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.

SEO Report Card: Juvieshop.com

January 7th, 2008

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

The site focuses on hip, modern and stylish adolescent clothes for tweens (ages 7-12). Juvieshop.com is just over one-year-old and the site has built a PageRank of 3 for its homepage. Its theme is wholesome and the site is pleasant to the eye.

Jeff Muendel, Search Analyst for Netconcepts, covers a hip site that is targeted toward a specific age group in this website audit.

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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.

Sculpting your PageRank for Maxiumum SEO Impact

December 20th, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

If you are a large online retailer, you’re looking at thousands upon thousands of pages that have the opportunity to get crawled and indexed in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You’re also looking at near infinite choices for how you interlink all those pages. Out of all those permutations, there is one configuration that is the most optimal from an SEO perspective. That’s because it maximizes the flow of link juice (e.g., PageRank if you’re speaking purely in Google terms) to your most important pages and minimizes (or cuts off completely) the flow of link juice to your least important pages. The most important pages are the ones that have the most potential to rank highly for the targeted keyword themes, to compel the searcher to click, and to drive that visitor toward a “conversion event” such as completing a purchase of one or more high-margin products.

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Adventures in Searchandising Part 2

December 19th, 2007

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Originally published in ClickZ

In part one of adventures in searchandising, PJ Fusco, lead strategist for Netconcepts, discussed how traditional merchandising methods are not optimal for online retail stores for a variety of reasons. PJ Fusco described “how merchandising strategies for brick-and-mortar retail stores don’t necessarily translate well for search engine referrals when incorporated into virtual, online retailer environments.”

As the middle of this three-part article, adventures in searchandising part two, PJ describes the effect of guided navigation and extreme pagination on the search engines. She writes,

It takes longer to crawl a searchandise-bloated site, so crawl efficiency is dampened. Over time, spiders take smaller bites of the site each time they visit, so indexed pages become stale. Fusty pages get fewer click-throughs, reduced traffic inhibits link building and page popularity, and so the downward spiral of search engine invisibility begins — all because the site provides a great user experience.

What can an e-commerce site do to add context and meaning to navigational searchandising and avoid the affects of extreme pagination while delivering a superior user experience? We’ll talk about some options next time.

With detailed examples and PJ’s expertise, this article focuses on the challenges many eCommerce sites face while they try to “searchandise.” For how to navigate through this fascinating aspect of online retail merchandising, read more about PJ’s recommended solutions in Part Three.

Video: SEO Update

December 12th, 2007

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

In September 2007, Spencer revisited the SEO progress of Discountflies.com, and reports his findings in the video tutorial below.

This video tutorial requires Flash Player version 8 or above.

Click the link below to launch the tutorial.

Video SEO Tutorial with Stephan Spencer.

Anatomy & Optimization of a Local Business Profile

December 12th, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

Many local companies depend upon their information’s presence in various directories in order to advertise themselves, and the basic instrument of these marketing efforts is the Business Profile. The majority of businesses out there pay little attention to these beyond wanting their name, address, and phone numbers to be correct. However, there are far more components of business profiles beyond the bare basics, and this article will outline many of them and how they should be handled for best effect. Optimizing business listings and profiles can make all the difference in enabling potential customers to find you and in selecting you from your pack of competitors.

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Adventures in Searchandising Part 1

December 5th, 2007

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Originally published in ClickZ

As Part One of a three part series featured on ClickZ, PJ Fusco, Lead Strategist for Netconcepts discusses the concept of “searchandising.” Many merchants understand what it means to “merchandize” or make “products in retail outlets available to consumers, primarily by stocking shelves and displays,” according to Wikipedia. PJ goes on to explain why brick-and-mortar merchandising tactics don’t work on the web.

…merchandising strategies for brick-and-mortar retail stores don’t necessarily translate well for search engine referrals when incorporated into virtual, online retailer environments. Add a layer or 57 of behavior targeting and personalization tactics to online merchandising and you’ve got “searchandising,” which works exceedingly well for internal site search functionality and usability, but not so much for Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live Search.

For more about searchandising, read the complete article at ClickZ by PJ Fusco.

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Forget Black Friday!

November 19th, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

“Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year for U.S. brick-and-mortar retailers. But, for each Monday after Black Friday, consumer searches spike up on the internet and online retail websites enjoy their highest traffic and associated sales of the year. Search engine use is directly impacting businesses during this period, and companies which haven’t optimized their internet presence stand to lose out on some of the sales they could be getting if consumers could find them. This is true for online businesses as well as for brick-and-mortar stores.

While savvy companies planned for this season all the way back in the summer, and already have their internet storefronts in order, it’s not too late to do a few more things to insure a business can squeeze out more from gift shoppers on the “Cyber Mondays” following Black Friday.

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