80 Google Website Optimizer Tests for Ecommerce Sites

April 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Conversion, Website Analytics

For those of you have have not seen these yet I thought I’d post links to two very nice articles on what you can do to utilize the power of Google’s Website Optimizer.

Google’s Website optimizer is a powerful tool that enables you to increase the conversion of your website using testing methods such as Multivariate and traditional A/B split testing. When setup and utilized correctly, Website Optimizer gives you the ability to discover what really works to turn visitors into sales (or just about any other action you are seeking from your audience). No more guessing.

For any of you have have already tried your hand at “manual” split testing, you know it can be tedious, time consuming, and down right tough to keep track of all the possible combination’s that are put together for any given test. That process is made much simpler with the use of Website Optimizer.

The instructions for setting up optimizer are easy to follow and do a great job for even newbies on helping them get up and running (although if your cart requires programming to integrate the code into the pages you may need the help of your technical team).

One article circulated last year and was titled 55 Google Website Optimizer Tips and Tricks.

The other surfaced February 23 of this year as a “sequel” to that original post and it is titled 25 Google Website Optimizer Tips for Better Product Pages.

Together these articles combine to provide a total of 80 different tests you should consider running on your site. I highly recommend reading them and keeping them on your bookmarked list for future reference.

Are You Optimizing Your Images for Better SEO?

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under E-Commerce Optimization

You’ve tried everything you can think of to optimize your site, yet you’re still not getting the traffic you’d like. What else is there to do?

Consider optimizing your images and alt tags.

Take a look at the images on your site. If you were to view the image information (Right click > View Image info) for any given image on your site, would it tell you almost everything you needed to know? If it doesn’t, it should.

I recently paid a visit to one of my favorite gift e-commerce sites.  I thought I’d do an experiment with the image-laden site. When I checked to see what the image information was for this particular product, I was a little surprised to find that that the image name was not optimized and that it included very little contextual information about the product itself.

Optimize images for better seo

I’m not sure what this site’s analtyics are like or how they’re doing with their optimization, but I can guarantee that if they made a few tweaks they’d probably get even more traffic:

  1. Get to know your keyword analytics and use them. Do people find your site because they’re searching for gag gifts, kooky gifts, fun gifts, uncommon gifts? Consider arranging your image hierarchy or image naming accordingly.
  2. Use your analtyics information to create categories and subcategories for your images. In the example above, we know this is a product; however, they might have been better served by including “child” or “kid”  into their category hierarchy, subcategory “gift.”
  3. If categories and hierarchies have you confused or you’re unable to change them with your content management system, at least use your analytics information to create more detailed image names. In this example 18615_med.jpg doesn’t tell me a whole lot if my images are turned off or if something is preventing me from seeing all of my images. Had the image name been funny-face-plate_medium.jpg, I would have known that I was should have been looking at a funny face plate.
  4. Be sure you’re using similarly appropriate ALT attributes. Be forwarned, an ALT tag should not be used a description or label for an image (like most people do); it is meant to be the text equivalent that conveys the same information in the image would if it weren’t an image.  In the above example, the ALT tag could have read This 9-inch Funny Face Plate is $X.
  5. Aside from the possible “visitor can’t see the images” scenario, another reason to optimize your images is that images, like links, H1 Tags and keywords are indexable and searchable. 1200×0-med.jpg doesn’t tell a crawler much; however, funny-face-plate_medium.jpg does. If I’m Holly Go-Presently searching for a Funny Face Plate, guess which image tag is going to help me get to your site?

An additional word about choosing the right file name

Make sure the word(s) you chose are logical and support your keywords. You’ll also want to use hyphens in the file name to separate words or phrases. Try to avoid using more than two hyphens and do not use underscores to separate words unless the word after the underscore doesn’t matter for your optimization. (Examples: facebook-seo_ecommerce.jpg; examples/how-to/optimize-keywords.jpg)

Should You Consider A Facebook Community Page for Your E-Commerce Website?

April 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Social Media

It wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke — when Facebook announced on April 1 that it would be introducing Facebook Community Pages, they really meant it.

For anyone that hasn’t heard of a Facebook Community Page, this new designation can used to create a page that is focused on a cause, a person, an idea, or a group.  Sounds pretty similar to a Facebook Group or Fan Page, right?

Sort of.

Here’s a breakdown of Facebook’s offerings:

  • A Facebook Fan Page: Best used to promote a brand, business, website, a person or a product/organization, Fan Pages are run by administrators whose identities are concealed. Fan Pages can include FBML (Facebooks special mark-up language) as well as numerous applications and can push out updates similar to a personal Facebook page.
  • A Facebook Group: Best used for hobbyists or folks with similar interests. A Group is run by a single or group of Facebook users and the identity of said user(s) is shown on the group page. Groups can be private or public and do not allow for the same update push that Fan pages do.
  • A Facebook Community Page: This new feature can be used in concert with a Fan Page. In fact, according to many of the Facebookerati, the Community Page functionality was put in place so that unofficial fan pages could exist. According to Facebook, if a Community Page generates enough fans/supporters, it can be adopted and maintained by the Facebook Community. (Think of it as a Facebook-platform wiki)

Still confused? Say you run an ecommerce site built around selling pet toys. Your Fan Page can and should represent your website. Now say you’re the creator of a charity we’ll call Fido’s Friends. Where you wouldn’t talk about the charity a lot on your Fan Page, you could create a Community Page and list all of your upcoming projects and fund-raising events.

Setting up a Facebook Community Page

Creating a Facebook Community Page is fairly easy. Head to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and select the type of page you want to create. Facebook took the liberty of describing what each type of page is suggested for if you’re confused.

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Once you’ve created your Community Page, you can add as much flair as you want. The functionality is very similar (if not identical) to a Fan Page, so you are able to add apps including the much-loved FBML.

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Once you have customized your page, you will be able to promote it to friends like you would a Fan Page and continue to collect Community “Fans.”

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