Announcing My First FREE Tool: Optimal – Get A Report On Your Website

I’ve been having a play around lately and managed to come up with a quick way for me to give you some simple advice on your website.  I’ve created an easy to use tool called Optimal.

It’s still in the early stages of development, so if you notice a bug or an improvement that can be made, or if there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know.  I’ll be making additions to it overtime, I hope to assess sites speed and also link out to various resources where you can find out how to fix each problem.

For now, please check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

David

 

 

My Latest Project, Frankly Jazz

This month I’ve been doing a bit of work for my brother in law, Marcus Groundwater, they needed a better site setting up since the one I did last time was on a zero budget and the one they’d done themselves was all in flash and I don’t think it had any visits.

So, here is the new Frankly Jazz, it’s not an amazing design, I just bought a template. But I think the content is good – if you listen to their music, it truly is superb. Now I’ve got to get them some business through it, the only trouble is there is hardly any search volume for wedding bands/jazz bands in the local area. This is a new challenge for me, as without an existing demand, search marketing is largely useless – which is one of the caveats of being a search marketeer. So my plan is to try and get people who are visiting wedding venue websites (largely hotels) to see the Frankly Jazz website, whether by ranking for brand names, or directy linked from the hotel websites themselves.

As well as this I’ve set them up with a Facebook ad campaign, but sadly this doesn’t seem to be getting many clicks – I’ve been targeting people who are engaged that live in North Yorkshire/West Yorkshire/North East, obviously I’ve still got some work to do before I master Facebook ads!

Marketing The Old Deanery

I first made the website for The Old Deanery back in 2006, it didn’t look very pretty, but it did pull in a fair amount of traffic, sadly not much of it converted.

That all changed in 2008, when Bronco re-designed the website, and it really gave the website a new lease of life! From there Dave Naylor coached me through increasing the rankings on Google, and it now ranks number 1 for most of the search terms it needs to.

Last month, my mother finally signed up to an online booking service (after a lot of nagging) – sadly its not quite perfect, but it has had a phenomenal effect on the website, the goal conversion rate for the website has increased and the % of visits that are checking availability is now 18.42% of all visitors (bearing in mind, some people come to the site to book a wedding or a table, so its a much higher percentage of hotel visitors). Also the number of visits has increased 32.62% in the last month, I believe this is something to do with the booking facility.

So today, the next stage commences, for starters I’ve added a Kiss Insights popup feedback form, which I am hoping will give us some great insights. I’ve also adding a wedding quotes form – this is going to enable us to track how many wedding enquiries we get. Working back from this, and with the right data from my Dad, we should be able to max out the number of weddings The Old Deanery does, as it really is the perfect wedding venue and it is the best way of filling up the restaurant/hotel.

Anyways, I’ll keep you all informed about what is happening, no doubt a lot of changes to the site will need making and I have a hunch that we’ll be doing a lot more advertising for weddings shortly.

Modern Warfare Site Sold – $500!

Yep, sold my site on Flippa, crazy thing is it went for $500! I think I may have been able to get more for it too.

Sadly they charged a lot in fees: $19 listing, $25 escrow and I think it was $12.50 for the final sale fee. On top of that I had to renew the domains which cost around £25.

All in all I think I made $400, which isn’t bad considering it took me 4 hours to setup the site and probably a further 6 hours to write content, plus the research was playing Modern Warfare 2 🙂

Current Online Income

I thought I’d do a little summary to everyone out there about how well my book did over the last year and how my online earnings have been doing.

In the end the book sold around 86 copies and has made me $472.88 so far, not really worth the time I put into it, but since I was unemployed at the time I can hardly complain. Obviously I’ve had to pay tax out of that too, you should have seen my tax return, 3 jobs, 2 self employments and 1 foreign income!!!

It looks like February will earn me almost next to nothing from my book, which is a shame, but I am hoping to start earning more money with my website, Site Juicer and perhaps also from my personal website ranking for various seo keywords, including “seo specialist” and “seo in ripon” both of which have brought me a few leads in over the year, but I am yet to still get my first SEO client.

So far this month I have made a little bit of money by encouraging businesses I have previously worked with to sign up with PRWEB to do their press releases, this has earned me £18 in credit, but I need to get up to £50 before I get paid (I think).

Setting up an HID kits website in Magento

Well it is finally finished, me and my m8 Vincent have spent the last week solidly working on his new website which sells HID kits and HID bulbs (those pages are probably blank at the moment as he still needs to add a lot of the products). I’d been researching which software to use a few months ago and had decided to use Magento, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

Magento - brilliant for SEO
Magento – brilliant for SEO

There was a hell of a learning curve, some things just aren’t explained anywhere – for example we spent four hours trying to figure out why the menu wasn’t working – we tried loads of things included re-installing. In the end it turned out it wasn’t a problem with the template/code – we simply couldn’t add new root categories (kinda stupid) – which is fine, once you know how!!! Anyways, this was just one example of the difficulties we faced, but in the end we persevered and I’m quite pleased with the result.

We actually bought a Magento template for $180 for Template Monster – and it was well worth it, when we couldn’t get it working properly we just passed over our login to Template Monster and they got it sorted, from there I just had to edit images, links and text.

SEO wise it is pretty good, although there are a few issues like the filter by category not linking to the absolute category page and instead linking to a dynamic one, creating duplicate content issues – also the way the drop down menu works means you are linking to every single category on the site!!! Both of these issues can be fixed quite easily though (although I still have to get round to doing it).

If you want to take a look at the site, it is called HID Origin.

4th Cheque Cashed

Now my balance has gone up from £107.64 to £135.31 – not too shabby!

My Call of Duty Guide blog is also gaining in traffic – I’m guessing this is because the approach of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – so I am considering buying a domain name and creating an online resource, rather than writing another book, dedicated to Call of Duty help. We’ll see. In the meantime I have ordered the original SWAT Team manual from 1976 – so hopefully I can learn some interesting new things to apply to first person gaming!

4th Cheque Arrives

Oh my fourth cheque has arrived (I took ages to cash my other one) so I guess I’ll be getting another £26 or so in a weeks time. I’ve also sold 7 books in June (I’ve sold 7 for the last 2 months) – I’m hoping to exceed this amount now I have a four star review – the conversion rate should increase a bit, I hope.

The book I wrote gets its first review

So I decided to check out how many books I’d sold this month and whether anyone had reviewed my book – dreading someone had given it one star. So I searched for my book in Amazon.com and found my book had been reviewed! Four stars out of five. I must say I’d have to agree with the review – it should have included more references, pictures etc. But on the whole it has some good advice. Apparently it’s more about stealth and assault – I guess thats where my strengths lie.
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