Monitoring Your Reputation Using Google Alerts

ECommerce Reputation Monitoring

As every online merchant knows, online reputation can make or break a store. Its important to monitor online conversations mentioning your brand’s reputation both good and bad.

When you come across a negative comment or conversation fast enough, you can reach out to the user and hopefully reverse the situation. What started out as a bad review of shipping methods could turn into a positive review on customer service! When you come across positive mentions of your brands,  thank the users! Just a simple acknowledgment and a personal connection can turn online reviewers into brand advocates!

But how do you make sure you know what users are saying about your store with the millions of websites, online conversations, tweets, and Facebook updates?

While there’s plenty of expensive brand monitoring tools, Google’s free alert system gives you plenty of tools to stay on top of your brand.

Google alerts allows you to setup basic alerts or customize the alerts using advanced search operators. You can set up alerts to let you know the minute your brand is mentioned, daily updates, or weekly. You can also choose to narrow down the list of sources to news, discussions, blogs, video, realtime or everything – our advice is set your alerts for everything.

You can set up to 1000 alerts and also recieve alerts in multiple languages. Google lets you choose whether you want to receive your alerts by email or RSS feed.

TIP: Set alerts for all the ways a customer could mention you: misspelled, add a .com, put extra spacing etc. For example – 3d cart,, 3dshoppingcart,

Google alerts are great because not only can they help you stay on top of your brand, they can help you stay on top of your competitors and the industry at large. Alerts are a powerful tool so be creative and think outside of the box.

Here’s some ideas for alerts:

  • Brand mentions
  • Mentions of competitors
  • Industry news
  • Sites looking for guest bloggers within your industry
  • Someone asking an industry question
  • Upcoming networking opportunities/events
  • A link with your desired anchor text
  • A potential new customer asking about your product

PageRank vs SERPS

Understanding PageRank

PageRank refers to Google’s algorithm for assessing the relevance and value of every webpage. of every webpage. Different pages within a particular website are given different pagerank evaluations which Google assigns a number  from 0-10.
Main factors that affect pagerank:

  • How long the page has existed
  • Internal inks
  • Site structure
  • Page load time
  • Quality and number of external links pointing the page

For tips on increasing your PageRank, click here.

Googles PageRank affects its search results or SERPs but it is not the only or the main factor.

Understanding SERPs

SERP’s refers to where your website appears on Google’s search results on any given keyword.

Google’s SERP are based on value of content, keywords ( SEO), and then on the pagerank. Google has done  a good job of ensuring fairness in SERPS so that a site doesn’t have to have tons of traffic and backlinks to rank well for a keyword.  SERPS are why on-page SEO  is so important.

Main factors that affect SERPS:

  • Optimized Key Phrases **Tip: Use keywords and internal links at the beginning of content
  • Title tags
  • Page URL
  • Meta Description (Page Description/Summary)
  • Anchor text
  • Tags
  • Page Length

PageRank vs SERPS

High pagerank is based mostly on quality and number of backlinks and SERPS are mostly affected by on-page and off-page SEO. SERP rankings can also help your pagerank but you don’t neccesarily have to have good SERPs for Google to rank you high.

Which one should I care about more?

Well, thats a complicated question. Since Google’s Panda update, experts are noticing that pagerank is starting to affect SERPS more than it had perviously. While it’s no one’s favorite answer,  you should care about both. Google’s althorgithm is always in flux and every now and then the search king throws a curveball like the Panda update so its best consider both.

Divide your focus between SERPS and PageRank – make sure your content is keyword optimized, uses anchor text but also work on gaining quality backlinks by guest blo
gging or forum commenting. The good news is, with two factors to consider your store wont live and die by pagerank. Just like all things worth working towards in life, SEO takes patience and focus but in the end is totally worth your time

Check Security For Merchants

Guest post by 3dcart client David Hamlen of ChoiceChecks

Check security is just as important as the other security measures you have in place for the company. The more you are writing business checks, the more your increasing the chance of fraud by someone else. If you print your own checks from blank checks, make sure your using the best security checks that are out there, even if it may cost more. Buying in bulk will save you more money and easy to save in the long run. The security features will prevent any type of fraud activity that could occur.

If you’re not sure about your business check security features. Turn the check over and look on the back. A few tips to help fraud:

  1. Avoid leaving large blank spaces in the convenience dollar amount or legal dollar amount lines on the check you write. Avoid leaving large blank spaces on the “PAY TO THE ORDER OF” line.
  2. Report to your bank if your checks payable to you are stolen.
  3. Protect your account records and any documents containing personal I.D. information
  4. Close any unnecessary accounts and destroy any extra checks for closed accounts.
  5. Inform your bank about the status of your accounts
  6. Store your unused checks in a secure area.

User laser to imprint the check information and signature, or use a pen that helps prevent check fraud. Another name is called “check washing”. Check washing is where your information has been washed away, and re-written, but with your signature untouched.

Taking a few extra steps to make sure your information is written with a pen that prevents washing, or using a laser printer, along with great security check paper, will prevent fraud from happing to your account.

If your leaving for work, and need to mail a check. Take it to the nearest post office drop box where it will be safer at. Some will scout your area, and knows what time your mail comes, and look for your flag to be up on the mail box. If so, then they can get the check and try to alter it, costing you money, and late fees.

Anyone with a Computer Can Start an Online Store

Five Reasons Why Anyone with a Computer Can Start an Online Store

Virtualization has turned ecommerce into one of the simplest ways to become an entrepreneur. Today’s technology has made it simple for anyone to start their own online store and manage it solo on a shoestring budget—and as an ecommerce provider, we’ve seen tons of proof.

Even if you have zero entrepreneurial experience, ecommerce software puts all of the tools and resources you need to start an online retail store at your fingertips. Below you’ll find five reasons why anyone with a computer can start an online store.

1. Getting started with a shopping cart software solution is dirt-cheap.

Remember when licensing software required thousands of dollars a year? Today, you can acquire your own shopping cart platform for less than $20 a month. That’s an insanely low barrier to entry that requires little overhead to get your store started. You may need a little cash up front to buy product, but that’ll be the bulk of your upfront investment.

3DCart’s business model only charges $19.95/month for our lowest package, a cost that covers hosting. There’s no setup fee and no per-sale fees.

2. You won’t need specialists when you have automated end-to-end features.

In the past, retail businesses would usually require hiring professionals in marketing, sales, accounting, logistics and more. Today, shopping cart software solutions include features that cover all of your bases. Want to integrate your online retail store with Quickbooks? No problem. Planning a social media campaign and access analytics directly from a central dashboard? Piece of cake! Need to collect and archive customer data in an easy-to-access database? We have built-in customer relationship managers for that.

You won’t need a staff—just a little business experience and an adventurous spirit.

3. Don’t have room to house your product? No problem.

Hold the phone—don’t rent out that storage facility just yet. If you’re getting started with a small amount of stock, you can hire a virtual warehouse and fulfillment manager to store everything. Instead of piling your stock in your living room, simply outsource your storage to a fulfillment service provider at low fees. When orders come through, the fulfillment center will automatically ship the product for you.

4. The right software solution means no programming. That’s right: zero development experience necessary.

It’s nice to have technical experience if you’re starting your first online store, but it isn’t required. Today’s proprietary ecommerce software solution makes using features, managing content and integrating third-party services a snap without requiring you to hire a developer to customize your store.

5. Everything is hosted in the cloud, so you can access your store anytime, anywhere.

Software used to live on your computer, but now you can access your software and data directly from your web browser from a secure login page. The personal data of your customers is safe, and you can manage your store from your desktop, laptop, tablet—even your mobile device.