Stephan Spencer’s Top 10 Tips for E-Commerce Sites

April 23rd, 2004


Originally published in National Business Review

Our favorite tips for online catalogers: automatic spell correction on search queries, breadcrumb navigation, keyword themes, top 10 lists, open source, 1-click ordering, and more…

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Netconcepts to run site for US taxidermy firm

January 20th, 2004

Originally published in New Zealand Herald

Why did Van Dyke’s, a South Dakota supplier of equipment to animal trophy-makers and collectors and a subsidiary of Cabelas, chose Netconcepts to overhaul its website and ecommerce strategy?

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Website Briefs and Specifications

January 1st, 2004


So you’ve decided that your Web site needs an overhaul. Before you start work, however, you and your Web design firm need to do a bit of planning. Going off building a web site half-cocked is a sure fire recipe for disaster.

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Legal Risks of Doing Business Online

January 1st, 2004


In the case of operating an online presence and the subsequent legal issues that follow, what you don’t know may very well hurt you. Operating in the virtual world entails the same – or potentially greater – legal risks as operating in the real world. These risks take many forms: copyright infringement, trademark infringement, copyright ownership, liability, breach of confidentiality, libel and slander, just to name a few.

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The Criteria Matrix

January 1st, 2004

The Criteria Matrix will help you rate the mock-up designs and objectively choose the winning design from the group. Use the following Criteria Matrix as a starting point. Determine your criteria and the importance of each criterion (weighting factor), taking into account the goals and objectives of your site.

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Case Study: Steve Spangler Science

Steve Spangler Science logo

  • Revenue has doubled every quarter
  • Website drives catalog readers to buy
  • Blogging a sales success
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Staff speechless with delight!

Foresight Institute logo“And of course Netconcepts can’t be beat when it comes to optimizing a site for high search engine placement.

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Internet Marketing workshop

New Zealand DMA workshop — Auckland, NZ

October 7th, 2003

Workshop by

Join us for a hands-on, one-day workshop on Internet marketing tactics, including search engine optimisation, copywriting, conversion, and web project management. Each module will be jammed packed with practical advice, online resources, tools, tips, case studies – including the “inside scoop” on what worked and what didn’t – and interactive critiques of attendees’ websites and online marketing efforts. With a live Internet connection, we will examine in-depth:

Search engine optimisation
You want to get to the top of the search engines? Ah… but which search engines should you target? What keywords are your prospects searching for? And how do you get your site to the top for those keywords and then stay there?

Learn the tactics that will make your site ‘scream’ in the search engines – ethically and sustainably – without costing you a fortune ongoing.

  • Hands-on keyword research
  • Fine tuning your content, HTML, design, and site architecture for optimal rankings
  • Workarounds for poor search engine practices (such as frames, question marks in URLs, Flash, pop-up windows, links that say “click here,” page titles like “Welcome to ABC.com”, pull-down navigation menus)
  • Making your e-commerce or database-driven site “search engine friendly”
  • Building links (directories, niche sites, etc.)
  • Google’s secrets revealed (PageRank, hyperlink text, etc.)
  • Pay-per-click search engines (Overture, etc.)
  • Benchmarking & competitive intelligence
  • Measuring the return on your search engine marketing investment

Improving conversion rate
So you’ve got visitors on your website, but will they “convert” to customers? Improving conversion on your site is an art and a science that involves a mix of clever copywriting, compelling offers, a follow-up strategy, meaningful metrics for measuring success, and more.
  • Developing a unique voice / personality
  • Active vs. passive tense
  • Verbs vs. adjectives
  • “You” vs. “we”
  • Toning down the marketingspeak
  • Fine tuning your offer
  • The call-to-action
  • Segmenting
  • Personalizing the content and the message
  • Marketing metrics: cost per click, cost per conversion, customer lifetime value, churn rate, etc.
  • “Blogging”

Working with your web developer
What are the ingredients for sucess when launching a redesign or a new site? What processes are helpful in keeping the project and the vendor on track? What are reasonable expectations of the client and the vendor? What goes into (and what doesn’t go into) an effective brief or specification? How do you manage the legal risk?
  • Writing a strategic brief, creative brief, functional spec, content plan, etc.
  • Budgeting and resource allocation
  • Vendor selection
  • The art and science of estimating time and costs
  • The web development process
  • Change management
  • The project extranet
  • Web development contracts
  • Liability and disclaimers
  • Ownership of source code
  • Terms & Conditions for your website users

We guarantee that after this intensive workshop you’ll walk away with loads of practical, actionable tactics and tips. So what are you waiting for? Register today.

Stephan Spencer, M.Sc., is the founder and president of Netconcepts, a full-service interactive agency with specialization in search engine optimisation, e-commerce, email marketing, and Web site auditing. They count amongst their U.S. clients: Birds Eye, Wella, Midwest Express Airlines, InfoSpace, Homestead.com, The Sharper Image, Cabela’s, and MP3.com; local clients include Westpac (NZ), The Fletcher Trust, nzgirl, SmokeCDs.com, TrustPower, and Business in the Community.

Stephan is a columnist for Unlimited. He has also written for Marketing Magazine, Management Magazine, Catalog Age, and Building Online Business. He has been featured on the cover of In Business magazine in the U.S. Stephan is a frequent speaker at Internet conferences around the globe – Berlin, London, Toronto, Santiago, Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco. He currently serves as a director of Sales & Marketing Executives International.

Orders increasing, search engine rankings soaring, science company takes off

“Above everything else, I am most pleased with the people behind Netconcepts. Throughout the entire project, promises were kept and expectations were exceeded.”

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Evaluating and Auditing Your Website

Marketing Today (New Zealand DMA annual conference) — Auckland, NZ

June 17th, 2003

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