This week I had a chance to sit down in a Google+ Hangout and chat with Bill Moran, who has spent the last few years figuring out how to make web sites sing for their masters. He took Escape Velocity Gaming and helped one of their products become a Copper Seller at DriveThruRPG. And he offered to take a look at this very site to offer some suggestions on how to make it perform better.
So I took him up on his offer. Shocking, I know. I’ll include the video at the end of this post, but I wanted to talk about many of the suggestions he had. I ended up with two pages of notes (and probably far more than 10 things to work on) and I figured I’d share what he told me.
- Fix the Redirects – My site has been up for a long time. And once I get something working, I tend to leave it be. Well, apparently I have a bit of a rabbit hole when it comes to my site… If you go to MoebiusAdventures.com, that leads you to Blog.MoebiusAdventures.com, which leads you to Blog2.MoebiusAdventures.com. I just need to move things around a bit and see if I can fix that so you stay at “Moebiusadventures.com” when you go to my site.
- Change the Tab – When you open the site and look at the tab or title bar of your browser, you’ll notice it says “Moebius Adventures Blog.” Well, that’s what it is – but Bill suggests that I tweak that to be more descriptive for SEO purposes. Something like “Moebius Adventures Games” perhaps or “Moebius Adventures RPG Game Supplements.”?
- Update the Contact Page – I never noticed that my theme makes my contact page look a bit odd (“Contact Us” is big and bold over “E-mail or Use the Handy Contact Form…” which is also big and bold) and that you can leave comments on the contact page. Why anybody would want to do that is beyond me, so we’ll get rid of them.
- Update the Theme – My theme is looking a little long in the tooth. And since the world is going mobile, my site needs to change to adapt to that new world. Part of that is the big header at the top that doesn’t stretch the width of the theme. Bill suggests getting rid of that entirely and moving to a logo and a background image, so it’s time for a visual update of the site…
- Combine Products to a Drop-down – Another issue is with the page links right at the top of the page. There are a lot of them. And it’s not apparent what they all do. I need to combine “Products” into a “Products” drop-down that lists the various product lines I have – and that should simplify things a bit.
- Keep Readers Around – In general, we want to keep folks reading here at this site and not redirect them away, but if we do (like for the DTRPG banner), make sure it opens in a new page. But I really need to focus the site so that it’s less easy to be distracted and hop off to other parts of the Internet. 🙂
- E-mail is Gold – I keep hearing this and Bill reiterated it last night. The ability to collect e-mails is equivalent to gold. I’m horrible at sending out newsletters, but should send e-mails to potential customers about new product releases, sales, news, and more. And I should give something away for free as an enticement. This is something Johnn Four also mentions as part of the Gamer Lifestyle program, so I don’t know how I forgot it!
- Use Excerpts – This is something I’m horrible about, but I understand the reasoning. I tend to write long posts, which means you have to scroll through them if you’re not interested in the content if you want to get to the next post. In a day and age of quickly scanning headlines and text for something interesting, that just doesn’t fly. So I’ll work on that.
- Read Cosmo for Headlines – What!?! Yeah, I know. That’s what I thought too until I grokked what he was saying. You don’t need to *read* Comopolitan. Just look at the way the headlines are constructed to grab reader attention. My headlines are booooring. So some spice will make things nice!
- Toot Your Own Horn – And this is a biggie. Don’t be afraid to remind people that you sell products. A lot of my posts are cool, but ultimately I’d like it if more folks bought my stuff. 🙂 So better use of text to suggest a product or an occasional banner isn’t a bad thing.
This definitely covers a lot of ground and I’m glossing over a few things. But be prepared for a few changes to the site over the next few weeks.
And don’t let me forget the video!