Archive for the ‘Search Marketing’ Category

Meta Tag Implementation Techniques

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Posted by Stacy Miller, Dydacomp Search Engine Marketing Manager 

Stacey Miller, Dydacomp SEM ManagerThere are many types of Meta tags you can implement and utilize on your web pages to help engines digest the most relevant content on your site. Implementing proper Meta tags is an essential component of on-page website optimization, especially when you are trying to sell online goods and services.

More popular tags, such as Meta-titles and Meta-descriptions, are important to implement because they display the content in the search result when that particular web page of your site shows up in browser search results. Once ranking, the description tag content needs to address the searcher for your listing to catch the searcher’s attention. If there is no specified tag, the spiders will pull any text that can be found in the source code and index it for your listing content.

Character counts for Meta data – follow these guidelines for optimized search engine listings:
Meta Title Tag – 65 characters (summarize with most important keyphrases) plus domain address for branding!

Meta Description Tag – 155 characters (marketing pitch with most relevant keyphrases) – capture the click!

Meta Keyword Tag – 4-5 per product, 6-9 per department, 10-13 for the homepage maximum – no spamming!

Below are some examples for a better understanding of optimized meta tag content pulled from a Google search for ‘power tools’ and then just ‘tools’. Please note how the search phrase becomes bolded naturally in the results text:

1. Title Tags – they show in your listing and should be no longer than 65 characters so the verbiage does not get cut off in the most popular Internet Explorer browser page title section. This character count does vary by browser so better to be conservative here and not get your marketing message text cut off.

Listing Example: (ranked but not using full title tag text space for optimal marketing message)

 title tag listing example

 Optimized Listing Example: (utilizing specific search terms plus branded search keyphrase) 

 Title Tag Optimized Listing

 2. Description Tags – include your marketing content in the first 155 characters due to the fact that when your site receives a Google listing, the description text will be cut off with three dots… There are character count variations for Yahoo/Msn/Ask, but with Google being the most popular, it is best to optimize to shoot for natural listings with them first. See below…

 Listing Example: (the description text does not utilize maximum search marketing content space)

 Description tag listing

 Optimized Listing Example: (utilizes maximum text display for search-friendly marketing pitch for clicks) 

 Description Tag Optimized Listing

 3. Keyword Tags – not necessary but they do offer a high level of suggestion if your content relevancy. It is best to keep your keyword phrases specific to the content on the particular web page to maintain the highest relevancy factor.  Too many keywords can be noted as ‘keyword spamming’. Depending on number of products, here is a guideline:

  • Home Page – 10-13 keyphrases at most
  • Category Pages: 6-9 keyphrases at most
  • Product pages: 4-5 keyphrases at most

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Naming Conventions for Better Searchability

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Posted By Stacy Miller, Dydacomp Search Engine Marketing Manager
Stacy Miller, Dydacomp SEM Manager

More often than not, I visit a Dydacomp client website for the first time to discover that product category naming conventions do not include the most important keyword. Sometimes the product name is also excluding that important keyword. This ‘missing link’ is usually the main keyword that defines the overall site theme which online business owners are afraid to use too much because it will appear too redundant from an aesthetic viewpoint.

In the context of search engine optimization (SEO), an optimal level of keyword redundancy must be used for the purpose of targeted search relevancy. Online business owners seldom have the same perception of their product base as their customers, especially when the searcher is not sure what they are trying to find on the internet.

Business ownership implies that you are the product expert in your industry, so assuming your potential customers know exactly what they are searching for is not realistic. As the product expert, you must tap into your educational skills to help your visitors navigate their way through links to find the product they are looking to purchase.

Example 1:  Client ABC sells accessories for trucks and has products for ‘truck bed panels’. In this case, the client lists their product as ‘bed side panels’ rather than including the main product keyphrase ‘truck bed side panels’. This client will miss out on the most relevant product search-ability that includes the term ‘truck’ due to leaving out the main product keyword, which ends up creating a URL like this:

http://www.ClientDomain.com/Bed-Side-Panels/products/20

Product Keywords

Example 2: Client XYZ sells equipment for a manufacturer who refers to their product as a ‘spine board’ rather than ‘medical backboard’. If both search phrases are not included in the meta data and content, client XYZ will miss out on the search-ability for both search variations of the product search.

Product Keyword Phrases

My suggestion to all online business owners:  make sure to engage yourself in thorough keyword and keyphrase research before you start posting your products on your ecommerce website, otherwise you will soon find out that without the optimal level of keyword usage in your category names and product listings, you will inhibit your product search as well as sales conversions.

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Posted in Ecommerce, Search Marketing, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net | 1 Comment »

Driving Traffic to Your E-commerce Site

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Posted by Christopher Lang, SiteLINK Supervisor, Dydacomp Technical Support

The other day I was having a conversation with a client that sells clothing online and in retail locations. Because of the industry they have different sales all the time and are constantly sending out e-mails to their customers with various promotions and sale items to try and drive sales to their e-commerce store. Their biggest pet peeve, however, was that they had no way to track which sales were coming to their site based on the marketing e-mails sent out. Therefore, they had to find a way to determine how much money they should budget for their upcoming sales quarter for more e-mail marketing.

The client was already on our latest version of SiteLINK so I showed him our new e-mail campaign feature. This feature generates a link that you can put into your e-mail blasts that when clicked, automatically adds a specific source key to the customer’s order applying the order promotion without them having to do extra work. Even better, it allows you to have a direct link to the product listed in the e-mail blast!

Email Campaign Link

Needless to say, the very next concern from the client was, “Well that’s great and all, but then I can’t track any of this source key information unless I’m in my office sitting in from of my Mail Order Manager workstation.” I was then able to explain to him that this is one of the reporting features built in to the online admin interface on SiteLINK so he can run these e-mail campaign reports from anywhere he has internet access.

Email Campaign Report

Now the client is sending out even more e-mail campaigns each month and can correctly determine how many customers and how many orders were driven to the site for each and every campaign and they’re saving time and money because they took the guesswork out of the equation!

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Posted in Ecommerce, Search Marketing, SiteLINK News | 4 Comments »

Best Practices: Search Engine Optimization

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

As more and more business is being conducted online, retailers are looking to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve organic search ranking and drive more traffic to their sites.

On the most basic level, as the search engines spider sites, they seek out the density of keywords and relevant content to determine the site’s position in search listings, making it essential that retailers use all the tools at their disposal to make their sites keyword rich and therefore more visible to search engines and consumers alike.

Our newest release, SiteLINK eCommerce 6.0, offers you essential tools to not only conduct online business easily and seamlessly, but to improve your search engine ranking.

• URL Rewrite – URLs for product and department pages are named based upon the product and department titles themselves, making those pages keyword rich and feeding relevant content to search engine spiders

• Dynamic H1 Tags – When products are added to pages, tags within the code flag product identifiers as the most important piece of information on the page.

• XML Sitemaps – SiteLINK offers 1 click sitemap generation using the software protocol common to Google®, Yahoo® and Microsoft®, streamlining search engine submission to make it faster, easier and more effective

• Fully Editable Meta Tags – Meta tags are another excellent source of relevant content and keywords for SEO. SiteLINK features fully editable meta tag descriptions and keywords for every product and department

• Customizable Page Titles – Every department and product page can be customized to reflect page content and utilize keywords

• Alt and Title Tags – Two of the most important tools for improving search engine ranking, SiteLINK allows you to create alt and title tags for every image and link pulled from stock and department information. These tags allow search engines to determine the content of the images and present an important opportunity to incorporate brand/company names and keywords

Our SiteLINK staff is available to answer questions about how to use these and other tools to help drive more customers to your site. They can be reached by email at sitelinkadmin@dydacomp.com or by phone at (973) 237-0300, option 2.

Not using SiteLINK? SiteLINK is the only 100% customizable eCommerce solution tailor-made for and completely integrated with M.O.M..For a complete list of SiteLINK’s features and benefits visit http://www.dydacomp.com/sitelink-features.asp. To schedule an online demo, contact your solution specialist at (800) 858-3666.

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Posted in Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Search Marketing, SiteLINK News | 2 Comments »

Will Meta-tags allow better search ranking results for your e-commerce site?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Will Meta-tags allow better search ranking results for your e-commerce site?

Yes, it will. Especially for those e-commerce websites that currently do not employ meta-tags at all. Be aware that meta-tags are not the cure-all to boost your website to the top ranking on all search engines. Depending on the search engine, meta-tags are just part of the formula they use in determining page rankings. Inclusion of meta-tags will separate your website from the ones that do not use them.

Question: I still don’t understand why I would need meta-tags?

Let’s compare search engine page ranking to looking for books in a library. The ultimate goal for the higher page ranking is to get customers to visit your website if you are the merchant. If you are the customer looking for a particular product, websites with appropriately chosen meta-tags will have a higher chance of meeting your search query. When searching for books in the library, you may want to visit the card catalog and look up based the author, title, or subject. These criteria will allow you to narrow your search down to a specific section of the library.

Likewise using meta-tags will more specifically define your website to potential customers. It’s not going to guarantee customers will visit your site but it will increase the chances because your website will better match the search query entered by the customer. The better the match the higher the page ranking will be. As an internet customer, wouldn’t you be more likely to click on one of the first ten search result links instead of the 30th or 59th link?

Two of the most common meta-tags are keywords and descriptions. I’m sure you have seen the meta-tag description when doing a search on Google.com. For example, if you did a search for “Mail Order Software” one of the links you see would be for Dydacomp’s Mail Order Manager software. Directly underneath the link to the Dydacomp website is a small description. That description is the meta-tag description.

The meta-tag description is entered within the “head” area of html source code for the Dydacomp webpage. Below is the meta-tag description at www.dydacomp.com:

Please Note: I have replaced <> with {} respectively

{html}
{head}
{TITLE}Mail Order Software for Order Entry and Ecommerce – Mail Order Manager and SiteLINK – Dydacomp{/TITLE}
{META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”Mail Order Manager’s Mail Order Software and Order Entry Software is specifically designed to address the unique needs of today’s multi-channel retail, wholesale and distribution businesses. Also use SiteLINK for your e-commerce web store.”}
{META NAME=”KEYWORDS” CONTENT=”Mail Order Manager, Mail Order Software, Order Entry Software, SiteLINK E-Commerce Software, Shopping Cart, Point of Purchase, Point of Sale, “}

As you can see, for each meta-tag it starts off with “{META NAME=”. After the equals sign is the type of meta-tag. The first meta-tag entry is for the “DESCRIPTION” meta-tag. The next parameter that is passed is the contents within that meta-tag.

The meta-tag keyword is coded in a similar fashion. Take a look at the meta tag keywords. One of them is “Order Entry Software”. If I go to www.google.com and enter in “Order Entry Software”, one of the links will be for Dydacomp’s website. Be aware some search engines take a look at the meta-tag keywords and compare them to the actual content on the website. Why? To prevent keywords that has nothing to do with the content matter on the website. Those keywords are used to bring additional traffic to the website. Don’t you think searches for Britney Spears or Paris Hilton would be more popular than direct marketing solution or multi-channel e-commerce integration?

Let’s remember that meta-tags are not the only criteria the search engines look at. They also compare the location and frequency of content related keywords on the webpage. Some of these parameters can be manipulated by the webmaster. To offset the weight of meta-tags and other user-defined criteria, most search engines take into account other factors like visitors clicking through to access the website. Other search engines develop additional methods to help determine page ranking. A link analysis tool called PageRank is the basis of the Google search engine. This tool looks at the different links from one website to the next. This method then calculates a value based on the number of links pointing to the different web pages on a particular site. Links from more popular websites will have more weight than ones from less popular ones.

If you are a current SiteLINK store owner, the SiteLINK team will be able to assist in applying meta-tags to your website. If you do not have an internet presence, feel free to contact the Dydacomp sales teams for further information on SiteLINK (the only true 2-way e-commerce designed exclusively for Mail Order Manager) or other direct feed order management modules for Amazon, Miva, or Shopsite.

Michael T

Dydacomp Rep

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Should You Ship Free for the Holidays?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

The holiday shopping season is starting early this year with more competitive offers from online and catalog merchants. An article in The New York Times on October 8, 2007 points to free shipping offers as the key to winning holiday gift business. The article points out that L.L. Bean got out ahead of the pack with an early offer of free shipping without a minimum purchase. Although customers are drawn by the savings, making the leap to unconditional free shipping requires careful consideration on the part of the merchant.

The biggest objection to unconditional free shipping is that it severely diminishes the profit margin on purchases and average order size drops. As a high volume and profitable company, L.L. Bean can afford to take the hit, in hopes of attracting new customers. The “must ask” question then becomes, if your free shipping offer does not grow your customer base significantly, providing long term ROI, can your business afford the loss? Noting the metric that “54 percent of online retailers had tried unconditional free shipping offers, but fewer than half said they would use the tactic this year,” the statistics don’t inspire a great deal of confidence.

For many, conditional free shipping and limited time offers on free shipping may provide a safer field for experimentation. To create an offer that protects your business:

  • List which items carry the highest shipping costs. Consider excluding these items from the offer – see the article’s example of L.L. Bean excluding items like canoes and couches.
  • Use your web design and navigation to lead customers to the items you want them to buy. Choose products that both perform well and carry lower shipping costs and place them on the front page or in a special holiday gift section.
  • Let cross-sells help increase average order size. Look at popular product offerings and match them with items that either match or are in the same interest area, like a sweatshirt and matching pants or a fly rod and tackle box.
  • If you offer free shipping for a limited time only, choose the period wisely. Shipping ground will take some time, especially as holiday shipping volume increases, so ideally your free shipping period should be well before Christmas so you don’t lose the goodwill you’ve created with late deliveries.

Do you have any great holiday strategies you’d like to share or perhaps your experience with free shipping offers? Post a comment to share them with us and with other M.O.M. and SiteLINK users. We look forward to hearing from you!

Al Pascale
Director of SiteLINK Services

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Busiest Day For Ecommerce

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

As we move closer to the heart of the retail season, it’s always interesting to revisit timeworn thoughts such as what is the busiest shopping day of the year. We often think that this day is ‘Black Friday,’ the Friday after Thanksgiving. Reading an urban legends site such as Snopes.com one discovers that at least in terms of dollars spent, Black Friday is certainly busy, but doesn’t generate as much revenue as the two weekends prior to Christmas.

When it comes to Ecommerce, you might be aware of ‘Cyber Monday.’ The Monday after Thanksgiving, as described in Multichannel Merchant Magazine, is the day when the greatest traffic to a web store will be seen. Their article posted on their website on November 6, 2006, goes on to describe that a web store’s greatest traffic will occur on the following Monday.

The article, goes onto describe some actions that can be taken specifically by direct marketers, such as ‘personalized e-mail campaigns’ which can be created and sent from the List Management Module of the Mail Order Manager system.

As I’ve described, this feature of M.O.M. has sometimes been overlooked, and it’s understandable how the demands of the holiday months might not allow time to perform this function. But as the November printed issue of Multichannel Merchant describes in a different article, it’s a lot less expensive to wake up old customers than to get new ones. But that’s a posting for another time.

For now, using the tools that already exist in Mail Order Manager, to build and e-mail lists based on customer orders, recency, etc. can be accomplished with a little effort. Writing the letter in an HTML editor and pasting it into the customer notices function is a great way to get in front of a customer with a good looking marketing effort.

Stephen Miller
Dydacomp
For more information, link to www.Dydacomp.com

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Web Store Tips-Landing Pages

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Landing Pages

A ‘landing page’ is the web page that visitors see when they click on a link to visit your site. Often, the landing page is a link from another site or a search engine. It can also be the website’s home page. It is intended to lead the visitor to a specific place on your website so that visit can more likely be converted into a sale.

Increasingly, landing pages are designed to bypass the typical home page so that the visitor’s attention can be focused on a particular offer and so that the visitor doesn’t wander around – or away from – your website.

So, if your SiteLINK or other store has got direct links to what you sell on your site, either through a search engine, pay per click, or other integrated Internet marketing effort, keep these tips in mind when designing a landing page:

· Know where the visitor has come from and tailor the landing page
for that source
· Design the page to look like the rest of your site
· Avoid distractions by keeping the information to a minimum
· Focus only on the offering by minimizing links

Because you never have a second chance to make a first impression, properly designing a landing page when you choose to use them in an effort to boost the visitor to order rate is critically important

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Information on Search Engine Submissions / Optimizations:

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Information on Search Engine Submissions / Optimizations:

There are many ways to get customers to your SiteLINK eCommerce or own web store. The address of your store is probably on your packing slips and invoices, your letterhead, your brochures, etc. But how do you get new customers to your store? One of the most typical ways to help customers find your eCommerce store is to make sure that the information on your store is submitted to as many search engines as possible. This helps optimize the results displayed by the search engines.

At Dydacomp we’ve helped many SiteLINK clients work increase their rankings and the suggestions below apply to just about every eCommerce site.

Search Engine Submissions

Site submission is the process of suggesting a site to a search engine. (A search engine is a place, on the Net, where one goes to find sites about specific information.) Usually you fill out a form telling the search engine’s spider to visit and index the suggested site. Submitting your site greatly improves the likelihood that it will appear in users’ search results

Different search engines use different formulas or algorithms for indexing and ranking sites. For instance, one considers a multitude of factors in devising its own unique formula. To index and score web sites search engines’ algorithms weigh various factors, such as a page’s design and links, to rank pages in their search results. By constantly refining and improving their algorithms, search engines hope to give their visitors the most relevant results.

To score high with search engines you’ll need to optimize or modify your site’s HTML code and other features the engines consider when composing their rankings.

Search Engine Optimization:

Search engine optimization, also known as placement and positioning, is the process of improving a web site for higher search engine rankings. It’s the first step in achieving higher rankings.

Understanding ranking factors:

Before you can understand how each search engine score web sites, you need to understand the various factors they consider. These factors can be divided into two categories: page-related and outside.

Page-related factors are concerned with keywords and their placement in the HTML. These factors include

*Format, placement and content of title tag

*Use of the meta description data

*Use of Alt Tags

*Use of comment tags

*Alphabetical placement

A SiteLINK Tech representative can help guide you through some of this setup within the SiteLINK store.

Outside factors are not related to the content of your HTML. They include:

*Link popularity

*Click popularity

*Overall site design

Some Suggestions for this dealing with SiteLINK:

Using the current version of SiteLINK, version 5 (which is designed from the ground up with search engines in mind)

Google Sitemap (which is an easy way for you to submit all your URLs to the Google index and get detailed reports about the visibility of your pages on Google.)

Direct Froogle Feed (which is an option to check and send a listing of your products to Froogle. This function will include your products when a search is done in Froogle.)

Product keywords and Froogle description (adds to the metatags for product detail pages)

Possible Tool to help out with creating Meta Tag data and giving suggestions on improving site for Search Engines: http://www.sitesolutions.com/tools.asp

What’s worked for you? What have you tried or are you thinking about trying? Let the Mail Order Manager Community know. There’s a wealth of information to be shared on this and other subjects.

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List Management & Target Mailings

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Some years ago during the list building section of the training seminar, a client mentioned how useful the List Management Module seemed because he could define and produce lists for mailings or e-mail campaigns, etc. based on all of the information that was entered through all their years of using M.O.M. The client asked about the purchase price of the module and I soon realized that it was already a part of his system. He’d just forgotten it was there! Good thing he came to training, for sure. But the issue speaks to those features of M.O.M. which are underutilized if they are used at all.

List Management is one of those features. It’s critical to ongoing marketing opportunities, but its full power isn’t always used. Want do to a mailing to your best customers? LMM can help define them so that can save on postage. Want to blast your customers a professional e-mail with graphics? LMM again.

There are several ways to determine who your best customers. You can define a list based on last date of activity or the money that a customer has spent. These are all well and good, but you can also assign a number to the customer based on three critical elements: how long ago a customer ordered, how often they ordered, and how much money that they spent. This is called RFM, or Recency, Frequency, and Monetary value.
Setting this up in the Maintenance function of LMM, RFM Analysis/Settings may take a bit of time, but the result is quick and easy to understand. Although the the format you use is open and flexible, don’t be worried by this openness. You can experiment and change values without harming anything.

An example of what a setting might look like is this:

A value of 0 – 99 can be used, with 99 being the highest ranked customer.

Create a new Recency value by setting up a value range of:

1 – 8 weeks ago = RFM value of 33
9 – 16 weeks ago = RFM value of 28
Etc.

Create a new Frequency value:
3 times in 2 months = RFM value of 33
2 times in 2 months = RFM value of 28
Etc.

Create a new Monetary value:
$400 – $600 = RFM value of 33
$200 – $399 = RFM value of 28
Etc.

So, a customer that has purchased $300 worth of merchandise across 3 orders within the last 2 months will be assigned an RFM rating of 94.
When you’re complete with your numbering range scheme, press the ‘Process’ button and M.O.M. will calculate an RFM value for all customers and enter the calculated number on each customer record in the middle of the ‘General Info’ tab. This may take several minutes.

Now it’s time to build a list. From the Include menu, choose Customer Names\Customer RFV Values and either choose a number range or a specific RFM rating. Remember, list queries can be run many times so that you can get just the list count that you want. Save the list, review the names, create the labels for the mailing, and you’ve completed your targeted marketing effort. Don’t forget to create a source key and add it to the list in order to track the effectiveness of your campaign and update the RFM before each similar mailing.

Check out any customer record and you’ll instantly see their numeric ‘value’ to get a quick picture of their ordering habits.

We’ll look forward to hearing about any other value ratings that are used by other M.O.M. clients.

Stephen Miller
Dydacomp Development Corp.

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