2013 Trends for Ecommerce SEO

January 8th, 2013 by Guest

It’s a new year, and you know what that means: plenty of 2013 predictions for the digital world. In 2012, the ecommerce industry was successful, and the same predictions are being made for 2013, except with even greater promise. Even in a struggling economy where people are watching their bottom line more closely, ecommerce sites have picked up sales thanks to better optimized sites, personalized shopping experiences and mobile capabilities.

Not only are sales expected to rise in the coming year, but also the experience that consumers have on ecommerce sites is expected to improve as well. It used to be that the biggest challenge for ecommerce SEO was that all sites were the same. They included products gathered into lists, a shopping cart and a checkout page. Many products featured a picture with little to no valuable information on the product, which not only made the shopping experience less optimized, but also it didn’t help in the organic search rankings. Today’s ecommerce sites are improving these factors while weeding out duplicate content and repetitive headlines.As ecommerce SEO becomes a more significant part of ecommerce sites, website owners will be spending 2013 creating fresh, unique product descriptions for their products. That’s right; no more copy and pasting directly from the manufacturer’s site. With stricter guidelines from Google, it’s original content that will get you better ecommerce SEO, so we should expect to see more unique and informative content. Best of all, users have the opportunity to browse, read reviews, make ‘favorites’ lists and watch for deals all from one platform.

Another trend that we can expect to see is more product reviews to help ecommerce SEO. Product reviews are the backbone of any online sale, and in many instances, shoppers will skip right over a product that has poor reviews or no reviews. Since you can’t touch or operate the product, it’s only natural that reviews from other customers would fill that gap. It’s not just any old reviews that consumers are looking for, but high-quality, relevant reviews that can be viewed according to newest, oldest, highest or lowest.

At the end of the day, good ecommerce SEO comes from having a user-friendly, optimized shopping site that consumers want to shop on. What is good for buyers is good for Google and vice versa. With higher standards and more focus on high-quality content, ecommerce sites have no choice but to offer better shopping experiences that bring customers back on a regular basis. An easy-to-follow site with relevant pictures, product reviews and informative descriptions is the new standard for ecommerce SEO and their respective sites.

Google Escapes Anti-Trust Charges

January 8th, 2013 by Guest

Google was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Federal Trade Commission closed its long-standing investigation on the Internet search giant. The company agreed to change some of their business practices, avoiding a potentially long and financially draining anti-trust case as well as financial penalties. The investigation was launched in June 2011.

What Google did agree to in the settlement was to make it easier for small businesses to advertise on competing search engines instead of continually losing out to the company itself. They agreed to cut back on patent wars that exist between them and their rivals in the mobile phone sector. Also, Google agreed to stop copying original content that comes from other websites unless they have permission from the owner. These steps were the most efficient ways to resolve the pending issues while providing closure for users.Of course, Google has walked away relatively pleased with the outcome, even though they will have changes to make. One of the biggest arguments during the investigation was that the technology company favors its own services in the search results. When shopping for red winter boots for example, it’s Google Shopping that comes up in the right-hand corner. Well, they don’t call the company “The Search Giant” for nothing.

Some people have criticized the FTC for giving the search company a ‘slap on the wrist.’ What may come as an even greater surprise is that in the settlement, there will be no changes to Google’s search engine practices. Although many accuse the technology company for “search bias” – configuring the algorithms to favor their own products – these suggestions stand little ground. The FTC states that updates to the algorithms could have been designed to enhance the user experience and not favor specific products.

Now that the investigation is closed, it will be easier for other companies to license patented technology, and companies can now edit or remove online content, which are two giant steps forward. However, other countries can still pursue their own case against the company, even if they don’t have the support of the FTC.

Optimize E-Commerce Sites For Maximum Traffic and Sales

November 8th, 2012 by Rogue Media

E-commerce sites rely on SEO to deliver customers to their website. This is especially true during peak shopping days like Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.

When consumers want a product, these days their first instinct is to type it into the Google search box. Initially, they research different product options to see which one meets their needs. Once they have determined which product is the best choice, they again search for the best price and delivery on that specific item. Optimizing product pages for e-commerce SEO helps the consumer find the information they need.

Optimize Every Page

E-commerce SEO sites can take several steps to ensure that their product pages appear high in the search engine page rankings. One of the easiest methods is to make sure that each product page has comprehensive product details. Many e-commerce sites simply cut and paste the product information provided by the manufacturer.

Not only does this limit the uniqueness of the page itself, the page does little to move the sale forward due to the lack of enticing, action-oriented copy. It is one thing to make an e-commerce SEO website optimized for search engines. It is quite another to develop web copy that appeals to people.

Another way e-commerce sites can maximize their revenue is to make sure their on-site search engine is top-notch. Some e-commerce search engines are downright terrible. E-commerce SEO site owners should work closely with programmers to utilize the latest technology in on-site search. When customers cannot find what they are looking for, they leave frustrated and it damages the brand of the e-commerce site.

Social Media Links

Facebook recently passed 1 billion members worldwide. Social media is more popular than ever and continues to grow. E-commerce SEO sites that do not promote social sharing of their content will be left behind. Each product page should have icons and links that let users easily share page content. This will increase inbound links from authority sites. The e-commerce site will benefit from other high-profile sites recommending and sharing their content.

By properly optimizing their website with excellent page descriptions, highly efficient on-site search and comprehensive social media connections, e-commerce SEO sites will be well-prepared for massive traffic and sales. Cyber Monday will seem like just another day on the calendar.

How Does SEO Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy?

August 23rd, 2012 by Guest

SEO is one of the most talked about forms of online marketing and for good reason. Not only is it extremely cost effective, it can reach a worldwide audience and often results in significant conversion rates regardless of the niche. While there are numerous steps involved in the SEO process, the end goal is very simplistic. It’s meant to help a website reach a high ranking position on Google and other search engines. Let’s now go over some reasons why SEO is such an important marketing strategy.

First of all, SEO can be very affordable and most businesses can fit it into their budget. This makes it perfect for small to mid-sized businesses that lack the financial resources for a full blown campaign, but want to realistically compete in their industry. In fact, SEO can give smaller business the opportunity to compete with much larger ones. By creating relevant content, optimizing a website and smart backlinking, it tends to level the playing field and allows businesses of all sizes to reach their demographic. The best part is that SEO can bring in consistent traffic for months or years to come. Even if a company chooses to pay a professional for their campaign, the money from sales will often cover their expenses in the long run.

Another benefit of SEO is its ability to produce solid conversion numbers. Since this is a form of inbound marketing, it relies on catering to a business’s target audience rather than trying to appeal to the masses. For example, this technique relies on selecting a few targeted keyword phrases that a demographic will be interested in. When the process is done correctly, it will result in a website showing up on the first page of search engines. This is important because potential customers will come across products or services that they are looking for and are likely to make a purchase. Consequently, a business can expect to see substantial conversion rates from the traffic they receive.

Along with this, SEO is a great way to establish trust and authority within an industry. Since most niches have countless numbers of competitors vying for customers or clients, it’s important to stand out. One of the best ways to do that is by popping up on page 1 of search engine results with spots 1 through 3 being ideal. When a business can reach this position, it often helps its demographic feel comfortable with the business and shows that it has a certain degree of credibility. Once a company can get its foot in the door, it’s easier to acquire new clients or customers and will lead to repeat business in many cases.

In addition, an SEO campaign can easily be tracked and adjusted for maximum effectiveness. By utilizing a platform such as Google Analytics, a business can determine which keywords are being searched for, which content is most popular and which content is resulting in conversions. This is important because it gives a company keen insight into what it’s doing right and what isn’t working. From there, the proper steps can be taken to provide an audience with what it’s looking for. In time, this can increase conversion rates even more and boost overall sales.

Google Ecommerce Product Feeds To Go Paid

July 24th, 2012 by Rogue Media

Google has recently announced that it will make a profound switch when it comes to ecommerce marketing. Starting this fall, it will shift from Google Product Search to Google Shopping. While this will involve numerous changes, let’s discuss some of the most profound and how it will change things for both businesses and consumers.

The primary change is that businesses will be required to use product listing ads to bid on the positioning of their products. Rather than getting free clicks from organic search engine traffic, the business with the top bid will usually get the top position when selling products. Along with this, positioning for ecommerce product listings will depend upon relevance as well. As a result, this concept is somewhat similar to Google’s Adwords platform where individuals bid on ad placement.

While it’s apparent that Google is most likely doing this increase revenue, representatives have stated that this change will be beneficial for most consumers. Some of these benefits include an improved shopping experience where consumers will have access to products that are consistently updated. Basically, this new platform should encourage companies to keep product information fresh so they can remain competitive. It should also keep consumers abreast of the latest deals or promotions that a company is offering. Besides this, it should minimize the frustration that sometimes stems from ordering a product only to find out that it’s out of stock or unavailable.

In terms of the benefits for business owners, they are as follows. This new model for ecommerce product feeds should result in better traffic that is more highly targeted than it has been in the past. Since the search results that appear to consumers will be more up to date and accurate, businesses can expect to receive traffic that is more likely to make a purchase. Consequently, this should maximize the conversion rates for many businesses. Google has also stated that it will offer some perks to businesses that make the transition to this ecommerce marketing platform early.

For example, Google will offer a 10% discount to businesses that create Product Listing Ads by August 15 of this year. Also, businesses that currently use Google Product Search will be given $100 for their Adwords campaign if they sign up by this date. Even those these aren’t major advantages, they can prove helpful for many ecommerce companies. In addition, Google will offer businesses the option of signing up for the Google Trusted Stores program. This involves giving a special badge to quality stores where customers can look at ratings.

This brings us to the final question of what will this mean for large and small businesses. In all likelihood, this shift should be advantageous to larger business with more money to spend on an ecommerce marketing campaign. Since the company that can make the highest bid will usually get the best positioning, it could hurt smaller businesses with limited budgets. However, the full effect of this change in ecommerce datafeeds is still yet to be seen.

Testing E-Commerce Software Is Not Your Job

March 28th, 2012 by Zach

E-commerce is becoming mainstream and scores of entrepreneurs and small businesses are diving in to expand their profits. Ensuring that your e-commerce system is running smoothly is critical as small mistakes can add up to giant losses. Mark Gibbs of recently published an article on the subject. Mark suggests that testing your e-commerce system will help ensure that transactions are processed correctly. This is true, but proper research and vetting can be even more important.

In Mark’s real-world example, the e-commerce software was generating inventory problems because of a programming error. This sounds like either a case of a poor shopping cart platform or sloppy programming after the fact. If it’s the former, there’s no reason for this to happen. Because e-commerce has become so popular, there are dozens of reputable e-commerce shopping cart platforms ready to use within minutes. This competition only promotes quality solutions so there’s no need to settle for sub-par e-commerce software OR build it from scratch. If the inventory problem was a result of poor programming after the fact, there’s no reason for this to happen either. Once again, there’s an abundance skilled programmers ready, willing, and able to work. Any good programmer will do the testing for you. That is, in fact, what you’re paying them for!

Essentially it comes down to sound business and management principles. Take the time to properly research and vet all vendors, contractors, and employees to make sure you can rely on them. This will only save you time and money in the long run.

Web Analytics Increasingly Important to Music Industry

March 22nd, 2012 by Rogue Media

Access to accurate web analytics is important for any flavor of internet marketing, but it’s becoming increasingly so for one market in particular…digital music distribution. BillboardNielsen, and have come together to announce the first ever “On-Demand Songs” chart which tracks the top on-demand, or streaming, music aggregated from MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker and Spotify. (Data from Zune and Sony Music Unlimited is expected to be added in the coming weeks.)

You may already be familiar with popular web analytics platforms like Google Analytics and ChartBeat, but music specific analytics platforms have begun to emerge recently. Companies like Next Big SoundBuzzdeck, and Rockdex are among the top players providing artists and record execs with streaming music metrics.

Facebook Timeline Launches Worldwide

December 16th, 2011 by Rogue Media
Facebook Timeline

Facebook Timeline

Back in September of this year, Facebook unveiled the new Timeline function at the F8 event. The Timeline has been summed up to be the story of your life on one page.

The Facebook Timeline feature allows users to create events of their life on their Facebook profile. Do you remember that time you broke a bone in 6th grade? Well, you can create that event for the world to see. What about your senior prank? Go ahead and include any information you want to include — time, description of prank and location. You can now literally tell your life story to your friends and family.

Of course, privacy is still the main concern for many Facebook users. Facebook is still doing great things to uphold the privacy of its members. Users still have an option to hide what they don’t want people to see and limit things to only a certain group of people.

The Facebook Timeline feature will be scrutinized by many users. Thousands of people are already verbally and publicly displaying their disinterest for the feature. However, this is usually the new trend for any new feature of Facebook. Most people will admit that it will just take a little time for the new Facebook Timeline feature to grow on them.

Once people discover how useful and personal the feature is, they are more likely to use it to its fullest capability. Some people do not want their whole life to be on Facebook, but other users see the attraction in telling their story on one single page to people who may not know too much about them.

WooCommerce: Free E-Commerce Plugin For WordPress

October 8th, 2011 by Rogue Media

An exciting free e-commerce WordPress plugin adds e-commerce functions to the popular blogging and CMS platform. Produced by developers at WooThemes, the new e-commerce platform promises to revolutionize the WordPress world. In the past, e-commerce plug-ins for WordPress were difficult to use and often came with a large price tag. Now anyone can set up an online store. To go into business, all WordPress owners only need time and the WooCommerce plugin.

Excitement about this new e-commerce WordPress plugin comes for two reasons. First, the WordPress community recognizes WooThemes as a skilled developer of quality WordPress products. Bloggers and website owners everywhere expect innovation and high quality from anything made by Woo. Community excitement also comes from the fact that WordPress users can get the WooCommerce e-commerce WordPress plugin free.

WooCommerce features an administrator dashboard that works naturally with WordPress controls. This means most WordPress users will quickly and intuitively understand how the plugin works without a long learning curve. This e-commerce WordPress plugin also comes with impressive reporting capabilities that provide statistics, graphs and easy integration with Google Analytics. Communication in any e-commerce environment determines its success. WooCommerce comes with HTML templates that website owners can use to send professional HTML-formatted email messages. WooCommerce comes with a simple product entry system that works inside the WordPress dashboard.

The front end of the WooCommerce e-commerce WordPress plugin allows shoppers to choose how to sort goods and services and has built in cross-selling and up-selling features. Sellers can use the built-in coupon system to promote their products. This system supports expiration dates and limits for how many times shoppers can use a coupon.

WooThemes hired a well-known WordPress developer to audit the WooCommerce plugin for security, helping Woo to harden the e-commerce WordPress plugin to keep users safe online. This extra step helps demonstrate the commitment developers of WooCommerce have to providing a safe and efficient e-commerce experience.

WooCommerce themesOf course, WooThemes has much in store for WordPress users beyond its powerful WooCommerce plugin. The company has a number of premium WordPress themes featuring WooCommerce integration. This helps users create professional WordPress-based stores with only a small capital investment. Webmasters who want to experience the power of an integrated WooCommerce theme can download Wootique from the WooThemes website. This is a free theme that allows all WordPress users to experience the power of the new e-commerce WordPress plugin.

After experiencing Wootique, users will probably want to upgrade to one of WooThemes six premium themes. For example, a child theme for Canvass and theme called Statua make selling photographs easy, from the WooCommerce platform. Nine commercial extensions add powerful abilities to this e-commerce WordPress plugin such as the PayPal payment gateway, a shipping table and an EU VAT exemption feature. Other commercial extensions work to improve the WooCommerce with other exciting features and payment gateways.

Happy 13th Birthday Google!

September 27th, 2011 by Rogue Media

Happy birthday, Google! Sorry, but we didn’t get you anything this year. 😉

Google's 13th Birthday