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Old 01-23-2001, 10:25 AM   #1
LorenBaker
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Unhappy Is this Search Engine Optimization contest attractive to Web Masters??

Hello,

Our company is running a contest/giveaway that has a grand prize of a FREE Search Engine Optimization Plan with a 5 year domain name registration.

Runners up will win free ad placement in our newsletter that goes to over 5,000 subscibers and other prizes.

Here is the link to our contest: http://www.webadvantage.net/promos/seo.htm

We've been running it for over a week and have gotten a dismal response in return.

With Search Engine Optimization being so popular, why wouldn't this be attractive to web masters?

I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks,

Loren Baker
Web Ad.vantage

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Old 01-23-2001, 04:11 PM   #2
truelight
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Because the best (and most) webmasters do things themselves. Partly because we like it that way (if you pay someone to do a project for you, it's seems like its not your project any more)

Also, I guess that search engine optimization firms are often inferior to my own expertize, since nobody knows my site better than me, and so I shall do the optimization.

As I have understood it, Web developing is mostly a solo-job, and it's VERY rare with a whole team working on a site. Individualism at it's best. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Why spend money on a marketer, when you have get a membership at selfpromotion.com, searchenginewatch and the geekvillage site promotion forums, and learn it yourself? Possibly because you don't have the time to do it yourself, but if I were a director, I would never hire a webdesigner that didn't have time for my site.

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Old 01-23-2001, 05:40 PM   #3
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<With Search Engine Optimization being so popular, why wouldn't this be attractive to web masters?>

Certainly senior GEEK truelight http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif makes some valid points which I definetly agree with. This might be related to her/his screename http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Some additional thoughts and before I start I want to make it clear that I wish you the best of luck and sure don't want to be harsh.

The domain reg prize dilutes your promo. Maybe it's worth $60 but with only 2 things it makes me think the entire thing is less than worthwhile. If you had 5 prizes/rewards then it should be included.

How about some attribution with site names and such for this $2,000 service. Customers who have paid and are happy campers. The exact URL of this service. Maybe I missed it when I looked so please correct me. At the moment, your site is off line and does not resolve. To tell you the truth, playing with keywords in SE today is far less important than recip links and or the "Ikonimi" service we previously discussed in this Forum. Plus the trend is clearly established to pay $199 for a listing.

I'm sure their are good SEO firms but your presentation needs to have much more credibility.

Todays Webmaster is very very sharp as evidenced by our outstanding membership on geek/talk. A much higher quality of site today then we had 2.5 years ago. Even if they don't have the time to due this SEO they are smart enough to spot real value and react accordingly.

In my view I think your enter numbers would be much higher if you gave them:

Scripts they can "see" and drool over like Hyperseek or Anaconda stuff. Plus free hosting with a "real" host that they can look at.

Just my thoughts and best of luck with your site.



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Old 01-23-2001, 06:05 PM   #4
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When I signed up I got a popup window with the error
Cannot run the FrontPage Server Extensions' Smart HTML interpreter on this non-HTML page: "http://www.webadvantage.net/promos/tellafriend.asp"

If this is keeping the form from working, that could be part of the dismal results.
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Old 01-24-2001, 06:13 AM   #5
LorenBaker
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Thanks for your feedback.

I'd like to address everyone's statements.

* <i>Why spend money on a marketer, when you have get a membership at selfpromotion.com,
searchenginewatch and the geekvillage site promotion forums, and learn it yourself?</i>

Well, we're giving away our Search Engine Optimization service.. so you won't be spending any money. It is great that webmasters are doing the research themselves to tackle problems with search engines... however, there are two kinds of webmasters.

1) Webmasters that create, fund, run, and market their own sites.

2) Webmasters that work for a company which employs them to run a site. These webmasters usually are not as educated in marketing and/or the marketing of the site is done in a different dept. or outsourced.

If you are a #1 type webmaster, my guess is that you may run multiple sites. Handing over, or taking recommendations from a proven Search Engine Optimization firm would be of no loss to you and would only help your marketing (especially if the service is free, like we're offering).

Additionally, with the Free Domain Registration, this can give webmasters the chance to create a "mirror site" on a different domain in which we can do the Search Engine Optimization for. Resulting in no loss to the webmaster AND increased revenue through affiliate programs or ad serving.

* <i>To tell you the truth, playing with keywords in SE today is far less important than recip links and or the "Ikonimi" service we previously discussed in this Forum. Plus the trend is clearly established to pay $199 for a listing.</i>

This statement is horribly wrong. Search engine rankings are based upon keyword search terms and how they are implemented into a site. Sure, you can pay $199 to get listed in Yahoo and will see great results. But that is not Search Engine Optimization.

Furthermore, you can pay $20 to have your URL added to the Inktomi index and refreshed on a regular basis. However, if your site is not optimized for the most popular and revelvant keyword search terms that targeted users will be searching for to find your service or product- a $20 submittal to Inktomi will make no difference what so ever.

You can submit to search engines all day, but if your site is not optimized, you will not be ranked highly or reach your top potential in site traffic.

* <i> When I signed up I got a popup window with the error Cannot run the FrontPage Server Extensions' Smart HTML interpreter on this non-HTML page: "http://www.webadvantage.net/promos/tellafriend.asp" </i>

Thank you for this info. This error message has nothing to do with the sign up form, but this is for the Java Script pop-up window which asks people who have signed up to refer a friend.

I'm not sure why this did not work, but will pass this on to our webmaster.

Again, thank you for your feedback and I encourage everyone to sign up and/or reply. I've learned alot already from this young post. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Thanks,
Loren Baker

WebAdvantage.net

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:08 AM   #6
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I guess I have to agree with Loren.

My main passion is that of marketing consultant. I work with several large
corporations and even some fortune 1000
companies.

The most glaring fact I see when the discussion turns to internet marketing is the lack of understanding from these companies.
SEO is more or less a micro-marketing task with the larger corporations and their idea is to bundle it up with their media/branding contracts or not address it at all.

Since I have since started doing SEO work, I now have to turn down business or refer them to others because of the workload.

Positioning on the search vehicles can indeed make or break a business online in my opinion. A strategic plan of action will always out perform a "shot gun" approach.

Surely link popularity, reciprocal linking, traditional advertising, your site design and content, and such is still an important part of building an online presence.

Any SEO will tell you that the most critical area of attention is keyword and search term selections, analysis, monitoring, and adustments.

In my opinion, the most effective way to spend your online marketing dollars is by concentrating on the search vehicles. If you think about it, the majority of all your contacts started at the old search box. They have to find you first to be able to reciprocal link to you or they have to find your site in order to recommend it to someone http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

The pay for consideration or pay for listing schemes the directories and bot engines now employ has actually helped me introduce SEO services to my clients.

Now a company has to outlay money just to play the game. By using an SEO specialist, a company has the assurance that the work is being done professionally and effectively. The time savings alone is usually worth the value.

Hiring a SEO isn't for everyone or any company, especially the single webmaster, who can do it themselves with a little effort.
But for the thousands of companies who literally have tech guys doing online marketing, it can be of great value.

The real problem is finding a SEO you can trust and can demonstrate performance.
Most all my clients have had terrible experiences with the SEO industry in the past. This may be one reason why Loren is having difficulty finding participation with her contest.
Most think of the SEO business as stereotyped such as the used car salesman. There are just too many ineffective SEO's running around.

My two bones,
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Old 01-24-2001, 09:21 AM   #7
LorenBaker
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Chaz,

Thanks for your two bones.

You wrote:
The real problem is finding a SEO you can trust and can demonstrate performance. Most all my clients have had terrible experiences with the SEO industry in the past. This may be one reason why Loren is having difficulty finding participation with her contest. Most think of the SEO business as stereotyped such as the used car salesman. There are just too many ineffective SEO's running around.

* First off, I understand what you're saying and why Loren is having a problem promoting HIS contest.

However, again we run into the brick wall of the contest is FREE. No on is paying for the SEO.

Additionally, a large amount of the online industry do view SEO specialists as Snake Oil Salesmen. And that's because there are a lot of them out there, and there are also a lot of cheapos that have purchased those "List your site for $500" and have seen no results because listing doesn't do swat if your not optimized.

The reason we do not list our SEO clients on this page is because we are giving away a free service. We list our references to sales leads, not during contests. Most of our clients do not really want the rest of the world knowing who does their work anyway.

But here are our public clients: http://www.webadvantage.net/about_clients.cfm

Additionally, Link Popularity, Linking, and site design/content are part of our search engine optiization package... I'll have to add all of this to our site and contest info!

Hey Chaz, if you're turning away any business, you can send them my way! No porn or bogus sites though.

Thanks,

Loren
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Old 01-24-2001, 09:58 AM   #8
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Sorry about that Loren http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

On the other: You might want to ask your current clients for referrals, that is how I find new business. It is usually an easy sell too.

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Old 01-24-2001, 10:48 AM   #9
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I have to agree with some of Steve's points.

When I went to the promo page, I saw no real info about current clients or the SEO program. Why would you be willing to show a client list to your prospective clients, but not on your promotion? That tells me your promotion is not as important as your prospective clients. The deal is, your promotion will bring you prospective clients, and you should treat it as such. The more info, the better.

Rather than just a list of clients, it would be better to show 2 or 3 and what keywords they are listed under on the engines - a real example of your results. If you aren't comfortable with that, some quotes about your SEO from your clients would be in order.

Personally, I would put more faith in a strictly SEO company, rather than one that tackles many aspects of websites. Your site has a small percentage of focus on SEO.

I have seriously been studying and researching SEO for the past few months. In talking and learning with professional SEOs, I have learned that off-the-page criteria (link pop and themes) is just as important as (if not more than) on-the-page criteria, such as keyword optimization. You can have the best keyword opt on your site, but without good link pop, it won't mean much unless you are targetting non- or semi-competitive keywords. There are sites that are flash based that have NO keyword content to optimize but have good listings (without cloaking) due to off-the-page criteria.

No offense, but your statement that Steve's comments on this are "horribly wrong" tells me your companies SEO abilities could probably use some improvement.

Just my 2 clicks.

Good luck with your company and your promotion. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Ken


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Old 01-24-2001, 10:58 AM   #10
LorenBaker
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Thanks for the input Ken.

As staed before, Link Popularity is part of our Search Engine Optimization contest and we are going to add this to our promo.

SEO is not soley based around changing keywords.

And Steve's comment that I said was "horribly wrong" said that simply paying for submittals to Inktomi will do the trick.

This is wrong, you must optimize a site with keywords, links, link popularity, content, design, and multiple other aspects.

So, I hate to get in a ping pong match, but your opinion on our SEO based upon your posting does not stand on its own two legs. You should probably read the entire posts before making false assumptions. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

And, like I said, we do not have all of our clients on this page because some of them do not want the rest of the world, or their competitors to know every company they outsource to.

Thanks,

Loren

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Old 01-24-2001, 11:28 AM   #11
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Your quote of Steve's "horribly wrong" statement starts with:
"* <i>To tell you the truth, playing with keywords in SE today is far less important than recip links..."
which, IMO, is a valid statement. Well, maybe not "far less" important, but the gist is there. Paid listings are also a large part of the equation. Again, IMO.

>but your opinion on our SEO based upon your posting does not stand on its own two legs.
Ouch!

I did not post this to strike out at you. Your question was "Is this Search Engine Optimization contest attractive to Web Masters??" It was not to me the first time you posted it for reasons I have stated, and it is still not. You asked for reasoning, and I gave you my opinion, in order to help you build a better promotion campaign.

Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion, whether others think it is right or wrong. And yes, they do stand on their own two legs, even if they are only held by the lone member. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

>You should probably read the entire posts before making false assumptions.

I assure you I read and reread all the posts in this thread, as I always do before I post. My read/post ratio is a very large one. If I post something, you can count on me having seriously researched/first hand knowledge of my post content. I checked your site, promo page, and client page several times before offering my thoughts. (check for my ip in your logs from last night and today.)

I do not have any false assumptions, I have formed an educated opinion about your promo, and you asked for opinions. My post was meant as guidance and as an answer to your question, I am sorry it if you took it otherwise.

Edited to remove misinterpreted smiley.

[This message has been edited by Drastic (edited 01-24-2001).]
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Old 01-24-2001, 11:37 AM   #12
LorenBaker
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Drastic,

Again, thank you for the critism. Like I said, I don't want to get into a volley match here, so please don't take the postings to personal.

But when you state that we probably have a poor SEO service and do not know about what kind of business that we are in, I can't help but state a rebuttal.

Maybe if our site was called "Make-money-get-to-the-top-of-the-search-engines-in-a-jiffy.com" you might see it differently.
I understand what you are saying with your criticism, but there's no reason to attack our credibiltiy.

Thanks and I do appreciate everyone's input,
Loren
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Old 01-24-2001, 11:59 AM   #13
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Steve should have exspressed himself better. My appolagies http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

You need the entire package of terms + INK + recip links + design + content + paying for a listing with some engines/directories.

Certainly we could debate the merits of which are more important and which part of this equation should not be in your service. Since it's your contest and your site that final choice is up to you and regardless of what each of us may think http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif the number of entries and perhaps "sales" will be the final "judge"

I'm confident that once you insert exactly which services they recieve for 2K your entries will increase. Certainly, this should also help "sales"

Also, I would suggest text and or graphics about the contest on your home page at the minamum plus maybe your main "entry pages" for your site. This stuff should be placed at the top of the page.

HTH and good luck.
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Old 01-24-2001, 06:40 PM   #14
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Hi Loren,

Just wondered how the response was on the I-Search ad you placed?
Should have stirred up some entries.

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Old 01-25-2001, 12:04 AM   #15
LorenBaker
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Thanks Steve.

Sorry about the little flames back and forth.

Yes, I agree with your points and am preparing the information to send over to our web master.

Once everything is updated, I'll let you all know.

I appreciate everyone's help and insight and encourage any readers to go ahead and sign up for our contest! It's FREE and we have been in the search engine optimization business for over 2 years (which is dinosaur age in Internet time).

Muchas Gracias,

Loren
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