Most people work on the theory "build it and they will come".
Well, as they soon find out that is not the case.
Too true… too true! I’ve had my Web site since 1997, and have had
relatively dismal results attracting traffic. Those of you who have
"known" me for a while, know I worked for Microsoft for many years
before “retiring” to be a starving artist. I am fairly computer savvy
, and am my own Webmaster. I have also built several sites for
others. I have been very resistant to paying someone else to do what
I can theoretically do for myself. Nevertheless, results are what
I researched search engine technology, and the accepted "truths"
about how search engines work. I then applied this research, and sat
back waiting for good things to happen. They never did. Occasionally
I’d tweak things, re-register with search engines, etc. Still
nothing. Sadly, the thing that drove most traffic to my site was
doing shows, passing out business cards, postcards, etc., and you can
see that’s a very limited market, compared to the potential of the
I was not about to do what all the dot-coms did and blow a bunch of
cash on ineffective conventional advertising. That has, for the most
part, proven to be highly ineffective and expensive. People are going
to look on the Internet for Internet resources, not look at print or
T.V. advertising. And I wasn’t about to pay one of the "per-click"
companies to drive traffic to my site… since they have a boiler
room operation in Latvia or Bangladesh or somewhere with little old
ladies clicking away on your site generating revenue for the company,
with no intention of buying anything.
I believe that search engine positioning is the key, as it is how
legitimate potential customers will find you. When I’ve “played
dumb”… not very difficult to do… and gone to find my site on the
search engines, I can’t. When I do get the occasional sale from my
site, one of my first questions is, “How did you ever find my
site?!?” The answer is always, “On a search engine.”
The problem with search engine placement, as Ray stated, is that the
technology is always evolving. What I accepted to be true last month
could very well change this month. There is a constant game going on
between the search engines and those trying to “get over” on them.
When a scammer finds a way to take advantage of an aspect of the
search engine’s quirks, they are quick to close the loophole. Bottom
line is that to really stay on top of it is a full time job. And I
already have too little time in the studio as it is.
Okay, now the disclaimer. I so much believe and understand what Ray
is saying, that I have contracted with his company to take over this
task for me. His technical staff has already shown me three different
ways I was “shooting myself in the foot”, only one of which I
suspected. That sure explains why my site was “limping” along… with
all those holes in my feet! The relationship is fairly new, and
the full impact of the work won’t be seen for a few months, but early
results are quite promising. Stay tuned…
If this all works out like it should, I won’t have to open that
little retail location I’ve been eyeing, which would really be an
anchor around my neck. I’d much rather be doing retail shows and
using my Web site as a 24x7 selling tool. I have much more freedom
and flexibility, and the overhead of a Web site is significantly less
than that of a store!
In an admittedly selfish way, I hope none of you catch on to this.
The less effective you are at search engine placement, the more
easily my site will rise to, and stay on top. If ten or twenty of you
sign up with Ray, I’ll have a tougher time elbowing my way to the
front of the line!
As I’ve said before, you only have to hit me in the head a couple
times with a two-by-four to get my attention…
All the best,
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)