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Forum topic by pashley posted 02-24-2010 09:34 PM 2692 views 2 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1047 posts in 4930 days

02-24-2010 09:34 PM

Most of you know I specialize in Mission-style clocks, and have a website that I’ve been working on to promote those clocks.

I’m not entirely satisfied with my search engine rankings, and I’ve been keeping track of them on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

I’m wondering if, instead of marketing the clocks as “Mission style”, if I’d be better off to market them as “craftsman style”, which is essentially the same thing.

Here’s why I’m wondering about this. When you use the search term “mission clock” in Google you get 15,000,000 results; in Yahoo you get 39,200,000 results, and in Bing, 14,900,000 results. I don’t place at all on Google using that search term, though in the past I was on the first page, the 10th result. Yahoo, I’m 2nd, and Bing, 11th. Google matters most to me, because it is the most used SE.

Now, using the search term, “craftsman clock”, in Google you get 763,000 results (as opposed to 15 million), 2,610,000 results in Yahoo (opposed to 39 million) and 674,000 results in Bing (opposed to 14.9 million).

The point being there is less competition for the term “craftsman clock” than “mission clock”. On the other hand, the term “mission clock” seems to be something people are writing about, and therefore I believe looking for, than the term “craftsman clock”.

The upshot is, I’m considering changing the text “mission clock” in all my pages to “craftsman clock” , to hopefully get better rankings, and I’m wondering if anyone has input on this?

-- Have a blessed day!

27 replies so far

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4991 days

#1 posted 02-24-2010 09:54 PM

You will drop off google really fast if you are not continually updating you web site and you have few other sites that have links to your site. Money will get you on the first page or two add bars.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

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18 posts in 4480 days

#2 posted 02-24-2010 10:44 PM

Search engine optimization is a very tricky trade. I think you are on the right track looking for terms were you can be more competitive, but that is just part of the battle. And with the search volume you are competing against, you will always be challenged.

Focus on the quality of traffic rather than the total traffic. You might be able to find more relevant keywords that are less competitive.

You may also look for loop holes. Often you will find obvious keywords like “mission style” have a huge volume of searches and are very competitive, but just simply adding a word before or after it like “the mission style” (probably a bad example, but) will still yield a very high search volume, but will be much less competitive.

DaveH is right though. Links from other sites are especially important, maybe more than anything else. Links from .edus and .govs also carry more weight.

But the bottom line is that the search engines want to send their users to the best content, which is why their algorithms are kept a secret. They don’t want site owner cheating their system, which would result in sending people to less relevant sites—I’m saying this applies to you.

View MrsN's profile


988 posts in 4739 days

#3 posted 02-24-2010 11:40 PM

My knowlege is limited, but is there a reason you can’t be both?

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 4243 days

#4 posted 02-24-2010 11:59 PM

I searched for “handmade mission clock” and your “Theandara” clock on Etsy showed up as link number eleven.

I appreciate that you may not be making them entirely by hand, and there’s an important distinction between hand and machine work on a woodwork specific site, but your customers are probably looking for something they consider to be “handmade” or ” bespoke” or “craftsman”. I think you should get these types of keywords onto your site.

I’m no expert on internet marketing, but from what I understand, one of the best practices is to get you work on as many platforms as possible, such as general ones like etsy, eBay, Flickr, Wordpress blogs and also Mission or Arts and Crafts related sites.

Hope you get more hits anyway, your work is fantastic.

-- John

View bench_dogg's profile


63 posts in 4350 days

#5 posted 02-25-2010 12:15 AM

Hi Pashley,

Checkout the book ‘The art of SEO’ by Enge, Spencer, Fishkin and Stricchiola.

I read it a month or so ago and found it to be really interesting. It isn’t too technical as far as code goes, but they go into some good strategies on how to think about marketing a website, keyword research and the like. You could also think about just buying some search engine rankings rather than relying only on organic results.

Also, are you using google analytics or another stats engine? If not I would set that up, it will show you where traffic is coming from ( hopefully not ALL LJ’s ) and what pages people are spending time on and which they are skipping.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5152 days

#6 posted 02-25-2010 01:08 AM

It matters not what gets you to the top of the search engine if the people looking for your product type don’t type those words. The question is not what words get you to the top, but what words people use to describe your work. When I was making wheelchair accessible cribs I was top of the list when people typed “Wheelchair Accessible” however, when they typed “Wheelchair Compatible” I was nowhere to be found. The words you use mean nothing if your customers don’t use the same words.

-- Working at Woodworking

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 4994 days

#7 posted 02-25-2010 02:32 AM

The upshot is, I’m considering changing the text “mission clock” in all my pages to “craftsman clock” , to hopefully get better rankings, and I’m wondering if anyone has input on this?

You don’t have to change you can mention both and more inadvertently, on the borderline of being repititive, stuff it somwhere at the bottom of your page or put one or the other in an ALT TAG on a photo, you could even mention other relevant terms. You have to push the envelope, and widen your horizon, you should have people stumbling across your site for search terms that you normally would not think are related but are. I added a wordpress blog linked off of my site and added a bunch of how-to categories and I never really added much content but every day I get people hitting my site for how to build a barnwood bench, etc…Also I pull in about 150-200 bucks a month deposited straight in my account from Google for adsense adds displayed on my pages for relevant content, yea I admit it is kind of like pimping out your site but the way I look at is if they can’t find what they are looking for and click an ad and exit, I might as well get a buck or two for it. I am sure Martin gets good Google revenue for relevant content.

Another thing is to study your competition’s code and layout, for instance, type in the keywords and phrases you want to be ranked for and see who is on the first page, compare their keywords and content to yours and come up with some ideas from that to edge your way up…

Also two word phrases are very hard to get ranked at first, most of the big boys pay for inclusion, shoot for 3 word and 2 word phrases…

Everyone above is right, there are alot of little things that all add up in the end to good search engine rankings. It takes alot of work over a long period of time and the work never ends. You have to be patient. It took me awhile to go from just a few visitors to around 4-5000 a month. Reciprocal links to other sites with like content and high Page Rank, I think relevant content is very important, as well as many factors like good keywords, the weight and balance of the keywords to the repitition of them in page content, Alt Tags, I try to repeat my keywords in the name of my html pages as well as the product photo naming convention, etc..

I looked at your page code and I can tell right now you can use some more keywords, but for sure your main keywords should be repeated in your title , description at least once and then I have found you can repeat them in the body from 4-6 times without being penalized by search engines. Also you do not need a space between the keywords, just a comma will do and will save you character space. I am pushing my keywords at around 718 characters, yea I know I am pushing it close to the limit but it has been working…and do not discount mis-spellings I get alot of hits for dinning table instead of dining table :)

Your site:
keywords” content=”mission furniture, arts and crafts furniture, arts and crafts clock, mission clock”
description” content=”New Mission Workshop – Fine mission style furnishings for your home and office.”
title New Mission Workshop

One of my sites that does pretty good: (type in barnwood furniture or barnwood bed on Google)

title All Things Rustic Log & Barnwood Furniture, rustic furniture

Description” CONTENT=”All Things Rustic Log & Barnwood Furniture, barnwood frames, custom furniture from 100 year old barnwood, we also have framed western prints and truly texas salsa.”>

Keywords” CONTENT=”barnwood furniture,rustic furniture,western furniture,rustic barnwood furniture,rustic log furniture,cedar furniture,custom furniture,rustic mexican furniture,rustic pine furniture,ranch furniture,country furniture,mesquite furniture,cypress furniture,log furniture,western decor,mesquite,cypress,pecan,spalted pecan,cedar, red cedar, white cedar,lumber,sawmill,barnwood bed,denim bed,rustic,cabin,lodge,rustic decor,teak,barn,barnwood,barn wood,barnwood frames,barnwood flags,american,cowboy,cowgirl,furnishings,handcrafted,handmade,reclaimed,recycled,bed,barbed wire,tin,horseshoe,cowhide,cowhair,pillows,hot sauce,chili mix,gift packs,truly texas,salsa,texas,denim,lone star,central texas,academy,little river,texas”

If you need any help just give a buzz sometime, I use to do this and Cisco Systems for a living

Be Well

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

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18 posts in 4480 days

#8 posted 02-25-2010 03:24 AM

Another thing to be aware of is that rankings are on a page by page basis. Pages need to be optimized on an individual basis.

Frank, I believe the general consensus now is that keywords are virtually ignored by search engines. I do like your idea about using the alt text in images.

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18 posts in 4480 days

#9 posted 02-25-2010 03:29 AM

Pashley are you using any analytics software?

I see you are not using google analytics. I would strongly recommend that one. You can learn a wealth of information from tracking site activity, including learning how people found your site and what keywords they used.

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 4994 days

#10 posted 02-25-2010 03:43 AM

_bp You are probably right, the rumor is google’s algorithms don’t way heavily on meta tags anymore but more to relevant content, but I like to play it old school and safe and do both, I do not want to break a good thing :)

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View pashley's profile


1047 posts in 4930 days

#11 posted 03-01-2010 03:52 PM

In an effort to further boost my marketing, I’ve decided to change the names of the clocks from “mission clock” to “mantle clock”. The reasoning: Google reports that there are 14x more searches on that term, but 43x LESS results in that search. Theoretically, I should get more exposure. We’ll see.

Technically, the clocks I make could very well end up on a mantle, so it’s certainly a valid term for the pieces.

-- Have a blessed day!

View christherookie's profile


144 posts in 4259 days

#12 posted 03-01-2010 08:01 PM

First, props to SawDustNSplinters for their great post above.

I’ve done my share of SEO. For starters, the perceived content of any page (by a search engine) takes into account the number of times a word occurs, the theme of the page, and sites/pages linking to and linked from that page.

If you want to rate well for a phrase (“mission clock”) for a page, here is what you could do, for starters…
1. The title of the page (title tag) should include the phrase.
2. Add it to the metatag – more for you to keep track of the keyword focus on that page.
3. Start with an H1 header tag that includes the keywords; “Custom Mission Clocks” for example.
4. In the first paragraph, use the keyword phrase twice.
5. In that first paragraph, you can say “Our mission clocks are the most…” and you can also do something like this “That is our company mission. Clocks are beautiful…” The words are located together :)
6. Make sure the last paragraph uses the keyword phrase. (Use can use it in the body but don’t exceed the 4-6 limit as mentioned in the above post.
7. Page content should be (um, this I’m not remembering too well) around 400 words.’
8. if you have three photo’s of mission clocks, use the alt tag in the html to describe it “mission clock oak” “mission clock maple.”

Looking at links within your site, if you have one page that links to your mission clock page, don’t say “click here.” Instead, say “we have a page for mission clocks” and let mission clocks be the hyperlink.

When you link to your mission clocks page from a forum or a blog reply, link the words “mission clock.” For at least 14 years, if you type in “click here” into google, you get the adobe reader web site as number one. That’s because so many pages use “click here” to get adobe reader.

That’s the short version of how to sculpt a page for SEO for a keyword.

Now, if I type in mission clock into goggle, I see: Results 1 – 10 of about 2,890,000 for mission clocks
With quotes around it, I see 1 – 10 of about 4,080
You are competing against 4080 other sites for that keyword phrase.
Mantle clock in quotes:
1 – 10 of about 80,500

Here is where blogging comes in handy. I have a web site for church sound systems. You can guess my target keyword phrase. I’m on the first page for google. After blogging for several months, you’d think google would see my site as “active” and focused on church sound systems. Well, it does, but the number of people who visit the site using those words are nothing compared to the hundreds of other keyword phrases people typed in to find my site. Many times, they aren’t phrases I would have guessed. However, I used those keywords in blogging.

In fact, there is a keyword phrase that I didn’t expect people would search for so much…which I’m listed as number 1 on google because I just happened to have a few pages devoted to that topic in length. I think I get more from that keyword phrase than for “church sound systems.” This is why you blog!

Blogging also builds trust with a reader. Readers that trust you will buy from you.

SEO the site for a few keywords, checking the competition for those words first. If you have 10,000,000 other sites with that exact phrase, look for another phrase. Sub 10k is good. Oh, and don’t SEO for a word, do SEO for a phrase.

Finally, when SEO is done right, you don’t notice it. The reader shouldn’t feel like you are saying the phrase as much as you can. :)

Hope this helps.

View _bp's profile


18 posts in 4480 days

#13 posted 03-01-2010 08:16 PM

Christherookie, I think you added some good stuff there.

Here a couple of reference links:
(I have this one pinned to my wall at work).

View pashley's profile


1047 posts in 4930 days

#14 posted 03-01-2010 08:40 PM

Wow, good stuff, christherookie and _bp! It’ll take me a while to absorb it all, but I definitely will do so.

Just to let you know, I also have a New Mission Workshop fan page, where I do some blogging, hoping to build up interest, trust and business. If’d you’d like to join, I’d love to have you!

-- Have a blessed day!

View christherookie's profile


144 posts in 4259 days

#15 posted 03-01-2010 09:01 PM

Pashley, you can add an RSS feed on facebook to pull from a web site. Some people don’t want to get into the whole facebook deal – or think they must sign up to see anything. I say blog from your site and place the RSS feed on your fb account. Personally, I view facebook as personal space and not he place to blog about a business. Not-profit’s being an exception.

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