April 7, 2012 by Brian Rock
Did some more work today on my new niche website, Elliptical Machines vs Treadmills. The bulk of the writing involved writing up reviews about five elliptical machines, and later on I hope to write up posts about five treadmills to round things out a bit.
In terms of design, I styled the WordPress Popular Posts widget in the sidebar. I love this plug-in, since it helps keep good content in front of your visitors and (hopefully) increase clicks / engagement. To make it more appealing, I used the thumbnail, and I increased the size of the text a bit and gave it a text shadow.
One thing I was a little frustrated with is that there’s no classed wrapper around the thumbnail. The problem is that I wanted the thumbnail to exist within a 75px x 75px box, so that even if the thumbnail wasn’t 75px wide the text would still align properly. I ended up just resizing the thumbnails so that they’re all 75px wide… this leads to some distortion because not all of the thumbnails are 1:1, but they’re close enough it doesn’t matter too much.
I also added a menu to the sidebar, and put links to the individual tags within that menu. They’re organized so that readers can browse by Brand and by Feature. I used the menu, because it let me include and organize the tags the way I wanted and still control the anchor text. So, for example, there’s a “Cheap Elliptical Trainer Reviews” tag, but the anchor text in the menu simply says “Cheap” (and it’s grouped in a list underneath the heading “Elliptical Features”).
The pages from yesterday are already indexed, so now it’s time to do a little bookmarking for the new posts and get them indexed. I set up Traffic Travis to track rankings for about a dozen potential keywords, although I wouldn’t expect to see rankings anytime soon.