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Re: Please review my site
From Woz on 19 Oct '99
replying to Please review my site posted by Derek

>This is the first site I have ever built and I was wondering what
can be done to improve it? I would really like suggestions on how
to improve the site's ranking with the search engines.
Also, Does the site load too slow? I was thinking about ditching
the music to improve load time. Let me know what you think.

Hi Derek, like your site overall but may I make a few suggestions.
Pardon me if I seem to be tearing the site apart,
just passing on a few ideas.

1) The first thing to consider is what is the site selling. Houses or
Tom & Nancy? The answer is of course Houses. So I would change the opening
page to showcase houses and not the owners. The pistures of Tom and Nancy are
certainly useful but on the appropriate pages. Like the Team pages
etc, where you already have some. The purpose of the pictures is to give the
potential client some feeling of who they will be dealing with, but
primarily they will come to the site to look at houses not pictures
of the owners.

You could then showcase some special houses on the front page. OK?

2) Site Ranking

One challenge you face is that Robots can't decipher JavaScript
(correct me if I am wrong please folks) and your navigation is purely by
javascript. This can work for and against you.

Firstly your home page has no hard links to the other pages in the site
so even though you have set robots to all, the robots don't know where to go.
Also, if a visitor has javascript turned off in their browser for some reason...
So Put some hard links on the Front Page.

Secondly this can work for you if you don't want the individual house
pages indexed. By using Folder Tree you will be stopping the Robots from doing this.
Which means you won't have peaople trying to access pages that no longer exist once
a home has been sold. Better to index the section pages only.

Your metatags seem ok and the keyword density also seems ok. Just watch
your server logs for any other keywords visitors may be using and work on those as well.

3) The site loads fast enough, no problems there, although you may want to put in a
please wait notice whilst Folder Tree gets itself together.

4) Should you have music? I dunno, you tell us. Whilst most people frown
on music in sites as being unbusiness-like, the question is really
not whether you should have music but whether your visitors want
music.

Couple of things here; first put in a suggestion page and ask people
about the music, along with the rest of the site of course. secondly,
do some testing.

What is it you want people to do on the site? Presumably email for
more information?? Test how often this is happening with the music.
Then take the music off and test again. Compare, possibly retest,
and you will have you answer.

If you are going to have music, a few things to consider:-
* Frame the whole site and put the music in the bottom (small) frame.
so when you change pages and music doesn't stop and restart. I got sick
of the beginning of the song very quickly.
* let people turn the music off if they want. I had to switch my speaker off.
* give people a choice of say five songs in different styles. Keep
tabs on which songs are being loaded. If one style/song isn't being chosen,
change until you get one that is. Keep the customers happy.

Also who chose the music?? Was it something you liked, or something
you though the visitors would like. Perhaps chose something a little
more up beat so they don't fall asleep.

Of course if you do frame the whole site you will run into site indexing
problems. You will need to submit the basinc frame page, after you have
worked hard on the 'no frames' content for indexing purposes, and
also submit the main section pages (in the top frame) making sure they
have the hard links in them to the other sections, and that the home
link loads the complete frame.


Stylistically you could also tighten things up a little. For example,
on the TEAM page, I would centre the table, and the cell contents,
and lose the border. Your choice of course.

All in all a very good start to the site, things can only get better,
and I am sure you have the capabilities to do just that.

All the Best

Woz

PS (like the dog, nice human?? touch)




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