Fix My Site

Does your site suck? Do you need professional advice? Do you not want to pay for this advice? Send me an email, and I'll take a look at your site and provide you with some real suggestions. By real, I mean real.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Subject Is Death Of Site

Robin, whose site is writes:
I'm a photographer not really a designer. I'm so lost when it comes to google. I've been trying to figure out their site map thing and I'm LOST. I'll take any help you want to offer.......I get no traffic at the moment.....

I took a thorough look at your site, Robin, and I've got to say that you have a very fitting "look and feel" to your site that is relevant to the subject matter, despite the amateurish design. Many sites fail to acheive this, even with professional design. You've also got a nifty little picture selector that doesn't rely solely on javascript (a very good thing), which is where you do your business. You don't have any moving text or animations, or anything else annoying that would turn a visitor away. So, as for you getting no traffic, well, I had to dig a little deeper (pun very intended) to try to figure it out. Although you've only got your homepage indexed in Google, Yahoo! and MSN both have your site relatively well-indexed. I looked at your code, and you've made the typical dilettante mistakes, such as using FrontPage and not including a doctype (see previous post) and adhering to it, with much invalid code, among others (<font> tags, mainly).

But this doesn't explain the lack of traffic. Honestly, the only thing I could think of was that it could be your subject matter. I know you're a niche operation, but maybe you're the only one in this niche. I, for one, have no need for a random grave shot. I can understand if you maybe did photo shoots for people or catered to a goth audience who is more into that stuff (which you may be doing), but in all honesty, I think the problem may be your content.

However, that's the worst thing, and there's a double-pronged solution: patience and advertising. Okay, a bit of copy rewrite with some SEO work wouldn't hurt (see previous posts for help with this), but mainly you need to get yourself out there. There's always SOMEONE out there who is looking for what you're offering. Once you get yourself out there, be patient. You can't force your domain name into people's browsers.

As for Google Sitemaps, I have had bad experiences with them. I had a site with a valid sitemap and it did nothing but hurt my site index within Google. When my page count finally dwindled to zero, I removed the sitemap, and within 24 hours, I was back to top-level index pages. If you still want to know more about how to make a Google Sitemap, comment here and I will make a "Making a Google Sitemap For Dummies" post later.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Traffic generation is very difficult to acheive sometimes, even with a top-of-the-line site, especially if you have obscure subject matter. Just keep working on your content, keeping it tightly focused. Also, try to think of different words that people who may be looking for your content might type in, such as "grave pictures" or "tomb photos." Try using the "Keyword Suggestor" tool on the right. Then once you have the words and phrases you like, weave them into your content. Create unique titles and metadata (keywords, descriptions) for each page using these keywords. After you do this major overhaul, wait about a month for results. You should be surprised.


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