Author
Message
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Evo Energy would like a review.
Hi,

I've just had this (lightly-edited) email from Aidan, a director at Evo Energy (which did my solar PV install):

Quote:
If I understand correctly, you are offering to have other webmasters dissect our site on a public forum with regards to SEO and content.

If that is correct then I think that this would be an excellent opportunity and we'd be delighted to take it up. Whether the reviews are positive or negative if they help increase the quality of the site that is beneficial to EvoEnergy, and anything driving links to the site will obviously drive web traffic over time.

We are currently looking to change the front end of our website to (another top-level domain) as the urls are not beneficial to our SEO aspirations, as well as re-ordering certain sections (especially the case study section). It would therefore be very useful to have two rounds of comments, one within the next month and then another in say three months time when we'll hopefully have addressed the majority of the issues and I can explain where we've taken advice/criticism onboard and why we have ignored other pieces.

If two rounds are not possible, then I would like the opportunity to comment on the public fora (or equivalent) so that people can see we're constantly improving.
(I've invited him to sign up.)

I think in all instances this is more useful, but also more fun, than a private analysis.

Thanks very much for the offer.

The current site is at [www.evoenergy.co.uk]

So, let's see what we can offer Evo.

Just to start off (a) I quite like their current site though it sprawls a little and (b) I think that .co.uk is appropriate for a UK-based business as I believe them to be.

Rgds

Damon



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2009 12:54AM by Joshua.
March 12, 2009 07:14PM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Here are some very quick observations more on usability than SEO, which I think is SEO 2.0 :

- Navigation links waste
eg /content.asp?catId=8 for about us should be /aboutus.html
mod Rewrite or rebuild just make it static

- optimize: 5k logo fine, 77.8k image of sky & solar panel not fine

- Capital punishment: Why are titles in all capital? Who are you yelling at?

- Get to the point
Took over 10 seconds to find out what you do, others won't be as generous with their time
e.g. "Switched on solar specialists"
Drop the "Switched on" bit and replace it with a product, this is valuable real estate don't be tacky, or be tacky in the "about us" not here.

- Get to the point 2
make an actual list and pointify, the below is no good

Quote:
Whatever the stage of your project we can help with system design, project management and installation. In addition to our engineering and project management services we offer training for end users such as schools and educational facilities to make sure they get the most from their investment

- A little SEO before I go:
Title tags are totally under utilized in this site

I like the site's clean layout, I'll take another look later when I have more time.

Damon: did this pay off 10% of me debt?
smiling smiley
March 12, 2009 09:50PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
GB: You've not incurred any debt with me yet, and that's a great list of points which I'd totally missed from being too familiar with the site... B^>

BTW, if they fix things like the aboutus.html (or "about-us.html"?) should they only bother to do that on the new domain and redirect from the old domain opaque URLs with 301s to preserve as much existing link-love as possible?

Rgds

Damon
March 12, 2009 10:06PM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Just a fresh pair of eyes nothing great.

Doing it all right on the next site (along with all the necessary redirects) is a very good idea, also will gave them a chance to do a true A/B testing on things like how much time & pages do visitors give the site.
(Assuming they've been collecting and storing statistics so far)
March 12, 2009 10:38PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
I don't like the non-uniform use of hyperlinks throughout the site. On the home page the latest news links are not very obviously clickable links, some pages they are obvious, but still don't seem to use a standard throughout the site - either in terms of colour or style.

I do like the clean layout, and found it easily navigatable, but would perhaps try not to have repeated images on some of the pages.
March 12, 2009 10:58PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
I liked the layout of the site, and the clean look. I didn't really look at it with the intention of commenting on it technically, but was looking at the content. My only comment is that as a reader, I found the font just-that-little-bit too small to enable reading the site comforatble. Just a fraction bigger would have made all the difference. Plus, the very light grey is again just-that-little-bit too light.

I'm probably a good target market for the product being a middle aged householder, and my eyesight is good, but certain fonts are harder to read nowadays. I'm not prepared to adjust my internet explorer preferences, and I won't be the only one feeling this way, so a bigger font may be worth thinking about. It doesn't have to be ginormous, just a fraction larger would make all the difference to readability without ruining the good look of the site.

This site needs to have it's content read, so making readability difficult for a prime market is shooting yourself in the foot!
March 13, 2009 07:53AM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
I second James on that - meant to mention it as well. I was wondering whether perhaps increasing the font on the first paragraph of sections to catch the eye may work if you didn't want to increase the overall font size.
March 13, 2009 08:26AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Looks nice to me, but what do I know? I'm a true amateur!

spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
March 13, 2009 04:58PM
EvoAidan
Posts:5
New member
Member since: 2009-03-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on the site.

I took on an already live site, so didn't have the freedom to set it up exactly as I would have liked, I also don't really have the time to dedicate to making everything as perfect as I'd have liked.

However, enough of making excuses, it's time to address the points that have been made so far:

Quote:
(a) I quite like their current site though it sprawls a little

Content has been added piece by piece over time and this probably creates the sprawling effect. I am not sure which content we would remove to make it less sprawly and one of the more frequent comments we get on the site is that it contains good information - could you possibly expand on what you mean?

Quote:
Here are some very quick observations more on usability than SEO, which I think is SEO 2.0

That is the route we are trying to go down, as search algorithms improve I hope they will tend towards the perfect solution to the user which IMHO is offering the most useful site

Quote:
- Navigation links waste
eg /content.asp?catId=8 for about us should be /aboutus.html
mod Rewrite or rebuild just make it static

I totally agree. The site is written in ASP and due to the way our 'budget' tool was originally put together this is how the url are generated. The front end will soon be written in .NET and the url's will become the more classical hard drive style

Quote:
- optimize: 5k logo fine, 77.8k image of sky & solar panel not fine

It is the only piece of bling on the site and I was thinking of having it replaced with a static, clickable image. If 77.8k is too large, what size is 'ok' for optimisation in today's age.

If it is of relevance to the answer: According to Google Analytics only 2% of our visitors are dial-up (although 25% it classifies as unknown), but they do have a slightly lower goal conversion and pages/visit. It is fair to say, that our target market will overwhelmingly have broadband, so that's where we're aiming.

Quote:
- Get to the point
Took over 10 seconds to find out what you do, others won't be as generous with their time
e.g. "Switched on solar specialists"
Drop the "Switched on" bit and replace it with a product, this is valuable real estate don't be tacky, or be tacky in the "about us" not here.

Fair comment. Something we'd overlook because we assume too much knowledge. Also, we're not really the sort of site that you stumble upon by accident. If you're not looking for solar then we're pretty hard to find.

To remedy I might use the picture at the top to say exactly what we do. I think we're probably looking to develop a strap line, and that will remain beneath the logo.

Quote:
- Capital punishment: Why are titles in all capital? Who are you yelling at?

Was a stylistic choice I suspect. I thought it was kinda alright in titles - do other people disagree as well?


Quote:
- Get to the point 2
make an actual list and pointify

More lists - check, will try and remedy

Quote:
- A little SEO before I go:
Title tags are totally under utilized in this site

I have only really added [h1] tags to the titles and the odd bold section here and there; what else should I be doing? (I did warn I was an amateur).

Quote:
I don't like the non-uniform use of hyperlinks throughout the site. On the home page the latest news links are not very obviously clickable links, some pages they are obvious, but still don't seem to use a standard throughout the site - either in terms of colour or style.

I checked through it and you're right, the hyperlinking does vary annoyingly. I try and avoid annoying things on the site so will look to change whereever I notice this occuring.

Quote:
but would perhaps try not to have repeated images on some of the pages.

Do you mean in the side bars (eg the case study picture and the fella against a blue sky background), or do you refer the actual images within the text. The later should change as we gain access to more photo's we can legally use, the former was deliberate (perhaps wrongly), but can be altered to scroll through several different pictures as you go to new pages.

Quote:
I found the font just-that-little-bit too small to enable reading the site comforatble. Just a fraction bigger would have made all the difference. Plus, the very light grey is again just-that-little-bit too light.

The site actually uses a variety of hues of grey which does my head in, let alone what it must do for the users. Some of them are currently too light; totally agree.

I'll address the font size as well. I can't rely on people to ctrl-wheel up (or whatever the technical term is) just for us. It would be fair to say that, regarding our demographic, we don't sell to many people under 25.

Quote:
Looks nice to me, but what do I know? I'm a true amateur!

Quote:
(b) I think that .co.uk is appropriate for a UK-based business as I believe them to be.

Quote:
I like the site's clean layout, I'll take another look later when I have more time.

Quote:
I do like the clean layout, and found it easily navigatable,

Thankyou



Thanks for all the fresh pairs of eyes, and the insightful advice. Rest assured that, in my tectonically slow way, I will act upon it.

Aidan
March 14, 2009 11:17AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Quote:
Thanks for all the fresh pairs of eyes, and the insightful advice. Rest assured that, in my tectonically slow way, I will act upon it.

I'm certain you will pick out the eyes and profit by it.

Good luck Aiden!

BTW I never do site reviews, I couldn't care less about appearance and I have no skills elsewhere
March 14, 2009 11:58AM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
When talking about repeated images - I was referring to this page: [www.evoenergy.co.uk] where the same couple of images are used repeatedly.
March 14, 2009 12:30PM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
>what size is 'ok' for optimisation

Smaller

>Title tags

I was talking about the title meta tag, what appears in search engine results (SERPS) for all pages, this is the most important choice you can make for your site content and time spent on it converts to gold.
(See the title of this page up there?
Re: Evo Energy would like a review)
That's what I was talking about.

>To remedy I might use the picture

Sorry, you missed the point
The first text on your site should say what your company does in few words, no bling no song, this is a wasted asset right now.

On images, I hope you are aware and use ALT tags for each image , good SEO and disability friendly too.

More points to come later on.
Good luck
March 14, 2009 01:10PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Sorry - just had another look, and have another couple of points. The monkey image on this page [www.evoenergy.co.uk] need to have a buffer around it - as the text currently butts right up to it.

I also don't like the way this page works. I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be better to have the list of questions at the top with hyperlinks jumping to the relative part on the page. As it is the page is very long - and you have to plough through a lot to find what you may be looking for. It was only post event that I noticed you have the smaller navigation option of the LH side.

Also, it would be good to have hover text over the images and/or captions below them.

How about the addition of a RSS feed for your latest news - or a subsciption newsletter?
March 14, 2009 01:30PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Oh, and a correction from me; Evo is apparently *not* considering moving domain, so will have to do any improvements and redirects in situ.

I misunderstood something in Aidan's email to me: mea culpa... %-|

Rgds

Damon
March 14, 2009 02:07PM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Quote:
The first text on your site should say what your company does in few words

I.e provide a succinct site descriptions for the search engines to provide with their results. The question is ... how to get the search engines to pick up and use the correct site description?
March 14, 2009 03:20PM
EvoAidan
Posts:5
New member
Member since: 2009-03-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Quote:
Troi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When talking about repeated images - I was
> referring to this page:
> [www.evoenergy.co.uk] where the
> same couple of images are used repeatedly.

agreed

Quote:

>Title tags

I was talking about the title meta tag, what appears in search engine results (SERPS) for all pages, this is the most important choice you can make for your site content and time spent on it converts to gold.
(See the title of this page up there?
Re: Evo Energy would like a review)
That's what I was talking about.

Ok, I understand and have addressed to some degree. Currently we are always EVOENERGY: xxx where xxx is defined by myself. (I realise the caps is shouting here, and that will be addressed). Would we be better, from an SEO POV, having xxx without the EVOENERGY, or perhaps having the EvoEnergy after (ie xxx - EvoEnergy).

We have a slight worry over the soft drink EvoEnergy which has been released stealing our top spots on our own name!

Quote:
>To remedy I might use the picture
Sorry, you missed the point
The first text on your site should say what your company does in few words, no bling no song, this is a wasted asset right now.

Ok, I think we're going to change our strap line to something thorough boring, but keyword friendly - once we decide which keywords we should be targetting.


Quote:
Sorry - just had another look, and have another couple of points. The monkey image on this page [www.evoenergy.co.uk] need to have a buffer around it - as the text currently butts right up to it.

Will have to ask for this to be introduced, but it's a good point and something that has bugged me a little as well.


Quote:
I also don't like the way this page works. I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be better to have the list of questions at the top with hyperlinks jumping to the relative part on the page. As it is the page is very long - and you have to plough through a lot to find what you may be looking for. It was only post event that I noticed you have the smaller navigation option of the LH side.

That is how I wanted to do it, but I didn't know how to force a hyperlink to open halfway down the page. Is the code quite straight-forwards? I should probably have just googled it rather than force myself into the cumbersome work around.

Quote:
Also, it would be good to have hover text over the images and/or captions below them.

I like it, and shall ask. Should this be easy to implement? Assuming my meta tags are good, would it be reasonable to just show these, and is that possible? (It would at least force me to tag correctly).

Quote:
How about the addition of a RSS feed for your latest news - or a subsciption newsletter?

That is also something I've asked for. I was unable to access the main code to the page, and have therefore requested a section whereby I can do that.



Thanks loads for all the help and advice so far. Our website was set up very budget and we're muddling through.

On a slightly separate note, we're considering employing metafocus (www.metafocus.co.uk) to help us with our SEO strategy and optimising our PPC campaigns. Currently we don't really receive any organic google traffic and obviously we'd like to. Do you think that this is something generally worth doing, and has anyone experience of this company?

Cheers,
Aidan
March 17, 2009 07:47PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
My personal feeling would be to try and implement as much of the above as possible - and then look at how the site is performing. It might be that you have no need to pay a third party to do exactly what is being suggested here. But hey, thats just my thoughts and utter confidence in advice from some of the SEO bods in here.
March 17, 2009 08:17PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
"That is how I wanted to do it, but I didn't know how to force a hyperlink to open halfway down the page. Is the code quite straight-forwards? I should probably have just googled it rather than force myself into the cumbersome work around. "

This is extremely easy. Even I can do it, so that tells you something. You use anchor tags, and link to them.
March 17, 2009 08:18PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
As H says:

<a name="myname">text</a>

Link to it as <a href="pageURL#myname>...</a>

Rgds

Damon
March 17, 2009 09:27PM
EvoAidan
Posts:5
New member
Member since: 2009-03-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Evo Energy would like a review.
Thanks Harold and Damon I've managed to update my FAQ's and have a clicky uppy and downy thing on the page thing. W00t
March 17, 2009 10:58PM

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