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Reorganizing Your Site May Help Your Rankings

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Hi Mike, there are a few quick and easy changes you could make to your site that would make it more visually appealing and rank higher in the search engines.

First I’m going to look at the visual aspects.

1) The colors seem dull. Inflatables are bright and invoke a festive feeling. I’d suggest bringing lighter colors onto your site. The black is unappealing, as is the salmon color.

2) Your inflatables images increase size on mouse-over. This is distracting and when I see the arrow icon change into a hand, I expect to be able to click through to another page. This is not the case with these images. Make them bigger and bring them more into the body of your homepage.

3) Get your site designer’s link off the bottom of every page. That looks tacky, and it does nothing for you. If the designer is your buddy, and you’re paying him with those links, it might be better just to give him his own page on your site rather than have those links repeated so often.

4) Because you should have YOUR contact information on every page. When I click deeper into your site and look at specific types of inflatables, I have no way of contacting you to express my interest. Once I’m looking at one of the images you’ve got to tell me what to do.

For example: “click here for rental information,” or “call us now for more information.”

5) Your logo could stand a touch up too — some color perhaps. You should consider having a professional design a logo for you. I’d recommend Bill Haig.

6) There are too many links on your front page. You need to find a new way to organize them.

For example, your competitor, http://www.eventgames.com/, only has 5 links on their home page. Consider how you could condense your links down to a more manageable number.

This suggestion leads us to…

7) Your page is too long. By reducing the number of links on your frontpage you can move the text up some. Check out your competitor’s page again: http://www.eventgames.com/.

Their’s isn’t the slickest site in the world, but it functions more efficiently than yours, in its present state, does. Also notice how bright their’s is with a white background, and all the colorful balloons up there in the header.

8) Consider using some testimonials and an e-newsletter.

Ok, now for some SEO Strategy:

First I took a look at the keywords on your front page. There were two that I noticed there: “Advertising Inflatables,” and “Interactive Balloons.”

Here’s the rundown on those two:

The #1 site out of 25,100 results for “Advertising Inflatables” was http://www.windship.com. Visit their site and take a look. It looks nice.

I would not try competing for this keyword — there’s too much big money invested in getting top ranking here.

“Interactive Balloons” had 61,600 results, but they didn’t seem particularly targeted. The #1 result is from an MIT graduate paper. Google always did like college sites best.

The #2 result is a site that has popup ads that blink and say I’m the lucky 10,000th visitor.

Still, with all that clutter I wouldn’t bother.

Instead, I’d push the search term “Interactive Inflatables,” which has 13,000 results. That’s where I found your competitor’s site that I keep refering you to as #1.

If you decide that “Interactive Inflatables” is too narrow a term, I hope I’ve adequately demonstrated the techniques for finding useful search terms. Find the lesser-used terms that will still bring in a decent amount of traffic. Read Neal Lebar’s article for strategies (he wrote it for pay-per-click but it applies to site optimization).

To optimize your site with your new search term in mind, I’d recommend reading Scott Buresh’s excellent article: Styling Your Copy For Search Engines AND Visitors.

Are you a strictly regional outfit or are you able to work nationwide? Right now you’re not particularly well-positioned as a regional site. It would be great if someone types “Interactive Inflatables California” and your site pops up there in the top 5, right?

Read Scott’s article for more information on making that happen.

I would also advise that you find more sites to link to yours. Right now you have 6 backwards links to your site. Increase this by visiting your competition’s site and discovering non-competitors who link to them. You can uncover all this informaion by downloading the Google tool bar and clicking the “Page Info” icon.

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

Reorganizing Your Site May Help Your Rankings
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