How To: Authority Website Structure - Rule the SERP's With Well Built Websites!

36 replies
  • SEO
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So... I promised a few people here to post about my authority website structure. It took a while, sorry about that - been really busy launching websites after the Penguin slap.

Before I begin, I'd like to make a couple points:
  • This is not a discussion about WP "silos". I don't do silos, know nothing about silos and don't really care about the whole concept.
  • Everyone does things differently.
OK so here goes. I'll cover website structure and content. SEO strategies and choosing a niche are both big topics which I don't really want to talk about here.

Website structure

The basic idea is to have my sites structured like this (credit to yukon for recommending yEd graph editor):



You can think about this website as a bunch of mini sites joined into one structure.

For those of you having trouble following the internal linking structure, here's a simple rule: pick any rectangle (homepage, landing page or inner page) and follow links out of it. If there's an arrow leading to any other rectangle, then there's a link joining both of those rectangles. If there isn't an arrow (not a line), then there is no link. That's it.

So, my websites have primary navigation (usually top menu, right under the header) and secondary navigation (this is only visible when on one of the landing pages or inner pages).

Secondary navigation can be in the form of in-content links (like excerpts at the end of a page linking to related pages) or a dynamic sidebar (see below for plugin recommendations). Secondary navigation isn't global, meaning that all links are contained inside a closed structure. Primary navigation (for example a top menu) is global, meaning that it's accessible from any page/lander/homepage.

Hope that clears things up a little.

Here's my workflow:

1. Install WordPress and upload a theme.

I use Thesis and Genesis, but any theme works. I've done this using the default (twenty ten...?) theme.

2. Create a static home page.

Build a homepage and assign it to be static under WP settings. My homepage targets a very broad/big keyword along with about 20+ long-tails (think vision/eyes/eye health/healthy eyes).

I have over 1000 words of unique content on the homepage PLUS unique excerpts with links to my "landing pages". I build them myself using simple html+css formatting inside the page body.

If you have no html/css skills, you can use the plugin from part 3 (below) to include excerpts of some of your landing pages (don't forget to assign ordering to your landing pages otherwise they will be listed randomly). Or get a theme that comes with lots of customization options (such as Genesis -> "lifestyle").

3. Create top level pages (landing pages).

This is where I talk about the sub-niche in general and target a large keyword (such as eye conditions) plus long-tails. These pages are typically 1500-2500 words long. Well formatted with links to inner pages.

Yo can either link straight to your inner pages or use a plugin called [pagelist] (link to plugin) to insert inner page links+excerpt anywhere you like. That plugin is easy to use and very convenient for people with no coding skills.

If you choose to go with the "pagelist" plugin, you should be using this shortcode within your page body: [pagelist_ext] (displays excerpts of all sub-pages) or [pagelist_ext include="page ID, page ID2, etc"] (select which pages you want included). The second piece of code works best on the homepage (has no sub-ages) or when you don't want to list all of the inner-pages (for example, you can use these shortcodes throughout your page body and include unique excerpts in different places).

You can also use a sidebar widget that shows ONLY the child pages (when you're on a landing page) OR sibling pages (when you're on one of the inner pages). The plugin that I've tested to work well is called SubPages (link to plugin). This works pretty well and is very simple to use.

It's really up to your how you choose to interlink within each landing page area. Sometimes it makes sense to use a sidebar plus some in-content excerpts. Or a sidebar and simple in-content links. Or all three combined (sidebar, some in-content excerpts and some regular links). As long as the links are contained within one sub-structure, it's all good. Think about what your readers would want.

4. Create supporting pages (terms, contact, about (??) and others). Move these pages to the footer.

Some themes come with footer menus by default, while others may require minor coding/editing skills. Most of the time it makes sense to edit a file called footer.php (inside your theme folder) and put the links in manually.

5. Remove all default sidebar widgets.

Well, I add global widgets later on... especially for social stuff like Twitter, giveaways, forum banners, ads, erc...

6. Upload plugins:
  • Contact form 7 (if your theme doesn't have a contact page template).
  • Secure WP.
  • SEO by Yoast (or Platinum SEO, both get the job done).
  • SubPages plugin (optional - depends on your setup).
  • "pagelist" plugin (optional - depends on your setup).
  • Caching plugin (W3 Total Cache or Super Cache both work).
  • Google XML Sitemaps (or use sitemaps from "SEO by Yoast").
7. Create some inner pages and assign parent landing pages to them.

I make sure that each page has at least 400 words of content, though most end up being 700-2000 words long. A lot of research goes into these articles.

These pages also go after multiple keywords. Aim for 2-4 main keywords per page (long-tails can't be predicted tbh).

8. Write a lot of great content and interlink plenty.

I like to interlink from content (but don't link out to inner pages and landing pages that the page doesn't belong to).

So that's my basic setup. The beauty of it is that I don't need any special themes or paid plugins. Please note that I don't use posts or categories anywhere.

Not using categories and posts comes in handy if you decide to create a blog. You can always add a new section to the site, call it /blog or /news and blog away about your niche. These blog posts often link to inner and landing pages (but not always).

Now some thoughts/tips/ideas:

1. Noindex category pages, archives, tag archives and author archives (unless you also have a blog). Can be done using almost any SEO plugin.

2. I use a WP backup plugin connected to amazon s3 for quick backups. Do it. Seriously, make backups.

3. Get rid of useless bylines.

4. Use XML sitemaps. Yoast SEO can do this, or get Google XML Sitemaps for this. There's no reason not to have a proper sitemap that search engine bots can read.

5. Don't over think this stuff. Structure isn't everything (but it is important). If you're going to spend days or even months building a good website - do it right. Spend time doing niche research, analyze your competition, plan out a good structure for your site and build it. Then do high quality SEO.

6. If your site gets big, you might want to add a blog or a forum. If you add a blog, simply remove noindex from category pages and you're good. Since we're using pages to set up the main site, there aren't going to be any conflicts. A blog can also be called "news", which is perfect for large websites in big niches. I use this setup on one of my sites.

Site Content

When researching your pages, try to group similar keywords/pages together or even merge them into one.

So, let's say (these are titles/keywords):

Homepage: vision, eye care, eye health, healthy eyes, etc (1000 words excerpts from landing pages).

Landing page one: nutrition and eyes (1500-2500 words)
Inner page one: omega-3 fatty acids and eye health (600-1000 words)
Inner page two: vitamin A for healthier eyes (600-1000 words)

Landing page two: eye diseases (1500-2500 words)
Inner page one: eye infections (1000-1500 words)
Inner page two: cataracts (1000-2000 words)

Landing page three: contact lenses (800-1500 words)
Inner page one: contact lenses for dry eyes (600-1000 words)
Inner page two: tips for wearing contact lenses (1000-1500 words)
Inner page three: types of contact lenses (800-1500 words)

Article length #'s are just rough estimates, it depends on how much content there is to write about. Try to cover EVERYTHING you can, do proper research and don't leave **** out.

Use tables, graphs and lists when writing. Include "HEALTHY TIP" boxes and content tables (especially on long pages).

Another thing which I like to use is creating CSS3 tabs to link to related pages (thus replacing secondary navigation sidebar/excerpts). See Stress Help Center - Helpguide.org for a good example. You can buy CSS3 tab codes from codecanyon or look for free plugins that come with shortcodes. There are many ways to do this.

I'll add more to this post later.
#authority #copy #make #structure #suggestions #website
  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    Hmmm there's a slight mistake in the diagram... Going to fix it tomorrow and re-upload.

    edit: uploaded new diagram - all correct now.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Naah, mate, this is too much work. Your time would be better spent writing a 500-word article and then throwing 5000 auto-approve Web 2.0 link wheel pyramids at it every day.

    But seriously, great stuff, I kind of DO hope most people will think it looks like too much work ;-). Gonna study tomorrow, getting a bit late in these parts.
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Nice setup. You should add breadcrumbs. From both a user standpoint and for SEs, they are good to have.

    I also use pages solely. But I usually categorize my "landing pages" into 4 to 6 categories ..usually because I'll have hundreds of landing pages and then thousands of inner pages within them.

    I also enable Tags for pages and only use tags on "Landing Pages". These tag pages are noindexed, but they help when building relevancy for the generation of related pages.

    So in addition to a related list, I also use SEO smart links conservatively to help build internal links.

    Other plugins I'd recommend when building sites like this:


    RDFa Breadcrumbs
    CMS Tree Page View (nifty when you use Pages for content)
    Executable PHP widget
    External Links
    Get Better Excerpt
    Get The Image
    Next Page, Not Next Post (very useful!!)
    Pages and Posts in Feed (you want your pages in your feed, if you use Pages
    Similar Posts
    TagPages
    Widget Logic
    W3 Total Cache (with all the trimings)
    WP Smush.it
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    • Profile picture of the author .
      I think the idea it's nice, but define Authority?
      i think working so much in the "design" and "structure' makes little difference in the eyes of Google to determine if you are a real authority.
      In fact you are following a pattern and that's in fact not very natural.

      The real authority factor is when you get authority backlinks because you content is freaking awesome.

      So may be focus on the awesome factor?
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      • Profile picture of the author markowe
        Originally Posted by rankinghero View Post

        I think the idea it's nice, but define Authority?
        i think working so much in the "design" and "structure' makes little difference in the eyes of Google to determine if you are a real authority.
        In fact you are following a pattern and that's in fact not very natural.

        The real authority factor is when you get authority backlinks because you content is freaking awesome.

        So may be focus on the awesome factor?
        Sounds like you are saying what I jokingly suggested above - write a single page and blast it with links?

        It just makes no sense though to disregard internal linking and structure, not if you are up against authority sites like Wikipedia with BOTH awesome internal linking AND high-authority backlinks. Google DOES need "help" understanding what your content is about, and also to get some idea of the user experience on your site. What page has got a better chance of ranking, all other things being equal:

        - an isolated page about dog collars on your site?
        - an entire section about dog collars, carefully interlinked, supporting each other, and in particular supporting a single key article around which they are built?

        The second description IS part of what "freaking awesome" content is about!

        Yes, we all know you can rank "Adobe" for "Click here", but most of us don't own Adobe.com and we need all the help we can get.
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  • Profile picture of the author PinkieBoyz
    Wow, really great share here..

    I do agree with multiple longtail keywords in landing page and inner page. I have tried this.
    In my opinion, we should pay attention to heading, use h1 for title, h2 and h3 for sub heading.
    I usually put some keyword in sub heading.

    to track keywords from search engine I use STT2 plugin.

    and I don't use any backlink after penguin update and the site still doing good.

    thanks for great share mate
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      Naah, mate, this is too much work. Your time would be better spent writing a 500-word article and then throwing 5000 auto-approve Web 2.0 link wheel pyramids at it every day.

      But seriously, great stuff, I kind of DO hope most people will think it looks like too much work ;-). Gonna study tomorrow, getting a bit late in these parts.
      Just updated the thread.

      Yea it's a lot of work, but (if done right) is definitely worth it. I can set up a site skeleton in about 2 hours now and get homepage/landing page content done (research and writing) over 3-5 days, so it's not too bad.

      My first real authority website is now 227 pages total (so about 220 pages of good content) and got close to 6000 unique visits yesterday (it was just around 2000 daily uniques a couple weeks ago).

      To give you a very rough idea of its ROI potential - one of the "inner pages" gets 1500+ uniques daily and 3-4 conversions (just under $20 each)... that's $1500/month from that one page! I haven't started monetizing anywhere else on the site yet.

      Also interestingly... the search term that this page ranks for shows 33k exact match volume, but I get over 1000 daily visits for it. Weird huh (it's a medical term).

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      Nice setup. You should add breadcrumbs. From both a user standpoint and for SEs, they are good to have.
      Forgot to mention this. Thanks!

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      I also use pages solely. But I usually categorize my "landing pages" into 4 to 6 categories ..usually because I'll have hundreds of landing pages and then thousands of inner pages within them.
      Interesting. Has to be a large portal almost? Lots of new info to cover (news)? Just curious. Mine has 7 landing pages and a couple hundred inner pages right now... and the site already feels pretty big.

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      I also enable Tags for pages and only use tags on "Landing Pages". These tag pages are noindexed, but they help when building relevancy for the generation of related pages.
      Makes sense. I don't use any plugins that require tags, but I get what you're saying. Good stuff.

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      So in addition to a related list, I also use SEO smart links conservatively to help build internal links.
      I do all of my interlinking by hand. It's my first big project, still figuring out how to go about things tbh.

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      Other plugins I'd recommend when building sites like this:

      RDFa Breadcrumbs
      CMS Tree Page View (nifty when you use Pages for content)
      Executable PHP widget
      External Links
      Get Better Excerpt
      Get The Image
      Next Page, Not Next Post (very useful!!)
      Pages and Posts in Feed (you want your pages in your feed, if you use Pages
      Similar Posts
      TagPages
      Widget Logic
      W3 Total Cache (with all the trimings)
      WP Smush.it
      Sweet, thanks!

      edit: just got WP Smush.it, thanks broham!

      Originally Posted by rankinghero View Post

      I think the idea it's nice, but define Authority?
      i think working so much in the "design" and "structure' makes little difference in the eyes of Google to determine if you are a real authority.
      In fact you are following a pattern and that's in fact not very natural.

      The real authority factor is when you get authority backlinks because you content is freaking awesome.

      So may be focus on the awesome factor?
      Authority == well thought out structure, great design, amazing content, smart SEO and link building, social "stuff" and more. Also, read the reply below.

      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      It just makes no sense though to disregard internal linking and structure, not if you are up against authority sites like Wikipedia with BOTH awesome internal linking AND high-authority backlinks. Google DOES need "help" understanding what your content is about, and also to get some idea of the user experience on your site. What page has got a better chance of ranking, all other things being equal:

      - an isolated page about dog collars on your site?
      - an entire section about dog collars, carefully interlinked, supporting each other, and in particular supporting a single key article around which they are built?

      The second description IS part of what "freaking awesome" content is about!

      Yes, we all know you can rank "Adobe" for "Click here", but most of us don't own Adobe.com and we need all the help we can get.
      ^^pretty much.

      Originally Posted by PinkieBoyz View Post

      Wow, really great share here..

      I do agree with multiple longtail keywords in landing page and inner page. I have tried this.
      In my opinion, we should pay attention to heading, use h1 for title, h2 and h3 for sub heading.
      I usually put some keyword in sub heading.

      to track keywords from search engine I use STT2 plugin.

      and I don't use any backlink after penguin update and the site still doing good.

      thanks for great share mate
      Definitely target multiple keywords. When you have good content (and lots of it), pages pick up dozens if not hundred of long-tails as well. Long-tail traffic can't be predicted, so just focus on writing informative articles. In general, the more content you have, the more long-tail traffic you'll get to that page.

      I use a SaaS rank tracker (there are a few - serpfox, micrositemasters) and getclicky to track everything. I've also added the site to Google Webmaster Tools (but not Google Analytics).

      And I do do SEO. Structure is only a small (but important and easy) part of the puzzle.
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      • Profile picture of the author markowe
        Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post


        My first real authority website is now 227 pages total (so about 220 pages of good content) and got close to 6000 unique visits yesterday (it was just around 2000 daily uniques a couple weeks ago).

        To give you a very rough idea of its ROI potential - one of the "inner pages" gets 1500+ uniques daily and 3-4 conversions (just under $20 each)... that's $1500/month from that one page! I haven't started monetizing anywhere else on the site yet.
        LOL, yeah, that's kind of what you'd call an authority site. I don't have anything quite that monster, but I am working on it - for me its the only way to go now. I'm done with "micro-niche" sites (micro-niche and micro-site), not that I ever subscribed to the "build 1000 MNS in a year each earning $1 a month" model anyway.

        Why would you spend all that time ranking individual sites when you can pump the earnings from an authority site back into more content, and enjoy all the massive leverage the site already has to rank stuff with ease and create a snowball effect?

        Still, like I said, I kind of hope people won't jump onto this model too much, less competition for the rest of us
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  • Profile picture of the author normahl
    Thank you very much for this post! But I got one question.

    1. Install WordPress and upload a theme.

    I use Thesis and Genesis, but any theme works. I've done this using the default (twenty ten...?) theme.
    Install Wordpress, ok. But where to get Thesis or Genesis? I found one that cost about 50$. Do you pay for it or is there a free one?

    Best wishes!
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymoguls
    Excellent post!! Thanks a bunch.

    How long did it take your authority website to get that much traffic (6000/day)????
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  • Profile picture of the author John34
    Good share, do you recommend using multiple tags for each posts?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by normahl View Post

      Install Wordpress, ok. But where to get Thesis or Genesis? I found one that cost about 50$. Do you pay for it or is there a free one?

      Best wishes!
      Yea those are premium themes, but you can do this using any theme out there, free or paid.

      Originally Posted by moneymoguls View Post

      Excellent post!! Thanks a bunch.

      How long did it take your authority website to get that much traffic (6000/day)????
      A good couple of months. It really depends on the keywords... I guess I kind of got lucky (if there's such a thing).

      Originally Posted by John34 View Post

      Good share, do you recommend using multiple tags for each posts?
      I don't use posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author clickbump
    Good points all. We differ in the whole posts vs pages argument and the reliance on plugins for some stuff the theme should include (related posts and sublinks mainly), but other than that, I'm onboard.

    6. Don't over think this stuff. Structure isn't everything (but it is important). If you're going to spend days or even months building a good website - do it right. Spend time doing niche research, analyze your competition, plan out a good structure for your site and build it. Then do high quality SEO.
    Very well said. People, especially those new to web publishing, often times get unnecessarily mired down in technology decisions and arguments. Read reviews, see what's working for those you trust (or for your competition) and choose software that works for you (free, paid or otherwise).

    But, most importantly, concentrate your efforts on creating compelling and sharable content.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    One thing I've been doing is removing any of the Wordpress theme template pages I don't have any use for (Tag pages, WP comment forms, Archive pages, etc...) it helps to simplify the theme, just easier to look at when coding & a smaller file size.

    Wordpress has a hierarchy of template pages that it looks for, example If WP can't find the Category template it looks for the Archive template, etc... you can find the hierarchy structure in the WP codex.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author patco
    One very good strategy. Learned some new things that could be useful from your post. Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      One thing I've been doing is removing any of the Wordpress theme template pages I don't have any use for (Tag pages, WP comment forms, Archive pages, etc...) it helps to simplify the theme, just easier to look at when coding & a smaller file size.

      Wordpress has a hierarchy of template pages that it looks for, example If WP can't find the Category template it looks for the Archive template, etc... you can find the hierarchy structure in the WP codex.
      Yup. Personally, I've never had any issues with these. I simply noindex archives, categories, tags, author pages and the like. If I was to build a new theme from scratch, I wouldn't include the whole shebang that default WP comes with.

      Originally Posted by patco View Post

      One very good strategy. Learned some new things that could be useful from your post. Thanks!
      You're welcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    I received A LOT of messages with questions... I'm going to try and answer them in this thread tomorrow so that everyone can benefit. I'm also thinking about using one of my expiring domains to put up a dummy site, but this may take a few days since I'm pretty busy right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author calculon
    Just to clarify, on the diagram, the home page has no outgoing links- is what you had intended? In your workflow item #2 description, you say it has links to the landing pages. (sorry to be anal about it, I'm an engineer)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bigfoot1
    I've been looking for a solid structure for authority sites for a while now.

    Thanks for the solid structure. This is definitely something I'll be using for my own sites soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by calculon View Post

      Just to clarify, on the diagram, the home page has no outgoing links- is what you had intended? In your workflow item #2 description, you say it has links to the landing pages. (sorry to be anal about it, I'm an engineer)
      Hey! It does, those two arrows link back to the landing pages as well as link the landing pages together. I tried to simplify the diagram as much as possible (too many arrows) by joining them into "networks". So if there's an arrow pointing to any of the rectangles, it can be reached from any other rectangle that connects to the "network". "Network" == either primary or secondary menu.

      Does this answer your question? I tried to simplify things for those who aren't engineers and don't really understand UML diagrams... I could have used UML, I guess.

      Originally Posted by Bigfoot1 View Post

      I've been looking for a solid structure for authority sites for a while now.

      Thanks for the solid structure. This is definitely something I'll be using for my own sites soon.
      You're welcome!
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  • Profile picture of the author keyideas
    I read this thread very carefully and good good information for a site structure. Do we rank higher such kind of website with give structure.
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    • Profile picture of the author tylerherman
      This writeup is nice for newbies to Wordpress, showing them how to do something other that make a blog but has nothing to do with Authority or getting 6000+ a day.

      This is a basic website structure people have been doing, pretty much since well, forever.

      Link bait title I guess but nothing here that would help you in the SERPS or gain authority.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
        Originally Posted by tylerherman View Post

        This writeup is nice for newbies to Wordpress, showing them how to do something other that make a blog but has nothing to do with Authority or getting 6000+ a day.

        This is a basic website structure people have been doing, pretty much since well, forever.

        Link bait title I guess but nothing here that would help you in the SERPS or gain authority.
        The title says: "How To: Authority Website Structure". Hence, I talk about structure. This is how most large niche authority websites out there are built. Almost 1-1.

        I described the exact way to build a so called "silo" website and keep it user-friendly using nothing more but a couple free plugins. It's nothing like the basic structure that WP comes with.

        There's a lot more to building "authority" than just structure, sure. I mentioned that in the OP.

        Well structured websites DO help you in the SERP's, that much I know for certain.
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  • Profile picture of the author BravoOne
    Just wanted to say thanks...I really love the pagelists plugin.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmister
    This is really helpful and useful information and I really want to thank you for it as it seems an excellent to make a site user friendly but also good for SEO. I do have a few questions though!

    Firstly, would you recommend Thesis if I said I was quite new to this?

    Would you say there would be a limit on the number of landing pages you could use (I would imagine it would start to get a bit confusing after about 6+.) If you don`t mind me asking how many landing pages do you normally use?

    Also, I understand you to try rank all of the pages but do you try to monetise all the pages or just the inner pages?

    Finally, with your authority site with 227 pages do you get much traffic from sources apart from Google e.g. direct and referral traffic.

    Thank you very much for sharing this information.
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    dmister

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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by BravoOne View Post

      Just wanted to say thanks...I really love the pagelists plugin.
      No problem! Yup, that plugin is great - saves tonnes of manual coding hours for me!

      Originally Posted by dmister View Post

      Firstly, would you recommend Thesis if I said I was quite new to this?
      Probably not. Thesis uses "hooks" and a very custom structure. It's not very difficult to get a hang of, but does require some (quite extensive) reading.

      Genesis framework (and child themes) are cheaper and a bit more newbie-friendly.

      Originally Posted by dmister;

      Would you say there would be a limit on the number of landing pages you could use (I would imagine it would start to get a bit confusing after about 6+.) If you don`t mind me asking how many landing pages do you normally use?
      At the moment my biggest website has six landing pages (maybe seven...). It doesn't really get confusing, as long as you can find a nice way to present them all in your menu. If your niche is HUGE and you need a lot of landing pages for tonnes of topics, there are two options:

      1. Use a two-story under-the-header menu. This can get a little confusing depending on the design.

      2. Swap the under-the-header menu for a left sidebar menu. There are plugins that allow you to add "custom menus" inside sidebars - you could simply make a new menu of landing pages + homepage and display it in the left sidebar. Here's what I mean: Helpguide helps you help yourself to better mental and emotional health (see "topics" on the left).

      Originally Posted by dmister;

      Also, I understand you to try rank all of the pages but do you try to monetise all the pages or just the inner pages?
      Monetize everything, including the homepage. I don't rush to start making money... get traffic, see how your visitors behave and then look for suitable monetization options.

      Originally Posted by dmister;

      Finally, with your authority site with 227 pages do you get much traffic from sources apart from Google e.g. direct and referral traffic.

      Thank you very much for sharing this information.
      I'm starting to get a lot of return visits. Some email traffic as well. And quite a few hits from Facebook (someone probably shared one of the pages).

      Overall, about 80% of traffic comes from Google SERP's, another 10% or so from Yahoo/Bing and a few other random search engines. The rest is random traffic - social, email, a trickle of traffic from guest blog posts and press releases, etc. Some traffic from Google Images (I think) as well.

      It isn't really about how much content you have. Here's what matters:

      1. Getting people to your website.
      2. Having amazing content.

      When you have a new website, your focus should be mostly on acquiring traffic and promoting your brand. This includes SEO, social, commenting on related blogs/forums/other sources and many other things. You need quality content, but don't just assume that content alone will draw visitors to your site.

      I got "lucky" and one of the inner pages hit #1 for a high traffic term. But this happens more often than most people realize. You have to target more than one keyword (multiple well built pages) and have a good plan in place, but this does happen. Over time, the site should rank for most target keywords.

      Once your site ages a bit and start getting traffic, shift your focus back to producing more content. This is a good time to expand the site, because by now you should know what your visitors are looking for (track and analyze existing traffic) and have a MUCH better understanding of the niche/niches you're in.

      And lastly, amazing content can be many things. Some traffic is looking for entertainment, others need "dry" information and facts, while some people might just be looking for pdf docs. Research plays a big part in this, but that's a 100 page ebook right there.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmister
    OK thanks for taking the time to answer all of my questions.

    Good to hear that your starting to get some direct traffic and referrals as it is always bad if your site is 100% reliant on Google.

    I will definitely try to use this as a rough guide as I am planning to try and build an "authority site". I imagine I will have about 5 landing pages and I will look into the Genesis theme then!

    Thanks again and good luck with your site.
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    dmister

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    • Profile picture of the author BravoOne
      Anyone have a good plugin that can add a link to the end of excerpts? or any tips on how to do it? I tweaked a few websites with the pagelists plugin, and the titles are clickable, but I'd like to add a 'read more' clickable link at the end of each excerpt.
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by BravoOne View Post

        Anyone have a good plugin that can add a link to the end of excerpts? or any tips on how to do it? I tweaked a few websites with the pagelists plugin, and the titles are clickable, but I'd like to add a 'read more' clickable link at the end of each excerpt.
        PHP Code:
        <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">Read more</a>
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        • Profile picture of the author BravoOne
          Originally Posted by retsek View Post

          PHP Code:
          <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">Read more</a>
          Where do you add this?
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          • Profile picture of the author retsek
            Originally Posted by BravoOne View Post

            Where do you add this?
            In your theme files. If it's the front page, it's probably index.php or home.php. If it's a category, it will be category.php or archive.php. Add the conde inside the loop right after the_excerpt ();

            Backup your files before editing them.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
              Originally Posted by retsek View Post

              In your theme files. If it's the front page, it's probably index.php or home.php. If it's a category, it will be category.php or archive.php. Add the conde inside the loop right after the_excerpt ();

              Backup your files before editing them.
              Good stuff, thanks man!

              Always remember to back up your files before editing. PHP errors can be a big headache for newbies (even the simplest ones).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    I created a short 4500 word guide on site structure along with a live STRUCTURE ONLY example. It's free. There's simply way too much info to cover in a post or two.

    Also updated the OP. After analyzing my internal PR flow it doesn't really make sense to nofollow any of the pages. I'll try to explain this in more detail sometime.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    I must say great content is still the main factor that will make you rank and help you come up with an authority site. Although it would be awesome if you have a good structure for your site, since an authority site should not only be functional but must be elegant in navigation as well as design. Of course SEO should also play a big role in creating an authority site.
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  • Profile picture of the author J3thro M
    Great Share! Thanks for the plugins. Been looking for those to use on another site I'll be working.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
      Originally Posted by eugenedm View Post

      I must say great content is still the main factor that will make you rank and help you come up with an authority site. Although it would be awesome if you have a good structure for your site, since an authority site should not only be functional but must be elegant in navigation as well as design. Of course SEO should also play a big role in creating an authority site.
      So, basically, everything matters, right?

      Of course it does! I talk about this in my free ebook - site structure is just one aspect of an authority website.

      Originally Posted by J3thro M View Post

      Great Share! Thanks for the plugins. Been looking for those to use on another site I'll be working.
      You're welcome!

      This thread is sort of out of date now, I have written so much more on the topic over the last few weeks that editing the OP would pretty much be pointless right now.
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