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Showing posts from April, 2007

A Well Earned Break in the Carribean

We're off to the St Lucia tomorrow for a couple of weeks in the sun. Who knows what musical influences we will be exposed to and how we might translate that into new recordings when we get back. Such is the wonderful technology of the Internet our trusty laptop will enable us to mind the shop from those distant shores but there will probably be a short intermission in blog entries. When we come back it will be time for a full review of the impact of the changes we made to the site in the last few weeks. The overall level of activity is about the same but it seems to be better focused and the shop is working very well now. So we'll concentrate on the effectiveness of the specific actions we took and see whether there is more to do to build and sustain the profile and impact of our site.

AdSense - the first few days

The terms and conditions of AdSense are a bit restrictive about public utterances but a few general comments seem in order. In the first place the set up was very quick and efficient. It took a little playing around to get the hang of the the different advert formats and we are currently trying about four variants on different parts of the site. Our attempts to track them with the Channels facility dosen't seem to have come off but it is too early to start really digging into that yet. I have seen some comment about prices per click in one of the news groups but again it is too early to get to grips with that yet and we'll keep an eye on it. Any how - modest supplementary income for rather modest effort is not to be sneezed at so we'll carry on - refining as we go.

Bounce Rates Falling

It is nice to report some success following problem identification and prioritised action. The excessive bounce problem on quite few of our pages had been with us for long time but we had been focused on other issues. Then by reordering the pages listed in the bounce rate reports we were able to focus on the most extreme cases - starting with the 100% cases - yes all visitors to those pages left immediately! One of the common factors was that the first music sample offer was below the bottom of the visible page so we systematically revised the layout of many of the pages to fix this and try and make them look more enticing. After a suitable wait we have found that bounce rates have fallen and almost all of these pages have improved their bounce rate performance. We are less worried about bounces away from the sample pages because those visitors will have heard a clip from one of our arrangements and that probably means that they are in the wrong place and no

AdSense Sign Up

A further review of our Analytics data has convinced me to experiment with Google's AdSense. The bounce rates from many of our pages make it clear that many visitors are just not seeing what they are looking for when they reach us so we might as well get what we can out of the visit. Our traffic volumes mean that even with significant conversion rates we won't make much. The risk of loosing valuable customers is pretty modest and the ads can sometimes increase the credibility of a page to a new visitor i.e. most of our visitors. We will be selective about the pages we target with this - naturally from the start it will include this blog and our iTunes and iPod pages and then we'll experiment with our more business critical pages. One of the incidental benefits of the Bit Pass closure is that we can now track all our sales activity through the site with Analytics - the data isn't really statistically significant but it is providing sufficient clues to drive some fur

Re-focusing on Target Keywords

It is now nearly a month since we did a thorough site overhaul - looking at our target keywords and re-focusing pages as indicated by current performance. Yesterday we had our first detailed look at the impact and as ever it is a fuzzy picture. There is no obvious overall rise in traffic but there is evidence of progress on some pages and the targeted keywords so our efforts were not in vain but as one might expect they weren't all as successful as each other. It is also probably the case that some of the changes have still to work through - some of the relevant cached pages were only picked up in the last week or so. The big success was the prominence that our has now achieved with significant support from the Baroque music reference which clue we picked up from Keyword Discovery . Handel is also doing much better at the moment thanks to our new Hallelujah Chorus emphasis - a bigger draw than Sheba or the Concerto Grosso. There is also som

Inward Links

We signed up to Google's Webmaster tools quite some time back and they provide a range of more or less informative reports on a daily basis although they are not all updated every day. The information about key words used to find the site seemed rather odd and not too consistent at a glance with Analytics results although this may be down to a different (undisclosed) period of coverage. However looking at the links from other sites which is much more fulsome today it was striking to note how many of the links are into the blog rather than the rest of the site. In some ways, on reflection, I suppose that is not too surprising but it is a long way from our intentions - still a link is a link is a link and I'm not going to complain. The weird thing is that they are mostly dates (month/year from our Archive files) which must be the most common bits of data to be found in blogs everywhere. There is perhaps a hint that some of our optimisation work may have begun to have some im