New tricks for Old Pueblo

December 7th, 2008

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Originally published in Multichannel Merchant

In this article on Multichannel Merchant, Netconcepts founder and President Stephan Spencer sits down with Amy Africa to review Old Pueblo Traders, an eCommerce clothing site. Stephan’s contribution discusses key concepts in SEO like this one:

In my brief tour of Oldpueblotraders.com, I found plenty of opportunities for major traffic gains through search engine optimization. The first one became immediately obvious as I was loading the home page. Directing my Web browser to load http://www.oldpueblotraders.com/, I was immediately redirected to http://www.oldpueblotraders.com/pagebuilder/.

Unfortunately, the type of redirect used was a temporary one (302) instead of a permanent one (301). I discovered this through the use of a server header checker (http://www.webrankinfo.com/english/tools/server-header.php) A 301 redirect passes PageRank and link popularity to the destination URL, whereas a 302 redirect does not. Luckily, this is an easy thing to fix.

For more about this eCommerce website audit, visit the original article on Multichannel Merchant here.

SEO Report Card: Littlepixiegifts.com.au

August 6th, 2008

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Originally published in Practical Ecommerce

A SEO review of this site and the Best Practices in use, as well as opportunities for new optimization. Analyst Jeff Muendel of Netconcepts goes through the site with a fine tooth comb. Learn from his findings on how to analyze your ecommerce website and tweak it in time for holiday traffic.

If Little Pixie Gifts has an SEO weak point, it is in the URLs. As search engines spider the URL addresses along with title tags and page content, each URL should reflect the keyword theme of the page. Instead, Little Pixie Gifts has URLs like http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au/cart.php?target=category&category_id=62. While such a URL doesnâ??t necessarily hurt things from a search engine perspective, it certainly doesnâ??t help.

To read the full article, visit Practical Ecommerce.

Be a Converter

July 2nd, 2008

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Originally published in MultiChannel Merchant

Do you know your website’s conversion rate? Do you know if it is above or below average for a typical merchant? The average conversion rate is only about 2.4%. How can you increase your site’s conversion rate? Learn from Netconcepts Founder & President, Stephan Spencer about how to improve your organization’s website to become a better converter. In this article for MultiChannel Merchant, Stephan discusses the use of Persuasion Architecture, how to design for different personality types, analyze your audience’s needs and to adjust your tone.

Technology is not a means to higher conversion rates; it is just a tool that must be properly managed, configured, and implemented in order to reach your goals. Just having a great CMS with an advanced shopping cart system is not enough â?? there are no â??set it and forget itâ?? solutions for improving your conversion rate.

For more on this topic, read the full article here.

SEO Report Card: Pinkorpunk.com

April 2nd, 2008

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

In this edition of the SEO report card, Jeff Muendel reviews eCommerce site pinkorpunk.com. This niche eCommerce site sells accessories that (you guessed it) are either pink or punk. This website audit is especially helpful for other new eCommerce sites, since pinkorpunk.com launched quite recently. Here’s a little bit about what Jeff has to say about this unique boutique.

Pinkorpunk.com is a fairly new website, which may partially explain its PageRank of 0. But, the other factor in the ranking is the site’s small number of inbound links. Yahoo! sees 45 links from outside sites while Google doesn’t list any at all. Inbound links translate to PageRank, and higher PageRank translates to better search engine results. This site, with its vibrant content, should have no problem garnering links! A linking campaign is in order here. Research online directories and get listed in those that still have decent PageRank (many have been recently demoted by Google in that regard). A blog is also in order, especially with such hip content. Online press should be a target as well, as should social media avenues like MySpace, Flickr and Facebook.

For more about this niche eCommerce store, visit the Practical eCommerce website audit here.

Being Off-Topic, Off-Message, or Off-Brand Can Be Good For Your SEO!

March 20th, 2008

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

Ok, perhaps I’m being a bit provocative here, but sometimes it’s the off-topic, off-message, or off-brand content that earns you the most valuable links—links that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Those links can really pay the bills, in terms of the extra search traffic and resulting sales. The brand police within your company may pitch a fit, but heck, it’ll be worth it! Here’s how it’s done:

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How to Get on Google Maps Without an Address

February 11th, 2008

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

One of the top issues in delivering up local search results in a map-based format is what to do with businesses which have no street address. During the SMX Local & Mobile conference back in October, Dick Larkin asked Google Earth VP Michael Jones a question about this very thing: "What should we recommend to local businesses which do not have a local street address—how do they get into Google Maps search results?" Michael’s answer was surprising. I’ll give you his answer in a moment.

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Choose A Platform And Blog, Blog, Blog

February 4th, 2008

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

Search engines also love fresh content, and blogs, by definition, are constant sources of new content. If written correctly â?? or more specifically interestingly â?? blogs can also provide wider link bait and garner links from outside the blogosphere. Search engines, of course, reward for good, inbound links regardless of whether theyâ??re from other blogs.

Jeff Muendel, Natural Search Analyst for Netconcepts, recommends that eCommerce sites take full advantage of WordPress, a blogging platform that offers a host of SEO-friendly options to allow for excellent search engine optimization. To read more about Jeff’s expert advice about WordPress and plug-ins, like the Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress plugin, visit the full article on Practical eCommerce.

Five Getting-Started Blog Questions

January 30th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

Do you want add a blog for your business but have no idea how to get started? In this article written by PJ Fusco, lead strategist for Netconcepts, she covers the common questions online retailers have as they think about the benefits and drawbacks of joining the blogosphere and offers her expertise.

One of the questions she covers is: Will blogging really help?

If the blog is optimally created and maintained, with a transparent, sincere voice and a commitment to using it to build relationships as well as links, then, yes, it will help. How much? That depends on how much the company is willing to invest in developing relationships with customers and prospects in the blogosphere. The only time blogging can really hurt is if the bloggers are insincere and dishonest and ignore their audience, or if your company has a god-awful online reputation in the first place. If you’re in a war of attrition over your company’s online reputation, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than a simple blog to fix the mess you’re in.

For more about this topic, visit the full article about getting started in blogging at ClickZ.

Google Knol Looks To Take On Wikipedia

January 2nd, 2008

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

A few weeks ago, Udi Manber, Google’s vice president of engineering, announced the advent of Google Knol, a program meant to challenge Wikipedia, the popular user-generated encyclopedia. The idea, like Wikipedia, is to let anyone create a page of information on a specific topic, and all of those pages will be organized like an online encyclopedia. Google has not announced when Knol will launch.

Jeff Muendel, Search Analyst for Netconcepts, writes about how this upcoming feature from search giant, Google, may affect eCommerce.

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Adventures in Searchandising Part 3

January 2nd, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

In part one of this series about searchandising, PJ defined this term to set the stage for what this innovative concept is, how the search engines and online customers respond to it, and what retailers can do about it. Part Two described the effect of guided navigation and extreme pagination on the search engines.

As the finale of this three part series on searchandising, PJ Fusco offers her recommendations on how:

…you can enhance the contextual relevancy of critical category pages within a complex database-driven Web site by understanding what keywords and phrases drive your revenue. But you still need to contend with that wonky pagination scheme that’s killing your crawl equity.

For more expert advice from PJ, lead strategist for Netconcepts, on this topic, visit the conclusion of this three part series on searchandising.


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