Tag Archives: Search

Covering SEO (Search engine optimisation) , search engine submission, and various methods to get you to the top of google, msn, yahoo, ask, yell.com and more . . . .

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Useful Tools..

OK, so over the last couple of years, I’ve been asked many times what our clients can do to further optimise their ChannelAdvisor Stores, their eBay Stores and listings, and alas their existing ecommerce websites and blogs. Not a bad question, but there was a catch.. they all wanted this for FREE.

I found myself giving out the same websites and useful tools over and over, and realised there wasn’t an up-to-date reasonable list out there to suit this purpose, so decided I’d start one here…

What is it?
“A tool to check at-a-glance the link popularity of any site based on its ranking (Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati etc.), social bookmarks (del.icio.us, etc), subscribers (Bloglines, etc) and more!”

OK, so why would I use it?
I like this site as it’s very fast at giving you an overall “popularity” view of any site according to a whole host of different sites. This is great to find out how your site performs against your competitors too!

Overall Rating: 9/10

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What is it?
“SnapShots are smart profiles of the websites we visit. Simply enter a domain (e.g. amazon.com) and SnapShot will provide traffic history, a trust assessment and a list of all available coupon codes.”

OK, so why would I use it?
A product from Bill Gross (founder of GoTo search engine, which then became Overture, created paid search and was acquired by Yahoo), which allows for an ‘alexa-like’ experience of site ranking and traffic data for both single sites and site comparison (again good for competitor analysis).

They also have a couple other features thrown in which I like:

First, it shows ‘Deals’ that a site may be offering. (Coupon Mountain who specializes in finding and collecting promotion codes and they gather the majority of deals available every day)

Second, it shows a ‘Trust’ element for websites, which is based on community trends and third party secutity services.

Overall Rating: 7/10

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What is it?
“Website benchmarking is a score of your website’s performance within a large range of tests. The EC-Plus website benchmarking test is a free online website benchmark utility that allows anyone to quickly assess the performance of their website, without extensive knowledge of website development.”

OK, so why would I use it?

If you’re looking at taking out some form of SEO service, I’d recommend checking this out first to find out; whether you need it; what areas your current site(s) are falling down on.

The report is very detailed and will give you a good indicator of website strengths and weaknesses, and of course again it’s very useful to find out whether a competitors site scores higher than your own (i.e., if a competitor uses the same shopping cart software, and they’ve taken an SEO package to gain traffic, you could test to see whether it has made a difference..)

Overall Rating: 8/10

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What is it?
“A sitemap is a data file which references pages of your website, and assists search engines in indexing / storing your pages in their databases faster and more easily. By placing a formatted xml file with site map on your webserver, you enable Search Engine crawlers (like Google) to find out what pages are present and which have recently changed, and to crawl your site accordingly.”

OK, so why would I use it?This is a great site, very fast to use, and of course totally free. I would recommend you invest 3 minutes in getting this done and dusted! Totally automated and makes creating a sitemap almost too easy.

Overall Rating: 10/10

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What is it?
“The Keyword Tool generates potential keywords for your ad campaign and reports their Google statistics, including search performance and seasonal trends. Start your search by entering your own keyword phrases or a specific URL”

OK, so why would I use it?
A fantastic tool from Google that allows you to find relevant, high traffic keywords and key phrases for.. well, any form of online advertising, oh and of course maybe your Adwords campaigns?

Overall Rating: 9/10

DNS Changes and Cname with 123-reg

As a support consultant we advise our customers use the Cname function with their ChannelAdvisor store to improve search engine optimisation. This is an example of a Cnamed Channeladvisor store : Bling Bling Online. As you can see by clicking on the categories how the URLs seem to be coming from the domain name and not a ChannelAdvisor storefront URL. The domain name registrar (who you brought your domain name from) governs the process of the DNS changes and as I come across the different hosts I will post a simple guide on how to cname using that host. My first guide is going to be about 123-reg.co.uk. I always recommend this company as they will also host your emails for around £10 a year (at the time of going to press) so you can have a fully cnamed store and professional emails.

1) First log into your control panel:

Scroll down the page and ‘Manage your domain’ Select your domain from the dropdown list and click ‘Modify Domain’

*Please note: On this list if you are trying to Cname a .com or .net you will need to ‘Manage Domain Locking’ on this list before you ‘Manage DNS’

2) Click on ‘Manage DNS’

Your need to change your www record to Type: Cname and replace the numbers with stores.channeladvisor.com. Please do not change the @ record. This control your emails!

Your DNS record should look like this:

3) Click ‘Update DNS’ and the changes shall replicate within 72 hours. Please note this will only work if you have NOT changes the nameserver information of the domain ( I.E you brought a hosting package with a company like webfusion.co.uk and they control your emails)

As always if you have any doubt please hit contact support.

Liz Kidson – Frooition Support

Blogging for customers!

The buzz word of 2006 was web 2.0. ‘Oh its so Web 2.0’ you might hear at conferences and seminars. My take on web 2.0 is building a community for your buyers based on the product type on offer. Your customers are moving to on-line sales but they need your advice. Truthful, simple advice without the hard sell. First magazines, gossip columns and newspapers caught onto the blog wave, but now product sellers are paving the way to help the customer make the right purchase.

Adverts may be boring and invasive at times but Blogs are not, take ‘Innocent smoothies‘ they have a web log that provides an interesting insight to their origins, ethics and the people in the company. A blog like this takes of the lid off a large company letting the consumer take a look inside. This is what corporate blogging is all about.

For instance Bluefly.com a fashion designer and retailer launched their blog http://flypaper.bluefly.com to raise awareness and keep customer informed of new styles and movements in the fashion industry.

Top free blog providers out there include Blogger.com, Typepad and WordPress. WordPress is also one of the most popular open source blogging software, with a new release at the end of January and a unique ‘Multi-Blogger’ system dubbed ‘WordPress Mu’ so you can provide your employees with a blog of their own linked to your main domain.

As a new ‘blogger’ I would suggest a free hosted blog before you integrate a blog into your main domain. A ‘news’ blog needs to be updated with new content everyday, but a corporate blog only needs feeding 3-4 times a week. If you don’t update your blog your customers interest will wane and the point of the blog will eventually be lost.

We hope to see you in the blogging revolution!

Liz Kidson – Frooition Support

Google Analytics to increase your e-commerce performance..

Matt Cutts, A Google employee currently heading up Google’s WebSpam team, has recently posted a good article on Google Analytics, giving you a sample of the depth of information you can access using this free web based service from Google.

This data is interesting to look at for sure, but for those of you who run an e-commerce business, knowing your statistics (top keywords, referring URLs, traffic trends, etc) can help you to save time and money. For example, Google Adwords is implemented within Google Analytics, so finding what your top keywords based on your site data, and implementing these into your Google Adwords campaigns in order to increase performance is a much more straight forward process.

You could also use the information to assist making business decisions like choosing products, targeting customers & increasing the performance of your marketing campaigns – all based on real life accurate data from you own site(s).

Google Analytics is also integrated into ChannelAdvisor Merchant, a well known and widely used multi-marketplace e-commerce platform, allowing businesses to sell product to marketplaces like eBay, amazon, yahoo, as well as a whole host of Shopping Comparison Sites like Kelkoo, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com & Google Base to name but a few.

This powerful web based application, along side Google Base & their Web Developer Tools suggests a hint at Google’s direction for 2007, and baring in mind the last three or four Google Acquisitions (which include Jotspot {A wiki with a number of collaborative tools for business users, and includes applications such as spreadsheets, calendars, and forms}, writely {Web-based word processing that allows online document collaboration}, and of course YouTube {A community driven social networking site, allowing users to upload, share & broadcast videos, which is now one of the busiest destinations on the web}), I’m very excited to see how these platforms, ideas and technologies will interact with each other as future development rolls out.

What other areas would you like to see Google tackle, and what other kinds of application could they offer to assist e-commerce traders?

Mic Burns
Frooition Support

Google & Yahoo collaborate in Sitemaps.org

Incase you haven’t yet heard, Google & Yahoo have launched a collaborative site www.sitemaps.org. Sitemaps provide webmasters and content providers to submit new and existing content to search engines. Unified

As any webmaster will know, publishing content to multiple search engines can be a somewhat tedious task, so this unified approach will bring a new standard, and a more efficient approach to submitting your website(s), and the search engine industry as a whole.

Just because a level playing field has been agreed in the form of www.sitemaps.org, don’t expect to see the exact same result rankings when searching Yahoo or Google, as each of these companies still have their own search algorhythms and ranking criteria. However, submitting content to all Search engines that subscribe to this new standard will now have a common ground, making it both easier for publishers and for search engines to crawl and update your site.

Both google and Yahoo will continue to crawl websites and index using their own bots (slurp(yahoo) and googlebot(need I say it?)), but each engine will also use the sitemap submissions to assist this process.

Rumour has it Microsoft (MSN) has also accepted an invitation to support the new project, which now brings together the three big players in the search industry.

Links: www.sitemaps.org
Create a sitemap: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com
Submit your sitemap to Google: www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps
Submit your sitemap to Yahoo: http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request