As you may or may not know, every week Jay at Wealthy Affiliate does a live training session that all premium members can take part in. And if anyone misses the live session, there is always a recording that we can watch.
I like to make notes while I watch the recording, then turn these notes into a post on my website, which is what you are looking at right here. This helps the information sink into my brain, but also hopefully helps my readers.
This week’s training was called “Hot Seat 2017! Live Site Reviews”. It’s an opportunity for several lucky website owners to have Jay cast his experienced eye over their websites and give them advice.
If you are already a member of WA or want to sign up, you can click the image below to watch the recording yourself. However, if you just want to get the information for free, you can continue reading this post.
So, first up is Pete’s website newcareerat40.net.
He gets traffic to his website from blogging, Facebook posts, Twitter, posts, and Google+posts. He says that even though he gets lots of likes on Twitter, it doesn’t actually lead to much traffic, and so far he has not had any sales.
Jay thinks the website looks pretty basic, but that’s fine. He has blog posts showing on his front page, which is great. The colours are great too.
Jay thinks it would be much better if he used an actual photo of himself. Real life photos add credibility.
At the bottom left and right corners of the website are bits of text that say “custom footer left text” and “custom footer right text.” These are placeholders for widgets, so he needs to put something in there by going to Appearance and then Widgets.
Starting a New Career in Midlife post
All the images are justified to the right, which is great. Also, there is a nice distribution of images throughout the post, which is good. The font is perhaps a bit small, but it’s okay. There are no internal links, so he needs to put some of those in.
In the middle of the post is the WA banner. Jay thinks it’s not obvious to click the banner. These days people don’t tend to like clicking on banners anyway, so it would be better to replace it with text saying something like “click here to check out my review”.
Wealthy Affiliate Review
First of all, someone pointed out that the main affiliate link at the top of the review leads to a 404 error. This might explain why Pete has not had any referrals yet.
At the bottom of the review is the call to action. This could be improved by changing it to say something like “Click Here to Join Wealthy Affiliate” or “Click Here to Get Started for Free”. With links, you have to blatantly obvious with what you want people to do.
Jay then took a look at the keywords the site is ranking for in Google. It is ranking for 24 keywords, which for a 6-month-old site is a good start, particularly because there are some hard keywords to rank for here. This means Google is starting to recognize his website is about how to start a new career at 40. However, creating more internal links should boost the rankings more.
Next up is Marsha’s site restaurantproadvice.com
This is a very generic site about advice for restaurant tours and so on.
The green is good, but Jay’s never been a big fan of having a solid background colour behind the text. The green background makes it a bit hard to read with the gray text colour. But this could be a restriction of the theme. Try to change the background colour to white. If she can’t, she should switch to a different WP theme.
The website needs a lot more images. She needs something to break up the text. Also, images are important in the restaurant niche because appearance is all part of the food experience. Also, the website needs more internal links.
Jay really enjoyed reading the text on the site, though. It’s obvious they have experience in the restaurant industry.
Jay likes it because they have first-hand experience in the restaurant business. He loves the picture, even though it looks like it’s been cut out of a newspaper.
Images should be justified to the right, not the left where they break things up like this.
You should not have internal links to the same page, as these could be flagged as spam.
There is no call to action at the bottom, so readers don’t know what to do next once they have read the content.
But this is a great start for a new website.
This definitely needs more images.
This needs more content.
For only 3 months old, it’s a very complete site, though.
This looks great with this image at the top. Great content. It needs a call to action at the bottom, though
The website is currently ranking for 3 keywords, which for a 3-month-old site is okay.
Next up is Josephine’s site methemom.com
Jay thinks this is a great title, it rolls off the tongue nicely.
The site was only 1 month old at the time it was reviewed by Jay, Josephine gets traffic by blogging and using Google+. She asked for feedback on her site layout.
Jay loves this site. He says it’s an absolute joy to look at and read. The colours, fonts, and everything looks great. It’s a total hit.
About Me page
Jay thought this was great. The photo is really good, and the whole page is a warm invitation into Josephine and her family.
While jay was looking at the website, a member asked what WordPress theme it is.
You can usually find this out by looking at the very bottom of the website.
This page contains great photos of Josephine’s daughter. So she’s taking the time to take real photos, which makes it more authentic. It’s really easy to read, too.
The website layout is fantastic, but Josephine needs to add more internal links between the pages and posts.
Great call to action at the bottom, but it could be made more obvious, so make it bold or an H3 tag.
Also, get some interaction going via the SiteComments tool in Wealthy Affiliate.
Great Amazon links on this post. Might want to break it down into talking about the individual products, rather than just having them in the gallery. The gallery is great, but it would be even better to also have a specific section about each product.
This page does have some comments, though, which is great.
Josephine puts a lot of work into putting the content together.
It might be worth putting the email list signup box at the end of the posts rather than in the sidebar.
This is great. Very authentic writing style. However, she needs to be careful when talking about the price on Amazon. She should mention that the price fluctuates on Amazon.
Ranking for 1 keyword for a 1-month-old site. It will rank for more keywords as the website gets older.
Last of the websites Jay viewed is Shawn’s site helppaydayloandebt.com
This one is different from the others because it is much older. It is a 5-year-old site, and already generates $750 to $1k per month for Shawn. He does many of the things you would expect him to be doing to succeed with his site: blogging, social bookmarking, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, paid ads, and YouTube.
Shawn has recently given the site a workover by changing the WordPress theme and installing SSL. This change caused the site to improve in its Google rankings by 2 pages.
At the moment he has no paid ads running, and he is not capturing email addresses at the moment because he’s not sure what to do with the email list. Jay says the number #1 thing is Facebook ads. Target it to city or state, find out the average demographic of people with payday loan debt in each area. Then he can target the ads specifically.
Jay likes the look of the website. It has a fun feel. However, Shawn needs to remove all the unnecessary white spacing. A lot of space is wasted “above the fold” before you get to read any content.
He should also get rid of the breadcrumbs trail if possible, and justify images to the right instead of the left.
The toll-free number shown on the site is separated by dots. This number should be separated by dashes instead.
Free Quote page
Shawn should add more information here about how he can help them solve their money problems. Also, add something in brackets like “No obligation quote”.
Shawn should make the call-to-action more related to the topic, for example, “Do you have multiple payday loans? Give us a call or fill out this form”
Looks good on a mobile.
Ranking for 826 keywords after 5 years, which is good. Some of these are really great keywords, too. According to Jay’s report, if Shawn was to buy all that traffic through Adwords, it would cost $2,600.
But what he is doing here is working, so it’s a great site.
Q & A
What is an internal link?
It is a hyperlink that you have on a page or post that links to another page or post on your site. It is a great way to help Google understand your site.
How did Jay create his SEO reports?
Using a tool called SEM Rush. It has a “site audit” feature.
Any cheaper alternatives to SEM Rush?
Yes, Google Site Console. It will show you lots of information about your own website.
Is it good to have links that go to specific parts of a page?
Yes. In fact, it’s possible to have these appear in the search engine results.
I hope you found this review of these 4 websites helpful or at least interesting. If you have any comments or questions, why not post them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
All the best,