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Best Theme for An Authority Site? My Thoughts

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BassTrackerBoats, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    What is the best theme to use when building an Authority Site?

    If you had the exact and perfect answer to that question you would probably be able to sell that information a million times over and fill your bank account up to the max! In my opinion there are a whole bunch of wordpress themes that work real well for an authority site but I am not one that thinks a theme or look makes a site a winner or a loser.

    The purpose of a website for most people, and surely the vision of the owner of an authority site is to be able to build a site that offers quality content (a good visitor experience) and makes the owner of the site a decent return on their investment. It is a pretty simple concept in it?s most base form but takes a fair amount of thought process to make it a viable and effective event. There are really 2 ends of the spectrum in building an authority site and they could not be farther apart from one another.

    So what factors should a person look for in atheme when they are building an authority site?

    First and foremost the site needs to be able to be crawled easily by the bots that Google and the other search engines send your way. Without those little guys crawling your site recording all kinds of information about your content, tags, categories, layout and what not. Those guys need to be catered to as those are the ones that tell Google that your site has merit and should be considered for good rankings when someone types

    [​IMG]


    in your keywords. Remember we have to satisfy Google before we can offer a positive surfing experience to the masses in order to rank our sites.
    Secondly we want content that is going to keep the visitor engaged for a little bit so our bounce rate remains reasonable and so that we build some trust with the visitor. The more trust they have with you the more they will trust the advertiser who pays you and that is what we are aiming for when we build an authority site. The theme comes into play a little here as you want the visitor to not be turned off by what you are using at the very least, and have a feeling that is positive as a goal.

    Ok, now that we got the Common Sense On Site SEO out of the way, let?s actually talk about the theme that you want to use for your site.

    What I like to see in a word press theme when I build an authority site is something that is rather clean and does not have a lot of bells and whistles. In my opinion the bells and whistles, things such as sliders and dynamic images take away from the two things that are the most valuable on the site; content and advertising.

    The fact of the matter is, although I am a businessman and want to make money when I build a website, is that I also want to provide an experience that the visitor will want to revisit in the future as well as share with others. Granted, the sharing with others is not usually very prolific, but it does happen and it does aid in the growth of my website reach. Of course the advertising is what typically motivates a website owner and without the advertising is pretty tough to make a buck. And to be honest, I build an authority site to make money from it.

    Therefore I choose a theme that is a little plain what I?m building an authority site. The sites themselves are not hideous but they are not going to win any prizes for artistic value either. I like to choose colors that are not ?in your face? as well. Neutral colors, tans, blues, greens are my favorite choices as they do not usually make a person think about the color. Using reds, yellows, anything bright can be a problem and take away from what you are trying to accomplish. My authority sites are not flashy but they are effective, look professional, rank and make money. Yours should too!

    There is not much more I want in an authority site when I build it for a revenue stream? ranking, traffic and conversions and I sure do not want the theme to get in the way of my efforts.
     
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  2. dkwholesales

    dkwholesales Regular Member

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    Now you have me regretting using 1 slider! :)
     
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  3. antichrist

    antichrist Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I take the same approach. However, I would love to pick up some of the themes you actually use on your large sites.
     
  4. wisdomkid

    wisdomkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great one HERE BTB, i was really expecting to see some recommendations from you though. But i think, any site ranking on the 1st -3rd position of first page for my keyword is an authority and it's theme is a must use for my next project.

    Thanks for this advice BTB
     
  5. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I don't actually write that root article with the intent of targeting any keywords as much as I do to give an overall general vision so nothing actually gets targeted. It does happen that some of the keywords are in the article and thus gives me opportunity to link to other pages and a category or two.

    I would not share any particular theme lest it become "the" theme and that would hurt us all over the long haul. Use what makes sense as to being a minimal theme and leave the flying monkeys and dancing unicorns off the site so as to not take away from your advertising.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016 at 4:11 PM
  6. madoctopus

    madoctopus Supreme Member

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    usability, speed, relevance, eye guiding, simple to use that a monkey would find her way around.

    1st rule to remember if you're online to make money: a blog is NOT a site. A blog is a blog, a platform for average joe to dump his thoughts. Not a money machine. You want to understand what a real money site looks like - check out cNet. I'm not even going for the specialized businesses like Amazon.

    Personally i ditched WP. Too slow, too crappy for me. My custom CMS doesnt even have an admin section (i use phpmyadmin to add stuff manually) as it is mainly an automation/spam platform. Now, my spam sites look better than most manual WH sites out there, read better, are more useful, etc. So in fact they look more like authority sites than anything. Is great for newbies WP exists, you can get up and running fast with no knowledge. But it is a piece of crap.

    My AdSense sites have 5% CTR during worst days. Best days I get 20-22% CTR. And I only use 2 ads. That's it. If you want the user to click an ad, make it the obvious choice for him (usability-wise). If you want it to go to amazon and buy, pre-sell him and make it so once he's on amazon he buys.

    I agree bells and whistles are crap. If you have a carousel, slideshow, JS animation you're wasting space. You have 2 seconds to convince a user he's on the right site, on the right page. That's it. You have 7 seconds to make him think "From all tabs I have open, this is where I want to be!". Then you have to give him what he wants, as fast as possible, in the nicest wrap possible. An offer he can't resist. Or, if your a devious blackhatter, you have to deceive him into thinking that's what his getting. Is about getting in his mind and understanding how he thinks and why he does something. Looking over the shoulder of an internet-handicaped person is best. Take your mom, grandpa, cat, whoever isn't internet skilled and have him visit sites and do shit while you watch. My mother for example can't make the difference between actual page info and an ad as long as the ad has the text she's looking for. She never clicks flashing ads because "they're obviously ads" :) But an add that looks like a windows dialog box she's used to, she's gonna think it's an actual dialog box. And so on.

    Another thing is, there's no such thing as the best theme. Different tools for different jobs, different themes for different sites. How many people that use WP even use custom posts/types/taxonomies? How many design the theme from scratch around the specifics of their site and its architecture. You want to get the best of a theme? You first design your information structure for the site, then build the theme around that. Not the other way around, picking some theme and making your site fit into it.

    Want to get huge AdSense CTR? I'm gonna give u a method that's borderline to being against AdSense TOS but not quite. You structure your page like this:


    Post Title Here
    First paragraph of the post.
    [ad1][ad2]
    Rest of the post.

    Now, the ads are both the largest rectangles format. Side by side. NO OTHER ADS ON THE PAGE!!!!! In the top of the page - 1st screen as is called - you should have no pictures and no attention grabbers, especially in the sidebar. No contrasting stuff to distract. You can have an eye guiding image on the left of 1st paragraph, but should be small, no taller than 1st paragraph. More like an icon. Just an attention grabber so user skips site header and jumps with his eyes there, close to the ads.

    Now, the sneaky thing is this: at the and of 1st paragraph, add a sentence along the lines of "Below you can find {the list of resources|some links} for <insert what you think he's after>."

    At the end of the post add some links or whatever, a listing of what he's after. Like if he's after HDTVs, some links of HDTVs, if he's after job offers, then some job offers. This is so you're just borderline with AdSense TOS, otherwise you're too obvious.

    What happens is when he reads that sentence, many will think the list/links you're talking about are the links in the ads, because those are in his view and immediatelly after the sentence. See? Sneaky! It's all behavioral psychology if you want. The ad placement can get you up to 20% CTR or so if you get it right with the rest of the theme. That sentence can get you a few % more.

    That's one example that works wonders for AdSense. If you want to go against the TOS, you can add some icons to the left of the ad, preferably red arrows in front of each link in the ad :) That gives you like 35%+ CTR easy. If you want to go crazy against TOS and get huge CTR (ull get banned really fast like this bc CTR attracts attention a dubious), just add a nice graphic element above the ads saying "Click the links below to <insert apealing reason here>:". The key is not huge CTR but to do it smart overall - big enough CTR but not too big.


    Amazon affiliate site:

    Add big image 250x250px of product and to the right of it add the prices from amazon API:

    List price: $100 <- 13px font, black color, strikethrough
    Best price: $80 (on Amazon.com) <- here you enfore subliminaly that amazon has best price from all stores, even though that's not true, user thinks like that because of the phrasing.
    You save: 20% instantly! <- you tell him he saves money (% works better than $ value) and you say "instantly" which subliminally enforces a sense of urgency like he needs to act now because is fukken instant.

    [Get Best Offer Now!] <- button link to amazon page - red or orange background, ideally similar style to amazon button so he's familiar
    To get the best price, once on Amazon.com just add it to cart and proceed to checkout. <- add this sentence below the button, that way you totally guide his actions, you instruct and enforce his belief in best offer, etc. People do shit just because you tell them to do shit!

    ---

    When you start to wonder what's the best theme for WP... stop right there and start to actually think not just adapt shit into your context!

    Good luck!
     
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  7. hmeister

    hmeister BANNED BANNED

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    I hear what everyone is saying about whistles and bells and other crap and I agree to a point.
    I use a mixture of instapage and unbounce landing pages and since doing so, my conversions have increased on those sites to around 12% with more to go I'm sure. There are no links on them to click away from apart from a small link to the home page near the bottom of each page.
    However, I notice that most visitors will then check out my home page and that's where I have a few other features just to make it interesting and just to keep people on the site a bit longer and so far it seems to be working.
     
  8. trickeren

    trickeren Junior Member

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    Convengence like bro-woodward
     
  9. ricardo78

    ricardo78 Registered Member

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    some good advice in this thread. thank you
     
  10. VinceC

    VinceC Elite Member

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    and I am now lack of good adsense themes to use now :) been searching for a days without any decent, clean and simple themes to use, anyone here came across good themes for adsense?
     
  11. somedevil

    somedevil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I found a couple of resources here and here
     
  12. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The best authority sites I have seen create a unique user experience in the front and sometimes integrate a WP blog somewhere in the back. I think this is beyond the budget of most and also goes beyond the definition of what most people think of authority sites as.
     
  13. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator in Training Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You bumped a 2 year old thread to promote your site?

    Reported.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2016
  14. happywheelsaz

    happywheelsaz Newbie

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    hi. theme beauty i want it. :(