SITE REVIEW: www.WordMouth.com - UK Recommended Businesses

  • Ravanol
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  • Ravanol
  • Posts: 8

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi all,

Where to start? Firstly please bere in mind I have never built a site before and have only been learning for a few months.

http://www.wordmouth.com
UK Word Of Mouth Business Recommendation and Review Service.


I came up with the idea for WordMouth last December. I am a programmer and long-time web user, but not a designer. I approached a friend to help build the site.. but by July he hadn't delivered, so I attempted to do it myself.

The concept is simple. I want a place where the general public can discuss and recommend the businesses, services, events, clubs and news in their local area. The Yellow Pages in great, but how do you know who is going to provide a good service?

In addition to this I wanted a place where companies could advertise for very low cost. Yellow Pages allows you to list a name, number and address for a lot of money. I thought it would be good to add images, weblinks etc etc to build a graphical billboard.

Essentially what I am trying to build is an "Amazon" for local business.

I chose phpBB because it is free and easy to install. You will see that I have used a large category hierarchy.. and ratings modifications. I have bolted in a payment system so that companies can add themselves to the directory. I have tried to strip out a lot of the forum elements that are unneccesary to streamline the display. The whole site only shows what it needs to.. no clutter.

The home page is simple too.. adopting the Google concept of minimalism! I am assuming that less clutter will make it easier to use.

Anyway I am open to any suggestions for design, content and SEO. I am listed on Google (pagerank 4 already.... not sure how!!), and have an Adwords campaign running from many keywords. I have attempted to optimise my homepage for "consumer reviews" with additional "local" and "UK" elements. You will also see that the titles of all my pages are dynamically generated

How do I get onto MSN... I can't find any way of submitting.

I think my concept is unique in the UK... (I am worried that Yahoo Local is catching me up rapidly!!).

Also check out the examples (linked from the header) for more idea about what I am trying to do. You can see the rating system, customer feedback, images etc etc.

This is all a protoytype... and I hope to pay someone to improve it once things start rolling faster. I have 100 members, but few post... and 9 paying customers so far

Please help me make my site better. I am finding marketing my idea very difficult.. and getting users to stick. After all, what is the incentive for them to post apart fromfeeling that they have helped others. ... and what is the incentive for a company to create a billboard - when there are so few posts!! Grr... chicken and egg!!!

Many thanks,

Al.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • daremedy
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  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is a really great idea and a really good site. Considering this is your first web design effort, not bad at all. I like that the site is simple, easy to navigate and not too cluttered. I was going to suggest putting in a background image or color just to contrast all the white, but I think it looks good as it is. I honestly think the design is great, I really cant point out anything that needs overhauling. The forums are well done as well. Easy to navigate through. I dont know what to tell you, good job! By the way, to get onto MSN search pages, just go to their upcoming search engine http://beta.search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx.
  • miner
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  • miner
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  • Loc: India

Post 3+ Months Ago

hey
new concept - i think as it spreads you site will be :motorcycle:

as for design it is simple and good..
  • Ravanol
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  • Ravanol
  • Posts: 8

Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow.. thanks guys... you have made my day with your kind words! :)

Do you have any ideas on how I may promote the site? I am trying to target keywords for "consumer reports", but am not anywhere to be seen in the Google rankings. I keep changing my mind about which keywords to target though, which I know is silly. How long does it take for Google to "settle" on the correct position for your page?

Many thanks again..

Al :)
  • melnicomm
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  • Loc: Paris, France

Post 3+ Months Ago

daremedy wrote:
This is a really great idea and a really good site....


ja! nice idea, I agree. Just I'm not sure about big yellow frame. Sorry, just first think about design... :wink:
  • miner
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  • miner
  • Posts: 64
  • Loc: India

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi Ravanol,

i too started designing a site for the Indian community

view at http://www.myindya.com

i must thank you bcuz i got the idea from your site (concept) and one more thing i copied some words 4 to 5 lines from yours....

hope you dont mind!! :D
  • 613flavah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

miner wrote:
Hi Ravanol,

i too started designing a site for the Indian community

view at http://www.myindya.com

i must thank you bcuz i got the idea from your site (concept) and one more thing i copied some words 4 to 5 lines from yours....

hope you dont mind!! :D


You shouldn't self promote in someone else's thread
  • miner
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  • miner
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  • Loc: India

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi

it seems you are redisigning your home page

need any help? i will try to make you a template if needed :D if you like use it, inform....

hey 613flavah - sorry i didnt mean to promote my site, i just wanna say thanx to Ravanol thats all
  • miner
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  • miner
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  • Loc: India

Post 3+ Months Ago

I made a header design for your site

if you like - use it :lol:

Removed the link !!!!!!!!!!

i will be hosting this link for a day for you to view....
  • Ravanol
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • Ravanol
  • Posts: 8

Post 3+ Months Ago

miner wrote:
I made a header design for your site

if you like - use it :lol:

Removed the link !!!!!!!!!!

i will be hosting this link for a day for you to view....


Ooops... sorry, my bad. :(

I have refined the site and made some adjustments. I have tried to get the concept across better on the homepage and included more direct method of accessing the forums. Any better? I am trying to keep it clean...

Cheers,

Alastair.
  • Jerrek
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I love this idea - I can see it becoming a very useful resource and becoming very big quickly. I have added this one to my Firefox bookmarks!
  • miner
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  • miner
  • Posts: 64
  • Loc: India

Post 3+ Months Ago

Ravanol wrote:
miner wrote:
I made a header design for your site

if you like - use it :lol:

Removed the link !!!!!!!!!!

i will be hosting this link for a day for you to view....


Ooops... sorry, my bad. :(

I have refined the site and made some adjustments. I have tried to get the concept across better on the homepage and included more direct method of accessing the forums. Any better? I am trying to keep it clean...


Cheers,

Alastair.



If you need to view the header gif, inform i will load it again or send you by email......
  • Ravanol
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  • Ravanol
  • Posts: 8

Post 3+ Months Ago

Finndel wrote:
I love this idea - I can see it becoming a very useful resource and becoming very big quickly. I have added this one to my Firefox bookmarks!


Thanks. i hoped it would become big quickly... but it has been 3 months now and takeup is slow. I really need the general public to start posting recommendations of their own in the "General Chat" areas in their counties.... but I have nothing to offer them, and there is no real incentive to do so. Any ideas what I can do to being people to the site?

I use Google AdWords at the moment, but it is costing me a fortune, and I get almost 0 return on that. Only about 1 in 15 people even sign up.... let alone purhase a billboard.

I am finding it really hard to get the concept out. I have sent countless press releases to newspapers, but they all ignore me.... I guess becausethe site is empty... and because it is a new concept.

I need a publicity stunt... something to grab media attention, at very low cost... and legal! ;-)

A.
  • alexgreg
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  • alexgreg
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Post 3+ Months Ago

good site

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