Website Critique and SEO Direction
Anyways, here goes…
[INDENT]Site A (old with good steady traffic): http://www.diamondadvisor.ca
Site B (new with little traffic): http://www.diamondanddiamonds.ca[/INDENT]
*To keep things simple I’ll just refer to the sites as A and B from this point forward.
I have some time to invest in my project site(s) and am looking for feedback:
[INDENT](1) Some direction in terms of SEO and multiple domains (Site A and B)
(2) Critique of my current site’s features and content (Site A). If I revamp the existing site getting feedback on what works and what does not is going to help shape what that overhaul will look like
A bit of background…
A few years back I wanted to learn Joomla so I started a website (site A). That website was about buying diamonds online and unfortunately really wasn’t updated often nor did it have great original content. In short, it was a rehash of the 4C’s of diamonds.
A few months ago, I had some luck with affiliate marketing and that inspired me to write better content to help drive new traffic. This new content was tailored around information that people would actually find useful (i.e. buying tips, reviews between diamond vendor 1 and vendor 2). The new content did help bring a lift in traffic and conversions, so I made the decision to further update the site. As I had been a newbie to Joomla when I started, the structure behind the site (Site A) wasn’t great (outdated version of Joomla, basic inflexible template, lots of code tweaking, poor CSS). I figured that starting from scratch (with a premium template) would be easier so I got a new keyword domain and worked with WordPress this time around (Site B).
On this new site (Site B) I started posting recommendations for diamonds and some questions I had been asked in the past. I was happy with the look and feel and direction of the new site but as I started to add more content, I realized I was duplicating effort by having two sites. And more importantly I was splitting my SEO juice. I’ve come to a crossroads where I need a bit of SEO input before deciding how to move forward.
- I know that Google puts a fair amount of weight on the age of a domain. Should I keep Site A which is more established (Google may consider more “authoritative” because it is older), or keep Site B which has a target keyword (“diamond and diamonds”) in the domain name? According to Google keyword tool, the keyword has 2400 queries a month. That’s currently more than my traffic to Site A.
- If I were to go with the latter and redirect all my traffic to the new domain (via 301 redirects) and inform Google the site has moved (via Google web master tools), would Google consider the new domain to have the same age as the old domain?
Please critique the site as you see fit. I listed some questions I had which feedback on would be invaluable. I also listed a few shortcomings I’m aware of and planning on addressing so as not to “beat a dead horse”.
- What would you find helpful to see on the front page as a consumer in this niche?
- The vendor reviews section never really took off. Any advice on trying to entice more people to submit their reviews or should I abandon this section and leave it to the big boys (iVouch)?
- Is the left navigation a useful feature? I like having everything laid out but I can see this getting long as the content on the site grows.
- As a site aimed at affiliate marketing, my goal is to get highly qualified “leads” to my site. I was thinking of running a contest to bring in traffic/leads. One contest prize would be for a random drawing and one for the person who refers the most traffic (using InviteBox tool). Any recommendations on how to best market this? marketing has traditionally been a weak point so I’m trying to avoid this being a contest with little reach.
- Poor SEO artifacts (no real keyword targeting, duplicate titles and descriptions, etc)
- Page style is a little inconsistent from page to page
- Lack of real recommendations and/or money saving tips