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Million Dollar Website: Simple Steps to Help You Compete with the Big Boys - Even on a Small BusinessBudget Paperback – Bargain Price, May 5, 2009
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
"Lori Culwell's insight has made Johnson & Johnson's discovernursing.com the award-winning website it is today. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone with a small business."
-Andrea Higham, Director of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future
About the Author
Lori Culwell has served as a content strategist and usability specialist for US Web/CKS. She is a consultant for Johnson & Johnson, where she helped create discovernursing.com, the #1 nursing website in the nation and for which she received the Big Apple Award for Excellence in Corporate Communications. She was also a member of the team that was awarded the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership Award from the White House.
Top customer reviews
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Now that I own my own copy, I'm comfortable ordering several more as stocking stuffers. It's really difficult to overstate how important it is to start off on the right foot -- from defining your audience, researching your keywords, installing the right tools to gauge success, and creating killer content. Page by page, this book is worth it's weight in gold leaf. Of the many books encountered on this subject, this one has to be my bible for SEO.
[9/16/10 Update: All of the 5-Star reviewers have not reviewed a single book on Amazon besides this one. Just saying]
This book is a nice starting point for newbies, but doesn't deserve the name it was given. While Lori Culwell certainly has a great grasp of website functionality, the lack of suggestions on search engine optimization alone will prevent your website from generating serious revenue.
What's useful about this book is that Culwell uses an actual client's website as an example of how a site can be redesigned using the techniques she suggests. The book offers good ideas on how to select your site's target keywords, encouraging people to subscribe to a newsletter, and how to make the site more interactive for customers. Her strongest area shows in Chapter 8, in which she gives good advice on how to organize your site's content.
Where the book falls short starts at Chapter 4, in which she suggests that you pick your five favorite sites, and use their features as models for your own. This strategy makes little sense, as your five favorite sites may not be structured perfectly nor optimized well for Google.
Speaking of Google, search engines love content. Which makes it confusing that she asks you to limit the amount of text on the homepage. If you at least format your homepage so that it's easy to scan, you'll rank better on Google with more content, and won't scare off visitors. Culwell offers a chapter on writing content, but with no suggestions on even the most common sales copy writing formats such as AIDA.
The book's biggest drawback is that it's incredibly weak when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Contrary to her suggestion, you don't have to actually submit your site to search engines for it to be indexed. While Culwell mentions use of anchor text (although not with that term), she doesn't realize nor mention how effective it is for offsite optimization. Ironically, the nursing site that she worked on isn't properly optimized for Google. Her own marketing website is also not optimized correctly, and has a few issues that can actually get her penalized by search engines.
The author knows content architecture well, but beyond that, her knowledge of search engine marketing is extremely limited. While she's familiar with writing content in general, there's zero emphasis in this book on writing sales-driven copy. If you're totally new to websites, this would make a decent primer. But if you actually want a million-dollar website like the title suggests, you won't get one following only the suggestions found in this book.
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I have been in the web development industry for many years and have brought...Read more