Website Review: Consistent Branding, Design and List Building - Mad Lemmings

Website Review: Consistent Branding, Design and List Building

website review branding designSilviu of the Net Market Success blog asked me to do a website review, and I was more than happy to help.

I have known Silviu for a while, and he is already doing a great job sharing helpful information on his blog.

So it was actually a challenge to stand back and take a look at his blog with fresh eyes!

In the following website review you are going to see

  • a review of the site as a whole
  • suggestions for wordpress themes
  • ideas for new pages
  • sidebar cleanup tips
  • and much more

Maybe you will also get some ideas on what you can improve on your site.

If you are also interested in having your site reviewed, click here.

 

First Impressions of The Site

The color and feel of the site is very dark. I recommend a complete change of color scheme and layout

This background color of the page, and the dark read header give a very oppressive feel,(as do the  general dark colors on the site.

Something with more white and white space, as well as another lighter color scheme and some improved/larger fonts would really help.
first impression netmarketsuccessHere are some examples I found on Theme Forest which gives you an idea of how your site could look with a simple theme change:

tdPravada

theme choice 1

BlogPress

theme choice 2 By using a premium WordPress theme like these, for a little money ($40-60) you can make a massive difference to your site without being a coding genius.

You will also get many other things included in such a package, like a responsive design (works on all devices – phones, tablets etc) and depending on the theme, pre-loaded pages and other great features.

You usually also want to ensure that you have support and that the developer updates the theme as WordPress changes. You can read my post on choosing a theme for more tips.

I use such themes for my customers quite often to get a good head start on creating a great site. It also gives them a chance to choose a general look and feel they like and to save money on hand-coding a site (that is more time and therefore more expensive).

Website Navigation

The navigation links in the header are also a little small, which a new theme would also improve. You want your readers to be able to find, and navigate between content easily. This is important for bounce rate and if you want to sell anything in the future.

However, your content appears to be well split up, so people can see the main areas you want them to. A lot of people do not do this part, so that is a great start.

Branding and Consistency

One major thing I noticed when first looking at your site is: you are lacking  a consistent branding message and content. For example your tag line and logo of money, does not match your content which is more general – blogging, marketing etc. We all have this issue at some point in our blogging careers, but is pays to focus on a tighter and more obvious niche.

You will have probably heard about a USP and trying to refine your niche so that people know what they are getting from you that is unique –  try to do this so that you can better target your audience.

Once you have decided on your USP, you could also change your logo – or just go with a simple text logo and a modern font (which may be supplied with your theme). Google Fonts are a great place to find nice free fonts you can easily add to your site (they even provide the code you need to add it). If you are more adventurous, you can try Font Squirrel for more free fonts.

But, do not use more than 2 in the content itself – it looks messy and inconsistent.

Want Your Website Reviewed?

Website Pages

About & Mission Statement

I really like your about page. It is very honest and tells a great story, which helps create trust and a connection with your readers.

On the other hand I am not sure you really need a Missions Statement Page. This is something I believe a large company needs to put out, but you could put that information in your About page somehow (if it is not already in there).

This will also save you one link on your navigation – something you need to keep in mind as you only have so much space for links up there. And if you add a new page (Products, Resources etc) you will run out of navigation space.

Contact Page

I did not see a Contact Page (there is a link in your footer, but it does not work).  This is an absolute must.

People need to be able to get hold of you. You should not appear to be hiding from your readers. Embrace them.

I see from the comments in your blog posts that you enjoy interacting with your readers, so take it to the next level and get more personal. Add a contact form – choose one of the ones mentioned in this post.

Other Pages You Might Create

You could also consider a Resources page (the best things you use to run your site with affiliate links) and perhaps a Start Here page with your best content on it.

sidebar-usages

Sidebar Usage

Search

The first thing I noticed here is that you have search which is excellent. I gave it a try and it seems to be finding the right kinds of content too, so that is great.

Popular Posts

Your popular posts widget takes too much space. This means that no other widgets are visible above fold. This is not ideal if you want to add other key content here. I would change it for one without images.

Subscription Form

It is very important to have a subscribe box near the top of your side bar. If you intend on collecting emails that is. (Which is really a must for any serious blogger.)

Advertising

Reconsider ads on sidebar.  They look tacky and I question whether you are making any money on them? It is rare, and it detracts from the professionalism of your blog. Of course, if you are making loads of cash from this, then leave them on. It’s a personal thing, but less ads is better.

Comments Widgets

The recent comments widget you have is messy and does not add any value. I would remove it. If you want such a widget, leave the Top Comment Luvers widget, it is more valuable as it promotes your readers. Which I am sure they appreciate.

Blog Post Layout and Consistency

Let’s end with the best part of our site. Your blog posts. Your content is very detailed and helpful and your readers are very grateful for your work I am sure.

Images

You have images in your posts, which is something many fail to do. One thing you could improve is to have larger, portrait style (long) images at the top. Ideally add text to them (via something like Pixlr, Canva or PicMonkey). This will expand your audience to Pinterest and make your posts more appealing.

Social Share Buttons

You have social share buttons and in all the right places. Great stuff. The only thing I wonder – is Reddit necessary? Maybe replace that with Pinterest. If you are getting Reddit shares, then leave it for sure. But this is rare in my experience.

Blog Post Layout

Your posts very well layed-out . You have great headings, highlighted sections and lots of bullet points. Perhaps this is the teacher in you :> Very well organised.

The only area I would improve here is the bullet points. You use a variety of bullets, many of which have mixed meaning (like crosses – this means error in applications). You should only have one simple bullet icon, with color consistency for your site and brand.

I would also increase the font size to help people like me who’s eyes are deteriorating. It is also something modern themes typically have.

Email List & Collecting Leads

If you want to make a business out of your site, you need to start collecting emails asap. Create a lead magnet (i.e. free offer) that resonates with your audience. It does not need to be a 50 page book. Even a simple collection of posts or resources is enough. But make sure it is relevant to your USP.

Want Your Website Reviewed?

Next Steps

Just to quickly summarize what I have gone over above, you could do the following to improve your site:

  • Improve the overall layout and style with a Premium WordPress Theme
  • More consistency and branding around a USP (what is your focus)
  • Cleanup the sidebar and perhaps add a opt-in form
  • Add a Contact page (other options: Resources, Start Here)
  • Combine About and Mission pages
  • Improve posts with larger pinable images (with text) and improve bullet graphics
  • Start your mailing list

You are certainly off to a great start with your content and readership, and you could easily take it to the next level with a little bit of work.

Let me know if I can help any further.

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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