Southern-Fried Search Marketing Secret Family Recipe

by

Comments (62)

Today’s Y!Store blog is another guest column by long-time Yahoo Store owner and developer Rob Snell of Snell Brothers, located in sleepy Starkville, Mississippi. Rob blogs about Yahoo Store, speaks at search conferences about Yahoo Store, is the author of a new book on Yahoo Store: Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies, and conducts Yahoo Store internet marketing workshops from time to time.

How’re y’all doing? Back in March, I wrote a blog post about my obsession with converting keywords. In that article, you learned what converting keywords are, how important they are to your online success, and how to find them in your Store Manager and other places.

To recap, converting keywords are the search phrases folks look for when buying what you sell. You can find these nuggets of gold in your merchant order emails, inside referrers from exporting your orders, inside your Manager’s Sales reports, in paid search conversion tracking reports (if you buy ads with Y!SM or Google), and inside reports of some third party analytics software (if you use their software). You should have a converting keyword for almost half of your store orders.

This is serious business! My bigger stores have around 5,000 unique converting keyword phrases with some phrases generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in sales. Hey, look! If you don’t track and optimize your store’s converting keywords, you’re giving thousands and thousands of dollars to the competition. In this post, I’m going to show you how to use these money words to crank up your search engine marketing to increase traffic and sales to your Yahoo Store.

Search Engine Marketing 101

Search engine marketing (SEM) is simply making sure that shoppers find your store when they’re looking to buy what you sell. Search engines (like Yahoo, Google, and MSN) send millions of visitors a day to sites just like yours. A search engine visitor types in some keywords and presses the search button. A search engine results page appears with two kinds of search results: free search results (also know as organic or algorithmic) and paid search ads (pay-per-click text ads).

You want your store to rank well in both the free results and in the paid search ads for the words shoppers use to buy what you sell. Since you now know your converting keywords, let’s do something with them! I’ll show you what I do for each converting keyword I can find.

Introducing Southern-fried Search Engine Marketing

Now I’m going to tell you a little bit more about what I do with converting keywords to get more traffic and sell more stuff . I cover this in much more detail in my book, blog posts, and seminars, but here’s a taste of our secret family recipe for Southern-fried search marketing. Please don’t tell my momma I told y’all, ok?

  • Check your site for the converting keywords: When you get a converting keyword phrase, make sure that the words from that phrase actually appear somewhere on your store, like in the body text of your store’s section or item pages. And then check to see if the actual keyword phrase appears on your site. If not, add the phrase to your site!
  • Check your search engine rankings: Check to see if a page from your domain ranks in the top 10 search results for that keyword phrase. Search Yahoo, Google, and MSN. If your don’t have a page in the top 10, optimize for it. If you do rank for your phrase, optimize anyway! More about this in a bit.
  • Check your paid search campaigns: Finally, check to see if you’re buying that keyword phrase in your paid search campaigns at Yahoo Search Marketing, Google Adwords, and soon at MSN. If not, buy that keyword phrase, cousin!

For example, let’s dig in with a real converting keyword phrase from a sale on one of my sites that occurred only a couple of hours ago: Orange Dog Collars.

Search Your Site for the Phrase

The first thing you should do with a new converting keyword phrase is make sure that the converting keyword phrase actually appears in the text of your site. The easiest way to do this is to search your store using built-in Store Search which looks at the NAME, CODE, and CAPTION fields for every page in the store and then returns a ranked list with every page containing any of the words in that phrase.

For example, on my site a store search for Orange Dog Collars returns a list of all the pages with Orange and/or Dog and/or Collars, which is hundreds of pages.

I also search for the exact phrase by placing quotes around the phrase. For example, a store search for “Orange Dog Collars” only returns a list of pages containing the exact phrase within the text of the NAME, CODE, and CAPTION fields.

Pick the Most Relevant Page for the Keyword Phrase

I believe that for every keyword search, there’s a matching page on your site that has the just the information your potential customer is searching for. I call this page the most relevant page (MRP). The best way to find the most relevant page on your site for any given keyword phrase is to simply ask your favorite search engine. For example, search on Yahoo for a keyword phrase. Usually whatever page of yours that ranks best for that keyword phrase is the most relevant page on your site for that keyword phrase. What if you don’t rank in the top 10 or so for that search phrase? Do you have to dig down in the search results to find your most relevant page? Nope!

Yahoo has a really cool tool, the site:domain filter. Search on Yahoo for site: domain.com keyword phrase and your results for that keyword query are limited to that domain. How ‘bout an example using a shameless plug? Search on Yahoo for site:amazon.com Yahoo Store Book and my book, Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies comes up first!

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what page on your site is the most relevant page for a search phrase. Sometimes there are too many somewhat related pages. Sometimes there are no related pages! Either way, you now have an invitation to create a page around that converting keyword phrase.

For example, the phrase Orange Dog Collars needed a page created because the 20-odd collars we sell are all offered in orange (and five other colors) and they were sorted by manufacturer or by style (plastic, nylon, coated nylon, rubber, leather, etc.) I created this page http://www.gundogsupply.com/orange-dog-collars-kwp.html earlier this year.

When I search for Orange Dog Collars, this page ranks #1 on Google, #3 on Yahoo, nowhere to be found on MSN, and #2 on Ask.com. For some reason that page isn’t even in listed the MSN index, so I’ll have to work on it a bit!

Now that you know your keyword phrase and what page you want to optimize for it, in my next post I’ll show you how to optimize the most relevant page for converting keyword phrases. I’ll show you some basic things any merchant can do to optimize for all the search engines, like including the phrase in the most important SEO element – the title tag, adding the converting keyword phrase to the body text, and linking to that page from other related pages using the converting keyword phrase in the link text.

Rob Snell
guest blogger for Yahoo Small Business

Email This Post Email This Post RSS feed Add to Del.ici.ous Digg this story

Comments

Once again, excellent advice from Rob!

Comment by Ron Yates — September 29, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

This is great information… even more for us to play with. Thanks again !!! You’ve always been helpful – we just need more books :)

Comment by Pat — September 29, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

Thanks for the tip, Rob. I really like this approach… Instead of making a guess at which pages needs the optimization for particular keywords, this shows you the ones to shoot for!

Keep ‘em coming!

Comment by Joe — September 29, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

Hi Rob,

Thanks for posting such detailed information about how to get posted to the top of the search engines.

I am still learning all the in’s and out’s of the search engines and yahoo stores, all your information is very helpful.

I have implemented a few of your techniques and they have greatly improved my search rankings. I still have a long way to go; but every bit helps.

I looked for your new “Dummies Book” at the bookstore, but I guess they didn’t have it on the shelf yet.

Thanks for all your help and look forward to getting more of your information.

Comment by R. Wilkerson — September 29, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

Rob – This info is right on. I attended one of your seminars earlier this year and this was one of the most important pieces of info I got! I paid $1000 for that . . . and it was worth every penny.

Using that info and more from your book, I have cut my search costs about $7k a month and doubled my sales.

Your Momma should be proud.

All the best,
Bob Greenstone
San Diego, CA

Comment by Bob Greenstone — September 29, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

Great article! Should make for a good read in the next book. Whenever Rob speaks, I always learn something new.

Comment by Michael Roebuck — September 29, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

This is valuable info Rob. However, what do you do if you have several pages optimized for a keyword phrase but your Yahoo store pages come up in the kiss of death “supplement results” in Google?

Thanks,
Steve

http://vacuum-supplies.com
Rainbow Vacuum

Comment by Steve McArthur — September 29, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

Rob, I went out and bought your book shortly after our last conversation… I’ve read it 3 times already! It is so easy to understand. I thought I understood the entire yahoo store process but you opened my eyes to another 30%. I’ve had one single product sell over 500 units since purchasing the book. Thanks!

Comment by Michael Coday — September 29, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

Rob,
I really appreciate your new book–it has lots of great stuff that helps explain a lot of mystery about Yahoo stores.

One thing that could use some clarification, though, is more specifics on how to use the Yahoo internal search. For instance, you mention (in this blog) putting a keyword phrase in quote marks, which makes the search specific to only that phrase instead of all of the words in the phrase (this is how Google works). But what about other tricks, like searching only a single page, for instance? Has Yahoo ever published “advanced search” instructions like Google?

Comment by Bill Long — September 29, 2006 @ 10:26 pm

Great article Rob;

Short of asking or polling visitors directly (“Hi there, why are you visiting my site today?”), analyzing keywords that bring visitors to your site gives you the best glimpse into “visitor intent”.

I agree that putting a big effort into optimizing your Yahoo Store for converting keywords is the right thing to do, but I also recommend that merchants check their non-converting keywords because those have the potential to convert at a later stage.

For example, I have seen keyword phrases that begin like this “How do I do….” This indicates that the visitor was looking for information this time around and/or is very early in the sales cycle. If you are able to provide this visitor with the information she needs, she may convert into a customer at a later point. However, the keyword phrase “How do I do…” may not get the credit for the conversion. Yet it’s still very important. That’s also why buying guides can be so valuable.

Cheers,
Mike

Comment by Michael Whitaker — September 29, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

This is devious Mr. Snell. As usual you are the SEO master. I am slowly working my way through the SEO tips in the book and now this will be added to the list. Thanks

Comment by Scott Lombardo — September 29, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

Rob -
Great add on to your book… I think it reinforces everything on your blog as well about being obsessive with finding converting keywords.

Thanks!
Michael

Comment by Michael — September 29, 2006 @ 11:02 pm

Great point Michael. Converting keywords are great as they help you attract and close more sales but it is also important to generate traffic with original content. Buying guides, as you say, are valuable as they allow merchants to attract shoppers in the research portion of the buying cycle (especially the case with larger purchases), make product recommendations for products they sell, and position themselves as an authority, which all hopefully translate into sales in the future.

Paul

Comment by Administrator — September 29, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

Thanks everybody for your comments! — ROB

Ron — Thanks! Keep selling that bling. Told you! :)

Pat — I’ll tell the folks at Wiley. I think my little brother’s head would explode if I took another 6 months off, though!

BellaBlue Joe — Yeah, so many folks get obsessed with a keyword-focused strategy, I’d much rather focus on a PAGE on then figure what KEYWORDS go where based upon “User Intent…”

R. Wilkerson — Thanks. While I’m all about supporting your local merchant, if they don’t have it, shake a leg to Amazon and you’ll have a copy in a few days.

Thanks, Bob. AWESOME NEWS! Mom’s on vacation (again). I think she’s pretty happy with how her idea of getting us on the net worked out.

Roebuck — Thanks. Keep on blogging at allwebpromotion. I admire how you actually bring your staff to SES and PUBCON. Tell Kelly & Karl I said howdy!

Steve — I have some pretty good ideas why
you don’t rank. More on that in a minute…

Mr. Coday — Thanks! We’re all still learning. That’s why I love dot com so much.

Mike — Thanks! Great comment. I find that over time, the “generic” keywords (popular, non-product specific, somewhat expensive ppc) show up as your (?) top 100 or so converting keywords, (right after searches for your business name and domain but for me, all the easy extra money is in #101 – #5000 because NONE OF YOUR COMPETITORS WILL CHASE THESE.

(Free plug: Mr. Whitaker is the driving force behind Monitus tools which automate a lot of things for Yahoo Store owners. Check out Monitus.net for his cool stuff)

PaulB — Thanks for the opportunity to post, cousin!

More in a bit…

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:27 pm

… what do you do if you have several pages optimized for a keyword phrase but your Yahoo store pages come up in the kiss of death “supplement results” in Google? — Thanks,
Steve

OK. Since he asked, let’s look at Steve’s Web site and see what we can see. Take a look at http://vacuum-supplies.com/

More in a sec…

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

Steve — The two things that I see that get sites stuck in the SUPPLEMENTAL index (like some of my ancient CJ / affiliate sites) are 1) no decent backlinks and 2) duplicate content / content…

Use the SITE:YOURDOMAIN.COM to see how many pages (or even if your site is in Google). Search for site:vacuum-supplies.com …

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

Google shows this :

Results 1 – 10 of about 495 from vacuum-supplies.com for . (0.04 seconds) LINK

Looks like most of these are marked SUPPLEMENTAL which is not as bad as it once was. At SES2006 – San Jose, I was at the Google Webmaster Roundtable where Matt Cutts told me they were changing what SUPPLEMENTAL meant. It’s no “longer kiss of death, (like you’re on the way out)” but it does mean that you don’t have enough PR (link popularity) to get crawled regularly and that you content is either duplicated somewhere else or non existent.

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:44 pm

Looking at Steve’s pages at http://www.vacuum-supplies.com, I see very little text in the CAPTION fields, especially on the homepage. Looking at your site over time sometimes helps so I fired up the WAYBACK MACHINE at http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.vacuum-supplies.com

See http://web.archive.org/web/20050211033343/http://www.vacuum-supplies.com/ for a copy of Steve’s homepage from 2005. Check out that text. Now (if that’s unique text) that’s more like it! I’d copy and paste that into your INTRO-TEXT or MESSAGE verbatim.

Personally I like to see 500-1000 words on the homepage, 100-300 words on category/section pages, and 300-500 words on product pages. You need some meat on those bones… Now let’s look at links.

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

OK. Here’s a search on Yahoo for linkdomain:vacuum-supplies.com -site:vacuum-supplies.com to see all your OFFSITE BACKLINKS (what Y! calls INLINKS). The -site:yourdomain part eliminates INLINKS from your site.

Uh. These domains linking to you look pretty scary. Did someone else have this domain before? These may just be links from scraper sites, but with domains like
http://www.pokerpage.org, http://www.yourpoker.org, and http://www.mypokerocean.com I feel like I just made a wrong turn and I’m driving through a bad neighborhood… Let me lock my doors and I’ll have one post.

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 29, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

Ok. Last post. As I quickly backed away from those domains (turning off my Yahoo and Google toolbars!) I also noticed links from a domain doing this funky redirect to your site. It was tagging the URLs with a string (like ?301_nameofpage.html) which may confuse the bots. Long story short, I wouldn’t do that.

Personally, I’d add some content to your site (buyer’s guides / product reviews) and get some good links from WHITE HAT Authority sites like the Yahoo Directory, the DMOZ, and other places… Hope this helps.

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 30, 2006 @ 12:07 am

Dear Rob:
Decided to try a free store website after not having a store for 3 years. It tells me which items I am selling are getting the most search hits. I know how you feel about free stores from reading your book. My last “free” store disapeared with no warning and took all my product photos with it a few years ago. I have been burned but I am still trying to find the real free store. I love free stuff and want to keep my business as cost free as possible. I have a lot of inventory to get rid of yet from a physical store I owned in a Mall.

I use Pay Pal and pay per transaction instead of paying for a charge service. I didn’t rent a mail meter either and mail by hand yet. So I am still small potatoes yet and I didn’t jump into paying for a yahoo business site or an eBay ecommerce store or site. I want to build my business into something that can at least pay for some of those services before I branch into “big” business.

Bought your book to see if I could learn the html for convert a regular free yahoo site to a business site but found out that your book was full of handy business tips instead.

I was amazed that Google and the other keywords searches are bringing more hits to my site than to what my eBay auctions have. I might be able to do without those expensive ads on eBay and stick with free keyword searches. I know my keywords searches could use some tweaking since I didn’t research the ones I used and just guessed at it when I put my search on Google and a couple others.

I like reading your suggestions and they have helped me a lot. I will re-read your book again if and when I want to open a yahoo store.
Thank you
Mary

Comment by Mary — September 30, 2006 @ 3:29 am

Rob,

Thanks so much for the excellent information. I’m going to be diving in and finding those converting keywords!

Keep up the great work,

Dwayne

Comment by Dwayne McPeeks — September 30, 2006 @ 4:06 am

Great information! I can’t wait for part II of the series. I am relatively new to e-commerce and I am learning valuable information from your articles and blog. Thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge!

Comment by Sonja — September 30, 2006 @ 4:34 am

I really like the specific nature of your tips. Building a page around a converting key word is a great idea. Up till now I have been checking the search statistics for each of my sales and making sure that the converting keywords were included in my metatag keywords list for that product – obviously I have a lot more to do!

Comment by Tom Breese — September 30, 2006 @ 5:57 am

Thanks a bunch Rob for looking at my site and for the valuable comments.

You’re right, I used to have a lot of original content and articles on my site as evidenced by looking at WayBack. However, I took all the articles off because they were also listed on a few article directories and I thought that maybe Google tagged my articles as dupe content.

As far as the links… I made the mistake of exchanging links with everybody and their brother at one time, plus I had scripts that got links automaticaly. Uggghh!

I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to go with a new domain name and toss the vacuum-supplies.com. However, I spent an hour on the phone with a Yahoo Store customer service rep trying to get him to let me change to a new domain and he said it couldn’t be done because I’m still using the “old” Yahoo Store interface. I had another Yahoo Store under the new interface and I didn’t like it because it doubled my costs.

However, I may be forced to put this site on a new domain at which time I’ll guess I’ll be forced to use the new platform, or else go the Oscommerce route.

Thanks for your input Rob.

Steve McArthur
http://vacuum-supplies.com

Comment by Steve McArthur — September 30, 2006 @ 6:38 am

Rob — as usual great strategy for converting keywords! Thank you!

Jon Ryburg

Comment by Jon Ryburg — September 30, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the SEO tips. Great stuff.

I just wanted you to know I bought your book at Amazon last night after reading the post on this blog.

Shipping estimate for these items: October 2, 2006 Delivery estimate: October 4, 2006
1 “Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance))”
Rob Snell; Paperback; $16.49
Sold by: Amazon.com

What I’m trying to do is figure out how to develop a Yahoo Store for my travel site (still lots to do with the site, but it is moving forward). If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

Regards,
Ray
http://www.greatchiletravel.com

Comment by Ray Harbaugh — September 30, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

Thanks for the comments Scott, Dwayne, Mary, & Sonja! OK. Mary’s post struck a chord with me.

I love free stuff and want to keep my business as cost free as possible. …
I use Pay Pal and pay per transaction instead of paying for a charge service…So I am still small potatoes …. I want to build my business into something that can at least pay for some of those services before I branch into “big” business…. keep my business as cost free as possible.

Those of you know me, know that I grew up in a pretty humble household. In 1979, our house was flooded with 6 feet of water and my family lost everything we had with no insurance. To make matters worse, my parents has just gone full bore with a new business, so BY ALL MEANS I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM. In college, Steve & I started our company with $500 (and that was from our student loans and we just didn’t buy books one semester!) Be careful. Sometimes you can be a little too tight and by “saving” money, you end up using something “free” that really has a higher opportunity cost.

I talk about this in “Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies,” Chapter 17: Driving Traffic That Converts Page 273: “I found a very active community of
dog enthusiasts … I talked to my dad about running $750 worth of
banners, and I thought his head was going to
explode. “No way.” Well, I thought it would
work, so I did it any way. I told Mom what I was
doing … (that month) we sold more than $5,000 worth of dog
products
, which is actually still a pretty good
first month for an online store, but this was way
back in May 1997. Ever the loveable curmudgeon, my dad, ponied up the $750, and I was in
charge of online marketing from then on…

Man. I wonder what would have happened had I not spent that $750? Business is all about calculated risks. Don’t be gambling with the money for the baby’s medicine, BUT IMHO, $40 a month for a Starter store is peanuts compared to what you get in return. Having that monthly bill also makes you get off your duster and DO something instead of waiting for someone to give you “the secret.” BTW The reason I post all this stuff is to repay the hundreds of folks who have helped me along the way over the past 20 years or so, and all I ask from y’all is that you do the same and pass the knowledge on…

Comment by ROB SNELL — September 30, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

Very informative and helpful as usual. I was quite impressed.
David

Comment by David Balas — October 1, 2006 @ 1:56 am

Hi Rob,

Another great tip for us Yahoo store owners. Can’t wait to see more results and the next addition to the blog.

Lance

Comment by Lance — October 1, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

As usual, Rob provides simple, step-by-step instructions on how you can make your web site more effective. I am constantly referring to my copy of Rob’s “Starting a Yahoo Business For Dummies” book, and my notes from the Yahoo Store seminar I attended.
Thanks!

Comment by Taylor Quarles — October 1, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

As always, great information Rob.

Comment by Dan G. — October 2, 2006 @ 2:45 am

I’ve read your book and found it to be very helpful. SEO has been very effective for me after using many of your suggestions. I look forward to your next post.
Thanks,
Alan

Comment by Alan Martin — October 2, 2006 @ 3:15 am

Hi Rob,
Your generosity never ends! Each post is informative and you make them easy to implement. You are contantly helping to increase the revenue of each and every Yahoo store owner!

The Converting Keywords tips are amazing!

Looking foward to the next tip.

Neal

Comment by Neal — October 2, 2006 @ 5:50 am

The entry keeps going and going… as much information in the comments as the article. Thanks for the great contribution.

Comment by FinnishGifts — October 2, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

Great information Rob! I still use your book all the time, guess I am a slow learner but its great when you put together your site and a good refresher when you go back to change something.

I will definately use this to help my site.

Things are getting better for my site though, it netted $2500 last month so I feel like I am on my way.

Thanks again.

Sue

Comment by Sue Kust — October 2, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

Great article, Rob.

Perhaps a naiive question, but why would you buy a keyword phrase when you ranked high for it already in the organic search results?

Thanks for the tips!
–steve

Comment by SteveM — October 3, 2006 @ 2:31 am

Rob, thanks for the tips. Even though my website hasn’t been a Yahoo Store for over 4 years I still find your tips accurate and useful. Keep up the good work.

Thanks, Eric Lituchy
http://www.DelightfulDeliveries.com

Comment by Eric Lituchy — October 3, 2006 @ 3:47 am

Thanks for all the comments and the emails! ALSO, I’ll be doing that email out with my linking stuff and that free RTML template I blogged about. Just email info@ystore.com to make sure that you’re on the list. Folks who post book reviews on Amazon or comment on my blog posts get cool free stuff that lurkers don’t get!

Perhaps a naive question, but why would you buy a keyword phrase when you ranked high for it already in the organic search results?

I get this response every single time I blog, guest post, or do a mailout about CONVERTING KEYWORDS.

There are three major sources of search engine traffic: Google, Yahoo, and MSN. All three of these also have paid search ads: Google Adwords, Y!SM, and MSN AdCenter, so that gives you SIX PLACES WHERE YOU NEED TO RANK, so make sure you REALLY rank well in all six.

There are multiple reasons I say continue to optimize for terms you already rank for.

* Most converting keywords are pretty obscure which means CHEAP PPC keyword buys! If you could ALSO buy that term on Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN Adcenter for 10-cents a click (or even 25-cents a click!), why not?

Here’s what a buddy of mine (PPC guru) says about buying a keyword even when you already rank in the free results: It’s MORE than a one-two punch. It’s like having your product featured in free TV news coverage, and then the anchor says “and now a word from our Sponsor” and your ads runs. I love that story!

* Even if you’re in the top 5 for that term on Yahoo, you still could not rank on MSN or Google for the same term.

* Search engines change on a pretty regular basis, so ALWAYS BE OPTIMIZING!

* Using the words that customers use to find and BUY YOUR PRODUCTS will also help with your conversion rate. I call this the “Hey! That’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for” effect.

* Writing content/text on section and product pages and actively interlinking pages within a site, the main things I do besides getting links to optimize a site for search engines, actually make your site easier to use for customers!

Hope this helps!

Comment by ROB SNELL — October 4, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

[...] Take a gander. It’s well worth the click. [...]

Pingback by Yahoo Publisher Network » Blog Archive » SEM for Everyone — October 5, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

Great info. However, I will forever be making the argument that converting keywords are a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I appreciate Michael’s comment about spending some time on non-converting keywords because, let’s face it, if there is a keyword out there that _could_ be converting for you but you haven’t found and optimized for it, it’s never going to convert.

Likewise, if there is a keyword phrase that is bringing you traffic but not converting, then it’s not the optimization of the phrase you need to fix–it’s the ability of the store to sell to folks seeking that phrase!

I see you plugged http://www.monitus.com in a follow-up comment, but I think that was worth mentioning in the main article. You can spend your life trying to scrape logs everywhere for keyword phrases but Monitus does it for you automagically, tells you how many folks were looking for that, and how many conversions you got. Indispensible!

Comment by Chris Myer — October 6, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

Thanks for the tips Rob, we’re implementing your suggestions now! This Search Engine Marketing overview was a breath of fresh air. These topics encompass many areas of constant change and it’s good to get some shared information that can be directly applied and not static. We have your book!

Thanks again
John
Indoor Lighting

Comment by John Crabb — October 8, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

I own a pretty big yahoo store htmarket.com, my piece of wisdom is this, before you do his suggestions, ask yourself can I win the order based on competitive offers (other stores) on the web. If you can, spend time optimizing it, if you can’t win on the certain phrase now, figure out how you can win than change your site offer and than optimize for it.

I would say make sure you have compelling offers in place before you optimize.

Comment by alan hutchinson — October 10, 2006 @ 3:21 am

Good point Alan. There is no point, especially if you are paying for traffic, to get visitors to your site if they do not convert into buyers at some point. I think Rob’s article assumes some base level of conversion to get at the “converting keywords”. Merchants just need to make sure they are not winning the battle for traffic only to lose the war for sales. Step 1: Optimize for conversion. Step 2: Optimize for converting keywords. Step 3: Repeat all steps.

Paul

Comment by Administrator — October 10, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

As usual, Rob Snell is on target and always a help, from the time he started design on our site,
http://www.MisterShop.com to today

Ken Kurtz
http://www.MisterShop.com

Comment by Ken — October 10, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

Thanks for the post Rob! After using the domain filter I found that pages showing first in search engines were NOT the pages I wanted! I didn’t know such a tool existed. Your blog posts are always easy to understand and implement!

Comment by Sarah — October 13, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

Everything’s fine now, but Mom was in the hospital since Monday, so I’ve been out of the office all week. Next week I’ll be sending out the Secrets of CAPTION Linking email and the WOOLYBOOGER RTML utility template to anyone who commented and is on my email list (info@ystore.com). Thanks SO MUCH for all the replies. More soon…

Comment by ROB SNELL — October 14, 2006 @ 7:15 am

Rob, I find your insight very useful and down to earth. I have no education in website building but I have built my own and even though it looks great to me I continue to strive to get better. thanks again.

Comment by Mark Turnbow — October 17, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

Great info! My site’s very young so I have yet to make my first sale, but I’ll definitely be keeping this info under my hat for when I finally do get some converting keywords.

Comment by Brandon Mitchell — October 17, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

Rob,

To be honest, all this Yahoo shop stuff is new to me, so its a case of gets my hands on your “dummies” book, combine that with your practical blog and away we go!!!!!.

regards

Comment by tom walsh — October 17, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

Rob,
The book has been great we bought two. Cha Ching for Amazon and Rob…LOL Most of your examples are for routine industry that compete with numerous stores (i.e. consumer goods: Dog items & etc.) any suggestions how one converts people looking for “specific” widgets like aircraft parts? We used to run part numbers under our PPC but kept getting delisted by Google Adwords. To write good SEO converting text gets down right dry and boring for hundreds and hundreds of Bolts, Washers and various Aviation related widgets…

Comment by Steven Styles — October 18, 2006 @ 2:28 am

I mentioned above about my “extended” conversation with the Yahoo Store tech and how he told me that it was “impossible” to change my domain name for my store because I was still using the “old” interface.

I wanted to change it because I had screwed up my SEO (went from a pagerank 4 to 0) and I wanted to start with a fresh domain.

Well, I finally figured out how to do it. The new domain for my “old” Yahoo Store is:

http://www.vacuumpartsmall.com/

Thanks,
Steve McArthur

Comment by Steve McArthur — October 21, 2006 @ 12:45 am

Rob,
Thank you for the great tool. Your book is very helpful as not only a refrence book but also it has a lot of hidden gems that are normally not known or exposed.
Thanks again.

Keith

Comment by Keith — October 22, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

I purchased Rob’s book “Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies” which has become a major reference for me. Thanks Rob, your info has been invaluable to me.

Paul

Comment by Paul Hambrick — October 24, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

Rob, you may be getting a fresh set of comments. Seeing as the post was featured again. Thanks for the great information. I was amazed at which of our pages ranked for certain phrases (not the pages I hoped), but I believe we have a good internal linking structure so probably not as bad as it could be.

Comment by Chris Duncan — December 22, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

Rob,

Thank you for the valuable information. It will surely be useful for my business.

Thanks,
Joe

Comment by Joe — January 21, 2007 @ 1:46 am

Rob, we finally got our site up and running with Karl Rivas’ help.(you reccomended him) We are looking forward to attending one of your seminars in the future. Be well and keep blogging.

Gene and Jan in Mableton, Ga.

Comment by Gene Carbonell — February 22, 2007 @ 11:06 pm

Rob, I find myself reading and rereading your blogs for all the great info. We had Karl and Kelly redo our already existing website into a Yahoo store and SEO’d a few pages. We’ve only had two orders in two weeks and they have not amounted to much. (150.00) Jan and I are doing the internal linking, outbound linking and anything else you have spoken about but still are not getting traffic. We are in the highly competetive diet and nutrition field and we need to get up and running. Are you doing any consulting work? Maybe take a look at our site and see where we can improve. We are having Karl SEO five more pages of our website next week and hope that will generate some response. If you can make some time to critique our site i would appreciate it and we would pay any reasonable amount (O.K. maybe unreasonable amount) to get it producing something. If you can let me know.

Gene and Jan in Georgia

Comment by Gene Carbonell — February 24, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

My Yahoo store is at http://vacuumpartsmall.com. I’ve had it with Yahoo for several years and I am very pleased with the new control panel options, it makes it so easy to change the look of my site in a jiffy.

Rob, I’ve finally got my site up to a PR3 and I’m thinking about buying a PR8 link. I wonder if the expense would be justified.

Steve

Comment by Steve McArthur — March 2, 2007 @ 8:44 am

This is a GREAT post! I wish I have read this before I started my store. I guess it’s too late to change now.

Comment by The Dog Clothing Company — July 12, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

Great article on SEO – great tips!

Shea Howard
GiftBasketsforDelivery.com

Comment by shea howard — April 1, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

Rob,

Just run into your website by chance. Thanks for the valuable information. I will take further browsing for the detail. Hope your templates will be useful for my business.

Thanks,

Daniel

Comment by Daniel — January 23, 2009 @ 5:04 pm