Monthly Archives: January 2010

An E-Comm Buyers’ Guide to Choosing Trustmarks

This guide covers what you need to know about e-commerce trustmarks and what to consider before displaying badges from trustmark service providers on your business Web site.

On e-commerce Web sites, giving your customers a sense of security and trust can mean the difference between a dropped shopping cart and making a sale.  Today, Web shoppers are savvy — they have a better understanding of online security, and they want to know that their personal information is protected.

For the honest Web shop owners, especially smaller unknown companies, this can be a problem.  A study commissioned by McAfee, Inc. (conducted by Harris Interactive) revealed that nearly half of consumers have terminated an online order or abandoned their shopping cart due to security fears at check-out time.

This guide is designed for e-tailers who are currently interested in partnering with a trust service. In this guide we’ll discuss different types of trustmark services you can consider and what is required to enroll in the programs.

An E-Comm Buyers’ Guide to Choosing Trustmarks
By Vangie Beal, January 25, 2010

Top 5 Social Networking Tips You Need to Know

Social networks provide ample opportunity for you to communicate with customers. These best practice tips will help you interact with people in a way that builds community, loyalty and — ultimately — your business.

Tip #1: Go where your customers congregate
Some businesses simply start a profile on a popular social networking site and hope customers will find them there. Kleiman says that a smarter way to get started is to find out where your customers already are. 

“It is smarter to join people where they already congregate. These customers have already formed the social glue that holds online relationships together, so you don’t have to create a new space,” says Kleiman.

For example, if you are a travel agent, start communicating and participating in the social spaces where those interested in travel already gather online. Start out by being a good resource — offer advice and talk without a sales pitch.

Remember, there is no single best social networking tool that will fit all businesses and marketers.  The goal, Kleiman says, is to start participating where your customers already gather and then build towards the larger goal of being the resource and forging relationships.

Top 5 Social Networking Tips You Need to Know
By Vangie Beal, January 26, 2010

E-mailed With Love: Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

E-mail marketing expert Wendy Lowe offers 12 hot tips to roll out a successful Valentine’s Day e-mail marketing campaign — even if you haven’t planned anything yet.

Grab a pen and take notes as you read through the following 12 tips offered by Wendy Lowe, Campaigner’s director of product marketing. You can use these tips to launch your entire Valentine’s Day campaign — from start to finish — even if you have never used e-mail marketing for holiday promotions before.

5.  Forge a New Relationship: Partner with Complementary Companies
Add extra value to lure February love-birds by partnering with a vendor who provides services that complement your own.  For example, a spa owner could work with a local florist so each of you promotes a package deal for a massage and a dozen roses.  The possibilities for combining products and services are endless — and you can come up with some very creative and unique Valentine’s Day offers. 

A special holiday partnership can also help grow your subscriber lists. When the combined special offer landing page is deployed on your respective Web sites, include opt-in boxes for both e-mail lists.

E-mailed With Love: Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips
By Vangie Beal, January 13, 2010

Five Tips for Soliciting Product Reviews

Encourage customers to check-out with recommended products with these five tips for increasing on-site product reviews and testimonials.

By adding product reviews to your online store, you are giving shoppers the opportunity to rate and comment on products they’ve just purchased — right on the product page. This helps e-tailers in two ways. First, it can boost sales as the reviews are displayed adjacent to the inventory.

Customers who are considering a purchase are more likely to buy when they know others have had a positive experience. The second significant benefit to using product reviews is that this user-generated content (UGC) helps your search engine optimization (SEO) effort. Google and other search engines favor fresh content, so when customers continually add product reviews to your pages, you’re getting a steady stream of new updated text at your site.

Five Tips for Soliciting Product Reviews
By Vangie Beal, January 20, 2010

E-mail Marketing Tips for Newbies

If growing your subscriber list and designing campaigns are on your to-do list for 2010, the following three tips will help you get started.

1. Ask: What Am I Trying to Accomplish? When you start an e-mail marketing plan you need decide what you want your new marketing campaign to accomplish. Figure out what type of information you will need to provide in the e-mail to attract customers and get them to open and read the e-mail—but also act on it. Do your customers want special offers or would they respond better to practical tips? For the most part you will find that a combination of promotion and knowledge works best.

E-mail Marketing Tips to Help you get Started
Published on HubPages, By E-commerce Girl

Five Auction Tools for eBay Sellers

EBay sellers can choose from countless auction listing helpers and tools to boost their eBay item listings and sales. From offering a 360 degree product view for potential bidders to see your items in a whole new way—to widgets that let you check your listings from your iPhone, you can use these five tools to help you grow your eBay business, without breaking your wallet in the process.

Five Auction Tools for eBay Sellers
Published on HubPages, By E-commerce Girl

SEO: Does Long-term Optimization Really Matter?

Awhile back I read through a discussion forum where the merits of long-term SEO was the topic at hand. Quite a number of those taking part in the discussion felt that short-term SEO was all that mattered, but I really have a different opinion on that.  I really think that you should not underestimate the value of long-term optimized content.

Let’s pretend we have an excellent electronic commerce article published on a Web site. You’ve done everything right, and you find your article listed #3 in organic Google results for two keyword phrases you have optimized for. Pulling a random number out of my hat, let’s also say that 80 percent of the traffic to this page is referred by Google and that translates in to 5,000 pageviews in the first seven days. This is your short-term SEO result.  If you do absolutely nothing, you may find that in the coming weeks others have hit those keywords with fresh content and your #3 spot drops to #4 then #8, and so on . After first few months you will see a decline to a few hundred pageviews to that article every 30 days.

My question to those of you who do not believe in the value of long-term SEO efforts, wouldn’t you rather have a quarter million pageviews to that one article in a year, instead of 10-30,000? What if that article was top in the search results for 3 years?

A well-written search engine-optimized article can drive traffic for years. In fact — for the entire lifetime of your Web site or blog.  Some content is very well-suited to ongoing SEO efforts and these articles and posts deserve a long term SEO effort. I have articles that have been top Google search results for several years. You have to invest in a long term SEO plan to do this, but that is the nature of SEO. It is an ongoing process.

Using Google analytics you can see which articles you have posted that still gets a decent number of pageviews, even though you haven’t touched the content in months — or years. Use Google Analytics to determine which keywords are sending the highest numbers of Google searches to that page. Google those phrases yourself, and if your page is not number one in the results then optimize the old article for those phrases. At the same time, you will also want to freshen up the content. This 15 minute SEO investment every two months can result in a huge traffic pay-off for a very long time to come from older content.