View Full Version : SEO - experiences & opinions please
19-07-2005, 05:01 PM
I'm thinking of bringing in a Search Engine Optimiser to increase the ranking of my retail site. We've been launched for nearly two months now yet hardly feature on Google, Yahoo etc outside of the paid keyword searches that I have set up.
I have heard the mantra that states "submit to google, close your eyes and wait six months for anything to happen", but I simply don't buy this. We've used Google Sitemaps (which actually removed all of our listings and clearly hasn't yet kicked in) and have adhered to all the 'best practice' rules that we know of (links to us from elsewhere, content guidelines).
I've been chatting to friends with experiences of SEO and have received as many opinions as people I have asked, with some people claiming that optimisation is the bee's knees and others suggesting that my money would be better spent on national lottery tickets.
So - three questions:
1) Has SEO worked for your site?
2) How long till value realisation (hits and completions)?
3) How much should it cost for a site with c. 100 products?
Cheers, eagerly awaiting responses.
19-07-2005, 05:27 PM
With all my sites I may just be lucky but I can get them indexed extremely easily just by linking off a site that is already indexed.
The main thing I can reccommend it to get links from other sites and try to get your site more popular.
It took me nearly 2 months to get into yahoo. Yahoo/msn are easier to get better results in at least they are for me. Yahoo and msn realy more on how many times the keywords appear and so on rather than the amount of links.
Check out www.123promotion.co.uk they offer loads of free tools to get your site optimised easily. It does take time and alot of reading up but I would have a go yourself first as SEO can be costly if you bring in the professionals.
19-07-2005, 09:04 PM
sure SEO works we do it for our customers here
20-07-2005, 09:57 AM
I think that SEO can work for the right site but that in some cases you would be better spending the money on paid advertising or offline promotion. Some level of SEO should be done by your design/developer anyway so you should only be bring in a specialist if you have the marketing budget to as they can not guarantee results or return on investment.
It really depends on your products and budgets. I know that some of the big (read good) SEO companies charge from £500 to £15K per month for a SEO campaign. They tend to deal with big brands with big budgets and they get results.
What to watch our for is if you are promoting a site / product that has lots of competitors - if lots of them have good SEO then how is yours going to be better? In this case I would say you might be better spending some of your money on SEO or getting your web designer to spend more time on promoting your site and spend the rest on advertising.
Also look out for unreputable companies that offer SEO. Their are a ton of companies that have sprung up in the last 18months that are jumping on the band wagon rather and offer results by the back door rather than sustainable results.
20-07-2005, 10:53 AM
The SEO subject is not easily covered in a single post. Before you pay any company to do your SEO work read as much as you can. Check in Google for 'SEO Forum' and spend some time reading the useful info that is discussed openly.
It is important to remember that SEO can be 'on page' and 'off-page'. Some SEO companies simply optimise your site 'on-page'. Most good site designers and so called SEO experts should be able to do this. However, this will not get you a good listing alone. You also need 'off page' optimisation. This requires link building from good reputable sites and where possible relevant sites (similar or related to your site). You can get free directory listings, exchange reciprocal links with other sites, buy links/adverts, submit articles to resource sites, the list goes on.
It took us a few months to get in Y and MSN, G however took about 10-11 months. I know that is not what you want to hear, but it does take time. Be patient and do some SEO work.
If you got a third party to do your site, make sure they've not already done the majority of SEO already. I designed a site for a client with SEO in mind. I know for a fact they've now got an SEO guy in for a 4 figure sum. All that SEO guy has done is change the wording on the front page very very slightly. Huge waste of money IMO.
20-07-2005, 11:29 AM
What Phil says is quite correct. Designers should know on page SEO. If you pay for SEO make sure that it is for off page SEO which is important and helps your natural listing.
20-07-2005, 11:46 AM
Talk about a conversation that will open a can of worms! lol...
Yes SEO works (Google tells us this)
No SEO is nothing to do with Offline Promotion (The answer is in the name :D - It's just Marketing!)
SEO costs anything from £0 to £10,000 a month (even more on HUGE sites)
There's alot of articles about SEO on the net. (Use these first and save yourself some cash)
If your one of 12,300,456 sites on the internet about the same subject don't expect the same results a site with a topic that has 13,000 sites has.
Google uses a Sandbox - can take a while to get into the listings
The "Add Your Site" on google doesn't mean they will list you.
2) 3 Months to notice an upward trend over all search engines.
3) Depends on your "Web Design" ability, all the knowledge is free to hand.
All the best
20-07-2005, 11:55 AM
I've had a fair amount of experience (and success) with SEO for a number of sites i've designed and built myself. SEO starts from the ground up, a good designer will build into his/her pitch the subject of SEO. There's no point buidling a site, launching it then starting to think SEO.
As you will know there's many factors that make up how well your site will be indexed. Good, clean and semantic code is just one consideration. Frequency of updates to give the spiders a reason to re-visit is another.
For Google I would suggest trying to build up the number of inbound links from other established and well indexed sites. This can take time but you will reap rewards in the long run.
This (http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=drama+schools+in+hemel+hempstead&btnG=Google+Search&meta=) site that was created for my daughters' drama school has gone from being in the 100's on Google to be number two for the search phrase 'drama schools in hemel hempstead'
It can be done, just takes some time and patience.
I must say that site's got some very very neat and tidy coding. Just goes to show that it helps for SEO. Plus it hasn't got any keywords set so that proves how much they're disregarded in todays search engines.
20-07-2005, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the info guys, looks like I might have opened up a bit of a can of worms here. All very useful stuff.
20-07-2005, 03:17 PM
Like I said, there are entire forums devoted to this topic. That is where I have learnt what I know about SEO and our sites are all top 10 if not first place. That is not a boast, but info provided as encouragement that you will/can get ther if you learn and apply what you learn.
20-07-2005, 03:20 PM
http://www.seochat.com isn't a bad place to start.
20-07-2005, 03:29 PM
There's a few more. All quite useful and with different feels. The best thing to do is to read up first before diving in with a general SEO help please type of question.
Hope they help.
20-07-2005, 03:36 PM
Thanks Mike - will definitely have a read.
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