The Muse Papers

Musings…

E-commerce Store Set-up & Market Samurai

June24

I’m in the process of setting up my Archery E-commerce store.

Since I have many more products that I may sell than I am actually going to stock and I don’t know exactly which products are most popular in their category, I’m using a nifty tool called Market Samurai to select my products.

With Market Samurai I type in one of my product categories – today I was focusing on Archery Sights, and then with a quick click of a button I can find out which archery scopes are BOTH being searched for AND under-represented on the Internet.

The tool compares the number of searches for a key phrase to the number of pages containing that key phrase.  If lots of people are searching for it and not many people are offering it, well, then, it’s going to be easier for me to break into that market and make some money.

I do the same thing with bows to find out which bows I should stock.

I guess it’s market driven product selection.  Isn’t the Internet wonderful.

Creating this store is also amazingly consuming.  I’ve probably spent 10 hours on website design and programming (it helps that I have a team of designers and programmers, so mostly I’m managing them), and 50 hours researching, editing and placing my measly 20 products into the store…  And I want to go live with 100 http://homepage.westmont.edu/make_account/images/pic/photoshop-cs6.html zithromax tablets!

I’m constantly trying to think of a way I can get someone else to do my product research and data entry for me.  One of my special magic powers is supposed to be managing off-shore resources.  Somehow it works great when I do it for my clients and not so well when it’s for my store.

I am going to try to outsource some products data entry – the sights, cases, and maybe a couple other items.  See if that works.  I did hire someone to write my product descriptions, but I have to teach him my writing style.

Perhaps if I were not so much of a perfectionist.

Inch by inch the store is growing.  I’m just starting another e-commerce project for a client – probably 100 products – SEO focus.  Having been through this experience will give me more compassion for his process.

SEO: Page Layout

May26

What I’ve learned today could be considered deeply disturbing…  or not.

Here’s the scoop.  Google prioritizes (gives more link juice) to the first links on a page (in the code).  So, in order to highly optimize a page, backflips may be required.

For example, in the code usually it goes from top to bottom, left to right http://kodu.ut.ee/~roma1956/images/phocagallery2/gallery/generic-viagra.html.

So first, the header – usually overhead pages like Home, New Items, About Us and the like – pages who’s titles are not chock full of money keywords.

Second, the left navigation, which doesn’t usually offer enough space for good keyword usage.

Third, the content – the optimum place for keywords.

Finally, the footer – the keyword graveyard.

SOLUTION

Re-organize the site from the code point of view so the way the page source content shows up is:

– Body content

– Breadcrumbs – if used

– Left Navigation

– Footer Navigation

with the Header navigation (Home, New Items and the like) magically javascripted out to another part of the site (okay – I don’t really understand this).

This is where I ask my programmer – very nicely – to figure out how to make this work.

SEO: Navigation

May25

I’m going through Stompernet’s training material, keeping up to date on Search Engine Optimization.

Here is what I have learned today:

1.  Check your custom 404 page for spider traps

To do this, type in a random URL for your site, invoking the 404 page.  Then click every link on the custom 404 page to make sure that it does not lead to another 404 page (the spider trap)

2.  Use NoFollow tags on Overhead pages (privacy policy, return policy…) so you don’t dilute your link juice.

3.  Or, combine all your Overhead pages into one page and use anchor tags to send people to a specific portion of the page.

4.  To make sure that your second tier pages (category pages) don’t look like link farms, make each one has at least 300 words of unique content.

5.  If you have one category with a lot of links to products (say the Compound Bow Category – which will be quite long), and thus dilute the incoming link juice, create a second category with unique content at the top (see #4) and point it at all the same products in order to smooth out the link juice.

That’s it for now.