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Ranking A Magazine Style Page vs Blog Style Page

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Cnotey, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Hey everyone, I typically don't ask for opinions on SEO, but I have a serious matter at hand. Currently, I have a website for my brick and mortar professional consulting business, in which a single client can land me $100k+. It's not autopilot income, as I actually have to do work, but it brings in far more money than any IM ventures to date.

    However, I have an issue. I am considering changing the wordpress format from a blog style layout, to a magazine style layout. Meaning, that I am going with a theme that is less informative on the landing page, and more pictures and snippets spread out.

    Here is what I consider a magazine style layout:

    http://www.elegantthemes.com/preview/LeanBiz/

    And I think we all know what constitutes a blog style layout.

    Currently, I am ranked 2-5 for relevant keywords across the board.

    Does anyone have experience with ranking changes when they apply a new type of theme like this? I literally cannot afford to lose my above the fold rankings for two of these keywords, as it's my full time regular job.

    The reason for the change, is am planning on bringing a family member into the business and need to double the income. So I need a landing page that is more engaging and will bring in more clients.

    So my question is, do you guys think this will help, hurt, or have no effect on my rankings. Thanks guys.
     
  2. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    Admittedly I don't know much about the consulting business. However the Elegant Theme doesn't warm the cockles of my heart.

    I think your best bet at this point would be to look at other sites somewhat related to yours that rank high for some layout ideas.

    If you end up with a really decent design it would only help you with visitor rates. Remember that traffic is king.

    Maybe think a front page with some teaser info about your services with a "Read More" at the bottom of each teaser post to keep your visitors on the site. At the end of that post a Call To Action could prove worthy.

    HTH
     
  3. G-S-T

    G-S-T Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I want a piece of that action ;) hat's off to you mate. Well done
     
  4. volund

    volund Senior Member

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    No matter what you do you will probably see at least a temporary drop in rankings when you make a big change to the format of your site.

    Honestly I think the style from your link would hurt. Your example really has no content on it which would most likely cause a permanent drop in your rankings. I have seen magazine type formats with a lot more content on them though which may not cause your drop to be permanent but if you can not afford to take a hit I would not be making any wholesale changes.

    The closer you are to the top and the more important your rankings are to you the more careful you need to be when making changes. With your description of your situation I personally would not take this route. I would probably try to make smaller changes to my site to move those 2-5 rankings up closer to 1's. Adding some more/better content and high quality links would seem to be a better idea.
     
  5. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    I would say that you would be playing with fire because that theme you posted looks like a thin content landing page. Removing substantial keyword content obviously has a real risk of damaging rankings and you just can't predict in advance what is going to happen.

    You could possibly work around it by including the existing blog content below the fold and hiding it using jquery (so you have to click on an "expand" button to unroll the content via javascript). The content is still present in the html and the jquery controls are there to view the content so it's not "hiding" text as such. You can also use this to successfully hide other SEO elements eg. h1 tags.
     
  6. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    The problem is, I have a ton of content. And from my analytics program, I am seeing that people are leaving my page after reading about half of my LP. Capturing my users, and encouraging them to get ahold of me for further information is what I'm going for. At the very least, I like the idea of having a top of the page slider.

    Hah, thanks man, but like I said, it's not autopilot. And I am very qualified in my field. I hold three advanced degrees and over $100,000,000 worth of experience in my field.

    Thanks Autumn, this is what I was looking for. Like I said, I can't lose my rankings, but I need an LP that is more engaging to my visitors. I need more pictures, and a layout that will encourage my visitors to look around my site a bit more.


    Does anyone see a problem with keeping my current content on the front page, but adding a Featured Slider at the top? This is the feature I'm really looking to add, because as I said above, I need my visitors to be more encouraged to get more information on my site.

    Thanks for the help everyone. I'm glad I am receiving as much advice as I have given in the past =].
     
  7. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    People the theme he is looking at is just the sales page of the theme. Fleshing it out with the same content would not really effect the rankings. It would just be a change in the layout of the content.

    Google doesn't look so much at the theme as it does the content. Think about how they rank sites.

    The only time a theme will get you in trouble is if your monkeying around with Adsence placements. Even so it may or may not effect your serps.
     
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  8. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    Autumn mentioned hiding the text. Why would you want to do this? After all your trying to SELL your consultancy to your visitors.

    Giving them full access to your info in a new and refreshing layout could only help you in the long run.

    Coca Cola changed their logo a while back. Budweiser did this recently. Some times a fresh coat of paint can turn something mundane into a popular destination.
     
  9. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    I see your point but statistically a shorter page with a big fat lead form will generate more leads than a longer page where the surfer can muck around and read lots of stuff and get distracted. That is why even long sales pages that are successful will have multiple entries to the join page starting high up on the sales page. You want to get the surfer to take action in the fewest steps possible. Especially for lead generation, a focused landing page will outperform a blog page, no question.
     
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  10. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Exactly. Up to this point I have relied on a 3rd page contact form for lead generation, and it is not providing the results I need to bring in someone else to my business.

    The theme I linked to was just an example of the style I am looking to change to, not the exact theme itself.

    Currently, my LP is about 1,500 words, so my visitors are either getting bored or distracted when they hit my LP. I need something more focused with less distractions to get my leads. But when I start cutting my LP text down to 300-400 words, I'm worried I'll lose my above the fold rankings, which is unacceptable, as I'll go hungry.

    And as I've said before, this is my professional brick and mortar business page. No advertisements, no adsense, no nothing. To make money, I actually have to have someone contact me, sign a contract, and work for them to do my work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  11. darkmonk

    darkmonk Regular Member

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    You need lead generation. Without knowing exactly what field you are consulting in, its hard to know what kind of needs your prospects have before contacting you. I don't know that I would go with that Elegant theme or the magazine idea. My advice would be to create a hybrid. Go look at unbounce or the landing pages on ThemeForest or landing pages for your competitors. Then merge it in with what you got. Get the lead gen form above the fold with a pithy pitch that works, and leave your existing content but push it down. I'd probably leave it visible without the jquery. Then, do as Autumn mentioned and include your lead gen form periodically further down in your content.

    Then you need a plan to gradually migrate the content from the main page to other pages. Whatever keywords you are ranking for start building up other pages for them. Do everything slow and gradual.

    I would also highly recommend that you invest in other means of getting business besides just Google traffic. What if your site stopped ranking tomorrow? You go hungry. I do seminar marketing among other things. This is your bread and butter business, you need to put on your VP of marketing hat and bust your ass and diversify your lead sources / risk ;-)
     
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  12. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Exactly, great advice. I do have other forms of getting business besides Google traffic, but all of those involve offline methods that already work. I would probably be OK if my site stopped ranking tomorrow, but then I would have to ramp up my offline marketing tactics, which takes actual work (phone calls, emails, etc.) The nice thing about having Google, is that I don't have to do any extra work to generate leads.

    The thing is, I don't really have any web competition to speak of. My industry is much farther behind the times than other industries. Half the people who do what I do, don't even have websites, let alone worry about lead generation and SEO. I am seeing a HUGE spike in people looking for what I'm selling, and I need to capture these clients.

    So what I'm hearing from everyone is:

    Leave the original content on my LP, just push it down and merge it with another type of LP style that will be more attractive and more focused to generate leads.

    Thanks everyone, you rock.
     
  13. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    If I were you, I'd just make a new website with your desired layout and try to rank it.

    It sounds like your changes are big enough that you could lose your rankings. If you depend on those rankings to make money, making any changes at all (aside from adding new content) is highly risky.

    I've lost tens of thousands of dollars making template changes before, resulting in SERP drops. I highly advise against it.
     
  14. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Excellent idea. As it turns out, an exact match domain for my keyword was available. LOL. Figures, it's a multi-million dollar industry, and it's so non-competitive on the web that an exact match is still available. HAH.

    I would have registered it years ago, but I bought the domain and did the website before I knew about SEO.
     
  15. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    I like your train of thought on this. That is some good advice. Hopefully CNotey will keep us updated as to how well his remark goes.
     
  16. Freakendorf

    Freakendorf Newbie

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    Magazine style, definitely.
     
  17. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Just thought I would update everyone on this. I went ahead and got a new domain name. Then I redirected the old domain to the new one through my cpanel. And bam, my new domain is at the same exact rank the old one was at.
     
  18. Apposl

    Apposl Power Member

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    Did you update themes?

    I just updated, and by this I mean changed drastically, the theme of my main website and didn't experience much of a drop in traffic. Still too early to tell how conversions go.

    I went from a landing page type with a large call-to-action to a magazine/blog format with a featured Slider. I think this layout is working better for me so far.

    I have a before/after post on the website if anyone is curious to see and compare. I'm also doing up a status/traffic/update report on all my development efforts for the site which I think some will find interesting. You can PM me if so.
     
  19. Apposl

    Apposl Power Member

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    Did you update themes?

    I just updated, and by this I mean changed drastically, the theme of my main website and didn't experience much of a drop in traffic. Still too early to tell how conversions go.

    I went from a landing page type with a large call-to-action to a magazine/blog format with a featured Slider. I think this layout is working better for me so far.

    I have a before/after post on the website if anyone is curious to see and compare. I'm also doing up a status/traffic/update report on all my development efforts for the site which I think some will find interesting. You can PM me if so.
     
  20. Silverion

    Silverion Junior Member

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    In magazine style page the content should be written in a paragraph style whereas in a blog content needs to be more subtle and convenient.Keywords play an important