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 Toolbox Tips

August 13th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

How current is your SEO Toolbox? Do you have all the tools needed to research, analyze & diagnose the SEO issues for your website? Are you reading the most useful blogs? How well organized are the RSS feeds you subscribe to? Are you using webmaster tools to gain an inside view to how the search engines see your website? In this article Netconcepts Director of Search, P.J. Fusco shares a few of her favorite goodies in her SEO Toolbox:

…updating and refreshing your SEO toolbox requires a continual flow of information to keep up with the job’s demands. Keeping your SEO toolbox well organized and current has never been more challenging.

Read the full SEO Toolbox article at ClickZ.

A Natural Disposition for Search

July 31st, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

Is the use of rich media and new web technologies such as AJAX hiding your retail website from search engine spiders? Has your company shifted efforts away from natural search optimization to opt for the coolest, new applications to enhance the user experience? In this article for ClickZ, P.J. Fusco, director of natural search for Netconcepts discusses the importance of maintaining a natural search marketing strategy.

With rich media in plan, dynamic Web site constructs in motion, and competing forces all around, putting together a natural search strategy has many complex components. Just as a wetland must work in harmony with the environment to produce desired results, so too must an online organization provide resources for understanding natural search, lest the spiders get bogged down by the muck.

For more about this topic, visit the full article on ClickZ.

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The Art of PageRank Sculpting

April 1st, 2008

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Originally published in MarketingProfs

Are you keeping track of how much Google values your home page? Google’s trademarked PageRank score, or the value it places on your home and interior pages is measured and displayed in the Google toolbar. Your home page usually scores the higest in your site, and there is a way to ‘sculpt‘ your interlinking within your site to make the most of your PageRank:

With PageRank sculpting, your goal is to optimize the flow of PageRank internally in your site so that the most important of your deeper pages get a larger share of PageRank than unimportant pages.

To read the full article go to MarketingProfs.

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The Search Is On

April 1st, 2008

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Originally published in Multichannel Merchant

How do you navigate your way through the promises, uncertainties, and red herrings of SEO best practices? Testing is the key to achieving scalable SEO nirvana on your site. By monitoring and retesting specific SEO enhancements, you validate their benefit and appropriateness for your e-commerce site.

While conversion may be the hot topic for online retailers and marketers, having a well-optimized Website and e-commerce platform that facilitates your pages being efficiently crawled, indexed, and ranked is equally important. With a little upfront polishing, your site can really shine, offering its products to searchers and devoted customers alike.

Consider the following proven best practices as a starting point for your SEO testing regimen…

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When SEO Isn’t Really SEO

March 31st, 2008

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Originally published in Practical eCommerce

Do you know what the difference is between SEO and online marketing? Confused about the terminology? In this article featured on Practical eCommerce, Jeff Muendel discusses how SEO is a specialty within the online marketing field.

By definition, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website with the goal of having major search engines (primarily Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search) return pages from that website in highly-ranked search engine results. SEO is almost always employed as a form of marketing, but it is a very specific form of marketing that takes place within the search engines.

Lately, some industry blogs have suggested that SEO has grown beyond its primary parameters, suggesting that successful SEO includes expanding into other realms of marketing. I don’t think that makes any sense. By definition, SEO – search engine optimization – does not include any form of marketing that goes outside of search engines. The use of the term SEO in such a way is disingenuous and confuses many webmasters and owners of ecommerce sites.

For more about this controversial topic, visit the full article on Practical eCommerce here.

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Content Optimization: Keyword Analytics Tools

March 26th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

Are you interested in doing some content optimization for your website? Do you know the difference between keyword suggestion tools and keyword analytics tools? In this article, written by Director of Natural Search Consulting PJ Fusco, learn about how keyword suggestion tools can really help boost the quality of your content optimization. PJ defines Keyword analytics tools as:

Keyword suggestion tools help you understand what words are used in search queries and what phrases are associated with those words. Keyword analytical tools provide some measure of keyword suggestion functionality, as well as the ability to understand the competition levels for specific search terms. More importantly, keyword analytics tools help you determine the relative size of the search referral market associated with specific keywords and phrases.

Read more about keyword analytics tools and how effective they might be for your site in this article at ClickZ here.

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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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Content Optimization: Keyword Suggestion Tools

March 12th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

In her article on content optimization, Director of Natural Search Consulting PJ Fusco discussed how important it was to have keyword themes. As she mentions in this article, where she reviews different keyword suggestion tools on ClickZ, PJ writes, “to be found for the right words on any site, you must undergo regular, extensive keyword research to understand what words people use when they search for your goods and services.”

From Google Trends to Quintura, get an inside look at these free keyword suggestion tools that can help you with content optimization for your site. Read the full review of these tools at ClickZ here.

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Optimize Local Events with hCalendar Microformat

March 11th, 2008

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

I’ve run across a number of local business sites which offer event calendars of some sort, and many of these companies may not be aware that they can and should add hCalendar Microformat to their pages to further optimize them for both search and user experience. I’ve previously recommended hCard Microformat for optimizing local business sites, and hCalendar can offer similar advantages, particularly as the evolution of blended search results continues.

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