DevHub Best Practices -- Part 1

June 9, 2009

Here are some best practices when constructing an initial site on DevHub. The theoretical domain we will use for this example is SeattleFishing.com

Site building wizard

In your "My Sites" area, click on the "Add site" link to start the wizard. Proceed through the process to set the title, base keywords (i.e. Seattle Fishing), and the initial description of the site. If the domain is not the exact keyword phrase (i.e. BestSeattleFishing.com), you can leave the title as Best Seattle Fishing, but set the topic of the site to Seattle Fishing.

Building the Home Page

The site building wizard will construct your initial home page for you. This page will contain a content block with your initial site description. You should modify this page (i.e. upload an image or add a Photos module) to make it more inviting to users.

Create initial pages

A good start is to create around 5-7 topical pages at first, then expand to more topics later after the site starts to gain traction.

Keyword research to discover topical page titles

You can use a tool like https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to search using the base keyword for the site (i.e. Seattle Fishing) to discover great titles for your pages. Sort by the "Global Monthly Search Volume" and scan the list to find some good topical page titles.

  • Fly Fishing Seattle
  • Charter Fishing Seattle
  • Seattle Fishing Guides
  • Fishing Gear Seattle
  • Seattle Marine and Fishing

After you add the pages, you can shorten the Link Text used within the navigation of your site so they all fit. You can change this in the "Pages & Navigation" section of the editor. Also feel free to re-order the navigation if needed.

  • Fly Fishing
  • Charter Fishing
  • Fishing Guides
  • Fishing Gear
  • Marine

Also, after you setup these pages, it is a good idea to add another Text module to the front of the site that then links to these sub-pages. This can be done in a bulleted list or within a paragraph.

Page construction

For most sites, 2 columns works well when starting out your page. You can then start dragging over modules from the right hand side. Below are some basic suggestions that can be used on every page.

  • Add a "Text" module: The first line should be the title of the page you created (i.e. Charter Fishing Seattle). After that page title, a couple of sentences should be written regarding the topic. One tip would be to search on Google for that phrase and find some description content of the topic. Instead of just copying this content, you should rewrite and rephrase the content to make it original to this site. To optimize for search engines, you should select the text for the page title (i.e. Charter Fishing Seattle) and then set the "Paragraph Style" to Heading 1.
  • Add a CPC based monetized module: Directly after the Text module, you should drag one of the CPC monetized modules. These modules include CPC Ads, Local Directory, and Jobs. Use your discretion when choosing what module to use, but this will be your primary monetization on the page. Think of what users would find relevant.
  • Add a supporting module: In the right hand column you can add an additional monetization option (i.e. Affiliate products) or a relevant Image or Photo module. This will bring color and images to the page and if the user is more engaged it can result in a CPA transaction which yields more than just the click.

Customize the appearance

To add a little more uniqueness to the site, you can modify the colors in the "Appearance" section of the editor. Choose colors that would match the site's topic.

Resources page

Its also a good idea to create a "Resources" page that can be used for link exchanges later as the site grows. You can remove the page from the main navigation, this page will still exist in the site and it will be spidered.

Getting links

If the domain is not indexed in the Search engines yet, it needs an initial link from an indexed site to get it started. You can use the resources pages within your other sites to give that first link. Other sites like Digg.com, Reddit.com, and other similar services will also give you that intial link if you submit the site there.

Just the start

This should help you get the initial site up and running. After your portfolio starts to pick up momentum, you can revisit the top performers (traffic or earnings) and continue to optimize and add more topical pages and modules (i.e. Blogs, etc).

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