going to add to the mess, I'd just as soon my contribution be useful to somebody else.
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Unread 03-18-2004, 10:51 PM   #6
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Tom

How did you get the traffic to your site once you got it up. People have to know about it. Did a couple of Google searches and the first dozen sites are those pesty agencies.

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Unread 03-19-2004, 12:00 AM   #7
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Chas I'm not really planning to rely much on the search engines. I've been telling prospective clients about it & I use it more as a deal closer instead of a lead generator. I'm gonna put the address on my next business cards.
I think Art's question about who is your target audience is very important. My gut feeling is that the google searchers are one time jobs, homeowners doing remodels. I think there's a lot more profit in repeat customers like builders, designers, and even (heaven forbid) flooring shops.
My plan is to go out & get them face to face, and only use the web site as one tool to present an overall professional package to these people.
Check out www.mattclarktile.com, now that's a real web site! Matt you still out there? Why don't you get in here & give us a few pointers?
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Unread 03-19-2004, 06:02 PM   #8
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Okay, if we're gonna talk web sites here, I might as well weigh in with my opinion.

Tom, I think if you're in business you have to have a web site. And I think if you have a web site, you want it well indexed on Google. I mean, why not? What could you possibly have against new leads that can come in while you're sleeping or drinking beer or some other useful pastime?

From day one (well, maybe from day two) I was focused on the major search engines. I can remember when I first found my site on Yahoo. Man, it was almost as good as the first time I saw my book listed on Amazon.com. You just HAVE TO want people to find your site easily.

By the way, Front Page is capable of importing everything from Publisher. You can begin updating your site with Front Page right away. I started out with Publisher, too.
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Unread 03-19-2004, 09:59 PM   #9
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Tom,I just checked out Matt Clark's impressive site.Beautiful!
Kinda makes us look like chumps,eh?

Anyway,that's what I would model my website after if and when I do one. I like the subtlety.
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Unread 03-20-2004, 07:14 AM   #10
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Matt's site is certainly awesome; thing is, gotta have the portfolio like his to fill the site. I'm not sure I'd draw a lot of attention with a web site featuring the 100's of apartment tub surrounds I've installed featuring "classic white 4x4 tiles masterfully installed on moisture resistant green board with space-age adheasives."

It's not that bad, but you get the point....
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Unread 03-20-2004, 07:23 AM   #11
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I'm a web developer full time so if anyone has any specific questions feel free to ask.

As for tools, I use Macromedia Dreamweaver. You can pay to get your own domain name then pick a hosting company. For about $20 a month the hosting company will host your site with your own domain name.

The point of a web site is to not rely on it to bring in leads.... at least not initially. The point is to keep your name fresh in peoples mind so they can check out your site, say, 2 weeks after they visit you. This will give them a comfort level to let you know your going to be around and not a fly by night operation.

The approach to getting your site out their should be multifacited:
register with search engines, put it on your store literature & biz cards, run a couple ads in local papers AND local web sites, put it in your sig (and post to other related forums like this), etc...

Once you do these successfully you will likely get people who find you purely via the web, so you don''t have to totally rely on word of mouth.

Hope this helps...
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