Posts Tagged ‘seo’

Understanding Today’s Content & Media Strategy to Grow Your eCommerce Business

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Posted by: Laura Hills

With all of the media choices available, do you know the best optioUnderstanding-Todays-Content-Media-Strategy-to-Grow-Your-eCommerce-Businessns to promote your business?  The first step is to understand the variety of media available to support your content management marketing strategy.

Let’s start with your company’s website.  This is often the first impression that a customer or potential customer has for your business.  Your website is media that you own and control, whether you physically maintain the site yourself or have someone else do this for you. Your site should always be up-to-date, easy-to-navigate, function properly and be an inviting source of information about your company and products.  It is important that your site is search engine optimized (SEO) to be sure that those searching for your company or products have the best chance of finding you.

Your website is a place to feature your active social media channels, blog postings, relevant publications including catalogues, newsletters, videos, webinars or other content that you publish.  Email blasts and direct mail that you produce and distribute are other forms of content. All of this is an important part of your content strategy.

Depending upon your business strategy, public relations and other outreach efforts can promote your products or company with placements in magazines, newspapers, broadcast media or online to help tell your story and get you noticed. Good public relations doesn’t have to involve using an agency to represent you. Today this media includes blogger and social media channels that enable you to gain greater exposure for your message.  Whether you write your own blogs or follow and post comments to other blogs, have your own social media pages or follow and comment on others, you are spreading the word about your company.  And, in spreading the word through social channels, you are driving attention back to your website or storefront.

Providing information on relevant and timely topics, whether through articles in newspapers, magazines or internet channels helps your company gain recognition.  To supplement your content management strategy you should take time to cultivate opportunities and business connections through attending industry events, writing blogs (your own and/or guest blogs for others), reaching out to any local media outlets and being active in social media channels. Quality content tends to get shared which helps to increase recognition and is an important component to overall content strategy.

Another area to consider is paid media which includes any type of promotion or advertising that you pay for.  There are limitless opportunities to buy advertising space for your company including all forms of print and online ads, product and service directories, radio and TV spots and all forms of online search advertising including pay-per-click (PPC), Google and LinkedIn sponsored content. Facebook now offers paid advertising and it’s said that Twitter won’t be far behind.

Budgets play a big role in the type of paid media you can utilize.  Determine where your customers and potential shoppers are likely to see your ads; where do you see your competitors advertising?  It pays to know your shoppers – are they internet savvy and online most of the time? Do they read or subscribe to magazines or newsletters that would be a good fit to promote your products? Don’t be afraid to test new outlets for your message. It is important that you blend available media options to create a cohesive and targeted content strategy.

For additional information on developing a converged media content strategy, read Jayson DeMers’ article, How to Execute a Converged Media Content Strategy (And Why You Should) which appeared in Forbes online Entrepreneurs column.

 

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Posted in Customer Satisfaction, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Freestyle Commerce, Industry News, Inventory & Order Management, Multichannel Order Manager, Search Marketing | No Comments »

Must Have SEO Checklist for Your eCommerce Platform

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Posted by: Al Pascale, Dydacomp Manager of eCommerce Services

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.

The first step for SMBs should be to review the services available from your eCommerce provider.  A solid, fully-featured eCommerce platform will have incorporated SEO functionality into the system architecture.  A simple checklist for features that should be included in your ecommerce cart includes:

  • XML sitemaps – A robust ecommerce platform should provide instant sitemap generation using the software protocol common to Google®, Yahoo® and Microsoft®, streamlining search engine submission to make it faster, easier and more effective
  • Breadcrumb navigation – This navigation path shows the user how they arrived at the current page, gives you an additional opportunity to use keywords and makes the site more easily spidered
  • URL rewrite – URLs for product and department/category pages are named based upon the product and department/category titles themselves, making those pages keyword rich and feeding relevant content to search engine spiders
  • Fully Editable Meta Tags – Meta tags are another excellent source of relevant content and keywords for SEO.  Your cart should feature fully editable meta tags and keywords for each product and department/category
  • Customizable Page Titles – Every department/category and product page should be customizable to reflect page content and utilize keywords
  • Alt and Title Tags – Two of the most important tools for improving search engine ranking, your cart should allow you to easily 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

The more your eCommerce platform can either do for you or simplify, the more hours you can subtract from your weekly commitment to SEO.  SEO is a significant time commitment but an important one that should be considered an investment in the health of your business.  Many SMBs simply do not have the staff or expertise to dedicate to SEO, but this doesn’t have to be an impediment.  Outsourcing SEO to your service provider can be an economical and effective strategy with a demonstrable ROI.

To learn about Dydacomp SEO services, contact  info@dydacomp.com

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Posted in Ecommerce, SiteLINK News | No Comments »

Using Social Marketing to Help Improve SEO

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Post By: Lisa Gittleman, Lisa Gittleman, Dydacomp Marketing SpecialistDydacomp Marketing Specialist

Companies, no matter what the size, are constantly working to improve their SEO.  One way to do this, which many smaller businesses often overlook, is through social media. Search engines Google and Bing have already confirmed that links shared through social networks Twitter and Facebook directly and positively impact rankings. Therefore, companies should build their social media campaign in order to improve their SEO.  It is important to have a plan in place before beginning social media efforts; discover where customers are interacting and focus on finding ways to open up the interaction between them.

Social platforms can help you find what consumers are saying about your company and product. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online forums, and industry and company blogs are all great places to start the search. Use the interactions to help you understand what keywords you should be focusing in on. You can then optimize your own social profiles to include those keywords and targeted search phrases to boost the visibility of your site on search engines. Social platforms can help to improve your search engine ranking, leading to an increase in traffic on your site and a stronger reputation.

These interactions can also help you figure out what content will be most effective for current and potential customers. The more useful and informative the content you are offering, the more likely it will be shared across various social platforms. This sharing is the key to improving your search engine ranking as it improves the trust search engines have in your site.

There is no guarantee that all of the interactions you find out there in the social media world will be positive. However, the best way to combat the negative reviews and feedback you receive is to actively listen to them and to alter your efforts to create a better experience.  Working to combat negative feedback usually yields increased positive results.

Social media plays a crucial and beneficial role in improving your search engine ranking, in addition to the overall image of your company. The more customers are talking about you and sharing information, the better it is for your business.

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Posted in Industry News, Search Marketing | No Comments »

Big Retail is Winning Online

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Posted by John Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

According to a recent report from Comscore, a research company that tracks a consumer’s online advertising and purchasing patterns, there has been a significant upswing in the last year in overall ecommerce sales to the top 25 retailers.  Check it out:

Some of that number is misleading.  For instance on Amazon.com a ton of small business ecommerce happens through their Seller’s Central channel but gets counted as Amazon sales, the same is true for eBay.  These marketplaces are so important to most of our clients that we have build integrations to Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) to work more efficiently with them.

Expect Amazon to have aggressive, increased competition from the top 25 retailers because other big multichannel players are catching on.  Both Wal Mart and Sears have created marketplaces for small merchants that have unique product lines.  So the good news is you’ll have more channels, but the bad news is you won’t be in control when there is a rule change and these marketplaces will change the rules on you often just like eBay Power Sellers have found out.

Our advice to clients is to take a more balanced marketing approach than ever before.  One potential strategy is to:

1) sell on your website using SEO and PPC tactics to drive inbound traffic (with an appropriate ROI)

2) merchandise certain items on the big marketplaces like Amazon

3) liquidate seasonal/old stock on eBay

4) insert your catalog in the orders shipped to Amazon and eBay customers (all marketplaces actually)

5) email weekly to your customer file and try to segment it as best you can

6) stay in or get back in the mail to distribute a catalog or promotional materials for acquisition, continuity and reactivation

A lot of folks might think I am off base recommending mailings.  It is my heritage so I have a bias, but, you are not going to be on page 4 of a Google search in a mailbox that belongs to a past customer or a high potential prospect.  Plus, “Big Retail” can’t out PPC you on every keyword term imaginable in the mail.  Finally, there is no solution online that lets a consumer look at 300 different items from you in a manner of minutes like a 48 page catalog.  Never mind the fact, that consumers will usually keep your catalog around for a little while and refer back to it more than once.  Yes, in all likelihood they will put the order in online at your SiteLINK store or other shopping cart, but the attention, interest and desire for your product will come from their experience with your catalog.

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Posted in CEO, Industry News | No Comments »

The New “Mandatories” of eCommerce

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Posted by John Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

John Healy, Dydacomp CEOCurrently there are many merchants looking to switch shopping carts to get more out of their e commerce businesses in terms of growth as well as compliance.  As I literally travel around the world I am asked all the time what am I seeing in terms of “must haves” from a shopping cart.

So, in true David Letterman style, we have developed the top 10 must haves in a shopping cart (plus a bonus one).  I will go in order of priority because there are over 600 shopping cart options globally that merchants have when picking a shopping cart vendor.  This top 10 list will whittle down the contenders very quickly:

ecommerce must haves

Not sure how your current vendor stacks up on these “must haves”.  Also, I have another post on e commerce strategies that I’ll share with you at a later date.

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Posted in CEO | No Comments »

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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Posted in Search Marketing, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net | No Comments »

Do You Remember When it Was All About Your Catalog?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

John Healy, Dydacomp CEO

Posted by John V. Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

So you just put up your company’s new Facebook page and you have even started to Tweet about an item you are selling, all while working non-stop to get your SEO rankings up. You are even thinking about trying PPC to see if you can make that work profitably. You have (or should have) done major changes to your website so prospects will convert more easily: features like product reviews, cross-sell, up-sell, and product recommendations to name just a few. You email more often to your existing customers to bring them back to your franchise. You are selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to expand your reach. You are so totally wired now you might even be a source of electricity for a small community.

How are you doing with what got you here? You remember….Direct Mail and, more specifically, your catalog. Now the US Post Office has made it almost impossible for you to mail profitably but there are still many ways to make the mail work… even for prospecting.  Smart multi-channel merchants that I’ve talked to recently are telling me that they are going back into the mail, very selectively, but still they are mailing.  In fact, in Q4 of last year the USPS was down 18% on Standard Mail Flat mailings as compared to 21% in Q3 – a slight improvement. I suspect when the Q1 numbers come out we will see more encouraging news.

So it’s time to get back to the basics.  Try the mail again and get some help, especially for prospecting from companies like Abacus or i-Behavior.  Use the Mail Order Manager List Management Module (LMM)  more aggressively to find customers in your housefile that you might be able to mail more often.  Here is a link to give you a refresher on LMM: http://www.dydacomp.com/webinars/boostwithlmm.wmv.

Good luck and good mailing!

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Posted in CEO | No Comments »

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 »

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 »