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Archive for February, 2014

eCommerce Sales Still Double Digit Growth

Consumer Sales in Asia-Pacific are Greater than North America

Business to consumer sales to reach $1.5 Trillion

A recent marketing forecast by eMarketer estimates global eCommerce sales will reach $1.5 Trillion in 2014 and will continue to grow by double digits until 2017 when it is estimated the global sales via eCommerce will be in excess of $2.3 Trillion.

The second amazing forecast is that eCommerce sales in Asia-Pacific will outstrip the total eCommerce sales in North America.

Source: eMarketer.com : Global B2C Ecommerce Sales to Hit $1.5 Trillion This Year

Posted in: eCommerce, Latest News, Retail Strategies

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7 Top Tips For Retailers Survey Results: Free Shipping Increases Conversions

A recent survey by Baynote highlighted the following top 7 tips. This is the 4th annual survey Baynote has undertaken and the results are quite enlightening. You can download the full report.

Google paid search results that included pictures of products influenced 31 percent of online purchases during the holidays, according to Baynote’s 4th Annual Holiday Shopper Survey. The survey offers many other interesting insights into how consumers interacted with online shopping sites over the shopping weekend ending with Cyber Monday.

  1. Free shipping: This was a much more important factor for customers determining where to purchase from online. Sixty percent of shoppers felt free shipping, without any conditions attached, was extremely important, up from 58 percent in 2012.
  2. Price matching: Physical retailers should be concerned on price matching from online sites. It’s quite common for physical retailers to offer to match competitor’s flyers and sales, but they refuse to match online pricing. Sixty percent of shoppers purchased a product from Amazon or another online competitor while they were actually in a store, because the store wouldn’t match the price.
  3. Branded Apps: Usage of branded apps, although some people have a love-hate relationship with them, has been increasing greatly. Thirty-four percent of shoppers made a purchase through retailer branded apps, an increase of 48 percent over 2012.
  4. Coupons: Shoppers in physical stores redeemed many coupons using a mobile device. Sixty-one percent redeemed a mobile coupon from their smartphone while doing an in store checkout. And 62 percent of those surveyed used their smartphone to compare pricing while in the store.
  5. Customer reviews and product ratings: Forty-eight percent of online shoppers were influenced by online reviews and ratings, which was a 45 percent increase over 2012. For in-store shoppers, 37 percent were influenced by reviews and ratings while an impressive 52 percent of shoppers use their phones to look up specific product ratings while they were in the store. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers are doing their own research at home to avoid requiring sales assistance in the store.
  6. Email marketing: Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they make purchases or take advantage of promotions they receive from stores via email.
  7. Online inventory: This influenced a large percentage of shoppers – 82 percent will shop at another online site when the original site does not have a specific product in stock. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they will check in-store inventory online before visiting the store.

We have been telling clients for more than 10 years that FREE shipping will increase conversion results by 60%+ but there has always been a resistance to take the approach. It is very easy to offer free shipping. Analyse how much your shipping was for the past 12 months. Calculate the percentage this is of your total shipped income. then multiply your online product costs by 100%+ the shipping percentage. You can now offer free shipping without it costing you any more than before. Keep an eye on the actual shipping costs versus the “free shipping” costs and adjust your pricing accordingly.

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Posted in: Latest News, Retail Strategies

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Should You Update Your Website?

How Old is Your Website Design and Should you Update it for Ranking Purposes?

Matt Cutts from Google explained in a recent video Q&A session that a website could possibly lose its position if the site is not being maintained or updated. He stated that a website that was “older” and had not had a “facelift” could start to lose rankings due to the user experience not being as good as a more up to date modern website.

Google has, for many years, stated their position on ranking being wholly focused on the end user experience. Their entire business model relies on giving their clients, the people searching, a positive user experience. Ie if the person is searching for information, then they will rank the results in the order that will give the searcher the best user experience possible. Eg is the website relevant to the searched phrase, is the site authoritative in the subject matter, once the person has visited the site, did they stay on the site and if so for how long did they stay. On the other hand if the person quickly returned back to the search results page, then this tells Google the website was either not relevant or the user experience of that particular site was bad. This will influence Google’s results the next time the same search is requested.

 

Posted in: Latest News, Matt Cutts, Search Engine Optimisation, Website Design & Optimisation

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Do Not Use Article Directories: According to Matt Cutts

If you’ve worked in the SEO industry for more than a couple of years, you probably remember the days when article directories were all the rage. You could write a quickie article, submit it to literally hundreds of article directories, link it to your site, in hopes others will publish it on their own sites to add content.

However, with duplicate content filters and link penalties, article directories definitely fell out of favor for many webmasters. That said, there are many article directories that are still actively soliciting articles and publishers who continue to republish that content.

What is Google’s official stance on article directories such as Ezine in 2014 – good or bad? This is the topic of Matt Cutts’ latest webmaster help video, which begins with a history lesson on the rise of article directories:

Over time article directories have gotten a little bit of a worse name. So just refresh everybody’s memory, an article directory is basically where you write 3-, 4-, 500 words of content and then you’ll include a little bio or some information about you at the bottom of the article, and you might have three links with keyword rich anchor text at the bottom of that article. And then you’d submit that to a bunch of what are known as article directories, and then anyone can download them or perhaps pay to download them, and they’ll use them on their own website.

While the video specifically mentions ezine.com, there are hundreds of similar article directories that all accept articles from site owners and publishers. While the sites often make money from advertising of the articles or even from spyware and malware, writers hope that others will syndicate it and they will get links out of it, or at least a bit of traffic.

The theory behind that is if somebody finds it useful and puts it on their webpage, then you might get a few links. Now in practice what we’ve seen is this often tends to be a little bit of lower quality stuff. And in fact we’ve seen more and more instances where you end up with really kind of spammy content getting sprayed and syndicated all over the entire web. So in my particular opinion article directories and just trying to write one article and just syndicating it wildly or just uploading it to every site in the world and hoping that everyone else will download and use it on their website, I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective.

SEOs largely abandoned article directories many years ago, but there are still new webmasters who see the opportunity, think it’s a great idea, but don’t realize the implications of it. The reality is that article directories have become overwritten with low-quality, stolen or spammy content but many just don’t realize it.

Cutts also hinted that their search algorithm is filtering, or perhaps even penalizing, mass article directory spam.

“We certainly have some algorithmic things that would mean is probably a little less likely to be successful now compared to a few years ago, for example,” Cutts said. “So my personal recommendation would be probably to not upload article like that.”

While many SEO practitioners haven’t touched article directories for several years, clearly some webmasters still don’t realize it’s a bad idea. Right now, the most useful things a webmaster can use an article directory site for is to simply get topic ideas and then rewrite in their own words for their own sites, because there is no ranking perk from submitting to them.

Source: Searchenginewatch.com

Posted in: Google Updates, Latest News, Matt Cutts

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Get Your Content Indexed Faster by Google

Utilizing the various functions that Google Webmaster Tools has to offer is a surefire way to help keep your website running like a well-oiled machine. Two tools our SEO team uses on a regular basis and finds to be extremely beneficial are the Crawl Errors report and Sitemap submission tool.

Amongst the toolkit is the Fetch as Google option, which also gives users an opportunity to submit their URL to the index. Surprisingly, this tool is often under-utilized by bloggers, webmasters, and SEO strategists. This is a convenient way to speed things up considerably if you have new content that you’d like to be discovered and found in the SERPs.

Website owners and marketers often publish new web pages or blog posts on their website, sit back, and wait for them to show up in the Google search results. But that can take weeks or even months to happen! The more savvy marketers will ensure that any new content is included in theirXML sitemap and then resubmit their sitemap to Google and Bing.

Source: SearchEngineWatch.com

Posted in: Latest News, Search Engine Optimisation

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