Every Page is an SEO Landing Page

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “SEO Conversion Challenges: When Every Page is a Landing Page.”

Searchers aren’t like your other online customers. As a result, converting searchers to customers requires a different way of thinking.

Sites are typically designed with a series of paths or funnels in mind. Customer A starts at the homepage, wants to buy Product Z and click click click — there’s your path to purchase. This path assumes a single start and finish, with each page along the way contributing to the experience and the customer’s decision-making process. This is the way it works for direct traffic customers — folks typing in your domain.

Or the customer may interact with an email newsletter, display ad or paid search ad that makes a promise and delivers a specific landing page designed to fulfill that promise.

With organic search, you can’t control which page the customer lands on in the same way. For many of them, this will be their first experience with your site and possibly your brand. Customers from organic search know what they want and ask a search engine to find it for them. Then they drop into your site on any page the search engine feels is relevant to that query. That makes every page on your site a landing page with the responsibility of engaging and converting customers….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well » SEO Conversion Challenges: When Every Page is a Landing Page.”

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Four New Year’s Resolutions for SEO in 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.”

With a new year ahead, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions. What do you want search engine optimization to do for your site in 2013? The most likely goals for any ecommerce site revolve around driving more traffic and converting more visitors. Let’s look at some steps for analyzing, planning and implementing stronger SEO programs in 2013.

  • Drive More SEO Traffic
  • Convert More SEO Visitors
  • Implement More SEO Actions
  • Build Better Relationships

Each resolution includes details and links to articles for more practical SEO tips. Enjoy!

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Measure What Matters in SEO

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well: “How to Measure What Matters Most for SEO.”

What matters in SEO most when measuring the performance of an SEO program is the bottom line: conversions. All other data – including rankings, quality and quantity of backlinks, bounce rates – merely serves as tools to diagnose issues and opportunities in driving organic search conversions.

A lot of people become obsessed with rankings as a key performance indicator. I understand. It’s easy information to acquire after all, you just Google your favorite keyword and see where you rank. Unfortunately, using rankings as a key indicator has two primary issues.

First, all searches are personalized these days. That means that I may see my favorite keyword rank number one ranking on Google, but you may see it rank number seven. Depending on the location, log in status, cookies, search history and a number of other factors, the search engines customize the search results to each individual searcher. The days of saying with confidence that any one page ranks number one for all searchers is long gone. As such, rankings are an unreliable performance metric.

Second, even in the best circumstances ….

Read the article in full at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well >>

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

SEO Report Card: MotoGP Store, Part 1

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO Report Card: MotoGP Store, Part 1.”

MotoGP Store HomepageEvery now and then an ecommerce site raises its hand for an “SEO Report Card” at Practical eCommerce. It’s a great way for the site to get some free advice and a good link, and an interesting way to give Practical eCommerce readers some, well, practical tips on how we’d handle SEO challenges with real ecommerce sites. Today’s volunteer is the MotoGP Store, the online merchandising arm of the official site for Grand Prix motorcycle racing. The store serves four countries in four currencies and sells MotoGP branded gear as well as fan gear for popular racers and teams.

Home Page Content

Like many ecommerce sites, MotoGP’s home page is jam-packed with images, branding, and featured content at the expense of actual HTML text on the page. When the images are disabled, the remaining text is entirely comprised of navigational links and alternative attributes for images. Neither can hold a candle to an actual piece of permanent body copy for anchoring a keyword theme and enabling a page to rank consistently. Even a short bit of text with 2 to 3 sentences focused on the primary keywords for the page will do the trick. The H1 heading for the home page is “MotoGP Official Store,” placed on the page using CSS image replacement to include both the logo and the HTML text on the page. This practice is above board as long as the words used mirror the words in the image.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce for insights into page templates, navigation, landing pages and conversion, keyword research and title tags. This is just part 1 of the report card, so stay tuned!

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

5 SEO Conversion Tools

My latest article at Practical Ecommerce, read it in full here.

The quickest path to earning more from an ecommerce site’s organic search traffic is to convert more consumers who already go there. So many SEO strategies focus on driving more visitors, but what use is driving more searchers to a site that can’t convert them? ZenithOptimedia, a large advertising and marketing firm, predicted in 2010 that “$56.8 billion will be spent this year on generating website traffic, but only 2%-3% of visitors will actually convert.” Given, that’s across all marketing channels, but the typical ecommerce site’s organic search conversion rates tend to hover around that same 2 percent to 3 percent.

Read more »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.