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  1. #1
    Compy's Avatar
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    Post Crowded Website Layouts

    Hey all,

    So I noticed that most portals over the years seem to follow a similar design concept. Generally you have a series of top casinos or betting sites in the side bar or center content areas. You have a ton of banner ads. Some sites even have content that has obviously been cobbled together as the font variations within the same paragraph give off a "ransom letter" vibe

    My question is: Is this a layout that people find to be converting well? Personally I find it to be a bit of "information overload", but I figured I'd engage a discussion. I'm more of a fan of open space and organized content with a rather minimalistic design. I've found some of my opinions to be the exception rather than the norm in the past!

    Compy
    Last edited by Compy; 19 November 2015 at 4:17 pm. Reason: Rewording "enjoyment" to more of a conversion focus. Good catch, Gooner!

  2. #2
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    You should create a site that you feel comfortable with.
    If you like it - then hopefully others will also.

    Regarding your specific question : Is this a layout that people find their players to be enjoying?

    Enjoying is a funny choice of word - and probably not a measurable feature without expensive consultants and user testing.
    Converting visitors (into signups and depositors) is far easier to measure and probably the focus of successful webmasters.

    If you visit a site with your design hat off - and your selling hat on - you might have a very different opinion.

    Most casual website visitors are looking for something of interest on the landing page - if they don't find it they won't click to an interior page and keep looking for it - they are just as likely to click away to another more focused site.

    So - come up with a scenario in your head - a specific visitor looking for something - and revisit these sites :
    - Look at a "crowded" page again - and see all the opportunities to convert a whole lot of different players.
    - Now look at "minimalist design" - and recognise the almost complete failure to sell anything at all.

    Flash design, and minimalist approaches look great in portfolios - but are typically awful affiliate sites.

  3. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to TheGooner For This Useful Post:

    agsgroup (20 November 2015), Compy (20 November 2015), dfiocch (19 November 2015), MMM (19 November 2015), Vrindavan (25 November 2015), xecutable (21 November 2015)

  4. #3
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    I think players and people visiting websites in general want a good mix of credible and interesting content as well as a visual appealing website .. if your website is too content heavy , boring and drab well this may put some people off and and the same applies to one that's full of images banners etc this may be too much also . Its important i think to have a Top Table of casinos on your homepage as i still feel this is where most first time players would look to download from.

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    Compy (20 November 2015)

  6. #4
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    Sometimes I find myself overbuilding.. I get carried away.. then usually I go back in and modify, Typically most sites are built upon split testing with affiliates trying to maximize profits, if something doesnt work then you change it.. When I go out to buy my wine I prefer a store that has many options not just 3 and products vary so much depending on person or even country they are in..

    Converting players has nothing to do with building a pretty website but more on making it functional, if you added those two extra banners will it double your clicks? if so why would you avoid it? of course there is a limit to everything but the only way to find out is to keep building

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  8. #5
    RacingJim is offline Public Member
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    I must admit I hate crowded designs, also with the rise of mobile they tend to look especially bad on mobile.

    I always learnt in web design - efficiency and use of white space can really lift a page and focus the visitor's mind to the aspects you want them to look at. Trying to fill every last pixel with something for the visitor to look at can really just lead to overkill on a page.

    There's a happy medium to be found, I think some people's websites are really crowded and hurt my eyes, whereas some are stark and empty with no conversion opportunities. Find the balance and you've cracked it, keep in mind the end goal of conversion.

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  10. #6
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    Thank you EVERYONE for the replies so far! The mentality explained here makes a lot of sense, and is coming from those who have experience in the field. I just wanted to engage the discussion and get folks' take on it.

    So yeah, in making my first website (should be up within the next few days), I think I'm going to balance the aspects stated here. I'll have a mix of content, but I'll mostly focus on slots/casino games rather than sports betting since thats where most of my expertise resides. One of my USPs will be the development of a Chrome/Firefox extension that allows players to easily post/share screenshots to the site with the click of a button so they can share their wins and losses with the community. Perhaps even allow the extension when clicked while playing a certain game could bring up reviews, ratings, and possibly a live chat with other current players for a more interactive/live feel.

    I'd just have to make sure that this wouldn't violate any T&Cs with any upstream casino providers whom I'm affiliated with.

    Ideas ideas ideas!

  11. #7
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    If you focus on user experience then you'll get your answers.

    Some people expect certain sites to be busy and sports focused sites can usually be like this. A site can have a lot of topics on a page but your job is to organize it as best as you can for the user so they can find what they want. Pay attention to your bounce rate and conversion rate too. If you have a page of offers and deals, this can be busy but make it easy for the user to follow it and navigate.

    On the flipside, there are some sites that are probably busier than they need to be and changing and testing isn't always an easy thing to do.

    The trend I see happening are sites trying to focus on user experience and keep things organized and easy to follow. It might sound like stating the obvious but one thing many webmasters think they need to do is get all the features, bells and whistles on a page when sometimes you might find things are more effective with less.

  12. #8
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    I agree with the notion "find something that you are comfortable with". I personally am not comfortable with a crowded website, where you first impression would be overwhelming. I like for the visitor to easily find his way through the website, and find all of the useful info while enjoying the content and interacting with the website.

    Maybe casino players do want to visit crowded websites where eveyrthing possible is thrown together on the home page with huge lists of casinos and bonuses so that they could just click on every one of them, and as long as that works for them and the webmasters, so be it. I like for my website to have a little bit of all on the home page, as it currently does: the casinos, bonuses, games, and blog posts. But, not too much of everything. I like to encourage the visitor to browse the content on his own pleasure.

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    Looks are always subjective, that's why I usually tell new webmasters asking for feedback, to not worry about their themes, as those can be easily changed and played around with, but it's such a waste of time in the very beginning and doesn't hit your main problems.

    People see different things. I personally use some colleague website from here, as information source and ive given them to friends who go "wtf looks messy" and on my turn im like "wtf do you mean" . And then they show me their idea of a "great site" and it's some so empty that it looks like a newspaper page.

    I agree with Paul, that conversions will let you determine what works best, if you have the sample size to test it. Sometimes you get put up on page 1 and i think that's the time to test it thoroughly, even if you drop out at least you know the design converts. Trial and error is a big part around here, cause otherwise u'd get 50 different opinions from 50 different people who all convert, and you can't use all they tell you to, because a lot of the stuff contradicts.
    Gambipedia.com - casino & slot reviews accompanied by casino betting guides

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  15. #10
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    As mentioned with the rise of mobile, you don't want to make your pages too busy. Couple of other items:
    1) My hosting/service provider offers an analyzer before you upload or change a page and their recommendations are at least 1 image and
    outbound link on each page besides offering tips for SEO of the file name/keywords for that page. Altho, I don't believe with over 200 pages at my site that I should always offer an outbound link - still good advice overall.
    2) Internal links are important, I give visitors at least 4-5 other click choices to keep them at the site.
    3) I have created 10 rss feeds for specific sections of the site which bring in dofollow links. Some of these feeds are the most popular for visitors and a way of finding my site.
    Happy Thanksgiving to our US friends!
    Gayle Mitchell
    writer/publisher


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