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Forum topic by , posted 08-25-2011 05:58 AM 2031 views 2 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3575 days

08-25-2011 05:58 AM

Ive been looking into tuis for some time for our cabinet shop. Two things i really enjoy are woodworking and computer stuff. I was an IT in the Navy.

So my thoughts are this:

Being listed on the first page or two of google would probably be remarkable for leads. Recently a lady found me through a lead service, she is the type of customer we all wish to have, money is ko factor, quality is. It is a small job but pays really well. She forgot that she actually found me through the lead service, but did tell me that she remembers she found me on the first page of google when searching google.

When i run searches i find about 6-8 shops consistently showing up on the first page of google, something with SEO that they are doing right. My web site does not even rank anywhere, maybe around page 16.

It seems my options are to pay what i can afford which is not much for SEO services. But i do believe you get what you pay for in life. If I get cheap SEO it may just be throwing money away. And I hear 90% SEO marketers are scams so you have to be careful to ensure you are getting what you pay for.

Or i can self teach SEO to myself. I have purchased two SEO books from amazon and am currently waiting for them to arrive. I figure if I can start reading every SEO I can find, i should be able to begin DIY SEO for much less then 1000 or 2000.00 per month.

Then i also think learning SEO could help open up other possibilties. Iust a few thoughts, in any case i am anxious to begin a brand new learning adventure.

-- .

26 replies so far

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 06:19 AM

The site I work for consistently lists number one for many of our search results. We’ve also been heavy at it, including posting articles related to our business in order to boost key words for quite a while. I’m not going to say WHAT we sell, but we list higher than the manufacturer of said product, and are frequently a source of information for numerous other sites.

You should search the forums and blogs for SEO terms. I remember only a day or two in either one or the other of these places asking exactly the same question, and the answers given were solid enough.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2893 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 04:36 PM

I work in IT for an company that owns and operates apartment communities. I work with the marketing folks sometimes on this stuff. There are a number of simple things you can start with. Make sure each page on your site has a unique title. Use the meta tags in your html pages and make sure they are different on each page. The search engines ignore your content if you just cut/paste the same title and meta tags from one page to the next. In each page, make sure you work key search terms into the text: “quality woodworking”, “custom made”, “craftsmanship”, or whatever terms best relate to your business that people might search on.

Mastering SEO is a black art, and one I’m no expert on. Like the suggestion above, check the web. I believe Google gives straight-forward guidance on how to optimize for SEO.

Good luck

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 08-25-2011 06:26 PM

I’ve forgotten more about SEO than most business owners will ever know. It
is tedious, boring work but it is not rocket science.

You’ll be able to attain first page listings on Google for your local area fairly
easily due to almost inevitable incompetent marketing by your competitors.

If your website is newish (less than a few years old) it can take awhile
to get ranked well because search engine algorithms hold newer sites
in suspicion.

The main thing is to focus on what search phrases your “sweet spot”
customers are likely to type in and optimize for those.

Avoid flash. Lots of cabinet shop sites run flash which is counterproductive,
generally, to SEO.

View Carl Fisher's profile

Carl Fisher

53 posts in 2503 days

#4 posted 08-25-2011 06:40 PM

I just responded to a similar question here:

I’m a web developer by trade and have had to deal with more SEO than I care to. It’s by far not my specialty but what I posted above will give the general site developer/content developer something to get started with.

As Loren mentioned above though, don’t expect immediate return on your SEO changes. It takes some time to build up your ranking within the big 3 search engines.

Also in all cases, stay away from landing pages or splash pages that don’t provide useful content upon landing on the site. Never bury the most important information for your site below the root url…meaning stay away from when it should be at (make sense?)

-- Carl Fisher, Fort Mill, South Carolina --

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2935 days

#5 posted 08-26-2011 01:43 AM

Can you look at this site (mine) and tell me if I’m close or WAY out of the ballpark. I think I did enough research before I put this together but a pro opinion would be welcome. Just asking for a honest opinion.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View Carl Fisher's profile

Carl Fisher

53 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 08-26-2011 03:15 AM

I’d be happy to take a look, but let’s not take over the original poster’s thread. I’ll take a look tomorrow when I have some time and send you a message.


-- Carl Fisher, Fort Mill, South Carolina --

View Don Clark's profile

Don Clark

21 posts in 2545 days

#7 posted 08-26-2011 07:34 PM

You can sign up for google analytics for free – it gives you a ton of information about what people are coming to your site, what they’re looking at, how long they’re staying, and what searches they might have used to get there. It’s not a SEO tool, but it can help you focus your SEO.

-- Don,

View Stuey's profile


43 posts in 2985 days

#8 posted 08-26-2011 11:33 PM

Signing up for Google Webmaster Tools can also help point out grievous technical errors as well.

If you share the URL with us, maybe we can offer some pointers to help you along.

While you can spend a lot of money on SEO, a few hours of research and tweaking can go a long way. $1000 or $2000 a month?! That’s overkill. A few hours and a bit of effort will likely allow you to conquer most of what can be done.


View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3575 days

#9 posted 08-27-2011 03:13 AM

All the comments are encouraging. I did have a “pro” look over my web site. He std that since I used and used free templates that google can only see the templates but not the content inside the templates so the templates just look empty. He offered to do a html static site for me for 3700.00. I dont have that change laying around now.

He sounded smart and it made some sense, so I looked into Dreamweaver. I can afford 400.00 for software to do my own site, then I get to learn something more and I get re use the software for future sites I might do. Paying 3700.00 teaches me nothing and leaves me broke! So I hope to do my own static site that hopefully will work better with the search engines. Plus I intend on doing everything mentioned by you guys above, all good advice and I plan to read everything I can related to SEO.

I also don’t like that on my web site you have to scroll horizontally but the software on webzpro does not allow me to correct that issue. I do change the resolution on the software but nothing corrects this issue I am speaking of. There are other issues I don’t like about my web site software I use on webzpro. I much prefer to purchase some really good advanced software that will help me produce a really nice web site that is more readily seen by the search engines. I like the idea of building my web site on my personal computer using my own software then paying for just hosting.

I have also looked into wordpress, but I really do not know much about that. Not sure if that is a worthwhile way to go or not. All the more reason for me to read as much related to web site design and SEO as I can.

In any case, I would be extremely grateful to anyone willing to look my web site over and give me some good advice.

The site is:

I am also getting ready to register It is available now, it was not available when I chose .net. I also want to register other web site names related to my business such as etc… I know nothing about meta tags

All help is I can get is very much appreciated!!!


-- .

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#10 posted 08-27-2011 03:59 AM

Seriously???!? 3700???? FFS!!!! If I knew I could make THAT kind of money popping out a few pages, then I’d be taking on all the freelance work I could take!

HTML is stupid easy. You don’t need ANY special tools, just a word processor on your computer and a weekend to teach yourself the tags.

Here’s a page that can teach you the basics:

If you already have some coding or computer experience, HTML is pretty easy to understand. Hell, you’re using a modified version of it on this site when you make your text bold or italics, or enter a link or a picture. (instead of irritating symbols like ! to make a link or _ to make a picture, it’s basically a href= or img src=.... REAAAAAAALLLY easy).

The meta and head tags are the key part there, and they’re just a few informational parts of the page that don’t show up. And best yet, there’s no compiling, no extra programs, just text. The only thing you need to do is save the file as an HTML file instead of a TXT. (and you have to make sure to change the “save as type” part underneath the file name to “all files”). It’s REALLY that simple.

Don’t pay a cent for a simple HTML page. (but also make sure to look into CSS. It’ll help cut down on repetitive bits of code).

All in all he’s right though. You should almost NEVER use a templated site, and NEVER go for a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type of web development software. The errors in the machine generated code are really atrocious.

Again, you CAN build your own website. YOU CAN teach yourself HTML in a matter of a few days or weeks. YOU CAN get up higher on the results. It just takes a minimal amount of effort.

EDIT: I see you mentioned dreamweaver. I like using it a bit for my sites as well because it includes an FTP program within it (which saves me hunting for a decent free one), and I can use it to see my changes almost instantaneously. The one exception to the whole “template” thing above is dreamweaver’s templates. Basically you build a page in dreamweaver, and then you select areas to be editable (make sure to also include your meta info in an editable area) and then turn it into a template. From there, you can assign templates to pages, and change those editable areas. It cuts down again on repetitive code, and other than a few little bits that typically get denoted as comments, it doesn’t change do anything to the code, meaning the HTML is still plain jane HTML coding.

Also check out these:

and buyer beware, I haven’t tried it but you can try playing around with this for free:;productListing

I really insist on learning to code HTML by hand. Even though dreamweaver is a great tool for me, When I started doing my own pages 7-8 years ago, I played around at first with MSFrontpage (a crappy program similar to dreamweaver, though dreamweaver is far, far better). I didn’t get very far, and the tools were a little difficult for me to understand, but I could get by with it.

Problem was that all my friends harrassed the hell out of me for it. They said I already knew half of the programming (message boards like this didn’t have fancy “click to make your text bold” buttons back then… at least not the ones I used), and that notepad was the only “serious” way to learn.

It made me angry to be mocked, but one of my friends, Lauren, really wasn’t so cruel about it, and pointed out that there was a lot of crap in the code that I was publishing. It was also the reason why a lot of things didn’t work the way I wanted. And she showed me a few other “cool” things (back then fancy schmancy page transitions were all the rage. A big nono these days, but hell, things go in fads, if you know what I mean. Everyone was into flash a few years ago, but you remember having to wait a good ten to twenty minutes for a simple page to load because of it???). All doable with CSS and HTML.

So begrudgingly, I picked up a few books on HTML, including HTML for complete idiots, and got to work. By the end of a weekend, I had postit notes covered in notes about how to do various bits of code, and a website that was better than the ones I was doing with Frontpage. Since then, I’ve gotten only better (though I honestly don’t do much coding these days, because I don’t have much use for a site of my own). A few years ago, CSS finally clicked, and I was once again able to make better pages with less code. It just takes the time and the effort.

With my other part time job, I started off with a webpage that had something like 6 YEARS of edited code in Dreamweaver. There were chunks that did absolutely nothing but sat there. There were fragments and pieces that screwed up the page because they didn’t play nice with OTHER scraps and fragments.

It was like sawdust poured over each layer of finish on a beautiful rosewood box.

I ended up spending 4 WEEKS redoing the code, cleaning it up, making it run smoother (that’s when I also started really doing CSS more)... By the time I was finished, the pages loaded faster, it was more organized, and because the files were now given proper names, it even hit the page ranks better.

All because of a weekend messing about with HTML in notepad.

Since then, I’ve been trying to teach my boss HTML. Dreamweaver is a SERIOUS crutch for him. It’s too easy to push a button and make text bold (even though the code it generates is wrong, or in the wrong places). It’s too easy to highlight text and make a link. After a year, his understanding of the HTML itself is still minimal (though he’s always improving), and I seriously believe it’s because he asked for me to avoid using the books, and my failure as a teacher for going light on him.

Don’t do yourself the disservice I did my student.

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#11 posted 08-27-2011 04:15 AM

Ok I give up what is SEO?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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2387 posts in 3575 days

#12 posted 08-27-2011 04:29 AM

SEO is “Search Engine Optimization”. I am realizing more and more that people tend to do their own pre liminary searches for things in life starting with the big three, Yahoo, Google and Bing. To get to the first couple pages would go a long way of providing leads without actually having to purchase leads or trying to get them for free, such as on CL.

Well, I thought the price for the 15 page html site was pretty high, and I am a self taught kind of guy and honestly I enjoy learning new things. I started reading about woodworking back in 2005, and now in 2011 I run a custom cabinet shop and we are doing very well, but hope to improve on the amount of leads we generate.

I am excited right now, not sure if this will help much, or at all. But I just purchased/registered:

When I first purchased, back in 2009, the other URL was not available. I would then get offers to buy about once every few months for 100.00. I was almost ready to pay the 100.00 for the .com URL then I just noticed it became available. So now I have the opportunity to figure out how to point those 6 new URL addresses to my current web site.

I guess I figure, the more streets that lead to my home means my home becomes easier to find. We currently live on 13 acres, beautiful country but we are located way back behind other properties, only one small way into our property and therefore, NO visitors for us. So the idea is peace and serenity on our home property, but 5 pm type of traffic on our web site.

Everyone here has me more anxious then ever to begin my new web site project.

THanks for all of the help.

-- .

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2580 days

#13 posted 08-27-2011 04:33 AM

Well, I see after my already lengthy edit, you added more!

Are you planning on using redirects to send people from those other sites to yours, or are you just keeping them to make sure nobody takes a site similar to yours?

View Stuey's profile


43 posts in 2985 days

#14 posted 08-27-2011 04:37 AM

SEO = search engine optimization, the process of creating/coding/tweaking a website so that it achieves high recognition for google searches. Good SEO = more people find your website. Bad SEO = less people find your website.

$3700?! BS. A lot of SEO “experts” use black-hat or loop-hole methods that google may frown upon and ultimately penalize for.

I use Wordpress for my blog, and yes, it can be used for a static site as well, but may require a bit of searching to find the right theme. There’s also a bit of a learning curve but there are many resources to help you out.

From the look of how the site is now, I don’t think it will take too much effort to convert it to a simpler pure-HTML site. It looks to me that google should still be able to crawl the pages, but there may be a few issues.

As for the horizontal scrolling, it looks like the images are breaking the set resolution. If you did not already pay for Dreamweaver, there are a few resources you can use for free (MS visual web devleoper express . I use MS Expression Web, but only because I got a student copy for free. Any syntax color-coding text editor should suffice for beginners. That way you focus more on the html and css coding itself and less on learning to use powerful development software.

Bob is right, it IS possible to learn html and css quick. There are frameworks you can download to help you out, and quite a few free themes as well. Google for something like “html grid framework” to see what I mean.

Also, it’s good that you got the .com now (if you waited it may have been gone, happened to me before). The others you don’t really need, though. The chances that someone will snag the .biz and squat on it is minimal. And even if they do, your .com will almost always rank higher.

My advice is that you move to the .com and once everything is set, redirect the .net to the .com. OR, redesign the site at the .com and use it as a testbed until you’re satisfied. Then redirect. There are ways to give google an automatic heads-up so that they recognize the .com replaces the .net, so they’ll update their listings.

Regarding your URL to streets reference… URLs are more like physical addresses. Having several is like having five listings in the phone book. If a visitor goes to any one of the locations where you don’t have the real business, all they see is an empty shell. Google won’t even care about those URLs if they only point to your main in-use domain. Think about it, why would Google send visitors to an empty storefront? They won’t. Large sites like Amazon have multiple domains to ensure that others don’t try to steal their customers, and to ensure that visitors that type in the wrong URL (e.g. are properly navigated to the correct URL. Small business websites don’t have to worry about this as much.

One more random thing… on your testimonials page, you show your happy customers’ names and email address. imho, that’s a big no-no.


View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3575 days

#15 posted 08-27-2011 04:38 AM

Hey Bob,

THanks for the information, I need to read your edit because I just noticed you added to your post. I will read that right now.

To answer your question though, I am hoping to use the URLs as redirects to send people from thos sites to mine. Of course the .com was the one URL I thought I must have, the others were just a deal to keep away from anyone else. For them all I only paid 80.00.

Thanks a ton for all the good info. I will read your edited post.

-- .

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