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Old 27th October 2011, 08:20 PM   #1
Hiles Signs

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9
Default Dismal SEO Outlook

Hi everyone! I'm in the business of custom signs and custom decals. I'm not a brick and mortar, I'm 100% web based. I came in to the business bright eyed and busy tailed without doing too much SEO research. Thus far I have depended on PPC and word of mouth for business but it has yet to put me at a level I am happy with. I was wondering if any SEO gurus out there could give me a realistic ball park of how many months/how much money I must invest to get organic search results for competitive keywords such as "custom vinyl signs" "custom signs" "custom vinyl decals" or something similar. I have spoke with a few SEO companies and am not impressed with all of the same rhetoric, bells and whistles etc. If someone can give me the down and dirty I would appreciate it.

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Old 29th October 2011, 04:28 PM   #2
Terry Payne

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 37

How long and how much really depends on the difficulty level of your online competition. All three of your keyword examples are rather broad and highly competitive. For example, of the phrases you provided, "custom signs" has the highest U.S. monthly search total with approx 110,000. But if you consider the numerous types of custom signs, it doesn't target your consumer very well.

I'm assuming if you're web based that you want to rank in national organic results. That will take some time. Ranking locally will provide quicker results. For what it's worth, my recommendation is to pick a market area (it doesn't have to be where you're located), choose your keywords wisely, optimzie your site based on those keywords, and initiate a "local" campaign in whatever area you've chosen. When that's producing to your satisfaction, select another high-return market area and expand. It requires patience, but you're building as you go.

You probably already know, but in case you don't, achieving long-term organic rankings is much different than a pay-per-click campaign. It's about doing a lot of things very well (or at least better than your competition). When you're SEO shopping, keep in mind that "quality" is the now the key for a successful digital marketing campaign. Realistically, that eliminates a lot of the common rhetoric, bells and whistles you spoke of.

I wish you well!

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Old 31st October 2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Posts: 302

Well, I'm sure you're going to get a vast range of answers to this question. I personally recommend you research keywords related to your theme and go after the easier to win keywords first. You determine this by examining the amount of competition vs number of searches for a keyword. Then I would write high quality, original content to attract free search engine traffic.

There are many other things to do, but those steps are crucial and you can do them yourself. After that, you can add in linking and social media as well as other techniques to get exposure.

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Old 5th November 2011, 01:37 PM   #4

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 13

I actually have done a bit of research on that vary category and keywords for a local business that has several national websites targeting these vary keywords. I have to admit I was a little shocked at the level of competition for even long tail keywords in that category. Unfortunately you have some big players that do SEO very well. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you who they are.

The answer for the short term is to drill down into your products and find one that isn't so mainstream. If you do vinyl banners then perhaps target church banners, marathon banners, race banners...etc. The more specific you can get with your items the better. Identify your long tail keyword list that also have moderate competition and with work and time you might be able to rank on a national level. Stay focused on those items and don't give up.

I would recommend this strategy over trying to target a local area as the top spots in Google are usually reserved for the local businesses with local addresses. You will be handicapped if a user types a geo target such as city in their search string. You will be better served going after long tail keywords in my humble opinion. Supplement that with fine tuning your adwords skills by researching what makes for a good Quality Score for your ads which will lower your CPC so you can maintain your ad campaigns to generate business until your SEO picks up steam.

My .02

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Old 7th November 2011, 08:04 PM   #5
Hiles Signs

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9

Awesome advice!

Chris, long tail keywords are a great idea, I'm definitely going to have to implement that strategy.

Thank you guys, any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 7th November 2011, 09:08 PM   #6

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Jacksonville FL
Posts: 13

Happy to help and good luck with the Long tail keywords. You'll have to spend time with your Keyword tool of choice to identify the ones that are moderately competitive. The research I did showed high competition for even long tail. Try to find ones that fit your products even if they are really long tail keywords. There's a lot of traffic for the items you sell so start for the ones you can do well to get some traffic.


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Old 9th November 2011, 02:17 AM   #7

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 82

Thank you guys,

very important message sere you

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Old 10th November 2011, 11:00 AM   #8
philwebster95's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North East UK
Posts: 7
Default Long Tails...


I agree with the 'long tail' keywords, look at vertical markets like "Delivery Van custom signs" or similar. Also, if you have not already done so, look into Google places, it should help you secure local work.

Then get your website finished! and start a blog, write individual blog posts about very specific products - each one becomes a 'very long tail' page.

Finally, follow the basic on page rules: Decide your keyword/phrase for the page, use it in the page url, the title, the meta description, and at least one h1 tag.

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Old 10th November 2011, 07:23 PM   #9
Senior Member

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Posts: 105

Hi Ronnie, (I am assuming you’re Ronnie based from the contact person on your website – do correct me if I’m wrong.)

I know that most have replied with the how’s and shouldn’t, but just to be specific…Let me start with some insight into what you are up against with one of your target keys: “CUSTOM VINYL SIGNS” that you mentioned:

#1 – www.buildasign.com/custombanners has a 5 year old domain with 18, 612 internal and external links

#5 – www.custom-vinyl-lettering.net has a 7 year old domain with 3,720 links

The first website on PAGE 5 of GOOGLE is www.worldsbestbanners.com that has a 6 year old domain and 225 links.

I just thought I can give you an overview on what you are up against for that keyword.

Your website is still pretty young with the domain being fairly new and with no links yet. But don’t worry there is still a way for it to come up in the search pages… So, here are some target keywords that you might want to consider:

“affordable custom vinyl signs san diego”
“buy custom vinyl signs stickers san diego”
“best custom vinyl stickers san diego”
“fast custom vinyl signs for fun run event in san diego”
“affordable trade show / exhibit vinyl banners in san diego”
“buy custom vinyl signs for my pick-up truck”

For the keyword: “affordable custom vinyl signs san diego”

#1 - www.mygraphicedge.com is a 2 year old domain with just 22 LINKS!

# 5 - http://www.858graphics.com/Stickers/...Stickers.html- is a 1 year old domain with 91 LINKS

First site in Page 5 is http://www.fablabsd.org/category/showroom/ with less than a year old domain and no links!

With next to no competition for these keywords, with the right SEO, you can probably get ranked within weeks… perhaps even the #1 position for some them.

You really want to start with fighting battles you can win and then work your way up to the harder keywords as your site grows.

Just suggesting these keywords with the localized area, but as Chris and Terry mentioned – does not need to be in the area where you’re in. And also specializing the KIND of vinyl stickers/ banners can also be a big help…. For a marathon, event, a guy’s pick-up truck… etc…

These long tailed keywords will eventually pull your website up for “custom vinyl signs” eventually – since these keywords are INSIDE the long tailed keywords.

You can get up in the first page at least with the long tailed keywords that I suggested in a month or two with the right SEO marketing done for your site.

In the meantime, here’s some suggestions that I highly recommend that you can also do to get your website in the organic searches.

1. Add in a blog in your website. Talk about “how sticker signs can increase your customers”, “How big should your signage be” or “ What’s the best color combination for my business banner?” The more you talk about anything signage, banner or sticker related – the more Google will know that you are indeed an authority of your market niche in your website.
2. Add in a metadescription of 150 characters about your website.
3. Increase your Social presence by having a twitter and Facebook page for your site.
4. Add in more real life sample pictures of the signages that you’ve already made.

Hope I was able to shed more specific light on your SEO dilemma. Have a great weekend ahead

SEP Experts - Let's help each other get better. :)

Last edited by numeric; 11th November 2011 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:01 PM   #10
Hiles Signs

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9

This is awesome advice, I really appreciate the keyword help! SEO is not an easy game and this is a big help! Thank you!


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