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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Help Me With My Homepage?

It has never gotten much search engine traffic.

Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer
mdcrawford@gmail.com

Monday, October 1, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

I'm asking your advice on a web design problem. Well, not actually a design problem, but a content problem.

I created the website www.warplife.com five years ago to present my art, photography, music and writing. If you look at my homepage there, you will see that it was a fairly pleasant, minimalist design, with lots of white space and very little text.

And that's my problem. You see, search engines like Google and Yahoo feed off of the text of a website, not its design. The result of my homepage's spartan appearance is that very few visitors find it via search engines - that is, it gets very few "search engine referrals". Most of my other pages, being mostly text - and a lot of it - get many search engine referrals, sometimes thousands each month, with one very long page getting about a hundred thousand.

Almost all of the visitors to Geometric Visions' homepage get there by following links from my other pages, or from links I post at community websites like Slashdot, Advogato or Kuro5hin.

It's very hard to build traffic to a website that way; most successful websites get most of their new visitors via search engine referrals, and not through direct links.

I started to realize the problem a few months ago, and have pondered the solution ever since, but I don't know quite what to do. Now, I know my solution is to add more text to my homepage, but what? On what topic?

I think I need to post some kind of article or essay right on my homepage. But my objective with Geometric Visions isn't to earn advertising revenue, as it is with some of my other sites, but to introduce others to my writing and my music.

In particular, I want my website to help me build a fan base so that when I publish a "dead-tree" book, or start playing my music professionally, lots of people will buy my books or concert tickets after finding out about them on my website.

My writing already gets a lot of search engine referrals. My music does too, but not just because I offer free downloads of it. No, it's because there's a lot of text on that page.

For comparison, in the month of September 2007, my music page got referrals for 326 different search queries, with multiple referrals for a couple dozen of them. My homepage got referrals for just 24 queries.

I expect that when I've written the new material for my homepage, I will also revise its design. The two-column navigation, with the pictures on one side and text links on the other, will probably be made into a single column with my new essay's text in another column.

Please send your suggestions to mdcrawford@gmail.com

Thanks for your help! -- Michael David Crawford

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