|What about today? 12/16/2002|
Questions from a novice.
Today I went to googles web site and I noticed that they were using sponsored links and PPC advertising on the side of their results page. Does all of this advise still hold true? I have been told that we don't have any budget for PPC advertising and we can't compete with the "Big Boys" for the sponsored links. What do you recommend now? Will these stratigies get us to the top of the normal listings? I like the idea of content is king and a "long haul" strategy but unfortunately I don't have that much time. I have been told to drive traffic to our obscure website within the next couple of weeks or I'm fired. Is it hopeless? Also how do you know what your PR value is?
Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], Khaskins..
There are quite a few questions there, so I'll try and answer as many as I can, as best I can.
Those PPC listings on the right of the google listings are AdWords, and this does NOT change any of the information or advice exchanged around WebmasterWorld.
There is no need to spend money on PPC programs in order to drive traffic to your website. Search around the forums to find lots of information on FREE optimizing tactics. All it takes is a little time, effort and willingness to learn. Here are a few to get you started:
Newcomer's Guide [webmasterworld.com]
Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone [webmasterworld.com]
WebmasterWorld Google Knowledgebase [webmasterworld.com]
To find out the PageRank of a website, simply download the google toolbar and install it.You can find it here. [toolbar.google.com]
Finally, it's going to take time. If the company you work for is going to fire you if you can't provide results in a couple of weeks, it might be advisable to "freshen up" the resume. If all goes well, you're probably looking at about 2 months before you start seeing the results of the work you are starting now.
Hope this helps.
Instead of spending any time on working the website, spend your time looking for a job were you aren't working for a bunch of fools.
Anything that you do today will not make any difference in your google results till February. You might be able to get some small jumps by keeping your content fresh and keeping the freshbot happy, but you need to have high enough rank before the freshbot will even pay any attention to you, and it will only be a small increase in traffic.
They only way to drive traffic quicker is to pay for the traffic.
Just remember that it is easier to get another job while you still have one. Look before they fire you.
I'm sorry you find yourself in such a bind, but I can only back up what Slyguy and Big Dave have said.
You really can't expect to achieve significant results in two weeks without a budget. In all honesty, if these people have put that sort of an arbitrary deadline on you, then I would expect that what they would see as significant results may not be achievable even with a modest budget.
The best thing I can suggest is:
1 Spend some time reading here and write up a plan for the website from what you learn, including timelines - and be generous with the timelines.
2 Tidy up your resume.
3 Organise a meeting with the bosses and put yourself in the authority role, present your plan, tell them what you expect to achieve and how long it will take.
4 Show them this site and let us kick their butts for you for a bit. :) No... really... we will. :)
5 If they still won't come to their senses, walk out the door with your head held high, and your traffic development plan under your arm.
I have been told to drive traffic to our obscure website within the next couple of weeks or I'm fired. Is it hopeless?
Game on khaskins. Welcome to Webmasterworld.
Two weeks here and you won't need em. ;)
Thanks for the advice! Let me ask you another question. When I got here, this company had an existing website. It looked OK but they were tired of looking at it and wanted a fresh one. I have been working on redoing the website for 2 months while I worked internally on their infrastructure, software etc.. My thought was to spend my time doing the SEO and advertising the website after I got it finished. But now after reading these forums I almost wish I had done the SEO and advertising first. What is the best sequence of events?
It is best to design a site with SEO in mind, but do yourself a favor and look at online job boards now (or after your boss has gone home).
Your boss sound like a tyrant who wants everything done yesterday.
Tell him to give you more time or you will sent the Webmasterworld boys around! :)
You might want to get in touch with someone who has legitimate SEO skills and let them talk to the boss.
Managing expectations could go a long way toward keeping your job. A 2 week notice is laughable.
Welcome to Webmasterworld!
If you can I think it is always best to plan seo, usability and design from the outset of a project. This is easier than trying to SEO an existing site and you get exactly what you want. The only caveat is that if the optimisation strategies you use don't work, you only have yourself to blame... :(
btw- the job- lock them in a room with a computer and some choice webmasterworld threads- try starting with this one- [webmasterworld.com...]
<edit>commas, commas, commas...</edit>
khaskins, I truly feel for you. What a nasty position to be in. While you have the two weeks, make good use of them and find another job on company time!
Your boss is asking the impossible. No site can be turned around and reap the benefits in just two weeks. If he does in fact fire you, you may have grounds for unfair dismissal. I'd see a lawyer if it comes to that.
Try to sit down and talk to him. Give him a reasonable time line in which you feel you can produce the traffic and sales he is looking for. He is going to have to start over anyway ... and that's time lost training someone new. If he won't listen to reason, send him here to read this thread.
Its not possible boss! Give khaskins a break and give him some time to serve up what you want. Now that he's found WebmasterWorld, it won't take too long! :)
The only way I couyld think of to help is to start a massive link campaign. Nearly everyone you ask for a link will have a look round your site and then some will place a link and that will drive a nominal amount of traffic.
Does your company have anything you could give away as prises? if so place that on your site then submit your site to all the free comp portales this drives plenty of traffic.
next spend a couple of hours on a viral e-mail (something X-massy maybe?) send that to all your mates and beg them to send it on and click through to your site.
next hit all the forums that are related to your site and if it's not against TOS place a little piece abount your site in some.
and keep asking for thoese links!
This might keep you your job long enough for your SEO work to start driving custom to your site.
|...after reading these forums I almost wish I had done the SEO and advertising first. What is the best sequence of events? |
We took the same approach here. In truth none of us knew anyting about SEO or what an SEO is. Once we had a "finished product" it was tossed at my feet to promote it and learn the business of SEO while I'm at it. It took us 3 months of redesigns and PPC advertising to start getting traffic and 6 months to show a presence on the standard search engines.
My one advantage is that the CEO of the company I work was also part of the design team and I worked diretly for him while learing the SEO position. I basicly had to teach him while I learned the job so he understood why it was taking so long. Good luck khaskins you have a tough job ahead of you! ;)
I wanted to thank all of you for your replies. Believe it or not I'm still employed. I'm sure that your advice and scolding of my boss did it. I gave him a print out of what was said and he read it. I also showed him the statistics from our website that do show some traffic improvements. Unfortunately we still haven't sold anything over the internet yet.
I have a couple of other questions. If I go to google,MSN or Yahoo and do a search for our company, and if it shows up at all is there any reason to do a submission? Doesn't that mean that we are already in their database?
I did see in the stats that Inktomi visited my website. How do you know what effect it had? Also I loaded the google bar. The PR rating changes from day to day somedays it's 3/10 other days it's 2/10. Some pages are 1/10. Why does it vary?
My ISP told me that I couldn't capture email addresses from people visiting my website (my boss wants to followup with people that visit our site). Is this true?
And another thing........ :-)
Submit your site to the ODP if you haven't. If you're already listed in a search engine, then submitting is a waste of time. Get incoming links from relevant high-PR sites with relevant link text, and forget about "submitting" - It's an almost-dead practice, except for directories.
The Google PR changing is called "everflux" around here. Lot's of threads on it... Try a site search. Remember that your PR today is based on what your site looked like around December 4th. There's a one-month minimum delay, which is why everyone said it was an impossible schedule in response to your first post. Once you hit PR4, the freshbot will help you keep more current. Freshbot is another deep subject to search for here.
You can't automatically "capture" e-mail addresses. You can ask the visitors to enter them and collect them with a script on an opt-in basis, though. Not sure what your ISP meant exactly... It is possible to ask for e-mail addresses as described, unless it is against your ISP's rules for some reason. (?)
Is the site you are talking about the one in your email address? If so I would start by working on the title and description of your website. Also, give each page a title and description. I will add your link to my site to help you get started. Sticky mail me your site if its different than the one I think it is.
Yes, definately you will need to give your document a title something other than "Untitled Document" - Make the title contain keywords which you think people will be using to locate a service such as yours. Don't always use the words you use - try to think of what someone who is not in your business would be searching for, so the least technical, broadest terms - I'll give you one suggestion, productivity.
Good luck, it is unfortunate you are in such a position.
AdWords on the keyword I suggested would drive traffic, I believe[/edit]
I have gone through all of our pages and verified that they either had a title or I added one. I made sure each page had a main heading at the top of the page that matched the Title meta tag and I repeated it in Italics at the beginning of the first paragraph on each page. I submitted our website to ODP or dmoz.org and I am trying to add content.
I tried an experiment a couple of days ago. I did a search on google for our main Keyword and started paging through the results to see how far back in the listings we were. I looked through 50 pages of listings and never saw our site listed even though I know google has our site in their database. Even though there is a lot of competition in our industry, my company's URL never appeared even though page 50 listed other stuff that was vaguely related to our industry. Why wasn't my company's URL listed at all? I saw several references to the top 10 guys a few listing of other companys, off the wall stuff, etc. and it seemed to rotate. Any clues?
I'm going through the document "Successful Site in 12 months with Google alone" trying to systematically cover each line. I have a few questions on it. What is meant by hit the density between 5 and 20%? What is meant by Directories? I listed in DMOZ.org are there others that I should list in?
Brett is talking about keyword density, the percentage of your words which are actually your keyword. Don't worry about it too much, write your text normally and then add in the keyword here and there where it would be appropriate (for instance, use the noun instead of a pronoun) to make it slightly denser than normal, you should be fine.
Make sure your keyword phrase is in title, heading, and inbound anchor text (including the text links on your own subpages), this should help a lot. Try to get links with keyword in anchor text.
Keep reading Brett's doc over and over, every time I read it I get something more out of it, and I would swear I had it memorized. I don't always agree about everything (for instance, Brett says that speed is almost the only thing, but I find that looks count for a lot too), but if you follow it, you should do well.
This is just speaking from my own limited experience, I only started learning SEO a few months ago too, but I've been following the advice on ww and doing pretty well so far. Traffic to my main site has at least doubled since I started working on it, and I now have another site which gets a lot of cheap traffic (many people, but very few want to buy).
Basic strategy: build lots of new content, get links whenever you can, research keywords with wordtracker or other tool and put keywords in title, heading, text, and inbound anchor text. Works so far for me.
To: khaskins: I completely relate to your situation. My boss suspects I am "stealing" his deals because there are so few coming in. Never mind that he is brand new on the net and does not appreciate that already he is a PR4 thanks to me. And his site rides on page 8 or 9, which is not too shabby for an upstart. I have to make a copy of the html message when I forward the deals to the partner to prove exactly what second the deal arrived in the partner's email box. Thank God the service offers this possibility. This morning, I printed all of these for a master file I am keeping. Now I offered to teach the boss how to read the logs so he can see with his own beedy eyes how FEW visitors are coming in and how many seconds they stay exactly and what pages they go to. He thinks "millions" of people are seeing his stupid website. Do you study your logs, Khaskins? If you need help learning how to read them or how to download the night logs or any of your old logs, I will be happy to teach you. Your only hope (as is ours) is Freshbot. Until you and my boss's sites are PR7-PR8 and have a minimum of 200 links credited by Google (last dance I had 41 links and Google only credited us with 12!) so this is a big part of the battle, the incoming links. One of the links I got credited with was a PR gray bar, but I liked the theme so got a recip link. All links must be recip. You need to work on links every day at any free moment. First of all, do what the senior members of this forum tell you. Then, every morning, re-do your index page to make it FRESH as you can. Change, add, move content on index page. Fresh, fresh. Then when you see in your log the number: 64.68.82.xx that is Freshbot but it also says Googlebot. This is Freshbot's IP number, just memorize it. Freshbot visits you and 28 hours later you are thrown to the front pages of Google for 1 and 1/2 to up to 2 days then you are thrown back into OBLIVION again. Why? Because you and I do NOT have PR7 or PR8 and 200 accredited recip. theme links. Hard work, yes, very. Then, if you have any spare moments, build new pages, linked to index page. Upload index page with changes as many times a day as you can. Make the changes as big as you can, change top 2 paragraphs if you can. I feel bad for you, but at least your boss does not accuse you of "stealing" his deals. Thank God, I know how to prove every detail of my actions in black and white. I will help you if you will continue to post your problems. Yes, you and I know we need new jobs, but I am 60 and female and things are not as easy as just to switch immediately to a new job. You and I have to build private clientele! Just keep working and try to locate some private clients to build and optimize (legitimately) for.
OK, khaskins, here is exactly what you explain to your boss, as I just a moment ago, re-explained to my boss: Yes, you do get the IP number of the person who visited the website. Here is the problem: Most folks DO NOT have their own private dedicated IP number. I got this for my boss to protect him. Take the IP number, khaskins, and go to the website of ARIN and go to tools and enter the IP number in question of your visitor. There you will see most likely a RANGE of IP numbers owned by a company, not a dedicated private IP number. Simply tell dumbo boss that you cannot control people so that they intelligently pay for and obtain a dedicated IP number. The hosting company I chose after a long study, has all these services and no complaints against them anywhere. I have nothing but satisfaction with them. Their server is up 99.9% of the time and sure as h. is never down during a Google Dance. Once in a blue moon they have to update for a short time. This is rare. The hosting company can make or break a site's progress in Google. There are MANY factors involved. If you need to know some more, I will help you, just ask.
OK, here is an explanation for your boss of how to find out who is coming onto your website: you go to: [cello.cs.uiuc.edu...] and enter the IP address and hit your enter button. In my boss's situation, it gives his domain name as the owner of the particular IP address. Because I recommended to him that he obtain his own Dedicated IP number so that spammers would not be able to affect him by his being in a randomly assigned IP range. No one can affect my boss's website by their spam or porn. However, and this is the big however, most of the time the result given is a RANGE (a very large Range of millions) of IP numbers controlled by a service provider. For example, we know that AOL has a range of IP numbers for its users. Now, when a user logs onto AOL, he receives a RANDOM (Try to get your boss to understand the concept RANDOM) IP number. There is NO way at present, to know who was at the machine using a RANDOMLY assigned AOL number. No way at the present state of internet technology. I emailed a researcher to see what advances are being foreseen in this area. When (and if) he answers, I will post the info. The Arin service is not as good as the one I provided for you. Arin only gives the range. The one I gave you will give you the domain name IF the IP# belongs to a domain name as my boss's does. Now tell your boss to try to find out the e-mail address of a website visitor. He can only do it if I visit his website or someone else savvy enough to have their own dedicated IP number. My boss struggles to understand what I am explaining to his poor non-initiated brain. I feel sorry for these jerks. You should too, they will never be able to do what we do, and you know what? I think they know that. Ha ha. Good one.
I guess I'm getting confused. When you talk about the heading are you referring to the Displayed title or heading in the document that is displayed by the browser (end user), or are you referring to the heading and title meta-tags that are in the HTML code page, or both?
Also, what is an inbound anchor text and can you give me an example?
Is there a software tool that you can run against your website and let it tell you where your problems are? Sort of a "Pet Spyder"?
In Brett's document, I got the impression that you should attempt to get some links but not to over emphasize them. But from the above posts it seems that they are VERY important. I have a few links but not many. Large web sites are not interested in exchanging links and small web sites don't have a good PR value so I looked elsewhere. Will the sheer number of insignificant links boost your ratings?
Anyway there seems to be a disagreement on this point between the veterians and the junior members. Could some of the "Keepers of the Flame", "Pillars of the community", weigh in here and set us right?
Inbound anchor text is the text that other pages use to link to the page in question. For instance, you might have other pages on your site which link to your homepage. These pages should have text links (in addition to any nav bar or image links) on them which point to the home page, and use your primary keywords in the actual link.
If you have any control about the text othe sites use to link to you, try to get them to use your primary keyword in these links.
<a href="http://www.yoursite.com">Primary Keyword Phrase</a>
If you can get lots of other sites to link to you like this, it gives you a huge boost for "Primary Keyword Phrase". Your own internal text links count for a lot too.
Links are pretty important but you probably shouldn't obsess about them too much, spend more time building content. Lots of little links might still be a good idea if you can get them, though, if they contain your keyword phrase.
I submitted our site to dmoz.org about 3 weeks ago. The site hasn't been added yet and I haven't received a message saying that they have declined our URL. The catagory doesn't have that many entries in it. I even sent a message to the editor of the catagory last week. No response. I don't want to get pushy but I feel like I need that listing. Any advise?
Also, I read the BIO of the Editor. He's definitely a competitor of ours. Has anybody had any problems with conflict of interest out of the editors?
Still curious about the "Pet Spyder".
DMOZ can be a hard one sometimes. There are 2 things you can do:
1) Go here and explain your situation on the submissions board. [resource-zone.com...]
2) Send an email to the next category level up, he is basically the boss of the deeper editor.
I would execute both and go from there. Also, make sure they did not place you in another category. Do a search for your site. Just because you submitted to the category you think is right, doesn't mean the editor thinks it is right.
DMOZ is done by editors for free. So be patient and persistent, but not annoyingly persistent, then you will see results.
Again, referring to the site that's the e-mail address in your profile, there's a problem with the rendering of the graphic on the privacy page. I'm using IE5. The other pages are all ok. No titles on any page either.
Sorry about that domain name, it's my personal email address and not the domain of the company I'm working for. I didn't realize that would be a problem. I have to update my profile with the domain of my employer. I haven't done any SEO on my personal website at all :-), I'm just learning this stuff for the first time. Previously I did custom applications in Lotus Notes and Intranet stuff. SEO wasn't necessary there........ or was it? :-o
I changed my profile so the domain now reflects the domain in question.