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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:31 PM
Website URL Lullaby Wishes
Is this site completed or under construction?
The site is completed
How long has the site been up?
The url has been live since last year, but I have been maintaining the site since May of this year. It has gone through 2 major face lifts and inside changes.
The first change was cosmetic. After attending an seo seminar in November 2003, I returned and tore the website apart and did it again to beef up the content and get rid of using my shared borders. At the same time, I added the mini bears and cuddle bears.
Do you have incoming links?
Yes, the customer had these links before she came to us. This was a transfer of link information and setting them into the new design.
What keywords are you targeting?
baby blankets, fleece baby blankets, stuffed bears, stuffed teddy bears
of course, singular and plural versions
Do you want your code reviewed for errors or improvements?
PLEASE! I am so stumped. I have never had so much problem getting a website ranked. I really thought I had completed the site by the book.
Who is your target audience? Think about:
Age Range: New mothers, aunts, grandparents...spans the ages of people that will give these types of gifts
Income/Education level: middle
The more you tell us about your target audience, the better. We don't know them- you do!
Why is your site different from sites selling/offering similar info/goods/services?
Our items are not pieced together with scrap material. Each order is handmade ensuring uniqueness. Delivery is quick. Se will actual seek out special materials if you have a special theme you are trying to meet. You just have to allow her some time.
Why will someone want to do business you?
Product is clearly and accurately depicted. Price is competive. Delivery time is fast. Most often once she sells one of her products, she experience repeat business due to quality.
How important is usability?
Very. My gut instinct is most of her shoppers may be mom and pops...not frequent online shoppers.
What is the purpose of the site? (inform, sell, online community, support B&M business, contact info only, etc)
To sell. She sells these products at craft show hands over fists but just can't get it to work online. I have tried to improve the text copy, rephotographed the images...I am at a lose. She even has utilized PPC (Overture) for a few terms: fleece baby blankets, handmade baby blankets, etc. She was doing baby blankets but the money was just disappearing and yet the conversions were not there. We thought it might be because she does not sell other types of blankets like cotton silk etc. That is why we stuck with terms stating fleece. Overall, the conversions are not the right side up for now. The bears were added in November. She is seeling like crazy at craft show but yet to sell one or even have an inquiry online.
Do you want design suggestions?
Anything please. We hoped the PPC listings would help while we waited for the organic listings to fall in the place but NOTHING is working. The organic listings are up and then completely gone...can't get it recognized past position 75 or so but not even the PPC promotion is working.
I need conversions. What part of the puzzle am I missing? We are frustrated.
Posted 18 December 2003 - 03:30 PM
I only had time for a quick look.
HELP!!! What is happening with the website? What is the problem?
Caution: blunt comment ahead
There was absolutely NOTHING on the 1st page to encourage me to click on a link,or even to scroll down.I did scroll down,but it was a waste of time,so I didn't go any farther.
The top half of the page is wasted on a logo,and some links. That is prime real estate. Don't waste it!
Most of the page is pics of babies and blankets. 1 baby pic,and 1 blanket pic are all you need.
Lose intro paragraph,and replace with bulleted list of features and benefits. Why should be glad that I found your site.
Gotta stop typing now. Must go and run up my phone bill. I'm supposed to be working on my business,not yours. A few more responses from others might help point you in the right direction,but you should seriously consider hiring,a copywriter,and someone with marketing experience. The only free ... not that kind of free ... time that I have is between xmas and new years,and I plan on spending most of it catching up on lost sleep.
All the best
Posted 18 December 2003 - 04:34 PM
- Your images are big enough and clear, but not bright enough. Good lighting simply cannot be replaced, but you can easily brighten the images using an image editor. (And, you can always add a "click for a larger view" link, I regularly use those; it would be nice to clearly see the decorative stiching referred to.)
- Putting the hats on some real kids & babies could make for some great photos; if you can do it outside in good lighting and up close (with winter here there's no better time for snow shots with toddlers!).
- Resize images to the size you're going to display them at.
- It looks like stock art of babies with the blankets; if time allows (and generally it doesn't, eh? ), I'd like to see these meshed together a little more.
- I'm going to send you a couple images if I can to show you what I'm referring to.
- The design is okay, but I am not drawn to it, especially for baby blankets. I would rather see softer colors, and less of them.
- I don't mind scrolling vertically, but I want to look forward to reading further, not scrolling down to see the content; shrinking the header would be good. I say consolidate your navigation, no need to duplicate it on top, but I would like it divided out so that the products are visually disctinct from the "About" areas (just so it's that much easier to find a link). Don't put nav button all over the place, though, just clump them together more logically.
- I, personally, would rather have a more "store" oriented home page; I'd like to see the most popular items, and I'd like to see that gift set highlighted with the regular combo price in black and the cheaper price in red--I guess I'm the reason they do that stuff.
- In generally, the price and the "buy now" are too hidden throughout the site. I've found I have to go with a button, either a form element or a graphic that has shading like a button, for people to understand "okay, here's where I click to buy." (This is especially true on the product pages like this one)
- It's also confusing as to which products are available in which patterns.
- Place snippets of testimonials all around the site with "read more" links.
- Much of the text I read seemed okay, but this page looks like it got overlooked, as often happens when we're working away on sites. I would prefer more bulleted lists and varied text sizes so I know what to look at next, I seem to get a little lost and then lose interest. This is related to the price issue: I need this to stand out.
- Also, I'm confused that when I go to the hat page, the first image I see is of a blanket.
- I'm guessing that it's cost that's keeping this solution low-tech, but basic shopping carts are becoming more the status quo and thus more user-friendly. Overall, though, I don't have a big problem understanding how the form works (although I just glanced at it).
- I would suggest recruiting a few friends who would fall into the average user category and having them go through the site. Give them a goal and tell them to talk you through all their actions.
- On a totally side note, it would be great if there were solid colors of these products. I like the patterns, but I'd prefer a plain one.
- You can always try asking users who visit why they aren't buying. A quick survey asking if it's price or products and a space for comments could unearth even more issues.
Posted 18 December 2003 - 04:38 PM
Not sure what site Tom is looking at, as I don't see it at all as he does!
Have you done any keyword research? I quickly plugged a few things into WordTracker and came up with this:
5, 368, 373, baby blankets
6, 283, 287, fleece blankets
17, 113, 115, fleece blanket
19, 106, 107, no sew fleece blanket
23, 95, 96, throw blankets
26, 90, 91, personalized baby blankets
35, 77, 78, baby blanket
44, 70, 71, personalized blankets
51, 56, 57, fleece blanket patterns
73, 43, 44, discount blankets
74, 43, 44, polar fleece blankets
75, 42, 43, blanket sleepers
80, 41, 42, flannel blanket
95, 37, 38, wholesale fleece blankets
96, 36, 36, baby blanket patterns
It appears that you're optimizing for "fleece baby blanket," yet it may not be your best choice. I did some more digging into that phrase and got these results:
1, 28, 28, fleece baby blankets
3, 7, 7, baby fleece blanket
4, 7, 7, wholesale baby fleece blankets
5, 6, 6, fleece baby blanket
6, 6, 6, fleece baby blanket pattern
7, 5, 5, polar fleece baby blanket
8, 5, 5, satin edged yellow fleece baby blanket
9, 5, 5, satin edged yellow fleece duck baby blanket
10, 4, 4, baby fleece blankets
11, 4, 4, yellow fleece duck baby blanket
12, 3, 3, fleece baby blanket pattern with ribbon
13, 3, 3, fleece baby blankets how to make
14, 3, 3, fleece baby crib blanket
15, 3, 3, how to make a baby blanket with fleece
16, 3, 3, patterns for fleece baby blankets
17, 2, 2, mickey mouse blanket fleece used fingerhut baby
18, 2, 2, no sew baby fleece blanket
19, 2, 2, polar fleece baby blanket patterns
20, 2, 2, rashti baby blanket animal head fleece
21, 2, 2, red fleece pooh baby blanket
Of course, if you're having problems ranking with "fleece baby blanket" it may be even more difficult to get the other phrases!
Looking at Google, it appears that many of these keywords are of the ones that G has decided to show shopping sites and directories for. So your problem may get straightened out if/when they decide to fix that.
However, if your adwords aren't converting, then you're right that there's probably something fundamently wrong with the site.
As a wild guess, I'm thinking that this kind of product makes sense to sell way better when you see the stuff in person. I can see how seeing the blankets, touching them, feeling them, etc. they'd really sell themselves.
I wonder if there's a way to make that come across better in the copy? (Betcha Karon could do it!)
Your copy isn't bad, but it's not great either. I also don't like the many words that are in ALL CAPS.
I'm sure others will have some more specific ideas.
Gotta go pick up my son...
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:02 PM
I have looked at the design, and thought it might look better centred and with the border removed, IMO pages need to breath, especially white pages,. Hope you dont mind but i copied it and uploaded a page here www.web-design-wales.com/blanket/ I have not posted a link as this forum is spidered and I wouldn't want for you to have a duplicate content flag.
<should add that as i dragged the page into MS Front page it has changed the font, I am not suggesting you do this I am just too lazy to mess about with it>
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:26 PM
Some comments on the site, but first I have a question. Why do I want these blankets?
Are they better than the ones I can get at Target?
Cheaper than making one myself?
Cuter than anything I'll ever find in a volume store because they are unique?
Are they personalized or monogrammed in some way that makes them unique?
Are they made from fabric that is fluffier and warmer so that my baby will be more comfortable?
Will they hold up longer due to better constuction?
I don't see the prices either... I have to view the product description then click order now to find a price.
At $25.99 a blanket, you are going to have to sell me on why I need this blanket more than the microfiber polarfleece one I can get at WalMart for $7.99.
If you are targeting a niche, high-ticket item (relatively) your copy needs to create demand and desire. Right now, it's cute, but mostly marketing fluff.
Cuddle your baby in the cozy warmth of our snuggly soft, fleece baby blankets. Fill your heart with smiles as you watch them playfully nuzzle their little noses in the toasty warm covers of their delicate fleece baby blanket from LULLABY WISHES.
smiliing hearts and playfully nuzzling toasty warm noses... hmmn. Doesn't make me want to buy a blanket!
Something like this:
Your baby will love to snuggle up in an incredibly soft, oversized baby blanket from LULLABY WISHES. The easy-care washable fleece stays soft and looks new even after repeated washings. Better get 2 because your baby won't want to give it up for a minute!
<BTW- the logo doesn't link back to the home page...grr>
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:31 PM
I agree with the other posters- you are wasting too much valuable real estate with the large logo-header.
I'm also wondering why you are using the word "shop" in your links. It looks a little odd.
I also agree solid colors would be nice. She could coordinate a solid bear with a print blanket or whatever.
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:34 PM
Old Welsh - Thanks for looking out on the duplicate content issue...don't you think with the borders gone it is floating in space?
Ps- the fonts messed up because I set them with css sheets...I got the idea although
jbelle - good idea on the survey input idea. Also, I think you may be onto something with the kinda hidden "buy" buttons.
Jill-I did keyword research and even caught the "personalized" term but I can't get my client to personalize her baby blankets, the machine is to exspensive she says, and she is hard core focused on the term baby blankets top rankings in Yahoo. She could give a dang about the rest of the engines. I am trying to show her that is not the healthiest view.
Tom - I am glad you were blunt. I am a big girl and can handle the critique. I am hoping to learn from the comments and grow. :halo:
I have heard a few times to reduce the top logo area, so that will be a given change.
As far a copy, I would love Karon to take it on but unfortunately it is not in my client's budget.
I plan on taking everybodies input and "going at it one more time"...at this point it is a personal objective to get it working. Determination can be such an enemy but oh well.......
Please keep the comments coming...thanks everyone
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:36 PM
I agree on Tom's statement totally, fix up the top of the page and make the page shorter - way shorter. Have a better menu system using SSI and more pages. Cramming everything on one page is *NOT* the way to go. Others may dissagree, but we don't cram everything into one page like you have here.
The site appears to not been "professionally" well thought out using industry standard practices in my opinion. No privacy statement, site map and questionable use of color. You have no consistent use of menus, every page has something different on it regarding menus.
Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:42 PM
More thoughts on this... programming and layout aside, it's not selling.
Rethink your target audience. This is probably not an item moms are going to buy for their own babies. This is a gift item- we used to call them "granny grabbers". Overpriced (compared to the basic version) but cute enough that grandma had to have one.
Consider a gift registry (probably not in the budget, but keep it in mind) and look for opportunities to promote the site on Expectant Moms boards and similar places.
Write your copy towards grandma, not mom. Play up the adorable, they're-only-little-once-and-they-deserve-the best angle. Doesn't your baby deserve his/her very own handmade blanket? (Who would say no? )
Posted 19 December 2003 - 03:23 AM
WHY? you need to find $18 of why somehow, my tae would be to major on the why, using words like high quality, individually handcrafted, lovingly sewn just for your baby.
Maybe tell a story, along the lines of, Lullaby wishes was founded when the owner, xxxx was having her first baby. She wanted to make sure her baby enjoyed the same warmth, love, and feeling of security after she was born than when she was in the womb. But when looking around she found that whilst there were fleeces available none of them cam up to her requirements, none of them were good enough for HER baby. So she sat right down and found the best fleece material she could find, it took a while, but she found it. She then set about making her own (which was easy as she is a seamstress).
Even before baby susie (or whatever) was born, friends, family and other expectant mums were asking where she had bought this fantastic fleece, and it was at this point that she realised that other Moms wanted just the same as her for their babies.
Lullaby Wishes was born, and to this day we still uphold the same high standards, with every item we make having the same amount of care, and love put into it, so that your baby can feel as safe, warm, and loved as they were in the womb, kind of a home from home.
when asked what made your product unique you said
Our items are not pieced together with scrap material. Each order is handmade ensuring uniqueness. Delivery is quick. Se will actual seek out special materials if you have a special theme you are trying to meet. You just have to allow her some time
As the saying goes, don,t tell us, tell them what you said there is worth a couple of $$ in my mind
Sorry for the length of the post, but I just got to my desk, for once i had a good nights sleep as i was in bed before 12, and i usually type until my brain stops spewing out words
Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:23 PM
Just another opinion...
I am certain it was said earlier in the posts....
Too Much Text
See how that reads better.
What was the point I made a few lines above?
What is the point you want to make?
Baby Blankets - Unique, Adorable and Special - Just like that baby in your life....
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