Why do you setup different url’s instead of putting these on DavidRisley.com site? I never understood this.
He went on to say it dilutes my brand and also spreads my inbound links around so that I don’t get as much SEO benefit. I thought it would make a cool blog post, so let me address his points that he emailed in.
Issue #1: Dilutes The Brand
Your URL and your brand is DavidRisley.com not FreeTwitterManual.com, BlogMastersClub.com, BlogwealthGap.com, Bloggingin2010.com etc.. These are products of the DavidRisley.com brand and should be under your domain. By splitting them off you are not only creating confusion to your readers, but you might actually be harming your “real” brand by doing so. You now have several micro-brands to keep going.
Personally, I disagree with this (although you’ll see my comments below about a solution). The brand is “David Risley” and the focus of that brand is the blog. All of my stuff is listed in one way or the other on this blog. I have not noticed any brand confusion with my audience due to multiple properties.
My thought is that these other properties…
- Provide a more singular purpose to the page, which makes for much better conversions than anything I could do on this blog (due to all the other activity here).
- Act as feeders into the main property, all as separate lead generators.
See, a dedicated landing page (or squeeze page) will outperform a blog any day of the week and twice on Sunday – when it comes to conversions. Blogs are great for building and fostering the brand and the relationship, but when it comes time to convert (either into a sale or an email opt-in), a squeeze page will always out-perform by many orders of magnitude.
So, I have these satellite properties that perform and convert. People then get onto my list(s) and/or become a paying customer. That brings them, once again, into my circle and they usually become a reader of this blog.
What this creates is a big network of sites that feed the brand, rather than all effort focusing on the one site where the blog layout itself will harm conversions.
The other issue to consider with dedicated landing pages is that they make for much better word-of-mouth promotion via any number of means.
Issue #2: Dilutes Inbound Links
Brent’s next point is:
Each of these new URL’s will get inbound links to them and this will take away inbound links that “should” be going to DavidRisley.com. This in turn could hurt your Page Rank and search engine listings for your “main” brand. We both know that brand new URL’s and sites will not get good rankings for a period of time anyway, so you would be better off leaving them on your established site.
His point was that a search for “free twitter manual” had the old location in this blog’s archives in the SERPs, and that I’ve now re-directed that to the new landing page and it will hurt my rankings.
Personally, I don’t care. I set things up for real people, not search spiders. And with the keyword volume I was seeing in the prior location, I can get much better performance with a stand-alone page, optimized to put people onto my email list (so I can build the relationship) and to allow people to more easily share the resource across social media.
In the end, each of these resources would perform much worse if located on my blog, and that matters to me a lot more than the inbound links from Google. My regular blog posts bring in plenty of search traffic.
Issue #3: Causes Confusion
It might cause confusion to some of your readers.. They signup for a report on FreeTwitterManual.com and they get an email from DavidRisley.com. No brand support from site to email. They might not confirm subscription etc..
We’ll see if that becomes an issue, but it would be easily fixed by creating a sub-list in Aweber for it, and still tying into the main brand. I can even tell them what to expect on the confirmation page. So, not a huge issue.
Brent also offered a worthy approach:
Create a products tab on your site and showcase all your products in 1 area of your site. You can separate into Free and Paid products. Then you will be building 1 build, 1 email list with tons of Categories and Groups, you will have less work, more inbound links, better SEO and most likely a better conversion rate since you will have a unified brand.
This is a good idea and one that I am working on now, however it will act as a springboard into my existing properties. There has been a little bit of ambiguity on my offers when one arrives on this blog. I’ll be talking more about this a little later, but I am working on it.
That said, again, the main issue for me is conversion performance on the satellite sites. Conversion rates on blogs suck when compared to a squeeze page. That is my primary motivation for the separate sites and why I do it that way. Forming a stronger and more apparent connection between those sites and this blog is a work in progress, but I will never merge those sites with Davidrisley.com for the above reason.
Thanks to Brent for the input and the fodder for this post. Follow him on Twitter @function_ality.
And if you have some thoughts, I’d love to hear them. I’ve also had students of Blog Masters ask this same question, so I know it is on people’s minds as they launch their own reports, etc.