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Topic: Google Adwords Price
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 15, 2008 10:24PM)
I am thinking of using Google AdWords. Their explanation is you set your own limit and the amount you pay per click, for instance $5 per day and 10 cents per click. It seems to me this must mean that the higher price you set per click the better placement you get, but I don't see that anywhere in the explanation.

Anyone know?

Message: Posted by: Dustin Baker (May 15, 2008 10:54PM)
It's an interesting system.

The higher price per click, the larger number of times you add will appear in a given time period.

FYI, if you buy something from vistaprint.com, they give you a $50 Google Adwords credit.
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (May 16, 2008 01:46AM)
Dean, you can spend a lot of money really quickly
trying to figure out adwords. If you think $5 a day is OK
then I strongly suggest you save that for 10 days
and buy Perry Marshalls course. It's about $50 last time I looked.
It will save you mega time and money in the long run.

Adwords is a steep learning curve that can generate spectacular results
both good and bad. :)

If you don't want to spend that amount on research at least subscribe
to his free 5 day course that will answer many of you questions

[url=http://m171.infusionsoft.com/go/default/timhyde/] Perry Marshall link [/url]

Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 16, 2008 04:47AM)
Thanks. The deal is that while my ad in a local parents' magazine does okay, business here in Michigan has dropped off. And I used to be one of the top search results for my city + magician in Google and Yahoo, but not so anymore, and I notice that email inquiries have dropped. When I check it out now I find I am also competing with ads, so I wondered what to do.
Message: Posted by: lowphat (May 16, 2008 07:32AM)
I personally think you'd be better off here... http://www.adbrite.com
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 16, 2008 02:53PM)
If you tweaked your search engine placement you wouldn't need those expensive adwords.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 16, 2008 03:06PM)

I don't think I know how to do what you are referring to. I do have meta keywords in my html. I used to be placed higher. There are still a couple of referral sites that show me and come up very high.

But I suspect you may be talking about a paid placement that requires parameters, yet is not based on adwords. Could you elaborate?

Message: Posted by: Dustin Baker (May 16, 2008 03:39PM)
Yes Al, do elaborate.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 16, 2008 06:43PM)
The more often you submitt your web site to google the higher your web site will be rated, but if you submit it more often than every 30 days it will be treated like spam, so the first of every month fot the past 10 years I have submited my web site. That is one reason why you may be loosing ground.

Too many meta tage could be as bad as the wrong meta tags.

If you pay someone to make your web site "search engine friendly" you will only have to do it once.
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (May 16, 2008 08:47PM)
so the first of every month for the past 10 years I have submited my web site.

Great tip Al
Message: Posted by: Carducci (May 17, 2008 02:06AM)
It's actually not necessary to resubmit your site to Google and other big search engines. Once you're in the database, your site will be crawled anywhere from monthly to every few months.

Meta tags do still factor into the ranking (and submission and meta tags are a great place to start), but it's only a small part of the formula. The biggest factors seem to be who links to you, title text, page description, page structure and where your keywords are used in all these places (I'm oversimplfying somewhat) I have top 5 positions for all my desired search queries but I also use adwords, partypop, gigmasters etc.

Anyway, I would suggest starting an adwords campaign before your decide which keywords to optimize for. With adwords, first you want to make sure you are a specific as possible with your keywords. If you do shows in a given region, then you want your ads to appear when people in your region are specifically looking for a magician. To do this, your wrap your search phrases in quotes and you try to think of all the possible ways to search for a magician in your area. "yourtown magician" "magician yourtown", "Magician in yourtown" "magicians in yourtown" etc. If you don't use the exact matching (using quotes) you will find your ads getting clicked on by people who aren't looking to book you. You also want to filter by region if you do most of your work in one market.

When I first started using adwords, I was far too general and ended up paying for clicks from people who were not looking for a magician. Occasionally I booked a few shows but it wasn't worth it. The bottom line is, if you're paying for clicks, only pay for the very best clicks--people who are looking for a magician for thier event. Also I strongly advise against advertising on the content network. (that's where your ad shows up on other webpages)

Once you've run your adwords campaign for a few months (especially during a peak season like christmas) you will get very valuable data. You will see, for each keyword, how many times your ads were shown (roughly equal to how many times people searched for it) the top 3-5 will be the search phrases you will want to optimize your site for.

Search the top 5 or 10 queries and see what directories rank highly. You can, very cheaply, get listed on partypop and gigmasters to fill in the gaps allowing your to focus on the top searches.

Another great tool, especially when you are using adwords is web traffic logging. I've tried various free traffic analyzer tools including google analytics and some open source ones but the very best one and the one I use now is called [url=http://www.web-stat.com/?id=2436]web-stat[/url] I use this to, not only give me detailed stats about what people are doing on my website (where they come from, what pages the look at, how long the spend on each page etc) which allows me to tweak everything to increase my conversion ratios, but it also tells me when if my site goes down (your don't want to be paying for clicks that never make it to your site)

Finally, it really depends on your market what you will need to pay; how competitve is it? If you are filtering out all but the serious enquires you will get fewer impressions and thus fewer clicks so perhaps a larger investment would be worthwhile.

Remember, though, that your maximum cost per click is only part of what gives you good placement in the ads. You also need compelling ads that get clicked (that's why you want to always have at least two ads alternating at any time, so you can determine the better one.)

There is a ton of free information that really tells you anything you could ever want to know.

If you have any specific questions, PM me or shoot me an email. I, by no means have all the answers but, if nothing else, I can help you find the answer.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 17, 2008 06:59AM)
I find your advise very sound, but if there's a ton of free information that will help you get to the top of a search engine seach why do you need adwords? Adwords is a suckrs game, and if you are sharp with your free search engine placement you are just being redundant. I have been in the top ten of all the biggest search engines for a long time and except for the first six months it has all been for free.

Keywords, and titles count to, but once you get them streight you are done with that business.

There are other things I do that gives me the edge which I do not talk about, because my competitors are Café members too.
Message: Posted by: Carducci (May 17, 2008 01:10PM)
It probably is a little redundant, but I've recently restarted my adwords campaign for three reasons. 1. My site doesn't perform well for every relevant search phrase (including searches in surrounding areas) and nor do the directories I list in. and 2. my philosophy is, the more ways people can find me, the better. Almost all my traffic comes from other means, but the more links I have on that 1st page, the better IMO.
3. I wanted to get updated stats on which searches were the most common in my market.

I'll let it run for a few months, see what it costs, what I get out it and go from there. As it stands, I'm getting less than 3% of my web traffic from paid clicks.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 18, 2008 10:25PM)
This has been a true case of magicians helping magicians. You all would not believe the private messages I have gotten with tons of great information. I am a programmer, but I'm not real deep into web development, and a couple of PM's sent me right to the FREE software I needed to build a clean site quickly AND add forms.

Plus all the advice on those pesky keywords.

Thanks, everyone.
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (May 18, 2008 11:44PM)
I'm glad you got the help you were seeking, Dean. Would you, or anyone else, be so kind as to let me in on the free software to build a clean site along with forms? And, any advice on keywords would be appreciated too. I've got a reasonable site with pretty good organic search result listings, but not in a very wide range of search phrases. I'd really like to improve my site and organic search result ranking if at all possible. Thanks in advance for the help!
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (May 19, 2008 06:52AM)
NVU is the software I suggested he try. It is open source, Free and surprisingly full featured for a free program. I believe it is NVU.org. a Small learning curve if you are a total newbie, but decent help and tutorial info with the program and forum.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 19, 2008 07:37AM)
Dean Montalbano (please excuse my spelling)
Thanks buddie. This subject has come up before, but this time we got some good FREE advise instead of the same old buy a course advise.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 19, 2008 01:27PM)
Here's a link to a new SEO blog for magicians which explains why Al's site is getting the rankings he is getting. [url]http://www.seoformagicians.com/?p=5[/url]
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 19, 2008 01:45PM)
So if I understand that article, I should update my page hosted on Comcast because it may rank higher than my site on my own domain?
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 19, 2008 02:25PM)
No, that's not what I read at all. He was just showing how Al's site is ranking. It's working for him, but it may not work for you. Not that comcast is going out of business anytime soon, but if something happened to the company or the way they host sites, Al's site would lose it's rankings. His domain name isn't getting the high ranking, the comcast address is and that's not the best way to go for a solid, long term solution.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 19, 2008 02:37PM)
Okay. got it. I thinking of just getting rich another way, then I can make myself famous.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 19, 2008 02:38PM)
I did not read the article, but every month when I resubmit my web site I use the web address that my IP gave me, and not my domain address, but I was advised to do it that way by bla bla bla in order to be search engine friendly. There are some things I simply will not talk about.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (May 19, 2008 05:27PM)
On 2008-05-19 15:38, Al Angello wrote:
I did not read the article,

Perhaps you should, I'm making a wild guess here, but I think Steve knows more about SEO & Web Marketing than you do. You should also probably check out his comments on Google Adwords. I don't think he agrees with your view that they are a "suckers game".


p.s. for someone who wasn't going to post on this forum any more you certainly have been doing a fair bit. Care to explain your change of mind or will you just delete this post like the last two?
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 19, 2008 06:05PM)
On 2008-05-19 15:38, Al Angello wrote:
I did not read the article, but every month when I resubmit my web site I use the web address that my IP gave me, and not my domain address, but I was advised to do it that way by bla bla bla in order to be search engine friendly. There are some things I simply will not talk about.

According to that article, what you're doing is helping to promote Comcast and not your actual domain name, which is getting poor rankings. However submitting the site is not the reason your site is getting ranks, it's the inbound links going to comcast.

What I get from that post is that it's more of a long-term problem. More than likely, sometime down the road, comcast will change something or eliminate the free hosting and your site is not SEO friendly.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 19, 2008 06:37PM)
Mr bb
I am back because those who value my opinion demanded that I ignore the naysayers.

Domino magic
My web site has 28,000 hits from people looking to hire entertainment. What is your point my angry friend?
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 19, 2008 07:21PM)
Angry? I think you're the angry one Al. The point is this - you are posting SEO advice as if you're an expert when in fact, you're not even aware why your site is getting the rankings it is. The article spells it all out and is backed with facts. You can choose to ignore it as it's probably not going to have any affect on your site since it's more of a long-term issue. That said, personally I feel your views on SEO & Google Adwords is more harmful than useful.
Message: Posted by: simon hughes (May 19, 2008 10:34PM)
Don't listen to the naysayers AL. You rool when it comes to the SERPS. You are all about the facts.
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (May 20, 2008 02:03AM)
Hey, Al....I'm curious. You say you've gotten 28,000 "hits" to your site. Is that 28,000 unique visitors? What is the time frame for getting those hits? You've had your site up for 10+ years, is that right? I'm just trying to get a reference to compare my site numbers which has been up for less than a year. I don't know if my numbers are good or bad, so I'd like to know how they compare to yours. Thanks in avance for your clarification, Al.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 20, 2008 07:13AM)
It is good to get PM's my friends, and hear from nice people like you.

Hi Al
My meta tags are set up to only attract local inquiries, so I guess that those hits are mainly from local companies, and mom's. I am also listed on several free entertainment directories, but everything is set up for locals people to find me. I get about 5 hits a day. I hope that answers your question.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 20, 2008 08:52AM)
On 2008-05-20 03:03, LVMagicAL wrote:
Hey, Al....I'm curious. You say you've gotten 28,000 "hits" to your site. Is that 28,000 unique visitors? What is the time frame for getting those hits?

I'd say based on Al's reply of "5 hits a day", he's counting hits and not unique visitors - which for those of you who do not know the difference, is a completely different number with a completely different meaning.

If Al's site got 5 unique visitors a day for the past 10 years, that would add up to just over 18,000.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 20, 2008 09:09AM)
You are right my friend I do not know the difference between a unique, and an ununique visitor, but I also get several phone calls, and email messages a week from local mom's and companies that find me through a internet search, and want to know more information about my services. I never claimed to be an expert, I just use is common sense. My estimate of 5 hits a day is accurate give or take 10,000 hits.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 20, 2008 09:26AM)
Here's the difference between a "hit" and a "unique visitor". A unique visitor is just that - a person visiting your website. The way that is counted is your web server sees the IP address of that person and stores that information.

A "hit" is anytime a successful call is made on the server. For example, say you have a web page with 4 images on it. That would count as 5 hits - the actual html web page counts as 1 hit, each images on that page counts as another hit (or 4 more hits in my example). While we look at a web page as one entity - the complete item that appears on our monitors, the web server that's hosting that page sees each item that makes up that page as a separate document and counts each document (images, html pages, flash files, etc) as a separate hit.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 20, 2008 09:39AM)
Thanks for the definition. I have never got multiple clicks on my meter from a single visitor, but by the same token I have no idea how many pages each visitor looks at. As long as my phone keeps ringing I'm a happy boy.
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (May 20, 2008 12:11PM)
I recently discovered the "statistics" tool that my web site hosting company (1and1.com) makes available to me. It allows me to see how many "hits", how many "unique visitors', which pages they visit, and a WHOLE LOT more. That information is extremely valuable to help me understand what viewers are looking at, what they might be missing and how I might restructure my web-site to be more user friendly.

My kid-show site has been up for a little less than a year and I've done my own site design, key-words, meta tags, etc;. It's also targeted to my local market area with key words, meta tags, etc; I do use Google Ad Words and with all of these components combined, I'm seeing a range from a daily low of 27 to a high of 47 unique visitors each day (over the past month). 45% of my visitors come from Google "organic" searches, 13% from Yahoo searches, 7% from MSN searches, 6% from my gateway site (which I use to promote my business in general when I don't promote a specific market niche), and 5% come from Google Adwords, which I have a $50 monthly budget, but rarely spend more than $20 or so. The rest of my site visitors are unable to be classified or are from other links out there in cyber world.

With all of these hits and visits, my phone STILL isn't ringing as much as I'd like. My hope was that Al was getting 100 or more hits per day and as a result had more business than he could handle. I figured I could aspire to 100 unique visits per day......The way it looks, I'm getting more hits, more visits, etc;, but I'm not converting those visits to paying clients. Apparently, I've got some work to do on my site.

Thanks for sharing Al......
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 20, 2008 12:40PM)
Since you're using Adwords, you should also consider using Google Analytics which is one of the best stats data available. It's free and easy to implement, just drop some code onto your pages.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 20, 2008 03:29PM)
A hundred unique hits a day is a very large portion of the Las Vegas population. If you had an escort service with sexually explicit photos on your web site you might get that many hits, but for a magic show it just isn't possible.

I pass out thousands of business cards a year, I have about ten agencies that use me from time to time, I get a lot of bookings from word of mouth, I have colleague performers that refer customers to me. My point is that you have to work all of the angles to make a living.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 20, 2008 03:36PM)
And that's where I'm falling short right now. It's a little tough with two small kids by day and teaching college at night. My wife is a high school teacher, I'll have some time to market and make sales calls during our summer "vacation." For now I really need the break anyway, and finals week is in two weeks.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 20, 2008 05:18PM)
Al in Las Vegas,

I think you're going to have a difficult time getting top 10 rankings for Las Vegas magician or Las Vegas magic show, but you may find other search terms giving you some results. With that in mind - keep up the AdWords. You're not spending that much, so it's worth keeping that going.

Al Angello,

You're absolutely correct with your last post. Getting top 10 listings in the search engine is just one part of an overall marketing plan and certainly NOT a magic bullet! Sometimes it just takes time & experience to build contacts in your area.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 20, 2008 06:31PM)
Networking is something you have to grow into, and it is essential to make friends in order to get ahead. Last week I had a bar tender call me for a job he heard about. Whoda thunk it?

We have not even touched on the content of your web site which in many ways is far more inportant that how many hits you get.

Even though you are in Vegas if you are in the kid, or family market it may not be that crowded.
Message: Posted by: Carducci (May 21, 2008 03:10AM)
On 2008-05-20 13:40, Domino Magic wrote:
Since you're using Adwords, you should also consider using Google Analytics which is one of the best stats data available. It's free and easy to implement, just drop some code onto your pages.

I've used Google analytics and it's not bad for a freebie, but it's only really useful for reporting broad trends. For the details I want, I find it's worth paying a few bucks a month for some really good tools.

I'm going to plug the statistics tool that I use again because I love it! It gives me all the general info in charts and graphs and lists, but you can also drill down in incredible detail. I know pretty much everything there is to know about every visitor to my website. What city they're in, how the found me (referrers and keywords), what pages on my site they looked at, how long they spent on each page (and that's just the tip of the iceberg).

You'd be surprised at how useful information like that can be at times. Check out their sample stat's or sign up for a free account and see what your think.

Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 21, 2008 04:24AM)
I'm going to have to remember that if the budget grows a little here.
Message: Posted by: Carducci (May 21, 2008 04:30AM)
In fact, to give you an idea of how powerful these stats can be. I can see that Mr Hyde (from earlier in the thread) visited my site twice, once on the 17th and once today. He had a good look around on his first visit (checking out 7 pages) and made only a brief visit today (1 page).
Message: Posted by: Michael T (May 22, 2008 06:23PM)
Thanks for hot tip about submitting once a month Al.

If you'll be my SEO advisor, I can be your long lost pal! I can call you Betty, And Betty, when you call me, You can call me Al!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 22, 2008 08:50PM)
Some question my advise, and to know that I've helped you makes it all worth while. Feel free to PM me as long as you don't live in the Philly area.

I just checked your address, and since you live in England flattery will get you somewhere with me.
Message: Posted by: Michael T (May 23, 2008 08:27AM)
That's right Al. I am in the UK. We have a search engine expert here called Gordon Drayson. I think you could end up being as respected as him!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 23, 2008 09:34AM)
I'm a hacker, but if I can make a buck at it I'm on it. I don't even know how to retrieve my cell phone messages, because I just don't care.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 23, 2008 09:38AM)
So I take it you don't use your cell phone for your business. Mine is a great tool because I have it everywhere. I have gotten a few calls just before my classes start. It impresses the students to hear some real business being conducted with a phone script, and ties in with the classes.

Anyway, I notice that I am coming up in listings on those searchable sites I joined for party planners, and those show up early in search results. With my name showing in the description.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 23, 2008 10:14AM)
All of my business calls go through my answering machine. My sell phone is for contacting my answering machine, several agents have it, and the all important "honey do" list.

If you just google your name you will see yourself as a potential customer would see you, and you have no controle of that information, so if you are on the 10 most wanted list you are more likely to get booked by the FBI than get bookings.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 23, 2008 10:33AM)
Well, it's not my name, it's "magician" mycity mystate. Anyway, I am going to start another thread now for thoughts on agents. Hope you will post. Unless I a thread started.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 23, 2008 10:49AM)
You missed my point. If you do a job and that organization posts your performance on their bulletin board your name is what they will use. Googling your name is an unauthoreized biography of you.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (May 23, 2008 10:55AM)
On 2008-05-23 11:14, Al Angello wrote:

If you just google your name you will see yourself as a potential customer would see you, and you have no controle of that information...

You certainly can have control over that information. If you take the Al Angello method of SEO, which is meta tags and submitting your site to Google once a month, then no you don't. But if you understand real SEO techniques, understand the value of social networking and domain names, it's very easy for the average person to control that information. If you have a common name, then it becomes difficult, but it's not impossible.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 23, 2008 11:02AM)
Yes, Al I did misunderstand. My whole focus was "Well at least when customers look for 'magician mycity mystate' my name shows up no lower than third with a link.

Got it.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 23, 2008 02:50PM)
I have an assumed name for my business, because 1) I don't want people to hesitate calling me because they are awkward about pronouncing my last name. 2) I have my business set up separately from household finances. My little business accounts get used online for purchases, etc. 3) I like the stage name for some personal reasons.

You do also get a California realtor if you just search my name. But if someone knows just my first name, and says, I want to find that Dean guy who is a magician in Canton, Michigan, they get me. It does fit in with my idea that for now I have to rely on my website as brochure, directing people to it through other contacts.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (May 23, 2008 03:12PM)
On 2008-05-23 15:50, impossible man wrote:
You do also get a California realtor if you just search my name.

I had one of those too - s.o.b. purchased my (our) name as his domain and I can't afford to buy it from him...
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 23, 2008 04:01PM)
Well, I enjoy being Impossible Man, so impossibleman.net is fine. You know, I got an email from a guy the other day who lurks here but doesn't post. He read this thread, went out to whois.com or wherever, got every statistic he could about my site and put some advice in with it, including recommending a company to work with. I was a bit overwhelmed, and I'm not in a financial position to put more money into the site right now, so I didn't follow up.

But then coincidentally, I got an email from someone who wanted to host the site for a domain I have registered related to my real name, but with no content or hosting currently.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 24, 2008 11:22AM)
I don't get it. If you work libraries, Summer camps, community celebrations, festivals, and corporate picnics all Summer, and a bunch of them post your performance info on their web site for adveritsement purposes, how are you going to controle that?
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 29, 2008 09:27PM)
Hey! I'm on there too! Then I clicked my link and saw that my pictures aren't loading. Something for tomorrow. They were loading 2 hours ago.
Message: Posted by: John Martin (May 30, 2008 08:24AM)

When I google Lyndel magic, Lyndel magician etc. I don't get a direct link to his site. The results come up for lyndel in gigmaster and other sites. Is google doing this to his site intentionally? ie. not ranking him at the top of the list.


Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 30, 2008 02:07PM)

I was afraid that unknowingly being a link on the Lyndel site hurt my rankings, too, but your post gave me a way to check that. Thanks.

It seems that lately as soon as I have a concern there is someone around with the answer. What a morale boost.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 30, 2008 02:44PM)
My nextdoor neighbor had a site with no content created by a designer. The designer set up Google Ads on the site, then used it to demonstrate Google Ads to other clients. Needless to say, they wouldn't pay out for a lot of clicks on a site with no content.
Message: Posted by: John Martin (May 30, 2008 05:10PM)
Thanks BG, that helps me understand the process much better.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 30, 2008 06:03PM)
Booster Gold
Welcome to the magic Café. Lyndel is a magician friend of mine from right here at the magic Café, and if he wants to link my web site from his I will have to thank him. I think your description of me as a dummy who doesn't know what he is doing, and has an adviser with a little bit of knowledge is a very accurate description of me and my web site designer, I'll be the first to admit that I am a juggler/magician just trying to make a buck but when you google "juggler Philadelphia" or "magician Philadelphia" my name has consistently come up in the top ten for over 10 years. Google is only one search engine I am on the top ten list of the other most popular search engines too.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 30, 2008 06:27PM)
What I haven't seen mentioned a lot here is whether the number of hits a site has received plays into rankings, how much, and why. Should that be a separate post? If number of hits is a factor, perhaps I should post a lot of questions so everyone will go check my site? (Kidding)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 30, 2008 06:38PM)
The number of hits you get is your way of thelling if people are looking at your web site. If the meter isn't clicking that means that no one is looking at it.
Message: Posted by: Bradacal (May 30, 2008 11:31PM)
I gotta say that I just signed up for Web-stat...absolutely amazing, its shows you everything in detail, spot on.

Great referral guys!
Message: Posted by: Carducci (May 31, 2008 12:02AM)
The number of hits plays only a very small part in your page ranking. If the user has the google toolbar and has agreed to share their browsing data with google, than it can play a small role in the equation (very small) what matters most fist is your content, then who is linking to your site, then other, more obscure details like how old your domain name is, when it expires, etc. For the most part, hits to your site are not tracked by search engines.

The number of hits only tell you part of the story. If you get 100,000 people hitting your site, but 99,999 people turn around and leave then you might as well get only one hit. That's called your bounce rate (which most stat packages, including google analytics, don't tell you)

MB, good on you! [url=http://www.web-stat.com/?id=2436]Web-Stat[/url] rocks!
Message: Posted by: impossible man (May 31, 2008 07:48AM)
Happily, since the mention of Comcast I updated my Comcast-hosted page to match the new page I put on my hosted domain. I come up #1 in Yahoo! for "magician mycity mystate."

But in Google the site I had a listed on doesn't come up at all now and I have advanced from the top of the second page of results to the bottom of the first. Meanwhile people have started calling off my ad again, and they are not contacting me from the web.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 1, 2008 07:00AM)
For SEO your simply competing against other people who are rating higher than you... analyze their site and go one step beyond...

as far as submitting your site to Google.. umm if you know what your doing you can make the list in 24hrs and never even submit.. and there are a few phrases that I rank position 5 on Google that I wasn't even listed for last week (re-tweaking my site)

SEO is a game and the rules change ALL the time...

Learn how to analyze the data from different analysis tools and how to compare your site to your competition... that's your starting point...

after you learn how todo that then your ready for market domination

imagine someone searches for a magician / children's entertainer / or anything along those lines in your area and "ALL ROADS LEAD TO YOU"
if you can take MULTIPLE listings on Google (and getting 5 isn't hard) then you get the most traffic...

then you need to make sure that traffic is converting into phone calls

currently I get 25 - 30 unique visitors a day with a average of 4 page views
and get about 5 emails and 2 calls a day about pricing and availability..
My goal is to triple that within the month so I am booked so solid that I can start referring other entertainers..

but SEO is easy IF you have the right information..
and tools..
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 1, 2008 08:49AM)
Very few people know what they are talking about here, thanks for the good advise.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (Jun 4, 2008 08:35AM)
I was wondering how to submit my site to Google and got an ad from them. Their webmaster toolbar is available free from my hosting company. So I opened it this morning and got this report:

Site Information Sitemaps Errors Warnings Verified?
http://www.impossibleman.net/ 1 0 0 Verified

I don't see any other diagnostics offered. How does this help? Or is this a subset of what I would get if I paid for another level of tools?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 4, 2008 09:05AM)
This may help
Message: Posted by: Carducci (Jun 4, 2008 09:08AM)
All of google's webmaster tools are free.


You will need a google account and you will need to verify owership of the site (by placing a meta tag or similar on your site)

Once you've done that you can see various stats and info about your site.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (Jun 4, 2008 09:48AM)
When I run them from Google's site I am only offered "Index Stats." All other links under the Statistics head are disabled, "grayed out."
Message: Posted by: impossible man (Jun 4, 2008 09:50AM)
Okay, I need to verify. I did this through my host and didn't get the stats but it looks like I can just do it through Google. Got it.
Message: Posted by: avimagic (Jun 25, 2008 07:06AM)
I'm coming in late here, but web design and marketing are areas of my expertise so I thought I'd jump in anyway.

Hey, Al....I'm curious. You say you've gotten 28,000 "hits" to your site. Is that 28,000 unique visitors? What is the time frame for getting those hits? You've had your site up for 10+ years, is that right? I'm just trying to get a reference to compare my site numbers which has been up for less than a year. I don't know if my numbers are good or bad, so I'd like to know how they compare to yours. Thanks in avance for your clarification, Al.

Al's site has a big 90s-style counter on the homepage that currently reads 28,197. So (correct me if I'm wrong, Al) I'm guessing his count of 28,000 was based on that counter. Problem with that is it's counting page views, NOT unique visitors. Now, the counter is smart enough to not go up if it logs more than one hit from the same IP address (so it doesn't go up when you hit refresh) but those unique views are only good for 24 hours or so. So if Al has his web page set as his homepage when he opens his web browser, you can probably assume that one of those hits each day belongs to him.

Whatever you do, you should have a really good web stats program (most domain-based hosting providers give them to you for free) so you know what your "real" numbers are, and where your traffic is coming from.

Also, you should have some rel content pages, not just a single page in Flash that changes when you click on links. Google can't see the difference between the pages that come up like that (and can't read their content either) so to Google, Al's whole site looks like one page.

To Al's credit, his site has a Google PageRank of 3 out of 10, which is pretty good for a 1-page site. My sites are new so they are still sitting at 0, but they'll be up soon. I have yet to see a magician's site rank higher than 4.

As for the Adwords question, it's a matter of simple math and logic.

Anyone who says that you can beat your competitors by simple search engine optimization is speaking in a vacuum. Sure, with some SEO you can boost your rankings, but by how much?

If you want to rank in the top 20, you can do it, sure. Read up on it, find out what tags to add, how often to submit, what not to do, etc. But that only assumes that your 20 biggest competitors aren't reading the same materials or paying a pro who's better at it than you are! If you're in a large or saturated market, you may NEVER make it to the top, simply because of the number of other magicians with the same keywords that you're competing with.

It all comes down to the same question that Sharon Osbourne keeps asking the acts on America's Got Talent before they audition: Sure, you've got talent, but are you talented enough to win this whole competition?

A lot of Al's (and other people's) advice is very good. Do the SEO. Submit to Google and other search engines. But until you rank in the top 10, the only way to be absolutely certain you appear on page 1 of Google is to be the highest AdWords bidder.

My 2 cents!

Message: Posted by: avimagic (Jun 25, 2008 07:10AM)
P.S. I posted the above without noticing (DUH!) that there was more than 1 page in this thread... sorry for any redundancies. Some web expert I proved to be, huh?

Also, the whole discussion piqued my curiosity, so I checked my stats... I'm getting an average of 40 unique visitors a day, so I should be at 28,000 within 2 years. :)
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (Jun 25, 2008 10:22PM)
On 2008-06-25 08:06, avimagic wrote:

I have yet to see a magician's site rank higher than 4.


Best not look at Lance Burtons or Copperfields then. :)

Actually there are a few Café regulars who have or at least used to have a 5 Ranking.

My resource site http://www.magiccoach.com used to be PR5 but it's back to 4 at the moment.

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 1, 2008 01:18PM)
On 2008-06-04 10:05, Al Angello wrote:
This may help

I just used this and I will try to remember to use it once a month. I am unsure if I ever submitted my URL before. Bookings are down all over my area. Thanks Al, we miss you.
Message: Posted by: Carducci (Jul 1, 2008 09:59PM)

You truly do not need to submit every month. Once is enough (there are ways to get your site listed very quickly)

Google does not forget your site, in fact once your site is crawled, the googlebot will come back soon to get an idea of how often you update your site. How often your site is updated dictates how often your site will be crawled. If your site is not updated regularly, you will still get regular crawls from google.
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Jul 2, 2008 11:31AM)
For free webstats try http://www.statcounter.com/

This is a great site. You can pay to use it, but the free version will keep track of stats on the previous 500 hits.
Message: Posted by: avimagic (Jul 2, 2008 11:52AM)
On 2008-07-02 12:31, Scott O. wrote:
For free webstats try http://www.statcounter.com/

This is a great site. You can pay to use it, but the free version will keep track of stats on the previous 500 hits.

Most web hosts provide pretty powerful stats tracking free with your hosting package. Ask them before you start adding external services that you have to pay for.

If not, I agree: statcounter is good.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Jul 4, 2008 08:18AM)
A couple of possibly related points.

I would recommend getting a web site from a "real" web hosting firm rather than from your ISP. A local magic shop had their site on Comcast, but had problems. Comcast was no help. The site was working at one point, it stopped working. The HTML worked on several other places and Comcast said, sorry, we can't help you. I moved it to another site with no problems.

There are other similar stories out there. If you can afford it, it pays to go with a web hosting company. They make their money supporting the web, while most ISP's main business is cable TV or communications.

One way to quickly get on the radar (have your site searched) is to put up an AdSense ad. This forces an almost immediate search and index of your site. Leave the ad in place for a short while and then delete it (or not, up to you). You will have been indexed immediately.

There are short term SEO optimizations that can be a real boost. The problem is that if they provide an "unfair" advantage, whatever caused the elevation in ranking will be devalued in the ranking. That's one of the reasons that some SEO companies claim that you need constant updating, they take advantage of the latest holes found in the ranking system.