I don’t usually say this often… but when I do, I do so with pizzazz!
SmartGeek (at www.smartgeek.com.ng) is absolutely killing it!
Most of my site reviews start off with me in #SamuraiMode about to go HAM on another website.
SmartGeek is a breath of fresh air.
Without any more “senrenre”, let’s begin:
The Smart Geek Site Review
The URL is just Genius.
I’d expect that a geek would naturally be smart, but then again other non-geeks are also smart so going with Smart Geek as both the URL and the site title just positions you to reach the geeks who I’m sure are your target audience.
I. Design and Layout
Smart Geek’s design gives me joyyyy… I don’t even know where to start from.
From the site logo being a monkey wearing glasses to the big ass white background that makes all the content on the page pop.
There’s still some things I’ll point out to you as we go on, but let’s start:
(a) Your Site Title is genius. Just perfect. Love the logo.
However, I noticed you don’t have a tagline. And the one you have is in the top of the title and we can’t see the rest of it unless we google your site.
A great place to put that tagline would be right beneath your site logo.
You are killing it though, so you might want to do what’s already working and skip this point.
I don’t think it’d hurt you much, but it can help.
(b) Your header menu
I love the arrangement.
It’s just perfect.
(c) Your primary navigation menu
I think your web developer has been reading my reviews.
I’m almost scared that I won’t have anything to say about your site, but let’s keep going.
You have the essential elements here:
- Tech Tips
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Search icon
I have nothing to teach you here. Great job.
(d) Your “sidebar- less” layout and Main Content section
I saw this, and I couldn’t even get mad at it.
Your site gets to the point quickly. It shows us the latest posts, then posts about Security and Vulnerabilities, the curiously named “Technology Whispers” section, and “Tips” section.
You also do this beautifully. Your featured images are not too large, and you even go as far as showing us how long a read the post is going to be.
I love how your social media share links come out at the left side of your page, that’s dope.
I hope my site is like yours when it fully grows up.
I will however fault you on something here though.
By eliminating the right side bar, you kinda had to find a way to put the normal elements of the right side bar somewhere. You did great with most of it, except for two main things:
Subscribe widget: I couldn’t find your Subscribe box anywhere.
And I was expecting at some point, a pop up would come asking me if I’d like to subscribe to get some of the geekiest news ever or something like that.
But there’s none. Zilch. Nada.
That might be something to look into. Unless you don’t want us to subscribe to your awesome site and you just want to hoard all your geek-knowledge to yourself.
Social Media Account links: Yes, you have them in your header menu, but an average user, after running through your site, won’t remember he saw social media links in the header menu.
You need to find a way to make them more obvious. Like, for example, have a pop up close to the bottom right of your page offer us the option to follow you on Facebook, or read your latest tweets on Twitter. That sort of thing.
(e) Your Footer is beautifully and wonderfully made.
I love the “cutely” named “Have you Checked this out” section, the tags section and the Den of Geek Feed.
I give you #Almighty Props on your branding.
You’ve definitely found a niche audience and are probably sitting on top of the Throne as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of the Geeks and The Andals.
I also love the fact that those social media share links follow us wherever we go. It’s like, even if we don’t want to share, we just have to. I’m loving it.
I would say though that this will be a great place to place a Subscribe link since you currently don’t have it anywhere else on your site.
Also, this is what I found when I clicked on your Den of Geek feed.
I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, but you might want to look into that.
All in all, though.. A great footer.
I can’t fault you on your content. At all.
Not even a little bit.
You know your target audience well, and you have created content perfect for them.
Your Headlines are great. Even though I really don’t consider myself a geek, I really felt like getting geeked up (which, by the way, you should use in some way for branding… Don’t worry, I won’t charge any copyright fees… Just give me a shout out sometime 😀 )
Your posts pages also have great layout. You have the Social share links, categories, etcetera shmetcetera.
I think you should change the Categories from a drop down menu to just show the main categories instead. In whatever, you do, you should try to reduce the number of clicks a visitor needs to make to get to what they want.
That “Sharing is caring” thingy above the social media share links at the bottom of each post is a nice touch too. You’re teaching me something with this site sha.
Let’s talk Social Media.
I see you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram account links.
I looked through and you’re doing great on all media platforms except Google +. I would suggest shutting that down and concentrating all your efforts on the platforms where you have been getting more return on investment (ROI).
Granted, it doesn’t seem like you’ve done much on Google +, but I feel you should do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
So far, you’ve maintained a regular post schedule on the other 3 platforms and you’re getting engagements and enough attention from those 3. Fine, it can be better, but so far, you’ve not done a bad job.
IV. Monetization and other Biz
I see you’re trying to use ads as your main source of $$$.
That’s okay, except most of your ads don’t really encourage clicks. Well, to me, at least. I don’t really know your ad revenue though, so this one is just me speaking for me.
Anyway, I was thinking you should add other sources of revenue. Here are some of my ideas:
- Like it or not, you’ve built a brand. Now, you just gotta turn that around and start a movement. Then you can start creating branded Tees, caps, shoes, the whole works… See where I’m going?
- You could also expand a bit into offering courses.. this one’s a bit rough, but I think considering what you’ve done so far, you could do it.
- You could also either create one or partner with a comic book creator and do some naija manga. I’m assuming you know what manga is. This could eventually become anime. Imagine having anime in Yoruba or Igbo. That would be sick. A little crazy, but not totally a bad idea.
You also need to show us how to subscribe to your site, because when people subscribe to your site, that’s how you start building an email list, one that would come in handy when you decide to sell a product.
These are my 2 kobos on your site. If there are any issues you would like some help with, just let me know.
And with that, this review is over.
P.S. If you’re reading this, and would like me to review your site, post it here.
Always keeping it 500,
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.