One of the more rewarding projects that I’ve been able to work on in my recent years as a web developer has been the great undertaking of creating a completely original coloring page website and resource for the online world.
The site is now several years old and has proven to been an invaluable resource for case studies and in understanding so many aspects of how the web works. ColoringPageKids.com has been, and continues to be my most highly trafficked website, with visitors peaking over 6000/month earlier this summer. My traffic increases to the site as I give it more attention on a daily consistent basis. Search engines, especially Google, seem to value a frequently updated website over an old and static website. Though some content on the website can be virtually untouched for a long time, its association with a frequently updated website tells the search engines that this website has more relevant search results, even thought the content itself may not have changed for quite some time.
There are a couple of other aspects that I’ve been able to experiment with as I’ve developed this website. ColoringPageKids.com has been one of the few websites that I can point to as a completely custom web build. It has been built from the ground up, with only small pre-built libraries being employed on the back end. As such, it has served as a training platform for improving my skills sets, as well as evidence of my abilities as a web developer. I’ve also learned how important standards compliance is for both accessibility and search engine optimization.
Finally, I think that last lesson that I’ve gained thus far in working with the ColoringPageKids.com is the importance of finding a niche market and catering to it. As part of my initial strategy to target the coloring page market of online searches, I realized that it would be a difficult challenge to initially rank anywhere near the top for the key word “Coloring Page.” I began to realize that if I could target specific terms that I could begin to cater to niche markets within the much larger coloring page world. That has worked remarkably well, to where many of my coloring pages rank first or second for specific key phase search.
There are two things that most coloring page websites lack. 1) Poor optimization on the key terms that describe the significance of these pages. 2) Visual appeal that actually serves the needs of site visitors. ColoringPageKids.com does a pretty good job of bridging both of these faults. Not too heavily on the advertizements, site visitors are able to find what they are looking for quickly, which also helps to improve retention (lowering the bounce rate) when visitors make it to the site for the first time.
There are still many more lessons to be learned by experimenting with this website. Some of the most exciting ones still lie ahead as we experiment with monetizing on the site, and improving the social experience through increased facebook integration. I was fortunate to be around when Facebook first announced the ability to claim specific facebook name listings, where I was able to pick up the key phrase: http://www.facebook.com/coloringpage. The hope is to continue to build and increase the coloring page community online. I feel that there is a huge social aspect that I’ve yet to tap into with these coloring pages.