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November 14th, 2010 at 11:04 pm
Welcome to the second part of the Poker Affiliate Bible revamp blog, as we set about rebuilding this website from the ground up. It’s a big task – but it’s fun and the end result is going to be sick.
In part two we’re doing to be discussing the two biggest elements when it comes to planning out a website: site design.
Now I said two elements but only listed one – however when it comes to the design of a website, there really are two huge aspects that fall under that category. The design of the content or sitemap of the website, then the cosmetic front to the website.
Site Map – Planning Out The Content;
One of the first jobs I did was figure out what content I wanted on the new Poker Affiliate Bible. This wasn’t just a quick “Well I want 10 articles in this category and 10 reviews for poker affiliate programs”. I spent hours doing research, studying my stats, looking at keywords and mapping out a huge list of content. I came up with over 2000 possible articles.
Then it’s a case of trimming it down, and setting a realistic amount of content for launch. I see a lot of people make mistakes in regard to content and the official launch of a website. Some write so much content that they put off launching their website for a long time(when it’s actually better for the search engines to see regular articles) while others launch a website “barebones” with 2-3 articles, and the plan to add more.
To me, the most important phase is the content, the core of the website. I like to map out where I want a website to be in two years. Then I work via phases. That way I am never sitting there wondering what to do on a website and getting distracted. For example with the new Affiliate Bible – I’m not going to be sitting here after it has launched bored, and watching random Youtube videos or stalking people on Facebook. I’ll be thinking “Well I have 1656 articles still to write!” and will be focused on that, and getting to the “end point” that I’ve visualized.
When you are building a new website, you can’t spend enough time planning out the content. Trust me.
The Cosmetic Design:
Website design is also very important. I feel there are two important factors when it comes to website design.
(1) It has to be simple to navigate, and easy for the visitor to read.
(2) I have to like the design.
You don’t want to over complicate a website – just because you know how a function works doesn’t mean the user does. Check out this Bodog Casino Review for example. Scroll down and look at the sections like “Detailed Bodog Review”. See those arrows beside it? If you click on that it will close that section. Initially I had it closed by default. That way the user could pick and choose what they wanted to read about. It looked like this:
That way I could write as much content as humanly possible about Bodog Casino, but it wouldn’t overwhelm the user. Unfortunately thanks to the excellent tool Clicktale I was able to tell within two weeks that it wouldn’t work – because people weren’t used to clicking. So many people would read the quick review and scroll down – and not realize that they had to click the arrows, so they were missing the main selling points of the review.
That’s why you need to keep it simple, and stick to web standards. More importantly – you need to like it. If you read a forum and hear all these people talking about this great website template but you don’t like it – don’t use it. Because you need to visualize the website in your head and love it to get the best out of it.
I’m actually working with a new designer on Poker Affiliate Bible that I’ve never worked with before and I am loving it – he is a real out of the box thinker and the work he has been doing is just amazing. He sent me a very rough template tonight and I literally sat here for 5 minutes just thinking “Wow” and visualizing the website in detail. I’ll have to convince him to set up his own affiliate program – because I’m sure people will be banging down his door after they see what he is capable of.
That’s it from me – I’m going back to working on those 2000 articles!