Mobile and Tablet Marketing, Technology

SOAP’d: Scratch One Another Program

SOAPI signed up for the Scratch One Another Program last week and already received a fantastic review of my blog by William Tully. It’s apparent that William really took some time and wrote a fantastic review of my blog. I absolutely appreciate and respect his opinion – and agree with his assessment… now it’s simply a matter of when and how to get it all done!

Hello Mr. Karr!

I think I?ve pissed someone off because my first SOAP experience is with your site.. Not a new blogger trying to figure out the subtle nuances of the blogging community, or the basics of tags, trackbacks, design, layout, or flow ? no, I get a seasoned veteran who, well, gets it! (it would be like you SOAPing Mr. Godin’s blog ? not an easy task!)

Now, the information that was passed to me by Easton Ellsworth is:

Douglaskarr.com is about “Internet Marketing, Integration, Automation, WordPress.”
Doug would like tips on: improving his traffic, design and search engine rankings

DESIGN STUFFS:

My first reaction when getting to your site is that I?ve entered the land of AUTOMATION and engineering. I?m then really confused by the smiling/laughing engineer, simply because they don’t smile, but I digress.. With the large ?automation? in the header, combined with the gears on the right side, to me, it screams process engineering and automation which clearly, your blog is not about.

?On Influence and Automation? ? leadership-type influence and automation
?a marketing and technology blog? ? influence via marketing and an automation technology blog?

I?m getting mixed messages and it really isn’t clear, from just the header, what it is that this blog is about. I run with the theory that we either explain our blog clearly in the header, or we explain it with the blog. If the header gives one message and the blog another then the reader becomes frustrated. To further this point, if we take a close look at your top 7 post categories:

  1. Technology (193)
  2. Business (172)
  3. Marketing (113)
  4. Blogging (95)
  5. WordPress (86)
  6. Web Design (61)
  7. Programming (53)

There is no mention of ?automation?. Yes, I really seem to be hung up on a single word, and I believe that it is because it is out of place. I do believe that if the second line was tweaked to better explain the automation part, it would be more effective. Your top category is ?Technology?, and more specifically, SOFT technology. Within the first 10 pages of your technology archive, there are only two posts relating to actual hard technology (ie. physical devices such as the iPhone) which again makes me wonder why there are gears in the header indicating ?hard technology??

Ok, so what do we do with the gears? Toss ?em. Move you up, and move the title/tag to the right and down until the sightline from your picture lines up with them somewhere in the middle of the header. I do like the picture of you in the header ? it gives a great friendly and welcoming feeling to your blog. If there is an image that immediately comes to mind to get rid of the process engineering feel, and more in line with what your blog is actually about, then use it, otherwise toss the gears for now.

Top menu system with your various pages works perfectly and I would leave it there. The tag cloud page is brilliant and I would only change it from TAGS to TAG CLOUD if there is room on the menu. (also, and explanation on how this was created would be fantastic so that people can copy your great idea and link back to your blog?)

Sponsors Vs. Latest Activity on the main blog page?. At first glance you see sponsors, register that it is advertisements, you then see latest activity which looks the same as sponsors content, so it too gets registered in the brain as advertisements, and we?re down pretty far on the right before we get into the meat of your sidebar. My suggestion would be to break it up with some colour, or a small dense item such as ?March Commentators? or ?Blogs I Read?. If it all looks like advertisements, that friendly feeling provided by your picture begins to wear thin pretty quick.

INCREASING TRAFFIC:

Um, I think I?m going to let you down on this one, simply because you have more traffic than I do.. It’s like asking the receptionist at the car dealership about performance specs ? sure, you might get a bit of information, but not nearly as much as asking someone who understands it and works with it daily.. The reality here is that I should be asking you how to drive traffic and I apologize for the poor match-up here.

The only suggestion I have would be to draw traffic in from the fringes. If we have a blog about, say, technology, we typically spend our time in the technology blog sphere with everyone else who gets it. What if we were to tap the blogs that deal lightly on technology, become the expert, and draw traffic as the authority.

Typically technology blogs scare those who are trying to understand it, simply because it is one geek blogging to the other geeks. We know that you understand the technology, but can you explain it to the masses that don’t, are scared, but want to make sense of it? If you can, then get out of the technology space, and go find readers on the fringes who are looking in. Comment like crazy on the blogs that touch on technology once in a while out of need, rather than ones that have it as a focus. Along the lines that we need to stop playing in the deep water with the rest of the sharks, but move into the shallower water where the schools of fish are ? if that makes ANY sense at all..

SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS:

First off, you pretty much dominate the first page of google when your name gets typed in. Add in some topic tags along with your name and it looks pretty solid on the searching side of things. I think the real question is, what do you want to show up under when people search? If you type in ?douglas karr technology? then you show up pretty good? If you want to show up when someone types in ‘technology?, then guess what, we have some serious competition.

Your site tags are solid, the title of the post shows up in the right places, and the links to the posts seem to be working for you. I think that to take you up to the next level, you might need the input of someone who specializes in this area.

I hope I have provided some help at improving your site, or at least triggered a thought for you that will point you in the right direction. This has been a rather daunting task from my end, and yet I?ve learned quite a bit, and have found some great articles on your site.

All the best, and I look forward to more posts from you in the future.

Yours truly,
William Tully

Now I need to get my analysis of the site done that was selected for me to do! I hope I can do as thorough a review as William did. Thanks, William! Now I just need to clean up the site a little! Get it? SOAP… clean up?! Doh!

11 Comments

  1. 1

    To tell you the truth I like the top banner. To me the gears provide a nice juxtaposition between the old and the new technologies and the smiling Douglas A. Karr is there to help us bridge the gap. My only problem is with the top menu (i.e. the feeds don’t seem to fit properly).

  2. 6
    • 7

      Absolutely! 🙂

      I had some issues tonight with Photoshop and couldn’t seem to paste it onto the new header without it crashing. It will be there in a day or so, I promise!

      I can’t tell you how many people comment on that picture! I love it!

  3. 8

    PS. Re: “but can you explain it to the masses that don?t, are scared, but want to make sense of it?” You know he’s referring to me, don’t you? haha

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