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Archived Author Help > Kindly seeking website feedback prior to launch

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Tara Woods Turner Hi guys, I would be very grateful for website feedback. It is a hybrid author site/blog and my target demographic is millennial parents. Thanks in advance :)

http://www.tarawoodsturner.com


message 2: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Seems okay, the landing page seems a little barren. I feel like it needs a hook to grab me in - why me? What does this site have to offer me? Why am I here? I would list your credentials on the main page, and give some specific examples of what I can learn from you. Also I would have the pop up name something specific. Ironically "just for me" isn't specific enough. Make me a solid offer, like "download a free sample from my ebook" or "Learn my top three tips on how to raise a sophisticated child". That kind of thing.


Tara Woods Turner C.L. wrote: "Seems okay, the landing page seems a little barren. I feel like it needs a hook to grab me in - why me? What does this site have to offer me? Why am I here? I would list your credentials on the mai..."

Thank you. Good stuff. I'm transferring all of this to one doc so I can implement the changes all at once as more feedback rolls in.


message 4: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Took a peek on my phone and it isn't mobile friendly. Not saying that's a requirement!! Just not sure if you knew, eh? Since I'm totally outta my capacity with your target audience, I'll give ya my opinion on aesthetics only haha!

I dig:
~ the simplicity
~ your tagline
~ your bio
~ easy navigation

Not super duper fond of:
~ how stretched out your banner looks (this might just be my phone...?)
~ unresponsive (not mobile-friendly)
~ "my favorite things" on your About Me page. Feels a teensy bit cluttered and irrelevant to me
~ lack of "incentive" as CL already mentioned

Personally, I prefer having the blog posts on the front page BUT most authors don't have this sooo pretty sure I'm insane. Annnd...

CONGRATS!!!

**muahhh**


Tara Woods Turner Annie wrote: "Took a peek on my phone and it isn't mobile friendly. Not saying that's a requirement!! Just not sure if you knew, eh? Since I'm totally outta my capacity with your target audience, I'll give ya my..."

Thanks, Annie. Transferring your points. I did wonder about mobile friendly so i will have to do some research to understand how to make the site comply. I double-checked everything on my ipad but there must be another layer to look into for phones. Very important points. Thank you!


message 6: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Do look into it, because Google now prioritizes mobile friendly sites.


Tara Woods Turner Riley wrote: "Do look into it, because Google now prioritizes mobile friendly sites."

Oh, I do not want to tangle with Google! Thanks, Riley!


message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 78 comments I'd have to agree with most of what's already been said. Viewing it from my iPad and compatibility doesn't seem to be too big of a deal.

The landing page looks a little stark, either give the background a color (White certainly makes your books pop but it's kinda plain).

I like your favorite things on the 'about me' page, but there were just so many! Whittle it down to three or four that are really meaningful and it'll be just enough to pique interest without giving away the whole enchilada.


message 9: by E.H. (new)

E.H. Humphreys | 2 comments My first reaction was that it is a bit stark and dated, but I like the content. I love that it's simple, but I think if you changed up the text or used a template that was a bit softer it would make it look much more modern and professional.


message 10: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) You need more content on the homepage to improve search engine relevancy.


Tara Woods Turner Elizabeth wrote: "My first reaction was that it is a bit stark and dated, but I like the content. I love that it's simple, but I think if you changed up the text or used a template that was a bit softer it would mak..."

Noted and added to list. Thank you :)


Tara Woods Turner Morris wrote: "You need more content on the homepage to improve search engine relevancy."

Didn't know this - will do some research. Thanks!


message 13: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) You need a minimum of 500 words on your home page, and make sure you set up keywords that relate to your business, and make sure they are repeated in the website content. It's all about SEO.


message 14: by Ben (new)

Ben Jackson | 86 comments I don't think you need 500 words. I think the actual amount you need is 300 or below. At least that's what our websites SEO specifies. I've worked with a lot of SEO techs, and the majority believe that it is a lot less that 300, somewhere closer to 150-200 with the correct key words and phrases.


Tara Woods Turner Morris and Ben
I feel lucky to have advice from people who know what they're talking about. I do have a question, however. Are keywords similar to how we use them on Amazon? In other words, do I have to sneak in the keywords somewhere in the text on my homepage and make it seem organic or do I use these keywords elsewhere? Thanks :)


message 16: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Hi Tara, In my opinion your site is lacking good, professional images. As your books are about parenting, how about images of happy children? Children in a classroom etcetera... You can get free images that are copyright free from https://pixabay.com

And yes, you need relevant content in text. I wouldn't worry about the length, just make sure you pack the text with key words and phrases.


Tara Woods Turner Tim wrote: "Hi Tara, In my opinion your site is lacking good, professional images. As your books are about parenting, how about images of happy children? Children in a classroom etcetera... You can get free im..."

I agree! In fact I stumbled across some great rf images and was planning how to incorporate them into my brand. Good call. Thank you, Tim.


message 18: by C.L. (last edited Oct 24, 2016 10:21AM) (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Tara wrote: "Annie wrote: "Took a peek on my phone and it isn't mobile friendly. Not saying that's a requirement!! Just not sure if you knew, eh? Since I'm totally outta my capacity with your target audience, I..."

Are you using wordpress? Look for a theme with a layout that changes depending on whether it is viewed on a computer, tablet, or phone. Pick a layout with a nice modern look, too. The current zeitgeist is for a big stock-photo image header with a filter over it and text on top, called a hero image.


Tara Woods Turner C.L. wrote: "Tara wrote: "Annie wrote: "Took a peek on my phone and it isn't mobile friendly. Not saying that's a requirement!! Just not sure if you knew, eh? Since I'm totally outta my capacity with your targe..."

Oooh, excellent...now I know what to include in my search query.


message 20: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Can anyone confirm if Jetpack is included with WP.com sites? I assume it is but not totally sure...

Anyhoo, you can also turn on the mobile view/option/whatever from there. It's a bit simpler and doesn't look quite as pretty as the mobile version created by theme designers. But if you dig a theme that doesn't have that option already? It works ^_~


Tara Woods Turner Annie wrote: "Can anyone confirm if Jetpack is included with WP.com sites? I assume it is but not totally sure...

Anyhoo, you can also turn on the mobile view/option/whatever from there. It's a bit simpler and ..."


I have wordpress.org and it does have a plugin called Jetpack. I will have to go delve into it. It's good to know that if I find a theme I'm in love with that isn't responsive I can just activate the feature in JP. Actually even if I find a responsive theme I may activate the feature anyway just to be on the safe side. Thank you!!


message 22: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments How do you get jetpack to work? Do you need to be premium?


message 23: by Ben (new)

Ben Jackson | 86 comments When you're doing your SEO keywords and phrases you want to focus on two or three keywords no more. Include them in the title, subtitle, and body text of any website. Make it part of the text, don't try and overuse them or put 100 in. Google analyzes text which it considered to be too keyword heavy. Great text with a few keywords is better than a text packed full of keywords. Try to focus on one or two popular search terms. Add tags to images, internal links, out bound links etc


Tara Woods Turner Ben wrote: "When you're doing your SEO keywords and phrases you want to focus on two or three keywords no more. Include them in the title, subtitle, and body text of any website. Make it part of the text, don'..."

Got it. Should the tags vary according to their assignment or should i use my two keywords as tags despite content?


Tara Woods Turner Also will search engines treat multiword keywords with the same weight? If I use 'millennial parenting' for example does it optimize both words equally or just treat it as a phrase?


message 26: by Ben (new)

Ben Jackson | 86 comments Now you're getting out of my area of expertise! Every website developer I work with has a different opinion. The only thing I can suggest is to play around with it. Get it setup, with your keywords and start doing some searches, see where it pops on Google and Yahoo etc.


Tara Woods Turner Ben wrote: "Now you're getting out of my area of expertise! Every website developer I work with has a different opinion. The only thing I can suggest is to play around with it. Get it setup, with your keywords..."

:) Many thanks.


message 28: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Tara wrote: "I have wordpress.org and it does have a plugin called Jetpack. I will have to go delve into it."

I used Jetpack on my last Wordpress site. I did a Jetpack update and the whole site went into thin air. I couldn't get it back and lost all the data - blogs everything. I've set up a new Wordpress site, but haven't used Jetpack. Just a warning...


Tara Woods Turner Tim wrote: "Tara wrote: "I have wordpress.org and it does have a plugin called Jetpack. I will have to go delve into it."

I used Jetpack on my last Wordpress site. I did a Jetpack update and the whole site we..."


omg...I couldn't get all of the features to load in jet pack so I could activate mobile responsiveness. I tried to D activated so I could delete it and reinstall. Now it says I don't have access to deactivated. Not good. I'm not going to bother with it anymore as I don't trust it now. I'm just going to install a paid theme that is completely responsive. Probably better anyway.


message 30: by Rose (new)

Rose Collins | 10 comments You might want to consider moving your social media icons to the top of the page rather than the end- most people don't bother scrolling all the way down the page.

I really like the flame fireplace animation, maybe it would be more visible if it was a bit larger but the center position looks great.


message 31: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Tara wrote: "Actually even if I find a responsive theme I may activate the feature anyway just to be on the safe side. Thank you!!"

No problemo, ma'am! Although, I would strongly recommend using the mobile theme if there is one. It really does look a lot prettier and since it's created by the designer, it'll match your desktop site, eh? (I just realized you already decided to LOL)

'millennial parenting' would be treated as a single keyword.

@Mr Tim: Sorry to hear that you lost your content!

That's why I always save a backup of all my sites before doing any updates. It only takes 5 seconds and would save me from complete insanity haha!!

Hugs,
Ann


Tara Woods Turner Annie wrote: "Tara wrote: "Actually even if I find a responsive theme I may activate the feature anyway just to be on the safe side. Thank you!!"

No problemo, ma'am! Although, I would strongly recommend using t..."


Thank you! That gives me a little more breathing room with my keywords which I am finding out or extremely important.
:-)


Tara Woods Turner Rose wrote: "You might want to consider moving your social media icons to the top of the page rather than the end- most people don't bother scrolling all the way down the page.

I really like the flame fireplac..."


I love the fire LOL. I have been told that it is cheesy and in a way I get it but I am in love with fireplaces and it sends me to my happy place so I might keep it just for myself ha ha. I agree with you about the social icon nuttons. I'll attach them to the header.


message 34: by R.W. (new)

R.W. Clark | 3 comments The fireplace and the colors framing your portrait are out of fashion. That aside, it is functional and flows nicely. I've seen some SEO comments, but you should go straight to the source: Google. They aren't shy about discussing this topic, and it is in their best interest for you to do it well.


message 35: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan A fascinating thread, well done everyone.


Tara Woods Turner R.W. wrote: "The fireplace and the colors framing your portrait are out of fashion. That aside, it is functional and flows nicely. I've seen some SEO comments, but you should go straight to the source: Google. ..."

Thank you - am planning a late-nighter just for SEO.


message 37: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Annie wrote: @Mr Tim: Sorry to hear that you lost your content!

That's why I always save a backup of all my sites before doing any updates. It only takes 5 seconds and would save me from complete insanity haha!!


Well said! :) You're absolutely right. I should have backed up all that data, but I didn't thus a life lesson learned. The remarkable thing is my new site is getting a hundred hits a day and building, so I'm not unhappy.... :D Sometimes you need to start again...


message 38: by Clint (new)

Clint Forgy (clintforgy) | 39 comments Nice and clean. For Wordpress themes, the term you're looking for is "responsive."


Tara Woods Turner Clint wrote: "Nice and clean. For Wordpress themes, the term you're looking for is "responsive.""

Yes. I'm looking at a bunch of them now, trying to narrow it down.


message 40: by Garfield (new)

Garfield Whyte (garfieldwhyte) | 124 comments Hi Tara, hope you are doing well. Here are my comments;

1. I like the 3 books in the 3 vibrant different colours

2. I dont like the fire place at the top of the page, I think you want to give a family vibe as your books suggest, but I personally dont like the fire look, maybe some other picture could cojure up a family feel

3. The main page seems a bit scant in that most of the lover 3/4 of the page has only 3 books on top of each other with a lot of free space on the left and on the right....like the page seems incomplete

4. Investing in what matters most seems like you are not selling books or a way of life or principles to live by...
investing in what matters most seems a bit misleading to me

5. Will you be launching with those few blogs or will you be adding more? I ask as I only saw 3 articles there.

Hope I didnt seem harsh...just my thoughts/opinions not as a lawyer but as someone who worked in marketing for years


Tara Woods Turner Tom wrote: "The twentysixteen theme from Automattic (Wordpress) is responsive and free. It's simple and easy to manage, and since it's from Wordpress they will keep it updated.

I'm self-hosted and installed ..."


This is very good news, thank you. Have you not installed Akismet? It helps deter comment spam. Wordfence is a free malware plug-in that is great. It even alerts me when my husband logs onto my site from his work computer. For forms I use Form Maker, which is fully customizable.ni also added my own version of capcha. Simply have a field labeled 'Are you a robot?' And make checking the box a requirement. Either that or have a field labeled ' One apple plus two apples equals?' And have a required entry box. It confuses the jeck out of spambots.


Tara Woods Turner Garfield wrote: "Hi Tara, hope you are doing well. Here are my comments;

1. I like the 3 books in the 3 vibrant different colours

2. I dont like the fire place at the top of the page, I think you want to give a f..."


Very keen points. I've transferred them along with the others to my checklist doc. It is so very good to hear from you :) I hope the writing is going well and is still rewarding. I still hope to have as many reviews as you do someday lol.


message 43: by Garfield (new)

Garfield Whyte (garfieldwhyte) | 124 comments Tara wrote: "Garfield wrote: "Hi Tara, hope you are doing well. Here are my comments;

1. I like the 3 books in the 3 vibrant different colours

2. I dont like the fire place at the top of the page, I think you..."


Glad you werent offended.....looking forward to seeing your website when its finalised...BY the way I think wordpress websites are very limiting...I was going to use them with mine and was happy I change my mind www.garfeel.com


message 44: by Rohvannyn (last edited Oct 24, 2016 04:46PM) (new)

Rohvannyn Shaw | 189 comments Nice start! I have a few suggestions. I agree with what the others have said about a more modern, responsive site theme. Within that, simplicity is great.

Your rotating book review display is great but it might be better if it was titled "reviews for my books," "The book reviews are in," or "reviews for (book title)" instead of "The reviews are in."

I like your favorite things grid but would recommend 12-16 at most. I do like that they are pictures, though. That looks neat!

Also, your site owner photo looks nice - but you might want to think about using a different filter, or color correcting it so the color yellow isn't quite so dominant. When you go to a more modern format with more photography, etc, it is probably going to look dated and you won't have your best foot forward. You are beautiful, and definitely deserve to look your best!

Thank you for creating this thread. I learned a lot too, and I'm off to update my own website!


Tara Woods Turner Rohvannyn wrote: "Nice start! I have a few suggestions. I agree with what the others have said about a more modern, responsive site theme. Within that, simplicity is great.

Your rotating book review display is gre..."


Your kind words mean a lot and I see your points. Would you mind if I took a peek at your site when it is updated? Needless to say I am a little bit abscessed with author websites these days Lol. I'll bet yours is really good :-)


message 46: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Miss Tara, you may wanna check out creativeblog.com. They have a whole section on web design I think you'd find helpful.

Here's an article of their fave free WP themes:
http://www.creativebloq.com/web-desig...

Hemingway is #1 haha! Annnd I've seen quite a few authors/bloggers use it. That sucker's pretty popular!!


Tara Woods Turner Annie wrote: "Miss Tara, you may wanna check out creativeblog.com. They have a whole section on web design I think you'd find helpful.

Here's an article of their fave free WP themes:
http://www.creativebloq.com..."


FTW, as usual :)


message 48: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Thanks, Tom. That's interesting. I think I'll still pass on Jetpack. My site's rebuilt and fine now, actually better than before in my opinion. What does Jetpack do exactly?


message 49: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Thanks, Tom


message 50: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Jetpack is nothing more than a gigantic plugin on steroids.

Instead of finding and installing individual plugins for stats, spam, CSS, contact forms, widgets, blah blah blah, you could just install JP and activate lots of those "functions" all in one place. The other good thing is that while you don't know if other developers will keep their shizz updated (the majority do not), JP always does cuz they have 1M+ installs and are tethered to WP ^_~

Personally, I do use it for some features but NOT for most, including subscriptions and spam protection. Just prefer other plugins.

Annnd installing JP will slow down your site cuz comes with 20-ish modules active by default. Most free sites are gonna ride the struggle bus trying to run that many things haha! All you gotta do is go in and deactivate the ones you don't wanna use. Easy peasey. Plus, their customer support is pretty amazeballs, imho.

Hope that helps some!

Hugs,
Ann

P.S. - I've never paid for a plugin or pro version of one. But I've had to get super creative in order to do certain things... *wry grin*


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