SEO Roundtable Webinar June 13th

We’d like to invite you in advance to our next online event entitled the SEO Roundtable Webinar on June 13th at 4PM Eastern Time.

This webinar is going to be different than others you’ve been to, in fact – it’s an experiment for us.

After a brief introduction by each panelist, we will allow you to raise your hand, and we will open your microphone to ask live questions! If you’re shy, or don’t have a microphone, you can ask questions via text message. Read More!

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Upcoming SEO Webinar Features Duane Forrester from Bing

3dcart welcomes Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager of Bing’s Webmaster Program. Previously, he was an in-house search marketer running the SEO program for MSN in the US & Americas.   He’s also the founding co-chair of SEMPO’s (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) In-House SEM Committee, was formerly on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and is the author of two books: How To Make Money With Your Blog & Turn Clicks Into Customers. Duane was a moderator at www.searchengineforums.com, manages the official Bing Webmaster Blog, used to write for Search Engine Land and has almost 15 years’ experience as an SEO.

The name of this informative webinar is SEO 101. Duane will teach us techniques using webmaster best practices that are applicable to all search engines.

This webinar will be about becoming a better webmaster, and how to manage and maintain your website for the best possible SEO. This webinar will not be about paid search. Read More!

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Demystifying Sitemaps

Demystifying the Sitemap

I’ve recently heard from quite a few 3dcart merchants wanting to know more about the mysterious “sitemaps”, and how they apply to SEO and their 3dcart eCommerce store.  I’m going to give an explanation of the best way to use sitemaps to get the most SEO benefit for our 3dcart merchants.

As you read this, keep in mind that we have ecommerce merchants of all sizes using our eCommerce platform.  I often have a hard time educating our merchants in a way that works for all merchants – that is because normally with every facet of eCommerce, there are multiple ways to do things, and multiple ways to often achieve success.  I’m writing this article so that it will apply to almost every 3dcart merchant. Read More!

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Why Don’t I Rank For My Keywords?

Recently, I was asked a question from a 3dcart client, and it was such a good question that I wanted to share the answer with our 3dcart blog readers.  The question is as follows…

I am trying to get a better handle on our SEO. I’m being asked by other people in our company what is being done monthly in terms of SEO and I can’t answer the question. I see blog articles and Facebook posts, but why can’t you show me that I am ranking better for the specific keywords that I want to rank higher for? It gets frustrating when it seems everything I search, whether a specific item or generic (but relevant) term, we are either several pages deep or not at all.

To best answer your question, I want to start by saying that we need to remember that even from the early days of search engines, they always tried to rank websites based on “popularity”, “authority” and “trust”. This is still true today, but the playing field is different because technology and consumer behavior has changed.

Back in the early days, “authority and popularity” were determined by how many people linked to you and shared your content, and “trust” was determined basically by the “honor system”. The search engines trusted that you were writing good content, using proper meta tags, and had a user friendly site structure. It didn’t take long for people to start gaming the system. Websites popped up that sold links to help in your quest for authority, and people started using tools to count the number of keywords on their pages. Merchants learned that they could game the system by basically being an “untrustworthy blow hard”. You could build a page that sounded like it was written by a three year old, put a hyperlink on it, and it had value.

SEO firms came out of the woodwork that would promise that you would rank number one for a given keyword or keywords, and guess what – for the most part, they were right. After a few months of building content laden with hyperlinks and anchor text, they were able to achieve this goal. People in foreign countries, countries with much lower costs of labor, became paramount in building these trashy websites. Merchants were excited – just coughing up a few hundred dollars to buy these garbage links was enough to allow them to now dominate the keywords that they felt were most important.

Time moved on, technology got better, consumer’s behavior has changed, and these merchants quickly saw their stronghold on Google and Bing disappear. The search engines were able to create algorithms that were able to expose link farms (i.e. – websites that little to no value other then to provide links). The search engines were also able to determine the “grade level” at which an article or block of text was written. No longer would a link from a website of pure gibberish work to help accellerate your keywords. People began to embrace “social media”, and browse the internet while logged in to Google, Facebook, Bing, etc. This was the beginning of the search engines ability to determine real human behavior, instead of that of someone just hoping to game the system.

So what does this all mean for SEO today?  Here are ten tips and suggestions…  (of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands of points to consider, but here are a few to get you started)…

  1. Any SEO firm that promises that you will rank higher for specific keywords is not playing by the rules and you should run, not walk away.
  2. For SEO purposes, 2013 and beyond is all about QUALITY and NOT QUANTITY.
  3. Do not attempt to measure your success by keyword ranking. Measure your SEO success by increases in traffic over time.
  4. Do not expect to be an overnight sensation. Pretend your website is someone you just met – how long does it take for that person to earn your trust… Exactly. I thought so.
  5. Work on your website’s content a little bit every day. The search engines look for trends that appear abnormal. It is not normal for a person, or even a group of people to update 2000 pages in one day. Be real.
  6. Link building is very important, (I.E., trying to build popularity) – but do not purchase links. Look for bloggers in your area of expertise that are willing to do product reviews, or be a “guest blogger” (share your experience and ask others to let you share your experience on their blogs, or websites).
  7. Embrace social media. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are wonderful vehicles that allow people share your content, but don’t forget – these are real people on the other end of your posts, so posting useless information or posts that are commercial in nature are not going to help you. Every “like or share” is a vote.
  8. Even though the person who is doing your SEO is performing “tasks”, you are paying this person for their knowledge. Make sure you hire someone who is knowledgeable, and let them do their thing.  You obviously do not do SEO for a living, there is a reason why you hired them.  If you know how to do SEO better yourself, then do it yourself.
  9. SEO is a strategy. It is about how you are going to make your website the most popular, most authoritative, and most trustworthy place on the web where people want to go for products or information. SEO is a work in progress. It is never complete!  If you expect instant results, you will be disappointed. At the same time, if you don’t have someone in charge of your SEO, you will be even more disappointed.
  10. If you feel the need to “buy your way to the top” for instant gratification, use Google AdWords or Bing AdCenter. Nothing good in life comes for free. On the same token, if you do pay for advertising, make sure your website looks good, is easy to navigate, and looks trustworthy – otherwise, you’re just wasting your time, and money.

If this post helps even one person understand that in order to be successful on the web, you need to be patient and work hard – I’ve done my job. We also have a team of professionals here at 3dcart that can help you and your website succeed. You can always learn more at http://sem.3dcart.com, or email your questions to sem (at) 3dcart.com.

P.S. If you like my post, share it :)  It helps our SEO.

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3dcart Search Engine Optimization Webinar

This Thursday, March 7 at 2PM Eastern Time, the Search Marketing Experts at 3dcart will be hosting a webinar entitled “Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals – Things You Must Know”.

We will be discussing the basics on what you need to do to improve your Search Engine Ranking.  We’ll also discuss the latest trends, and activities you should be doing to help improve your search engine rankings.

With the costs of Pay Per Click advertising constantly increasing, it is more and more important for E-Commerce store owners to invest their time and resources into optimizing their own websites.  We’ll show you some of the tips and best practices to help ensure that you are getting the best benefit on your Search Engine Optimization initiatives.

Click Here to register.

 

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Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals Meetup

This Friday (January 25, 2013) from 3 PM – 5 PM, 3dcart will be hosting a “Search Engine Optimization” Meetup here in our Fort Lauderdale, FL office.  Click this link to learn more about our Meetup http://www.meetup.com/3dcart/events/97674632/.

Our meetup will be in our new Training Center here in South Florida.  Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • The latest changes to the Google Search algorithm.
  • Why social media is becoming more important than ever.
  • How to leverage social media to improve your store’s organic ranking.
  • The importance of correcting old “black hat” search optimization from the past.
  • And more!

Light snacks and refreshments will be served.  If you’re in the area, come visit us!  You do not have to be a 3dcart customer to attend.

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Facebook Graph Search: What Online Businesses Need To Know

graph search

This week Facebook revealed ‘Graph Search‘, a new feature that lets users   search the interests, location, and preferences of your friends. For instance, a Facebook user could search for “Clothing Stores my friends like” and receive a list of Facebook business pages of clothing storess, online and retail, that their friends either checked in, liked, or recommended.

As AllFacebook.com said, “Graph search takes the recommendation power of Yelp and combines it with Facebook’s tremendous social graph to make it more important for businesses to cater to their Facebook fans and brick-and-mortar customers.”

Facebook Graph Search

Up until now, social search was an ideal that Google and others have attempted to foster. While Google+ offers traditional SEO value for businesses, the limited user activity & cannot provide the data context needed for social search to work.  Facebook, however, has over 1 billion users,  240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections.

Facebook Graph Search is rolling out slowly. But is safe to say that social search is here.

Now here is what merchants need to do to prepare:

1) Emphasize local – Right now graph search heavily favors local brick & mortar businesses , as it works more like a Yelp than Google. However, that does not mean your online store can’t rank. Add your physical location to your business page and ask your local friends and family to all like, recommend, and check-in to your store. You can promote your store’s location further by showing your city some love and offer special shipping rates for local orders.

2) Get Liked – As Social Media Today pointed out,  that graph search could make page likes more important again, as results show what friends have liked each page. Now is the time to run social contest to increase likes and up engagement.

3) Add Facebook Connect – While individual Facebook posts and Open Graph actions (like when a user connects with your store to leave a comment, post a product, or share a deal) are not included  – the company says they’re coming. 3dcart merchants can easily integrate Facebook Connect to your store. 

4) Sponsor Results: Advertising is going to be very much a part of Graph Search.  Or as Facebook says it, “sponsored results allow you to promote results in the search bar and will appear whether or not users have Graph Search.”

 

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Holiday Webinar Lineup: Adwords, Pinterest, FraudWatch, 3dcartUpsell

From Adwords to Pinterest, the 3dcart marketing team has planned a value-packed webinar lineup designed to help you rock the holidays. Make sure to reserve your spot in each!

google adword tips

Getting Started with Google Adwords

Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

AdWords is an advertising product from Google that can help get your website and your products in front of millions of consumers.  Learn how you can manage AdWords yourself and bring holiday shoppers to your website.

 

Register now: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/299370330

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Melissa Frias Joins 3dcart Marketing Team

The 3dcart Marketing team is proud to announce its newest member, Melissa Frias. With more than five years of online marketing experience, Melissa brings a new dynamic to 3dcart’s team of expert team of search engine optimization, pay per click and social media marketing. Melissa’s background in analysis-based marketing strategies will help bolster 3dcart’s online marketing service offerings and bring a new dynamic to its expanding list of clients.

Melissa considers herself “very analytical” and finds this to be her greatest strength in SEO, which requires endless research and reporting. Her career in SEO began with an internship in which she spearheaded a grassroots marketing campaign for an online apparel shop. There, Melissa did extensive research on search engine signals and implemented SEO strategies to gauge their effect on the site’s rankings. The results: Melissa was hooked on SEO (oh, and the site performed much better in search results, too). Melissa holds a Communications degree from Florida Atlantic University but continues to study SEO best practices as she considers it an “evolving” field.

Since her initial experiments with SEO, Melissa has gone on to work as an in-house SEO for an online boutique shop and as as an SEO strategist for a full-service marketing agency in which she performed high-end SEO services to personal injury lawyers in a very competitive keyword space.

In her spare time, Melissa likes to read and learn about the world of fashion, which comes in especially handy when blogging and doing social media for clients whose markets revolve around apparel and accessories.

Melissa now looks forward to taking on the new challenge of SEO and PPC in ecommerce, and is excited about working for a company whose team environment “nurtures a camaraderie and dialogue which ultimately helps improve clients’sites.”

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SEO How-To: Changing Your Title Tag on Your Homepage

Recently, one of our customers asked us the following question.  We’ve changed the product, and store name to protect anonymity.

Is there a way to keep the store name that is listed in the header section but not have it be the first word in the meta title…for example my meta title shows up as:

<title>My 3dcart Store Name – Widgets | Flavored Widgets | Company Name</title>

I’m trying to use the search “Widgets” when optimizing for search engines. I think it would be better for Widgets to be listed first however if I remove the My 3dcart Store Name, it removes it from the Contact Page.

Does this really matter…I used to show up for widgets s in Position 30 on Google and now I’m in the 200′s and I’m not sure how to remedy.

Thank you,
Brenda H.

Hi Brenda,

Thanks for writing to us here at the 3dcart Search Marketing Department. By default, the 3dcart Online Store Manager is pulling those fields dynamically from your “Store Settings”, but you can override that title by going to:

Settings – Design – Titles and Content – Home Page

3dcart Homepage TitleTag

On that page, where it says “Page Title”, you can remove those “tags” and create your own Title.

You should also consider rewriting your meta description…

<META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”Widgets in Timbucktwo : Buy scented widgets, handmade widgets, soy widgets, pure widgets, wholesale widgets, widget fundraisers, widget divorce favors in Timbucktwo, XYZ Widgets are hand crafted using 100% melted widgets and scented with the finest widget oils. They display cleanly and provide hours of joy”.

That is too spammy. You really should just reuse “description content” from your homepage for your meta description… For Example…

<META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”XYZ Widgets were inspired by the beauty of the Timbuktwo River and a personal love of creating handmade widgets. Our widgets are hand crafted in Getalife, Timbuktwo using 100% natural widget oils”.

We hope this helps…

Please let us know if you have any other questions…

Thanks,
Joe

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