SEO – Where to Start?

All online store owners want to increase traffic to their site and the less it costs the better. Many small business owners may not know where to start when it comes to getting their website to show up in Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask and others.  There are many free resources out there to help some one learn if they are willing to spend the time. Here is an overview of two of my favorites for getting started.

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Free Ecommerce Optimization Tools

Every ecommerce store owner wants (or should) to make thier site customer friendly and improve conversion rates.  Usually these two go hand in hand with measuring & testing of your site needed to find improvements.  Most people know about Google Analytics but what else is out there to help you optimize your site? Here are five tools, two from Google and three from other companies, that will help you figure out what can be improved with your online store.

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Miva Merchant and Innovative Merchant Solutions Announce Payment Processing Alliance

San Diego, CA, 2008/09/19—Miva Merchant (www.mivamerchant.com), a leading supplier of e-commerce software and services to small and medium sized businesses and Innovative Merchant Solutions (IMS) (www.innovativemerchant.com), an Intuit Company, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to attach payment-processing services to store owners who purchase the popular Miva Merchant e-commerce platform.

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Social Media Keyword Trends

In our latest newsletter we went over using Google Trends, Google Insights and Microsoft’s Keyword Forecast to spot keyword trends for seasonal product offerings.  There are also some great tools to measure keyword use in blogs and twitter to give insight into social media discussion trends.  This data can be just as valuable since it is straight from the consumers mouth coupled with what is being said, not just the keyword in a silo.

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Miva Merchant Conference Overview

Last year’s Miva Merchant Conference was a great success and we are already planning the next one for 2009.  The Miva Merchant Conference is one of the most intimate social conferences you will attend all year.  Meet & greet with fellow Miva Merchant store owners, partners, developers, designers, support staff and internal Miva Merchant experts. Join us for golf Thursday morning and a cocktail reception that evening.  Here is a brief overview of what you can expect at the biggest event for Miva Merchant store owners.

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Online Store Optimization Tips

Building an online store is just the beginning in an ecommerce business that is destined to grow and become more profitable each year.  Once you have your site up to approximately 100 visitors a day or 3,000 visitors a month it is time to start figuring out where you can make improvements.  The first step is to use an analytics tool such as Google Analytics, ClickTracks or WebTrends.  Google Analytics is very powerful and best of all you will love the price, free!

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Ecommerce Holiday Promotion Tips

Tapping into the holiday season is a great way to maximize revenue over the busiest shopping time of the year.  From Halloween through New Years is a great time to capitalize on consumer spending by catering to customers seasonal shopping sprees.  The best online stores start planning as early as June for products & promotions to add for the holidays.  Last minute rushing to offer a product or put together a promotion often leads to leaving revenue on the table.  Start checking with distributors and manufacturers early on seasonal products for the year.  It is common for holiday products to change each year and offering what is hot this year is better than advertising last year’s old news.  You also want to secure inventory for promotional products so that you are not left with a bunch of unfilled orders from an overwhelming response to a hot product.  No one wants to see a gift on backorder so avoid order cancellations with proper product stock.

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Online Store Best Practices

Online Store Usability
Your online store has about 5 seconds to impress a visitor enough to stay and shop.  In order to maximize the impact you can have in this short first impressions window is to have a fast loading site that is inherently easy to follow.  Take note of sites such as Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Ebay.com who have all mastered selling online.  An easy to follow navigation structure, security logos to build trust, search box and pictures representing top products & categories are all keys to having a very easy to use online store.

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