SEO for E-Commerce Panel notes from #PubCon
Adam Audette is up first.
What shoppers want in 2010…
Brand loyalty is less important.
Free shipping is more important.
Deals are more important.
Comparison Shopping Engines are actually gaining ground, even though Google is not sending as much traffic toward them.
Free shipping is one of the most important differentiators. About 51% of shoppers are “somewhat likely” to cancel their entire order if shipping is not free.
Video sells! 65% of people are visual learners. People process info 30% quicker with video and text as opposed to just text. (Everyone knows no one reads on the Internet, they just scan.) Retail sites that have video have a 64% more likely chance of purchasing. Zappos has seen an incredible lift, even when their videos are not that well embedded. Experiment with product videos.
Regarding Google Instant and E-commerce, they examined the difference before and after Google Instant. The number of keywords per search barely changed. They sampled 12 retailers and when aggregated, the changes were even less. MayDay had a much bigger impact on SEO.
Rel Canonical is a good way of removing duplicated urls in the Google index. They experienced a bump in traffic and revenue when using it correctly. It is only used by Google right now, not Bing. Bing may start using it soon. Fix the problem via other methods if possible, but use Rel Canonical if necessary.
Bing is not Google. They do not have the market volume. However, there are differences. They do not seem to favor e-commerce as well. They are very vulnerable to link spam. They are focused on user experience. Bing users are 31% more likely to buy than Internet in general. Bing users are 11 % more likely to buy than Google users. Their users tend toward shopping, for sure.
Bing engineers have stated that they rely on XML site maps, especially for deep content. They rely on RSS feeds also. They want normalized urls. They encourage using parameter handling in Bing Tools. They use that better than 301 redirects. Keep it simple for Bing. Make consistent urls.
Follow @audette on Twitter for more from him.
Next is Bill Atchison
He encourages using descriptive keywords in the descriptions of products.
Verify that your meta descriptions and titles are unique per product page.
Go into Google Webmaster Central and let them know which parameters are not unique pages. Do the same in Bing Tools.
He recommends trying Google AdSense on the footer of every page – temporarily. It can help with indexing of your site and also show how good your SEO is. He also recommended blocking bots such as Internet archive and caches from the search engines.
He also discourages PageRank sculpting. He’s seen it go very wrong too often. He also encourages checking out www.noarchive.net.
Next up is Rob Snell. He wrote the “Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies” book.
He also says that Google MayDay had more of an effect than Google Instant. He recommends prioritizing seo pages based on revenue. Determine how much revenue you get per keyword phrase. He uses that to determine what to optimize and prioritize.
He has 20K store pages. Doing a site: command in google shows 4.5 K pages. Only 575 page actually drive revenue from the last 30 days. The top 100 pages drive 71% of the revenue. That helps him to determine where he should send links, etc.
Bing does not drive enough revenue to make it worth paying attention to yet. Yahoo traffic has grown in the last 30 days.
Most of my customers are PC people with IE. They use a specific resolution. He uses that type of computer to see what they see. Typically, the top two SEO results are the only ones that get seen above the fold.
Universal search is now showing products within the SERPs. Make sure your products are in Google Products. Go to Google Products and do a site: command.
Use Google Webmaster Central to determine Impressions. Drill down into the info to find out how well Google Products is working for you. Put your manufacturer name in there.
He feels Google Instant is pushing people toward higher CPC terms. Interesting thought.
He recommends using Safari and choosing the pull-down to “reset Safari” to get true clean results that are not tainted by your previous searches, etc.
Learn more from him at RobSnell.com. He has some other info on e-commerce SEO.
One more comment from William Atchison: Use an anonymous proxy server to filter out local results.