We’ve begun the Greenroofs.com website redesign starting with the Homepage. Our new design is about improving page navigation and making it easier for our visitors to find the content they want. More white space has been created and we changed the font type and size for better reading. We also kept in mind that search engines like to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of our site, and we think that this has been accomplished.
HERE’S WHAT’S NEW:
Project of the Week
The Project of the Week section has been moved to the top of the left side in order to attract the first look of our visitors. Well-documented eyetool analysis has revealed “hotspots” where visitors looked the most on a webpage – and people look most at the left top side. This visual image of the featured greenroof project should instigate additional interest and thus a click-through that brings the latest project profile to the forefront in a separate window. As you probably know, the project profile contains various photos and detailed content describing many important and relevant aspects of the case study. The data associated with these profiles is administered on our MySQL Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database via PHP scripts. Our database currently has 1,022 project profiles with many more being added every day. By the way, the content of this database is currently indexed by Google and Google News – which means when visitors search online, the results page will contain links to the data from our database.
The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database has been open to the world since 2004, evolving from the “International and North American Case Studies” portion of Linda Velazquez’ initial 1999 independent research study. Read more about how Linda selects the Project of the Week.
The Greenroof Directory
Visitors looking for companies to work with on their projects now have a quick search capability from the homepage, direct to the Greenroof Directory.
The Greenroof Directory is also a MySQL database which contains essential information (contact, products, services, photos, etc.) about Manufacturers, Suppliers, Professional Services, and Organizations in the greenroof industry.
All this information is searchable from the main Directory page and now, for the first time, from our homepage with our new quick search feature. The most popular main categories are highlighted in this new search box, and you can also access more categories from here, too.
By the way, the content in this directory is also indexed by Google and Google News.
In a guest feature article submitted by Adam Henige, a Web consultant, he states “An analysis of search engine data for 2009 clearly demonstrates a rising trend in the general public’s awareness of and interest in green roofs. Looking at these estimates for a cross section of the most popular general roofing terms and green roofing terms performed on search engines, there was growth in both areas, but by November the monthly search volume had grown only 51 percent for general roofing terms while green roofing terms had grown 155 percent.”
No one knows the secret formula that search engines use in order to optimize a particular site and improve rankings, but fortunately for us, we have enjoyed the number one spot in all the top search engines for the most significant keywords in our industry for over 10 years. In addition to creating lots of organic content on a consistent basis, we also have a high number of sites that consider us a great resource and thus add links back to us, which also improves search results positioning and site PageRank. So, if you want your company to be found online, make sure you get listed with us (shameless plug!).
An embedded video player showing the latest videos from our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube has been moved to the top right side for better viewing. YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing service and is owned by Google. Their service lets users view and upload video files, and in addition to hosting videos, the service lets users rate videos, add comments, and subscribe to their favorite producers.
Public videos uploaded by YouTube online users are selected by us based on their relevance to the greenroof and greenwall industry, and then added to the respective playlist that feed the various video players throughout our entire website. We encourage all of you to upload your videos to showcase and increase your exposure by sharing experiences, projects, interviews, tours, product demonstrations – with our marketplace and the rest of the world.
Industry News, ResearchLinks & Industry Support
The extremely long Industry News content that used to be displayed in the center column has been consolidated to a short list of the latest news with links to a new separate page fully dedicated to all the industry news associated with the greenroof and greenwall community.
The ResearchLinks section on the Navigation Bar has now been replaced simply with Industry, which now houses Industry News, Industry Support and ResearchLinks. Industry Support used to be under Greenroofs 101, which was the basis for Linda’s 1999 paper and Greenroofs.com.
You’ll find them now in a highlighted box displaying the latest two features with links to the full articles. If you are an expert on a particular greenroof or greenwall design topic, you may submit your content to our Editor and it will be reviewed for publishing on our site – just email your information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The long list of NewsLinks has also been reduced to a shorter one of the latest few, with links for more news on our page dedicated to all our NewsLinks. We have also added a section that will highlight a particular event during the month – like the 2010 Olympics, Earth Hour, etc. Make sure you visit often for all your industry news!
Contributing Editor Columns
Similar to Guest Features, another highlighted section now houses the latest from our contributing editors, prominently displayed within the body of the homepage with links to the respective columns.
· The Google Search Box that allows for searching our entire website is now more visible.
· The banners on the top and bottom of the page rotate randomly with a fade transition instead of the old slide in a sequential order. This will allow for all of our advertisers’ banner ads to have equal exposure to our visitors.
· Social Media icons are now top and center for easy clicks. Make sure you stay connected with us by following us on Twitter, becoming a fan of our Facebook wall, joining our Greenroofs.com Network group in LinkedIn, subscribing to the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube and our monthly eNewsletter.
· Finally, the bottom of the page is now filled with small logos from all our sponsors linkable to their respective color brochures in The Greenroof Directory filled with lots of pertinent information about their products and services.
We’re still in our tweaking stages, and have a lot more work to do to the rest of our site, but we welcome your feedback for what we have done so far. Keep us informed of all your greenroof and greenwall happenings, and stay on top of the greenroof world with Greenroofs.com! We look forward to hearing back from you.