Burbank.com Relaunched – Generating Revenue
I am very happy (and relieved) to announce that the Burbank, California city guide has been re-launched. As I mentioned before, I wasn’t happy with the previous site, which was built to meet some time constraints. The information was good, but I didn’t think the site looked great or was as useful as it could be. Needless to say, based on what I have learned over the past few months (and what my developer/designer learned), a new site was created, and I would like to walk you through it.
The look and feel of the homepage was completely revamped. Instead of a welcome page with general information about Burbank, I wrote clips from various sections of the site and added them to the home page to aid navigation. I listed the most popular categories, added small pictures, and wrote a couple of sentences for each category, allowing people to click through to their desired page.
I added a functional calendar to the site. I want to give visitors a reason to return – other than when they need a phone number, and a calendar gives added value. Visitors and local businesses can submit events, and I will also add events – both for the public and private sectors. I hope this will be useful to people who live in Burbank or are visiting.
I added a news section to almost every informational page, and the most recent news stories are on the home page. This is to keep the website updated frequently and fresh with news. It will also be a good resource for people looking for information and should drive traffic to the site.
I added links to the best hotel deals in Burbank that might strike the interest of visitors. With the hotel affiliate I am using, they guarantee the lowest online rates, so I am taking advantage of this positioning. It already seems to be working as I closed a hotel reservation last night at Hotel Amarano – the luxury hotel in Burbank. Hopefully I will continue to generate hotel reservations.
A Yellow Pages business directory section was added. This is essentially the meat of the website and where I believe I will generate the most revenue. I hand “coded” each of the directory pages, and the hope is that advertisers will want to upgrade their listings for a premium. If a visitor is looking for a lawyer in Burbank, I think it would behoove a law firm to upgrade and be seen first. I will also allow companies to retain their position in the directory but add a link to their website at a lower rate.
All Adsense links have been completely removed from the site. With a fully-developed website, there is no reason to have visitors click on the links to be taken elsewhere. Visitors are valuable, and I don’t want to lose visitors to make a few cents. I would rather them patronize advertisers who work directly with me rather than getting paid to send them somewhere else.
I added a number of informational pages about various activities, parks and theatres in the area that weren’t included in the first site. I want Burbank.com to be the most comprehensive website in Burbank, and I need to add as much important information as possible. As mentioned before, each of these pages has a news heading at the bottom, allowing me to add new information. I better update my Google Alerts account – and sign up for various email newsletters.
An activities widget was added to the Burbank activities and studio tour pages. Because of date issues, I couldn’t connect individual activities to activity pages like I could with the hotels. In light of this, I added a helpful widget. This will allow people to choose other activities in the surrounding area. I can test conversions over time, and if it appears that traffic is great but conversions are low, I can consider going directly to the advertisers and sell tickets or sell advertising space.
Nearly every page has a picture. Ironically, the person who helped write many of the articles and pages actually lives in Burbank. She was happily willing to go out and take pictures for the site. I think they make the site look great and really add to it. I also added captions to each photo for search engine purposes. Where pictures weren’t available or weren’t possible, I used stock photos.
I really think the site turned out well, and my developer/designer did an amazing job. At the moment, there are many minor things that need to be fixed. I am facing some calendar issues, the captchas aren’t showing up, missing a few pages, and a few other technical problems. If you notice any issues or have any comments, please let me know. I am in Florida right now but am on something like a working vacation. Next up is Lowell.com!
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