Wednesday, June 01, 2005

May Wrap

It's been awhile since my last blog, I've been focusing all my time on my redesign, I need to get it right, I want it to be the final redesign for at least a year. I'm making great progress, in my opinion, but I can't skimp on quality just to have a newer version online.
May was my best month so far in terms of page views as well as new business additions, and will now serve as my benchmark month. It was also an interesting month for Lopico, as I began to branch out from Google advertising. The two most significant changes were the addition of ads and joining a link exchange. If you read my previous posts (which you didn't, and unfortunately a couple of my best were removed to prevent troubled relations with Google, so you can't read them) you know how I feel about link exchanges. In short I don't like them, I think they are a threat to the internet's power to give people relevant information without having to go through a bunch of crap. Unfortunately at this phase in the evolution of the internet they are neccesary, because the webs most powerful search engine (in terms of delivering traffic to your site) uses a link based algorithm to determine the importance of your site. So if you want to get ahead it's hard not to use a link exchange, at least when starting out.
The ads that I've placed on my site were initially a disaster. I guess this was my own fault, but the sites campaign management resources are not very good. So initially I had some pop-ups which drove me crazy, but in a few days I got rid of them. Lopico is supposed to help people and businesses, not annoy them. If you follow the internet sector business news, you know that is supposedly a mess of a company. I chose to use their ads however, because they did do one thing right, and that was customer service. First of all, mamma came to me asking if I'd like to use their ads. I've never heard from anyone at Google, I've received several e-mails from my rep at mamma. I still have a slight problem with one campaign that I receive from Mamma, and my rep hasn't responded to my latest e-mail. I think once she learned that Lopico is a one man show, she decided that I wasn't important enough for her time, but that could be a mistake. I'm increasing my number of mamma supplied ads on Lopico from 50 to 135, but if the customer service gets any worse, I'll gladly try out a different company.
I'm still trying to decide on, I may start advertising on snap, but I need to find out if snap's service can work for Lopico. Snap allows advertisers to pay only for ads that generate performance. For example, I would get paid only when some one added their favorite business on Lopico. From what I've read however, I'm not sure if the tech would workout with Lopico, since Lopico is built on the usage of thousands of forms. I've been meaning to look more into this, but Lopico is only my second job and as I previously mentioned design is taking all of my time right now.
I also created a new site this month. It is intended to serve only as a part of Lopico. The purpose of the site is to be the advertising arm of Lopico, so that I can separate the free part of Lopico (finding, adding, and voting) from the paid advertising. But demand is great enough at this point that I need to be in any rush.
I also was recently informed, in a post on digital points forum, about a site that is supposed to be like mine. The developer of this site said that he has trouble getting people to add businesses. Sometimes I think I have the same problem, but when I think of how small my audience is, I really think I've done alright. One of the things that I'm going to start tracking when the redesign is finally finished is the number of businesses that are listed on Lopico, and I will display this number on the home page. Not that anyone's reading this far down (which if you are I'm shocked, but thanks), but I think it will be a cool new feature of Lopico. I'm really inspired by the volume of information that gives its visitors, it's interesting and keeps me coming back.

If you want, please add as many favorites as you want. The more you add, the better we get.

And finally my numbers for the month of May:
Page Views: 24,488
Visitors: 1321
Top Reffering Site: Google
Most Active City: Chicago
Ad Impressions: 5077
Adsense Ctr: 1.7%

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