Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Advertising woes

I now have 50 pages with mamma.com ads. I put them on each state page, so for the most part if you want to get into LOPICO you have to see one of the ads. But I will be changing that, I'm going to try mamma for one month and then I'm done with it. I am not happy at all with their ads. Primarily because they're not relevant and because they include pop-ups. I hate pop-ups, and you have to have pop-up blockers turned off for LOPICO to work best. Mamma does provide a strong revenue stream (sort of) because it has some cpm based pricing, but I can't see myself continuing with mamma, it does not represent the best interest of promoting LOPICO. I guess I never really realized how good Google was until I tried Mamma.
I did make two changes however, that allow users to go around the state pages. First I now list the top four most visited cities from the prior week with a direct link to each city page. (City pages are due for an update and will be getting it soon). I also added search powered by MSN to my page. I went with MSN because it has more of my pages listed than most sites. I was really starting to like MSN's new search, and was starting to use it more and more, until I found SNAP.
My only other change recently is that instead of adding a city directly on the state page I put a link to a new page that allows you to make a suggestion and shows other recently suggested cities. I did this primarily because I was getting a lot of city add suggestions for cities that were already up. I think that this was either a result of confusion, because people thought they needed to input their city to go to the city page or that people just wanted to put in their city to see how the form worked. Either way I think putting it on a different page helps because now people won't be confused and they can see cities that are already in contemplation, so they won't re-add these.
I'm planning on making an entire help section to LOPICO for what I think would be frequent points of confusion or places where help is needed. This will be included in the forthcoming redesign.

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