What Do You Hate About My Site? What’s Broken? What’s Ugly? What Needs Change?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

I’m accumulating a list of beefs I have with the current iteration of the site and am already at over 20 grievances. I would love to hear your problems with the site. Nothing is too small or too big or too trivial or too stupid. Often the ‘stupid’ ideas are the million dollar “Why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.

Great answers get a free download of my super secret PPC plugin for managing multiple landing pages off a single wordpress minisite. Plus you can have the satisfaction of seeing your ideas implemented in the redesign :D.

Also, the title’s questions are just a starting point. Feel free to recommend plugins, highlight usability problems, suggest superior seo tactics, advocate for how I should use the header space currently taken up by varying taglines/testimonials (besides the search bar), different graphics, different conversion paths/tactics … anything!

UPDATE: In response to complaints about the font, I changed a global style in the stylesheet so the first font listed in the font family reads “Arial”. Please tell me if this is easier for you to read!

Sidebar Story

Comments

  1. Top left darker blue merges upwards whereas top right is strait (no curve to match bottom of your header) Also I'd say some of your text is pretty damn huge!

    Comment by Woody - February 19, 2009 @ 4:50am
  2. The internetoonians can be cruel Gab, be careful what you invite onto your site! :) I read your site via RSS - Google Reader to be exact - and out of all the feeds I subscribe to, yours compels me to click through to the main site the most. So there's certainly something you're doing right - however since you asked for mini grievances I'll get the ball rolling with a couple of mine: 1. There's a LOT of blue, grey and white. Now a colour scheme is good, but if you don't break it with splashes of other colours (not including your monster RSS button lol) it seems like a government site or public sector corporation. I'm overwhelmed by the blue links, and because of that I don't click deeper. 2. Welcome new visitor! I get this message at the bottom of your posts every time I visit your site dude. I don't want to find out more about you, or check your credentials because I already know you. Anyway, there's two to open the floodgates mate. Hope you can get some useful info from it. David Lindop

    Comment by Lindop - February 19, 2009 @ 6:01am
  3. First of all, I have been reading through your blog and it contains some great info, but: 1. I find the font super hard to read. 2. No real definition between content in the content area, everything just seems to mash together, which on shorter posts just make the site look like a big mass of duplicate content. 3. Credibility, I am new to your blog, cannot even remember how I got here, but being a speaker, and cited in lots of things is one thing, can you provide some real life example of your abilities. Not just the fact your costs have been spiraling upwards the past years :)

    Comment by jltrm - February 19, 2009 @ 9:09am
  4. 4. Surveys, grrrr!

    Comment by jltrm - February 19, 2009 @ 9:10am
  5. Hi, Gab! I took your survey the first time I saw it (several months ago, now) but since I clear my cache & cookies often, I see it almost every time I come back. It's been awhile, so maybe you could stop surveying for a little bit? Also, I've noticed that I've had trouble finding your older posts by category; there are so many categories, maybe some could be merged. That's all for now; your content of course is superb! I think all sites benefit from makeovers every so often, since it forces you to re-think everything.

    Comment by Lori - February 19, 2009 @ 10:07am
  6. I have noticed that your consultation rates are not consistent on several pages.

    Comment by Vinh Nguyen - February 19, 2009 @ 1:41pm
  7. Your feed worked - I'm here. The site is not visually or reader friendly. The text is not sharp, some of the text is quite small, there is too much variation in the font appearance and the oversized RSS box leaves me cross-eyed. But, I am sure that I added your feed because of the content, so you are doing something right. Cheers.

    Comment by rjn - February 19, 2009 @ 4:10pm
  8. Good points. Thanks for highlighting the need for consistency Woody!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:18pm
  9. Interesting perspectives there David, and very nice to hear the kind words as well as find a fellow seomoz community member subscribing :). I'll keep in mind the colour thing. I'd recently installed a Flickr plugin so I'm going to make a note to self to use it more to get public domain pics.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:19pm
  10. Excellent points all of them. I did have client case studies in the main nav bar at one point but removed the link because few people clicked on them. I realize now that there isn't any easy way to find the page any more, and will get on restoring that over the weekend. The font is something I was aware of and am planning to change already for v2. The definition point I hadn't yet noticed, but will make a point of addressing for v2.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:22pm
  11. Lol, they are annoying, I grant you that. The information is invaluable, though (I have an upcoming post on just that, actually) so I'll say that the best I can do is pester 4Q some more (already done repeatedly) to have their survey appear at the end of a visit, and only show once-twice / month to any given IP.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:23pm
  12. Lori, thanks for taking the time to answer the survey and share your points. Like I told jltrm, I'm going to ask them to adapt the application so it is IP-sensitive. The category point is new to me. I'm rethinking how to archive my content at the moment, and will consider this findability problem more closely. I think superior site search will constitute a key element of this findability problem.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:26pm
  13. Thanks Vinh - I'll have to check that out and update things to keep em consistent. My bad!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:26pm
  14. RJN - appreciate the critical analysis of my graphics - it's definitely something I'm going to look to adapt for v2. Update: I just edited the main font from something called Palatino-linotype to be Arial. Is this easier to read?

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 5:27pm
  15. I think I've gotten them all now Vinh :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 19, 2009 @ 11:37pm
  16. Yes, much better to this optometrist's eyes.

    Comment by rjn - February 19, 2009 @ 11:39pm
  17. The new font is tons better... much easier to read!

    Comment by Lindop - February 20, 2009 @ 4:09am
  18. To mine too! I'm flipping between the admin panel (where the old font sadly remains) and the frontend and I can see the difference!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 20, 2009 @ 4:53am
  19. Glad to hear it :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 20, 2009 @ 4:54am
  20. Hi Gab, Since you asked... :-) I think a lot of SEO site struggle with credibility. It's a notoriously self-promoting field without concrete answers in many areas. You can highlight your good advice by investing in a more professional website. Something crisp, clean with great typography and a grid design. It should have a clear visual hierarchy and, perhaps, an RSS button that is not the size of a small muffin :-P It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate. Take Hubspot for example, http://www.hubspot.com/. Their site is simple, clean and information rich. Another great example is A Good Company, http://www.weareagoodcompany.com/. It's so full of personality, but the design is simple as can be. A website redesign can make you and your site appear like a larger company. Good luck! -Alex

    Comment by Alex - February 24, 2009 @ 1:38am
  21. Alex, you've highlighted some interesting sites there. Hubspot has some of the features I'd like to implement on the next version of my site, including video. I also think I'll add a separate subscription page to make things simpler.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - February 24, 2009 @ 2:27am
  22. 10 Ways To Improve Your Site if Your Name is Gab Goldenberg. Hey Gab, I hope the headline got your attention. As you know, I'm pretty new to your site but I can see a lot of key points for you to improve your site. Some tough love so to speak. Anyway hope this helps. 1. Site Structure - Blog and Home? They look exactly the same to me. Maybe you should create a homepage which shows your key services, highlights an about page and shows shows a list of blog articles... bah I'll send you a layout of what I think you might like to use. 2. Use Google Site search - much better search engine and easier than typing "site:seoroi.com xxx" into Google. $100 / year for commercial purposes? not bad... 3. Picture of you in the About page - Casual visitors who haven't seen your videos will want to see your photo. I know I wanted to see a photo when I first visited at least. 4. Consolidate the categories - wayyy too many for me to pick from, and not as much content in each category for me to browse deeper into the site. 5. Make calls to action more appealing - "Contact me now about an SEO appraisal and recieve a free copy of my SEO report". Add to that, the Calls to action blend into the site too much. 6. Be clear about what calls to action to have where on your site - do you want people who are interested in your services to be distracted by a big RSS button and various links to free advice that you could (and perhaps should) be charging for? 7. Privacy policy - in case you're doing PPC with AdWords. It will help your quality score. 8. Make the site content width constant - not changed by the screensize or browser window size. 9. Get a professional design - hire a graphic designer if need be (I just have and the results are looking great so far...). 10. Setup proper Landing Pages for each of your services with contact forms at the bottom of each. Dagon design's contact form plugin allows you to create multiple forms on your site. Also you may like to setup multiple landing pages for each service on Wordpress with the Google Website Optimiser plugin. 11. (bonus feedback) If you haven't done so already, you may like to revise your service offerings. Maybe offer a few packages, like phone consultations, website reviews, project management. I notice you offer these already, but make it obvious. Hope that helps. I don't mean to give you a beating about your site through this comment so I hope your feelings are in tact after this. Anyway, let me know how it goes, Gab. Rob

    Comment by Robert Kingston - February 24, 2009 @ 11:20pm
  23. Rob, I wrote you last week about this already, but realize I never answered here on the blog - fantastic answer man! Let me answer point by point. 1) The difference is small - only my best posts go to the homepage. Hard to tell though, and your suggestion is something I will be looking to implement in v2. 2) Another problem on my radar. I'm going to stick with WP search, but will be looking to implement a much upgraded version courtesy of http://www.Yoast.com 3) Excellent point. I just got a bunch of pics and will add at least one there. 4) I'm working on finding the best way to archive stuff. I'll look at consolidation as an option. 5) Didn't know that - good tip! 6) I like, I like. Something that has to be done in the redesign though, I'm afraid. 7) It helps quality score for thin affiliate sites with little other content, as I understand things. Something to test perhaps, but as I've just added an email newsletter, I until recently had no reason for one. Let me get on that. 8) Ok, that's a good idea. Should be doable in the redesign. 9) This was pro lol - I just had a royal time wrecking it all ;). 10) Nice tip! Something to work on. 11) I absolutely need to do this. Please - these are the comments I love!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - March 3, 2009 @ 2:15am
  24. Glad you liked them, Gab. I'm looking forward to seeing V2! As for #7, I've never actually tested that either - I've just taken it on board as a best practice from Google who "sees it as part of being open". If you do get to test this, I'd be very interested to see the results.

    Comment by Rob Kingston - March 3, 2009 @ 7:44am
  25. FYI, your super secret plugin page is showing up in G, but it isn't pulling in your WP template (e.g. header, footer, nav). Looks like maybe you removed your entire "Tools" section from a new redesign, but those pages are still out there. You may want to clean that up and potentially do some redirecting if that's your goal. Your PPC Plugin download link also is self-referencing, but again, maybe that's part of the mystique. :) HTH. -G

    Comment by Garrett - November 4, 2009 @ 11:52am
  26. Haha nice find! I never linked to most of those, so that's Google being proactive about crawling my site lol.. Interesting! In reality, tools was never part of the main site, I just wanted a separate area, but never got around to using it for much. As to the PPC plugin download link being self-referencing, that's bc the beta testers I gave free copies to never gave me any feedback! Bums :s. I'd planned to change it to the real download link, but never released the plugin, so...

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - November 4, 2009 @ 3:22pm

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