Store Spotlight: The Wine Country

Today I want to introduce you to a small business doing big things in the wine industry in Southern California. The Wine Country started doing business on November 14, 1995 in Signal Hill which is surrounded by Long Beach, CA. After successfully launching the retail store Randy Kemner, Proprietor and wine enthusiast extraordinaire, expanded to the ecommerce realm in 2003 using Miva Merchant shopping cart software to put selling power behind www.thewinecountry.com.

Mr. Kemner states, “Miva Merchant 5.5 has been exceptional for us both on the customer side and employee side. Our customers are able to easily navigate the site and purchase any wines we offer.  For our employees, with Miva Merchant 5.5 we are able to put information within the proper data field effortlessly.” after being asked how Miva Merchant has helped The Wine Country with its mission.

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Introducing Store Spotlight by Miva Merchant

I spend quite a bit of time on the web daily for work and personal activities; I even purchase most gifts for family members online since I have to ship it 1,500 miles anyways. I also buy many products for myself off of websites when I can get a better price than a local store and don’t have an immediate need for the item. Every time I go to buy something a thought comes across my mind, “I wonder if a Miva Merchant store owner sells what I’m looking for…” which brings the inevitable Google search for a Miva Merchant store with the product I want to purchase. Sometimes this works but more often than not it yields no results. There should be a better way!

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Setting Canonical URL on Miva Merchant Category and Product Pages

In February I covered how the search engines are taking a stab at helping website owners address duplicate content by specifying a preferred URL for each page with a canonical URL meta element and showed how to set the canonical URL for your storefront.

Today I am going to show you how to set the canonical URL in the Miva Merchant admin for product and category pages. My examples use the default 5.5 admin interface with no extra modules; if you have a template manager then you will need to make the changes inside the template manager instead of the default PROD page and CTGY page template.

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Miva Merchant on Twitter

During the Miva Merchant Conference this year there was an explosion of activity on Twitter by conference attendees, store owners unable to attend and several employees of Miva Merchant. This is great except quite a few people had no idea how to follow Miva Merchant. This post is designated to clear up all the confusion so you can find the REAL Miva Merchant on Twitter.

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The Importance of Secure Passwords

There are many aspects of a website to consider when dealing with security. One that is often overlooked is the administrator’s username and password. Choosing strong login credentials further increases the security of your site, while using default credentials or easily compromised credentials can completely circumvent all your security efforts elsewhere.

Often when a new web hosting account is set up, your host will assign you a username and password to administer your account. Sometimes the host is wise enough to use a strong password, but it’s not uncommon to get a username and password that are very easy to guess, perhaps something as obvious as your domain name. It is critical, especially in cases like these, to change your password to something that is not easy to guess.  When a hacker or malicious program comes to your site with the intent to break into your administration panel, easy passwords like these are some of the first ones they try for this very reason: most people don’t use secure passwords.

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AB Split Test in Miva Merchant with Website Optimizer

Running an AB split test to increase conversion rate is one of the simplest things you can do to increase revenue from your existing site traffic. Trevor Claiborne from the Google Website Optimizer team spoke at the Miva Merchant Conference this past Friday and the audience loved the presentation. As promised, Trevor has posted a video on how to setup an ab test for the add to cart button using Miva Merchant’s shopping cart software. Go check out the video and post a comment letting Trevor know what you think.

Thank you to Trevor for speaking at the conference; hope to see you back next year!

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Keyword Position Tracking with Google Analytics

Do you ever search for the same thing and get different results in the search engines at different times? Most people who have dealt with search engine optimization know that the position of their website for a specific keyword phrase changes in the search engine results, sometimes quite often. Keeping tabs on how your keywords are performing along with ones you never thought of becomes a daunting task very quickly. Today I am going to show you how to track your position in Google, Yahoo and Live (the search engines). Once you’ve gone through the steps I outline you will be able to see some very cool data:

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