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mdvaden
04-01-2009, 11:57 AM
What is your Mother of Website advice pages?

Of all the stuff I assembled over the past several years, I've carved down all my website related pages to just this one:

Website Traffic: Gold Rush Fever (http://www.mdvaden.com/website_traffic.shtml)

Used to have reams about keywords, text density and so on. But there are warehouses worth of that stuff already online, so that page focuses on a local service website. I'll add one or two favorites later this week.

Be sure to list your top few articles too.

Team-Green L&L
04-03-2009, 04:48 PM
What is your Mother of Website advice pages?

Of all the stuff I assembled over the past several years, I've carved down all my website related pages to just this one:

Website Traffic: Gold Rush Fever (http://www.mdvaden.com/website_traffic.shtml)

Used to have reams about keywords, text density and so on. But there are warehouses worth of that stuff already online, so that page focuses on a local service website. I'll add one or two favorites later this week.

Be sure to list your top few articles too.


I think the article has some good points, but is foolish in thinking that SEO will ever go away as long as their is a market in Search Engine Algorithms. The points are not good debates in that; there are 10 results in a first page of Google (which can increase whenever Google wants to) and no ethical SEO will take 2 clients with the same keyword desires. That would be foolish and unprofessional.

As long as the search engine's control a commercial market and they are based upon an algorithm that can be studied and manipulated, there will ALWAYS BE SEO. SEO may change and always does, but it will always be.

There are outside markets that are of greater threat to SEO in the Domaining industry with Mass Domain Development services like www.WannaDevelop.com and the Domaining industry is rapidly evolving into part of the SEO trade, but evolution is progression, not regression...

Print advertisements have been suffering in a consistent manner for years now and internet advertising has been growing and is forecasted to grow continuously for the next 5 years.

Here is a great article about the SEO industry and it's growth and development:

http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-11-12-n28.html

Here is a recent filing by SEO.com just for a little "juice":

03.23.2009

Search Engine Optimization Firm SEO.com Grows During Downturn

SEO.com, a search marketing firm, displays incredible growth and stability during the down economy, growing the company by over 300 percent in the last year.

mdvaden
04-05-2009, 01:37 AM
I think the article has some good points, but is foolish in thinking that SEO will ever go away as long as their is a market in Search Engine Algorithms.

I think the most important thing to remember, is if 100 companies hire the best SEO person in the world, and their businesses were all the same, that SEO person couldn't get them to all rank good if thier life depended on it.

Therefore - good quality site is King of the internet. And SEO is subordinate.

That's the way the it all began when the internet and website first made an appearance. And interestingly, the trend is headed back that way in the most populated places.

In our area, there may be 130 landscape companies with websites. In the next 10 years, I estimate about 400 to 500 landscape websites. At that point, I have a feeling that the AGE of a site may be one of the few factors that gives an edge if the algorithyms still include that facet.


Here is a great article about the SEO industry and it's growth and development:

http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-11-12-n28.html



Those are good reads ...

The variety in there is nice. I like multi-faceted articles quite a bit more when I can find them.

Team-Green L&L
04-05-2009, 10:24 AM
I think the most important thing to remember, is if 100 companies hire the best SEO person in the world, and their businesses were all the same, that SEO person couldn't get them to all rank good if thier life depended on it.

Therefore - good quality site is King of the internet. And SEO is subordinate.


Here's where some old-school mentality comes in. A lot of folks think that an SEO Strategist's job has specific functions, but in reality, an SEO Strategist will use whatever tactics work "Right Now" to secure high organic rankings. Right now that is content. We just use properly formatted content, with good links in it, and distributed to the correct sites. On-site optimization is almost obsolete except for the title and description tags and keyword ratios.

Off-site optimization is bigger than ever and when the tides change, a good SEO will already have things in place to deal with the changes. Take me, for instance, I know that Google has initiated the Universal Search and I know that various forms of content are King, but content is timely to produce, so I have cataloged 1000's of unique articles using open-source techniques. Now, I have an immense amount of content to use at my disposal, while the rest of the world is hiring bloggers and trying to type up 10 articles a day. That sucks!

mdvaden
04-05-2009, 01:07 PM
I think the confustion for a lot of people - not you of course - is when they apply the label "SEO" to general web design and the other aspects.

Just as "Thuja plicata" specifies "Western Red Cedar" and no other plant, "SEO" specifies "Search Engine Optimization" due to the exact abbreviation.

Since good "SEO" does virtually no harm, and offers many potential amounts of good, it's worth employing.

As far as "unique" articles, I'm not sure what your definition of "unique" is. I follow the dictionary meaning, that unique is "one" of a kind. One definition is "radically distinctive" and standing alone. So a unique article must be one-of-a-kind.

From browsing the internet, it's pretty obvious that unique articles don't stay unique very long. Not if they were worth writing and publishing. Just this week, I was Google safe wood for parrots, and noticed that pieces of my safe woods for birds page is already being used at other sites in bits and pieces. Some forums have half the page or more pasted and posted.

Even if the content of an article is unique, it sits like the racked balls of a pool game until a few days or weeks passes. Just like the billiard balls, the article is broken and dispersed in short order.

Sometimes that's where the authority or experience behind the text is the most important part.

It's not merely whether the article was good or unique. It's a matter of who's website it is listed on.

Which is one of the main reasons I'm a firm believer in the "About Us" section of a website. People with good training and experience will benefit from an About Us section. But a newbie may be better off omitting an About Us section telling about their 6 months experience.

Team-Green L&L
04-05-2009, 02:56 PM
MVaden,

You are one of the few people on here that understands. You are a little too ethical in the last post though. Google asks that all pages by, "at least 30% unique". We, SEO Strategists know that's still not enough. My articles are, at least 60% unique, but I have developed a fancy Content Spinner (much better than you find on the web) that does a lot of work for me. I just use A WHOLE LOT of spin tags.

Now, to the completely a ethical SEO Strategist you would have to stay away from Spin Tags and if you are only optimizing 1 site I suggest you forget the word. Spin Tags are not viewed as ethical by one-site DIY's and I do agree in part. I wish there was a method of SEO that was cost-effective to do for professionals without ANY help, but if I wrote 100% unique content for every client on every article and press release, they would never be able to afford me. Only in-house teams can pull that off.

Could you imagine excavating a driveway with a shovel? You CAN do it and it is the safest way to excavate without causing damages. So, will you dig out my drive at 6" with a couple shovels for me?

Team-Green L&L
04-05-2009, 03:36 PM
I agree that the rank and relevancy of the link partner is of great importance. Actually, there was a great article written by SEOMoz on what is the key factors in SEO today as voted on by 37 of the industries top SEO Strategists. They do this each year, so you may want to keep track. I am beginning to do a few interviews myself in efforts to contribute to this research:

http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

topsites
04-06-2009, 12:50 AM
The thing about these SEO strategists, and it's not so much that I think they're FOS.

But they didn't build Google, and they don't own it.
Yet it's your web site and mine they want to improve the rankings of, on engines that don't belong to them?
What business of theirs is that?

A web site goes far deeper than that.

See ....
It's not like taking a car to an auto mechanic for some much-needed repairs, much as it might seem that way.
Unfortunately it's more like handing some perfect strangers the keys so they can go take it for a test-drive.

Don't believe the hype.

Team-Green L&L
04-06-2009, 01:54 AM
Don't believe the hype.

The only comment this deserves is "okay..dee...dee...dee".

mdvaden
04-07-2009, 11:32 PM
The thing about these SEO strategists, and it's not so much that I think they're FOS.

But they didn't build Google, and they don't own it.
Yet it's your web site and mine they want to improve the rankings of, on engines that don't belong to them?
What business of theirs is that?

A web site goes far deeper than that.



I think that many SEO people are thick with BS on the sales end. You probably know why.

How many SEO people are out there who promise how much they can do for sites and rankings? Yet - for every niche and trade on the internet, how many websites are in the top 3 positions? Or even in the top 10? Far too many SEOs talk about our sites like money to be made, but lack the responsibility of being the one who owns the website. Again - back to the ownership thing you mentioned.

"Webdesign" - totally different thing. There are a billion ways to build a billion great looking websites. If someone can design nicely - that's an easier bargain and promise to make.

But in the SEO realm, I find many of the promises about top rankings to sound so much like car salesman out to make a commission.

Turboguy
04-08-2009, 06:51 AM
Well said MDVaden, I agree with you that there is more hot air and false promises in the SEO field than in a used car lot.

I used to get a couple of calls a week with someone telling me they wanted to optimize my site and send millions of customers my way. Often, just for the fun of it, I would do a goggle search on SEO and always noticed that these people who promised me a number one listing never had one themselves.

One day a company did call who really did have a number one listing on something someone might search for in the SEO field. I have to say it impressed me a bit more than those who never came up themselves. Their prices were not all that bad so I bit. Humm. Prior to them optimizing my site I had a number one ranking on one of the main key terms but rated very poor on another and I really was hoping they could help with the other.

Over the three months I used them traffic sharply dropped. So anyway, now I have a terrible ranking on all terms. There is a bright side to this however. Since I come up so poorly on the search engines the SEO guys can't find me any more and I don't go through the annoying calls from guys telling me they will get me a number one ranking.

Team-Green L&L
04-08-2009, 10:37 PM
Just for the record, I cannot dispute that there are a lot of SEO guys out there giving the industry a bad rap, just like any other industry.

Here's the thing, to get and keep high ranking, it simply requires watching and listening to Matt Cutts (Google's Spam Group Leader) incessantly, applying site changes to stay current with current algorithm changes, and creating content that a user will want to find. It really doesn't get much simpler than that in concept. There is no magic wand. The bad thing is when SEO guys get greedy and they no that they can't take on 50 clients with ethical tactics, so they practice sketchy stuff. Greed is, and will always be, the root of all evil. Now, those guys are out there selling directory submissions and noFollow links to people making them believe something is happening.

Kind of like the "Joe and a Mower" outfits that will run over your dog and get their walk behind stuck on a property with the key in it, so a kid can ram it through a fence. There is always people making mistakes to get things done quickly and irrationally.

mdvaden
04-11-2009, 12:47 AM
Enter the SEO master. He begins by redesigning your sails. You now catch up to your competition. He takes the wheel and efficiently tacks at each optimum moment, you now begin pulling away from your competition.



Sounds more like "enter in the car salesman"

Because we are not floating boats and not racing on the water.

And unlike a race where the goal may be to win, many websites are loaded online simply to be "available".

The link you posted looks like old news.

Maybe try your car sales on Digital Point forums and see what kind of response you get - LOL.

:)

mdvaden
04-11-2009, 12:56 AM
Just for the record, I cannot dispute that there are a lot of SEO guys out there giving the industry a bad rap, just like any other industry.

Here's the thing, to get and keep high ranking, it simply requires watching and listening to Matt Cutts (Google's Spam Group Leader) incessantly, applying site changes to stay current with current algorithm changes, and creating content that a user will want to find.

Short question.

If 100 landscapers in Portland read that suggestion right now, and ALL implement those changes, how will it be that they can all "get" and "keep" high ranking?

Because if that plan is guaranteed to work, it would have to work for anybody and anybody who did it.

:)

Equustrnr
04-14-2009, 04:30 PM
As I stated before, there are some people who do know the truth about the
importance of good SEO.

It doesn't bother me at all when the uninformed resort to name calling and
ridicule. A truly informed and experienced person doesn't need to do that.

It is obvious that Team Green has a great deal experience and is willing
to share his information to the benefit of forum members.

As was said, there are those whose greed allows them to take unfair
advantage in many different professions. As business men, we are always a
target for the unscrupulous.

Yes, it is clear that there are shysters masquerading as SEO professionals
and you must be watchful to ignore their beguiling but false claims. But
just as clear is the fact that there are excellent and professional SEO
services available that can and will be a bonafide wise investment to most
businesses.

For those businessmen who are wise enough to keep an open mind, here are
some statistics that will support what I've been saying:

•As much as $500 billion in local spending in 2007 was internet-influenced, according to Forrester Research. Industry analysts report that people spend approximately 80 percent of their income within 50 miles of their home. That’s a lot of cash circulating locally

•If your business relies heavily on a local customer base, you need to
welcome local traffic to your website

•Consumers are using search engines to research a planned purchase and
then turning to local search engines when they are ready to buy. A full 82
percent of local search users follow up with an in-store visit or phone call, and 61 percent actually make a purchase, according to a comScore
Networks study commissioned by TMP Directional Marketing

Business owners should not to assume that everyone knows them. No matter
how established your business is, consumers migrate, people don’t always
associate service with the brand and their loyalties often change. Marketing is not a battle of products/services, it's a battle of perceptions.

A marketing effort requires some risk and investment. SEO is not instant gratification. It's recommended a minimum of three to six months before you can truly evaluate the success of your SEO efforts. So, if you have a day trader philosophy, it may not be your cup of tea.

As a marketer, your goal typically is a campaign that provides a return on investment. Spending tons of resources and money getting to the number one position on a google search very likely will not maximize your profit, although it may help with branding.

Being in position 2, 3 or even 6 can be your best bang for your buck. There are frequently seen higher click to conversion (sales) rates from placements that are ranked lower in the page. Your mileage will vary, but what’s really important is being on the home (first) page, because visitor drop off is huge thereafter. The home page on average, gets about 40 times the page views of the next page.

I had the opportunity to review a forum members website who asked for some feedback. What I discovered stunned me. It was obvious from the copy and design of his site that this was intended to be a "selling" site. The design was well laid out and had some important options to reconnect with clients, but I discovered that his site totally lacked the ability to compete in his geographical region even though he offers his services regionally. In February there were over a thousand searches performed for his services in his region. It is highly probable that he received few if any of those leads.

If you can ignore that kind of traffic, my hats off to you. If you're like the rest of us, the more potential clients you communicate with, the more business you can generate, period.

The Used Car Salesman of SEO...

mdvaden
04-23-2009, 12:35 PM
As I stated before, there are some people who do know the truth about the
importance of good SEO.

It doesn't bother me at all when the uninformed resort to name calling and
ridicule. A truly informed and experienced person doesn't need to do that.

If you can ignore that kind of traffic, my hats off to you. If you're like the rest of us, the more potential clients you communicate with, the more business you can generate, period.

The Used Car Salesman of SEO...

There is that car salesman talk again.

And no - that's not neccessarily true.

The increase of business is not dependent on more potential clients.

Anybody could be a potential client. And several business owners I've been around know that spending time with too many, can reduce the time spent doing productive work. So talk volume and website traffic volume are not what it's all about.

That's why I'd rather get a few phone calls for "Certified Arborist" than a dozen calls for "Tree Service". Because the quality and mentality of the callers is different. So it's not a matter of how many contacts you get, but WHO the contacts are.

As with your other post, you seem to place quantity over quality.

Kiril
04-25-2009, 08:33 AM
And to think that any service industry business is mostly built on reputation.
My advise, stop caring so much about being #1 on Google and spend more time building a good reputation.

Turboguy
04-25-2009, 11:26 AM
The cold hard reality is that a website can be an outstanding silent salesman for you that can help people let you know what your services are and convey an image of professionalism that can boost your business. You can do far more to sell your services (or products) than you can with yellow page, newspaper, or radio ads.

I won't say that a google ranking is critical. There are other ways to drive people to your website such as any form of advertising. Still Google is the way a lot of people find things and having a good rating is better than not.

I can't say I particularly agree with MDVADEN. There will be a percentage of people who visit your website that are good potential customers. The more people who find your website the higher those numbers will be. I will agree with him that just getting traffic is not important. You need to draw the right people and a good web site design and a good ranking coupled with promoting your website in your advertsing will be highly effective.

Equustrnr
05-07-2009, 05:49 PM
Well folks, I'm not going to get into a verbal sparring match with MDVADEN. It would be like shooting it out with an unarmed man.

It is obvious by his approach that he chooses to be antagonistic rather than informative. My information is based on sound marketing facts which can be utilized by any business.

We are in a competitive world, and if we want to succeed, we must engage the tactics and strategy's that will help us overcome our competition and effectively present our services and products to our market.

Part of this strategy includes a well devised marketing plan. Who can argue that today, website development for business marketing is one of the top options that enterprises are taking advantage of. Just try and find a successful business that doesn't have a website.

Our business environment and our potential clients continue to evolve in ways that force us to change or die. Simply stated, just having a website is no longer enough.

The business landscape is littered with organizations and entrepreneurs who had great ideas or products that never saw the light of day. Conversely, how many of you remember the "Pet Rock". It's all about marketing.

A website is a tool with three purposes, it can inform, it can sell, or it can do both. When someone says "I'd rather get a few phone calls for "Certified Arborist" than a dozen calls for "Tree Service" it demontrates how little they know about marketing.

What they are talking about is ad copy. When you design your website, what you say has a great deal to do with the kind of clientele you generate. There are many things that can be done to a site to filter the kinds of business you wish to service.

Again, the misinformed are missing the point. If we design a selling website, we want the traffic. It has nothing to do with quantity-vs-quality it's about driving business to us and allowing us to qualify the prospect and make the decision of the quality of the lead.

Question- Do we want to decide if we want to accept a new client, or do we want to allow our competition to decide for us? Anyone who says "that spending time with too many, can reduce the time spent doing productive work", is completely off the mark.

We are in business to do business. We must assess how much business we can effectively handle before quality and customer satisfaction begins to suffer, and then schedule our activities accordingly. Sure, some jobs are not as profitable as others, but its up to us to decide where to focus our limited resources. That's business 101.

Finally, the price, and quality of our services will determine customer retention, but how we build that book and keep our business strong will be determined in large part by our marketing strategy. A good SEO strategy is just an important component to maximize our online efforts.

The SEO Carsalesman

Team-Green L&L
05-08-2009, 01:08 PM
Question- Do we want to decide if we want to accept a new client, or do we want to allow our competition to decide for us? Anyone who says "that spending time with too many, can reduce the time spent doing productive work", is completely off the mark.

We are in business to do business. We must assess how much business we can effectively handle before quality and customer satisfaction begins to suffer, and then schedule our activities accordingly. Sure, some jobs are not as profitable as others, but its up to us to decide where to focus our limited resources. That's business 101.


The SEO Carsalesman


It's not often that I'll disagree with a statement so "wholly" true, but this statement is false when the product is "time" or "labor". When your product is 8 units per man per day to sell, then pre-qualification of prospects is a must. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was "hard up" for a job and knew that I should've walked away, but took the job anyway, just to end up doing it for next to nothing due to a malicious consumer.

As an SEO, I believe that marketing for traffic is great, but filtering that traffic is a must. Bandwidth costs money and "window shoppers" don't spend. I want the traffic, but I want the traffic to convert. Compelling content and navigation is 90% of the conversion tactics needed, but to market for "blanket-traffic" is as foolish as a Landscaper using a direct mail approach. "Maybe they want to spend a couple grand today" is that theory. Works well with food and other replenish able products, but not for the company that advertises a "once every 5 year service". Now, mowing is a different story. If the customer has a property, then they are in the market for mowing, but only 7% of property-owners are hiring mowing services now. Commercial is the "bread and butter" in maintenance today! No "cold" investment is fulfilling enough in ROI for service sales..

Team-Green L&L
05-08-2009, 01:20 PM
Going one step further with the market share that's out there in 2009. 7% of homeowners are contracting mowing crews. If you take any residential area by a zone, you would have approx. 10,000 homes that qualify for mowing contracting. (Factors are household income, property value, property area, age of prospective customers, etc.)

So, there are 10K homes in a zone. Our service area covers 2 zones (mowing-wise), so we have 20,000 prospective units. 7% of those units WILL hire a mowing crew or 1400 homes. We have 200+ mowing crews in our Yellow Pages and 200+ guys doing it on the side. I would presume there are 500+ service providers in my region and 100+ in my zones. So, with 100 competitors in my area there is an average of 14 residential customers per provider. With this research I know that; our mowing industry is 1. Too saturated for a new business to prosper and 2. Not profitable enough to market. With a 2% success rate in marketing, my ROI would be 2 contracts this year. I think I'll wait until the market returns a little before wasting my equipment.

Equustrnr
05-08-2009, 06:45 PM
Well said Team-Green. You have articulated my thoughts perfectly. I agree that it is important to pre-qualify prospects. As I said, I can design my marketing copy to promote certain aspects of my business and/or compel a type of prospect to make contact. What I still want is the opportunity to make that contact (pre-qualify) I want to decide if I can or should do business with them. If the competition is getting the lions share of the leads, then I might have to make do with the cast-offs. Not a good position to be in.

You have made an excellent point about research. Those who ignore this step are doomed to frustration and possible failure. Know your market, and how your business might compete. Who knows, you might decide it's not worth the risk, or that you must have a new angle to steal market share. Timing is everything, do the research and give yourself the best chance to succeed.

If you want your website to be the best at selling your services, then give it the best opportunity to be seen by the potential prospects you want to convert. If you don't, your competition will. Good SEO will help that happen.

mdvaden
05-12-2009, 05:36 PM
Well folks, I'm not going to get into a verbal sparring match with MDVADEN. It would be like shooting it out with an unarmed man.

It is obvious by his approach that he chooses to be antagonistic rather than informative. My information is based on sound marketing facts which can be utilized by any business.



But by your comment, you chose a sparring match.

Your problem is not so much your information, as is that what you posted, or linked to in the beginning, is very copy & paste in nature.