Website Review

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by Penelope Dunlop, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    I would really appreciate some feedback on my website please? It's
    penelopedunlop.com

    Thank you!

    Penny x
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,937 9,070
    Hi Penelope,

    The only reason anyone will be on the site is because they want a VA. So there is no need to explain what one is.

    Neither do you need to introduce yourself on the homepage.

    On the homepage you need to explain the services you offer. Then add a call to action

    Put your full contact details in the footer on every page and add a picture of you (helps to build trust).

    Bin the background and now the most important thing of all:

    DON'T USE VISTAPRINT!!!!!
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Thank you ... wow!

    Bizarely I just changed the main page before asking for criticism because I had read in another post in this section that the landing page needed to tell everyone what you did. So I changed it. A lot of people don't know what a VA is or does, hence the explanation for those who look through curiosity. Also the fact that secretarial/PA services are mentioned, surely that tells people what services I offer already, without going into specifics, which follow on another page.

    As for the address on every page, I'm a VA and I work remotely so it really doesn't matter what my address is. The idea is that you don't actually meet the people you work for, unless its been agreed and my target audience can be national, they could even be international?

    When you say background, do you mean the first page one or the whole lot? To be honest, I've followed the general layout of other VAs who work alone, but I wanted to have a more personal touch, hence the background which matches my branding.

    And Vistaprint, well its an easy way to build a website. It worked well for my previous business and I got a lot of good response from customers. I appreciate that marketing is the most important part of growing my customer base, but I also have limited funds available, therefore it was a case of doing it myself, but thank you for your comments.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,937 9,070
    You don't want those people to visit the site. You only want people who already know what they want.
    It's too random. Tell me you can do my finances, look after clients, take bookings and so on. Treat people like and idiot.
    It helps build trust.
    Don't care about your branding. All I care about is finding someone to do all the office work for me. You are selling your services not you.
    But it's not free. You are paying monthly for something that isn't google friendly and restricts what you can do. Wordpress is free and it gives you so much more freedom to build a site the way you want with thousands of themes to choose from and even more plugins to cover every possible function.

    Penelope is the least important part of the business. Your services are paramount - I don't care about you as long as you deliver.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Thank you, I really do appreciate the criticism, even if it does hurt a little because I thought my site looked quite professional, but obviously not.

    I've already added a picture and I'll try to deal with the rest of your comments as best I can. A swap to a different platform that I know nothing about is a little scary, but I'll take a look.

    Once again, thank you.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #5
  6. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,907 1,318
    @fisicx may hurt a little... but it will help ;)

    With all due respect, the site looked more like a dating application... no offence... the background isn't the best ... it looks like a badly wallpapered house... sorry... and are you offering your services in administration or flower arranging?

    Everyone has an opinion on what looks professional... and everyone's opinion is quite different... but by having a blank background, i.e. plain white or even slate grey would make you stand out more... if that makes sense?
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #6
  7. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Thank you, I appreciate your honesty. Perhaps I should switch sites as was suggested earlier and start again!
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #7
  8. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,907 1,318
    May I suggest you speak to @fisicx directly to save you some money and a lot of messing about :)
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #8
  9. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Thank you, but is that going to cost me loads of money that I don't have?
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #9
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,937 9,070
    Lets go back to basics.

    How do you plan to market your business?
    How will your website fit into the marketing plan?
    What incentives are you offering a potential client?
    How are you going to convert the website visitor into a client?

    No. Wordpress is free. Themes are free. All you need is some hosting and that can be cheap as chips.

    There are zillions of online tutorials, forums and advice sites to get you started. Or you can ask here. Or contact one of the many UKBF members for help. Most wont charge you for a phone call.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Ok, thank you, that's certainly given me something to think about. I'm in the process of stripping the flowery wallpaper off my current site so at least I have something whilst I build a new one, but I would still appreciate some help once I have something to show?
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #11
  12. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,937 9,070
    It really all begins with your marketing plan. There are thousands of VA in the UK and many more worldwide all competing with each other. No point in going head to head so you need to look at alternatives.

    For example, you could target one type of trade or self employed roofers or mobile nail technicians or whatever. You then start building up contacts and lists and cold call, send mailshots, follow them on FB and so on. If done properly they may never need to visit your website.

    For those that do the message on the website needs to match the messages in your marketing.

    It's not easy and can take many, many months to even get your first client.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    I did actually start off targeting the construction industry as the business I've been running for the past 12 years was in that industry so I know it pretty much inside out. However I changed my mind because I though I was limiting myself too much, but it sounds like that was the wrong decision to make. So that's answered the first question. Thank you!
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #13
  14. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,907 1,318
    If you know the industry, concentrate on that as a VA - you'll be able to provide a better service not only to your client but to theirs too.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #14
  15. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    I'm confused already, I'm trying to set up a new website on WordPress.com and it's already talking about monthly costs? Am I missing a trick?
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #15
  16. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,907 1,318
    Aye you didn't ring @fisicx ;) :D
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
    #16
  17. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    No, I was following his instructions above?
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #17
  18. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,047 1,096
    You need to use Wordpress on your own hosting.

    Before you do that though, take a few steps back and work out a bit of a marketing plan. There are a lot of VA's in the country and your current site doesn't even hint at the fact that you know how to compete. Don't just design another site and get it wrong again. It's not the platform that's failed, it's the fact you're putting the cart before the horse and designing a site with no strategic direction.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #18
  19. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,256 1,735
    1) the style is all wrong - it screams interior designer
    2) the site wording is just too fluffy, VA's should come across as efficient machines

    I disagree with @fisix people don't know what a VA is - as in there are many flavours, calendar keepers, book keepers, call takers, email screeners - and not all VAs are the same - pick your sweet spot tasks and push them forward.
     
    Posted: Jun 20, 2019 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #19
  20. Penelope Dunlop

    Penelope Dunlop UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    27 5
    Thank you for your advice. I have now had the error or my ways explained to me and I understand what it is I need to do/say. I'm in the process of setting up my hosting (thanks to fisic x) and once that's sorted, I'll go about setting up a completely new site, on WordPress, which hopefully won't get too much criticism when I ask the same question again!
     
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Penelope Dunlop Member since: Jun 19, 2019
    #20