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Old 16th March 2005, 10:42 PM   #1
Iamagreenhorn
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Default My First Forum

Hello Everyone - Yes, I am a greenhorn and I'm about ready for a nervous catastrophy. I sure hope I can learn allot from reading what you all have to offer. Two years ago I signed up to build six websites from a company that travels all over the world selling this offer. I spent $4800 and my deadline was February 26th 2005 to get them all up and running. My first one was built last July, a joint venture with some wonderful friends who make candles. We have only had 5 orders and I'm "fit to be tied" wondering what am I not doing? I've been sitting at my computer so much, my body is totally out of shape. I can't even walk to the barn without getting winded. I have hundreds of emails from forty or fifty computer guru's, half of them tell me one thing and the other half contradicts what the first bunch told me. I don't know who to believe. My major question: Is it really possible to get in the top 10 search results without hiring a SEO company or spending major dollars to compete with the pay-per-click advertizers?

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Old 17th March 2005, 09:57 AM   #2
Former Bluebell
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Default Hi, IMAGREENHORN

I have a website that's been up for about a year and a half and haven't sold one thing. So your "few sales" look good to me. I have the same questions you are asking. I thought my web host/master was supposed to take care of putting key words on search engines but he hasn't done anything like that for me. Maybe he's not supposed to. I don't know. Anyway, good luck and if you find any good information please share with me. Thanks.

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Old 17th March 2005, 10:59 AM   #3
David Wallace
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Very few web designers, webmaster, graphic designers, programmers, etc. know the first thing about SEO or search engine marketing. They throw a few keywords into a site and think that it will do the trick.

SEO is not rocket science but it does require a good knowledge of what the search engines look for when deciding what shows up on the first few pages of their results, a good keyword selection process and common sense.

Now there are plenty of great forums where you can learn SEO and SEM. High Rankings is one of the best.

However if you have more money than time, then yes you should definitely hire a professional SEO because if your site is not properly optimized for the most appropriate keywords, then you are simply lost in the billions of other documents that exist in a search engine index.

I always use the analogy that I can join a running marathon, have my name on the rooster, be given a number and begin the race. However if my body has not been conditioned (or optimized) for that race, then I stand little chance of winning little alone finishing the race period.

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Old 17th March 2005, 01:43 PM   #4
Robert
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Welcome to the forum Iamagreenhorn!

Good advice from David. Also, be sure and read this thread before you consider hiring an SEO.

What kind of candles does the site sell? You may be surprised to find that you can do some pay per click advertising through Google or Yahoo without it costing an arm and a leg. You can start with Google for $5.

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Old 17th March 2005, 02:51 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Iamagreenhorn!

I also agree that you got good advice from David. Many people when they start out try to do everything themselves. There is value to your time. Work on the biggest return items and let others be done by the experts!

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Old 17th March 2005, 03:18 PM   #6
Iamagreenhorn
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Default Hello Robert, David Wallace and Former Bluebell,

Thank you Robert for the thread about hiring an SEO firm. I will read it carefully and take lots of notes. Thanks for sending it my way and welcoming me to the forum. My first website I created sells hand-crafted, scented and non-scented wax candles which are absolutely fantastic creations. My joint-venture partners are wonderful people and they really need to see some results from the website because of their huge initial investment in the candle creation business. I feel like I've let them down somehow, even tho I'm spending hours and hours a day researching and tweaking the site. When I do a Google search for "candles" I get 12 million results. My site is totally lost in there - somewhere - . Would you like to take a look at the site for me? I don't think I'm allowed to type the name in here according to the rules I read.

Former Bluebell - you and I were born in the same year so we have that in common as well as the fact of having a website that hasn't turned sales. I am so skeptical about most of the people on the internet offering advice. I'd like to think that I could figure things out myself. I'm not an Einstein but I'm not a moron either, and I wish that all of a sudden I'd have a "brain flash" someday and figure out the right combination to success on the internet. I can't even seem to get recognized by the search engines for my main keywords. Which brings me to another point - these search engines return some of the stupidest results sometimes. Results that are not even related to what is searched for. Example: I search for tie-dyed candles, why do I get top 10 results for tie-dyed clothes? I'm looking for candles, not clothing. Other times I get someone's website and there is absolutely nothing on their site even remotely resembling what I was looking for. How does this happen? I'll tell you what though, if I ever do find out the secrets, I will tell anyone who wants to know for FREE! Thats the good Christian thing to do.

David - you are right about being prepared and getting in condition if you even just want to finish the race. For months I had to learn how to design the site, take the photographs, set the shopping cart up, write all the details for every item, do the meta title, description and keyword tags. I guess I was lucky because I did get a number 3 page ranking with Google right away, and I do have some good ranking with some of my keywords, but not with the main keywords like candles, scented candles, candle making, wax candles. It's just so frustrating knowing that my products qualify for these great keywords and there are hundreds of other results that come up for the searches that are totally "off the wall" results. I'm not even in the running!

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Old 17th March 2005, 03:33 PM   #7
Iamagreenhorn
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Default Hello There obinstitute

I didn't see your post until I finished composing and posting my last "long-winded" words. Thanks for welcoming me. I went to your website and I am going to sign up for the one hour seminar. Perhaps it will help me - it looks like a great site and it seems to purpose the subjects I have had thought about. I will definately let you know how I made out.

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Old 17th March 2005, 08:31 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum!

We are here for just that reason...so you know what to believe and what not to believe. If you ever have any questions about what someone is telling you (even if you hire a SEO), drop a note into this forum and you are sure to get some responses pretty quickly.

We are here to help any way we can.

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Old 17th March 2005, 10:48 PM   #9
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During my 8 months in operation I've learned one thing: strategic keyword choice at the beginning is absolutely key. (And saves a bundle of time).

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Old 18th March 2005, 12:50 AM   #10
Robert
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jmjj215 is correct and that is why I was asking about the candles. I went to wordtracker.com and used the free trial to do a quick check. Here are some examples:

The number is the estimated number of searches per day on MSN.

13 soot free scented candles
15 heavy scented candles
12 scented candles online
12 triple scented jar candles
13 soy wax scented candles
18 wholesale scented candles
13 best scented candles
32 scented votive candles
184 scented candles
37 scented jar candles
13 scented soy wax candles
13 scented gel candles
13 scented soy candles
18 highly scented candles
22 candles scented

For the term "scented votive candles" you could bid 12 cents and be in ad spot number 20 on Overture's search partners.

If you really dig for terms, you'll find some that have no bids and get a fair amount of searches.

Also, you can outwork competitors by working on the copy of your ads.

At Google, I searched on the term "scented votive candles" and at the time I checked, no one had taken the time to optimize their ad by using the full term "scented votive candles" in the title or description. This means, by being willing to work a bit harder, you can gain an advantage because a term that matches the query shows up in bold.

My point for all of this is you can get started for very little money in pay per click advertising and can generate leads if you work at it. As you slowly learn the pay per click ropes, you can be spending each day learning about search engine optimization so you'll be properly equiped to decide if you'll do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

If you'd like, you can set up a sig file and put a link to your site their. If you need help with that, have a look at this thread:

http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/fo...hread.php?t=56

Or, you can always ask me.

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