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The Skateparks Project - phase 1

Discussion in 'Website Reviews' started by alex, Apr 30, 2015.

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  1. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping your could share you thoughts on a project we've been working on that we've called The Skateparks Project:

    https://www.skateparks.co.uk/

    We put the site live a couple of weeks ago and it's very much in phase 1 beta, so we're still adding features and fixing bugs. The news section in particular has some more work to be done. But with these considerations aside it would be great to hear what you like and don't like.

    With over 1,250 verified parks in the system and with detailed information for many, we have developed the UK's most comprehensive skatepark database.

    We've got a post code/location search, geolocation search based on your current location and you can browse by region, such as the London Skateparks region. We're also working on bringing regular news updates, resources for anyone looking to build a skatepark and, most of all, user accounts to facilitate additional features allowing us to build a community.

    Right now we're working to add weather feeds, user accounts, park reviews, and we're talking to shops and brands across the country to potentially tap into location-based marketing.

    Finally, if anyone has any photos, or information about their local skatepark that they want to share with me I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you
    Alex
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    Looks good.

    One thing I'd consider is changing the logo to a vector format. It's pretty simple and would work better as an svg particularly for the scaling. Circles and raster format (jpg, png) don't always look good.
     
  4. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Great feedback, thank you. Optimising for speed etc is on the agenda so things like image formats and compression will be looked at, but I hadn't thought about using an svg so thanks for the suggestion.
     
  5. philiporchard United Kingdom

    philiporchard Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    Found my local park easily by postcode.
    The information about the park was reliable too. A solid platform to build from.

    Nice one!
     
  6. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Really like it, great design and found loads of skate parks near me, though I have no idea if they existing or not.

    How do you plan on monetising it?
     
  7. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Great, thanks for the positive comments.

    When I set out with this project the goals were to build a community and a great website that I could feature as a portfolio piece of something a bit different. However as it’s grown we are of course looking at a number of options for monetisation.

    One is to allow nearby shops to be listed on park profile pages near to their location, or as featurd map markers. The response for this has been very positive so far, especially as we'll be able to geolocate people, but we need to get more traffic and finalise the product.

    We'll also be looking at working with skatepark builders. As we know where (almost) every park is in the UK, possibly in the future their popularity, and we can access UK regional demographics, we could pull these together to pick out prime spots for future skateparks.

    I'm considering a shop.

    If we build a community we then have more flexibility for targeted advertising.

    What I don't want to do is plaster the site with ads because they're not effective and they'll ruin the experience.

    Do you have any ideas for monetisation aside from the above?

    Alex
     
  8. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    The most obvious thought would be adding any affiliate based skating companies to the site, though I'm unsure how many there are.

    Also, have you checked whether any of the skate parks are sponsored? I'd imagine some were built with money from companies, or their advertisements are on-site. If so, there might be an opportunity to further promote them for specific parks on your site.

    Find out who the biggest brand names in skate boards and trainers are, see if a deal can be done direct with them for a bit of promotion.

    Also whilst it may not be easy to profit from, I'd certainly recommend including local 'fast food' joints for these hungry teenagers after they've finished tearing it up (trying to be cool, not working out very well!). Maybe even extend that to include transportation to the parks via train etc, which you could use affiliate links for.
     
  9. philiporchard United Kingdom

    philiporchard Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    If any of the parks have dedicated sites, definitely get them to link the their profile page on your site. Get some quality inbound links.

    Can't imagine you'll gt much traffic until you rank for terms other than 'skatepark near xxx'. Generating additional pages with related long-tail terms would be a good move too.

    Once you're generating decent traffic, then it is easy to make money from ads.
     
  10. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Affilites is something I'm looking into. I just need to make sure I get the right balance really so that it doesn't look like I'm overdoing it. Again, don't want too many ads all over the place, but as you've pointed out there are possibly subtle ways of doing it.

    I have been approaching parks - there are about 60 private skatepark businesses, i.e. not council, charity etc, but they aren't swiming in cash. Maybe a low value on-going subscription to be featured may be a possibility.

    Yes - I see a great opportunity for backlinks with this site. I'm already in touch with about 10 different council (.gov.uk) sites who have begin the process of reviewing the site to see if they are happy to link to it.

    I think over 1k visits per day is very achievable.
     
  11. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to see how many skate parks there are in my local area which I was not even aware of. So works well! (Would have come in really handy 15 years ago :p)
     
  12. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Haha never too late to get back into it :D

    Glad you like it.
     
  13. Trigger Happy United Kingdom

    Trigger Happy Active Member

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    I like the design but I'm not sure how often you would need to find a skatepark even if you are keen skater? Surely you would already know where the local skateparks are? I would be happy to be proved wrong though.
     
  14. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Some good points and I see where you're coming from. Some initial focus groups suggested it would be helpful when users visit new places. London is very popular for French skaters visiting for the day, for example. It'll be particularly helpful when we've added weather forecasts, but we're also hoping to make it more of a community where users can discuss their local skatepark. Since they're regularly updated, built, closed, etc I'm hoping this will be a useful resource for that. Plus we could even add a hit list for people looking to travel around the country.

    The phase 1 is very much about the directory, but in the grand plan the directory is relatively small, we'll be providing resources for anyone looking to build a park plus if we can develop a community there is far more poitential for other things.

    I guess we'll just see what happens.
     
  15. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

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    I like the community idea.

    User uploaded pictures, videos, special event dates, reviews and comments. Could even have local classifieds for skating equipment etc.
     
  16. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask what came first, the idea or the domain name?
     
  17. Leeroy United Kingdom

    Leeroy Active Member

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    I like it, top name, nice design, and great to have a detailed list of skate parks under one roof. I am shocked how many are around me only knew of 1 :)

    LH
     
  18. alex

    alex Active Member

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    The idea - I used to run a skatepark directory on a previous domain I sold. The directory wasn't the key feature of the original site, but it was very popular and drove a lot of traffic + backlinks.

    I bought skateparks.co.uk a few years ago with this idea in mind. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.
     
  19. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Thanks Mat, I appreciate the suggestions.

    Thanks for the positive comments.
     
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