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  1. #26
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Maybe I should have said someone posting for marketing help.
    That may be a valid point. I still would say it's not about funding. An idea can take off so well that you wouldn't ever need outside funding. Again, Ebay's a case point of that. I understand you're getting at the knowledge aspect of it. Perhaps a better way to help such a person would be to recommend they hire a good public relations and marketing expert to fill in where they're lacking.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  2. #27
    PHP/Rails Developer Czaries's Avatar
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    Keywords in Domain

    Having the search keywords in your domain provides a very large bump for you in search rankings, as does having the search keywords in the title of the page and the META description. Keep in mind that search engines like to give their visitors the most specific results possible for the closest match, so frequent specific keywords will always help, especially when they are in the domain name itself.

    Most of the time people choose for the domain to be a company name ("branding") instead of a creative compilation of keywords because they offer many products/services and don't want the name to limit their business too much. While this will help them to offer all their services with no apparent specific restrictions, this also hurts the search rankings BECAUSE there are no specifics.

    An example would be a search for "Warm Jackets"... The top result is likely to be a website that specializes in ONLY "Warm Jackets" than a website that sells a full line of clothing, including warm jackets.

    Also, as stated before, one of the largest contributing factors to search engine rankings is other sites linking to yours, with NO link back. Anyone can trade links with a popular website to gain popularity, but it's only when a website is *really* good that people will link to it and expect nothing in return. Therefore, non-reciprocal links actually count more towards your ranking than reciprocal links.

    So, it really depends on what you offer... If you are offering something specific, go with a domain name that highlights what you offer with keywords in it. If you offer a vast array of things, you may want to go with a more universal name, and try to make up for it in your title, content, and other areas. Bottom line is, the specific website will get the higher spot almost every single time. Choosing a domain name is one of the single most important things you can ever do for your webstie, but often is one people think the least about. Good luck in your domain adventures - I hope you pick a winner.

  3. #28
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    There's a current article on Wired, on the "Decline of Brands":
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/brands.html

    If you had a set of customers today, you could be pretty sure most of them would still be around two years, five years, ten years from now. That's no longer true. A study by retail-industry tracking firm NPD Group found that nearly half of those who described themselves as highly loyal to a brand were no longer loyal a year later. Even seemingly strong names rarely translate into much power at the cash register. Another remarkable study found that just 4 percent of consumers would be willing to stick with a brand if its competitors offered better value for the same price.
    But really, go read the whole article, it makes some interesting points.

  4. #29
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    To brand you need to advertise, and heavily.
    Well, PR can also build a powerful brand, and that doesn't necessarily need much of a financial investment. Although it certainly helps.

    But you can build a brand with little (or no) actual advertising.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
    Web Analyst at Napkyn


  5. #30
    SitePoint Zealot Dano's Avatar
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    I ve something to contribute:

    In the offline world, a brand is related on how it looks.
    In the online world, a brand is relates on how it works.

    This is from -i think- the best english languaje web writer: gerry mc govern www.gerrymcgovern.com.

    fatnewt:
    Well, PR can also build a powerful brand, and that doesn't necessarily need much of a financial investment. Although it certainly helps.
    i agree. but remember that time is money. zero money investment means more time investment.

    fatnewt
    But you can build a brand with little (or no) actual advertising
    Its demonstrated that -for launching products or brands- Public Relations is more efficient than advertising. Then you can use advertising to maintain the position.
    ---
    Dano De Weert
    ---

  6. #31
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnewt
    Well, PR can also build a powerful brand, and that doesn't necessarily need much of a financial investment. Although it certainly helps.

    But you can build a brand with little (or no) actual advertising.
    Whether you buy advertising to do it, or pay PR people in house to do it, its going to take money. Plus, if you have a PR department, you probably also have a marketing department. So you wouldn't use SPF as your marketing department.

    A unique domain, by itself, offers no real benefit to a site owner unless they pour tremendous amounts of resources into building a brand.

    There is a serious problem with people thinking that they'll make a unique image for themselves and that'll automatically give them return customers and an increase in public attention. It just doesn't happen.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  7. #32
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Whether you buy advertising to do it, or pay PR people in house to do it, its going to take money. Plus, if you have a PR department, you probably also have a marketing department. So you wouldn't use SPF as your marketing department.
    True story, and my comment wasn't there to counter your point, just to expand upon the brand building definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    There is a serious problem with people thinking that they'll make a unique image for themselves and that'll automatically give them return customers and an increase in public attention. It just doesn't happen.
    Again, true. Building a brand requires a few things. First and foremost, a running business. If you want to use PR to build a brand, you need a business that makes money doing something remotely interesting in your field. You need to do things that are newsworthy.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
    Web Analyst at Napkyn


  8. #33
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    It's not the quality of the name, it's the qualities you bring to that name.

  9. #34
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMichaels
    It's not the quality of the name, it's the qualities you bring to that name.
    That's a nice, succinct way to put it.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Addict Hajduk's Avatar
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    Yea thats like "Its nice to be important but its more important to be nice".

    Also, when having a domain, thinking about subdomains is also interesting.

  11. #36
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    One of my newer sites is 4webtemplate.net

    My longterm (5 yr) goal with this site is to be #1 for "web templates"

    In MSN's first beta release of their search I was #1, I don't think I deserved it yet though the site was barely a few weeks old.

    Anyways, the name is easy to remember. It starts with a number so in directories it will be ranked high alphabetically. It also includes the keywords I want, meaning my site name does to, so most incoming links I get will have the words "4 Web Templates" which is great anchor text.

    If I had named the site differently, such as "Snazzy Templates" or something like that, while I'd still get the word "templates" in there, I'd have an uphill battle trying to get the word "web". It'd be even worse if I didn't have the word "templates".

    Would it be possible to rank well without the keywords in the site name? Sure. Would it be considerably more difficult? Definitely.

    Keywords in the domain means keywords in the site name, keywords in your title tags, keywords in your incoming links.
    What makes you think that you can beat out all the many long established sites who have been competing for that term for years?

  12. #37
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    What makes you think I can't?

    I've ranked #1 on far more competitive terms. I have the PageRank, the site right now is a 7. I was able to give it a PageRank of 7 on launch.

    The only thing I really need is ontopic links. 5 years is enough time to accumulate those.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
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  13. #38
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Chris, I was juts curious, of all subjects to tackle, why this one? I'm not critisizing, just curious. Seems your efforts would go further in so many other areas.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  14. #39
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    What makes you think I can't?

    I've ranked #1 on far more competitive terms. I have the PageRank, the site right now is a 7. I was able to give it a PageRank of 7 on launch.

    The only thing I really need is ontopic links. 5 years is enough time to accumulate those.
    I've listed the reasons.

    What other "far more" competitive terms have you reached #1 on?

    Where do you plan on getting the ontopic links?

  15. #40
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Chris, I was juts curious, of all subjects to tackle, why this one? I'm not critisizing, just curious. Seems your efforts would go further in so many other areas.
    As far as I know there are no other template site review sites. Web hosting review sites are some of the most profitable sites there are. I'm sure you know my theories on the future of the web design business so suffice it to say that I believe template sales will only increase in the future. The advertising I could bring in would be akin to web hosting review sites, I could also charge monthly fees for a listing. Considering the site is pretty much self-sustaining anything it brings in would be profit.

    Of course, there are other fields to explore, but like I said, its pretty much self-sustaining. Its certainly not the only thing I am pursuing.

    I've listed the reasons.
    You have?

    What other "far more" competitive terms have you reached #1 on?

    Where do you plan on getting the ontopic links?
    I'm not going to give you my entire resume, you're a new member here and you don't know me and thats fine. My business is entirely driven by search engine optimization. I do minimal paid advertising relying almost entirely on free listings for my traffic and income. My SEO skills are directly responsible for my income which exceeds in one month what many make in a year. I've written hundreds of pages on the topic, I know what I'm doing.

    How am I going to beat entrenched sites? Well its a 5 year goal. 5 years is more than enough time for my site to get to the top. My onpage optimization is going to easily beat the current top sites. My PageRank already matches or beats them (beats the #1 site). The only thing I'm missing that they have is the on topic links. Those will come of their own accord. 5 years is a long time and once my site gets out there it will be mentioned in articles, forum posts, and plenty of other places. I may have to do some link exchanges or paid text advertising but its not going to be a big issue.

    Time is on my side. Why? Because of my domain, because of my title. Right now all the top sites have more links using good anchor text and more ontopic links than me. But as time passes I'll get more good anchor text links than the other sites because I have a better title and domain. Eventually I will catch up.

    I'm realistic though, thats why I consider it a 5 year goal.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  16. #41
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    As far as I know there are no other template site review sites. Web hosting review sites are some of the most profitable sites there are. I'm sure you know my theories on the future of the web design business so suffice it to say that I believe template sales will only increase in the future. The advertising I could bring in would be akin to web hosting review sites, I could also charge monthly fees for a listing. Considering the site is pretty much self-sustaining anything it brings in would be profit.

    Of course, there are other fields to explore, but like I said, its pretty much self-sustaining. Its certainly not the only thing I am pursuing.



    You have?



    I'm not going to give you my entire resume, you're a new member here and you don't know me and thats fine. My business is entirely driven by search engine optimization. I do minimal paid advertising relying almost entirely on free listings for my traffic and income. My SEO skills are directly responsible for my income which exceeds in one month what many make in a year. I've written hundreds of pages on the topic, I know what I'm doing.

    How am I going to beat entrenched sites? Well its a 5 year goal. 5 years is more than enough time for my site to get to the top. My onpage optimization is going to easily beat the current top sites. My PageRank already matches or beats them (beats the #1 site). The only thing I'm missing that they have is the on topic links. Those will come of their own accord. 5 years is a long time and once my site gets out there it will be mentioned in articles, forum posts, and plenty of other places. I may have to do some link exchanges or paid text advertising but its not going to be a big issue.

    Time is on my side. Why? Because of my domain, because of my title. Right now all the top sites have more links using good anchor text and more ontopic links than me. But as time passes I'll get more good anchor text links than the other sites because I have a better title and domain. Eventually I will catch up.

    I'm realistic though, thats why I consider it a 5 year goal.
    I'm curious what your strategy will be for getting ontopic links. Links from other competing template sites? Aren't those difficult to get (since they're competitors)? Or are links from DMOZ, Yahoo, etc. more key? I assume the top ranking template sites are already listed at such places. If so, you'll probably only get about the same number of ontopic links as them, but maybe a little more PR to send through them.

  17. #42
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Definitely major directories, but also smaller ones and link pages. Ideally I'd link to be linked to from all the various "webmaster resource" type sites. If they have a page of "template resources" thats all I need. The entire site doesn't need to be about templates.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  18. #43
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Definitely major directories, but also smaller ones and link pages. Ideally I'd link to be linked to from all the various "webmaster resource" type sites. If they have a page of "template resources" thats all I need. The entire site doesn't need to be about templates.
    So you think that search engines like Google somehow determine whether or not links to a site are "ontopic"? If so, any idea how they determine that?

  19. #44
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Its called LocalRank.

    The in-a-nutshell version is this:

    Google ranks pages, then takes the first 1000 results, if applicable, and reranks the pages this time only counting (or giving special attention to) the links within those first 1000 results. Meaning you need pages that also rank well on your search terms to link to you. So if you want to rank well on "blue widgets" it helps to have a page ranked in the top 1000 (the higher the better) for "blue widgets" link to you.

    The general consensus is that this was possibly implemented about a year ago.

    Google does have a patent on the process, so thats how we know about it, but they've had it for years and years. The massive changes last November most people agree could be explained by the implementation of LocalRank. I don't know if anyone has conclusively proved it yet though.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  20. #45
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    I don't know of any actual existing proof that it has in fact been implemented either.

  21. #46
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    Sorry, I wasn't very clear at all in my post. My friend hosts the site, and basically put both of my domains on the same IP -- no redirection (I know that that can negatively affect rank). It's basically just two ways to get to the same place.

    All of my hard-coded links are my keyword domain, but the title of my site that I use in my header and everywhere else throughout it is the actual name of my site. It's a simple name to remember for people to type in, but the difference is that a search engine will never index that domain instead of my keyword-based one because, quite frankly, I'll never give it a link *to* index (in reference to my non keyword-based domain).

    Hope that wasn't hard to follow = /

  22. #47
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    Graham
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    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
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  23. #48
    SitePoint Guru Mook-Jon's Avatar
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    Good question.

    I think the "perfect domain" is a domain with a made up name, or a word that has nothing to do with the service/product that the site reflects, while also name branding it so that the every day surfer truly associates that name with almost every keyword and topic related to the theme. The idea behind this marketing ploy, is to be "unique". I mean, isn't that one of the main reasons why you want people at your site and not at your competition's? Because you have a unique service/product to offer that differs from the same old boring stuff your competition has.

    Look at eBay or Google. Classic examples of sites that created their own brand, by associating their website's name with keywords that don't exist in their domain. When you think eBay, you think "Auctions, Cheap stuff", when you hear Google, you think "Search engine, relevant topics, answers to questions". Imagine if they went the route of sticking keywords into their domains? How confusing and ugly would that have been?

    Or what about Monster.com. Did anyone EVER think that a domain name like that would get people to think of resumes or job listings??

    For every service/product there is an excellent name that can be associated with it. True, if you have keywords in the domain name, then it does help out on the engines, as well as name branding, but when you can come up with a unique name, and turn it into a brand that is totally unrelated to the name of the site, well, you've just created a market for yourself.

  24. #49
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Look at eBay or Google. Classic examples of sites that created their own brand, by associating their website's name with keywords that don't exist in their domain. When you think eBay, you think "Auctions, Cheap stuff", when you hear Google, you think "Search engine, relevant topics, answers to questions". Imagine if they went the route of sticking keywords into their domains? How confusing and ugly would that have been?

    Or what about Monster.com. Did anyone EVER think that a domain name like that would get people to think of resumes or job listings??
    Just to reiterate my previous points. A unique name != branding. Name recognition and association == branding. You get name recognition and association through advertising (and lots of it). All those companies you mentioned, they've all spent millions and millions of dollars building their brands.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  25. #50
    SitePoint Guru Mook-Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Just to reiterate my previous points. A unique name != branding. Name recognition and association == branding. You get name recognition and association through advertising (and lots of it). All those companies you mentioned, they've all spent millions and millions of dollars building their brands.
    Well, eBay is the only one I know that started out small, and grew like wildfire. The other two got a few million bucks given to them to help produce their services. Although, Google never really advertised their service, and look at them today.

    I don't think you need a giant budget to advertise your brand. I think what you do need is a unique product/service that differs from what the rest of the market has. If it's just a replica with a unique name, then you probably won't go far (especially on a limited budget), but if you can literally change the product or service your competitors have, and come up with a unique name than can become synanomous with the new and improved version of what you're selling, well, again, you've just created a market of your own, plus, your competition will take notice and actually compare their service/product to yours!


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