A clear inventory – the foundation of success

Being a webmaster often consists of a myriad of little tasks that have to be done for every domain. It is easy to loose sight of issues surrounding the development.

Improving your pages, your traffic, your earnings all depend on a single item to know:

  • Where do you stand, right now?

In order to have a clear direction in which to work, you need to have a clear understanding what needs to be improved.
 Areas of website improvement
I will outline 6 areas of website management that you can look at, measure and decide if they are to be improved.

Code
Is the base of the site the right one? If you are using HTML, do you need to switch to a CMS? If you have a custom coded site, are there code issues you know of?

Design 

Do you need to work on the design? Logo, Colors, Layout?

Content

Where is your content coming from? Does the site need more content? Do you need to present it differently?

Earnings

How are your earnings doing? Going up / down? What advertisers are going best? Which ones are going badly?

Marketing

Do you need / want to buy traffic? Have you reached out into your niche?

Room to grow

Are there ideas on how to grow the site? Other issues / ideas also go here.

If all goes well, you will have a good idea of where your sites stand and a checklist of actionable items.

Examples: Two of my own sites
After I have laid my poor earnings open in another thread, It is time to honestly (and boy will that be harsh!) use the methodology on my own sites, to find out where I am and what to do to improve.

Alert The names used here are for illustration only, they do not resemble the real names of the sites, just the type of content.

Example 1
Movies .de Alias 1 Alias 2 – Own produced content published by custom code

Current income: 0
Current traffic: 0

Code
The issue with this page is the code base. The code is not yet complete, I need to sit down and finish it, so I can pour content into it.
The issues are
a) HTML template layout for individual pages needs to be finalized
b) CMS

Design
Current Design (with incomplete content) is shit. Improvent will be done as soon as Code is done.
Logo / header needs to be redone, waiting for feedback from partner.

Content
Database needs to be updated.
As movies is a “What is going on right now” thing, this has to be adressed ASAP when the code is done.

Earnings
0 see above

Marketing
Basically a pure SE site. Will be marketed lightly in forums.

Room to grow
Good Ideas are abound, have to wait for V2 though.
Don’t know if Aliases are a good idea, might scrap them.

Example 2

code .net- hand edited HTML content about dotnet coding

Current income: 1$ a month
Current traffic: ~5 uniques a day

Code

CSS Code needs complete overhaul, HTML is still OK, although I crave a CMS.

Design
Current Design is shit. Improvent definitely needed for the site to grow.

Content

This site is proof of “content is king” but has seen better days. Old articles need to be translated, new articles added.
Making this site in two languages has been the greatest asset for the site.

Earnings

Mostly google, amazon seems to fail because on the english pages, it still points to .de. Needs to change immediately.

Marketing
Marketed lightly in forums, needs to see more activity.

Room to grow
Design improvement, better ad placement, ad repair.

Final thoughts
Was this so hard? You bet!

For once you see, black on white what you are doing wrong (and some of that is just plain humiliating).
But a clear look also provides directions.

Quote:

Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
Walter Anderson

I know what I am doing now. Fast.

Hope you enjoyed this. Comments, criticism my way.