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Major SEO Challenge -- Movie Review Site. What's Our Best Course?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by slashcomment, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Occupation:
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    I run a movie review site (same as my username). It's me and a couple guys and we're all old professional writers. We know the content is solid. We even have a novel new concept for movie reviews that we're hoping to generate some PR buzz from once we knock it around a bit more and stabilize all its features (any feedback on that welcome too -- you can see these in all our recent reviews).

    Anyway, our issue is that, obviously, it's hugely difficult to make a dent when there are dozens of search pages filled with major players (Rolling Stone, NY Times, Rotten Tomatoes, LA Times, People, Village Voice and on and on and on)....

    So we have several years of content now that we've built up (earlier posts were blog stuff. Then in 2012 to 2013 it was all pro content. We're also full press members and have media access so the content is there on time for movie releases and such.


    We thought about contracting an SEO expert, but read tons of bad stuff about them. My old job they could never do better than our actual founder in a very special niche. We don't actually sell anything, but just want to get the hits WAY up to generate SOME income (to pay for the site and then some) and to mainly then syndicate our content and the /chart concept (we've both been syndicated columnists for major publications in the past so we know how to do that part of it).

    The site is WordPress. It's on Bluehost VPS (which I need to re-think, but have a year left and they've been pretty good with me. It's also using W3TC, MaxCDN and Cloudflare so it should be fast all over. The link structure should be good for SEO domain / category / full post name with topic in it). We also run Yoast.

    Google Adwords ads are there with room for more ads. What we don't want is what we tried a few months back and that was mainly sponsored stuff that was CLAIMED to be related and totally wasn't suddenly the site was filled with male enhancement ads and such. No thanks. We've also been trying to get Amazon to work, but two attempts have come up with nothing. We' really need simple contextual stuff for our posts. Hell, write about the new Star Wars so there's DVD's to sell, collectible figures, shirts, etc. We just can't ask the writers to sit there and search Amazon for every post they put up. The body and the tags should feed that easily enough.

    If it's all about back links, then just give me the bad news and it'll be time to find the time to make 1,000 calls to film departments of colleges and such. I'm just not sure what we give them in return!

    At this point we're just frankly lost in the woods with a million "possibilities" and no real idea which end is up.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  2. dystopia

    dystopia Registered Member

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    Try to get your content out to people, think social promotion. Try and share your website on Reddit, that will take some work as you really have to figure out the right time to post, titles that grab their attention not clickbait that would work on facebook. A few up-votes later if it gets picked up and discussed a lot you will get a lot of traffic. If you really think your content is good then find every way you can promote it and promote it.
     
  3. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Great info. Thanks. Reddit is working, but we have to be quite sly about it. I've lost two accounts so far putting our stuff up. I couldn't believe we couldn't post our own stuff to the movie reviews subreddit.

    Thanks. Long tail is working. If you google "Amoma" we're the biggest it other than this sham (but major) travel company. It gets tons of views every single day and has for nearly a year now. Need more of that.
     
  4. SECONDS

    SECONDS Junior Member

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    Social media is the good source for movie review.make multiple fanpages and try to bring traffic.
     
  5. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Time for this old man (51) to finally absorb Twitter. Our tweets are all automated and bland. FB gets our content fed to it as well. Pinterest is coming shortly and with the charts we think that might be big for us.
     
  6. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Guys, I'd like to edit a post above, but apparently am too new to do so (or it's not allowed after a period) and it also seems I can't PM a mod to help. Any ideas how I can get that to happen?

    Thanks.
     
  7. frankie828

    frankie828 Junior Member

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    1 - maybe just me? but the initial loading of the site took atleast 10 seconds.

    2- considering you niche, followliker would be very effective, you would reach alot of people with lets say 50 twitter accounts and in time make friends with bloggers in your niche. considering making your site more of a community where people can be interactive. This will increase your return rate / bounce rate and time on page which all are major factors in seo

    3- you so have solid content, i would even consider some seo packages sold on this forum. (not 95%) of them but some solid homepage link should lift inner pages and bring traffic

    but i really would abuse social media with the current bots available as my main priority
     
  8. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Thanks frankie. This is very helpful as well.

    The load time shouldn't have been that. We're cached heavily and gtmetrix shows us, on average, at about 2 seconds load with scores in the 90s. Most people tell us the site is crazy fast. Something odd there.

    I'll look into the rest as well.
     
  9. slow312

    slow312 Newbie

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    Site was pretty fast for me. Only thing is, I thought it was movie reviews? Seems to review everything else as well? I guess that is part of your strategy for targeting other keywords?
     
  10. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    We mainly do movie reviews and hope to grow to be able to do all "entertainment" reviews. So we have a lot of video game reviews, board game reviews, etc. The OTHER material is simply legacy material from the original site that we're now de-emphasizing. Quite a bit of it has long-tail benefit so we don't want to just chop it off.

    We also suspect that if you're a movie fan you're likely to be a game fan and likely to be a board game fan. Thus it should all work in a nice self-serving circle. Heck, one good recommendation of a game piece on reddit gets us hits across the entire site.
     
  11. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Thanks again for all the help guys. This has gotten us off to a great start and it was very much appreciated.
     
  12. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    BTW, a friend that also hangs here recommended buying backlinks specific to the movie market and said they're available here. Can someone point me to the right area for this?

    Thanks.
     
  13. JamesConway

    JamesConway Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Make a short YouTube video using a clip from each movie.. Place the link to the review in the description along with a SEO friendly title.. GURANTEED results bro..it will be hard work, and tedious... But will produce some results for you
     
  14. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Thanks James. You said it. It's much harder than you may think. We are fully accredited (by the studios) press members. To keep that status, which is essential, we need to follow the draconian studio rules for doing this. It's so convoluted that our YouTube channel almost always receives DCMA notices from the studios even though they know about us. The clips are approved by them. What we would do is put them up with some "bumpers" (our logo up front and behind) and then put it on our YouTube channel. Two issues: One, that takes hours per film. Two, each studio (and there are dozens) each have VERY, VERY specific and unique rules (takes pages of a spreadsheet) for removal of those videos to keep your status. Lionshead might say, "All clips must be removed from your channel with 7 days of the films release." Sony might say, "All clips must be removed from use 30 days after release or 10 days after release if the film is removed from circulation after the first week."

    We end up having to essentially babysit every single post! It's insane.
     
  15. Antoine07

    Antoine07 Newbie

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    In my opinion reviews are about the reviewer not the review itself. There is a particular games magazine I like because I "know" the reviewers. I know that if reviewer A recommends a strategy game I can buy it without even reading the review, while if reviewer B recommends a racing game it's probably too realistic for me since I enjoy arcade racers more than he does. Your site is missing all this author information as far as I can see. So what's the benefit of reading your review over asking some random stranger in the street if they liked a certain movie?

    If you want to monetize I would advise you to create strong author profiles, not just on the site but on social media and everywhere else too. Integrate that with your site and do shoutouts for products and have things like "currently reading/watching/playing" lists with affiliate links to Amazon.
     
  16. slashcomment

    slashcomment Newbie

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    Okay, had a whole reply to this that vanished:

    Thanks for the reply. I always appreciate hearing any input from anyone willing to look regardless of their perspective. Let me counter with a few points:

    1. If you click on any of our names, you get bios of the authors. They could be more detailed.

    2. Russ and I both were actually rather well-respected writers in the video games industry for 25 years. We made good money writing for the top publications in it and never had these sorts of details in our bios. You don't state it here, but it SOUNDS like you like Reviewer A because you've read his past reviews and have grown to know his likes and dislikes -- not because his bio says, "I like X and hate Y."

    3. Asking a random person on the street??? Your most likely to get something like, "Yeah, cool movie" or "That sucked". Without context, that response is effectively useless to any reader.

    4. On our site, as noted, you can click our names. You can also read the prominently displayed "How Are Reviews Are Different" to get a real sense of what we're about and why we're different.

    5. Read my "45 Years" review. A well-written review will take the time to point out who is likely to enjoy a film, and why, and conversely who is not likely to enjoy a film, and why. Adding to this is our totally unique /chart feature. You can get a sense of a film from a single graphic. Is it balanced? Is it uneven? Is it a slow burn? You can even see when to go refill the popcorn!

    6. The Amazon links are next up on our agenda.

    Again, thanks for the feedback. It's very much appreciated.