Garden Landscapes Website Update

URL: http://gardenlandscapes.co.za
Scope of Project: Update site structure to Responsive Design
Type of Website: HTML/CSS/JavaScript – no database, no WordPress

Is your current website helping or hurting your business? Do you have a clear idea of why your search results are eroding?

When I met John Douglas of gardenlandscapes.co.za he was quite happy with the website he’d built, but asked me if I could figure out why he wasn’t getting the traffic to his site that he used to. His position on Google was slowly slipping away.

Before the website update

What the site looks like now

I had a look at his site and knew immediately that he was losing out because his website didn’t adjust to take advantage of different screen sizes. This has been a problem since I started writing pages in HTML 25 years ago, but it has got progressively worse with the advent of smart phones and smart TVs. Luckily, Google have adopted and adapted a solution they call “Responsive Design“. If you have some time and interest in web design, Google offers a free course in Responsive Web Design Basics.

Even if you’re not a Google fan, it makes sense to make your websites responsive:

Responsive web design has become more important as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of total internet traffic.

 – WikiPedia

I discussed the project with John and he agreed, and I committed to keeping the costs low. John’s content was good and solid, and he’d actually managed to get a good result on Google – something a lot of advanced web developers struggle with. So I undertook only to update the way the information was presented in the browser. I kept the same site structure, including page names and keywords, only adding some copy where I thought it appropriate to highlight his services in his geographical service area. I also found a better, more standard way of rotating the images on his site and optimised the images to keep page load times below what they had been.

John uses Google Analytics to keep track of traffic to his sites, so I implemented tracking on the updated pages, even though it is the one thing that impacts most on slowing the time it takes to load a page on his site.

He was very happy with the results. Now his pages display well on all devices, adding to his reputation as a trustworthy supplier of garden services and landscaping in the Fourways area.

I’d encourage any business owner to look into updating their site on a regular basis – Responsive Web Design, done correctly, should not be broken by new technology, and the resulting boost to customer perception is well worth the investment. It has become increasingly common for people to search for your business online on a cell phone. If you do, what do you find?

According to this article on Upwork.com:

Choosing to adopt responsive web design in your development isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, especially for existing web properties. Because Google prioritizes a site’s mobile viewing experience into the factors in its SEO algorithm, responsive design isn’t a choice—it’s essential if you want your site to be visible in search results.

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