View Full Version : Need input about current website design

10-14-2015, 11:07 AM
I need some input on my website, lbrsoaps.com. Talking with a SCORE mentor, she says what she "would like to see is my product and the ordering done on the first page not the last page." She feels this is why I am not getting sales. With checking on several other websites with similar products, none have their ordering on the first page. They are set up similar to mine except with a couple specials on homepage to order.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

I have been working with SEO on site also, but my knowledge is somewhat limited. I have added keywords and phrases for all of products, and most of meta descriptions, but not getting much traffic to site.

10-14-2015, 04:07 PM
Some of the others on this site are far more expert than I am but first off, and no offense meant. I would not buy the soap from visiting your website.

First off and more importantly. It is to fact based and not enough benefit based. You list ingredients but no information about the benefits of why I would want the soap. Back when I first started in sales at the age of 19 I read a lot of books about selling trying to learn what I could to do my job effectively. This would have been before many on this forum were even a twinkle in their mothers eye. One of the books I read had a main theme of sell the sizzle not the steak. The subject in the book had been running radio adds talking about using the best quality meats. The writer suggested having the sound of a steak sizzling in the background and asking the radio audience imagine the wonderful taste of the steak and talking more about taste, and sizzle and less about facts. After changing the advertising format of course the restaurant was swamped with customers. You need to find the sizzle in your soap. My point is your website did not give me a reason to want to buy the soap. If I had come there looking for the soap I might buy but my question of why I would want the soap wasn't answered.

Graphically I think it could use a little work as well. A full sized banner with more appeal could improve it as well as adding a few photos to the home page.

I would also suggest adding a home button. The soap button is where the home button would normally be and I had to look a few times to find the soap. I don't think having the ordering on the first page would make a difference.

10-14-2015, 08:00 PM
Thank you for responding to my long winded question. I am not offended, but appreciative of any credible help. I am trying very hard to learn and having a very hard time finding answers. I have a question for you. When you looked at the list of ingredients on the homepage did you notice the note about more information about ingredients. I do have the benefits there. The Ingredients tab is at the very bottom of page. And judging from your statement, do you suggest I put that information on homepage instead of the Ingredients tab.

I am not sure that the banner can be any bigger. My son designed the website, and I think I already asked him about that. But pretty sure we can add more pictures to home page.

I will suggest to him about the home button.

Thank you.

10-14-2015, 08:21 PM
I agree that the fundamental question you need to answer on your page is WHY somebody should buy your soap -- what are the benefits the user would experience using your soap over something else?

Knowing how your soap is made and what it is made from are not, by themselves, important. What you need to explain is WHY making your soap the way you do makes your soap better (from the perspective of the consumer who is going to use your soap), WHY using the ingredients you use makes your soap better (again, from the perspective of the consumer who is going to use your soap).

Will the person using your soap be cleaner as a result? Will they be healthier? Will they smell better? Will they have more fun using your soap? Will they feel better about themselves having used your soap? Yes, there is certain cachet (or "snobbish appeal") to artisanal products hand-made from all-natural locally-sourced ingredients, by friendly local people who really care about what they are doing -- you want to play that up.

Taken to an extreme (ok, this is satire, but maybe it drives home the point): Maker Series: Artisanal Firewood - This Is That - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBb9O-aW4zI)

10-15-2015, 09:01 AM
Once again I don't mean to be negative but sparing your feelings won't help make your website better.

Here is your list of ingredients.

Coffee Grounds Added to soap to absorb odors from the skin. It is also a good exfoliator.

Cornmeal An additive to soap that has mildly abrasive qualities, which help to unclog skin pores.

Honey Adds a protective film that helps skin maintain moisture. It is a soothing moisturizer.

Oatmeal This additive to soap is used to soothe sensitive or irritated skin.

Pumice An additive to soap made from ground volcanic rock, used as an abrasive.

You are listing coffee grounds first which turns me off. You list pumice which makes me think it is not something someone with delicate skin would like. Oatmeal doesn't do much for me either. Cornmeal also leaves me cold.

Some of the comments you have under the benefit of goats milk really should be on the home page.

Just a quick note on the SEO. It needs a lot of work.

Your title is "Laid Back Ranch" That isn't telling people you are selling soap.

Your description is "Soap company based out of Arcadia, FL." Better but not all that good.

Keywords are not used much any more if at all but your keywords are "shopping cart, software, ecommerce software, online store" Where is anything about soap?

You have a good start but it could be improved a lot which would help your sales quite a bit. I may post more later

10-15-2015, 11:02 AM
I too am no expert on web design but I know what I like and I am a consumer of items like soap. That being said I am not a fan of your site. It looks very generic in nature.
As mentioned your name alone doesn't say you make soap. Is soap a byproduct of having a goat ranch or is soap the main source of business for the Laid Back Ranch? That makes a big difference.
If you are buying, selling, and breeding goats and happen to sell milk, soap, etc. Then gear your site toward that and the soaps are just a feature. If soaps and accessories are your "bread and butter" then I would find a way, tag line for example, to make it clear you are selling soaps and just happen to have a goat ranch.
Picture quality too, I think, is important. I would find a friend or hire someone to create high quality photos of your ranch and your products. Aesthetics is important when launching any web site but especially if you are selling a product.

10-15-2015, 09:15 PM
Thanks for all the input. I have changed the homepage this afternoon. Still working on the other suggestions, which are all appreciated.

CCAdamson - We are a small goat farm, from which 1/3 of our business comes from goat sales.

10-15-2015, 10:28 PM
Much better. Going to hit the hay now and will look closer in the morning but the changes are great.

10-17-2015, 09:11 PM
Thanks turboguy. Made more changes to brighten it up a bit. Hopefully by end of weekend I will have the banner wording updated, and be able to get some pictures on.

10-19-2015, 04:56 PM
Not sure if I'm late to the party, but it's a good thing to see that you are able to take constructive criticism. Everyone here wants to help.

I would dump whomever is help you with SEO unless you are getting it for free. Unless they guarantee their results with what you pay, they are not worth a damn thing. There is no way that they can get you on a first page of a search. If you are convinced about SEO buy a book and it will give you more than those proposing to get you results.

As for your webpage, you're thinking to small and it shows. No need for your personal details and a picture of your goat. It does not emit confidence in your product of something of quality. I know it sucks because it could be the best soap in the world but no one will ever know it.

In this day and age, anyone can look large a professional. Everyone is drawn to it. It displays confidence. Check out LUSH soap LUSH (http://www.lush.ca/) it's simply a graphic and the products on the front page, easy for you to emulate. LUSH is huge and sell tremendous online. You can easily portray yourself just like them. Take the advice of placing your products on the front page and save the ingredients for the product details.

I highly agree with highly promoting the "benefits" in every way you can, possibly in between areas of your products.

It's SOOOO difficult to get someone to get anyone to go to their website. but once they're there, you've got to wow them so they stop from going elsewhere or give them something to remember to come back.

If you are called Laid Back Ranch, give me a beautiful picture of a ranch that I want to go to. Associate that feeling I get of wanting to be there with your soap. Make me think that your soap will make me feel like I'm there. It's a simple image you can find anywhere online or take yourself.


Make the imagery keep visitors there and find out more about your product. All the large retailers do this, which used to cost a fortune to do, but no a days it only a few bucks if not free.

No one has to know if you are one person to a thousand strong entity. you just need to get your quality product in their hands.

Sorry, wife is calling expecting me for dinner. Hit me back if I've said anything you like or want to expand on.

Good Luck !!!!!!

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10-21-2015, 09:16 PM
Thinkbooks - The website is free, and I am the one doing the finishing touches - front and back. My son set up the site, but with his time constraints wasn't able to do the fine details. This site is limited to what can be done graphically. The picture on top with "Laid Back Ranch" is our ranch. Our budget is extremely limited, but did raid books a million today.

11-19-2015, 12:13 PM
I think the product is great but IMO the webpage would improve with catching big images, with bright colors, a cool logo and less text. I would use a larger font and call to action to the users. I would focus on the health benefits that this soap has in opposition to the industrial ones.

11-23-2015, 11:42 PM
Props to you for being a do-it-yourselfer, and for taking the constructive criticisms. I know a few peeps who only want to use goat-milk soap and swear by it. Your store could do very well if you give it the attention it needs to not only generate leads, but convert those leads to direct sales. And you do have your work cut out for you.

First, remember that your online presence should instill confidence and help build and reinforce relationships.
Secondly, I'm not familiar with cs-cart but from the theme video on their website, you could have real simple aesthetics - a visually pleasing presentation by adding a simple logo and choosing a consistent font and color scheme with appropriate white space. You could use a 'Cartoonize' app to make a goat (you could include yourself in it) drawing in black and white, add your brand name, and there you go - instant logo, easy to print and resize and use everywhere for your brand.
Thirdly, I didn't go very far in the checkout process, but if you have online shopping, it should be instantly evident that the checkout process is secure, and I saw no HTTPS. Though I did see the PayPal logo (I assume there will be a checkout step referring me to their secure servers), you are still collecting at least personally identifiable information - name, address, phone, email - I wouldn't trust a store on a subdomain with no SSL certificate. Ever.

Design tips are pure opinion, but website security is a must.
I might also suggest that you use social media (the footer link on your website just took me to Facebook, so I don't know if you have a brand page or not) - use your existing client base to promote your website and social presence, and turn those tried-and-true customers into brand advocates. You may even find a friend to volunteer to help with your website - someone learning graphic design or web design who would be thrilled to give your site a facelift for free, or create a logo for you.

Best of luck in your new venture, and above all, patience! Nobody sees success overnight. Well, nobody normal, anyway.

11-30-2015, 05:00 PM
Hi lbrsoaps.

From an artist perspective, maybe the first thing I noticed is some things do not seem to sit well visually with that white background.

The words "** Now through December 4th, 30% off Entire Store!" are a light pink, and almost blend in with the background. I recommend changing it to a color that stands out more (especially for a sale!). Perhaps a 'christmas red' of some sort.

Your logo also doesn't seem to sit well on the white background. If you gave it some kind of border it may sit better. Have you ever considered hiring a professional to design a logo for you?

I love the green titles with black writing beneath on the front page.

You're welcome to message me if you ever have questions about the visuals of your site.

Come to Life Creatives

09-13-2016, 04:23 PM
You're not making sales because your website is not receiving any traffic. There's no easy answer to building traffic and it usually takes years.

Established e-commerce sites usually sell to about 1-2% of site visitors. So, when they receive 100 visitors, they can expect to make 1-2 sales. This is a generalization, but gives you a good idea of what to expect. If you capture these people's email addresses you can of course sell to them again.

As your site sits, I'd expect under a 1% conversion rate. If I'm being honest, the site looks homemade and the benefits of your product are not clear.

My suggestion is if you have no budget, sell on Ebay, Amazon or Etsy (if you can sell that type of product there). People trust those sites and will purchase from them. They will also funnel traffic to your products for free.

If you start making money on these sites, start thinking about making your own website.

Couple quick suggestions with the design. Get the menu items all on a single row and try to organize some under submenus. Get rid of the big white and gray space at the very top. Get your products, benefits and call to action (buy now, shop now etc.) above the fold (top).

09-17-2016, 06:12 PM
I agree with BiJingus and would recommend Etsy! You don't have to worry so much about the layout, but will still have to be creative with photos and banners, but there is already promotion being done to attract customers to Etsy. You will need to do good SEO to be found in the Etsy search, but it is not too difficult once you understand the techniques that work. All this being said though, I am here because I am trying to learn new ways of marketing outside of Etsy to get into the big name search engines, or traffic from other sources.


09-19-2016, 03:07 AM
I hope you will find my opinion helpful. I'm consuming a lot, and I don't mind getting something what seems to me quite interesting. Your goat milk soaps is something very interesting, BUT! Being absolutely honest, your website looks like a amateur blog, but not like a professional website. I don't like the design of it, and this is what makes me stop scrolling down to see more of your products. It is just not attractive at all. I would strongly recommend you to work on the visual part of your website, as your products could attract lots of attention. Maybe there is a sense to go for a professional web designer who can help with it, or look for some temples that look more presentable.