SEO Posts

2013 Trends for Ecommerce SEO

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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.

How Does SEO Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

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.

Best SEO Practices For Ecommerce Websites

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

In its simplest form, ecommerce is the buying and selling of products through websites. This is an excellent way to improve sales, boost traffic to the site and make a name for your company. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is needed to capture and grow organic traffic that is related to the success of your ecommerce business. There are many ecommerce SEO techniques that will benefit the natural search traffic and interest of your target audience.

First, you will need to optimize the distribution of your ecommerce homepage Rank. Since your Home page most likely has the highest ranking; the rest of the pages should link directly from the home page. You should also keep the pages within 1-2 clicks of the homepage. The pages that most consistently link from your home page will also rank higher in organic search results.

To benefit your ecommerce SEO home page, be sure to use a pure CSS based design instead of nested tables. This will allow pages to load faster and is better for ecommerce SEO. Place H1 and H2 around headings and subheadings, and use the keywords in the page titles. When evaluating the most popular site searches, place these terms around the search box.

Next, you will want to focus on the proper linking and redirects for your ecommerce SEO. Ensure that your homepage is linked to your site root folder “/”. (Sometimes, it can be linked to a default or index page instead.) You’ll also want your page to be easy to find, so if your site is, you’ll want to make a 301 redirect from to Avoid using sessionIDs in URLs and keep your URLs written in descriptive formats that keep consistent with relevant keywords.

Once you have established the linking and redirecting, you can rest assured that online users will be able to find your ecommerce site rather easily, plus be directed to the right pages. Now you will need to work with your Product Page, which should be built around targeted keywords that will help you in ranking better.

To assist with this, ensure that proper meta-keywords and descriptions are included for each product. Also add an H1 header in the product title, use the main product keywords in the page title and URL, place keywords in italics and bold and add keywords in the last paragraph of the page.

Finally, make your ecommerce SEO authentic, never duplicating the content from the manufacturer. If you do this, your website may be devalued for duplicating content. By taking the time to ensure everything is linked properly, the proper keywords are targeted and organic search results are directed to the right pages, your ecommerce site will be well on its way to success!

What’s This About Organic Panda Farmers?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Earlier this year, Google released another significant update to their search algorithm aimed at devaluing websites deemed to be of low-quality. The Farmer/Panda update was officially released on February 24, 2011 and has affected an estimated 12% of Google search engine results. (The update was initially coined “Farmer” by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land but was named Panda internally at Google after one of the engineers.)

As many of you know, we’ve been stressing the importance of providing unique, quality content for some time now. This most recent algorithm update touches on that by identifying and devaluing excessive duplicate (copied) content, but it also takes the analysis a good bit deeper. Essentially, Google polled third-party testers about the overall quality of a series of websites and compiled their answers to help define what a “low-quality website” is. Some of the signals of low-quality websites include the following:

  • High percentage of duplicate content
  • High bounce rate
  • Low click-through rate
  • Low time-on-site
  • Excessively obtrusive advertising

These metrics are not only a measure of content quality, but can also be heavily influenced by the quality of web design and usability. Your content may be 100% unique and engaging, but if your web design is grossly outdated and contains aggressive ads this would affect your overall quality score by contributing to high bounce rates and low time-on-site metrics.

So what’s the takeaway?

Instead of scrambling to update your website every time there’s a Google update, align your Internet marketing practices with Google’s: Provide engaging, quality content and give your visitors the best experience possible! This really isn’t a new concept but it does help to reinforce our overall approach for SEO and Internet marketing for years.

Outsourcing SEO To A US Company

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

If you own a business, you probably know how important SEO is to the success of your website. This is what drives traffic to your site and what pushes you upward in the search engine results. Most people will never look at any of the results that are not on the first page. If you run a site that needs SEO content to be written in US English, you should really consider outsourcing SEO to a US company. You will find very quickly that there are a lot of advantages.

Native Speakers
First off, you can be sure that the people who do the work will be native English speakers. This is important to consider when you are outsourcing SEO because you want to get content that is readable and that makes sense. You need content that will bring people in, but it then needs to be coherent and to convince them to make a purchase.

Save Costs
You will also find that you can keep your costs down by outsourcing SEO to a US company. You will not have to pay your own employees to do it, and you can get the work done when you need it. You will not have to pay someone to be a full-time writer, giving them a salary, if you only have work for a part-time writer.

Save Time
You can also save a lot of time by outsourcing SEO because you will not have to have your own employees do the work. Instead, you can allow your employees to keep doing the jobs that you hired them to do. You can then hire a writer for all of your SEO needs so that he or she can do the work at a much faster rate than someone who is not trained or experienced in the field.

SEO vs PPC Advertising

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising are both extremely popular forms of search engine marketing. Both can generate some excellent returns depending on how well they are executed. So what makes them different and what else do they have in common…besides three-letter acronyms?

Many search engine users (and even marketers) still don’t know the difference between the two set of results, so lets take a quick look:


The search engine results on the top and right sidebar are part of a pay-per-click campaign, so the advertiser is charged a fee every time someone click on one of these links. The search engine results in green are considered “organic” or “natural” results and can be influenced by SEO. While many internet users still aren’t aware that some of these Google results are sponsored, more people are becoming savvy to this and come to trust the organic listings over the paid results. Because of this, the natural listings often have a much higher click-through rate than the sponsored ads.

Let’s take a look at some of the other differences between SEO and PPC:

SEO Advertising Campaigns:

  • Can take weeks or months to generate traffic
  • Provide permanent (owned) rankings
  • Often less expensive over time
  • Organic results generate more clicks

PPC Advertising Campaigns:

  • Generate traffic immediately
  • Provide temporary (rented) rankings
  • Often more expensive over time

Generally, the two differ in three areas…time, permanence, and cost:

Time – When it comes to the times it takes to see actual traffic from a campaign, PPC is the winner by far. PPC campaigns can be launched within a day where SEO results can take weeks or months.

Permanence – The downside to this “instant traffic” is that it’s temporary and rented. The advertiser has to pay for every click and the traffic disappears as soon as they stop paying. With SEO, once top rankings are achieved much less (if any) ongoing maintenance may be required.

Cost – Many times, this is the first question we get from clients…”How much does it cost?” Initially, SEO is more expensive but has a better ROI in the long run. Think of it this way…would you rather rent an apartment or buy a house? We highly encourage all our clients make SEO their long term goal. PPC is quick and easy , but SEO allows you to build equity in your website and marketing.

So which one is better….SEO or PPC?

The real answer is “It depends.” They’re both tools for achieving success online. PPC is fast and agile, where SEO is slow and methodical. We’re definitely biased toward SEO as a long-term strategy for any business, but for clients that “need sales yesterday” PPC can make it happen overnight.

SEO’s Aren’t Snake Oil Peddlers. SEO’s are…

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Some people seem to think that search engine optimization is some kind of frou-frou nonsense they have to be weary of. Perhaps they’ve been duped by unscrupulous “SEO’s” before or know someone that has. Unfortunately, this is all too common as fly-by-night SEO companies promise the world and then come up empty when rankings tank. Perhaps we can shed some light on what it is that real SEO’s actually do.

SEO’s are…

…Publishers. SEO’s work with your company to publish the best content in the best places. Like a public relations specialist, SEO’s serve as a liason between you and your public (search engines) to present your company in the best possible light.

…Analysts. SEO’s analyze your website’s traffic patterns and industry statistics to determine what areas of your website are excelling and where your website falls short. Accurate and actionable data is critical for a successful search engine optimzation campaign.

…Navigators. SEO’s keep their eyes open and ears to the ground about future changes in the search engine environment, providing you with important information about how to react BEFORE problems arise.

…Architects. Most importantly, SEO’s develop strategic search engine optimization campaigns in order to create the greatest return on investment and establish long-term rankings and a solid online presence.

Should you be weary of SEO consultants and Internet marketers that seem to pop up out of nowhere? Of course! When looking to develop a relationship with a search engine optimization firm, always do your due diligence. Find out what their experience is. Ask for results on previous campaigns. Above all else, if it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.

Google Analytics: Analytics Intelligence with Custom Alerts

Monday, December 21st, 2009

The first of seven new features rolled out in Google Analytics recently is known as Analytics Intelligence. Long story short, a newly automated system has been implemented that parses the data related to your Google Analytics account(s) and will report when and if anything anomalous occurs. This can be something like the bounce rate abruptly rising, traffic flow to a landing page suddenly dropping, or any other system-wide ‘red flag’ that might otherwise not be caught without the aid of a meticulous eye and some degree of effort in reviewing analytic data, and even then– Analytics Intelligence is on the job 24 hours a day. Alerts come in the form of messages sent to the controlling account’s registered email address, making worries about awareness regarding internet traffic a thing of the past.

Another wonderful aspect of Analytics Intelligence is that the end user doesn’t need to set any kind of sensitivity or threshold for normal functionality. There is an advanced algorithm at work that interprets not only daily/weekly/monthly data when determining whether an event is exceptional, but also historic and cyclical data that allows AI to better ascertain the significance of movements and changes in traffic flow. Even better is that, if an end user did so desire, they can create custom metrics that can alert them if any number of conditions take place.

Custom Alerts can be set up to notify you if, for example, you wanted to know when you’ve reached x number of visitors from a specific geographic location. Or, to know when and if the percentage of traffic from a specific advertising campaign comprises a certain amount of total visits from all sources. Information such as this allows you to more quickly determine the effectiveness of advertising in a number of media and more effectively budget your internet marketing dollars, among other insights.

Check out the wonderfully produced Google video on this feature @ Google Analytics Intelligence. In the next installment, more hands-on with new Google Analytics features!

Google Analytics: Seven New Tools

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Google has recently announced an update to their robust web analysis tool, Google Analytics, that brings with it seven new and powerful features: Analytics Intelligence (with Custom Alerts), Expanded Goals and New Engagement Goals, Expanded Mobile Reporting (for non-JavaScript enabled phone traffic and usage), Unique Visitors Metric, Multiple Custom Variables, the ability to share Advanced Segements and Custom Report Templates, and new Advanced Analysis Features (Pivoting, Secondary Dimensions, and Advanced Table Filtering).

Over the next few installments, I’ll cover what each of these new and exciting features has to offer in terms of improving search engine optimization intelligence and how it can enable improved decisionmaking that in turn prompts actionable change. Using the additional data provided by (or better identified by) the use of the new features to improve marketing throughput can result in quicker reaction to market changes and user preferences and the ability to seize opportunities that might not have otherwise been apparent. One other wonderful benefit provided by a number of the new tools is the ability to dig deeper into data already collected to discover areas for improvement in future cycles, particularly for businesses or entities that operate with great fluctuation from season to season.

Knowledge is power, as it always has been. These new additions to an already powerful tool for divining insight from the site(s) surveyed are nothing short of excitingly intriguing, and will lead to higher yields, less overhead, and more sound decisionmaking for those that can effectively take advantage of them and what they have to offer.