Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Achieve Successful E-commerce

Different strokes for different folks, they say. But when in e-commerce, the factors for success are essentially the same. Read on to know how you can make an e-commerce business work for you.

Image From:

•    Set your business apart

Every online store is unique in itself, and there are things you can offer that others can not. Identify what these things are. Know what elements of your store differentiate you from competition. What reasons would make a customer want to pay your site a visit? Do you offer products and services exclusively? Perhaps you sell merchandise lower than the others do. Or maybe it is your excellent customer service that makes customers return. An advantage that most businesses have is that they are able to provide resolutions to customer’s challenge that no one else can offer.

•    Utilize sophisticated technology

With so many choices for e-commerce platforms nowadays, there is no reason for you to have a site that does not function properly. However, a good e-store does not only mean bug-free. It also means maximizing available technology so can attain your business objectives.
One essential aspect of an e-commerce store that seems to be neglected by the majority is a blog. You can bank on this feature and make sure that your e-store blog is relevant, informative and well-optimized to boost customer visits.

•    Make purchasing as easy and convenient for customers as possible

A seamless purchasing process equals happy customers. There’s no point in trying to make the buying process complicated for potential clients by forcing them to fill out lengthy forms, clicking a link, integrating additional steps and too-much upselling before they can make a purchase. All these turn customers off, and you may end up losing them in the end.

Some studies reveal that at least 20-30% of customers tend to walk away even if they already have items on their shopping carts because of how complex a site’s buying process is. The figures tend to worsen with sites that do not offer a user-friendly experience. Your goal is to make the process simple so you could make a sale.

•    Ensure proper management of your supply chain

In the case of some e-commerce sites, customers tend to give up on their stores entirely due to improper supply management. This means mismatches in items bought, product damages and defects, delays, or missing items. The key to prevention of such circumstance is to ensure that you have proper supply chain management. Select suppliers that are known for their reliability. One way or another you would have to outsource raw materials or procure the products themselves from these suppliers, so make sure you are sourcing the right ones. Your efforts will be for naught if you offer products that are below the standard.

•    Ensure cost-efficiency

You may be tempted to reduce your prices to a considerable degree in order to sell. While offering dirt cheap rates may move you up ahead of the competition, know too that reducing profits to single figures is responsible for bringing some companies to shambles.

When pricing products or services, make sure that you have cost-efficient control processes in place. Identify how you can offer discounts and lower retail prices without losing your income.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evolving SEO Tricks: Anchor Texts

Back in the days, one of the more established tricks to bring a website on Google's top search results for certain keywords was precisely matched anchor texts. So if for example, you want to rank first for chicken recipes, what you'd probably do is to write as many chicken recipe articles and create links with the words chicken recipes on forums, blogs, comment sections and other portals, all directed to your site.

However, with Google's goal of eliminating low quality links and content, it develops major updates every so often - all aimed at ridding the Web clean of inorganic links and poor content. Since 2010, exact match anchor texts has become a less effective way of ranking for SERPs. And with the 2012 Penguin update, significant amounts of websites were literally wiped out, particularly those that offer nothing but irrelevant content and backlinks, much to the worry of many webmasters who employed such practice.


Image From:

If your previous backlinks seem inorganic and you're worried about Google coming after you, or you're simply developing a new blog or site, here are some suggestions you might want to look into:

●    State brands
When writing content, for example, KFC chicken recipes hack, include the brand. Don't be scared to include KFC as anchor text. Users would usually be happy to link up to you anyway if that's the case. In addition, if your key terms read well with brand names, make sure to integrate those too (e.g. KFC's chicken recipe, chicken recipe from KFC).

●    Use anchor text variation
Avoid employing the same old terms. With their recent updates, Google sees this as a sign of poor quality. Diversify your articles with like words, URL links, plural forms, and phrases consisting of three words or more. Misspellings can also be mixed in, as well as luring phrases like “click here”. Placing a nofollow markup as appropriate can also make for natural profiles, preventing keyword cannibalism.

●    Employ metric and helpful tools
Use SEO tools with helpful metrics for keeping your terms in check. A few suggestions include SEOMOZ's Open Site Explorer and Google AdWords Tool, which can help provide your insight and tips during keyword research.

Trends these days help provide visitors variations on link profiles. Your main goal then should be to focus on attaining a rich blend of varying anchor texts like brands and URLs, instead of concentrating on repetitive and exact key terms.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Best Practices for Mobile SEO

This day mobile is the way to go. With the increasing demand for smartphones and tablets, businesses are finding it necessary to offer mobile versions of their web pages and applications to increase audience reach and promote their brands effectively.

And by all means, they should. Studies show that over 30 percent of total search engine searches are generated through mobile devices. More so, around 85 percent of the world’s population are using mobile devices to access the Internet, primarily for entertainment.

But to ensure full user engagement, businesses must also employ effective mobile SEO practices. These may be as simple as knowing search differences between desktop and mobile users, or as complex as understanding how to set a website for optimum mobile viewing.

Image From:

Through their hand-on experience with previous clients, our SEO specialists have discovered these best practices for mobile SEO:

•    Focus on short-tail queries.

One of the primary differences between desktop and mobile users is that the latter opt for shorter phrases, often targeted towards local searches. Take advantage of this by optimizing meta descriptions to suit short tail queries.

•    Think social, then mobile.
Majority of mobile users use mobile Internet for entertainment and amusement, a way to pass time. When creating applications or content for mobile use, keep this bit of information in mind. Develop mobile versions that are entertaining as they are appealing. Your website must also have embedded mobile tools for social media sharing. This increases site traffic, brand exposure and user engagement.

•    Optimize for both user and SEO
Optimize your website for mobile use in that both users and search engines can easily find the same version. Avoid strategies that can get your website penalized or flagged.

•    Streamline
Consider touchscreen features of mobile devices when developing webpages. Ensure that mobile users can focus and easily navigate through the site, particularly through important pages. Vertical menus are recommended as they are easier to use when it comes to link navigation.

•    Avoid scaling to fit

Don’t develop pages such that your website’s mobile version becomes a mini of the desktop version, scaled to fit a smaller screen. Webpages should be specifically developed to scale for mobile searches. Better if servers are created in that your site’s mobile version is placed under a sub-domain that directs to your primary domain. There must be a clearly stated link that leads users to the primary desktop site so as not to limit access to the full site, allowing for optimum user experience.

•    Install direct call for customers.
Not only should your page indicate your business contact numbers, it should also have a direct click-to-call tool per page.

•    Include quick-loading rich content

Content like photos and videos make reading through a website more pleasurable. This may however be, slow to load on mobile OS. To ensure faster loading times and proper functioning on mobile device, reduce the file sizes as appropriate.

•    Consider relevance versus application installation
For many companies, mobile applications serve as a great business and resource tool. However, for some, they may simply be irrelevant to users. Determine the reasons why your audience visits your mobile webpages. Then you can decide whether to push through with applications or not.

•    Get mobile versions in line with search engine versions.

Your website’s mobile version for users should lead to the same version that search engine crawlers are directed to. Duplicate content could hurt your rankings and could result to penalties.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Are Doorway Pages?

What are these, and why would you want them built in your official website? Doorway or Gateway Pages refer to those sites with one page that link to other sites. They work similar to the conventional calling card, but aside from these pages taking advantage of the Internet, they are also straightforward enough to efficiently direct traffic to its last stop, while offering enough information to acquire search engine positioning.

When placing doorway pages in your site, you have to make sure that it will give information that will encourage an internet user to look at your page. Keep in mind that this object has to be an authentic webpage, and not a shell that is full of keywords. It has to load at a fast rate, so do not paste big images all around the site. Provide your content, your backlink to your homepage, and a small image for the logo.

Image From:

If you wish to promote your website as an internet affiliate, you will need a gateway page. A lot of sites that you can place ads on, such as Google AdWords, prohibit the incorporation of affiliate links in advertisements. This is where doorway pages come in handy, as you will install your affiliate link here. Here are some tips on correctly putting the gateway pages:

Build the page

Creating these objects can easily be done on a word processor (Microsoft Word or Notepad), an application (Dreamweaver), or a related website that has tools for that. Surf around the World Wide Web and get inspiration from other sites. Look at their colors, fonts, text sizes and layouts so you can code the page you like, Text can be converted to hyperlinks that will direct visitors to the websites you choose. Doorway Pages can also pay you if a user clicks on them.

Host your page and make the domain

After building your webpage, host it online so visitors can drop by. Hosting sites are willing to accept gateway pages with no problem, since most of them offer their server space and domain for a premium.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Evolution of a Logo

A logo that is designed well will make it easier for prospective customers to find out how your company can be of service to them. This emblem is a visual representation of all the things that your firm stands for. Some of the most popular signs include the signature swoosh of Nike, or the golden arches of McDonald’s. Sadly, the fact remains that most organizations are still not effectively taking advantage of this important identity piece.

The ideal concept is that the logo of your company boosts the vital first impression of your firm to your business affiliates and prospective clients. The best logo designers can help build loyalty between your customers and your business, found a brand identity, and offer the professional appearance of an enterprise with a lot of experience.

 Image From:

Types of logos
Logos can simply be divided into three types. Going back to the example above, the swoosh emblem of the Nike brand is one of the abstract graphic signs that are connected to the company. There are emblems that use a literal approach to express the work that a firm does. For example, a company that paints houses employs a drawing of a paintbrush for a brand name. Finally, the font-based signs are primarily made out of a type treatment. For instance, the logos of Sony, Microsoft and IBM apply alternative type treatments in order for their organizations to appear distinct.

It is a fact that typical startups do not have the years of effort and the resources that are needed to build these links, so an emblem that clearly demonstrates what they do or what they stand for is most likely a better decision.

Creating the logo
Prior to your first sketches, make sure that you express the message that your emblem will convey. The logo designers can assist you in composing an image with a one-liner and mission statement. This is designed to help you centralize your efforts. Keep this statement in mind while making your brand name and stay true to it.