I set up my store Paper Moon in November and have submitted to Google Base and Site Map, I have added Meta Tags to all my pages and have added links and I am still not having much luck. Please share what has worked for you.
Kyle, I share your disappointment. My wife set up a site purely for pleasure earlier this year on a UK children’s classic TV character called Sooty - a hand puppet of a bear. I followed with an ephemera site and did everything by the book like you. For my wife, the ‘spiders that trawl the web looking for new sites’ (wonderful technical language/knowledge I don’t have) found Sooty before she had time to submit to Google and all search engines just seem to pick up on any phrase in her text. But for mine, if I put in a very specific search it is lost amongst irrelevances and I just don’t know why - its almost as if I have something switched off. There seems little point in doing all the hard work if one doesn’t get the traffic - for you with a commercial site it’s a whole lot worse. So, I await input from others with interest.
I had a web site for over 12 years, paperdoll.com I submitted to every site I could find and paid others big money to submit me and after spending 100's of hrs doing this I still sold 1000's times more on ebay and etsy sites.
I worked hard at shopping carts, listing 100's and 100's of photos, postcards, and other paper items. But after all that time never really sold enough on the web page to pay my house payment. I think it is much better listing on other sites and letting them do all the work with the search engines.
I just closed my paperdoll.com web pages last month. I only have a information page up right now, and link to my etsy listings. NO MORE Selling Web pages for me.
Frank replied "To be honest, I am finding that I am now having more success with "offline" correspondence, than any type of online. Offline correspondence is now the method that stands out to potential clients. At least for me. Online now is just lost in space. Sad but true."
They say that everything comes around in a full circle. We are born wrinkled, bald, and helpless. If we are fortunate enough to live to a ripe old age we will die the same way. Maybe we have become too dependent on technology. How many times have you heard someone say "I can't live without my cell phone"? Do any children actually know how to work out math problems on paper or is it all done with calculators? Some people can't even tell time with an analog clock.
I like the idea of offline correspondence. An online ad sent by email could be sent to the spam file by your email provider or deleted without reading. Even if it is saved you still have to turn on the computer, log in, and open the email. A business card is right there in your wallet. A brochure might be laying on the kitchen table as you cook dinner. Much easier to access.
The proliferation of websites has made finding things on the internet not only difficult but also dangerous (viruses, spyware, identity theft, etc). My site is also difficult to find among the millions of sites out there. And I think these companies that advertise prime search engine placement are just more people trying to take your money to do something that with a little work you could do yourself. I have found that Ebay because of it's traffic is probably one of the better places to sell if you can put up with all their constantly rising fees and changing rules. Unfortunately they are very protective about people directing potential customers to their own sites.
My site is actually on hiatus at the moment (too busy) but I have found Craigslist as a viable alternative. I did an advertising blitz on Craiglist for another site I have and did very well. I may do the same later with my ephemera site. Since it is free to advertise there is no problem directing people to your own website. Also a MySpace or Facebook page coupled with joining groups formed by people with similar interests within these sites can link people with your site.