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And how WELL does your website work?

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sep 5, 2001
Kodak, Tn. USA
In doing some research on marketing websites I did a google search on "Newman Valley Studio" and came up with 48 links. I was feeling pretty good until I typed in "The Frame Workshop of Appleton, Inc." That came back with 471 links. :eek:

Oh well, that's like comparing roller skates to a SUV anyway, so I don't feel too badly.

"Get the Picture LLC" came in at 176.

There are all kinds of ways to sprinkle your site with (what is it, Mike? Meta tags?) However most of mine came from my being vocal and visable (now does that surprise you?

How well does your's do?

A place I like to visit to check the popularity and sites that link to a specific site is http://www.linkpopularity.com

It lets you put the actual web address in and checks the various search engines. There are several sites like this that measure and compare results.

Running through that site, I get these stats for some popular sites: (Altavisa/Google/Hotbot)

ppfa.com: 20537/110/590
michaels.com: 7102/252/4506
fastframe.com: 2817/27/180
hobbylobby.com: 1741/111/2169
framerselect.com: 259/16/65
larson-juhl.com: 242/67/186
pictureframingmagazine.com: 197/2/72
fletcher-terry.com: 152/0/83
artfacts.org: 119/5/55
decormagazine.com: 98/12/75
theframeworkshop.com: 79/28/49
frameready.com: 60/4/27
getthepictureframing.com: 45/5/38
romamoulding: 39/2/31
wizardint.com: 34/4/49
unitedmfrs: 23/5/31
thegrumble.com: 15/2/21
lifesaversoft.com: 15/1/19
specialtysoft.com: 11/2/9
cornersframing.com: 10/12/14
abemunn.com: 10/1/11
greatframeup.com: 9/2/5
newmanvalley.com: 8/3/13
rockebys.com: 7/2/8
artistsframeservice.com: 5/5/3
framersloft.com: 4/0/4
weframe.com: 4/0/0
www.leboutonphotography.com: 3/1/8
custompictureframe.com: 3/0/9
studiomoulding.com: 2/1/2
bluemountaingallery.com: 0/1/3

Meta tags used to be extremely important, but the formulas the search engines use are constantly changing. (as recently as last week, with the case of google) It seems now they like popularity (sites that link with you that have common interests), how often it is updated, title tag content, header text, italics text, and body content/keyword density. The actual domain name holds a lot of weight too, if it contains keywords.
So, for someone that created her own website and is still computer-challenged, what can a neophyte do to make a website more 'visible'?
Diane, I'm glad you asked that...

I was discussing "numbers" with a fellow grumbler whose numbers of hits on search engines are really high. As I said to start with, mine are small, but not too bad.

This person mentioned that they had paid a lot of money for placement and ad words. But it had really paid off.

But let me say this about what I've done to get "noticed." Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. But what I have been doing, is just being me. I talk. Or make that "write." (Man, think what it would be if I actually worked at it!)

A lot of items that the searches turn up is my answers to questions on other forums and letters to the editors of magazines. Hey, in this age of e-mail communication, that's super easy to do.

The articles that I'm writing for Art & Frame Review Magazine (that they are so conveniently putting on their website every month) are also being picked up by searches. I didn't know that until I did this search on myself.
(By the way, if anyone wants a FREE subscription to this magazine, let me know. I'll tell you how to get it.)

I guess the bottom line is like my husband says about me - "I'm always in marketing mode." Anytime you can get anything "out there" with your name and/or your business name attached to it - it becomes "searchable."

Also PLEASE read the article listed in the second post. It has GREAT ideas of how to get your message out.

I'm not sure who did everyone's web site or where your pages reside (i.e. which hosting company) but many web hosts offer statistics for your domain. It's usually a sub-directory page that shows which pages get hit the most, time periods, where your users are referred from, and anything else you could possibly want to know about your site. Everyone may want to look into whether they have this available for their sites.

As for becoming more visible in the search engines, #1 is to make sure you are registered with all of the major search engines. Some engines will search your site and automatically add it to their databases but others require you to go to their site and register. After that, each search engine has a different way of ranking the pages in their search results. e.g. Google ranks the pages based on how many times someone chooses your page in the search results and the rank of those who choose your page. Yahoo allows you to pay a fee to be a sponsor and therefore get your site higher in the list or you can register your site for free in various categories.

Hope this helps!

Originally posted by DB:
So, for someone that created her own website and is still computer-challenged, what can a neophyte do to make a website more 'visible'?

These are the metatags for your home page....

meta name="keywords" content=" Expressions Gallery, art, fine art, NH gallery, Milford NH, NH, custom framing, woodworking, custom furniture, cabinet makers, pottery, Sunset Canyon Pottery, Freeman Ceramics, Flameware, Blaze pottery, Mara, The Pottery Works, Holly Yashi, jewelry,
Far Fetched, Kathleen Cantin, Mary Margaret Sweeney, Alex Khomski, Jesse Pollock, David Olsen, David Olson, Sylvia Nicolas, Sylvia Nicholas, Jessie Pollock, Jessie Pollack, Jesse Pollack, Terry Silverman, Heather Hilton, Carol Lemieux, Koco NY, Quotables,
Paperhouse, Design Design, Brush Dance, Great Arrow Graphics, Kitras Art Glass, Parasol, Birdfeeders, Hummingbird feeders, Flappers and Floppers, Flappers & Floppers, candles, Ed Gerhard, Maxfield Parrish, Ray Hendershot, "
title = Expressions Gallery

After Search engines know you exist, then it is up to your design that allows search engines to place you. My observations on the content above....</font>
  • You have lots of keywords, but many of them are very single generic keywords that will do you little good, like "pottery"</font>
  • Most relevant searches are two and three word searches like: Sunset Canyon Pottery, as you are using.</font>
  • You have a very short title and no description among your metatags. Search engines like to see relevancy between title - keywords - description and actual content. If these four tie together, you'll definitely improve your postitioning.</font>
  • I would change your title to: "Expressions Gallery - fine art & gifts in Milford New Hampshire"</font>
  • The artists that you feel have the most likelyhood of being searched for should appear in your description, keywords, and content. For example the title for your Kathleen Cantin page is, "New Page 0", where it should be "Kathleen Cantin, Watercolored Etchings at Expressions Gallery". This page has no keywords or description. A person doing a search for Kathleen Cantin would never see this page the way it is written. A few changes, and it might pop up in the top five.</font>
This is just a start. Developing a website and making it strong can be a full time job.



[ 02-10-2004, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: John Ranes II, CPF, GCF ]
Whew! As usual, plenty o'tips! Thank you Betty, Lisa and John. I worked on my website a little today, and I'll be back at it tomorrow. I knew a little about keywords and metatags etc., but not enough. I will work on that especially, John. Have any of you paid someone like Overture.com to get more visitors?
Update, for those interested. John, I changed some keywords and metatags. Within 10 days I have gone from an average of 40 + hits per week to 40 hits per day. I will continue to tweak the site and follow your advice. We will be adding a shopping cart soon for a few of the gift lines that I carry that are either not sold anywhere online or are only sold by a few sites online. BTW, I like the question/answer area on your website. Betty, I looked over the info you gave me as well and subscribed to all you suggested. Now, for these hits to translate into $$$!
We climbed up pretty high since last week, thanks to google and yahoo fighting it out.

The search engines have been changing their rules almost daily for the past week.

Today, we're playing with a live chat feature. Have any of you ever tried or had success with that kind of add-on?

I haven't tried anything like that with framing. I really don't see framing customers taking advantage of a service like that.

An "ask the expert" page might work. I have one for caning, but it is not set up as I envisioned it to be. Sort of a "mini" forum, if you will. I expected to be the only "expert" to answer the questions, but just haven't carried that thought out yet. (I do, however get "oodles" of questions e-mailed to me and have a huge file of Q&A to expand the page.... Yeah, in my spare time!)

Now, I've got another idea brewing. It is a way to get a lot of people to sign up for my online newsletter. In addition to what the newsletter is already doing (promoting prints and framing) I've got an idea of creating a "link" of the month, so that customers (and prospects) when they get the newsletter each month, could choose from a list of "links" for "frame of the month" "caning project of the month" or other "things" of the month that I'll be doing.

My biggest hinderance to this is "why"? Why do I want them to go there each month? How can I create an income from these visits? What can I "sell"?

Will it simply be to promote the shop, or can I come up with something to sell right then and there?

This one is still "cooking."

Mike, let us know if the chat works.

Until lately, I have just been using my website as a sort of color cataloge. It has worked fine for that. Now that I have a storefront, I need to think about improving hits and whatnot.

Thanks for the tips.
My web site is the best (and the least expensive) advertising that I do. We use direct mail $350.00 per month,
yellow pages (waste of money!) $475.00 month and <span style="background-color: #FFFF00">internet $29.00 per month. Last year internet sales generated approximately $40,000. My 15 year old son and I created the site using Microsoft Front Page 2002 ($139.00 program) I also took a online class at a local college on HTML and Achieving Top Search Engine Positions.

Mainly what we sell is ready-made frames, empty custom frames and length moulding over the internet.

I have never paid to be listed with any search engine however I do use a submission program.

I concentrate on key words like Larson-Juhl, length moulding, Roma Moulding, ready-made frames etc....

My stats for today March 2:
Hits 2983
Total Visiting Users 153
Hits on Pages 1352 </p>

<font size="2">(Generated by a log analyzer program)</font>

<a href="http://www.dcfinc.net">
My Website</p>

I'm not a framing site, but I've been online since '97 and my main site and its subsites average about 50-75,000 pageviews a month now (that's not visitors, but total pages accessed).

It's all about having a professional design, easy navigation, and content that your surfers will find useful and relevant.
Snafu, I rally like the look of your webpage. How long did it take you to design it and work out the bugs?