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Should I combine similar pages

     
7:45 pm on Nov 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I sell a service on my website.

The "main" part of the site is where customers can purchase my services.

The "blog" part of the site has articles offering lots of free advice on those services.

However, I was considering combining some pages into one, longer page in the hope they might rank better?

As an example, combining these two:

Page 1: purchase xyz services
Page 2: article on xyz services linking back to page 1

What do people think of that strategy or should I leave them as two separate pages?
9:06 pm on Nov 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It can go either way. If you have a strong customer base that is interested in buying, then don't confuse the issue with articles. If they need convincing, then provide the info and a clear path to checkout.

Usually depends on product and call to action.

It also depends on the article length. 100-300 words for the article and I would combine the two pages...
9:11 pm on Nov 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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:: looking vaguely around for boilerplate about "Which approach is better for the human user?" ::
10:50 pm on Nov 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I hadn't considered the case tangor mentions of thin-content articles. That's a good point.

I think from a user perspective, tight and intelligent internal linking would probably be the most useful and I expect Google would like it too.

Do you have analytics set up with goal tracking? Can you see where people who ultimately purchase enter the site and what their journey is? I would take a fair bit of time looking over that to see if some obvious pattern or problem appears.

Do the "blog" people end up on the "product" pages or stay siloed in the blog?
Do people exit from product pages or blog pages?
How often does a session with a purchase include a blog page?

If you knew that, you might have an immediate A HA! Or maybe not, in which case you're back where you are now.
2:41 am on Nov 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Something I learned very early on - don't compete against yourself in the SERP. Pages too similar in content may bump another page from ranking. Determine your audience and build pages specifically for that target.

This is SEO thinking, not product diversity. Obviously, each product or group of similar products should have their own description & buy pages but could be displayed on a page listing products offered.
6:31 pm on Nov 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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keyplyr - I would print that and frame it and send it to the SEO agency responsible for the structure and a lot of the copy on our current site, but they got fired long before I came on board...

I still might save it as an email template

Now if you just have something that succinct that regarding keyword selection, please forward ;-)
12:01 pm on Nov 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is this your service/brand you are selling? If so, you have to put your brand first and seo second. My sites sell me, and they have lots of in depth articles and lots of "thin" articles. I worry about the thin articles until i talk to my clients and they tell me how useful the thin articles are. I could combine them into big articles but then they would only be read by machines.

30 years of marketing to people has taught me that people do not read 2000 word articles promoting my service. Bullet points work the best. Somewhere in between is a place that works for people and machines, just put the people first.
 

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