Okay, I honestly didn’t know how to come at this site.
Partly because it looks like you’ve not finished setting this site up. From this image, it barely looks like the site is active.
Till we click on “Blog” in the primary navigation menu, and see this:
Which then begs two questions:
“Which site do I review?”
“Why does the blog part of your site look more set up than your home page?”
As for the first question, well, I’m going to focus on the blog because obviously that’s where you’ve put most of the work in.
The second question is probably something you’ll answer for me later. Either way, I think you need to restructure a bit. Either make it clear that the blog is the main site or work on the main site more.
But for the sake of this review, I’m going to focus where you have – on the blog.
Now that we have all that senrenre cleared up, let’s begin…
The Alayojuran Site Review
I. Design And Layout
I love that purple and cyan (or overly-light blue) background you have here. It works. And looks awesome at the same time. Definitely keep that. It’s cool.
Let’s get technical:
(i) Site Title
You have one that matches your URL. That’s cool.
(ii) Na wa for your invisible tagline
The only place where we catch a glimpse of it is at the top of your browser.
“Ibadan’s #1 News and Entertainment Portal”
Let’s talk about this a bit.
I like the idea of focusing on a particular town. That’s a different way to go about the Linda Ikeji model of blogging.
But using the same cliche line- “… #1 News and Entertainment Portal” doesn’t make you unique in any way.
When you add that in with Ibadan, it begs a few questions:
#1. Is it the only site people in Ibadan would be accessing to get news and entertainment?
#2. Is it about news and entertainment in Ibadan?
If your idea was to focus on the former, you need to pivot and go in a direction more similar to #2, but maybe I’m judging too quickly, let’s continue.
I would suggest you rearrange the tagline a bit to make it clear who your audience is and what your site is providing to them.
And also make that tagline show underneath your logo if possible. It should be one of the first things your visitor sees when he comes to your site and one of the things that could convince him to hang out at your site a bit more.
(iii) Your Primary Navigation Menu
You’ve done a great job with this menu. It has all the important elements.
I would suggest you however try to change the colour that indicates that a certain menu element is the page you’re looking at from white to red.
That white colour almost makes it invisible. See what I’m saying?
(iv) Your Right Side bar
I like what you’ve done here – interspersing ads with a few widgets. It’s not all perfect, but it works.
I would suggest you move the Subscribe widget and put it right after the first Ad. Why? Because if you just put mainly Ads there, people like me who like to dodge ads might get the wrong idea that your right side bar is full of Ads and just ignore it entirely.
So move the Subscribe widget in between them, then have a “Recent Posts” widget after the second Ad, the “Categories” widget, your Facebook badge widget and maybe an Archive widget.
Do that, and I think your right side bar would be set up nicely.
(v) Your Main Content Section
I love the layout here. A medium size featured image of a post and then more posts in that category beside it. That works.
A few things. I noticed a few sections were titled Latest and then a Category to the right of it. I think you should stick to the other arrangement with the name of the Category as the title and Latest right besides it.
Also your Sports section seems a tad longer than the section to the right of it, so there seems to be way more empty space right beside the posts.
I think it would have been better if both sections showed equal number of topics. Those sections are supposed to show a few of your topics, in different categories, not all the topics.
(vi) Your Footer Section
I didn’t see a secondary navigation menu here.
Or you should just put in your Categories here. This at least gives your visitor somewhere to go when they get to your footer, rather than having to scroll all the way back up.
Your content specifically targets an audience and your headlines are great. They made me click on a few posts out of curiosity.
And I noticed a few things:
(i) First off, the image at the beginning of each post doesn’t have to consume all the space above the fold.
We keep having to do a lot of scrolling just to read your written content. Not good.
I think you need to reduce the sizes a bit and sometimes, align the image to the right or left instead of centralizing all the time.
Images are supposed to give us something else to look at apart from the written content. But they shouldn’t make it harder to read the written content.
(ii) Why are you showing us Views count?
I think Views Count is something that’s meant for the back end of your site. It’s something that is not important to your audience.
If your post is that great, you won’t have to put a Views count. It would show up high in search engines and it would be shared and liked a lot on social media.
So remove that Views count thingy.
(iii) I noticed a few grammar and punctuation errors.
I think this is a big NO-NO. You need to read and reread your drafts before you post and remove any errors. An easy way to do this would be to use spellcheck and fish out those errors so you can correct them.
(iv) You need to edit better
I love the fact that you don’t write in huge paragraph blocks and generally keep your paragraphs about 2-4 lines long. That’s great.
But I’ve noticed that there are parts of your post that you need to draw attention to by either making them bold or putting them in italics, but you do neither.
Things like for example, this section of a post in your content:
” Tip #1: When going for an outdoorsy event, go for short sleeved printed shirts and button all the way up or long sleeved denim shirts with folded sleeves. Pair the look with some kick ass espadrilles, throw on a piece of accessory such as cool sunnies and some bracelets and you’re festival ready!”
That could look better if you do it like this:
” Tip #1
When going for an outdoorsy event, go for short sleeved printed shirts and button all the way up or long sleeved denim shirts with folded sleeves. Pair the look with some kick ass espadrilles, throw on a piece of accessory such as cool sunnies and some bracelets and you’re festival ready! “
That’s just a small example to illustrate my point.
Remember that your typical online reader doesn’t read. He or she scans. So therefore, if there’s a part of your content that you want him or her to pay attention to, you need to draw attention to it.
Also, you don’t have any headings in your content. That makes me wonder if you’re doing SEO.
Okay, enough about that.
(v) You need to post more regularly.
Some of your “latest” posts are 8 weeks ago.
And looking at the niche you write in, you need to write and publish posts every day. No stories.
I love what you’re doing on Social Media. You picked 3 social networks that work well for your niche and you’ve built a nice following.
It could be better, and you could get better engagement though.
For example, you could organize contests for free tickets to certain events and get your followers involved. That would kill it on Instagram.
You could also start a challenge and involve friends and followers, all to create awareness of your brand.
In general, nice job but like I said in the content section, you need to post more often.
And now, a free Consultation:
Well, here are a few things you need to do immediately to turn things around:
#1. Pivot your site to focus on Ibadan
Be the go to blog for anything happening in Ibadan. Get sources and be the go-to-person for anything happening in Ibadan.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t write about news not happening in Ibadan.
I’m saying become known in Ibadan.
#2. Use your site to promote local businesses
I don’t mean local as in razz.
I mean businesses in Ibadan. Call me crazy or whatever, but almost any successful big business or person started local before going global.
I can see you’re trying to make money through affiliate marketing, but you’re going to have to share profit with Konga, which isn’t all that bad, but we’ve seen too many Konga and Jumia type of ads on every site so visitors like me probably don’t even see them anymore. We just subconsciously ignore.
Go out in Ibadan and talk to local businesses. Tell them you’ll bring customers for them and get their permission to promote their businesses on your site. Agree on a certain percentage per customer. This is another way to earn extra $$$.
Obviously you’ll need serious traffic to do this, which leads to…
#3. Are you doing SEO?
If you aren’t, you should be.
Of course, most of your topics are about recent events and having to create content as soon as they happen.
But even with that, a bit of keyword research will show you what people are searching for on that topic and you can use that to jump on a popular topic and create content people will find quickly. This could attract a lot of traffic when the topic is popular, and when the dust settles, as far as you have other interesting content on your blog, you might just have converted a few new readers to followers.
Okay, that’s about it.
I’m gonna go have breakfast.
That’s my 2 kobos. This is done.
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.