| 4:57 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Is it just one single product - an entire website that is intended to work like a squeeze page?
| 5:22 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Funny. I'm putting up a microsite right now. Checked my logs, found a good search term, nobody had the domain so I bought it.
The site/search term is the intersection of locale, product and demographic market. and nobody's linking naturally either.
Initially I'll look for some decent niche directories in all three areas. That should get the ball rolling.
However, I've approached a manufacturer and they've agreed to give me a special, non-exclusive offer for the group targetted by the minisite. So once it's up and going, I'm going to approach sites in the demographic and ask them to give me a link due to the special offer I've got.
I'm pretty sure that even a few links like that will put me to the top for that term.
| 5:25 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I would work on other ways to promote the site, and let the SERPS take care of themselves.
Develop an email list
Guest Posts on blogs
Coupon type deals (if appropriate)
Build a community (on your site or on FB)
PPC ads if you think people will be searching for the product
Cross promotions with other products/sites
That's to start, anyway.
| 6:39 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)|
While I appreciate the sincerity, intelligence, and work ethic of netmeg, I can't help but chuckle after reading her post.
My humorous state of mind is due to FINALLY doing a serious backlink study of my competitors yesterday. You know what I saw? Their backlinks were full of... wait for it... SPAM! Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
I mean, we are talking about seriously crappy sites with even crappier backlinks ranking in the top ten spots for keywords that really aren't that competitive (like a few thousand searches per month according to the google adwords tool.)
If people are pulling shenanigans like that for low-volume keywords, then any decent keyword is going to have way more spam backlinks to have to fight against.
Now, I can't believe I am saying this because I have always been 100% WHITE HAT (to the point where it stops being cute and is now just pathetic), but maybe your time and money could be better spent by setting up new / purchasing existing domains, spamming links to them, and then linking to your site (and non-competitors)?
So yes, if you want a long-term relationship with google, then follow the very effective advice of netmeg. Just don't get brokenhearted when Little Miss G dumps you for another suitor with more money, which she will.
Please note that this is not a slam against netmeg - whose SEO services I might even use in the future :) It's just more of a diatribe at google's inability to discredit spam links.
| 12:08 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I actually wasn't suggesting those things for SERPS benefit, but as alternative sources of branding and traffic. If "nobody will ever link naturally to this site" then (in my opinion) you're better off building a foundation that doesn't rely on Google organics from the beginning. If you get them, great. If you want to do the spammy link profile thing, as long as you know the risks going in, go for it. But if you don't, you better have some other stuff lined up.
and while netmeg appreciates the compliment no end, she is not taking any new clients in the foreseeable future, on account of being full
| 11:45 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Tedster - the site is as follows as best I can describe 4u.
Products have been changed etc - but the structure i'll describe is exact even in terms of verb/noun etc.
Product - Climbing Equipment
Categories - Ropes, Helmets, Boots
www dot climbingequipmentwarehouse dot co uk
Main Phrase - climbing equipment - EXTKWDTOOL - 8000 Exact Match / month
Index.html - links to 6 sub-pages.
A page for rope
A page for helmets
A page for boots
There is no selling on the front page - only a description of each sub-pages category.
On each of the three product sub-pages, there are as follows
6 types of ropes - 6 pics & descriptions - 6 paypal buttons
5 types of helmets - 5 pics & descriptions - 5 paypal buttons
1 type of boot - 1 pic & description - 1 paypal button
There are - on each of the 3 product pages - links to each of the three product pages - and a link back to the index page with climbing equipment as the anchor to the main page.
The terms, shipping, contact pages are not interlinked - they simply link back to the index page.
Each of the 3 product subpages has a title as follows..
Climbing Rope Equipment - Climbing Rope only 19.99 with free shipping.
Climbing Helmet Equipment - Climbing Helmet only 20.99 - UK Climbling Helmet.
Boots Page (muddy things up)
Climbing Leather Boots prices start at 35.99
So thats the titles.
Thats the website in a nutshell - and it really is basic.
| 11:52 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
@Wheel - ok - niche directories. I will have a look for some directories - although to be honest arent directory listing links of zero benefit?
I congratulate you on even bothering to ask for links these days. I have written hundreds of hand written mails with all kinds of combinations asking for a link to an extremely popular site of mine (which everyone including google loves) and NOT ONE link was gained - and NOT ONE person wrote back on the last batch of 30 or so link requests. And all were written to on-topic sites of extreme relevance aswell. (I can actually be very polite when I want to be - and eloquent and tactful - no response from various tacts though).
| 11:58 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Facebook ads - product not allowed. quite strange really as not adult in anyway shape or form - not gambling or even dating.
Develop an email list - hmmm - with what traffic?
Banner Ads - too expensive for the margin - however I would like to learn of a few places to try if you could help me out there?
Guest Posts on blogs - would these not get deleted if I included a link?
Contests - not sure about this either - product worth $30 what do I do - where do I promote a contest? I have never thought of this.
Coupon type deals (if appropriate) - no margin to spare.
Build a community (on your site or on FB) - absolutely NO community building potential whatsoever. For example - you could NOT build a community around the electronic calculator you sell. I think you would agree - but I am listening.
PPC ads if you think people will be searching for the product - lots of chinese bidders - I have NO WAY of competing on price with them due to low margin. They ship to door anywhere in the world - the same product - for FAR LESS than I could even import it for!
Cross promotions with other products/sites - I like. Do you mean that I write to other sites and do a banner swap kind of thing? My banner on their site and their banner on my site?
Banner advertising - oh - is this the same as the point above?
I appreciate your time on this.
| 12:02 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Ok - I know - I know! I have seen it a thousand times Im sure - the top spots taken rock solid by forum profile spammers - and I simply cannot budge them.
This one though - I want to keep clean and see how it goes.
There are problems with keeping white and getting to the top tho.
So whats this thread about then? Well - on reflection its about its title and I will take advice where kindly given - and shall observe and publish the results.
Today - I added a 3rd link to this sites homepage with "climbing equipment" (changed) as the anchor from a sub-page on my 8 year old google loved domain.
| 2:43 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
If all that is true, then I for one would look for another business model. Seriously. I mean, it's part circumstance and part attitude, but why would you want to spend your time on this?
| 3:55 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Netmeg in some respects I just want to rank a site.
It doesnt earn much but my idea is get enough sites ranking and enough niche products and you should be ok.
This way all your eggs arent in one basket (site) - you still rely on google - but then theres no choice for a small guy like me. But its highly unlikely all will be screwed at the same time.
| 4:26 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Well, good luck.
| 4:26 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
@MrFewkes - You'd be surprised how easy it is to promote a competition - I should know because that's what I've been doing all afternoon.
Do a give away for one of your products and go out and promote it to compers (people who enter competitions as a hobbby). You won't get on the front page of one of the larger communities but with some personalised emails you should be able to drum up some interest. Even if your product is a bit unconventional there are people out there who will try to win anything!
| 4:31 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Come on Netmeg - theres a product here - I can import it - sell it - make a bit of money.
What am I doing wrong exactly.
Should I abandon this product ?
It took me ages to find - thats the hard part for me - finding new products (aswell as ranking LOL)
Please dont tell me to go flip burgers - ive been working on my own online for 11 years now full time so something must have gone right at some point.
| 4:34 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
BenFox - I will look at it tomorrow.......
I'll search the web for "competition sites"?
| 4:50 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I'm not telling you what to do at all. But you probably do want to think about whether or not it's the best use of your time. Time is the one resource I myself never have enough of. If I did (or I could successfully clone myself without dropping genes) I'd have had my evil empire complete twenty years ago.
What you are setting out to do is going to be a pretty massive undertaking, and there won't be any shortcuts. Is the potential profit going to be worth your time? You're the only one who can decide that.
I have at times over the years found myself spending way too much time on pet projects, because I was too stubborn to give them up, or too fond of them to let them go. Not only was I working for what turned out to be pennies an hour, but they also distracted me from finding *real* opportunities.
A labor of love that you do just because you wanna is one thing. But tilting at windmills (look it up) as a means towards earning a living is another.
I'm not advising to do or not to do anything, but just suggesting things to think about.
| 4:55 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Fab thread for me to watch
I gave up on ebay many moons ago cos the opposition was selling at almost the same price as I was buying from the wholesalers
I kept waiting for them to run outta steam, but they're still there years after I quit, a cautionary tale
I have seen mini sites ranking, even for competitive terms,
They usually been there a long time
Have quite s few links, even the so called low quality flavour
but are always keyword perfect domains
| 5:09 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Hi ya, MrFewkes:
|Come on Netmeg - theres a product here - I can import it - sell it - make a bit of money... What am I doing wrong exactly. |
You may have answered your own question with:
|I have NO WAY of competing on price with them due to low margin. They ship to door anywhere in the world - the same product - for FAR LESS than I could even import it for! |
Any business - online, offline, hybrid, street stall, back alley - must have a value proposition. You must be able to answer the question:
"Why should people buy from me instead of the other guys?"
If the only answers you have are, "Well, I am a nice guy," or "Because I deserve it," then it might be time to look for a better business model.
I could be wrong, but it seems that your business model is "virtual convenience," meaning you are easy to find because you will (hopefully) be at the top of google's rankings one day.
It DOESN'T seem like you are going to compete on price, nor fidelity (meaning no one else has the product), nor superior quality, nor reputation (requires lots of branding, which is built up through lots and lots of advertising).
So what is your value proposition?
If it is just "virtual convenience," then you will probably have to do whatever it takes to get to the top of the SERPs (see post #5 above).
If I am wrong about your business model, then I apologize. I just don't see what your competitive advantage is...
| 5:15 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|I have seen mini sites ranking, even for competitive terms, but They usually been there a long time Have quite s few links, even the so called low quality flavour but are always keyword perfect domains... |
Building upon that thought, one (labor intensive) solution might be to build (or buy) lots of sites that people WILL link to, then link those sites to your commerce site. A few people on this board have told me that is one of their strategies and it seems to work pretty well for them. This is an avenue I am exploring.
also, looking at some of my competition, it does seem like banner links do pass rank for those sites, so maybe placing an ad or two on sites that are on topic but are not generally considered commerce sites might help out with rankings. I know their are naysayers to this, but I am just saying that for the competitor's sites that I have been looking at lately, they seem to get a big boost from paid image / banner ads.
| 5:27 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)|
My best success stories come from areas where I went in (or went in with a client), took a good look at the competition, and could reasonably say "I know how to do this better." And then did.
The funny thing is, it takes just about as much time and money and headache to do something exactly the same as your competition as it does to do it better. With less certainty of results. (What if THEY suddenly start doing it better?) So you might as well do it better from the beginning.
There's a place for churn and burn, if you can achieve your goal quickly and then are smart enough to get out before it becomes a total time and money suck.
But if you're looking to build a retirement plan, then you need to do it better.
| 10:28 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Let me say I am listening.
I will try anything once. It may be time to drop this RIGHT NOW and move on. I agree to the extent that there will be no more on this matter here, its wasting time. The sites are done - what will be will be with them - I need to move on.
I dont think theres a long term future in the product - but if there is my sites are there dribbling in sales until that day comes. The bulk of the work is done - just time and ranking now which I can do over a period of a year by chucking links in giving it say half an hour per month.
This frees me up all of my time.
Now that I have dropped this - year long fight with this product and niche - I need help to move on tho.
Let me say - ive been through the mill - and am not a quitter. Heres an online only CV
Ive done hundreds of affiliate doorway domains (1998-2003)
Then when that got screwed - I moved over to Dropshipping. Found out the hard way that suppliers are utterly pathetic - and dropped that after a year of fighting them to hold stock, be accurate, provide feeds (which google spotted and stuffed anyway), be honest, take returns, not ship faulty goods. Waste of time.
Went to ebay - found a product - sourced it in far east - did the sites - ranked "ok" or number 1 for most - but sales are poor if I tell myself the truth - theres no retirement plan there LOL. But a bit of beer money.
Now I am here.
Inbetween the above - Overture/Goto, Adwords, Adsense, CPA, Programming for people etc etc reading, using spam software etc etc the list is endless.
So - I know you guys are 100% correct Netmeg and Planet - but what the heck is next?
| 5:03 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|So - I know you guys are 100% correct Netmeg and Planet - but what the heck is next? |
Hi ya, MrFewkes:
I feel your pain. I am going through this right now, too.
All I can say is take a really good look at your strengths and weaknesses, and take a really good look at what your monetary objectives are. Try to step back and pretend that you were giving business advice to a client instead.
I would say now is the time to plan. Really take a look at your core competencies; what can you do that no one else can do? (Or that you can do cheaper / better / faster than they can do?) and is there money to be made by doing it cheaper / better / faster? Is there demand for it and a lack of competition?
You are in the UK, right? There are a couple of good BBC shows where they overhaul businesses (don't know if I can mention the titles here, but one is a restaurant focused show starring an ex-footballer, the other is a retail show done by a woman with a background in fashion). Anyway, watching those shows really helps me get my thinking cap on, because they force the business owners to take a good look at what they are doing and how they do it.
And remember, if all else fails, then spam, spam, and spam some more. (I am only half-joking here.)
Hope this helps.
| 6:47 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I went back over my whole history of "things I've tried" (and it's a long one) and put them into win / lose columns, and what I should focus on became very clear right away.
| 10:51 am on Apr 7, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Planet - Yes - I watch a few of the business programs MFTV stuff - I am not sure how to apply it to the net though. Apart from trying to make my customers happier with better looking sites :)
I watch various ones - dragons den - I saw one about the sofas the other day (csl I think) and also watch the hotel inspector which is a very harsh but excellent slap to hotel owners. Yes - I am quite well versed on making myself look at my areas tbh.
Im at a crossroads.
My objectives are to make a living - not really worried about being a millionaire but it would be nice.
Netmeg - theres no point me doing that - everything would be in the lose column LOL
| 10:53 am on Apr 7, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I submitted a DMOZ listing request for this site - today.
Its a smart looking site in my view and should easily meet the requirements compared to some of the dross and cack in there.
Just down to editor availability and mood now on that front.
Any other directories worth getting in these days? Ones which are proven to be loved by google?
| 2:47 pm on Apr 7, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I have a site that sounds similar, it's extremely informative but is still about a product and so it's not well loved. A DMOZ link (PR4) was among the first links it got, and I noticed absolutely no traffic benefit in the 3 months afterwards. Worth getting but not a cure-all and I suspect directories in general will fare the same, with the exception of the best directories in your niche (as ranked by Google).
| 4:22 pm on Apr 7, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Well, I have been using a free trial of a link comparison program, where you can basically enter 6 URLs at a time and then get a list of the sites that link to two or more of the sites. So it MIGHT help you find some directories that are of value.
It's not the greatest tool, since it won't let you download into a CSV file (you have to copy and paste, and since it only shows 25 results at a time, if there are thousands of links to each site, then you will have to click the next button an awful lot).
There will be lots of directories that you didn't think of; Some that are for local businesses that are under utilized. We happen to qualify for both minority owned businesses directories and women owned business directories.
A few years back, there was a fashion show held by our local high school as a fund raiser for the flood victims in Burma (Myanmar). We loaned them some of our clothes, and we got a permanent link from their .edu site.
Using a back link checker, I am making a list of sites that have had tons of spammy links / been hacked, and I will (when I have some time) contact them, let them know that people are spamming their site with links, tell them how to remove them, and kindly ask that they might link to me instead. Of course, I will probably focus on notifying those sites that happen to link to my competitors first, so hopefully I will be getting two birds with one stone.
BTW: I love my site. I am proud of the content that I have on there, which was researched on my own. But I have looked at the THOUSANDS of sites that rank far below me, and to be honest, their content blows mine into the weeds. I just can't create content that good, as tough to admit it.
So I might think about either:
A) Asking them to contribute content to my site in exchange for links back to their content.
B) Helping them out in exchange for a link, like providing the names of a few directories that they could place their sites in to help them boost their page rank. If they are on page 30 or 40 or whatever of the google SERPs, then I probably don't have to worry about them leap frogging me. Granted, a site on page 30 or 40 might not add much page rank in a link back to my site, but it might add some "authority" if it is clearly on topic.
One other thing: Can you use one of your products as a "review" product to send out to blog owners? I know that motorcycle and car companies will send out one car to a couple of different magazines for them to review it for a short period of time, and then have it sent on to the next publication. So is that something you might be able to do with some of your products?
| 7:30 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Some good ideas here. Just been busy this last few days offline.
I do like the review for blog owners - but buying links seems cheaper and I can get more links (unlimited) for a fixed fee.
The site - is now at number 41 - from a few links from my network.
Ive added a link from a loved site subpage - all links are totally off topic.
Next week I will chuck up a few more links from my network of other totally unrelated sites.
Links really are 90% of this game I think.
| 11:34 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Thanks for the update!
Links really are 90% of this game I think.
I would just add that in the few keywords that I am looking at, links AND keyword stuffing are 90% of the game.
The top players are ranking with obvious paid links (on the page that links to them, it says that you have to pay and has the rates right there on the page that links out). The rest of the links are from unrelated link exchange programs, or are "network" site owned by the same company (funny, they used a different address to try and cover their tracks, but they have the same phone number).
Keep us posted on future updates.
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