A Theme-Based Website, Part 1- What Is It?Written by Julie Georg
What is a theme-based website? The wave of future. The best way to please increasingly savvy visitors AND search engines. A theme-based website is a site that is based on one specific theme or concept. Every page of site focuses on a single topic that is related to that theme. For example, if my theme is Italian cooking, topical pages could include Italian chefs, Italian ingredients, Italian cooking methods, Italian cookware, etc. Such a site could easily grow to a hundred pages, each of which focuses on a different topic, all of which are related to my theme.
Why would I want a theme-based site? A theme-based content site is a great vehicle for earning income as an affiliate. How?
Traffic: Each topical page is a "keyword focused" content page. In other words, I build content of each page based on one of hundreds of keywords that someone might use to search for information related to my theme. Taken all together, my tightly focused, themed site scores well at engines for hundreds of related terms. And we all know what that means - lots and lots of highly targeted traffic!
Presell: Each topical page is full of valuable content. This content is used to PRESELL(we all know importance of preselling, right?!). My visitors are not searching for sales copy. They are searching for information. I need to deliver. Using my Italian cooking example, my page based on keyword "Italian chefs" could offer brief biographies of top Italian chefs. I could then recommend books by or about these chefs, providing an in-text link to a book seller. What else? I could write(or find) articles about olive oil, Italian ceramic cooking pots, Chianti region, etc. And as a good affiliate, I provide in-text links to merchants selling Italian cookware, imported foods and wines, cooking lessons in Tuscany(!), etc, etc. Think of potential.
Consider advantages theme-based website has over mini-sites, which some affiliates use to try to promote an affiliate program. They may seem easy and cheap, but mini-sites are not built to do well at search engines and rarely get a directory listing - two places my visitors are most likely to look for me! Where they WILL find my theme-based site. Also, mini-sites are typically made up of just sales copy. I know my visitors do not want to be sold. My theme-based site GIVES my visitors valuable content while preselling. Lastly, a mini-site is pitching one product. If a visitor doesn't want that particular product they're gone. My site, however, offers multiple products or services, any one of which my visitor may be interested in.
A Theme-Based Website, Part 4- How To Build The Site Written by Julie Georg
In first three parts of this series, I've shown why I want a theme-based site and how I've prepared (and you can, too!) to make one. I chose a theme and found lots of related keywords. I have ideas for content and found merchants that I want to represent as an affiliate, whose products fit with my content. Now, I'm ready to build my site. It's going to be pretty easy since I have my content and merchants organized by keyword. And I'm keeping these two thing in mind: 1) I want each page to be focused on only one keyword. Remember, I'm doing this to please search engines, but it also keeps things clear for my visitors. 2) From experience and research, I know it's best to keep things clean and simple. I want a straight forward site that's easy to navigate and with minimal distractions.
I'm going to start with my homepage, which should only tell my visitors what my site is about and how it will benefit THEM. Links to my merchants should NOT appear on homepage - too soon. My homepage should link to 5-10 "keyword focused" content pages. These pages should offer valuable content and links to my best merchants for my most profitable keywords. Each of these pages can then link to 2-10 other pages. Every page should have a link back to homepage, but not necessarily to every other page on site. I need to think about where I want my visitors to go and what I want them to do, which is click through to my merchants, of course!
Ready for construction. Each page will have 1) a TITLE tag, 2) a META keyword tag, 3) a META description tag, 4) header tags(headlines), 5) and body copy.
My TITLE appears as link in search engine listings, so it needs to be honest and attractive. I'm going to use specific keyword for each page in it's title, as well as a general keyword and perhaps synonyms if possible. For my Italian cooking site, for keyword "lowfat Italian cooking", page title could be "Lowfat Italian Cooking- Healthful Italian Traditional Cooking, Naturally Lowfat".