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Website improvement diary - windowsphoneupdate.com

Discussion in 'Websites' started by deam, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. #1
    I hope this is the right section to post this thread, but I believe so.
    This is going to be a diary of me improving a website which I bought a couple of months ago. I hope you will be helping me on the way with tips and advice, but also learn stuff from me. Hopefully this makes it a win-win thread for both of us. I am going to be completely open about everything, so feel free to ask me any question about this website.

    History
    The website which I will be improving is: http://windowsphoneupdate.com
    I bought this website about 2 months ago for $300,-. My main business is to buy websites, and improve them. I do want to make revenue on the websites as a sort of long term investment.
    I didn't have time to improve the website earlier, so I just had it sit for 2 months. Now the time has come to improve the site, and that is what this thread is all about. 2 months is a great period to watch the site and see how it performs.

    Current state
    Lets talk a bit about the current state of the website, which was founded in 2011. I will be looking at several aspects. If I missed one, please let me know.

    Design
    The site appears to be using a standard free Wordpress theme, which looks like it is from before 2011 :( Here is a screenshot of the current design:

    [​IMG]

    Social media
    Lets talk a bit about social media, which is an important aspect nowadays. As you can see the site does have a Twitter account, but it is rarely used. It currently has 50 followers, which is a nice bonus. Other social media, such as Facebook pages have not been created.

    Traffic
    The site currently gets some traffic, here is a Google analytics screenshot of the past two months:

    [​IMG]

    So 50-100 visitors on average daily, which is not bad. But I think the site has a lot more potential. The majority of the traffic comes from Bing, and Google. But Google traffic has nearly died out.

    Revenue
    The site is currently making revenue from link sales, and Google Adsense. The link sales are 45 dollars per 3 months, which comes down to $15 each month. Here is a screenshot of the Adsense income of the past 2 months (around €10,- each month):

    [​IMG]

    So the site is doing some nice revenue, even if I would just let it sit there for 1 year I would make back my investment. €20,- (link sales + adsense) * 12 = €240. But this is not what I want to do, I want to improve the site and do something useful with it.

    Content
    I would describe the content on the site as "ok", there are not of exceptional quality but not bad either.

    Other
    The website has a pagerank 3, which is nice. It does have some backlinks, but not a lot of SEO has been done.

    This pretty much sums up the current state the site is in, if you want to know any other information let me know!

    Action plan
    I have already identified a few steps I want to take to improve the site. This is my current action list, feel free to suggest other improvements.

    • Redo the design, I want it to look more modern.
    • Improve navigation, current navigation looks a bit weird. Maybe I will categorize based on apps, phones etc.
    • Integrate social media, and think about how I am going to use social media.
    • Think about content, should I hire a text writer or should I write the content myself?
    This finished off the first post in the diary, I hope you are still with me :) Please let me know what you think!
     
    deam, Dec 23, 2013 IP
  2. deam

    deam Member

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    #2
    I am considering this template, what do you guys think? http://themeforest.net/item/pandora-responsive-wordpress-magazine-theme/5884252
    The buttons on the right look very Windows phone style, furthermore the template looks clean and has plenty of options.
     
    deam, Dec 23, 2013 IP
  3. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #3
    Yes, you will have to redo the design. In it's current state the site isn't worth much.

    Keep in mind you have about 3-5 seconds to captivate your site visitor's attention. Make it nicer, bigger, more sophisticated, etc. What you have now is a dead horse. Sorry for being blunt.

    Keep us updated on the progress!
     
    qwikad.com, Dec 23, 2013 IP
  4. deam

    deam Member

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    #4
    You are not being blunt at all, I know it sucks in its current state that is why I am doing the improvement. Your thought is also verified by the numbers, just look at the 68% bounce rate.
     
    deam, Dec 23, 2013 IP
  5. deam

    deam Member

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    #5
    Just a quick update of todays work. I have purchased the theme and set it up. As you can see I have chosen to keep the navigation simple, there are three major categories:
    • Phones
    • Apps
    • Tips
    Furthermore there is a sub navigation menu which allows me to link to more specific categories.
    I also cleaned up some old pages, plugins etc. As it turns out the new theme and navigation give me some work to be done on previously posted posts, I need to do the following:
    • Set the new category
    • Set a featured image, because the theme relies on it
    • Fine tune advertisements (different placement)
    Apart from that I also identified that the contact page was not very up to date, I will be creating a new one using contact7. Today I also bought a Fiverr gig in order to create a new logo, as a temporary logo I have created something myself in Photoshop (I am an awful designer, bear with me!)

    As always, feedback is welcome! Here's a screenshot of the new state.
    [​IMG]
     
    deam, Dec 24, 2013 IP
  6. profoundDmd

    profoundDmd Greenhorn

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    #6
    The design is a big improvement I'll give you that. But it's still rather static.
    When you hover over your coloured menu and the 'read more' buttons, nothings happens. I'd at least change that imo. Let the user know he's doing something. They don't behave like buttons, which 'scares' the user.
    Responsiveness is really nice though.
     
    profoundDmd, Dec 24, 2013 IP
  7. deam

    deam Member

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    #7
    Another small update:
    • New contact form is done.
    • Posts have been updated to reflect the new navigation
    • I integrated social media (Twitter, Facebook) and subscription (RSS) possibilities. Also installed a plugin to auto-post new posts.
    • Added feedback to "Read More" and navigation buttons, as suggested by profoundDmd, thanks!
    The bounce rate has gone down last two days (30%), I guess the new design is paying off. I am now waiting for the new logo.
    Feedback welcome as always. I am now thinking about the content, should I hire someone or do it myself?
     
    deam, Dec 26, 2013 IP
  8. deam

    deam Member

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    #8
    New logo is now in place! Feedback still welcome. I am now thinking about the content creation and promotion. Any idea's are welcome!
     
    deam, Dec 27, 2013 IP
  9. deam

    deam Member

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    #9
    I thought about the news and I am going to hire someone to the longer articles, such as extensive reviews, in depth tutorials etc.
    I will do the posting about new apps myself to save some money.
     
    deam, Dec 29, 2013 IP
  10. deam

    deam Member

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    #10
    A new update. I have found an excellent content writer which write two good quality articles and I am publishing smaller news items daily.
    The traffic has not increased yet, but I am giving this strategy one month time at least. It seems Google needs some time to wake up for this site, it was indexing very slow while it should index this site daily (being a news site). Perhaps this is due to the fact that Google hasn't found any new content for a long time.
    The Google organic traffic is also very low, I am trying to increase that using longtail keyword targeting.

    Any other improvements for traffic are appreciated, but I think this strategy will ultimately get me in the higher visitors ranks.
     
    deam, Jan 7, 2014 IP