In extreme pain with SEO!

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by BeautyStartUp, May 8, 2019.

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  1. WeddingsInWales

    WeddingsInWales UKBF Contributor Full Member

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    There is so much similar content written about SEO. I have read miles of it and it all sounds like the same thing written differently. Maybe there are loads of SEO consultants out there trying to rephrase what is already written to create 'original content' that is just duplicating what is already said somewhere else, but saying it in a different way. The general consensus seems to be if you write good content, you will do well. Well, I wrote load of content for my sites (weddings with a wedding planning section, dog friendly site with a dog walking and places to visit with dogs section, and a ghost site (with loads of ghost stories and interesting goings on at my castle in South Wales) and I reckon Google took no notice for years. Nowadays if I look on my computer I always find myself on the top, probably because the results are skewed in my favour on my own searches as it 'remembers' me and the sites I like to visit (my own!). My mobile phone has an uncanny ability to list my sites at the top of Google too, but I don't trust it - it also knows where I go and probably sends me results tailored to my preferred sites.

    I am currently reading that building up backlinks is good, well I have no idea if this works either, though I certainly would not bother with directory sites which you waste hours listing yourself on and which I have never heard of.

    The one thing that seems to work is having an established site over many years that a reasonable number of people look at. I think having visitors stay on the page for longer also helps, as it tells Google the page is of interest to people. So the adage to create original and good content holds, in this respect, if it can hold the attention of the fickle visitor. Adwords can be useful for boosting visitors, though organic visitors spend a lot longer on the site than Adwords generated visitors. I do notice my sites seem to creep up the rankings a bit for searches in line with the Adwords campaign, almost as if the extra traffic generated by the campaign gets the site seen more and once it is seen more, it creeps up the rankings.

    We are all really in a crowd of people waving our hands in the air trying to get seen by our customers. Some markets are highly competitive and getting seen is a right pain as the questioner says - "extreme pain". I actually enjoy posting articles so whether it works or not, I am gradually adding back links at the rate of 4 or 5 a day on average. One thing I have found works is having separate sites for specific more narrow niches. The ghost site does well for searches on Halloween Night.
    Posted: May 10, 2019 By: WeddingsInWales Member since: Dec 13, 2018
  2. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    830 216
    Your content will be mostly ignored unless it is totally unique or other people are linking to it. I'd imagine the ghost aspect and dog-friendly stuff should have got you some traction somewhere though?

    I ran a wedding site for a while and even then (about 7 years ago) it was hard to find anything to write about that hadn't been covered elsewhere 100 times. The odd examples that were original were used as inspiration elsewhere soon enough - not exact copies but near enough to be obvious.

    I don't miss it.
    Posted: May 10, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  3. WeddingsInWales

    WeddingsInWales UKBF Contributor Full Member

    78 27
    In my case with the wedding site we put a load of material to do with planning a wedding at the castle for the benefit of Brides and Grooms who were previously asking different wedding planners the same questions and getting inconsistent replies based on the experience of the wedding planner. So it made sense to put all the procedures and planning material on the site and whenever someone asks anything about planning their wedding at the castle, I and the planners can link them straight to the relevant part of the site.

    This is also helpful in avoiding any misunderstandings over what we do for our customers, and what they need to organise for themselves. The same principle applies to the other sites, where rates and terms etc are all put on the website for existing customers to interact with. It means if ever there is an argument about something, we can refer them to the relevant link on the website and of course, refer to previous versions of the site as of a given date based on back-up copies saved.

    We also wrote a load of letters (I call them ALFUS - Automated Lead Follow Up System) which go out to all wedding enquirers - daily for the first 30 days, weekly for the next few months. Wedding clients get a monthly letter helping them to plan their wedding. Dog Friendly B&B enquiries get their own monthly Dog Friendly letters referring to local walks and places to visit when staying with us. Ghost Hunters get a separate set of regular letters featuring stories on paranormal occurrences experienced by Ghost Hunters on previous ghost hunts. All these letters link to the relevant story / subject on the website so the letters and the site work together.

    Now if this lot gets seen by other wedding venues and hotels they will have a gem of an idea. The ALFUS increase engagement with the various niche websites and have increased conversion of enquiries to sale (by 5% in the case of weddings which given the value of these bookings is significant). I know the regular automated letters approach (we use AWeber) has caused an increase in direct visitors to the site and on Analytics I can see some pages (especially the accommodation advise pages and certain of the wedding planning pages (e.g. who pays for what?) get people reading the for a lengthy average time sometimes. I think this does increase dialogue between prospects, clients and the websites ensuring the content is well read and this in turn helps with the nightmare of slogging away at SEO work. All outgoing emails routinely refer enquirers and clients regularly to relevant parts of the website at the stage of enquiry they are at. The Jivochat service garners loads of chats a day and each one is directed to the relevant part of the site for answers, thus increasing time spent on the site.

    So it is not just about writing good content, you then need to set all the reply systems uo to get prospects and clients to interact with it. Many people looking at websites are lazy and skim over content, and it is a bore for many people to read a load of text (as you are reading this, you have to concentrate) but for someone asking a specific question that is answered for them on the site, a policy of continually re-inviting customers and prospects to read the content that is relevant to their question, does make the site work as an oracle of information. Using the website in this way ensures consistency in our response and service and it then becomes a hub of information for clients. I have seen the same being done on the website of the school my children go to, which parents have to regularly visit for information on things going on at the school.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2019
    Posted: May 11, 2019 By: WeddingsInWales Member since: Dec 13, 2018
  4. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    830 216
    One thing I have learned regarding content is that if you are answering questions people are asking but not finding good answers to, you're on the right track.

    It sounds like you've given a lot of thought into how you can turn this to your benefit and it's refreshing to hear someone willing to put in some hard work and effort rather than looking for some kind of easy SEO trick that's going to magic your site up the rankings.

    Best of luck to you, you're in a tough market.
    Posted: May 11, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
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