New tricks for Old Pueblo

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Content Optimization

February 27th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

In this in-depth article about content optimization on ClickZ, Netconcepts Director of Natural Search Consulting PJ Fusco, digs deep into this essential part of SEO.

Content optimization is about prominently incorporating targeted keywords and keyword phrases into the copy on each page to appeal to prospects searching for your goods and services. Doing so ensures your content has a chance to be found for all the right words. Ideally, these are highly searched terms and phrases that convert. That’s where keyword research comes into play when optimizing your site’s content.

Before you dig into keyword research to determine how well targeted your content is and what the size of your keyword market is, there are a few basic skills to add to your repertoire. Fundamental content optimization skills include:

* How to compile keyword research.

* How to measure content optimization efforts.

* Some basic copywriting knowledge.

* Basic HTML coding and basic SEO knowledge.

* A commitment to optimizing content — efforts will pay off!

For more about content optimization, read the full article at ClickZ here.

Think You’re Successfully Flying Under Google’s Radar? Think Again.

January 24th, 2008

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

Have you been trying to “fly under the radar,” engaging in activities outside of Google’s guidelines but subtly so as not to get caught? More and more SEOs are moving into this dangerous territory as the guidelines continue to broaden (prime examples of which being the expanded definition of doorway pages and the addition of link buying to the list of no-nos). Buying links in “stealth” mode still works, as many SEOs will attest. But what if Google is archiving your efforts for future review, to uncover what it can’t right now due to current limitations? Do you really want to be profiled retroactively as a spammer?

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The Wonderful World of Widgets

January 16th, 2008

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Originally published in ClickZ

Do you know what a widget is? Do you know how to design a widget that is based on SEO “best practices”? PJ Fusco, lead strategist for Netconcepts, shares her expertise on this popular topic.

If you want people to add your widget to their desktops, mobile phones, blogs, or social media applications, such as Facebook or MySpace, keep these commonly held best practices guidelines in mind:

  • Make your widgets useful, contagious, simple, and genuine.
  • Make your widgets easy to use, reliable, and ready to be shared.
  • Make your widgets accessible on multiple frameworks and multiple formats.
  • Make your widgets measurable.
  • Make your widgets a big part of a global SEO campaign.

For more about the wonderful world of widgets, read the article on ClickZ.

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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