Prelude: As I was trying to come up with a good title for this post, the words like “revenge”, “massacre”, “mercy”, “masochism”, “pack of hungry wolves” kept popping in my head. However, I decided to leave those thoughts for when I audit your blogs and stick with something friendlier for this special occasion. Go easy on me, in other words!
You’ve read and loved my Blog Audit Fridays for a while now.
Moreover, many of you took advantage of the very frank advice I so freely dispense and used it to improve your blogs – I am privileged to know that I played a part in that and love hearing about the incredible growth that can only come from taking action.
Since I am so good at bashing other people’s blogs, you would think that my own blog would be just about perfect.
Of course, nothing is further from the truth.
Writing daily posts for TGC, as well as guest blogging, attending to several social media accounts, responding to hundreds of comment and emails per day, don’t leave a whole lot of time to actually tweak my blog and make sure I stay on top of my own advice.
However, I am the one who walks the walk, and that’s exactly why I decided to ask for your help and give me a push in the rear that I desperately need to move Traffic Generation Cafe forward.
So… without further ado – my blog and this mad Russian are at your mercy.
Let’s start with some general stats about my blog:
Title: Traffic Generation Cafe | Generate Targeted Website Blog Traffic
Description: Traffic Generation Cafe: Plain, simple, cutting-edge knowledge and insider tips you can use to generate traffic to YOUR website, right now – today!
Google PageRank: PR0 (from your comments: I can’t believe I am still PR0 either!
Alexa Rank: 14,280
Indexed pages in Google: 2,150
Domain Age: 7 months
Here are some points that I’d like for you to hit when auditing my blog.
Mind you you don’t need to be an expert of any kind.
If you have SEO expertise, hit me with it – let me know what you see I need to change.
If you are web designer, let me know what design changes would improve my blog and increase conversions.
If you are a copywriter, give me some pointers on tho to write better.
If you are a techie, let me know what flaws you see and what improvements could be made.
If you’d rather leave all of the above to people who know what they are talking about, just tell me your overall impressions of TGC: things you like, things that bother you, and what you would do differently.
When auditing someone else’ work, it’s always good to not just point out the problems, but also provide solutions. I am not a big fan of “I don’t really like it, but don’t know why“.
Pretty self-explanatory – just try to see my blog as if it’s your first time.
1. What I liked about your blog
From your comments:
- overall pleasing style and colors;
- easy to read writing style;
- nice header picture, and yes, it’s me (funny – or not – story on that in Linda‘s comment)
- lots of other good stuff, in other words.
Now it’s much more fun to see what you said below:
2. Design changes to consider
1. Navigation Tabs Font: Heather Hill says that the font in my navigation tabs and sidebar widget headings is too small and a bit hard to read. Agreed.
2. Social Media Buttons: Katherine Salt said that would expect to see social links nearer the top of the page.
My goal is always to bring followers from social media networks to my blog and keep them here; not the other way around. That’s why the buttons are on my blog, but not too prominent.
3. Sidebar on the left: Adam Paudyal asks “Is there any particular reason(s) why you put the sidebar on the left and not on the right side. I was just wondering if it makes a difference if the sidebar was on the right and the content on the left?”
When you look at a webpage, where do your eyes go to? To the left top. Since that’s where my optin form is (and temporary out of order ), that’s where I want the eyes to be. However, still need to split test it.
Also, an interesting post on that from Lisa Drubec How You Lost 20% Of Your Conversions – by the way, you’ll notice her sidebar is on the left as well.
4. Header: Sandy from Composting reviews says “I love the header but it does take a large amount of space above the fold”. I agree, it’s too big. Problem is if I changed the width, I would have to change the length… and then what? Dilemma…
5. Background color: Connie McKnight says that my background color could be a bit lighter, like the light color blue at the bottom of my header.
I’ve tried it before, but didn’t like the color combo. I think I should stopping guessing and do some split testing. Thanks, Connie!
6. No picture in the header: Maky says “I am not a huge fan of personal photos in the header (kind of screams MLM marketing to me), I believe the one in the footer, your gravatar and in the “Article by …” box is enough for me to know who owns the blog. You use the same photo everywhere which is good.”
DON’T agree with that. My face is a part of my brand. Plus, I am not even in MLM.
1. RSS Button: Lisa thinks that the feed option should be more prominent towards the top of the page. The one in the header is small.
Here’s my answer: RSS feed – I am thinking of getting rid of it in my navigation bar altogether. Two reasons: the first one is too long to explain and it has to do with how many people statistically read RSS feeds; second one has to do with the fact that I am displaying yet another link on every page leaking my PR that I don’t have .
I think I will make a post on RSS feed – it’s quite interesting.
2. Sidebar widgets: Donace says I need to reduce the number of links that repeat each other on each page, like “Home” link or all the widgets in the sidebar. Point taken.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am in traffic generation niche.
I talked about anything and everything that can bring traffic to your site, and I mostly focus on free methods.
However, am I missing something? Is there something you think a blog like mine should cover, but doesn’t?
1. Keyword Density: Max says “I had a look at your keyword density of the page with SEO for Firefox. H1, h2, and h3 tags are fine, but none of your keywords get anywhere near the recommended density of 2-5%.”
Answer: keywords density hasn’t mattered in a long time. Tried to Google “does keyword density matter” and there will be an abundance of opinions supporting that.
Same as above; give it your best shot to learn all you want or can about my link building and identify my blind spots.
I am absolutely looking forward to your feedback.
As I read through your comments below, I’ll be looking for valid points that can improve my blog and my readers blogs, and fill in the blanks above – with DoFollow links to your blogs. Great opportunity to network with me, and made yourself known to my readers.
Take advantage of this!