Home – New Forums Marketing mastery SEO question, replacing old site with new & keeping SEO “juice”

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  • #998539
    Zava Design
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    Something a client has raised with regards to a new site I’m doing for them, and related to their current site and Google’s listings for their various pages…

    Currently they have a page for each of their locations, and then sub-pages for each of the services offered by that location.

    From a usability perspective with the amount of content they have, it would be FAR better to have this services information on a single location page.

    They are worried about losing the SEO “juice” for these sub-pages, but I have advised them we can easily do a 301 redirect for those pages, but I do have one question I think I know but am not 100% certain about:

    Does having multiple pages (one with general location info, sub-pages for the location’s services) result in more SEO “juice” overall for that location than having a single page with all this info on it? Or will a single page of well written and hierarchically constructed content be just as effective as multiple pages?

    Cheers.

    #1214661
    Quinn Askeland
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    I think it can go either way. Old school thinking would suggest that the more content and pages the better. However, as the algo has gotten better I am seeing better results from pages and content where people are engaged while reading it (see Rankbrain). To decide what to do, I ask myself, “can I great an epic page that answers everyones question on a niche or would subpages handle people needs better?” Hope that helps.

    #1214662
    Zava Design
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    Quinn Askeland, post: 258532, member: 46664 wrote:
    I think it can go either way. Old school thinking would suggest that the more content and pages the better. However, as the algo has gotten better I am seeing better results from pages and content where people are engaged while reading it (see Rankbrain). To decide what to do, I ask myself, “can I great an epic page that answers everyones question on a niche or would subpages handle people needs better?” Hope that helps.
    All replies help, thanks!

    And in terms of what the better page would be for the user, it’s a single page easily. The location page isn’t really anything more than the suburb and contact info, and the services work really well using an accordion style display.

    And going on what google advise, they do say create the best content/page for the user and for the most part that will be the best for SEO.

    #1214663
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    I have looked at some SEO companies customer pages overseas [USER=34615]@Zava Design[/USER] – and noticed that they had the same site and presumably URL structure as your customer.

    Importantly, they had different content on every page. To my non-SEO mind, having a breadth of content that is relevant to searchers queries wins overall.

    I would love to know what others think.

    #1214664
    Zava Design
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    I found a bunch of online sources that would seem to support the idea that “less is more”, where it addresses both what users are searching for and provides a better user experience (see links below, plenty more out there).

    Consider: Someone searching for “Bondi Beach mechanic service” (not my current client but a good similar example).

    Your top level location page is never going to rank top for “Bondi Beach”, and that isn’t a search query you would care about. It’s that actual search phrase you want to target, “Bondi Beach mechanic service” (and relevant ones), and hence it makes logical sense (to my sometimes-slow mind ;) ) that a page that contains both “Bondi Beach” + “mechanic service” would rank higher than two separate pages, even if they link to each other.

    In addition, they will have a stand-alone page within the website titled “mechanic service” that all location pages will also link to (in the footer), which will have content unique to the “mechanic service” content on each of the location pages. In the absence of compelling evidence otherwise, I’m struggling to see if adding separate “mechanic services” sub-pages to every “location” page is going to do anything other than make the site a real pain to maintain and update, and confuse a user with so many seemingly duplicated pages on the same topic/service.

    But am always open to be convinced otherwise (and hence this thread ;) ).

    #1214665
    Hassle Free Website
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    I see you already linked to one of the pages from the below website though this article came out two days ago and seems to ask/answer the same question you are asking, give or take a bit.

    In general it is saying to focus on the one page.

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-stronger-page-smaller-pages-25579.html

    #1214666
    Zava Design
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    Thanks for that. Yes that is what I seem to have gathered from what I can find. We’ll never know for sure EXACTLY what works best of course, but this does seem to make sense from what Google have said for a while now about focusing on the quality of our web pages.

    Thanks.

    #1214667
    Hassle Free Website
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    [USER=34615]@Zava Design[/USER], in general, I would go with one strong page though other articles with location mention and relate phrases couldn’t hurt.

    #1214668
    Zava Design
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    Yeah there’ll be blog posts that will cross link pages, the suburb name will be linked from all pages (footer) …etc, so I can’t really see how the site will do any worse in this area, and with less superfluous pages will be much more user friendly.

    #1214669
    JohnW
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    Hi Zava,
    It seems there are different topics being discussed here…

    1. Generic search referrals of one page vs multiple location pages
    With properly crafted content, multiple location pages should attract more generic referrals than a single web page.

    2. Losing SEO “juice”
    If you are talking about redirecting PageRank through to a single new page, I’d be surprised if there was enough PR to redirect that could help a single page rank well for multiple location word including search queries.

    It sounds like the client has a current problem with “properly crafted content” for multiple location pages.

    The last thing you want to do is create many pages based on cookie-cutter, near duplicate location content. That could earn a big Google slap.

    3. How does the competition achieve ranking?
    You raise the search query example of “bondi beach mechanic services”.

    The SERPS for that query suggest to me that this is a very low competiton search market. I count 6/10 pages that are:

    • Yellow Pages and other general business directory pages in listings
    • Service job quote or service review site pages
    • Vertical service industry directories pages

    It’s unlikely these pages rank top 10 because of external link PageRank. Most links will go to the site’s Home pages and by the time it passes through millions of internal pages, the PageRank of the SERP page is worth 3/5ths of 5/8ths of nothing.

    When I see these types of sites in the SERPs, I see examples of pages that should be easy to bump out of the top 10.

    With well crafted location landing pages you are expecting a visitor’s pathway to go like this:

    Location + service landing page -> Service page(s) -> About Us

    Assuming the client has contact details and incentive to act on all pages, there is not rely any need to visit the site’s Home page.

    There are ways you can develop a formula for creating useful location crafted content. Eg:

    • Summary of the service with bullet list of links to individual services pages.
    • Sub-heads for:
      • Examples of business types serviced in the suburb (links to their websites)
      • Testimonials/portfolio from clients in the suburb (links to their websites)
      • Case studies in the suburb
      • Etc.

    Hope this helps…

    PS. Be cautious of online SEO advice. Most is geared to the competitive USA search market. Most articles ignore the single most important ranking factor – the level of competition for a top ranking. The articles you list are writing about what happens in a search market that needs around 50-times the ranking points that G Aust users operate in.

    Reply to: https://www.dealerinspire.com/are-more-pages-better-for-seo-less-is-more-heres-the-proof/
    When done correctly with a location based user in mind, this should not contravene G’s revised “landing page” guidelines.

    Reply to: https://www.rocketspark.com/blog/size-matters-make-your-homepage-long-not-short/
    A longer page is not necessarily a page that will rank higher in G. Try a search for “Is it Christmas”. You will find the #1 page only consists of an image.

    Reply to: https://www.sistrix.com/blog/less-is-more-how-too-many-indexed-pages-can-damage-your-domain/
    This relates to a large e-commerce site where there can be multiple versions of the same page. This is unlikely to be relevant to a small services based website. Again we have the assumption that external links are important. Unlikely a factor in Aust service search markets.

    Reply to: https://www.seroundtable.com/google…es-leads-to-higher-quality-traffic-22044.html
    This is a variant of the same issues discussed in the previous article. It is not relevant to small Aust service websites

    Reply to: https://moz.com/community/q/is-one-page-with-long-content-better-than-multiple-pages-with-shorter-content
    There is a bunch of SEO BS spouted here. Look at the 6/10 top pages for the search query “bondi beach mechanic services”. They are basically long lists of “mechanics”. The ranking algo assesses ranking points for how the individual search words are used on a web page. If a directory finds itself dropping down the rankings, it makes its list longer. Over the years, I’ve seen Aust directory sites like Yellow Pages increase its number of services listed from ten to fifty.

    There is also a lot of “RankBrain” BS being sprouted as SEO these days.

    #1214670
    Zava Design
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    Nope, only one issue on this John, about whether the new site needs to keep two pages for a location (one with location info + one with location service info) versus one page with both those content items on it.

    The info above seems to suggest Google prefers the single, stronger page.

    #1214671
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Zava Design, post: 258643, member: 34615 wrote:
    Nope, only one issue on this John, about whether the new site needs to keep two pages for a location (one with location info + one with location service info) versus one page with both those content items on it.

    The info above seems to suggest Google prefers the single, stronger page.
    [USER=6375]@JohnW[/USER] has given some tips for best practice.

    Thanks for for input John

    #1214672
    JohnW
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    Hi Zava,
    It is not about G favouring a single “stronger” page, it is about the number of ranking points needed to rank top for the two (service + location) queries that the client wants to target.

    Examples

    • “bondi beach mechanic services”
    • “randwick mechanic services”

    These are neighbouring Sydney suburbs.

    You won’t find any of the same web pages in the top 10 for the two search queries.

    In essence what searchers will see are a number of top pages from different mechanic’s websites whose businesses are located in the specific search suburb then there are all the directory/quote site pages that show different web pages for each location words.

    The directory/quote sites use different pages so that each page can publish service words and a single location word in:

    • The title tags
    • Description meta tag
    • The page URL
    • The H1 tag
    • Focus on specific location words in the page content

    Look at two of the Autoguru pages that rank top 10 for the Bondi Beach and Randwick searches:

    • autoguru.com.au/mechanics/nsw/sydney/randwick
    • autoguru.com.au/mechanics/nsw/sydney/bondi-beach

    Autoguru’s “strength” is in its ability to score more ranking points for a specific location word on one web page and to publish different pages to score max. ranking points for a different suburbs.

    Your client may not need two pages to rank well for two different location words, if they only need low ranking points to rank top for both.

    Experiment and see what happens. If you can’t get there with one page, you can always change and target the locations with two pages.

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