New SEO Link Building Website

Discussion in 'Website & Graphic Reviews' started by mv5869, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. mv5869

    mv5869
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    I recently launched a Link Building tools website and would love it if you could road-test it and provide me feedback.

    As those of you that know me are aware I have launched a few blogs in the last year. This time I wanted to use that knowledge and create a site to help others. The site covers how to set up a new profitable blog, how to market it, and particularly how to build links. I've learned a huge amount in the last few years so this site is my chance to share that.

    I'd love your feedback. In particular:
    • Does it look professional? Inspire confidence?
    • Any advice on look and feel?
    • The email newsletter. Is the sign-up process clear and does the newsletter look OK?

    The site is at: http://www.linkbuildingtools.co.uk/

    Thanks in advance.
     
    #1 mv5869, Aug 28, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  2. Fergal

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    I think you might be forgetting something mv5869 :) What's the URL?
     
  3. PaulPinnacle

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    The learning has already begun. Creating a buzz and demand for a site before it's even been released... marketing gold :p
     
  4. mv5869

    mv5869
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    Whoops! Thanks. I've edited the original post
     
  5. PaulPinnacle

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    At first glance, it looks pretty good. Clean layout that's easy to navigate.

    (As with all my reviews, I'll pull on whatever happens to hit me. Don't take it as criticism or something that 'needs to be changed', just a subjective view on what I'd look at changing if I had the time [or coding ability to do it ;)])

    Favicon: The animated gif is a little irritating. Something memorable helps, but while flicking between BAF and your site the animation on my tab is very irritating.

    Layout: In general, the site looks good. The one area that jumps out is the use of the justified text with a three column layout. In such a narrow space, justified text will always cause issues as a single large word can throw off a couple of lines. On my browser/settings, a single line contains just "own web address:" as an entire line due to the length of the URL that follows it. I'd consider either switching to a more standard left align (not ideal, but at least it avoids the large 'space' issues) or else changing the layout to a two column system (where the wider layout tends to offset the problem greatly).

    I'm not suggesting that left align is a perfect solution, it certainly has its own issues, but I'd defiantly look at doing something to rework that area.

    I'd also look at positioning the "Full Story" buttons in a consistent location, rather than just at the end of the text (e.g. set it relative to the margins of the box, not related to the text).

    (This is a design choice and one you're probably fully aware of, but the benefits in moving from the 'button' links to a text based link with relative anchor text, for a site based around link building, make it an option I'd consider even with the associated design implications of losing the buttons [e.g. "If this guy can't maximise his own internal linking, how does he think he can help me"])

    I'd also look at reducing the number of 'news stories'. In total you have 9 (or 6 if you reduce to a two column layout). I'd personally look to reduce it by a row and provide a clear navigational aid in place of the last row.

    (I also have issues with that cheesy grin in the top right corner, as mentioned to another poster on another thread, but perhaps that's just a personal thing. I'm just sick to death of seeing her face staring at me across the web)

    Privacy Statement: Email information is required to submit a comment and you have a newsletter sign up. To comply with EU law, you need to include a privacy statement for the site (easily identifiable from the home page).

    Subjectivity: The site is very much written as a subjective view (at least at the moment, if you want to appeal to a wider market that's something you might want to look at. An objective site may appeal to a wider market). If you do intend on keeping it in this manner, perhaps including a picture of yourself in the 'about' section (so you can personalise the experience for the users a little more) might be beneficial in gaining users trust.

    (If you hope to really develop the site, I'd strongly consider presenting the information in a more objective manner. Giving 'your views' only works if the person reading the information trusts you. If you present it objectively, with relevant references to back up the information, it's a far less 'questionable' resource and gives little room for doubt in the mind of a reader. It's far less fun and more work to do it in that manner, so I'm not suggesting you 'should change', but it does provide significant benefits so it's something to consider.)

    (Just to be clear and put this in context, I say this while providing a 100% subjective review. It is easier and faster. If this was a paid review/report on the site, I'd remove all subjectivity by suggesting the use of heat maps, analytics reviews, etc. to investigate the design issues [rather than just giving my opinion] and directly linking to the SE guidelines relating to the SEO points)

    Header tags: At the moment, your article headlines are appearing as h2's. As your page won't be optimized for these terms, this is providing little benefit. It's diluting the impact of what should be your key terms. From a semantic point of view, these aren't your h2's. I'd suggest changing the section titles (so "SEO and Link Building News" for example) to the h2's and the article titles to h3's or even h4's (it makes more sense and prevents the dilution of benefit to the real headings).

    (I'd also consider using a few strong/b/em tags to help identify key areas for users scanning the site and SE's to pick out the most relevant data from the body text)

    (A few of the pages are missing a meta description tag, but I've really only looked at the homepage and assume they'll be covered in due course. The meta description on the homepage is a little too long for most SE's)

    HTH and best of luck with the site. I'll be sure to drop by from time to time and drop a few comments if I can add to the topic being discussed (once I finally finish getting my own site done and dusted - and stop looking for distractions on BAF and elsewhere).
     
  6. Fergal

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    The site looks great mv5869 and the domain name is very appropriate for the content. I'd be interested to hear why do you not use your blog page as your home page. What is the objective of having your home page the way it is now? Using the blog page as your home page, with some featured articles on top, might work better.

    I'd agree with Paul, that the "SEO & Link Building News" section on your home page, looks a little cluttered in the three column layout. It makes for uncomfortable reading and many visitors will glaze over a mass of content like that, rather than be drawn into it.

    There is a break in consistency, where the Google graph image, meets the image of the smiling girl in your site header. It would look more professional if those images blended in better together.

    The bikini clad girls in the poster picture on your "About" page may look very attractive, but I'm not sure that the picture is a good fit, with the professional image that you want to create with your site. It looks a little tacky and out of place, in my opinion.

    The "And what is the hardest part about your site?" line in your "About" page doesn't read very well. Perhaps something like "And what is the hardest part of building your site?" or "And what is the hardest part of making your site a success?" would read better.

    Overall I think the site looks great and I wish you good luck with it.
     
  7. DavidL

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    Going by your general design, I'd place the navigation inline with the search section. That space below the current navigation just seems "bare" and probably could be used better.

    I think you could add the "Other Stories" on the sidebar so the reader can quickly go through the page, as many people don't "want" to scroll down.

    As a general feel, it feels dull. I don't think that orange goes "greatly" with the gray, but that's just preference :) Good luck with the site!
     
  8. mv5869

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    Paul - Many thanks for the helpful hints and the thorough review. Much appreciated. I'm off to make those changes. I've reduced the news stories on the front page to 4 now so its easier to read. The rest of the suggestions I will start on in the next day or two...

    Fergal - Strong nominee for MOTM surely!
     
  9. mv5869

    mv5869
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    Good point. Done now. Thanks for the tip.
     
  10. mv5869

    mv5869
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    Many thanks for the excellent feedback. I hadn't noticed the image problem. I'll redo that.

    The front page I should change to a blog page. I wanted to provide a bit of an entry point, but it doesnt work well after the first visit.

    News stories now reduced. Does it look better with just 4?
     
  11. PaulPinnacle

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    It resolved the justification issue, it does look better, but it still isn't quite 'right' just yet.

    I think it's due to there being a little too much inconsistency between the layout of each. If you kept it more consistent (i.e. a picture for all or a picture for none, if headings slip onto the second line then have all headings take up that much space, etc.), I think it would work well.

    When it's dealing with design issues like this, it will be subjective so perhaps wait to hear the feedback of others to see if someone else has a different view or perhaps a better suggestion on how it might be improved.
     
  12. mv5869

    mv5869
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    Thanks all for the feedback. I'm slowly getting there.

    The intro paragraphs have all been removed so now a new visitor just goes straight into the story. I think it works better.

    Has anyone got any views on the email signup? Does it work OK and are the SEO news emails coming through OK?
     
  13. Fergal

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    mv5869 I've subscribed for your feeds and will let you know when I start getting them.

    I honestly feel that the site still needs a little touching up to give it a more professional feel. Some of the images could be a little sharper and more professional, e.g. the one in Helium optimization post looks very grainy. When someone first visits your site they will form a first impression of it within a few seconds, you want that impression to be as positive as possible and small things can make a big difference in how positive that first impression is.
     
  14. John1

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    I must say, when I first visited your website I was in awe about the layout. I think it's a great choice and the colors blend in well together. The look and feel is also good, it's very easy to navigate and I found what I needed with ease.

    I especially like the email subscription bx on the right. Many blogs don't have this and I think this will provide your members/users a great way to keep up to date with all the latest news/updates.

    If I had to say one thing which I found, would be that the email subscription box is around 2px higher than the left column. Some of the images also look pixelated, you could maybe try and get them into a better resolution. I would also make better use of the footer, the middle and right hand side are empty and that could be used for valuable information. Other than that, I wish you the very best with your site.
     
  15. GekiDan

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    OK here's my review:

    Domain: The domain you got is just right for the topic you are discussing on your blog. But honestly, when I first read your site's name, I thought you have tools that can help in link building rather than advices or articles on how to do them.

    Logo/Banner: Your logo and banner are well professionally designed. It's the thing that will make your site unique to your competitors. I'm sorry, but to be honest, I don't see any connection with that dummy and link building tools.

    Favicon: Honestly, I'm not a fan of animated favicon so it doesn't really pleases me. It's kinda a bit of distracting like Paul said in the few posts above mine. In my point of view, it's much better to change it to a static one. Just my 2 cents though.

    Layout/Theme: Your layout is really cool. Your themes really go well along with each other. I just noticed on the "Meta" section. There's a log-in link. Is there a need for that? Are you planning to include guest posting in the future? I think it's better off to omit that link since you can fairly access the log-in page without going to that link.

    Images and Adsense: This is whee I see a problem. There are times that you image is somewhat side by side with the square Adsense ad, and the texts of your article condenses on the space in the middle of the two units. It's really hard to read an article with that little space. I can suggest that you should move the adsense units away from your images for better reading pleasure. If you, in some instances, lack spaces within your article for your ads, you can just place them at the bottom of the article so that they will not be intrusive to the reader's eye.

    And I just noticed that there's no image for this article whereas the other three have. It kinda destroys th balance of that part of your site.

    Headlines: I can see that this is the best part of your homepage. It's kinda good to see that visitors will manually hover to their desired article rather than automatically hovering like most other sites do.

    About Us: I saw that there's a link on the "easily" word but I don't see the link relevant to what you are talking about on your "About Us" page. Plus, it kinda leads me to an "untrusted site" based on my Web of Trust toolbar.

    Hope these critics/suggestions can help you improve your site.
    Hoping for your success.:thumbsup:
     
  16. mv5869

    mv5869
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    Fergal - Thanks for signing up. Would be great to hear if the email looks OK or if it is still too amateur.

    Some of the images do look wrong its true. I am building the whole site to be 100% automated, so all the news feeds are syndicated. The great thing is that once its working it will run itself on 100% autopilot, but the problem is that I still need to keep tweaking the scripts to get the news and format pictures. Getting there slowly. Once I have a working script I will happily share, or may even write an eBook on fully automated news sites.

    I do add the occassional blog post to share my own SEO expertise, but most of the news is auto syndicated.
     
  17. PaulPinnacle

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    I think this is the area that needs to be addressed ahead of the formatting/layout.

    Looking through the syndicated posts, I'm not sure how some (this for example) would be considered relevant for a 'link building' site. Also some serious work to be done on the formatting of the posts (and the fact that some are only showing as summary versions).
     
  18. Fergal

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    The email looked good. The only thing wrong with it was that it included the post that Paul mentioned above. The post contained no useful content and the formatting was all wrong, which made the email look a little unprofessional.
     
  19. GekiDan

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    It may be due to the original site's RSS Feed settings. In Feedburner, you can choose whether your site will send the whole post/entry or just the summary of it. I tried to use that feature once.
     

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