Yahoo! Store SEO

Paul: ...and I think I'm kind of at time right now. But I'll tell you my second favorite moment as a product manager. My first favorite moment is, of course, when we roll out a new feature and I get a call, or an email, or an instant message from a merchant that says, "Oh, my God! I love you guys! Thanks for rolling that out!" Rob always does that to me. "Could you make it do this, too?"

[laughter]

Paul: That's still my favorite moment. I love when that happens, because, you know, we got some validation on something we threw out there. My second favorite moment is when a domain name becomes a name.

Each and every week we get these reports of what are our top merchant sites, how many new sites are signing up with us. Everything is organized by domain name. It's a pretty bland view of looking at our data.

Opportunities like this, the summits, the conferences that we go to, the site visits that we do allow us to associate a face and get introduced to you so that domain name changes into a name. So Optics Planet becomes Pablo. He's checking his mobile site right now, probably. Feature request, right?

Man 2: Yep.

Paul: Or [xx 1:03] becomes Nacho, or Imitations becomes Oko. That's what I really cherish. It's an opportunity for us to collect that feedback that we need to do our jobs. But more importantly, that's the motivation that we get from doing a job, when we know exactly who we are providing it for.

So if I don't know you or you haven't met other members of the product team, I encourage you today, please come up to us. Introduce yourself. Tell us what you need out of the product. Tell us what's working for you. More importantly, tell us what's not working, what we need to change. What new thing do we need to provide to take your business to the next level?

We are very honored that you choose Yahoo for your ecommerce business, and we're eager to help you succeed. So thank you.

[applause]

Paul: So coming up next, I have the pleasure, the honor of introducing Rob Snell. He is the managing partner of Snell Brothers. He is a long-term Yahoo store owner. He is a regular on the SEO speaking circuit. I think he has four sessions coming up at PubCon. He's going to be a very busy men. I am on one of those panels with him.

He's got all the Google top guys on speed dial. So if you ever need to know where you are cratering [? 2:17], ping Rob if you don't have him on speed dial yourself. So open up your notebooks, turn the page, get a fresh sheet of paper, click your pen and be ready to write down some serious SEO knowledge, because Rob is going to bring it.

We gave him 45 minutes and that's still not enough time for everything this man can tell us. So put it together for Rob Snell.

[applause]

Rob: Howdy. Thank you Paul. I've got a feature request I need to talk to you more about. My name is Rob Snell. I am from Starkville, Mississippi. I am a retailer. I've been doing Yahoo stores since before it was Yahoo Stores; back in the Viamall in the ViaWeb days.

Today I am going to talk about Search Engine Optimization and what you can do to get more converting traffic to your website. When folks are searching to buy what you sell, can they find you? This has been kind of like a theme of my life as far as doing search marketing since 1997 when we got online, back when the Yahoo Directory was driving most of the traffic.

Search Engine Optimization. You want to make your site friendly so that the search engines can find it, index it, rank you, and return you in the results. I'm going to talk today a little bit about our family business Gun Dog Supply.

My parents started Gun Dog Supply in 1972 and we sell training supplies for hunting dogs. That's Click. He's one of my brother's dogs. He's featured all over the website. We started out as a catalogue business that turned into a brick-and-mortar business, and then we took the information in our catalogues and transitioned to the Internet back in 1997 like I was saying.

Yahoo Store has changed my life. I love Yahoo Store. I am really passionate about this kind of stuff. I am in Silicon Valley and I've got a microphone, so this is the first time I can do this publicly. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the folks at Yahoo for providing a tool in which we can make a good living in the deep woods of Starkville, Mississippi.

We started our online business in 1997 because, in 1996, Petsmart opened up across the street from my parent's brick-and-mortar store. And look at that—a third of the revenue just gone. My mom was freaking out. So we decided to get online.

And this is like three or four years later. Look at that. I mean that's nice. Completely replaced the offline business, we're growing like a weed, and, you know, that's nice. That's a really good story. But this is closer to today. Look at that. That's several orders of magnitude greater than we were doing with the offline business.

It's nuts. If you look at the growth vector that we had and just kind of map that out, we made one change in the way we did things online when our sales plateaued about six or seven years ago, and it radically changed what we're doing. And it has to do with the way we sold online.

Before that vertical line, we just offered things for sale. Here we have these dog supplies. If you got a hunting dog, you can buy these things from us. After that vertical line where the graph changes there, we actually did online what we do on the phone and in person in the stores. We say, "You come to us with a problem. This is what you need to buy to solve your problem." We recommended what folks should buy on our Yahoo Store.

And look at that. I mean that golden triangle right there is awesome. That's $10 million in additional sales from going to being passive to being active. But I'm supposed to be talking about Search Engine Optimization. What does that have to do with Search Engine Optimization?

Well, I would attribute at least 50% of that $10 million to the content that we created to be more active in selling on our websites. And I'll talk a lot about that today. $10 million in Mississippi makes a happy puppy.

[laughter]

That's a lot of money. Out here, probably not so much. I'm going to talk first about how I do SEO. And some of this is going to be really basic for some of you all. I am going to drill in deeper as I go on. I will run out of time. I am notorious for trying to put 10 pounds of grits in a five pound sack.

I had 400 slides when I started my slide pile for this presentation. But they wouldn't give me four hours, so this is what you are going to get.

On the website, on Robsnell.com I'll have this information and some other information I'll refer you to if I don't get to everything.

All right, how I do SEO. Pick a keyword. Let's just take "doghouse heaters"—something that we sell. The first thing I do is I pick my store's most relevant page. What page on my Yahoo Store is the page that somebody looking for doghouse heaters would need to see to answer their question?

This is the page. This is our doghouse heaters page. OK, well that's pretty obvious. What's the next thing I do? Well, I put the keyword in the Name and Caption fields. Inside your Yahoo Store in the Store Editor, when you are naming your products you want to name the products with the keywords that customers use when they are searching to buy what you sell. Remember that first slide?

The reason why...and you don't even have to know this. I've been doing this for 14 years. I only realized pretty recently why it was working so well for us. The Name field in the Yahoo Stores determines the text for the Title tag in both the Legacy stores and in the new stores.

And you can override that. And if you have a custom store it might be a little different. But if you've just got a basic store, the Name field covers the Title tag. What you type in the name field generates this Title tag.

Well, why is that important? The title is the most important on-page SEO element. That tells Google what your page is about. It tells readers what your page is about. It's the most important on-page element. So what you type in that Name field turns into what shows up in Google. That little link, usually that's what's in the Title tag.

The name also becomes the link text on other pages. So right here, I've got, like, in my navigation...and actually, that's a custom thing, so ignore that for a second. But that's the Name field there underneath that thumbnail. It also becomes the Alt text of the link of the thumbnail link.

The link text is the most important off-page SEO element. And it's going to get links from pages on your store, and it's good to get links from other pages.

The next thing I want you to do is write a keyword-rich caption field. I want you to put the keywords that folks are using to buy what you sell in a normal English description, or Spanish if you have a Spanish website, and the way people talk. But you want to make sure to use the keywords in natural language. You don't want to spam, you don't want to keyword stuff.

But you see we have "doghouse heater", "kennel heater", "doghouse heater", "hound heater", blah, blah, blah. If you still want to rank better, not only do you want to get links from your site using like the section, and you might make a special on the homepage, but you want to get links to the keyword you want to rank for inside the link text.

That's how Google was such a better search engine than all the other search engines. It's reputation analysis. It's what another page is saying about your page, not what you say on the page itself. How do you do that?

Well, go to Yahoo and type in "link:" and the URL that you want to get links to. And what this does is this will show you how many links you actually already have. And in this case I've got 159 links to that doghouse heaters page.

And you can also filter that and say, "Well just show me the external links." And this shows me that I've got eight links, and half of those are from scraper sites just because I rank pretty well for some of these keywords. People are going to scrape your site, and you actually get some links from that. And right now we rank #1 for doghouse heater.

All right. Well that's great. That's how I do SEO. That's how I've been doing it for 14 years. Let's talk about the search engines. The name of this presentation was supposed to be "Five Winning Strategies for SEO". If you know me, I change my slides. Like 15 minutes before the presentation, I'm like, "Oh, I could say that better. Let me change this. Let me think that out. Oh, what? They just changed this?"

It's still Google. Google is still driving the majority of SEO traffic. Five winning strategies? Google, Google, Google, Bing, Bing. OK? Bing is now powering Yahoo. All that means is that instead of optimizing for three, now you only have to optimize for two. I am still going to concentrate on Google, though.

And then, three days before my slides are due, we has the biggest front-facing change to SEO. I was then going to change my presentation to: "SEO is dead and I don't feel too good myself!"

[laughter]

How many of you all have seen Google Instant by raise of hands. Have you seen that the pages show up? Oh, it drives me nuts. I've got ADD, if you haven't seen that already. How is this going to affect me? It's like I looked at my sales graph and I don't have enough data.

Here's the last week on one of our stores, and it's like, "Wow, we had a pretty good Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday." And then you see Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I am like, "Oh, my God. What's going on?" Well, because of Yahoo Web Analytics, I was able to dig in and see some stuff. Because of Google Analytics, I was able to see some stuff.

Things change all the time. I used to freak out about InfoSeek. I used to freak out about the Yahoo Directory. You just need to watch your keywords. What this is going to do, in my opinion, is it's going to cause more folks to click on some of the short-tail terms, and it's also going to cause some folks to drill down into some of the more long terms.

So let's go through Google Instant for "doghouse heaters", and remember that plural. All right. Somebody wants to find out about doghouse heaters, so they go to Google and they start typing. They type in dog. You get pictures of dogs, the Wikipedia, "great dog site". You type in "dog h...", all of a sudden now we're getting doghouses.

I've got ADD; I'm afraid I'm going to be clicking on this. I've got to stay on target, stay on target. "Doghouse h..." and you get Helzburg [sp] Doghouse. You can tell that I must have taken that slide around here, because in Mississippi we don't know what that is.

[laughter]

Local is being pumped into this Google Instant; something else to distract you. Well finally on the list is "doghouse heater". Once I just kind of keep on typing in Google Instant, well now we've got to doghouse heater and it is showing you doghouse heater.

Well, remember we were doing plural. This is singular, "doghouse heater". So we keep tying and I'm showing up in the organic results there. I'm not buying ads for this. And I'm showing up in the shopping results down here. Thanks SingleFeed, if you are here. I appreciate the hookup from last year.

Don Cole also has a cool shopping product. I don't have any time to go into shopping search, but you need to be in shopping results because of this.

We can even type out "doghouse heater" and we still don't see the keyword "doghouse heaters" plural. You have to actually type it out before you get to see the page, just like you wouldn't before Google Instant.

What this is going to do is this is going to instantly kill this keyword phrase for me. "Doghouse heaters", for people using Google Instant, it's gone. It's over.

I looked in my analytics, and this is Google Analytics here, and I just wanted to see how important this phrase was to me. Well, for this time period, that's $17,000 that I instantly lost thanks to Google.

Well, I think clicks that normally would have gone to "heaters" plural is actually going to go to this singular because they suggest that. But it's going to be different on every single keyword phrase.

Fortunately for me, I am real good buddies with Michael Whitaker of Monitus. And I was bitching to him 30 minutes after they lost Google Instant. "I need a tool that is going to tell me what all these truncated words are".

Then about an hour and a half later, I get an email with a link in it, and it's a link to a filter that he wrote for Google Analytics. Dennis, teach me how to do this on Yahoo Web Analytics, because that is really more my speed.

But this shows me what queries people are using and the page they came from, and the original truncated query string. So I can see that folks are typing "dog training collar" and then click on a much longer phrase—"dog training collars reviews".

And that's good because that's a more specific phrase and it's a lot easier to rank for that. So I decided to do a little bit more filtering, and I just said, "Show me all the dog training collars reviews." And I was seeing that folks are drilling down into these things.

And look at that. Dog+training+coll. And that's blown up for people in the back. You type that in. It's a secondary phrase. They are actually having to click on it. And the good thing for me, fortunately, I am number one for that keyword phrase.

My assistant, God bless her soul, Nikki Bower, she works her butt off. She has to do all kinds of stupid stuff for me. This is one of the things that she had to do. I made her take all our converted keywords and go in Google and search for them and tell me what the minimum you have to type to get that page to show up as the default. She hates my guts.

[laughter]

I am going for a lead...and I know she's on Facebook, and on Twitter, and whatever else those young people do today; you know, all that being social and all. But she did hundreds and hundreds of keywords for me, and she'd put notes on various parts, like what the effect is.

And basically, I am able to go through that and go, "OK, well this plural is dead. This singular version is dead." The lesser popular versions of these terms, you are going to need to optimize for the more popular version. That's what I think is going to happen.

But we've got four days worth of data. Who the hell knows what the fallout is going to be? The only constant in search marketing is that things change. Things are going to be different in two weeks, they are going to be different in three weeks.

The main thing you need to do is keep doing the basics. Keep doing things that are customer friendly and keep creating content, and we'll talk about that.

So let's take another phrase. I go to Google and I do a search for "dog training collars". I searched on it....Yay! I'm number one and number two. I'm rockin! Well, actually I'm not. If you look up there, I'm logged into my Gmail account. Because I use Gmail. I use Google AdWords. I use Google Analytics. I'm always logged into Google.

They are going to personalize my results based upon my search history. They are going to show me what I want to see, not necessarily what everybody else is seeing.

When you are doing SEO, you want to sign out from your Google accounts to make sure you are not seeing personalized results. And a better way of doing this for me is I run Safari for Mac, and they have it for Windows. And I run it as a secondary browser, and I can pop over to Safari, then I am going to reset Safari, and I've got a clean virgin browser. I am seeing what a new searcher would see, which gives me a much better idea of what's really going on.

And, you know, reality sucks. You can go to Google, "dog training collars", and, "Oh, my gosh." I am at the bottom of the page. I am number three. That's actually supposed to be pretty good, right? Well I'm even below the fold there. And so I'm buying the pay-per-click now.

90% of the clicks on search engines come from the first page. If you are not on the first page for a keyword phrase, you are not in the game. Here are 10 results for a keyword query on Google. That's great. You know, the first page, that's awesome.

The problem is most of the people looking at your website are probably going to see this. And most folks don't scroll; I mean like more than half. They don't scroll. They see what they are looking for...you know, a large percentage of your audience has that browser right there. And you notice the ads kind of stop where these browser cut off.

So you want to be not only on the first page, you really need to be in the top five. And if you are not one, two, or three, you are not in the game.

The other thing is when you are looking at your site, you need to be looking at your site the same way your customers are. So what I do is I use my lowest common denominator that has the biggest market share for me, and I will fire up Windows and I will run IE8 because that is the most popular version of Internet Explore that we are using, and I can see what other folks see when they poke around my website.

All right. Well this is Click, one of our dogs. And he says, "Well, now what?" So I know all this stuff about search engines. Now I get to get into the cool stuff. These are SEO tips and tricks, and I am going to start with the things I think are more important, and I am just going to go until they pry this from my cold dead hands.

[laughter]

All right. I got more info and free stuff on Robsnell.com. Juts my little ad. I'm not selling anything...yet. Get on my list. info@ystore.com. I don't spam. Probably five or six times I hit the list, unless I have something interesting to say.

All right. Number one: collect converting keywords. Some people collect stamps. Some people collect comic books. I collect converting keywords. I have over 20,000 on one of my favorite sites. 20,000 different words and phrases that turned into money. That's gold.

Thanks to Yahoo Web Analytics, it's really easy to get this data out of your Yahoo Store. It used to be pretty hard. It used to roll off after six months. Thanks to Index Tools, which became Yahoo Web Analytics, I've got six years worth of data on some of my bigger projects.

Google Analytics is good, too. I use both, thanks to my good buddy Whittaker. Just a little shoutout for "the" Michael Whittaker. The Monitus Bridge allows you to actually take information from you Yahoo Store and get the shopping cart information, the dollar amounts, passed to Google, which solves a big problem, because it is really hard to do Google Analytics on a Yahoo Store. But it also allows us to do Google Website Optimizer and a whole bunch of other cool things.

20,000 converting keywords. I've got $6 million that I can tie to those keywords. This helps me because I can prioritize my keyword optimization, my SEO, based upon this list. Which I was just about to say: prioritize what you are going to work on by what generates the money.

So here is a real Excel Spreadsheet screenshot, but I've changed the keywords so that I'm not giving away the store here. Steve won't shoot me when I get home. OK? What I do is I export, from my analytics, the number of visits, the number of orders, and the revenue from a keyword phrase.

In that column that starts with RPV 11, I actually calculate what the value is, the Revenue Per Visitor, per keyword phrase to kind of give me an idea what words are more valuable than other words. I then, in the last two columns, I see how I'm raking on Google. In the first one, I rank number one, and my second page ranks number 11.

So just by looking at this I see a huge opportunity. I don't need to be here talking to you about this. I need to be pushing some links to number 11 to push it onto page one.

All right. I also want you to prioritize your pages based on revenue. And this is a big thing that I don't think a lot of retailers have wrapped their heads around. Let's think of a 20,000 page Yahoo store. Well, if you site:yourdomain and Google, it will show you how many pages of those are actually in Google.

So let's say you have 5,000 pages indexed in Google. Well if you look at your analytics, you are going to see that maybe 200 of those pages are actually driving revenue to your store. You need to concentrate on those 200 pages, not those 5,000 pages, or not those 20,000 pages.

Yeah, you need to do some other things to drive more PageRank or link popularity to your home page so you can get more pages indexed, and yeah, you need to optimize number 201 through 5,000. But you need to spend your time on the pages that are driving revenue to your Yahoo Store.

Here's an example from Yahoo Web Analytics where I said, "What keywords are actually driving traffic and revenue to collars.html?" And this shows me the number of people who are coming, the number of orders, and the revenue.

And it's amazing how many different types of phrases will actually convert on a page. So you have got to make some decisions about what pages you want to optimize for what phrases.

All right. I also optimize buckets of keywords. See how I'm showing all these different phrases there? I mean you can optimize one keyword phrase at a time, but when you have 20,000 keyword phrases, it is actually easier to do multiple keywords at a time.

And what I do is I like to organize my keywords. And so I'll go in and I'll tag all the manufacturer keywords and bucket them together, and I'll do the same thing with generic terms that are similar.

If you will take your keywords and dump them into a word cloud generator, you can actually get some ideas of what these buckets should be. Worldle.net. Write this down. Abanash [sp] turned me on to this. It's an easy way you can take...that's probably 1,000 keywords right there that I dumped into a thing.

And based upon the frequency that the word appears in this list, that determines the size. So "hunting", really important. "Gun", really important. "Sport", "automatic", [xx 23:00]. I mean I'm sitting there right now, I know what my buckets are.

This makes me a little nervous, because y'all are seeing what my sales are looking at this. I don't like giving this presentation.

[laughter]

I optimize my keywords in groups. Let's just take dog boots. Here are a list of all the dog boots that would appear in one screenshot in my text editor. And there are, you know, 500 more of these converting keywords for boots.

I take those words and I chunk them in this same tool. Now I can see the modifiers. I took out "dog" and I took out "boots", because otherwise they would be 70 feet tall, because everybody is looking for dog and boots. But these are the other words. These are the modifiers. These are the secondary keyword phrases.

Wouldn't it be really easy to string some of these words together into meaningful content on a section page, on a product page? It's really easy to optimize.

All right. The next thing is you want one URL per page. You've got to decide, is it going to be www.mydomain or is it going to be domain.com? And there is a cool tool, and Yahoo won't admit it, and your Yahoo developer can do this if you don't know about it. You can 301 all your domains to one URL per page. You can 301 your store URLs to one page. That way, all your link popularity gets concentrated. So instead of having three little Spud Webb's, you will have one Shaquille O'Neal.

[laughter]

And Spud Webb is pretty cool. The next thing I recommend folks do is pimp your homepage. Your homepage is probably, I'd say for 99% of y'all, it's the most powerful page as an asset. Because most of the links that are outside your store point to your homepage. And probably all of the pages on your site point to your homepage.

And we talked about page title earlier; the Title tag. On your homepage, the index in Store Editor. Go to Index. Hit "Edit". Go down to page title. That determines, on most Yahoo Store templates, what makes the page title on the homepage.

And I like to optimize on the homepage for like three terms, like this, that, and the other thing. You have to be really careful that your content on the page actually supports the keyword phrases that you are optimizing for.

Your next thing is homepage intro text. And you may have a different template, but in the intro text, you want to put in 300-500 words that support the keywords phrases you are trying to rank for. And this is the bottom of Robsnell.com where I've got some embedded links similar to the intro text.

All right. This is a big, big, big deal. This probably is more important than some of the other things I've talked about previously. On your homepage, you need to see what you are linking to. You need to "view source" and you need to list out all the links that are on your homepage.

If you have multiple links on your homepage to the same page, multiple text links, Google is only counting one of those. It's throwing the PageRank and the link popularity away from one those; it's just throwing it away. If you have two links, three links, four links...some people have five or six links to the same page on your homepage.

Now if something makes sense to do for your users, for your customers, it's easier for them to find something if you have a seven foot homepage and you want them to click to your best sellers page, you know, you might want to have that on there.

But from an SEO perspective, you are wasting your link popularity. And you have to make choices. Remember that collars page a minute ago? We saw all those keywords that I had on there? You have to decide, what page am I going to link to? What keyword am I going to use in the links to that page? So you have to be really careful and pick the best keywords. And you can use your analytics to see that.

All right. Homepage contents. On most Yahoo Stores, the IDs that you put in the contents field determine what the run of site navigation is, right? You dump those IDs in your contents field, it shows up on every single page.

You want to be really careful that you are only putting pages in your navigation that matter. This is an advanced thing that your RTML developer can do. Isvan [sp] taught me all kinds of cool little tricks to do.

You can auto-optimize your SEO elements by using RTML to pimp out your titles and your meta descriptions. This is awesome for those 20,000 pages that you don't want to have to handwrite page titles and meta descriptions for.

Here's an example of me being lazy on Gun Dog Supply. And you can see in my meta description that I've got the same boilerplate text over and over again. And eventually, that comes back to bite you in the butt because it doesn't look that friendly. People don't want to click on it.

I've got "free shipping US 48-$125 orders." I've got, you know, Gun Dog Supply. And what I do is I add a new name plus this boilerplate text, plus the first part of the caption there.

All right. But, on my top 100 pages, I actually want you to hand tweak your page titles and your meta descriptions. I don't know if you guys can see this or not, but here's kind of a before and after on one of our better selling products. The title for the first one at the top is "Garmin Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking System".

Well, they just came out with a new version, so I put "New Garmin...registered sign"—gets more clicks, DC-40 TM—gets more clicks, 220...I've got both new name and the old name, and I've got the generic keyword "dog tracking system from Garmin". I've got Garmin in there again. So I think that's a much better title tag. And that's driving a lot more traffic than that one was.

And then, in my meta description down here, in the description field, I actually write out: "New for 2010: Improved Garmin Astro. Read Steve's candid review of dog tracking systems. Best dog product 2010".

That's a lot better than just some generic me copying the name, and adding some boilerplate text, and adding the first sentences in the caption field. It makes it a lot more work, but it's worth it because you get a higher percentage of folks clicking on your links in the organic results.

This is an RTML template that Ytimes.com taught me how to use. I got his book. And I'm not an RTML programmer. I'm embarrassed that I'm even talking in front of about 50 of you guys. Please don't look at my code if you have access to my store, even if you are installing templates.

This is a utility template that I made that, basically, I can throw an ID in a field and automatically see all these different Yahoo Store elements for each page. So it shows me the ID, then it shows me the canonical tag if this is not the main page for that, it shows me the naming field, the short name.

But in this example, I am actually overriding the naming field, which used to generate the page title. I am using the page title field to generate the page title. So it overrides the default unless we put this custom in there.

All right. Description, same thing. Meta description.

All right. The next thing I want you guys to do is to write top shelf content. One of the things we did after my dad died is we started to write buyer's guides. Instead of offering stuff for sale, we started writing these buyer's guides.

All right. Buyer's guides. Recommend the products that solve your customer's problems. Don't just say, "Hey, here are a thousand different kinds of guitar strings. Figure out what you want." Tell them, "OK, you are an old dude and you don't practice enough, so you don't have calluses, and you need these specific kind of guitar strings."

We did it for dog training collars and we doubled our conversion rate on our website in about 18 months by doing this across our major product categories. That's a big deal. Buyer's guides, when folks come into our website on a buyer's guide, we have a 50% increase in conversion rate than when they come in on our regular section or category page. That's pretty damn cool.

Some of your section pages have a ton of traffic coming in there. You can decrease your bounce rate, you can increase your conversion rate. Write buyer's guides.

Remember a minute ago I said find the most relevant page for something, for doghouse heaters? Find two relevant pages. This is an awesome way to get more traffic to your website.

Clustered results. If you have two pages ranking in the top 10, let's just say one is number one and one is number 10, Google likes to be real organized. So Google will take that ranking number 10 page and tuck it right up underneath number one. So you kind of get a free pass to go straight to number two and push your competitors down off the page. I love clustered results.

If you want to find out what the most relevant page is for a keyword phrase on your site, and you need to know, because it's not like the name of your section, go to Google and do site:domain.com, which shows you all the pages in your website. Add the keyword phrase, and sometimes you'll add it in quotes, and it will show you, in descending order, what Google thinks are the most relevant pages for this query.

The next thing I want you to do is embed links in your caption field. I want you to hardwire these text links inside your caption field. So you are talking about dog boots on the dog boots page and it says it protects from ice and snow, then in the winter you might need a doghouse heater. You want to link to that page.

Here's an example of an embedded text link inside a caption, and I blew it up. I refer to the Tri-Tronics Sport Basic. I like to it. It's friendly for customers. They can get straight to the product. It's also for SEO. That's probably my best keyword phrase for that product.

You used to could do some cool stuff with Yahoo when Yahoo Search was powering Yahoo Search. Well now Bing is, and Bill Gates isn't as smart as the guys at Yahoo, so it doesn't work anymore. You have to find these words on your site.

I have a template I call Wooly Booger, and the Wooly Booger template is something that I made up. And your RTML developer can this. And you can make one of these. And I basically dump all the captions from all the products in an IDs field, and I say, "For each item in the contents field, show me all the names and the captions for every single thing on my website."

And this page, when you print it out, it is several hundred pages long. And on that document, I can actually search for my keyword phrases and find all the pages on my site that have "doghouse heaters" in the caption and make sure that I'm linking to my doghouse heaters page. It's a lot of work. But if you want to rank, you gotta do the work.

All right. Write unique product descriptions. This is one of the biggest things that I see retailers not doing. Write one new paragraph for every $10 in item price. So if you've got a $99 product, I want you to write 10 paragraphs about it. That's how much content I want you to generate.

I just made this up. I had to come up with a rule of thumb. You guys like to talk. You know about products. You talk on the phone. Over there I am recording myself twice with two digital recorders, because this is content that I'm creating right here.

I will send this to a buddy of mine in Alabama who will transcribe this for me. He will send it back to me. I will then put it on my webpage, which will get Google traffic, which will turn into money. If you don't like to write, I know you guys like to talk. So get you a digital recorder and get somebody to transcribe it for you.

Sometimes this is referred to as duplicate content. Nowadays, duplicate content means the same type item on your website showing up 15 different ways in Google. This is not unique content. In other words, most retailers, and a lot of people in here are guilty of this, and I'm guilty of this on some of my sites, you take the manufacturer's product description, you copy and paste it, you stick it on your website. Some of the more sophisticated people in here take a data feed and do the same thing. Some of the really sophisticated people do some find and replace on some of these things, but I'm not going to out anybody here.

What you want to do, if you want to find if somebody's using the manufacturer description, take the first sentence in the manufacturer's product description, put quotes around it, throw it up on Google, see how many pages come up.

There are 1,770 lazy retailers. And fortunately, they are competing with me. And I just happen to be a really...I don't like to work. You know? I like to play guitar. I like to ride four wheeler. You just have to be able to work a little bit harder than those lazy dudes.

Right now, we rank right after the manufacturer, even with all the stuff that's going on, for this really valuable keyword phrase for us. And it's because if you go to click on those, oh my gosh, my brother, he can write some content.

Like I said, non-unique content ecommerce sites. If you are built solely on a data feed and cloning manufacturer text, and your making money, come see me. We need to talk. You can make a lot more money.

All right. Use your run of site anchor text wisely. By that I mean links that occur on every single page on your website. On a traditional Yahoo Store, you have one template. It links to every single page. I mean they are all the same. It has the same navigation across the entire site.

That drives me nuts. On my sites, I have different navigation based upon where you are in the hierarchy. This is not JavaScript. This is not dynamic. This is hardwired HTML in the Yahoo Store using the same template, based upon where you are in the hierarchy.

And so what that means is I might only have 1,000 links to my top-level categories, but after a while, even with 20,000 pages, you are not getting credit for 20,000 links. There is a governor on that. They cut that credit off.

I don't even have run of site navigation on my product pages. It increased conversion when we took it off.

De-templify your store. This is kind of the same thing. I have a different looking homepage than I do section pages, product pages. And on my really, really good products, they have their own unique template because every single product...Like if you were selling helicopter headsets for pilots, you have different features that you need to talk about. And instead of dumping a whole bunch of HTML in the caption, you can make a custom thing that actually works with your products to help you sell them. We even have customer review pages that are set up.

All right. I'm about to give everybody here who's in my link class, sales-wise, a $1,000 a day for the next year, if you do this. I have friends of mine right now who hate my guts. I have people who are SEO's who give me a hard time about this. They say, "You are giving away the store." This is going to pay for your trip if you do this. Everybody is writing stuff down. I'm not going to give it all away, but I'm going to give a little bit away here. And you can probably figure some stuff out by some other sides. Pay attention.

Add buy modifiers to the text on your pages. By buying modifiers, I mean words like "buy", "cheap", "best", "reviews". Those are some of the best. "Discount hunting dog vests"—number one and two. "Buy hunting dogs vests"—number one and two. Not optimizing for these, this is just because of the way the templates are working. "Hunting dog vests online"—number three and four. Competitor has online in his name; going to be kind of hard to beat that.

I am generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year that I would not have gotten had I not optimized those, and I'm using little RTML tricks. And there is some other stuff that I'm doing. Buy me a honey-bun later and I might share.

All right. I want you to optimize long-tail phrases on pages indexed in Google. And by long-tail phrases, I mean these really long, you know, five, six, seven word keyword phrases that folks search for. If it's on page number 20,000, it's not going to rank. It's not even going to get indexed.

So what I want you to do is go to your Yahoo Web Analytics. Find me all the search phrases that either converted for that product or contain that bucket name. Like in this one it's "Tuf-Foot". Look at the revenue and the number of orders generated.

The top three terms generated 75% of the sales. Now if there is $100 lying here on the floor, I am not just going to pick up $75 and go, "Well, I got 75 bucks. I'm going to the bar." I want all the money.

25% of the sales came from 39 other terms. So that's a whole bunch of quarters down there. So I'll get my shovel and I'll scoop up all the quarters.

So you see all these words. It's kind of repeating the same words over again, and I pulled the unique words out. So those are the unique words that are in addition to Tuf-Foot that are contributing to the sales of this product.

And you look in there, "Buy", "Free", "Discount". Ya'll better write these down. "Online", "Shipping", "Where". Where can I buy Tuf-Foot? Better have the word "Where" on your page.

So what I do is I leave them together in a sentence, and I try to use them where it makes sense, but I want to have all those words, all those little nuggets, in my caption field on a page that is actually in Google.

All right. Show snippets on section pages. I can't believe I've gotten this far. This is a section page where I've got vertical contents. The alignment is vertical. I'm not showing the contents of what's in those subcategories there.

What happens is Google sees this. Not a lot of text on that page. Well, if you change "leaf" to yes and you have your "leaf" settings set up, and it's in the book, then you get a lot more text. It not only shows you the section, but it shows you what's in the subsection, and you can show what the abstract is on that page. You don't have to have custom programming to do this.

This is what Google sees. So if you have got a three level website and only two levels are indexed, you can bubble up content that is on your product pages that is not indexed on Google, on your obscure accessories, bubble it up a level to something that actually is in Google. You are going to get traffic and sales from that. That's better than the modifiers.

All right. Now I am in the extra portion of my show. How much time do I have? Can I keep going?

All right. Great content gets traffic and links from opinion leaders. GPS—we have a whole bunch of content on our website about dog GPS. We got featured in the New York Times because of this. They have a link of their blog. Garmin, the manufacturer, my brother takes them hunting.

You would think the vendor should take you out because you are the customer. We take them out because we've got better hunting than they do. Junior gets a link on the website.

I'm going to talk about a lot of this stuff tomorrow in the customer engagement panel, and I've got 10 minutes, so I've only got 100 slides.

[laughter]

And I talk about this on my website. All right. Keywords. The key to search engines. Blah, blah, blah. There are differences between keywords. I mean you can have a high traffic keyword and a competitive leader [41:31] traffic keyword and you go, "Gosh, well dog beds is better than large dog beds." And this is not real data. I swapped it out so I could actually give you an example.

If you compare the two, high traffic, medium traffic. All right, well, revenue per visitor. Look at that. Now that isn't going to be the case in every single specific phrase. But if you've got higher revenue per visitor than the more generic term...and these numbers I got, the $40,000-$88,000 are not from my site. That's from the Google keyword tool. I was just exporting that data.

So I can see this was a big honkin keyword, this was a little bitty keyword. Well that's the difference between having a one dollar bill and having a gold coin. I mean I want to know which one is generating the revenue.

So the inventory value of dog beds is $40,000 a month. Well, to me, the inventory value of "large dog beds" is $88,000 a month. If I could get one more visitor, what keyword phrase do you think I want to get coming to my website? What keyword phrase do I want to rank better for?

It's much easier to rank for these longer terms. That's good. Chase stuff. Chase dog beds. That's great. See if you can do that. All right, I've got five minutes and there are 75 more slides. No, I'm just kidding.

Google keyword Tool, we talked about that. If you are in Google Keyword Tool, you do the exact match. That will give you the better idea of what's going on.

When you are organizing your keywords, remove your name or your domain name from your keywords. They call these brand or navigational queries, when folks are searching for you, because they are too lazy to type in Gundogsupply.com, they paste that in the search box. It drives me crazy. It overwrites good keyword data.

Don't let your agency get credit for sending you traffic for your name. You know, you should get credit for writing your name on your paper automatically. 300 different ways people say Gun Dog Supply.

We talked about $6 million worth of keywords. $5 million I divided into five different buckets. And I decided to graph my keywords to kind of allocate what I'm going to do and when. I said, "Hey, that kind of looks like something else." That looks like a dinosaur, right?

Well, head terms. The first million dollars in sales from keywords. 20 keywords generated a million dollars in sales; 20 different keywords. Those are the keywords everybody in here knows about your own site. You know what those 20 keywords are. You might not be able to give them to me in exact order, but you are checking Google every day. "Oh, my gosh, I'm number three. Oh, my gosh, I'm number four. Oh, my gosh, Google Instant pushed me off the page."

[laughter]

All right, neck. 180 keyword phrases. You probably know most of these too, because they are variations on the first 20. That's the next million dollars in that bucket. That's 10,000 words. Everybody concentrates on the head and the neck, and y'all think about that kind of stuff.

Well the back, the middle bucket, is still a million dollars in sales. There are 800 keywords phrases, 800 unique keywords phrases driving the same million dollars. It's 9,000 orders.

Then we have the rump. Nobody pays attention to the rump. The rump—2,500 different keywords. How are you going to track that? Same million dollars, 80,000 orders. That's only an order or two per keyword.

And then everybody hears about the long tail. Here I've got 16,500 keywords that generated 16,500 orders. Those are the onesies.

And I guess, don't neglect the rump. That's what I want you guys to take away from the keyword thing. You need to look at these keyword phrases that are sending traffic to your website. Don't get obsessed with these 20 head terms.

All right. More info, free stuff, Robsnell.com. I'm sorry I talked so fast. Didn't mean to blow your mind. Sign up for my newsletter, info@ystore.com. I'll be here all week. I'm done.

[applause]

Rob: Oh, wait a minute. Smiggler [sp] is buying ice cream for everybody. It's time for the afternoon break. So let's get some, what, Gelato? Hook me up with a cup of vanilla, brother!

[laughter]

Rob: Thank y'all.





Make more money with your online store.

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