Blog-Tipping: Alpesh Nakars’ Blogosphere

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The last couple of weeks has been brutal. I’ve started a project Wiki to keep up with the projects I’m doing, I’ve hired a young developer to assist me, I’ve resigned from my employer and accepted a new position with a local startup.

I don’t want to burn any bridges with my previous employer (who I loved working with and for) so I’ve been mired in conversations with employees, leaders, and a couple special clients to assure them they are in great hands.

What’s suffered during that period, of course, is my Blog-Tipping program. You folks have been waiting patiently for me to get back on track and I sure do appreciate it. Alpesh Nakars’ Blogosphere is next on the list. Alpesh has been a long-time supporter of my site so I’m looking forward to helping out however I can. Alpesh is also a Microsoft Sharepoint guru… so if you’ve got Sharepoint, be sure to add him to your reading list.

Alpesh, here are your blog tips:

  1. I like how you’ve got your site set up in a subdomain One thing you forgot, though, is to ensure any traffic that goes to gets forwarded. I would set up a redirect in your .htaccess file, I think this will work:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

    I believe you can even modify it a little more to go to your blog subdirectory, but I’m no .htaccess expert so you may need to do some digging!

  2. Since your bread and butter is Sharepoint, I think I would concentrate on owning that space. The first keyword in your meta tags is “Google SharePoint Microsoft Domain WebHosting Free”… doubtful someone would be looking for that phrase. I think I would honestly lose the ‘free’ and then make my first phrases “Microsoft Sharepoint, Sharepoint, Sharepoint Services, Sharepoint help, Sharepoint tutorials, Sharepoint consulting, Sharepoint blog”… you get the point!
  3. Your site is also missing a meta description tag. I would take the time out to write a great description, A blog about SharePoint by an experienced and passionate Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 administrator. Alpesh monitors 160 servers with over 1300 Sharepoint sites all over the state of Queensland. I would also add this to the hidden >h1> tag in your header. The current phrase, “IT’s all about technology!” is not going to help your SEO.
  4. I’m curious if you’re actually seeing anyone utilizing your Category tree. In reviewing my hits on my page, very few (if any) register within the list of categories I have on my blog. You’re taking up some great space with a very large category list. I’m not advising you to get rid of it, but simplifying it may be a good plan (unless of course you’re getting a lot of folks clicking through). The repetition of Microsoft throughout the Categories could assist with your SEO, also.
  5. The Copyblogger theme you’re using is a favorite of mine… the whitespace, clarity, and layout are fantastic. One thing I noticed with yours, though, is that the words from the sidebars are not differentiated too much from the post content text in size. I’d recommend enlarging your text within your posts, perhaps something like:
    #content { 
    float: left;
    font-size: 110%;
    padding: 0 6em 0 0;
    width: 40em;

    I've not tested that change on all browsers, but you can give it a shot.

  6. You've got Popular Sharepoint Posts on the left sidebar and Sharepoint resources on the right... you might want to group all of your Sharepoint sections together to make it easier for your readers to scan through. Perhaps first your popular posts, then resources, then your categories on the right sidebar. Try the rest on your left. Organizing your links like this is an improvement in navigation and usability.
  7. Your related posts after each post are assisting your SEO but probably not helping with keeping your visitors around. At first, I thought it was just an advertisement and I skimmed over it. I read your comment under the post and figured out they were related posts. I would give this portion a makeover: First, lose the >strong> wrapping around your comment - it takes away from the actual post. Try a lighter gray and smaller font so it doesn't overpower the other info. Put the Related Reading in a >h2> tag so it stands out more. Wrap the content there in a new div, perhaps &div class="related"> and then set the font-size for those links larger in the stylesheet. You may also wish to lose the advertisement in there. That's up to you, of course.

Hope that helps, Alpesh! Great blog and congratulations on your growth! Keep on writing about Sharepoint to continue building your authority on the web in that area. I've worked with Sharepoint at my work and I know it really takes some talent to unleash its potential. Out of the box, I personally think it's a stinker. It also makes me mad that I can't use it with my Mac unless I've got IE and Office running in Parallels.

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    Hey Doug,
    Just looked at the Wiki for our mapping project. Looks awesome. I love the idea of using a Wiki to document a project like that. I may just have to do that myself. Can’t wait to see the finished maps!

    Bo Lowery
    Wild Birds Unlimited

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