ericapraga Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 1:44pm
post #1 of

I could use some advice-I have a website that I made and have been told it is very nice. However, I have not gotten very much business from it. I was wondering if fellow business owners could take a look at it and tell me if there is some glaring issue that I do not see that could be turning off potential clients. I am getting between 40 to upwards of 80-90 individual views a day, and this has been going on for months, so I was hoping to see some business. I work out of rented kitchen space, so I know that not having a shop is not helping.

 

susies sweets philly dot com

 

I am looking for constructive criticism of the website, please don't be too mean!

23 replies
cakesage Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 2:50pm
post #2 of

AHi Susie,

I don't own a business nor do I have a website. My feedback is as a consumer. Hope this helps. Your website is very informative and highly organized. You just need photos of your cakes and desserts. Humans are very visual beings. Nice clutter free shots of your creations will take your website and business to the next level.

Good luck with your business, you will do well. You are already paying it forward with Icing Smiles:-)

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 2:55pm
post #3 of

you had me at those gingerbread cookies! and i'm on a diet!  :lol:

 

from what you've written on the home page --i think you might want to consider an 'about me' page and i would condense it to something like this seed sentence: 

 

"i love creating delicious desserts to order from only the finest freshest ingredients including custom orders."

 

and come up with some more bio for that page, how long you've been baking, how you learned etc.--

 

and you could include the charity part about icing smiles there on the 'about m'e if you want--

 

(and thank you for doing that--what an honor)--

 

i think the information like the delivery and advance ordering times should go on the menu page--

 

i think the home page is a great place to advertise your upcoming events and specials--

 

i don't think it's necessary to advertise your limitations on your webpage "Also, please bear in mind that I can only produce a limited number of pies,"--

 

your cake and dessert selections sound fabulous--it would be better to make it into more of a list one after the other including the mouth watering descriptions and prices--rather than being peppered across the page--

 

"Please give me at least 5-7 days for individually decorated items." i'd just say , "we need blablabla" or "typically we need bladeebla time"--you have a lot of 'please give me" but i want to know what you can do for me--why do i want less sugary icing? tell me--this meringue icing is lighter and creamier and melts in your mouth and runs down your chin--tell me what i get --what you're gonna do for me--not what you need me to do--but of course i do need to know your requirements but in a little bit  different way --not so pleading-ish--polite yes but a little more authorized--which will come in time if not right now--just maybe be aware of that--

 

also your website is not necessarily going to drive your business--are all those hits from your local area or from across the globe? i don't know but you need to continue to do some other marketing too--

 

hope that was gentle enough--just some thoughts for you--

 

would like to order some gingerbread men right away--hahaha jk still on a dang diet--

 

check out other cake websites for their wording and  ideas too

rica827 Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 3:06pm
post #4 of

Agree with cakesage. Too many words, not enough pictures :) People see what they eat first, so putting pretty pictures of your creations with the description may help.


You also have A LOT of choices and people get overwhelmed very easily. If this was my page, I would probably put everything under a Menu tab, then list everything you make on that page. People won't have to jump around to different tabs to see what you make. You can then divide that page into simple sections like, Cookies, Cakes, Cupcakes, Pies, Seasonal, etc. That would also free up the tabs at the top for the REALLY important stuff like Contact Me, Order Now, Gallery, etc.

 

Your titles are quite large for internet text too, so you can certainly shrink those to make more room. People don't like to scroll for 10 years to see the bottom of the page. You want to keep your most important stuff above the scroll line - that is where someone needs to start scrolling down to see more information. Some of your items don't really need a description either - a chocolate chip cookie doesn't need a paragraph, just a good picture! :)

 

Good luck! 

therealmrsriley Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 3:35pm
post #5 of

Very nice and tasty looking treats. I did manage to find your cake gallery but it was a little buried under "More". If you already have a page for cakes, it would be nice to organize your custom cake pictures and info in that area. When I clicked cakes, I expected to see them all there, so I'm sure your customers will too.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 3:40pm
post #6 of

AAside from putting a web site up, what is the rest of your marketing strategy? How much are you spending on advertising on a monthly basis? Have you done SEO? What are your competitive advantages, and who is your target market?

luckylibra Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 5:27pm
post #7 of

Looks good, I agree with what others have posted, loved all the different flavors and such but I lost interest scrolling through the long descriptions/explanations (just being honest). One thing I found odd was on your gender reveal cakes "Simply have your Doctor fill out and mail Susie's Sweets a card with the baby's gender and I will make a either a pink or blue hued cake for your baby shower. "

 

Why?? Is this so the mother to be doesn't know the gender until she cuts the cake also? love the idea but probably needs defined if that is the purpose otherwise it sounds like you won't take the word of the mother to be on the gender if she tells you...just my impression and I am not a professional at all.

 

I would recommend your address be on the top of the home page also so people know exactly where you are located and likes others said, a picture is so much more inviting.

 

I loved the colors and the pictures that you did have looked awesome.

Soumitra Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:57am
post #8 of

Dear Sussie,

 

Saw your website. 3-4 quick recommendations :-

 

1. Install a "Testimonials" page.

 

2. Change font if possible to read the page names properly.

 

3. Start Blogging---> write articles.

 

4. Do a nice SEO.

 

5. Get site mobile optimized.

 

Hope this helps.

 

I have a business, my position was 500 + on google, now in 3 months I came to no.1 Slot , by doing some strategic planning.

 

Tell if you need some help

Evoir Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 10:06am
post #9 of

AOP - apart from the "snow white" cake, do you have any photos of [B]your[/B] actual cakes, custom cakes/cupcakes, pies, cookies, fudge, whoopie pies, peanut brittle etc etc etc?

I see you've used images of cakes and cookies listed under "creative commons". Potential customers should expect to see photos - lots of them - of your own work. You've written tonnes of prose, but a picture can tell a thousand words, so I'd encourage you to actually put photos up of your own work under each item. A delicious-looking slice of pie or a chocolately cookie would get more reaction than a page or two of writing.

This is my main impression of your website. It needs pictures of your own products, in order to sell them.

Evoir Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 10:09am

AOh and one other thing - have you factored in ALL your overheads into your pricing? Do you pay yourself a wage? Are these introductory prices?

BatterUpCake Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 11:58am

I would definitely work on your photos. Buy some fabric or a trifold board to use as a backdrop. It makes a HUGE difference. They sell the boards at Michaels.

Norasmom Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 2:49pm

Also, you might want to look into a company that does "search media optimization."  When someone googles cakes in your area, you can have your business pop up front and center.  Not sure how much cost is associated with doing this, but I know companies use this tactic all the time.

costumeczar Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 11:33pm

A

Original message sent by luckylibra

Looks good, I agree with what others have posted, loved all the different flavors and such but I lost interest scrolling through the long descriptions/explanations (just being honest). One thing I found odd was on your gender reveal cakes "[COLOR=993399]Simply have your Doctor fill out and mail Susie's Sweets a card with the baby's gender and I will make a either a pink or blue hued cake for your baby shower. "[/COLOR]

Why?? Is this so the mother to be doesn't know the gender until she cuts the cake also? love the idea but probably needs defined if that is the purpose otherwise it sounds like you won't take the word of the mother to be on the gender if she tells you...just my impression and I am not a professional at all.

Gender reveal cakes are pretty common these days. Believe me, if you're pregnant nowadays you know what one is.

Check this out: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Gender%20reveal%20cakes

ericapraga Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 2:17am

Hi everybody!

 

Thanks so much for the comments! They have all been really helpful!

 

There were lots of comments about pictures-they are on a page that is towards the back-I originally had pics in with the descriptions, but then the pages were really long to scroll through! I think there is only 1 or two that are common license (like a picture of brownies or fudge maybe), but all the cakes are mine. Plus, who really needs pics of chocolate chip cookies? They look like all the other chocolate chip cookies. I may look into removing many of the descriptions (like for chocolate chip cookies) but I felt that many of the items needed descriptions, as they are not familiar to this area (northeast).

 

I do not have an address because I am a custom caterer at this point- no storefront. :( As far as marketing goes, I did advertise in local papers, but that was a loss (and super expensive!). I get into as many food festivals as I can, and have been trying the farmers markets, but they are tough to get into. I do supply a number of local restaurants, but they do not say they are my desserts. I put up flyers periodically in my neighborhood and local stores, but I have a budget of about $0 for advertising. I have not done SEO, as I am not very familiar with it and I do not have the $ to pay. This is a side business, and I cannot take out loans to start it, it has to support itself, so the website is the only real ongoing advertisement (hence my asking!)

 

I am competitive because I am the only general baker in my area who does decent tasting cakes and desserts. There are no other general bakeries-there is a super expensive fondant cake place (that uses pound cake only and no buttercream), there is a cupcake place that occasionally carries brownies and there is a run down Italian bakery that is going out of business. My target market is young families that are looking to supply a touch of affordable gourmet to their parties.

jason_kraft Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 2:27am

AI recommend increasing your prices ASAP and using the extra profits to work with a professional to create a focused advertising/SEO campaign. What is your profit margin for your $20 9" cake, and how much are you paying yourself?

I see that you are offering gluten-free products...assuming you are serious about this (using a process to avoid cross-contamination and making sure your ingredient suppliers do the same) it could be a great niche.

MommyMommy Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 5:16am

AI am not a professional, but am a consumer and worked at an award winning design studio ( lot of website work ). As others have said... Too much content. Not enough photos. Too many pages/ as in listing items. Keep it simple. (Please don't let my dry comments here be taken in a mean way.) Just being to the point. Your product, content, and tone are all sweet! :) Look at some other's sites and take note - list most important info, skip too much description. Also I've noticed many business save the extra descriptions and more talk for their Facebook page? And I agree don't apologize upfront. I would not even post the 48 hrs notice info? I would think as a customer if I contacted you - you could provide me w more info at that point.

Hope this helps!

MBalaska Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 7:10am

When the webpage first popped up, I thought "WOW" that's fabulous.  The page should have ended right there.....because

You lost me after that.    55% of communication is VISUAL and the site should have  allowed me to go look at all of the photos of what you are selling by using the Pop Up menus with a Gallery of Photos.

 

 

Quote: " I may look into removing many of the descriptions (like for chocolate chip cookies) but I felt that many of the items needed descriptions, as they are not familiar to this area (northeast). My target market is young families that are looking to supply a touch of affordable gourmet to their parties. "

 

  • well, I'm looking at your typed words for [ chocolate chip cookies ].......and it does not drive me to want one.
  • and are you really trying to sell people stuff that they are not familiar with? why gamble.
  • Young families can't afford gourmet, most don't even know what it is.  They go to WallMart & Costco.
  • From the photos on the first page of the website it's obvious that you have excellent decorating skills !!!  ;-D

 

now you need excellent professional web creation help to show them off.

costumeczar Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 10:37am

AI'm going to be the voice of dissent here...i have people (web designers, not customers) tell me that my website has too much text on it all the time. But brides tell me that THEY LOVE THE INFO and are glad to have it to go through. Then they complain that other websites don't tell you anything, they just show pretty pictures. You do have a lot of menu and pricing informtion, so I'd condense that down, but don't go minimalist, people don't like that.

I'd make your gallery of photos one of the tabs at the top of the page, and have one pricing page. You don't need to list every flavor that you have, but just put enough on there that it makes people hungry .:smile:

Also, text is better for google to find your website. My site is very text-heavy and consistently ranks at the top of google. I know it must be good considering how many people have copied text from my site and used it on theirs, then I have to get their ISPs to shut their :grin:website down until they take it off. It's a weekly thing. So don't copy someone else's site. :grin:

Lynne3 Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 5:57pm

Change "Sweet Inspirations" to "Gallery"

And make it a part of your main menu.

 

Also, add some cake pics on the other pages.  It's great but no pics.

 

Also, City and State and areas you service should jump out at people who find your site.

mrbakery Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 3:22pm

Here's my $0.02 worth:

 

I agree with costume, brides want lots of info.  When it comes to custom orders, I think that is about the only page you can get away with putting lots of info.

 

So, have 1 tab for custom cakes and another for everything else.

 

For the main products, I would suggest grouping things together.  Have a section for cookies, but within that section, grouped things that are priced the same and skip the descriptions.  Yes, everyone has their own version of a chocolate chip cookie, but the basic flavors of a chocolate chip cookie, everyone is familiar with.

 

bars & brownies could be grouped together, pies, cupcakes, and then have a miscellaneous that everything else falls under.

 

Then have your prices set for each group of flavors, and put what flavors fall under each price.

 

The products that are customizable (like your peanut butter cookies that can include M&M's or reeces) put a * next to it.  At the end of the page, make a note that products with a * are customizable.

 

My last advice is kind of a question.  Where are you located?  It drives me crazy when bakeries do not at least list their city & state they are in.  I know those that rent kitchen space can't put an address, but at least put what city & state you are in.

 

If someone stumbled upon your site because they were interested in ordering, they'd want to first make sure they could order from you or if you were 10 states away from them.

 

I hope that helps!

 

-Rebecca

ericapraga Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 3:09pm

Okay, I have updated the website. I took a lot of the suggestions, so hopefully this helps!

Can I get feedback about the new site? TIA!!

reemasen Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 11:40am

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericapraga 
 

I could use some advice-I have a website that I made and have been told it is very nice. However, I have not gotten very much business from it. I was wondering if fellow business owners could take a look at it and tell me if there is some glaring issue that I do not see that could be turning off potential clients. I am getting between 40 to upwards of 80-90 individual views a day, and this has been going on for months, so I was hoping to see some business. I work out of rented kitchen space, so I know that not having a shop is not helping.

 

susies sweets philly dot com

 

I am looking for constructive criticism of the website, please don't be too mean!


Try to promote your website in search engine,it will helps you to get more visitors ans traffic to your website.There are many ways you can promote your websites.

1.Add content even if your site only sells products
2.Make good content for each product,keep it simple, clean and fast
3.Let others know about your site through social networks,Friends and family,etc and et users rate and share your page
4.Watch the traffic, logs, and keywords.Forum, bulletin board, or other user generated community
5.Grade your website and let it age.Link to external websites that reference your organization.
6.All statements and claims should be backed up by third-party evidence, neutral experts or verified studies.
7.If your website is slow and seems to takes forever to load ,people will certainly get doubts about you and leave,so get a good web hosting service .
8.Submit and promote your site to Search Engines or get the SEO service .

9.Also people are more likely to trust a website recommended personally by their friends than by a search engine.Websites with a strong social presence are more easily shareable and accessible, and thus easier to recommend. Search engines can also analyze these shares as recommendations, boosting the credibility (and rankings)of the website .

The above factors will make your website's page ranking high. Page rank indicates the importance of a website in the eyes of Google. It is the system that Google showing the most relevant results to the searcher.Higher rankings also means greater exposure because when a website ranks in the top positions it gets more links, more visits and more social media mentions.Also its important factor to get the SEO service from a good provider like Thewebpole.com which assist high traffic and business to your website.

reemasen Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 11:41am

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericapraga 
 

I could use some advice-I have a website that I made and have been told it is very nice. However, I have not gotten very much business from it. I was wondering if fellow business owners could take a look at it and tell me if there is some glaring issue that I do not see that could be turning off potential clients. I am getting between 40 to upwards of 80-90 individual views a day, and this has been going on for months, so I was hoping to see some business. I work out of rented kitchen space, so I know that not having a shop is not helping.

 

susies sweets philly dot com

 

I am looking for constructive criticism of the website, please don't be too mean!


Try to promote your website in search engine,it will helps you to get more visitors ans traffic to your website.There are many ways you can promote your websites.

1.Add content even if your site only sells products
2.Make good content for each product,keep it simple, clean and fast
3.Let others know about your site through social networks,Friends and family,etc and et users rate and share your page
4.Watch the traffic, logs, and keywords.Forum, bulletin board, or other user generated community
5.Grade your website and let it age.Link to external websites that reference your organization.
6.All statements and claims should be backed up by third-party evidence, neutral experts or verified studies.
7.If your website is slow and seems to takes forever to load ,people will certainly get doubts about you and leave,so get a good web hosting service .
8.Submit and promote your site to Search Engines or get the SEO service .

9.Also people are more likely to trust a website recommended personally by their friends than by a search engine.Websites with a strong social presence are more easily shareable and accessible, and thus easier to recommend. Search engines can also analyze these shares as recommendations, boosting the credibility (and rankings)of the website .

The above factors will make your website's page ranking high. Page rank indicates the importance of a website in the eyes of Google. It is the system that Google showing the most relevant results to the searcher.Higher rankings also means greater exposure because when a website ranks in the top positions it gets more links, more visits and more social media mentions.Also its important factor to get the SEO service from a good provider like Thewebpole.com which assist high traffic and business to your website.

costumeczar Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 12:17pm

the previous post is just a spammer linking to his pay-for-SEO site. The advice is generic crap, too. don't bother.

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