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02 - Web Site Management Creating & Managing an Effective Business Web Site
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  #1  
Old 09-02-2008, 06:03 PM
Butrcup98 Butrcup98 is offline
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Default Website start-up...help.

I have recently begun researching how to start a web-site. I currently sell playful bedroom attire and have run a successful home-based business for 4 years.

I was under the impression that I needed to 1) choose a host (I chose yahoo, because it's an all in one package), 2) start advertising (I chose Google because I believe they are the best), 3) design my website (offered by yahoo) and 4) start selling.

I never expected to "get rich quick". I know this will be hard work. I have $15K to invest in the start-up and first year of expenses.

Now I'm reading that advertising with adwords on Google doesn't mean that you get a top spot, no matter how much you spend. I was planning on spending $1000 per month.

My list of questions:
1) How can I ensure that I will list in the top 5 on Google? (Also, if anyone knows the #1 site used in USA)

2) What is SSL security and how do I obtain it for my webite?

3) What other sites/forums would you recommend for a website beginner?

I realize that I don't have a lot of knowledge, but am quite willing to do the work and research if someone would point me in the right direction. Any and all advise pertaining to website start-up would be much appreciated.

Thank you to all who respond.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2008, 03:57 AM
Qtac Qtac is offline
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1) You can't ensure it. I'd suggest checking out some SEO forums or employeeing the help of an SEO consultant.
2) SSL (secure sockets layer) is a protocol for transmitting private data across the internet. If you're adding a shopping cart / payment capture section to your website then perhaps look at third parties that will do all of this for you (including the SSL) so you don't have to worry about keeping up with new security methods.
3)www.webmonkey.com for design help, for SEO etc I always use forums.digitalpoint.com.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2008, 09:34 AM
CarolynO CarolynO is offline
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Butrcup, you've made a good start, but now you have to market the heck out of your site. Qtac is right - you will need SEO, and I can help you on that matter, maybe on a few others too:

1. Add your web address to your signature in this forum so we can all visit your site.

2. If your site is hosted and built in Yahoo, they should be able to offer you a secure shopping cart and you may not need to get your own SSLcertificate (maybe someone else can confirm this for me - I'm not sure).

3. Look at other sites that use the Yahoo shopping system and see what they do. artbeads.com is a good example. If necessary, purchase a cheap item and make notes about their checkout process - they have a good one.

4. Go to http://www.highrankings.com/forum/ to learn more about how to make you site professional and accessible to the search engines. It is the best SEO forum I know of and the people are great.

5. Learn about KEYWORDS and how to research them. They are one of the most significant factors you'll encounter in marketing your site. Once you know how to use the right keywords and use them properly, you'll never add content to your site again without first doing a bit of keyword research. It's not hard.

6. Write your content in the most professional way. Use sites like grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ to make sure you're not making gramatical mistakes - her book in is the stores right now and it's an easy way to make sure your writing is up to scratch. If you're not good at writing, invest a little bit of your money getting a professional to help you get your content perfect before you spend money on Google Ads.

7. Google Ads - essential. But once again...don't go throwing a thousand bucks a month at it until you have researched your keywords. Rather choose the longer, more specific, keywords, which are cheaper, than broad ones which will cost you the earth. I'm not sure exactly what you products are, but as an example, don't try compete for a very popular word like lingerie. Rather use theme lingerie, designer honeymoon lingerie, theatrical lingerie...whatever is SPECIFIC to your product. And add your keywords to your Google campaign in quotes or these things [ ]. That way you'll avoid the very broad searchers and capture a more select market.

8. Google has GREAT tutorials. Use them. I know it's a lot to do, but the more you know about all this the more you'll be in control of your business.

9. Join twitter.com. Do searches for people in your market...moms, single women....whatever - I guess married women wear playful gear too right ;-). Then start talking about your life, your work, your milestones...whatever. Follow people on Twitter and see how it's done. It will go a long way to getting you business. You don't always have to pay for publicity online! Follow other people on Twitter who sell what you do and watch what they do.

Good Luck!
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2008, 08:21 AM
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pete pete is offline
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Butrcup, Be careful. Be very careful.

You seem to have a "throw money at it and it will work" attitude and that is not a good way to go about selling online. There are many, many "consultants" out there just willing to eat up your budget and produce little or nothing in return.

The idea of selling online is wise. But I'd advise you to spend a little more time researching how to go about it.

I don't think Yahoo is your answer. All-in-one is seldom the way to go online. With most all-in-one solutions you can end up with a lot of time and money invested and if things don't work and you want to relocate your store, you are unable to move most of it because it is under their control, not yours.

You will do much better controlling your own fate by -

Buying your own domain name. Do not let anyone else have it in their name.

Finding an independent hosting company that is geared to online stores.

Use an "open source" type shopping cart. They are either free or low cost and there are thousands of people who can work with them. Web designers and "coders" seem to come and go, having someone build you a store from the ground up ties you to that person, who may go back to their real job next week, or die next month. With open source carts you can always find help.

Study on your own SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Learn about "long tails". Your description "playful bedroom attire" is something that would probably never be entered into a search engine. So, you can get it pretty cheap, but it won't do much good in bringing sales.

An example of a long tail might be going from "Quilts" to "Amish Style Miniature Double Nine-Patch Quilt Pattern". You might pay $ 2 or more for Quilts where the "long tail" might be a quarter. Fewer hits, but those that come will be totally qualified.

If "playful bedroom attire" means sexy lingerie and such, you are going to be in a very crowded market. It's not the kind of place I'd suggest just sitting back throwing out money. You need to do some serious homework.

SSL is not required with shopping carts, as they transfer the actual card processing over to PayPal or merchant account / gateway processors which handle the secure portion of the sale. However, the SSL logo can be a good sales tool, just by being present on your home page. So, not required but good to have.

Go slow with this and don't get into a single provider situation. I've been selling online and participating in forums such as this since 2001 and I can tell you of literally hundreds of sob stories from folks who went with the "one stop does it all" kind of host, including many with Yahoo.
.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2008, 08:00 PM
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Congratulations on taking your business online! Things are always more complicated than they first seem. Especially if you want to stand out from your competition, you have to consider investing in your website. A well designed website programmed by a professional web designer will get you a long way.

An SSL certification (Secure Socket Layer) is the security technology for establishing an encrypted link between the web and your browser. SSL ensures that all data passed between the web and browsers remain private. Often a hosting package that is ecommerce based will come with SSL certificates.

Another forum I would recommend is StartUpNation.com There is a really great base of entrepreneurs on the forums.

Let me know if I can help get you started on the right foot,
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:16 AM
Debt Reduction Debt Reduction is offline
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The assurance of listing into top 5 sites in Google is really difficult.

You can take some help of SEO techniques to rank your site into Google. But its really tuff.

So try to search in some SEO forums.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:26 PM
benmc benmc is offline
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pete makes some great points.

I agree that just throwing money at adwords is like throwing money away. Think carefully about your ads, your landing pages and your keywords.

Remember that in PPC marketing, there is a long tail. So, "women's clothing" is not the same as "blue women's clothing".

Services like HitTail.com explain this pretty well.

As for SSL, I'm surprised that it doesn't come as part of the Yahoo store checkout process, but there are many to choose from, such as Verisign and Geotrust, but you should plan this securing process with a rep from Yahoo because there can be some complicated steps.

I like to register certificates for more than a year so I don't have to go through the renewal, and sometimes, re-install process over and over again each year.

Good luck!!!
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2008, 06:04 PM
Tshirtnoise.com Tshirtnoise.com is offline
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Hi Buttrcup! I am all about trying to save a buck, here are a few things that I use personally that may be able to help you out.

I can't guarantee that this will get you in the top 5 @ Google, but it's help me raise the hits to my website overnight and it is free:

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Another way, is to open a website directed solely at your store at any popular social interaction website (I honestly get the most visitors from MySpace, my referral links tell me so.) MySpace, LiveJournal, DeviantArt (This one will be useful if you hand-make any of your items) and you can add StumbleUpon/StyleFeeder to your toolbar. It's a way of bookmarking things you see online that you are interested in and would like to share with others. I use it from time to time, has not given me any problems.

Last but not least: LINK EXCHANGE! Ask a friend or two to place your link on their website and you might do the same in return.

Best of luck to you! Hope this helps a bit!
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:27 AM
orion_joel orion_joel is offline
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Besides just spending money on advertising you need to spend time making sure that it is getting you results. You can use adwords, and create an add, and spend $1,000 a month but you need to be sure that you are targeting the correct market, and the correct keywords. It can take a lot of guess and check (although knowing your product well will be a lot better for you to get keywords). Not all the keywords you think of are necasarily going to be the keywords people looking for your product will use.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2012, 04:36 AM
adrian_in9@yaho adrian_in9@yaho is offline
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