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Knotical

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I was hoping to get some constructive criticism and some possible tips on how to improve my site:

www.knoticalnovelties.com

This is for a business I am building, but obviously am struggling with generating traffic. So, one thing I would love to get tips on is if anyone is good at SEO, both explaining it and advising on how to use it optimally I would be grateful.

My primary purpose for the site is to promote products that I make by hand, but I also wanted to provide a forum to discuss nautically historica events. I have posted a number of articles so far, and would like to get feedback on what is there currently, and possible future topics.

Thanks for stopping by!
 

Corey

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Hi Knotical

I am new to this to so I am no expert at SEO. But I have done some research. One thing that is extremely important is to have lots of good content. What i mean by good content is text that describes what you are offering and writting about topics that your target audience is interested in. Make sure to make the content original (not copied for other websites or from a different place on your website).

Use lots of words in your website that you think people would type into search engines.

Make sure to list your site on Google's directories. Use alt tags on your pictures. Make sure your website's load time is not slow. Make a Facebook page. Allow visitors to share your site/products with their friends thru Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, etc.

And, be patient. THis takes some time.

I hope this helps. Good luck.
 

Knotical

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Thanks, Corey. I do have a question about alt tags on pics, what exactly does that entail? Do I need to embed something in the pic itself when I make it and prior to uploading it to my site?

Also, I am not sure if there is something overt I need to do in order for my site to show up in google directories. Have done some searches based on content on my site and have been able to find it in a google search, albeit not on the first page of the search, but I have found it.

I have been using traffic exchanges to generate some traffic (which incidentally got me banned from Google adsense :sad), so hopefully that will help with rankings.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Corey

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depending on the way you created your website, you may or may not have to add alt tags. If you are using a good template, they probably do it autimatically for you, depending on where you have placed the image and what it is being used for. For example, if you place a product image in yur product page, the template you are using may be placing your category name, product name, etc. into the alt tags for you. But if they ar enot, you will want to do this. If you have mannualy entered pictures into any code on your website you can add the alt tags simply by placing alt "words go here".

For google, go here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
For Yahoo and Bing, go here: www.search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

Good luck.
 

Knotical

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One thing I would really like to find out is if I am asking too much for the products on my site. To give a little insight, it takes about an hour to make each of the crosses, the bottles take about half an hour, and the same for the keychains. I have been thinking of dropping the price on the bottles, but unsure what I should drop it to.

Thoughts?

http://knoticalnovelties.com/index.php/en/products
 

Corey

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I am not your target audience so I am not sure what you should price these at, but a good way to accomplish this would be to look similar products on the internet and see what they are selling them for. That would be a good starting point. Then, if you would like, you could discount your items a little since you are new, to build your customer base.

This is a hard one though.
 

Nick

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Sorry I'm a bit late to the party...

I was hoping to get some constructive criticism and some possible tips on how to improve my site:

www.knoticalnovelties.com

This is for a business I am building, but obviously am struggling with generating traffic. So, one thing I would love to get tips on is if anyone is good at SEO, both explaining it and advising on how to use it optimally I would be grateful.

My primary purpose for the site is to promote products that I make by hand, but I also wanted to provide a forum to discuss nautically historica events. I have posted a number of articles so far, and would like to get feedback on what is there currently, and possible future topics.

Thanks for stopping by!
I like the website, and the design complements the theme of your business. Although later down the road you may want to re-design to make it look a little smoother, it is great for a startup business. :thumbsup

I'm not really your target audience ,so I can't comment on that side of it.

In regards to SEO, when I did some freelance web design work on a startup business, I submitted it to some search engine directories, as Corey suggested. I also bolded certain key words, and made sure my code was complient with standards. If you're using a Content Management System like Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla or another suite, this shouldn't be a problem. Just start plugging your site around the internet. Starting up can be a hard and slow place to start, and in the internet it can feel like you're a needle in a very large haystack.

If you have someone that might be able to do professional SEO for a small fee it might be worth it.

In regards to forums, I would hold off on that until you get a large client base, as there's nothing worse looking than an empty forum. If you later decide to go down this road, I'd suggest a free software called phpbb. It's slick and the default design suits the theme of your site anyway.

Just another thought about SEO, don't confine yourself to online advertising. Obviously you don't want to limit your clients to your local city, but try distributing flyers in people's letterboxes or in public places. Perhaps if you've got some good friends or family in other cities you can post or email them some advertising material to pass around.

Good luck, brother :)
 

Knotical

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Ok, time for some serious input. I am close to completing a revamp of the site and need some ideas on one of the main features. In the header section of the site I just have a dark blue background (you will see what I am talking about here: http://www.knoticalnovelties.com/index.php/en/) but I was thinking about having a sort of washed out image of an antique map. Any ideas?
 

Gordon

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Hi Knotical. It looks like you know what you are doing so maybe this wouldn't help you. I was going to make a site through site build it. They do a great job of holding your hand through the whole process and I think if you tried it for a couple months or something you could do all the tutorials then use your own if you wanted. I know you need more articles on your site to get more traffic. Also even though the font you use fits your theme it makes me want to read what is written less. This may be personal.
 
D

Deborah13

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You need a woman's prospective because we do so much of the gift and decorating shopping. And..I grew up on the Atlantic shore and love the ocean.

First I like the feel of your site. The colors and ocean pic are pleasing to the eye. I think the washed out map idea is a very good one. Love the history page as well, it is informative and can grow and it is fun, too. It reminded me of widows walks, salt air, the Santa Maria, and LOBSTER!!!

When my husband and I had a product site for several yrs. (one main item in two sizes and handmade) the biggest problem I had was keeping my site coming up on the first page in search engines. I never did quite get it right. We shipped to many states, England and Wales (foreign shipping can be tricky for the buyer and very expense for them).

I sold my product on ebay as well as my site for awhile just to get it out there and this did work however ebay wasn't what it is now. I have some friends in other states who sell on etsy.com. I know several people who love to buy handmade gifts and made in America. They go to esty a lot. It's good advertising as well. Personally, unless you have lots of items as in distributor I don't think ebay is worth it anymore. Most of the handcrafts people such as us have left. Their fees are too high.

I didn"t see where a prospective buyer could identify methods of payment you accept or your shipping prices. I don't want to have to put something in a cart in order to find these things out. I may have missed it but if it's not easy to find this info. I'm going to move on unless you have something I can't live without or can't find somewhere less. (I do almost all my shopping online) in fact I haven't been a physical store in over a year except for groceries.
I for one will very seldom shop anywhere that I can't use paypal. It is the secure way to shop. I don't want to give out my CC# to just anyone that I don't know especially in a small shop. I only took paypal payments on my site. When asked why I explained...it's the safest way for both of us. I don't want your CC and I know paypal verifys your info for me. They do not even have to open an account anymore to use paypal. I coded my buy button to go directly to the secure paypal site. You can get this info from the pp site. I occasionally would accept a check from someone if they called me and then I would clear their check first with their knowledge I would not ship until it was cleared. My item sold for $80 plus $20 shipping and handling.

Shipping costs are another thing I want to know. I have gone through placing an order only to find that the shipping was outlandish. Item priced reasonably but they were trying to make money on shipping. I find this to be dishonest. I won't deal with these people. I clearly explained my shipping and handling costs which included the large heavy built boxes and bubble wrap. If the shipping came to less than they had paid I gave them a refund through paypal. This helped sell my item as well. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is. We women share info on the places we shop. Always be fair and stand behind your product. Put a business card in with every shipment, I always included at least two they get passed on. Oh, just had an idea. I used to include a little extra item that was related to my product but inexpense and a printed thank you card that I had printed the same size as my business card, just regular size. I used Vista Printing online, great prices and versatility of design. BUT about that idea. You could add a couple pieces of salt water taffy. We love that kind of thing. Women like the thought and men just like food. LOL

If I may be so persumptuous I was trying to think of more products you could make and sell so here is one. I used to have a table that came out of a restrauant on the coast. It had an oak edge but the top was mostly a ocean chart map of the New England coast and the ocean currents. Something like this could be done as a picture with your braided/knotted rope trim. Also a decorative cutting board.

So I've rambled on enough, God Bless your business, It's always a great adventure with the Lord.
 

Corey

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I like the updates. I actually like the hedaer the way it is, but a sugesstion could be to add your rope around as a border. But I think your idea is better.

I know you only asked aobut the header but I have a few other comments in case you are interested:
The link of your logo goes to an undefined page
The favicon is still the Joomla logo
I agree with Gordon about the font
Do you have a page that has all your products on it? I could not find it. You may want to make it easier to find by putting a link to it at the top of the page
When you click on the products you have displayed in the header, the details pop up at the bottom of the page. I would try to make them come to the top. I almost thought it was not doing anything

I hope this helps
 

Knotical

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Thank you all so much for the great feedback. This is literally what I was hoping for.

Deborah13, I can't believe I didn't notice the payment option thing. I do use paypal, and it would be so easy to put the logo somewhere on the product pages. I did use Etsy at first, but just didn't like the options, plus I like doing things myself, which is why I decided to build it on my own, though I did have a great amount of help from my brother who has developed sites on his own. I will have to give the shipping refund some thought, though I think what I have figured out was reasonable based on what I estimated the shipping costs to be.

Corey and Gordon, I had considered the problem with the font, and I guess I have my reason for finding a more readable one. I may still use this one for the titles, but agree that it can make the content rather distracting. The product page is actually entitled "Galley", though I just realized this could be too confusing and will change it back to "Shop" or "Store".

It looks like I have more to do than I thought.

Thanks again, everyone. Keep the suggestions coming.
 

Paul1965

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Hi Knotical, if you need some help with SEO for your site let me know and I'll send you an attachment via PM(yes free) with guidelines for increasing your sites PR (page rank) on google etc. I'm a freelance writer specializing in fitness articles for websites and printed media, so I know a bit about target audiences and keyword generation. It would take up too much space on here to cut and paste (hence the PM)
I've also spent many years at sea on Tuna, Lobster and drop line fishing as well as oil rigs. I like your site and the fact that it's not just hard sell. It gives people entertaining and informative articles while they are browsing. I have to agree about the font though as my poor old eyes required the use of the zoom button to read it .

One thing I did notice was "Galley", I thought you meant galley as in a ships kitchen and was expecting a list of recipes for seafood not a "Gallery" lol
Anyway, let me know if I can help and the very best of luck with your site and sales
paul
 

Knotical

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Hi Knotical, if you need some help with SEO for your site let me know and I'll send you an attachment via PM(yes free) with guidelines for increasing your sites PR (page rank) on google etc. I'm a freelance writer specializing in fitness articles for websites and printed media, so I know a bit about target audiences and keyword generation. It would take up too much space on here to cut and paste (hence the PM)
I've also spent many years at sea on Tuna, Lobster and drop line fishing as well as oil rigs. I like your site and the fact that it's not just hard sell. It gives people entertaining and informative articles while they are browsing. I have to agree about the font though as my poor old eyes required the use of the zoom button to read it .

One thing I did notice was "Galley", I thought you meant galley as in a ships kitchen and was expecting a list of recipes for seafood not a "Gallery" lol
Anyway, let me know if I can help and the very best of luck with your site and sales
paul
Paul, thanks so much, that would be extremely helpful. My brother did point out upon reviewing my analytics that I should have capitalized on "Talk Like a Pirate Day", but just missed out on a whole bunch of traffic. Any information you can send would be great. PM me and I will give you my email address.

BTW, everyone, am I asking a reasonable price for the products I offer, or should I reconsider some of them?
 

Paul1965

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PMed you but I couldn't work out how to attach on a PM (duuuhh I'm not vewy smart but i can wift heavy fings) will email to you when i get your email address
 

Knotical

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If I may, I want to take a quick poll on what I should rename the product section of my site. Here are the ideas I have so far (these are not all inclusive, so if you have suggestions they are most certainly welcome!).

Ye Olde Shoppe
Me Wares
Shop
Store
Products
Place Where there is Stuff to Buy
 

Nick

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PMed you but I couldn't work out how to attach on a PM (duuuhh I'm not vewy smart but i can wift heavy fings) will email to you when i get your email address
It's not you - it's us :lol Attachments for PM's are disabled. I might go and enable them.
 

Paul1965

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Nick,thanks for clearing that up...I'mnot as dumb as i thought I was woohoo:wave
 

Paul1965

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I like the sound of Me wares, especially if you envision Jack Newton (showing my age now) saying it in his Long John silver voice.

also how about Plunder
Treasure Chest
or for the thinking person... Bounty
 

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