S.O.S. on my SEO!

SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
I need help with my SEO. There, I said it. I do not feel any better admitting it but I am sure I am not the only one...am I?
The more I read, research, and study SEO the less I understand. Original content? Check. Easy to navigate site? Check. Great pricing? Check. Submit site to major websites and minor directories? Check. Join StartUpNation community?Check. Participate in forums, chats, organizations, even open a MySpace account? Check, check, check & check!
Can anyone share their success story and experience with SEO? If my SEO problem is technical could you suggest a trusted resource that can help?
Joel2007-2-12 15:56:4
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Comments

  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Seth - what are the major phrases and keywords you`re targeting with your site?And when you say you`re unsuccessful, does that simply mean you`re seeing little to no movement in your inbound traffic from major search engines?
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    Chuck,
    I am getting traffic and sales but it is only through my ongoing efforts to promote my site though forums, MySpace, and a few other channels that I am seeing any results. I am not listed high in the major search engines yet I do not have a great deal of competition. MSN is bringing in more than double the eyes than Google.
    My goal is to be on the first page (I think big) organically. I have a web guy who is a wonderful designer but not an expert on SEO. I don`t even know the correct questions to ask him. I have read your prior posts about looking at titles and Meta tags under "View" and "Source" but it is all Chinese to me.
    The keywords are basically bug catcher, bug toys, bug gifts, nature gifts and similar keywords to these two sites: Insectlore and Storeforknowledge.
    I have incorporated many of the key words in the product description, articles, and threads on my forum. Chuck, please share what SUN has done for SEO? 
    Has anyone had success with the paid SEO agency services?
     
     
  • FreshYieldsFreshYields subscriber Posts: 0
    Unfortunately, most SEO tactics can take a while to really have an effect on traffic to your site.After a quick check of your site (I assume you are talking about http://www.searchwho.com/cgi-bin/showsp ... rl=http%3AI also see you have no alt text for your images.Let me know if you have any questions.
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    First, you need to add more keywords to your page title.  Maybe think of a secondary phrase that is rich with 4 or 5 keywords in it?  Also, while META keywords and descriptions are not as important as they used to be, they can still help with some searches.
    Thank you for the link! It has great information.
    Please explain what you mean by adding more keywords to my homepage. And do you mean adding key words on the physical page or the coding (titles meta tages)? I see some people list all their keywords in small type at the bottom of their home page. Does this work? 
    What examples can you give for adding a "secondary phrase that is rich with 4 or 5 keywords"?
    Thank you so much!
  • FreshYieldsFreshYields subscriber Posts: 0
    Seth,What I mean by adding more keywords to your homepage is that right now, all you have is "Cool Bug Stuff" as your title, which is great if you only want visitors who seached for "Cool Bug Stuff".  Maybe put this as your title - "Cool Bug Stuff - Insect Supplies and Gifts For Bug Enthusiasts", or something similiar.  You`ve now gone from having 3 keywords in your title, to 8, not included the filler.  The title tag is one of the most important areas for keywords, as search engines place more importance there over other sections of your site.Another problem on your site is shared by many other ecommerce sites.  Your product pages do not have search engine-friendly url`s.  Take you Anthill product, for example.  Here is the url... http://coolbugstuff.com/product_info.ph ... =21&produc ts_id=67A search engine can`t derive any keywords from the url, which is also very important.  This page would do much better if this was the url...http://coolbugstuff.com/products/anthillThe search engine will be able to index that that spedific page is for an anthill.  I think you are using oscommerce or zencart, so there are ways to code these urls into the system
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    Steve James,
    Now I see. I will work on this immediately. Thank you for the clarification. You have probably helped out many website owners with this information. It is much appreciated!
    Seth
  • FreshYieldsFreshYields subscriber Posts: 0
    No problem Seth.  Let me know if you run into any problems.  Remember, the effects can take a while to be seen, but it`s a start.
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Great info Steve, thanks for helping Seth out.  One slight disagreement we`d have is over the importance of keywords within the URL - when it comes to ranking a page, that`s not going to be a significant on-page factor.  Which isn`t to say it`s not important - a more intuitive URL is going to be much more accessible to users, it`s easier to forward, and most importantly if a site outside of your own chooses to link to a page using your URL (which happens often), then you`ve got keywords in an inbound link to your site, which is important in determining your ranking.  You`re also more likely to have your pages spidered if you can avoid a lot of parameters (?, &, etc.)But the on-page factors can and will be significant - using your phrases within the titles, headings, page content and alt tags - all things you need to evaluate on an ongoing basis.  To further Steve`s point, take a look at a site search for your website.  When you get about five pages into your results, you start hitting Supplemental Results, which may be happening because Google is seeing the remaining of the 8,000 pages indexed on your site as very similar (that`s clear from the initial page, which serves up 6 results and then identifies the rest as similar to one another).It`s not the only culprit, but those identical title tags across most of the site are one way to differentiate your pages. Other on-site factors that may be holding you back - Steve covered many of them, so my only other comment there would be that your pages are rather code-heavy, having been done in tables.  You may want to talk to your web developer about their familiarity with CSS and whether you can move to more of a stylesheet-based design.The flip side of the coin is off-site factors, namely the inbound links to your site, and the quality of those links.  When I look at you vs. your competition (try this site for a quick comparison), I see 21 for you vs. 552 and 2,483 for your competition.  It`s not necessarily a numbers game, but with that many more references to those competitive sites, you`re going to have a tough time outranking them.  The key is to figure out where they are finding those links, and use that knowledge to inform your own effort in garnering inbound links.  That`s just as important as the on-page factors for your SEO efforts.Hope this helps Seth.
    Chuck2006-8-30 13:56:47
  • FreshYieldsFreshYields subscriber Posts: 0
    Seth,You are right.  Parameters are less of an obstacle now than they used to be.  I also didn`t want to start picking at the code since it looks to be out-of-the-box oscommerce or zencart, but it is extremely bloated.  I am a firm believer that using standards-based coding and CSS leads to better search engine rankings.  It allows the spiders to find content easier, and makes it easier to highlight more important text using header tags and such.  Even if using table structure, much of the bloat can be removed from most sites.  Unfortunately, trying to do this with some shopping cart packages can drive you crazy, as I have learned from experience 
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    Awesome information...I have a lot of work to do! Inbound links seem to be an important factor that my competitors have over (way over) me. Would you suggest link sites such as www.linkmarket.com</A>?
     
     
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Seth - beyond the tried and true practices of reaching out to relevant and authoritative sites in your industry and requesting that they link to you, your best bet is to create quality content and features that are going to entice people to want to link to your site.  Check out www.text-link-ads.com or outsourcing your link building (depending on your budget)Chuck2006-8-30 14:54:47
  • FreshYieldsFreshYields subscriber Posts: 0
    Seth,I would suggest starting a bug blog.  You seem to have a passion about bugs, and creating a blog under a seperate domain will allow you to link back to your products in context in an article, using desirable keywords in your linking text.Let me know if you don`t understand this concept, and I can send you some examples of some ecommerce sites that use this tactic.
    FreshYields2006-8-30 15:0:43
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    This is great information. Let me see if I`ve understood all of this.
    First I need to straighten up my URL`s and make it more user friendly (to be linked and to get crawled) while adding relavent keywords tot he URL like (coolbugstuff.com/products/anthill/antfarm").
    Then I need to fix my title tags and clean them up from all they extra coding so they read something like "Cool Bug Stuff - Bug toys and Games" and make sure that they all look different so I don`t get indexed as a supplimental result on my other pages.
    Then I need to lose weight on the coding (I will have to talk to my web guy), add a bug blog (on another domain name) which links back to me (Steve -please send examples of other sites that are doing this), and create buzz and reasons for others to want to link to me (or pay for the service).
    Did I understand this correctly? Is this THE formula?      
  • CoachDebCoachDeb subscriber Posts: 0
    Aloha Seth,and thanks for CREEPIN` me out w/ your cool bug stuff! ooooh my nephews will LOVE you!  Last time I stayed at their place, I woke up to a big ol` spider right next to my glasses. AHHHHHH!  creeps!but yes, I`ll still send them to your Web site so they can creep me out even more. (she grumbles ) if you`re really going after ORGANIC rankings... how about starting a blog? what can you write about that would get your audience (target market) creeped out and have them participating and gathering on YOUR lawn?are there things you can teach them?pranks you can have them share - and win a contest for the best CREEPY PUNK ever?the more you blog (aka: write) about things relevant to the keywords you`re going after, the easier it`ll be for you to get to the top. one warning:  sure, I may be biased - since I have a product on blogging - BUT - honestly, the product came out of our own necessity and findings trying to promote our company on the web. the "how to business blog" product was only created AFTER we tried everything SEO related, including hosting a forum and couldn`t get past page 10 (bleck!). Once our Coach got us into blogging for our business, we were HOOKED - (yes, much like a drug - or coffee for the surburbanites) b/c of the quick results we saw. AND, it put us in control of SEO and updating our Web site, since it was sooooo easy - even for a non-techie like moi.So - that`s my 2 cents. hopefully i`ve turned on another biz owner to the beautiful act of blogging for your business. and keep me posted when you create a blog of your own - so i can send it to my nephews so they can WIN your contest. man are they good at creepin` out their aunt Dee-Dee.
  • SethSeth subscriber Posts: 2
    Okay now, what is the difference between a forum and a blog? I have a forum where I write (blog). Is it the same or a blog has to be a separate entity? 
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