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>it breaks many of the rules
Ask any pro here and I can almost guarantee he/she can give you a list of pages they 'tiptoe' around. It's in the Top Ten, chock-full of bluelines, white-on-white, and other Neanderthal techniques.
>Am I trying too hard
I think it is possible to put a site into SEO overload.
There are SO many factors affecting the ranking of every single site that it's hard to tell what is working and what isn't.
So from what I have learned here and from reading other articles and forums...my philosophy is to try different things, but keeping my efforts honest...Every page has to be "directory" quality...and whenever possible, I add a couple of things that will enhance the sites' position in the engines.
2M's 2 cents
>my philosophy is to try different things, but keeping my efforts honest
That's it. Diversity. What works one month won't work the next. If you plant a diverse crop, you'll always have a harvest despite the prevailing SE and user weather.
How about different product reviews, advice, things to watch out for when shopping for X, what to look for when doing business online, etc.
Not only do people eat this stuff up. It serves as...
- Spider food (better make it tasty!)
- A credibility builder
- A site that "sticks" (some people are indecisive. Help them)
Use your main ecommerce site and have a menu on the side or somewhere with these editorials and articles. That way, you do your biz for straight buyers, and advise/consult the unsure. This should raise sales too.
After the traffic is there, the credibility is the biggie. Why not build a reputation? People will know you and come to you for your area of expertise. A picture on the site always helps.
The other big thing is to build a list. Whatever type of business you do... capture at least email addresses. Preferably names and emails. You could do a multitude of things here. E-zine, news, sales letters disguised as tips, etc. There is huge money in a list as you can mail to it infinite times.
OPT-IN marketing is the wave of the future. You can do two things. Further build your credibility and make sales with ads or even your personal advice.
Like your newsletter Brett, that is a phenomenal credibility builder. You could keep it ad free while tying a good product/service into your advice and make money that way.
I think my feelings are pretty well summed up by two comments I heard on TV.
#1 Clint Eastwood talking about his new movie, 'Space Cowboys'.
In the interview he says something to the effect of "Yes we use special effects in the film. Sure there are special effects films out there and they have their place. But I am kind of old fashioned in thinking that the story is the most important thing in a film." (can't remember the exact quotation so if anyone can correct me please do so)
I guess what he is saying is that content is king, something we have all known for a long time. And yet it is so easy to get side tracked on all the latest wizz-bangs that look good.
For example, "Flash excites me not, and use it I will not."
I also like what 2_much said 'Every page has to be "directory" quality...and whenever possible, I add a couple of things that will enhance the sites' position in the engines'. I am sure we all agree that quality content is the key and whilst we may "tweak" for position it must not be at the expense of the quality content.
but then again,
#2 from Dave Letterman some time ago talking to some one (hows that for vague..) "You're right. Good Art take a lot of hard work, but its cr#p like this that gets the money."
Putting a great long term and successful website together takes a lot of work and effort. And I believe that all that effort will pay off - just don't know when.
Sure there are many sites out there with all the latest mod cons that are pulling in the crowds with their mega bucks promotions, but if the content is not there, either in words or products & services, then the viewers will leave just as fast as they came and we will see another entry in the dot.com morgue.
Someone mentioned the quality of Pey Per Click engines recently as being a form of self regulation. You don't want to pay for a click if the clicker is not going to buy. And so with any SE thoughts. Especially with the themimg of the SEs.
I guees what we are looking for here is "stickablility" as mentioned above, and that will only come from providing the visitor what they want; quality content.
And don't believe anyone who says the Internet is NOT a level playing field, with the cost of entry and ongoing costs IT IS. We, the little guys, have just as much chance as the big guys becaus it is the content that counts! Period!
But me must play by the rules.
There are unwritten rules of life; break them and you have little or no success. Abide by them and you have all the success you want. So with the internet. Give people what they want and you will succeed. Try and trick them, including the SEs, and you will suffer, just as we have seen recently with the SE shakeup.
Sorry, am I pontificating?? Just been on my mind lately.
I'm babbling but I hope I'm coming through on some level. The question is do you want to be 1/2 a55ed in any particular thing? Do you want to out source?
I suggest saving some advertising sheckles (If you got em) and put those into a good SEO, One who's opinion you trust, hopefully you've talked to him/her a bit via e-mail or something. Then spen all your time on your site. There is alot you can do if you become an expert in one or the other. However I personally feel that there are enough SEO's out there as it is.
Was a webmaster turned SEO turned back to webmaster.