John DohertyFounder of Credo, Growth and SEO consultant
Bio

Founder of Credo and a SEO/growth marketing consultant. Based in Denver Colorado, I am focused on building my company Credo (GetCredo.com) while I consult on inbound growth strategies for companies. My specialty is in enterprise marketplaces and content sites, and I love content-driven businesses. I enjoy helping companies grow and would love to chat with you! When you book a call, you are getting me researching your site/company for an hour beforehand, then access to me to ask any question on our call as I pull upon my decade of SEO, digital marketing, growth, and experience across agencies, in-house, and solo. Let's chat.



Recent Answers


Great question here. First things first, as an SEO/growth marketing person I need to point out that unless you are creating these pages on the scale of millions, you're not going to be flagged for spam. In fact, even if you did create them on that scale, you still wouldn't be flagged for spam; you just wouldn't get the organic traffic to them that you'd want because your domain probably isn't strong enough to support all of those pages.

Here is what I recommend:
1) Think about your site as an ecommerce site. This is how you will want to structure it. Think homepage > categories > subcategories > product pages. If you buy many different types of printers, then something like homepage > Printers > Inkjet Printers > (specific inkjet you buy) if you want to get that granular. You have to do the keyword research to figure out how deep you want to go, but this is the way to think about it for SEO.

2) Any halfway decent CMS will allow you to create pages at scale to target different keywords. Wordpress will let you do this, Joomla will let you do this, Squarespace will let you do this. If you need to create them at a huge scale, often that can be done via the database (uploading the content and specifying the URL/title/H1/H2 etc for each page)

3) It's ok to use a page template for your different page types (eg category/subcategory/product page). When I think about it, does anyone these days *not* use a template? Anyways, you should also ask yourself "How can I make these pages as unique and relevant as possible from the others onsite?" Many people start thinking "how unique do I need to make these pages so I can get away with ranking well and get sales", but that's lazy thinking. If you're really looking to add value, think about how you can make them as unique, relevant, and valuable as possible.

By the way, I disagree about using either Unbounce or Optimizely for this. Optimizely is an A/B testing platform and Unbounce is great for one-off landing (aka "squeeze" pages) and testing them, Neither is suitable for this project.

Good luck!


Hi! This is indeed a great question and one that merits a lot of thought, as it seems you are putting into it.

I think the big consideration is if you have the technological scale (or can hire/build it) to run multiple sites. There are a lot of companies that started off with one domain and then have acquired their way into other verticals and brands. For example, Zillow in the US operates Zillow.com, Trulia.com, HotPads.com, Streeteasy.com, as well as a number of B2B sites. From that experience, customers don't really care *who* owns the site as long as it meets their needs.

Also, I am assuming that these are all services that you offer, not lead generation sites for others? From looking at wantdesign.co.uk, it seems that way, so that is the assumption that I am going off of.

The pros of having it all under one domain:
1) Easier upkeep (potentially) because everything is consolidated on one platform.
2) Good for SEO in that you won't have to build links to a bunch of different websites.
3) It will be easier to build one brand than four, and will be less confusing for your customers potentially. Also, with all of your services under one brand name, it will be easier to upsell existing clients to your other services.

The cons of having all of these under one domain:
1) You will have less ability to customize the different services according to who the customer is.
2) WantWebsite, WantSEO, WantApp etc are all partial-match domain names which have been shown to be good for SEO, though not necessarily better than brand.com/seo or brand.com/app-design with proper onpage targeting, some links built to it, etc.

In my opinion (as a growth marketer who is also building a brand right now), the best way to go is to find one brand name and build out your services under that. You're too small to even think about being on the scale of someone like Zillow.

Good luck! If you want to discuss via a call, I have spare time right now!


Some of these have been said already, but I think there are a number of ways to stand out as a (to this point) not well known professional. This is basically the strategy I put together and followed to get well known as an SEO and now a growth marketer:

1) Teach others. Start by blogging your experiences and showing them what you are learning and how you are doing it. Don't be afraid to admit your mistakes.

2) Give others tools to succeed. When I was blogging at least twice a week on my personal site, I often would create tools in Google Sheets or elsewhere then give them away for free on my site. People love free things. Do you have an email template that converts incredibly well? Share it.

3) Build friendships online. One of the best ways I've had opportunities open up for me is by engaging with the broader digital marketing community online. This really took off once I started blogging a lot, and then by going to conferences and connecting with others (and writing lengthy recaps which I became known for), then I started getting more followers and making more friends. Many of my best friends now I met through the Internet, specifically Twitter.

4) Speak. Whether you are terrified of speaking or love doing it, this is a great way to build your name as an expert. When you speak at conferences (though you should start at meetups in your area if possible), people then often write about it and mention you online, which keeps that flywheel going. But make sure you have an online presence where they can find you (and subscribe to your email list!)

5) Find distribution channels. There are the usual ones of Twitter/Facebook/etc, but platforms like Medium are also amazing for building your brand and reputation. Medium basically has a built-in RSS feed that emails all of your followers when you've published a post. If a post of yours is popular enough (which you can also help along by emailing your friends and asking them to share it), you may have a publication reach out to you asking to republish it. This is a mega win!

These are hopefully 5 actionable tips for you. Good luck!


Both. As an entrepreneur, you'll fill all sorts of roles so the more varied your background and skillset, the better.

I've always been a bit of an entrepreneur, but I have a very varied past - technical support specialist, web developer, inhouse SEO, SEO consultant, marketing consultant, head of marketing, head of growth. I also did a summer selling Cutco knives (that was an experience, let me tell you), and I've written software documentation, press releases, done press outreach, and more.

All of those skills come in use when building a business, as I am doing now.

So my best advice is to get the most varied experience you can, find what you are good at and understand the rest so that you can hire smart people who do it better than you.

Want to chat more? I have all the free time in the world.


I think it's a great idea, but you need to do good consumer research to figure out your real personas. If you don't, you risk segmenting down too far and not reaching a lot of your audience.

If I were you, I'd do a combo of laser-targeting and also casting your net wider to get them into that email marketing flow you talk about. Then you can see which is more effective and double down on that.


I'm with Dan. If it's someone who is introduced to me through a friend and is local, I'll gladly do coffee. Otherwise I tell them I am super busy and do any calls through Clarity, and then send them the link. If it's just an email, I take my time to reply.


I think BuiltWith will do this for you. Plug in the domain and it will tell you which technologies it is built on.
Most of the well-known video sites are custom jobs, but I'm sure WP could do what you want.


It's a great question, for sure. (My background: was a software consultant then a marketing consultant, total of 5 years of consulting. Now inhouse, never was a fulltime freelance consultant).

If you're not sure what your expertise is, I'd say FT freelance consulting might not be the right gig for you right now. Instead, maybe try working for an agency for a bit to find what you are really good at. Then start putting yourself out there on the Internet to start attracting those clients (through blogging, relevant online forums, etc). I've never been fulltime freelance as I said, but I still get multiple freelance inquiries a week even though I've not done freelance work in over a year.

The business stuff - ie how much to charge, how to structure projects, etc - can be learned. But you need to learn how to drive demand and show your expertise first. Honestly I'd recommend doing a lot of reading on inbound marketing, conversion rate optimization (which gets into psychology), and how to generate traffic online.

Hope all this helps. Happy to hop on a quick call to hash through ideas if you'd like!


Here are a few things you can do:

- Get on a consistent posting schedule. Post as often as you are able to do consistently - aim for 2-3 times per week, then see if that is sustainable for you and adjust.
- Push out every post via social media. Ping some friends privately asking them to share with their network.
- Familiarize yourself with SEO and build an SEO-friendly site. The basics will get you a long way. Read Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO to start.
- Create a place where people can sign up to your email RSS list. If you word it right, you can also email them updates. Building an email list is hugely valuable.

I hope all this helps. By doing these things, and connecting with influencers in the space, I've grown blogs to 20k+/mo no problem.

Happy to talk more if you'd like.


Hi there -

There are two parts to the answer. First, it's very important to have a site map that is both current and does not have any URLs in it that return a status code other than a 200. Even 301 redirected URLs should not be in there. Also, the site map should not have more than 50,000 URLs. If it has more, then create multiple site maps and list them in an index site map.

Second, site maps are a great way to get content *discovered*, but they won't necessarily rank well. You need the URLs to also be easily discoverable on your site through internal linking.

I hope this helps. Feel free to book a call with me if you'd like to discuss more.

John


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