Monday, May 15, 2006

Website tips from Camusngaul

I was swapping some links for our web site, and happened across this truly interesting man, Richard Fisher. He runs several sites, amongst them (I had, just, heard of this little hamlet but was at a loss to place it) Another site of his is and both of them have some beautiful photographs - that is what sells Scotland. I asked Richard to tell me his story and this is what he wrote. John

Camusnagaul is a small hamlet of a few houses, a small brewery (yes you can buy beer brewed in Camusnagaul), an independent hostel and Maggie's Tea Room and Craft Shop along with a couple of holiday cottages and b&b. This is a small community approximately 30 miles from Ullapool, infact is is better known as Dundonnell which is 2 miles away. The tea room was named after "Maggie" who ran a tea room from the original croft in the 50's and when a local lass Ishbel started up the venture again 3 years ago the local people suggested the name "Maggie's Tea Room" as a fond memory of a kind lady who was well respected by all. So what makes this small community special, well I suppose the nearby Munros such as Fisherfield and An Teallach could be one of the reasons, however for me it is just the peacefulness and beautiful scenery and only being a short drive from some of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. A couple of years ago I remember being out at midnight watching the aurora borealis with the moonlight shining over Little Loch Broom, where else can you find such beauty?

So what is this about our website(s), yes I have more than one. Well it started as my way of saying thanks for all the great holidays I have had in the Scottish Highlands, it was also a challenge to see if I could learn to market Scotland, or at least a small area of it, on a budget of £0. We started by Ishbel buying the domain name and paying for a low cost hosting account and then for me making lots of mistakes.

I have learned a lot over the last 18 months or so, and as a "computer" person I did have a bit of a head start as I love computer technology nearly as much as I love Scotland. However believe me when I say I wondered if I would ever get the site into any of the search engines! Now I try and get into the top position for the words people use to search, at least it is fun trying.

The process of working at getting a high position for certain keywords in search engines is known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. There is a book called SEO for Dummies and if your website is getting nowhere, either buy the book or hire me! While there is as many theories about what is good and bad SEO (reciprocal links are in this week out the next) I firmly believe in reciprocal links. Just remember you are recommending another website to your visitors - so if you would not want to visit a site, then do not ever link to it, if a site has pop-ups then just forget it.

The main point with reciprocal linking is you should only link to site with content that is related to your own, that is a travel site should be linked to and from other travel sites. One last suggestion is to make your Links page prominent on your site, don't go hiding it away. Be proud of the links you make and you will not only get a higher position in search engines you will get real visitors to your site from other websites who have placed links to you.

Richard Fisher.
If you want help with your website SEO just e-mail him at
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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