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  1. #26
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    At first sight the domain is too long, but for the learning/studying community it is good (they will conceive the website name as special and educative). Website layout is decent. Navigation interesting. For the rest of the development matters you should consult a seo-experienced web developer.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    One thing you might consider is "scholarships" as this is a traffic draw. It is never too early to check on scholarships and prepare for them. Finding information about them and being accurate is difficult on the internet, but the public library in the reference section has good reliable information, then you can check on their website and publish that information.
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    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  3. #28
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    you have improved your site very well. i want to give you some suggesstions.
    1. Separate sections with some line like "books and reading" and "writing and Vocabulary" there should be a line between them. when i first see it i was thinking it is just a image.
    2.i dont know why but your site loads slowly. may be its my connection problem but you should chek your site on different PCs and networks
    3.in menu->problem solving->cafe math problem of the week there is a huge list of links and i have to scroll down to look it. its looks very odd. so try to make it confortable

  4. #29
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    <title>Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas - Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas
    Home Page</title> (97 characters, including spaces)
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    Why do you repeat the title ??
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    <meta name='description' content='Find Enrichment Activities for gifted students and advanced
    learners in grades 2-8, including free online book quizzes, student writing contests, math
    problem of the week, independent study project ideas, and much more.' />
    (219 characters, including spaces)
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    Your display in Yahoo
    Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas - Conversation ...(57 characters, including spaces)
    Find Enrichment Activities for gifted students and advanced learners in grades 2-8, including
    free online book quizzes, student writing contests, math problem of the ...(165 characters,
    including spaces)
    www.conversationpieceslearning.org - Cached
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    Notice: part of the title and part of the description is cut off. Both Yahoo and Google have a
    limit on characters (including spaces) for the title and description.
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    Important issue: Remember, the first thing someone sees is your title and description. That
    information determines whether they visit your site or not. Other issues determine whether
    they stay or leave (leaving immediately is bounce rate). To reduce bounce rate is better
    description, better site layout and/or design plus good navigation (and other items). Check
    in the analytics as to what keyword(s) they used to find the site, that should help, then
    where did they go (leave or to another page). What directed them to another page (important
    information - obtained from analytics). This information should help you improve your traffic
    and reduce your bounce rate.
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  5. #30
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    @navyfalcon--it's a good question. I hadn't realized that was happening until you mentioned it earlier, so I had a look. I was naming the page titles normally, but you're right--the site title was added to every page. I contacted customer support with my site host. It's a wysiwyg template issue--my site software automatically adds the site name to each of my pages, and at this time, there are no plans to change that practice. (grrr . . .)

    Danyald raises another good point--the extensive drop-downs aren't something I'm doing intentionally, it's just something that happens as I add pages to the site and keep them organized together. When I create a page, I drag it under a major umbrella, and it becomes part of the drop-down menu on my site. Someone else had mentioned that those pages were getting extensive, so I played with the idea of creating a landing page for the math problem of the week (and similar pages). That would make the big long nests of drop-downs deeper and less likely that people would see them/have to deal with them, but it created several extra steps for me every time I added new content, since I would have to add a link to that problem on the landing page, in addition to the site map, the main math page, and the previous problem. At some point, I will go searching for the proper css to make those drop-downs behave more politely, since I'm sure there must be a way to turn them off past a certain stage. I just don't know how yet.

    Also, navyfalcon, your scholarships idea prompted me to go searching for a collection of enrichment camps and contests, as well as scholarships, so I've been working on pulling those together today. Thanks for the idea!

    Thanks to everyone who has offered feedback! I'm excited about the content I'm adding and the traffic I'm seeing. While the design aspects are not as impressive as I'd like, I'm inching slowly in the right direction, thanks to your input :-)
    www.conversationpieceslearning.org
    Enrichment Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Students
    www.youcancreate.org
    Daily Creative Challenges for People Like You

  6. #31
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Important information: Who is your targeted audience ? Schools ? Public Schools, Private schools, charter schools, home schools, distance education ??
    You can not target the audience if you don't know who they are. Schools in general, fine. But narrow it down a little. Home school is becoming a big item.
    Where would you get the most traffic and where would the most conversions come from. You need conversions ($$$) to stay in business, so determine the best area for your site for traffic and conversions. Research a little bit. My site is an education site also, so I checked my traffic and where would my site do best, then target that audience. To do this effectively, you need software that answers these questions.
    - Where are your visitors coming from
    - What keywords do they use to find you
    - What is their purpose for the information on your site
    - What percent of return visitors do you have
    - What pages do they visit
    - What is your bounce rate
    - What did you do/or what are you doing to reduce the bounce rate
    - How can you improve your targeted visitor rate
    - - -
    Most of these questions are answered by good analytics (I use several)
    Also heat maps are a good source of information (heat maps are an example of your page and where visitors click) several are free.
    Some free analytics I use or like (not necessarily the best but what I use and/or like)
    - Google Analytics "http://www.google.com/analytics/"
    - iwebtrack (use the free version) http://iwebtrack.com/
    - statcounter (use the free version) http://statcounter.com/
    - OneStat http://www.onestatfree.com/
    - GoStats http://gostats.com/ (I use this a lot along with Google analytics)
    - - -
    The most important thing about analytics is "how to use them"
    I track my analytics by the week in a free spreadsheet by page and conversions (how much each page made on which advertisement)
    I track the visitors and the total visits plus the conversions by week. That way I know which pages are effective and which pages need to be improved or removed and replaced with a better content. This is an ongoing process. Just recently I made some changes in a page and the traffic increased 10x. Unbelievable. So I am making further changes to see if it will continue to improve. Also, I am making changes to my advertisements to see if I can increase the conversion rate.
    The point is you need analytics and to track the results in order to know what, where, when and how to improve your traffic and conversions on your website.
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  7. #32
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Do you have any control over the dropdown menu. I like them and they add functionability to the site. Unfortunately they drop down too far. I do the same thing therefore I split some of my pages (such as Algebra 1 and Algebra 2) because they get too large. The problem is how to direct traffic to the correct page.
    Can you use an HTML Editor (and CSS Editor) on your page. That would help with the title and description. Note: that I use screenshots and examples in my descriptions (it helps). To increase traffic use popular keywords in the title, description and body of the text. I added a small information below the header to accomplish that in the first 100 words of the body (it helps). Go to education forums and post there with you signature (address of your site). That will increase traffic. Write education articles about your site (I do tutorials about how to use the free graphing Calculators) and publish them on ezines with information about them on your site (a link) and a link from them to your site (improves traffic).
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  8. #33
    SitePoint Member dotem's Avatar
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    It looks a bit amateurish to be honest, like something from the 90's. It doesn't look professional and there's no identity to it. I would suggest creating a logo, that way more people will be attracted to the website.

  9. #34
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    THe nav bar on top cascades a bit too much in my opinion. Maybe you can make less sections, combine into fewer groups.

    Aside of that, and the color scheme...a bit too bright ....the site is good!

  10. #35
    SitePoint Addict bbparis's Avatar
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    I like the website, and the menu helps us to navigate quickly, and the speed of hosting is not bad at all to discover its pages. I like the concept, because in generale, I like education websites.

    2 things that maybe you can make them better, the images and the colors. because on this kind of websites, it's nice to see more and more images and videos maybe. like the index page where we can find 3 photos, also maybe it will be better to add more colors, I'm talking here about the design of pages, but maybe it is the style of the project, I mean the corporate identity of the whole project is in Blue, and for that there is no more colors.

    Finally, my opinion still the same, I like this website, good luck!

  11. #36
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    Thanks for the recent feedback.

    In response to the comments about "too much blue," I changed the color of the visited links and of the paragraph titles/headers to a dark red. I also changed the two main boxes on the home page from the rounded rectangles to text-based images for the teacher/student link collections. Does this work any better visually?

    I am just not a graphic designer, so I know my graphics aren't anything like some of the work some of you are doing. I'm taking my own photographs and building images with PowerPoint, so I understand the gap here. I just need it to work well enough for my audience, and it's helpful to have fresh eyes who keep that in perspective.

    I know the cascading nav menus are too long. Again, I'm using a wysiwyg template, and my coding skills are best described as "exceedingly basic," so it will take a lot of time away from my content management and development to learn how to go in and modify the code to make it stop cascading after a certain point in the menu. Currently, the site automatically does this each time I add a new page. As I add Math Problem of the Week 43, I know it won't be visible on the dropdown menu from the home page, so I just have to hope the user will click on the Math Problem of the Week Overview/Landing page. It's a good thing to add to my to-do list down the road, for sure.

    I want visitors to the main page to stay and explore, but most of my traffic arrives on fairly deep pages within my site structure, through searches for "This Title Book Quiz," for example. I'm happy to rank highly for some of those specific terms, but I don't want to turn visitors off if they show up on the home page. It's useful to remember the target audience; while I'm not looking to dumb anything down, I can afford to be a little bit bright with the colors--I just want to find the right mix. Thanks again for your thoughts!

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in Calgary View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reviews I received on the previous version of my site.

    I've updated the home page, so instead of taking visitors directly to most enrichment activities like book quizzes or math problems, visitors can choose to click on a Teacher or a Student button, and those pages will lead them to the most relevant activities for each audience. My hope is that this will decrease my home page bounce rate and encourage users to explore what's offered.

    I also added some pictures of students to humanize the home page, in place of my previous PowerPoint clip-art.

    I welcome any comments or suggestions about the new look of the home page. The enrichment pages for teachers and students are also new, so comments about making those as user-friendly as possible are also welcome. The site has 600 pages, and I want to focus on building content, but I want to feel like I'm moving in the right direction with the layout and navigation before it gets too much bigger.

    Some of you offered very helpful suggestions that I haven't been able to address yet, including the creation of the footer or the fact that my site builder automatically adds the site title to my meta tags for page titles, among other things. Still working on them!

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    http://www.conversationpieceslearning.org/index.html
    Hi, Done a Good job but still you need to make some changes, try with some different font style and colors, so that the site looks very attractive

    <snip>
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Dec 14, 2012 at 06:37. Reason: Please wait 90 days for a real signature


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