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I am an accountant, Yes people can do their books themselves and also file income taxes themselves.
However, when you want something done right (WITHOUT) problems hire a professional.
It sounds you need a MARKETING Plan, identifying customer demand, market size and location.
Good luck, LUCKIEST
The link building is a very long work, it's never done and it is a slow process but it is very very important.1 of 1 people found this helpful
Part 5 on this page: http://www.v7n.com/forums/seo-forum/56475-effective-seo-v7n-way.html
A lot of paid directories have just been devaluated by Google.
Hello Diamond. Intriguing question. I launched my own company website this past summer and did a lot of research on the subject. I'll share briefly with you what I've learned.1 of 1 people found this helpful
Should you hire professional help to DESIGN the website?? Probably yes. There are some good self-design tools out there, such as www.sitesell.com, but they're very time consuming. If you want it done quicky and correctly, a web designer, while not inexpensive, is probably a wise investment.
Should you hire a professional to DRIVE TRAFFIC to your website? Possibly. Be very very careful. The search engines (SE's) are very savvy at picking up contrived ways to build traffic and ranking, and if whoever you picks uses these questionable techniques, you could be penalized, not helped. Instead of the SEO (search engine optomization scam artists, you might have better luck with pay-per-click servcies from Google or Yahoo.
Can SE optimiztion be done yourself? Yes. BUT....it takes time and effort, lots of it. . It also involves research, proper keyword use and optimization, quality inbound links to your site which isn't easy, and excellent content that attracks the attention of Google, Yahoo, and some of the other SE's. But be aware, it doesn't happen overnight. In fact, I undestand that, by intentional design, most of not all of the SE's have a 'sandbox' policy that basically assures that regardless of who you are and what you have to say, you can forget about decent SE rankings for a minimum of 6 months to a year. In other words, senority is a large factor in additon to all the other things they consider.
I was referred recently to an excellent tool I have found very useful. "The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars" by Planet Ocean Communications. I have no affiliation, referral deal etc with these folks--I'm not making a dime, just passing on a good source someone was kind enough to pass onto me...I myself paid my $97 bucks or whatever and consider it money well spent from what I've learned. It DOES have a money back guarantee thank goodness. http://www.searchenginehelp.com/
Take a look at this. It's not easy or fast, but if you're serious about your website this is info you should learn.
While we're at it, please have a look at my site about merchant credit card processing issues, FAQ's, etc.
You'll find a 'contact me' link within should you have any questions. Hope this helps...thanks.
Hi, Thank you for all of your input It sounds like you have done the research, I will look into your suggestion.sI designed my own site,people tell me it looks great.
I know now, how to manage my site and do up-date etc. Perhaps with everyone's help i can also learn the marketing aspect of i. If you would like to see it and give your input I would appreciated. http://www.lavogainc.com . Have a great day, Catherine
I would pay more attention to the site itself before driving more traffic. I'm a communications designer, and I can tell in one glance that your site is a DIY design, with DIY photography, misleading navigation, and misspelled words. One thing I emphasize to my small business clients is that your website (or brochure, business cards, etc.) is like the clothes you where to a job interview: if you don't LOOK professional, people will assume you're not professional, even if you are.
You are selling a product that depends on its aesthetic appeal--don't you want your marketing to look appealing? It's confusing--I thought you were a floral arranger when I first saw the site, there is no wine for sale under the "wine" link, and the "new floral catalog" is a dead link. The home page looks thrown together and unappealing. I wouldn't go past the first page. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but whoever is telling you your site looks great is not a designer.
I have seen companies literally double their gross when they have spent the money for a professional presentation. It's worth the investment. A good web designer will also be able to construct your site in such a way that it is optimized for search engines.
Thank you for input I'm in the process of up-dating and fine tuning the site. I'm not sure what it will take to make it more professional. i think i need to do some work on it and delete some items that are confusing to my focus Thanks for your suggestions, Catherine
Designbiz, this is great advice. I have a friend designing her website, & she makes it really easy. I on the other hand, i am not very computer savvy. Your advice & being honest has helped me alot on my path. Thanks
Diamond. We did our own web site (it shows), web marketing (it shows), and optimization (http://www.m5forex.com). But some things came from this effort. We learned a lot. We saved a lot. Yes a pro can build you a great site, but you will probably also have to pay them to change things and fix things for quite awhile. You can also outsource web marketing and optimization and make your site hits look spectacular. But we can converse with anyone on these subjects and if we do outsource these areas in the future, feel comfortable discussing the finer points of it.
We also learned some important things along the way. There were ways we could pay for a ton of visits to our site (2500 visits per twenty bucks) but we got absolutely zilch in conversions (sales) from some of them. We also were very unhappy with the way these visits were obtained. The company used pop unders were our site was mysteriously there when you closed your browser. This to us was unacceptable as we considered it a form of internet spamming. We prefer to only use marketing tactics that concentrate on people who request information specific to our products and services.
One thing that we did find extremely usefull though was Google Analytics. It is a free service and the reports we received told us alot about our web site marketing. Things like amount of time visitors spend on our site, how many and what pages they viewed, entry and exit pages, conversions etc. etc. etc.
For a free service, the information we gained was a pleasant surprise. It was how we were able to trim web advertising costs down to the most efficient streams. Hope this helps a little. The Triple Bottom Line People - Planet - Profits. Good luck and good business.
Hi Thank you for the insight, It was most helpful. I actually designed my own web-site, not being computer savvy I most say I looks great. however the "behind the sean" aspect is where I'm clueless about. If you would like to see it please go to http://www.lavogainc.com let me know what you think.
what is your business?
Have a great day, Catherine
Depending on whether you have an online business (store to purchase items), or just want to direct more traffic to your "informational" business site will determine whether or not you need to hire a professional. "Linking" to other sites is also called "affiliate programs". Affiliate programs are where companies offer services that complement each other and can earn or cost you money to participate in them. Affiliate programs ususally involve a professional to assist you in targeting the proper allinace partners and sites.
If you want to improve your odds of being located by search engines (i.e., google.com, ask.com etc.) make sure that the content written on each page contains the most frequently searched "keywords" used by your target market audience. In addition, make sure that you have the "primary" keywords on your first "index" page and that all pictures are labeled with keywords as well.
If you would like to learn more about how a professional Marketing or SEO professional can assist you and what price ranges are, please call my office 800-652-9236 and leave me your contact information or email me specific questions to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. We have assisted companies with online marketing as large as Fortune 500 companies to include individual business owners accomplish their online marketing goals. Hope this helps.
In general, I agree with Luckiest, if you want it done faster and effective hire a professional.
Now the question is which one.
If you are the type of person who can read something and apply it successfully, and if you are short on funds and don't know how to get a team or joint venture...............then I'd get some advice from someone
who has done it, like their ebook or book and figure out myself.
As of March 23, 2007, I'd never created a web site nor did I know html (still don't) and didn't even know what SEO stood for, yet a created a money making web site.
I have also gotten several web sites high on search engines and gotten traffic and more importantly sales from them that could provide a ok income for anyone (not millions mind you).
This was all self taught and self applied with little money.
I only tell you this so that you know it is possilbe. Again, it depends on you.
If you want more information email me email@example.com
No, I am not a consultant for SEO or web sites and no I will not charge you for this.
Hi Diamond, I check out your website, it looked ok, but you can do more to it, I would really recommend for you to check out "Principles of beautiful web design" by Jason Beaird. Go to your bookstore and check it out, It will give you good tips about web design.
Hopefully this would help you.
Hello, the information that you are providing is priceless. I am very business savy, but I had little to no website design experience before I began my on-line company. I must say, since we have created everything ourself, we have discovered that it is a never ending enhancement project. My business is a Discount Consumer Electronic company, where the only thing consistent is change. To remain competive with on-line companies and retail stores, you must consistenly research your competitors, and adjust your site accordingly. My web site is www.hi-tekadvantage.com. Can you please tell me what you think about it, and some advertising tips that will increase my websites exposure. Thanks
welcome to the forum.
I had no web site experience at all when I did that myself. I had always hired people when
I had my other businesses.
But I found that many people who want to do something online of little or no funds.
That is why I did the test.
I found that there are so many different markets online, when you appeal to one, you do not appeal to
another. That is why I think my friend did so well with his "why ugly web sites make money".
So determine who you want to market to and then make sure you market in the places where your demographic will be.
Seriously, if you have the budget, hire a competent professional to drive traffic to your site. It's more than just driving traffic, the written message on your site also has to persuade the visitors to buy or take the action you want them to. You can have a ton of traffic coming to your site, but if your words don't sell, you've wasted a lot of valuable money and time.
You could do it yourself, (the traffic, html, sales copy, etc) but there are so many things that go with running a profitable website that you can get lost in the "forest" so to speak. It's a lot like trying to cut your own hair, you could possibly make it look good up front, but you can't cut what you can't see.
I agree with the previous poster engimavaldez - hiring a professional or experienced web designer can lead to many advantages but that depends on selecting the "right" designer. The best way is to ask to see their web portfolio and maybe even talk to a few of their clients as a reference.
If you are new at this point,then you must have to tkae care in this because it is not easy to get traffic to web site.And if you recommend a proffessional,then it will much better.
Since you are a startup, you don't need to pay someone else to build a site for you. It can get really expensive.
You can use a free e-commerce website builder by yahoo http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce/ which will allow you to add as many products as you want.
However, if you want a more professional looking site and have less items to sell, try moonfruit.com.
Your site is missing the keywords, and meta tags that search engines require. Without them your site will not show up in search results.
Look at your description as it shows up in Google:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Alavogainc.com (There is none).
Now look at your competition: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Asilkflowers.com (See how there results show descriptions and keywords). Thats what you need your site to do, and it doesn't appear that your website builder is allowing that to happen. In addition, you need articles are your site, not just sentences.
There are so many recommendations that we could offer you, but you must educate yourself on internet marketing. Its not easy.
Join these forums, these are internet marketing experts who can help you:
Hey, just wanted to jump in here and let you know you can do this yourself.
Here's a video I uploaded last night for a fellow who said there was no way to get a web site into the Google top 10 in less than 5 days.
What you want to focus on is Web 2.0. You'll use a combo of SEO and what's called Social Media Optimization.
I can provide you with a simple template to help guide you.
Here's the link:
Give a shout
I agree with you. You can do this yourself. I've done it.
And I have gotten 7 web sites in the top 10 of google in 3-4 days.
It can be done. But it is just what your key words are.
Thank you for all your contributions.
Best of luck to all.
It helps to hire someone, and it helps to do it yourself.
A professional will know how to set up optimal keywords for your site. A professional can explain backlinks to you so that you can get "link juice" that will push your site to the top of the search engines. A professional can clean up the code of your site so that it is easily indexed by search engines and can submit your site to directories.
A professional cannot write compelling copy that will cause people to link to you. They do not know your business or your customers. A professional doesn't know people in the industry who would be willing to link to your site. Networking, which is just a part of SEO as site structure and site copy, is just like networking in real life. Keep up with sites that will link to you and it will pay off in the end by giving you good off-page SEO.
A professionnal can clean up the code of you site but if you've got hundred pages to clean up lol you will feel it in your wallet. Each time you will upgrade your site with a web program, that will generate some code errors, so...
You don't need a clean code to submit to directories, how did you get this one?
Yes a professionnal can write for you, a SEO copywriter can do 5 pages for $2500 lol watch out your budget or you can choose a freelance copywriter that you can afford. Same thing with social networking, again becareful some social networking use no follow attribut, which will give you nothing except a short of the time traffic.
Most merchants do not know all of the directories to submit to, but yes, anyone can submit their site to a directory if they have the time.
The reason why you should write your own copy (with help possibly) is that a copywriter doesn't know your business or your customers. I can write about Nike shoes, but someone who sells, engineers, or regularly uses Nike shoes would probably write much more interesting material than I could ever write because they have expertise in this field. Establishing your expertise online as well as having a substantial online network behind you are two things you cannot buy and will only prove to be assets to you in the end.
If you don't have anything interesting to say about your product or industry, don't sell it. If you can't write compelling copy, befriend some bloggers and have them blog about you and your awesome products.
BTW, not all marketing online is about backlinks. It's about presence. If you are trusted in industry specific networks, influencers will recommend you, and more people will be likely to buy your stuff.
A professionnal copywriter should be able to write and reasearch about a subject whatever it is. Yes if a copywriter can be specialize in your industry it would be better.
"If you don't have anything interesting to say about your product or industry, don't sell it."
You cannot create an article for each product, that's stupid.
Now do you really think all website create articles about their products or industry on internet? I saw online stores without descriptions on products, but that's their problem.
To be present online you must have backlinks for all search engines, that's a basic that many website owners don't get.
As far as I am concern, marketing is more expensive, and less efficient than SEO.
"If you are trusted in industry specific networks"
Trusted how? Some people think because of your site listed on big SEM link farm like these: nextag, bizrate, become, Shopzilla, etc... you are trusted*, that's laughable*
As a copywriter for my company, I do value what copywriters have to offer. However, I was in sales for a long time and actually sold the product I write about now. To get a copywriter who understands the industry I'm in to actually say something valuable would be very expensive, considering the learning curve. I would be pressed to trust anyone outside this industry and this company to write up Volusion.
Press releases might be okay to outsource, but a business should have its own voice in the online community. Think about it--Sun employees have their own blogs. Google has Matt Cutts. I've even seen the NetSuite president personally write for Fast Company. The "evangelist" is a booming position within companies. This is someone who is basically a representative and cheerleader, so to speak, for the company. They all do it to get their names out there, so that people trust and understand the company. I'm not sure how a third party copywriter would approach this.
Well seems like we are off topic, what you described can apply only on big companies. Once again these big corporations don't use freelancer or small companies copywriters, they can afford to hire writers or copywriters.
Regarding one of your example, Matt Cutts run a blog for the SEO community and he is specialized in spams, it doesn't mean all Google.
Starters or small business don't need to hire copywriters or writers, there are services we can use when it is needed.
BTW I've got some decent articles on my e-commerce, and the statistics talk by itself.
The #1 factor that delays projects in my company is clients who say they will write their own copy...one of these days. I have had projects delayed as much as a year because of clients who never quite get around to it...and in the meantime, they are paying for a registered domain and a webhost, have paid me 50% up front, and have nothing but an "under construction" page to show for their efforts.
It is possible to write your own copy, take your own photos or build your own web page. The first question to ask yourself is "Can I do this?" The second is "Can I do this well enough that it won't look like an amateur effort?" and the third is "Will I ever actually get around to it?"
you must learn SEO yourself.
If you don't have the budget, then two things you MUST do.
First, get a spell checker before you publish you site.
Then go back and read everything that NatOnLine has offered.
As a marketing consultant and web designer, the answer is yes. The answer i hear from a lot of clients is, i dont have the time to do it. SEO isnt a over night one solution thing. Anyone who promises you to rank number 1 over night is a lier. SEO takes time and knowledge. For example just getting listed in search engines can take months, that is pending your site is designed to there likeing. I never took a class for all the skills i have learned but it did not happen right away, took me years. Every day i learn something new, some new technique or what to fool google.
I will give you two small tip:
1 dont use adwords, depending on what your industry is, its a big waste of money for some industries.
2 SEO is the best way to get traffic. One key is good keyword usage and not to be to broad in your terms. For example: "full color printing in miami" is a better keword rather than "printing" there could be millions of results for printing but maybe a 3rd if using that keyword. Remember your competing with hundreds of other websites for the same words.
Full color printing, web design, apparel, web design and more!
No reason not to do it for yourself!!
There are some really good methods out there and here is something I love.....We have partnered recently with SEO guru Nikki Pilkington to give SBOC members a download of the brand new edition of
her book on getting the better of Google, 299 Steps to Website Heaven.
The download is, as I write, exclusive to us.
Yes, you can do it yourself, but do you have the time? This is my hobby. Just think about the time you need, every week to create and update your Squidoo Lenses www.squidoo.com/creating-lenses build you feeder or main website on BT Tradespace www.squidoo.com/tradespace update your Blog, post to Forums, update and maintain 8 types of website sitemaps, and this is every single week.
My advice, hire somebody and concentrate of running your business.
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Thank you for taking time to answer my question. I have been posting my web site on different serch engins, however the result have not bin satasfactory. Any Ideas on I can make this work myself? Ther something called "linking" to other sites how difficult is this?