Fellow software entrepreneur and blogger Stephane Grenier sent me a review copy of his “How to generate traffic for your website” ebook a while back. I have finally had time to read it. It is an introduction to marketing your website, covering a wide range of topics, including: SEO, Google Adwords, social news sites, blogging, directories and PR.
On the whole I think it is a very good introduction to marketing websites. At 136 pages there is plenty of ‘meat’ and a good balance between depth and breadth of coverage. Steph illustrates many of the topics with his own real-world experience with landlordmax.com .
There is less there for experienced marketers, but I still picked up some useful tips and there were links to resources I hadn’t come across before. I found his illustration of optimising a Google ad particularly interesting. But I disagree with his recommendation to allow Google Adwords to optimise which ads are shown most. The problem with this is that Google may choose to show ads which are making lots of money for them, but not much for you (e.g. high clickthrough, low conversion). I prefer to show all ads equally and then kill off the under-performers myself.
I have a couple of quibbles:
- Some of the writing isn’t as polished as the prose in Steph’s blog and there were a fair number of typos. I have pointed some of them out to the author, so they should hopefully be fixed in the next version. Also some of the screen captures looked a bit mangled. But this may be due to the vagaries of PDF formatting.
- I am not keen on the use of undisclosed affiliate links in a paid-for ebook. Affiliate links call the impartiality of the author into question. Is he sending me to this site because it is a useful resource, or just for the commission? I feel that any affiliate links should at least be clearly marked as such. But this is a grey area and that is just my opinion.
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy.