Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Writing for the Web and Three Audiences

My web pages are written for three distinct audiences.

1. The Skimmers. The majority of web visitors read only the headlines and bolded text before deciding: "Do I click into the site or do I move on to another site?" For these skimmers, I focus on the overall visual effect, the headlines, and an appealing and visible action button.

2. The Readers. The readers feel that the rest of us suffer from some combination of the lazies or attention deficit and they get frustrated by pages that lack substance or that are poorly written. For the readers, I provide well-written paragraphs that expand on the headlines and a full page of relevant information. This segment of the audience will scroll down and so pages continue down past "the fold" providing them substantative information.

3. The spiders. Each page is also written for the perambulating octopieds and their robotic arachnid preferences. I don't just bold, I H1 (is that a verb yet?). I pick my headlines and wording with more than just a casual glance to key phrase volumes and my competitiveness on them. I provide alt tags, page names, titles, and links (both inwards and outwards) so that the bots understand in the fraction of a second that they dedicate to analyzing my site, which categories, searches, and class of site (authority site, if you please) I belong in. more on seo...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Monetizing Domains in the Home Schooling

Like many compulsives or impulsives, I seem to accumulate alot of domains. Each great business and marketing idea seems to lead to me rapidly registering new domains (often in the dead of night). In some cases, I have actually created the site but in about 90% of the cases, I have registered a domain and not yet done much with it.

I'm often surprised when I look at my list of domains: "What crazy idea did I have when I actually signed up for www.somethingodd.com"?

So, rather than leave these domains idle, I am looking for help on what best to do with these domains (I've tried ignoring them but they haunt me).

Also, since I host and register in a number of places (I have a bad case of the deal-of-the-month) and I don't have the expertise to forward or to properly redirect, I end up with weird Kludges.

Weird Kludges - For instance, the only way that I have found to direct a domain (registered at namebargain) to a page at Time4Learning (registered at registersite.com, now misk.com and hosted at webstream.net) is to set the dns to trafficclub which allows me to select the page to redirect the domain to. I suspect the search engines don't like this combination but its the best I can do until I get a techie to work with me.

Here are the four strategies that I have come up with along with my thoughts on how to measure them.

1. Monetize domains with some appropriate algorithm-based pages and advertisements. Most of my unused domains seem to get populated by a set of pages with ads and affiliate links and link pages where are making money for someone (the registrar?). After much inquiring, I found a way to set this up myself. So in a few minutes, I registered the following domains onto trafficclub.com. Anybody have a better idea?
Florida Home School florida-home-school.com
California Home School california-home-school.com
Gifted Child gifted-child.com
Gifted Student gifted-student.org
I set these up earlier today so we'll see how they do ($1/day? $10/day? $100/day?).

2. Redirect the domains to relevant pages on the site that I most care about. Here for example:
Californiavirtualacadmy.com California Virtual Academy - goes to T4L CA page
Florida Home School florida-home-school.org - goes to T4L FL page
Gifted-Child.org Gifted Child - goes to T4L gifted page
Gifted-Student.com Gifted Student - goes to T4L gifted page
Home School Online Home-School-Online.com - goes to homeschoolonline.org
Home School Resource Home-School-Resource.com - goes to T4L homeschool resource page
I guess if traffic comes in from these domains on my monthly stats, I'll know that its helping. And if google or yahoo counts them as links, then they weigh in a bit.

3. Put up a tiny original website with a few relevant links. Examples...
Time For Learning Timeforlearning.com
Home School Curriculum Review Homeschool-Curriculum-Review.com
Learning Games for Kids LearningGamesForKids.com PR4
To measure this, I should set up a few this weekend and endow them with the example same links so it'll be an apples to apples comparison. These others have been up for awhile and have some decent page rank on their own.

4. Or just redirect the whole domain to another:
http://www.Time4Math.com PR2
Again, these are old and new ones should be set up to measure. These sites do direct traffic (in the hundreds per month, not thousands) and do have some page rank.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A google refrigerator and an Ed Mouse portrait

Google Refrigerator, Ed Mouse
Great Day of Mail:
A Google Refrigerator
and an Ed Mouse Portrait
Don't you hate ho-hum mail? You go to the mail box and return with some catalogs, flyers, credit card solicitations, and some bills... nothing of interest.

But, I recently received not one, but two exciting packages. ...a google refrigerator and a portrait of Ed Mouse, (the Educational Mouse)!

The frig was sent "gratis" by google's ppc group for paying alot of ppc commisssions and then not joining any of the class action suits about click fraud (that's a joke. I'm sure they would have sent me the frig either way).

The Ed Mouse portrait of this animated educational cartoon mouse was commissioned by Time4Learning from one of our Members, Andrea Hermitt, decorative artist. Since Time4Learning is about to make the big move from a home office to an office-office (is that the right term?), these will both be very useful.

This post sponsored by the best homeschool curriculum on the planet (currently at 9 on google) which is a great homeschool resource for learning enrichment.   
Educational Mouse Support Team
Ed Mouse Support Time, circa 2012

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Top Search Queries Table - What do they mean?

What is the meaning of the Top Search Queries Table?

Google's help says: "Top search queries are the queries on the selected search property that most often returned pages from your site" ...over the previous three weeks. Here are two possible explanations.

1. These are the highest volumes searches that returned my site in the results.

If this is true, what is the cut-off that google is using to say that my site was "returned"?

ALL THE SEARCHES ON MY TABLE HAVE AN AVERAGE POSITION OF 10 OR LOWER so I thought this was the answer. Sometimes, I see some phrases as high as 11 or 12 but never higher.....

Vanessa Fox (at SES Miami) said that this couldn't be the whole story since she said that she has seen tables where people are listed with positions as low as 40. But, the Google sites queries table for my site - Time4Learning.com - lists "homeschool curriculum" (where I'm 10th) but does not list homeschool (where I'm 53rd on a good day)

2. These are the highest volume searches where some minimum number of people actually clicked on my link.

This explanation makes some sense although its not at all what the explanation suggests. It would require Google to:
- Find searches that people have clicked on my site
- Prioritize them by volume
This explanation also makes sense because its using similiar data to whats in the second table but in a different way.

Conclusion - I return to the simplest explanation although Vanessa talked me out of it. THE TABLE SHOWS THE HIGHEST VOLUME SEARCHES WHERE MY SITE RATED IN THE TOP 10.

Anybody have any data to the contrary?

This discussion sponsored by Time4Learning - the finest homeschool resource available online. They have a comprehensive range of materials. For instance, check out the breadth of information online including: 2nd grade math worksheets, reading comprehension, and the online homeschool. And, it's not just for homeschoolers. If its Back To School time for your kids, this is a great way to get them ready for the new school year or to provide learning enrichment . If they didn't let us spin our wheels on this seo stuff, we wouldn't be able to give them any traffic for their marvellous education machine.