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  • #970187
    victorng
    Member
    • Total posts: 626

    Hi Folks

    I’ve recently changed domains for my blog and am wondering if it’s time for a fresh look as well.

    It’s here: http://www.buzzlaw.com.au

    1. What needs reviewing? (i.e. logo, website, idea etc…)

    The whole blog really.

    2. What does your business do?

    I’m a tech and trade marks lawyer.

    3. Who is your target market?

    Anyone interested in brands, marketing, trade marks and trade marks law. This includes existing and prospective clients.

    4. What specific concerns do you have?

    I like a simple and clean design, but I’m wondering if it’s a bit too plain. Also, if anyone has SEO tips that would be great – I’ve paid close to zero attention to SEO.

    Cheers and thanks in advance –
    Victor

    #1042976
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,465

    Hi Victor,

    I’ll kick things off by saying that I think you’re doing a rocking job with your headlines and teaser paragraphs. Trademark law can be a very dull topic, but you’ve made the material very intriguing, and I suspect I’ll be back at your blog checking out your posts in more detail when I have a little more time on my hands.

    Oh… and I’m a bit in love with Quentin :-)
    Jayne

    #1042977
    victorng
    Member
    • Total posts: 626

    Thanks for the feedback Jayne!

    Law dull? Never … :-)

    Any thoughts on the look and feel of the blog?

    Quentin’s pretty cool. Although some nights / mornings I’d be happy for you to have him…

    Cheers
    Victor

    #1042978
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    Hi Victor,

    I’ve read some of your articles before and they’re really good. Well done. I like how clean your site is. This is very inviting. Your accompanying use of pictures with your articles is top notch. Good stuff.

    In terms of any improvements:

    1. I’d think about investing in a logo, this will lend a bit more credibility and interest. The top left corner is the first thing people look at when they visit your site. Your logo helps set the tone of your brand and writing. As your tagline is light grey, it is hard to read.

    2. You have a lot of recent posts in your right hand column. Although I’m not an SEO guru, I’ve heard that the more visible links on a page, the more Google dissipates the strength of your link juice.

    3. Your permalink structure could be improved, to assist SEO. Rather than use /year/month, change this to either /category/post or /post. I believe the code is /%category%/%postname%/

    4. I’d recommend placing the stay connected section at the top with subscribe.

    5. On your about page, I’d place your image a bit higher, so it was above the fold. I want to see your smiling happy face when I click about.

    6. I know you can help out with law questions or questions to do with trade marks, but it would be great to provide a bit more detail/examples of what this means. Perhaps including a FAQ page (linked up to the top) which showcases your skills and common questions, linking to your great articles as appropriate

    7. Really pedantic: Watch your title case. You have ‘Recent Posts’ and ‘Read this’. For consistency it would be ideal to keep these the same.

    Great work Victor

    #1042979
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,465

    Hi Victor,

    I’m not the best person to comment on visual aspects of a site, but I’ll drop a few comments in anyway (since you were kind enough to ask).

    Like David I like the cleanliness and crispness, and I think the image selections are very groovy. I also like the blue colour, but I’d like to see you branding yourself a bit better given that you’re talking about … umm… branding!

    So, I think his recommendation of a new logo is a great one. (And if the type saying ‘BuzzLaw’ is actually your logo, I think perhaps you could work with many of the fab designers around here to make it work better for you).

    Good luck, and please give Quentin a cuddle from me.

    #1042980
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625

    Hi Victor,

    I personally love your blog as I’ve told you before. Your writing style and ability to keep it fun while discussing what can be a mind blowing topic is excellent.

    I definitely would not go for a full redesign, as I think the simplistic style with strong lead in images is great – it’s the same basic theory a lot of successful bloggers use, and basically what I do as well (although I wouldn’t call myself a successful blogger yet!). A new logo should definitely be a priority though.

    DavidM’s advice is all good and worth noting, other than one thing SEO wise I would disagree with regarding changing your permalink structure (sorry David). The URL’s are friendly enough by including both date and title in them, and the idea of a permalink is to be permanent. I only recommend changing normally if people are using postid or just a date as the permalink.

    HOWEVER I have found one very big bad SEO boohoo that you really should fix or get fixed as a high priority!.
    Your old domain http://www.buzzlaw.info is still up as well as your new one http://www.buzzlaw.com.au. Both contain a complete duplicate of posts bar your newest post, and it looks like you have basically just copied the old site across to the new domain, and left the old one as is, without even a message that there is a new one.

    Why this is so bad is that you then have two sites with almost a complete duplicate of content. There are three problems with this:
    1) If Google realises both are the same, it will decide which one is the original/more important site to rank and de-index the other. It may not be the one you want!
    2) Any links going to your old site will be wasted and will not help in any way to get your site ranked at your new address.
    3) Site visitors going to your old site won’t realise there is a new site and will just presume that you haven’t posted for a while (as I did last time I checked back).

    If you have changed the way your site is structured, not just the domain name, the solution to this is basically three fold and a little complicated.
    1) Keep the existing domain and DO NOT let it drop (expire).
    2) Go through your old site and document every single URL on the old site. This can be done manually, or using a tool such as the one from http://www.xml-sitemaps.com to “discover” all your URLS (a good example of using a tool for tasks beyond it’s intended purpose)
    3) Create/update a file called the .htaccess file on your “old” server. In this file you need to put in every old URL and do what’s called a 301 redirect to the equivalent “new” URL for every single document on your entire site.

    OR, If you haven’t changed the site structure at all, all files are under the same names, and it’s just the domain name that has changed – it’s much less work.
    1) Again, Keep the old domain and DO NOT let it drop (expire).
    2) Put the below code inside the .htaccess file on your “old” server:

    RewriteEngine on

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^([^.:]+.)*buzzlaw.info.?(:[0-9]*)?$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.buzzlaw.com.au/$1 [R=301,L]
    [/CODE]

    The above code should basically send a person going directly to any page on buzzlaw.info to the equivilent exact same named page on buzzlaw.com.au. Google’s search spiders will also get the same effect.
    If this doesn’t work, try changing the last line to as follows, which has an extra slash in it that is usually not required but sometimes is. Try the first version first though, as it will only work one way or the other.
    [CODE]RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://www.preferredwebsite.net/$1 [R=301,L]
    [/CODE]

    This is very important to get right in my opinion. If you are struggling with it please let me know and I’ll help you out, and you can then “owe me a favor” next time I have a legal question!

    Matt[CODE]
    RewriteEngine on

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^([^.:]+.)*buzzlaw.info.?(:[0-9]*)?$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.buzzlaw.com.au/$1 [R=301,L]
    [/CODE]

    The above code should basically send a person going directly to any page on buzzlaw.info to the equivilent exact same named page on buzzlaw.com.au. Google’s search spiders will also get the same effect.
    If this doesn’t work, try changing the last line to as follows, which has an extra slash in it that is usually not required but sometimes is. Try the first version first though, as it will only work one way or the other.
    RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://www.preferredwebsite.net/$1 [R=301,L]
    [/CODE]

    This is very important to get right in my opinion. If you are struggling with it please let me know and I’ll help you out, and you can then “owe me a favor” next time I have a legal question!

    Matt[CODE]RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://www.preferredwebsite.net/$1 [R=301,L]
    [/CODE]

    This is very important to get right in my opinion. If you are struggling with it please let me know and I’ll help you out, and you can then “owe me a favor” next time I have a legal question!

    Matt

    #1042981
    victorng
    Member
    • Total posts: 626

    Wow, thanks for all the great feedback everyone.

    @DavidM – Thanks for your detailed post, especially the idea of an FAQ page. It’s a great idea that I’ve seen done really well on other blogs. I’m on to it!

    @Jayne – It seems unanimous that I need a new logo!

    @MarketingWeb – Ha! You caught me. I was about to google the best way for doing 301 redirects for WordPress blogs. You saved me the trouble! 301 is in place and everything seems to be working as required.

    Thanks again all.

    Victor

    #1042982
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    No worries Victor.

    Great advice too Matt. On your point about the permalinks, wouldn’t it be better from an SEO perspective to have /category rather than /date? I wouldn’t have thought that the date would add any value?

    David

    #1042983
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625
    DavidM, post: 52434 wrote:
    No worries Victor.

    Great advice too Matt. On your point about the permalinks, wouldn’t it be better from an SEO perspective to have /category rather than /date? I wouldn’t have thought that the date would add any value?

    David

    The problem with having “category” is that a lot of people, myself included, put posts in multiple categories. Putting category in the URL basically restricts you from doing this effectively.

    There are a number of schools of thought on all this, all with good arguments. Overall though, the most important thing is the have %postname% somewhere in your permalink, and avoid the default setting of %postid% which is useless for SEO.

    I wasn’t saying your way of going it was wrong, RATHER the idea of a permalink is to be permanent – so if you are going to change them make sure you do it for a good reason. While some may argue that your way is better (even though I don’t prefer it), in Victor’s case the hassle of changing it would definitely not be worth it as he already had an acceptable structure.

    Hope this clarifies things
    Matt

    #1042984
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    No worries Matt. Understood.

    I welcome debate :) as it helps you improve your own knowledge base.

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