SEO for Ecommerce Category Pages

August 14th, 2014

Running an optimized, search engine friendly Ecommerce site offers many opportunities to get things right, or, if you're not careful, to make huge mistakes. In this post we'll be taking a look at things you should be trying to do and things you should avoid.

How to Track Site Performance Post Hummingbird

October 29th, 2013

Google has unveiled yet another animal in their zoo of updates, the Hummingbird. This miniscule bird which we associate with bright, sunny days has had SEOs scrambling to meet the learning curve that it delivered to the masses.

Much like the mobile phones that have soared into our lives, Hummingbird has made searching Google on the go more intuitive. Let’s face it; up until recently the only people who could find anything of use on Google were the guys in the basement who knew the clipped alien language of asterisks, colons, and dashes that Google understood. And even then sifting through the results was time consuming. The new algorithm has allowed us to change our search queries from 

jaguar speed -car or pandas -site:wikipedia.org


What’s a jaguar’s speed?

Which makes life so much easier, right?

But, Google giveth and Google taketh away

Shortly after the Hummingbird landed Google announced that all searches initiated on google.com had been switched to secure connections, which translates 90% of our keywords to that utterly despised term, (not provided). Our benevolent ruler of the internet has turned into a Lord of War.

Just like what happened with link building, the traditional approach to tracking SEO results has now officially evolved bringing with it a new quality standard for websites. This shift could be foreseen with the Penguin and Panda updates that Google had released to try and fix the Caffeine update originally released in 2010; the internet giant went to war with low quality websites that strove to exploit popular search terms. Now with Google’s new ability to understand the keywords in a query, SEOs and site owners need to become more customer centric than ever because, honestly, it hasn’t been about keywords for years (check out Does Keyword Density Still Apply for more info).

Consumers and Keywords

Site owners track keywords because they seem like a sound metric to build a strategy off of—the numbers are easy to read and the concept of a smaller number being better is easier to understand than other statistics. The problem is that websites are often built from the keywords up with little regard to whether the site’s structure and copy are understandable to a human; the aim is to make the site easy for Googlebot to digest. What site owners may not realize is that Google has given us the means to perform optimization in unobtrusive ways that will, in fact, improve user experience. Over the past two years Google has provided us with Webmaster Tools, Schema Markup (otherwise known as Rich Snippets), and multiple improved Analytics interfaces, each offering a new avenue to identify or provide the message consumers were getting from your site. In each application rollout Google made it clear that these tools were to be used to improve the quality of websites.

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Google’s latest updates have restated their message clearer than ever: it is imperative that websites provide a good user experience

Information overload is prevalent in today’s society. A good user experience translates to the ability to easily access desired information in one to three clicks, maximum. This means that site structure, positioning of items, and phrasing of content titles all have to make sense to the average user. But how do you tell if the existing elements are working or not working without keyword data?

Track Site Performance with Landing Pages

Focusing on keyword traffic has never been very telling about whether a site’s performance; all it will tell you is that keyword X brought in Y visits. What will show a site’s success are the landing page stats. These are the first glimpse a user has of the site and their use will show whether visitors are finding the content useful, delving deeper into the site, or finding the page unhelpful. The pages can then be altered to deliver the message that a site owner must convey to reach their target audience.

Ask any UX Designer—Landing Pages have many components

Any page on a website is made of a number of components. From the designer’s perspective we see headers, navs, and hi-impacts; from the site owner’s perspective we see Calls to Action (CTAs), revenue to gain, and brand messaging; and from the SEO’s we see form positioning, sentence structure, and ease of page access. An SEO’s job is to merge both the site owner’s and the designer’s view to get the biggest bang for the buck; keywords are now just another ingredient in the mix rather than the only.

Remember, the entire purpose of a website is to get information, products, and services out into the world and generate a return on the site owner’s initial investment. Keywords have never been a good measure of a website’s success because even though a site may be ranking high for keywords, they be the wrong keywords. If your site has been affected by Google’s recent updates, contact Active Web Group and one of our Internet Marketing Specialists will answer your questions and assess your site.

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Insecure Feeling: Google’s Two-Step Authentication Process

August 24th, 2012

It’s like that joke that nobody gets but no one speaks up and says, “What’s so funny?” Well if you've ever been hacked, you get it. The need for tighter online security measures, that is. While your personal computer may not have been exposed, chances are that your personal information on a third-party database has. To further complicate the issue, when a major retailer’s security has been breached and its database hacked, the infringement may not be announced for some time.

Active Web Group Provides E-Commerce Strategies That Work

September 15th, 2011

All the leading websites for E-Commerce have one thing in common: customers that come back to them time and again. The fundamental key to a successful E-Commerce website is to develop an online marketing strategy that encourages a customer to return to your site to make further purchases.

Should I Sell Products On My Website?

September 6th, 2011

selling products onlineI always relate Internet Marketing to selling something. You may be an attorney, who is trying to sell your services, or perhaps you are a manufacturer who is thinking about selling your products direct to the consumer or in limited bulk discount pricing.

In many situations, I will most likely say the answer will be yes. You most likely will be selling something on your website. A very good way to start to play around with the idea is to go to Google.com and type in “Keyword Tool”. Click on the first link (it’s always the first one, go figure) and you can use that to get rough search volume estimates of a keyword you are thinking of selling, so that this way you can figure out the theoretical marketing potential will have to play.

If I go to this same keyword tool and type in Running Sneakers, and check off EXACT, under Local Monthly Searches it shows 1,600 (This is the relevant column for U.S. visits). Under that row, you will see other recommendations, such as Best Running Sneakers with a search volume of 590. Now you can start to figure out if you were on the main page of Google with an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy, that amount of traffic you may be exposed to.

Typically we recommend not more than two or three keywords per page to target, so depending on the amount of products involved, you can get a very good idea of your potential.

This is typically the first step that I do, every single time I speak to a new client. I see if they are effectively selling products with website or E-Commerce Design, do they have strong call to action messages, and most important, are they getting targeted traffic to the appropriate pages and are their conversion rates at a decent level. All in all, there are many factors to consider, but I will almost always say that you should definitely be selling your products or services on your site as long as you are doing it well, getting targeted traffic, and converting that traffic into revenue for your business.

For more information on Website Development and Marketing, call us at 1-800-978-3417 or Contact Active Web Group and let us help you!

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Customer Lifetime Value

July 14th, 2011

What is customer lifetime value and why does it matter so much to your success? Customer lifetime value is the amount of sales and profits that you earn from a customer during the period in which they continue to order from you or use your services. Lifetime means the amount of time that you are either measuring or the total span from when a customer places their first order until their final order.

Easy Link Building

June 20th, 2011

Most marketing managers know the value of good search engine rankings. The main three elements of achieving good rankings are site architecture, on-page optimization, and back links.

Finding Value in Meta Description Tags

June 3rd, 2011

When conducting a search in the search engines, the first thing you see is the title of the page, beneath the page title is a short description of the website. The description of the website is also known as a Meta Description Tag. Meta Description Tags are optional tags found in the head of a website that tell the search engines what your website is about.

Some Salt on that Password Please

June 1st, 2011

History can truly be one of the best guides for highlighting a path that should never be taken, or conversely, highlighting another path that should always be taken. If you have been following the headlines, you are aware that one of the biggest companies on this Earth, Sony, has been under constant attack by malicious hackers.

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