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At the end of my rope!
scott




msg:235982
 12:36 pm on May 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

I've been to every search engine help site. Downloaded countless "ranking programs." I've tried just about everything everyone recommends and I just can't get my ranking anywhere NEAR respectable. I've tried copying the competitors....nothing has worked. Could someone who KNOWS what they're doing go and look at my site and tell me where I'm going wrong? www.aromaticattic.com My target SE keywords are "candles" and "scented candles." I'm near to the point of....dare I say it....hiring some company to do this for me. I'd appreciate any advice I could get!

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:235983
 1:33 pm on May 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

no long explainations - this is what I would do:

a) get rid of everything in your head section but meta keywords, meta description, and title.
b) remove all jscript on the page.
c) put more text on the sub pages. You don't have enough actual info for the spiders to be picking up on you.
d) watch those referrals and retro engineer for them. What ever is bringing the users to your site, focus on each of the top kw's with a page dedicated to that topic/keyword.
e) bury "secure online ordering" somewhere - don't let the spiders see it. hide anything that basically says "for sale" from the front page. including "catalog".
f) more info. You need at least 30 pages of quality info about your topic area. Spiders don't have anything but generic words to be picking up off your site. Think up "how to's", candle crafting, etc...

You could get real detailed, and 50 guys would say 50 different things, but those are the starters that I'd do...

seth_wilde




msg:235984
 4:11 pm on May 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Just to add to what Brett has said: You have a serious link popularity problem, (AV-0, HB-5, Infoseek-0), You should consider joining a program like buddy links.

scott




msg:235985
 5:48 pm on May 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

I just joined buddy links yesterday. I must admit, though, I don't understand how, in checking AV top 10 under "scented candles" some have big numbers like 41 or so while others have as little as 3. I can't help but think sometimes that there's some sort of monetary criteria associated with this on other sites besides Looksmart! Thanks for all the help, though! I've started changes already!

seth_wilde




msg:235986
 7:35 pm on May 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Although links are a great way to improve your listings, they are still only part of the algorythem (some people might be ranking high due to their links and the others might be ranking high because they have well optimized pages). If you get your pages optimized well and participate in buddy links it doesnt look like you should have too much trouble beating your competition.

WebSpinner




msg:235987
 2:46 am on May 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Don't give up Scott! You must take into consideration that you want to come up on the TOP KW for that category ( so you have major comp for those KW's). Trust me I know!! I'd pay close attention to the "content" on your index page (as Brett suggested). Also, you will have to make a choice on which SE you want to focus on, as they all are somewhat different.

All I can say is that IT TAKES TIME...I spend about 3 hrs a day promoting one of my client's site. I work with 2 companies that are in the same business as you.
GL,Scott....

scott




msg:235988
 1:00 pm on May 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the word of encouragement Webspinner. I can already take solice in the fact of knowing they're paying for what I'm trying to do myself makes my overhead lower! LOL I'm wondering which SE's I should target, though. Is there any way to check demographics for SE users? Or maybe just total number of KWs for each SE? And when you say "content" are you referring to the metatag content, or the actual content of the page?

WebSpinner




msg:235989
 8:48 pm on May 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Content on your pages. I'd say, build your content, then write you tags to represent the content. I'm not totally sure on this, but I believe a "text Link" is better than a "pic link" for moving across the site. You can use it as "body content" ie "Scented Votives"" as a text link, leading to your scented votive page. Try, see if it works for you.

Ok, as time goes on, we will share more concepts, hopefully getting all of us better placement.

Regards,

WebSpinner




msg:235990
 2:10 pm on May 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

Scott..on the links page, add the BL listing...

Gl

Jeff




msg:235991
 2:59 pm on May 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

Brett
Why do you say remove the word catalog and for sale from the front page?

Brett_Tabke




msg:235992
 3:22 pm on May 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

If you were running a search engine in association with commercial sites selling your products, would you promote your own competition? -- Neither will the search engines. Universal words like catalog, order, and buy now are coming under scrutiny.

scott




msg:235993
 4:48 pm on May 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

I did a major overhaul of the site last night (actually well into the morning!) and think I made some huge strides. Guess I'll wait and see which way to go next. Spinner, I didn't put the BL on the "Link" page because the directions said not to....something about the SEs recognizing words like buddy and links, etc... I just put them under my domain and put no linking to them.....www.aromaticattic.com/associates.htm and submitted them. This would accomplish the desired results for all involved wouldn't it? Brett, if I did this wrong, please let me know. Thanks again for all the help!

Scott

stcrim




msg:235994
 2:17 am on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

Scott,

You have a very nice looking site. You should consider using the alt tags on all of your images - the keyword(s) should come at the beginning of your meta information for example where you have: <meta name="description" content="We specialize in high quality, ULTRA scented candles. A scented candle from Aromatic Attic is..."> you might consider <meta name="description" content="Scented candles are our speciality. Ulta Scented candles shipped anywhere">

A lot of people say keyword stuffing is dead, but you couldn't prove it by me or my competition. I don't recommend you do it on your main pages or pages you submit to Altavista - but doorway pages still work really really well for us.

Only use your keyword once in your meta keywords, twice in the description. Once at the beginning of the title tag. Then open the content on that page with the keyword or phrase. Use it in every sentence but limit your page to 10 or 15 sencences...

A lot of people would tell you this is the old school of thought, but I can assure you it works very well for us. Go here to see how your competitors are doing in the Inktomi Products [Inktomi.com...]

See how many times the words scented candles shows up on this page [candlesforever.com...] they are #2 in ink.yahoo The number one page made very effective use of comment tags.

Remember to target misspellings candel - candal -sented - 10% of my traffic is from pages that target people just like me - who can't spell - Last but not least go here [inventory.go2.com...] and check out how popular your keywords are and you'll get ideas for new ones. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the results times 100 for the searches on that word or phrase that month.

Most important - Brett knows his stuff - don't miss a single page on his site.

If you have any questions reply to the board and send it directly to me. For some reason I don't get e-mail when someone replies and may not know you're seeking more info. (Brett - did you turn that off - huh)

Good Luck
Steve
stcrim@prodigy.net

Brett_Tabke




msg:235995
 11:40 am on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

>Most important - Brett knows his stuff - don't miss a single page on his site.

ACK!, yes there are a few pages you can skip! grin.
I am due for a major overhaul on most of the back content. I've had it on the list of things to do for six months and haven't found the time. I try to update one back page every-other-week.

>re: email notification.

Yes, I turned off the response one because it was really starting to drag on the system in a couple of those long threads where everyone was getting email. You can still get it for a unique post/topic starter but not for replies.

scott




msg:235996
 2:36 pm on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

Steve,

I was already well aware of just how well my competitors were doing with "scented candle", but thanks for pointing it out anyway! LOL As far as candlesforever, They're one of the ones I had considered to be the "top dog" as far as SE placement. I did a KW count on their frontpage and mine...I came up with 11....for both! I kinda figured I was in the "now let's wait for the spiders to visit again" stage. I do have some ALT tags but I suppose I could always use more where I can fit them. I was not aware of the comment tags. I suppose I should look into that as well. I know I'm in a long uphill battle and I suppose I'm willing to settle for 3rd or 4th. That's a billion time better than where I am now! I do have a few questions about KWs when you have some time, drop me an email and I'll dump them on you if you don't mind......plurals, phrases vs. single words, etc. I HAD considered the whole "misspelling" KW issue. I figured that would be something to take up further down the road. I figured that was kinda like changing golf clubs to a really expensive, better made club to "shave off a few strokes" when you're still shooting more than 100!
Thanks again for all the help! Brett has been a godsend!

Scott
scewing@yahoo.com

stcrim




msg:235997
 3:57 pm on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

Scott,

Post your questions in the forum as well as e-mailing them directly to me stcrim@prodigy.net There are a lot of people here who know a lot more than me and may have additional information for your questions. (Now if we could just get Brett to part with his "Themes Know-How") If you happen to own a copy of WebPosition Gold, run your page(s) through the "Critic" the information and tutorials are worth their weight in gold. WPGold was what orig got me started in this fun and frustrating line of work. I don't use it anymore because I do my own test pages and research but I do rely on their forum for good information [marketpositiontalk.com...] though they tend to fight a lot over there. If you check it out pay close attention to posts from KK and BK, every once and a while you see Brett over there to.

How are you tracking the results of your work - in other words what are you using to read your logs??? Brett's program "Traxis" is in beta but I gotta tell ya we love it. I have three copies of it running flawlessly. Once you figure out the endless ways you can watch your search engine traffic you may never come up for air again.

(You know Brett, I think it's your fault my wife quit her job and now works with me)

Good Luck
Steve

WebSpinner




msg:235998
 7:16 pm on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

Just a thought: rename the links page (your current one) and then add the BL..

That's the route i took...

Regards,

PS: have a nice weekend people!

scott




msg:235999
 9:29 pm on May 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm currently using WebList 2.11 that comes ready made on my host's admin menu. It does okay, but there are other things I wish it did better. I'm wondering if there's a better way to track spiders. The software lists them among a LONG list. The only way I get a bead on them now is I have no robots.txt file so I just look for the errors when they can't find it. Then I get the IP address and have to go look it up. I'm sure I'm not utilizing my robots.txt file to it's fullest potential either. Where can I get a copy of Brett's program?

The questions I had earlier were about plurals for one.....do I gear my keywords for SEs that can't differentiate or not? Also is it enough to put ", scented, candles, " in my keywords MT or do I also want to add "scented candles," in there as well.

stcrim




msg:236000
 12:08 am on May 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

http://www.searchengineworld.com/traxis/ for tracking
http://www.searchengineworld.com/collective/ for submissions - and a new version is on its way (right Brett???)

I do not use robot.txt files so I can't speak for them. I set my pages up so that I control the spiders by what I submit. I've never had Ink spider anything I didn't submit. If I submit one page - one page is all they look at.

I have old fashioned doorway pages doing very well in AltaVista because we didn't submit anything new after the big AV wipe-out. I have a competitor with 5900 cookie cutter, keyword stuffed, doorway pages doing very well in AV. (So much for the new AV)

About "s" Set your pages up so they read naturally with "s". (One red apple a day is good for you but with a box of red apples you can share)

We don't use pix .gifs anymore. Now we make 20 X 20 transparent .gifs named button.gif and use those to direct some spider traffic. Most of all they are used to add link pop to our other sites and we use them for outbound links. "Just guessing here", but, if I'm selling apples and I have a handful of links out to the worlds biggest apple sites (from all of my pages), SE's may give that some weight. Don't know, but can't hurt.

Doorways should be as close to the top as you can get them. A competitor that we swap first and second place with on 500 plus keywords doesn't use folders - we do, but only one level. Your call... (Study your competitors - they may make you rich)

I don't place much value on meta keywords anymore. Use only the word(s) related to that page and don' get carried away. If the page is about scented candles that's all you need. Unscented candles is best put on a new page...

Steve

Brett_Tabke




msg:236001
 10:02 am on May 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

That is good advice. On my new pages, I'm only using the top 5 keywords in meta tags. I'm thinking some SE's (alta at the moment), are throwing out anything (word) over 80 total characters in the meta tag or the first 5-7 keywords.

I've done some testing with exotic keywords in the meta keyword tag and they are not findable when the exotic is up around 100 chars, but are findable when they are down low. Could be something to that...

scott




msg:236002
 12:30 pm on May 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

Brett, your board is quite popular. I've gotten more offers via email from people wanting me to pay them to "fix" my SE ranking than I know what to do with! I'm not willing to take that route just yet, however.

stcrim




msg:236003
 1:31 pm on May 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

Scott - just an opinion but - when you learn this stuff rather than pay for it, you are in a far better position. You can make changes as the market does. You are free to experiment with new ideas. There are a lot of "want to be search engine marketers" out there and a tiny handful who are really good. But no one will ever have the same passion for your site that you do. Stick to your plans, learn from this and other SE forums and in no time you'll be rewarded with the results you're looking for.

Steve

scott




msg:236004
 1:35 pm on Jun 1, 2000 (gmt 0)

I don't have any plans at the moment for hiring anyone. This particular arena fascinates me totally. I really want to learn all I can. I'm currently employed in the nuclear industry and have been looking to make a jump out of it for some time now. I don't think contracting is the way to go for me, but there are other avenues I can explore once my knowledge level has come up considerably. Even my "computer literate" friends are amazed when I try to explain anything at all about SEs to them. I think alot of people have no idea how deep and detailed (and fascinating) this "world" can be!

stcrim




msg:236005
 10:45 pm on Jun 1, 2000 (gmt 0)

Scott,

With that attitude - you'll get it!!! Take what you can from Brett's site before he wises up and stops giving it away.

Steve

Brett_Tabke




msg:236006
 12:27 pm on Jun 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

>Even my "computer literate" friends are amazed when I try to explain anything...


It will really hone the communication skills.

>This particular arena fascinates me totally.

Hey, it's cheaper than booze but more addictive - the jury is still out on health issues (my hands and back are killing me).

>...before he wises up and stops giving it away.

lol. You'd be surprised at what I don't give away and just how much it costs to get it

scott




msg:236007
 3:09 pm on Jun 12, 2000 (gmt 0)

Things are looking up. My rankings are improving. I am learning more. Getting anywhere in the really "hardball" general keywords for my particular arena is going to be tough going. I think I may have discovered another market though......"Rage Management for Search Engine Placement Specialists." Honestly, some sites that wind up on top of me (and I'm sure this is standard for everybody) really get under my skin.

Brett_Tabke




msg:236008
 4:26 pm on Jun 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

I keep going back to advising people to do the simple things, get some simple se placements, and then go back to focusing on non-se promotion.

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