By no means has this particular site made a full recovery! but I am seeing some traffic improvements. Here are some of the changes made
Also, bear in mind that this website was *long* overdue a makeover...
Firstly, there were the adverts. It was overkill. Although there were only (on average) 2 Ad units and one small ad block on each page – it looked too much. If I visit another site like that then it’s the 1st thing I notice - so that had to change. I therefore put one leader board ad unit at the end of the written content (below the fold).
I changed the layout so that the sidebar navigation was now just on the right hand side of the page – therefore putting more emphasis on the content.
I improved the navigation of the site by adding prominent breadcrumbs just above the page title.
All images were reduced in size to make them as efficient as possible including using sprites which I had never bothered with before.
All the meta titles/descriptions were looked over – not just to make them as unique as possible but to really try and improve the relevancy.
All spelling mistakes removed! (I couldn’t believe a few that I found)
All HTML/CSS validation errors were corrected.
Pages that were of shallow content – removed.
I created a commenting feature for certain pages.
Adding social buttons (which is the most annoying part of this as the page speed improvements are now not half as effective – but what can you do).
Another big part of the redesign was to really think about my main user audience for this website – which would predominantly be visited by females between the ages 18-30 on average. I basically really tried to concentrate on making the image of the site more suited to this audience.
And as well this, there were improvements that were made to the written content i.e. the addition of certain information that I felt would be of benefit to the user.
There is nothing ground breaking in the above list – just improvements that should have been made a long time ago. Sorry to disappoint!