Read my Yahoo Store blog at ystore.blogs.com@@@@@@ Click the link to open a new window for my somewhat irregular Ystore Blog at http://ystore.blogs.com ~~~~~

YSTOREBLOG: Link Building and Keyword Ranking@@@@@@http://ystoreblog.com/blog/2008/06/movin-on-up-in-search-results-link-building-and-keyword-ranking/~~~~~

"Ok! I want my Complete Internet Marketing Plan!"@@@@@@Call me at 1-800-332-7601. I'll get a personalized order form right out to you. After that, I can usually schedule our first call within a week or so. You will begin to see immediate results within 3 to 4 weeks of ordering. As always, you get a Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: You like my work or I fix it to your satisfaction, or you don't pay! Give me a holler or drop me a line! Rob Snell, Managing Partner, Snell Brothers Web Development email rob@ystore.com Call 1-800-332-7601 / 1-662-320-9196 662-320-4000 COPY COW / 662-324-5246 home P.S. My personal goal is for any project to pay for itself within 3-6 months. Over half of my projects now are for previous clients. I'm completely confident you'll be more than delighted with the results! Feel free to contact anyone in my portfolio, and I can give you a happy clients reference list for marketing research, design, maintenance, support, or illustration projects! MARKETING CLIENTS: Several of the folks I've done marketing work for the past 3 or more years don't want to be listed in my portfolio or as a reference in general marketing materials because they don't want anyone to know what they are selling, but if I ask, they'd probably talk with you. Stuart Bazley at Ebodylogic.com is great. He'll tell you stuff I wouldn't tell you. He's the guy who says "don't tell me what you have to do to the chicken, just keep the voodoo working" to keep the sales and traffic coming. He'll also admit to you how the only thing he's selling these days is stuff I helped him market with a spin-off site which is what I told him last Fall. Visit Stuart . Stuart'll tell you how I translate a lot of stuff I do into "English" for civilians. We've done design, marketing, and merchandising research for new property development. Also, contact Tom at http://chair-mats.com . He's a little busy with orders right now, but he said he'd be happy to give a reference! Remember! As always, you get my Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: You like my work or I fix it to your satisfaction, or you don't pay! Call me! 1-800-332-7601. ~~~~~

"Okay, then how do I get more traffic, NOW?"@@@@@@Hire me! I'll show you. I'll even do it FOR you. Our stores have sold MILLIONS of dollars of products through Yahoo! Store. You also get my 15 years worth of "bricks and mortar" retailing, marketing, and small business owner's experience. You get a proven road map to building your site's traffic, and a list of elements you can use to jump-start your traffic. I'll even do the marketing leg work FOR you.~~~~~

"Rob Snell's Wacky Canonical Test"@@@@@@http://www.robsnell.com/canonical-test.html?s=affid&id=8562471&count=9561759&hello=paddock~~~~~

"Why a new site rather than drive traffic to my existing site?"@@@@@@The primary reason? Accountability. You'll be able to look at your traffic stats on your new site and see exactly what is working or not working. Does your Yahoo! Business Express listing pull traffic? Does it convert into sales? Does your Looksmart listing pull folks from MSN? On what keywords do THEY spend the most? Are your GOTO Overture folks converting better on the new landing pages? Do they call the new 800#? What about email addresses collected on the new site? Does marketing to them drive sales? It is SO much easier to see results from a new marketing project when that project stands alone from your existing site. It's also easier to build a new site from scratch than it is to "fix" a site that's been around for a while, and we're not messing with anyone else's baby or design project. After the initial project is completed, you'll have several directory listings, be well-positioned for the right keyword phrases in the most important search engines and directories, and have more traffic than you can shake a stick at. (Orders? Sales? A lot of that is up to you, i.e. quality of your offering, brand names you carry, pricing strategies, etc., but I can help with conversion as well!)~~~~~

$1,000,000 Stores@@@@@@~~~~~

(1) You pick products and make a spreadsheet to be used as the skeleton.@@@@@@Using Excel '97 or any other spreadsheet, build the skeleton. Include fields named: section, item name, item code, description, suggested retail price, selling price, and sizes.~~~~~

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...@@@@@@READ THIS FIRST: [FREE PDF DOWNLOAD] Rob Snell's Yahoo Store Design & Consulting -- Opportunity Vision then call me at 1-800-332-7601. My assistant will set up an appointment for you, usually in a day or so. Then I�ll surf on over to your site and give you a FREE Store Analysis with "10 Things You Can Do To Make More With Your Yahoo Store!" Save time. Make more money. I fix Yahoo! Stores for a living. When I'm not working on your store, I'm working on my family's stores. There are many things you can do to fix improve your store. Our company-owned Yahoo! stores AND client sites have generated many millions of dollars in sales for independent retailers over the past 5 years, so we know what works (and what doesn't!). What can Rob Snell & http://Ystore.com do for me? You benefit from my Yahoo! Store experience because we've been using the software since 1997, even before it was called Yahoo! Store. We also own and maintain our own Yahoo! Stores, so we're aware of the unique needs of the independent Yahoo! Store retailer. You will also profit from my extensive retail & marketing experience. In addition to Snell Brothers Web Development , we also own COPY COW a copy shop we opened in 1996. We just sold our fifth GUN DOG COMICS , the retail pop-culture company we started in 1988 as college students. The company who bought our Starkville store also bought all of our hobby-related Yahoo! Stores. Your bottom line is #1. I understand that the most important thing about your web store is making it easier for your internet customers to shop, so you make more money. You have things you want your store to do, but you're not quite sure how to pull it off within the confines of the Yahoo! Store software. We can implement YOUR ideas on your Yahoo! Store. You can request a Ystore Deep Site Analysis to look at your statistics and traffic flow . You'll see areas in your store where we can focus to make the most impact on your bottom line. You need a professional look. We do graphics. Get a whole new look from the ground up. We'll create your company logo and a look to �brand� your entire site with colors and fonts. We can also convert your existing logos & graphics to a web friendly format. You can have us scan your catalogs or photos as well as convert images from manufacturers� and distributors� cd-roms into Yahoo! Store product graphics. -- Rob Snell, http://ystore.com email: rob@ystore.com P.S. Let me help you get the most out of your Yahoo! Store. By looking at your unique situation through the eyes of fellow business owner rather than just a web designer or marketer, I can help you improve your business by helping you make more money and by saving you time . ~~~~~

051403 ARTICLE -- Finding the keywords that generate traffic that convert into sales in your Yahoo Store@@@@@@STARKVILLE -- May 14, 2003 Copy of an email I sent to Andrew Goodman of Page-Zero fame. Met him in Dallas at the 2002 Search Engine Strategies meeting. Listen to what he says. So after figuring I've tightened up my stores conversion rate as much as possible, I start looking for which keyword phrases convert better. Yahoo! Store will let me see REFERENCES for sales and traffic by search engine for the past 6 months, and I've gotten as many as 25,000 or so unique words and phrases from exporting them, but I can export SALES from the dawn of time (Viaweb ~1997 B.C.) and the ORDERS.CSV has a field that stores the CONVERTING KEYWORD. Some 40% of my orders have a keyword phrase that matches up. This is G-O-L-D! I export 6 years of orders. This is painfully S-L-O-W. Yahoo Store allows exporting 3000 orders at a time. Then I merge all the CSVs. Then I consolidate them into a list of unique words with sneaky Excel tricks. Two hours later I pull a report on CONVERTING KEYWORDS which gives me a list of 3500 unique phrases *AND* how many orders / how many dollars they've generated. The best prize is the #1 top phrase has generated $50,000.00 in sales since we launched this particular site. WARNING: There's some chaff in there. I have to delete some 500+/- junk phrases. I see about 5-10% of the referrer info just being plain wrong. I think it has to do with folks having multiple windows open. How I make money with this info? That's when I started buying Google Adwords and started looking for my copy of your Google Adwords book . By the way, GAW! (Google Adwords) converts well on the WEIRDEST of phrases. I have this one phrase that has NO traffic (almost), but when they type it in, they buy something. It's a butchered version of a [confidential] phrase. It's converted mostly on AOL and some on DEALTIME (which my Keywordmax.com software tells me!) but I would NEVER have these sales without your methodology . Google Adwords is easier when I make 5 or 6 KEYWORD BUCKETS. Then I break out the expensive words like you say so I can REALLY tweak those ads. Got a 10% conversion rate on my $50K BUCKET. My MAX bid is $1.00, but I'm getting a hell of a discount. 71-cents is my average bid. BTW - I've tested a similar ad in the #3 position with another GAW account. I was averaging 2.1% clickthrough on the same bucket with almost the identical set of keywords. (Wonder how much fraud I'm suffering in the #1 position?) I log into yet ANOTHER GAW! account and see that ~$2.23 is the recommended MAX on the same keyword for the #1. I'm getting it for 71-cents thanks to Andrew Goodman. Hee hee! How's zem apples? I'll run some more numbers to get a better ROI figure. My tracking software is still confusing to me! Rob Snell ~~~~~

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2007.11 Pimpin' Your Products: Rob Snells PubCon 2007 Presentation@@@@@@http://ystoreblog.com/blog/2008/01/pimpin-your-products-rob-snells-pubcon-07-presentation/~~~~~

2008.06 Chicago 2008 Internet Retailer Presentation -- Pimp Your Products, Sell More Stuff@@@@@@ Rob Snell: How are you all doing? My name is Rob Snell. I am from Mississippi. In 1997 we launched our business on the Yahoo store platform back when it was via Web. The properties that we have on the web will do over 10 million dollars this year in multiple categories. Today I am going to talk about our family business. All right. A couple of years ago, I took all the experiences that I have had over the past 15 years or so and wrote up this book. It is available on Amazon. I make a dollar if you buy one, so I would appreciate it. Actually, we are going to be giving away some copies for folks who ask questions? Is that right? OK. We have a couple of copies. Today I am going to be talking specifically about our dog supply business that my parents started back in 1972 on their dining room table. We started out as a catalogue business using mail order catalogues marketed through advertising and specialty magazines. This was way back in the 70's. I remember putting these catalogues together. That was just one of my dreaded memories of childhood is every year we would have to fold the catalogues, fold the catalogues, and sort the catalogues. It was just a nightmare. I figured one day I will get out of this. One day I will be able to do something on my own. In 1985 I thought I got out. I was playing in a rock and roll band with my little brother. We were also selling comic books. We were both working the mullets there. We grew Gun Dog comics, our comic book stores, to five locations across rural Mississippi and we thought we were going to get rich selling funny books until Pet Smart opened up across the street from my parents business. It was probably 15 years later. By this time, my parents business had grown. They were really successful. But we had heard these horror stories of Pet Smart coming into a market and just totally decimating the local retailers. My mom was like "We have got to do something. We are getting back in the catalogue business again. By that time they had actually gone to a brick and mortar store selling more dog food than hunting dog stuff. So we went back, we developed the catalogue, and we launched the catalogue, mailed it to our entire list and we only got $5,000 in sales. My mom was freaking out. This was 1996. She was like "What are we going to do? We are going to go out of business." Growing up poor, that is one of your greatest fears. Joe and I talk about this a lot. It is like "I will never be poor again. I know how that feels." There is nothing like when a big company is threatening your livelihood or your parent's livelihood. Sometimes you can fight. Sometimes you can run. You can lick your wounds. We just decided to get out of competing directly with the big box retailers and just went on and mama said "Get us online." So one of the first things I did was I built a website and I wrote a Yahoo directory listing. We started getting a lot of traffic because we were the only person on the Internet who had the manufacturer's name in our Yahoo directory listing. At that time, Yahoo was the major source of search engine traffic. People thought we were the manufacturer. There was a company that would not sell to my Dad in 1980 because we weren't big enough. Here we are the only people on the entire web in 1997 who would come up when people did searches for this. We have rocketed to number one or number two or three retailers for this manufacturer now. So they listen to us a little bit now. We were getting so many catalogue requests from our non-Yahoo store, this was more like a brochure website, and my dad said "You either have to figure out a way to put our products online or shut the website down, because we cannot afford to send these catalogues out because the catalogues didn't convert." That is when my little brother found Via Web, which got bought by Yahoo, what, in 98? We put our products online. Fortunately we had all that information from our catalogue, so it was real easy for us to copy and paste into the Yahoo store format. I didn't know anything about HTML. I had tried for a month before to try and figure out a shopping cart. I am not a programmer. I don't know anything about CGI. I am a retailer. I know about retail. About five years ago, my dad passed away. He was an expert on training dogs, but he did not want to position himself as an expert. He was really humble. He knew more about dogs than anyone I know, but he did not want to say "I am an expert. Listen to me." I really think that was a mistake. We made one change when my brother became president of the company which immediately increased our conversation rate 20%. We hired a spokes model and we stuck him on the website. That is my baby brother spokes model and that is Ian [sp], his best bird dog. Sales and conversions went up 20% immediately by taking an editorial position. What I am going to do for the rest of my presentation is kind of walk you through some of the things that we have done; actual tactical things. Normally, I have got a two day seminar. So I have got 16 hours worth of information I am going to try to cram into the next 120 seconds. Not really. This is a sample page off of Gundogsupply.com, one of our dog supply sites. We sell all kinds of things. We have got some revenue share deals with retailers where we do the marketing; the same things we have done for the dog supply side of the business for other retailers. What we do is we take Steve's experience in the field from when he is working the dogs and we try to translate that to the web. I will take him out in the field and we will take a tape recorder and he will explain to me when we are in the truck driving back to the warehouse what he did and why he did that and why this product is good. Sometimes I have just got to lock him in the room and I won't let him out to pee until he finishes his content for the day. [laughter] This is how to pimp your products in 60 seconds. I may run over. One of the first things I noticed about Yahoo store is that in that order confirmation emailHow many people out there have Yahoo stores? OK, cool. One of the things Yahoo store does that I haven't seen any other shopping cart do is that when you get the order confirmation as the merchant, it actually says what the refer or the revshare URLIt tells you what the converting keyword is. How many people out there know what keywords are? OK, good. We are advanced here. Thank God. One of the first things that I noticed is that when I optimized my website for the words that converted, my sales went up. I know that sounds kind of incestuous. A lot of people say "Gosh, if you are already ranking well for those keywords, why optimize for them?" Well, the secret is you don't really rank as well as you think you do across all the different engines and all the different platforms. What I did is I would take a converting keyword and I would make sure that those words existed on my site. How many folks out there are buying pay per click ads on Google or Yahoo? All right, the rest of you all need to step up. With my new stores, like half of my revenue is coming from pay per click right now. When you buy broad match advertisingLike if I bought an ad on the keyword phrase "dog collars". If somebody searched for orange dog collars, my ad would show. The person clicks on my ad, the go to my site, and hopefully they convert. I now have a converting keyword called orange dog collars. I need to make sure that the words orange dog collars are on my site. Joe, this kind of applies in your situation. If the words are in like a drop down menu, or they have to type it in a field to customize a page, you are not going to rank for your keywords. So we actually made a page. I am number one on Google right now. If anybody has got internet access you can go check it for orange dog collars, only because I made a special landing page and actually wrote some content up about orange dog collars. This information is coming from index tools. I have been using index tools for over four years. How many folks out there are using analytics at all? All right, how many folks are using Google analytics? All right. Google analytics is really good and it is free, which is awesome, but you get what you pay for. Google analytics does not allow you to do segmenting of lists. You have to do all these different profiles or all these different work arounds and hacks. It is beautiful. The interface is awesome. But the thing is, it is a two dimensional analytic tool. It is not three dimensional. You can't do ad hoc reports. You can't drill in if you don't set up a profile the right way. I went to a Google analytics class about six months ago which sold me on index tools. I was about to shut off index tools. All this information came out of my index tools report. I got 200,000 keywords. 14,000 of those were converting keywords. I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that every single one of those words is on my page because of this methodology I have got of finding a converting keyword and making sure that I have got a page on my site that is optimized for those keywords. If I don't, I add it to a project page. If it makes sense to actually create a piece of content, I create that piece of content. I then go out and buy the same exact phrase on Google Adwords and on Yahoo search marketing. One of the biggest mistakes I see retailers make is copying and pasting from the manufacturers product descriptions. This drives me insane. You are an idiot if you are just doing this on your site. If you have a data feed from a manufacturer and you are just using their product description and their product captions, Google is going to take the page with the highest page rank and they are going to rank that page. You are in the back of the bus. You are in the data warehouse at the very bottom of the pile. You are not going to get search traffic for this. This is an example of a product we sell. This is the manufacturer's description. I took the first sentence, and I want to see how many people are actually using this as the description on their website. So I did a search on Google, and I don't know if you guys can read the slide from way back there, but I found over 1,300 retailers using the exact same description. These guys are morons. I love it. It makes it really easy for me to rank better than these guys do. Hang on. Let's go back. I don't know. Do you guys see gundog supply up in there? Nope, because I am not using that description. All right. Not only do we rank well because we actually rewrite product descriptions, but we also write editorial content. This is what I was talking about earlier. My dad did not want to offend manufacturers by telling people there are ten different products that could fit your needs but this one is good, this one kind of sucks, this one is not so good, if you are cheap buy this one. The second we started doing that, our conversions immediately jumped 20%. On the sales graph you can actually see it. We write tons of reviews of products. One of the good things is that the manufacturers that you kind of endorse, they kind of like it. So they get their PR folks to call you and they set up interviews. We got featured in the New York Times back a while ago. If you know me, I am obsessed with links. Well fortunately, we got a link from the New York Times. And if you will notice in there at the bottom of that paragraph you will see Bass Pro Shops and Cabella's, billion dollar companies, they didn't get a link. We did. One of the other things is if you are using the exact same manufacturer photography on your products, you are going to look like every single store out there with those 1,300 other guys who are just copying and pasting from the manufacturers. What we do is we actually shoot our own product photography now. I got a fancy camera and I got me a little white box where I can put my products in there. What we do is we actually take the manufacturer's information and we kind of make it our own. So this is another way that you can get content. Once you have rewritten your captions, you can actually mime the manufacturer's content and they have got content all over the place. On the box, you will see over here it looks like they have got bullet points. That information, we will type that up. That is an in store product display. We don't have a store, but we got it so we can get those cards, scan the information, and actually put it on the website. We take the PDF's that the manufacturers give us and we take that information and put that on the website. We also rewrite it. I am not saying steal anybody's copy. You don't want to violate anybody's copy write, but it is easier to get forgiveness than permission, so do what you will with that. Yahoo does not endorse copy write violation. OK. Is that enough? The lawyers are shocking me with a shock collar right now. This is one of the Garmin mini sites that they have for this new product that came out last year. This is a flash website. As an e-commerce guy, I hate flash. OK? Search engines hate flash. If search engines hate it, I hate it. There is a ton of content in this website. So we basically stole all of the content out of this website. We went in and typed up all the text. We did screen shots. I mean half the content of my Garmin site is from the content that is in this Flash that Google cannot get to. We put it on our site in wonderful Yahoo store search engine friendly HTML. And these here are some examples. Pimping ain't easy, but you want to present yourself as an expert. You want to express your opinions about what you sell. You want to tell people what to buy and you want to provide more info than anybody else. I am a big believer that if you tell people what to buy but give them enough information to where they can make their own decision, if they don't necessarily agree with you, you kind of win both ways. I spoke at Search Engine Strategies a couple of years ago on a panel called Pimp My Site. For some reason I am turning into the Yahoo store pimp and I am shameless. I would be wearing a big pimp hat if I could fit it in my suitcase. I have got two days worth of information and most of this stuff that I talk about is at least touched upon in my book. I have got a lot of friends in the search engine optimization community who give me a hard time because they say over dinner I will give away over $5,000 worth of free SEO consulting; what they would charge a Fortune 500 client $5,000 for. I just like to share information with people because a lot of people helped us get to where we are today, and I feel like it my responsibility to share that information with the little guys so the little guys can whoop up on the big guys. Thank you all. [applause] ~~~~~

2008.06 Rob Snell Congressional Testimony, Press, Links, Documentation, Etc.@@@@@@~~~~~

2008.12 Yahoo! Web Analytics tips from Rob Snell and the Yahoo! Store Power Hour@@@@@@http://ystoreblog.com/blog/2008/12/yahoo-web-analytics-tips-from-rob-snell-and-the-yahoo-store-power-hour/~~~~~

2009 Icelandic Trade Council Keynote by Rob Snell@@@@@@Scroll down to Read Transcription | View Slides | iceland.mp3 [00:56:32] Pics from nordicemarketing | Pics from ROBSNELL | Coverage BACKSTORY: About a month ago, I got an email from a friend of mine saying "the Icelandic Trade Council develop an event to help motivate the locals that ecommerce is a good thing and was looking for someone (not a big company) who has done ecommerce successfully so I immediately thought of you." There is an event on the 1st of December (Iceland's independence day) held by the Trade Council of Iceland. This time we need to motivate a nation that just lost all of their banks and what is better than the Internet? I wrote back: Man, I can identify with folks in your situation. In 1979, I was 11, and my family lost everything we owned when the Pearl River put six feet of water in our house. We didn't have flood insurance. Earlier that year my parents had committed full-time to their dog supplies mail order business and most of their inventory was lost in the flood. Fast forward to 1997. My parents had slowly rebuilt their business, and were finally making a good living selling dog supplies through their retail storefront when disaster struck again. Petsmart, a big box / category killer retailer opened a new store right down the street. Overnight their business was cut in half. Long story, short, Mom said get us on the Internet. We found Viaweb, an online shopping cart builder (which is now Yahoo! Store) and relaunched their mail order catalog business. Within the first six months, we realized that the WWW was the future for us, and within 4 years we sold the retail store to concentrate on e-commerce which is now 20x the volume their retail store was doing... These days, I enjoy helping other small business folks more than selling dog supplies, so I spend half my time on family stuff and the other half writing, speaking and consulting on small business e-commerce. Scroll down to read transcription Man 1:  Rob, I have just briefly introduced you to the Icelandic audience.  Maybe the only word you understood was Yahoo! Stores.  But anyway, the floor is yours.  Welcome.   [applause]   Rob:  Howdy.  How ya'll doing?  My name is Rob Snell and I am from Starkville, Mississippi.  And I am going to talk today about how e-commerce saved our family business.    How E-commerce Saved Our Family Business Rob Snell, Co-owner Gun Dog Supply [email_address] I understand you guys have had a hard year, had a little trouble with some bankers or something like that.  I understand where you are coming from.  Today I am going to talk about how our company business has survived two catastrophes, two extinction level events that should have put us out of business, but it didn't.  And I am actually going to go through how we got online and how we grew our company, and I am going to tell you how you can take advantage of some of the opportunities that are available on the Internet.    Homepage Gun Dog Supply is our family's company.  We sell training supplies for hunting dogs.  I grew up in the business, and'   Rob, Steve, and their mullets   Who is that good looking guy over there on the left?  It is me and my baby brother Steve, and we started our own company, Gun Dog Comics, or Snell Brothers as it is now known, back when we were college students at Mississippi State selling comic books and baseball cards doing anything trying to get out of the dog food business.    Cow   In 1996, we opened up a copy shop.  I don't know if ya'll have Kinko's here or not, but the Kinko's in our town closed, and within two weeks we were able to open up a copy shop.    Yahoo Store   But then in 1997, I got into e-commerce and started doing e-commerce consulting once I launched our family's business online.  And I have a weird relationship with Yahoo.  I am an unofficial evangelist for Yahoo! Store, which is a very, very small part of Yahoo.  I have been building stores and talking to store owners.  There are about 45,000 Yahoo! Store owners and they are my best friends.   Yahoo Store for Dummies   In 2006, my book came out, which is 'Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies', which should be called 'Starting a Yahoo! Store for Dummies.  I don't believe it has been translated yet, but Christian is working on it.  And hopefully, by the end of the week he will have it for me.    Speaker: PUBCON / SES / SMX / IRCE / Y!Summit   I speak a lot about e-commerce and small business at search marketing conferences and small business conferences.    2008 Congress   And last year, I had the honor of testifying in front of the United States Congress on behalf of small business folks.  I wasn't in the hot seat or anything like I was going to prison or anything.    How E-commerce Saved Our Family Business   But today, I am going to talk about our family business and how e-commerce literally saved the family farm.    Homepage   Gun Dog Supply is our online business.  We sell training supplies for hunting dogs.   Steve & Roxie   Here is my brother Steve with Roxie out in the field.  This is our typical customer.  Most of our customers are hunters.  They have a birddog or a retriever.   Pictures   This is Click, one of Steve's birddogs.  Steve has got 13 dogs.  And if you notice on his neck, there are two products.  There is a $5 collar at the bottom of his neck, and then there is a beeper collar at the top of his neck which is a $100 collar.  That is kind of like keeping up with your birddog.   Warner & Anne Snell   My parents started Gun Dog Supply back in 1972 on their kitchen table.  My dad is a hunter.  My brother got the hunting genes.  I got the marketing genes.  I don't understand all this hunting stuff.  But he ordered a bunch of dog supplies back in 1972 from a mail order company, and he got back a bunch of junk.  And he said, 'I can do better than this.'  He had been working for the government, and he wanted to own his own company, so he started making his own dog supplies.   Catalog   So he started making collars, and leads, and leashes to sell them.    Classified Ads   And instead of just selling them where he was, he actually started buying these tiny little bitty ads in specialty hunting dog publications.  And we still do today.  That is why the website is in there.    Old Catalog   And people would call over the phone, or they would order over the mail, or we would send them a catalogue.  Here is American Field.  This magazine has a circulation of 5,000 copies, so this is a pretty small niche, these types of places.  And then later on, we expanded our product line and sort of carried more stuff, and we had a mail order catalog.  I mean this is back in the '70s.   1972 Family Business > Mail Order   You can tell we were pretty high tech.  We are hand addressing our labels here.  I don't know if ya'll do that in Iceland or not.  The funny thing is this is actually my brother's mother-in-law.  Little did he know that he would be marrying her daughter in about 20 years.  It is a small world in Mississippi, too.    Dog on the Floor   And back in 1979, my parents decided the business was growing, and they were selling some stuff, and they really liked being self-employed.  And they said, 'Well hey, let's quit our jobs and let's go full time.'  And I don't know how many people out here actually own there own business, but I mean it is a really scary thing to make that leap.  And they did and they started up.   Friday the 13 th , April 1979   And then we had something happen; the first catastrophe.  On Friday the 13 th , April 1979, the Pearl River flooded.   Flood House Pic   We had six feet of water in our house.  This is about six months after my parents decided to start their business.   Outside of House   We lost everything.  We didn't have flood insurance because we didn't know we lived in a flood zone.  We lost cars, we lost furniture, clothes.  We basically got out with the clothes on our back.  My uncle actually came up to my house in a boat at two o'clock in the morning to take me and my little brother to safety.   Inventory   The other thing is we lost our entire inventory.  We had all of our dog supplies inside the garage and it was all gone.  And you guys know.  It is hard enough to start a company when things are good.  But when things are bad, I mean we are starting in the hole.   WC   And here is my dad after the flood.  I do want to say, that dog saved his life.  Him spending time, training that dog, working with that dog, that shows how important that bond is that our customers have with their dogs.    Another thing is that I understand when you say the economy is bad, because back then, this is 1979, 1980.  I was only 11 years old, but even then I knew that the economy was bad.  They had 20% interest rates.  I mean people weren't loaning money.  Money was tight.    And then to add insult to injury, my dad's banker had a heart attack and died.  And the new hotshot young banker showed up and he looked at us and he said, 'You are a poor credit risk,' and he called the note.  And we literally lost our family farm.   Dog Store   So here we are starting our company out in the first year.  I mean it is difficult.  But we made it.  We worked hard.  This is Gun Dog Supply's retail location.  When we had the catalog business, we noticed that a lot of folks in Mississippi actually wanted to come and shop at a store and not order through the catalog.    Dog Food And so, we got a retail location and we started selling premium dog food in our retail store because all of our customers had dogs, right?  But you couldn't get this stuff anywhere.  I mean you could get it at a vet, but we were one of the only places that you could get it.   Collars and Leads, and Leashes and Bells   And we sold collars and leads and leashes and bells.  And we used to sell stuff to hunting dogs.  But now, more of our customers look like this dog.    Look Like This Dog   This is Marco.  Marco is not a hunting dog.  Marco is a foo-foo dog, is what my dad used to call him.  He hated talking to these little old ladies with their foo-foo dogs.    Dog Store   So we changed the name of our company to the Dog Store to reflect our current customer base.  And we still have that little bitty Gun Dog Supply at the top.    Graph  And my parents had built a pretty good little business.  I mean look at this.  From 1989 to 1996, this graph shows the monthly sales.  And my parents worked hard for 15 years.  And here we are in 1996.  They sent us to college.  I mean, you know.  They weren't getting rich by any stretch of the imagination, but they were doing all right.  Uh-oh.  Here is another one of these date slides again.  That is not good.   March 20 th , 1996   March 20 th , 1996.  I don't know if you guys have the same problem over here in Iceland, but back in the United States we have this trend in retail that has been going on for the past 20 years.  In retail, these huge companies come into a town.  They open up these huge big box category killer stores, and they put little guys out of business.  And it is not just Wal-Mart.  I mean it is pretty much in every single category.  And in the pet's category, it is Pet Smart.   Pet Smart   And Pet Smart announced that they were opening up literally across the street from the Dog Store.    Customers  All right.  This is Jackson, Mississippi in the Southeastern United States for those of you who are geographically challenged.  Ya'll probably never heard of Jackson Mississippi.  But this is where our customers were, in Jackson, Mississippi.  And so, our showroom used to be a warehouse and we moved up the street to, actually, a pretty decent location here, and we were doing fine.  But then Pet Smart comes in, and guess where they open up.  In a high traffic, more convenient, more visible location, and you can imagine what happened. 1989-March 1997: Dog Store Here is a graph that shows our sales 12 months after Pet Smart opened.  And look, we didn't just roll over.  A lot of our competitors in the market just gave up.  They folded up their tents.  They went home.  They said, 'We cannot compete with this company.  They have too much money.  They are going to kill us.'  So 50% of our competitors immediately disappeared.    And we said, 'Look.  We are not going to just let them have it.  We are not going to give up the business.'  We got aggressive with our marketing.  We started a loyalty program.  We lowered our prices.  We extended our hours.  Anything we could do to fight these guys.  This was war to us.   B&W Catalog: Plan B\   And at the same time, we wanted to have a plan B, because we knew that we were fighting a losing battle.  And plan B for us was to reboot the catalog; to go back to our roots, to focus on the niche that got us in business in the first place, which is selling dog supplies.  And man, we got into the catalog business way back in '72.  Things had changed.  We had desktop publishing.  It was a lot cheaper to make something.  It was a lot cheaper to print stuff.  Postage costs were still really high.   Catalog 2   But we spent hundreds of hours on this catalog.  I mean this catalog is a small little dinky catalog.  It is maybe 40 pages.  But one of the things that we did that our competitors didn't do is we actually wrote a ton of information about the products that we sell.  And we sold training supplies, tracking supplies for hunting dogs.   So we send out 5,000 of these catalogs to the folks who are on our mailing list, and we are really excited, because we worked for three months knocking this thing out.  And what happened?  Nothing.    So we are all sitting around the dinner table, and what the hell are we going to do now?  I guess we can all go get jobs.  My mom was watching TV and she kept seeing this commercial over and over and over again for AT&T's e-commerce platform.   AT&T   And this lady got obsessed with the Internet.  I mean this is 1996, 1997.  You wouldn't expect your mom who is 60 years old to be, 'We got to get on the Internet!'  I was like, 'Mom, the Internet is just about porn!'    [laughter]   And she is like, 'Maybe we need to get into that.  But we gotta get on the Internet.'   [laughter]   And I mean she would not let it go.  I was like, 'Come on woman.'  So just to get her to be leaving me alone'I mean I had my own company at this point.  We had five retail stores selling comic books.  I was working the mullet.  Ya'll saw that a little while ago.  I was playing in a rock band.  I had a life.  It was a good life with a good mullet, you know?    I didn't know anything about Internet marketing, about how to build HTML webpages, about secure servers, about shopping carts, about programming.  I mean I went to graphic design school so I could be a cartoonist and not have to think about this kind of stuff.  But mom was like, 'Look.  We are in trouble.  The family needs it.  You are smart.  Figure it out.  Get online now!'  And if ya'll knew my momma, you would understand.  When she gets her mind made up, it is going to happen!   April 1997:  www.gundogsupply.com   So we built a little bitty website.  I went and got a domain, April 1997.  I mean I am embarrassed.  We didn't even save the website.  I kinda had to rebuild it using some old images up in Photoshop.  Because you know, you don't archive every single thing you do, and I didn't realize anything was going to happen.    But I mean it was like the typical brochure website.  And this goes to a point that somebody made, I think in Icelandic.  My Icelandic is not as good as it use to be.  But I think somebody said, 'Just building a website isn't enough.'  And that is true.  This is a terrible website.    Letter from the Snells  We had an 'about us' and a letter from the Snells.  Like you want to read a letter from the Snells written to everybody about how great we are.    GDS Products and Services   We had a list of the products and services that we sold.   FREE CATALOG Request Form   And the only actionable item on the site was a free catalog request form.  Ya'll remember that catalog, the one that didn't work?   Yahoo was the Google of 1997   So I spent all this time working on this website.  And I am a glory hound.  I like getting credit for what I do.  And I wanted people to come see my work, because I was so proud of this website that I had built.   And so, I said all right.  Just building it isn't good enough.  If you build it, they will come?  That is crap.  That is not going to happen.  You have to drive traffic to your website.  And back in 1997, Yahoo was where the traffic came from.  Yahoo was the Google of 1997.  And right in the Yahoo directory listing was the secret to getting traffic.    So I did my homework.  I did my research.  I learned what I had to do and I wrote a great Yahoo directory listing.  And this is the Yahoo Directory listing that to this day actually still exists.  And it was awesome.  We got tons of catalog requests; hundreds of them.  My dad was freaking out.    Directory   He is like, 'I am not sending hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of people catalogs that lose money for us.  Get the store online.  Put the catalog on the web or shut down the website.'  And after all this work, you know?    Online Store Builder   My brother found ViaWeb, which is now Yahoo Store.  Yahoo bought them about a year after we got online.  And they had an online store builder.  And this was the answer to my prayers, because I had been playing around with a shopping cart, and a CGI bin, and secure server stuff, and I don't understand a lot of propeller head stuff.  And this was one of the first online web apps.  I mean Paul Graham, the guy who created this, got $50 million from Yahoo back in 1998.  I mean they got a bargain.    Build the Store in your Browser     It is an online store builder.  I mean you build the store in your browser.  You know, like using forms, clicking around.  This is way back in the dialup days-14.4 modem.  I am with you.  I feel ya.  And uploading these huge pictures.    But we had all this content from the catalogue.  Remember that 90 days in hell with my dad writing all these catalog descriptions and laying that sucker out?  You know, you upload a picture you type in the name, you hit update, and boom.  You have a product page.   Built-in Shopping Cart   It had a built-in shopping cart.  I didn't have to do any of that propeller head stuff; no heavy lifting on my part.  Yahoo is going to take care of all that.    Secure Checkout  It had a secure checkout.  I didn't have to deal with security certificates or virus protection and that kind of stuff, hackers.  I didn't have to deal with that.  Yahoo took care of that.    Back End: Order Manager   And on the backend, it had an order manager.  It had all the bells and whistles.  And this is back in 1997.  I mean this was awesome.  And one of the main points I want you guys to get form this is that they have already invented it.  You don't have to go and redesign something from scratch.  There is somebody out there who has a product, a service, that allows you to get online doing whatever you do.  And I know all of you aren't retailers, but doing whatever you want to do online, there is a way for you to do it without having to pay $100,000 to build out a website.    Now you have an online store   But you do this, and now you have an online store.  And this is the homepage, the way it looks today.  I guarantee you it didn't look like that in 1997.   May-Dec '97 Visitors   And we already had traffic coming form our Yahoo directory listing.  Remember that?  I wrote a great Yahoo directory listing.  We were getting hundreds of catalog requests.  My dad was freaking out.  We actually had visitors coming to our website.  Two days later we launched, there were about 100 people a day hitting the website.  That was pretty good.  We didn't have 100 people a day coming into the store.  They were all going to Pet Smart.    E-commerce makes it easy for folks to give you money   E-commerce makes it easy for folks to give you money.  This is the second point.  If you cannot take payments online, you are missing out.  If you just have a brochure website'Anything you can possibly do to allow folks to give you money online, if you can possibly do it.    June 5, 1997:  First Online Order I logged into the store, and on day three, we had our first online order, two days after our soft launch.  And you can even see on here, I didn't even charge them shipping.  Whoops!  I hadn't set that up yet.  Dummy Launcher   And this is what the guy bought.  The first thing I ever sold online was a dummy launcher.  This thing uses blanks to fire.  The gas comes out the cylinder and it shoots this dummy for the retriever to get 250 yards, because you can't throw that far for your retriever.  I have more fun doing this at this presentation, because I get to look back on all this stuff that I never have time to.  This page still exists on the Internet today.  We are still making money selling this same product for $75, just like we did 13 years ago.  This same page that I made back in 1997 is making me money right now.  I probably just got an order for one. And it beats the hell out of getting your butt kicked by Pet Smart.    May-Dec. '97 Graph: Number of Orders   And we didn't set the world on fire.  In 1997, we got online.  Here are the first six or seven months.  But it was enough to go, 'This is the future.  This is growing like a weed.  This where we gotta be.  Forget Pet Smart.  Forget selling dog food.'   May-Dec '97: Revenue $$$   And that is the first month there.  But if you look at our revenue, we did $88,000.  That is OK, but for a little project, it was something to get momma to shut up.  You know?  That is not too bad.  I love my mom.  Ya'll don't take it the wrong way.    More, please   And so, we wanted more.  How can I get more?  I got a Yahoo directory listing.   Bought Banner Ads   So the next thing that I did is I did a little bit of research.  I said, 'Well OK.  Where are my future customers hanging out so I can go introduce them to me?'  And I found a site called Working Retrieval Central that had thousands of people who were retriever enthusiasts.  Remember I was talking about how few people there are in the United States who have dogs?  Well, half of them are on this website.    And I contacted the owner, and I said, 'Hey, how much do buy some banners on your site?'  And he said, '$750 for three months.'  So I told my dad, and I thought his head was going to explode.  '$750?!?'  So I bought banner ads on my credit card and not on his.    1989-1996: Dog Store Sales   And it worked like gang busters.  We started getting orders in.  And if you go back on that graph, you can see kind of about August.  That was revenue coming from those Working Retriever Central banners.  And my dad was like, 'See!  You don't have to buy advertising to make money on the Internet!'  I was like, give me my $750 old man.    1989-1997 Dog Store   So let's recap.  1989-96 Dog Store sales.  Retail store sales to fu-fu dog people.  And then here comes Pet Smart.  Boo!  Terrible.  Making my momma cry.    Year 1: Store vs. Web   And here is Year 1.  This is where it starts to get exciting.  Year 1: Store versus the web.  And within the first six months, the web sales caught the Dog Store.  And part of that is because the Dog Store was sucking at that point.  I mean you can see Pet Smart was kicking our butts.    And one thing that somebody said at the break that I want to reiterate is this is harder than it looks.  If every single person in this room opened up an online store selling the exact same thing that we are selling or something else, 90% of ya'll would go out of business in 90 days.  It is tough.  It is very difficult.  You have to have some sort of competitive advantage.   Year 2: Store vs. Web   And we did because we focused on these dog folks.  It was a niche.  We weren't selling fu-fu dog stuff.  We weren't selling stuff for everybody.  We sere selling stuff for hunting dog folks.  Here is year 2, and you can see at this point, the web is just killing the dog store.  And Dog Store continues to slide.  You can tell where we are putting our emphasis.   Year 3: Store vs. Web   Year 3, the same thing happens.  And notice the scale of the graph keeps changing.  See that line down there at the top, that dotted blue line?  That is the best the Dog Store ever did, which was just a little bit over $65,000 in a month.  At this point, we were like, 'I love this Internet.  Let's get into it.'    But that was 1997   But that was in 1997.  I mean just showing up was half the battle.    Cashing in on Search Engines   And so, what I am going to talk about now is how we got from 1997 to 2003.  I am talking about cashing in on search engines.    When customers are looking to buy what you sell, show up.   This is the most important thing I am going to say all day and probably in my entire career.  So if I could stand up here and just say this over and over again and ya'll wouldn't leave, I would probably do it.    When customers are looking to buy what you sell, you need to show up.  You need to sell it to them.  When customers are looking to buy what you sell, your store, your site needs to show up in the search engines.  And if that means you get in the organic natural free results and you get free traffic, that is great.  And that means if you have got to buy an ad to get to them, that is great, too.  And if you have got to do both, that is fine.   Search engines Google graph here   Well what search engines are important? Well you guys know this.  It is Google.  And I think it is the same over here as it is back in Mississippi.  I mean we have got a little Bing and a little Yahoo, but 75% of my traffic is coming from Google.   Keywords (the key to search engines)   The key to search engines is keywords.  And boy, I am obsessed with keywords.  My friends tell me to shut up.  I keep talking about keywords.  Oh, I love keywords.  I will show you why in a minute.    Orange Dog Collar   When somebody does a search on Google for 'orange dog collar', the search engine results page appears.  I know you have all seen this before.  One thing I did notice in Iceland is that ya'll don't have a bunch of ads.  There are tons of opportunities out there.  In Mississippi, this whole thing is full up of ads.  But when I do searches in Iceland, it is like there may be one or two people advertising.  So those one or two people want me to shut the hell up right now, but the rest of ya'll go kick their butts.    Natural Search Results   On the left-hand side is the natural search results.  Some people call it organic.  They call it natural.  They call it free.  What that comes from is when Google spdyers the web, they have this huge index where they keep all their webpages, and they go and they see what your webpage is about, and they basically give you'when somebody does a query, a search, it gives you the results in descending order by the most relevant webpage.  And the way they do that is with an algorithm.  And the algorithm is causing my hair to fall out.   Google hides it.  It is a secret recipe.  They don't want everyone to know what it is so you can't just automatically do the right little dance and make your website appear.  I spend tons and tons of time thinking about search engine optimization and how to get here.   Inside the natural search results, you will also sometimes see shopping results if the keyword you are using like an e-commerce term, or image results, for those of you taking pictures of polar bears or whatever you take pictures of, and sometimes video results.    So it is like three or four separate things you gotta kind of master to show up on Google.  And if you will notice, I am not showing up in the shopping results, and I shouldn't be here talking to ya'll.  I should be back at home fixing this, because we are about to hit the busiest time of the year right now for us.  But if you will look at that last one down there, I actually have a video on Youtube that I made that is showing up. Paid Search/Sponsored Links   On the right-hand side are the paid search or the sponsored links.  And I heard a little bit about that in Icelandic.  I heard, 'Blah, blah, blah, sponsored links, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Google.'  And I think he was talking about sponsored links.  Oh, ya'll have a beautiful language.  Please don't take that the wrong way.  It makes me a little nervous that it is a room full of Vikings!  We knew about ya'll!  How I found search engines   How I found search engines.  Remember that first order I got?  Well every time I get an order, if there is a referrer, and a referrer is a place on the web somebody came before they came to your website.  If there is a referrer, it will tell you what the referrer is.  And so I had people from the Yahoo directory come in.  I had people from those banners I bought on Working Retriever Central.   Referrer Example   But then all of a sudden I started getting all this traffic from places I had never heard of.  And here is an example.  MSN.  We had traffic from Hot Bot.  We had traffic from Excite, from Infoseek.  We had traffic from this place I had never heard of called Google.  You know back in the '90s, I didn't know what this stuff was.  And when a referrer comes from a search engine, it will tell you the keyword phrase.  And I was like, 'Hmm'this is pretty cool!'    And so what I would do is go to the search engine that they came from and type that same word in and see where we came up.  I know this sounds pretty basic, but back then it was an epiphany to me.  If we were ranked higher, we would get more clicks and more traffic.  I was like, 'Man, we gotta rank higher.  That is important.'   Web Analytics Software   Well how do you keep with what your referrer is?  How do you know what your referrer is?  Web Analytics Software is how.  And most of the people in here who are propeller heads, you guys know about Google Analytics.      Google Analytics   Fortunately for us, it was baked into the Yahoo Store platform, so I didn't have to do a whole bunch to figure stuff out.  But I also run GA or Google Analytics, this web analytics software.  What it does is it tracks users.  You guys have probably heard of cookies.  You go to a website or you go to a page and it keeps up with where individual people go.  But then overall, you can kind of see these trends.  You can see how your traffic is going day to do.  You can see where it is coming from.  You can see specific sources and what keywords folks are using.   Where Traffic Comes From   See that right there?  73%.  That is why I love search engines.  And I ain't paying for more than maybe 10% of that.  73% of my traffic is free.    What Pages Customers Visit   This shows me what pages customers visit.  Ya'll see that orange dog collars page?  I just made that page up for some talks like this.  I got 3,500 people that have already hit that page.  That is pretty good.   What Keywords People are Searching For   Google Analytics will show you what keywords folks are searching for.  But more importantly, it will show you how much revenue they generated and how many transactions, and the average value of the transaction.  So you can tie a dollar amount to a keyword phrase.  You know what keyword phrases are more valuable.    Collect Converting Keywords   And this is how you get found when people are looking to buy what you sell.  You collect converting keywords.  And you use your web analytics to do that.    21,358 Converting Keywords   Right now in my personal collection, I have 21,358 converting keywords.  And a converting keyword is a keyword where somebody typed it into a search engine, clicked on my ad or on my result, went to my site, poked around, shopped, used the shopping cart, and gave me money at the end of the day.  They searched for this, this is what they bought.   $6,264,243.60 from Keywords   These keywords have generated over $6 million trackable revenue to the keyword level.  And this isn't for all time.  This is just for the sample that I did for this presentation.  I know what keywords generate revenue.   Examples? Gun Dog Supply/Your Company/Domain Homepage   And let's talk about some examples.  When somebody does a search online for your company and your domain name, you better come up.  That is the easiest thing to rank for.  They are looking for something like your homepage.    When somebody is doing a generic product category, they haven't made up their mind who they are going to buy from yet.  If they are looking for leather dog collars, they are probably looking for something like this.  You have got to show them what they want when they come to your webpage.    And keywords have intent.  When people are searching for something, you can tell what they are interested in, what their intentions are on your website, and you need to make sure that your pages on your site actually can meet that demand.  Because if not, they are going across the street.  They are going to buy it from me instead of from you.    Garmin GPS Specific Manufacturer   Specified manufacturer phrases like Garmin GPS, one of the manufacturers we sell.  We have a shop by manufacturer page.  A specific brand model product.  They know what they are looking for.  They are looking for a very specific product.  At this point, they have already made up their mind.  They are price shopping right here.  I hate it when people come in on product pages, because they already know what they are going to buy.  How can I stop my dog from barking? Query Question   A query question.  A lot of times, people will search for an answer to a question. 'How can I stop my dark from barking?'  Well, answer these questions on your website and you can get traffic for these phrases.    What about New Projects?   What about new projects?  What if you are sitting in this room and you don't have a website, or you are sitting in this room and you want to do something different.  What about new things where you don't have a bunch of history?   Keyword Tool   Well back in the day, you whipper-snappers, you have it so easy today.  Back in the day, we had no idea how many people were doing searches for certain keyword phrases.  There was a top 100 searches on the Internet list that I had in 1997.  And this was like the holy grail of information.  And half of the words on there were porn.  Not very helpful if you are not in the porn business.    Now there are keyword tools.  And today I am going to talk about a free keyword tool called the Google Adwords keyword tool.  Google collects all this information about people who do searches on their website, right?  They know how many times a month somebody searches for every single keywords phrase.  They also know what advertisers you guys are willing to pay for those clicks.    They make this information publicly available.  You don't even have to be an advertiser.  Go to Google, type in keyword tool, hit enter.  That first result is a keyword tool.  Just click on that.    Doghouse Heater Results   So you type in whatever keyword phrase you want to see, in this case, 'Doghouse heater,' and man, last night I think I needed one of these.  It is cold here.  If I knew it was going to be this cold, I would have brought a jacket.    When you do a search, the results show up, and this is what you are looking at.  It will show you the keywords.  It will show you the estimated average cost per click, what you are going to have to pay Google every time somebody clicks on your ad and goes to your website, and it is going to show you the competition-how many other advertisers are actually advertising on that phrase.  And I can see right here there is a nickel phrase that has less than half of the advertiser slots taken.  I need to get to work.  I am not buying that.   It will also show you the number of searches per month.  And there is a cool seasonality thing here where it shows you the highest volume occurred in what month.  So there is my search phrase.  If you notice above and below it are two different phrases where it is suggesting things to me.  It will tell you, 'Hey, here are some more ideas,' because Google wants you to buy more ads.  They are pretty smart about that.    The last thing is, if you have an Adwords account and you are using this tool, you can click on this little 'add exact' and it will add it to your Adwords account immediately.  And once you do this three or four times, you can build up this huge list of keywords that gives you a great amount of information as far as research goes.  You can see how many people are searching for stuff.  You can see what the average cost per click is.  It is fantastic.   It's not a Choice Between Quantity or Quality   And it is not a choice between high value phrases and low value phrases.  Here is an example.  And I am going to use a real example, but I am changing the keyword phrase, because I am giving a lot away, but I ain't giving it all away.    'Dog Beds' High Traffic   Dog Beds. Trust me.  It is very similar.  It is a high traffic phrase: 40,000 searches a month.  Everybody is like, 'Yeah!  I want to rank number one for dog beds!'  Well there are only 10 spots on the front page.  And who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people are actually selling dog beds?  'Dog Beds' HIGH traffic: 40,000/ 'Large Dog Beds' MEDIUM traffic: 8,000.  REVENUE PER VISITOR   So 'dog beds', a high traffic phrase.  A more specific phrase, 'large dog beds.'  This isn't the phrase that I am talking about, but the data is real and it is kinda similar in terms of comparison.    It is a medium traffic phrase with 8,000 searches a month.  The revenue per visitor that I get on my website that I know about from my analytics for 'dog beds'?  $1.  For 'large dog beds'?  $11.  Why?  I sell great big large dog beds.  They are awesome.  But anybody searching for dog beds for those fu-fu dogs, they don't want a bed that is this big.   The inventory value.  If you take the 40,000 people in the world per month searching for that and you multiply it what the value is to me, it is $40,000.  Now, if you sold fu-fu dog beds, your revenue per visitor for dog beds might be $20.    The inventory value for me for 'large dog beds' is $88,000.  And I know I am getting deep, deep, deep in the weeds here, but there are probably 15 people who will benefit, who will be able to hire some new folks and grow their businesses because of some of this detail.  And I will go back out and get macro in just a second.    Prioritize Keywords on Revenue   I want you to prioritize your keywords on revenue.  When I do keyword research, I want to look at how many visits I got for the keyword phrase, how many orders, and how much revenue it generated.    Keyword Bucket   Here is a bucket, and I overwrote the phrase with some fake words, but it is real data.  I am not giving all my secrets away.  Some keywords are more valuable than others to me.  Look at that $9,500 phrase.  I mean I got 86 orders for that.  And these are all similar keyword phrases relating to the same product.  They are manufacturer searches, they are generic searches, but they are talking about the exact same unicycle seat.    Revenue per visitor is totally different.  What this means is the average person searching for 'Wobble Unicycle Seat' spends $11 when they come to my website.  But if you go on down, you see that $29?  I mean that is almost three times as much revenue per visitor.  I want to focus on those keywords.  You see that $7 red block right there?  Something is wrong.  That tells me right there that my landing page that ranks really well for that phrase on row three, something is wrong.  That sticks out like a sore thumb to me.  I need to stop right now and go fix it.   The other thing I do is I actually compare my Google traffic with these phrases.  How do I rank on Google for these keyword phrases?  So the rank 1 column is what page of mine appears first, and rank 2 is what page of mine appears second.  And if you notice, sometimes on Google you will see indented results, two listings from the same company on the same page, you can double your Google traffic by chasing after these clustered results.  And there are about four people in here right now who get it, and you will make a lot of money off of that.  And I apologize for being so micro on that.    What do you do with all these keywords?     So what do you do with all these keywords?  You know, you collect your keywords?   Optimize for FREE traffic (for best keywords)   Well I want you to optimize and advertise.  Optimize for free traffic, for your best keywords.  You need to write content for that.  I am going to talk about that in a minute.   Advertise with PPC ads (for keywords where you make money)   Advertise with paid search ads, PPC ads, pay per click ads, for keywords where you make money with your ads.   SEO   Free traffic.  My favorite thing in the world: SEO.  My girlfriend is like, 'Please shut up about SEO.  I am so tired of hearing you talk about Search Engine Optimization.'  Everybody here, have ya'll ever heard of search engine optimization before?  Anybody?   Search engine optimization is making your website Google friendly.  That is like using text on the page, using the keywords that folks who are searching to buy what you sell will find those keywords on your page.    You want Google to be able to find your website, read your website, index and store your website, give you credit for the content that is on it, and then send you traffic because you actually have relevant webpages for whatever you sell:  Icelandic Viking helmets or whatever your store is.   Dog House Heater  Dog House Heater.  This is what you want to happen.  When you do search engine optimization, this is the purpose.  Number one out of 22,000 webpages on the Internet.  Right now my momma is number one for dog house heater, and I hope she will ship me one tonight.    How I do SEO   How I do SEO.  I am going to do this real quick.    Pick a Keyword:  Dog House Heaters   Pick keyword.  'Dog house heaters'.  The first thing I do is I pick the most relevant page.  What page on my site is a perfect page that I would show somebody?  Instead of dropping them on the homepage, give them the real page.  Well this is it. This is my section page for dog house heaters.    Put keywords in TITLE/TEXT (on most relevant page)   The first thing I do is I put the keywords I want to rank for in the title and the text of the most relevant page.  That means you need to write good page titles.  See?  Dog house heaters, heater/heaters?  That is the page title.  The second thing is put it in text on the page.  I have got the word heater on there.  When Google comes to my site, Google goes, 'Hey!  This site is about dog heaters.'  That is one of the reasons why I rank.   Put Keywords in LINK TEXT (on other pages)   The other reason is you want to put the keywords in links to the page on your site.  So if other pages on your site are pointing to the dog heaters page, you would like it in the anchor text using your keywords phrases.  And some of that stuff is pretty deep stuff you see.  Dog house heaters, dog house heaters.    Create Keyword-rich Content   This is super important.  You don't have to know anything about SEO to do this.  Create keyword-rich content.  I was talking to a travel guy a minute ago.  Hey travel guy.  You want to have articles on your site about travel.  So when I search for 'Icelandic whaling tourist expeditions', you know, because my girlfriend likes'She is an eco person.  She said she wanted to go whaling, I think?  Oh, whale watching.  Oh.  Sorry doll.  Man, I am going to be in so much trouble after this thing is over!   Steve writes content.  Steve talks about this stuff all the time.  He talks about where we live in North Mississippi, he doesn't need a dog heater, but if you live in Iceland, you do.  And I have got the keywords sprinkled all throughout the phrase.  I mean he is just writing in natural language like how he would talk to a friend of his about, 'Hey, you need a dog house heater so your fu-fu dog doesn't freeze.'  And he writes this 'Steve Says', and we put this content on the product pages or on the section pages.    220,000 competitors   And like I said, 220,000 competitors in the world.  My momma ranks number one.  And we optimize for all 20 some odd thousand phrases.    PPC   All right.  What if you don't rank?  70% of the folks on Google are clicking on the left-hand side on those free search results.  But 30% are clicking on the ads in the United States.  It may be a little different over here.    You need to buy ads.  How I do PPC Pick a keyword:  Automatic Dog Waterers (and figure out how much you can pay!)   This is how I do PPC.  I pick a keyword:  'Automatic dog waterers', a keyword that say I don't rank really well for.  And then I figure out how much I can pay based on my conversion rate.  If you are selling a $5,000 B2B package, or something that a university would buy, or something that has a huge average sale, you can probably pay a lot more per click than you can if you are me and you are selling an automatic dog waterer that is $20.   Write a good ad   The next thing you do is you write a good ad.  Put the keyword in the name of the ad and you want people to click on your ad.  The way ads work on Google is you get to tell Google what searches trigger your ads.  So if somebody says 'Dog waterer', 'automatic dog waterer', 'auto dog waterer', 'auto waterer', I mean just any of those keyword phrases, I want my ad to show up for those.      The next thing you tell Google is how much you are willing to pay.  I tell Google I don't want to pay more than 25 cents a click on this ad.    Create a relevant landing page   The next thing you do is you create a relevant landing page, a page that actually has what the searcher is intent on finding.  Remember intent from a minute ago?  Look.  I got automatic dog waterers on here.  I got five different automatic dog waterers.  I got articles about it.  I got a link to it.  I mean if you are looking for an automatic dog waterer, this is the page you are looking for.  But I tell you that so the customer gets to the website and they go, 'Hey!  That is exactly what I am looking for!'    'and monitor results  And then you monitor the results.  Google is really good about giving you some tracking software so you can actually see which ads and which keywords actually work for you.  And you call the losers and you improve the winners.    Appear for both   And you want to appear in the search results for both free and paid.    Lots more here:  Buy yours now!   There is lots more information.  I can talk about this stuff all day.  I hear there is another book coming out; maybe more current than mine.  I could only look at the pictures, but they were pretty nice.  How about say, 'Rob said buy my book,' and he has to give me a dollar.  Appreciate that.  That will help pay for my jacket.    So what happens when you maximize SEO and PPC?   All this is theoretical talk.  That is great.  Blah, blah, blah.  Marketing guy-all right.    Year 4: Store vs. Web   Year 4.  Look at those sales.  Again, look at the scale on that graph.  The Dog Store is toast.  We actually sold the Dog Store to the manager so we could concentrate on the web.  It took us four years, but we got out of the fu-fu dog business.    Things ALWAYS change   Things always change. We were talking earlier about hey, it is going to be 2010 soon and this is back in 1997.  It was like, 'No, doing what worked in 1997 isn't going to work today.'  You have got to be current.  You have got to stay on top of all this stuff.  You have got to focus on what works.  You don't need to get distracted by Twitter and Facebook unless you are in the relationship business.  If you are selling products, and it is like I have got Facebook ads and I have got stuff on Twitter, I am not making any money doing that.  I am making money putting content on the web, and Google is finding it and sending me traffic.  I am making money by buying profitable ads for the keywords that my customers use to find what I am searching for.    September 2003   In September 2003, my dad died.  He was out on his farm.  He was working with his dogs and just out of the blue, he had a heart attack.  It devastated our family.  And this would probably qualify as catastrophic event number three if we thought about it that way.  But it wasn't business.    My brother stepped up.  He was pretty much already running things anyway, but my dad was making the decisions.  I mean it was his company.  It was his name on the sign.  It was like anything major, he had to sign off on it, the way we approached customers, our marketing materials.  He wanted the company to be done a certain way.  And my brother stepped up and he did a fantastic job.  And for the first six months, everything was fine.    Year 7:  Store vs. Web   You can't tell by looking at this graph, but this is year 7.  And look at the Dog Store.  That is a long time ago.  I feel like I am up in the airplane above Raciavik [sp] flying.  $250,000.  Look at the scale of this graph.  This is monthly sales.    You can't tell by looking at this, but this was like the worst three or four months of my life, because here it is happening again.  Everything is changing.  We were growing, growing, growing.  We were hiring new people.  We got a bigger building, blah, blah, blah, and something changed.  I mean our sales, they didn't tank, but we are still not growing, and we had some months that were off, and we had new product.  I mean there was not reason that this should have been happening.  Looking back now, it is really easy to see.   More & More Competition   In 2004, which is when this was, every single one of our competitors who used to be offline, they are now online.  And every single one of our competitors who was online had a shopping cart.  And every single one of those guys was selling all the exact same products that we were selling with the same pictures and the same descriptions from the manufacturers.  So you had 1,000 people competing with you, whereas, I would say four or five years before, you might have had 50 people.  And then three or four years before that, you had one guy.    But we had a secret weapon   But we had a secret weapon.  We had to come up with something that they couldn't copy.  Anytime we would do something, the competitors would copy it.  Anytime the competitors would do something, we would copy them.  I mean we were neck and neck.  It was driving us nuts.    Selling Stuff & Self-Proclaimed Experts   And one thing about my dad, he had two philosophies that I just would bump heads with him endlessly about.  Selling stuff and self-proclaimed experts.  He would prefer to offer you products in a store that you could come in and buy them if you wanted to, but he wasn't going to put a hard sell on you.  'Here is the display.  Here is the cash register.  I am reading the newspaper.  If you want to buy something, let me know.'  Kind of old school.   When I am buying something, when I am shopping, I want to deal with somebody who knows the products.  I mean I don't know what I don't know about buying a shell and a seal skin or whatever you guys wear to keep the rain off.  I just know I am freezing.  I am really cold.  Please just give me a coat!  Noor 66 [sp]?  I am kidding.  I am going to check your website out in just a little bit, actually.   So my dad was against being pushy and selling stuff, whereas, I like somebody who actually knows what is going on.  And I don't mind being sold.  I know he is working for a living.  I know that guy is on commission.  I know he is trying to make a buck.  But if he wants me as a customer next time, he better take care of me.  He knows what I don't know.  He knows what my options are.   The second part was self-proclaimed experts.  My dad knew more about selling dog supplies, and about dogs, and dog training, and hunting, and that kind of stuff than anybody I have ever met.  And he would never ever say that he was an expert.  He was so humble and he just wouldn't say he was an expert, and he was.  And we missed out because of that.    On the other hand, I am probably from the other side of the family.  If I don't know something, I will tell you I don't know it.  There is a lot about online marketing and selling online that I don't know about.  I don't know about Amazon.  I don't know about EBay.  PPC, I got my little foot in that, OK?  But if I tell you I do know something, you better believe me.  If I know something, and I believe it, and I believe it to be true, I mean I will fly all the way from Mississippi to Iceland to tell people about it.    Pheasants Forever   And so we made the decision to change the way we did on the website.  We had a secret weapon.  My brother Steve Snell, supermodel, holding a shotgun up here on the cover of Pheasants Forever magazine, believe it or not.  I was like, 'Steve, they didn't put your face on there buddy.  Why?  What is wrong with that?'    [laughter]   Yeah.  He is not even up yet.  Let's call and wake him up.    Steve and Dog   My brother is more of a dog expert than my dad was.  Steve has 13 dogs.  He has trained, and hunted with, and lived with, and gone swimming with, and cared for dozens and dozens of these dogs.  And he loves these dogs.  He loves them more than he loves me.    Steve in the Field   If it is hunting season, he is in the field.  He is hunting.  He is out in Texas.  He is out in Montana.  He is in the field doing research and development.  He tells his wife, 'I have to, honey!  It is the job!'    Steve Photo Montage   Here are pictures from a Texas trip I went out there and took.  I created content for Google.  I don't know if ya'll have ever heard about that, but it is important.  He is talking the whole time.  I am recording stuff.  I got content.   Steve and Sam   Here he is with Sam.  Steve does unofficial product development consulting for these companies, because Steve will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.  The engineers selling these very complex systems love Steve, because man, they get what they need.  He says, 'This sucks.  This switch needs to be put on the other side because you can't reach it.  I was in the Dakotas and it was 20 degrees and the wind was blowing and I dropped it because it hurt.  It didn't fit in my hand right.  You need to change this.  Your competitors are doing a better job at that.'  He is in the field.  He knows more about selling dog collars than anybody I know.    People buy from People     The other thing is people buy from people.  They don't buy from websites.  They don't buy from a secure form.  People buy from people.  Transactions are between people.  So you want to humanize and personalize the shopping experience that is going to be on your new e-commerce site that you are developing tonight.    Why don't we put ALL this on the Web?   I was talking to Steve about this, and I said, 'Hey, why don't we put all this on the web?'  I mean he talks about this stuff nonstop.  The other thing I didn't say a minute ago, he is great on the phone.  I mean he may be rude to these manufacturers, but man, if you are a customer, and you have a dog, and you are like Steve, and you are one of his buddies the second you talk to him on the phone, I mean he wants to hear what your problems are and he wants to give you suggestions as far as what you need to get.  He is not pushy at all.  He lays out your options.  He says what is best for you and your dog.    And we decided to put this on the web.  We put Steve's 13 dogs on the web and we put this training collars buyer's guide.  On this, we had a 50% increase in conversions.  When somebody comes to my website and they come in on this page, they are 50% more likely to buy than if they just came in on a category page for the same exact product.  Man, I say that in e-commerce conferences and people get up and leave and go make buyer's guides.  I mean that is big, big money if you sell stuff online that is complicated and needs information.    We make these comparison charts.  Steve actually picks the products for specific purposes, and he actually lays out, 'This is what you need to buy if you are training a yard dog, a fu-fu dog. If you are training a big running birddog to go hunt quail out of Texas, you need one of these long-range two mile collars.'    And it is really difficult, but when I am buying a coat or something, I don't know what I don't know.  I don't know what features are important and what features are the marketing department getting excited over some new technology or something.  I don't know what I need to know.    Here is the detail on what you want to do with your dog determines what you are training your dog with.  What collar do you want to buy?  And none of this is like super-high technology.  This is HTML.  If I can code it, you can code it.  You don't need an engineer to do this.  I was an art major.  I built this in notepad.  That is a picture that I took, or that Kathy took, and that is simple HTML.  Your web person who works for you can do that.    How to choose a pet containment system example   Here is how to choose a pet containment system, an invisible fence, to keep your little fu-fu dog from running off and getting eaten by the coyotes.  We have a problem with that.  I don't know if ya'll got coyotes out here or not.  Artic foxes maybe?    Example Review   Here is a review where he talks about the Garmin Astro, which is a dog tracking collar.  It is kind of like analytics for birddogs.  You can keep up with your dog.    30 Day Trial   The other thing I want to push is you need to leverage how you do business to the web, how you take care of customers.  In this, Steve says, 'Hey, I don't expect it to come back like new.  I want you to use it, and if it doesn't work, send it back and we will take care of you.'    And we don't have a high number of returns.  We might get 1 1/2 %, 2% maybe.  And these are pretty complicated products to use.  But we just say, 'Look.  We will take care of you.'  Buying over the Internet is scary.  They don't know us.  They do because we are personal on the website.  They don't know my competitors at all.  I mean my competitors charge you'If you get free shipping to get a product, if you ship it back to them because you don't like it, they charge you to ship it back.  But then again, they charge you for the free shipping that they had to pay to send you the thing in the first place.    Phone   I mean we actually call the people on our telephone lines dog product experts, because they are dog product experts.  They know what you need if you got a problem with a barking dog, or if your dog is running off, or whatever.  I don't know if any of you all do, but this works internationally and we will be happy to take care of ya'll.   We ship stuff out fast.  We have a 7,500 square foot warehouse.  We have about 15 employees at Gun Dog.  I mean if somebody places an order at 3:30 in the afternoon, it is going on the UPS truck at 4 o'clock.  I mean our supply chain is like from me to you over there.    The Results?   We also tell people why they should shop with us.  We have our guarantees.  We will take care of you.  If you need help, give us a holler.  But this is what you guys want to see right here.  And I am showing stuff I am not supposed to be showing, so ya'll need to forget these numbers, and please don't blog this stuff.    Shhh.  Don't tell!  Momma is going to kill me.  Christian said you need to motivate a nation.  I am like, man.  I just want to motivate one guy, one person.  I appreciate you guys inviting me to come speak to you guys, because I know where you guys are.  I know the situation that a lot of ya'll are in.  But you individually are not responsible for the entire situation.  You are responsible for making sure that your situation is covered.    And you can do this online.  You can do this.  If you have a product that people want to buy and you are interested in taking care of them as customers and doing a good job, not just showing up and making a buck, if you are interested in taking care of people, you can do this online.    And this graph shows that.  I want to get a t-shirt of that graph and I want to wear it everyday and say, 'Look at this!  This is what I did.  Rob Snell in Starkville, Mississippi, the poorest state in the United States.'  I graduated from Mississippi State University.  You know that top 250 colleges in the US book?  I don't think'Look at Starkville.  It is a cow college.  And I am proud of Mississippi State, but you know, it is the 50 th state in the union in almost everything you don't want to be 50 th in.    [laughter]   And we are remote.  It takes me two hours to drive to go shopping.  I mean there are 25,000 people who live in our city.  We live out in the boonies and I love it.  It is quiet, it is nice, it is clean, it is green, it is natural.    But this is what you can do.  You don't have people in between you and your customers.  It allows you to be personal like you can be in a boutique, but to anybody in the world.  You guys can do this.    Look at that. $700,000.  Now we haven't hit that yet for a month.  Ya'll gotta be quiet about this.  Keep this on the DL, OK?  I mean Pet Smart isn't even a wrinkle in our equation.    And look at that line.  That is when we started being very helpful, is the word I like to use.  My dad would say pushy.  We suggest solutions to people's problems.  We say, 'If your dog is barking, buy this.  If you are afraid your dog is going to run off, get that.'    Look at the vector on that.  That is nuts.  I am not a technical person.  I was an art major.  Like I said, my Icelandic isn't as good as it used to be, but I think somebody said earlier today that you need to hire experts, and he is absolutely right.  When you get to the point where it is above your pay grade, you need to hire experts.  But I did all our stuff.  I am still such a control freak, I still do most of our own stuff ourself.  It is very difficult for me to turn this stuff lose.  You can do this kind of stuff.    7 Things  All right.  Seven things I want you to take away from my presentation today.  I am going to have this up on Robsnell.com, my website.  I have got tons of free information about how to sell online.  So many people helped us make it when we were in trouble.  People taught us stuff.  You know how they say, 'When the student is ready, the teacher appears?'  It seems that way in my life all the time.  I mean people helped us, and so that is why I am giving this information away.  So, sshh!  Don't tell anybody now.   Get online now!   Get online now.  If you don't have a website, get online.  If you don't have your toe in the water, you are not doing anything.    E-commerce makes it easy for folks to give you money   But e-commerce is the way to go.  If you just have a website and you are not selling anything, if you don't have a way for people to pay you, get some sort of way for people to pay you.  I mean you saw those stats as far as some of these big, big, big brands, what they were getting as far as the percentage of orders that were now coming over their Internet.    This isn't a get rich quick scheme.  Like I said, I don't want to discourage anybody from going online and trying something.  If you saw the list of things that I have failed at online, things that I have tried and not made it, I don't have enough slides to show you all that.  You have just got to try things.    When Customers are looking to buy what you sell, show up.   When a customer is looking to buy what you sell, show up.  I know that is really basic, but you want to be where they are. And right now, it is Google.  And next year, it may be Facebook, but right now it is not.  You can spend a lot of time wasting time chatting with people on Facebook.  If you are in the relationship business, if you are selling real estate'a friend of mine got a $100,000 client for his advertising agency'   [alarm]   Uh-oh.  I guess I am done.  It is time for me to wake up in Mississippi.    Collect your Converting Keywords with Web Analytics   It is really easy.  Google Analytics is free.  You can go right now, download it, give it to your web guy.  He will throw it up on your website.  Collect converting keywords.   Optimize for Free Google Traffic with SEO   And then, optimize for free Google traffic with search engine optimization.   Advertise with paid search ads on Google.  And look.  You are your own best secret weapon.  Leverage who you are to the web.  Let the world see the qualities that make you awesome.    Conclusion:  Sometimes the worst thing is the best thing ever.   Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to you is the best thing ever.  And that is me.  Thanks.  How E-commerce Saved Our Family Business Rob Snell, Co-owner Gun Dog Supply [email_address] ~~~~~

2009.01 YSTOREBLOG: Rob Snell Went to Vegas and Gave Us His PubCon Slides@@@@@@http://ystoreblog.com/blog/2009/01/rob-snell-went-to-vegas-and-gave-us-his-pubcon-slides/~~~~~

2010 Rob Snell's PUBCON South Keynote Powerpoint@@@@@@ jump down to read TRANSCRIPT Howdy, folks! Hope the summer is treating you well... Had a blast in Dallas doing the keynote at PUBCON. My talk was on how we got $10,354,767.00 in additional sales (over past 6 years) by putting STEVE all over the store, and I've been getting pretty good reactions to that, especially from smaller folks like us. BACKGROUND About 6 years ago, we hit a sales plateau and decided to change the way we approached selling online. In 2004, our family business, GUN DOG SUPPLY, had a sales slump. Somehow we wound up in the ditch! Panic city! We took a hard look at what we were doing online, and we made one simple, but substantial change to our Web site and how we sold online. And the effect? Over the past 6 years? Over $10 million dollars in additional revenue That's ADDITIONAL revenue. Sales ABOVE our normal growth. So what did we do? How did we do it? That's what I'm going to talk about today. FIRST, A LITTLE HISTORY GUN DOG SUPPLY is our family business We sell training supplies for hunting dogs My parents started GDS on their kitchen table in 1972 My dad was unhappy with quality of some dog supplies started making his own collars, leads, and leashes to sell these, he bought ads in hunting dog speciality magazines. pretty small circulation, pretty targetted audience. He expanded his product line to carry more products, products OTHER people manufacture And WE marketed these through a small B&W mail order catalog. At this point he decided to put the family in family business by recruiting Steve and me to help with the catalog In 1979 he quit his job to go full time on the DOG stuff A few months later, we had a major set back when the PEARL RIVER FLOODED and put 6 feet of water in our house. No insurance. We pretty much lost everything. Destroying all of the inventory in our house. Why am I telling you this? You need to know where we started from. So my folks decided to dig in and make this thing work. Anyway, folks knew we were in MS ... local folks wanted to come shop with us, so we added a retail showroom to the warehouse. We started selling premium dog food, stuff you couldn't get Pretty soon we were selling more stuff to pet owners than hunting dog folks -- -- -- GDS GETS ONLINE (1997) -- -- -- And then in 1996, another set back: Petsmart came to town. We knew that would SEVERELY impact the business Went back to our roots and in 1996 rebooted the mail order catalog. for HUNTING DOG FOLKS By then I was out of college, Steve & I had started what's now SNELL BROTHERS, our own retail business up in Starkville but I came back home for several months and we hammered out a catalog. Sent out THOUSANDS of copies and we got bupkiss. Nothing. Zilch. And at this point my Mom was pretty desperate, and she became OBSESSED with getting on the Internet And she said, "Son, I want you to build me a Web site." And I said, "Mama small businesses aren't making money online..." "Son, I want you to build me a Web site..." And I said, "the Internet's all about PORN...Big companies losing money IPOs and stuff" And she said, "I don't care, make me a Web site. So I did. So we did, and long story short it worked. We found Yahoo! Store, and uploaded our catalog and we were off and running -- -- -- JUMP to 2001 -- -- -- It worked so well that Steve had to take over order fulfillment & customer service. Mom was too old to be working 60 hours a week, Steve was tired of selling comic books & baseball cards he said the DOG STUFF was the next big thing So by 2001 ONLINE sales were 4x retail sales my folks were able to SELL THE DOG STORE, and we went Web only I was more interested in Internet Marketing and SEO and Yahoo! Store development, but I worked on GDS as I had time in between other projects -- -- -- JUMP to 2004 -- -- -- Now my baby brother, Steve, was running the company. My Dad passed away 6 months earlier, and we were dealing with all the fallout from that and Steve stepped up to fill some pretty big shoes and things were pretty good... And then, we hit a snag. We started having negative cashflow. Our expenses were growing faster than our sales. And then our sales STOPPED growing And then our sales STARTED dropping And we had our first "down" month in the history of our Internet business... Here's a closeup of a sales graph Every year we have this dip in sales and every May sales pick back up here's 2003, and you see the dip, and then people start thinking about hunting season, and sales pick up Well, here's 2004 and you see the dip And then it DROPS. It DROPS. And Steve's freaking out. And I'm saying don't worry, it's just a blip -- things will pick back up. And I'm digging in our analytics, trying to see if anything broken anything technical wrong and it's not. So I'm freaking out and trying to find what's going on. AND IN HINDSIGHT it's pretty easy to see what was happening: More and more competitors were coming online. All the old school catalogs in our industry now had shopping carts with virtually the same catalog that we had... And all these new school, dot com kids were popping up, too... Selling the same things we were selling... 2004 SEO wasn't new. Competition for those 10 spots on page 1 was getting FIERCE AND Paid Search was coming online then. CPC's were skyrocketing More and more folks bidding on the same keywords It was EXPENSIVE. And all the OLD ways of driving traffic? They weren't working as well as before.. GREAT, SO NOW WHAT DO WE DO? Steve and I had one of our knock down, drag out "conversations" Maybe this is the new reality? Or maybe we're going to have to change how we do things... So I'm sitting in Steve's office WAITING for him to get off the phone. Steve has these MARATHON phone conversations with customers. I'm talking 20-30 minutes... easy... And they're talking about their dogs... and they're talking about TRAINING their dogs... and their talking about HUNTING with their dogs... and their talking about their hunting GEAR ... and their GUNS and their TRUCKS... And next thing you know, the guy places an order. And he's a customer FOR LIFE. FOR LIFE. And it's GREAT, but it doesn't scale. I mean we handle dozens and dozens of these calls every day. There's no way STEVE can do this with every customer over the phone It just doesn't scale. He has TONS of other things he's gotta take care of, too SO I HAD AN IDEA... "What if we do the same thing online that you do over the phone?" What? You know how when a customer calls and you talk to 'em. You find out what kind of dog they have, what they're trying to do with their dog? And then after you get to know them and their situation, YOU TELL THEM WHAT TO BUY TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM and then they BUY it? That's AWESOME. What if we did that on the Web site? What if we took everything you ever said to a customer, and put it all over the Web site... Wonder what THAT would do? Steve said,"Couldn't hurt. Do it." And that's what we did. The one single, significant thing we did? We put STEVE ALL OVER THE WEB SITE. We put his recommendations on the site. We put his opinions on the site. We put the experience you'd get on the phone on the Web site. And it WORKED. This graph shows you our sales from 1997-2004 (Rolling 12 month average to smooth out the bumps) And then we "put Steve on the site" Just for fun, I modeled what our sales would have been so I could see what the difference was and over the past six years it's over $10 MILLION. $10,354,767 in additional sales Looking back, it's pretty easy to see what we did: we decided to push three pretty powerful ideas: 1) Steve is an EXPERT on dog training supplies. 2) Steve says this PRODUCT is what you need to solve your problem. 3) Please buy it from US. How did we do that? -- -- -- #1 BIG THING: -- -- -- First thing I had to establish was that STEVE IS AN EXPERT. And he is. Establish that you are an authority in your industry. You're not just some guy on the web hunting dog stuff. You're THE GUY on the Web selling hunting dog stuff How do you do that? Show folks, don't tell folks. STEVE KNOWS DOGS Steve's been doing this awhile. Steve has 16 dogs STEVE KNOWS GEAR He has a truck full of dog gear. He writes reviews about it on his blog, and on GDS. He posts reviews. Annotates SOMEWHAT objective product description STEVE KNOWS HUNTING Spends more time in TX hunting than anyone I know. Takes his staff with him. Doing R&D, and always needs a bigger budget. So now you KNOW Steve is an expert, so we leverage that: We put his NAME and and his face on EVERY PAGE on the site: On the Homepage. Even in the SHOPPING cart. Steve personally signs all the emails. Staff signs thank you notes in the box. -- -- -- -- BIG #2 -- -- -- Tell folks: This product is what you need for YOUR dog Recommend solutions to problems. To help do this, we wrote a buyers guide AND THAT ROCKED! Buyers' Guides have a 50% higher conversions than common section page -- THIS IS HUGE! We pimped our BUYER'S GUIDE. This is preview of what we're about to launch * Quick Picks - Collar Chart (narrow) * Explain Concepts -- more info * Help Me Choose > specific paths for more info folks Express YOUR opinions. Try to put the facts in the CAPTION and mark the EDITORIAL in a STEVE SAYS box or have REVIEW in the NAME of the page. Endorse the products you use. Steve is candid where the manufacturers might fudge a little bit. It's OK to be excited about what you sell. So how do you MAKE this stuff? It's SERIOUSLY hard work! Write unique product descriptions Provide more info than even the manufacturer. Write a paragraph for every $10 in item price Most retailers copy and paste the MFG's description which is HORRIBLE for SEO, and does NOTHING differentiate you from competitors... HAVE MORE PHOTOS THAN ANYONE. Example? * Typical product shot * MOPIX each component * Something for size or scale * Show the BOX shot * Show details of controls or other important areas * Show what you get * Show all the accessories * All the paperwork and books We take all our own photos. Proves we stock it, have it. HOW TO MAKE CONTENT RECORD EVERYTHING -- video AND audio. Interview folks When we're out driving, I ask STUPID questions Play 20 questions with each product. Shoot video of anything you can demonstrate. Example: Musher's secret -- TX -- took 5 minutes 1 minute video on it's own page Transcribe the audio from video for both SEO reasons AND folks can read faster than they can watch the video. STATS -- show people are looking at it also DISTRIBUTE when makes sense 1) I'm buying ads on youtube for traffic 2) then buying an ad on the video that I'm buying ads for 3) then I also do SEO on the Youtube video CONTENT: Make it. Distribute it. Promote it. Profit from it. Turn customer EMAILS INTO PRODUCT FAQ pages. LIBERATE content that's trapped where search engine spiders can't crawl it. It's either off line OR in a format Googlebot can't get to. And if content's not in a search engine, it gets no traffic. What kind of content? FLASH, PDF owner's manuals, transcribe audio from product videos, text from product box / Point of purchase materials. BIG #3 -- Why should someone buy from us? Well, you gotta be competitive on price. But you also have to SELL YOURSELF -- PICK ME! So we made a page WHY SHOP WITH US. Remove customer risk, make more sales. Tell folks product AVAILABILITY and DELIVERY TIME. I like to show a map. Customers need to know they can get answers fast! Offer talk to human. Respond to emails ASAP. Everyone SAYS they offer "great" customer service. If you're offering an opinion on how YOU do things, let your customers do the talking. Third party endorsements are much more credible than YOU saying you offer great customer service. You need to "FIND YOUR STEVE." You need to COMMUNICATE 3 things: You're the expert, this product will solve their problem, and when they're gonna buy it, they should pick you. We did that. We got $10,000,000 in additional sales. You can do it, too. You have to! best takeaway? 169 slides takes awhile to load! Whew! ~~~~~

20100721-01a@@@@@@~~~~~

2012 SXSW Transcript w/ Matt Cutts, Duane Forrester, & Danny Sullivan@@@@@@Man 1: All right. Welcome. I forgot the name of our session. Man 2: Doing stuff with the engines. Man 1: Dear Bing and Google: Help Me Rank Better! on Bing and Google. Thats the session you all wanted to be at, or at least it was the session you could get into, correct? OK. So the format of this session is 45 minutes of presentation by each of the panelists, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. No. There literally is no presentation, so its all your questions. We are joined by two different people. I will introduce, first of all, Matt Cutts of Google, who is up there on the screen, who is bitterly disappointed he could not be here because his wife had suffered an injury. Dwayne knocked her down a staircase [laughter] Man 1: in hopes of preventing Matt from being on the panel. And so, Matt had to insert this hypodermic needle into what appears to be her shinbone. [laughter] Man 1: No, Matt, go on. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Matt Cutts: Hi there! Im Matt Cutts. Im the head of the webspam team, so I deal with all the kinds of people who try to cheat. And Im looking forward to hearing questions not just about webspam, but anything you guys want to ask about search. Man 1: And next to me we have Duane Forrester, who is from Bing, the other major search engine that you are all using, yes? You saw MattMatt was actually promoting it earlier [crosstalk] Man 1: Hes very into Microsoft products. He was on a Windows PC using Skype, and was using Bing earlier. Duane Forrester: Appreciate that, Matt. Man 1: Killer being out there, isnt it Matt? Matt: A little bit! Man 1: A little bit. Man 1: Couldnt get that Google hangout going, could you? Duane: Thats your problem, you are focusing on weather control, you know, not these other things. Matt: I almost was going to get Google Hangout going, but then they got the Skype working, because I couldnt put your head on Gwyneth Paltrows body in Google Hangout, so Man 1: All right. We will go to our first question. Theres a microphone that you actually have to go to, conveniently positioned in the middle of the hall. So if anyone wants to go to that microphone first, you will win, for your benefit, the privilege of asking the first question. I dont want to put any pressure on you, but if its lame... Duane: I will warn you, if you argue with Danny, he will argue back. Danny: Yeah. Duane: But its fun. Its really entertaining, so somebody step up. Danny: Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Danny Sullivan. I run a site called Search Engine Land, and Ive been writing about search engines before we had Google, which is a really long time. In the odd cases where neither Duane nor Matt speak actual English and tell you whats going on, I will jump in and explain to you and translate it into what theyre actually trying to say but theyre not allowed to. Your question, sir? Question: Hi. I think its a pretty easy question. So in organic search results, my company comes up and we have web links that appear underneath the main link. I was wondering if you could explain some of the criteria or some of what goes into deciding what the specific web links will be. Danny: So when you search for your company, your company names get listed, but then you get all these little links that appear underneath it. Question: Yeah, About Us, Contact Us, etc, that kind of thing. Danny: And how is that determined? On Google those are called site links Duane: Deep links for us. Danny: And theyre called deep links over on Bing. Duane, since you actually showed up without some excuse about injury and family things, why dont you answer first? How do you guys decide it? Duane: Well, we actually have a lot invested in this around trust of the pages. So what youll notice, and this holds true for both of the engines, actually, is you can manage some of these deep links, but you cannot suggest what you would want in there. You cant insert new ones. Youve got the latest gee whiz blog article and you think its going to change the world, you want to make sure it gets in there; not going to happen. Those things are in there because we know that people interact with that content deeply and they want that content. Theyve proven it to us time and time again over a fairly long period of time. So a lot of this has to do with us trusting that content as being an excellent result for a searcher. So we can let you remove stuff out of there, we can let you change weighting in there, so maybe you want About Us at the beginning or maybe you want it at the bottom, that kind of stuff. But it is totally based on how much we trust that content. Good news for you is if you take a look, and you are going to roll your eyes at this, but I havent been in Google Webmaster Tools to look at this lately, but I know in my own webmaster tools product, when you look in there, there are eight that you can manage. But if you have selected more, they show up in a column on the right-hand side. So its kind of awesome news for you if you have extra things in there. It just means we trust more of your content. Thats all. Danny: Did you hear all of that, Matt? Matt: Yeah, I sure did. Danny: Excellent. Matt: Basically, at Google its a similar sort of thing. We call them site links. The first thing we do is we figure out whether you are basically navigational. So for the query IBM, we think IBM.com is a good match. We do that algorithmically using a lot of different factors. Then we use the same sorts of algorithms to figure out what we think are the most relevant pages. So its not someone at Google who says, I think you should have About Us and then you should have your store locator page. Its a combination of not only trust, but also relevance and utility when were trying to figure out what are the most useful links? And it tends to have for navigational searchessearches for where we think just a single result is not quite as useful as having a lot of real estate there on the page thats helpful for you. And as Duane mentioned, you can absolutely log into Google.com/webmasters, which is our free webmaster console, and then if you want to, its very easy toif you dont like a particular site link, you can delete that. But we have the same sort of heuristic, where we basically say you cant control which things show; you can only remove the ones that you dont like. Danny: Hey Matt, in an attempt to one-up Bing, did you recently call something mega site links because they were even better than site links? What were those? Matt: [laughs] Absolutely, yes. Pretty soon well have Mega Site Links 2000 Platinum Deluxe, Diamond Edition! But the basic idea of that is when a query is really about you, so, you know, when its something like HP and you are returning HP.com, its not as helpful to have the eight or nine other links below that. You really want the stuff thats above the fold to be about your website. So mega site links are like normal size search results, but they appear underneath the main result. So you just get more of that real estate on the front page at the #1 result. And thats another reason why we dont let people pick their site links, because were always trying different experiments. If you are a blogger, we might try a site link thats the last two or three posts you did, or we might play with the most popular posts that weve seen. So theres a lot of reasons we dont let people pick their particular site links, and part of that is because we do run these experiments all the time. Danny: Great. By the way, I think our hashtag for this session is SWrank. And if its not, now it is. Did that answer your question? Question: It does. If I can have one other question Danny: One other question! Oh my goodness. Did you see the line behind you? But OK. If everybody in that line agrees that you can have another question. [crosstalk] Question: That should be my reward for coming up first. So, we have a business service inside of my company. What we do is we sell one thing that a lot of people need to access online. Our customers need to access it online. Danny: Pornography. [laughter] Question: No. They go to our homepage.the customers go to our homepage to access something that exists on a sub-domain. So what that means is that it looks pretty much like maybe 60%, 70% of our traffic is bouncing. Theyre leaving the domain to go to this sub-domain. My sense is that were getting penalized for that. Im trying to figure out if theres anything that we can do about it, if its a concern that I should be stressing about. Should I be trying to do something about it? Danny: So two things, and Ill repeat all this for you, Matt. You didnt get the wholeAll Matt heard was pornography, so hes intrigued. [laughter] Danny: Has your traffic suddenly disappeared? Did you have any problems with Google or Bing? Are you still getting all the traffic you had before? Question: No, the traffic is still coming, yeah. Danny: OK, so you are probably not having a penalty to even worry about to begin with. But the question for you, Matt, also is, and this is a common one, is that, gosh, if you can tell people are bouncing away from my website, potentially that is a signal for the search engines to decide, I shouldnt be ranking this. Ill let these guys explain it a bit more, but there are a couple ways search engines, first of all, can even tell if you are bouncing. One of those is sometimes called pogo-sticking, where somebody does a search, they click on a link, they go to a site, they dont like it, they go back to the search engine, they click on something else, now the search engine can tell, Oh, theyve gone and they want to come back. In your case, you are saying, well, somebody clicks from the search engine, they come to my website, then they go to another page in my website. Its on a different domain, but its another place. The search engines really dont have any idea what theyve done, right? As far as the search engines are concerned, they went to your website and they didnt pogo-stick back. So if they were to be using that as a metric, which they may or may not confirmthey mightthey wouldnt even see that. There are other ways, though, with maybe various toolbars they can tell whats going on, but I doubt you have a bounce problem; you have somebody whos coming in and theyre continuing on your site. But you got the double-answer question, so well go back to Duane. I mean I gave you the follow-up, so Duane, whats the deal? Because you guys do measure bounce off search results pages. Youve said that in the past. So if you just want to make your competitor go down, click on their listing andNo, what do you do? Duane: Yeah, no. So what hes suggesting wont work. OK. This is not something you need to panic about, OK? So as Danny explained, if somebody clicks on the search result, goes to your page, and spends like, well say, a nanosecond there because they know its just not for themweve all been therethen they immediately come back to us, click on another result, thats a stack of data that we can look at and say, Wow. That was not a good quality answer that we brought back, because if it was, the person would have stayed engaged on that website, not come back to us and clicked an another result in the query. So that time on there, we call it dwell time. Thats the amount of time you spend on that page. When you are on that page, if you leave that page and you hop to another area within the website, there are other ways, as Danny had mentioned, there are other ways that we can eventually come across that information to help us understand, but in your case its still going to be associated with your domain. So that would look to anyone viewing it like a relevant piece of traffic. How you move those people around inside your content, thats lets about us. Thats up to you to run your business, OK? And, put factually, when you actually click on a search result, go to the webpage, if you navigate from the website awayagain, you click on a link or go navigationally somewhere else, or even just type something else into the address bar and leave from there, we dont see that direct action. So we dont know that the person just suddenly said, OK, Im outta here. Im displeased with you, as a result of having started in that search query. So, to me, this is not something that you need to panic about. Danny: Matt, did you get all that? Matt: I did. Let me add just a little bit to it. In general, I wouldnt worry about the idea of how much of Google or Bing or somebody else might use that as a signal. Let me give you a very simple reason why. Imagine you want to know when the Daylight Savings kicks in, or what day Easter is, or you want to convert something very fast. If you land on a website and you get the fact, Oh, Easter is on April 9th, or, Daylight Savings kicks in later tonight, then you come back to Google, that doesnt mean necessarily that you are unhappy. So youd have to use that signal very carefully, because it could be noisy. A site that gives you the information really easily and quickly might look bad according to some of those metrics, when, in fact, its just giving you exactly what you need very fast. Now, that said, if that is something that you are worried about, if you, for whatever reason, want to concentrate on getting your bounce rate down, there are ways to do it. One thing that Ive found as a blogger is if you get down to the bottom of yoru blog post and you have a related links or related posts, that can help give people other places to go. Youve even seen on The New York Times, when you get down to a bottom of an article, something will slide in across the page and say, Heres another good article you can click on. And then if you provide premium content, whether it be consumer product reviews like consumer reports, or I think Danny might have mentioned pornography earlier, you can imagine having some sort of content thats not behind the pay wall; so some sort of content that people can find so that they dont necessarily bounce around. But, in general, just because somebody lands on your site and then navigates deeper within your site, I wouldnt worry about that being counted as a bad thing. Normally, if people start exploring and clicking deeper within your site, that would typically be considered a good thing because you have some sort of compelling content that makes them want to delve in a little more. Danny: I wanted to say, by the way, you cant see my t-shirt, but its this chart that Im putting on the screen that my family made for me, which is what we at Search Engine Land call our Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors. And you can download this. You can search for it on either of the search engines. If you dont find it for, say, a search on SEO, if its not #1, something is wrong with those search engines and they should fix that. But you could do SEO Ranking Factors and youll find it. But these factors are all the different kinds of signals that a search engine takes into account. Theres actually a thing in there that would cover things like bounce rate and quality. But its one of many different kinds of factors. And so, maybe you did have a suddenly big thing that was detected, but if you have lots of other good content, you have lots of good links pointing at you, youve got lots of social activity, they all kinda combine together to make an impact as well. So one thing doesnt necessarily keep you to the top or necessarily wipe you out either. Next question. Question: With so many SEO companies showing up, popping up, claiming to do SEO, a lot of markets are getting saturated with optimized content. I was wondering if you guys could say something to: what are you doing to preventfor example, if you are looking for something and all the first page is just optimized content and its not what you are actually looking for, I mean are you pretty much out of luck if you are not optimizing your site yet your site is relevant to something? What kinds of things are you doing to prevent? Danny: So if everybody is SEOing, then what happens? Question: Im just kinda asking what kind of things you guys are doing, and if thats something that you guys take into consideration now. If Im mom n pop and Im trying to optimize a site by myself, I mean Im going to get beat by everybody who is paying thousands of dollars to SEO a site. Danny: We probably need some perspective on the power of SEO as opposed to.Matt, why dont we start off with you? If I just sprinkle some of the SEO dust on my pages and Im outranking everybody else, and then now everybody is doing it, what chance does the mom n pop have for ever being found? Matt: Absolutely. That is a fantastic question and Im really glad you asked it. The way that I often think about SEO is that its like a coach. Its someone who helps you figure out how to present yourself better. In an ideal world, though, you wouldnt have to think about presenting yourself and whether search engines can crawl your website. Because theyd just be so good that they can figure out how to call through the Flash, how to crawl through the forums, how to crawl through the JavaScript, how to crawl through whatever it is. And, for the most part, most search engines have made a lot of progress on being able to crawl thought that richer content. Now, whats interesting about your question is you went a little bit deeper and you said, Well, what about all the people who are sort of optimizing really heard and doing a lot of SEO? Normally we dont sort of pre-announce changes, but there is something that weve been working on in the last few months. And hopefully, in the next couple months or so, in the coming weeks, we hope to release it. And the idea is basically to try and level the playing ground a little bit. So all those people who have sort of been doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly doing their SEO, compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level. So thats the sort of thing where we try to make the Google Bot smarter, we try to make our relevance more adaptive so that people dont do SEOwe handle thatand then we also start to look at the people who sort of abuse it, whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whatever they exchange way too many links, or whatever they are doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area. So that is something where we continue to pay attention and we continue to work on it, and it is an active area where weve got several engineers on my team working on that right now. Danny: Thank you. And Duane? Duane: We have no engineers working on this. Weve got a couple of hamsters in the back room spinning some wheels, and well see how that works out for us. Just kidding. Actually, as Matt pointed out, its an awesome questions. What people have to realize is, and Matt kind of alluded to this, SEO is like a foundational element. It helps you make a better product so we can consume it easier. And if it helps points to relevancy, then we say big thumbs up; thats awesome, because that relevancy gets translated directly to what a consumer has searched for. And if the consumer ultimately clicks on that result and stays engaged with it, then we win and that website wins. Over-optimization is always a problem. But part of this question focused on, like, a mom n pop and how would they actually fit into the scenario and get ahead in this world? Quite frankly, there are still a lot of ways to manage this kind of thing. How many of you here run your own websites? What the heck do the rest of you do? [laughter] Danny: It was a lot, Matt. A lot. Duane: There was like seven. Matt, I dont know if you noticed it, we only have 14 people in the room. Danny: How many of you guys hate Google? Thats harsh! [laughter] Duane: Wow! So, you are a mom n pop.Let me just take us back on track here. You are a mom n pop and you want to get ahead on something. You know youve got a great product. Really, what this is going to come down to is, does the rest of the world think you have a great product? Because if they do and they amplify this on your behalf, we will pick up on the signals. Theres a couple of key important items to notice in this, OK? Essentially, what I am telling you is if you are not engaged socially, you are missing the boat. Because the conversation is happening socially about you and about your content. So you need to be engaged with that. Those are really important signals for us. Whether you are involved or not is your choice, but those signals still exist whether you are in that conversation or not. So those types of things can really help those mom n pops get ahead, where one of those optimized websites, chances are the people are not investing that heavily in everythingthey are banking on the periodic table of SEO tattooed on Dannys chest. How many items does this have on it, Danny, like roughly? Like 30? Danny: Sure. Roughly 30. Duane: OK. Lets say 30. The algorithm that we work with at Bing factors about 1,000 items every time it makes a decision on ranking. So as much as the SEOs have some things figured out, theres a long way to go. These algorithms are not static. They are very squishy. If you push on one side, it bulges on the other side a bit, which means a signal can show up and shift the rankings simply because that signal carries greater importance at that moment. You want a brand new piece of content that is killing it, you put it out there, your fans amplify it, their friends amplify it and it continues that way. At this stage there are no links pointed at it, so we have nothing to go on other than this social explosion thats happening with this. And thats not necessarily a bad thing. If its good content and it catches on, the links will catch up to it. All the rest of those signals will materialize. In the meantime, we are going to do what we think is best for our constituents, the searchers, and try to showcase that content to them to see if they engage. If they engage and they stay engaged with it and love it, well keep ranking it. Danny: Matt, to go back what you were saying, youre not going to release an algorithm thats designed to necessarily hurt the SEO kinds of things you encourage people to do. Duane: Right. I heard Matt say if you are doing SEO you are screwed in two months. Matt: No, no. A lot of people seem to think that Google hates SEO. Thats definitely not the case. A lot of people seem to think that Danny: You said Google hates SEO? Matt: No. I did not say Google hates SEO. [laughter] Matt: We even made a video about this. If you do a search for webmaster videos, weve made something like 400 videos. And we made one specifically to say Google does not hate SEO, because SEO can often be very helpful. It can make a site more crawlable. It can make a site more accessible. It can think about the words that users are going to type whenever they come to a search engine and make sure that those words are on the page, which just makes the site more user-friendly. So the same sorts of things you do to optimize your return on investment and how well something spreads virally or socially is the exact same sort of stuff that often works well from a search engine perspective. So there is a ton of stuff that is fantastic to do as an SEO, it just makes your content more crawlable and more accessible. But, absolutely there are some people who take it too far. What were mindful of is when someone says, Were White Hat. We continue to do the right thing, and we see the Black Hats who are over optimizing or going too far, and they seem to be doing too well. So weve been working on changes to try to make sure that if you are a White Hat or if youve been doing very little SEO that you are going to not be affected by this change. But if youve been going way far beyond the pale, then thats the sort of thing where your site might not rank as highly as it did before. Duane: OK, I actually have a question for you, Matt, because I run my own website, so I have a vested interest in this. [laughter] Duane: As you guys build this out, tactics have changed over the years, right? So a site that is five, six years old that may have done something that is considered acceptable at that time and hasnt been updated, Im not going to get into too much detail, but is that one of the type of things that you guys are factoring against as well? Matt: Typically not. I mean the overall goal that we try to convey isits just like, I think it was Gretsky said, Dont go where the hockey puck is, go where its going to be. And so we tell people over and over again, Make a compelling site. Make a site thats useful. Make a site thats interesting. Make a site thats relevant to peoples interests. You know, take a site like Pinterest. Pinterest does not need search engines to grow, right? And yet, at the same time, if its the sort of site that you like, you are going to come back to, you are going to tell your friends about, you are going to bookmark all those sorts of things, then thats probably the sort of site that both Bing and Google want return in, in search results. So its a relatively simple idea. Were always trying to best approximate if a user lands on a page, are they going to be really, really happy instead of really, really annoyed? And if its the sort of thing where they land on a page and they are going to be annoyed, then that is the sort of thing that well take action on. Now, in theory, if you have a page that was built in 1992 and youve never updated it, thats possible, but typically, the kinds of things that we see that people get annoyed about these days are if you land on a page that has way too many ads; you know, just right in your face, for example. So we rolled out a change that we call the Page Layout Algorithm earlier this year. It affects about 1% of search results, but it affects the sites that really just put the ads right there in your face and really annoy you. And so, all of the changes we make, over 500 a year, are designed to try to approximate if a user lands on that page, just how happy are they going to be with what they get? So if you keep that in mind, then you should be in good shape no matter what. Danny: And just to cap off, by the way, no SEO can guarantee you to have a top ranking. If they could, then maybe this is more of an issue. What they can guarantee you is they can try, but oftentimes when you do see these kinds of guarantees, what they are really guaranteeing you is maybe they will give you your money back or they will try something else with it again. But its very equivalent to the fact that no public relations professional can guarantee that theyre going to get you great coverage in the newspaper. But, you can increase the odds, and there are good things that the search engines, just like newspapers or publications want you to do as well. Is that Hello Kitty behind your head, by the way, Matt? Matt: Yes, it is Hello Kitty. I thought Id throw it in their for people who are observant. Danny: Excellent. Next question. Question: Hi. My name is Nick. I started a company called Zoc Doc based out of New York. Zoc Doc is where you can search for doctors filtered by insurance and book appointments online. So we have a mantra at Zoc Doc, which is Patients First, which means we always try to optimize the site and the user experience for the ease of use and to optimize every patients experience. We do this through both qualitative testingwe get a lot of people and have watch them use itand we also do a ton of A/B testing. The problem with this stuff is that, often, the changes that we want to make that improve the user experience actually make the SEO worse. Like, we used to have related searches at the top that were quite useful for SEO, but we ultimately determined that probably wasnt the best user experience and we got rid of them, or we moved them to the bottom of the page. So, what do you guys do to reward sites that are really trying to optimize user experience, perhaps at the expense of SEO, kind of like link sculpting? Danny: Let me repeat that for Matt. I will say in general, the questions, by the way, the shorter they are the better, because he cant hear them, so then I have to try to remember everything you said. Matt: Actually, Danny, I could hear that one. Sometimes its a little muddy, but I could hear that. Danny: OK. Your question really was: We are doing things on our site that we have been doing for SEO. Like, we may have related searches at the top. But now we really want to focus on the user. What Ill say to you in general is good SEO is focusing on the user. Neither of these people will tell you that you should be screwing up the user experience. And, in fact, they are modeling their search algorithm to reward good user behavior. So things that you are changing might not be as important to SEO as you are thinking. But, Matt, why dont you go first on that one? Matt: Yeah. In general, [laughs] we do pay a lot of attention to the user experience. And so, a lot of the stuff that were trying to do tries to recreate what the user experience is like. So I mentioned this page layout algorithm, for example. We actually render the page so that we can figure out where exactly on the page the ads are, and so we can approximate this idea of when you land on the page, within a few hundred milliseconds your perception on that page is often locked in by things like, Does it look like geo cities back in the 1990s with the animated GIFs, and does it have big ads, that sort of thing, or is it a really clean, nice layout? The hazard of mentioning a specific site whenever you do a question, by the way, is we cant help but check out whats going on with that site. Question: I would love to know if were doing something wrong, if you are looking at it right now. Matt: Well, one thing I would say is make sure that you dont just have artificial links. So if you have a link that says San Francisco Ear, Nose, Throat on a page about bikes pointing to Zocdoc.com, then somebody might think that someone on your behalf was trying to buy links. And, in general, thats something that the search engines sort of frown upon. So Id spend the time less on that sort of trying to build links than making something that, for example, gets covered in the newspaper. So if you get written up somewhere, even on a blog or in a newspaper, often those are really good sources of links. And thats a great way to sort of build out your link building strategy. Duane: So yeah, Im going to tell you, you mentioned moving things like related searches from one area to another area, we could care less about that. Thats not the content people are looking for. And, in fact, if you look at it from our perspective, were going to send a searcher to your webpage, and then the first thing you are trying to do is get them off that page to another location. Thats maybe not the best user experience full stop, so we would be looking at that saying, We dont see that s the best user experience. Clearly your work has shown you its not the best user experience. I think you guys are on the right path here. Matt nailed it, right? Create compelling content. Get noticed in these places. I did an interview with The New York Times about, I dont know, six months ago maybe, and it was food bloggers were upset because they were having a hard timelocal food bloggers were having a hard time outranking the All Recipes and the big guys in the industry. A lot of that has to do with the approach. If you try to suddenly show up for a chicken soup recipe, well you are going to have a hard time cracking that, because these guys have already cornered that market and become very popular as a resource. People are happy with them as a resource. But these other areas that are much more detailed and more niche oriented, those are spaces where you could come in and you could literally say, Look, we offer a more compelling product. We offer more compelling content in these areas than the competition does. That can help you get a foothold on things. Matt mentioned it: dont buy links. I mean, seriously folks. If you guys are buying links, one of two things is going to happen, neither of which is good. Youre either going to waste your companys money or you are going to hurt your domain in the long run. Either way is not a positive outcome for you. So instead of putting money at what seems to be a short term workaround to what you think is a critically important problem, take that time and work on a social presence program. Work on social media marketing. Work on becoming an authoritative voice in your area. When you hit that stride, Dan mentioned it, Matt mentioned it, you know, you start getting the newspaper mentions, you actually become those sources. I mean you guys may or may not notice this every now and then, but randomly Danny will pop up in more mainstream media as the voice for the industry. That type of thing, that voice popping up in that mainstream presence, goes a long way for people to start understanding that thats an authority. Because believe it or not, prior to Danny showing up on a USA Today article, even we had no idea who the hell he was. [laughter] Danny: And occasionally, sometimes they will even link to you, which is nice. But they often forget. Is that OK? Question: Yeah, thank you. Danny: OK, you are welcome. Duane: Yeah, and just to clarify a point, do not be afraid to ask for a link. If you can start doing an article for somebody or you are being mentioned in an article or something, ask them for the link. The worst case scenario is they say no to you. Best case scenario, maybe they are going to create a resource area and put a link off to that. Its less about SEO, but, man, it can drive a ton of traffic. And then those people can amplify you. Danny: Hey Duane, are you going to do a blog post on this afterwards? Duane: Possibly. Danny: Could you link over to me? Duane: Maybe. Danny: Matt already did in his post yesterday. Duane: Can I no-follow it? Danny: Yes, please. Duane: OK. [laughter] Danny: We have our next question. Yes? Question: My question is directed towards Matt. When I do a hotel search in Google, I get back TripAdvisor.com, but I also get back all their country level domains. For example, if I search for The Mayflower Hotel in New York City, I get back Tripadvisor.com, but I also get France, India, Canada. Why is that happening? Danny: Matt, the question is: Why do your search results suck so badly? [laughter] Danny: So, I did this search. Is this the search you are talking about where you searched for Mayflower Hotel in New York City? Question: Yes. Danny: And were getting trip advisor. Duane: Where are you when you are doing the search? Question: Im in Austin, Texas. Danny: Is that the kind of thing you would search for? Question: Yeah. Like, if Im researching a hotel and I just want to look at what other people are saying about it. Danny: So, more generally it sounds like you dont understand why sometimes you are getting more than one page from the same company. And, in fact, in some cases, maybe you feel like the company seems to be dominating the results? Yeah, Matt, so whats the deal? Why is that happeningIm not seeing that here in these search results, but there are occasions when you do a search for, saySay I did a search for something like Google. You know, I get Google, Google Maps, Google Video, Google Translate, Google Images. Is there any anti Google stuff Im ever going to get from that? How do you? Matt: Thats a totally fair question. In general, we keep an eye out for spam. So if a site is just anti but spam, then we dont necessarily want it to rank. But if its a genuine grassroots sort of site or it reflects the opinion of a lot of people, then it is often likely to show up on the first page. So, you know, you search for United, or you search for Coke, or [xx 33:10] and youll find sites that are protest sort of sites. But usually when you type in a query like HP, or IBM, or Entertainment Weekly, or whatever, thats typically viewed as a navigational query. So you might get EntertainmentWeekly.com, and then if they happen to have EntertainmentWeekly.ca or something like that, we might think that that could be useful as well, or we might show different properties. So if Entertainment Weekly is a part of TV Guide or part of some larger conglomerate, then you might see those sorts of things. Typically, you can, over on the left-hand side, use something that we call search tools to play with different ways to slice and dice your data. So, for example, we do geo locate, which means if you search for bank, not only in different countries, but even on the East Coast versus the West Coast, you are more likely to see a West Coast bank, like Wells Fargo, versus East Coast Bank. And so you can click on something called Change Location and that will change your search results based on where we think you are. So you can always make that a little bit more explicit. Its a tough problem because sometimes Switzerland might have four different languages, and so we might not know exactly what the right top-level domain is. But we have something called personalization, so if youve clicked on certain results more often in the past, then we start to learn, Oh, thats the one that you are looking for, and then that makes it more likely for it to show up for you in the future. Danny: But your question also was in your case, it sounds like its not that youre getting everything from the Mayflower Hotel, hes concerned that hes getting Trip Advisors trying to show up for Mayflower Hotel, and not only are they showing up with their listing for Mayflower Hotel in New York as he searched for, but their listings for Mayflower Hotel all over the place are showing up, which sounds really weird. And Im not getting the same thing here, but Matt: Yeah, I tried to do the search too and I didnt see that happening. But, in general, it can be hard. If someone searches for Paris, we normally know they mean Paris in France, but it can mean Paris, Texas. And so it does depend on where you are and what you are searching for. And we take our best guess, but Id be the first to admit that we can get that wrong. And then when we see bad search results, feel free to let us know and then we try to make that better. Danny: You want to clarify a little bit more? Question: Yeah. You kinda went over it; it clogs the search results. For me, it shows up, like I get six Trip Advisor links. Danny: By the way, are you logged into Google? Question: No. Danny: So thats an important thing, is that Google and Bing both have personalized results, which happen for everybody, and have happened for everybody at Google for the past two years and at Bing for the past year. Even if you are not logged in, your results are personalized. But Google recently, in January, made a change to bring out Search plus your world results so that when you are logged in, they are doing even more personalization than theyve ever done before. If I were logged in, I would see two buttons up here. One is the personalize button and one turns all that off. So if you are logged in and you are going to Trip Advisor a lot, it could be kicking in more Trip Advisor stuff for you. Question: Thanks. Danny: Thank you. Next question. Question: Hi. My name is Aaron. Ive heard a lot of talk recently about the idea of an internet search filter in regards to search engines and social networks. Is this something that you think is a valid concern? And, if so, how are you addressing it? Danny: When you say internet search filter, are you talking about like a filter bubble? Question: Yeah, not filter specifically, but a filter bubble Danny: Yeah. So that goes back to this personalization thing I mentioned. Eli Pariser is especially noted for this idea of the filter bubble, which is, Hey, you are personalizing my results, so now every time I search I am only going to see all the democratic results because Im a democrat. I want to see a mixture of results. Or Im not going to see different kinds of things. So, Duane, whats up with that and you guys trying to show us only what we like? Were more sophisticated than that. We can handle the truth! Duane: The more information you give us, the better results end up being. Thats truly what this comes down to. So personalization can expand and become more inclusive over time if we understand that you have that broad aspect. I remember back when personalization first started at Google, I had this struggle. I have a number of hobbies. One has to do with Jeeps, another has to do with motorcycles. And I would go for weeks on end searching for accessories and parts and different things for Jeeps. And then, just one day Id burn out on that and Id flip over to do something about a motorcycle, and yet my search results were still slightly tinted with this historical reference to Jeep items. Im kind of looking at it saying, Damnit! Follow me! Im done with that mentally. Weve moved way past that at this stage, right? So the more information that we know about what you like, that broad spectrum of what you like, the better these types of things end up becoming. I mean who here has searched to the end of the internet on every topic? OK, so two people. Awesome. [laughter] OK, Im going to call that a rounding error. But the reality is that we do often tend to stick within one area of the internet that we like. Now, it will expand and contract naturally based on our interests, or topics of the day, or these kinds of things, but normally we come back around to this sort of idea that this is the core of who I am; this is what I like. So were trying to learn from that and trying to follow it. That helps us understand not just about you standing there in the red shirt, but you representative as a group of people, and does standing there in a red shirt necessarily correlate to what everyone else is thinking, or is there a difference? So Im looking at this from two perspectives. One, with my search engine hat on, Im saying, This is a good thing, and two, as a user of search, Im saying, This is a good thing. You know, Ive been in the world of SEO coming on 15 years now and this is the golden age of getting information easily that is the right information. Matt: Just to add to that a little bit, Im keeping an eye on the Twitter stream and Kathy Holly asks: Given the new personalization of search results, how can I even tell objectively how Im doing in search rank, which kind of goes back to the filter bubble idea a little bit. Something that most people dont know is when we personalize the results, we show you down at the bottom of the page results for personalized. You can click and you can see how they were personalized, for what reason, and then, if you want to, you can do the search again with personalization turned off. So with the rollout of Search Plus Your World, we even added a little checkbox right there in the search results where you can say, Dont show me any personalized results, and you can even set a setting that says, I dont want to see any. So there are a lot of ways to turn it off, but I completely agree with Duane that if you are willing to give us a little bit more information about what you are interested in or what you like, we can give you so much better search results. So, for the most part, it helps. And normally, its only a very soft thing, but it can really surface a lot of really useful results. But you absolutely can turn it off, at least on Google, if you are interested in it. Danny: Matt actually lies. Im going to demonstrate his lie. Dont worry, thats all right, Matt. Its just you guys have overlooked it. But remember I mentioned if you are logged out you get personalization? So what I searched for earlier, remember I searched for hotelsMatt had said something about Paris, so I did a search for Paris. Then I was having some fun, so I did a search for Paris Hilton. And then I did a search for Utah. And then I did a search for hotels. And if you look at my search results, notice down here I am getting a listing for Paris hotels? And see how it says, You recently searched for Paris. Now, thats an example of exactly what hes talking about. They are saying, Hey! Even though I dont know who you are and you are not even logged in, I can tell you searched for Paris. I can tell you searched for hotels. I think you are probably searching for Paris hotels that might be interesting to you. And thats the thing. The difficulty is because Im logged out, theres actually no way for me to turn that off. What they used to have at the bottom of the page is a little thing that said search customizations. Theyve lost that. And Matt, for some reason Im notyou know, you are not getting the other two buttons when Im logged out to turn that off. But if I were logged in, then I would get those kinda two buttons that look like this over here where theres a little person over there and a little thing over there, and I can turn that sort of stuff off. But what I would add to it is, if you go back to the earlier question that someone said of, Gosh, what do you do when you get 10 SEOs who are all optimizing their pages and ranking #1 for it? How is there more diversity? Its not even 10 SEOs that cause the problem. What do you do when you get 10 pages that are relevant on something, but they are not necessarily relevant to every single person for that search? At some point people get like, Well, I need to have something a little more customized. I need to have a better tailored experience. And thats what theyre trying to do with the personalization so that its not every single person has to see the same set of results and a certain number of people are dissatisfied with it because its just not on the topic that they were looking for. But they can better give you, if you will, your own set of results that might be more into it. Im addressing you as if it were your question, but the questioner has already headed off, thank you. So now you have your question! Question: Just one question in regards to site block and Panda. Is it possible for there to be brand rehabilitation for sites that essentially had a pent up sort of negative sentiment coming into Panda, site blocks were applied, then those site blocks were factored into the algorithm from then on. My question to you is: do you reassess those site blocks on a regular basis? And if you dont, how to webmasters manage to a metric that they have no transparency to? Danny: How many of you are familiar with the Panda update in the audience? OK, for the few of you that arent, it was a system that Google introduced last year so that if you really didnt have good content, not necessarily bad content, just sort of fast food-ish content, you might not rank as well as you have in the past. They run it periodically and it gets applied, and if you get hit by it, then you just may not do as well as you did in the past. Thats kind of a form of site blocking. Its not necessarily a block because it doesnt mean the sites not in the results at all, it just may not rank as well. And Google has other kinds of blocking that they do. So youre asking how you would get out of the Panda filter, or how do I just get out of your bad graces overall? Question: The actual manual block and understanding that that actually is a weighing factor, correct? So, can you rehabilitate yourself in that context? Danny: Matt, how do you get out of Panda if youve been hit? Can they just pay you? [laughter] Matt: Uh, no. They cant pay. [laughs] What we do recommend people doing is taking a fresh look at your site, step back. Sometimes people have gotten a little too close and theyve gone too far on optimizing or they are not paying enough attention to the user experience. If you revamp your site, if you look at the low quality contentcontent that probably doesnt meet the cut, try to get rid of that. Then try to make a fantastic user experiencesomething thats compelling. What we do is we recomputed our data typically every month. So we are often pushing out new data every month or so at this point. Its sort of irregular still, but its roughly every month or so we get a new months worth of data and we push that. Now, as far as the site block data, that is data where people have gone out of their way, whenever you click on a site and then click back, you will sometimes see a block, you know, site.com, whatever it is, and there is an element of Panda which is how many people have blocked the site. But it actually affects very few, relatively few sites. So Panda actually rolled out, the initial version, without that, and thats something thats a factor, but its not used nearlyit doesnt affect nearly as many sites as just the main elements of Panda. So the main thing that you can do is make sure that you try to take a look at your site, take a fresh look, take a step back, see whether you need to revamp the site, add functionality, maybe remove some low quality content. And then over time, as our signals adjust and we push out new data and we push out new iterations of the algorithm that hopefully the algorithms will respond to that. Question: But Matt, even for that small percentage of sites, is there a chance for that small percentage, through the manual block, to rehabilitate or to be reassessed? Danny: Sorry, you said for the small percentage of sites that are Question: That have been hit by manual site block. Is there a chance for them to rehabilitate themselves? Danny: Matt, what if you have manually gone through and tagged some of these things as Matt: So theres nothing manual about Panda. Panda is completely algorithmic. The number of sites compared to the rest of the sites affected by Panda is very, very small. We typically havent refreshed that list nearly as often because the list of sites that are blocked the most, you know, if you just stop and close your eyes and think about: What are some sites that I never want to see in my search results again? Hmm, yeah, Id be really happy if I never saw that site. Typically, that list of sites is relatively constant. So the sites that people hated last month and blocked a lot are typically the same sort of sites that they are blocking this month. So we havent refreshed that data as often. Id be happy to go back to the team and say, OK, do we need to take another look at it? But it is a very small fraction of sites overall thats affected compared to the number of sites thats affected by Panda as far as because of site blocks. Danny: So to clarify, you had the site blocking feature that came out where you started making it where people could specifically say, I dont want to see this kind of site again. I dont want it to show up in my search results. You pushed a little button that said, I want to block all this stuff and away it went. Thats actually been broken for like four months now. You cant even block pages if you want to. So, kind f on the one hand, you dont have to worry about that being factored in. So you are saying, Matt, that the data still hasnt been refreshed enough? Matt: It hasnt been refreshed relatively recently. Theres actually two ways to block. There is a Chrome extension that you can install. That was successful enough that we built something into the main web search results. So theres two different ways people can tell us about sites that they dont like and also, as a site benefit, remove them from the search results. So even though we havent refreshed it in the web search results, theres still this Chrome extension that continues to gather data for us. Question: Just as long as that data doesnt disappear some place and those penalties are always applied, is that reassessment? Thats all I was concerned about. Duane: The search engines, we dont hold a grudge, right? You truly have to suck to really pop on the radar to the point where there is something permanent against you. Danny: The hall of extraordinary suckiness. Duane: Yeah, totally. Totally. I mean this is a challenge for a lot of websites, right? Who here thinks they have an awesome website? Raise your hand. OK. Who here has ever gotten negative feedback about their website? Yeah, and you know what? Im willing to bet that that negative feedback is accurate, because someone is looking at it and saying the baby is ugly. You guys who all think you have awesome websitesand I didnt raise my hand, but I am in that campseriously, all of us need to take a second look, because our eyes will deceive us. So you may be looking at something and saying, Wow. I think it doesnt get any better than this. But you seriously have to open that up. Do the UX testing. Do conversion testing. Do all of these things to make sure that the independent voice of the user tells you when youve got it right. That sort of thing, if thats the path you are on, will go a long way to helping the site improve, getting rid of that deadwood content that might have been dragging you down at some point, all of that kind of thing. It makes a big difference for you. I mean the engines, were not in the business of blocking content. Thats not what we want to accomplish. We want more content. But if the signals are telling us that its kind of crappy, then thats it. Its not that the content is crappy. It may be the page thats housing it, the template, the wrapper. It could be anything thats putting the user off and giving us that signal. Matt: I think Duane is exactly write. Be aware that you might be subject to the Lake Woebegone affect. Not everybody can be above average. So it helps to really take a very clear look at your website sometimes. Danny: Were at our last 10 minutes. The time has gone so fast that Im going to the lighting round moment of our competition Duane: I have two items, though. Im sorry. These came through Twitter and Im going to address these. Danny: No, no! They are not here! They dont get to talk! Duane: I can answer Joshua Graham Danny: Im not going to be antisocial with social Duane: and Pam Kendall with one answer. Yes, Im Canadian. And why are Matt and I goofballs? My answer is because Im Canadian. [laughter] Danny: He is Canadian. I didnt want to comment on your Canadian-ness Duane: Someone asked literally: Why are SEOs like Matt Cutts and Duane Forrester such goofballs? [laughter] Danny: So lighting round, the rules are ask very briefly. The responses are very brief. And also, I will say that when the session ends, I dont think we immediately have to get out, so Duane will probably sit here. I will take this computer and turn it around for exactly 10 minutes. If you want to answer questions I will turn your video back on, Matt. Its really weird with you here in front of me. Duane: Yes. Come up and pat Matt on the head. [laughs] Danny: Your question? Question: Hi there. Ill try and make this real quick. We went through a rebranding a couple years ago. We had two URLs. We dropped the old one. Weve got a new one. And now for the old one, because we changed CMSs, weve got about 50,000 broken links. And when you go to them, its page not found. What is the best way in search engines to do that, because we had 301s. We had a lot of those, about 10,000 plus. But for some reason we had issues with speed and all the rest of it. So someone dropped them all. Now were back to nothing. So when someone goes to those pages, they are all dead. Danny: So you have 10,000 broken pages because your tech person decided the 301s were slowing things down and figured it was just better that people got an error page? Question: Yes, basically. Danny: So theyre kind of an idiot. [laughter] Danny: Could I just say, by the way, if you are on the tech side and your SEO comes to you and asks for a 301, give them the friggin' 301, OK? And if you are an SEO that is trying to get a 301, I mean my God, its like, you know, you are asking to be able to walk across the street! Could you go back and say that both Google and Bing said that if you dont get the 301 you should be fired? Wouldnt you endorse that, Bing? Duane: No, Im actually going to step this up a little bit. You need to take one of those IT people and shoot them. [laughter] Duane: I guarantee you the rest will fall in line. Now, you dont need to kill them. Just wing them a little bit. Danny: This is Texas. This is Texas, winging them is fine! Duane: Exactly. You are just making a point. Thats all. But no, seriously, this is a business issue; like, seriously a business issue. There is precious little that we as a search engine can do to solve your problem. I mean if I could, Id fly to where youre from , because you have a compelling accent and it sounds exotic, and then I would kick someone in the ass for you. [laughter] Duane: But when I ran SEO at MSN, I had this problem where someone from the IT group would come to me and say, Hey, were maintaining all of this, as if letting a file sit on a server is maintenance. But in their world, there is a form of maintenance going on with that, right? You have to help them understand. If you have to, hand draw them a graph that goes along nicely and then ends precipitously and show them what their action is going to do, and tell them they are on the nut to explain to management why the traffic evaporated, because its their action that will cause this. Your action is trying to avoid it. Matt: And the one thing that I would say is sometimes you still cant convince a tech guy to do a 301. And if thats the case, all the search engines came together with a thing called rel="canonical" where you can say, OK, heres this page, and I cant make a 301, but I can tell you its supposed to be over at this other location. So its a way to tell search engines: The preferred location for this page is this URL over here. So in an ideal world do a 301. But like my school account, I cant make them do a 301 and Im like, Dont you understand? I’m Matt Cutts! And theyre like, We dont care who you are. Were not going to do a 301. Thats the sort of situation that we invented rel="canonical" for, because sometimes, no matter what you do, those tech guys just arent going to listen to you. Danny: One last thing is if you have the 10,000 redirects and they really cant find a way to do it faster, go back and find your most hit pages and put in 10, or 20, or 100 of them for the important stuff. Duane: Yeah. Theres always workarounds for this stuff, so just prioritize them and youll probably get some of that back. Question: Hey. Ill be fast. I work for Mother Jones Magazine and were a long form investigative reporting magazine. Danny: I was just reading you on the airplane coming over. Question: Awesome. Fantastic. Thank you. We have this strange problem that happens sometimes where well have a great scoop, and itll go around the internet, The Times will link to us, it will be on Huffington Post, tons of traffic, tones of social buzz. Then the Huffington Post will write just a headline and it will take our first sentence, and they will win that new search term and we wont, despite the fact that we wrote the piece. Im wondering if you guys are working at all to develop something that would privilege original sources of content? Danny: I would totally do that, by the way. If I can have your ranking for Santorum because my article is fresher than yours [laughter] Danny: on the same topic, I will work on this personally.No. Go ahead. Sorry. Question: Any tips in general for this problem? Danny: This is a common problem, especially in the news space. Youve written this great content and then Arianna comes along and steals your first paragraph and then blips it all the way up above you, and then you kinda disappear. Why do you allow that, Matt? Why do you hate journalism so badly over at Google that you do such a thing? [laughter] Matt: We do look at freshness, because people complain about it the other direction. You know, you search for some topic that is breaking news and then theres some stale page from 1995, we get complaints from both sides. In general, we have tried to figure out who is the author of a page and tried to make sure that they are more likely to show up. You dont want scrapers or people who are just reusing your content somehow to beat you out if you are the person who put all the elbow grease and the sweat in to make a great piece. So one thing that we have produced is a standard where you can sort of say, I have the authorship of this article, and then we can sort of link that together, for example, with your Google profile, and then we can show a picture of your face right there. So we can say, This is John Markov [sp]or this is somebody who wrote this article. And that helps usIts another signal where we can try to figure out where the best content is. Its one of those where we dont get it right all the time, but we do try to get it right as much as we can. And weve gotten much better in the last year about trying to return the authoritative content. But its always a balance between fresh, versus stale, versus authoritative. Question: Cool. Thanks. Danny: Duane, did you want to add more, because it does happen at Bing as well? Duane: Yeah. The reality here is thatIt goes back to this New York Times discussion that I had earlier. Like, what were trying to do is make sure that the result we give back to the searcher satisfies them the most. In most cases thats a trusted name. We all may look at this and go, Oh yeah, OK. Huff-Po, whatever, blah, blah, blah, popcorn journalism. But the reality is if a large voice of people have come to look at this, like The Daily Show, if they believe that that is the news and a lot of people gravitate toward it, then the algorithm is self aware enough to follow that trend. What we are trying to do though is always iterate new things in there to make certain that we understand, OK, this is the author, these kinds of things. And this is why we look towards things like schema.org. Mark up your content. Make sure that we understand everything we can about that content. That helps us provide a richer set of search results and that improves everything for the website and the searcher. Danny: The other thing is consider out-blogging the blogs. So you write a long form piece and then Huffington Post comes along and cherry picks out the things. A good example of this was The New York Times article which was a fascinating article about how Target attracts everybody to the degree that they sent a father.A father was upset because Target was sending his daughter all this stuff saying that she must be pregnant. You know, give her pregnancy supplies, and like, How dare you do this! And theyd actually determined enough information that she probably was pregnant, and she was. [laughter] Danny: Which was the headline that I thinkI cant remember which blog pulled that nugget out of the New York Time article Audience Member: It was Forbes. Danny: Was it Forbes? As I like to refer to them, the new Huffington Post. But I mean they pulled that aspect out. New York Times didnt do it. The New York Times totally could have done it. The New York Times could have taken their long form article and blogged out four or five really key points that are in it as well and those things might have taken off. So consider that in some of those cases. Its harder if its not a long public topic that you have with it. But that might help. Yes? Question: Hey Danny: And you may very well be our last question. Im looking at the time here: 5:58. How many more have we got behind you? Question: Five or six. Danny: So is anybody going to actually kick us out of the room? Audience Member: Yeah. Danny: Why? Audience Member: [inaudible] Danny: Well he cant. I mean hesAll right. You are going to be our last question. Im really sorry for the rest of you. Dont be sad. You guys can immediately come up here and talk to them directly. Duane: Rush the stage. I want to feel like a rockstar. [laughter] Danny: Go ahead. Question: So, real quick. My site, Gripper.com. Its like three days old. Theres a huge rise in social discovery and visual discovery. Im thinking like sites like Pinterest or We Heart It, where its essentially an endless stream of images taken from other places. How does a machine differentiate, This is not a spammy web banner farm from 1999? This is actually useful Danny: OK. How do they know that Pinterest is useful? Question: And what are visual social discovery SEO best practices. Danny: What are SEO tips for visual discovery? Question: Well, if a site has very little meta data and very little Danny: Are you creating a Pinterest competitor? Question: Essentially, but if it has very little text to optimize against and very little meta data. Duane: Schema.org. Danny: Pinterest is probably actually not getting that much SEO traffic. Question: I guess what Im asking is how is it not penalized as just being a spammy web banner farm which, to a machine, it may look like? Duane: But theres no reason to penalize it. Its positively interacted with. A lot of people love it. A lot of people use it. All of the press about it is positive. You have to think beyond signals that are just SEO, right? Like, the search engines see everything that happens on the internet. We dont forget it. We know it. We catalogue it. And all of that we can extract sentiment from, and that helps us understand that even though I cant understand physically whats inside that photoits a picture of a dog with a ballI generally know that people are happy with Pinterest. Danny: Youve got some sites out there that have very light content. And, in fact, they might get penalized, right? Those sites typically probably do not have lots of inbound links and lots of things pointing at them that gives you a lot of positive signals. If you are looking to succeed, you are probably going to have to get that kind of positive buzz. Question: Its external link [xx 1:01:22]. Danny: Yeah. Question: Cool. Thank you. Danny: You are welcome. Go on. Well keep going until they tell me to stop. [crosstalk] Danny: All right, quick. Oh, its not going to work. Theyre walking out the door. You guys come on up. First of all, thank you Duane and thank you Matt, and thank you all for being here. [applause]~~~~~

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9 Yahoo Store Tips & Tricks!@@@@@@ If it takes too long to load, they're hitting the back button and moving on to your competition. Think 20K or smaller. If you have a full-page jpeg that you want to use, that's great, but make sure that you compress it at about 20%. The way Yahoo Store does graphics is that if you upload a full-screen .gif or .jpeg file, the software automatically generates a thubnail at 45 x 45 pixels for the section page, and then it automatically generates at 180 x 180 pixel image for the item page. The way you can see the big graphic is to then click on the item page and it will just load your full-page graphic. This is good for higher ticket items, or products where you need to see detail Also use the icon feature. ICONS allow you to use a separate thumnail for an item. So instead of showing a one-inch graphic of a Ford Thunderbird, you can have a one-inch FORD logo and when you click on it or the link then the item shows the "full" photo. Again, if you uploaded a "full-page" graphic then you can add Click the photo to see a larger picture. Have your 1-800 number, regular number, fax info, a baby company logo, mailing address, contact name, an e-mail link, and your company slogan on the bottom of every page. Make use of the variable FINAL TEXT . Whatever you place here is on the bottom of every page. You can also have links to your specials or most popular pages Take a product every week or two and run a special. That gives you an "excuse" to contact your e-mail list on a semi-regular basis, and it may motivate your potential clients to buy something to test you. We've noticed that many of our client's customers make a small order before ordering a large ticket item. Even if you don't have a catalog, have a mechanism for collecting the names & addresses of your prospects. Yahoo Store has the request catalog option which you can customize to some degree. This can be a most valuable resource in that it works 24-7 like your webstore. We have done past promotions to give away samples or to have a drawing to give away products with no purchase necessary (check local laws) to motivate folks to give their name, address, and e-mail address. Put a "last updated" date on your site if you update your site regularly to show people that you do update your site regularly. You can include this on the task bar by including the search button in the list of activated buttons or by including a link to http://www2.viaweb.com/cgi-bin/nsearch?YOUR_ACCOUNT_NAME which will take you to your search page, OR you can actually call the search button by using this code: [FORM METHOD=GET ACTION="/cgi-bin/nsearch"] [INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME=catalog VALUE="YOURNAME"] [INPUT NAME=query TYPE=TEXT SIZE=30] [INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE="Search"] [/FORM] which will look like this: Use salesmanship in print. With each product list the features and then explain why the customer needs to buy it. List customer benefits, not just product features, and then ask for the sale. Turn your Order button into a Click Here to Order button or an Add to Shopping Cart button. All you have to do is look under variables and change the parameter ORDER BUTTON . Selling collectible porcelain dolls? Instead of "Amanda" for the NAME of a collectible doll, name the product "Amanda - Collectible, Hand-Painted Porcelain Doll." This will help with the deeper search engines like Alta Vista. Remember, the whole point of this is to give your potential customer every reason to do business with you. You want to give them the information that they need in order to buy from you. Whether you do it yourself, or hire a designer to do your Yahoo Store, the Livestore software makes it easy to make stores that are easy for your customers to use. -- Rob Snell ~~~~~

@@@@@@@ UPTIME SURVEY 3-27 SURVEY form SUMMARY READ ALL RESULTS ~~~~~

[ARTICLE] Search Engine Land: Mr. Search Marketer Goes To Congress PART 1@@@@@@http://searchengineland.com/080623-090312.php~~~~~

[ARTICLE] Search Engine Land: Mr. Search Marketer Goes To Congress PART 2@@@@@@http://searchengineland.com/080702-074541.php~~~~~

[HTML] SCRIPT: Rob Snell's Oral Presentation to US Congress@@@@@@~~~~~

[PDF] US CONGRESS: Yahoo! Store Author Rob Snell's Written Testimony @@@@@@http://www.house.gov/smbiz/hearings/hearing-6-25-08-ads/Snell.pdf~~~~~

[VIDEO] YouTube: Rob Snell Reading Written Testimony (5min)@@@@@@http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWv42Dt6ahI&feature=PlayList&p=62E82221047648AC&index=4~~~~~

[VIDEOS] YouTube Playlist: 19 Videos ONLINE ADVERTISING@@@@@@http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=62E82221047648AC~~~~~

About Me@@@@@@ My Google+ Page ~~~~~

About Rob Snell@@@@@@Rob Snell: Mike and Istvan are two of the smartest guys I know, but especially when it comes to getting things done with a Yahoo Store . I mean, they practically wrote the book on RTML, the underlying proprietary scripting language that is the foundation of your Yahoo Store. Getting the chance to sit down and pick Mike and is Istvan's brain about what you can do to your Yahoo Store with RTML is worth the price of admission alone. For instance, I was a guest speaker at one of the last seminars they did and in the middle of one of the classes I made an off-hand remark about how it sure would be nice to do have a template that did something, but that I couldn't figure out how to do it. Istvan just smiled, and in a few seconds, knocked out the RTML code to do what I've been wanting to do for several years. Holy cow! Like Joe Morin always says: It's not what you know, it's who you know... ~~~~~

About Rob Snell -- BIO & Contact Info@@@@@@ click pic for bigger pic SNELL BROTHERS, 500 Russell Street, Suite 1, Starkville, MS 39759 info@ystore.com Rob Snell Partner Snell Brothers SNELL BROTHERS, 500 Russell Street, Suite 1, Starkville, MS 39759 info@ystore.com Rob Snell Partner Snell Brothers Rob Snell is co-owner of Gun Dog Supply , a hunting dog supply retailer, and Managing Partner of Snell Brothers Consulting , a firm specializing in search marketing for Yahoo! Stores. Rob has extensive Yahoo! Store experience with both family-owned stores and consulting clients. The Snell Brothers have designed, developed, marketed and/or maintained hundreds of Yahoo Stores that have generated tens of millions of dollars in online sales. Rob has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Mississippi State University. Rob is the author of Starting a Yahoo! Business For Dummies (Wiley Computer Publishing). Rob Snell loves e-commerce and all things Yahoo! Store. He is totally obsessed with search marketing and increasing his stores' conversion rates. He is a small business owner, online retailer, search marketing / e-commerce consultant, and Yahoo! Store developer. He's been online since 1990 and opened his first online store in 1997 when his brother, Steve Snell stumbled across Viaweb (now Yahoo! Store). Rob now consults with Yahoo! Store retailers on improving their e-commerce sites and maximizing their search-marketing campaigns and is a guest speaker and lecturer on search marketing and e-commerce for small business. Rob recently testified to the United States Congress on the Impact of Search Marketing on Small Business [PDF testimony] . Links He also was invited by the Icelandic Trade Council as the keynote speaker to tell how e-commerce saved his family's business . In April, he gave the keynote at PubCon called Real World E-Commerce : How he got over $10 million in additional sales from one major change to his Yahoo! Stores. In September, Rob gave the keynote at the Yahoo! Merchant Summit in Sunnyvale on the Impact of Google Instant on E-Commerce SEO and how has generated millions of visitors and over $50 million dollars in online sales for his Yahoo! Stores from search engines. Rob posts somewhat regularly in his Yahoo! Store blog at ystore.blogs.com and guest posts from time to time in the Yahoo! Store Blog . Newsletter info @ ystore.com Twitter http://twitter.com/robsnell Facebook http://www.facebook.com/robsnell var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-5171706-1"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); ~~~~~

accent furnishings@@@@@@http://www.accentfurnishings.com~~~~~

Adventure Camping@@@@@@http://store.yahoo.com/camping-gear~~~~~

Africa Gems@@@@@@~~~~~

Alesha Calvert -- Letter of Recommendation @@@@@@February 23, 2005 To Whom It May Concern, Please do NOT hire, admit, underwrite, give scholarship, or otherwise entice away the best assistant I've ever had. Alesha Calvert is my right hand. For the past four years, she has taken care of the mundane so I can explore and grow our company. Alesha does the day to day stuff so I can concentrate on strategic planning and R&D. She does everything from client management (300+ clients) to web site development (30+ properties) to brainstorming new revenue sources. Alesha has been completely responsible for the maintenance of a [redacted] retail ecommerce website. Before we were hired for the project, this site did less than $15,000 a year. Now that site does $5,000,000 + a year. She has taken product photographs, written product descriptions, rewritten manufacturer copy, created product and other images, and maintained the 1500+ page website on a day-to-day basis, even when not "at work." She also helps maintain the search engine marketing accounts on Google Adwords and Overture, as well as performing basic search engine optimization. Alesha spins on a dime. She reacts well to changing business conditions because she has the ability to learn new skills very quickly. My business model has changed from an e-commerce production company where we charged hourly rates into a marketing firm where we get a percentage of gross sales. This has radically changed how we work on projects, and she's handled the change extremely well. Alesha demands a learning environment. She will not tolerate being bored. I'm always teaching her new things which causes me to revisit how and why we do things. Alesha also has entrepreneurial ability which you can see in her purse design business. I started this company as a college student in 1989, so I'm very aware of collegiate entrepreneurs. I see a lot of kids with great ideas, but no one ever executes. Alesha does. I realize that bigger opportunities will lure her away. You are lucky if you get her. Rob Snell Partner Snell Brothers P.S. Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me at the office at 662-320-9196.~~~~~

AllBusiness.com: Leverage the Internet to Weather the Economic Downturn@@@@@@http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/marketing-advertising-channels/10883665-1.html~~~~~

Amber Plex@@@@@@~~~~~

Amma Shop@@@@@@~~~~~

An Internet Marketing Plan that Works@@@@@@A new client did a great job of checking out my references. He said that if I could convert client love into money, I'd be set for life. He said my clients pretty much said the same 4 things: (1) I had a contagious enthusiasm for what I do (results-based internet marketing using Yahoo Store), (2) I was honest about what I know and don't know, (3) I listened to my clients, and (4) that my clients made more money as a result of hiring me for marketing consulting, Yahoo Store design & development.~~~~~

AnimaLoos Kid Zoo@@@@@@~~~~~

apartments for rent in starkville ms@@@@@@~~~~~

apartments in starkville ms@@@@@@ Renting in Starkville, Mississippi? MSU student, faculty, or staff? Need an apartment, townhouse, or rental house in Starkville, MS ? Contact Jan Rhodes and tell 'em Rob Snell & COPY COW sent ya! Call (662)-323-8700 ext. 30 or see her website .~~~~~

Artist Eric Yonge@@@@@@http://ericyonge.com/index.html~~~~~

As seen in Inc. Magazine@@@@@@http://www.inc.com/magazine/19990301/4568.html~~~~~

Aten Software LLC@@@@@@~~~~~

Avinash's Blog@@@@@@http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/~~~~~

Baby Gift Idea (Yahoo! Store)@@@@@@http://store.yahoo.com/babygiftideas~~~~~

Binding Stuff@@@@@@~~~~~

Bluebird house@@@@@@The bluebirds still live here. Thought they would have been scared off by the fence guys.~~~~~

Body Body@@@@@@~~~~~

Bravewood Jazz Bass@@@@@@~~~~~

BUTTONS (Front Page Element)@@@@@@If you use TOP-BUTTONS, this determines where the buttons go in the order of the page.~~~~~

Buyer's Guide to Search Engine Optimization Firms@@@@@@~~~~~

Carriage Trade Service Co.@@@@@@~~~~~

Case Study: Yahoo! Store sales increase of $826,221.62 (last 365)@@@@@@Remember that email I sent you about a year ago about TOPRIGHT.com -- my buddy Ron's Yahoo! Store related service? Well, it's been working wonders for my stores and my retailers' stores. My best rev-share retailer's sales are about to crack the $3 million dollar mark, (up $826,221.62 over the same period from the previous year). He's freaking out, but in a good way... --> Case Study: Yahoo! Store sales increase of $826,221.62 (last 365) Howdy! Three things in this email: + I've got two new speaking / conference appearances + a $826,221.62 sales increase since last year's email + and announcing a free Yahoo! Store Webinar in JUNE (Email Marketing). How's the weather in your neck of the woods? Man, it's hot down here in Mississippi. All the college kids are gone and summer just showed up with temps in the 90s and high humidity. To beat the heat, I'm about to head north to Seattle for Danny Sullivan's SMX ADVANCED 2008. I'll also be in Chicago in a couple of weeks for INTERNET RETAILER 2008. I'll speak on THURSDAY on the Yahoo! Stores panel at 8-something in &%@#$ morning. If you're at either show, look me up! Remember that email I sent you about a year ago about TOPRIGHT.com -- my buddy Ron's Yahoo! Store related service? Well, it's been working wonders for my stores and my retailers' stores. My best rev-share retailer's sales are about to crack the $3 million dollar mark, (up $826,221.62 over the same period from the previous year). He's freaking out, but in a good way. The emails have worked enough to where his wife complains when we send out promo emails because she has to work overtime to fill the hundreds of extra orders! Ha! I think she really likes it, though, and is just teasing me. Check out these sales graphs: Notice how the the peaks on first graph are around $15K and the peaks on the second graph are over $30K. Also notice those spiky jumps sticking out. Those are days when we sent targeted emails using Ron's TOPRIGHT.com tool. The $826,221.62 sales increase isn't ALL from email marketing. Some of the boost is just plain old natural growth, and some is better optimized SEO and PPC campaigns, but email marketing has been the biggest helper this past year. Anyway, Ron's been after me to stop and do a FREE WEBINAR on how we do email marketing using his tools and show folks what has worked for us on our Yahoo! Stores. Ron's looking for a few more customers and I just like to run my mouth in front of an audience about this stuff. Limited to Yahoo! Store owners only. DAY/DATE/TIME Friday, June 20, 2008 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PDT See details here: href=https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/689210020 Anyway, I hope you sign up and I look forward to seeing you at the webinar. I'll follow up with another email with more details about what we're talking about around the actual week of the webinar, and if you sign up, we'll send you a reminder or two. I'll also post details in my blog. Thanks! -- Rob P.S. As you probably know, I'm not a communist! I'm on the Web to make some bucks, and this hour-long webinar will be more like a class about how I do Yahoo! Store email marketing using Ron's Topright.com service. Ron will be flying co-pilot to keep me on target, and to answer questions about the TOPRIGHT stuff, but it won't be an infomercial. Ron's picking up the tab for this one, and is looking for a few new clients, but don't expect a hard sell... Some WEBINARS are simply glorified commercials (which drive me nuts). WHAT'S A WEBINAR? If you've never participated in a Webinar, here are some things you might want to know. Simply put, a Webinar is a seminar conducted over the Web + telephone. It's a lot more like a live "talk radio" interview with some visuals than a TV show or pre-recorded video. WHY WEBINARS ARE BETTER -- Webinars are live, not pre-recorded, so there's a lot more energy than in a pre-recorded session. When it's live, anything can happen! My experience is that folks tend to share waaaaay more real $$$ information live when they don't have the opportunity to edit in post-production. If there's time, at the end of the Webinar we'll have a Q&A where you can ask questions via a chat window or text or email. 1) Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/689210020 2) After you register for the Webinar, you'll get a confirmation email with a phone number, the Webinar's code, and a link. 3) On Friday, June 20, 2008, open your email a little before 1:00 PM PACIFIC time. Open your browser, click the link, and log into the GotoMeeting session. You'll see a welcome screen and then when we start, you'll follow along as I walk through some slides and screenshots. 4) To hear the audio, you call the conference call number in the email, enter the Webinar Code #, and you get to hear me talking with my buddy, Ron. Don't worry, your phone is MUTED so you can do whatever you want while the Webinar's going on. We have a limited number of spots, so register here right now if you're interested in increasing your sales with email marketing: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/689210020 ~~~~~

check your ADDitions@@@@@@I click on CONTENTS > index and see the new section on the NAVBAR~~~~~

Check your TITLE tag on your homepage.@@@@@@Look at your homepage in the store Editor. Click the Edit button and scroll down to the PAGE-TITLE field. Make sure the first 66 characters contain your most valuable keyphrases in a human readable list. For example: 123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456 Need Yahoo Store Help? Read Ystore books, blog & 2006 Seminar info Need Yahoo Store Help? BUY MY BOOK! RobSnell.com Ystore Development YAHOO STORE Designers --> ~~~~~

ClickZ: House Members Oppose Online Ad Regulation, for Now@@@@@@http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3630050~~~~~

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content is duplicate?@@@@@@How Department Stores Are Carried On BY W. B. PHILLIPS NEW YORK DODD, MEAD & COMPANY 1901 [Pg 100] Book-keeping, Buying, Checking, Etc. Where the business is large, the country is usually divided up into districts or sections, each division being designated by a letter; thus one State or Province would be known as "A," and another as "B," and these sections each usually have a head under the supervision of the Manager. A simple form of cash book is largely made use of, by which the number and amount of each order only is entered under its proper division column. The totals of these columns must agree with the total amount of cash received. Orders follow in their natural course to the book-keepers, who, under the date received, enter the orders in regular order by number, name and address, and credit the customer with the amount received. Cashier and book-keepers are able to compare entries by number and amount, and should always agree. All orders, after being entered in the [Pg 101]books, are generally examined by one or more appointed for this work, who note anything of importance on the order, marking it in such a manner as to attract special attention. Bargains on sale that day, which are usually marked "Rush," requests to have goods delivered by a certain time, enclosed with a shipment made by another house, or with goods already bought and holding; in fact, anything and everything requiring any particular or extra care, so that no omission of instructions will occur, and that the detail of each order shall be distinctly carried out. All requests for samples, catalogues, etc., are put in hand at once, so that this work is being done promptly, and while the other work in connection with the order is being carried on. All orders, after being examined, everything noted and all specials sorted out, are classified into large, small or medium. All orders for only one article, such as gloves, drugs, jewelry, books, etc., are separated from orders for [Pg 102]miscellaneous merchandise, all credits referred to looked up, and everything put into complete shape for buyers to handle. As orders are distributed among the buyers, they are charged with the number received, and are individually held responsible for all orders while in their possession. In some cases buyers are not used, but orders are copied on requisition sheets, and sent to the different departments to be filled; but where a large retail business is done, the method of using buyers is largely adopted. The buyers' duties are many, and a great deal depends upon their ability and skill. They are expected to keep a record of all orders received and how disposed of. Their orders must be read carefully and thoroughly understood; if they lack any information, such as color, size, samples, or any errors in extensions or additions, they must be observed, and, where necessary, consulted about. All requests for estimates or prices asked for on orders [Pg 103]must be got from the proper department, written up clearly, and have the signature of one whose authority is recognized. Where goods are going by express or freight, the buyers usually make use of a purchasing card. They are provided with check books, and, as they visit the different departments and make their selections, they make out a check in duplicate for each purchase, leaving both with the salesperson. The top check is sent with the goods to the mail-order sorting section, and the duplicate is sent to the cash office, just the same as though it were actual money. This duplicate check represents so much money and is taken in payment for goods. Great care is exercised in making out these checks. Not only is one half treated as cash, but the other half goes with the goods direct to the customers, showing them exactly how their money has been spent. These checks must be written plainly with good figures, and give a full description of goods, prices, etc. [Pg 104]The date, exact time purchase is made, the department bought from, sales number and order number, must all appear on each check, and all have such important relations to the work that any omission or carelessness cannot be allowed. On their purchasing card they enter the number of the order they are buying, and enter this same number on every check belonging to that order, also entering each purchase as bought on the purchasing card by department, sales number, and amount. When the purchase is completed, the order and purchasing card are handed to a shipping clerk, who examines the order as to shipping instructions, enters the name and address and how goods are to be shipped on this card, when they are passed to a clerk who examines the order carefully, to see that everything has been bought correctly, no omissions made, all additions correct, and who, when satisfied that the order is executed properly in every particular, sends the order with proper charge slip attached [Pg 105]back to the book-keeper, and the purchasing card is sent to the sorting or inspecting room, where goods in the meantime have been sent. [Pg 106] Assembling and Packing Mail-Order Goods. This assembling section is arranged to provide space for goods until each order is completed. Under a system largely made use of by several houses, the original number stamped on the order and entered by the buyer on every check belonging to that order is here made use of as the sorting number. Sorting tables are arranged for receiving goods, and are numbered from one to ten. Checks accompany all goods, and if the number of the check is say 2,617, the goods are placed on No. 7 table; if check is number 2,618, goods would be placed on No. 8 table, and so on. The last figure on every check denotes the table it is to be placed on, and, as orders are numbered consecutively as they are received, the goods are very evenly distributed over the ten tables; and, as all numbers must end in some figure between one and ten, the ten tables thus provide for all numbers. [Pg 107]Shelving is partitioned off back of these tables with a space of about eighteen inches square in each compartment. These compartments are four or more high and as many in number as the business demands. While the last figure in any check number denotes the table it is to be placed on, so the last two figures are made use of to indicate what particular compartment the goods are to be placed in. Thus, check No. 2,617 and goods go to No. 7 table, and when placed go to No. 17 compartment; No. 2,627 with goods go to No. 7 table and No. 27 compartment, and so on, sufficient space being provided for the repetition of these endings as required. No. 2,617 being entered on checks belonging to Mr. Blank's order, and this number appearing on his checks only, all his goods find their way to No. 7 table, and are placed in No. 17 compartment, and checks are filed in this compartment as goods are placed. The purchasing card used by the buyer, and on which [Pg 108]the order number and all the items bought appear, is carefully compared with checks, and when checks representing all goods on this card are received the order is complete and ready for packing. All goods as received on sorting tables are opened up, looked over carefully, checked, weighed, measured, colors, sizes, qualities and quantities critically examined, compared with description, and particulars given on checks; and if not satisfactory must be set aside and refused until made O. K. When an order is complete, the goods and card are taken from this inspecting section and sent to the express or freight-packing section of the shipping room, each lot of goods being kept in a separate compartment until packed. Experienced packers are employed, who again, and finally, compare goods with bills, and check everything carefully while packing. According to the nature of the goods, they are wrapped in paper, boxed, baled or crated, entered up in shipping books [Pg 109]according to shipping instructions on card, and handed over to the different transportation companies as called for, and cards are filed for reference. [Pg 110] Goods Sent by Mail, Correspondence, Paying for Goods, Etc. Where goods are ordered to go by mail, checks are made out as before, but with this usual difference, that buyers retain the top check and bring the goods with them. Each item as bought is entered by department, sales number and amount on a shipping and charge sheet. When an order going by mail is all bought, it is carefully checked by the buyer, weighed, and the amount of postage determined as near as possible, when goods and order are handed to shipping clerk, who enters the name and address on the shipping slip, when all are passed to the mailing section, where goods are carefully checked, wrapped, weighed, amount of postage determined, parcels addressed, stamps put on, entered by name, address and amount of postage in a parcel-mailing book, and placed on sorting table, after [Pg 111]which they are sorted and placed into different bags by State, Province, or whatever division of parcels the post office authorities may name, that will facilitate rapid handling and quick despatch. Should a parcel, when wrapped, require more postage than customer has allowed money for, it should be laid aside, and the head of division should determine whether to hold parcel and write for the additional amount required, omit something from the parcel, or allow the customer to remit the balance due. Where small amounts are to be returned to customers, in some cases their particular parcels, as wrapped, may be left open at one end and placed on a separate table, where, after checking, a small envelope containing the amount to be returned may be enclosed in the parcel. These little envelopes may be prepared in advance and placed in separate divisions, all one-cent envelopes being in one space, all two-cent envelopes in another, and so on, so that the work [Pg 112]can be done rapidly, and a great saving effected in postage on letters which otherwise would require to be written in order to return the balance due. All registered parcels are kept separate and signed for by the post office authorities. It is easy at any time, by reference, to find out exactly how a package was addressed, how much postage was put on the parcel, how much money was enclosed, whether registered or not, and just what mail it was sent out on. All orders, when properly checked, should be passed back to the book-keepers, who, having made the original entry and credited the cash when the order was first received and before goods were bought, may now refer to that order number, name and address again, and charge the customer with amount of goods sent, amount of postage paid, and cash returned, or remaining to be returned, thus balancing the account. A simple index system may be made use of for any debit or credit balances that [Pg 113]may require to be kept. Orders pass on to heads of divisions, who examine all carefully, sorting out any that may be replied to by form cards or letters, seeing that all necessary explanations and enquiries have been submitted, made and signed by those authorized, and that they are satisfactory, and who dictates all necessary replies. All replies, when dictated and type-written, are handed back for examination, and, when correct, are signed and given to cashier, who encloses any balance to be returned, keeping a record of the same by number and amount, when the letters are sent to the mailing section, stamped and mailed, and orders sent to be filed with copy of reply attached. The graphophone system of dictating and reproducing is largely made use of in place of shorthand where the business is large, and is found to greatly facilitate the handling of correspondence. Personal representation of the customers by everyone associated with [Pg 114]the different departments is especially encouraged. The buyer who visits the departments cannot be compelled to accept anything except what in her judgment is O. K. She represents the customers absolutely, stands in their place, and studies their interests at every turn, and this same personal interest is specially observed by every individual clerk in whatever relation they may bear to orders or goods passing through their hands. The payment for goods purchased by the mail-order department is extremely simple. The duplicate checks made out by buyers and given to salespeople when selecting goods represent so much money, and are sent to the cash office immediately. They are collected here and sent to the check office or auditing department daily, where they are all audited. The total amount of these checks represents the total amount of goods bought that day, and the mail-order cashier thus hands over the exact amount required to pay for goods [Pg 115]received. As these checks also show the different departments goods have been purchased from, they are all sorted out by departments, and each department, therefore, receives credit for its share of the money. Likewise is it easy to know at all times just what percentage of cost the total mail-order expense is upon the business done. The mail order expense properly consists of its share of light, heat, power and rental, sundry expenses, such as stationery, office fixtures, furniture and wages paid. The wages list, properly divided, should show how much is paid for buying, book-keeping, type-writing, samples, checking, packing, etc., and if wages paid in each division week by week and the amount of business done are compared with any previous week's expenses and business, the department is promptly made aware of any unnecessary increased expense, just exactly where that unnecessary increase is, and the remedy may be applied at once. The catalogue [Pg 116]expense may also be readily arrived at. The total issue costs a certain amount, and according to the number of pages each department occupies, so in this proportion may be estimated each one's share in the expense. Each department manager, knowing what his catalogue space may have cost for a certain issue, and what amount of business he may have done from that issue, can estimate exactly what percentage of cost his mail-order advertising is upon his sales, while the total catalogue expense for any one issue may be added to the other total mail-order expense for that time, and the exact percentage of cost may be arrived at upon the total amount of mail-order business done. Such a system may be adopted and made actual use of that will point out at once the exact condition of every part of this business, and provide a safety valve which will indicate at all times the true profit or loss, and through just what channel that loss or gain accrues. [Pg 117] Filing Correspondence. Systems of filing differ, but where the business is large, one of two methods is largely adopted, that is filing either by number or place. When filed by number, the original number stamped on the order is made use of for filing purposes. Where the place file is used, suitable boxes or drawers are arranged in cases, each box being labelled on the outside indicating its contents. These drawers are provided with cards on which are printed or written the different post offices in each State or Province, and arranged for easy reference. Thus all correspondence coming from any one town is filed together next its town card, and where the mail from any one town is large it may be subdivided by an alphabetical index. Thus, to find Mr. B.'s order from Blank Town reference is first made to the drawer which contains Blank Town, and under this town, among the Bs, will be found [Pg 118]Mr. B.'s orders. One set of drawers may be made use of for each month's filing, and, therefore, as many sets of drawers are provided as will correspond with the number of months letters may be preserved. Separate files may also be kept (usually alphabetical by name) for filing letters, such as those where customers have forgotten to give size, color, or measurements, where they have overlooked enclosing samples, or any omission or circumstance which may cause customers to be written to and their orders held for further information, or orders that may have any balance holding to credit, etc. The filing must be very accurately done, as constant reference is made, and it is of the utmost importance that any correspondence required shall be found with the greatest despatch. [Pg 119] Special Orders. A special effort should be made to have the system so arranged that it will enable the mail-order department, as well as every other department in connection with the house, to know how many orders are partly bought and holding for goods which have been ordered that are not in stock, or that require to be made. The buyer who finds anything asked for on an order which a department cannot supply at once (and no checks should be taken unless the order can be filled promptly) should give someone appointed by each department full particulars of what is required, the number of the order, name of customer, description, size, or measurements of goods to be made or procured. When everything is bought, with these exceptions, the order should be then handed to a special mail-order clerk, who should note what is lacking to complete the order, and in a set of special department files (space being [Pg 120]provided for each department) should place the holding order. He should visit the different departments, ascertaining particulars concerning each order, find out what efforts are being made to fill the same, and crowd these orders to completion, where necessary, writing customers explaining any cause of delay. As each department secures the goods required, the mail order department should be notified immediately, when the order may be quickly produced from its department file, check made out and order completed. It is easy to ascertain at any time through such a system exactly what goods each department lacks, and direct such efforts as will provide for the least possible lack of stock and the least possible delay in executing orders. [Pg 121] Returned Goods, Exchanges, and Complaints. A separate section should be devoted to returned goods or exchanges. As goods are received the packages should be examined as to identification, whom and where from, and entered up alphabetically under the date received, with all particulars required, and goods placed in suitable compartments. When letter of explanation is received, goods are easily located, and both should be given to special exchange clerks, who will secure the necessary exchange bills and make such new selections as customers may desire. The cause of all goods returned should be thoroughly investigated in every instance, and where the fault lies with the house, the customer should be reimbursed for any extra expense incurred; and whatever department or individual is to blame should be made fully acquainted with [Pg 122]their error, and such steps taken as will prevent a repetition of it. Usually associated with this work is a special section, which should deal with all letters of complaint. The cause of all complaints should be fully enquired into and at once. There should be no delay whatever, but immediate answers insisted upon. Explanations should be complete and to the entire satisfaction of customers, and any loss through carelessness or errors made good without reserve. Each department and their help should be held strictly accountable for any claims which, upon investigation, show where the responsibility should rest. This feature of promptly adjusting all differences and satisfying every reasonable demand leads to continued and increased confidence, and should, therefore, be given very particular attention. [Pg 123] Samples. The preparation, selection and sending out of samples should receive the most careful attention. In some cases requests for samples are distributed among the different departments and are filled and sent to the sample department, but this method with progressive houses is considered slow, and for this reason alone unsatisfactory. The improved method is to cut from the piece such lengths of goods as are required. These are sent to the sample department with width, price and full particulars, where suitable paper printed in squares, the size of sample to be sent, are attached. These are sewn by machines driven by electric power and afterwards cut in proper sizes by electric cutting knife, prices inserted and placed in partitioned spaces in drawers arranged in suitable cabinets. As requests for samples are received, they are filled direct from these drawers, [Pg 124]and sent out by the next mail. Help is employed here who by long experience become familiar with all classes of sampleable goods, and who are under the direct management of one who thoroughly understands interpreting the customers' wants, and who bears no unimportant part to whatever measure of success may result from the sale of all goods by sample. [Pg 125] Keeping Employees' Time. This position requires a man of considerable firmness, as he comes in contact with every employee, and is bound to enforce the discipline of the house as applied to absentees and lates, regardless of any partiality or favoritism. He has direct charge of the cloakrooms, and must see that they are kept neat and clean, and that each individual has a certain space allotted. He should be on duty early and late, and should see that every one registers their time in passing in and out. A record of all employees going out on passes should be kept, and none should be accepted unless signed by those authorized. He should keep a record of employees' names and addresses, and have the same checked up regularly. He should supply wages department and also heads of departments with a report of all who are absent. Where so many are under the charge of heads of departments, it is impossible [Pg 126]for them to tell at once who may be absent. The time-keeper should notify them promptly every morning and noon, and they will thus be enabled to arrange immediately, so that the work done by absentees is provided for. He should not allow parcels of any kind to be carried in or out of the store, nor allow anyone to renter the store after passing the time desk in going out, or return to the cloakrooms after passing the time desk going in. As part of the store help must go to dinner at one hour and part at another, he should regulate it so that those who go out one hour are back in their departments before others are notified, thus preventing crowding on stairways and passages. Departments are usually notified by bells, and each is familiar with its particular signal. Doors should be closed sharp on the minute, and all lates excluded. No matter what system for registering time is used, it is easy to determine who is late or absent, as on coming in all keys or time cards hanging on the [Pg 127]time board are on one side of the time clock, and when the time is registered they are hung on the opposite side. Those which have not been removed indicate at once who has not come in. Time cards of any absent, who have not sent in a reason for absence, should be removed from the time board and such employees should secure permission from those authorized before their time can be again marked. Lists of those going on holidays should be supplied time-keeper, and their cards should also be removed. The time-keeper should supply the wages department with correct time sheets, as desired. He should see that employees are orderly in passing in and out, and permit no loitering in the cloakrooms. A register is usually placed at the exit door, which should be signed by one appointed for each department or section of the store when leaving at night, certifying that all persons have left their department, and that all windows are secured, blinds down, etc. [Pg 128] Employing Help. The hiring of help is largely centered in one individual for the entire store. Departments requiring additional help should notify the employment office, and give particulars of the kind of help required, which fact should be noted and filed for reference, a preference being given former employees seeking rengagement. The hours for engaging help are usually from 8 to 10 A. M., after which no applications are considered for that day. All applicants must be treated with courtesy. Even though no immediate help is required, applicants in many cases are permitted to fill out application, which should be placed on file for reference, and a satisfactory applicant may then be notified as soon as a position is open. All applications should contain, as far as possible, full particulars concerning applicant. It should show the date of engagement, name, address, whether married or single, nationality, church [Pg 129]denomination, where previously employed, for how long, and reasons for leaving. References should be given, who may be communicated with, and whose replies should be attached to application. Application blank should show salary agreed upon and for what particular department employed. Space should be provided for percentage record, and for transfer from one department to another, for increased salary recommendations, which are usually signed by heads of departments and passed by those appointed. They should be at all times a complete and permanent record of each employee. All help is usually engaged upon the distinct understanding and agreement that they are privileged to leave any day, or their services may be dispensed with at any time. A new employee, when given a time card or key, and the time-keeper has explained the system of registering time, etc., and allotted cloakroom space, is conducted to the head of the department or assistant. [Pg 130] Paying Wages. The system of registering time furnishes accurate information for estimating wages. The time sheets kept by the time-keeper are here made use of. The name of each employee under the respective department each one is attached to, with number, rate of wages per week, number of days worked, actual wages due, etc., should be entered on the wages sheet. The total amount of money required on any pay day is given wages office, each individual's pay is placed in a pay envelope, sealed, numbered and entered in signature book. Each head of a department, or one appointed, receives all wages for that department, signing for the same, and sees that they are distributed and signed for by each individual as received. The work is done accurately and with despatch, as thousands are by this method paid their weekly earnings in a very short time. [Pg 131] Watchmen. Watchmen should report at the store each night, and as soon as the store is closed examine the leaving register, to see that each department has signed for everything having been left in perfect order. They should examine at once all doors and windows, seeing that they are securely fastened; also all other entrances to building, and all places where anyone might be concealed. They should report in writing anything irregular occurring during the night, leaving the same at the office, and repeat the report until the irregularity has been attended to. A regular patrol should be made throughout the entire building. An ingenious system of clock registration is made use of in some cases, which indicates upon examination in the morning the different stations each watchman has passed and the exact time of each passing during the entire night. In the event of fire or any other accident occurring [Pg 132]during the night, such special instructions should be followed as will meet with the ready response of whatever assistance may be required. [Pg 133] General Rules for Employees. Rules for employees are in force in all large Department Stores. Different stores differ in detail of rules, but the application is the same, all serving to build up the system of government which directs and controls the entire management. Weekly examinations are held in some instances, and familiarity with the rules exacted, thus enforcing and maintaining system and discipline. The hours for opening and closing business vary at different seasons of the year, of which due notice is given. The opening hour is usually 8 o'clock, at which time all employees are expected to be in their respective positions, all covers folded and put in proper places, stocks and counters dusted, and everything made ready for the day's business. All employees must enter and leave the store by employees' entrance, leaving all wraps, hats, rubbers, lunches, etc., in the cloakroom, [Pg 134]which is conveniently arranged for this purpose. Upon entering the store in the morning and upon leaving and returning at noon, and on going out at night, each individual records his or her time. If for good reason an employee is necessarily delayed, a permission pass may be obtained to commence work; but if late without a good reason being given, they cannot commence work until noon, and thus lose a half day's work and a half day's pay. Attendance to business must be punctual and regular. Continued lateness and absence would merit discharge. Employees who are absent for any cause must notify the house at once, either the head of their department or time-keeper, and satisfactory reasons given for being absent. Whenever a change of address is made, employees must report same to time-keeper at once. Employees must never leave the store during business hours (except for dinner) without a pass signed by [Pg 135]the head of the department and countersigned by one authorized. Blank pass books are usually supplied heads of departments. These passes should give the names of employees, their numbers, what departments employed in, date and time of going out, and must be presented to the time-keeper, who will permit employees to go to the cloakroom for wraps and pass them out. Employees must not leave their departments to go to any other part of the store without informing the head of the department, or assistant, and obtaining permission. Employees desiring to purchase goods for themselves are expected to do so during the least busy hours, usually from 8 to 9 A. M. A pass to purchase must be obtained from the head of the department. This pass is exchanged for a purchasing card. All employees' purchases must be made on purchasing card and sent by the regular delivery. If for any reason a parcel cannot be sent by the regular [Pg 136]delivery, and employee is to carry it home, these parcels must be O. K.'d by the proper party. A numbered check is given to the employee and a duplicate attached to the parcel. By presenting this check at the exit door, the package is delivered to the proper party. Parcels are not allowed to be carried into the store by employees. The wagons call upon request and deliver packages to the parcel office, where they may be obtained. Employees are to avoid gossiping and not allow their time to be taken up with friends who desire to visit with them during business hours. Loud conversation to be avoided. Business hours not to be occupied in reading books, papers, letter writing, needlework, etc. Loafing or wasting time away from departments not allowed. Extravagance and display in dress to be avoided. The use of striking colors and patterns is objectionable. The costume should be modest and neat in appearance. [Pg 137]Employees are expected to be courteous to each other, using the same dignity, respect, and care in add dressing others that they feel they are entitled to themselves. Should clerks be deserving of censure, it should be done in a gentlemanly manner, not before other employees or customers, thus retaining the respect of each other. The use of gum or tobacco, eating nuts, fruits, candy, or lunches during business hours is strongly objected to. Loitering around the outside of the building, on the corners or at the entrances, expectorating on the walks and giving the premises an untidy appearance will not be permitted. Defacing the walls, counters or fixtures, or abusing the property in any way, means immediate dismissal. All employees must learn to obey the orders of those whose authority is recognized, and be governed by the rules and regulations of the house; not only because they must, but for their own individual interests, and the [Pg 138]interests of the house in general. Some rules may appear rigid, but they are deemed necessary, and, therefore, must be obeyed, and the living up to them is not intended to be a reflection on the self-respect of any one. [Pg 139] Mechanical Section. Underneath the selling space in these large stores lies the network of machinery, all necessary for the prompt and careful adjustment of each day's work, furnishing the power for heating, lighting, elevator service, etc. Modern automatic sprinkler system always ready for an emergency, rendering the property and merchandise as nearly fireproof as possible, aided by a corps of properly-drilled firemen taken from the regular employees staff. Pneumatic cash system connecting with every part of the store selling space; not only utilized for carrying cash, but also providing the means of ventilation, by using up and discharging thousands of cubic feet of impure air regularly, and bringing fresh air into the building constantly. Complete staffs of engineers, carpenters, painters, etc., are almost constantly employed in looking after additions, alterations, and repairs, thus keeping the whole [Pg 140]building in perfect condition. All are under the direct management of experts, whose mechanical skill is utilized to assist in rendering the store service complete, and whose services are recognised on an equality with those occupying the most responsible positions in connection with the business. Contents. [Pg 3] Introduction, 5 General Principles, 5 The Management, 10 The System, 12 Advertising, 15 The Buying Organization, 25 Receiving Goods, 32 Taking Care of Stock, 34 Serving Customers, 35 Exchanging Goods, 38 Floor Managers and Ushers, 40 Making out Checks, 43 Inspecting, Checking and Parcelling Goods, 46 Collecting Goods for Delivery, 48 Delivering Goods, 51 Stables, 54 Cash Office 57 Check Office, or Auditing Department, 58 C. O. D. Business, 60 The Mail-Order Business, 62 Catalogues, 73 Receiving and Opening Mail, 95 Book-keeping, Buying, Checking, etc., 100 Assembling and Packing Mail-Order Goods, 106 Goods sent by Mail, Correspondence, Paying for Goods, etc., 110 Filing Correspondence, 117 Special Orders, 119 Returned Goods, Exchanges and Complaints, 121[Pg 4] Samples, 123 Keeping Employees' Time, 125 Employing Help, 128 Paying Wages, 130 Watchmen, 131 General Rules for Employees, 133 Mechanical Section, 139 [Pg 5] INTRODUCTION. No other branch of business can bear comparison with the wonderful results achieved by Department Stores, such a success as has made them the wonder of modern merchandising. These stores, that have grown to greatness from small beginnings, have a force and power behind them that commands general interest. Their store-keeping rests upon certain well-defined principles, and not upon chance, sensations or experiments. It is not the intention in this volume to prejudice public opinion against Department Stores. No attempt has been made to enumerate any reasons why they exist and flourish, nor any effort made to prove that they are a necessity, or otherwise. Whether they promote and build up the best interests of the people and country at large, or are detrimental to them, is a question on which intelligent opinion is largely divided. The fact remainsa plain [Pg 6]indisputable factthat they do exist; that they have had a tremendous growth in recent years, both in Europe and America; that organizations of this character beginning a few years ago have developed into the largest and most successful mercantile institutions in the world. The author, from several years' practical experience, having been closely identified with the policy adopted, and with all the detail of system employed, in running one of the largest Department Stores on this continent, having visited at different times the trade centers of America, and examined carefully into the systems employed in other stores of a similar character, and made careful comparisons, is satisfied that the enquiring public will appreciate the endeavor to give them an intelligent idea of "How Department Stores are carried on." [Pg 7] General Principles. One of the great underlying principles of Modern Department Stores is cash. Buying and selling for cash. Cash and one price. Some deviations are made from this rule, according to existing conditions in different business centers; but this is exceptional, the larger percentage of trade being strictly cash, and this fact has contributed largely to the general success. A few years ago nobody sold for cash. Nobody in those days marked the price on goods in plain figures and stuck to it. To-day this is done, and is acknowledged to be highly satisfactory. The first aim is to get the best and choicest goods direct from the makers; and, second, to have the lowest prices, thus enlarging the purchasing power of every dollar. A Department Store is different from the ordinary store, by being big enough to deal in almost everything that people need; handling merchandise of every class that goes [Pg 8]well together for all sorts of people; providing the means of doing everything quickly, easily, cheaply. A store large enough to accommodate thousands of shoppers arranged to serve a purpose. Floor upon floor filled with merchandise, broad aisles, easy stairways, elevators to do the stair climbing, cash system for quick and easy change-making, with all the newest ideas in store mechanism; places to sit, wait, meet, lunch, talk and rest; in short, an ideal place to shop in. Everything done that can be done to study the convenience of customers and look after their interests. This constitutes one of the greatest factors in the success of modern retailing. Looking after the customer. Looking after them in such a manner that the service is an attraction in itself, that shopping is made easy and comfortable. Service is what these stores are for. Complete service in every detail, beginning with the purchase of the goods, and ending with delivery to customers, guaranteeing every article sold to be [Pg 9]exactly as represented, or cheerfully refunding the money. The development of these great businesses is largely the product of better service, and this service has been effective in winning the favor of shoppers. The strength of these organizations, while centered in well-known principles strictly adhered to, is backed up by a well-defined system of government, including all departments, and the development of this system has had a great deal to do with the success of present-day business. The principles referred to build up and support the business, but it is the careful management and perfect system which controls. [Pg 10] The Management. The central point around which the whole organization of Department Stores gather is the man, or men, who put up the capital; who own, control and manage the business; and who insist that the profits shall be consistent with their expectations. They not only put up the cash, but define the policy of the business, and organize and develop the system under which it operates. The organizing and executive ability, as well as the faculty of knowing men, must be largely displayed; knowing men, and how to combine them; knowing how to use their capabilities and energies, how to bring out all their qualifications and all their ambitions. The management must be of large perspective and broad experience, make a close study of store-keeping ways and methods, be quick to take advantage of every new idea in service and appointments, and enterprising in everything that goes to make a [Pg 11]business strong and successful. Associated with the head of the business, usually selected from active workers who live with the business every day, are a few who are taken into intimate relations with the business policy, and who very materially assist in its development, and in the working out and building up of the system by which the business is carried on. Capable, intelligent, energetic, lieutenants, who are intensely interested, and who exhibit no lack of earnestness or energy; who are imbued with implicit faith and confidence in whatever may be advocated and decided upon, and who direct their best efforts to its accomplishment. [Pg 12] The System. The system that dresses the windows with attractive goods, that provides the special bargains, that furnishes such a variety of goods comprising nearly everything that people wear or use, that gives a courteous and agreeable service under all conditions, that provides a place to rest when fatigued, that enables shopping to be done under such favorable circumstances, that delivers all purchases promptly, and if a mistake has been made in the selection, or for any reason goods bought are not satisfactory, presents no difficulty in their being exchanged or the money refunded; the system which does all this and more is not the result of accident or chance, but there is a vast machinery behind it all which directs and controls. But the system must do much more than this. It must provide for getting at results, and it is in this respect that the perfection of the system is reached. While the store space is divided up [Pg 13]into little stores or departments, under different heads, who are given every possible leeway in the buying of goods and management of stocks, yet each head is made directly responsible for everything in connection with this part of the business. Each department is charged with the goods bought and with the expense of selling, and credited with the sales made. Each section pays its proper share of all general expenses, such as delivering goods, lighting, heating, elevator service, fixtures, rent, etc. The system employed enables the head of the business to always know the true condition of each section. It enables him to know, if desired, what each individual salesperson does; how much the total business is of any department on any day; what the expenses are for any given time; and these facts are not obtained spasmodically, but are regularly recorded and made use of. Lack of knowledge of the condition of any department does not exist. Success, or the lack of it, is apparent [Pg 14]at once. The truth of Eternal Vigilance being the Price of Success is here acknowledged, and in no other business organization is more special care and attention paid to knowing constantly just what the actual results are. [Pg 15] Advertising. Someone has said, "The time to advertise is all the time," and among modern business organizations none more thoroughly recognize and strictly adhere to this statement than Department Stores. Nowhere else is the science, the art, of advertising more intelligently understood, appreciated and applied. Advertising is recognized as the pulse of the business, the great vitalizing force. The importance of the relation of advertising to business cannot possibly be exaggerated, and for this reason it is considered most seriously. A recognized authority has said, "Advertising taken seriously in the retail business makes the policy of the business. It is the fundamental thing, the corner stone. Therefore, it demands the attention of the head of the business. I cannot think of any concern so large in its affairs, so extended in its ramifications, with so many responsibilities resting upon the head of the business, as to [Pg 16]make the advertising subservient to the general management of the business, to make the head of the business ignore the advertising. The manager of a department, and the salespeople who are to sell the goods, should be told the policy of the head of the business so far as advertising is concerned, and the way the matter is to be presented to the public, so as to arouse the interest of all. It is important that the man at the head should vitalize the business by making everybody feel and know that the advertising, the address to the public, is made in conformity with his wishes, under his supervision, and is absolutely part of his plans for disposing of his merchandise. This being so, the proposition that the advertising of a well-ordered establishment makes the policy of the business is really correct." Many methods are made use of to present and keep the business before the public, but preminently the best and most satisfactory is the newspaper. Its columns are recognized as the very [Pg 17]best medium for business notices, going as it does into the homes of the people regularly, filled with the world's news, with information for everybody, about everything from everywhere. The newspaper column is the merchant's platform, his pulpit from which he speaks to the public. It gives his words thousands of tongues. It is in this way he reaches his audience and tells them about his goods and business. He must talk straight, and his address must be interesting and readable, and, above everything else, true. It must always have the true ring of honesty, and advertisements are becoming more truthful every day, as business men realize that it must be true or it will fail. People judge and form their estimate of a business by the honesty with which their advertisements are lived up to, soon find the truth-telling places, and trade gravitates that way with absolute certainty. Lying advertisements never built a permanent and successful business. Advertising of to-day is honest, or [Pg 18]meant to be, and, every day, people are gaining more confidence in it, and are understanding more and more that it is a necessary and legitimate part of this business; in other words, a "Store Bulletin," to which they can refer as an honest statement of what the store has to offer them. Advertising properly means attractive news, news of daily importance, news which is appreciated and taken advantage of by the most wide-awake, economical and thrifty. News that must not get old by repetition. There is nothing more important about the business than advertising. Of what use to have tons of merchandise to sell if the people are not told about it, told about it regularly? Keeping everlastingly at it. Hammering away day after day. Continuous effort in the right direction, systematic, persistent. The advertising must be clear, logical and convincing; containing exact and definite information, telling the store news plainly and honestly, telling the people what the store can do for them, [Pg 19]telling it often and in the right way. Some departments may be systematized so fine that they don't require such undivided attention; but the advertising can't run along like this, but must have constant and careful thought. Every advertisement must have careful consideration. Carelessness or neglect will lead to serious results. Spasmodic advertising won't do. One might as well expect to close the store one day and open it the next. It must be regular, just as regular as the day comes. Attractive advertising becomes a department of the paper, and people expect itlook for it with the same interest as other features. It is keeping the business prominently before the people and asking persistently for their trade that brings the business. Advertising is the greatest force, the most powerful lever, for facilitating business. There is a generally-accepted theory that advertising pays, but Department Stores prove by facts that the theory is true. There has [Pg 20]been considerable talk about the uncertainty of advertising; but thoroughly understood and skillfully used in the interest of Department Stores, it has become a most powerful factor in contributing to their general success. Back of Department Store success, are earnestness, persistence, concentration, energy; but between these and achievement stands advertising. "As the business grows and is prosperous, it is due to the controlling factors of system, merchandise and advertising, but advertising is the dynamic force which vitalizes all the rest." With this understanding of the important relation of advertising to business, a decision is arrived at as to the amount of advertising appropriation the business demands, not a fixed amountno more or no lessbut about the amount expected to be spent, which depends upon the amount of business necessary to be done, and is determined by the percentage of profits. A selection is made of the best daily papers, space secured, and "The [Pg 21]Advertising Department" is ready for business. This department is under the direct management of the Advertising Manager, or "Ad. Writer." He has a distinct recognition as one having a separate profession, and must, if the best results are obtained, be confidentially taken into the inner workings of the firm. He must be familiar with the history of the business, its progress and development. While he may not require to know the exact amount of money made, yet he must know which departments are weak and which are strong. The strength of the best departments must be maintained and increased, and the weaker ones built up. He should know what the goods cost, where made, how bought, etc., and receive the hearty coperation of the buyers, to obtain the necessary information to write up his appeal so as to secure a hearty response from the buying public. He must give an individuality to the store advertising, and see that every advertisement is backed up honestly, every promise fulfilled, and [Pg 22]that the information he gives the public is absolutely true. He must keep on file a complete record of all advertising, and should keep in constant touch with each department's daily sales, with a view to continual comparison with previous records. He must know what other stores are advertising and see that his prices do not run higher than competing figures. All window dressing, wagon cards, display cards and interior decorations should come under his supervision. He must decide the amount of newspaper space for each department; and though heads of departments may take issue with his decisions, yet, as head of the advertising, he does what he thinks is best, usually giving space according to the money-making abilities of the departments. He must understand the goods he is advertising, know all about their uses and superior qualities, go in amongst the salespeople and customers, and talk with them, in order to write convincing money-bringing, trade-building advertisements. Copy should [Pg 23]be submitted by departments at least two days before advertisement appears, in order that he may give it proper attention, prepare the cuts used in illustrating, have his copy to the papers early, proof carefully read, and any corrections made. He must study the character of his illustrations, the display part of the advertisement, and having secured a distinctive cut or style of the firm name must stick to it, as it adds an individuality to the advertising. The type used must also be selected, usually good, clear and legible, easily read, but characteristic, so that it distinguishes his Ads. from all others, and advertisements should always appear in the same position on the same page, so that the public know just where to find them. He must not only look after all the detail connected with the advertising, but must be able to analyze the conditions which confront him, grasp every possibility of the field, be wide awake to every change, sensitive to every trade throb, and have such a command of the English language as [Pg 24]will express his ideas in a captivating and original manner. He is the artist who, having the ability and talent, either inherent or acquired, paints the picture that attracts; and who, when backed up by good merchandise, right prices, perfect system and careful management, becomes a great business force and an indispensable adjunct to present-day business. [Pg 25] The Buying Organization. A large force of experienced buyers are constantly employed, who visit the world's markets at regular intervals in search of new goods. The aim is to save all intermediate profit, by buying direct from the makers, making direct connection between the manufacturer and consumer, and thus getting as near as possible to the actual cost of production. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are represented in the several stocks purchased. Assortments must be complete at all times, and there must be a constant income of new goods. As fast as one thing sells, another must take its place, and no interest must be overlooked in the buying. Buying in great quantities, they are enabled to send buyers regularly to the great manufacturing centers and leading sources of supply. Prices are low in proportion as orders are large, and ready cash secures the best trade discounts. To collect such a wealth of [Pg 26]goods and have styles and qualities just right, means a good deal. It means that the whole range of merchandise must be known. To get the best in the world for the money, and keep assortments complete the season through, calls for careful calculation. The varied human needs of civilization are to be satisfied, and each buyer in his own particular lines must be a man of large experience, of most excellent judgment, and high mercantile ability. They must know the merchandise they buy, that such a factory has the best reputation for one line, that this mill excels in another class, never buying anything simply because it is cheap, but picking out the best manufactures in each department, always maintaining a strict standard of reliability; and that the goods are well bought is demonstrated by the persistent growth of the business. They buy to unusual advantage by reason of ready money and the great outlet for all classes of merchandise. Several of the largest stores [Pg 27]render valuable assistance to their buyers by establishing permanent foreign buying offices, thus enabling them to keep in close touch with the newest styles and novelties; and from these offices the shipment of a considerable amount of foreign goods is managed, the service being so facilitated and systematized that a prompt and rapid delivery of goods is effected. But the buyers' duties do not end with the purchase of goods. He is also manager of the department which is made up of the various lines he buys, and is responsible for the proper management of the same. In his absence while buying, he must provide a capable assistant to represent him and the department, one whose services are esteemed as second only to his own, and who, if need be, in many instances is quite capable of acting as buyer and manager in his stead. He is given almost complete control of everything pertaining to his department, must sell the goods he buys, and his permanent position depends [Pg 28]entirely upon the success with which his department is handled. As "head of a department," he is expected to comply with the rules of the house and set an example to all those under him. He should be first in the department in the morning and last to leave in the evening. He should be thoroughly acquainted with all rules pertaining to employees, and any new instructions which may be issued from time to time, and see that they are carried out. He is expected to use his best efforts to aid salespeople in making sales, instruct inexperienced help how to handle and display goods, how to wait on customers, make out checks, and, in fact, see that all duties are intelligently understood. It is not sufficient that new, inexperienced help be given a number and salesbook and told to go ahead, but thorough instructions must be given as to the methods of doing business. In order that enquiries of customers may be intelligently answered, he should know the location of all the stocks of the [Pg 29]house. If travelers' samples are to be examined, it should be done in the sample room provided for that purpose, and in forenoons only. Only in special cases is it permissible to examine samples in the afternoon, as he is expected to be in his department during the busy hours of every day, to watch the trade and see that customers are properly waited upon. Certain expenses are almost wholly within the control of heads of departments, and must be watched by them with the greatest care. This is especially true as applied to the amount of help employed. By using care and judgment, it is often possible to do with less help, and thus reduce the cost of selling. This is largely supplemented by watching the sales of each salesperson, and enquiring carefully into any cases where there is a falling below the average percentage of cost. He should see that all advertised goods are properly displayed at the counters, and that all the people in [Pg 30]that section are promptly notified of all particulars, such as quantities to be sold, price, etc. He should see that all slow-moving goods are reported promptly, and goods must not be allowed to get old, but be moved out quickly. Any goods that do not move readily must be got rid ofcleared outwhatever cash value they have must be secured, and at once, and no matter at what sacrifice; it being considered best to get what you can for them immediately, and replace the stock with something that will sell readily. He should furnish a complete statement of stock to be purchased and hand the same to the office a reasonable time before going on a purchasing trip, and must have the sanction of the office to the same. Buyers are expected to respect the limits placed and not to exceed the figures sanctioned; but if the market is showing any special lots of goods which in his judgment should be bought, or he is confident that a saving will be effected [Pg 31]on goods which are likely to rise in value by buying heavier, considerable latitude is permitted. All business correspondence for the house should be handled through the regular correspondence office, be submitted for approval, and signed only by those authorized. The buyer's work bears such important relations to the business, both in the selection of goods and in the direct management of his department, that his qualifications must be the best, in order to render such a service as is desired and demanded. [Pg 32] Receiving Goods. A general receiving room for all case goods and packages is provided. Space is allotted to each department, and all goods bought must pass through this room before going into stock. Porters prepare all goods for examination, by removing lids of cases, opening packages, putting aside all paper, canvas, etc., which is held for reference until goods are checked, and goods are then placed in proper department space ready for the department managers. Heads of departments are usually notified each day of all goods to be marked off the following day, and furnished with invoices of the same. The receiving room is usually open for checking purposes from 8 A. M. to 10 A. M. only, and goods must not be checked off nor removed from this room during any other hour of the day, except by special permission. Goods are called off by assistants, checker compares with invoice, selling price and stock [Pg 33]number are entered on goods, and selling price marked on invoice. Until properly marked off, no goods are allowed to be sent out of the receiving room. If goods do not come up to sample, and are to be returned, it must be done at once, and shipper advised. In case of errors or shortages, they must be certified to by two or three competent persons. All invoices should be returned to the office as soon as goods are marked off. Receiving room should be closed at 10 o'clock sharp, at which time all department managers and assistants should be back in the selling departments. Heavy goods, such as furniture, wall paper, etc., are received in their respective stock rooms and checked off in the same manner. Goods should never be received without an invoice. [Pg 34] Taking Care of Stock. Salespersons must keep in good order all stock under their charge. Customers of the house, as well as those in authority, readily recognize who takes an interest in the business, by the display and arrangement of the stock. No excuse can be taken for merchandise that does not present a clean, attractive and presentable appearance. Every article should be properly marked or tagged, and each piece of goods ticketed in plain, neat figures, so that a glance will tell price, size, etc. No matter what the stock is, it should be attractively displayed, and the display changed regularly, having a suitable card on all goods so exhibited. When a sale is completed and clerks are through showing goods, they should be replaced as soon as possible, thus avoiding confusion and keeping the selling space clear and in good shape for new business. [Pg 35] Serving Customers. All customers should be waited upon with equal promptness and politeness, no matter whether the purchase is large or small, whether it is simply an enquiry or an exchange of goods. There should be no favorites among customers. First come, first served. A customer who is being served should never be left because a liberal buyer, who is well known, approaches the counter. Goods must not be misrepresented. Customers buy upon the understanding that they can get their money back without argument, therefore only true representation must be made. Exaggerated statements, or trickery in selling goods, is not permitted. In all matters relating to the business of the house the greatest courtesy is required. Clerks are expected to accommodate themselves, as far as possible, to the peculiarities of those they are serving, being civil and polite in their attentions. Should articles asked for be in another [Pg 36]department, customers should be informed where they may be obtained; and if clerks don't know, they should refer to the floor manager. If clerks don't happen to have just the article the customer asks for, they should show the nearest they have in stock, and if that won't answer the purpose, consult the head of the department, and possibly it could be procured. They should try and understand what the customer wishes and get it as near as possible, never showing too many goods at a time, as it is confusing and often results in the loss of a sale. If a second customer is waiting, a disengaged clerk should be called. If all are busy, customer should be asked to be seated until one is disengaged. The undue urging of merchandise upon customers is not countenanced, nor yet is indifference in the slightest degree permitted. While large sales are important factors with all salespeople, and largely form the basis for salary paid, yet genuine interest in their duties, the exercise of [Pg 37]patience, showing goods pleasantly and cheerfully, polite attention and care in waiting upon customers, are also very important factors in the recognition of value of services. Clerks should always leave a good impression and never let customers go away feeling that they have been treated in an overbearing or uncivil manner, as it hurts the clerks personally and also the house. The interests of employer and employee being identical, better opportunity for advancement and greater compensation is assured the more the store prospers. Upon all matters, under all conditions, the greatest courtesy is insisted upon. [Pg 38] Exchanging Goods. The general understanding existing with Department Stores concerning merchandise sold is, that if for any reason it is not satisfactory it may be returned and exchanged or money refunded, on customer's request. This understanding, however, has some qualifications,such as articles that have been worn, when such a time has elapsed between the purchase and return as to render articles unsalable, goods made to order according to measurements, toilet goods, etc.; but, with few exceptions, the almost unalterable rule is to exchange cheerfully, to avoid unnecessary questions or remarks, rather preferring to be occasionally the subject of imposition than to leave an unpleasant impression. Where an exchange is desired in the same department as purchase was originally made, an exchange bill is issued. Should the customer select other goods of less value than the exchange bill, the cash office, when new [Pg 39]check and exchange bill are received, will return the difference in change. The exchange bill, when signed by the head of a department, or one authorized, is good for its value in any department; and should the customer not be able to make a suitable selection, this bill, when properly stamped or signed, is good for cash on presentation. These exchanges, as collected and audited, are usually deducted from each department's daily sales. [Pg 40] Floor Managers and Ushers. Floor managers must be thoroughly familiar with and see to the enforcement of the rules of the house, as applied to their sections. They must see that each department in their division is promptly prepared for business, covers off, and everything in order, and must have a general supervision over their division. Aisle space, circles and fixtures must be kept scrupulously clean. All cardboard, paper, twine, boxes, etc., removed from goods sold during the day, must be sent from the departments at regular intervals, and not allowed to accumulate and present an untidy appearance, being first thoroughly examined, to see that no goods are contained. Sweeping should be avoided as much as possible during the day, but the departments at all times must be neat and clean in appearance. They should not allow cash boys or parcel boys to loiter in their division, and should see that all customers are properly served, and [Pg 41]the greatest courtesy and politeness shown them, whether buying or simply looking at goods. Strangers from out of town visiting the store should be made to feel at home, and particular attention paid them. Should they desire to be shown through the store, it should be arranged. They should be impressed with the manner of doing business, and this effect is best secured where consideration is shown them. It is better to answer the inquiries of customers by accompanying them to the department asked for and requesting a salesperson to wait on them, rather than pointing to that department, and much better to name the salesperson than to use the word "forward." They should see that goods do not collect at any time at the parcel desks, but that they are removed by carriers promptly. They should attend, in case of sickness or accident, to any customer, see that they are taken at once to the place provided, and report the same. Any claims or complaints of customers should be referred [Pg 42]to them, and their best efforts used to adjust any errors made, and, where necessary, refer them to the Complaint Department. They should see that customers returning goods for exchange, or desiring money returned, are promptly and properly served. They should bring to the notice of the house the existence of inefficient or inattentive help, and report anything which in their judgment should have attention. [Pg 43] Making Out Checks, Etc. This is not as simple as it may appear, and to master it thoroughly requires time, care and attention. Whether it is filling out a purchasing ticket, a C. O. D. check, or a regular sales check, special care must be exercised, as one cannot afford to exhaust the patience of customers by exhibiting a lack of knowledge. Every check in a check book should be accounted for: a spoiled check should be marked "Nil" or "Void," be signed by one in authority and sent to the cashier. Quantity, goods and prices should always be written plainly, all blanks properly filled out, plain, neat writing, and particularly good figures. Salespeople are usually held responsible for all errors made in checks or on purchasing tickets, and should always use their own book. They should always mention to customer the amount of money received, and enter the amount on their check [Pg 44]at once. Many people strictly honest might forget what money they handed in, and when change is returned might claim that the bill given was of a larger denomination. Repeating the amount received will avoid argument afterwards. Duplicates should be closely examined, to see that the black-leaf impression is good. Change should be counted in giving it to customer, and where goods are to be sent, the name and address given should be repeated. The use of purchasing tickets should be encouraged. Customers should be asked if they intend making further purchases, and the use of purchasing ticket suggested. The delay in settling for each purchase is thus avoided and customers' time is saved, as they can pay for all purchases at once. Salespersons should see that their department letter is on their check book. Check books should commence with No. 1 and run consecutively to the end, and should be examined to see that none are missing, and checks should never [Pg 45]be altered. All checks should be sent to the cash office immediately upon being made out. [Pg 46] Inspecting, Checking and Parcelling Goods. Parcel desks are usually conveniently located at all counters, for the purpose of examining and wrapping goods sold. All goods sold, whether taken by customers or sent by the delivery, should first pass through the parcel desk. Goods sold should be passed to the parcel desk by the salesperson with the bill, and they should always be examined carefully, to see that they correspond. Price, quantity, number of yards, etc., should be checked and goods should be examined, to insure their being in perfect condition, not cracked, soiled, or injured in any way. Should goods when compared with bill be found short or over, marked wrong, or not satisfactory in any way, they should be returned to the salesperson at once, with refusal to parcel goods until everything is O. K. Parcels should not be given to customers, but handed back to the salesperson direct. Every [Pg 47]taken parcel should have the sales number marked on the outside. When parcels are to be sent, the address should be on the bill and also on the address slip, and they should always compare. Care should be exercised in handling goods likely to be soiled, crushed, broken or damaged. Where necessary, they should be put in boxes or sent to be specially packed. Every parcel should be securely and properly wrapped, using no more paper or twine than is necessary. Goods to be sent should not be held at the desk, and if carriers delay unnecessarily in calling, the matter should be reported to the head of the department or floor manager. Attention should be paid to the order in which parcels are handed up, so that customers will receive their purchases in the order in which they have been served. All desk supplies, such as paper, bags, twine, purchasing tickets, etc., should be obtained in the morning, at which time the stock-supply room should be open. [Pg 48] Collecting Goods for Delivery. Goods to be delivered are usually divided into two classes, individual purchases styled "Sent Parcels," and collective purchases made on purchasing tickets. Checks for sent parcels when made out in salesperson's check book in duplicate, with name and address slip and hour of delivery, should be separated, one half going to the cash office with the cash received, and the other half going with the goods. Checks made out for purchases on purchasing tickets are usually different in color from ordinary sales checks, and are attached to purchasing tickets. As made out by salespersons in duplicate, one half is detached with address and sent with the goods, and the other half remains attached to the purchasing ticket until the purchase is completed. Goods sold are immediately wrapped, carriers called and goods are delivered through slides, elevators, etc., direct to the shipping-room [Pg 49]floors. Sent parcels are separated from others and address label attached. Goods bought on purchasing ticket are placed in compartments whose number corresponds with the number on checks received with goods. As customers finish buying, they visit the pay office, where cards are handed in, totalled, cash paid, instructions as to delivery entered on the card, which is handed to the sorting section. Goods are here checked with card, to see that they correspond by number and amount, the address is carefully examined, when parcels are wrapped and passed to the delivery section, where they are assorted as to routes, entered on drivers' sheets by name, address, number of parcels, and checked off when given to drivers. Salespeople are always kept informed as to the regular hours of deliveries, and signal bells are usually rung notifying each department before each delivery closes. No parcels should be promised for that delivery after the bell rings, and all goods to be sent by that delivery [Pg 50]should be in the delivery room a few minutes after the bell rings. All arrangements for special deliveries should be made at the pay office, and all parcels should go by the delivery marked, if received on time. [Pg 51] Delivering Goods. Drivers should know their routes thoroughly, so as to deliver with as much despatch as possible. When delivering, they should wear uniforms (a portion of the expense of which is usually paid by the house). They should be kept neat and clean, and when repairing is needed it should be done promptly. Drivers are usually held responsible for damages or breakages, resulting through carelessness or neglect, either to goods or rig, and must account for horse covers, blankets, rugs, etc., with which they may be supplied. Drivers should always weight their horses when leaving the wagon. Each driver should be given sufficient money for making change, which he must have with him on each delivery for C. O. D. parcels, and excuses, as a rule, are not accepted for the non-delivery of a parcel on account of inability to make change. Drivers should not allow C. O. D. [Pg 52]parcels to be opened without an order. Customers should be told that this rule cannot be broken; but if they pay for goods that are not satisfactory they can be returned and the money will be refunded. Drivers are held responsible for all parcels entered on their sheets, and should check off these parcels at the store, placing them in the wagon in the order of delivery as near as possible, thus saving time in sorting up their loads while on the route. Amounts due on C. O. D. parcels should be compared with entry on C. O. D. sheets, to avoid mistakes. When the delivery is completed, sheets should be signed and returned, and if, for any reason, any parcels have not been delivered, satisfactory explanations should be given. Any repairs needed should be reported upon arrival at the stables. Notes should be made of any complaints from customers and the same reported. When instructions are given to call for customer's goods, they should be got at the first [Pg 53]opportunity and handed over to the proper person. If not able to obtain them, the reason should be given. Under no circumstances should passengers be carried while delivering goods. Special instructions are usually issued for extra deliveries before holidays, or on extra busy days. [Pg 54] Stables. The stables are usually models of neatness and perfect in arrangements, every modern convenience being brought into use, providing accommodation for a delivery system of hundreds of horses and wagons used daily in delivering goods in the city and suburbs. Heated throughout with steam, lighted by electricity, and electric power applied to rotary brushes for grooming, hydraulic elevator service capable of lifting tons of feed and grain to upper floors, basement fitted up with complete blacksmith shop for horse shoeing, wagon and sleigh repairing. Ground floor space is usually devoted to wagons, each having its respective station. Easy stairways provided for horses to reach the upper floors, which are constructed to bear almost unlimited weight, divided into rows of stalls with aisle space between. Harness rooms, cleaning rooms, harness repair shop, hospital for sick horses, paint [Pg 55]room, etc., together with the most modern machinery for grinding and chopping feed. The stables must always be kept clean and well ventilated. Horses must never be taken out without being fed, watered, cleaned and properly shod: a lame or sick horse should never be used. Harness should be washed and cleaned regularly, wagons oiled, tightened up and kept clean. Nothing should be allowed to leave the stables except in first-class condition. All repairs should be attended to at once. Wagons should be at the store in time for all deliveries. A record should be kept of the men's time and sent to the office regularly. Drivers' and stablemen's wages should be obtained on pay day; the pay roll should be signed by each one, and returned to the office. All C. O. D. money received from drivers at night should be put in sealed envelopes and placed in safe keeping. A watch should be kept in the [Pg 56]stables at night, and a regular patrol made to see that all horses are properly fastened, blankets on and everything in good shape. Wagons should be washed at night and wagon signs thoroughly cleaned. All wagons should be examined carefully, and a written report handed in of all repairs needed, together with wagon number. All fire pails, hose and appliances to be used in the event of fire should be examined regularly, to see that they are all in good working order. [Pg 57] General Cash Office. A central cash office is established for receiving all receipts from sales made, and arranged for quick and easy change-making. As a customer makes a purchase, a duplicate of the check or bill made out for the same, together with money received from customer, are sent direct to the cash office, the most improved method being by pneumatic cash carriers. As received, checks are placed on file and any change returned to clerk. Thus the totals of checks and receipts of each cashier's desk must agree. Each cashier makes up a report of the amount of cash received, and cash is given head cashier, who recounts it. The checks of each cashier are kept separate and sent to the auditing office, where they are totalled, and this total must agree with the amount of cash in the head cashier's hands, and correspond with the amount on cashier's report. [Pg 58] Check Office, or Auditing Department. This department should make up the total receipts of each cashier by the sales checks received, compare them with cashier's report, and recheck until they are found correct. It should also make up each department's sales, arrange each salesperson's checks into original book form by number, and report any missing checks, auditing all checks and reporting any errors. The work of obtaining the different totals required is greatly facilitated by the use of adding machines, which insure both accuracy and despatch. This auditing of checks thus provides a positive check upon the amount of cash received by each individual cashier, furnishes an accurate account of the exact amount of business done by each department, and the total daily business done by the house, besides showing the exact amount of goods sold by each [Pg 59]individual salesperson, which may be made use of to estimate their value as compared with each other, and largely governs the individual wages paid. [Pg 60] C. O. D. Business. Large amounts are represented in the business as sold and paid for, cash on delivery, and, therefore, this branch is given special attention. Special C. O. D. books are furnished every department, and such special care exercised in recording the amount to be paid, address, etc., as will prevent any errors or misunderstandings. All C. O. D. parcels are entered upon special sheets or books provided drivers, and are checked off as paid in by drivers at the C. O. D. office with the record kept there, which should show the customer's name and address, department that goods were bought in, who sold them, the amount of the C. O. D., the date and amount paid. Where goods are sent to distant towns, and considerable time must elapse before returns can be made, these outstanding C. O. D.'s must be watched closely, checked up regularly; and in the event of any [Pg 61]unnecessary delay corresponded about, and such knowledge obtained as will furnish accurate information about each individual account. [Pg 62] The Mail-Order Business. The mail-order trade as associated with Department Stores began in a very small way: it began with a few requests from customers out of town asking for samples and prices of certain goods, a few letters of enquiry regarding one thing and another. These requests and enquiries, properly answered, brought in the first orders, which were carefully filled to the satisfaction of the customers. They told their friends about it, and more enquiries were answered, more orders received. This encouraged some effort, and special circulars or booklets were issued telling about the store and goods. These were mailed to regular customers, and a few thousand extra sent to carefully-selected names of possible customers, until gradually extra help was required to attend to these orders, to answer the correspondence, etc.; and it was found necessary to systematize this branch of the work, to organize and establish a [Pg 63]"Mail-Order Department." The mail-order trade grew up side by side with the store trade. When the store was young and variety of goods small, the mail-order trade was limited; but as the store grew, as extra space was needed for increased service, and new goods and new departments were rapidly added, the mail-order trade increased in proportion, keeping abreast of it all the time. Mail-order customers could not know but very little about the house they dealt with except through advertisements, or from hearsay, and, therefore, the reputation of the business depended upon the goods sent and the treatment they received. The foundation of this business was well laid from the beginning. The principles inculcated were that a clear understanding must exist between the house and the customersthat goods would not be misrepresented, that customers would be told in plain words what they were, and that they would be found to be exactly as [Pg 64]represented, or that their money would be refunded; and that's what they wanted. The management and method were perfected, and the responsibility of handling the business fully recognized, and an honest endeavor made to satisfy every reasonable demand. They realized that it is one thing to create a business of this kind, and another thing to retain it; that it costs more to get a new customer than to retain one already secured. Anything, therefore, that would destroy the confidence of a customer in the house or leave an impression that would tend to injure trade must be strongly condemned, and to strengthen this position a personal interest in every order was encouraged and insisted upon. Mail-order buyers must learn to interpret the customers' wants, and see that the detail of every order is carefully attended to. The correspondence must contain the fullest explanations; the goods must always be properly checked, packed and shipped; [Pg 65]and every head of every department must take a lively interest in this work, and impart that interest to the salespeople; and only so far as this personal interest extends, from cash boy to president, does the business prosper. Upon this foundation has been raised a business of such proportions that it scarcely knows any limits, and wherever telephone or telegraph, mail or express, reaches, there you will find this business represented. Distance makes no difference. Customers served at any time and in any place. Catalogues, representative of the entire stocks of these large houses, are issued from time to time, and regularly find their way into the people's homes, no expense being spared to keep customers informed regarding goods and prices. The methods employed have won their trade, and fair treatment retains it. The tremendous growth of this business is the most satisfactory proof that it has succeeded. It clearly demonstrates that they have the [Pg 66]confidence of their customers everywhere, that buying in this way is becoming better understood and appreciated; and that the method of shopping by mail is no longer an experiment, but, beyond argument, is an acknowledged success. A perfectly organized mail-order department is a distributing agency for the whole country, requiring a perfect system, demanding intelligence, exactitude, and promptness, carefulness in filling, and despatch in sending orders. It reaches out for the trade of people in distant towns and villages. These places are full of bright, intelligent people, whose ability to buy is unquestioned. They are reached only by intelligent and truthful advertising. The mails take the counters of the big stores to the doors of these people. They like to shop by mail. They like to get samples and catalogues, and to make a selection of city goods, being strongly impressed that they get something different from what the local dealer supplies; something [Pg 67]their neighbors haven't got, something stylish, exclusive. The means of communication are better and quicker than ever before. Whoever can write a letter can send for nearly everything they want. Wherever the catalogue goes the store goes. Some of the appeals made, statements advanced, and arguments used to influence and encourage trade among out-of-town customers might be classified as follows: Whenever you order, always bear this in mind, that if you don't get goods as represented, back goes your money to you as soon as you want it. The smallest order you send will receive the same prompt and careful attention as if it were ever so large. Where you and your neighbors order together, goods can be packed separately and forwarded in one shipment, thus making the charges low. Selling goods at fair prices every day should interest you. It may be a satisfaction to select goods yourself, but your orders by [Pg 68]mail will be promptly and faithfully executed. Out-of-town customers always get the benefit of any reduction in the price of goods. Freight is a small item where customers are saved many times the cost of transportation. You are at absolutely no risk whatever in ordering by mail, as you always get the best and pay the least. Samples and prices are sent free of charge, therefore there need be no hesitation in asking for them. A trial order will convince you that it will be filled carefully and promptly. If goods are not all right, you don't have to keep them. The goods offered are bought for cash in large quantities, sold direct to customers for cash and not through agents, therefore the traveling man's salary and expenses, the middleman's profits, his losses and poor accounts, are not paid by you. Mistakes are rarely made; but always rectified. [Pg 69]Where there is the slightest cause for complaint, if you write fully, everything will always promptly be made right. The bigger saving is made on the bigger order you send. No charge is made for packing goods, and they always open up in first-class condition. Your money is refunded every time if you are not satisfied. Goods are bought direct from the manufacturer, and then go direct to you. Your smallest order will be filled at the same price as the customer who buys a thousand dollars worth. Goods marked at one price only. Isn't it much more satisfactory and much easier to sit down at home, look over the catalogue, select the goods required and mail your order, than to depend upon stores where the stock is small as well as assortments incomplete, and get something that does not give you half satisfaction, notwithstanding that you do pay an extravagant price? [Pg 70]If an error is made, and it's not your fault, you are not asked to pay any expense incurred. Some of the most successful men of the day give you in the catalogue sent the benefit of their thought, experience and hard work. It may be a surprise to compare catalogue prices with others, but always a favorable one for the catalogue. Confidence in the goods offered at the prices asked was established long ago. The man is prosperous who saves a dollar on this and a half dollar on that: the prices quoted help you in this direction. The goods offered are exceptional, on account of the price; and rare, because of their exclusive style. Honest value is guaranteed for every cent you send, or it is sent back again. It pays you to deal where no false representations are made, but where goods are sold exactly as advertised. [Pg 71]The goods offered are honest, the prices are right, customers are every-day honest people; and that's why it's easy to do business together. You don't save the freight when you buy at home; the freight and a big profit as well are added in the price. The whole truth of the matter iswhat promises are made, are kept. It is the belief engendered in the truth of these and other statements, the influence they exert in convincing, and the persistent method of keeping it up, that attracts this particular trade; and the faithfulness with which all promises are kept, all obligations fulfilled, that builds the business up on the lines of perfect confidence and retains it. All may not be agreed upon the effect the response to this method of doing business has upon the country at large; but it is, nevertheless, a fact that the people everywhere are giving their material support to houses whose advocated policy is to supply [Pg 72]them everything on which they can save them money, and it has proved to be a pronounced success to the promoters. The possibilities of increased trade through the medium of the mail-order department appear almost unlimited. The amount of business that may be done has evidently never yet been measured, and no other branch of the business is apparently as capable of as large development as the mail-order trade. [Pg 73] Catalogues. The general catalogue of Department Stores stands in the same relation to the mail-order trade as the newspaper does to the store trade. It is the chief medium for mail-order advertising. Though supplemented in various ways by special advertising, yet the catalogue stands distinctly alone as the indispensable means for securing and retaining the trade of out-of-town customers; and bearing this important relation to the business, extraordinary care is exercised in its preparation from start to finish. It is the silent traveler, the individual salesman; and as the highly successful representative salesman must have qualifications that bring business, so the catalogue must have the essentials which will insure successful results. These consist of appearance, paper, printing, illustration, arrangement, description, goods, prices, etc.; all of which must be thoroughly understood and [Pg 74]intelligently carried out, not only in the relations they bear to each other, but also in the relations they all bear to the general effect and result. The quantity to be issued is first decided, depending upon the number of present customers to be provided for, and the additional quantity required for extra circulation to influence new trade, which increase depends upon the amount of new business likely to be done, and the appropriation for which is usually determined upon a percentage of the profits. Next in order for consideration, is the size of the catalogue. The number of pages varies slightly, according as it is a spring or fall issue, and any increase from previous issues is governed by the addition of new stocks into the business. If new departments have been added, additional space must be made in the catalogue to provide for them. The paper is next selected. The size of the sheet must be accurately determined and the weight fixed, having [Pg 75]due reference to the weight of the book when completed, as the postage for mailing is an important factor in the cost, and an extra ounce over weight might mean a great additional expense. The inside paper should be light but strong, and of such a color and finish as to produce the best effect with whatever character of cuts are used in illustrating. Particular attention must be paid to the cover paper, it must be of suitable weight and color and of a high finish, capable of producing a superior cut in colors, and extra strong, in order to stand handling. Tons of paper are required for the issue of a catalogue, which is usually bought direct from the mills, being manufactured expressly to order as to size, quality and finish specified, and delivered as required. The cover design must be decided upon early, giving the artist time to fully complete his drawing, and the engraver time to execute his best work. It must also pass through [Pg 76]experimental stages with the printer, possibly proving in a variety of colors, criticising and comparing, until the best effect is secured and selection is made; and to do this and work off thousands of covers, and have each one perfect, the work must not be hurried. The cover design must be good, both front and back. It should interest and attract, and at first glance create a favorable impression. It should be a quick-acting advertisement, characteristic of the business, telling the reader instantly what it is about, so distinctly individual and striking that it insures attention like a flash. A good cover design is a most important feature of any catalogue, requiring originality of conception and the best artistic engraving and printing skill in its execution. Such a cover is always worth infinitely more than it costs. Arrangements are next made with engraving companies whose artists and engravers are to prepare the drawings and provide the cuts used in [Pg 77]illustrating the catalogue, and whose abilities and resources are sometimes taxed severely to get the work out as required. The quantity to be issued and the size of the book being determined, paper selected, and artists and engravers secured, the work of compiling the catalogue begins. General catalogues are issued semi-annually, usually in March and September. A definite date is fixed when the catalogue is to be completed, and everyone associated with it in any way must work to that end; not always easily accomplished, but possible, and therefore insisted upon. Blank books are usually provided heads of departments, who are expected to use them, thus preserving a uniformity in the preparation of copy, and facilitating the work of the catalogue manager and printer. For months previous to the issue of the catalogue the buyers have been securing goods from everywhere, planning ahead, anticipating the wants of customers by making [Pg 78]extensive preparations for the future. The world's markets must be visited and examined into, finding out what is new in this line, what change in that, whether this new idea in lamp goods is what the people will want, what designs in baby carriages are new and attractive, whether this style of boys' clothing is correct or not, knowing the latest ideas in gloves, laces, ribbons, handkerchiefs, fancy goods, etc.; securing the newest and most fashionable dress fabrics, knowing what styles in millinery, jackets, mantles, blouses, wrappers, etc., will prevail; seeking out, buying and arranging for quantities and deliveries to meet the demands of the tradein fact, going over the whole range of merchandise. The department manager's selections from these goods, as to quality, variety and price, must be carefully made, keeping in view the character of the trade appealed to and being governed in this by his experience and knowledge of its requirements. [Pg 79]His descriptions must be accurate and short, but comprehensive, telling exactly what the goods are, giving the facts in a clear, truthful and intelligent manner. He must illustrate his goods where possible, the better to enable the customer to form an opinion as to the shape, style, appearance, etc. Valuable assistance is rendered heads of departments in this particular by the catalogue manager, who, by reason of his work, has made careful comparison of other catalogues, and has kept in constant touch with everything new in the way of illustrating, and is, therefore, ready with ideas and suggestions, which are utilized to the best advantage. Goods to be illustrated are set aside, the artist is given full instructions as to what is desired, style and size of cut required, grouping of articles or figures, etc., and the work is put in hand. Drawings are submitted to catalogue manager, who with head of department examines the work, suggests the necessary changes, criticises carefully, points out any [Pg 80]defects, and, when satisfactory, passes them. Each drawing must be examined minutely. The pose of this figure, the artistic arrangement of this group of figures, whether the arm is too short or too long, or any part out of proper proportion; the way this skirt hangs, and the effect that fold produces, the completeness and accuracy with which the detail of trimming is shown; whether this hat or bonnet should be shown with front, side, or back view, the faces to be baby-like, youthful, or otherwise, thus indicating who suitable and intended for; in fact, all the detail of all drawings should be examined most carefully, to know that they are exact representations of the goods, with a suggestion as to their uses, and that the effect is pleasing and attractive. The finished cuts soon follow, with proofs of the same. These proofs should be clear and distinct. The illustrations assist in selling the goods, are a necessary expense, and must do [Pg 81]justice to the goods. Copy, when handed in from department managers to catalogue department, should be accompanied with all the cuts to be used. Each cut should be numbered and its corresponding number should appear in the copy where the cut is intended to go, and, where possible, all goods should be numbered, to facilitate ordering, care being exercised that no numbers are duplicated. The copy, as submitted, must all be carefully read by the catalogue manager, all cuts examined and compared as to numbers, etc., to see that none are missing and that all appear in their proper places; anything not satisfactory must be explained, the grammatical construction should be carefully watched, and he is expected to satisfy himself fully that everything about the copy is positively O. K. before passing it. A complete record should be kept of the number of pages of copy handed in from each department, and the number of cuts received, together with date. Also [Pg 82]when copy and cuts are given to printer, and when and what proofs are returned from printer and given back to the several departments, as, where copy and proofs are passing through so many different hands at different times, a constant check should be kept on it. The copy and cuts, when submitted and passed, are handed over to the printer, an effort being made to get them in his hands in the order they should appear in the catalogue, which greatly facilitates his work in many ways, and materially assists in getting the whole catalogue completed much more quickly. Proofs of the catalogue, as set up, are very carefully examined, the arrangement of matter and cuts given special attention, and when every page is entirely satisfactory it is finally O. K.'d. Electrotype or stereotype plates are then made from the type, and these plates handed over to the pressroom, when the work of printing begins. As fast as possible, the forms are printed, folded, [Pg 83]gathered and stitched, covers put on, books trimmed and completed. Special attention is given to preparation of index; every page is gone over carefully, and, as far as possible, every line of goods appearing in the catalogue is alphabetically arranged in the index, thus providing an easy reference to whatever goods customers may wish to select. Certain space in catalogue is devoted to giving instructions to shoppers by mail, and too much care cannot be exercised in their preparation. They should be short, but cover the ground completely, giving customers whatever information they need to order intelligently, anticipating all contingencies, thus preventing delay, misunderstanding and inconvenience. People are forgetful, and this information, if referred to, acts as a constant reminder. The special points emphasized to customers areto always write their name, post office, and State or Province, state how much money is enclosed, how and where [Pg 84]they want goods shipped, and, if goods are ordered by mail, to enclose sufficient extra for postage and, where necessary, for insurance or registration. They are requested to send remittances by express order, post office order, or other safe means, and cautioned against sending by unregistered mail; to order by number and page in catalogue, and, when requesting samples sent, to state definitely what is required, color, quality, price, etc., so that a suitable selection may be forwarded. Where goods for any reason are returned, they are specially reminded to put their name on the parcel, so that it may be identified at once. They are encouraged to order by freight where possible, to economize on the charges, and to club together with other customers in ordering, for the same reason. They are told definitely what to do in case of delays, complaints or exchanges, and sufficient information is given and classified in such a manner that, if referred to and made use of as intended, [Pg 85]there is very little liability of any serious difficulty arising. It won't do to take it for granted that customers always understand what to do. They must be reminded of certain requirements under certain conditions, and largely educated in this direction, and, therefore, instructions to shoppers by mail bear no unimportant relation to the business, and must always be clear, intelligent and complete. The general arrangement of the catalogue should be studied, with a view to having departments of a similar character grouped together, thus assisting in the general effect. Economy of space should be studied on every page. While cuts should, as far as possible, be of uniform size, yet they must be no larger than actually necessary to show goods properly, as space occupied by cuts larger than are needed is money wasted. Position and arrangement of cuts can be so studied as to greatly reduce the cost of space. Printed matter must be set close to cuts, and while type [Pg 86]selected must be clear and easy to read, yet it must not be large. An understanding should exist with the printer that the matter must be set to save space wherever consistent, and any carelessness or neglect in this respect should be observed and effectually stopped at once. A saving of five pages in a catalogue by watching the size of cuts, their arrangement, the setting of the type, etc., if the issue should be say two hundred thousand, means a million pages of paper saved, outside of any saving in composition, presswork, etc. Such arrangements should be made with the printers as will insure good work throughout. The good effect desired in the special care exercised in preparation of copy, getting drawings and cuts made, etc., can be largely reduced by hasty and careless composition, poor ink, and lack of proper attention to presswork and binding. The printer, therefore, should be wisely selected, one in whom confidence can be placed, who knows how [Pg 87]to set it up in the way it will look well, and will use his knowledge so that the catalogue, as representative of the business, will be satisfactory in this particular. While the catalogue is being compiled and printed, catalogue wrappers are being addressed to customers, and everything prepared for mailing. The method of recording and permanently preserving customers' names and addresses is deserving of attention here. That most in vogue is a system of card indexing. The different towns in each State or Province are written or printed on cards, and these are arranged alphabetically in suitable cases, and ruled so as to show by months and years the amount of business done in each town, and any other particulars required. The name of each customer in the various towns is entered on a separate record card, which is ruled, allowing space for the name and address, and so the date and amount of each purchase is shown as it occurs, space being left at the bottom of each [Pg 88]column for total footings, and these individual cards are filed under the town they belong to. Where the towns have a large population and the number of customers is correspondingly large, an auxiliary alphabetical index is used for easy reference. The information recorded on these cards may be entered direct from the orders themselves, or where the loose-leaf book system is used, the sheets may be detached as required, and the information registered direct from these sheets. Each drawer or compartment in which cards are filed is labelled on the outside, to indicate its contents. Thus, when recording an order, the first reference is to the town the order is from, and then under this town is found the card with customer's name, upon which entry is made, and the card put back in its proper place. These cards, therefore, show at all times the name and address of each customer, how much business each has done, and the total amount of business done in each town. Previous to [Pg 89]sending out catalogues, these cards are all gone over carefully, and where customers have not ordered within a certain time their cards are taken out. Where two or more names in the same town, and evidently of the same family, appear, positive information is obtained and acted upon, with a view to preventing a waste of catalogues by sending more than one to the same family. The list is thoroughly examined, checked, revised, and all old, dead matter excluded before addressing catalogue wrappers, as sending out catalogues to names that do not respond is a dead loss of postage, printed matter and effort. A big advantage in keeping a mailing list on index cards is, that they can be distributed among a large number of writers, and thousands of wrappers written in a short time, which cannot be conveniently done where kept in books; and the card system also keeps the list neat and clean, while books, by reason of names being crossed out, etc., always present anything but a [Pg 90]good appearance. When wrappers are addressed, they are all checked back and compared with cards, to insure absolute correctness. All the wrappers for one town are usually attached together and kept separate from other towns, and thus, when mailing, all the catalogues going to any one town are put in a bag or bags by themselves, which, while causing extra labor on the part of the sender, insures correctness, and enables post office employees to handle large quantities with great despatch. Printed envelopes bearing the firm's name and address, and blank order forms, are usually enclosed for the benefit of the customers. The art of catalogue compiling and looking after its proper distribution entails hard and extremely careful work. When finished and sent out, it has to compete with other catalogues wherever it goes, and, as it is the representative of the business, it must be complete in every detail, in order to do its work well. While the catalogue has its [Pg 91]distinctive place as "The Steady Trade Bringer" from out-of-town customers, yet much is accomplished by special mail-order advertising. This embraces booklets, circulars, leaflets, etc.; little pamphlets properly illustrated and well written dropped into the people's homes through the medium of the letter, the parcel, or both. Suggestions of seasonable goods, a special about furs when the weather is cold, rubbers and waterproofs during the rainy season, hints for weddings in June, light clothing for warm-weather wear, and so on through the whole range of merchandise, keeping the business before the public all the time with something new, attractive, seasonable. Where "Special Sales" are inaugurated, such as "White Goods Sale," "Special Furniture Sale," etc., shoppers from out of town are given an opportunity to participate in any advantages they may bring through the medium of the newspaper advertisement as far as it reaches, and through [Pg 92]such special distribution of advertising matter relative to these sales as is consistent with anticipated profits. The Christmas season is specially considered, the gift question in all its bearings duly studied, planned and provided for in advance. Tuning the business up all the time, keeping at a safe distance any danger of a relapse or "that tired feeling," which may almost unsuspectingly creep into a business, by administering these special advertising tonics, new, interesting and helpful, the result of well-studied plans. This process of continual construction is not built up alone by keeping in constant touch with customers already secured, but by reaching out for new trade among new people. Getting new names. Regular customers, on request, readily contribute the names and addresses of possible customers in their immediate vicinity. Special appeals made to special classes, for a consideration, usually result in securing satisfactory lists. These lists [Pg 93]as received are compared with names already in use, and all duplicates struck out, thus providing against the possibility of sending the same matter to the same name twice. Securing these new names is simply a part of the natural development of the catalogue trade. Wisely considered, the development is both from within and from without. From within, by adding new stocks to the business from time to time, as space, resources and abilities permit; and from without, by adding new and increased numbers to the purchasing list. From within, by getting more goods to sell; and from without, by getting more people to buy. Not only continuing to sell the same goods to the same people, but getting more goods for these same people, and more people to buy these goods. Instead of having the dollar sent to some other business for lack of goods, get that dollar by having the goods, the effort being made to build up the business and develop it on the lines of selling all the people all their goods [Pg 94]all the time. It is the understanding of this principle and its working out through the catalogue and all other auxiliary advertising, backed up by the goods required, that makes the possibilities of this trade. [Pg 95] Receiving and Opening Mail. While the catalogue is under course of construction, the whole mail-order system should be thoroughly gone over, tightened up, well oiled, improved where possible, and put in proper shape to handle the large volume of business which is bound to come immediately after the distribution of catalogues. Where the mail is large, it is usually brought from the post office by wagon, the smaller deliveries being brought by regular post office carriers. All registered letters and parcels are carefully checked as to number, by actual count, and compared with number entered on post office registration sheets, before signing for them. Envelopes are first cut open by one or more persons. Registered letters are kept separate from all others, are distributed separately and accounted for before any ordinary mail is handled. Each opener is held responsible for [Pg 96]the number of letters received, which are checked back, totalled, and the totals must agree with the total number given out by the one in charge. In the event of any error, it must be examined into at once and everything made O. K. A positive check is kept upon all letters and every precaution exercised to prevent the possibility of mistakes or loss of any kind. Ordinary unregistered letters are treated in the same careful manner. Special tables are provided for mail openers, and each one occupies a separate space or division. When a letter is opened, the amount enclosed (whether in bills, express orders, drafts, checks, post office orders, stamps or silver) is carefully counted, checked and entered on the order, totalled and compared with the amount customer claims to have enclosed. If these agree, the amount is signed for by the opener or stamped with an initial stamp, and the envelope is also initialed. The money is usually placed directly on the order [Pg 97]it belongs to, both are put in a box or basket specially provided for the purpose, and each succeeding letter, with the remittance it contains, follows in its regular order as opened, until the mail is all completed. In some cases the money and orders are separated at once. Each letter or order is examined carefully, to see that the name and address are given, and if not, the envelope should be attached for reference. If any samples referring to orders are enclosed, they must be attached to the order, and care exercised in attaching measurement forms, plans, or any separate sheets bearing any relation to the order. Should there be any difference in the amount received and the amount customer claims to have enclosed, the attention of the one in charge must be called to it at once, and, after thorough examination, be certified to by one or more. Any omission of samples or enclosures of any kind, or any irregularities of any character, must be reported [Pg 98]immediately, examined into, and certified to by those of recognized authority. Ordinary mail, such as enquiries, requests for samples, etc., and all letters not containing money, are kept separate from letters with money enclosed. Orders and money are collected, and the cashier checks and counts all money over again, comparing it with the amount entered on each order by the opener, and, where O. K., stamps each order and envelope with a duplicate consecutive numbering and date stamp. Thus, at almost the first stage of handling an order, it receives its individual number, which is different from the number appearing on any other order, and is used to identify it through the different stages it may have to pass while being completed. Envelopes are separated from orders, and each checker's envelopes put in a package by themselves for reference. Should one be needed, the order is first examined, and, as it bears the checker's signature, reference is then made to [Pg 99]that checker's package of envelopes, and the one bearing the same number as the order is easily and quickly found. ~~~~~

CONTENTS (Front Page Element)@@@@@@The CONTENTS field shows all of the OBJECTS that are contained on the front page. You can have sections, items, or links in the contents field ADVANCED: This is the TOP-LEVEL of your Yahoo! Store. If you call the CONTENTS in the NAV-BAR, then whatever OBJECTS are in the CONTENTS field will show up on your NAV-BAR in the order that they appear in this field.~~~~~

Cool pool@@@@@@The pool is great! First thing this morning I swam my laps! 10 strokes and a flip-turn. (Maybe 1/24th olympic size?) I should have paid more attention in chemistry and biology class. Acidity vs. alkalinity? Chlorine content? Acceptable levels of toxic bacteria?~~~~~

Cool Y!Store Links@@@@@@~~~~~

craigsaysthatgooglewontshowORcountbut66charactersinaTITLEtagsoletssee!@@@@@@craig says that google wont' show OR count but 66 characters in a TITLE tag so let's see!~~~~~

Create Killer Content for your Yahoo! Store: Make Product Videos, Transcribe Text@@@@@@~~~~~

Dallas Texas Lexus SC430 > Convertible Hard Top Coupe TX@@@@@@ Lexus SC430 Wow. I finally got the car! What a way to end 2003. Thanks, Stuart, for the ride to the Dallas Lexus dealer straight from the airport. Thanks to Joe Martinez & Sewell Lexus for a great buying experience. Most importantly, thanks to all my clients who made this possible. Here's to a great 2004! -- Rob See the official Lexus site or the Lexus SC430 page. Call Joe Martinez at Sewell Lexus at 214-352-8100 if you want a great deal on a Lexus! September 1, 2003 The Lexus SC 430> was the first retractable hardtop convertible in the premium luxury segment when it was introduced as a 2002 model and quickly became one of the best-selling models in its segment. The retractable hardtop transforms the SC430 from a coupe into a convertible in less than 25 seconds with the push of a button. For 2004, the seat recline feature in the SC 430 has been enhanced to allow greater adjustment when the seat is not in its rear-most position. Befitting a modern classic, the exterior design of the Lexus SC430 was created by the company's European design center and was inspired by the sights and styles of the French Riviera. The interior is a plush combination of natural materials including leather and wood. The Lexus SC430 has a 300-Horsepower V8 - The rear-wheel drive SC 430 convertible is engineered to deliver exciting performance even when driven leisurely. The all-aluminum, double overhead-cam, 4.3-liter V8 engine produces 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of peak torque, and, coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission, can propel the car from 0-60 mph in only 5.9 seconds. The SC 430 achieves an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) certification, and is powered by the same V8 engine found in the LS 430 flagship sedan and the GS 430 luxury performance sedan. Continuously Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps eliminate the traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower by optimizing valve overlap throughout the engine's speed range, not just at one or two set speeds. The Torque Activated Powertrain Control works with the Electronic Throttle Control System to help smooth out acceleration from a standing start by very slightly delaying throttle opening when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal. The five-speed automatic transmission uses Shift Logic Control to respond to road grade and acceleration/deceleration activity, holding gears or downshifting on inclines and downshifting on descents to provide increased engine braking. The Lexus SC 430 Has a Thoroughbred Chassis - By designing the SC 430 as a convertible from the start, engineers optimized its structure to provide excellent strength whether the retractable hardtop is up or down. The stiff structure allowed Lexus to tune the suspension to deliver responsive handling without foregoing the brand's renowned smooth ride. The 53/47 weight distribution helps deliver optimal balance for confident steering response. Front and rear double wishbone independent suspension gives the SC 430 sports car-level handling and contributes to a smooth ride. The SC 430 comes equipped with 18-inch wheels. Lexus SC430 Offers Safety and Security - The Lexus SC 430 provides owners with cutting-edge safety and security measures. The braking system featuring four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Brake Assist. EBD monitors all four wheels during braking and varies brake pressure according to load on each wheel. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to engage ABS, it applies maximum braking power until pedal pressure is released. VSC helps control lateral traction while cornering on slippery or dry road surfaces by using throttle intervention and/or applying individual wheel braking to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading. The VSC system integrates traction control (TRAC) to help limit rear wheel spin on slippery road surfaces. Numerous structural components, such as the rocker panel, have been reinforced, which can help protect occupants in case of collision. Other safety features include standard dual front airbags and front-seat mounted side impact airbags, daytime running lights, fog lamps and projector High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with auto levelers. A Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) uses coded sensors to monitor the tire air pressure directly and transmit this information to a receiver via radio frequency communication. The receiver calculates the information and, if a significant drop in pressure has occurred, an indicator light illuminates to warn the driver of the condition. The TPM can alert the driver to under-inflated tires, a condition that could potentially lead to a loss of control. The high-end Mark Levinson audio system uses nine strategically located speakers to turn the interior into a personal listening room. System equalization automatically adjusts when the roof is lowered and returns to its original levels when the top is raised. The driver can control the system's essential functions with controls on the steering wheel. An advanced climate control system adjusts airflow and temperature automatically, differentiating between top-up and top-down driving needs, automatically taking into account the exterior temperature to help ensure occupant comfort. Lexus SC430 Every new Lexus vehicle comes with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 month/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage. ~~~~~

Dan the Sausage Man's Export Tool@@@@@@http://207.21.197.239/ystore/ystoreExport.asp~~~~~

Debra Mastaler, Alliance Link (the Link Lady!)@@@@@@http://www.alliance-link.com~~~~~

Dedupe Long Tail@@@@@@~~~~~

DMNews: House looks to protect SMBs' interests online@@@@@@http://www.dmnews.com/House-looks-to-protect-SMBs-interests-online/article/111912/~~~~~

Do you know if your website is really up?@@@@@@ How would you know if your YAHOO STORE was offline? Use this TEST Do you know if your website is really up? How can you tell? These guys offer some really cool tools to make sure your Yahoo Store is up and running, as well as some other neat diagnostic web tools. Last January and then again in April we had some major downtime with our Yahoo Stores. Since then, everything has been pretty good, but since most of my living comes from the net, I'm just a little bit paranoid. Enter Alertsite.com. Friends and clients click here and my friends at Alertsite will give you a better deal with no set up fee, a month free trial, and I get a little bonus (some free monitoring credit) on the back end if you sign up as a paying customer. -- Rob ~~~~~

Dog Training Collars for Sale - EXAMPLE SITE for Gun Dog Supply.com@@@@@@Here's a sample page from one of our sites: GUNDOGSUPPLY.COM HOMEPAGE 2006 -- See how many things have changed? GunDogSupply: Collars for Dog Training, Dog Tracking Systems, and Hunting Dog Supplies for Retrievers & Bird Dogs. Save on Tri-tronics, Innotek, Petsafe, DT Systems, Dogtra, & Tritronics Dog Collars     GDS Buyers Guides  •  Dog Training Collars  •  Beeper Collars Guide  •  Dog Tracking Systems Read Collar Reviews  •  Training Collar Reviews  •  Bark Collar Review  •  Tracking Collar Reviews  •  SHOW MY ORDER  •  Shipping Information  •  Email Us | Contact Us Get Steve's Weekly Specials Privacy Guarantee. This week's special! Shop by Manufacturer   Tritronics Collars   SportDog Collars   Innotek Remote Collars   Tracker Radio Collars   DT Systems Collars   Pet Safe Instant Fence   Dogtra Electronic Collars   Zinger Winger Launchers   Etch-Marc Launchers   Lucky Dog Launchers SHOP BY CATEGORY Dog Supplies Dog Training Equipment Dog Training Collars Automatic Dog Feeders Automatic Dog Waterers Bark Collars Bird Launchers Beeper Collars Bumpers + Retrievers Containment Systems Dog Fences Dog Beds Dog Doors Dog Boots Dog Collars Dog Feeders Dog Houses Dog Training Books Dog Training Collars Dog Training Videos Dog Vests Dog Waterers Dummies - Retriever Training Dummy Launchers First-Aid Kits for Dogs Leads & Leashes No Bark Dog Collars Pet Containment Systems Retriever Training Dummies Tracking Collars Videos + DVDs Whistles Before you decide on which collar to buy, read our Dog Training Collars guide for dog product comparisons, features, reviews, & more information.   Happy New Year! Resolve to make this year your dog's best training year yet! Free shipping on orders over $125 and on all remote dog training collars. Order online or call 1-800-624-6378. 'No Bark' Dog Collar - Tri-tronics Bark Limiter XS FREE SHIPPING via UPS Ground $110.00 $99.00 Petsafe Instant Fence - Wireless Dog Fence PIF-300 $299.99 $259.99 Lucky Dog Soft Knobby Plastic Dummy - Regular Size $4.45, 6/$22.80, 12/$44.40 BESTSELLER: Nelson Automatic Dog Waterer - Model 1200 $99.95 $79.95 Sportdog Field Trainer SD-400 Dog Training Collar $189.99 $149.99 Sportdog SD 2000 Wetland Hunter $319.99 $279.99 Tritronics Sport 50 G2 Dog Training Collar $266.00 $239.00 Tracker Classic Supra Lite Collar (Bird Dog) $499.00 Dog Den 2, The Ultimate Dog House $224.95 Walk-In Dog Stand $88.95 Tritronics introduces the new 2005 G2 remote dog training collars: Next generation features in a small, compact collar. 2005 Tritronics G2 Training Collars from $239 . NOW IN STOCK: Be the first on the block to have the latest in dog training collar technology. The New G2 Sport 50 is a fully waterproof, high quality, versatile, remote dog training system. Also, see the Sport 80C for an advanced system with more stimulation choices... Read Steve's COMPLETE Tritronics Sport Series G2 Review . See all the 2005 Tritronics Collars ... Start with the Tritronics Sport 50 G2 . For $239 you get a remote collar with 6 levels of momentary and 6 levels of continuous stimulation. The Tritronics Sport 60 G2 adds a separate button for tone. The Tritronics Sport 80C G2 has 12 levels of continuous stimulation and 6 levels of momentary for more advanced training. The Tritronics Sport 80M G2 gives you 12 levels of momentary and 6 levels of continuous for folks that prefer a wider selection of momentary stimulation. The Tritronics Sport 65 BPR G2 is essentially the 50 with a remote control beeper. Have more than one dog? Try the Tritronics Multi-Sport 2 G2 or Tritronics Multi-Sport 3 G2 collars for controlling multiple dogs from one transmitter. --> Dog Supplies -- Since 1972, Gun Dog Supply has discounts on dog supplies, dog bowls,dog feeders & dog waterers,coyote leather products,dog beds,dog houses, kennel stuff,dog collars,dog doors,dog leads & leashes,dog muzzles,dog vests (parkas),first-aid for dogs,groom... • Automatic Dog Feeders, Automatic Dog Waterers, Dog Bowls, Etc. • Clearance Priced Items • Coyote Leather Products • Dog Beds, Dog Houses & Kennel Stuff • Dog Collars > FREE ID Plate • Dog Doors • Dog Leads & Leashes • Dog Muzzles • Dog Vests and Chest Protectors • First-Aid for Dogs, Canine First Aid Kits, Books, & Videos • Dog Grooming & Canine Health Products • Hardware for Dog Training • Hunting Blinds and Training Accessories • Pooper Scoopers & Heeling Sticks • Nylabones & Kongs - Dog Toys & Chews • Rattlers Brand Snakeproof Chaps, Snakeproof Gaiters, & Briarproof Chaps Dog Training Supplies -- Training your dog? Check out our dog training books, videos, DVD's and magazines. Retriever Training Dummies, Dummy Launchers, Dog Training Books and Magazines, Hunting Dog Training Videos, Dog Training Whistles / Lanyards, ... • Retriever Training Dummies • Dummy Launchers • Dog Training Books and Magazines • Hunting Dog Training Videos & DVDs • Dog Training Whistles / Lanyards • Dog Training & Breaking Scents • Game Bird Equipment • Checkcords & Tie-outs • Dog Bells & Collar Straps • Dog Boots - Lewis Dog Boot / More • Duck & Upland Bird Calls • Zinger Wingers Dummy Launcher • Etch-Marc Remote Dummy Launchers and Accessories • Shop by Author Dog Training Collars -- Buying a dog training collar? Read my 2005 headache-free dog training collars buyer's guide. Shop 100+ dog training collars. Free shipping + 30 day risk free guarantee. New 2005 Tritronics G2 Collars -- Buy your Tritronics collars from Gu... • New Tritronics G2 Collars • SportDog Training Collars • Innotek Dog Training Collars • DT Systems Dog Training Collars • Dogtra Electronic Collars • Pet Safe Dog Fences & Dog Training Collars • No-Bark Dog Collars • Pet Containment Systems, Wireless Dog Fences, & Extra Radio Collars • Beeper Collars for Bird Dogs • Dog Training Collars Reviews Dog Tracking Collars -- Tracker & Innotek Dog Tracking Collars & Dog Tracking Systems work! Whether you're coon hunting, hog hunting, field-trialing, have a wide running bird dog, or just want to know where your dog is, our radio telemetry tracking collars & systems from Tr... • READ THIS BEFORE YOU BUY ANY DOG TRACKING COLLAR • Tracker Radio Collars - Dog Tracking Collars • Innotek RD-400 Dog Tracking System • NEW! Tracker Classic -- FREE SHIPPING • Tracker Maxima Duo - Radio Dog Tracking Collars • Tracker Maxima 1000 / 5 -- (Radio Telemetry Dog Tracking Collars) • Tracker Maxima 1000 / 10 • Tracker Maxima 2000 / 15 • Tracker Maxima 5000 / 25 Dog Tracking Collars • Supra Receivers and Collar-Transmitters • Additional Tracker Collars and Accessories Dog Training Collars Buyer's Guide -- At Gun Dog Supply, you can choose from around 100 different kinds of remote dog training collars from 5 different manufacturers: Tritronics, Innotek, Sport Dog, DT Systems, & Dogtra.... 9561759x • 9561759y • 9561759z • 9561759a • 9561759b • 9561759c • 9561759e • 9561759f • 9561759g • • Dog Training Collars Buyers' Guide -- QUICK PICKS • What do you want to do with your dog? • How much do you want to spend on a dog training collar? • Will a cheap dog training collar do the job? • What kinds of dog training books & videos are available? • What are the differences in types of stimulation? • What about tone or vibration modes? • What are the differences in transmitter controls? • How much range do you need in a remote training collar? • What are the differences in transmitters (remotes)? • What are the differences in stimulation levels between manufacturers? • What kind of batteries are best for you? • All About Multi-Dog Units (What if you have more than one dog?) • What if you want a beeper collar, remote trainer, and a bark collar? • Where are these collars made? • What if I don't like the dog training collar I ordered? • What kind of warranty do they have? • Innotek Remote Training Collars REVIEWS • In Ground Pet Containment System Installation Guide and FAQ Dog Supplies Online Catalog -- Dog Supplies from Gun Dog Supply -- Since 1972, Gun Dog Supply sells Dog Training Collars , Hunting Dog Supplies , Dog Training Supplies, Beeper Collars, Blank Pistols, Starter Pistols, Blanks & Blank Pistol Holsters, ... • Dog Supplies Online Catalog • Dog Training Collars • Dog Supplies • Dog Training Supplies • Beeper Collars for Bird Dogs • Blank Pistols, Starter Pistols, Blanks & Blank Pistol Holsters • Blanks and Poppers • Automatic Dog Feeders, Automatic Dog Waterers, Dog Bowls, Etc. • Checkcords & Tie-outs • Clearance Priced Items • Dog Beds, Dog Houses & Kennel Stuff • Dog Bells & Collar Straps • Dog Boots - Lewis Dog Boot / More • Dog Collars > FREE ID Plate • Dog Leads & Leashes • Dog Muzzles • Dog Training Books and Magazines • Dog Training Whistles / Lanyards • Dog Vests and Chest Protectors • DT Systems Dog Training Collars • Duck & Upland Bird Calls • Dummy Launchers • First-Aid for Dogs, Canine First Aid Kits, Books, & Videos • Game Bird Equipment • Gifts for Dog Lovers • Dog Grooming & Canine Health Products • Handlers Guns (Wooden Replicas) • Hunting Blinds and Training Accessories • Hunting Dog Training Videos & DVDs • Innotek Dog Training Collars • Pooper Scoopers & Heeling Sticks • No-Bark Dog Collars • Nylabones & Kongs - Dog Toys & Chews • Pet Containment Systems, Wireless Dog Fences, & Extra Radio Collars • Pet Safe Dog Fences & Dog Training Collars • Recommended Dog Training Collars • Retriever Training Dummies • Dog Training & Breaking Scents • New Tritronics G2 Collars • Gift Books • Master's Voice Audio CDs -- Gun Shy / Thunder / Noise Conditioning Steve Snell's Dog Training Equipment Articles, Reviews, & Buyers Guides -- Read: G2 Sport Collars Reviewed, Tritronics No-Bark Collars Work. Your Dog Will Stop Barking NOW!, REVIEW: Innotek ADV-1000 Electronic Dog Collar , REVIEW: Innotek ADV 1002 TWO DOG COLLAR, COLLAR REVIEW: Innotek Dog Tracking Systems, Innotek FS-25-A... • READ THIS FIRST: G2 Sport Collars Review by Steve Snell • Tritronics No-Bark Collars Work. Your Dog Will Stop Barking NOW! • REVIEW: Innotek ADV-1000 Electronic Dog Collar • REVIEW: Innotek ADV 1002 TWO DOG COLLAR • COLLAR REVIEW: Innotek Dog Tracking Systems • Innotek FS-25-A REVIEW BY STEVE • SportDog SD 1800 REVIEW by STEVE SNELL • SportDog SD 2000 Wetland Hunter Review BY STEVE SNELL • COLLAR REVIEW: Read All About Tracker Radio Collars • Archive: 2004 Tritronics Sport 50 S Review by Steve Snell • Innotek Remote Training Collars REVIEWS • The NEW SportDog SD 400 / 400S REVIEWS • Tri-tronics Sport 80 M Dog Training Collar • Steve in Arizona - Tri-Tronics Hunt • Pheasant Hunting -- Dog Training Stuff • Quail Hunting Related Items • Delmar Smith Products • SportDog Photos • Roxy Recommends... • Shop by Breed • Shop By Keyword • Site Map • ... Retriever Training Dummies -- Retriever Training Dummies & Dog Bumpers (100+ Styles/Colors) Volume Pricing/Quantity Discounts: Any sizes/types of retriever training dummies may be combined for quantity discounts. Click on the click here to order box (which shows the single quan... • Plastic & Rubber Dummies / Bumpers for Retriever Training • Dokken's Dead Fowl Trainers / Retriever Training Dummies • Canvas Dummies > Retriever Training Dummies / Bumpers -- Quantity Discounts • Force Breaking Dummies and Bucks • Specialty Training Dummies & Supplies • Flagman Retriever Training System • Dummy Launchers • Chuckit! Tennis Ball Thrower/Catapult -- Chuck It! • Dog Bumpers, Dog Training Dummies, Retriever Dummy Training, Retrieving Dummies New Tritronics G2 Collars -- Buy your Tritronics collars from GunDogSupply.com! FREE SHIPPING. We use Tri-tronics PRO 100 and Sport 50 collars, your Tri-tronics training collar comes with FREE dog training book & dvd. We stock all tritronics collars, parts, Tri-tronics batteries... • READ THIS FIRST: G2 Sport Collars Review by Steve Snell • NEW Tri-Tronics G2 Sport Collars • NEW Tri-Tronics G2 Field Collars • NEW 2005 Tri-Tronics G2 Pro Collars • Tri- Tronics G2 Accessories • Tritronics 1-Dog Collars • Tritronics 2-Dog Collars • Tritronics 3-Dog Collars • Tritronics 4, 5, & 6 Dog Collars • Tri-Tronics Remote Release Systems • Tritronics Books & Videos • Tri-Tronics Accessory Beeper • Other Tri-Tronics Products -- Batteries, Parts, & Accessories • Tritronics No-Bark Collars Work. Your Dog Will Stop Barking NOW! • Tritronics G2 Collars -- Complete List Tritronics No-Bark Collars Work. Your Dog Will Stop Barking NOW! -- Tritronics Bark Limiter XS No Bark Collar is the solution to your dog barking problems and includes a small collar size, Sleep mode, Bark Odometer and easy to change levels. ...   List: $110.00, Order Yours: $99.00 • 'No Bark' Dog Collar - Tri-tronics Bark Limiter XS FREE SHIPPING via UPS Ground Katrina News & Relief Benefit -- Please donate anything you can to the Salvation Army and Red Cross We would like to thank Tri-tronics and Sport Dog for their assistance.... Automatic Dog Feeders, Waterers & Storage Bins -- Automatic dog feeders are pest proof Our experience is that most dogs will adjust to the constant availability of food within a few days and will only eat what they need. Occasionally you will run into a dog which will over eat and stay overweight ... • BESTSELLER: Nelson Automatic Dog Waterer - Model 1200 • 15-lb. Automatic Dog Feeder • 25-lb. Automatic Dog Feeder • 50-lb. Automatic Dog Feeder -- Dry Dog Food • Lixit Dog Waterer for Crates - 32 Ounce • Lixit Dog Waterer for Crates - 64 Ounce (Half-Gallon) • Lixit Automatic Dog Waterer for Faucets • Lixit Automatic Dog Waterer for Pipes • Aqua Dish / Auto Wata • SIR AQUA - 10 Quart Automatic Waterer (refilling stainless steel water dish) • Aqua Dish for Fence - automatic refill water dish -- • Stack n Stor 40 Dog Food Storage Bin • Pour n Stor • Replacement Valve • Stainless Steel 6qt Bucket • Stainless Steel Flat Hanging 6 qt. Bucket • 5 gal. Fence Bucket Evan Graham's Retriever Training Books -- See the latest work from Evan Graham, Author / Illustrator of retriever training books Smart Fetch and Smart Work 1 and Smart Work 2 .... • Smartwork for Retrievers Volume I: Basics and Transition by Evan Graham • Smartwork Volume II: Secrets of the Pros by Evan Graham • Smart Fetch by Evan Graham -- Complete Guide to Retriever Force Fetching • SmartWork Water Force & Swim-by DVD by Evan Graham • Smartwork Articles - FREE RETRIEVER TRAINING articles by Evan Graham Mendota Dog Training Products -- Mendota Products... • Combination Duck Call & Whistle Lanyard by Mendota • Mendota Rope Snap-leash. (017) 6' • British-Style Slip Lead by Mendota 4-Feet (027) • British-Style Slip Lead by Mendota 4-Feet (027) • Trainer Check Cord by Mendota - Orange 1/2 x 30' • British-Style Slip Lead by Mendota - 6-Feet (028) • British Style Slip Leads • Check Cord/Super Cord by Mendota - Yellow - 7/16 x 30' • Whistle Lanyard - Flat Nylon • Whistle Lanyard, Single w/Compass by Mendota • Check Cords by Mendota and TBI • Rope Style Snap Leads and Leashes • Trainer Check Cord by Mendota Orange - 3/8 x 50 ft. • Trainer Check Cord by Mendota Orange - 3/8 x 50 ft. • Premium Solid Braid Lanyard by Mendota - Double Snap • Whistle and Call Lanyards Perfect Start, Perfect Finish on DVD or VHS -- ... • The Perfect Start / Perfect Finish Set (DVD) • The Perfect Start / Perfect Finish Set VHS Transmitter Safety Sleeves -- Safety while hunting should be your #1 priority. Our Transmitter Safety Sleeves combine safety and convenience, allowing you instant access to your electronic training collar transmitter right on the stock of your shotgun! ... • TSS-10 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for Tri-Tronics • TSS-50 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for SportDog • TSS-22 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for Innotek • TSS-13 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for D.T. Systems • TSS-40 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for Dogtra • TSS-30 Transmitter Safety Sleeve for Dogtra Vicebreaker Index -- ... • Tritronics Vice Breaker - Electronic Training Collar for Horses • Tritronics Vice Breaker Dummy Collar for Horses • Vicebreaker Horse Collar Shop by Breed -- ... • German Shorthaired Pointer or GSP • Flushing • Retrievers • Pointers Gun Dog Supply Shipping & Other Information Page -- Customer Service FAQ Links: Contact Us by e-mail , phone , • Yahoo Store Designer, Rob Snell • New Internet Specials from Snell's Gundogsupply.com • Katrina News & Relief Benefit Gifts for the Dog Lovers on Your Shopping List! -- Father's Day is right around the corner. If you want to get something special for you, your dogs or your significant other, now is the time. Click here to see our complete line of remote training collars , the new SportD... • Christmas Gift Ideas -- DVDs • Christmas Gift Ideas -- VHS Videos • Christmas Gift Ideas -- Books • Christmas Gift Ideas for the Bird Dog Owner • Christmas Gift Ideas - Best-Sellers • Christmas Gift Ideas for the Lab Owner • Christmas Gift Ideas -- Most Popular Products • Smartwork for Retrievers Volume I: Basics and Transition by Evan Graham • Tri-Tronics Retriever Training (Book) • Waterfowling - Tips, Tactics & Tales • Empty Collars Leather Bound Signed Edition • Savor Wild Game Cookbook by Chuck & Blanche Johnson -- AUTOGRAPHED + FREE SHIPPING US48 No Name -- ... Search site for dog training supplies related to FREE SHIPPING on dog training collars from Tritronics, Sportdog, Innotek, DT Systems, Petsafe & Dogtra and more... Howdy! Gun Dog Supply has been serving Hunting and Field Dog Owners throughout the United States and the world since 1972. We are proud of our products and personal service and we guarantee satisfaction. We have raised, trained, bred, field trialed, and hunted with dogs for some 30 years. While there is a lot we have yet to learn, we will be glad to assist you if we can. Just give us a call. We sincerely appreciate your business and hope to continue serving part of your dog supply needs. Thank you for supporting our family business. Best Wishes, Anne, Steve, & Rob Snell GUN DOG SUPPLY - Serving Hunting & Field Dog Owners Nationally Since 1972. Call 1-800-624-6378 to order! P. O. Box 80133, 400 Industrial Park Road Suite G, Starkville, Mississippi, 39759 USA. International Orders Call 1-662-615-5520 or FAX 1-662-324-6011 All photos, design, graphics, and text are Copyright (c) 1972-2003 their respective owners or Gun Dog Supply. Gun Dog Supply is a protected trademark of Mid-South Research and Services, Co. since 1972. All rights reserved. ~~~~~

drew@@@@@@ drew.mp3 drew2.mp3 ~~~~~

E-commerce Optimization: Pubcon Vegas 2010@@@@@@ How ya'll doing? Woo! All right. Man, my head is full. And oh, by the way, I'm gonna get you sucka! [laughter] Slide 1 Like Ethan said, my name is Rob Snell. I'm from Starkville, Mississippi, and we sell dog collars. And what I'm going to talk to you about today is $10,000,000 reasons to get real; some things we did on our website that doubled our conversion rate. Slide 2 I grew up in a family business, Gun Dog Supply. We sell training supplies for hunting dogs. That's a hunting dog. That's Click, one of my brother's dogs there. Slide 3 I'm going to give you a little back story about the Snell family so you'll understand where we're coming from. Slide 4 My parents started the business Gun Dog Supply on the kitchen table back in 1972. Slide 5 We were a catalogue business. We basically had these little paper catalogues. We'd run ads in specialty magazines, and we were a mail order company. Slide 6 And then my brother and I, me and my little baby brother Steve, we escaped the family business in 1985, went up to Mississippi State, started a band, started selling comic books. We were getting out of the dog supply business. Slide 7 Well, it turns out, 1996, 1997, PetSmart opens up across the street from my mom and dad's brick-and-mortar store, taking 50% of their sales out. So we had to do something, so we found Yahoo Store. So thanks Paul. I'm a big supporter of Yahoo Store. And it changed our business by order of magnitude. We put the comic book stores online, we put the dog stuff online. And it was great. In the last five or six years of my dad's life, he was able to go hunting, able to go fishing, do whatever he wanted to do. And in 2003, out of the blue he just dropped dead of a heart attack. And my brother had to take over the company. And at that time, we were actually handing the orders, the fulfillment, and the customer service for Gun Dog, because my mom was 60 years old. She didn't need to be working 16 hour days in this dot com thing. Slide 8 Well fast forward six months later in 2004, and our sales plateaued. We had the first month where we actually had not had an increase over the same month the previous year. So Steve starts freaking out a little bit. I'm like, "Don't worry about it. Just relax, dude. Let me do the analytics. Something's wrong with the shopping cart, I did something. Maybe my site search needs some work [laughter] or something," Ethan. You know, I started looking around and nothing's changed. Looking back on it in hindsight, it was really easy to see what was going on. More and more competitors were coming online. Slide 9 In 1997 when we got online, we were the first people in the hunting dog business to have a shopping cart. Well by 2004, all of our competitors, who had the exact same product catalogue that we did, had a shopping cart. And then there were all these new dot com kids, and every time I speak at PubCon, another one of you guys pops up, which is fine. I like a little competition. But, you know, PPC rates were rising. There are only 10 spots in the organic search results. So that's what was driving the competition. And like I said before, web sales were great, but we kinda hit this plateau. Slide 10 And so Steve's freakin out. And I come back home and have a meeting with Steve. And he's always on the phone talking with a customer. I want to go eat, he's talking to a customer. I want to go drive somewhere, he's talking to a customer. And while he's talking to a customer, I thinking, "You know, we don't really do this on the website the way he does it over the telephone." Slide 11 When Steve talks to one of our customers on the phone, I mean he's talking about their dogs, he's talking about their guns, they're talking about their trucks, their talking about hunting. He really bonds with the customer. Slide 12 He finds out what activities they do, what problems they have. He says, "Dude, if you've got this kind of dog, this is the exact kind of training collar that you need to fix this problem." Slide 13 And when he got off the phone, I was like, "What if we made a big change to the website? What if we do online what you do offline over the telephone?" And he was like, "All right. Gotta try something." Slide 14 We put Steve all over the website. And what do I mean by that? Well, my baby brother Steve, we made him the mascot. He hates when I call him the mascot. We put him on the homepage, we put him in the logo. We put his dogs on the homepage. We put him all over the site. When you come to Gun Dog Supply, you think you're having a conversation with Steve. And it's a lot easier to scale something like this on the web than it is real life, because he can only talk to people 20-30 minutes a whack. I mean how many times a day can he actually do that and be the CEO of a company? Slide 16 This is our web sales before. We were just trying to get out of the ditch. We weren't trying to set the world on fire. Slide 17 And this is our web sales after we changed our website. I mean it was amazing. It wasn't something that happened overnight, because I mean we had to actually grind this content out. Slide 18&19 At my keynote at PubCon, I went back and I said, "I wonder how much of a difference there is between the vector we were on before," I mean we were doing OK, "and this new vector when we started making this change?" And it was $10 million in additional revenue. Slide 20 And if you guys want, I can tell you how we did this. Are ya'll interested in finding out? Over $10 million in additional sales that we would not have gotten had these competitors not been kicking our butts and forced us to actually leverage the most valuable assets that we have, which, as retailers, that's our knowledge; that's how to solve people's problems. Slide 21 We more than doubled our conversion rate. And like Ethan was saying, it's not something that happens overnight. I mean Paul, you look at my Yahoo Store graphs, it's like it's a slow, slow grind climbing upwe had a decent conversion rate before. Slide 22 There were three basic messages, looking back at what we did on the website, that we had to communicate to customers when they first came to the website. The first one is that my brother is a dog training supplies expert. Slide 23 The second one is: This product will solve your problem. Slide 24 The third thing is: Please buy from us. I mean once we tell somebody this is what you need to solve your problem, they can go anywhere and get it. I want them to buy it from us. Slide 25 And the next part of the equation was we also had increased traffic from the SEO that we did, basically taking the content that we had written and driving more traffic. So if you increase your conversion rate and you increase your traffic, that's where you get this exponential growth from. Slide 26 This is a little ad. I've got a session on SEO tomorrow. I've got two sessions. I'm doing ecommerce SEO at 10:15, and then I got 30 minutes to do nothing but talk about this stuff, the tactical stuff that I did. I figure SEO is probably 50% of that $10 million. And I give away the store. I talk about all kinds of stuff in there. I mean buddies of mine who sell SEO services hate my presentation. So if you are retailer, it's a good thing. Slide 27 All right. There's Sage. Slide 28&29 The first thing is we had to communicate that my brother is a dog training supplies expert. And if you are a retailer, you are an expert in what you sell. And if you're not, you need to get out of retail, because somebody's about to eat your lunch. Slide 30 Be a real person. First thing is, Steve Snell. Nobody knows who Steve is. Slide 31 So the first thing that we did is we put a face and a name on our Yahoo Store. Slide 32 We put his face in the logo itself. Slide 33 On every single page you can see Steve's smiling face. We put it on the homepage. We put his dogs on the homepage. Slide 34 We actually made a pageand Paul, what is this, is it like revenue participation? The SteveSnell.html page on our site has the highest revenue participation of any page on the website. That means it contributes to folks who are actually going to place an order. So folks are popping around the website, they're pogo-sticking back and forth between products, but they go to the Steve Snell page and they say, "Hey, what would Steve recommend for me to get?" Slide 35 We actually put Steve's name in the Title Tags and the Meta Descriptions for our search engine optimization. Before you even come to the website, you are going to see Steve's name in the snippets. You are going to see Steve's name in the titles. We're kinda prepping you for: "This is all about Steve Snell." Slide 36 Actually, in our Google AdWords ads we do the same thing: "Read Steve's e-collar reviews." He talks a lot about the products that we sell, and I want people to know, this is scent, I guess, this is going to differentiate us, like Paul was talking about, from the 7,000 other people who sell exactly what we sell. Slide 37 The next thing is build rapport. Just because Steve's an expert and he's a real person doesn't mean you're going to identify with him. Slide 38 And so what we do is we're really personal. We don't send emails out from the Gun Dog Supply customer service team, we send emails out from whoever is actually answering your email with their name. Steve signs his own emails. He includes family pictures in the emails. He talks about his kids. He talks about his dogs. Slide 39 Now you need to establish authority. You are a product knowledge expert. Well how do you establish authority? Slide 40 Well I call it "Show & Tell". You want to look like an expert, but just because you're wearing the costume doesn't mean you are going to be an expert. Slide 41 This is Halloween. I went as Steve and Steve was me for Halloween. I don't know if you can tell from the picture there, but we were actually confusing people. But just because I can wear an orange hat and I can wear camouflage clothing does not mean I am a dog training expert. I know a lot about shopping carts, and ecommerce optimization, and SEO, but I don't really know that much about dogs. Slide 42 Steve's been doing this a while. We are second generation dog supply folks. My parents started the business in 1972. Steve and I actually grew up Thank you very much for the mood lighting. Let's get it on. [laughter] Slide 43 That's my dad and Steve back in 1979, and they're going hunting and they're working the dogs. And we put this on the website. Steve's got a lot of experience. Slide 44 Here's Steve and Izzy in Texas last year, one of his dogs. Slide 45 Steve has 13 dogs. He has 13 dogs! Slide 46 I mean he's got Retrievers, he's got Brittany Spaniels Slide 47 he's got Click the bird dog here Slide 48 Roxy the Retriever Slide 49 Sage the GSP. I mean do you think he knows something about dogs? Slide 50 He leverages content to the website. We actually have a Pro Staff page where he lists out all the dogs, and we have a hall of fame where we have all the dogs who are no longer with us. And we actually feature these dogs all over the website. Slide 51 Steve goes to Texas. This is Steve and one of his dogs out in Texas. Slide 52 I got a redneck to blog. My baby brother Steve with his iPhone app, his WordPress app, he'll be out there in Texas, in the field between covey rises when he's watering his dogs, and he fire up the iPhone and write a short little blog post, and he'll post it to SteveSnell.com. I'm so proud of him. Slide 53 We feature his pets. Ugh, this dog's crazy. This is Lucy. We feature even the most worthless dog in the whole family in the buyer's guides. Slide 54 Steve knows hunting. Slide 55 Six months out of the year he's doing "Research and Development", which means it's hunting season somewhere. He convinces is wife that he's working, which he really is working. But he's out in the field. Slide 56 We do team-building exercises, which means we take our friends and employees and they go hunting. And I go with them and I take pictures. I'm not a big hunter. Slide 57 We do testing of product specifications. And we really do. The manufacturers actually give us demo units for us to play with and find out what's wrong with them, because as Paul can attest, Snell Brothers are extremely candid about the things they like and don't like about products! We'll let you know. But I mean, it's one of these things, you have all this stuff, put it on the website. I'm not a big fan of social media. I don't understand all the little stuff, but we're actually using some of this stuff on social; haven't really driven a revenue. Slide 58 I've got a Flickr feed. We take all of the pictures that we take, we put them up on Flickr. Slide 59 By the way, I've got some Facebook messages. Hang on. I've got to check that. We put stuff up on Facebook. Mainly photos, but we also do updates. Slide 60 The main thing I want to get across is Steve is an expert. He knows dog training gear. He uses more gear than anyone had ever seen. Our motto is: "We train our dogs with the products that we sell." Slide 61 He talks about this on the website in the editorial content. Slide 62 This kinda leads me to my second major point, which is: Slide 63 This product is what you should buy. When I am shopping for something, I want to deal with an expert, and I want somebody to tell me what to buy. I don't want to have to sort through hundreds of different SKUs and try to figure out what the best Blu-ray DVD player is. I want somebody who knows something, who's going to pre-qualify me and say, "OK, you want to spend this much, you want to play these kind of movies." I don't want to have to do all that work. So that's the difference between the way my dad ran things and the way Steve does things. My dad just liked to offer things for sale. And if you wanted to buy it, that's great. If you didn't, that's great. With Steve, he's a little bit more like my mom's side of the family. We're a little bit more aggressive, we're a little bit more salesy, and we recommend what products. Slide 65 You want to offer the solutions that solve customer problems. Slide 66 Here he is on the website saying, "Are you tired of losing your dog? Here is a radio tracking collar that will help you keep up with your big running, $5,000 birddog. Slide 67 And one of the best ways we found to do this is to tell folks what to buy with buyer's guides. I know Ethan was talking about that. Slide 68 We actually recommend the dog training collars based upon certain peoplewhat kind of dog they have and then what they're trying to do with their dog. And then sometimes we'll walk folks through like a product configurator at the end. Slide 69 We have a 50% higher conversion rate when a new customer enters the website on a buyer's guide than on a category page. That is a big, big deal. Slide 70 We express our opinions, like I was talking about with Paul. We actually express our opinions with product reviews. Slide 71 My dad was afraid to piss off the manufacturers. Well, Steve is not afraid at all. And sometimes I gotta dial him back a little bit, but he'll tell folks, in a blog post, exactly what he thinks about what's good and what's bad about a certain product. And I think customers think this is refreshing. This is one of the reasons why we had this huge bump in our conversion rates across the site. Slide 72 Steve actually endorses the products that he uses. And not like a Bass Pro fishing dude does. He actually says, "This is what I use. This is the best that we can possibly sell." And it may not even be the most expensive thing, but it's what he personally is using in the field. And we have seen a 200% increase when he switches from one brand to another. And manufacturers hate this. I mean we're not trying to influence their sales, but when a guy who's high-profile like Steve starts doing that, I mean it can affect their sales. Slide 73 I mean he says this is the only training collar he'll use. And he's actually in the process right now, he's about to switch to another one. Slide 74 & 75 All right. The third thing is: Ask for the order. So once you've established that you are an expert in what you sell, and once you've actually pointed out to folks: "Hey, this is what you need to buy to solve your problem," I want you, as a retailer, to tell me why I should buy it from you and not go to Amazon, and not go somebody who's got a good site search and find it on their site. Slide 76 You know, ask for the order! I say: "Please buy it from us." Slide 77 And the first thing is you've got to be price-competitive. My good buddy Ray always says: "It's the offer, stupid." And it is. You've got to get in there with them on price. You don't have to be the lowest guy on the Internet, but you have to be reasonably price competitive. Slide 78 In our business, we sell a lot of MAP products. You know, everybody's got to sell stuff at the same price online. And I know a lot of you guys have to deal with this, and so we had to have all the additional value adds to differentiate us from everybody selling the exact same thing that we're selling. Slide 79 You gotta tell folks why they should pick you. Slide 80 And what I recommend is you make a "Why should you shop with us?" page and actually list these things out on the page for folks who want to dig in and find that information. Slide 81 Tell folks that there's no risk when they buy something from you. Risk Reversalit's a big deal. We have an awesome return policy. Steve is not expecting the box to come back with the product unused. He's expecting you to actually use what you buy from us in the field. And if it doesn't work, he wants to swap it out. He wants to know why it didn't work. So you can ship it back to us, and it's a really customer friendly returns policy. Slide 83 The next thing is you want to answer customer's questions really quickly. And I think this is another reason why our conversion rate jumps up. Because if you pop Steve an email right now about a specific product, I mean he stays on top of his email. Slide 84 That boy lives in his Mac Book. I mean he's always on the phone, he's always answering customer emails. He's got it on his phone now. I mean you need to stay on top of customer questions. And that's an awesome way to get some content, and I'll talk a lot more about that in my two sessions on SEO tomorrow. Slide 86 Over here you've got this one guy that says, "Hey, how can I stop my barking dog?" Slide 87 And then over here on the other side, you've got Steve saying, "Hey, I love my bark limiter. It works. It's awesome!" Slide 88 And sometimes when these two guys hook up, it looks a little bit like this. [laughter] Slide 89 You need to find your Steve. And one thing I didn't say, if something happens to Steve, like with a bizarre hunting accident or something like that, you know, some trouble should befall him and he's no longer available, I'm going to do a Weekend at Bernie's, and I'm going to stuff that dude, and I'm going to put him in his chair, and I'm going to tell everybody: "He's in a bad mood. You do not want to mess with Steve." Because we base our whole business around him being the mascot and the icon of the whole company. Slide 90 And I'm not saying you are going to get this kind of lift, but I just know that it works. Slide 91 Here's an ad. Ethan, are we still doing this after today? I'm just kidding, buddy. We're actually going to be doing some ecommerce seminars. Ethan and I are doing some. We're going to do some with Michael Whittaker. Slide 92 Email me at info@ystore.com. It's a newsletter. You can sign up there. Slide 93 Or you can go to RobSnell.com where I'm going to have these slides and about 25 other presentations. And that's the end of my ads. Thank ya'll very much. http://www.robsnell.com/pubcon2010cart.html Pubcon 2010: Ecommerce Optimization Reviewed by Rob Snell on 2010-11-30 . PUBCON PPT: $10,000,000 reasons to get real; some things we did on our website that doubled our conversion rate. Like Ethan said, my name is Rob Snell. I'm from Starkville, Mississippi, and we sell dog collars. And what I'm going to talk to you about today is $10,000,000 reasons to get real; some things we did on our website that doubled our conversion rate. Rating: 4.5 ~~~~~

Ecollars - from Petsafe Instant Fences to Dog Training Collars@@@@@@ Ecollars - from Petsafe Instant Fences to Dog Training Collars See Ecollars - from Petsafe Instant Fences to Dog Training Collars & more. Wireless Pet Containment & Dog Training Collars Shop for Innotek, Tri-tronics, & DT Systems dog training collars, no bark control collars, and wireless pet containment & dog fences. They are extremely effective, humane, and affordable products for your dog. Whether you are looking for dog training collars from Innotek, DT Systems or Tri-Tronics, ecollars.com is your one stop shop for your electronic dog training needs! We've been in the dog training supply business since 1972. Call Anne, Steve, Allen, David, Jonathan, Jay, or ~~~~~

ELEMENTS of the Front Page@@@@@@The FRONT PAGE (index.html) is the most flexible of the Yahoo! Store basic templates. The property PAGE-ELEMENTS determines which ELEMENTS you want to use on your FRONT PAGE, as well as the position they occupy on the page. You may use one ELEMENT or all of them in any order you wish. The ELEMENTS of the FRONT PAGE are: Intro-Text, Name, Image, Buttons, Message, Specials, Contents, Final-Text, Search, & Address~~~~~

ELS@@@@@@~~~~~

Engraved Gift Creations@@@@@@~~~~~

Errything@@@@@@~~~~~

Fast Sunglass@@@@@@~~~~~

Fem Nutrition@@@@@@~~~~~

FINAL-TEXT (Front Page Element)@@@@@@This calls the FINAL-TEXT field. To edit this field click on VARIABLES on your EDIT NAV-BAR. This field is a BIG-TEXT style field that can contain text or simple html and shows up at the bottom of your ITEM and SECTION pages.~~~~~

Find Converting Keywords CKWP@@@@@@~~~~~

For Yahoo! Store Owners Only WEBINAR // 12-01-06, 1 pm ET@@@@@@ Make More with your Yahoo! Store FRIDAY, DEC. 01, 1pm ET - 1 hour $97 (FREE for Yahoo! Store Merchants) CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP - Free to Yahoo! Store Owners Learn how to drive search engine traffic to your store and then all the way to the bank. In this free, one-hour Webinar, you'll learn secrets of Store SEO (search engine optimization): How to optimize your Yahoo! Store products and sections to get free search engine traffic. I'll also introduce you to some cheap and easy ways buy your way to the top with paid search ads that won't break the bank. Finally, guest speaker Michael Whitaker of Monitus.Net's Store Tool Set will show you how to measure how you're doing. See what's working and focus your efforts on the marketing that gives you the best bang for the buck. SIGN UP NOW! EVENT: For Yahoo! Store Owners Only: Make More with your Yahoo! Store SPEAKERS: Rob Snell , Michael Whitaker DATE: Friday, December 1, 2006. 1:00 pm, Eastern. (10:00 am Pacific time). HOMEWORK: Not mandatory, but recommended reading assignment: " Starting a Yahoo! Business For Dummies ," CH16 + CH17. Now available in stores nationwide or online at Amazon.com - Just search for Yahoo! Store CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP - Free to Yahoo! Store Owners ~~~~~

FoxTail Lights@@@@@@~~~~~

FREE DOWNLOAD Yahoo Store Design & Consulting -- Opportunity Vision PDF@@@@@@http://edit.store.yahoo.com/lib/webstore-design/opportunity-vision.pdf~~~~~

Free Keyword Research Tools@@@@@@Use these FREE keyword resources to find what keywords folks are searching for: Overture Google google.com/press/zeitgeist askjeeves.com/docs/peek/ 50.lycos.com/ buzz.yahoo.com ~~~~~

FREE Yahoo! Store Evaluation from Snell Brothers & GiveAnything.com@@@@@@My good buddy, John, from giveanything.com called again and said, "Hey! I'm doing a newsletter mailout. You want to do some more free Yahoo! Store evaluations?" Sure! Last time pretty much buried me, so this time I'm doing it a little differently. Sign up via this email form. I'll do at least 10 every Friday until I've done them all. Rob Snell , Snell Brothers Name: E-mail: Your URL: Daytime Phone: QUESTION : If you could only change one thing about your Yahoo! Store, what would you change?  I have a Yahoo! Store.  I want a FREE Yahoo! Store evaluation. I fix Yahoo! Stores for a living. When I'm not working on your store, I'm working on my family's stores. There are many things you can do to fix improve your store. Our company-owned Yahoo! stores (as well as client sites) have generated millions of dollars in sales for independent retailers over the past 3 years, so we know what works (and what doesn't!). You benefit from my Yahoo! Store experience because we've been using the software since 1997, even before it was called Yahoo! Store. We also own and maintain our own Yahoo! Stores, so we're aware of the unique needs of the independent Yahoo! Store retailer. You will also profit from my extensive retail & marketing experience. In addition to Snell Brothers Web Development , we also own COPY COW a copy shop we opened in 1996. We just sold our fifth GUN DOG COMICS , the retail pop-culture company we started in 1988 as college students. The company who bought our Starkville store also bought all of our hobby-related Yahoo! Stores. Your bottom line is #1. I understand that the most important thing about your web store is making it easier for your internet customers to shop, so you make more money. You have things you want your store to do, but you're not quite sure how to pull it off within the confines of the Yahoo! Store software. We can implement YOUR ideas on your Yahoo! Store. You can request a Ystore Deep Site Analysis to look at your statistics and traffic flow . You'll see areas in your store where we can focus to make the most impact on your bottom line. You need a professional look. We do graphics. Get a whole new look from the ground up. We'll create your company logo and a look to brand your entire site with colors and fonts. We can also convert your existing logos & graphics to a web friendly format. You can have us scan your catalogs or photos as well as convert images from manufacturers and distributors cd-roms into Yahoo! Store product graphics. -- Rob Snell, http://ystore.com email: rob@ystore.com P.S. Let me help you get the most out of your Yahoo! Store. By looking at your unique situation through the eyes of fellow business owner rather than just a web designer or marketer, I can help you improve your business by helping you make more money and by saving you time . ~~~~~

Front Page@@@@@@This is an example of the front page. You control the elements such as the intro text, the banner/logo, the specials, the search bar, the contents of the site, and the message. The contents of this page are the sections or items at the next level. When you click on the thumbnail/icon of the section, it takes you to that section page. Read on for more information... When I do a site I try to keep it as flat as possible. Most people who come across your site will not have to navigate the whole site, but I try to keep most sites to four levels at a maximum. The top of the site is the front page. The next level is the section. Within that you have the item page. The confusing part is that you can list items on the front page, the section pages, and even within items themselves (accessories). It can be pretty confusing, but once you play around with it, you can see the logic behind it. Example: Front Page of Mystery Books -> John Grisham Books Section Page -> "A Time to Kill" Item Page ~~~~~

GameTimeUSA@@@@@@http://gametimeusa.com~~~~~

GDS CSS@@@@@@~~~~~

Geddy Lee Bass@@@@@@~~~~~

George Sports@@@@@@~~~~~

Get Free Info@@@@@@~~~~~

Giveanything.com@@@@@@http://giveanything.com~~~~~

Good Keywords (Keyword Software)@@@@@@http://softnik.com/products/gkw/gkwpro/index.htm~~~~~

Google 4x from Webmasterworld.com@@@@@@http://www.webmasterworld.com/google4x4.cgi?q=link:http://www.yahoo.com~~~~~

Google Instant SEO: E-Commerce | Yahoo! Stores@@@@@@ VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO BRYAN @ TranscribeNow.net/ ! FOR TURNING THIS AROUND SO FAST... if you are NOT on my info@ystore.com mailing list, you're missing out... READ RAW TEXT TRANSCRIPT -- Will Mark It up & ADD SLIDES ASAP SLIDESHARE is down :( so I'l upload audio and slides as soon as I can. YSUMMIT: SEO FOR GOOGLE INSTANT & YAHOO! STORES 9.13.2010 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. Hes going to be a very busy men. I am on one of those panels with him. Hes 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 dont 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 thats still not enough time for everything this man can tell us. So put it together for Rob Snell. [applause] Rob: Howdy. Thank you, Paul. My name is Rob Snell. I am from Starkville, Mississippi. I am a retailer. Ive been doing Yahoo Stores since before it was Yahoo Stores; back 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 search-engine site friendly -- so that the search engines can find your site, index your pages, rank you, and return your site in the search results when folks search for what you see. Today Im 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. Thats Click. Hes one of my brothers dogs. Hes 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 Ive 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. GRAPH 1 -- We started our online business in 1997 because, in 1996, Petsmart opened up across the street from my parents brick-and-mortar store. And look at thata third of the revenue just gone. My mom was freaking out. So we decided to get online. GRAPH 2 -- And this is like three or four years later. Look at that. I mean thats nice. Completely replaced the offline business, were growing like a weed, and, you know, thats nice. Thats a really good story. GRAPH 3 -- But this is closer to today. Look at that. Thats several orders of magnitude greater than we were doing with the offline business. Its 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 were 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 have 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 Im 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 Ill talk a lot about that today. $10 million in Mississippi makes a happy puppy. [laughter] Thats a lot of money. Out here in CA, probably not so much. OK. Next, Im going to talk first about how I do SEO. And some of this is going to be really basic for some of you. I am going to drill in deeper as I go on. And I will PROBABLY 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 wouldnt give me four hours, so this is what you are going to get. On the website, on Robsnell.com Ill have this information and some other information Ill refer you to if I dont get to everything. All right, how I do SEO. Pick a keyword. Lets just take doghouse heaterssomething that we sell. The first thing I do is I pick my stores 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 thats pretty obvious. Whats the next thing I do? Well, I put the keyword I want to rank for, DOG HOUSE HEATERS 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 and section/category pages with the keywords that customers use when they are searching to buy what you sell. Remember that first slide? The reason why? You dont really have to know this. Ive 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 with the PAGE-TITLE if you want a different NAME from TITLE tag. And if you have a custom store it might be a little different. But if youve 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. Its 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 thats what's in the Title tag. The NAME field also becomes the link text on other pages. So right here, Ive got, like, in my navigationand actually, thats a custom thing, so ignore that for a second. But thats 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 its good to get links from pages on your store INTERNAL, and its good to get links from other domains -- EXTERNAL links. 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 your CAPTION in normal English description, or Spanish if you have a Spanish website, and write the way people talk. But you want to make sure to use the keywords in natural language. You dont want to spam, you dont want to keyword stuff or just put a list of keywords... IN THIS EXAMPLE CAPTION -- See we have doghouse heater, kennel heater, doghouse heater, hound heater, blah, blah, blah sprinkled through the CAPTION naturally. GET MORE LINKS -- And 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. Thats how Google was such a better search engine than all the other search engines. Its reputation analysis. Its what another page is saying about your page, not what you say on the page itself. How do you get more links? Well, first see how many you have in the first place. 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 Ive got 159 links to that doghouse heaters page. You can also filter that and say, Well just show me the INTERNAL links. And this shows me that Yahoo counts 151 links to this page on other pages on MY Website. And you can also filter that and say, Well just show me the EXTERNAL links. And this shows me that Ive got 8 links from other Web sites, 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 thats great. Thats how I do SEO. Thats how Ive been doing it for 14 years. NOW... Lets 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, Im like, Oh, I could say that better. Let me change this. Let me think that out. Oh, what? They just changed this? Its still Google. Google is still driving the majority of SEO traffic. Five winning strategies? Google, Google, Google, Google, Binghoo! OK? Bing is now powering Yahoo. All that means is that instead of optimizing for three search engines, now you only have to optimize for two. Me? I am still going to concentrate on Google, GOOGLE INSTANT... And then, three days before my slides are due, we have the biggest front-facing change to SEO. I was then going to change my presentation to: SEO is dead and I dont 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. Ive got ADD, if you havent seen that already. How is this going to affect me? Its like I looked at my sales graph and I dont have enough data. Heres the last week on one of our stores, and its like, Wow, we had a pretty good Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And then you see Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I am like, Oh, my God. Whats 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 HotBot. I used to freak out about the Yahoo Directory. Dont freak out about Google Instant. Right now? You just need to watch your keywords. What this is going to do, in my opinion, is its going to cause more folks to click on some of the shorter, head terms, and its also going to cause some folks to drill down into some of the more long tail terms. But time will tell... EXAMPLE -- So lets 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 were getting doghouses. Ive got ADD; Im afraid Im going to be clicking on this. Ive 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 dont know what that is. [laughter] Local is being pumped into this Google Instant; something else to distract you. We are finally on the list is doghouse heater. Once I just kind of keep on typing in Google Instant, well now weve 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 Im showing up in the organic results there. Im not buying ads for this. And Im showing up in the shopping results down here. Thanks SingleFeed, if you are here. I appreciate the hookup from last year. Don Cole from YourStoreWizards.com also has a cool shopping product. I dont have any time to go into shopping search, but you need to be in shopping results because of this. OK. We can even type out doghouse heater and we still dont see the keyword doghouse heaters plural. You have to actually type it out before you get to see the page, just like you would 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, its gone. Its over. Whats the impact of that phrase? 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, thats $17,000 that I instantly lost thanks to Google. But honestly, I think clicks that normally would have gone to heaters plural will actually going to go to this singular version of the same phrase because Google pushes folks that way. But the impact of Google Instant on singular/plurals is 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 launched 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 its 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 phrasedog training collars reviews. And thats good because thats a more specific phrase and its 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 thats blown up for people in the back. You type that in. Its 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 Ballard, 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 leadand I know shes 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 shed 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. Thats what I think is going to happen. But weve 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 well talk about that. So lets take another phrase. I go to Google and I do a search for dog training collars. I searched on it.Yay! Im number one and number two. Im rockin! Well, actually Im not. If you look up there, Im logged into my Gmail account. Because I use Gmail. I use Google AdWords. I use Google Analytics. Im 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 Ive got a clean virgin browser. I am seeing what a new searcher would see, which gives me a much better idea of whats 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. Thats actually supposed to be pretty good, right? Well Im even below the fold there. And so Im 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. Thats great. You know, the first page, thats awesome. The problem is most of the people looking at your website are probably going to see this. And most folks dont scroll; I mean like more than half. They dont scroll. They see what they are looking foryou 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. Im not selling anythingyet. Get on my list. info@ystore.com. I dont 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. Thats gold. Thanks to Yahoo Web Analytics, its 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, Ive 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 shout-out 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. Ive 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 Ive changed the keywords so that Im not giving away the store here. Steve wont 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 Im 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 dont 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 dont think a lot of retailers have wrapped their heads around. Lets 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 lets 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. Heres 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 its 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 Im 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 Ill go in and Ill tag all the manufacturer keywords and bucket them together, and Ill 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. Its an easy way you can takethats 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 Im sitting there right now, I know what my buckets are. This makes me a little nervous, because yall are seeing what my sales are looking at this. I dont like giving this presentation. [laughter] I optimize my keywords in groups. Lets 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. Wouldnt it be really easy to string some of these words together into meaningful content on a section page, on a product page? Its really easy to optimize. All right. The next thing is you want one URL per page. Youve 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 wont admit it, and your Yahoo developer can do this if you dont 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 Webbs, you will have one Shaquille ONeal. [laughter] And Spud Webb is pretty cool. The next thing I recommend folks do is pimp your homepage. Your homepage is probably, Id say for 99% of yall, its 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 Ive 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 Ive 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. Its throwing the PageRank and the link popularity away from one those; its just throwing it away. If you have two links, three links, four linkssome 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, its 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 dont want to have to hand write page titles and meta descriptions for. Heres an example of me being lazy on Gun Dog Supply. And you can see in my meta description that Ive got the same boilerplate text over and over again. And eventually, that comes back to bite you in the butt because it doesnt look that friendly. People dont want to click on it. Ive got free shipping US 48-$125 orders. Ive 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 dont know if you guys can see this or not, but heres 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 Garminregistered signgets more clicks, DC-40 TMgets more clicks, 220Ive got both new name and the old name, and Ive got the generic keyword dog tracking system from Garmin. Ive got Garmin in there again. So I think thats a much better title tag. And thats 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 Steves candid review of dog tracking systems. Best dog product 2010. Thats 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 its 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 Im not an RTML programmer. Im embarrassed that Im even talking in front of about 50 of you guys. Please dont 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 buyers guides. Instead of offering stuff for sale, we started writing these buyers guides. All right. Buyers guides. Recommend the products that solve your customers problems. Dont 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 dont practice enough, so you dont 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. Thats a big deal. Buyers guides, when folks come into our website on a buyers guide, we have a 50% increase in conversion rate than when they come in on our regular section or category page. Thats 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 buyers 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, lets 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 its 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 youll 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 hard wire 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. Heres 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. Its friendly for customers. They can get straight to the product. Its also for SEO. Thats 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 isnt as smart as the guys at Yahoo, so it doesnt 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 Im linking to my doghouse heaters page. Its 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 youve got a $99 product, I want you to write 10 paragraphs about it. Thats 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 Im 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 web page, which will get Google traffic, which will turn into money. If you dont 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 Im guilty of this on some of my sites, you take the manufacturers 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 Im not going to out anybody here. What you want to do, if you want to find if some bodys using the manufacturer description, take the first sentence in the manufacturers 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 reallyI dont 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 thats going on, for this really valuable keyword phrase for us. And its 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 dont 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 productLike 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. Im about to give everybody here whos 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 SEOs 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. Im not going to give it all away, but Im 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 vestsnumber one and two. Buy hunting dogs vestsnumber one and two. Not optimizing for these, this is just because of the way the templates are working. Hunting dog vests onlinenumber 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 Im using little RTML tricks. And there is some other stuff that Im 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 its on page number 20,000, its not going to rank. Its 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 its 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. Im going to the bar. I want all the money. 25% of the sales came from 39 other terms. So thats a whole bunch of quarters down there. So Ill get my shovel and Ill scoop up all the quarters. So you see all these words. Its 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. Yall 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 cant believe Ive gotten this far. This is a section page where Ive got vertical contents. The alignment is vertical. Im not showing the contents of whats 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 its in the book, then you get a lot more text. It not only shows you the section, but it shows you whats in the subsection, and you can show what the abstract is on that page. You dont 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. Thats 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. GPSwe 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 weve got better hunting than they do. Junior gets a link on the website. Im going to talk about a lot of this stuff tomorrow in the customer engagement panel, and Ive got 10 minutes, so Ive 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 isnt going to be the case in every single specific phrase. But if youve got higher revenue per visitor than the more generic termand these numbers I got, the $40,000-$88,000 are not from my site. Thats 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 thats 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? Its much easier to rank for these longer terms. Thats good. Chase stuff. Chase dog beds. Thats great. See if you can do that. All right, Ive got five minutes and there are 75 more slides. No, Im 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 whats 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. Dont 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 Im 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, Im number three. Oh, my gosh, Im 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. Thats the next million dollars in that bucket. Thats 10,000 words. Everybody concentrates on the head and the neck, and yall 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. Its 9,000 orders. Then we have the rump. Nobody pays attention to the rump. The rump2,500 different keywords. How are you going to track that? Same million dollars, 80,000 orders. Thats only an order or two per keyword. And then everybody hears about the long tail. Here Ive got 16,500 keywords that generated 16,500 orders. Those are the onesies. And I guess, dont neglect the rump. Thats 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. Dont get obsessed with these 20 head terms. All right. More info, free stuff, Robsnell.com. Im sorry I talked so fast. Didnt mean to blow your mind. Sign up for my newsletter, info@ystore.com. Ill be here all week. Im done. [applause]~~~~~

Google Public Policy Blog: Small businesses finding success online@@@@@@http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2008/06/small-businesses-finding-success-online.html~~~~~

Google Toolbar@@@@@@http://toolbar.google.com target=_new~~~~~

Google Tools@@@@@@~~~~~

googleadfcf7723e0cc432@@@@@@~~~~~

Gopher's Paradise@@@@@@I've either got gophers or moles. Some kind of tunnel-dwelling varmits. Help!~~~~~

GOTO Search Suggestion Tool@@@@@@http://inventory.goto.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/~~~~~

Grab Long Tail CKWP, too@@@@@@~~~~~

Grandmother (Anne) & Cooper@@@@@@~~~~~

GreekForMe@@@@@@~~~~~

Gun Dog Supply - Dog Training Supplies (PORTFOLIO SITE)@@@@@@http://www.gundogsupply.com~~~~~

Hansen Wheel & Wagon@@@@@@http://www.viamall.com/wagon-wheel~~~~~

Hear me speak at 2006 Pubcon in Las Vegas@@@@@@This should be a GREAT session! I know all my fellow panelists. Last year was a blast! Thanks, Brett for another PUBCON slot! See http://www.pubcon.com/sessions.cgi?action=view&record=43 Everybody Loves Vegas, Baby! WebmasterWorld's PubCon Las Vegas 2006 Las Vegas Convention Center in fabulous Las Vegas Nevada Four Track Educational Conference with Exposition Hall Topics: Search, Net Marketing, SEO/SEM, Affiliates, General Webmastery. PubCon is scaled from novice to advanced experience levels. The leading edge event for sharing real world information about SEO, SEM, and general Site Owner/Webmaster issues. When: November 14-17, 2006 Keynotes: Guy Kawasaki, Jon S. von Tetzchner, John Battelle, Danny Sullivan ~~~~~

Hear me speak!@@@@@@~~~~~

Here's the best search conference self-promotion I've ever done: SESSION CARDS@@@@@@ Getting a speaking gig at Pubcon is only the first step. Once you have a slot, you want your session to rock, but no matter how awesome your presentation is, if no one shows up to hear you it doesn't matter. Brett gave me my first shot speaking in Boston the week my book came out in 2006. I think I started doing SESSION CARDS ON THE BACK OF MY BOOK BUSINESS CARDS right after that. When you meet someone at PUBCON, it's easy to say "Come to my session," but how will they remember? No one is going to remember that you speak at 10:15 tomorrow morning in Salon A. Enter session cards. Session cards not only tell folks when and where you're speaking, they also advertise the other peeps on your panel. My GF rocked these out in PHOTOSHOP/ILLUSTRATOR and agreed to share her template if folks who use it throw a link her way: Kathy Jacobs Design -- Here's the session-cards.ai template file I usually print my show-specific cards literally right before I leave for the airport because I own a copy shop. This time I decided to actually get my show cards printed at a REAL printer! See y'all at the show! ~~~~~

here's what happens when Matt Cutts (and Sally Burke) tweet your URL@@@@@@The initial traffic spike was pretty good, but look at the daily visitors AFTER the 2-day spike. I wonder if this is what Matt means by evergreen content?~~~~~

Hey, Rob! How do you build my Yahoo Store?@@@@@@ Dragonstore.com (was) a profitable Yahoo! Store that I used to own (JUST SOLD 9/2001!) and sold thousands and thousands of dollars of cool dragon merchandise. I built it with the help of my retail chain's General Manager. Since it's my site, I don't worry about "giving away the store.." and can tell you things that a client wouldn't want out in the open! I'm going to use the design process on Dragonstore.com to help you see the steps that we go through when we build your webstore. Your PRODUCT SELECTION is the most important aspect of starting a webstore. You must be selling a product that people want and that you can make money on. Ease of use would be a close second, and Yahoo! Store excels here. Allen had the idea of making a specialized site focusing on two manufacturers' product lines. He picked out 50 pewter dragons and t-shirts and made an excel file which is the skeleton of the site. He then scanned graphics for all 50 items from his distributors catalog.~~~~~

Hire Me!@@@@@@ I can find an $100,000.00 in sales you're missing just by poking around your Yahoo! Store, or your review is FREE! It's like having your very own personal Ystore seminar over the phone! From SEO, PPC, conversion rate improvement - we'll cover it all. Anything to help you make more with your online store! I'll even throw in copies of some of my best, secret RTML templates for SEO, product management, and more... Satisfaction 100% guaranteed. The information you get from this consult will pay for itself over and over. If for some reason I don't think you'll benefit from my review, I won't take the gig. ~~~~~

Hmmm...@@@@@@ "What have I forgotten THIS trip" (probably clean socks & underwear.) Hey, y'all! Here are pix of my swanky new bachelor pad. Finally got the fence up. Hacked back most of the jungle. Surrounding the pool/deck with the privacy fence worked out pretty well. Y'all should have seen me installing the low voltage lighting around the pool at 2 a.m. Saturday (in the dark!) Still have yet to move most of my stuff, but living out in the county has been great for the first 7 days! No hobo sitings yet.~~~~~

Honest Foods.com@@@@@@http://www.honestfoods.com~~~~~

Hourly Consulting ($500)@@@@@@LIMITED AVAILABILITY. Sold in 10 hour blocks. Pay by VISA, MC, AMEX, Discover, & PayPal, or company check. Email rob at ystore dot com.~~~~~

house@@@@@@~~~~~

House Picture (3)@@@@@@~~~~~

How I Do a Database Upload to my Yahoo! Stores@@@@@@ by Rob Snell , ystore.com This summer I was on vacation on a cruise in the Carribean when my workaholism flared up. I was able to dash into a cybercafe, check my email, and get a little work done. I could have done anything I could normally do at home to my 10 Yahoo! Stores or client sites because everything in my Yahoo! Stores is on the Yahoo! servers out in California. All I need is a browser and an internet connection, and I'm in my store. Cool! This flexibility can also have a downside. Editing your site online can be slow, especially during peak usage times. If you are stuck in a cheap hotel with your laptop and an AOL connection, you are in Hell. Database uploads automate the major downside of using a server based application like Yahoo! Store by allowing you the flexibility of making large sweeping change to your site while offline, and then bulk uploading products and graphics like "normal" FTP web sites do. You can also destroy months and months of work with the click of a button or two. Think of it as shaving with a chainsaw. It can be really efficient, but one slip and you're in big trouble. Note: I always experiment on a test store before trying new DATABASE UPLOAD tricks, so here goes! First, I make sure I can EXPORT my data! I log into the MANAGER at http://store.yahoo.com . Then I go to PROMOTE> SEARCH ENGINES and look below the scroll. Its the 2 nd feature. Click ENABLE " Export of Store Contents - Enable this to let third parties, such as product search engines, download your list of products. They should fetch them periodically from the URL http://www.yourdomainhere.com/objinfo.xml using the Yahoo! Store product export XML format . This doesn't affect Yahoo! Shopping" Click DONE . NOTE: Please remember that anyone who knows your Yahoo account name can now download your entire site. Just something to think about. Take a look at this big ole file. It's HUGE. It's everything in your store: Items, sections, content, etc... Click http://store.yahoo.com/TYPE-YOUR-ACCOUNT-HERE/objinfo.xml Go get the XML file by going to http://207.21.197.239/ystore/ystoreexport.htm Enter your account name (or whatever you want the CSV called and URL http://store.yahoo.com/TYPE-YOUR-ACCOUNT-HERE/objinfo.xml Pick your DELIMITER, (I use COMMAS). Pick which pages you want - Just Products or ALL. I choose all files because I want to see any files that are EXILED that I might have forgotten about I also DON'T STRIP html from description and caption because most often I am exporting my store's contents to REUPLOAD THEM after cleaning up the mess. Click on PROCESS FILE. Think happy thoughts for both Dan the Sausageman who sponsors this page, as well as Matt who wrote the program. Saves me HOURS. Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Matt. I create a NEW FOLDER on my desktop for the file and SAVE the MY-ACCOUNT-NAME.CSV file into this folder. I use Microsoft EXCEL. I got to FILE > OPEN and make sure to select the second dropdown menu of ALL FILES. When you open the file you see you have the FIELD NAMES: Id, Code, Description, Url, Thumb, Picture, Weight, Orderable, Taxable, BasePrice, LocalizedBasePrice, PathId, PathUrl, Availability, & Caption. Id .html is the name of your page. Use this for CODE . (Pictures need to be named the same for bulk uploads. If ID is 1234, pictures need to be 1234.jpg or 1234.gif) Code is the same unless you changed it. I delete this. Description is the Yahoo! Store NAME field. Url is the location of the published page. (See the ID.html at the end?) Thumb is the url of the thumbnail on the Yahoo! Image Server. Picture is the url of the thumbnail on the Yahoo! Image Server. Weight is WEIGHT field. Orderable is whether or not it has an order button. Taxable is the uploadable field TAXABLE. BasePrice & LocalizedBasePrice are PRICE PathId tells you the section it's in which you can use for PATH PathUrl is the location of the published section page. Availability is AVAILABILITY if you want to upload a unique availability. Caption is the CAPTION field. (Remember Yahoo! Store will only upload short to medium captions. If you have a loooong product description, it'll chop it off.) First thing to remember is that you lose HEADLINE, ABSTRACT, and SALE-PRICE. I use these a LOT! Sometimes it's a trade-off. Goto EDIT>ADVANCED>CONTROL> Experimental>Product Summary File To get SALE-PRICE, you can get the Product Summary File and match the IDs. Sort the EXCEL file by ORDERABLE and then by CODE. Then sort the Product Summary File by CODE and paste side by side in a SPREADSHEET. Now you have PRICE AND SALE-PRICE. To get the options is a bit more tricky. Use EDIT ALL from the INDEX page. View Source which in EXPLORER opens the NOTEPAD. You actually have to PARSE out the HTML, but the ID is matched up in the same TAGS as the OPTIONS info. Now that you have all of the fields you want to export, start making your changes. Add new products. Move items into new sections. Change prices. In the EXCEL spreadsheet Rename Id field CODE . Rename Description field NAME , and keep WEIGHT , TAXABLE, PRICE , PATH , AVAILABILITY, CAPTION . I also create columns HEADLINE& ABSTRACT. If you need OPTIONS add them, too. Insert a new column. COPY and PASTE NAME column into this blank column. Rename field HEADLINE. When you have an empty HEADLINE field, Yahoo! Store just uses the NAME FIELD in place of the headline. When you use HEADLINE, Yahoo! Store also places the NAME of the item in html across the bottom of the page, which can only help you with search engines. I then save this file as a CSV with a name like 300am.csv so I know when it was current and I place it in my UPLOAD directory. EDIT>ADVANCED>INDEX>DATABASE UPLOAD I now use Data Format:CSV . I believe Yahoo! discontinued Bar-Delimited (a.k.a. PIPES) in NOV 2000 much to my dismay, and that is when I learned about ITEMS WITH NO CODE. BEFORE YOU UPLOAD YOUR CSV FILE -- Make sure that every CODE field has an entry. Upload an EMPTY code field and you will get a nasty surprise! You get an ITEM without an OBJECT CODE and then you can't PUBLISH. You can't delete it because it has no name. The only way you can get rid of it that I've found out is to OVERWRITE your whole site! Be careful. WARNING: This is not unlike shaving with a chainsaw. You will make mistakes. You will delete hours of hard work. Play on a test site. You have been warned. REBUILD ADD REVERT REBUILD deletes all product images and section icons and replaces the data with just the information from your database. Yahoo! Says: "Warning: Rebuilding your site will delete all existing items and add only the items you have uploaded. Are you sure you want to Rebuild your site? " ADD simply adds new items and overwrites items with the same IDs. It's the safest of DATABASE UPLOADS . The worst thing that can happen is that your overwrite good products with the new products. Example: If you have a picture for item ID 1234 and you ADD a new product with 1234 to the site it will have the OLD photo as the ITEM IMAGE. REVERT takes you back one generation if you REBUILT or ADDed, but only once. It's kind of like UNDO, but you only get ONE. Databases uploads can save you hours upon hours of editing your Yahoo! Store. You can also build consistent looking pages that load faster and present more information. Even better, you can tweak your pages to be more search engine friendly to get your more traffic, more sales, and more money! Be careful! rob@ystore.com ~~~~~

How I got 616 orders in one month from a single Yahoo! Listing!@@@@@@ Towards the end of September I kept seeing the phrase "Halloween Costumes" shoot up the popularity index like a rocket. I decided to do a little experiment. I did my homework on the keyword phrases that were related to Halloween Costumes and found that CHILDRENS HALLOWEEN COSTUMES and ADULT HALLOWEEN COSTUMES were popular sub-phrases, and had little to no competition in the Yahoo.com directory. Yahoo.com has recently changed. First, they changed the way Yahoo returns search results, and then they added GOTO/Overture listings so this exact method won't be as effective next year. Simply put, I found out what people were looking for, and then I positioned my site to come up for the best results for those searches, and then I sent the traffic to a retailer who had exactly what those folks were looking for and I got an 8% commission for sending that traffic. That single Yahoo! listing generated a commission of $2,188.77 for 616 orders that were from 96,861 hits. These all came from a SINGLE Yahoo! listing. The MOST IMPORTANT THING about Internet Marketing is knowing the most popular search terms buyers use to find what you sell! These are your Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES. Once you know what exact KEYWORD PHRASES your customers are looking for, you can do everything you can to make your site come up as high as possible in the search results for those specific words and phrases in the directories, search engines, and pay-per-click results. You can also track these results and compare how well you rank with your traffic and sales. Once you know what exact KEYWORD PHRASES folks are looking for, you don't have to worry about every single word that would apply. One of my clients is #1 on Google for her #1 keyword phrase, a brand name of a particular girls' toy. She was a little concerned when she wasn't on the first page of search results for the phrase "LIMITED EDITION ___," and she gave me a holler. We did a quick check and the GOTO/Overture tool said: No suggestions for "limited edition ." My other database also said: "Sorry! No results returned from database! No one was looking for this particular keyword phrase, so it didn't matter! The main thing is to be highly ranked for words that count and to ignore the ones that don't! "So, How do I find out what my Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES are?" There are two place to look to find your TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES : Inside & Outside. Look Inside - Look at your log files / references to see what phrases are already drawing traffic. These phrases are already working for you. Yahoo! Store owners should look at MANAGER > References > Details to see what the top KEYWORD PHRASES are in your existing Yahoo! Store. You can rank these by sales, orders, and traffic. Usually your top ten sources of traffic are the best to look at. You can get a pretty good idea of your better words in about 15 minutes, but I usually spend up to four or five hours to consolidate all of the data. Look Outside. Use whatever internet resources you can to find ALL relevant keyword phrases. This includes keyword databases, search engine "related results," related sites' meta tags & keywords, competitors' pay-per-click lists, industry-related sites, glossaries, manufacturer sites with brand and product names, synonym generators, and anything else you can think of using. This new list will probably include your existing keyword phrases, and you will be able to see what words and phrases you might be missing and see where your current TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES rank in and around the other words... In the old days (1997), it was hard to find out what people were looking for on the internet. There was one public list of most searched terms on Yahoo!, and half of those were for porn. Now there are a lot more resources to find out exactly WHAT people are looking for. The best free, public example is the GOTO / OVERTURE search suggestion tool (Ask me about this or look at my links page at http://ystore.com/links.html) We have access to many more, and we've learned a lot about how to put your site in front of this traffic to sell them stuff. "Okay, then how do I get more traffic, NOW?" Hire me! I'll show you. You buy a day of my time spread out over a week or so. You get access to my 5+ years of internet marketing experience as well as 15 years worth of "bricks and mortar" retailing and marketing experience. You also get a proven road map to building your site's traffic, and a list of elements you can use to jump-start your traffic. I'm in the process of creating an expanded version of my marketing plan for independent retailers using the Yahoo! Store platform. Call me at 800-332-7601 . Rob Snell ~~~~~

How I Got A 300% Retail Sales Explosion With 30 Minutes Of SEO@@@@@@http://searchengineland.com/how-i-got-a-300-retail-sales-explosion-with-30-minutes-of-seo-65718~~~~~

How sad is it that I track my PubCon Stats?@@@@@@I taped all my sessions and had them transcribed, so not only do I know how long I ran over (sorry!) I also know how many words / sentences / paragraphs were contained. See E-Commerce Optimization slides and E-Commerce SEO slides Both "15 minute" sessions ran 22 minutes Both sessions had the same number of words (~4800) SEO = More tactical = More Slides/Ideas E-Commerce Optimization = More strategic = Less Slides/Ideas ~~~~~

How to Boost Sales through Compelling Buyers' Guides, Product Descriptions, and Product Reviews@@@@@@http://www.wilsonweb.com/ecommerce/snell-compelling-content.htm~~~~~

How to change the PAGE-ELEMENTS field@@@@@@To make any changes to your front page's PAGE-ELEMENTS, Click the EDIT button on the FRONT PAGE, then click the PAGE-ELEMENTS CHANGE button. Make your changes, click UPDATE which takes you back to the EDIT page. If you want to save your changes, click UPDATE and the changes to your FRONT PAGE have been made.~~~~~

How to keep competitors from stealing images from your Yahoo Store@@@@@@BRAND your images with your URL kinda like the attached (or even MORE blatantly), *AND* use Photoshop (or Paintshop Pro) to embed a watermark (the little secret digital code they can't see but you can "trace"). Then ask the imag-stealing offender to remove the images OR remit $1500 a year PER IMAGE fee to your over-priced graphics guy for a 1 year license to use the following pictures, because his lawyer is a pitbull and you wouldn't want him thinking YOU were violating his copyright. I usually FAX or attach an "order form" and those images start disappearing lickety split! If THAT doesn't work THEN contact eBay or the ISP/Host of the person violating your copyright and most times they'll remove the images or nuke the account. Then there's always CEASE & DESIST, but they didn't cover that in art school.~~~~~

how to make quick OPTIONS drop down lists for Yahoo Stores@@@@@@Step 1 GET THE ids in INTERNET EXPLORER edit the AUTHORS page goto CONTENTS field ctrl-a to highlight all IDS ctrl-c to COPY all and then in NOTEPAD ctrl-v to paste into a empty notepad ctrl-a to highlight all in NOTEPAD open WORD ctrl-v to paste into a empty WORD doc ctrl-H to find/replace replace " " (don't type the quotes, just the space) with ^p ctrl-a to highlight all IDS ctrl-c to COPY all and then open NOTEPAD ctrl-v to paste into a empty notepad ctrl-a to highlight all IDS ctrl-c to COPY all and then OPEN EXCEL click in cell d-1 ctrl-v to paste into column D #2 GET THE CORRESPONDING author NAMES in EDITOR, browse to the AUTHORS page highlight all the names of the authors they'll be in the same order as the ids you just got ctrl-c to COPY all and then in NOTEPAD ctrl-v to paste into a empty notepad ctrl-a to highlight all in NOTEPAD open WORD ctrl-v to paste into a empty WORD doc ctrl-H to find/replace replace "^p " (don't type the quotes, just the space) with ^p this changes all the empty lines with spaces to empty lines replace ^p^p with ^p this deletes all the empty lines replace ^p^p with ^p this deletes all the empty lines replace " " with nothing (replace all) (or however many spaces are at the beginning of a line now all the Author Names should be on the same number of lines as the IDs ctrl-a to highlight all names ctrl-c to COPY all and then open NOTEPAD (to remove WORD formatting if any) ctrl-v to paste into a empty notepad ctrl-a to highlight all NAMES ctrl-c to COPY all and then OPEN EXCEL click in cell f-1 ctrl-v to paste into column F -- -- -- -- -- into cell c-1 paste <option value=" into cell d-1 paste THE ID into cell e-1 paste .html"> into cell F-1 paste THE name of the author into cell G-1 paste </OPTION< -- -- -- -- -- copy the c-1, e-1, and g-1 cells and paste into each row that needs it. highlight all the cells c-1...g-1 down until the last row copy ALL, paste into NOTEPAD highlight a TAB between the cell data in NOTEPAD, ctrl-c to copy it CTRL-H to REPLACE ALL paste the TAB character in the first field replace all TABS with nothing. highlight everything and CTRL-C it to copy it. This code can now be pasted to the SIDEBAR pulldown between the SELECT TAGS ~~~~~

How Your Store Can Create a Competitive Advantage via Compelling Content@@@@@@http://www.wilsonweb.com/ecommerce/snell-ecommerce-content.htm~~~~~

HTML test@@@@@@ Todays Y!Store blog is yet another guest column by long-time Yahoo! Store owner and marketer Rob Snell of Snell Brothers , located in sleepy Starkville, Mississippi. Rob is a retailer who has sold dog training collars on his Yahoo! Store since 1997. Rob also blogs about Yahoo! Store, speaks at search conferences about Yahoo! Store, and is the author of Starting a Yahoo! Store For Dummies . Just Back from Seattle & SMX Advanced Search Marketing Expo (SMX) is one of Danny Sullivans many search marketing shows. The Seattle show, SMX Advanced, is labeled that way so the speakers can dive off pretty deep into some pretty heavy topics without worrying about leaving the new folks behind. This show, like PUBCON, is for the heavy search geeks! The programming at SMX Advanced was so intense, I couldnt justify partying like a rock star, and risk missing some new important nugget or idea. This was the first search conference EVER where I went to every single class. I only slept in through the keynote. SMX Advanced is also a 2-day show, but I took 79+ pages of notes in my little black Moleskine notebook. More than half of my notes were ideas for getting links, or increasing conversions, or other marketing ideas triggered by something someone said in a presentation or during a bar conversation. Some of my SEO friends tease me about my little black notebook, but its ironic that theyre the first ones to call me to get copies of my notes! Nothing is radically new this year. Ive been going to search marketing shows since 2001, and the more I go to, the fewer brand new things I tend to pick up. For me, the major advantage of attending is seeing the same information in a somewhat different light, meeting like-minded folks at meals and in between sessions, and catching up with old friends. Search marketing shows are also great for getting out of your daily routine, letting your mind wander, and figuring out what you want to do next, marketing-wise! A buddy of mine was bellyaching that he paid $3500 for flight, hotel and tuition, and he didnt learn anything radically new. Did he get any ideas? Yes, tons. Great. Now he also knows his SEO chops are completely current. In 2009, SEO is still all about TITLE TAGS and LINKS As you probably know, on every page you want your best keywords for that page in a descriptive TITLE Tag. Yahoo! Stores are SEO-friendly right out of the box because TITLES are generated by the NAME field, or PAGE-TITLE field. You also want the same keywords you want to rank for in the anchor text of links pointing to that page. These links should be both from your Yahoo! Store (navigation, breadcrumbs, links in CAPTION fields, and thumbnails/text links on category pages) as well as from lots of other sites as well. For more info check out some earlier posts of mine: Converting Keywords , Southern Fried SEO , and How to Get Vendor Links . What *IS* new in SEO for 2009? LINK DIVERSITY Link diversity (having links from different domains and different IP ranges) is somewhat more important for SEO than it has been in the past. For example, 20 links from one site isn't as good as 20 links from 20 different sites on different domains. Want to see how many unique domains link to you? Checkout SEOBook.coms Aaron Walls tool here: http://tools.seobook.com/link-tools/backlinks/backlinks.php . Want to see Ystoreblog.coms backlinks ? (May take a bit to load!) I show 1 Unique Government Domain (*.gov, *.mil) with 1 Unique C Block Addresses and 74 Unique Commerical Domains (*.com, *.net, etc) with 59 Unique C Block Addresses. (BTW, Paul, that house.gov link is from my Congress gig. Thanks, again.) One of the SEO Super-heroes, Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ.org discussed the upcoming release of his 2009 Search Engine Ranking Factors report which coming out this July (heres the last one ). Every year or so, Rand surveys top SEOs and compares their opinions with real data from reverse engineering top-ranking sites for hundreds of popular keywords. This year Everythings the same + link diversity sums up my notes. Rand said that he believes that even "nofollowed" links, (links that don't pass PageRank or anchor text) DO count towards domain diversity. Nofollowed links are links that have the attribute rel=nofollow which was something the search engines invented to stop blog spammers. Nofollowed links really dont give you any SEO benefit because they dont send PageRank (link popularity) or anchor text. For example, all the links in comments on this blog are nofollowed. Duplicate content and the Canonical Tag One new thing Google and the other search engines came up with earlier this year to help e-commerce sites battle same site duplicate content problems was to come up with the Canonical tag. Matt Cutts has a great post on everything you need to know about the canonical tag right here. Ironically, Yahoo! Stores dont need canonical tags because we have SEO-friendly static URLs (like www.storedomain.com/page.html), so our stores dont have the problems that a lot of other carts do like dealing with dynamic URLS with all these parameters. Also, you should consolidate all your pages into one domain using the Store Managers 301 settings. This permanently redirects all store URLs and your non-www URLs to the a single domain which consolidates your link popularity. Read Pauls helpful Domain Redirect Setting help file for more info. Oh, yeah! One possible Yahoo! Store use for the canonical tag is so you get SEO credit for links tagged with parameters like links from some affiliate programs, click track, internal campaigns, or even tagged banners). For example, search engines would see a link to http://www.storedomain.com?s=affiliate&id=8675309 as a completely different link than http://www.storedomain.com. I have some SEO tests running right now, and Ill report back if/when we find something. PageRank Sculpting (Just say no!) In the you shouldnt play with fire category, was the PageRank Sculpting controversy. Sculpting PageRank is the practice of using NOFOLLOW tags to squeeze PageRank around on your site to maximize your link popularity on only your most important products and pages. That sounds like a good thing, right? Nope! 99.9% of Yahoo! Store owners shouldnt even think of messing around with PageRank sculpting because its not unlike like shaving with a chainsaw. Horrible things can happen if you do something wrong. The best way to control what pages get the PageRank on your Yahoo! Store is to put links to your most valuable products and categories right on your homepage. Thats so easy! Google still hates paid links Matt Cutts, Googles Search Quality Engineer and the voice of Google to most SEOs repeated that buying links to manipulate the search engine rankings is still a high-risk activity. He said anything sponsored should be use a rel=nofollow tag or it's high-risk. Any consideration (i.e., free products for links) to get keyword rich anchor text links with the intent to manipulate rankings is high-risk. Matt said youre free to do as you wish with your sites and your links, but so is The Google. Google also says they wont penalize you for anything someone else could do to your site, only things that you do ON your site. Google can be pretty cryptic about what will and wont get you in trouble! For example, if buying paid links got you banned from Google (or even penalized), all a competitor would have to do is buy paid links for YOUR site, report you, and then you would suffer and probably not know why. My experience with buying paid links (from long, long ago!) was that the site that gets caught SELLING (not buying) paid links gets in trouble. Google most likely quietly turns off that site from any SEO benefits of passing PR and anchor text. Buying links from that site then is a waste of money, and you also run the risk of having your domain flagged as a possible spammer. This may lead to a manual review which is when a Google Quality inspector puts your site under the microscope to see if youre doing anything else you shouldnt be doing and gets to assess penalties if applicable. (Now my dog is hiding under the bed, whimpering like its the middle of a Mississippi thunderstorm. Its ok. Matt Cutts isnt going to eat you!) My own personal rule for SEO? I pretend Matt Cutts knows who I am, and knows all my domains and client sites. If you assume the Spam Cops are watching everything, keep your nose clean, and you should be fine. Anytime I try to keep anything on the down low, its to hide things that work from my distinguished competition rather than trying to get anything past the PhDs in Mountainview. I still have 73 more pages of notes I didnt get to, so hopefully Paul and the gang will let me have another guest post pretty soon! Appreciate the forum, folks! Until then, keep building great content and collecting links! -- Rob Snell P.S. Here are some other posts: Pimping Your Product Page , SES NYC 2007 , Free Conversion Rate Chapter . ~~~~~

http://airhosereels.com@@@@@@http://airhosereels.com~~~~~

http://store.dollhousesbygrace.com/@@@@@@ Doll Houses This guide was created to help answer any questions you have when buying and building your dollhouse. It includes everything you need to know before buying a dollhouse online. Includes information about the kits, construction supplies, finishing materials, miniature furniture, and more. Comes with complete checklist of supplies & equipment you need to build the perfect dollhouse. 1. Consider these factors when choosing a dollhouse:  Size: There are many different sizes to choose to fit any budget from $60 for a small cottage to over $800 for an estate such as the Queen Anne (#RGHS6600). Finished houses range in size from 2 to 4 tall and wide so be sure have a large enough work & play area for your new kit. See all of our kits under the Real Good Toys link.  Ease Of Building: All dollhouses sold on dollhousesbygrace.com come with an illustrated instruction booklet to guide you through the process of assembling your dollhouse. Using just basic tools such as a hammer, glue and a utility knife, you can build your perfect dollhouse. Refer to the following section, Pick your Construction Supplies, for details on the necessary supplies you will need. For a great looking and easy to assemble dollhouse, consider the Simplicity Series made by Real Good Toys (here).  Finish: Dollhouse kits can be purchased with a smooth or milled exterior finish. Kits with a milled exterior finish have the clapboard siding milled directly onto the exterior portions of the house providing the look and feel of real clapboard siding. A milled exterior finish is recommended if this is your first dollhouse project for it will greatly reduce the time and effort required to assemble the shell. If you are an experienced builder you may prefer a smooth exterior finish. With a smooth finish you can build and attach your own exterior materials such as brick, stone, miniature clapboard siding, or a combination thereof.  Material: All doll house kits and are constructed of either Medium Density Fiber Board (MDF) or Plywood ranging in thickness from to 3/8. The 3/8 plywood or MDF is usually preferred over material because it is more sturdy and will ultimately hold up stronger over the years. 2. Pick Your Construction Supplies. Here is a list of tools and items you will need to build and finish your doll house:  Hammer  Utility Knife *  Wood Glue *  Masking Tape *  Sand Paper *  Paint Brushes *  Paints and Primer (for the exterior)  Shingle Dye (for the roof shingles included in your kit. Click here)  Wood Filler (* Items marked with an asterisk, *, are included in the dollhousesbygrace.com STARTER VALUE PACK Part # BGDXSUP.) 3. Finish the Interior: Dollhousesbygrace.com supplies all the items you need to finish the interior of your house including the following:  Paints (dont forget your primer)  Wallpaper  Trim (window, cornice, chair rail, wainscot, etc.)  Hardwood flooring  Tile floors and walls  Carpeting (wall-to-wall and throw rugs)  Window Treatments  Linoleum Many of these items are not yet listed on dollhousesbygrace.com but will be soon. So please check back as we are adding new items every day. 4. Furnish Your House: Select from thousands of miniature items to complete your perfect dollhouse. Items are available for every room of your house, in any style, from any era. Like the interior finishing products, many of these items are not yet listed on dollhousesbygrace.com but will be soon. So please check back as we are adding new items every day. And when you are ready to take it to the next level of realism consider wiring your house with electricity - with working fixtures, outlets and switches. Also consider adding a stucco, brick, or stone exterior. How about realistic landscaping? All these items and supplies plus more will be added to our web soon. So please keep checking back! Now go have FUN and build that perfect dollhouse! ~~~~~

I'm sleeping in the den...@@@@@@Another 2 weeks until the floor guys sand and refinish the wood floors. I figured I might as well do everything I can before I move in...~~~~~

If you only read one thing...@@@@@@ Yahoo! Store works. If you have a product that you can sell in the real world, then Yahoo! Store may be for you. A couple of years ago one of my clients had a major problem. Their business was going great until a major category killer, big-box discount chain store moved in across the highway. She had heard horror stories about small businesses being devastated by this company. Her idea was to gear up her mail order business to make up for the 30-50% drop in sales associated from this company opening up. After a year of struggling catalog mail order sales she decided to get on the web after seeing the AT&T Floppy Sunglasses commercial. Yahoo! Store to the rescue! A year or so later and now the web business is thriving and more than offsetting the loss of business to the giant chain store. Very cool! Yahoo! Store allows you to leverage your customer service skills and product knowledge to the whole wide world. Find your niche and fill it. You get access to everyone else's customers. It's not impossibly easy. It takes as much hard work as any other business. But the opportunity is there. Let the engineers at Yahoo! Store worry about the shopping cart software, the secure servers, and you can focus on your business. Learn the easy to use software or hire a designer (like me!). Either way, tap into the global marketplace and get yours before someone else does. I'm a big believer in specialization of labor! Let the experts handle the nuts-and-bolts of e-commerce and you can spend your time on what you do best: serving your customers. Click here for our extremely reasonable rates. - Robert Snell~~~~~

im2@@@@@@ ~~~~~

im3@@@@@@ http://www.zaneray.com/responsive-image-map/ ~~~~~

IMAGE (FRONT PAGE Element)@@@@@@The IMAGE allows you to upload a JPEG or GIF as a featured image. I recommend loading a JPEG of a product photo that is about half the width of your homepage. This way, you can select the LEFT constraint which allows the MESSAGE field to wrap around the image. The height and width of the image are determined by the IMAGE-HEIGHT and IMAGE-WIDTH settings under VARIABLES. Remember, the IMAGE will load almost twice as fast if you resize your JPEG to the size constraints you set under VARIABLES. If the IMAGE-HEIGHT and the IMAGE-WIDTH are set to 250 (pixels) and you have a 300x300 pixel JPEG, the Yahoo! Store software will redraw the IMAGE as a GIF file at the 250x250 pixel resolution. Usually this image will take twice as long to load as a JPEG of the same size, and it will look kind of funky, too, with the dithering that the file conversion software does.~~~~~

IMAGES -- What are Yahoo Store Thumbnails (or ICONS)?@@@@@@THUMBNAILS (also know as ICONS) are created automatically by your Yahoo Store. They are limited by the dimensions you set under VARIABLES called THUMB-HEIGHT and THUMB-WIDTH. I recommend making sure your THUMBNAILS are no more than 2K or ~2000 bytes "heavy." You can also control the "weight" (or image FILE size) of your THUMBNAILS by making the THUMB-HEIGHT and THUMB-WIDTH smaller. You can replace the auto-generated thumbnail with a custom graphic by uploaded the desired thumbnail image to the ICON position on a section or product. The benefit of using custom ICONS is that you can create streamlined files that "weigh" less (smaller file sizes) because they have been optimized though an image compression program. Decreasing the file size of your images decreases the load time of your images which makes your pages load faster which has been shown to increase the number of pages your prospects look at which has been shown to increase your sales. Back in the day you have to hand upload all of your ICONS, but our good friend DON COLE has created an IMAGE UPLOAD TOOL ... ~~~~~

INTRO-TEXT (Front Page Element)@@@@@@This is a simple caption field. You can place regular html in this field as well as text. Separate paragraphs with a blank line. This generates two BR tags.~~~~~

Introducing Y!Store101 @@@@@@ Introducing Y!Store101, a 2-day Yahoo Store seminar and workshop designed for Yahoo Store Owners by Yahoo Store Owners: Istvan Siposs, Michael Whitaker and me, Rob Snell. The sole purpose of our seminar & workshop is to give you the tools to take your Yahoo Store from where it is today to where you want it to be tomorrow. THURSDAY - Y!Store101, Day 1: Learn what you need to know and what you can do in a classroom setting from 9:00 - 4:00. FRIDAY - Ystore101, Day 2: Implement what you learned the day before in a hands-on computer lab workshop. (Two sections: 9:00-1:00 or 1:00-5:00). Seminar participation is extremely limited because class sizes are small. There are only 36 spots per class, so sign up today if you want to get in the first two classes! When you attend Ystore101, you will learn what works -- the secrets of multimillion dollar Yahoo Stores: You will learn how to make more money! Drive more search engine traffic to your Yahoo Store! Convert more of your browsers into buyers, increase your average order size by up selling, and get repeat customers to order more often. You will learn how to save time! Automate your store management and order processing tasks to give you more time to work on your business. The most successful online retailers have streamlined their businesses to take full advantage of all the powerful Yahoo Store features as well as third party tools. Learn their secrets! You also get to network with other successful retailers like yourself. There's nothing like talking to other successful folks who do virtually the same thing you do, but who don't directly compete with you. Share tips and tricks with folks in completely different industries. Stop what you're doing, and take a couple or three days off. You work hard. You deserve a break from your day-to-day grind. Take a tax-deductible trip to sunny California (ask your tax advisor), and take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to make more money with your Yahoo Store. Sign up for Y!Store101, book your flight and hotel, and get moving pronto! You can sign up now, or read more about what topics we are going to cover, who will benefit from attending, what you need to know before you can come, which retailers are invited, background on the Y!Store101 instructors, and more. ~~~~~

Introducing... Robert Cooper Snell@@@@@@It's a boy! Robert Cooper Snell was born today, April 20, 2004. 10 fingers, 10 toes, mother & child are doing fine. 20 3/4 inches long, 8 lbs, 14 oz., and a head full of hair. Great lungs! I heard him all the way across the labor & delivery ward. Wow. I'm smiling a big ole goofy smile. My sixth nephew. Christmas is going to be EXPENSIVE! - Uncle Rob P.S. Hey! What's a fellow got to do to get some girls around here? Guess it's up to me. ~~~~~

Invitation to testify at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives@@@@@@~~~~~

Inviting Lighting@@@@@@~~~~~

IS THIS DUPLICATE CONTENT -- How Department Stores Are Carried On@@@@@@How Department Stores Are Carried On BY W. B. PHILLIPS NEW YORK DODD, MEAD & COMPANY 1901 Contents. [Pg 3] Introduction, 5 General Principles, 5 The Management, 10 The System, 12 Advertising, 15 The Buying Organization, 25 Receiving Goods, 32 Taking Care of Stock, 34 Serving Customers, 35 Exchanging Goods, 38 Floor Managers and Ushers, 40 Making out Checks, 43 Inspecting, Checking and Parcelling Goods, 46 Collecting Goods for Delivery, 48 Delivering Goods, 51 Stables, 54 Cash Office 57 Check Office, or Auditing Department, 58 C. O. D. Business, 60 The Mail-Order Business, 62 Catalogues, 73 Receiving and Opening Mail, 95 Book-keeping, Buying, Checking, etc., 100 Assembling and Packing Mail-Order Goods, 106 Goods sent by Mail, Correspondence, Paying for Goods, etc., 110 Filing Correspondence, 117 Special Orders, 119 Returned Goods, Exchanges and Complaints, 121[Pg 4] Samples, 123 Keeping Employees' Time, 125 Employing Help, 128 Paying Wages, 130 Watchmen, 131 General Rules for Employees, 133 Mechanical Section, 139 [Pg 5] INTRODUCTION. No other branch of business can bear comparison with the wonderful results achieved by Department Stores, such a success as has made them the wonder of modern merchandising. These stores, that have grown to greatness from small beginnings, have a force and power behind them that commands general interest. Their store-keeping rests upon certain well-defined principles, and not upon chance, sensations or experiments. It is not the intention in this volume to prejudice public opinion against Department Stores. No attempt has been made to enumerate any reasons why they exist and flourish, nor any effort made to prove that they are a necessity, or otherwise. Whether they promote and build up the best interests of the people and country at large, or are detrimental to them, is a question on which intelligent opinion is largely divided. The fact remainsa plain [Pg 6]indisputable factthat they do exist; that they have had a tremendous growth in recent years, both in Europe and America; that organizations of this character beginning a few years ago have developed into the largest and most successful mercantile institutions in the world. The author, from several years' practical experience, having been closely identified with the policy adopted, and with all the detail of system employed, in running one of the largest Department Stores on this continent, having visited at different times the trade centers of America, and examined carefully into the systems employed in other stores of a similar character, and made careful comparisons, is satisfied that the enquiring public will appreciate the endeavor to give them an intelligent idea of "How Department Stores are carried on." [Pg 7] General Principles. One of the great underlying principles of Modern Department Stores is cash. Buying and selling for cash. Cash and one price. Some deviations are made from this rule, according to existing conditions in different business centers; but this is exceptional, the larger percentage of trade being strictly cash, and this fact has contributed largely to the general success. A few years ago nobody sold for cash. Nobody in those days marked the price on goods in plain figures and stuck to it. To-day this is done, and is acknowledged to be highly satisfactory. The first aim is to get the best and choicest goods direct from the makers; and, second, to have the lowest prices, thus enlarging the purchasing power of every dollar. A Department Store is different from the ordinary store, by being big enough to deal in almost everything that people need; handling merchandise of every class that goes [Pg 8]well together for all sorts of people; providing the means of doing everything quickly, easily, cheaply. A store large enough to accommodate thousands of shoppers arranged to serve a purpose. Floor upon floor filled with merchandise, broad aisles, easy stairways, elevators to do the stair climbing, cash system for quick and easy change-making, with all the newest ideas in store mechanism; places to sit, wait, meet, lunch, talk and rest; in short, an ideal place to shop in. Everything done that can be done to study the convenience of customers and look after their interests. This constitutes one of the greatest factors in the success of modern retailing. Looking after the customer. Looking after them in such a manner that the service is an attraction in itself, that shopping is made easy and comfortable. Service is what these stores are for. Complete service in every detail, beginning with the purchase of the goods, and ending with delivery to customers, guaranteeing every article sold to be [Pg 9]exactly as represented, or cheerfully refunding the money. The development of these great businesses is largely the product of better service, and this service has been effective in winning the favor of shoppers. The strength of these organizations, while centered in well-known principles strictly adhered to, is backed up by a well-defined system of government, including all departments, and the development of this system has had a great deal to do with the success of present-day business. The principles referred to build up and support the business, but it is the careful management and perfect system which controls. [Pg 10] The Management. The central point around which the whole organization of Department Stores gather is the man, or men, who put up the capital; who own, control and manage the business; and who insist that the profits shall be consistent with their expectations. They not only put up the cash, but define the policy of the business, and organize and develop the system under which it operates. The organizing and executive ability, as well as the faculty of knowing men, must be largely displayed; knowing men, and how to combine them; knowing how to use their capabilities and energies, how to bring out all their qualifications and all their ambitions. The management must be of large perspective and broad experience, make a close study of store-keeping ways and methods, be quick to take advantage of every new idea in service and appointments, and enterprising in everything that goes to make a [Pg 11]business strong and successful. Associated with the head of the business, usually selected from active workers who live with the business every day, are a few who are taken into intimate relations with the business policy, and who very materially assist in its development, and in the working out and building up of the system by which the business is carried on. Capable, intelligent, energetic, lieutenants, who are intensely interested, and who exhibit no lack of earnestness or energy; who are imbued with implicit faith and confidence in whatever may be advocated and decided upon, and who direct their best efforts to its accomplishment. [Pg 12] The System. The system that dresses the windows with attractive goods, that provides the special bargains, that furnishes such a variety of goods comprising nearly everything that people wear or use, that gives a courteous and agreeable service under all conditions, that provides a place to rest when fatigued, that enables shopping to be done under such favorable circumstances, that delivers all purchases promptly, and if a mistake has been made in the selection, or for any reason goods bought are not satisfactory, presents no difficulty in their being exchanged or the money refunded; the system which does all this and more is not the result of accident or chance, but there is a vast machinery behind it all which directs and controls. But the system must do much more than this. It must provide for getting at results, and it is in this respect that the perfection of the system is reached. While the store space is divided up [Pg 13]into little stores or departments, under different heads, who are given every possible leeway in the buying of goods and management of stocks, yet each head is made directly responsible for everything in connection with this part of the business. Each department is charged with the goods bought and with the expense of selling, and credited with the sales made. Each section pays its proper share of all general expenses, such as delivering goods, lighting, heating, elevator service, fixtures, rent, etc. The system employed enables the head of the business to always know the true condition of each section. It enables him to know, if desired, what each individual salesperson does; how much the total business is of any department on any day; what the expenses are for any given time; and these facts are not obtained spasmodically, but are regularly recorded and made use of. Lack of knowledge of the condition of any department does not exist. Success, or the lack of it, is apparent [Pg 14]at once. The truth of Eternal Vigilance being the Price of Success is here acknowledged, and in no other business organization is more special care and attention paid to knowing constantly just what the actual results are. [Pg 15] Advertising. Someone has said, "The time to advertise is all the time," and among modern business organizations none more thoroughly recognize and strictly adhere to this statement than Department Stores. Nowhere else is the science, the art, of advertising more intelligently understood, appreciated and applied. Advertising is recognized as the pulse of the business, the great vitalizing force. The importance of the relation of advertising to business cannot possibly be exaggerated, and for this reason it is considered most seriously. A recognized authority has said, "Advertising taken seriously in the retail business makes the policy of the business. It is the fundamental thing, the corner stone. Therefore, it demands the attention of the head of the business. I cannot think of any concern so large in its affairs, so extended in its ramifications, with so many responsibilities resting upon the head of the business, as to [Pg 16]make the advertising subservient to the general management of the business, to make the head of the business ignore the advertising. The manager of a department, and the salespeople who are to sell the goods, should be told the policy of the head of the business so far as advertising is concerned, and the way the matter is to be presented to the public, so as to arouse the interest of all. It is important that the man at the head should vitalize the business by making everybody feel and know that the advertising, the address to the public, is made in conformity with his wishes, under his supervision, and is absolutely part of his plans for disposing of his merchandise. This being so, the proposition that the advertising of a well-ordered establishment makes the policy of the business is really correct." Many methods are made use of to present and keep the business before the public, but preminently the best and most satisfactory is the newspaper. Its columns are recognized as the very [Pg 17]best medium for business notices, going as it does into the homes of the people regularly, filled with the world's news, with information for everybody, about everything from everywhere. The newspaper column is the merchant's platform, his pulpit from which he speaks to the public. It gives his words thousands of tongues. It is in this way he reaches his audience and tells them about his goods and business. He must talk straight, and his address must be interesting and readable, and, above everything else, true. It must always have the true ring of honesty, and advertisements are becoming more truthful every day, as business men realize that it must be true or it will fail. People judge and form their estimate of a business by the honesty with which their advertisements are lived up to, soon find the truth-telling places, and trade gravitates that way with absolute certainty. Lying advertisements never built a permanent and successful business. Advertising of to-day is honest, or [Pg 18]meant to be, and, every day, people are gaining more confidence in it, and are understanding more and more that it is a necessary and legitimate part of this business; in other words, a "Store Bulletin," to which they can refer as an honest statement of what the store has to offer them. Advertising properly means attractive news, news of daily importance, news which is appreciated and taken advantage of by the most wide-awake, economical and thrifty. News that must not get old by repetition. There is nothing more important about the business than advertising. Of what use to have tons of merchandise to sell if the people are not told about it, told about it regularly? Keeping everlastingly at it. Hammering away day after day. Continuous effort in the right direction, systematic, persistent. The advertising must be clear, logical and convincing; containing exact and definite information, telling the store news plainly and honestly, telling the people what the store can do for them, [Pg 19]telling it often and in the right way. Some departments may be systematized so fine that they don't require such undivided attention; but the advertising can't run along like this, but must have constant and careful thought. Every advertisement must have careful consideration. Carelessness or neglect will lead to serious results. Spasmodic advertising won't do. One might as well expect to close the store one day and open it the next. It must be regular, just as regular as the day comes. Attractive advertising becomes a department of the paper, and people expect itlook for it with the same interest as other features. It is keeping the business prominently before the people and asking persistently for their trade that brings the business. Advertising is the greatest force, the most powerful lever, for facilitating business. There is a generally-accepted theory that advertising pays, but Department Stores prove by facts that the theory is true. There has [Pg 20]been considerable talk about the uncertainty of advertising; but thoroughly understood and skillfully used in the interest of Department Stores, it has become a most powerful factor in contributing to their general success. Back of Department Store success, are earnestness, persistence, concentration, energy; but between these and achievement stands advertising. "As the business grows and is prosperous, it is due to the controlling factors of system, merchandise and advertising, but advertising is the dynamic force which vitalizes all the rest." With this understanding of the important relation of advertising to business, a decision is arrived at as to the amount of advertising appropriation the business demands, not a fixed amountno more or no lessbut about the amount expected to be spent, which depends upon the amount of business necessary to be done, and is determined by the percentage of profits. A selection is made of the best daily papers, space secured, and "The [Pg 21]Advertising Department" is ready for business. This department is under the direct management of the Advertising Manager, or "Ad. Writer." He has a distinct recognition as one having a separate profession, and must, if the best results are obtained, be confidentially taken into the inner workings of the firm. He must be familiar with the history of the business, its progress and development. While he may not require to know the exact amount of money made, yet he must know which departments are weak and which are strong. The strength of the best departments must be maintained and increased, and the weaker ones built up. He should know what the goods cost, where made, how bought, etc., and receive the hearty coperation of the buyers, to obtain the necessary information to write up his appeal so as to secure a hearty response from the buying public. He must give an individuality to the store advertising, and see that every advertisement is backed up honestly, every promise fulfilled, and [Pg 22]that the information he gives the public is absolutely true. He must keep on file a complete record of all advertising, and should keep in constant touch with each department's daily sales, with a view to continual comparison with previous records. He must know what other stores are advertising and see that his prices do not run higher than competing figures. All window dressing, wagon cards, display cards and interior decorations should come under his supervision. He must decide the amount of newspaper space for each department; and though heads of departments may take issue with his decisions, yet, as head of the advertising, he does what he thinks is best, usually giving space according to the money-making abilities of the departments. He must understand the goods he is advertising, know all about their uses and superior qualities, go in amongst the salespeople and customers, and talk with them, in order to write convincing money-bringing, trade-building advertisements. Copy should [Pg 23]be submitted by departments at least two days before advertisement appears, in order that he may give it proper attention, prepare the cuts used in illustrating, have his copy to the papers early, proof carefully read, and any corrections made. He must study the character of his illustrations, the display part of the advertisement, and having secured a distinctive cut or style of the firm name must stick to it, as it adds an individuality to the advertising. The type used must also be selected, usually good, clear and legible, easily read, but characteristic, so that it distinguishes his Ads. from all others, and advertisements should always appear in the same position on the same page, so that the public know just where to find them. He must not only look after all the detail connected with the advertising, but must be able to analyze the conditions which confront him, grasp every possibility of the field, be wide awake to every change, sensitive to every trade throb, and have such a command of the English language as [Pg 24]will express his ideas in a captivating and original manner. He is the artist who, having the ability and talent, either inherent or acquired, paints the picture that attracts; and who, when backed up by good merchandise, right prices, perfect system and careful management, becomes a great business force and an indispensable adjunct to present-day business. [Pg 25] The Buying Organization. A large force of experienced buyers are constantly employed, who visit the world's markets at regular intervals in search of new goods. The aim is to save all intermediate profit, by buying direct from the makers, making direct connection between the manufacturer and consumer, and thus getting as near as possible to the actual cost of production. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are represented in the several stocks purchased. Assortments must be complete at all times, and there must be a constant income of new goods. As fast as one thing sells, another must take its place, and no interest must be overlooked in the buying. Buying in great quantities, they are enabled to send buyers regularly to the great manufacturing centers and leading sources of supply. Prices are low in proportion as orders are large, and ready cash secures the best trade discounts. To collect such a wealth of [Pg 26]goods and have styles and qualities just right, means a good deal. It means that the whole range of merchandise must be known. To get the best in the world for the money, and keep assortments complete the season through, calls for careful calculation. The varied human needs of civilization are to be satisfied, and each buyer in his own particular lines must be a man of large experience, of most excellent judgment, and high mercantile ability. They must know the merchandise they buy, that such a factory has the best reputation for one line, that this mill excels in another class, never buying anything simply because it is cheap, but picking out the best manufactures in each department, always maintaining a strict standard of reliability; and that the goods are well bought is demonstrated by the persistent growth of the business. They buy to unusual advantage by reason of ready money and the great outlet for all classes of merchandise. Several of the largest stores [Pg 27]render valuable assistance to their buyers by establishing permanent foreign buying offices, thus enabling them to keep in close touch with the newest styles and novelties; and from these offices the shipment of a considerable amount of foreign goods is managed, the service being so facilitated and systematized that a prompt and rapid delivery of goods is effected. But the buyers' duties do not end with the purchase of goods. He is also manager of the department which is made up of the various lines he buys, and is responsible for the proper management of the same. In his absence while buying, he must provide a capable assistant to represent him and the department, one whose services are esteemed as second only to his own, and who, if need be, in many instances is quite capable of acting as buyer and manager in his stead. He is given almost complete control of everything pertaining to his department, must sell the goods he buys, and his permanent position depends [Pg 28]entirely upon the success with which his department is handled. As "head of a department," he is expected to comply with the rules of the house and set an example to all those under him. He should be first in the department in the morning and last to leave in the evening. He should be thoroughly acquainted with all rules pertaining to employees, and any new instructions which may be issued from time to time, and see that they are carried out. He is expected to use his best efforts to aid salespeople in making sales, instruct inexperienced help how to handle and display goods, how to wait on customers, make out checks, and, in fact, see that all duties are intelligently understood. It is not sufficient that new, inexperienced help be given a number and salesbook and told to go ahead, but thorough instructions must be given as to the methods of doing business. In order that enquiries of customers may be intelligently answered, he should know the location of all the stocks of the [Pg 29]house. If travelers' samples are to be examined, it should be done in the sample room provided for that purpose, and in forenoons only. Only in special cases is it permissible to examine samples in the afternoon, as he is expected to be in his department during the busy hours of every day, to watch the trade and see that customers are properly waited upon. Certain expenses are almost wholly within the control of heads of departments, and must be watched by them with the greatest care. This is especially true as applied to the amount of help employed. By using care and judgment, it is often possible to do with less help, and thus reduce the cost of selling. This is largely supplemented by watching the sales of each salesperson, and enquiring carefully into any cases where there is a falling below the average percentage of cost. He should see that all advertised goods are properly displayed at the counters, and that all the people in [Pg 30]that section are promptly notified of all particulars, such as quantities to be sold, price, etc. He should see that all slow-moving goods are reported promptly, and goods must not be allowed to get old, but be moved out quickly. Any goods that do not move readily must be got rid ofcleared outwhatever cash value they have must be secured, and at once, and no matter at what sacrifice; it being considered best to get what you can for them immediately, and replace the stock with something that will sell readily. He should furnish a complete statement of stock to be purchased and hand the same to the office a reasonable time before going on a purchasing trip, and must have the sanction of the office to the same. Buyers are expected to respect the limits placed and not to exceed the figures sanctioned; but if the market is showing any special lots of goods which in his judgment should be bought, or he is confident that a saving will be effected [Pg 31]on goods which are likely to rise in value by buying heavier, considerable latitude is permitted. All business correspondence for the house should be handled through the regular correspondence office, be submitted for approval, and signed only by those authorized. The buyer's work bears such important relations to the business, both in the selection of goods and in the direct management of his department, that his qualifications must be the best, in order to render such a service as is desired and demanded. [Pg 32] Receiving Goods. A general receiving room for all case goods and packages is provided. Space is allotted to each department, and all goods bought must pass through this room before going into stock. Porters prepare all goods for examination, by removing lids of cases, opening packages, putting aside all paper, canvas, etc., which is held for reference until goods are checked, and goods are then placed in proper department space ready for the department managers. Heads of departments are usually notified each day of all goods to be marked off the following day, and furnished with invoices of the same. The receiving room is usually open for checking purposes from 8 A. M. to 10 A. M. only, and goods must not be checked off nor removed from this room during any other hour of the day, except by special permission. Goods are called off by assistants, checker compares with invoice, selling price and stock [Pg 33]number are entered on goods, and selling price marked on invoice. Until properly marked off, no goods are allowed to be sent out of the receiving room. If goods do not come up to sample, and are to be returned, it must be done at once, and shipper advised. In case of errors or shortages, they must be certified to by two or three competent persons. All invoices should be returned to the office as soon as goods are marked off. Receiving room should be closed at 10 o'clock sharp, at which time all department managers and assistants should be back in the selling departments. Heavy goods, such as furniture, wall paper, etc., are received in their respective stock rooms and checked off in the same manner. Goods should never be received without an invoice. [Pg 34] Taking Care of Stock. Salespersons must keep in good order all stock under their charge. Customers of the house, as well as those in authority, readily recognize who takes an interest in the business, by the display and arrangement of the stock. No excuse can be taken for merchandise that does not present a clean, attractive and presentable appearance. Every article should be properly marked or tagged, and each piece of goods ticketed in plain, neat figures, so that a glance will tell price, size, etc. No matter what the stock is, it should be attractively displayed, and the display changed regularly, having a suitable card on all goods so exhibited. When a sale is completed and clerks are through showing goods, they should be replaced as soon as possible, thus avoiding confusion and keeping the selling space clear and in good shape for new business. [Pg 35] Serving Customers. All customers should be waited upon with equal promptness and politeness, no matter whether the purchase is large or small, whether it is simply an enquiry or an exchange of goods. There should be no favorites among customers. First come, first served. A customer who is being served should never be left because a liberal buyer, who is well known, approaches the counter. Goods must not be misrepresented. Customers buy upon the understanding that they can get their money back without argument, therefore only true representation must be made. Exaggerated statements, or trickery in selling goods, is not permitted. In all matters relating to the business of the house the greatest courtesy is required. Clerks are expected to accommodate themselves, as far as possible, to the peculiarities of those they are serving, being civil and polite in their attentions. Should articles asked for be in another [Pg 36]department, customers should be informed where they may be obtained; and if clerks don't know, they should refer to the floor manager. If clerks don't happen to have just the article the customer asks for, they should show the nearest they have in stock, and if that won't answer the purpose, consult the head of the department, and possibly it could be procured. They should try and understand what the customer wishes and get it as near as possible, never showing too many goods at a time, as it is confusing and often results in the loss of a sale. If a second customer is waiting, a disengaged clerk should be called. If all are busy, customer should be asked to be seated until one is disengaged. The undue urging of merchandise upon customers is not countenanced, nor yet is indifference in the slightest degree permitted. While large sales are important factors with all salespeople, and largely form the basis for salary paid, yet genuine interest in their duties, the exercise of [Pg 37]patience, showing goods pleasantly and cheerfully, polite attention and care in waiting upon customers, are also very important factors in the recognition of value of services. Clerks should always leave a good impression and never let customers go away feeling that they have been treated in an overbearing or uncivil manner, as it hurts the clerks personally and also the house. The interests of employer and employee being identical, better opportunity for advancement and greater compensation is assured the more the store prospers. Upon all matters, under all conditions, the greatest courtesy is insisted upon. [Pg 38] Exchanging Goods. The general understanding existing with Department Stores concerning merchandise sold is, that if for any reason it is not satisfactory it may be returned and exchanged or money refunded, on customer's request. This understanding, however, has some qualifications,such as articles that have been worn, when such a time has elapsed between the purchase and return as to render articles unsalable, goods made to order according to measurements, toilet goods, etc.; but, with few exceptions, the almost unalterable rule is to exchange cheerfully, to avoid unnecessary questions or remarks, rather preferring to be occasionally the subject of imposition than to leave an unpleasant impression. Where an exchange is desired in the same department as purchase was originally made, an exchange bill is issued. Should the customer select other goods of less value than the exchange bill, the cash office, when new [Pg 39]check and exchange bill are received, will return the difference in change. The exchange bill, when signed by the head of a department, or one authorized, is good for its value in any department; and should the customer not be able to make a suitable selection, this bill, when properly stamped or signed, is good for cash on presentation. These exchanges, as collected and audited, are usually deducted from each department's daily sales. [Pg 40] Floor Managers and Ushers. Floor managers must be thoroughly familiar with and see to the enforcement of the rules of the house, as applied to their sections. They must see that each department in their division is promptly prepared for business, covers off, and everything in order, and must have a general supervision over their division. Aisle space, circles and fixtures must be kept scrupulously clean. All cardboard, paper, twine, boxes, etc., removed from goods sold during the day, must be sent from the departments at regular intervals, and not allowed to accumulate and present an untidy appearance, being first thoroughly examined, to see that no goods are contained. Sweeping should be avoided as much as possible during the day, but the departments at all times must be neat and clean in appearance. They should not allow cash boys or parcel boys to loiter in their division, and should see that all customers are properly served, and [Pg 41]the greatest courtesy and politeness shown them, whether buying or simply looking at goods. Strangers from out of town visiting the store should be made to feel at home, and particular attention paid them. Should they desire to be shown through the store, it should be arranged. They should be impressed with the manner of doing business, and this effect is best secured where consideration is shown them. It is better to answer the inquiries of customers by accompanying them to the department asked for and requesting a salesperson to wait on them, rather than pointing to that department, and much better to name the salesperson than to use the word "forward." They should see that goods do not collect at any time at the parcel desks, but that they are removed by carriers promptly. They should attend, in case of sickness or accident, to any customer, see that they are taken at once to the place provided, and report the same. Any claims or complaints of customers should be referred [Pg 42]to them, and their best efforts used to adjust any errors made, and, where necessary, refer them to the Complaint Department. They should see that customers returning goods for exchange, or desiring money returned, are promptly and properly served. They should bring to the notice of the house the existence of inefficient or inattentive help, and report anything which in their judgment should have attention. [Pg 43] Making Out Checks, Etc. This is not as simple as it may appear, and to master it thoroughly requires time, care and attention. Whether it is filling out a purchasing ticket, a C. O. D. check, or a regular sales check, special care must be exercised, as one cannot afford to exhaust the patience of customers by exhibiting a lack of knowledge. Every check in a check book should be accounted for: a spoiled check should be marked "Nil" or "Void," be signed by one in authority and sent to the cashier. Quantity, goods and prices should always be written plainly, all blanks properly filled out, plain, neat writing, and particularly good figures. Salespeople are usually held responsible for all errors made in checks or on purchasing tickets, and should always use their own book. They should always mention to customer the amount of money received, and enter the amount on their check [Pg 44]at once. Many people strictly honest might forget what money they handed in, and when change is returned might claim that the bill given was of a larger denomination. Repeating the amount received will avoid argument afterwards. Duplicates should be closely examined, to see that the black-leaf impression is good. Change should be counted in giving it to customer, and where goods are to be sent, the name and address given should be repeated. The use of purchasing tickets should be encouraged. Customers should be asked if they intend making further purchases, and the use of purchasing ticket suggested. The delay in settling for each purchase is thus avoided and customers' time is saved, as they can pay for all purchases at once. Salespersons should see that their department letter is on their check book. Check books should commence with No. 1 and run consecutively to the end, and should be examined to see that none are missing, and checks should never [Pg 45]be altered. All checks should be sent to the cash office immediately upon being made out. [Pg 46] Inspecting, Checking and Parcelling Goods. Parcel desks are usually conveniently located at all counters, for the purpose of examining and wrapping goods sold. All goods sold, whether taken by customers or sent by the delivery, should first pass through the parcel desk. Goods sold should be passed to the parcel desk by the salesperson with the bill, and they should always be examined carefully, to see that they correspond. Price, quantity, number of yards, etc., should be checked and goods should be examined, to insure their being in perfect condition, not cracked, soiled, or injured in any way. Should goods when compared with bill be found short or over, marked wrong, or not satisfactory in any way, they should be returned to the salesperson at once, with refusal to parcel goods until everything is O. K. Parcels should not be given to customers, but handed back to the salesperson direct. Every [Pg 47]taken parcel should have the sales number marked on the outside. When parcels are to be sent, the address should be on the bill and also on the address slip, and they should always compare. Care should be exercised in handling goods likely to be soiled, crushed, broken or damaged. Where necessary, they should be put in boxes or sent to be specially packed. Every parcel should be securely and properly wrapped, using no more paper or twine than is necessary. Goods to be sent should not be held at the desk, and if carriers delay unnecessarily in calling, the matter should be reported to the head of the department or floor manager. Attention should be paid to the order in which parcels are handed up, so that customers will receive their purchases in the order in which they have been served. All desk supplies, such as paper, bags, twine, purchasing tickets, etc., should be obtained in the morning, at which time the stock-supply room should be open. [Pg 48] Collecting Goods for Delivery. Goods to be delivered are usually divided into two classes, individual purchases styled "Sent Parcels," and collective purchases made on purchasing tickets. Checks for sent parcels when made out in salesperson's check book in duplicate, with name and address slip and hour of delivery, should be separated, one half going to the cash office with the cash received, and the other half going with the goods. Checks made out for purchases on purchasing tickets are usually different in color from ordinary sales checks, and are attached to purchasing tickets. As made out by salespersons in duplicate, one half is detached with address and sent with the goods, and the other half remains attached to the purchasing ticket until the purchase is completed. Goods sold are immediately wrapped, carriers called and goods are delivered through slides, elevators, etc., direct to the shipping-room [Pg 49]floors. Sent parcels are separated from others and address label attached. Goods bought on purchasing ticket are placed in compartments whose number corresponds with the number on checks received with goods. As customers finish buying, they visit the pay office, where cards are handed in, totalled, cash paid, instructions as to delivery entered on the card, which is handed to the sorting section. Goods are here checked with card, to see that they correspond by number and amount, the address is carefully examined, when parcels are wrapped and passed to the delivery section, where they are assorted as to routes, entered on drivers' sheets by name, address, number of parcels, and checked off when given to drivers. Salespeople are always kept informed as to the regular hours of deliveries, and signal bells are usually rung notifying each department before each delivery closes. No parcels should be promised for that delivery after the bell rings, and all goods to be sent by that delivery [Pg 50]should be in the delivery room a few minutes after the bell rings. All arrangements for special deliveries should be made at the pay office, and all parcels should go by the delivery marked, if received on time. [Pg 51] Delivering Goods. Drivers should know their routes thoroughly, so as to deliver with as much despatch as possible. When delivering, they should wear uniforms (a portion of the expense of which is usually paid by the house). They should be kept neat and clean, and when repairing is needed it should be done promptly. Drivers are usually held responsible for damages or breakages, resulting through carelessness or neglect, either to goods or rig, and must account for horse covers, blankets, rugs, etc., with which they may be supplied. Drivers should always weight their horses when leaving the wagon. Each driver should be given sufficient money for making change, which he must have with him on each delivery for C. O. D. parcels, and excuses, as a rule, are not accepted for the non-delivery of a parcel on account of inability to make change. Drivers should not allow C. O. D. [Pg 52]parcels to be opened without an order. Customers should be told that this rule cannot be broken; but if they pay for goods that are not satisfactory they can be returned and the money will be refunded. Drivers are held responsible for all parcels entered on their sheets, and should check off these parcels at the store, placing them in the wagon in the order of delivery as near as possible, thus saving time in sorting up their loads while on the route. Amounts due on C. O. D. parcels should be compared with entry on C. O. D. sheets, to avoid mistakes. When the delivery is completed, sheets should be signed and returned, and if, for any reason, any parcels have not been delivered, satisfactory explanations should be given. Any repairs needed should be reported upon arrival at the stables. Notes should be made of any complaints from customers and the same reported. When instructions are given to call for customer's goods, they should be got at the first [Pg 53]opportunity and handed over to the proper person. If not able to obtain them, the reason should be given. Under no circumstances should passengers be carried while delivering goods. Special instructions are usually issued for extra deliveries before holidays, or on extra busy days. [Pg 54] Stables. The stables are usually models of neatness and perfect in arrangements, every modern convenience being brought into use, providing accommodation for a delivery system of hundreds of horses and wagons used daily in delivering goods in the city and suburbs. Heated throughout with steam, lighted by electricity, and electric power applied to rotary brushes for grooming, hydraulic elevator service capable of lifting tons of feed and grain to upper floors, basement fitted up with complete blacksmith shop for horse shoeing, wagon and sleigh repairing. Ground floor space is usually devoted to wagons, each having its respective station. Easy stairways provided for horses to reach the upper floors, which are constructed to bear almost unlimited weight, divided into rows of stalls with aisle space between. Harness rooms, cleaning rooms, harness repair shop, hospital for sick horses, paint [Pg 55]room, etc., together with the most modern machinery for grinding and chopping feed. The stables must always be kept clean and well ventilated. Horses must never be taken out without being fed, watered, cleaned and properly shod: a lame or sick horse should never be used. Harness should be washed and cleaned regularly, wagons oiled, tightened up and kept clean. Nothing should be allowed to leave the stables except in first-class condition. All repairs should be attended to at once. Wagons should be at the store in time for all deliveries. A record should be kept of the men's time and sent to the office regularly. Drivers' and stablemen's wages should be obtained on pay day; the pay roll should be signed by each one, and returned to the office. All C. O. D. money received from drivers at night should be put in sealed envelopes and placed in safe keeping. A watch should be kept in the [Pg 56]stables at night, and a regular patrol made to see that all horses are properly fastened, blankets on and everything in good shape. Wagons should be washed at night and wagon signs thoroughly cleaned. All wagons should be examined carefully, and a written report handed in of all repairs needed, together with wagon number. All fire pails, hose and appliances to be used in the event of fire should be examined regularly, to see that they are all in good working order. [Pg 57] General Cash Office. A central cash office is established for receiving all receipts from sales made, and arranged for quick and easy change-making. As a customer makes a purchase, a duplicate of the check or bill made out for the same, together with money received from customer, are sent direct to the cash office, the most improved method being by pneumatic cash carriers. As received, checks are placed on file and any change returned to clerk. Thus the totals of checks and receipts of each cashier's desk must agree. Each cashier makes up a report of the amount of cash received, and cash is given head cashier, who recounts it. The checks of each cashier are kept separate and sent to the auditing office, where they are totalled, and this total must agree with the amount of cash in the head cashier's hands, and correspond with the amount on cashier's report. [Pg 58] Check Office, or Auditing Department. This department should make up the total receipts of each cashier by the sales checks received, compare them with cashier's report, and recheck until they are found correct. It should also make up each department's sales, arrange each salesperson's checks into original book form by number, and report any missing checks, auditing all checks and reporting any errors. The work of obtaining the different totals required is greatly facilitated by the use of adding machines, which insure both accuracy and despatch. This auditing of checks thus provides a positive check upon the amount of cash received by each individual cashier, furnishes an accurate account of the exact amount of business done by each department, and the total daily business done by the house, besides showing the exact amount of goods sold by each [Pg 59]individual salesperson, which may be made use of to estimate their value as compared with each other, and largely governs the individual wages paid. [Pg 60] C. O. D. Business. Large amounts are represented in the business as sold and paid for, cash on delivery, and, therefore, this branch is given special attention. Special C. O. D. books are furnished every department, and such special care exercised in recording the amount to be paid, address, etc., as will prevent any errors or misunderstandings. All C. O. D. parcels are entered upon special sheets or books provided drivers, and are checked off as paid in by drivers at the C. O. D. office with the record kept there, which should show the customer's name and address, department that goods were bought in, who sold them, the amount of the C. O. D., the date and amount paid. Where goods are sent to distant towns, and considerable time must elapse before returns can be made, these outstanding C. O. D.'s must be watched closely, checked up regularly; and in the event of any [Pg 61]unnecessary delay corresponded about, and such knowledge obtained as will furnish accurate information about each individual account. [Pg 62] The Mail-Order Business. The mail-order trade as associated with Department Stores began in a very small way: it began with a few requests from customers out of town asking for samples and prices of certain goods, a few letters of enquiry regarding one thing and another. These requests and enquiries, properly answered, brought in the first orders, which were carefully filled to the satisfaction of the customers. They told their friends about it, and more enquiries were answered, more orders received. This encouraged some effort, and special circulars or booklets were issued telling about the store and goods. These were mailed to regular customers, and a few thousand extra sent to carefully-selected names of possible customers, until gradually extra help was required to attend to these orders, to answer the correspondence, etc.; and it was found necessary to systematize this branch of the work, to organize and establish a [Pg 63]"Mail-Order Department." The mail-order trade grew up side by side with the store trade. When the store was young and variety of goods small, the mail-order trade was limited; but as the store grew, as extra space was needed for increased service, and new goods and new departments were rapidly added, the mail-order trade increased in proportion, keeping abreast of it all the time. Mail-order customers could not know but very little about the house they dealt with except through advertisements, or from hearsay, and, therefore, the reputation of the business depended upon the goods sent and the treatment they received. The foundation of this business was well laid from the beginning. The principles inculcated were that a clear understanding must exist between the house and the customersthat goods would not be misrepresented, that customers would be told in plain words what they were, and that they would be found to be exactly as [Pg 64]represented, or that their money would be refunded; and that's what they wanted. The management and method were perfected, and the responsibility of handling the business fully recognized, and an honest endeavor made to satisfy every reasonable demand. They realized that it is one thing to create a business of this kind, and another thing to retain it; that it costs more to get a new customer than to retain one already secured. Anything, therefore, that would destroy the confidence of a customer in the house or leave an impression that would tend to injure trade must be strongly condemned, and to strengthen this position a personal interest in every order was encouraged and insisted upon. Mail-order buyers must learn to interpret the customers' wants, and see that the detail of every order is carefully attended to. The correspondence must contain the fullest explanations; the goods must always be properly checked, packed and shipped; [Pg 65]and every head of every department must take a lively interest in this work, and impart that interest to the salespeople; and only so far as this personal interest extends, from cash boy to president, does the business prosper. Upon this foundation has been raised a business of such proportions that it scarcely knows any limits, and wherever telephone or telegraph, mail or express, reaches, there you will find this business represented. Distance makes no difference. Customers served at any time and in any place. Catalogues, representative of the entire stocks of these large houses, are issued from time to time, and regularly find their way into the people's homes, no expense being spared to keep customers informed regarding goods and prices. The methods employed have won their trade, and fair treatment retains it. The tremendous growth of this business is the most satisfactory proof that it has succeeded. It clearly demonstrates that they have the [Pg 66]confidence of their customers everywhere, that buying in this way is becoming better understood and appreciated; and that the method of shopping by mail is no longer an experiment, but, beyond argument, is an acknowledged success. A perfectly organized mail-order department is a distributing agency for the whole country, requiring a perfect system, demanding intelligence, exactitude, and promptness, carefulness in filling, and despatch in sending orders. It reaches out for the trade of people in distant towns and villages. These places are full of bright, intelligent people, whose ability to buy is unquestioned. They are reached only by intelligent and truthful advertising. The mails take the counters of the big stores to the doors of these people. They like to shop by mail. They like to get samples and catalogues, and to make a selection of city goods, being strongly impressed that they get something different from what the local dealer supplies; something [Pg 67]their neighbors haven't got, something stylish, exclusive. The means of communication are better and quicker than ever before. Whoever can write a letter can send for nearly everything they want. Wherever the catalogue goes the store goes. Some of the appeals made, statements advanced, and arguments used to influence and encourage trade among out-of-town customers might be classified as follows: Whenever you order, always bear this in mind, that if you don't get goods as represented, back goes your money to you as soon as you want it. The smallest order you send will receive the same prompt and careful attention as if it were ever so large. Where you and your neighbors order together, goods can be packed separately and forwarded in one shipment, thus making the charges low. Selling goods at fair prices every day should interest you. It may be a satisfaction to select goods yourself, but your orders by [Pg 68]mail will be promptly and faithfully executed. Out-of-town customers always get the benefit of any reduction in the price of goods. Freight is a small item where customers are saved many times the cost of transportation. You are at absolutely no risk whatever in ordering by mail, as you always get the best and pay the least. Samples and prices are sent free of charge, therefore there need be no hesitation in asking for them. A trial order will convince you that it will be filled carefully and promptly. If goods are not all right, you don't have to keep them. The goods offered are bought for cash in large quantities, sold direct to customers for cash and not through agents, therefore the traveling man's salary and expenses, the middleman's profits, his losses and poor accounts, are not paid by you. Mistakes are rarely made; but always rectified. [Pg 69]Where there is the slightest cause for complaint, if you write fully, everything will always promptly be made right. The bigger saving is made on the bigger order you send. No charge is made for packing goods, and they always open up in first-class condition. Your money is refunded every time if you are not satisfied. Goods are bought direct from the manufacturer, and then go direct to you. Your smallest order will be filled at the same price as the customer who buys a thousand dollars worth. Goods marked at one price only. Isn't it much more satisfactory and much easier to sit down at home, look over the catalogue, select the goods required and mail your order, than to depend upon stores where the stock is small as well as assortments incomplete, and get something that does not give you half satisfaction, notwithstanding that you do pay an extravagant price? [Pg 70]If an error is made, and it's not your fault, you are not asked to pay any expense incurred. Some of the most successful men of the day give you in the catalogue sent the benefit of their thought, experience and hard work. It may be a surprise to compare catalogue prices with others, but always a favorable one for the catalogue. Confidence in the goods offered at the prices asked was established long ago. The man is prosperous who saves a dollar on this and a half dollar on that: the prices quoted help you in this direction. The goods offered are exceptional, on account of the price; and rare, because of their exclusive style. Honest value is guaranteed for every cent you send, or it is sent back again. It pays you to deal where no false representations are made, but where goods are sold exactly as advertised. [Pg 71]The goods offered are honest, the prices are right, customers are every-day honest people; and that's why it's easy to do business together. You don't save the freight when you buy at home; the freight and a big profit as well are added in the price. The whole truth of the matter iswhat promises are made, are kept. It is the belief engendered in the truth of these and other statements, the influence they exert in convincing, and the persistent method of keeping it up, that attracts this particular trade; and the faithfulness with which all promises are kept, all obligations fulfilled, that builds the business up on the lines of perfect confidence and retains it. All may not be agreed upon the effect the response to this method of doing business has upon the country at large; but it is, nevertheless, a fact that the people everywhere are giving their material support to houses whose advocated policy is to supply [Pg 72]them everything on which they can save them money, and it has proved to be a pronounced success to the promoters. The possibilities of increased trade through the medium of the mail-order department appear almost unlimited. The amount of business that may be done has evidently never yet been measured, and no other branch of the business is apparently as capable of as large development as the mail-order trade. [Pg 73] Catalogues. The general catalogue of Department Stores stands in the same relation to the mail-order trade as the newspaper does to the store trade. It is the chief medium for mail-order advertising. Though supplemented in various ways by special advertising, yet the catalogue stands distinctly alone as the indispensable means for securing and retaining the trade of out-of-town customers; and bearing this important relation to the business, extraordinary care is exercised in its preparation from start to finish. It is the silent traveler, the individual salesman; and as the highly successful representative salesman must have qualifications that bring business, so the catalogue must have the essentials which will insure successful results. These consist of appearance, paper, printing, illustration, arrangement, description, goods, prices, etc.; all of which must be thoroughly understood and [Pg 74]intelligently carried out, not only in the relations they bear to each other, but also in the relations they all bear to the general effect and result. The quantity to be issued is first decided, depending upon the number of present customers to be provided for, and the additional quantity required for extra circulation to influence new trade, which increase depends upon the amount of new business likely to be done, and the appropriation for which is usually determined upon a percentage of the profits. Next in order for consideration, is the size of the catalogue. The number of pages varies slightly, according as it is a spring or fall issue, and any increase from previous issues is governed by the addition of new stocks into the business. If new departments have been added, additional space must be made in the catalogue to provide for them. The paper is next selected. The size of the sheet must be accurately determined and the weight fixed, having [Pg 75]due reference to the weight of the book when completed, as the postage for mailing is an important factor in the cost, and an extra ounce over weight might mean a great additional expense. The inside paper should be light but strong, and of such a color and finish as to produce the best effect with whatever character of cuts are used in illustrating. Particular attention must be paid to the cover paper, it must be of suitable weight and color and of a high finish, capable of producing a superior cut in colors, and extra strong, in order to stand handling. Tons of paper are required for the issue of a catalogue, which is usually bought direct from the mills, being manufactured expressly to order as to size, quality and finish specified, and delivered as required. The cover design must be decided upon early, giving the artist time to fully complete his drawing, and the engraver time to execute his best work. It must also pass through [Pg 76]experimental stages with the printer, possibly proving in a variety of colors, criticising and comparing, until the best effect is secured and selection is made; and to do this and work off thousands of covers, and have each one perfect, the work must not be hurried. The cover design must be good, both front and back. It should interest and attract, and at first glance create a favorable impression. It should be a quick-acting advertisement, characteristic of the business, telling the reader instantly what it is about, so distinctly individual and striking that it insures attention like a flash. A good cover design is a most important feature of any catalogue, requiring originality of conception and the best artistic engraving and printing skill in its execution. Such a cover is always worth infinitely more than it costs. Arrangements are next made with engraving companies whose artists and engravers are to prepare the drawings and provide the cuts used in [Pg 77]illustrating the catalogue, and whose abilities and resources are sometimes taxed severely to get the work out as required. The quantity to be issued and the size of the book being determined, paper selected, and artists and engravers secured, the work of compiling the catalogue begins. General catalogues are issued semi-annually, usually in March and September. A definite date is fixed when the catalogue is to be completed, and everyone associated with it in any way must work to that end; not always easily accomplished, but possible, and therefore insisted upon. Blank books are usually provided heads of departments, who are expected to use them, thus preserving a uniformity in the preparation of copy, and facilitating the work of the catalogue manager and printer. For months previous to the issue of the catalogue the buyers have been securing goods from everywhere, planning ahead, anticipating the wants of customers by making [Pg 78]extensive preparations for the future. The world's markets must be visited and examined into, finding out what is new in this line, what change in that, whether this new idea in lamp goods is what the people will want, what designs in baby carriages are new and attractive, whether this style of boys' clothing is correct or not, knowing the latest ideas in gloves, laces, ribbons, handkerchiefs, fancy goods, etc.; securing the newest and most fashionable dress fabrics, knowing what styles in millinery, jackets, mantles, blouses, wrappers, etc., will prevail; seeking out, buying and arranging for quantities and deliveries to meet the demands of the tradein fact, going over the whole range of merchandise. The department manager's selections from these goods, as to quality, variety and price, must be carefully made, keeping in view the character of the trade appealed to and being governed in this by his experience and knowledge of its requirements. [Pg 79]His descriptions must be accurate and short, but comprehensive, telling exactly what the goods are, giving the facts in a clear, truthful and intelligent manner. He must illustrate his goods where possible, the better to enable the customer to form an opinion as to the shape, style, appearance, etc. Valuable assistance is rendered heads of departments in this particular by the catalogue manager, who, by reason of his work, has made careful comparison of other catalogues, and has kept in constant touch with everything new in the way of illustrating, and is, therefore, ready with ideas and suggestions, which are utilized to the best advantage. Goods to be illustrated are set aside, the artist is given full instructions as to what is desired, style and size of cut required, grouping of articles or figures, etc., and the work is put in hand. Drawings are submitted to catalogue manager, who with head of department examines the work, suggests the necessary changes, criticises carefully, points out any [Pg 80]defects, and, when satisfactory, passes them. Each drawing must be examined minutely. The pose of this figure, the artistic arrangement of this group of figures, whether the arm is too short or too long, or any part out of proper proportion; the way this skirt hangs, and the effect that fold produces, the completeness and accuracy with which the detail of trimming is shown; whether this hat or bonnet should be shown with front, side, or back view, the faces to be baby-like, youthful, or otherwise, thus indicating who suitable and intended for; in fact, all the detail of all drawings should be examined most carefully, to know that they are exact representations of the goods, with a suggestion as to their uses, and that the effect is pleasing and attractive. The finished cuts soon follow, with proofs of the same. These proofs should be clear and distinct. The illustrations assist in selling the goods, are a necessary expense, and must do [Pg 81]justice to the goods. Copy, when handed in from department managers to catalogue department, should be accompanied with all the cuts to be used. Each cut should be numbered and its corresponding number should appear in the copy where the cut is intended to go, and, where possible, all goods should be numbered, to facilitate ordering, care being exercised that no numbers are duplicated. The copy, as submitted, must all be carefully read by the catalogue manager, all cuts examined and compared as to numbers, etc., to see that none are missing and that all appear in their proper places; anything not satisfactory must be explained, the grammatical construction should be carefully watched, and he is expected to satisfy himself fully that everything about the copy is positively O. K. before passing it. A complete record should be kept of the number of pages of copy handed in from each department, and the number of cuts received, together with date. Also [Pg 82]when copy and cuts are given to printer, and when and what proofs are returned from printer and given back to the several departments, as, where copy and proofs are passing through so many different hands at different times, a constant check should be kept on it. The copy and cuts, when submitted and passed, are handed over to the printer, an effort being made to get them in his hands in the order they should appear in the catalogue, which greatly facilitates his work in many ways, and materially assists in getting the whole catalogue completed much more quickly. Proofs of the catalogue, as set up, are very carefully examined, the arrangement of matter and cuts given special attention, and when every page is entirely satisfactory it is finally O. K.'d. Electrotype or stereotype plates are then made from the type, and these plates handed over to the pressroom, when the work of printing begins. As fast as possible, the forms are printed, folded, [Pg 83]gathered and stitched, covers put on, books trimmed and completed. Special attention is given to preparation of index; every page is gone over carefully, and, as far as possible, every line of goods appearing in the catalogue is alphabetically arranged in the index, thus providing an easy reference to whatever goods customers may wish to select. Certain space in catalogue is devoted to giving instructions to shoppers by mail, and too much care cannot be exercised in their preparation. They should be short, but cover the ground completely, giving customers whatever information they need to order intelligently, anticipating all contingencies, thus preventing delay, misunderstanding and inconvenience. People are forgetful, and this information, if referred to, acts as a constant reminder. The special points emphasized to customers areto always write their name, post office, and State or Province, state how much money is enclosed, how and where [Pg 84]they want goods shipped, and, if goods are ordered by mail, to enclose sufficient extra for postage and, where necessary, for insurance or registration. They are requested to send remittances by express order, post office order, or other safe means, and cautioned against sending by unregistered mail; to order by number and page in catalogue, and, when requesting samples sent, to state definitely what is required, color, quality, price, etc., so that a suitable selection may be forwarded. Where goods for any reason are returned, they are specially reminded to put their name on the parcel, so that it may be identified at once. They are encouraged to order by freight where possible, to economize on the charges, and to club together with other customers in ordering, for the same reason. They are told definitely what to do in case of delays, complaints or exchanges, and sufficient information is given and classified in such a manner that, if referred to and made use of as intended, [Pg 85]there is very little liability of any serious difficulty arising. It won't do to take it for granted that customers always understand what to do. They must be reminded of certain requirements under certain conditions, and largely educated in this direction, and, therefore, instructions to shoppers by mail bear no unimportant relation to the business, and must always be clear, intelligent and complete. The general arrangement of the catalogue should be studied, with a view to having departments of a similar character grouped together, thus assisting in the general effect. Economy of space should be studied on every page. While cuts should, as far as possible, be of uniform size, yet they must be no larger than actually necessary to show goods properly, as space occupied by cuts larger than are needed is money wasted. Position and arrangement of cuts can be so studied as to greatly reduce the cost of space. Printed matter must be set close to cuts, and while type [Pg 86]selected must be clear and easy to read, yet it must not be large. An understanding should exist with the printer that the matter must be set to save space wherever consistent, and any carelessness or neglect in this respect should be observed and effectually stopped at once. A saving of five pages in a catalogue by watching the size of cuts, their arrangement, the setting of the type, etc., if the issue should be say two hundred thousand, means a million pages of paper saved, outside of any saving in composition, presswork, etc. Such arrangements should be made with the printers as will insure good work throughout. The good effect desired in the special care exercised in preparation of copy, getting drawings and cuts made, etc., can be largely reduced by hasty and careless composition, poor ink, and lack of proper attention to presswork and binding. The printer, therefore, should be wisely selected, one in whom confidence can be placed, who knows how [Pg 87]to set it up in the way it will look well, and will use his knowledge so that the catalogue, as representative of the business, will be satisfactory in this particular. While the catalogue is being compiled and printed, catalogue wrappers are being addressed to customers, and everything prepared for mailing. The method of recording and permanently preserving customers' names and addresses is deserving of attention here. That most in vogue is a system of card indexing. The different towns in each State or Province are written or printed on cards, and these are arranged alphabetically in suitable cases, and ruled so as to show by months and years the amount of business done in each town, and any other particulars required. The name of each customer in the various towns is entered on a separate record card, which is ruled, allowing space for the name and address, and so the date and amount of each purchase is shown as it occurs, space being left at the bottom of each [Pg 88]column for total footings, and these individual cards are filed under the town they belong to. Where the towns have a large population and the number of customers is correspondingly large, an auxiliary alphabetical index is used for easy reference. The information recorded on these cards may be entered direct from the orders themselves, or where the loose-leaf book system is used, the sheets may be detached as required, and the information registered direct from these sheets. Each drawer or compartment in which cards are filed is labelled on the outside, to indicate its contents. Thus, when recording an order, the first reference is to the town the order is from, and then under this town is found the card with customer's name, upon which entry is made, and the card put back in its proper place. These cards, therefore, show at all times the name and address of each customer, how much business each has done, and the total amount of business done in each town. Previous to [Pg 89]sending out catalogues, these cards are all gone over carefully, and where customers have not ordered within a certain time their cards are taken out. Where two or more names in the same town, and evidently of the same family, appear, positive information is obtained and acted upon, with a view to preventing a waste of catalogues by sending more than one to the same family. The list is thoroughly examined, checked, revised, and all old, dead matter excluded before addressing catalogue wrappers, as sending out catalogues to names that do not respond is a dead loss of postage, printed matter and effort. A big advantage in keeping a mailing list on index cards is, that they can be distributed among a large number of writers, and thousands of wrappers written in a short time, which cannot be conveniently done where kept in books; and the card system also keeps the list neat and clean, while books, by reason of names being crossed out, etc., always present anything but a [Pg 90]good appearance. When wrappers are addressed, they are all checked back and compared with cards, to insure absolute correctness. All the wrappers for one town are usually attached together and kept separate from other towns, and thus, when mailing, all the catalogues going to any one town are put in a bag or bags by themselves, which, while causing extra labor on the part of the sender, insures correctness, and enables post office employees to handle large quantities with great despatch. Printed envelopes bearing the firm's name and address, and blank order forms, are usually enclosed for the benefit of the customers. The art of catalogue compiling and looking after its proper distribution entails hard and extremely careful work. When finished and sent out, it has to compete with other catalogues wherever it goes, and, as it is the representative of the business, it must be complete in every detail, in order to do its work well. While the catalogue has its [Pg 91]distinctive place as "The Steady Trade Bringer" from out-of-town customers, yet much is accomplished by special mail-order advertising. This embraces booklets, circulars, leaflets, etc.; little pamphlets properly illustrated and well written dropped into the people's homes through the medium of the letter, the parcel, or both. Suggestions of seasonable goods, a special about furs when the weather is cold, rubbers and waterproofs during the rainy season, hints for weddings in June, light clothing for warm-weather wear, and so on through the whole range of merchandise, keeping the business before the public all the time with something new, attractive, seasonable. Where "Special Sales" are inaugurated, such as "White Goods Sale," "Special Furniture Sale," etc., shoppers from out of town are given an opportunity to participate in any advantages they may bring through the medium of the newspaper advertisement as far as it reaches, and through [Pg 92]such special distribution of advertising matter relative to these sales as is consistent with anticipated profits. The Christmas season is specially considered, the gift question in all its bearings duly studied, planned and provided for in advance. Tuning the business up all the time, keeping at a safe distance any danger of a relapse or "that tired feeling," which may almost unsuspectingly creep into a business, by administering these special advertising tonics, new, interesting and helpful, the result of well-studied plans. This process of continual construction is not built up alone by keeping in constant touch with customers already secured, but by reaching out for new trade among new people. Getting new names. Regular customers, on request, readily contribute the names and addresses of possible customers in their immediate vicinity. Special appeals made to special classes, for a consideration, usually result in securing satisfactory lists. These lists [Pg 93]as received are compared with names already in use, and all duplicates struck out, thus providing against the possibility of sending the same matter to the same name twice. Securing these new names is simply a part of the natural development of the catalogue trade. Wisely considered, the development is both from within and from without. From within, by adding new stocks to the business from time to time, as space, resources and abilities permit; and from without, by adding new and increased numbers to the purchasing list. From within, by getting more goods to sell; and from without, by getting more people to buy. Not only continuing to sell the same goods to the same people, but getting more goods for these same people, and more people to buy these goods. Instead of having the dollar sent to some other business for lack of goods, get that dollar by having the goods, the effort being made to build up the business and develop it on the lines of selling all the people all their goods [Pg 94]all the time. It is the understanding of this principle and its working out through the catalogue and all other auxiliary advertising, backed up by the goods required, that makes the possibilities of this trade. [Pg 95] Receiving and Opening Mail. While the catalogue is under course of construction, the whole mail-order system should be thoroughly gone over, tightened up, well oiled, improved where possible, and put in proper shape to handle the large volume of business which is bound to come immediately after the distribution of catalogues. Where the mail is large, it is usually brought from the post office by wagon, the smaller deliveries being brought by regular post office carriers. All registered letters and parcels are carefully checked as to number, by actual count, and compared with number entered on post office registration sheets, before signing for them. Envelopes are first cut open by one or more persons. Registered letters are kept separate from all others, are distributed separately and accounted for before any ordinary mail is handled. Each opener is held responsible for [Pg 96]the number of letters received, which are checked back, totalled, and the totals must agree with the total number given out by the one in charge. In the event of any error, it must be examined into at once and everything made O. K. A positive check is kept upon all letters and every precaution exercised to prevent the possibility of mistakes or loss of any kind. Ordinary unregistered letters are treated in the same careful manner. Special tables are provided for mail openers, and each one occupies a separate space or division. When a letter is opened, the amount enclosed (whether in bills, express orders, drafts, checks, post office orders, stamps or silver) is carefully counted, checked and entered on the order, totalled and compared with the amount customer claims to have enclosed. If these agree, the amount is signed for by the opener or stamped with an initial stamp, and the envelope is also initialed. The money is usually placed directly on the order [Pg 97]it belongs to, both are put in a box or basket specially provided for the purpose, and each succeeding letter, with the remittance it contains, follows in its regular order as opened, until the mail is all completed. In some cases the money and orders are separated at once. Each letter or order is examined carefully, to see that the name and address are given, and if not, the envelope should be attached for reference. If any samples referring to orders are enclosed, they must be attached to the order, and care exercised in attaching measurement forms, plans, or any separate sheets bearing any relation to the order. Should there be any difference in the amount received and the amount customer claims to have enclosed, the attention of the one in charge must be called to it at once, and, after thorough examination, be certified to by one or more. Any omission of samples or enclosures of any kind, or any irregularities of any character, must be reported [Pg 98]immediately, examined into, and certified to by those of recognized authority. Ordinary mail, such as enquiries, requests for samples, etc., and all letters not containing money, are kept separate from letters with money enclosed. Orders and money are collected, and the cashier checks and counts all money over again, comparing it with the amount entered on each order by the opener, and, where O. K., stamps each order and envelope with a duplicate consecutive numbering and date stamp. Thus, at almost the first stage of handling an order, it receives its individual number, which is different from the number appearing on any other order, and is used to identify it through the different stages it may have to pass while being completed. Envelopes are separated from orders, and each checker's envelopes put in a package by themselves for reference. Should one be needed, the order is first examined, and, as it bears the checker's signature, reference is then made to [Pg 99]that checker's package of envelopes, and the one bearing the same number as the order is easily and quickly found. [Pg 100] Book-keeping, Buying, Checking, Etc. Where the business is large, the country is usually divided up into districts or sections, each division being designated by a letter; thus one State or Province would be known as "A," and another as "B," and these sections each usually have a head under the supervision of the Manager. A simple form of cash book is largely made use of, by which the number and amount of each order only is entered under its proper division column. The totals of these columns must agree with the total amount of cash received. Orders follow in their natural course to the book-keepers, who, under the date received, enter the orders in regular order by number, name and address, and credit the customer with the amount received. Cashier and book-keepers are able to compare entries by number and amount, and should always agree. All orders, after being entered in the [Pg 101]books, are generally examined by one or more appointed for this work, who note anything of importance on the order, marking it in such a manner as to attract special attention. Bargains on sale that day, which are usually marked "Rush," requests to have goods delivered by a certain time, enclosed with a shipment made by another house, or with goods already bought and holding; in fact, anything and everything requiring any particular or extra care, so that no omission of instructions will occur, and that the detail of each order shall be distinctly carried out. All requests for samples, catalogues, etc., are put in hand at once, so that this work is being done promptly, and while the other work in connection with the order is being carried on. All orders, after being examined, everything noted and all specials sorted out, are classified into large, small or medium. All orders for only one article, such as gloves, drugs, jewelry, books, etc., are separated from orders for [Pg 102]miscellaneous merchandise, all credits referred to looked up, and everything put into complete shape for buyers to handle. As orders are distributed among the buyers, they are charged with the number received, and are individually held responsible for all orders while in their possession. In some cases buyers are not used, but orders are copied on requisition sheets, and sent to the different departments to be filled; but where a large retail business is done, the method of using buyers is largely adopted. The buyers' duties are many, and a great deal depends upon their ability and skill. They are expected to keep a record of all orders received and how disposed of. Their orders must be read carefully and thoroughly understood; if they lack any information, such as color, size, samples, or any errors in extensions or additions, they must be observed, and, where necessary, consulted about. All requests for estimates or prices asked for on orders [Pg 103]must be got from the proper department, written up clearly, and have the signature of one whose authority is recognized. Where goods are going by express or freight, the buyers usually make use of a purchasing card. They are provided with check books, and, as they visit the different departments and make their selections, they make out a check in duplicate for each purchase, leaving both with the salesperson. The top check is sent with the goods to the mail-order sorting section, and the duplicate is sent to the cash office, just the same as though it were actual money. This duplicate check represents so much money and is taken in payment for goods. Great care is exercised in making out these checks. Not only is one half treated as cash, but the other half goes with the goods direct to the customers, showing them exactly how their money has been spent. These checks must be written plainly with good figures, and give a full description of goods, prices, etc. [Pg 104]The date, exact time purchase is made, the department bought from, sales number and order number, must all appear on each check, and all have such important relations to the work that any omission or carelessness cannot be allowed. On their purchasing card they enter the number of the order they are buying, and enter this same number on every check belonging to that order, also entering each purchase as bought on the purchasing card by department, sales number, and amount. When the purchase is completed, the order and purchasing card are handed to a shipping clerk, who examines the order as to shipping instructions, enters the name and address and how goods are to be shipped on this card, when they are passed to a clerk who examines the order carefully, to see that everything has been bought correctly, no omissions made, all additions correct, and who, when satisfied that the order is executed properly in every particular, sends the order with proper charge slip attached [Pg 105]back to the book-keeper, and the purchasing card is sent to the sorting or inspecting room, where goods in the meantime have been sent. [Pg 106] Assembling and Packing Mail-Order Goods. This assembling section is arranged to provide space for goods until each order is completed. Under a system largely made use of by several houses, the original number stamped on the order and entered by the buyer on every check belonging to that order is here made use of as the sorting number. Sorting tables are arranged for receiving goods, and are numbered from one to ten. Checks accompany all goods, and if the number of the check is say 2,617, the goods are placed on No. 7 table; if check is number 2,618, goods would be placed on No. 8 table, and so on. The last figure on every check denotes the table it is to be placed on, and, as orders are numbered consecutively as they are received, the goods are very evenly distributed over the ten tables; and, as all numbers must end in some figure between one and ten, the ten tables thus provide for all numbers. [Pg 107]Shelving is partitioned off back of these tables with a space of about eighteen inches square in each compartment. These compartments are four or more high and as many in number as the business demands. While the last figure in any check number denotes the table it is to be placed on, so the last two figures are made use of to indicate what particular compartment the goods are to be placed in. Thus, check No. 2,617 and goods go to No. 7 table, and when placed go to No. 17 compartment; No. 2,627 with goods go to No. 7 table and No. 27 compartment, and so on, sufficient space being provided for the repetition of these endings as required. No. 2,617 being entered on checks belonging to Mr. Blank's order, and this number appearing on his checks only, all his goods find their way to No. 7 table, and are placed in No. 17 compartment, and checks are filed in this compartment as goods are placed. The purchasing card used by the buyer, and on which [Pg 108]the order number and all the items bought appear, is carefully compared with checks, and when checks representing all goods on this card are received the order is complete and ready for packing. All goods as received on sorting tables are opened up, looked over carefully, checked, weighed, measured, colors, sizes, qualities and quantities critically examined, compared with description, and particulars given on checks; and if not satisfactory must be set aside and refused until made O. K. When an order is complete, the goods and card are taken from this inspecting section and sent to the express or freight-packing section of the shipping room, each lot of goods being kept in a separate compartment until packed. Experienced packers are employed, who again, and finally, compare goods with bills, and check everything carefully while packing. According to the nature of the goods, they are wrapped in paper, boxed, baled or crated, entered up in shipping books [Pg 109]according to shipping instructions on card, and handed over to the different transportation companies as called for, and cards are filed for reference. [Pg 110] Goods Sent by Mail, Correspondence, Paying for Goods, Etc. Where goods are ordered to go by mail, checks are made out as before, but with this usual difference, that buyers retain the top check and bring the goods with them. Each item as bought is entered by department, sales number and amount on a shipping and charge sheet. When an order going by mail is all bought, it is carefully checked by the buyer, weighed, and the amount of postage determined as near as possible, when goods and order are handed to shipping clerk, who enters the name and address on the shipping slip, when all are passed to the mailing section, where goods are carefully checked, wrapped, weighed, amount of postage determined, parcels addressed, stamps put on, entered by name, address and amount of postage in a parcel-mailing book, and placed on sorting table, after [Pg 111]which they are sorted and placed into different bags by State, Province, or whatever division of parcels the post office authorities may name, that will facilitate rapid handling and quick despatch. Should a parcel, when wrapped, require more postage than customer has allowed money for, it should be laid aside, and the head of division should determine whether to hold parcel and write for the additional amount required, omit something from the parcel, or allow the customer to remit the balance due. Where small amounts are to be returned to customers, in some cases their particular parcels, as wrapped, may be left open at one end and placed on a separate table, where, after checking, a small envelope containing the amount to be returned may be enclosed in the parcel. These little envelopes may be prepared in advance and placed in separate divisions, all one-cent envelopes being in one space, all two-cent envelopes in another, and so on, so that the work [Pg 112]can be done rapidly, and a great saving effected in postage on letters which otherwise would require to be written in order to return the balance due. All registered parcels are kept separate and signed for by the post office authorities. It is easy at any time, by reference, to find out exactly how a package was addressed, how much postage was put on the parcel, how much money was enclosed, whether registered or not, and just what mail it was sent out on. All orders, when properly checked, should be passed back to the book-keepers, who, having made the original entry and credited the cash when the order was first received and before goods were bought, may now refer to that order number, name and address again, and charge the customer with amount of goods sent, amount of postage paid, and cash returned, or remaining to be returned, thus balancing the account. A simple index system may be made use of for any debit or credit balances that [Pg 113]may require to be kept. Orders pass on to heads of divisions, who examine all carefully, sorting out any that may be replied to by form cards or letters, seeing that all necessary explanations and enquiries have been submitted, made and signed by those authorized, and that they are satisfactory, and who dictates all necessary replies. All replies, when dictated and type-written, are handed back for examination, and, when correct, are signed and given to cashier, who encloses any balance to be returned, keeping a record of the same by number and amount, when the letters are sent to the mailing section, stamped and mailed, and orders sent to be filed with copy of reply attached. The graphophone system of dictating and reproducing is largely made use of in place of shorthand where the business is large, and is found to greatly facilitate the handling of correspondence. Personal representation of the customers by everyone associated with [Pg 114]the different departments is especially encouraged. The buyer who visits the departments cannot be compelled to accept anything except what in her judgment is O. K. She represents the customers absolutely, stands in their place, and studies their interests at every turn, and this same personal interest is specially observed by every individual clerk in whatever relation they may bear to orders or goods passing through their hands. The payment for goods purchased by the mail-order department is extremely simple. The duplicate checks made out by buyers and given to salespeople when selecting goods represent so much money, and are sent to the cash office immediately. They are collected here and sent to the check office or auditing department daily, where they are all audited. The total amount of these checks represents the total amount of goods bought that day, and the mail-order cashier thus hands over the exact amount required to pay for goods [Pg 115]received. As these checks also show the different departments goods have been purchased from, they are all sorted out by departments, and each department, therefore, receives credit for its share of the money. Likewise is it easy to know at all times just what percentage of cost the total mail-order expense is upon the business done. The mail order expense properly consists of its share of light, heat, power and rental, sundry expenses, such as stationery, office fixtures, furniture and wages paid. The wages list, properly divided, should show how much is paid for buying, book-keeping, type-writing, samples, checking, packing, etc., and if wages paid in each division week by week and the amount of business done are compared with any previous week's expenses and business, the department is promptly made aware of any unnecessary increased expense, just exactly where that unnecessary increase is, and the remedy may be applied at once. The catalogue [Pg 116]expense may also be readily arrived at. The total issue costs a certain amount, and according to the number of pages each department occupies, so in this proportion may be estimated each one's share in the expense. Each department manager, knowing what his catalogue space may have cost for a certain issue, and what amount of business he may have done from that issue, can estimate exactly what percentage of cost his mail-order advertising is upon his sales, while the total catalogue expense for any one issue may be added to the other total mail-order expense for that time, and the exact percentage of cost may be arrived at upon the total amount of mail-order business done. Such a system may be adopted and made actual use of that will point out at once the exact condition of every part of this business, and provide a safety valve which will indicate at all times the true profit or loss, and through just what channel that loss or gain accrues. [Pg 117] Filing Correspondence. Systems of filing differ, but where the business is large, one of two methods is largely adopted, that is filing either by number or place. When filed by number, the original number stamped on the order is made use of for filing purposes. Where the place file is used, suitable boxes or drawers are arranged in cases, each box being labelled on the outside indicating its contents. These drawers are provided with cards on which are printed or written the different post offices in each State or Province, and arranged for easy reference. Thus all correspondence coming from any one town is filed together next its town card, and where the mail from any one town is large it may be subdivided by an alphabetical index. Thus, to find Mr. B.'s order from Blank Town reference is first made to the drawer which contains Blank Town, and under this town, among the Bs, will be found [Pg 118]Mr. B.'s orders. One set of drawers may be made use of for each month's filing, and, therefore, as many sets of drawers are provided as will correspond with the number of months letters may be preserved. Separate files may also be kept (usually alphabetical by name) for filing letters, such as those where customers have forgotten to give size, color, or measurements, where they have overlooked enclosing samples, or any omission or circumstance which may cause customers to be written to and their orders held for further information, or orders that may have any balance holding to credit, etc. The filing must be very accurately done, as constant reference is made, and it is of the utmost importance that any correspondence required shall be found with the greatest despatch. [Pg 119] Special Orders. A special effort should be made to have the system so arranged that it will enable the mail-order department, as well as every other department in connection with the house, to know how many orders are partly bought and holding for goods which have been ordered that are not in stock, or that require to be made. The buyer who finds anything asked for on an order which a department cannot supply at once (and no checks should be taken unless the order can be filled promptly) should give someone appointed by each department full particulars of what is required, the number of the order, name of customer, description, size, or measurements of goods to be made or procured. When everything is bought, with these exceptions, the order should be then handed to a special mail-order clerk, who should note what is lacking to complete the order, and in a set of special department files (space being [Pg 120]provided for each department) should place the holding order. He should visit the different departments, ascertaining particulars concerning each order, find out what efforts are being made to fill the same, and crowd these orders to completion, where necessary, writing customers explaining any cause of delay. As each department secures the goods required, the mail order department should be notified immediately, when the order may be quickly produced from its department file, check made out and order completed. It is easy to ascertain at any time through such a system exactly what goods each department lacks, and direct such efforts as will provide for the least possible lack of stock and the least possible delay in executing orders. [Pg 121] Returned Goods, Exchanges, and Complaints. A separate section should be devoted to returned goods or exchanges. As goods are received the packages should be examined as to identification, whom and where from, and entered up alphabetically under the date received, with all particulars required, and goods placed in suitable compartments. When letter of explanation is received, goods are easily located, and both should be given to special exchange clerks, who will secure the necessary exchange bills and make such new selections as customers may desire. The cause of all goods returned should be thoroughly investigated in every instance, and where the fault lies with the house, the customer should be reimbursed for any extra expense incurred; and whatever department or individual is to blame should be made fully acquainted with [Pg 122]their error, and such steps taken as will prevent a repetition of it. Usually associated with this work is a special section, which should deal with all letters of complaint. The cause of all complaints should be fully enquired into and at once. There should be no delay whatever, but immediate answers insisted upon. Explanations should be complete and to the entire satisfaction of customers, and any loss through carelessness or errors made good without reserve. Each department and their help should be held strictly accountable for any claims which, upon investigation, show where the responsibility should rest. This feature of promptly adjusting all differences and satisfying every reasonable demand leads to continued and increased confidence, and should, therefore, be given very particular attention. [Pg 123] Samples. The preparation, selection and sending out of samples should receive the most careful attention. In some cases requests for samples are distributed among the different departments and are filled and sent to the sample department, but this method with progressive houses is considered slow, and for this reason alone unsatisfactory. The improved method is to cut from the piece such lengths of goods as are required. These are sent to the sample department with width, price and full particulars, where suitable paper printed in squares, the size of sample to be sent, are attached. These are sewn by machines driven by electric power and afterwards cut in proper sizes by electric cutting knife, prices inserted and placed in partitioned spaces in drawers arranged in suitable cabinets. As requests for samples are received, they are filled direct from these drawers, [Pg 124]and sent out by the next mail. Help is employed here who by long experience become familiar with all classes of sampleable goods, and who are under the direct management of one who thoroughly understands interpreting the customers' wants, and who bears no unimportant part to whatever measure of success may result from the sale of all goods by sample. [Pg 125] Keeping Employees' Time. This position requires a man of considerable firmness, as he comes in contact with every employee, and is bound to enforce the discipline of the house as applied to absentees and lates, regardless of any partiality or favoritism. He has direct charge of the cloakrooms, and must see that they are kept neat and clean, and that each individual has a certain space allotted. He should be on duty early and late, and should see that every one registers their time in passing in and out. A record of all employees going out on passes should be kept, and none should be accepted unless signed by those authorized. He should keep a record of employees' names and addresses, and have the same checked up regularly. He should supply wages department and also heads of departments with a report of all who are absent. Where so many are under the charge of heads of departments, it is impossible [Pg 126]for them to tell at once who may be absent. The time-keeper should notify them promptly every morning and noon, and they will thus be enabled to arrange immediately, so that the work done by absentees is provided for. He should not allow parcels of any kind to be carried in or out of the store, nor allow anyone to renter the store after passing the time desk in going out, or return to the cloakrooms after passing the time desk going in. As part of the store help must go to dinner at one hour and part at another, he should regulate it so that those who go out one hour are back in their departments before others are notified, thus preventing crowding on stairways and passages. Departments are usually notified by bells, and each is familiar with its particular signal. Doors should be closed sharp on the minute, and all lates excluded. No matter what system for registering time is used, it is easy to determine who is late or absent, as on coming in all keys or time cards hanging on the [Pg 127]time board are on one side of the time clock, and when the time is registered they are hung on the opposite side. Those which have not been removed indicate at once who has not come in. Time cards of any absent, who have not sent in a reason for absence, should be removed from the time board and such employees should secure permission from those authorized before their time can be again marked. Lists of those going on holidays should be supplied time-keeper, and their cards should also be removed. The time-keeper should supply the wages department with correct time sheets, as desired. He should see that employees are orderly in passing in and out, and permit no loitering in the cloakrooms. A register is usually placed at the exit door, which should be signed by one appointed for each department or section of the store when leaving at night, certifying that all persons have left their department, and that all windows are secured, blinds down, etc. [Pg 128] Employing Help. The hiring of help is largely centered in one individual for the entire store. Departments requiring additional help should notify the employment office, and give particulars of the kind of help required, which fact should be noted and filed for reference, a preference being given former employees seeking rengagement. The hours for engaging help are usually from 8 to 10 A. M., after which no applications are considered for that day. All applicants must be treated with courtesy. Even though no immediate help is required, applicants in many cases are permitted to fill out application, which should be placed on file for reference, and a satisfactory applicant may then be notified as soon as a position is open. All applications should contain, as far as possible, full particulars concerning applicant. It should show the date of engagement, name, address, whether married or single, nationality, church [Pg 129]denomination, where previously employed, for how long, and reasons for leaving. References should be given, who may be communicated with, and whose replies should be attached to application. Application blank should show salary agreed upon and for what particular department employed. Space should be provided for percentage record, and for transfer from one department to another, for increased salary recommendations, which are usually signed by heads of departments and passed by those appointed. They should be at all times a complete and permanent record of each employee. All help is usually engaged upon the distinct understanding and agreement that they are privileged to leave any day, or their services may be dispensed with at any time. A new employee, when given a time card or key, and the time-keeper has explained the system of registering time, etc., and allotted cloakroom space, is conducted to the head of the department or assistant. [Pg 130] Paying Wages. The system of registering time furnishes accurate information for estimating wages. The time sheets kept by the time-keeper are here made use of. The name of each employee under the respective department each one is attached to, with number, rate of wages per week, number of days worked, actual wages due, etc., should be entered on the wages sheet. The total amount of money required on any pay day is given wages office, each individual's pay is placed in a pay envelope, sealed, numbered and entered in signature book. Each head of a department, or one appointed, receives all wages for that department, signing for the same, and sees that they are distributed and signed for by each individual as received. The work is done accurately and with despatch, as thousands are by this method paid their weekly earnings in a very short time. [Pg 131] Watchmen. Watchmen should report at the store each night, and as soon as the store is closed examine the leaving register, to see that each department has signed for everything having been left in perfect order. They should examine at once all doors and windows, seeing that they are securely fastened; also all other entrances to building, and all places where anyone might be concealed. They should report in writing anything irregular occurring during the night, leaving the same at the office, and repeat the report until the irregularity has been attended to. A regular patrol should be made throughout the entire building. An ingenious system of clock registration is made use of in some cases, which indicates upon examination in the morning the different stations each watchman has passed and the exact time of each passing during the entire night. In the event of fire or any other accident occurring [Pg 132]during the night, such special instructions should be followed as will meet with the ready response of whatever assistance may be required. [Pg 133] General Rules for Employees. Rules for employees are in force in all large Department Stores. Different stores differ in detail of rules, but the application is the same, all serving to build up the system of government which directs and controls the entire management. Weekly examinations are held in some instances, and familiarity with the rules exacted, thus enforcing and maintaining system and discipline. The hours for opening and closing business vary at different seasons of the year, of which due notice is given. The opening hour is usually 8 o'clock, at which time all employees are expected to be in their respective positions, all covers folded and put in proper places, stocks and counters dusted, and everything made ready for the day's business. All employees must enter and leave the store by employees' entrance, leaving all wraps, hats, rubbers, lunches, etc., in the cloakroom, [Pg 134]which is conveniently arranged for this purpose. Upon entering the store in the morning and upon leaving and returning at noon, and on going out at night, each individual records his or her time. If for good reason an employee is necessarily delayed, a permission pass may be obtained to commence work; but if late without a good reason being given, they cannot commence work until noon, and thus lose a half day's work and a half day's pay. Attendance to business must be punctual and regular. Continued lateness and absence would merit discharge. Employees who are absent for any cause must notify the house at once, either the head of their department or time-keeper, and satisfactory reasons given for being absent. Whenever a change of address is made, employees must report same to time-keeper at once. Employees must never leave the store during business hours (except for dinner) without a pass signed by [Pg 135]the head of the department and countersigned by one authorized. Blank pass books are usually supplied heads of departments. These passes should give the names of employees, their numbers, what departments employed in, date and time of going out, and must be presented to the time-keeper, who will permit employees to go to the cloakroom for wraps and pass them out. Employees must not leave their departments to go to any other part of the store without informing the head of the department, or assistant, and obtaining permission. Employees desiring to purchase goods for themselves are expected to do so during the least busy hours, usually from 8 to 9 A. M. A pass to purchase must be obtained from the head of the department. This pass is exchanged for a purchasing card. All employees' purchases must be made on purchasing card and sent by the regular delivery. If for any reason a parcel cannot be sent by the regular [Pg 136]delivery, and employee is to carry it home, these parcels must be O. K.'d by the proper party. A numbered check is given to the employee and a duplicate attached to the parcel. By presenting this check at the exit door, the package is delivered to the proper party. Parcels are not allowed to be carried into the store by employees. The wagons call upon request and deliver packages to the parcel office, where they may be obtained. Employees are to avoid gossiping and not allow their time to be taken up with friends who desire to visit with them during business hours. Loud conversation to be avoided. Business hours not to be occupied in reading books, papers, letter writing, needlework, etc. Loafing or wasting time away from departments not allowed. Extravagance and display in dress to be avoided. The use of striking colors and patterns is objectionable. The costume should be modest and neat in appearance. [Pg 137]Employees are expected to be courteous to each other, using the same dignity, respect, and care in add dressing others that they feel they are entitled to themselves. Should clerks be deserving of censure, it should be done in a gentlemanly manner, not before other employees or customers, thus retaining the respect of each other. The use of gum or tobacco, eating nuts, fruits, candy, or lunches during business hours is strongly objected to. Loitering around the outside of the building, on the corners or at the entrances, expectorating on the walks and giving the premises an untidy appearance will not be permitted. Defacing the walls, counters or fixtures, or abusing the property in any way, means immediate dismissal. All employees must learn to obey the orders of those whose authority is recognized, and be governed by the rules and regulations of the house; not only because they must, but for their own individual interests, and the [Pg 138]interests of the house in general. Some rules may appear rigid, but they are deemed necessary, and, therefore, must be obeyed, and the living up to them is not intended to be a reflection on the self-respect of any one. [Pg 139] Mechanical Section. Underneath the selling space in these large stores lies the network of machinery, all necessary for the prompt and careful adjustment of each day's work, furnishing the power for heating, lighting, elevator service, etc. Modern automatic sprinkler system always ready for an emergency, rendering the property and merchandise as nearly fireproof as possible, aided by a corps of properly-drilled firemen taken from the regular employees staff. Pneumatic cash system connecting with every part of the store selling space; not only utilized for carrying cash, but also providing the means of ventilation, by using up and discharging thousands of cubic feet of impure air regularly, and bringing fresh air into the building constantly. Complete staffs of engineers, carpenters, painters, etc., are almost constantly employed in looking after additions, alterations, and repairs, thus keeping the whole [Pg 140]building in perfect condition. All are under the direct management of experts, whose mechanical skill is utilized to assist in rendering the store service complete, and whose services are recognised on an equality with those occupying the most responsible positions in connection with the business. ~~~~~

Is Yahoo Trying To Sell Small Biz & HotJobs?@@@@@@http://searchengineland.com/is-yahoo-trying-to-sell-small-biz-hotjobs-22858~~~~~

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Keywords@@@@@@The MOST IMPORTANT THING about Internet Marketing is knowing the most popular search terms buyers use to find what you sell! These are your Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES. Once you know what exact KEYWORD PHRASES your customers are looking for, you can do everything you can to make your site come up as high as possible in the search results for those specific words and phrases in the directories, search engines, and pay-per-click results. You can also track these results and compare how well you rank with your traffic and sales. When you know what your Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES are, you don't have to worry about every single word. One of my clients is #1 on Google for her #1 keyword phrase, a brand name of a particular girls' toy. She was a little concerned when she wasn't on the first page of search results for a very specific keyword phrase, so she gave me a holler. We did a quick check and the GOTO/Overture tool said: "No suggestions for ___." No one was looking for this particular keyword phrase, so it didn't matter! The main thing is to be highly ranked for WORDS THAT COUNT. (how do you do that?) "How do I discover my TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES?" There are two place to look to find your TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES : Look Inside - Look at your log files / references to see what phrases are already drawing traffic. These phrases are already working for you. Yahoo! Store owners should look at MANAGER > References > Details to see what the top KEYWORD PHRASES are in your existing Yahoo! Store. You can rank these by sales, orders, and traffic. Usually your top ten sources of traffic are the best to look at. You can get a pretty good idea of your better words in about 15 minutes, but I usually spend up to four or five hours to consolidate all of the data. [See KEYWORD DATAMINING] Look Outside. Use whatever internet resources you can to find ALL relevant keyword phrases. This includes keyword databases, search engine "related results," related sites' meta tags & keywords, competitors' pay-per-click lists, industry-related sites, glossaries, manufacturer sites with brand and product names, synonym generators, and anything else you can think of using. This new list will probably include your existing keyword phrases, and you will be able to see what words and phrases you might be missing and see where your current TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES rank in and around the big list. In the old days (1997), it was hard to find out what people were looking for on the internet. There was one public list of most searched terms on Yahoo!, and half of those were for porn. Now there are a lot more resources to find out exactly WHAT people are looking for. The best free, public example is the GOTO / OVERTURE search suggestion tool (Ask me about this or look at my links page at http://ystore.com/links.html) We have access to many more, and we've learned a lot about how to put your site in front of this traffic to sell them stuff.~~~~~

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Linking Secrets@@@@@@ {!name_fix} - Rob's Yahoo! Store linking trick explained {!name_fix} - Rob's Yahoo! Store linking trick explained {!name_fix} -- Howdy! Sorry this is a bit late. My mom was in the hospital and I've been out of the office for a week. She's much better now, though! If you commented on the blog, I'll shortly be sending your WOMBAT.rtml -- a clients & friends-only utility template to help you make these links much, much faster. Yahoo! Store CAPTION Linking Secrets: Make your Yahoo! Store easier to navigate with simple text links sprinkled throughout your CAPTION fields (the text field where you put product descriptions. These hyperlinks help shoppers and have amazing SEO benefits. Write some good CAPTION text and then sprinkle text links throughout your copy. Take a look at Wikipedia to see a great example of a site with great internal links. Whenever the text references anything that has another Wikipedia listing (usually any noun), that word or phrase is hyperlinked to that page. Here's an example of a Wikipedia page with tons of links using my favorite animal: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wombat OK. In this post, I'm going to show you how I write CAPTIONS on section pages and how I link 'em up to benefit shoppers and search search engines! Let's get started! Maximize CAPTION Fields on Section Pages First, section pages need well-written CAPTION text fields to educate your shoppers. This CAPTION text is really for shoppers, but search engine 'bots love them, too. Your CAPTIONS should tell folks what products they should buy and why they should buy them. Sometimes retailers have great product descriptions, but almost no text on their section pages. ACK! What a waste of valuable Web real estate! Here's why you need to maximize CAPTION fields on your section pages: * Section pages typically get more page views than product pages do. The average visitor to your site will probably see more sections pages than product pages, so take advantage of this. * Section pages can keep folks on your site.  Provide shoppers with the information they need to buy the products they want. * Section pages usually have more link popularity than product pages. It's easier to optimize sections to rank better in search engines. If you want to see which of your section pages are getting the most page views, go to the STORE MANAGER, and click on the PAGE VIEWS link under the STATISTICS heading. TIP: Spend most of your time tweaking the section pages that feature products that make you the most money. Start with your most valuable sections and work your way down the list. If you only have time to optimize three or four pages, you'll get the most bang for your buck if you start at the top of the list. Put Links Inside CAPTION Text Where it Makes Sense Links in CAPTION fields make it easier for folks to shop your site and for search engines to know what your site is about. As you probably know, a link is a clickable hypertext reference (a word or an image) that directs you to another Web resource, usually another html Web page. Here are some things you need to know about links: * Whenever you mention anything in the CAPTION text that has it's own page, make that text a link to that page so shoppers can click to learn more about what you're talking about. * Any time you refer to another type of product in your CAPTION text, link that word or phrase to the most relevant product on your site for that term. * Link to products, sub-sections, shop by manufacturer pages, product FAQ pages, buyers' guides, product comparison charts or virtually any other pages on your site that educate users. * Use relevant keyword phrases as words in the link text (a.k.a. anchor text) because it makes more sense for the reader. Don't link with the words click here. * Keywords inside the link text (anchor text) help search engines figure out what the linked page is about, sometimes called reputation analysis. Now that you know a little bit more about links, I'll show you an example of some text in a CAPTION field on a section page, and how I link the keywords in the text to the most relevant page for each keyword phrase. For example, let's say you sell the latest high-end wombat fashions and wombat grooming products. On your wombat shampoos section page, write three or four sentences describing the various types of shampoos you sell, the brands you sell, what the best selling products are, what problems these products solve and list other related products. Link each of these phrases to the most relevant page. You can also link to buyers' guides and FAQ pages. Here's an example of a keyword-loaded CAPTION: Everyone loves a wonderful-smelling wombat. Browse our wide selection of wombat cleaners & wombat shampoos. Not sure what to buy? Check out Wilber's "How to Wash Your Wombat" and "Wombat Grooming FAQ." More folks buy 100% all-natural WOMBAT WASH (shampoo & conditioner) than anything else. After washing your wombat, groom your pet with specialty wombat brushes, blow driers, and styling gels. How many words in the above CAPTION could you turn into links? Here's how I would link up my CAPTION. This is what it would look like on the Web: (This is a TEXT email, so pretend that the following has links) Everyone loves a wonderful-smelling wombat! Browse our wide selection of wombat cleaners & wombat shampoos. Not sure what to buy? Check out Wilber's "How to Wash Your Wombat" and "Wombat Grooming FAQ." More folks buy 100% all-natural WOMBAT WASH (shampoo & conditioner) than anything else. After washing your wombat, groom your pet with specialty wombat brushes, blow driers, and styling gels. Notice how some links are bold (to draw attention). I use the strong tag <strong></strong> which works like a bold tag, but also tells the search engine that the words inside the tag are important. Here's the code: <strong><a href=id-of-page.html>keyword anchor text here</a></strong> Here's the HTML code which assumes page1.html is about wombat cleaners, page2.html is about wombat shampoos, etc.: <strong>Everyone loves a wonderful-smelling wombat</strong>! Browse our wide selection of <strong><a href=page1.html>wombat cleaners</a></strong> & <strong><a href=page2.html>wombat shampoos</a></strong>. Not sure what to buy? Check out Wilber's "<a href=page3.html>How to Wash Your Wombat</a>" and "<a href=page4.html>Wombat Grooming FAQ</a>." More folks buy 100% <strong><a href=page5.html>all-natural WOMBAT WASH</a></strong> (shampoo & conditioner) than anything else. After washing your wombat, groom your pet with specialty <a href=page6.html>wombat brushes</a>, <a href=page7.html>blow driers</a>, and <a href=page8.html>styling gels</a>. Here are a few more things you might need to know to make CAPTION links: CAPTION: The CAPTION field is a text field on a page made in STORE EDITOR where you can type the description for items and section pages. The CAPTION field accepts limited HTML code. To add or edit text in a CAPTION, login to your STORE EDITOR, browse to the page you want to edit, and click the EDIT button. Make the changes you want and click the Update button to see your edits. Remember to PUBLISH your store when you're ready for your customers to see your work. Link (or hyperlink): A clickable word or image that moves your browser to another page. Anchor Text / Link Text: The words inside a link. This clickable text is sometimes shown in a blue font and is underlined. Anchor Tag: The HTML code that makes a word or image a clickable link. The code looks like this: <a href=pagename.html>anchor text</a> Relative Path URL: This is a relative path URL:<a href=pagename.html>link text</a>. Notice how the URL in the HREF only specifies pagename.html. This link assumes you are already on a page somewhere on a domain. A relative path link will move you from where you are to that new page. Relative URLS work both in STORE EDITOR and on the published site because they move you to pagename.html, whether to http://us-f1-edit.store.yahoo.com/RT/NEWEDIT.youraccountname/pagenam e.html or http://www.yourdomain.com/pagename.html on the Published site. Absolute Path URL: This is an absolute path URL:<a href=http://www.yourdomain.com/pagename.html>link text</a>. Notice how the HREF specifies the domain and the pagename.html. This link assumes nothing and moves you to the exact location specified in the URL. Absolute URLS don't work in STORE EDITOR because they "boot you out" to the Published site. I prefer to use relative path URLs on my stores because I like using my CAPTION links to navigate when I'm in the STORE EDITOR. Good luck writing good CAPTION text and linking pages on your Web site! Rob -- Rob Snell / Ystore.com Starkville, Mississippi USA http://www.robsnell.com read my blog: http://ystore.blogs.com buy my book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764588737/sr=8-2/qid=1140275737/ref=sr_1_2/103-4498188-6183843?%5Fencoding=UTF8 Snell Brothers 500 Russell Street, Suite 30 Starkville, MS 39759~~~~~

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LIU & DB Enterprises, INC@@@@@@~~~~~

LIU & DB Enterprises, INC@@@@@@~~~~~

Looking for Pink Dog Collars? I found them... @@@@@@ Singlefeed Webinar is here . So I went to Google and did a search for site:gundogsupply.com intitle:pink intitle:collar and got list of URLS. There were pink MOPIX pages of regular dog collars, product pages of hot pink dog collars, Garmin Astro collar straps that were pink, Alpha straps, etc. HERE'S TEXT from that PINK DOG COLLARS SERP See All Pink Dog Collars and Etsy Images for site:gundogsupply.com intitle:pink intitle:collar Images for site:gundogsupply.com intitle:pink intitle:collar Image result for site:gundogsupply.com intitle:pink intitle:collar Astro T5 Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/ast5pico.html Garmin T5 Additional GPS Dog Tracking Collar Alpha TT15 Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/alttpico.html Garmin TT15 Additional GPS Dog Tracking / Training Garmin T5 MINI Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/gat5mipico.html Garmin T5 MINI Additional GPS Dog Tracking Collar. Educator ET-300TS-L Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/eietpico.html Leopard Mini Educator ET-300-A Remote Training TEK 2.0 2LT Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/tek202ltpico.html SportDOG TEK 2.0LT Training & Location Add-a-Dog MOPIX - Garmin TT15 MINI Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/gattmipico.html Garmin TT15 MINI Additional GPS Dog Tracking / Training Collar. Garmin TT15 MINI Additional GPS Dog Tracking / Training Collar. More Pictures: TT15 MINI K-9 Komfort 3/4 in. Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/k9koceri3pic.html K-9 Komfort 3/4 in. TufFlex Puppy / Small Dog Collar Dogtra iQ No-Bark Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/doiqnopico.html iQ Pet No Bark Dog Collar by Dogtra. MOPIX - Educator ET-302TS-L Pink Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/eietpico1.html Leopard Mini Educator ET-302-A Remote Training Collar 2-dog. More Pictures: Educator ET-302TS-L Pink Transmitter Cover Educator ET-302TS-L Transmitter. Pink Standard Day Glow Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pistdayglco.html 1 in. Day Glow Standard Dog Collar. How to Measure Pink Dogtra Pathfinder Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pidopaco.html Dogtra Pathfinder Additional Collar. MOPIX - TEK 2.0 2L Pink Collar. https://www.gundogsupply.com/tek202lpico.html TEK 2.0 2L Pink Collar. REMOVE THIS AND the !-- NOSEARCH tag. PINK K-9 Komfort 1 in. TufFlex Dee-End Collar. $12.99. https://www.gundogsupply.com/pik9ko1tudec.html PINK 1" TufFlex D-End Collar. How to Measure Your Dog's Neck | FREE Brass ID Plate Information Dee-end collar is made from TufFlex, which is virtually Pink D-End Day Glow Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/piddayglco.html 1 in. Day Glow D-End Collar. How to Measure Your Pink 3/4 in. Center Ring Day Glow Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pi34incerida.html 3/4 in. Day Glow Center Ring Puppy / Small Dog Collar PINK 1 in. Day Glow Center Ring Collar. $6.99. www.gundogsupply.com 1" Day Glow Center Ring PINK 1" Day Glow Center Ring. How to Measure Your Dog's Neck | FREE Brass ID Plate Information Center Ring Day Glow Collar with nickel plated hardware. Pink 3/4 in. TufFlex Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pi3tuco.html K-9 Komfort 3/4 in. TufFlex Center Ring Puppy / Small Pink 3/4 in. D-end Day Glow Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pi34inddaygl.html 3/4 in. Day Glow D-End Puppy / Small Dog Collar MOPIX - Pathfinder TRX Additional Collar -- Pink. www.gundogsupply.com/patrxadcopi.html Dogtra Pathfinder TRX GPS Additional Collar. More Pictures: Dogtra Pathfinder TRX Additional Collar -- Black Dogtra Pathfinder TRX Additional Collar -- Black. Pink 1 in. TufFlex Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pi1tuco.html BEST-SELLER: Tufflex Center-Ring Dog Collar (1" Wide). More Pictures: Black 1 in. TufFlex Collar Dark Brown 1 in. TufFlex Collar Orange 1 in. TufFlex Collar. MOPIX - Contain n Train ADD-A-DOG Collar Pink. www.gundogsupply.com/contradcopi.html SportDOG Contain + Train ADD-A-DOG Collar SDF-CTR. More Pictures: Contain n Train ADD-A-DOG Collar Front Contain n Train ADD-A-DOG Collar Back. MOPIX - 1 in. Pink Reflective Collar Strap. https://www.gundogsupply.com/1inpirecost.html 1 in. Universal Square Buckle Reflective Collar Strap. More Pictures: 1 in. Orange Reflective Collar Strap 1 in. Black Reflective Collar Strap 1 in. K-9 Komfort Pink 1 in. Collar. www.gundogsupply.com/pi1tuco1.html TufFlex 1 in. Standard Dog Collar. How to Measure Your PINK K-9 Komfort 1 In. TufFlex Dee-End Collar https://www.gundogsupply.com/customer-product-review-31717.html Rating: 5 - ‎Review by Jeffrey Taylor From FL BUYER'S GUIDE: Read this before you buy a tracking collar! id: DOG-TRACKING-COLLARS-AND-RADIO-TELEMETRY-SYSTEMS-BUYERS-GUIDE; NAME: MOPIX - Wig Wag Medium Dog Collar Honeysuckle Pink. https://www.gundogsupply.com/wigwagmedogc3.html WigWag 1" Medium Dog Collar -- Fits 14-19" Neck. More Pictures: Wig Wag Medium Dog Collar Brick Red Wig Wag Medium Dog Collar Classic Blue. MOPIX - Wig Wag Petite Dog Collar Honeysuckle Pink. www.gundogsupply.com/wigwagpedogc2.html WigWag 3/4" Petite Dog Collar -- Fits 9-12" Neck. More Pictures: Wig Wag Petite Dog Collar Brick Red Wig Wag Petite Dog Collar Classic Blue Wig Wag Petite PINK 1 in. Day Glow Center Ring Collar Ring Outside. www.gundogsupply.com/pi1indayglce5.html PINK 1 in. Day Glow Center Ring Collar Ring Outside. Wig Wag Large Dog Collar Honeysuckle Pink. www.gundogsupply.com/wigwagladogc3.html WigWag 1-1/4" Large Dog Collar -- Fits 18-23" Neck. More Pictures: Wig Wag Large Dog Collar Brick Red Wig Wag Large Dog Collar Classic Blue Wig Wag MOPIX - 3/4 in. Pink Replacement Collar Strap. https://www.gundogsupply.com/34inpirecost.html 3/4 in. Universal Roller / Double Buckle Replacement Collar Straps. Overall length is 27" and comes in eight colors. 3/4 in. Universal Roller / Double Buckle Wig Wag Small Dog Collar Honeysuckle Pink. www.gundogsupply.com/wigwagsmdogc2.html WigWag 1" Small Dog Collar -- Fits 12-15" Neck Hi-Flex 1" 2-Hole Pink Replacement Collar Strap. www.gundogsupply.com/hi12pirecost.html HiFlex 1 in. 2-Hole Replacement Collar Straps. MOPIX - 3/4 in. Pink Replacement Collar Strap. www.gundogsupply.com/34inpirecost1.html 3/4 in. Universal Roller / Single Buckle Replacement Collar Straps. Overall length is 28" and comes in five colors. 3/4 in. Universal Roller / Single Buckle from this list I extracted the IDS and put them in the CONTENTS2 field of a new page. ~~~~~

Mac@@@@@@ Back to Priority InboxArchiveReport spamDelete Move to Labels More actions 1 of thousands Older your imac from apple store Inbox X @sent X Reply Rob Snell ✆ to me show details 5:54 PM (19 minutes ago) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Apple Store Date: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:13 PM Subject: Shipment Notification W278119502 To: rob@ystore.com Shipment Notification Order Number: W278119502 Ordered on Jul 27, 2010 Dear ROB TUNES SNELL, We are pleased to inform you that one or more of your items has shipped. Please see the details of the shipment below. If you ordered more than one item, they may ship separately. - The Apple Store Pre-sign for this shipment Ship to Rob Snell 500 Russell St Ste 1 Copy Cow Starkville MS 39759 (662)320-9196 Carrier Name FEDERAL EXPRESS Tracking Number 432877644358 Delivers by Aug 03, 2010 Bill to ROB TUNES SNELL pobox 80133 gun dog supply starkville MS 39759 (662)320-9196 Items in Your Shipment IMAC 27"/5750/SD 1 Part Number: Z0JP With the following configuration: PROCESSOR 065-9512 2.93GHZ QUAD-CORE INTELCORE I7 MEMORY 065-9453 16GB 1333MHZ DDR3 SDRAM-4X4GB HARD DRIVE 065-0187 1TB SERIAL ATA DRIVE+256GB SSD GRAPHICS 065-9457 ATI RADEON HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 OPTICAL DRIVE 065-9458 8X DOUBLE-LAYER SUPERDRIVE MOUSE 065-0214 MAGIC MOUSE+MAGIC TRACKPAD ACCY PACK 065-9908 NONE REMOTE 065-9502 NONE IWORK 065-7672 NONE FINAL CUT EXPRESS 065-7674 NONE APERTURE 065-7673 NONE LOGIC EXPRESS 065-7675 NONE FILEMAKER 065-8307 NONE MICROSOFT OFFICE 065-8198 NONE KEYBOARD & USER'S GUIDE 065-9943 WL KB & USER'S GUIDE COUNTRY KIT 065-9500 COUNTRY KIT,IMAC 27-INCH ~~~~~

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Matt Cutts "Straight from Google: What You Need to Know" PPT transcript@@@@@@ The video is over 46 minutes long (but I prefer to read), so here's the text transcription from Matt's presentation . I emailed Matt and got the go ahead to publish this. Thanks, MC! MC's Blog post: SEO For Bloggers featuring the video of Matt's presentation at WordCamp San Francisco 2009 and PPT slides . Presentation from Google's Matt Cutts -- WordCamp SF 2009 Transcript "Straight from Google: What You Need to Know" Matt Cutts: I was going to ask how many power bloggers there are, but I think there are a few power bloggers. How many people are relatively new bloggers, new to WordPress, your first Word Camp? OK. Very cool. There is a good reason why you might care what I have to say, which is I am the head of the web spam or anti-web spam team at Google. So 90% of the Word Press blogs that I see look like this . They didn't even change the default templates! Bastards! I am hoping that a PG-13, R rated talk is OK, because if Tim Ferris can outsource his love life, it is OK if I show you guys a few slides here. Most of the spam that I see looks like this: (insert ugly default WordPress theme). Word Press is such a powerful tool that the spammers use it, too. Right? So I have seen a lot of really bad sites, but I have also seen a lot of good sites, and I am going to try to give you a few tips about things that might be helpful if you want to get crawled by Google. First off, though, let me ask you. Why do you blog? To be read? What do you get out of it? Tim was just talking. He said, "I get access." I had never thought about that before. I made this list and I had to update this slide from backstage. I was like, "Oh yeah, you want something out of blogging. Fame attention, money." And then Tim was like, "Access! You get to meet the head of the swim team!" OK. I will add that to the list. But not everybody wants something from blogging. Some people are just doing it for fun. And if you are doing it for fun, power to you! I fully support your ability to post cat pictures. Yeah! Rock on! I do it! This is Emmy my cat. This picture is what led me to want to adopt, because she is so cute! Ever since she was a kitten she has just wanted to lie on things. She was grumpy this morning when I got up. As soon as I get dressed she is ready to be perched like a koala bear on my shoulder. ... So it is OK to cat blog. In fact, we have got two cats and they both like to just... Half this presentation was with a cat perched on me when I am trying to make the stuff. So if you are a cat blogger, or you like to post poems or you just like to keep up with your family, congratulations. You are happy. You have won. You don't need me. You don't need advice from anybody. Whatever you want to do you are doing it. But most people want something from their blog. The number one request I hear is... "I want to do better in Google." So if you are a cat blogger, if you just post poems, power to you. But the rest of this talk we will talk a little bit about how to do better in Google. Now the wonderful thing is you have all made a fantastic choice. This audience looks smart. I walked in and thought, "Not only are they attractive, but they are really intelligent," because you are using WordPress. WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues. Instead of doing it yourself you selected WordPress. Now this is kind of a broad statement. WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO. When I say that, what I mean is the mechanics of SEO. And by that, we talk about how crawlable a website is. You would be amazed at how many sites throw up a big old glob of Flash or block a page with robots.txt so we can't even crawl it. So by using WordPress, you have already taken the first big step. WordPress is a fantastic piece of software. But there are a few things you can do to optimize it. I notice a person asked Tim what plug-ins he uses. So I threw this screenshot in. These are the (Wordpress) plug-ins that I use: and that is literally all of the plug-ins that I use. That is how good WordPress is. You don't need to modify it that much. Akismet, already built in. Cookies for Comments -- shout out to Dancha in Ireland. He does an amazing job of preventing spam. Basically it sets a cookie, and then when the spammer posts and they don't have that cookie, you are like, "Yeah dude. You are a bot. All you did was just post directly."I hesitate to tell people about this because it is so useful that if everybody starts using it the spammers will adapt, but you guys are cool, so I highly recommend Cookies for Comments. Enforce WWW. Preference (Enforce www. Preference enforces your yes-www or no-www preference as defined by your Blog URL setting in 'Options - General.') So good. You don't even need to worry about it. All this thing does is it says, "Look at my preference." Do I prefer www.google.com or (non-www) google.com , whatever your domain is? It does a redirect so you don't have to worry about having your domain split between example.com and www.example.com . So this sort of stuff is fantastic. FeedBurner Feedsmith , I like to use... And WordPress Super Cache is a great plug-in. So the beauty of WP is that you don't need to do a lot of stuff. But before we talk about how you can rank higher in Google, we need to learn a little bit about how Google works, and it is not that complicated... Learn a little bit about how Google works: We crawl roughly in order of PageRank. That means the more PageRank you have, the faster you are likely to be found, the deeper we will crawl in your site, and the more often we will visit your pages to see if they have been refreshed. OK. Cool. PageRank-magic green juice. How do I get more PageRank? What is PageRank? PageRank at a 50,000 foot view is this. It is the number of people that link to you and how important those links are. So one of my favorite examples. Suppose you have a buddy from college. Suppose you have a blog and he has a blog. Suppose you have got 10 links pointing to your blog and your buddy has 20 links pointing to his. Who has more PageRank? Well, he has get 20 links. You have only got 10. But what if your 10 links are the New York Times, the LA Times, Reader's Digest, CNN.com, and his 20 links are all his buddies from college. So PageRank is not just getting as many links as you can. It is also how important they are. So having high quality content can really make a big difference. I promise I won't get more technical than this. It looks a little complicated. I will walk through it very quickly, but it is not as bad as it looks. Look at this page right here. These are links coming into one page. PageRank is at a page level and these are out links pointing to your blog. If you have got a bunch of links pointing to your blog, and your blog home page has a PageRank of nine, and you have got 3 out links, you more or less divide that nine by three and the three goes out on each of the out links. That is the basic idea of behind PageRank. If you look at the top one, this guy has a PageRank of 100. He has got a lot of PageRank and he has got two out links. So you take 100 and divide by two because you have two out links, and 50 goes to each one of those. That is literally the idea behind PageRank. It is that simple. Now in practice, if it really worked this way and you had a loop, PageRank would just keep cycling around forever and ever, and mathematically speaking, the world would blow up. You don't want the world to blow up. So there is a little bit of an additional thing, which is that PageRank kind of evaporates. It decays a little bit every time it goes across a link. But that is literally the idea behind PageRank. It is the number of links you get pointing to you and how important those links are. Avoid Backlink Obsession (BO). Now I always worry when I talk about PageRank, because a lot of people, as soon as they hear about back links, they are like, "I need back links! I need a lot of back links! I need 1,000's of back links from thousands of places!" This is literally something I found on the web. This person suffers from what I call BO. You do not want to suffer from BO, which is Backlink Obsession. This guy is saying, "I have 297 links with a PR7. This guy has only got 59 links with a PR6 and he ranks higher. It is not fair," blah, blah, blah. Don't get down to this level of detail. Think about it at a very high level. You want to have people know about you and you want those people to be reputable. So you can spend an infinite amount of time learning about SEO. But here is the 50,000 foot view. How does Google rank pages? You want to be relevant AND reputable. There is a tension between being relevant and reputable. Matt Mullenweg , he has got a pretty reputable blog. He has got good PageRank. He beats me. I hate that. He is like the number one Matt and I am like number eight. You think, "Can't you tweak it so you are number one?" No, we can't tweak it so we are number one. So he is the number one Matt. He has got a ton of PageRank. Suppose you are searching for a random thing like a medical condition such as ADD. If Matt Mull just mentioned the phrase "attention deficit disorder," and he is saying it in passing, like just a joke, like "Yeah, I organized this conference but I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I have got ADD. But it will be cool. We will have a good time." That is reputable. His blog is reputable, but it is not that RELEVANT. So another way to think about relevance is what you say on your page, and reputable is what people say about you and how they link to you. So you want to be both. You want to be on topic and reputable. So you don't want to just return pages that barely mention something in passing. So let's move to the middle chunk of this, which is, "How do I be relevant? How do I be reputable?" Relevance is stuff on your page; what you write, including the mechanics of how you write. Tim pretty much nailed this: If you do not love something, don't write about it. Life is too short. Google Wave launched a couple of days ago, and there was this huge thing on Tech Beam. Everybody is talking about this new Google Wave thing. There are so many articles. I saw where a guy was like, "Will Google Wave take over the world? I don't know. Here is the press release." Like literally two sentences and they he copies like four paragraphs from the press release. No one wants to read that! It is boring. You have to have something that you care about. You have to have something, whether it is cats, LINUX, transparency, Google, open government, search, you have to talk about something that you care about. If you are not doing that, you are not going to be doing as good of a job. One of the pieces of advice I give is to try to write often. And if you write often, if you write everyday, if it is something you really care about, you are going to get a lot of practice writing and you are going to write good stuff. SEO Tips: (Use) Keywords. Let's do a little exercise. Matt said earlier today that the theme of this conference is getting to know your neighbor. So we are going to do a little exercise where you get to know your neighbor. I am holding in my hand a little device. You might have seen them before. You stick them into computers. They store things. Maybe you put your presentation on it. You give it to a friend. She sticks it in her computer. Maybe you are proofreading a friend's paper and you take it. Maybe you put pictures on it. You have all seen these. This is not alien technology. Think in your head, if you were going to go to Google and you were going to type in what this is, prepare your search query, what is this? What is this device? OK. I am going to Google. I am going to go buy one of these. Turn to the person next to you and compare notes. Literally take a minute and say, "What would you search for on Google and what would I search for on Google?" OK, cool. Now you have gotten to know your neighbor a little bit. So let's hear it. What did you type into Google to find this? Flash Drive? USB drive? Thumb drive? What else? Retractable? So you think, "Oh yeah. This is a USB drive." Your neighbor thinks, "Oh no. This is a thumb drive." And the person on your right thinks, "No. It is a flash drive." And somebody might not even use the word "drive". So the takeaway is, if you were a blogger, think about all the different ways that someone can describe something. Think about all the different ways that you can naturally fit that into your post. Now I am not talking about saying, "Would you like to buy a thumb drive? If thumb drives are you, then you would like to get a thumb drive which is really good." We will see an example of that later on in the talk. Instead, think about ways to naturally put that into your post. "Hey! Buy a flash drive. I was using this one thumb drive that was really cool. It works via USB." I have used most of my major keywords in a couple of sentences and it still sounds natural. You don't have to stuff it. You don't have to be really unnatural. There is another thing, which is jargon mismatch. What (search terms) will your visitors type? A lot of times, if you are in a particular industry you are thinking about the words that people are going to use, and you don't think about what a regular user is going to say. For example, earlier this week we were doing a site review, and we were giving SEO advice to people who had sites. This was a site. This was pretty cool. This is from the University of California at San Francisco and they have a site about HIV. Now what is this? Oh my God! This is the home page! You land on the home page and you are like, "Recommendations for use of antiviral drugs in pregnant HIV-1 infected women for maternal health and interventions to reduce perinatal HIV-1 transmission in the United States." What is that?! I don't even know! Is this a technically good paper? Probably. I have no idea what the hell it is about! It is an editor's pick. Someone has selected this paper. It is important for some reason! This one is about Swine Flu. Is there something I need to know about Swine Flue and they are not telling me? I don't know how to translate it into regular English. Translate it into regular English. For example, I have seen the queries that people type. This is the sort of stuff that people type, right? "Do I have AIDS? I don't know!" So think about that. Think about, "OK. What are the things that you can do to type that will be normal?" Now the interesting thing is this site had a section called "basics". And if you clicked on basics, these were the things you saw. "I just tested positive. Now what?" That should have been the front page, right? It is obvious to us, but sometimes your own site can be like that. You are like, "Oh yeah, I have got great content! Yeah, this is fantastic stuff!" But a regular person is like, "What the hell are you typing dude? I don't even understand this! Is it English? I think it is English." So you would be amazed how much help you can get just from feedback, just from asking your friends or just from a regular person to sort of look at this and say, "OK. Cool." Brainstorm with the Google Adwords Keyword tool. Now there is another tool that you can use. And in fact, Tim mentioned it. Thanks for stealing my thunder, DUDE! But it is pretty nice. It is called the Google Keyword tool , Adwords Tool. If you search on Google for [Keyword tool] , it is number one. Not because we hard coded it. We don't do that. It just ranks that way. A lot of people link to it. So I was doing this site review, and there was a site, icarkits.com , and they sell iPod car conversion kits, which is pretty cool. There main trophy phrase, if you looked in their title, was "iPod car". I went to the Google keyword tool. I typed in "iPod car" and I said, "Show me keywords related to "iPod car". Have you guys ever heard of this iTrip thing? It is an FM transmitter. So it is more like a $30 thing. It is to the $400 thing that they sell. But their trophy phrase showed up 550,000 times a month. People searched for iTrip 246,000 times a month. So here is this keyword right here where people are looking for information about iPods and cars, and you are ignoring them. I did [site:icarkits.com iTrip] . They didn't have the word on a single page on their site anywhere. If you don't have the word on your site, it is very hard for search engines to return that site. Sometimes we can. You can type in the word automobile and we can return if your page has the word car. We can do that a little bit. But if you don't have the word iTrip anywhere on your site, you are probably not going to rank for the query iTrip Now it turns out that these guys actually had content about the iTrip. They have an iTrip trade in program. So you send in your $30 iTrip and you get like 10% off on the $100 kit. So in the middle of the site review the guy edited his page. And by the end of the site review panel he had iTrip right there on the front page. He is starting to get more traffic already. So think about the niches and the keywords that you are targeting and put them on the page. Here is one thing that I recommend: I like to do a custom structure on my URL's /%postname%/. If your blog has p=123, you are missing out on an opportunity, which is that Google looks at a lot of different things. We look at over 200 things. PageRank is just one of them whenever we rank things. Other things that we use: things in the title, things in the URL, even things that are really highlighted, like h2 tags and stuff like that. So if your blog has p=123, you are massively missing out on opportunity to put a few keywords, not keyword stuffing, just a few keywords in your URL. So Mattcutts.com/blog/samplepost -- it works pretty well. If you want to throw in the date, feel free, but make sure that you put the title and the keywords in your URL in some way. Now here is a power tip: Tweaking titles, urls, content. I did a post where I completely, for a while at least, dominated the keywords, "how to change your default printer in Firefox on LINUX." I was number one. It was awesome! That niche was mine! How did I do it? Well, I made a good descriptive title, "Changing the default printer on Linux and Firefox." Notice that I changed the URL as well. So in the title I have got, "changing". In the URL I have got "change", because sometimes users type "changing printer" and sometimes they type "change". Now this is not spam. I am not throwing in a ton of irrelevant keywords. I am not even throwing in a lot of keywords. I am just throwing in one or two variants that people might type. No one is going to look at this post and say, "Oh my God! The title is a little different than the URL! Oh my God! He took out -ing'! Throw him in the clink!" That is not the way it works. But just by doing some simple things like having title and URL, and viewing them as separate opportunities to put a few keywords in, now you can rank for both "changing" and "change" . Relatively simple, but a lot of people don't think about that level of detail. So if you are doing a post, it is worth doing the post, and then going to the Google Keywords Tool, think about the words you want to rank for, type those words in, make sure that those words are in your post. This is a little bit in detail, but you can also have your categories be good keywords . Don't just make your categories like "cool stuff". My categories are like Linux, Search, and SEO. So if somebody has those categories, they are like, "Oh, OK." Now I don't have to include the word "search" on every single post. It is in my category. If you are going to put keywords in your URL, like I showed, it is better to do dashes. So "my-keywords". Underscores can work. Dashes are a little bit better. But no spaces is pretty bad. Has anybody seen the site expertsexchange.com? Some people like it. Some people don't. If expert exchange were all one word ... You know it can be expert sex change. You don't want to rank for expert sex change. And if it is all one word, some people are like, "I read it a different way!" So put some dashes in there and then you can have separators. Search engines do look at dashes. They do look at separators like that. Now if you use underscores or if you have used spaces up until now, should you go back and change every single thing on your previous posts? Should you rename them and change all those old URL's to add dashes? No! Why? Because of Ferris' law: don't do things if they are not fun. Search engines do a relatively good job at making separators. But spend your time on good content. Don't worry about small things like that. It is just something to be aware of going forward in the future. You can overdo it. And finally, talking about relevance, we are talking about on page stuff. Don't overdo it. This was a site that put itself up for review earlier this week. Can you guess what it is about? It is about furniture. It is a lot about furniture. In fact, if you notice, this first paragraph is all one sentence. Let me just read the last half of that paragraph: "Manufacturing and offering for sale innovative modern furniture and antique wood made according to our valued customers' esteemed order and requirements of home furniture, home furniture, as well as office furniture for the use of indoor furniture and outdoor furniture purposes." Furniture, furniture, furniture, blah!!!! Furniture! Google doesn't say, "Oh my God! He included the word furniture 400 times in the post! It must be really, really relevant. It has got to be 400 times better than that other post that only mentioned furniture once!" That is not the way it works. After you have mentioned furniture once, two, or three times, we know you have got furniture on the mind. It is OK! You don't have to say furniture as every third word. You also don't need to bold it. Users don't like this, believe it or not. Other things that this site did. Rattan; you have heard of Rattan furniture. At some point they misspelled it as rotten furniture. Yeah, well, judging from the website, I don't know! So you don't need to do this. You can mention furniture two or three times and that is enough. You don't have to go overboard on it. So to sum up On-Page: Being relevant, being on topic, talking about the things you care about. Find something you care about, and as a result, you will write about it more often, which gives more material that search engines can find. And pay attention to the mechanics, some of the small things that I have mentioned, but don't overdo it. If you are reading it aloud and it sounds stilted, you are overdoing it. If you give it to a friend and you notice your friend is sneering or raising their eyebrow, you are overdoing it. So that is half the battle. Now let's talk about how you gain a reputation. How do you get to be more known? How do you get more PageRank and more people linking to you? Be interesting. Anybody ever heard of fake Steve Jobs ? Has anybody bought the book? It is pretty good! I was like, "This one note gimmick cannot last for an entire book." It can! It is a lot of fun! I love this! He is like, "I fired that idiot Jerry Yang." I am like, "Whoa!" This guy is pretty mean. Now it turns out that this was actually Dan Lyons. He has got a pretty sweet gig at Newsweek now, so he did pretty well. Earlier this week, someone started a fake blog for Carol Bartz , who is the CEO of Yahoo. The first post, I was on the floor laughing so hard. I instantly added it to my Google Reader. I want to see what else they have to say. So being interesting is really important. If you are the guy who is phoning it in and you are like, "Oh, I want to rank on Techmeme or I want to write about celebrity news, so I am going to talk about John Mayer and Jennifer Anniston for the 88,000 th time, and I am not going to add anything new to it, no new insight." Don't bother writing it. You want to be interesting. And again, it helps the more you write. You get practice. You get into the habit. Update often This is a blog by Sergey Brin who is one of the co-founders of Google. Did you know that Sergey had a blog? He does! He has written two posts! I have never asked Sergey about the blog. On one hand it is cool. He has written two posts. On the other hand, his last post was September of 2008. People are not going to Sergey Brin's blog everyday saying, "I wonder if Sergey wrote something new? Yeah!" But if Sergey is posting everyday or every week, people will come and check. They will come and say, "What is new with Sergey?" So you have to update often. Now this, I have to admit, is my favorite slide in the entire talk, because I am going to tell you the real, true deep secret of blogging, and that is Katamari. Has anybody played Katamari? What is Katamari? It is a Japanese game where you play the prince. The prince starts out and he has got a little Katamari that is five centimeters tall. And he rolls up things. He can roll up paper clips. He can roll up stamps and coins. Eventually he can roll up bigger stuff. He can roll up gum. He can roll up a wooden block. And when you are done, you have a Katamari hundreds of meters tall and you can roll up islands, and the Earth, and buildings. And you hear these people scream when you roll up the buildings. It is awesome! I love Katamari! I think a lot of people play it stoned. I play it perfectly sober. I do! The Katamari philosophy is this: start small. Start in a niche where you can do well. And that might be a very small niche. It might be the, "Change the default Firefox printer on Linux" niche. But then build up, build up, build up. Don't overreach. When you are the prince and your roll up in Katamari, you can't roll up a skyscraper the first thing. You have to get their gradually. If somebody tells you there is a shortcut where you can be the number one gadget blogger in three days, and you can be in Gadget and Gizmoto, laugh in their face and send them packing because it doesn't work that way. But one thing you learn in Katamari is you are always reaching. You are always trying to roll up bigger and bigger things. So if you want to be the world's best gadget blogger, start out with a smaller niche. Start out with a niche like, "OK. I am going to write about a particular type of phone." You know, Google Android, or Crackberry, or the Palm Pre. And then you can imagine embiggening, to quote the Simpson's, embiggening that niche. You are writing about more and more important things and bigger niches. And eventually, over time, people get to know you, and you are writing about important things, and people are sending you links and they are sending you things to review, and life is good. The Katamari philosophy works very, very well. OK. What else about gaining reputation? Oh, yeah. This is the only slide where I have like cool dissolves and stuff. Gaining Reputation There are so many other ways you can get links. You can provide a useful service. There is a law professor. His name is Eric Goldman and he is a "blawger". Have you guys heard of the "blawgers"? They are law bloggers. He writes posts about how people have Adwords trademark policy. And not everybody cares about that. But he has got his niche, and it is really useful, really insightful, because he is a law professor. He knows things that regular people do not know. So you can provide a useful service, things like a newsletter. Original research and reporting is huge. There is a guy who writes about search. His name is Danny Sullivan . He is very respected because he has written about search for 10 years. And one of the things he did was he just looked at, "What are the spam levels on Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail?" And for a month he tracked all of the spam that he got, which would be the most annoying thing in the world to do. But he tracked it. And at the end, at 30 days, he was able to say which service had less spam. It was Gmail. Woo-hoo! Yay! But that was great original research. Anybody could have done it. Anybody could have counted their spam folder and done that analysis. Have people heard of Louis Gray ? He is a great blogger. One of the ways that he got to be known is he looked at his referrers. Referrers are your search engine logs. This is like web logs, where people are coming from, where they are visiting from. He just noticed some strange user agents like Read Burner or stuff like this. And then he was like, "What the heck is Read Burner" And then he did a blog post about it. And two days later, the people were like, "Yeah, we are making a totally new service. You found us out." And he did that like three times in a row. So just by looking at the bots that were visiting his site, he was able to do some really cool stuff. And from there, he just hustled his butt off, which I respect a lot. Lifehacker . Anybody read Lifehacker? I like to call Lifehacker productivity porn because you spend more time learning how to be productive than the actual productivity that you get. But you read about productivity all the time. It is so cool. Like Merlin Mann and these guys. The fact is Lifehacker saves you a ton of time because they have these really high quality tutorials and guides. Creative niche. If you have one good idea, that can carry you so, so far. Lolcats anyone? Rock on! I have made lolcats . F My Life . One sentence . You should seriously search for all of these on Google and add them to your Google Reader. It is like the best way to burn time in the entire world. F my life is just all these people who have sex and then their grandmother walks in and stuff. One Sentence is just like they write one creative sentence. It is really, really fantastic. Some people can draw. Penny Arcade , they can draw. XKCD, the guy can't really draw , but he is really funny and he knows a lot of science and technical stuff. He found his creative niche. Open source can be a fantastic way to get links and reputation. Write a good project and people will use it. Case and point, WordPress. Tons of people use it. WordPress doesn't need any PageRank. It has amazing amounts of PageRank. Live Blogging. Anybody Live Blogging this? All right. Cool. So you guys are probably going to get three or four links automatically while the rest of us are just sort of sitting back and enjoying ourselves, because you are actually writing about what is happening in this session. If you can make it to a session you can Live Blog it. If you are lazier than that, two days later you can say either you hated Word Camp or you loved Word Camp. People love lists, so if you give 11 reasons why Word Camp ruled... Create controversy. If you cry wolf too often, if you have too much negative energy, people don't like to read you as much, but it is something you can do. And Twitter, Facebook, Friend Feed; there are a lot of people who get to know all these people on various social networks and it can make a big difference. I had the pleasure of speaking at Word Camp 2007, and one of my funnier favorite lines was, "Should you do a podcast?" Everybody who is doing a podcast is probably downstairs listening to the other session. Make a Video The Litmus test I said was, "Should you do a podcast or should you do a video?" Well, put your picture up on Hot or Not, and if you are a six or higher, then you should do a video. If you are a five or below, then you should do a podcast. [laughter] I already said this was a very attractive audience, so you guys should all do video. The fact is, these days a Flip is a couple hundred bucks and you can make a video in two minutes, and it can be as creative as you want. Podcasts are fantastic. I would really recommend making videos these days, because it is not that much harder to make a video than it is to make a podcast. And a lot of people really enjoy just sort of watching this stuff. This one got 15,000 views in like a day, and we literally threw it up. This was one Tweet. It was like, "Hey, here is a video." We haven't even posted on the blog about this. It is really easy to do video and it can draw a lot of attention to your site. And in fact, videos tend to rank relatively well on Google. OK. I will whiz through this part. I do not want to sell you guys on anything. I use WordPress rather than Blogger, so I am not going to like say, "Google is the top. Always use Google. Go for Google." But there are a few tools that you should know about. I will show screenshots of the first three. Google tools can help. Google Website Optimizer . So you have already heard about the idea of A/B testing. If you are really that into power blogging, you might want to try different templates and see if certain ones have better return on investment and if certain ones give you more conversion, and there is something to let you do AB testing. You can get a free site search . And here is a tip that very few people know that use AdSense: ( Section Targeting ) You can use these two tags to mark out the meat of your blog post. <!--google_ad_section_start --> and <!--google_ad_section_end -->. And then AdSense will target the meat of your blog post and it won't target all of the frilly stuff, the boiler plate, the archives, and all that kind of stuff. So if you use AdSense, I highly recommend that you add these tags around your post, because your ads will get more targeted, people will click on them more, and you will probably make more money. Let me show you a few quick screenshots. "Free" links - google.com/webmasters/ ... I did a post on my blog that a lot of people ended up reading called, "Free Links! How to get Free Links!" which everybody would like free links. We have something at Google.com/webmasters that will show you the 404's on your site and who linked to them. So for example, the link in purple, ie7/promo-page, which you seen in parenthesis; Jeremy Zawodny , who was a blogger at Yahoo and now he is at Craigslist, linked to my blog and the link was broken. Jeremy has got a lot of PageRank. It might be worth dropping Jeremy an email and saying, "Hey! Do you want to take that parenthesis off?" And now you have got a free link to Jeremy Zawodny because he had already linked to you. He had just linked to a 404. So this is a completely free service. You can use it and find out about all kinds of people who are linking to sites or pages on your site that don't really exist. One more quick thing about google.com/webmasters/ . We will give you all kinds of crawl stats. So for example, this is how much time Google spent downloading pages on your site. You can see it took a huge drop down. That is because I changed my theme and it does better CSS handling. So you can see the amount of changes and the amount of stuff being downloaded. All this stuff is free. It can be pretty handy and help you diagnose issues. Google also lets you set whether you want to have www.mattcutts.com or mattcutts.com , which is kind of handy. Here is a quick tip: (Create)Evergreen content - Google Analytics. Anybody use Google Analytics? Here is something you might not know about Google Analytics. You can click in like settings and top landing pages and this will tell you which blog posts get the most visitors. This one about hacking your iPhone , anyone want to guess when I wrote that? 2007. I wrote this blog post in 2007 and it is the number six page on my site. What does that tell me? Maybe I should go back and update that post because everything in it is probably wrong. Or maybe I should write another one. Here is another one. One of my top ten posts is, " Three solid Gmail productivity tips. " It was a total throwaway. I was like, "Oh, OK. People don't know this so I will throw it up." They love it! Maybe I should write five more Gmail productivity tips. So when you are sitting on a blank screen and you are thinking, "I really should blog something today. I haven't blogged in like two weeks," you can get some good ideas about what to blog just by looking at where people are already going on your page. What about bounces? Yes! So bounces tell you how often people land on your page and then leave. If people come from Digg, they come on your page and then they leave. So if you try to reduce the amount of bounces, that can mean more people on your site, which can mean more ads. It can mean more revenue. It can mean more clicks and all that sort of stuff. A very simple trick, which I haven't done on my newest template, is show related posts. Someone has just finished reading your blog. It was a great article. They have a warm happy feeling towards you. What do they do now? They leave. Why? Because you didn't give them anything else to do! Show them related blog posts. IF there is one blog post and they liked it enough to read down to the bottom, they might click and read some more. So that is like the simplest way in the world to reduce the number of bounces, which leads to more people on your site for longer periods of time. FeedBurner is kind of nice. You can tell where people are coming from, how many visitors and stuff you are getting. I have got about five minutes left, so let me just finish with some things that you should probably NOT do. Avoid shortcuts and scams. This is an email that I got in September 2008. It is, "Be a lazy Google millionaire!" Here I have been working at Google for nine years and I could have just filled out forms and collected my cash! If only I had known! If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Has anybody heard about this Google Money Tree thing? Consumer reports just wrote about them. The Better Business Bureau got 478 complaints about them and the last 460 haven't even been responded to. "Learn how to make $107,389 filling out forms and doing searches on Google and Yahoo." I call bullshit. This stuff is not endorsed by Google. It is incredibly spammy. What tends to happen is you pay $3.88 for access to something and you are secretly enrolled in a program where every month you are billed $72 until you opt out. That is what is usually going on with these money tree systems. So you see these things and people are like, "Oh you make tons of money! You can't help to make money! You are too stupid to tie your shoes and you make $107,000!" People still fall for it just because it has Google in it or it has Google on a potted plant. "Oh well it has got to be from Google!" No it is not from Google. Don't do this sort of stuff. Avoid paid posts. One thing I love about WordPress is Matt and Automatic in the terms of service for WordPress specifically say don't spam. Don't do things like paid posts. It pisses off your users. It tends to get caught pretty quickly. And right there in the terms of service, "Don't do things to third party sites that would boost the search engine rankings and that sort of stuff." Security: Please keep your WordPress updated. The one plea that I would make, the one ask that I would have, is please keep your WordPress updated. We have just barely got enough time to show an example of that. The American Nazi Party. Is anyone in here pro-Nazi? Any big fans of the Nazis in here? I didn't think so. I tend not to be a big Nazi fan myself, so I thought it was really funny. This is hilarious, by the way. Evidently, for Nazis, put in a bunch of eights and your comments are like way cool. Like, "Ah, you are a much better Nazi than me! You have eights in your comments!" But I thought it was hilarious, because if you go down to the bottom of the Nazi Party archives, oh, no! Maridia, Hoodia, Cheap Cialis, Cialis for Women. I didn't even notice they had Cialis for women! Ah, man! And so you have this dilemma. Who do you hate more? The Nazis or the hackers who have hacked the Nazi's website? [laughter] I don't know. It is an issue. But it happens, and the best thing you can do to try to avoid it is make sure that you have done good security yourself. So in particular, there is this really cool site called Save the Internet. They fight for net neutrality and all this sort of stuff. But earlier this week, if you went to blog/wp-content/uploads/authors/pletal.html, you can buy Viagra from this Canadian pharmacy. And it has got to be trustworthy. It is the number one Internet drug store! Thanks to WordPress/Automatic! It is very simple. WordPress has gotten much, much better security. There are automatic updates. All you have to do is take advantage of them. And if you are a super power user and everything you have heard up until now has been completely boring, you are like, "Oh, I know that," here is one power tip. Security tip: add .htaccess in /wp-admin ... What this says is only these two IP addresses are allowed to reach your /wp-admin. So when the hackers come in and they are trying to use some brand new zero data exploit, they can't get to your blog to hack it. If you search for like protect /wp-admin or htaccess, and I will put this up on my blog as well, it is a fantastic thing to say, "Yeah, you know what? Only I can get to my blog." AuthUserFile /dev/null AuthGroupFile /dev/null AuthName "Access Control" AuthType Basic <LIMIT GET> order deny,allow deny from all # whitelist home IP address allow from 123.45.67.89 # whitelist work IP address allow from 123.45.67.98 </LIMIT> Let me close out by just saying a huge thanks to Automatic and WordPress. I was looking back at my talk from 2007 and I had like six things on my wish list. Three of them were already done without me even asking for them. Automatic updates for security, better protection for /wp-content/directory, and rel=canonical. I haven't even talked about rel=canonical because you really don't need to know about it. It is a standard that lets you say, "Given two web pages, here is the web page that should be the preferred web page in Google." And the folks at Automattic have basically built this in. It is already live on Wordpress.com. As I understand, in the core of 2.8 it is coming as well. So you don't have to know anything about it. All you need to know is that you will do better in search engines because you won't be dividing your PageRank between multiple pages. So the Automatic folks and WordPress folks have been fantastic about being receptive. That is it! -- MATT CUTTS the end -- r ... KEYWORD DRIVING TRAFFIC matt cutts links 480 matt cutts pagerank 480 matt cutts nofollow 390 matt cutts duplicate content 210 matt cutts 301 140 matt cutts keywords 140 matt cutts link building 110 matt cutts title 91 matt cutts no follow 73 matt cutts subdomains 73 matt cutts 301 redirect 58 matt cutts h1 58 matt cutts directories 36 matt cutts sandbox 36 matt cutts dashes 28 matt cutts wikipedia 28 matt cutts discusses snippets -1 matt cutts display none -1 matt cutts domain age -1 matt cutts flash -1 matt cutts html5 -1 matt cutts link exchange -1 matt cutts link exchanges -1 matt cutts link spam -1 matt cutts nofollow 2009 -1 matt cutts on link building -1 matt cutts on reciprocal links -1 matt cutts on the google sandbox -1 matt cutts outbound links -1 matt cutts reciprocal links -1 matt cutts seo wordpress -1 matt cutts site explorer -1 matt cutts speed -1 matt cutts text link -1 matt cutts title tag -1 matt cutts google 1900 matt cutts blog 1600 matt cutts seo 1300 matt cutts links 480 matt cutts pagerank 480 matt cutts nofollow 390 matt cutts video 390 matt cutts wordpress 320 matt cutts twitter 260 matt cutts duplicate content 210 matt cutts 301 140 matt cutts keywords 140 matt cutts email 110 matt cutts interview 110 matt cutts link building 110 matt cutts videos 110 matt cutts title 91 matt cutts facebook 73 matt cutts no follow 73 matt cutts subdomains 73 matt cutts 301 redirect 58 matt cutts h1 58 matt cutts seo tips 58 matt cutts wiki 46 matt cutts directories 36 matt cutts discusses 36 matt cutts sandbox 36 matt cutts dashes 28 matt cutts wikipedia 28 matt cutts bing -1 matt cutts blog seo -1 matt cutts blogging tips -1 matt cutts discusses snippets -1 matt cutts display none -1 matt cutts domain age -1 matt cutts duplicate content video -1 matt cutts e-mail address -1 matt cutts email address -1 matt cutts facebook account -1 matt cutts facts -1 matt cutts flash -1 matt cutts frisco tx -1 matt cutts google profile -1 matt cutts haircut -1 matt cutts html5 -1 matt cutts interviewed -1 matt cutts link exchange -1 matt cutts link exchanges -1 matt cutts link spam -1 matt cutts link wheel -1 matt cutts linkedin -1 matt cutts myspace -1 matt cutts nc -1 matt cutts new york times -1 matt cutts nofollow 2009 -1 matt cutts nsa -1 matt cutts on link building -1 matt cutts on reciprocal links -1 matt cutts on the google sandbox -1 matt cutts on wordpress -1 matt cutts outbound links -1 matt cutts query string -1 matt cutts reciprocal links -1 matt cutts response -1 matt cutts rss -1 matt cutts salary -1 matt cutts says -1 matt cutts search results in search results -1 matt cutts seo blog -1 matt cutts seo video -1 matt cutts seo wordpress -1 matt cutts site explorer -1 matt cutts speed -1 matt cutts text link -1 matt cutts tips -1 matt cutts title tag -1 matt cutts topsy -1 matt cutts wants -1 matt cutts webpronews -1 matt cutts website -1 matt cutts wife -1 matt cutts wordpress plugins -1 matt cutts wordpress seo -1 matt cutts works -1 ~~~~~

Matt's Export Tool@@@@@@ http://207.21.197.239/ystore/ystoreExport.asp Your Store Name:  URL to your store's xml file:  Delimiter:  Comma Semicolon - ";" Pipe - "|" Space Export "Orderable" products only (this will eliminate non-product pages - nsearch, index, etc. from being exported.) Strip HTML tags from "Description"   Strip HTML tags from "Caption"  ~~~~~

MCLabs.com Los Angeles@@@@@@http://www.mclabs.com/facilities/Los_Angeles/ ~~~~~

Medium Yahoo Store Design - Up to 50 Items@@@@@@ Normally there is a $200 charge for a mock-up, but you get this at no charge with no strings attached as a gift from the Snell Brothers. After receiving your deposit, you get a concise marketing report on how I would advise you to market your site based upon a competitive review of other e-commerce sites selling similar merchandise. This is a $100 value which you also get absolutely FREE. You get a sample of what I can do for your company, and if you like the results, we proceed to build your webstore. You have absolutely no risk when you hire me. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. You will be completely satisfied with your webstore when we get through with it, or I will re-work it until you are satisfied, or you get a 100% refund of your deposit. My job is to make the site look good and easy to navigate so people stick around and spend money. The secret to designing a Yahoo! Store is to work within the framework of the software and develop an easy to use site. I can also help with getting you in the search engines. I can also advise you in developing your marketing plan to include some banner advertising or an affiliate program to drive traffic to your site. You can get a special basic rate of $1995 for me to completely build your store from the ground up. This includes up to 50 items from your supplied graphics and supplied spreadsheet "skeleton." There is a $15 fee per additional item for more than 50 items. I charge by the job instead of by the hour because that way you know how much the site will cost you. It allows me to be a little self-indulgent on design without feeling guilty about you having to pay for it. At this rate you save hundreds of dollars if I was working "on the clock." For you to get this special rate I need the following: You send me your graphics in a standard format like .jpeg or .gif or .tif files. They need to be named EXACTLY the same as your CODE for the item in the spreadsheet. If you have scanned graphics that you can e-mail, that's a great starting place. If you need my office to scan them, then we can do that at a reasonable rate. Also if you have a logo, I need that, or a copy of a business card. Also, any catalogs or fliers from your business would be helpful. You provide a spreadsheet (preferably Excel 97 or delimited text file) with your catalog copy. The fields needed there are item name, item number, description, list price, sale price, and section. - Trade terms, company contact information, e-mail, addresses, phone numbers, and shipping information I'd like to have an idea of the volume you'd like to do, and how much you're willing to spend to drive traffic to your store. Please name three sites that you feel are the best e-commerce sites on the net that sell what you sell. You tell me what you like and don't like about them. - When you're completely happy with the site, I'd like to get the name and contact information of at least two other business associates of yours who might be potential future clients. Formatting your site Designing a unique look that matches your corporate identity, Branding the site with your logos and icons Developing each of 50 product pages with descriptions and photographs Configuring your shopping cart (including shipping costs, tax, and international rates) Helping write your trade terms Tweaking your site to register high with the search engines Submitting your site to the top 8 search engines Helping write a Yahoo! description and submit it to Yahoo! directory, Maximizing the Yahoo! Store navigation tools Creating additional internal links to make your site easy to use Advising on the marketing of your site Complete training on your Yahoo! Store.~~~~~

MESSAGE (Front Page Element)@@@@@@This is a simple caption field. You can place regular html in this field as well as text. Separate paragraphs with a blank line. This generates two BR tags.~~~~~

Mevoi@@@@@@~~~~~

Monitus Tools (Keyword a Day, Transaction Assist Report)@@@@@@http://www.monitus.net/~~~~~

Monster Cable Speaker Wire Store@@@@@@ Monster Cable Store Monster Cable Store by WWElectronics is a premier factory authorized internet retailer of Monster Cable products and accessories. Family owned & operated, our goal is to provide all of our customers with an easy, convenient, and comfortable internet shopping atmosphere for all your monster cable & speaker wire needs in which we can serve all of your electronics shopping needs. Our company roots have been involved with the forefront of the consumer electronics industry for over 10 years. About Monster Cable: Monster Cable Products,Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of cables for audio,video,home theater,car,computer,satellite,and custom installation. Monster began manufacturing premium speaker cables 21 years ago. Monster has since grown to encompass several different new divisions that manufacture and market a variety of superior quality products including Monster Game ,Monster Power power conditioning solutions,Entech audio and video components and Monster Sound loudspeakers. Monster products have become an indispensable accessory for music lovers,audiophiles,recording studios,sound professionals,musicians,custom installers,computer users and home theater enthusiasts throughout the world. ~~~~~

More Yahoo Store Tips & Tricks - This is a link to the actual Yahoo! Store search results page.@@@@@@http://search.store.yahoo.net/webstore-design/cgi-bin/nsearch?follow-pro=1&vwcatalog=webstore-design&catalog=webstore-design&query=Yahoo%20Store%20Tips%20%26%20Tricks%21~~~~~

My most successful client sites ...@@@@@@...have been projects where I participated in the entire process on a weekly basis over the first 13 weeks or so of a new store. I have recently changed my "business model" to reflect this. I work with about 10 folks at a time, and instead of being Joe Fixit for more and more Yahoo! Store clients, I now offer this turnkey service to a limited number of long term clients and it's really catching on! First, we help you target a specific niche in your industry. The most important aspect of starting a web-based business is FOCUS. Pick a profitable, popular niche to focus your business on, but not one too broad, or with too many competitors. We put together a list of targeted keywords, and I search for marketing opportunities on the Net. Next, we help you pick the right products. We make sure that enough people are looking for what you want to sell by testing the popularity of your search terms in the various search engines. I also suggest a list of product categories and the specific brands you can focus on to maximize your business. Finally, we help you prioritize based upon your interest, price point, margin, competition level, or internet opportunity. There are usually several breakout subcategories in a single Yahoo! Store that would be worthy of their own Yahoo Store, so doing this now gives us leads on the next few quarters' worth of projects, and there's enough time before the 4QTR 2003 to get ready for that Christmas sales spike.~~~~~

My Toy Smart@@@@@@~~~~~

Netscape's Website Garage@@@@@@http://websitegarage.netscape.com~~~~~

NEWS! 10/10/02 Yahoo directory listings & search results just radically changed!@@@@@@ My phone is ringing off the hook again. They changed the way Yahoo.com search works. They did it last year about this time. It's nothing really unexpected based upon tests we've been seeing Yahoo run for the past 6 weeks or so, but several marketing paradigms just shifted. Seems to happen about every 6 months or so these days. Yahoo search results are now pretty much the same as GOOGLE, which means GOOGLE is 3x as important as it was about a year ago. What do I do? You still need good content (articles, long descriptions, lots of info) on your website, great title tags (ask me!), and links from popular, reputable web sites. And NO spamming! In other words, it'll be harder to be #1 for "exact keyword phrase", but much, much easier to be well ranked on Yahoo! for hundreds if not thousands of medium and small count keyword phrases. One of my sites had something like 50,000 unique words & phrases used to find the site when I did a keyword sample for a quarter of so last year. Yahoo directory listings are now LINK POPULARITY generators instead of traffic generators. Since Y! makes SOOOO much more money off of OVERTURE PPC sponsored results than they do with their $299 a year listing fee, and since most people treat Yahoo as a search engine rather than a directory, why not use the best search engine technology around? Enter Google... Yahoo! becomes a much, much better search tool, so that's good for the longevity of Y! The change may help you, or hurt you, or even a little of both, but likes always, it's adapt or die! -- Rob~~~~~

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pachislo slot machines - used japanese slot machine store@@@@@@ pachislo slot machines - the used japanese slot machine store CLICK HERE TO SHOP Pachislo (Skill-Stop) Slot Machine Store Info The flashing lights, the music playing, the sound of the tokens falling! Can you think of a better way to have guests remember your party or event? You will be sure to create an atmosphere filled with all the excitement of Las Vegas by PURCHASING your own Pachislo (Skill-Stop) Slot Machine. Since it is illegal to own a traditional "Las Vegas style" (auto stop) slot machine in most states, a ("skill-stop") Pachislo slot machine is a perfect choice if you are looking to enjoy the Las Vegas casino experience in your own home. These pachislo machines are ACTUAL CASINO MACHINES. These machines come from overseas casinos and cost $4,000 - $5,000 when new. These machines are manufactured to the highest standards with beautiful detail and lots of exciting sounds and lights. They play across five to seven different lines, 1-3 tokens per spin. You stop each reel yourself with the "stop buttons." Each machine weighs 80 to 95 pounds with dimensions approximately 34" high by 24" wide and 14" deep. Each machine has the ability to accept tokens and the payout levels (odds) are user definable at six different levels. If we are shipping your Pachislo Slot Machine to you, it will be set to accept tokens only. These machines are being sold as Token-In/Token-Out machines ONLY but can be readily converted to accept quarters. The major differences between Las Vegas Slot Machines and Japanese Pachislo Slot Machines are: Pachislo machines use video LCD screens, sound tracks and additional reels to enhance the standard reel play. Pachislo machines are called Skill Stop because the player uses three buttons to stop the reels instead of the reels stopping themselves as in Las Vegas. This gives the player a sense of being able to control the outcome. Pachislo machines have a spin knob on the front instead of the traditional side pull handle. The biggest difference between payouts from traditional style (Las Vegas) and Pachislo (Japanese) machines is the "Big Chance/Jackpot". In Las Vegas if you hit the "Jackpot", the entire jackpot is immediately dispensed in the coin tray. If you hit the jackpot or "Big Chance" on a Pachislo machine you are guaranteed to win a certain number of tokens (360 coins/tokens for example) plus you also have additional chances to win more based on your skill when stopping the reels in the bonus period. There are two types of Machines: TYPE A In the "Big Chance" round you have 24 guaranteed wins (360 tokens). The big chance round is set up with 2 or 3 sets of 8 guaranteed wins, between round 1 and 2 and also 2 and 3 you will notice the music changes and this is a bonus period with increased odds. This period continues until you hit a free game. It is possible to win up to 500 tokens in the "Big Chance" play mode based on your skill level when stopping the reels in the bonus period between rounds. TYPE B (Challenge Game) The "Big Chance" round operates the same as a TYPE A machine, except that if the "Bonus" light is lit when you enter the "Big Chance", you will have up to 201 consecutive games with increased odds. Your payout can be up to 750 tokens. It may take up to 15 minutes to play out the entire "Big Chance" round. PLEASE NOTE: These machines are for in-home AMUSEMENT purposes only. The use of these machines as gaming or gambling devices is illegal. These machines are set up to accept tokens. We will not be held responsible for any illegal or misuse of these machines or any violations of local or State laws. We reserve the right to refuse to sell to anyone for any reason whatsoever. Buyer agrees to pay to defend seller from any legal actions resulting from buyers misuse or illegal use of these machines. ~~~~~

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Please Answer These 10 Questions To Help Me Improve Next Week's Webinar@@@@@@After you answer the questions, REGISTER FOR WEBINAR . Thanks! -- BTW -- A few folks emailed me and couldn't see the form in the iframe. I bet I coded something that works on the MAC but not on the PC in IE9 or something. Here's the original form: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dHRLQUN2NmJRN1lUQlA5TngyWGRuWnc6MA Loading... ~~~~~

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Pubcon 2008 "17 Things You Can Do To Make More With Your Online Store"@@@@@@ PUBCON 2008, Las Vegas Edited Transcript Moderator: Great. Thank you. Now we have got a lot of very interesting experts that speak, from the East Coast suits to the West Coast surfers. This is Rob Snell, who brings the twang to search engine optimization and e-commerce. [applause] [SLIDE: intro] Rob: Thank y'all very much. My name is Rob Snell and I am from Starkville, Mississippi. I have been doing this for a long time. Today I am going to walk you through 17 different things you can do to make more with your online store. Now, I am a retailer; I grew up in retail. My parents started a retail company in 1972 called Gun Dog Supply. When I was in college my brother and I started selling comic books out of our dorm room. We opened up five retail stores and transitioned to the Internet. In 1996, Petsmart opened up in my parent's neighborhood right across the street from their store. My folks were about to go out of business, because most of the time when Petsmart would come in, retail stores would take a 50% hit. And this is how we got on the Internet. My mom said, "I don't know if you know anything about selling on the Internet, but you need to find out because we are about to get on the World Wide Web." And we did. In 1997, we put our business online. We found Viaweb, an online store builder that got bought out the next year by Yahoo! Store. [SLIDE: Yahoo! Store] Rob: I love Yahoo! Store; I cannot tell you how much Yahoo Store has literally changed the fortunes of our family. I make 10 times as much money as I did before Yahoo! Store. So again, thank you, Jimmy. [laughter] Yahoo Store is an online store builder and it is really easy for retailers to use. One of the problems we had before when we got into e-commerce was that every cart we looked at required me to be a programmer. I was an art major and I could design websites, but everybody wanted me write scripts and deal with the CGI-BIN. I didn't know anything about programming. Like I said, I was a graphic design guy. So, imagine how happy we were when we found Viaweb -- it was so easy. You upload your product pictures, you type up your item text, you change a few things on the Variables page and BOOM, now you have an online store. We started that in 1997. A few months later , Paul Graham, the guy who invented Viaweb (now Yahoo! Store) called me up and said, "Man, I really like what you are doing with your parent's online shop. Would you like to be a Web developer?" I said, "Cool, but, uh, what is a Web developer?" He said, "You can do the same thing you did for your parents for other retailers." And then, I found out that I was actually more interested in the online marketing stuff than I was in the retailing stuff. So my brother took over the retail side of the family business and I started doing e-commerce development and consulting. This is where Snell Brothers comes from. [SLIDE: Snell Brothers] I have been doing this for a long time. Like I said, it was late '96 when we started looking and early '97 when we got started. Ever since then I have been writing about e-commerce, speaking about e-commerce, doing Yahoo! Store seminars. I write a blog sometimes. [SLIDE: Blog] About three years ago the Dummies folks called me up and said, "Hey, do you want to write a book? Yahoo Store for Dummies?" Sure! This book came out a couple of years ago. Right now it is about 60% obsolete thanks to the features Jimmy and his team keep cranking out. I am going to have to rewrite another book, but the marketing information in there is still pretty good. [SLIDE: Congress] The highlight of my career was getting invited to testify in front of the United States Congress this summer about the impact that the Internet has had on small business, specifically how search marketing has changed the fortunes of small business folks. I told the guys in Congress, "Just don't mess it up. Search marketing is working great. Please don't mess with it." [SLIDE: 1 change increased our conversion rate 20%] About four years ago we made one change in our company philosophy and that decision increased our conversion rate almost instantly by 20%. What did we do? We told folks what to buy. We used to just offer products and let people make their own decisions about what they wanted to buy, but once we actively expressed our opinions online, sales went up. People are busy. They have a lot of choices. They don't want to have to wade through all this information. For example, one of our Yahoo! Stores -- Gun Dog Supply -- is a company that sells training supplies for hunting dogs. My brother actually uses the products that we sell. So if you have got a Pointer and you do field trials in Texas, or if you have got a Springer Spaniel and you hunt upland game in the mountains, we sell what your kind of folks are looking for. And we're REAL retailers. We are not a drop shipper. We are not folks who just put something in a box and ship it out. We actually use the products that we sell. Real retailers can leverage this to your advantage. Here is an example of a product that we sell. [SLIDE: Example Review] This is an online product review that Steve wrote. We sell 1600, 1700 different products. Some products are better than others for specific situations. Once we realized that directing folks to what they actually needed instead of letting them have to wade through all that other stuff, our sales went up. [SLIDE: Thing 2 -- Give folks enough info to decide for themselves] The second part is giving folks enough information to decide for themselves. I am going to recommend that you need a Sport Basic for training your pet to stop jumping up on your kitchen countertops. But if you don't believe me, you can go through the information on our Website and our buyer's guide and actually find out for yourself and make your own decision. [SLIDE: Example Buyer's Guide] This is an example of a buyers' guide. I recommend that anybody with multiple categories of products write a buyers' guide for every single major category on your website. You basically just guide folks through the lay of the land- through that product category. You teach them what they need to know and you say, "If this is your situation, look at this product. If you are in a different situation, then look at this different product." [SLIDE: Buyers' guides = 50% higher conversion] Buyers' Guides work! With buyers' guides we have had a 50% increase in conversions when buyer's guide pages were used as entry pages. When folks would come into our site from a search engine organically, if they come in on the buyer's guide page, they are 50% more likely to convert. Buyers Guides also work with PPC or paid search traffic. In my paid search ads, when I use the content from a buyer's guide as a landing page rather than just a generic section page of manufacturers, I have a 50% increase in conversions over typical landing pages. Show your prospects that you are an authority on what you sell and customers are more likely to buy. [SLIDE: Thing 3 -- Write unique product descriptions] The third thing that I recommend folks do is write unique product descriptions. Google likes unique product descriptions. It is good for your customers to show that you are an expert and you know what you are doing, but Google loves unique product descriptions. [SLIDE: Garmin screenshot] If you notice here, we rank number three and four for one of the best keywords for us, Garmin Astro, a new product that came out last year. We haven't done a lot of link building for these pages -- some links came from the manufacturer, but these rankings are mainly from having page after page of new content on this new product line which draws links. Normally when a company releases a product they take some stock photos and they have their marketing department write up some copy. It is usually the same text in their sales brochure. What most folks do is they take this manufacturer copy and they literally copy it and paste it into their store. This just drives me nuts. If you want to see how many people are cutting and pasting, you can actually look at one of your competitors who just copied and pasted from the manufacturer. Go to Google and do a search for the first sentence in that manufacturer's description and put quotes around it. What you will see here when you search on Google for the first sentence in the Garmin Astro is that there are 1,770 other pages on the Internet with that content. These people suck. [SLIDE: MANUFACTURER COPY: 1-10 of 1770 Lazy competitors] I mean they are lazy! It is lame. When you are shopping online, if you go to store after store after store and they have the exact same thing, the boiler plate from the manufacturer, and then you go to another store where they have a picture of the guy actually using the product and talking about it like he knows what he is doing, who do you think is going to get the sale? [SLIDE: You have this] This is our product page for the Astro. You can tell it looks a little different. [SLIDE: And this] Here is some of the content. People ask me, "Great. I have got to write unique content, but how much content do I have to write?" [SLIDE: Write one new paragraph for every $10 in item price] This is my rule of thumb. I want you to write one new paragraph for every $10 in item price. Now I just made that up. Write what makes sense to you, but that is a good rule of thumb for creating content. You go, "Gosh. That is a $600 product. You mean I have to write 60 paragraphs about the dang Garmin Astro?" That is what my brother would say. You wouldn't say dang. [laughter] How do you get folks to get this content? What I will do is I will lock my brother in a room. I do not let him go outside to smoke or to pee until he gives me his content. [SLIDE: Thing 4 -- Play 20 Questions with every product -- Who ? What? When? Where? Why? How Much?] We play 20 questions with every single product. What I recommend is that you start at the top with your best selling products and you work your way down. Originally he just said, "Well let me just start with the A's and I will work my way through." I said, "Dude, no way. Start with the best sellers. And if you only have time to get four or five of them done, by that point you have actually accomplished something and you will most likely see big increases with your search traffic." Here are some examples. This is more like 200 questions. As yourself, "What is a customer concerned about when they buy this product? Is this product going to solve their problem?" Uh, Shirley, don't take a picture of that. [laughter] I spent hours on those questions! Ask yourself what customers have in their mind when they are looking to buy something. Customers want to know if this product is going to work for them. There are hundreds of different questions you can ask. I literally have over 200 questions that I can any product through and ask. Examples: "Is this product right for the job? Is it overkill? Compared to the manufacturer, are their equal alternatives? Is this for professional use or amateur use? Why should I buy this one? Why should I get this one from you? Are there any third party reviews?" I have tons of these questions. Here is another screen shot of a word document where I have got these questions. Answer these questions on your Website and it's great for SEO. It is amazing how many keywords you naturally use while writing these product descriptions. [SLIDE: Thing 5 -- Capture killer content any which way you can!] Capture killer content in which way you can. Like I said, I lock my brother up in a room and pull it out of him. Steve is the guy, during hunting season; he is out in the field doing research. He is riding around Texas with his shotgun with some of his hunting buddies in the back of a pick-up truck. He is always doing research and development. One of the reasons he goes out in the field to hunt and run his dogs is so that he can tell our customers and the manufacturers what is good about specific products and what needs work! Photograph everything. Here is a shot of Steve on the back of his truck with Em, one of his best bird dogs. Just looking at this photo, I can see 10 different products that we sell in the background. Why is this important? Well, a customer of ours looking at this picture knows that it is not some supermodel in a studio somewhere with a model dog. This is real. He is just like them he's actually in the field using this stuff. Here he is putting some boots on Em's tender little feet so when she runs across some cactus she is not going to bleed to death. Record everything. Audio. Video. Still pictures. I mean, everything. When I don't't want to carry a professional digital camera, I have a little FLIP (video) camera over here I carry everywhere I go. I have an iPhone. I take pictures of everything. We record everything. It is amazing how much content you can get just walking around. I can get my brother to jabber on about some product about why this manufacturer should do this, blah, blah, blah and I have great info for the Yahoo! Store. [SLIDE: Thing 6 -- Convert audio assets into text] Next, I convert the audio into text. Search engines need text. They can't really index audio. Yet. What I do is I email an MP3 that I rip from that video to a buddy of mine. I have no idea where he lives because I got him from Mechanical Turk, an Amazon service where you can outsource things. For $1.50 a minute he will actually listen to that MP3 and transcribe it for me and email it back to me. And he has got a three-hour turnaround time. I have shared him with some friends of mine, but I think he is all booked up now. [laughter] [SLIDE: Thing 7 -- Leverage ALL manufacturer content *] You can also get content out of manufacturer's videos. Sometimes products ship with a DVD; like an owner's manual or a guide on DVD. I can actually get the content out of those and use that on our website as well. Leverage all manufacturer content. [SLIDE: *It's easier to get forgiveness than permission:] This comes with a caveat. I am not recommending that you break the law. I am not recommending that you violate somebody's copyright. But for me, it is easier to get forgiveness than it is permission to use a manufacturer's text and images to help sell their stuff through my online store. Here is some copy that I stole from Innotek that basically says, "You can't do this" on the bottom of their website. Well we sell millions of dollars of their products. They are never ever going to say, "Hey. Quit using our product shots on your website." But if you need to, ask permission. [SLIDE: Make manufacturer images your own] What am I talking about as far as using manufacturer content? Well they give you stock images, right? If you want to look like everybody else, use their stock images. If you don't, pimp them out a little bit. [SLIDE: > your product image] All of the stuff that is in this image right here came from Garmin that we basically remixed into these product photos. We take our own product photos as well. Where else can you get manufacturer content? Well look at the packaging. If you are a drop shipper, sorry. If you are a real retailer [laughter] [SLIDE: > Box copy] If you are a real retailer, you have a warehouse, and you have the products, there is text on the packaging of these products that is nowhere else in the world. Go get the box. Get somebody to type it up. Stick it on your website. Also, use the point of sale materials manufacturers provide for retail brick and mortar stores. We don't really have a "store" store. We have a warehouse where folks can come in and buy stuff. But any time a manufacturer releases point of sale materials, I say, "Yeah, send me that." Those cards on that display, down there? We'll remove them, scan them, and put the content on the Website. Do whatever makes sense for you. [SLIDE: > owners manuals] Owner's manuals. They're great! A lot of these companies provide PDF files of owner's manuals instead of a printed one. Sometimes manuals are online and indexed in the search engines. Sometimes they are not. There are tons of images in there. Grab product images, graphs, tables, diagrams, comparison charts, etc. all these things that you can use on your website. Again, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission But we don't go to jail, ok? [SLIDE: > Press releases] Press releases. These companies send out press releases all the time. They actually do a pretty good job of writing up what this stuff is about. Now this text is probably duplicate content, but you can put text from these releases on your website and it actually helps you sell stuff. [SLIDE: > Extract flash] Flash. All these big boys like their Flash Web sites. Ugh. The thing I like about Flash is that there is unique text hidden in those Flash movies. Now the search engines are getting a lot better about indexing Flash, but they pretty much still suck at it. There is good information hidden inside these Flash movies. Transcribe those as well. [SLIDE: Link building SUCKS] All right. I love SEO, but link building sucks. I am not patient enough to build links. I just don't have what it takes to do that. [SLIDE: Thing 8 -- Promote your new content for traffic & links] When you develop content like this, your new content will actually get you links from authority sites. Here is an example. [SLIDE: NYT Web article with link] Right before Pubcon last year we got featured in the New York Times. I don't know if y'all have ever heard of that paper or not out here. They were doing an article on Garmin and the new Dog GPS technology. One of the best things you can do when you are selling stuff for a manufacturer, you want to let the manufacturer know that you are doing a good job pimping their products. Email your sales rep or the marketing VP copies of your buyer's guide, copies of your reviews, copies of your product descriptions, copies of the pictures that you take on your website. Sometimes the marketing folks will hook you up with some PR folks and you will get some real coverage. We got a link from it. If you will notice in there, there are two other billion dollar companies: Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's do billions of dollars a year in sales. They don't have a link. Gun Dog Supply in Starkville, Mississippi? Yep. We've got an NYT link. [SLIDE: Thing 9 -- Blog to build content and links] Blog to build content and attract links. I do a much better job of this as an e-commerce consultant and a speaker than I do with the dog stuff or our other stores. With the dog stuff most of our content is actually on the website because I want the customers to see it immediately. We just started doing an external blog, Steve Snell's Gun Dog blog. We basically take email questions that he has answered, his content, and we repurpose it to the web. Now I am not going to quote a guy's email without their permission, but I can rephrase the question. I got 1,000 pages in a word document once I exported Steve's sent emails. He sends 100 emails a day answering customer questions. The more of this kind of information you can actually put on your site, the fewer emails you are going to get, the fewer phone calls you are going to get. [SLIDE: Thing 10 -- Support the orgs that your customers do] Support the organizations that your customers do. This is an awesome way to do SEO, to support your community, to make your customer's really happy, because you go to the websites that they go to and you buy ads either links or banners. OK. So you want to support the organizations that your customers do, but how do you find out which ones those are? Ask your customers! For example, on another project I have I sent an email to any customer that had ordered more than once. I said, "Hey, I have some advertising dollars. I want to do something that is going to support your local organizations. Do your favorite local organization have a Website because want to advertise." The next day I got 342 responses from folks who wanted to let me advertise on their website. I was overwhelmed with the response. You can use your email marketing list for this. [SLIDE: Thing 11 -- Make vendors link to you!] Make your suppliers link to you. I call this Vendor Links. I finally have everybody in the company used to the fact that when we buy something from somebody, they are going to link to us. Or else! Linking to is almost a condition for doing business with us. A lot of wholesalers will have dealer's pages where they list out all the various dealers. [SLIDE: Garmin Blog] Romance your suppliers for links and content. Here is an example where Steve took some of the guys from Garmin out bird hunting on one of his fancy Texas quail leases. He gets to be good buddies with folks he needs to have a good relationship with and we ended up getting a link out of it. He got featured in the Garmin blog and we got a link, which is really nice. We are also listed in their dealer's section. All right. This is the part that is more about the geeky SEO, PPC conversion stuff, which I am more interested in. [SLIDE: Thing 12 -- Collect Converting Keywords] Collect converting keywords. The most important thing that I learned, and this is thanks to Yahoo... In the original Viaweb way back in 1996, Paul Graham had it figured out. Every time you got an order, you would get your merchant order confirmation email. And in almost every email, it would tell you what the referrer was, how the customer found you, the Web site they came from, and (if a search engine) what the converting keyword was. So the second you placed an order on my website, I would get an email from Viaweb, now Yahoo Store, that would say, "Hey. This guy searched for dog training supplies and he bought these things." 1997 was when I got obsessed with converting keywords. Right now on one project I have got almost 20,000 unique converting keyword phrases. On another project I have got about 11,000. Some people collect stamps. Some people collect baseball cards. I collect keywords. [SLIDE: Yahoo Web Analytics] Use Yahoo Web Analytics In April 2008, Yahoo bought IndexTools. Again, thank you Mr. Jimmy. I have been using Index Tools for four years, which is now Yahoo Web Analytics. YWA beats Google analytics hands down. If you are not using it you need to take a look at it if you have an e-commerce site. It is now included in most Yahoo store packages I think. Jimmy: Just not in the starter package. Rob: OK. It is awesome. YWA is more like a three dimensional look at your customers, where Google analytics would be like two dimensional. You can actually do ad hoc reporting. I don't want to do an ad for Yahoo Web Analytics, but I love it. If you have any questions ask. I just shot some videos with Avinash, the Google Analytics dude, about this with the Market Motive guys. YWA is great. For example, these are some converting keywords. I just ran a quick report and did a screen shot so everybody could see. For example, this is a product called Tuff Foot. These are converting keywords that folks searched for on a search engine, landed on our Tuff Foot product page, and then ended up buying. I had to chop this info up a little bit so you could see it. Look at all these different phrases that converted. If you will notice there are lots and lots of different phrases. Different customers spell things differently. It is just amazing to me. [SLIDE: Thing 13 -- Optimize for transaction assisting keywords, too!] Optimize for transaction assisting keywords too. What are those? I remember an Overture slide from about four or five years ago where they said that folks would search 13 different times before they would actually buy something. One of the problems with analytics is that they will only show you one or two of those keywords out of the 13. So you are missing out. Folks are searching for stuff and you have no idea how much they are qualifying their queries before they get to your website. Monitus.com has fixed a lot of this with their TRANSACTION ASSIST REPORTS. My buddy, Michael Whitaker, is the guy who wrote a tool that allows Yahoo Stores transaction information to be passed to Google Analytics. OK. I do Google, too. We have Google analytics on our Yahoo Stores as well. Here is an example of the transaction assist report where he shows you all the keywords that lead to an order. I have blown this up so you all can see this in a real keyword phrase that just happened a couple of days ago. You can see at the bottom hunting dog is stuck together in a search for "huntingdog coats" plural. The little red dot in the report means that "huntingdog coats" is not in the text on our Website. I have no idea how this came up. Google probably suggested, "Did you mean "hunting (space) dog coats?" Then they searched again a couple hours later for "hunting dog coats" (singular). Then they searched for "hunting dog vests" and placed an order. What that tells me is that I need to go to the hunting dog vests page and make sure that they word coats is on there. So we did that. [SLIDE: Thing 14 -- Put ALL converting keywords on the page (including long tail)] All right. Put all your converting keywords on your page. Now everybody knows basic SEO. Remember from that slide earlier. Tuf foot was number one. Tuff foot with two F's was number two. Tuff foot for dogs was number three in terms of converting keywords. Well you are going to put those in your TITLE tag. You are going to write a unique Meta description using those words. You are going to have those keywords in an H1 tag, which is what that red text is. You are going to have those keywords in the body text. The report that you saw a minute ago was probably for like the last six months. This report is more like a year. 75% of the revenue from that page came from the top three money keywords. Tuf foot, tuff foot with two F's, and tuff foot for dogs. But 25% of the sales came from 39 different, more specific, unique "long tail" keywords. I am sure you have heard about the "long tail" all week. When I look at two different lengths of time; it looks like I have gone from 75% of my sales being from the three words to more like 50%. So I think now 50% of my sales are coming from long tail because of this optimization that I did in the short term. In the past year or so, more and more of my sales of this product have come from long tail searches. To rank for these long tail keywords, the words need to be in the text on your page. The easiest way to do that would be to cut and paste a list of dozens of converting keywords on each page, but that's spamming. That also telegraphs your best words to the competition. I want a list of all the unique words that make up all the converting keywords. First, I paste ALL the converting keywords for the Tuff Foot page into a text file. Then I delete all the words contained in my top phrases: "tuff foot" with two F's, "tuf" with one F, and "for dogs") because those words are already all over the page. What's left is a list of words unique to those long tail keywords, but somewhat redundant, so I alphabetize and de-dupe that list to come up with a much, much shorter list. Finally, I make sure that all those long tail words are used somehow, somewhere in the text of the page. The words don't even have to be together, they don't have to be phrase matched. But when you have the words on your page you are much, much, much more likely to get free search engine traffic. All right. Add keyword modifiers to the page text. Remember when we boiled that list down, we de-duped it and alphabetized it? Well, these are modifiers in that list: buy, discount, free, online, and shipping. The funny thing is that these words would apply to any product that you have on your website. For example, you could stick the word "buy" or "free shipping" or "discount" in front of almost any other converting keyword and you would want to rank well for those keywords, too, right? Let's look at the Google, but first, remember to log out of Gmail or other Google accounts and delete your cookies so you see what everyone else sees -- raw Google searches not affected by your past search history. Here are some examples: Remember a minute ago customers were searching for "dog vests" and "hunting dog vests?" I did a Google search yesterday for "discount hunting dog vests" and we were number one and number two. If you look in the snippet on the search engine results page, the second line says, "Buy online with confidence when you order discount retriever blah, blah, blah." I also searched for "buy hunting dog vests." Here we are at number one and number two. And then I did another where I said "hunting dog vests online." OK. We are not number one and two. We are actually number three and four. One of my competitors has online in his domain name and he is going to outrank me for anything with the word online. [SLIDE: Thing 15 -- Add keyword modifiers to page text] I have over 600 modifiers that I have identified that generate revenue for different business, and I use those where they make sense in the text on the web page. Ask me later. I have got some good secrets that I can't share over the microphone on how to do that. Buy me a beer [SLIDE: Thing 16 -- Ten Little Thumbnails] A lot of folks will have a category page with a picture, a headline, a small text description and 10 thumbnails with text links to products or sub-categories. Here's an example: When Google crawls this page, this text from the Google Cache shows what Google sees; the text in the headline, the text in the description, and the text in those links. I want more on my category pages. I want to show snippets of text from the product description and list the different items contained within subsections. With Yahoo Store it is really easy to write RTML with custom templates that will do this, and you can also do it by hand. Different store building platforms can do it as well. If you are a competitor of mine and you are using just ten little thumbnails, my category page is now competing against your product page. Category pages typically have a lot more pagerank / link juice than product pages, so they rank higher, and with text snippets most of the converting keywords now show up on the category page. [SLIDE: Thing 17 -- Survey your customers] One of the best things we ever did was install 4Q, which is the free customer survey software, on our website. I love 4Q. Avinash Kaushik, the Analytics guru partnered with this company. Basically what they do is they don't look at your information individually, but they aggregate it so they have got overall trends. What 4Q does is it asks your customers four questions. Page23 They ask, "What are you here to do? Did you accomplish it? How satisfied were you with the website, and why?" Basically it allows you to go through and see information about not just what your customers are doing, which is what Analytics does, but why they are doing it. It was amazing to me how many people were not coming to the site to consult a review. On another site that installed 4Q, on the first day I learned that 80% of the people were coming to the site to check prices, which told me that most of the people coming to my site where discount shoppers and that was extremely important. The thing I like most about this is not how your satisfaction scores are. The thing I like most about it is this report that you get. I went in and colored the different sales. If someone says they did not complete their mission I colored it red. If they did complete their mission I colored it green. You probably can't see this, but it is amazing the actual raw information that folks will give you if they know that they are anonymous. Most of the problems that the folks have on the Gun Dog site is that we are out of stock on something. So I go to my buyer and I say, "Dude, do not run out of stock on these products." [SLIDE: E-commerce? It's a jungle out there] All right. E-commerce. It is a jungle out there. You want to show your expertise. You want to express your opinions, maximize your SEO and SEM, and you want to spoil your customers. Just ship the damn box, OK? Thank you all very much. [applause] (c)Copyright 2008, Snell Bros. LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.robsnell.com/pubcon-2008-slides.html Pubcon 2008 Presentation Reviewed by Rob Snell on 2008-11-20 . Rob Snell's PPT from PUBCON: 17 different things you can do to make more with your online store Rob: Thank y'all very much. My name is Rob Snell and I am from Starkville, Mississippi. I have been doing this for a long time. Today I am going to walk you through 17 different things you can do to make more with your online store. Now, I am a retailer; I grew up in retail. My parents started a retail company in 1972 called Gun Dog Supply. When I was in college my brother and I started selling comic books out of our dorm room. We opened up five retail stores and transitioned to the Internet. In 1996, Petsmart opened up in my parent's neighborhood right across the street from their store. My folks were about to go out of business, because most of the time when Petsmart would come in, retail stores would take a 50% hit. And this is how we got on the Internet. My mom said, "I don't know if you know anything about selling on the Internet, but you need to find out because we are about to get on the World Wide Web." And we did. Rating: 4.0 ~~~~~

PUBCON 2009 E-Commerce Optimization@@@@@@ PUBCON 2009: How I Doubled My Conversion Rate - Presentation Transcript Ecommerce Optimization: "How we more than doubled our conversion rate" By: Rob Snell- SNELL BROTHERS- robsnell.com My name is Rob Snell. I am from Starkville, Mississippi and I have been selling online since 1997. Today I want to talk about our family business. Just to kind of give you an idea of where we fit in the food chain, we work on about 100 different projects. Our stores that we own will do around $12 or $13 million this year. For some folks, that is a lot. For some folks, that is nothing at all. But that just kind of gives you an idea where we are coming from. What I am going to talk about today specifically is how we more than doubled our conversion rate on our family business, Gun Dog Supply, over the past four or five years. This is a little bit about me. I wrote a book, "Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies," which is basically Yahoo Store for Dummies. It came out four or five years ago. It is available online. There is still some pretty decent information in there. If you want these slides or more information on what I am presenting today, if you go to Robsnell.com, my website, and click on the "Read this first", I have got tons of links to tons of free content. I love to give this stuff away. I love to share information- Robsnell.com. Yahoo! Store I have been on the Yahoo! Store platform since before it was Yahoo! Store. It was way before Paul came around. In 1996, we started looking for a way to get online. In 1997, we opened up a ViaWeb store. And then in 1998, you guys bought ViaWeb. So we have been on the platform a long time. And I have poked around. I have looked at other solutions. And I have kind of dabbled in other things, but I always come back to Yahoo! Store because, for me, it has been the highest converting online store builder that I have run across. Homepage Today specifically, though, I am not going to talk about all kinds of different things. I am really going to focus on what we did on our website Gun Dog Supply. Now, Gun Dog Supply is our Yahoo! Store, like I said, that we started in 1997. We basically took my parent's business online. They started in 1972 selling training supplies for hunting dogs. And we were in the situation where we had to get online because we had Petsmart moving in across the street from us, and we took a 50% sales hit with our offline sales in our brick and mortar stores. So mom said, "Get us online." Who You Are One of the ways I think that differentiates us from other retailers who sell exactly the same products that we sell and our company is who we are. We are not just another retailer. If you can optimize who you are, your experience, the things that you know, these are things that a competitor cannot go to your site and view source and see how you are doing things. It is very difficult for competitors to copy you when you are doing things that are just intrinsic to your DNA. Catalogue Now like I said, we have been doing this since 1972. I am a second generation dog supply sales guy, believe it or not. On our site, we put pictures of our family members using the product. This is my brother in the upper left-hand corner there, Steve. Our tagline- "We train our dogs with the products that we sell." We are not just a place that is selling dog supplies. We are actually selling solutions to people's problems. Like I said, we have been doing this since 1972. Here is a picture of Steve with my dad back probably in the ‘70s. We started off as a catalogue company back in the ‘70s, and then morphed into a bricks and mortar store. And like I said, then Petsmart came across the street, and that is when mom said to get us online. The other thing is Steve has 13 dogs. He is just like his customers. He is not just some guy who found some keywords online and said, "Hey, here is a high revenue per visitor. I want to sell these things through a dropship company." We actually have dogs. He uses the products that we sell in the field. Here are some pictures from a recent trip we made to Texas. Steve is actually living the dream. He does research and development about six months out of the year. That is what he tells his wife-research and development. He has got his dogs. He is in Texas. He is out there hunting. He is having a good old time; "research and development". And man, our research and development budget keeps going up and up. I don't understand it! How You Do Business How you do business is another asset that you have that you take for granted that is different from how your competitors do business. This is an asset that you can leverage. One of the things we do, we are very customer service oriented. These are things I take for granted. Like I said, I grew up in this business. I assume that when a customer needs something, you take care of them. I used to be working on a project at two o'clock in the morning or something in high school and the phone would ring, and I would take a catalogue order over the telephone so my parents wouldn't wake up. I mean we are really into taking care of our customers, and this pays off, but you have got to give yourself credit for it. One of the things my dad didn't do is he didn't toot his own horn. He assumed everybody was like this and he didn't want to come off as being an expert or telling everybody how great he is. Well, when somebody comes to your website for the first time, they are not going to know how great you are or what a good job you do, so you need to toot your own horn. You need to be self-promotional. On our site, we push people to order by telephone. Paul caught me. We were doing a test, and on that screenshot, we were trying a smaller 800 number. And yes, it did not convert as well as a big 800 number. I like big, big, big things. Big, big 800 numbers, big, big "add to cart" buttons. So I am busted. I have to go fix that. These are three of the little informational bugs that are pushing some of our customer service issues, and Paul talked about the order by phone. One thing that I said last year really kind of got me in trouble with folks. And I apologize to the dropshippers; you are real retailers. I said that you weren't. But one thing that differentiates a retailer that actually has the product is that they have more control for customer service reasons. They can look on the shelf and see, "Hey, I have got that widget in stock. I can ship it today." It can go out today. Whereas, if you are drop shipping, you are at the mercy of your supplier for doing that. But most of the things that we ship out, 99% of the orders that come in, ship the same day we get the order. And a lot of my clients are like that, too. These are old school guys. They understand that you have got to get that damn box out the door today. People want their stuff. And folks are blown away by just being competent. I mean, just by a retailer being competent and actually shipping the order, and people get stuff in two or three days, they are blown away and they tell their friends. Now this really helps. The other thing is free shipping. We have free shipping on orders over $125 and free shipping on certain products. That is one of the most powerful promotional tools that you can use on your website. We have to do it because our competitors do it. All of our competitors have the same map pricing that we do. All of our competitors have basically the same offers that we do. But if you don't push free shipping, people aren't going to know. You want to push that on your site. One of the things our competitors does that drives me nuts is they will give you free shipping, but if you decide you don't want it and you ship the thing back, they are going to charge you the amount that it would have cost for you to get the box in the first place, which I think is kind of skanky. I recommend having a "Why shop with your company" page. I set this up about three months ago. It is now one of our most popular pages. In this, I just outlined with bulletin points what makes us different from our competitors. This is one of the most important things you can do for conversions. What you know Another aspect that you have that your competitors don't have is what you know. I have some former employees of mine go off and try to do what we are doing. And the funny thing is they may sound like us and they may look like us, but they don't have 20-30 years worth of experience in the field using these products, and it shows. Once you talk to somebody for five or 10 minutes, they are going to figure out that you know what you are talking about. And I want you to leverage this product knowledge that you have to the Internet. 1 change instantly increased our conversion rate 20% We made one change on our website that instantly increased our conversion rate across the site 20%. And it wasn't changing one little button, and it wasn't changing our logo or anything. About six years ago when my dad passed away, we went about six months and our sales plateaued. The two had absolutely nothing to do with each other. What had happened was that all of our competitors had basically gotten online. In '96, '97, we started looking to get online. We were one of the first dog supply retailers for hunting dog folks that got online. And by 2003, everybody showed up to the party. I mean we had 50-60 people who had the exact same product descriptions we had, the exact same pictures that we had, and that is where our loss of growth came from. And so, my dad, like I said, he did not want to come across as being an expert, even though he was. He knew more about dog training supplies than anybody I have ever met. And we made this one change. We made the decision to make Steve the spokesmodel, my brother, for the site, put his face on there, and take a position. Conversion Rate Conversions go up This is our conversion rate over about a 12 year period, and you can see here at the beginning, conversions, they kind of jump up a little bit on the left side of the graph. That is when we had virtually no traffic. And when you have a little bit of traffic, it is really easy to get a decent conversion rate. Well, I went to Web Master World and I learned a whole bunch about SEO. And man, I started driving some serious traffic. You will see that in just a minute on one of my other graphs. And so my conversion rate went down a little bit as I got tons and tons…I am talking thousands more visitors per day to the site, some of which was relevant traffic, some of which was not. But about two-thirds of the way through the graph, you can see our traffic had pretty much stabilized as far as growth, but our conversion rate went up. And this is like probably four or five years ago. You can see how our conversion rate, this is a rolling average here, has more than doubled. And it wasn't just changing one thing. It was making these local changes to the website. That was, we told folks what to buy. Tell folks what to buy You probably offer hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands of products. When somebody is looking to buy what you sell, they don't want to wade through all this crap. Tell them what to buy. Tell them what is going to fix their problem. And that is what my dad had a problem with, taking a position. He didn't want to offend a manufacturer. Well, my brother is not afraid to offend the manufacturers. He will tell you, this product rocks, this product sucks. And it works. Recommend products that solve your customer's problems "Tired of losing your dog? STEVE SAYS: Buy this tracking collar!" When you call him on the phone and you have a problem, he is going to recommend the one specific product that you need that is going to fix your problem. If you are tired of losing your birddog when you go hunting, he is going to say, "You need to buy this specific dog tracking collar." And you need to leverage this type of conversation that you have with customers to your website. Express your opinions Express your opinions. I talked about this a little bit. We sell hundreds and hundreds of different types of dog training collars, dog tracking collars, and regular collars. This is the only electronic training collar that Steve will use, a new collar that just came out. He says it on the website. Man, the manufacturers who are making the product he used to use and recommend, they are freaking out. And I am not saying his endorsement is going to change the industry, but it changed our sales. The product he used to use, the sales went down. The product he uses now, the sales went up. And I am going to talk a lot more about that in a minute. Share product knowledge All right. Share product knowledge. This is awesome. Once we figured out if we say, "Hey, your dog is barking. You need to buy this." "Hey, if you don't want to lose your dog, you need to buy that." "Hey, if your dog is running into the street and he is 100 yards away and you need to stop him, you need to get this." Write Buyer's Guides We started writing these buyer's guides and telling folks what to buy. And we noticed in our analytics that folks entering our website on a buyer's guide page had a 50% higher conversion rate than folks entering on a typical category or section page. And I was looking the other day; entries on product pages are terrible, because by that time, folks have already made up their minds what they are going to buy and they are just price shopping you. You want to get them to come in on those pages where you actually have a chance to help them get what they actually need. Content drives more traffic Opinions provided since 2003 All right. Creating all this content is awesome for traffic. Google loves this. We have been providing opinions in terms of buyer's guides, reviews, beefed up product pages since 2003. And this is a traffic graph here. And you can see that we are just getting more and more traffic because of this. How do you do that? -create compelling content -record everything - So how do you do this? Well, I am going to give you some specific examples of how to create compelling content. When Steve does that in the field, I am following him with a camera, with a movie camera, or with a digital recorder. I am creating content right now. I am going to give this to my transcriber tonight when I get back to the room. He is going to go to the FTP location that I set up. He is going to take the MP3 file. He is going to download it and he is going to type it up. He is going to send it to me in a Word document. I am going to go, "I can't believe I said that in front of 200 people! Holy cow!" I am going to turn that into content. I am going to put that on my blog. I am going to take it and actually edit it down into some really good editorial content. But the secret is always be creating content. And once you kind of have a corporate culture for doing this, it is really easy to do. Here is an example of us out in the field about a year ago. These pictures were actually taken by the third generation in our family who is getting into dog supplies, Sam, while we were actually on a photo shoot. I didn't know he was doing this. And the funny thing is, about a third of his photos actually trumped mine, and Steve ended up using his pics instead of mine, so I think I am on the way out. Record everything. If we are riding in the truck going somewhere and I have got a video recorder, an audio recorder, or my phone, I am asking Steve what I call stupid questions. "How do you train a dog how to sit?" Well he just says, "Blah, blah, blah, blah." I don't even listen to him. I am just recording what he has to say. And I send it to my good buddy in Alabama which I found on Mechanical Turk, which is an Amazon service which is a way to get people in other lands to type up your audio files for you. I am paying $1.50 a minute, though, because this guy will turn stuff around in about 1 ½ hours, 2 hours for me. I mean he is serious about getting this stuff to me. I thought he was off like in Shri Lanka or somewhere. It turns out he is about 30 miles away over the border in Alabama. Anytime you are in the field, anytime you are using the product, anytime you are talking to customers, record this content. If you keep having the same conversations over the phone with folks, put that stuff on your website. And here is an example of when I went out to Texas taking pictures with Steve. "Steal" Manufacturer Content One of the most important things you can do is liberate. The manufacturers do a great job of creating all this awesome material, but they do a terrible job of getting it up on the web. And it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. I am not a lawyer. I was an art major, so you might want to talk to your lawyer before you steal anything. Owner's manuals liberate content in PDFs Content in PDFs. Garmin is awesome. They put just tons, and tons, and tons, and tons, and tons of information inside these PDF files, most of which aren't online. If you are the first place that gets this PDF online on your domain, Google thinks you wrote it. You get credit for it. Transcribe DVDs & videos DVD's and video that comes with the product through the website has tons of information. You can transcribe this, turn it into text, put it on your lower level web pages and get some good results with that. Box copy-repurpose product packaging We also repurpose product packaging. People spend a lot of money; manufacturers spend a lot of money developing these point of purchase materials and these boxes for typical offline stores. Well there is a lot of content that is on the box or in this display that you can't get anywhere else. And when you are retailer, when you actually get the product, sometimes you get this stuff. So get somebody to type all this information up and stick it on your website. B ut don't be lazy (like the competition) -Write unique product descriptions Don't be lazy. I want you to use what the manufacturer gives you, but don't be lazy like your competitors. I want you to write unique product descriptions. And you will hear me say that in every single session that I ever speak in. I reuse this slide. I have been reusing it for five years. You need to write unique product descriptions. Here is why. The manufacturer gives you a great product description. I take the first sentence of it and go search on Google to see how many people are using that. So I search for, "Tired of searching for your hunting dog in tall grass or dense cover?" There are 1,770 lazy retailers. They suck! Do a search for that particular product's name brand, Garmin Astro. We rock, right after the manufacturer. Now you are not going to beat the manufacturer for their brand name and for their product name, or, sometimes you can. But if you write your own content, you are going to get more links. People are going to see that, "Oh. He is different from all these other sites." Write Buyer's Guides Write buyer's guides. I am actually going to show you some stuff that is not quite ready for primetime. We haven't deployed it yet. But this is where I am going, and this really helped us come up with a way, as a company, to approach new product lines. We have a three step approach when writing a buyer's guide. We basically come up with a "Steve's Picks", and then we explain the content, and then we come up with some sort of widowing tool, whether it is hard-coded in the page or it is actually some sort of widget or something like that, that actually walks folks through like we do on the telephone. Steve's Picks. What he will do is he will take 5-7 different scenarios which apply to most of the customers, and he will actually pick a product. He will say, "You need to pick this." And we spent tons and tons of time on this chart in trying to figure out which products actually apply to most situations. The thing is that figuring out what the categories are, the features that people need to know about, that is one of the hardest things. Because when I come to a new product line that I don't know anything about as a consumer, I don't know what I don't know. Do I need the kind that has got Bluetooth? Do I need the kind that has infrared? What do I need to know before I buy a wireless keyboard? Explain Concepts Explain concepts. I talked about that just a second ago. You basically want to tell folks what the features, what the concepts behind that are. Why do you need to know about range? If you are just training your little dog in the back yard, you probably need a 100 yard range. But if you are training a big running birddog, you are going to need a multi-mile range. "Help me choose…" "Help me choose…" If somebody doesn't believe you and they say, "OK Steve. I am going to do exactly what you tell me to do," and they have kind of gone through these concepts, we actually walk them through different scenarios where they kind of self select, and we put them into buckets to where we take them to the product that they want. In this example, we say, "Do you want to train your dog or do you want to stop your dog from doing something that is a problem? And if barking is the problem, you don't even need a training collar! You need a bark collar." And in this, he gives three examples of what he uses. He takes a position, he states his opinion, he gives information, he says, "This is our best seller" and sends folks there, that is the one he used to use, and the he also says, "Hey, we sell other brands, too. If you don't want to buy just what I am selling, go look at every single thing that we sell." Write killer product reviews All right. So now I have talked all about this creating content, and being who you are, and leveraging that to the website, and how you do business, and you are like, "Oh my gosh! I am out here in the thick stuff! How am I supposed to do this? I have tens of thousands of products, or I have hundreds of categories that I am supposed to optimize for. How do I go about creating this content?" In this picture, what Steve doesn't know is there is a rattlesnake about 10 yards in front of him he is about to jump. I want you to write one killer product review. All right? Pimp one single product. My brother trains dogs, right? Well, I finally got my brother trained to write content. I am at PUBCON and he is actually at the office when a new product comes out last year, and he actually stops and writes this buyer's guide. I am going to use this example here. This is the SV-1825. He actually went in and wrote a buyer's guide that was the companion piece to the product page. And in this buyer's guide, he went through all the steps that I talked about before. He talks about who he is, he tells people what to buy, he says, "I have been using collars for the last 11 years. I have been looking at 50 or 60 new systems, but this is what I am using now." He says, "This is what I am doing." He has an opinion. He says that he thinks this is going to change the industry because this new manufacturer is going to make old manufacturers actually step up and do something. He shows what he knows. This is product knowledge. He actually walks around with the product and he says, "You can use it one handed. You can change levels. You can use it as a multi-dog system." And like I said, folks don't know what they don't know. You need to tell them, "These are things you need to consider when you are buying these types of products. And he says, "These are the four things I look at when I am trying to sell an e-collar." And he has explained the product and the features. All of this is in one single product review. This is not a buyer's guide. This is one product review. He goes into the different options to where if you have an exception, like, "If you have six dogs, you might want to do this. If you have a deaf dog, you might want to do that."-in this one product review. And then he gives you more and more information if you want it. And it is kind of like a newspaper article. I remember in high school being taught how to write newspaper articles. And you want it to where folks can read the paragraph and get the whole story. But if they want to read more, then in the second paragraph, OK, they get a little bit more of the information, but they can stop there and they are fine. And our product pages and our product reviews are like that, which we have links back to the products as well as "add to cart" buttons all over the place in these things. Here is an example of what we call "mo pics", which are more pictures of the product where he has actually got a ruler and he shows you how big the thing is. I got the "add to cart" button on all these additional photos. This shows you what information you get with the product. This shows you all the accessories that come with it. Be Real You just need to be real. So many folks are just taking a data feed and they are uploading it to these online shopping carts, and they are wondering why their conversion rates are low. If you actually act as a real person and care about your customers, and tell them how you do business, you are going to get much higher conversion rates than your competitors. And that is me. Thanks. Session 1 Question & Answer Question: I am wanting to hear what you guys think of a lot of the shopping comparison agents. I know there is a ton out there. There are a lot that vary from ones that are all based on pay-per-click, ones that combine the categories and stuff like that. And then there are some free ones, like Google has their Froogle product. I found a good one that I like, too, called thefind.com. I am not sure if you guys are familiar with that or not. I wonder if you guys have any tips on how to get into these things like that for newer people, what kind of success you have, and things along those lines. Rob: These are extremely expensive places to sell stuff. And you notice they are cost-per-click. I am going to pick on Yahoo a little bit. Yahoo jacked their rates in the fourth quarter, like newspapers do when it is like the football anniversary issue or Michael Jackson dies, or whatever. I mean people charge what they can get. As a small business retailer, I don’t have the resources to manage every single product in each one of these CSE’s, and so a lot of times we will rely on feeds and set like a really low cost-per-click. But we get virtually no traffic from them. Google is really important and they have changed the way they work. You need to find somebody who knows something about that to make sure that your products are included in this free Google product. And we are just kind of getting our little toe into that. But overall, it is just so expensive. Man 1: I would probably echo that. I think it is incredibly costly for new merchants starting out, because typically, all they know at that point is, “This could be a good source of traffic for me.” I would not encourage anybody to start until they know what their conversion rate is. Have they fully optimized that conversion rate before they turned this on? Because you don’t want to pay for traffic to come to your site only to be turned away by your less than 1% conversion rate. So you are going to want to know your conversion rate and know what your profit margin is. And at that point, you can choose to make an investment. I think they are wise for certain people. There are some management tools that are out there. Single Feed is one that comes to mind. Brian Smith writes a great blog called Comparisonshoppingengines.com. I would recommend going to that site and reading up on it. It is incredibly powerful when you have enough data and you have analytics in place, and you can decide which products you should be listing and which products you would never want to list. Low margin things-never list. High margin things-well, only if it is truly not competitive. In terms of what Yahoo does, we automatically submit to Google Base. We actually let The Find come and pick up our merchant’s product feed as well. So if you can hook up with a shopping cart provider that does some of that automatically, you are one step ahead of the game. But the best results come from when you optimize that feed yourself. Woman 1: Froogle, because it is free and it is going to boost your rankings overall, is definitely a must. I mean it is free as far as the listings, but aggregating all of your information and everything and making sure to get it in there is the tricky part. But it is well worth it. But as far as all of the other pay per click shopping engines, it is a point of frustration for myself and probably a lot of other etailers, because they do raise their rates. They did the same thing to me at Halloween time. Because I am in the Halloween category, they raise the rates right when I can even try to make any money on it. And then at that point, they bid against me on all the regular pay per click engines. So it is like a double whammy-you get nailed twice for it and the conversions are just not there. Question: I am just curious. This is about e-commerce optimization. I haven’t heard anything about AB testing or multi-variant. Do you do that? Rob: Yeah, absolutely. I have just gotten bigger lift on our site working on the buyer’s guides and really specific product reviews. I have done Google Website Optimizer. We did a free trial with…I don’t want to say who it was, but it is $5,000 a month, and decided not to. I just did another non-Google website optimizer test and implemented their results and nothing happened. One thing I want to add onto that is that when you are doing an AB test, if you are doing an AB test where the control is the way it is now, and the B is the variant, make a little bitty copy and send 10% of your traffic to a copy of the control, and that gives you a great idea of how much the test is causing drag on your shopping cart. We saw a 10% decrease in conversions of folks who were waiting for this JavaScript to render the test. And I mean I have tried different cart buttons and it is really frustrating, because I go to all these panels and I know these guys know what they are talking about. But I think most of the time in optimization, what I am learning is that my “add to cart” button that I have been using for 5 years really works, and different elements like that really work for us. Woman 1: For me, it has been hard to do AB testing because I am such a huge seasonal business. About 70% of our business for the year is done in two months. So if I am testing something, I have to react in like days; I have days to react on it. So it is very tricky for me, but I do test a lot of different things just like everybody suggests. Things like little tedious color changes, word changes, different things that cause me from sleeping at night. And I try to do everything, but it is particularly a challenge for me because of the seasonality of the business. Like, something that worked for me in October is not going to work in November anymore. It is definitely a challenge, but something that I still try so hard to pay attention to and make builds for next year. Man 1: As an e-commerce solution provider, I am actually a big analytics nut. I think that is kind of the next wave-making that understandable to merchants. AB testing is tough in the segment for the majority of our merchants. They don’t have the amount of traffic to generate tests over a short period of time. I was working with a company that tested with Rob, because their promise was they could actually optimize with much less traffic. And it looked like it was going to be really well suited for the type of traffic levels that are clickable for a Yahoo! Store merchant or a smaller e-commerce player below 50 million. The results are kind of still out on that, but we would love to investigate it. We just added Yahoo Web Analytics. So we know the data is there. Website optimization is the next frontier. And automating that optimization is ultimately where I think the market is going to head. Rob: Let me add one thing to that. We tried something with our cart on Gun Dog. We went from a three step checkout where we had a cart that was separate, and then a shipping info page, and then a billing page with a click to order button. We switched to a one page checkout and our conversion rate, dropped carts, stayed exactly the same to two decimal places. In these four or five different ways we have tried to do multi-variant testing, I have seen like 5-8% improvements in these models. I mean little bitty things like that. Adding the words “best seller” to your top 100 best sellers, that will increase your conversion rate on those products more than any other test I have ever run on my site in the past four years. I used to be a consultant and developer. I have pretty much retired. I still have a few clients. It is like I will go into a store and they will have something like a little bitty “add to cart” button. It is like their parking break is on in their Ferrari. I look like a genius by just coming in and taking this one thing, fixing these one or two headshot problems that they have, and they go, “Oh my gosh!” So I just think if you implement all the best practices that you know of, at that point, you can start experimenting with offers. I don’t think changing one button is going to be the difference in the world on a big store with 2,000 products and 10,000 pages and millions of visitors a year. We weren’t seeing that as far as our testing. Question: I am also in a niche market like the two etailers on the stage. I have been in business a long time. I love creating unique content. I am very familiar with my subject. I am passionate about it. I am not just selling something to sell. And I agree `100%. It has always been great up until maybe the last 12 months, what I am seeing. And it has got to be frustrating you, and I am wondering what your response is now. Amazon is Amazon, but they have got to be selling the same products that you are selling now. And even this morning, Zappos is talking. They are going to own…they are getting out… So what are you doing? You are educating your consumer. But so many people are more familiar with the Internet now. They are opening up another tab in IE, and they are doing the best price search, and you are losing that customer, even though you have educated them. You have basically sold them the product, but you are losing them on the price. Rob: It is the same thing that his happening in brick and mortar stores. People go into a guitar store, hold the guitar, play it, say, “Hey, I like it,” and then go order it from Musician’s Friend. It is driving small Mom ‘n Pop’s out of business there. I think you need to do value adds. I didn’t have enough room in my presentation to go into some of the other content that we have created. But nowadays, you can buy a Macintosh and you can have a video production facility on your desktop. And one of the things that we have not finished implementing yet is creating this content in such a way to where we can package it with what we sell. Because about 10 years ago we realized, these manufacturers keep doing this kind of stuff to us, and they are going to sell the products to anybody is going to sell it…people sell for cost plus a dollar. What do you have that someone else can’t go get cheaper somewhere else? And that is you and what you know. So create an additional “How to use a dog tracking collar DVD” and stick it in the box. You manufacture your own products. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from those competitors, you have to do that. The other thing is go on Amazon. Put your products on Amazon in different ways and direct folks to your website. I know you can’t technically do that, but if your Amazon username is your domain name and you can link to your content… And I am not saying violate anybody’s terms of service, but if they go, “There is a lot more content over here,” you actually can migrate some folks over. And people will be loyal if your prices are somewhat competitive. Woman 1: What we recently started doing with Amazon, it is called Amazon Product Ads and it is our whole catalogue on Amazon, and it looks like they are buying from Amazon, but it comes right back to our website. It automatically sends people to the Yahoo! Store. So they can look at Amazon all they want; they are still ending up on my site. Rob: And Amazon is going to charge you 13%, 14%, which is…I don’t get that net! Woman: No, it is 13 cents per click. Rob: Really? Man 1: Now, be careful with Amazon Product Ads because we have heard reports of duplicate content issues from developers that have implemented it. Rob: And do a remix version. Do I light version of your content. Keep your Holy Grail content. Like my dog training buyer’s guide, my dog tracking collar buyer’s guide-that is not going anywhere else but on my main domain. But in your feed, you can control what fields get added to a feed. Don’t put all your content on somebody else’s site, because they might have a domain with higher PR and higher trust than you. Question: How big a role does email play in terms of getting this content out? Rob: On some of other our projects, we actually do a lot better with email. There is a lady sitting in the front row who knows email a lot better than I do. Her graphs look like a comb. You can tell when she sends emails out because it is “Shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop.” But we had 500 orders last month from one email that we sent out with one of our clients. So it really depends on what you are selling. A lot of the products we sell don’t have a lot of repeats. Woman 1: [inaudible-crosstalk] Pubcon 2009: Ecommerce Optimization Reviewed by Rob Snell on 2009-12-01 . What I am going to talk about today specifically is how we more than doubled our conversion rate on our family business, Gun Dog Supply, over the past four or five years. Now, Gun Dog Supply is our Yahoo! Store, like I said, that we started in 1997. We basically took my parent's business online. They started in 1972 selling training supplies for hunting dogs. And we were in the situation where we had to get online because we had Petsmart moving in across the street from us, and we took a 50% sales hit with our offline sales in our brick and mortar stores. So mom said, "Get us online." Rating: 4.5 ~~~~~

Pubcon 2009 Yahoo! Store SEO@@@@@@ How y'all doin? My name is Rob Snell. I am from Starkville, Mississippi. I don't know if y'all can tell by the way I talk. I am a retailer. How many people in this audience are retailers? Oh man. I feel sorry for all of ya'll. How many people work for retailers? We got it worse. I think working for retailers is worse than being a retailer. All right. Today I am going to talk about what I do with my store and my clients' stores to get real world results using SEO. Like I said, my name is Rob Snell. We got online in 1997 by putting our family business online with a Yahoo! Store. All of the information I am going to cover today plus anything that wouldn't fit in these 93 slides is going to be on robsnell.com. Just click on "read this first". I got a ton of content on there for retailers. I am a retailer. I wrote this book on how to do well with your Yahoo! Store. I have a lot of information in there. I make $1, so I appreciate it if you buy a book. We started out on the Yahoo! Store platform back in 1997. I love Yahoo! Store. It is very search engine friendly out of the box. They keep making changes to the platform to make it easier for retailers to not have to be propeller head techie SEO's. You put your production information in and it generates these pages. Today I am going to talk about Gun Dog Supply, our online store that sells training supplies for hunting dogs, and how we do SEO on this site. The first thing I try to get my retailers to do is start fresh. Folks have mentioned this before in other presentations, but you want to start with a clean browser. When you see what folks are searching for, when you see the search results pages on Google, I recommend my retailers use Safari, because it is really easy to reset Safari so you have got no cookies. You have a virgin browser. You can see what your customers are seeing when they search. If you are logged into Gmail or your Google Adwords account, you are going to see a different result that is personalized. It is not what your customers are seeing. You just go under Safari and select "reset Safari". The second thing is prioritize the engines. I want to be fishing where the fish are, OK? When I go fishing, I want to fish in the big lake where the big bass are. And with our sites, most of our traffic, like yours, comes from Google, anywhere from 75% to 80% of our organic traffic. But that doesn't mean you want to discount Bing or Yahoo. The third thing is pick your battles. 90% of the traffic from search engines comes from clicks on the first page. 90%. That means you have to be on the first page. This is what more of our customers see when they come to Google, this view. I found from our Analytics, I could see this screen resolution. If you will notice in this, you can see the shopping results, the three organic results, and then image results. When I take that off and see the full page, you can see all 10 results. You can see the ads. The second most popular browser resolution for us is this one. You can also see here how the ads cut off. Google knows that people are clicking on the top of the page. You want to be in the top 5 or bust. If you are not in the top 5, you are not getting the clicks. This is where you want to be. Here is another screenshot showing you 5 different organic listings and the shopping results. When you strip off the ads, 40% of the clicks are going to the first position, 15% to the second position, 10%, 8%. You need to be in the top 3, the top 5, definitely the top 10. Target popular and valuable keyword phrases. Where I come from, we like both kinds of keywords. Keywords that deliver a lot of traffic, but also, keywords that deliver a high revenue per visitor. Here is a mythical keyword phrase using real data so I can talk about a client. I did a Webinar about two weeks ago and I had a client freaking out; a guy I did some work for about 10 years ago. He was number one for unicycle seats on Google, getting tons of sales and traffic from that, and he had dropped to number seven and his sales had dropped off. It makes me really frustrated when retailers will concentrate on one, or 10, or 20 phrases and not go after all this opportunity that is out there. When I look at the Google keyword tool, I see that unicycle seats is a pretty high traffic phrase for this retailer. But I compare that to another one of his phrases that he ranks really well for, Plutzo seats, which is a manufacturer term. It has got medium traffic with 8,000 visitors. Revenue per visitor, thanks to his analytics, we were able to look at his specific revenue per visitor for this keyword phrase. So revenue per visitor for the generic unicycle seats is about $1. But for the manufacturer term, it is $11. And that is for his site. Some terms are going to be worth more to you than they are for the guy sitting next to you. You multiply it out times the frequency to get the inventory value of the phrase. So that is a $40,000 inventory. That is an $88,000 inventory. He needs to be concentrating on the phrases that are driving revenue, not just traffic. The other thing is that on Google, using the Google keyword tool, we were able to see that the average cost per click is 95 cents for the generic term. But for the manufacturer's term, it is only 60 cents. I mean look at the upside. If the generic term is a nickel, it is $10.40. How many $10 bills would you buy for 60 cents? All of them. And here is the Google keyword tool. Just go to Google and search for keyword tool. All right. The next phase for me is collect. I want you to run SEO friendly analytics. I use Yahoo Web Analytics. I also run GA. What I want these things to do is actually show me the money. I am interesting in what search phrase brought somebody to the site, how many visits, the number of orders that I got, and how much revenue they generated. I like to look at this information in a spreadsheet so I can actually compare the value of different keyword phrases. You can see here I have got them color coded. The higher revenue phrases are in green. The next thing I do is I actually calculate revenue per visitor by keyword phrase. Unfortunately, this is not built into Yahoo Web Analytics, and I am not a GA expert, so it might be in there. But in Excel, I just make a simple formula. And this shows me that some keyword phrases are more valuable than others. Look at that $7 revenue per visitor on line three. That tells me right there that something is wrong with that entry page that folks are coming to using that third keyword there. But if you go on down a little bit, look at the $29 revenue per visitor. On average, I get $29 in sales for every single visitor using that keyword phrase. And again, these are mythical keyword phrases. I have overwritten some real keyword phrases so I have got some good data in there for you to look at. [phone rings] QUESTIONS Man 1: So we got one from Twitter. "What site architecture changes give the biggest ranking boost to product pages in a competitive market?" Rob: I would say move your most valuable products to the homepage and focus on that. I mean basicallyI call it "revenavigation"-revenue based navigation. I let my customers determine what my site hierarchy is going to be based upon what level the sales are of those products. Man 2: I was just going to say it really depends upon the size and the scale of the site how you optimize a 5,000 product site versus a 50,000 product, versus a 50 product site. It is going to be different, but there should be some hierarchy. We found that trying to bring, even if you are doing different categories, trying to keep the products as close to the root as possible has been the best strategy for us so far. Question: We have some clientsWe are an agency. Most of our products are high ticket items. 70% of their orders are phone orders. And no matter how much we optimize the e-commerce, or no matter what we do, we still run into this problem, and it gets hard to track those sales and put it onto a spreadsheet. What would you do in that situation? Man 2: We deal with it all the time. It is funny. All the agency guys are in suits and all the retailers are in jeans, except for Rob. Rob: I am both. Man 2: He is both. We deal with people all the time that have very, very high dollar items. Even guys like A Touch of Brass that was in the presentation a couple of times; some of their items are $500 or $600 a piece, which isn't high, but people still want to call and talk to someone about it, because there are five or six options you can choose when you buy. So no matter how much we optimized the checkout process, no matter how much we AB test the product pages, there are certain limits to where you can take it. I mean I don't want to discourage you from trying, but people will call. I mean we have worked with clients where if they sell one or two of this product a month, they are very, very happy. And then can spend $2,000 or $3,000 just for one lead to come in to call about that. I would recommend some call tracking services, dynamically switching out the 800 numbers on the website, whether they are coming in from organic search or paid search. If you want to get even deeper than that, you can divide it by different keyword buckets and ad groups. That seems to be the best way-getting that information. And then if it is a low volume, like high dollar site, going back with the client and reconciling that at the end of the month and saying, "Here are the people that called in. Can you tell us what you know about them?" Man 3: I would also recommend that you have your call center ask people why they are calling instead of using the website. Question: Well you can't tie that to a keyword. That is the problem. Rob: You can. Man 3: Well I know that, but a lot of times it is the website that actually drives people to the phone if they can't find what they are looking for, or certain things, like they say, "Oh, here is the product" and they can't figure out how much it ships to get there or they can't figure out if you support their credit card, or they don't even see something like that your site is signed by Verisign. They panic and say, "I am not putting my credit card in" and they hit the phone. I have dealt with this a lot. But you are going to find a significant number of people that no matter what you do, they will never ever shop on the website. Well, they will actually shop on the website, but then they are still going to pick up the phone. But I think that you can actually do a little bit of a Q&A on the phone and find out where the problems exist, fix the website, and drill that down to a much lower number. I help some clients do that. It is not impossible. Rob: Yeah. Also, like time on site is a good parallel metric to high converting keywords. I think I got this from John Marshall over at Market Motive. Thanks John. If you can't tell whatbecause you have like 20 sessions before somebody buys, a really long buying cycle, you can look at time on site filtered by keyword, and you will see that your higher converting keywords seem to match up with higher time on site. So sometimes that is a good way if you can't tell. With Yahoo Web Analytics, there is actually a way for you to go in and have the customer press a button that generates a unique number. And later on, you can match up that unique number to their order and that will marry it up with the dollar amount of the sale with the converting keyword. And it is a little complicated, and so sometimes you have to say, "Hey, if you want to get a priority number, or free shipping, or a free white paper, or a discount, or something like that, give the operator this number." And that is an easy way to track converting keywords over the phone. Man 3: I just remembered something. There is a service out there, and I can't remember the name. Maybe somebody else here can remind me. But they actually put a button the side of the website that says, "Call to order". And it actually tracks that person's phone number. Whenever they call you to order, it ties the whole thing together on the website. Question: [inaudible] Man 3: It is still not catching it for you. Man 2: The one last thing I will add and then we can go onto the next question is we have a client that sells smaller items through the website and then drives in leads for items that cost probably between $50,000 and $100,000 for very customized items to be built. The sales manager started getting the domain report. He asked us to set up the domain report for him to be sent everyday from Google Analytics. So he wants to see what companies are visiting the website, and he can correlate that back pretty easily. Again, for something high dollar like that, it is not a lot of traffic, so he is able to go in and see, "Oh, IBM came in and looked at the website. IBM also called us." They can tie that information together pretty easily. It is not like bulletproof, but Rob: They are surfing at work. It is not going to be like somebody's dial up through Bellsouth or something. You can tell. Man 2: Right. I mean you get a lot of that noise on there for Comcast, Comcast for Business, Cavalier, but you can filter http://www.robsnell.com/yahoo-store-seo.html Pubcon 2009: Real World SEO For Retailers Reviewed by Rob Snell on 2009-12-03 . Today I am going to talk about what I do with my store and my clients' stores to get real world results using SEO. And so what I do is I remove the name of the product form this list to boil it down to these words. And then I alphabetize and I dedupe this list, and I get a list of all the words that need to be on this one specific product page to get into rank for these extremely long tailed keyword phrases. All right. Collect, organize, prioritize, and optimize. That is it. There is my book. Give me a holler if ya'll need anything. Thank you very much. Rating: 4.0 ~~~~~

PUBCON 2009: Ecommerce Reviews for Yahoo! Store and Other Shopping Carts & Online Stores@@@@@@~~~~~

Pubcon Austin: SEO For E-Commerce (UPDATED)@@@@@@ View more presentations from Rob Snell . Rob: Hope Brett doesnt mind, Im going toYeah, this is the new stuff I want to make sure I get. CONVERTING KEYWORDS -- When Im looking at keywords, converting keywords, these are the different things that I look at, the different metrics in my visits. I look at the number of visitstraffic, I look at the number of orders, I look at the total revenue generated, and then in Yahoo I actually have to make this into a spreadsheet because it doesnt show me this, but in Google it will show yourevenue per visitor is the quality metric. That tells you how good a keyword is. Not how popular it is, but what the quality is. If I get one more visitor to my website, on average, what are they going to spend? How much money is that going to be in my pocket? So in here you see the red; Ive got a low revenue per visitor. And these arent the real keywords; I just kinda found and replaced. But I used real keyword data. So that tells me theres something wrong with that specific keyword on my site. So that gives me an idea of something to look for. I also track individual conversion rates by keywords; conversions by people who actually add to cart and by people who place orders. And when I took this keyword sample it was $5 million. I took out all my domain terms, all my brand terms, because Im going to rank for those pretty much anyway. Those are kind of a gimme. If youre taking credit for thatOr if you have an agency doing your SEO and they take credit for traffic coming to your site using your name, you know, shame on them. $5 million worth of keywords. 21,000 plus keywords in this collection. I cant remember how long the time period was, but it was a pretty big time period. I like to prioritize my SEO keywords based upon how much revenue they generate. This graph right here shows you traffic keywords. Its my top 25 keywords when I sort them by how much traffics coming to my website. The height of the bubble on the graph over here is how much traffic. The size of the circle is how much money. So a big circle there is big money; little circle, little money. If youll notice on here, my number one and my number two keywords are pretty much the same. You know, high traffic, high revenue. My number three keyword, however, I got a lot of visitors but very, very low revenue. If youre prioritizing your keywords by traffic, youd be prioritizing the wrong thing. I take the same 20,000 keywords and then I sort them by number of orders, which is conversions or transactions. Same thing. My top three big keywords, theyre showing up. They are high numbers of transactions, high numbers of revenue, high numbers of trafficthose three big bubbles up there. But if you look, the fifth one has got 650 orders, which is a lot or orders, but its only $10,000 in sales. Thats probably like a $3 whistle or a $5 cheap leather dog collar. You need to be concentrating on total revenue, and thats what this graph is. And this shows you the same graph; its number of orders and the amount of money thats generated. You can see the circles that are higher up on the graph are probably smaller average size orders. But thats a lot of $20,000 circles right there. So when you prioritize by revenue, youre going to be spending what limited time you have as a retailer on the most important things. Question: Is your margin percentage roughly the same Rob: It really is. And when I say revenue, I really mean profits. Because for me, were pretty much, across the board, we have the same margin. A lot of folks have stuff theyll make 90% on one thing and theyll make 10% on something else. So thats a really good question. I graphed these keywords, and this is like the first 25. And you can see theres this drop-off. These are non-brand keywords by revenue, probably from a different sample of time. And I said, Hey, that kinda looks like a dinosaur! And I like to have a metaphor. They talk about the long-tail. Im like, OK, well long-tail. Theres something with a long tail. But its not just your top keywords phrases in the long-tail. I talked about money right? Ive got $5 million. Lets think about this in terms of buckets of $1 million. Because in Mississippi $1 million goes a long way. You can get a nice double-wide, you know? [laughter] In the first bucket there are only 20 keywords that generated a million dollars in revenue. I obsess over these keywords. Theres one of them, Im getting my ass kicked right now because theyre cheating. Because Googles not doing what it should be doing. But instead of losing too much sleep over this, I go, Its only one keyword. Its in one bucket. Think about the other buckets. Concentrate. Do what you gotta do. Dont cheat. Google will sort it out in another 18 months. 20 keywords generated 6,500 orders, but this bucket is the same as the other buckets. My girlfriend was like, Well dont you need to concentrate on the keywords in the head? Im like, No, I want all the millions, you know? Those are the head terms, those 20 terms. Well the next $1 million came from 108 different keywords. And its a lot easier to optimize for those and rank for those than it is for the head terms. And thats 10,000 orders we got from that. And those are the neck keywords terms. Well the next bucket, the next million, came from 800 different keywords. And a lots of these are the same keywords as before but theyve got modifiers on them. So its just kinda like a different flavor of those keywords. Its a lot easier to rank for those. Thats 9,000 orders I got, same million dollar bucket; that came from the back. Well look at this. Its even better. 2,500 keywords generating $1 million. Im not losing sleep over any of these. I optimized my sites. Its baked in. Its built into the templates. Its automated. Im not freaking out about this kind of stuff. Same million dollars. I call that the rump. Dont neglect the rump. Theres $1 million in the rump! All right, long-tail. And for me, long-tail is the last bucket. A million dollar bucket, 16,500 keywords. 16,500 orders. One unique keywords, one order. This is why you take all this cool stuff that Im about to show you and you sprinkle it over your site. Bake the stuff in your templates, you take the keywords, you put modifiers all over it. Thats the long-tail. Another million dollars. Theres lots of meat in that dinosaur. And so your homework is, what are your top 100 keywords by revenue? I really want to know what all your keywords are by revenue. If you only got one conversion, its a fluke; dont worry about it. If you got two or more conversions for a keyword phrase, you need to be considering it. And it starts at the rump. So now youve got 20,000 keywords. What the hell do you do with it? You want to organize buckets of keywords. So what I do is I take my converting keywords and I chunk them into wordle.net and make a tag cloud. This gives me ideas of keyword phrases that appear. The larger the keyword is, the more frequency it appears in my keywords list. So you can get an idea of what Im selling online just based on the number of different times it appears in all my different keywords. I organize keywords by both manufacturer and generic terms. Those are two different ways to organize buckets of keywords. I dont work it one keyword at a time; I work it tons of keywords. Heres an example of a generic term: dog boots. I take off the root phrase, because if I didnt it would be 17 feet tall and you couldnt see anything else. This is whats left after I make a tag cloud. You can see that its different types of dog boots. You can see its where people use dog bootsin the snow. There are buy words in there like coupon, reviews. You can see people talking problems, like pad protection, dog, foot. You can see manufacturer brands in there pretty bigLewis and a couple others. I want you to add buy modifiers to the texts on your pages. And here is why. This will pay for your trip to PubCon. I have clients who are telling me to shut the hell up and not tell other people about this. But I love my peeps. We generated $360,000 last year that I can attribute solely to the modifiers in my modifier list. And Im not going to give you the keys to the kingdom. I have 250 different buying modifiers that apply to any product on my website. Some of the better ones are buy, cheap, best, reviews. Buy me a Honeybun I might share a view more. Heres an example of rankings right now. Discount” is the modifier. Hunting dog vest is the keywords phrase. Number one and two. And this is old. Its three months later. Who knows whats happened? Buy hunting dog vestsone and two. Hunting dog vests online. All of these are converting keywords phrases. Were number three and four. One of my competitors has the word online in his name. Theres no way Im going to beat him for that. Im not even worried about that. Lots of meat in that dinosaur. So your homework is collect buying modifiers from your analytics. And some modifiers apply to specific buckets of products, not everything. You want to apply these buying modifiers where it makes sense on your site. One thing I talked about in Vegas was you can actually put the word buy and cheap in the Alt text of your thumbnail images. Thats a really good one. That will pay for PubCon for somebody. That way your pages will rank for the words buy, your keyword here. Cheap, your keyword here. Well now what? Pages. This is a big change that we had when the Mayday update came out last year. I had a friend of mine whos gothe does 10 times the volume that we do, and hes a really good SEO, and hes twenty-something. I mean Im going to be 43 years old. Im gettin old. He couldnt figure out why his traffic was off, because his rankings for his top 5,000 keywords phrases were untouched. I said, Well, are you prioritizing your SEO pages based on revenue? That was kind of a new idea for him. Basically, Ive got 20,000 pages on Gun Dog Supply. 5,000 of those are PPC landing pages. 5,000 of those are what we call mo picsadditional photography, pages that have to have their own page because its a Yahoo store. So theres no real content in that. So Ive got about 10,000 good pages. If you go to Google, you can see, with a site:yourdomain.com, what you think Google knows about the number of pages on your site. And I dont trust this number because it changes a lot. But its a good metric to see, OK, well what does Google say it knows about my website, the number of pages on my site? So Ive got 20,000 pages. Google knows about 18,000 of them. Well in the past year, 6,500 of those pages have actually gotten me a visitor from Google; looking at analytics, seeing how many pages actually have an entry from Google organic. But like I said, I dont care about traffic. Weve got a shorter buying cycle. If youve got a longer buying cycle, you want to look at time on site as a good analog to revenue. Its really hard sometimes, if it takes 20 visits to your website for somebody to buy, for you to tie the keywords phrases that originally got them there to where you got money. But in our case, its usually a day or two. With most retailers, its a day or two. Ovanash [sp] told me, its like, If you got 80% of your conversions in less three days or less than three visits, then dont worry about coming up with an attribution model. 2,000 of the pages on my website, 10% of the pages, are actually driving conversions, revenue, with our store. Im going to worry about those 2,000, not those 20,000. This is what kicked me in the head. My top 100 entry pages from Google, 75% of my revenue came from those top 100 pages. I asked my brother where he wanted to start when we were writing content. Hes like, Well start with the As! [laughter] And I love my brother, but, you know, sometimes hes not the brightest guy on the planet. I was like, Why dont we start with the $100 bills? [laughter] Or the million dollar bills. So your homework is figure out what your top 100 Google SEO entry pages are. This will inform what pages you link to on your website, what content you build, what gets a homepage link, what rankings you need to check. Ive got 10 minutes. This is the good stuff, so Im going to kinda try to go a little slower through this. Every single keywords has a most relevant page on your website. Take leather dog collars. For me, that would be my subcategory page. There is one page on your site that is the most relevant page for that keyword phrase. I know that sounds kinda basic, but its a pretty important concept. And if you dont know which page is the most relevant page, you can do that site:domain.com on Google and it will show you, in descending order, what Google thinks are the most relevant pages. But Im kinda greedy. I dont want one page. I want two pages. Clustered results. You know how sometimes youll see two or three results from the same website on Google? I told my momma back in 1997 that it would never get better than that. We were the first 30 listings on InfoSeek for all our keyword phrases. [laughter] I was a little greedy. Nowhere to go but down. So theres clustered results. So your homework is to find the two most relevant pages for those top 100 keyword phrases that you got just a minute ago. I like to do that by hand. I see a lot when Im doing that research. Its only 100 queries. All right, site structure. So youve got 20,000 pages all laying out in the floor. How are you going to organize them? Well, how you organize them affects your search engine optimization. I want one URL per page. I dont want the WWW pointing to it, and without the WWW, I dont want all these attributes, I dont want all these ad tracking clicks. Using 301s, and canonicals and whatever your propeller-head smart guys gotta do, I want one URL to get indexed per page. On my homepage I like to link out to my 40 best pages using my 40 best keywords. Look at your homepage. Heres your homework. Look at the anchors and the URLs that are getting linked to from the homepage. Im making money for somebody right now. This is the most important thing you can do. View source and see are you linking to the topare the pages that you are linking to in your top 100. And if now, why the hell are you linking to it? Are you using the right keywords, the best keywords, and linking to the most relevant pages? And are you linking to the same page with multiple links with different anchors to the same page? That doesnt count. First link counts. One link. Site pyramid. You start at the homepage. Any page that you link to from the homepage is a second level page according to Google. You may only have 10 master categories and you may think its categories like homepage, 10 master categories, subcategory, product pages. Well, its not. If youre linking to a product page, it is a second level on the website. It gets the same priority that one of those categories gets. One thing I get a lot of folks to do is you put your top 100 products on a page called Best Sellers and link to it from the run of site navigation and from the homepage. That immediately gets the spider to your product pages, which your product page links are one click of the homepage. Its great. I do revenue-based navigation. Im all about the money. I dont have A-Z on my run of site navigation. I have my best selling brands. I have my best selling products. I have my best selling categories. De-templify your story. I think theres a diminishing return on run of site links. Ive got 20,000 pages. If Ive got 20,000 links that say hunting dog supplies, I think at a certain point Google goes, OK, Rob, I got it. That page is about hunting dog supplies. [laughter] So what I try to do, I have three separate anchors for every single phrase. Ive got the name, Ive got the short name, and Ive got the Alt name. And I mix it up based on my templates. Ive got a different template on my homepage, a different template on my category pages. I dont even have top-level navigation on my product pages, because once you get down there I want you to buy. I dont want you to think about what youre going to get. I want you to give me some money. And then on my reviews pages I have a separate navigation as well. I want you to cross-link your product pages. This is another good one. I had a guy go, Why dont I rank for this magic trick? Im like, Well you only have one link. Its from your subcategory page called Magic Tricks. And you have 26 products in this subcategory. In the old days I would like on every single product page to the previous product and the next product at that level. So you could just kinda skip across. You wouldnt have to pogo stick back and forth to a category page. You could actually get to the product, and like a fashion show, you could go through all the different dog collars. Well nowadays, Ive learned that its even better for us to actually have links to all your brother and sister pages on every single product page. So all those 26 products, I have 25 links coming from those other pages in the same subcategory. Its 25 more links and it really helps. All right, links. How much time? Woman: Five minutes. Talk faster! Rob: I will! Im from Mississippi. Im sorry I talk so slow. [laughter] Rob: If you control a site that has 10,000 pages, if every page has 100 links on it, you control a million links. Is that right? I went to Mississippi State, so Im not sure. Is the math right? 100x10,000, isnt that right? But anyway, you control a lot of links. You need to make sure that youre using the right keywords in the anchor text and that youre linking to the right URLs. Redundant links are bad; I said that. Bad link text like Click here is bad. Use your run of site anchor text lightly. Those three different navigations, we talked about that. Embed links in caption fields. This is the best thing ever. I thought this was dead thanks to Bing. I hated Bing taking over Yahoo because I was losing all my cool tools that Yahoo used to let me do with these advanced site operators. This is the big takeaway. Get your pencil out. This is going to make somebody some money. I like to link inside my product body text. We call it Caption on the Yahoo store. I like to link the two whatever Im talking about. If you talk about a keyword phrase on a page, link to it from the text like Wikipedia does. Well, this is a killer trick. We though it went away, but a buddy of mine found it. If you go to UK.Yahoo.com, they dont use Bing in the UK. Thumbs up. Do a search for site:yourdomain.com. That shows you all the pages that are in that index, right? Add your keyword phrase. That then shows you all the pages on your site that have that keyword phrase. So what? Google can do that. Google cant do this. And link: and the URL that you want to rank for that keyword phrase. That will show you all the pages on your site that have that keyword phrase that link to the page that you want to get links for. Well thats great, but those pages already have links. Who cares about that? Im giving away one of my best secrets here. Put a minus in front of link. This will tell you all the pages on your site that have the keyword phrases you want to rank for that do not link to the page you want to rank. Thats easy links. Take your top 100 converting keyword phrases, run it through that. Youll find dozens of pages on your site that you can link to those pages with and increase your rankings. All right, text. You need text. Im going to blast through that. This is all review, blah, blah, blah. Make a lot of content. I want you to write one piece of compelling content. For us, the first one was buyers guides. Steve wrote a comprehensive buyers guide for one of the categories that we sell, and its like everybody in the industry is copying this. I know it works because everybody is copying this. So now we do individual product reviews. If you can do one thing, write compelling content. Put text on your homepage. I like 500 words. Nobody likes texts on category pages anymore. Put three sentences on category pages. If you need to beef it up with some more text, stick it on the footer. Hand-tweak your top 100 pages. Sorry Im blasting through these. These will be available on RobSnell.com. And if you email me, info@ystore.com, Ill link to it. We automate the other 19,000 pages. These are keyword modifiers, blah, blah, blah. Thats too much money. I cant tell you that. Thats it! [laughter] [applause] Rob: And next up is Krista to talk aboutwhat are you talking about? Krista: Social media! Rob: Social media! Krista: Do you want to answer a question while Im getting ready? Rob: Yeah, yeah. Anyone got a question? Yes, maam? Question: So when youre dealing with clients who have very large brand parameters, youre not always going to win the battle for your assumptions youwhat you want to do as an SEO person~~~~~

PubCon Las Vegas 2010@@@@@@What happens in Vegas gets posted on Twitter and Facebook. Here are my 3 slide decks and transcriptions from yesterday. Doesn't get any fresher than this! -- ROB~~~~~

Pubcon Notes@@@@@@~~~~~

Quick 'n Dirty Site Review@@@@@@What if you don't want the 2-day deal? This is a 2 hour phone review of your site.~~~~~

Ralph Wilson Interviews Me!@@@@@@~~~~~

Rank for CKWP + BUY WORDS@@@@@@~~~~~

Read Avinash's book - WEB ANALYTICS:An Hour A Day@@@@@@http://www.amazon.com/Web-Analytics-Hour-Avinash-Kaushik/dp/0470130652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227564720&sr=1-1~~~~~

Read Customer Reviews@@@@@@http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0764588737/ref=cm_cr_dp_pt/002-2499729-7418427?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books~~~~~

Read My Blog@@@@@@http://ystore.blogs.com/?source=robsnell.com-navlink~~~~~

Read My Book Reviews on Amazon@@@@@@ Yahoo! Store Book Reviews on Amazon ~~~~~

Read My DUMMIES Book CH 20/21@@@@@@http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764588737/sr=8-2/qid=1140275737/ref=sr_1_2/103-4498188-6183843?%5Fencoding=UTF8~~~~~

Read My Yahoo! Store For Dummies Book@@@@@@http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Business-Dummies-Personal-Finance/dp/0764588737~~~~~

Read These Books, Too!@@@@@@ Yahoo! Store Book at Amazon.com~~~~~

Read These OTHER Yahoo! Store Books, Too!@@@@@@~~~~~

Read This First@@@@@@This isn't everything I've ever done, but some of my faves. Enjoy!~~~~~

Redneck Mercedes Convertible@@@@@@ The video is from the vehicle that INSPIRED Steve's bday present: the Redneck Mercedes Convertible ~~~~~

Roast Your Own@@@@@@http://www.roastyourown.com~~~~~

Rob Snell@@@@@@http://ystore.blogs.com~~~~~

Rob Snell Bio@@@@@@ Rob Snell Partner Snell Brothers Rob Snell is Managing Partner of Snell Brothers, a consulting firm specializing in search marketing for Yahoo! Stores. Rob has extensive Yahoo! Store experience with both family-owned stores and consulting clients. The Snell Brothers have designed, developed, marketed and/or maintained hundreds of Yahoo Stores that have generated millions and millions of dollars in online sales. Rob has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Mississippi State University.   Rob is the author of Starting a Yahoo! Store For Dummies (Wiley Computer Publishing, 2006). Rob Snell loves e-commerce and all things Yahoo! Store. He is totally obsessed with search marketing and increasing his stores' conversion rates. He is a small business owner, online retailer, search marketing / e-commerce consultant, and Yahoo! Store developer. He's been online since 1990 and opened his first online store in 1997 when his brother stumbled across Viaweb (now Yahoo! Store).   Rob now consults with Yahoo! Store retailers on improving their e-commerce sites and maximizing their search-marketing campaigns and is a guest speaker and lecturer on search marketing and e-commerce for small business. He posts somewhat regularly in his Yahoo! Store blog at ystore.blogs.com, guest posts from time to time in the Yahoo! Store Blog at ystoreblog.com, and writes a monthly column for the Yahoo! Store newsletter Here is the HTML for the above BIO: <p> <b>Rob Snell <br> Partner<br> <a href="http://www.robsnell.com/" target="_blank">Snell Brothers</a></b> </p> <p>Rob Snell is Managing Partner of Snell Brothers, a consulting firm specializing in search marketing for Yahoo! Stores. Rob has extensive Yahoo! Store experience with both family-owned stores and consulting clients. The Snell Brothers have designed, developed, marketed and/or maintained hundreds of Yahoo Stores that have generated millions and millions of dollars in online sales. Rob has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Mississippi State University.</p> <p> </p> <p>Rob is the author of <em><a href=www.amazon.com/Starting-Business-Dummies-Personal-Finance/dp/0764588737>Starting a Yahoo! Store For Dummies</a></em> (Wiley Computer Publishing, 2006). Rob Snell loves e-commerce and all things Yahoo! Store. He is totally obsessed with search marketing and increasing his stores' conversion rates. He is a small business owner, online retailer, search marketing / e-commerce consultant, and Yahoo! Store developer. He's been online since 1990 and opened his first online store in 1997 when his brother stumbled across Viaweb (now Yahoo! Store). </p> <p> </p> <p>Rob now consults with Yahoo! Store retailers on improving their e-commerce sites and maximizing their search-marketing campaigns and is a guest speaker and lecturer on search marketing and e-commerce for small business. He posts somewhat regularly in his Yahoo! Store blog at ystore.blogs.com, guest posts from time to time in the Yahoo! Store Blog at ystoreblog.com, and writes a monthly column for the Yahoo! Store newsletter </p>"> ~~~~~

Rob Snell Naked@@@@@@ Putting the ho' in Ho! Ho! Ho! Rob Snell is avaliable as a holiday escort for extremely reasonable rates... Parties, Family Get-Togethers, Pillow Fights. Serving the Golden Triangle area since 1985. We may doze, but we never close... Discrete. Professional. Guaranteed to please. Out call service only. ~~~~~

robinblog@@@@@@~~~~~

ROBSNELL.COM@@@@@@~~~~~

ron@@@@@@~~~~~

RTML 101: The Unofficial Guide To Yahoo! Store Templates by Istvan Siposs@@@@@@http://www.ytimes.info/bookabyahsto.html~~~~~

RTML for Yahoo! Store (eBook) by Michael Whitaker@@@@@@http://www.ytimes.info/rtforyast.html~~~~~

saltoflife@@@@@@http://store.yahoo.com/saltoflife~~~~~

Sam & Cooper & Luke@@@@@@~~~~~

Sam (5) and Cooper (0)@@@@@@~~~~~

Sam grins@@@@@@~~~~~

Sam, Cooper, & Luke (3)@@@@@@~~~~~

Sam, Luke, Cooper, & Kathy@@@@@@~~~~~

Scion Generation@@@@@@~~~~~

Scott Clark: Rob Snell Comments on the Congressional Hearing About Online Advertising@@@@@@http://www.sitecreations.com/blog/2008/07/rob-snell-comments-on-the-congressional-hearing-about-online-advertising.html~~~~~

Search@@@@@@~~~~~

SEARCH (Front Page Element)@@@@@@This element puts a search bar centered in the middle of the FRONT PAGE. I use this to separate elements as well as allow users to see that the site has SEARCH capability. ~~~~~

Search Bookmarklets@@@@@@~~~~~

Search Engine Strategies@@@@@@FROM MY Yahoo Store BLOG : Next, I ended up w ith a last minute speaking gig at SES in th e P!MP MY SITE session. Holy Cow! Did I mention it was last minute? Like 30 minutes notice. And I got to wear a purple pimp outfit! Embarrassing pictures of me are available at Mike Whitaker's blog. See his Yahoo! Store Blog - Pimp my Site post. (Thanks Mike & Jean!) I got to share the SEW stage with fellow pimps including moderator Elisabeth Osmeloski , who is the Managing Editor, Search Engine Watch . Speakers included Jennifer Laycock   of Search Engine Guide , Dax Herrera of WebGuerrilla ,  Heather Lloyd-Martin SuccessWorks , and Todd Friesen , a.k.a Oilman , of Range Online Media . Featured in our PIMP MY SITE review was a very, very brave Yahoo Store Owner   , Peggy Li , who sells handmade jewelry , earrings, necklaces and unique beaded gemstone jewelry "as seen in Lucky Magazine ." My P!MP appearance turned into a stand-up presentation without the benefits of preparation or Powerpoint, but I think I did a good job representing Y! considering we covered Yahoo! Store for almost 30 minutes of the PIMP MY SITE presentation. ~~~~~

Search Engine Strategies -- CHICAGO@@@@@@I've been going to SEARCH CONFERENCES since 2001. SES and PUBCON have valuable, valuable info for retailers. Even without the opportunity costs of missing a week of "work," it usually costs me $3000.00 easy out of pocket plus a week of my time to fly to these things, get a room in the conference hotel, eat out every meal, and then I have my pimpilicious wardrobe to think about, but EVERY TIME IT'S WORTH EVERY PENNY AND EVERY SECOND. WHY? If I get one idea that moves the sales needle at home 1%, that's THOUSANDS of dollars in sales. One idea. Multiply that by my group of revshare retailers, then throw in my clients, friends, former clients still in the loop, and then lump in blog readers, book buyers, and etc., and the trickle down is INSANE. From one idea. (Example: Put best-seller in the NAME of a product that is a best-seller and conversion rate jumps up.) And I usually get at least 100x of those tactical ones, and as y'all know, I usually fill a 100 page notebook with ideas and conference notes from speakers AND from the real action after at the parties and hotel bars. Yahoo! Store owners DO show up at these shows, but they don't know where to go, what to do, etc. And I bet less than 1% of retailers show up. So GO! Site Clinic This interactive session takes volunteers from the audience and examines their web sites live to provide general feedback about improving them to gain more traffic from search engines. Moderator: Elisabeth Osmeloski, Managing Editor, Search Engine Watch Panelists: Derrick Wheeler, Senior Search Strategist, Acxiom Digital Rob Snell, Partner, Snell Brothers ~~~~~

Search Engine Watch@@@@@@http://searchenginewatch.com~~~~~

SearchEngineLand: Search Marketing Meets Congress: Now In Video@@@@@@http://searchengineland.com/080625-161237.php~~~~~

Section Page@@@@@@The section level is the next level.~~~~~

see behind the scenes of a real yahoo store -- vitanet@@@@@@see behind the scenes of a real yahoo store vitanet http://edit.store.yahoo.com/RT/DEMOMGR ~~~~~

See Embroiderthis.com@@@@@@http://www.embroiderthis.com/" target=_blank~~~~~

See Pubcon Keynote@@@@@@http://www.robsnell.com/2010-pubcon-keynote.html~~~~~

See your Sales Increase!@@@@@@~~~~~

Sensory Edge@@@@@@~~~~~

SEO for Ecommerce: What's New -- Pubcon Vegas 2010@@@@@@Also see how we create content , how we do e-commerce optimization ... Slide 1 & Slide 2 Howdy, how ya'll doing? My name's Rob Snell. I'm from Starkville, Mississippi. I am not an SEO. I am a retailer who does SEO. So I have a little bit different perspective on things than folks who run agencies or the propeller heads, the screws, the smart guys who do things that make my head hurt. Slide 3 Today I am going to talk about our philosophies about SEO as far as, like, the main thing that I learned about 13 years ago when we got online is you want your site to show up in the results when folks are looking to buy what you sell. Can then find you? I want to fish where the fish are biting. I've only got so much time in the day, so I've got to concentrate my efforts on the things that are going to give me the biggest bang for my buck, and that's what we're going to get into. Slide 4 My parents started Gun Dog Supply back in 1972. We sell training supplies for hunting supplies Slide 5 like Click here. We were one of the first hunting dog supply retailers to get online, one of the first to have a Yahoo Store with a shopping cart. Slide 6 We took our offline catalogue that had tons and tons of content in it and copied and pasted it into a Yahoo Store. And in about three days we got our entire online catalogue to the web. One of the philosophies that we had with our offline catalogue that really served us well from a content standpoint is that my dad and I were sitting down back in '96 when we launched this catalogue, and we said, "Why don't we allocate space in the catalogue based upon how much revenue the products actually generate, instead of doing like a lot of catalogues and trying to put tons, and tons, and tons of products in there and giving it an eighth of a page? So in this example, we've got one product that gets a full page in the catalogue. And nowadays, postage is so expensive it's really difficult to do that. Slide 7 Well, thanks to Yahoo Store, we were able to get online, and it actually saved our family business when PetSmart had opened up across the street. Slide 8 And this is our online website, GunDogSupply.com. And I just kinda wanted to show you guys the effects of SEO over the past 13 years for us. Slides 9-12 The little blue line, I don't know if you can see it down there, is our brick-and-mortar store. You can kinda see there in the middle where PetSmart came in. The little red line is when we launched Yahoo Store. We got online, and ecommerce for us took our family business up in order of magnitude, and it was awesome. But the thing I talked about yesterday in my presentation on how we more than double our conversion rate, and I would attribute half of the growth to SEO. Had we stayed on the vector we were on, we would have been doing fine. We were making money. It wasn't like a dot com kinda growth, but about seven years ago we made this change to our website and it resulted in almost exponential growth. I mean we're seven orders of magnitude greater than we were three or four years ago. And what I'm going to talk about today are the strategies that we used behind the SEO half of this growth. And I've got a solo session right after this where I've got 30 minutes, and I'll be able to go into, actually, some of the tactics. Slide 13 But the changes that we made resulted in over $10 million. And we're an itty bitty little company. I mean, you know, we were talking about Zappos, we were talking about some bigger retailers, $300 million. I mean our combined Yahoo Stores will do $12, $13 million this year. So we are not a big company, especially compared to your guys. Slide 14 And so $10 million in Mississippi, that goes a long way. [laughter] You can get a nice doublewide with that. [laughter] Slide 15 I agree about Google Mayday. I was so glad you said that. I think Google Mayday has had more of an impact on small business ecommerce folks than Google Instant. I'm going to cover my take on Google Mayday and on Google Instant. What we saw on Google Mayday is that a lot of folks were complaining about it, but I couldn't any actual damage to traffic or sales. I looked my sales from SEO, and it was like my metrics were the same. I looked at my rankings, we lost a lot of brand terms. I saw a lot of our suppliers, who we used to outrankand we probably shouldn't be ranking for somebody else's brand name, above them, but we were. And now, like Tri-Tronics, one of our manufacturers, they were now ranking for almost any long-tailed term, even when they didn't have these weird modifiers on the page. We had all of our content with these modifiers, and Google seems to be saying, "If it has a brand name in the search query, let's just go ahead and make the brand rank for it whether or not they have the content." One of my good buddies who has a Yahoo Store, I mean probably does $25, $30 million a year, and he's like 22 years old. I hate his guts. [laughs] He called me up and he was like, "Dude, we have seen a 15%-20% drop in our traffic, but we can't figure out what's going on." He said this to me, he said, "Rob, we looked at our top 5,000 keyword phrases, and our rankings were unaffected by Mayday. How are we going to figure out what happened?" He knew it was long-tail. So we kinda sat down to figure out a metric that we could use to measure the effectiveness of your search engine optimization for ecommerce. And this is a big deal. I was talking to my girlfriend about, "I've got a four hour class that I teach on this and I've got to cram it into 15 minutes." She was like, "Well just take one at a time. If you can only tell them one thing, what would you tell them?" And this is the main thing. So if ya'll cut me off, if ya'll walk away with this, this was really helpful for us. Slide 16 I want you to prioritize your SEO pages based on the revenue that they generate. And what I mean by that is most folks' SEO, they look at rankings: How do I rank for a specific keyword phrase? One of the cool things about ecommerce is that we actually can see what works for us through analytics. You can actually tie a dollar amount to a keywords phrase and an entry page. So what we were able to do on my buddy's site, he's got five times more traffic than me, is we were actually able to see entry pages from Google organic searches and what the revenue was per page. And we compared that before and after Mayday. And from that, we were able to see what pages weren't driving revenue anymore. And what I used this for is I used this to decide what to optimize, I used it to decide what to prioritize, and we went through that a little bit more. Slide 17 Yesterday I was looking at GunDogSupply.com, and I looked at my Yahoo Store, and I have 20,000 store pages. We have 3 or 4,000 products, depending on how you slice them up, the parameters and things. About 5,000 of those pages are PPC landing pages, about 5,000 of those pages are additional product photos, as we have 12 and 13 photos per product on some things. So Google is probably not going to consider that. So think, OK, this is 20,000 pages that I have right here. Slide 18 Well, I go to Google, and I don't really ever trust this site operator, you know, site:yourdomain.com. I don't think that accurately represents what Google knows about. But that's just a number you can watch, and it's pretty consistent over time. So I've got 20,000 pages on my Yahoo Store. I've got 4,500 pages that are actually showing up in Google that are ranking for keyword phrases. Slide 19 I've only got 2,800 of those pages that are actually driving traffic in the past 30 days to my Yahoo Store. Slide 20 Which is awesome, but I've got only 575 pages that are actually driving revenue that I can tie from a Google organic entry into a keyword phrase, coming to my Yahoo Store, and buying something. So I've got 20,000, and then I've got around 5,000, and then I've got 3,000, and this is like 600. So I've got a much smaller bucket. And it's not like Zappos where you've got hundreds of thousands of pages you gotta worry about. I'm going to be worried about the pages that are making me money today, with the changes of Google Instant today, with the change from Mayday, since Mayday. Slide 21 And then look down and I say, "Wow, my top 100 pages are actually driving about 70% of the revenue in the last 30 days from Google. So what this does is this allows me to decide what pages on my site get a link from my homepage. It helps me decide what pages I'm going to develop content on. And it's a lot different from looking at keywords, because I'll have 30 or 40 different keywords that are actually driving multiple transactions to some of these pages. Slide 23 All right, some people are interested in search engines, I'm interested in search engine results pages. I like to fish where the fish are biting. Slide 24 And this is my slide from last year. You know, Google is driving the bus. Bing is interesting to me, but Bing does not contribute enough revenue for me to take my eye off the Google ball. If you have the time, the energy, and the resources to go after Bing, that's great. But like Adam was saying, it's really easy for spammers to spam Bing. And I don't have time to fight those guys. I fight with them on Google as it is. Slide 25 And then this year, as far as traffic, this is revenue, and revenue matches up pretty much with traffic for us in this pie graph. Yahoo is actually growing a little bit with Bing's results. And this is like in the past 30 days. Slide 26 One thing that I see a lot of retailers that I work with when I do consulting, is they don't understand than just ranking in the top 30 on Google isn't going to drive traffic and revenue to your website. 90% of the organic traffic that we see going to ecommerce sites, to smaller Yahoo Stores, is coming from page 1. If you are not on page 1, you are not in the game. I mean this is old news. Everybody in this room probably gets that, but that is so important. You're like, Well hey, I'm number 29 for this keyword phrase." Well how much revenue are you getting from that? Slide 27 I'm a Macintosh person, OK? I like to look at my website, at my ecommerce site, the way my customers do. And most of my customers are not Mac people, they are Windows people. And most of them are using Internet Explorer. And the largest number of them are using the 1024x768 browser. So when I emulate what a customer is doing, I hope over to Parallels and I pop up an Internet Explorer Window. Or I've got a Windows PC that's broken now, and I play with that. But what this shows you, this is a search I did like three days ago for dog boots. And you can kinda see Google Instant popping up there. But the thing that really freaks me out is I used to say if you are in the top five, then you are fine. If you are in the top five, you are golden. Well right now, in the first screenshot, there are only two organic listings. If you are not number one or number two for your best keywords phrases, you are not going to be getting the clicks. I testified to Congress two years ago about the impact of search engines on small business. And if there's anybody from Google in the room, I would actually reconsider my testimony based upon asking Congress notI said, "Do not regulate the search engines. It's working great. Please don't mess with something that works." Slide 28 Right now there are only two editorial links on this page. How many paid ads are on this page that you can see? How many other properties from Google? I love Google. I make a lot of money from Google. I don't want to piss Matt off, OK? So don't shoot me if you are out there Matt. I think they really need to consider what they're doing and the way that they are handing some spam. But I've got some issues there. All right, universal results. Products in Google, the Google Shopping, Google Products has become so much more important now. Last year on this stage, I said, "Hey, I need some help with this. I don't know anything about it." Three different people sent me to SingleFeed, and the SingleFeed folks set me up. I've also done some workthey take good care of us; it's actually driving some traffic. There's also a Yahoo Store specific solution, Don Cole over at YStore Tools has helped us out a lot too. So I'm going to talk a little bit about making sure that your products are even in Google Products. Slide 29 If you go to Google Products, which is Google.com/products and type in site:yourdomain.com, it will show you whether or not you are in Google Products. And I know PubCon is an advanced crowd. But I am surprised every time we do site reviews how many people don't have good title tags, how many people don't have links, and how many people aren't in Google Products. I have retailers that don't even know they're not in Google Products, and because they are getting traffic from Google they think they are. So go do that. Slide 30 Here is an example of a close-up. It's organic one, two, and three. I'm sorry, the first one is organic rankings number one, number two are the shopping results for "dog house heater", which is the shopping query. And I actually go through my terms and I say, "OK, which queries are generating shopping results?" And that helps me decide, do I need to optimize my feed for this, or do I mainly need to optimize organically? Slide 31 This is Google Webmaster Central. If you are not using this, you need to be. Every month they are rolling out cool new features in it. A lot of people covered information yesterday and today about this. But the thing I like about it is you can see impressions. And this drives me nuts. Look at that blue line. That's all the people who are looking for dog house heaters. Look at that orange line. That's all the people who are clicking on my stuff. There's a big difference there. I'm not getting all the clicks. But you have to drill down in this information, because they're not doing a good job of aggregating it in my opinion. Slide 32 For that keyword phrase, "dog house heaters", look at the impressions. Number one has 1,900 impressions. My number two listing, when it shows up, has 720 impressions. So that means I'm showing up number two maybe half the time; they're experimenting with clustered results on that page. The number three position there is my ranking in Google Products. Look at that 7% click-through rate there. That tells me that a large portion of my traffic for that keyword phrase is actually coming from Google Products. Slide 33 On November the 3rd, I picked up a new client, an old client of mine. He had a terrible SEO. I'm not going to use the verb we were using to describe what that guy did to his site, but he wasn't even listed in Google Products. How can you say you're doing SEO on an ecommerce site if you are not getting somebody's products listed in Google Products? I called Don Cole up at like six o'clock on November the 3rd and said, "Hey, here's my client's account. Can you build me a feed?" He said, "Go set up Google Merchant Center, get your ID, verify your site, and I'll set your feed up." Slide 34 And I looked the next morning and we had 326 products in Google Products. So it's fast. If you can verify your site, which [xx 48:15] you have a sitemap, it's really easy. I don't understand exactly all the propeller head stuff behind it, but it's like two or three little things that you do and you are automatically driving traffic. The cool thing about Google Products is you can actually tag your URL with parameters and you can see how much revenue is coming from Google Products. That tells you how much time to devote to optimizing your feeds. And I'll just throw this out there for the folks who want to get into this. You need your UPC codes in there. You need your manufacturer part numbers in there. You need your manufacturer's name in there. I am not a feed optimization expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm just kinda getting into it. There's tons of information SingleFeed's blog. If you use my name when you sign up for them, they donate $100 to Red Cross for Haiti relief, because I don't want to make an affiliate commission off of it. Slide 35 Google Instant. More folks were freaking out about Google Instant when they should have been freaking out about Mayday. Slide 36 Go to Google and type in "dog house heater". I know you guys, by now, it's been six or eight weeks, you know how it works. Slide 37 You type in "dog house h" and it starts suggesting things. That's what you gotta type in to see "dog house heater". Slide 38 Well, if you type in "dog house heater" it shows you additional terms. And what I think is going to happen, and I think the jury is still out on this, I think it's going to make lazy searchers click on the first thing that Google suggests that looks like what they're looking for. I think smarter searchers are actually going to dig in much deeper. So I think it's going to make the bell curve a lot wider in that graph that you were showing, Adam. Slide 39 So you go search for "dog house heater", which is, you know, just a regular term on our website. It's not a very competitive term, and you see that we're ranking. Slide 40 But the one thing that I'm seeing is that the individual keywords are changing. And this is going to change how you optimize for your product pages, it's going to change how you optimize for your category pages. For example, this is not a true test. We spend thousands of dollars a month doing search engine optimization testing of on-page things and off-page things to see what's working for our sites, to see what's working for client sites, to see what competitors are doing. I've got a mastermind of about three really smart dudes, and we just throw some resources and we do tests, and it's really easy to see what's working. But this is not a pure test, because I don't have any control over how Google is going to rank an individual page. Slide 41 And I don't know if you can see this back there, but this is the direct visitors, and the revenue, and the number of orders for "dog house heaters" plural and "dog house heater" singular. If you look at that, the difference between 2009 and 2010 on the plural, we dropped from 600 first time visitors to 400 first-time visitors. But the number of orders stays the same and the revenue goes down a bit. But what you're seeing is the plural is actually getting diminished because of Google Instant. And so now "dog house heater" singular is driving a lot more traffic, and it's shifting a little bit. It's not major; I'm not freaking out about it. Slide 42 And what we did, we actually had to type in the entire keyword phrase to see the results on Google Instant. So Google is pushing folks to what I think is the higher CPC, which is the singular in this specific case. I mean Google is going to do something if it makes them more money, right? They don't do things just for fun. They don't do things because they're cool, not in the thing that's making them money right now. So I think the reason they are doing this is to drive people to higher CPC terms. Slide 43 I'm not a person who can write programs or anything like that. So we have to do a lot of things manually. Unfortunately, my assistant had to do this manually, because I was going to delegate it, right? So poor Nikki here, she had to go through our top terms. And we took our top 500 terms, we took out all of our domain names, our brand and navigation terms, just to see what would happen on Google Instant. And what we're seeing is that on some singular terms and some plural terms, they're kinda flip-flopping to what Google's pushing. And she would go through and type in, and she would find out what the minimum was you had to type it in to see what the term is. And I recommend that you do this to find out if there is a more popular term that you should be ranking for, you know, a synonym of your main converting keywords. You also need to see if the plural is more important or if the singular is more important. And when you're doing this, you need to have a clean browser. We use Safari, and there's a real easy way. You go into Safari, you hit "Reset Safari". It's really easy. I'll show that in a minute. But here's "dog house heaters", and here's her noteit doesn't up with plural if you actually type the full thing in. So we're losing traffic on the plural. Slide 44 All right, well now what? Slide 45 Well like I said a minute ago, I want you to see what everyone else sees. Slide 46 So here's one my keyword phrases, one of my pet keyword phrases, and we're fighting with some spammers, "dog training collars". Slide 47 So I go Google that and I'm like, "Man, this rocks! I'm number one and number two for my keyword phrase. I'm doing a great job. Back on top again. I'm battling with these guys." Slide 48 But I said, "Hey, wait a minute. I'm still signed into my Gmail account." I'm not really number one and number two. You need to sign out of Google accounts, you need to clear your cookies. Slide 49 Open up a separate browser. You can get Safari for Mac or Windows. Somebody this summer said something about using an incognito window in Chrome, but I'm not gettingit's still customizing my results. Slide 50 So the only way I've been able to get pure, virgin results from a browser is to use Safari and hit the "Reset Safari". It's so easy. So run two browsers. You can kinda hop over there and do this. Slide 51 So I go back to Google. I do "dog training collars". Slide 52 And I go, "Hey, I'm on the first page.and you can't even see me!" So I've got a lot of work today. So just because I'm saying do stuff, I'm not saying that I am perfect at SEO by any stretch of the imagination. Slide 54 All right. I've got a little bit of time left, don't I? I'm going to go into what I call Redneck SEO 101. [laughter] This is how I explain SEO to people, and it's really just a simplified Dummies version of how we approach it on the product level. I love money conferences, and a lot of people talk about a lot of theory stuff, but one thing that's frustrated me the past 10 years, when I don't know something about something, people don't actually show the process. And if you've got 12 minutes to do a PowerPoint deck, you really don't have time to dig deep and go in the process. And so I tend to kinda get a little greedy and take more time than I've been allocated. You know, my 15 minute presentation is stretched to be 22 trying to get real world stuff in there. I've got all my slides from the past five or six years on RobSnell.com if I don't have time to get through the rest of this stuff. But Redneck SEO 101. Slide 55 The first thing I do is I pick a keyword. Simple enough. Slide 56 "Dog House Heater". Slide 57 The next thing I do is I pick my store's most relevant page. And the reality is I pick two pages, because I'm optimizing for two for clustered. So you'll have to go to my solo session after this if you want to hear how I do that. The way you find your store's most relevant page for "dog house heater" is, when you kinda think about it, you go, "OK, well what would my customers want to see?" And usually, that's like a section page, a category page, a buyer's guide page. You know, they want to see dog house heaters. Slide 58 Well, Google seems to be sending a lot of this traffic to product pages. So in this case, my category page is for dog house heaters. It's getting a little cold in Mississippi now. You never have snow on a black Lab in Mississippi, you know? But a lot of my traffic is coming to these category pages, so we picked this page for an example. Slide 59 And the first thing I do is I put the keyword in the Title tag. And I know you guys know that, but in Yahoo Store it is really easy. There's a field in the CMS, you type it in the Name field as the default. Slide 60 And that's what it looks like in the code. And I've got the keyword in there. Slide 61 The Title is the most important on-page SEO element. It has been for a long time. It still is. The Title is what shows up in the search. When you do a search, it's that blue link. Slide 62 The next thing I do is I put the keyword in my BODY TEXT. Slide 63 And this is "Steve Says". It's a little bit of editorial stuff we do. I'll be talking in the solo session about how we create content as well. But Steve writes content, and I kinda give him some hints as far as what keywords to use. Here's a sprinkling of the keywords. We use the natural English just the way he would write. It's not really keyword stuff. Slide 64 Then the next thing you do is you put the keyword you want to rank for in links pointing to the page you want to rank. Well, I think everybody here knows that. And the way we do that on the Yahoo Store is we put it in the navigational links, like the run site, and then we put it with the thumbnails when it's features like as a special on the category page. Dog house heaters, dog house heaters. Slide 66 Link text or anchor text is the most important off-page SEO element. That's like "miserable failure". Remember when they were going back and forth, the Democrats and Republicans were trying to get different pages to rank for that term. It wasn't even on the page. It was in the link text. So link text, you can do a lot of stuff with that on your site. I mean if you guys have a 10,000 page website with 100 links on every single page, you control a million links on your own website. You can a lot of magic with that. And this is what I'm going to show you here. There is the HTML code for that heaters page. Slide 67 You want to get more links than the other guy. Slide 68 One of the ways you can see how many links you have, and this is a free tool, you can go to Yahoo Site Explorer. They have not cut this off yet, but it doesn't work as good as it used to. You type in Link: the page that you want to rank, or the page that you want to see the links to, and it's going to show you the back-links. I don't know if you can see right there, but we have 160 links to that heaters page. Slide 69 And there's a little switch you can flip and say, "OK, we'll just show me the external links." And this page, the dog house heaters page, only has eight external links. And most of those are from scrapers. I mean I haven't done any link building on that. And this will show you the results. Slide 70 You go check your rankings, and we're still rankingyou can check it right now on your phone if you want to, but we're still ranking really well. Slide 71 I've signed out, and we're ranking one and sometimes two for that keyword phrase term. Slide 72 Like I said, at 11:30 next door I'm doing the tactic stuff. Slide 73 If you want to get on my mailing list: info@ystore.com. I don't spam it. It's six times a year at the most. We're doing ecommerce seminars next year. Slide 75 And like I said, at RobSnell.com I've got all this free stuff. I've got 17 tactical things I'm going to tell you if you come next door. And that's me. ~~~~~

SEO Mistakes Retailers Make@@@@@@Listen to the original MP3 of the SHOW: THE OFFICIAL SHOW PAGE / EPISODE [ MP3 ] SHAWNA: Hello, hello, and welcome everybody! We have such a great show for you tonight. I am so excited about our guest. Let me tell you, you are going to have so much fun. OK, so if you're listening to our live show, today is Monday, February 7th. If you are not in our chatroom, you need to get in here. Just go to the top of WebmasterRadio.fm website. We have a great room of people in here. Let me tell you, the room is rocking. You can listen live, you can chat with friends, and really, you are going to have a great time, especially tonight. Tonight you are going to have a very good time and you are going to learn so much. Let me tell you, you are going to learn so much, because our guest today loves to share education. And, you know, he's one of the few speakers that whenever I go and see him, I cannot write down notes fast enough. My hand hurts at the very end. My cheeks hurt because I'm laughing and smiling so much. He is just that awesome. So please help me in welcoming our guest Rob Snell from Gun Dog Supply , from author of "Staring a Yahoo Business for Dummies", and also known as Sexiest Man of the Year. I cannot forget that! Hello Rob! Rob: How are you doing? Shawna: I am wonderful, wonderful. How are you? Rob: Oh, I'm freezin' down here in Mississippi. It's like 42 degrees. I can't believe it. Shawna: Oh, my gosh! 42 degrees! It's like negative something here in Michigan. Come on now! Rob: I'm having to wear socks, you know? Shawna: [laughs] I can't believe it. You're complaining about 40 degrees. That's crazy! Rob: I know! Well how you been? Shawna: So, you gotta tell me, what have you been doing lately? Because you have been doing some awesome speaking, and I've seen you in some great articles lately. So what's been going on lately? Rob: I don't know. I've been doing a lot of speaking at some different shows. Coming up I'm doing something at PubCon with Brett in March, and then I'm speaking at Conversion Conference . Tim Ash has a great show that I went to as an attendee back three or four months ago, and then he invited me to speak. So I'm going to be doing that. I've been writing for Search Engine Land . I've got a new column that comes out every four weeks called "Retail Smarts" , and Elisabeth is cracking the whip on that. Having a good time with my fellow columnists. I'm still doing stuff with Yahoo, and I'm still pimpin' my six year old "Dummies" book and having a good time. Selling some dog collars . [laughs] Shawna: Wow, wow! I love it. But what's really great, though, is when you do these speaking engagements, you put so much into the education. I mean, you know, normally you've got these speakers and their slides are like 10 or 20, and you've got like 100. Rob: Yeah. It's kinda like drinking from a fire hose, because, OK, they give me 30 minutes or 45 minutes if I've got a keynote, you know, to download everything in my brain than an online retailer needs to know in this very, very tight window. And I'm finally accepting the fact that, OK, maybe they'll invite me back, or maybe I'll be speaking at some other venues, so I don't have to tell everybody everything every time I speak. So I'm doing a better job of... You know, I've only got like 112 slides in my current deck right now. Shawna: Only 112. OK! Well we're going to pull all of that out in the next hour for our listeners, because we have a lot of people here so excited. I see Chris Malta [sp] even joined. Hello Mr. Malta! All right. So what are the SEO mistakes that you're seeing that retailers are typically making time and time again? Rob: Well, point it back at me a little bit. These are also mistakes that I have made in the past. I've been doing this online since '97, and I mean I really got into search engine optimization back in the HotBot, InfoSeek, Web Crawler days. You know, before Google even came on the scene. And so, when I talk about mistakes the retailers make, I'm not pointing a finger at anybody. There are three fingers pointing back at me saying I've made these mistakes. But the main thing that I see folks make mistake-wise is retailers are not looking at the right numbers. When you're looking at your search engine optimization efforts for an online store, I think you need to look at revenue numbers, not just rankings. Not just traffic from Google, and Bing, and Yahoo. You need to look at what keywords and what pages are actually driving revenue to your online store and measure those pages and those keywords and focus on those and not get so caught up in the, "Hey, I'm not number one for this specific keyword phrase." Shawna: Extremely important. And you even talk about you're doing like your navigation based upon revenue as well. Rob: Absolutely. Shawna: I've heard you talk about that as well. Rob: Yeah, it drives me nuts! You know, I'll have a keyword phrase that the revenue per visitors is $20 in sales. For every new person that comes to my website using this really specific keyword phrase, I get $20. And then I'll have another high traffic phrase that only generates 20 cents in revenue. And I see people concentrating on these higher traffic phrases, these more generic phrases... And I mean they can drive a lot of traffic to your site, and they will drive some revenue. But as an online retailer, you kinda gotta pick your battles. I mean there are only so many pages you can optimize in a day. There are only so many keywords that you can chase. And if you prioritize your life by revenue, you're going to do so much better. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Now a great question that we're getting asked, and I think it's a great time to ask this too, is, Rob, what tool are you using for tracking conversions? Rob: Well I'm running both Google Analytics and Yahoo Web Analytics on my Yahoo stores. My good buddy Mike over at Monitus has got this cool tool that integrates with Google Analytics to make it work on a Yahoo Store. And there's so much more information that he's able to provide that you can't just get out of either one of those packages. So that's why I run both Yahoo Web Analytics and Google Analytics. But I got an email the other day right after I sent out the email about, "Hey, I've got this new article online at Search Engine Land," this new column, which is why we're talking. You know, somebody is like, "How do you track converting keywords?" And I was like, "Oh, my God! Do we still have to talk about this?" You know, it's like you go in your analytics and you look at the keywords that are driving traffic to your store. And in Yahoo Web Analytics, you actually can pull a conversion report and show the converting keywords where you have a dollar amount that's tied to a specific keyword phrase. You can see how many people came to your website on which search engine for that specific keyword phrase. And today, to think that people don't know how to track that, oh, it makes my head hurt, you know? Shawna: Well, I think the problem is people, they go into Google Analytics, they go into Yahoo Analytics, and when you first go in there, it is overwhelming. Rob: It is. It is. Shawna: So it's like, yes, it's easy... I think we look at it and we're like, "Well, you just do this and it's real simple." But for somebody who's new or they're in their first couple of months, or even first time just going into the software itself, it's overwhelming! [laughs] Rob: it is, it is. And it Google Analytics, you know, when you are looking at these reports, you can just click on that e-commerce tab, and if everything's set up right, you are going to see the dollar amount that applies to the keyword phrase. But one of the things that you need to look at as a retailer, though, is how many visits does it take for somebody to come to your site and buy something? If you have a shorter buying cycle like I'd say 90% of the retailers I deal with, they're getting... a person comes to the website, 50% of the folks buy on the first visit, another 30% or 40% of the folks buy on the second or third visit. Your analytics package is actually going to do a really good job of keeping up with what that original keyword was that got somebody to your website the first time, and that tells you, "OK, well I need to optimize for these keyword phrases," because you could say that is the keyword phrase that generated the revenue for the sale. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. It's important that you're looking at this data because the data will help you make informed decisions. And I think that's what people need to understand, that you will make informed decisions. So what metrics are you using to really measure your SEO, and how are you prioritizing which pages and keywords you need to focus on? Rob: OK, well that's really good. The thing I used to look at back in the day was rankings. I used like WebPosition Gold back in the... Shawna: Oh, yes! I remember! I used it too! [laughs] Rob: I found a report from 1999 the other day, like in an old box, and it was just awesome to see all these old search engines that have kind of gone by the wayside. But, you know, that was the first thing. And a lot of people do that. They either hand check their results by going to a searching engine and typing in their keyword phrases, or they use some sort of automated keyword ranking position tracker. And that's a good place to start. But if that's all you look at, you're really selling yourself short, because it's not just about rankings. The second thing I say is go in and look at your analytics and look at your converting keyword phrases. And if you have a long buying cycle, if it takes people more than three or four visits on average to come to your store and buy something because you sell something that's got like a high price point or whatever, look at a different metric. Look at the amount of time that the visitor spends on the page. Time on site is a great metric that's parallel to conversions. If the average person for a converting keyword phrase is on your site for 20 minutes, then that's almost as good as a conversion for some folks. And then, the other thing is once you drill down, you're going to see that some keywords are more valuable than others. And I look both at quality metrics as well as quantity metrics. You know, quantity is like how many visitors are coming to my website with this converting keyword phrase? But the quality side of the equation is how much revenue per visitor am I getting? And so, I would much rather take a $20 or even a $10 revenue per visitor keyword phrase and build out content on that, build links on that, optimize the page for that, and maybe move up one or two spots than two obsess over some of these really broad one and two word phrases that I see a lot of people kinda getting stuck on, you know? Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Absolutely, they're not doing them any good. All right. So, can you give us an overview of how you can optimize an online store? Because, you know, I'll be honest with you, I've been doing a lot of video reviews, and I'm sorry if this totally messes up your numbers. But when I start doing a huge thing content, about content, I always like to use your store as an example because... Rob: Oh, you're killing me! Shawna: I mean you really know how to do it and... You know, the content on your site is absolutely amazing. Rob: OK, I think it's pretty good. I don't think it's amazing. I think we do an adequate job. And in our industry, I think we're one of the top retailers in the hunting dog supply niche as far as creating stuff. I really appreciate that. But we're still... you know, we look at our site and we go, "Ah, man, we got so much work to do." Steve and I were just talking about that a minute ago. And every time I do an interview or have an article come out, it always just kills me because I get all this traffic to the website that totally screws my numbers up for the day. [laughs] So hopefully we're not testing anything this second. Hopefully Whittaker's going to pull back on the handle because he knows I'm on the radio today. But one thing that I didn't get to a second ago as far as like when you're looking at your numbers, I had a really good buddy of mine, he probably gets five to 10 times the traffic we do on his website. He's not a client. He's just like a fellow Yahoo Store owner. He's a great SEO. But when the Mayday update happened last year, he lost 15%-20% of his traffic. And he emailed me, and I covered this in the article, and what we kinda came up with changed the way I look at my SEO metrics. And he was losing 15%-20% of his traffic from the shift with the Mayday algo change, because it seemed like big brands were picking up on keywords phrases where the modifiers weren't even on their page. Like Google was going, "OK, well this has got a brand term in it. I'm going to throw it to the manufacturer, not to a retailer who happens to have a well optimized page." He had 5,000 of his best converting keywords and he, I'm assuming, automated and checked the rankings on these, and overall he lost no positions. You know, his rankings were still real solid, but yet he lost 15%-20% of his traffic. And what we were able to figure out was most of the traffic loss was on long-tail terms that he wouldn't see because they are really, really specific keyword phrases that not a lot of folks are looking at. And we changed the way we looked at SEO metrics. Instead of keywords, and instead of looking at visitors to a site using keywords, we actually used entry pages from Google. And so on his site, we measured the number of pages that had received Google traffic both before and after Mayday, and we were able to see what pages actually lost traffic. And from that we were able to figure out what to do, which was you want to beef up the pages, the links pointing to those pages, and sometimes you gotta cut em loose. If a page isn't performing for you, you don't want to spend a whole bunch of time on it. But we found out that most of the traffic loss that he had was from these longer tailed phrases, more obscure, and most of those were not converting. So it really didn't hurt him too bad in Mayday. And ever since then, Steve and I have been looking at the entry pages from Google, and that's a good way to measure your online store and say, "OK, what pages should I be working on?" And instead of working on all your pages, focus on the pages that are in Google now that are driving you both traffic and conversions, if that makes sense. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Absolutely. All right, so here's the thing, though. We know how important it is... And maybe we should do a quick break before we get into this, because I know that this is going to be a long answer. So actually, let's do that. Let's go ahead and take a real quick break. And don't go anywhere, because we've got some more great stuff. Like I tell ya', Rob Snell gives out the goods when he comes on. And that's why it's always best if you see him at a conference, go check him out. You gotta do this every time. You see an article, go read it. But right now we're going to take a real quick break. Don't go anywhere. You're listening to eCom Experts on WebmasterRadio.fm. [commercial break] Shawna: Welcome back everyone, and we are here with Mr. Rob Snell. Not only the Sexiest Man Alive... yeah, it's true. Go look him up. [laughs] But also, author of "Starting a Yahoo Small Business for Dummies", and also with Gun Dog Supply, and speaker, and gosh, Congress too, am I right? Rob: Yep. I'm running for Congress. No, just kidding. Shawna: No! You spoke in front of... did something. Rob: I did. I testified on our behalf, for all search marketers, telling Congress to leave their grubby paws off of search marketing. It's working just fine. Just don't mess with it. Shawna: Yes, don't mess with it. OK, so here's a question for you, and I know you've got good answers about this. And we're talking a lot about this all week long on Webmaster Radio. We were talking about this last week on eCom experts about content. Content, content, content. Google makes another algorithm change having to do with content. How can online store owners create that compelling content and unique content? Rob: Basically, download your brain into your online store. As a retailer, you know more about what you sell than your customers ever will. And you forget how many cool things you know about that solve people's problems. My brother does a great job of this. He basically says, "What are people emailing me asking about that the website's not doing a good job of educating them about? OK, I need to make a paragraph about that, or I need to write a review about that specific problem or that specific solution and put that on the website." And one thing that we do sometimes is we'll go around the warehouse and we'll start with our bestselling product, and we'll say, "OK, what about this product does a customer need to do know to know that it's going to solve their problem, so that if they buy this from us, this is going to make their problem go away?" And we'll outline that, and from that we'll get ideas for reviews, from that we'll get ideas for buyer's guides, we'll get ideas, you know, can you demonstrate it? It's awesome to be able to make a little 30 second product video. We get a lot of traffic on the view videos that we do have on Gun Dog. We get a lot of traffic to those videos and a lot of conversions on the pages where you have a product that you can demo. When you have a video you're going to have a much higher conversion rate. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. And I know that you sit with your brother and ask him all kinds of questions. Rob: I do, I do. I lock him in the room and I won't let him take a smoke break or go pee until he finishes his content. Shawna: [laughs] Rob: And, you know, that's just what it is. We turn the tape recorder on and we just start talking. I ask dumb questions. I ask him questions, because I am not a dog training expert. I am not a hunting expert. I have a dog, but I am not a dog expert. And so I can ask him questions that he just rolls his eyes sometimes and says, "I can't believe you're asking me this." But, you know, I grew up in the family. I went hunting one time. It was, you know, 15 degrees. We got cold and wet. I'm like, "I want to go sit in the truck and eat sausage biscuits." Shawna: [laughs] Rob: "I don't understand this get up at four o'clock in the morning and go out in the freezing cold. You know, we could go by Wendy's and pick up a chicken sandwich", you know? And so the family decided pretty early on like, "OK, well Rob's not going to be the huntin' brother, so maybe he's got some other skills." And fortunately for me, I got the marketing gene and the creative graphic design guy gene. Shawna: Uh-huh! [laughs] Rob: But, you know, it's like we... when it comes to creating content, you have to be the expert. And if you're not the expert, you probably have somebody working at your office who is a product knowledge expert, and you need to download their brain. And if you don't have that person, you don't need to be selling stuff online if you don't know a lot about what you're selling. Shawna: Very, very true. You know, we talk to people and it's so interesting, because it's like, "Well, what are you selling?" And then for a long time there it was wedding favors, because they were listening to somebody or learning from somebody who was so successful selling wedding favors, and they were going to be successful selling wedding favors too. But yet, they knew nothing about wedding favors. But they were going to be that successful. Rob: Yeah. And, you know, Steve and I were talking today about getting into another product line, and I was like, "Do we really want to get into that? Do we have street cred on this specific new thing?" And we decided that we didn't. And so I think we tabled that. So you want to be real... I talk a lot about Gun Dog Supply and that we sell training supplies for hunting dogs, and that we sell dog tracking collars and dog training collars. And sometimes I'm going, "Man, I'm giving way too much of this info away." But the reality is that these are very low margin products. And I'm not that worried about my competitors figuring out what I'm doing. Because if you look on my website, you can see what I'm doing. And if you're a super SEO... and there's some people in the chatroom who scare the hell out of me SEO wise. They're knowledge compared to mine... I mean there's some SEO geniuses in there right nowpeople that I go to PubCon to listen to them speak about SEO. I'm not an SEO; I'm a retailer who does SEO. I'm not worried about those guys coming in because, like I said, the margins on these things are so small. It just happens to be the business that I grew up in and that my family was inselling training supplies for huntin' dogs. I mean they'll make a lot more money with, you know, mortgage loans. You know, the cost-per-click and the total traffic going to some of these sites, I mean this is a really, really, really small niche. Hunting dog training supplies is a small niche inside the slightly larger niche of dog training supplies. And so, that's one of the reasons why I can give away a lot of this information. But you were talking earlier about creating content. We've had over $10 million in additional sales... and it's closer to like $12 or $13 million now since the last time I ran these numbers. Over $10 million in additional sales, since my dad passed away and my brother and I took over the company and changed the way we sold online, just by increasing our trust online with our customers, establishing rapport, and writing all this compelling content. And it's really, really good for SEO. And I throw that number out there and people are just like, "Oh, my gosh!" But, you know, over six or seven years in sales, that's not that much compared to most medium sized businesses. But it's enough that retailers need to be serious about and come up with a content creation plan. Shawna: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now we've got a couple of great questions in our chatroom here, especially talking about Yahoo Stores. Does Google rank more off the Description field, Content, or Caption field content? Because browsers can't see the Description field content on category product pages. Great questions about the Yahoo Store. It's a great question, and something that the Description field hasn't always been there. Rob: And it depends. It depends, are you using the version 3 templates out of the box, or are you getting somebody like Shawna or another Yahoo Store developer to customize your templates? You know, where are they putting that code? And so, for us, I have, on my category pages, which I call section pages, but it seems like everybody in e-commerce calls them category pages, I make sure that I have 300-500 words of unique content in addition to my thumbnails and links of the products in that category. You want to have content on those pages. But for me it's the Title tag. Whatever is generating the Title tag of your page, to me, if you had to pick one tag on a Yahoo Store, that is the most important tag. And in most Yahoo Stores that's either the Name field or the Page-Title field. Does that make sense? Shawna: Yeah, that absolutely makes sense. And for those brand new, out of the box stores, you know, that Description field is supposed to be for that meta tag description, but it really doesn't tell store owners that in a clear and concise way. It's kind of confusing the way that they put that in there. Now, Mary Geek has a great question as well, although Mary Geek has to call me Shawna from now on instead of Jackie. I love you. I'm sorry, but you gotta say the right name, though. I love you! All right. So, "My wife and I own a small wedding videography business. Can you ask Rob if the strategy is any different for a service-based business?" Rob: Actually, it is, because with a product-based business, you know, you're going to have shopping keywords. And so, if you're not in Google Products... In the past year, I've noticed on most of our queries now, especially the really specific shopping keywords, Google's pulling either three or five thumbnails from Google Shopping and either listing a specific retailer's product or that one SKU for all the retailers who sell it. So if you used to have like a number four or number five listing on a keyword phrase, you were OK. On a normal browser's screen you were within the first screenshot of results. But now, because of the changes that Google's made to its layout, they'll have three pay-per-click ads above the first organic, and then you'll have like the first two or three organic listings, and then you'll have the shopping results, and then maybe below that the video results. And so number four or five, you're pushed way down the page. And so there is a big difference between optimizing for a shopping business and a service-based business just from that alone. Shawna: Absolutely. So, all right. What do you recommend that retailers do first when it comes to SEO? Because that's a big question. It's like, "OK, I've got my store open. What do I do now?" Rob: Well I would say if you are a brand new retailer and you have absolutely no idea what your converting keywords are, you better get a Kevlar vest, and a bulletproof helmet, and a big machine gun, because, I mean, you are wading into a battle to get your pages ranked. You need to pick one really small sub-niche of your products and say, "OK, well I'm an expert about this really specific group of products. I'm going to develop some content about this specific group of products. I'm going to features these products on the homepage. I'm going to go out and build links to these interior pages using the keywords that folks are using to buy what I sell." And not focus on 50,000 different keyword phrases, focus on 10 different keyword phrases. And the same thing applies to existing retailers; folks who already have an online store. You need to look in your analytics and see what subcategory pages and what category pages buckets of keywords around a specific group of products are driving the majority of your site's traffic and revenue. And from that you can get ideas for creating buyer's guides for every single category in your site. If it's generating any revenue at all, it needs a buyer's guide. Every single product launch, every time a new manufacturer comes out with a new product line, and a lot of folks launch products every single year, you need to write a buyer's guide and a review of this year's products and put that on your website. Does that answer both of those questions? Shawna: It does. And it all comes back around to good, solid content. Content, content, content. Rob: Yeah, and you prioritize your content based upon the revenue that it generates for your company. And somebody posted in the chatroom a good thing: "Or the revenue that you think it should generate based upon the volume of traffic and the interest that that keyword phrase gets." So you can sometimes, you know, kinda build something for anticipating an increase in search engine optimization traffic for a new product line. Shawna: Absolutely. OK. Let's do this. Let's go ahead and take another real quick break. And if you have more questions for Rob, post them in our chatroom. You guys are asking really great questions. I love the questions you're asking, so let's keep it going and learn some more about SEO and e-commerce, because those two things got to go together! All right, don't go anywhere. You're listening to eCom Experts on WebmasterRadio.fm. [commercial break] Shawna: Welcome back everyone. We're here with Rob Snell, GunDogSupply.com. And we've got some great questions in our chatroom. All right. So let's start with a question from JLM, who wants to know, "At what point does Google penalize for repeating keywords. For example, when I'm putting in a phrase matching long-tails on a product, I might put bullets like GPS carjacking, GPS dog tracking, GPS fleet tracking, etc." Rob: I don't know why they're asking me, because I'm not Google. You know what I mean? And anybody who tells you exactly what Google is going to do, you know, either they are a former employee or something like that or they're making stuff up. But, I mean, there are some things that are... You don't want to repeat keywords over, and over, and over again, especially if you have overlapping keyword phrases, like one of those is GPS. The modifiers in there... let me scroll up. Hold on. I was looking at it in the chatroom and it then it scrolled off the screen. But basically, if you already have "GPS Tracking" in there, if you're going after long-tail terms, you don't need the "buy cheap Garmin GPS tracking for hounds". You wouldn't need to repeat the phrase in there if all of those little nuggets were repeated somewhere on the page, if that makes sense. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. And you bring up an excellent point that nobody knows for sure what Google is going to do, and they're not talking. You know, you see all these interviews where people are desperately trying to pull this information out of Google whenever they're interviewing. You see it with Matt Cutts. You see it when they're trying to talk with Mr. Page. You know, and it's like they're constantly asking these questions, and they're not giving it up, because then, of course, spammers are going to use that information and they're trying to keep some of that. But I think what really helps is to look at your content and to read it out loud. And I think that that's extremely important. Because when you read it out loud and you feel like you're stumbling and repeating words way too often, you know, [laughs] you know you've gone too far. Rob: Yeah. And if it's not in the way normal people talk, visitors aren't going to be able to read it anyway. That's a really, really good rule of thumb to use. You just need to pay attention to what these guys say that they're going to ban you for. I mean, you know, in my book I say you need to buy links because buying links works. But links with the exact anchor text that you want. And then, you know, two, three years later they come out against paid links, saying that if you do that and you get caught, they're going to take you to Google jail. And, you know, so you don't want to do that. You don't want to do things that are against their terms of service if you're not willing to live with what they say they're willing to do to you if they catch you breaking them. But I gotta be honest. I mean I have had... I know of some competitors of mine who have passed hand checks for doing things that I would never ever, ever think about doing. You know? I mean they're doing like widget spam, they have multiple splog networks where they basically take an article and they spin it and they put it on five or six different Wordpress blogs from domains that they reclaimed when somebody forgot to renew their domain, and they're old domains. They bought a website that had absolutely nothing to do with what they're selling and now they're repurposing it into an online store. And I know for a fact that these have gotten hand checked by the powers that be and they passed. And so it tells me that sometimes maybe we're not pushing hard enough in what we're doing. But I'm so afraid of getting shot that I am going to keep... Projects that are making my mortgage payment, you know, I'm not going to push them too hard. Shawna: You know, what I think is very interesting, though, is you do have... I like to say SEO is like dietingyou keep seeing these fads like the South Beach diet or the Atkins diet. And there's all these fadsbuying links, not buying links, no follow links, follow links, page link sculpting. I mean these are fads just like there are in diets. But really, if you stick to the main parts... Just like dieting, if you eat less, work out more... Rob: And exercise more... Shawna: You're going to lose weight. Rob: Yeah. I mean it's the same thing. There's some guys in the chatroom and they're saying some very valid things about Matt Cutts saying things to throw off the spammers. But the reality is, for most of the folks that I'm talking to, the online retailers, not superhero SEO's, not the super ninja guys who are competing in super, super, super competitive niches, for most online retailers, the things that he has to say, it's very much true. It's like you need to create compelling content, a reason for folks to come to your site and look at what you have to offer. And then you need to have competitive enough prices and give good customer service to where you have a good online reputation so you can convert those visitors into buyers and build a relationship with them and keep on selling them stuff from now until the end of time. And he has a lot of good articles on creating content. I actually did a transcription on my site of a thing he did... I can't remember if it's at Blog World. I had one of my transcription guys actually type it up it was so good. It was basically 17 different things you need to do to get your blog to rank. And most of that content applied to online stores, which is why I stuck it on RobSnell.com, where I've got a bunch of other free content for online retailers. Shawna: That was the URL I was going to ask you for! Thank you! I couldn't remember which site you had it on. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Rob: Yeah, we've got links in there to all the stuff that he talked about. And basically, I can read so much faster than I can listen to a video. If you go to my site and then the search box, I think you can search for "Matt Cutts" at RobSnell.com. It will come right up. Yeah, yeah, the first one... Shawna: Straight from Google what you need to know? Rob: Yeah. That's got the video, so you can play that, but it's also got the transcription. And I marked it up pretty good, so it's pretty easy to read. But in that, I don't think there's anything that he's telling people that's trying to trick folks or throw SEO's off the scent of what they're doing. But at the same time, you need to take everything that somebody who works at a search engine says with a grain of salt. I mean it is coming from somebody who doesn't want to give away the keys to the kingdom to some of these super ninjas over here in the chatroom who, you know, they're looking for loopholes and they're really smart dudes. I mean, you know, these folks are some of the smartest folks I've ever had the pleasure of hanging out with. And I mean there are all kinds of things you can do. And Google is always fighting the evil folks, the Black Hat folks, but there is stuff that kinda in between Black Hat and White Hat. And it just really depends on your comfort level and are you willing to deal with getting banned. I mean I've been doing this for 13 years. I've had probably close to 200 domains that I've done stuff for that we've owned, and I've only gotten banned once, and that was when YStore.com got banned from Yahoo, believe it or not. Shawna: [laughs] Rob: About nine years ago, yeah. I put some affiliate links on there... Shawna: [laughs] We won't even go into that! We won't go there! Rob: Noooo! Shawna: That's ridiculous. You know, absolutely ridiculous. Especially because you used it to help educate Yahoo Store owners. Rob: Yeah, you would think. But the people at Yahoo Search are not the people at Yahoo Stores. So I'm sure that's what the problem was. Shawna: Yeah, well... But, you know, this is so important though, because like dieting, there are so many store owners that want to go to their local vitamin shop or GNC and say, "Give me a magic pill that's going to help me lose 50 pounds by next week, because I have a reunion to go to." Rob: Retailers don't need to be cheap. If you are only willing to pay $500 a month for an SEO, you deserve what you get! I've got a revenue share deal with several folks that I do the SEO for, and so I get paid based on the amount of revenue that comes from search engines, and from pay-per-click, and from email marketing to their websites. You gonna pay for what you get, but you get what you pay for, if that makes sense. Shawna: Absolutely. All right. Let's go ahead and ask another great question, because this one is really, really good, and I think I understand what he's asking. "How does Rob use the keyword space and description space in the Yahoo Store editor?" And I think, more importantly, what you're being asked is do you use meta description and meta keywords with your Yahoo Store? Rob: Absolutely. I try to handwrite a meta description for, say, my top 200 pages on a Yahoo Store, mainly because those are the words that will appear, those are the phrases that appear when somebody does a search on Google in the snippet, most of the time, if the keywords that the customer is looking for are in your meta description, it will actually show the content from your meta description. So it's really important to write a nice snippet there to entice people to go ahead and click on through to your website. So as far as the meta description, it depends on how your Yahoo Store is set up. But I believe in the Version 3 off the shelf the description field generates that tag for you. As far as the keywords field go, I still do that. You know, back from [xx 44:26] school back in the day. I still do that, but I don't think anybody's using the keyword field anymore. So, I mean, that may just be an old... you know, it's my gills and my tail from the dinosaur days showing up. Shawna: Yeah, I still leave mine in there and put them in there too. And, you know, it's nothing overboard. It's usually only maybe two or three keyword phrases in there. It's very focused, you know, because we want to try to focus, focus, focus. But, you know, I don't know. It's dinosaur days as well. I'm just thinking maybe, just maybe, they're looking at it. We've got people talking about they hate writing product descriptions. You know what? You've just gotta do it. Write five a day. Five a day. Rob: Yeah. Take a product and go, "What are three things that a consumer needs to know about this product to make a decision on whether or not this product is going to solve their problem?" I've got a list of over 200 questions that's kind of my top secret gravy, sauce, whatever that Steve and I will run a product through. And, you know, you'll see it on my slides sometimes; in some of my presentations I talk about some of the things that are in there. But basically, you walk a retailer... this is the SEO in me talking... you walk your retailer through each product starting with your bestselling products. Don't start at the A's, start at your bestselling product and work your way down the list, and say, "What are three things I need to know about this product?" And once you get that guy talking, you can tape it. You know, you take that digital recording of that and you send it to somebody to type it up in a transcription. And then you pop that into your caption field in your Yahoo Store and boom, you've got unique content on that product page. Shawna: And if you can't afford transcription, there's these recorders now that come with Dragon Naturally Speaking. Rob: Absolutely. Half my Dummies book was written on, you know, five years ago with Dragon Naturally Speaking. And today it's tons better than it was back then, which is a fantastic way to generate unique content. But unique content alone is not enough. I got an email today from somebody freaking out. You know, half their Google traffic's gone from January of last year. And they have all these theories about why they think it's happening. And they're saying, "Well maybe it's the Yahoo Store IP addresses, or it's the lack of document type, it's not updated, it's not the most current version of the document... " It's not. Google's not getting to those pages that are deep, deep, deep, deep down in their site because they don't have enough links pointing to the homepage. They don't have enough PageRank on their site to trickle down to their deep, deep, deep pages. And so you have to make decisions when you're a retailer, what are you going to emphasize in your navigation? How are you going to structure your site to where the PageRank gets to the most important pages? And the best way I've found to do that is called Revenue Based Navigation. You know, you look on my site and you'll see the run-of-site navigation is pointing to the categories and subcategories that generate the most revenue. And I don't care if Aaron's Aardvarks is the manufacturer, they're not going to appear in my sidebar at the top unless they're generating 1% of my sales or more. And so that's just a real easy way to decide what's going to get links on my site. Another ting, Shawna, that we did is we took our bestselling products and we made like a bestsellers page. And I don't do this on Gun Dog as much as I used to, but on my newer sites, I'll take their top 100 bestselling IDs and dump them in a content field that's one click off the homepage. And sometimes I'll even put in my run-of-site navigation. So that's just another way to... Shawna: To help bring it up. Rob: Yeah! Shawna: OK. Mary Geek, I think, had an "ah-ha" moment, I think, in our chatroom. I don't know if you noticed this, but he says, "I'm assuming that selling fewer products via dropshipping or whatever with good internal and external linking and good product descriptions is better rather than having thousands and thousands of products." Rob: Yeah, I don't know. I mean we dropship some products. I'm too much of a control freak and I'm an old-school retailer. I grew up in retailer. You know, I mean we have a 12,000 square foot warehouse to where we have the product in hand so when somebody calls me at 3:55 and I know UPS is coming in 10 minutes, I can get that $99 order out the door. But we use probably four or five different dropshippers as our backup so when we're out of stock on something, and that's awesome, the fact that you don't have to buy inventory, the fact that somebody else is... you know, they're charging you for it, but they're actually maintaining the warehouse and the person is able to stick that in a box. I mean dropshipping is a very viable way of doing retail. As far as focusing on a product niche, I think you should focus as tight as you can. You can't be all things to all people. There's no way that I could ever launch something that could compete with an Amazon where you've got hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of products. And why would you need to? You know, I live in Mississippi. I don't need that much. I don't have to sell billions of dollars worth of stuff to be able to make it. You know, I think retailers should focus on what their area of expertise is, because there's only so much value you can add to a finite number of products. Shawna: Absolutely. And you see these stores, you know, new people where they think they have to sell... "Oh, I can put 50,000 products in, so I'm going to put 49,000." And, "There's no way I can do this, but I have to sub-divide everything, so we're going to have categories that go eight deep, and there's the product. But hey, I've got 50,000 products and it should work." Rob: Right. And that drives me nuts. Oh, I've been dealing with those folks since Yahoo Stores came online. You know, I seem to get one a month. And I know you deal with probably a hundred times that many folks. But I think even with dropshipping you can find a niche inside one of these dropshippers, something that you know a lot about, and you can use keyword tools to find out if there's enough demand online for you to be able to make a living selling this kind of stuff. Shawna: Absolutely. And now, another quick question that we had. I think you already answered it, but what about affiliate marketing? How do you feel about that? Rob: I used to do pretty well back in the Yahoo Directory days, which that tells you a little bit about how long I've been doing this. I could make a site that would rank really, really well on the Yahoo Directory just off the Yahoo Directory listing. And I wasn't making a living off it, but I was making really good beer money off of all my affiliate sites back in the day. And then when Google came around, it seemed to be like the tricks weren't working as much. And that's when I switched over to, "OK, I actually have to be creating great content." And like we were saying earlier, it's like if you don't have anything that you can add, if you're just using tricks to rank or temporary loopholes in Google, you better watch out because it's like things shift back and forth so much. I think when you do more generic, White Hat, vanilla optimization built around great content, things don't shift around as much. Shawna: And I think also, like for somebody like you, this is you and your family's main source of income... Rob: Absolutely. Shawna: You know, this is it. This is your baby. And so you don't have room to play. Rob: Right. And there's not enough time in the day. Steve was pitching me on this new thing that he was wanting to get into. And it's like if he gets into that as a hobby, then I think we have enough street cred for us to do it. But I'm not going to just sell something that's somewhat related to hunting and what we do... I just don't have enough bandwidth to do what we did on Gun Dog Supply over the past 13 years in another brand new niche where we don't really have a lot... We're not exactly sure what folks are looking for. Shawna: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. And I think people need to understand that as well for themselves. [laughs] Know what you're getting into. And don't get into a new store just because you heard that it's doing well for somebody else. Rob: Or just because your keyword research shows you that, you know, "Gosh, they're paying $10 a click and there are 50,000 people a month searching for this keyword phrase." You know, you just gotta be real careful and put your baby toe in there. But at the same time, you also don't want all your eggs in one basket. And so, I'm a little nervous sometimes based on... We get 80% of our organic traffic from Google, which is about right percentage wise, but still, it's so much traffic that when Google is jumping all around, you get a little nervous. And so I'm fortunate enough that we have two or three different businesses... I mean, you know, we sell dog supplies, but we also sell a whole bunch of other stuff, some through the Yahoo Store stuff. We have local businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with the Internet. So if the Internet goes away, we've taken some of our profits from the Internet and actually used that to beef up our brick-and-mortar businesses. And I advise all my retailers, "Don't be dependent on any one channel, any one supplier, any one keyword, any one search engine." It's just good business to diversify. Shawna: Absolutely. I think that is what we really need to understand. I think we've got time for one more question, so I'm going to go ahead and get Ryan's question. "Could you ask Rob what he looks for when choosing a revenue sharing relationship with a merchant?" Rob: Yeah, somebody who will let me sleep till noon and won't call and wake me up. [laughs] Shawna: Perfect answer. [laughter] Rob: Somebody's who's aware of my lifestyle... And I've only got two or three really, really solid revenue share clients right now, mainly just from I don't have that much time in the day and I'm not looking to develop a huge staff to do tons and tons and tons of work. That's one of the reasons why I do a lot of teaching is because I feel guilty when people say, "Hey, can you work for me?" I'm like, "No, I'm kinda retired these days." But I think you can partner with other good SEOs. There are good SEOs here in the chatroom. There's some Yahoo Store developers I know that do revenue share agreements with folks. You know, just poke around and ask. But you want a relationship. You don't want this to be something that you do with somebody that you've only swapped emails with or you know that they have a website. You want a relationship with a developer. Go to trade shows. If you're an SEO, go meet the manufacturer. Go meet the retailer. If you are a retailer, go to SES, go to SMX, go to PubCon, go to Conversion Conference and meet the people that you are going to be doing this with. And then, you know, you develop a relationship over a few months and all of a sudden, wham, you know, you may have something that's working. Shawna: Absolutely wonderful. Rob, once again you just light up all of our lives and give us such great education. And I'm being told by Beth to please bring you back a lot. Rob: [laughs] Cool! Thanks Beth! Shawna: [laughs] Rob: No, don't buy me a beer. Buy me a Diet Coke and a Honeybun! If you see me at a show, that's what I need, you know? Shawna: [laughs] Yeah. Yeah, you need to not wait so long before you come back to us. Rob: Yes, ma'am. You just give me a holler and let me know. I'm trying to work about four days a week now. I'm trying not to work on the weekends, trying to take more vacation... Shawna: Trying not to work so much. Rob: I'm getting old! You know? I'm getting old! I don't want to burn out. Shawna: Oh, don't say that! Don't say that because I'm like right behind you. So don't say that. Rob: Oh, man! I know these kids, these whipper-snappers who are coming up, you know, these billionaire teenagers. I'm like, "Oh, man, I'm into this 25 years now." My Twitter feed is at RobSnell.com. I rarely tweet, but when I do it's usually a pretty good link. Shawna: It is, it is. And make sure you go to SearchEngineLand.com. Check out his new articles he's writing. They're absolutely phenomenal. I've got one right here I'm going to put into the chatroom. You can go to on Twitter it's RobSnell. And tomorrow on our blog at blog.onechoiceforyourstore.com, I will have links to all kinds of good stuff, all Rob, all day, all the time. And also, we'll put up the links for the rebroadcast of the show. So thank you everybody for being here. Really appreciate it. Don't forget to sign up for the New Life Event, NewLifeEvent.com. It's the end of the month. 30 webinars, one weekend, and it's all free. All free, 30 webinars, one weekend, end of February. So sign up for that and I will see you all next Monday at 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific. Bye everybody! ~~~~~

SEO: Content Creation PUBCON VEGAS 2010@@@@@@Also see how we do e-commerce optimization and what's new in SEO for E-Commerce Sites ... All right. Were going to go ahead and get started. How yall doing? Thank yall for coming to our solo sessions. My name is Rob Snell. How many folks were in the SEO session just a little while ago? All right, cool. Im about to drop some pretty serious knowledge here, stuff we picked up over the past 13 years thats worked to actually generate revenue for us. I have 200 slides. I promise all this information will be available somewhere on my website. Sign up on my newsletter list. I dont sell a whole bunch of stuff. Were probably going to do some classes in 2011. But thats the best way. If you cant find something on my website, just email me and Ill email you the slides or the URL. Ive got all this stuff up in PowerPoint presentations. This is my four hour class in 30 minutes. Yall ready? Slide 1 All right. I wrote a book, which is basically Yahoo Store for Dummies. The content in there is pretty old. If you come up afterwards, Im giving away all those books so I dont have to take them back to the room. Thanks to Wiley [sp] for donating some books. So if you want a free book thats got some pretty good information in it but is a little dated, come up and see me. Slide 2 Ive been on Yahoo Store as a retailer since 1997. Yahoo Store saved my familys business. PetSmart moved in across the street. We took a 50% hit. Moms freaking out, says, "Get me on the Internet." I said, "Mom, the Internets nothing but porn." Shes like, "All right. Lets get into porn!" [laughter] Im like, "Mom!" [laughter] We had some weird queries coming to our Yahoo Store on our keyword phrases. Shes like, "What are these weirdwhat does BDSM stand for?" Im like, "I dont know." [laughter] "People that pretend that theyre their dogs, theyre making dog collars for these folks." My moms a unique individual. Shes very practical about the dollar bill. Slide 4 GunDogSupply.com is our website. I got a lot of background on RobSnell.com if you want to read our story or whatever. But you dont have to know that to know what Im talking about today. Slide 5 The first half is create compelling content. This drove half of that $10 million increase in sales that we had above our additional growth. Slide 6 Steve has 16 dogs. I talked about this a little bit yesterday in my conversion rate shopping cart optimization panel. You want to talk about a lot of content, I mean Steve is out there in the morning scooping up poop in the kennels. I mean the dogs sometimes come to work. He has a truck that looks like Battlestar Galactica with all those little bays on it where all the dogs go. My baby brother Steve texted me a minute ago and asked me to tell yall howdy. Sorry he couldnt be here. He made it for my keynote at PubCon. Slide 7 There he is with Izzy out in the field in Texas. Slide 8 Theres some of his Brittanys. He uses dogs all over our website to generate content. He writes about what he does with the dogs, what our customers do. He has the same relationship with his dogs that most of our customers have. They love their dogs, they take care of their dogs. For us, the dogs are more like athletes than family pets. Slide 9 Heres Lucy, his worthless Cocker Spaniel his wife made him buy. [laughter] Slide 10 We put our dogs all over the website. We put the content that we generate about these dogs all over the website. Google loves content. Slide 11 I actually got a redneck to blog. I was talking about this yesterday. Hes got an app on his phone. Hell actually blog in his little WordPress blog while hes out in the field in Texas in between covey rises when hes hunting. And he actually texted me a minute ago saying he hadnt got his blogs done yet, but its just getting to be the start of hunting season. He blogs about the types of products that we sell. Hell take an editorial stand. Hell piss off the manufacturers by telling whats wrong with their products. They keep sending him prototypes so he can break them and basically give them free consulting. So we have a really good idea of whats going on in the industry. A lot of people read Steves content just to find out whats going on in the hunting dog supply business. Which, you know, its like petshunting dogshunting dog supply. So its a really, really tiny niche, but we do all right with it in Mississippi. Slide 13 We are a Yahoo Store. We are not a magazine. But we have a content portalOh, I hate that word. I just throw all of Steves articles into this page right here. You know, his reviews, his buyers guides, his editorials, a link to his website. Any of the content thats not product specific winds up in this page right here. I was just telling you over there that this page actually contributes morePaul, what is it, revenue participation on Yahoo Analytics? Than any other page. Theyre not coming in on this page, but when you go this page and they see Steves an expert, theyre like, "Wow, OK." That actually builds credibility and trust and causes them to buy on the website. Slide 14 I mentioned this yesterday, but Ill hit it again. This is the best thing we ever did. If you only walk away from my 30 minutes today with one thing, its create a buyers guide, something to walk the folks who dont necessarily know what they need from the different solutions that you sell. Tell them what to buy with a buyers guide. You know, walk them through the different feature sets. Talk to them like theyre a person. Slide 15 We had a 50% higher conversion rate on people who actually enter Gun Dog Supply on a buyers guide page than people who enter on a category or section page. Thats a big deal. If you get a 50% bump just by changing the content on the entry page, I mean thats a no-brainer. Slide 16 And heres an example of one of the new buyers guides were launching. Were actually doing what we should be doing, which is comparison charts. Slide 17 Express opinions in product reviews. Hopefully you, as a retailer, are a product knowledge expert. If you are not, you better have somebody working for you who is, someone who has an opinion of the products, somebody in the warehouse, one of your operations dudes. Somebody in your company is an expert. You need to make sure theyre helping create content. Slide 18 Heres an example of a 2008 review. Steve just rewrote this, but I like the pictures on this one better. You can see Steve there in his skeeting outfit. He put on about 50 pounds after that photo was taken. He just took it off, too. Im going to kick his butt. Slide 19 All right. These are very text heavy reviews. Its not just one little snippet of text. These are for the people who actually want to drill down into the products that we sell and find out every single little thing about them. Steve talks about all the different features. He talks about what he likes about it, what he doesnt like about it, ideas for improvements. Slide 20 How do you make all this content? Well, the secret is, its hard work. Its a lot of hard work. We started off in the catalogue business, and this was back in 96 before we even know about Yahoo Store, or the Internet, or anything like that. And we decided to make our catalogue pages have as much content as we thought a customer needed to have to actually buy the product instead of just having a thumbnail and very brief description and a price like most paper catalogues. We actually used a lot of paper to do this. And we lost our shirts on this catalogue right here. My dad was freaking out. But when we took the same information and put it online, InfoSeek, HotBot, Excite, I dont know if any of you guys are old enough to know what those things are, we were actually driving a lot of traffic with search engines to our website. Slide 21 The way we created this text, though, is we interview folks. And then we transcribe the audio into text. I got a guy in Alabama who does my transcriptions for me. Im taping this right now, probably without Bretts permission. Hell bless it later, though. And I get my guy in Alabama to type this up. Ill email him an MP3 file as soon as I get off here, and by this afternoon he will have it typed up. Now, I pay full retail for that, but I like knowing actually what I said, because Im not even exactly sure what Im going to say when I hit the next button down here. Slide 22 I interview Steve, who is the expert, and I call it stupid questions. Im like, "All right, well how do you teach a dog how to sit?" And Steve will look at me like Im an idiot, and then hell kind of explain like he would to a small child, maybe, what he goes through when hes training a dog how to sit. And we do than on every single little thing about the products that we sell. Slide 23 Take your best products, your top 100 best sellers, and play what I call "20 Questions". Slide 24 You cant really see this from there. This is really more like 200 questions. Im going to read some of this. This is awesome: "What problems does it solve? What is the primary purpose of this product? What else is it used for? Is it a need or a want? What are the top three features I need to know about? What are the benefits of those features? Is it used during specific seasons? Is it a good gift? Is this the perfect gift for the duck hunter? It is a perfect groomsmans gift, conciliation prize, maybe? When is it used, time of the year? Day or night? Where is it used? What part of the country? Are there geographic keywords? Home or office? What rooms in the house? Do you use it inside or out? Is it UL listed? Is it safe? Is it regulated? Do I need a permit?" We sell some things that blow up. Some folks actually have to have permission to use it. "Is it tax deductible as a business expense? Does it have a serial number? Does it have a Dummies book? Whats the demographic? Men or women, young or old? What skills do I need to use this? What about replacement parts?" Do yall kinda see where Im going with this? I mean these are the things that customers are going to have, the questions in their mind about your products. Go ahead and answer their questions before they have them and youll sell more stuff. From a conversion rate standpoint, you want to put this stuff lower on the page and link to it with frequently asked questions about this product for folks who are more impulsive like me who just click "add to cart" and, you know, send me that thing. Slide 27 We record everything. Like I said, Im recording this right now. Slide 28 When were driving in the truck, Steves going hunting or something, weve got a little flip camcorder we use. Weve got a bigger camcorder. Ive got two different digital recorders over here that Im using. Ive got a backup in case one of them goes out. If hes talking about stuff, were recording it. Were turning it into text. Were putting it on the website where it goes. Google loves this content. Slide 29 If youve got 60 bucks, I think they still make these. This is the best one Ive found after using about 10 of the cheap ones. The Olympus VN-6200PC. Its really easy to use. You hit the record button, it sticks it in a folder, you plug up the USB cable, it downloads the file straight to your computer; theyre really easy to email. The audio quality is not great on an audio file. So Ive actually got a little bit better, like a guitar recording thing. Slide 30 Google Voice. This is one of the best things weve come across, Google Voice. Go set you up one of these accounts. Theyll give you a number. You can point it at your cell phone or your office phone. When somebody calls you on Google Voice and you press 4, it starts to record it. So not only do you not have to worry about getting a digital recorder, hooking that up to your phone, its actually recording it at Google for you, it generates an MP3 thats posted almost instantly that you can email to somebody. So if youve got clients or people in your office, you can actually get the product knowledge expert to call you, and then this stuff is in the cloud. So you dont have to worry about this. And basically, this is how it shows up. Its really easy to download the MP3 wants you make it. Slide 31 Theres my Google Voice number. I was going to get somebody to call it and show you how, but I know that will take five minutes. So let me skip that, all right? Slide 32 Turn customer questions into product frequently asked questions. My dad, when he was still alive, he spent half is day answering emails. He died in 2003, and I went back through his emails after the funeral, which is really cool to go back and kinda see how he thought about things. Slide 33 I got 1,000 pages of content in a Word document. So its like he speaks from the past. My dad had a lot of experience. Ive done amazing things with this content by putting it on our website. Slide 34 Write unique product descriptions. This used to be my number one thing I told retailers to do from an SEO perspective, but the reality is most of your product pages, if youve got a really big site or a really deep site hierarchy-wise, a lot of your products arent even going to be in Google for SEO. You know, they just dont have enough PageRank or youve got duplicate content. Slide 35 I mean Im at the point now where we have products that were just copying and pasting the manufacturer descriptions on, and well get to them eventually. Slide 36 What I want you to do when you are working on products that are very important to your business, say, with the potential to be 1% or more sales of your business, think about them in this way, or your top 100 products. If you want to see what lazy folks do, take the manufacturers product description that everybody gets off their website or off of a product feed, copy the text of the first sentence and do a search for it with quotes around it in Google. And you can see how man lazy retailers there are that are actually using the manufacturers product description. Google hates this. Google puts this stuff down in the search. Slide 37 The next thing is provide more information than anyone. I think yall can kinda see where Im going with this as far as how much content you generate. Slide 38 Write one new paragraph of text for every $10 in item price. And I just made that up, because people ask me, "How much content should I write?" Well, theres my rule of thumb. You know, 60 bucks? Write me six paragraphs. Slide 39 Heres an example of a product page. Thats a $600 product and I guarantee you we have more than the minimum number of paragraphs for that. We probably have five or six pages. Slide 40 All right. This is a search on Google for Garmin Astro. We have unique content, and this is before Google Instant. But this shows that we rank right after the manufacturer. I havent check it in the past two or three days, but were doing pretty good with our unique content on this Garmin Astro product. And were also buying the PPC. Slide 41 All right. This has absolutely nothing to do with search engine optimization or driving more traffic to your website, but once they get there, have more photos. Show the product. Have something different than just the manufacturers stock picture. Bill was talking a little bit earlier about how they dont let bots scrape their site because sometimes employees will steal our pictures, and well drop the DMCA on them and get those pages banned from Google, or we can sue them for, what, $75,000 per occurrence? Slide 42 We take pictures of everything. When Steves in the field, now with iPhones, you can shoot video that way, too. But I mean hes putting dog boots on his dog, when you go to our dog boots page you will see his pictures. Slide 43 When he goes to Texas for his "research and development" and he tells his wife hes going for six months [laughter] And he comes home and sees the kids maybe every two or three weeks, but hes back in the field product testing, and "Oh, Ive got to make sure these specifications are up to snuff." Im like, "As long as you post on your blog, dude, whatever." He goes Texas bird hunting. He takes his employees, you know, on our "team building" exercises, which is, you know, going hunting and then at night drink a little beer. Slide 44 But weve even got third generation. Theres his son Sam. Sam is 11 and taking better pictures than I am. Im about to get phased out. Slide 45 But we take pictures. Every year I go to Texas. I take 5,000 pictures. Im not a great photographer, but I can get some good shots if I take 5,000 pictures. Slide 46 Provide more product photos than anyone. I was talking about this a minute ago. Slide 47 We use Light Stage. We crack open a box. A buddy of mine was suggesting that we start doing unboxing videos. A lot of the cell phone companies will have an unboxing video where they will show you, when you open up your product, this is what you get. I love that kind of stuff. Were actually about to start doing that. Slide 48 But we take pictures of all the components that come with it. And this is our own product image, which is notyou know, Im not going to win any awards for this. But it increases your conversion rate when you have a different picture than every single other place. They go, "Oh, well this guys a little different." Slide 49 We put up a ruler so you can see how large it is. Slide 50 These are all the things that you get when you buy this thing. Most people dont have this on their SD 1825 page. Slide 51 These are all the accessories that come with it. A lot of people steal this and I can tell. See that rubber band right there? That was not included in the box. We actually threw in a rubber band for the collar straps that we use. And so its really easy to see when folks are stealing our product images. Slide 52 Shoot video of anything that you can demonstrate. If you can actually show somebody how something works, you can get a Flip video camera for what, $100? Throw it up on YouTube if you dont want to deal with video hosting, embed that thing on your website. It increases your conversion rate. Slide 53 We sell a product called Mushers Secret, which is a wax that you put on your dogs feet so that they dont get torn up when theyre running in the snow, originally, for the Iditarod guys. But it works great for hunters too. Slide 54 So Steves out in Texas. He took literally five minutes and we shot a little two minute video. And here he is in all is hunting regalia talking about Mushers Secret real quick. Slide 55 And what I do is I then send this link to my guy in Alabama, my transcription guy, and he types up what Steve said, and I put this below the video in text. I like to read more than I like to watch videos because I can read so much faster. Well Google Bot likes to read too. And this is an awesome way to add additional text content to your website. Slide 56 And here youll see that the video page is second only to the main product page as far as customers going to the video. So youre double-dipping here with your content. Youre not just driving traffic to it, youre actually increasing conversions. And sometimes I get a little obsessed with Google and more about driving traffic. As yall heard a minute ago, Im tying a dollar figure to everything nowadays, because were about e-"commerce". Slide 57 Heres an example of another video on YouTube. We dont have hardly any views on YouTube until we actually promote the videos. Are there any competitors of mine in here? I dont seeOh, OK. How you doing? None of this stuff works. Im just making stuff up. [laughter] You ready to go? No, Im just kidding. [laughter] Treepodia is something that Im trying. I hate to talk about stuff that I think is true, or stuff that Im sticking my little toe in. But they are a video creation service. They take your data feed and they turn it into these cheesy Flash, you know, the same voiceover on your content, but they actually pull information from your products into the little Flash movie. And its a great way to get videos indexed in Google. Its expensive. I would not get the voiceover. And I would do not the distribution, but you want the sitemap. I dont even know what that stuff is, but it worked. In like three days we got thumbnails in Google search engine results. Craig, Im sorry Im sharing that. Slide 58 Liberate manufacturer content. Oh, this is PubCon. Just steal their content! The manufacturers spend thousands and thousands of dollars creating these DVDs that come packaged with the stuff. Help them sell more products by using the content that they lock up inside all these different formats. Slide 59 Im not telling you to break the law. Im not telling you to violate somebodys copyright. But as a retailer whos been a retailer since I grew up, its easier to get forgiveness than permission. If you actually have to get written permission to use their content, youre never going to get it. Put it on your website, and if they want you to quit selling their stuff because youre using their content, the sales director, hell shut up when he sees your sales figures because youre driving traffic to these things. Slide 60 Theres text hidden in flash movies. My Alabama guy pulls that stuff up. Slide 61 You get text from PDF owners manuals. And when a new one comes out, if youre the first guy to put it up and you have a little bit of authority and you link to it from your homepage, you can actually be recognized as the originator of that content to Google, where the manufacturer may have a smaller website and it takes them longer to get spidered. You actually can outrank them using their content. But I didnt tell you all that. Slide 62 All right. Transcribe DVDs and videos. If they have just online content or DVDs packed up in a box, you know, see what information they have in there. It also kinda helps you see how the manufacturer thinks about their content. Because its really hard when you are just watching a video to kinda see the structure behind the writing. But if you get somebody to transcribe itIm not really a writer, naturally, and so its neat for me to see the structure that these guys are thinking about their products. Slide 63 If you have a warehouse, if you are actually shipping your own products, Im not going to say that drop shippers are not real retailers, because I dont want to answer all those emails again like I did last year. I apologize drop shippers. I love yall. If you actually have a warehouse and have the products, you can actually go in the warehouse, grab the box, and youll find that the text on the packaging is different from what they put on the website. That is unique content. It is not on the web. Take your top 10 products and go get somebody to type the box copy and stick that at the bottom of the page. Also, point of purchase materials. Were an online store pretty much only, but you can come to the warehouse and shop, so we actually have a retail storefront so we can sell some stuff online. There are a lot of point of purchase materials that they send their stores that has unique content on it as well. We redneck scrape that stuff, which is get Stephanie to type it. Slide 64 Find your Steve. You need to find the person at your company who is going to be the person whos the expert to create this content if its not you. In bigger companies it might be some senior staff, it might be the owner, it might be the founder. But you need to find somebody who knows a lot about these products or you dont need to be selling this stuff. Slide 65 The additional lift we got from doing this was $10 million. Im just kidding competitor dude. [laughter] It was Confederate money, so, you know, its not really [laughter] All right, how am time-wise? Man 1: Youve got like 5 minutes. Slide 66 Rob: OK, five minutes. Five minutes to do SEO. Slide 67-72 Run SEO friendly analytics. We run Yahoo Web Analytics and Google Analytics. Collect converting keywords. Ive got 20,000 plus converting keywords that have generated, in the sample that I did for this, over $6 million. Slide 73 I prioritize my keywords based upon how much money they generate. Slide 74 So heres a graph of a fake keyword competitor. I bucket my keywords by manufacturer and by product type, and this is how I kinda organize them in my head. And I also track numbers, visits, the dollars generated, revenue per visitor, which is a really hard number to get out of some of these analytic things. And then I look at conversion rate by keyword. And in this I can see that Ive got the number three keyword. My revenue per visitor is a lot lower, and these are all people searching for the same thing, so that helps me kinda pick out why are these folks not converting as well? Maybe I need to do that word, like Paul said in his presentation yesterday about having scent on the page. I bet its a keyword shock collar that we dont use because its not a friendly term. Slide 75 We target both popular and valuable keyword phrases. Just because it gets a lot of traffic doesnt mean that it generates a lot of revenue. And the inverse is true. Just because it doesnt get a lot of traffic means it can generate a lot of revenue. Slide 76 Id rather be picking up $100 gold coins than $1 bills. Just because its smaller doesnt mean its less valuable. Quantity versus quality. Slide 77 And I do this organization stuff, blah, blah, blah. This is for all the websitelet me skip through this. Sorry. Slide 87&88 Wordle.net is a great tool. You have to have Java installed. On a Mac youve gotta run Safari because Chrome wont work it. You can take your converting keywords, dump them into this, and you can see what buckets, what individual words in your converting keywords are more popular than others based upon Competitor, dont look at this. This doesnt work either. This tells you what buckets to optimize for, you know? I dont want to skip that one. Thats not going to be in the handout. Slide 89 I also drill down and do that on the individual category level as well. Like "dog boots", I took out the word "dog" and "boots", and then these are all the other words. So you kinda see what other words are contributing to this keyword bucket. And it gives you an idea of what content to create. Slide 98 We like to bake in our basic SEO elements into our RTML templates for the Yahoo Store. That way, even if we dont create unique content, its in such a way that sometimes we actually rank even using the manufacturers phrases, like for Title tags, Canonical, Meta Description. All these slides are on my website. Slide 105 On your homepage you want to link to the top 40 pages that you have with the best keywords in those links. That is probably the second biggest thing I would recommend. If youve got one page that is showing up in Google, one page that is ranked, its going to be your homepage to start off with. So be really careful how you allocate your link equity. People talk about PageRank sculpting and that kind of stuff. Just dont link to stuff thats not important. Link to the terms and the pages that are driving revenue, like your top sections of your top products, with the keywords that are converting for you. Slide 106 And with that, I think Im going to wrap it up and sit for questions. Ive got 75 more slides, but it will all be on RobSnell.com. And thats me. Thank yall so much. http://www.robsnell.com/pubcon2010content.html Pubcon 2010: Yahoo! Store SEO PT 2: Creating Compelling Content Reviewed by Rob Snell on 2010-11-30 . PUBCON 2010 PPT: SEO For Ecommerce: Content Generation that generates revenue for small businesses. My name is Rob Snell. How many folks were in the SEO session just a little while ago? All right, cool. Im about to drop some pretty serious knowledge here, stuff we picked up over the past 13 years thats worked to actually generate revenue for us. I have 200 slides. I promise all this information will be available somewhere on my website. Sign up on my newsletter list. I dont sell a whole bunch of stuff. Were probably going to do some classes in 2011. But thats the best way. If you cant find something on my website, just email me and Ill email you the slides or the URL. Ive got all this stuff up in PowerPoint presentations. Rating: 5.0 ~~~~~

SEOGroup: Search Marketing & SEO in Congress: Marketing to the Willing@@@@@@http://seogroup.com/blog/search-marketing-seo-in-congress-marketing-to-the-willing/25/~~~~~

SF!@@@@@@ Thursday, April 27, 2006, 9AM-4PM Friday, April 28, 2006, 9AM-1PM or 1PM-5PM Microtek, 33 New Montgomery, Suite 350 San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 546-3811 Visit http://www.mclabs.com/facilitie s/San_Francisco/ for directions, special hotel rates and recommendations. Y! Store 101 Seminar. April 27-28, 2006, San Francisco, CA Regular price: $995.00 ~~~~~

SFIMA@@@@@@ ROUGH NOTES Theme : You ARE an expert in your field, so leverage that expertise online with compelling content to get more traffic and convert even more of that traffic. 1) Establish that authority both on your site AND in your industry's online ecosystem... (here's how we do it) 2) When folks come looking to buy what you sell, recommend specific solutions for customer problems instead of just offering things for sale. (here's how we do it) 3) When you sell the same thing as so many other people, you have to give folks a reason to buy this from YOU, so go out of your way to list what makes you THE PLACE to buy this. (here's how we do it) The more I think about it, the less advice I should give to folks NOT in small-medium sized e-commerce. I don't know ANYTHING about all those different types of businesses. Not as worried about making it universal as making it as this is what we did, this is what worked for us, take and use what you can... -------------------------------------- thx PIX __ "hey, puppies..." __ steve as rob, rob as steve BACKGROUND About 6 years ago, we hit a sales plateau and decided to change the way we approached selling online. In 2004, our family business, GUN DOG SUPPLY, had a sales slump. Somehow we wound up in the ditch! Panic city! We took a hard look at what we were doing online, and we made one simple, but substantial change to our Web site and how we sold online. And the effect? Over the past 6 years? Over $10 million dollars in additional revenue That's ADDITIONAL revenue. Sales ABOVE our normal growth. So what did we do? How did we do it? That's what I'm going to talk about today. FIRST, A LITTLE HISTORY GUN DOG SUPPLY is our family business We sell training supplies for hunting dogs My parents started GDS on their kitchen table in 1972 My dad was unhappy with quality of some dog supplies started making his own collars, leads, and leashes to sell these, he bought ads in hunting dog speciality magazines. pretty small circulation, pretty targetted audience. He expanded his product line to carry more products, products OTHER people manufacture And WE marketed these through a small B&W mail order catalog. At this point he decided to put the family in family business by recruiting Steve and me to help with the catalog In 1979 he quit his job to go full time on the DOG stuff A few months later, we had a major set back when the PEARL RIVER FLOODED and put 6 feet of water in our house. No insurance. We pretty much lost everything. Destroying all of the inventory in our house. Why am I telling you this? You need to know where we started from. So my folks decided to dig in and make this thing work. Anyway, folks knew we were in MS ... local folks wanted to come shop with us, so we added a retail showroom to the warehouse. We started selling premium dog food, stuff you couldn't get Pretty soon we were selling more stuff to pet owners than hunting dog folks -- -- -- GDS GETS ONLINE (1997) -- -- -- And then in 1996, another set back: Petsmart came to town. We knew that would SEVERELY impact the business Went back to our roots and in 1996 rebooted the mail order catalog. for HUNTING DOG FOLKS By then I was out of college, Steve & I had started what's now SNELL BROTHERS, our own retail business up in Starkville but I came back home for several months and we hammered out a catalog. Sent out THOUSANDS of copies and we got bupkiss. Nothing. Zilch. And at this point my Mom was pretty desperate, and she became OBSESSED with getting on the Internet And she said, "Son, I want you to build me a Web site." And I said, "Mama small businesses aren't making money online..." "Son, I want you to build me a Web site..." And I said, "the Internet's all about PORN...Big companies losing money IPOs and stuff" And she said, "I don't care, make me a Web site. So I did. So we did, and long story short it worked. We found Yahoo! Store, and uploaded our catalog and we were off and running -- -- -- JUMP to 2001 -- -- -- It worked so well that Steve had to take over order fulfillment & customer service. Mom was too old to be working 60 hours a week, Steve was tired of selling comic books & baseball cards he said the DOG STUFF was the next big thing So by 2001 ONLINE sales were 4x retail sales my folks were able to SELL THE DOG STORE, and we went Web only I was more interested in Internet Marketing and SEO and Yahoo! Store development, but I worked on GDS as I had time in between other projects -- -- -- JUMP to 2004 -- -- -- Now my baby brother, Steve, was running the company. My Dad passed away 6 months earlier, and we were dealing with all the fallout from that and Steve stepped up to fill some pretty big shoes and things were pretty good... And then, we hit a snag. We started having negative cashflow. Our expenses were growing faster than our sales. And then our sales STOPPED growing And then our sales STARTED dropping And we had our first "down" month in the history of our Internet business... Here's a closeup of a sales graph Every year we have this dip in sales and every May sales pick back up here's 2003, and you see the dip, and then people start thinking about hunting season, and sales pick up Well, here's 2004 and you see the dip And then it DROPS. It DROPS. And Steve's freaking out. And I'm saying don't worry, it's just a blip -- things will pick back up. And I'm digging in our analytics, trying to see if anything broken anything technical wrong and it's not. So I'm freaking out and trying to find what's going on. AND IN HINDSIGHT it's pretty easy to see what was happening: More and more competitors were coming online. All the old school catalogs in our industry now had shopping carts with virtually the same catalog that we had... And all these new school, dot com kids were popping up, too... Selling the same things we were selling... 2004 SEO wasn't new. Competition for those 10 spots on page 1 was getting FIERCE AND Paid Search was coming online then. CPC's were skyrocketing More and more folks bidding on the same keywords It was EXPENSIVE. And all the OLD ways of driving traffic? They weren't working as well as before.. GREAT, SO NOW WHAT DO WE DO? Steve and I had one of our knock down, drag out "conversations" Maybe this is the new reality? Or maybe we're going to have to change how we do things... So I'm sitting in Steve's office WAITING for him to get off the phone. Steve has these MARATHON phone conversations with customers. I'm talking 20-30 minutes... easy... And they're talking about their dogs... and they're talking about TRAINING their dogs... and their talking about HUNTING with their dogs... and their talking about their hunting GEAR ... and their GUNS and their TRUCKS... And next thing you know, the guy places an order. And he's a customer FOR LIFE. FOR LIFE. And it's GREAT, but it doesn't scale. I mean we handle dozens and dozens of these calls every day. There's no way STEVE can do this with every customer over the phone It just doesn't scale. He has TONS of other things he's gotta take care of, too SO I HAD AN IDEA... "What if we do the same thing online that you do over the phone?" What? You know how when a customer calls and you talk to 'em. You find out what kind of dog they have, what they're trying to do with their dog? And then after you get to know them and their situation, YOU TELL THEM WHAT TO BUY TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM and then they BUY it? That's AWESOME. What if we did that on the Web site? What if we took everything you ever said to a customer, and put it all over the Web site... Wonder what THAT would do? Steve said,"Couldn't hurt. Do it." And that's what we did. The one single, significant thing we did? We put STEVE ALL OVER THE WEB SITE. We put his recommendations on the site. We put his opinions on the site. We put the experience you'd get on the phone on the Web site. And it WORKED. This graph shows you our sales from 1997-2004 (Rolling 12 month average to smooth out the bumps) And then we "put Steve on the site" Just for fun, I modeled what our sales would have been so I could see what the difference was and over the past six years it's over $10 MILLION. $10,354,767 in additional sales Looking back, it's pretty easy to see what we did: we decided to push three pretty powerful ideas: 1) Steve is an EXPERT on dog training supplies. 2) Steve says this PRODUCT is what you need to solve your problem. 3) Please buy it from US. They're not IN the store. They can't see make a connection --------------------------------------------- STEVE IS A DOG TRAINING SUPPLIES EXPERT --------------------------------------------- + dad didn't want to SAY he was an expert + you ARE an expert. you're a real person / company 1) BE REAL AS YOU CAN IN A VIRTUAL WORLD - come as you are. - look as big or small as you are. - put a name + face online (easier w/ social profiles) SOUND REAL -- VOICE -- Write with the voice you would use to talk to the customer + my book >>> "I feel like I know you" - show your physical plant -- address | maps | business hours - show off all your peeps: -- customers, staff, vendors, thought leaders, influencers 2) ESTABLISH YOUR AUTHORITY hey, you're just like me - dogs - hunting - outdoors - kids You have a lot of experience - "Hey, I'm an expert!" - Demonstrate expertise - reputation: other people say you're an expert demonstrate your domain expertise on your site publish compelling content - complete product pages (top 100 pages example) - product buyers guides - product reviews - photos - answers to FAQ - product support info - video demos - repurposed MFG content get credit for all your hard work - claim content w/ + google authorship - use FB open graph mark it up - mark-up your pages using rich snippets ????? curate additional quality content - link to it - share on FB/twitter/G+ amplify all this content - show it to your prospects and customers - pimp on FB / twitter - advertise it TAKE YOUR PLACE IN THE ECOSYSTEM help folks pro bono (no quid pro quo) facebook, twitter, topic interest forums, groups, email lists support your suppliers improve what they sell - vendor prototype / beta testing (helps products leapfrog) - be available for press opportunities - informal networking / r&d / food and drink support organizations that support your industry clubs, forums, user groups - great for meeting influencers (and doing them favors) - get access to new customers - sometimes get extremely relevant links speak in public any time the opportunity presents itself write articles, blogs, books for DEAD TREE PUBLISHERS --------------------------------------------------------- RECOMMEND SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS FOR CUSTOMER PROBLEMS --------------------------------------------------------- old: don't just offer things for sale, tell them what to buy 1) Simply tell folks what to buy STEVE'S PICKS $10 lift - sell everything you want, but give CLEAR choices - take an editorial position / - tell folks what YOU use 2) Educate: Give them enough info to sort through themselves 3) Let other customers tell them what PRODUCT worked for them 4) ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ASK FOR THE MONEY why should they buy it from you? - pimp your USP - enumerate your value adds - reduce / eliminate risk - flesh this out - have multiple ways to contact you online/offline - answer promptly - be a person, not the marketing or support "team member" - have a damn phone and answer it SKIP THE HOW WE CREATE THE CONTENT (prolly a separate thing AD FOR SFIMA http://www.pubcon.com/sfima-pubcon-summit Pubcon SFIMA TUES May 14 $10 Million+ Extra Sales See Pubcon SFIMA: Rob Snell's keynote. Just one change on website changed his life In 1997, PETSMART dropped in across the street from our DOG STORE, and we took a MASSIVE sales hit. What's worse was the anticipation of doom for 18 months before we knew the true business impact. Family friend Gary Morse said, "You know, it looks pretty bad now, but this MIGHT be the best thing that ever happened to you..." And I thought he was CRAZY. Who would say such a thing? But given time to sink in I realized that one sentence totally reframed things in my brain. Never let a crisis go to waste, folks. My name is Rob Snell, I'm from ... and we sell dog collars. Starting out 17th year of selling online. Not everyone is a retailer, but the reality is that EVERY company has to sell something to someone so these lessons are relevant to most folks How to establish your bonafides as a subject matter expert, leverage that authority with compelling content by recommending products that are solutions to your customers' problems, and how to get them to buy it from YOU. OUR BACKSTORY -- blah blah blah family biz > hunting dogs>1972>ads>catalog>store>...>starkville > petsmart > reboot catalog > mama:online > catalog requests > yahoo! store > HOLY MOLY 9 years later In 2004, our family's dog supply business came off the tracks. Sales growth stopped. Overhead skyrocketed. We took a hard look at how we sold online, and made one simple, substantial change to our online store which literally changed our family's fortune. ONE THING -- PUT STEVE ALL OVER THE STORE. "FIND YOUR STEVE" BE REAL AS YOU CAN IN A VIRTUAL WORLD - come as you are. - look as big or small as you are. - put a name + face online (easier w/ social profiles) - show your physical plant -- address | maps | business hours - show off all your peeps: -- customers, staff, vendors, thought leaders, influencers - have multiple ways to contact you online/offline - answer promptly - be a person, not the marketing or support "team member" - have a damn phone and answer it ESTABLISH YOUR AUTHORITY + you ARE an authority + you know more about what you sell than anybody + customer don't know what they don't know demonstrate your domain expertise on your site publish compelling content - complete product pages (top 100 pages example) - product buyers guides - product reviews - photos - answers to FAQ - product support info - video demos - repurposed MFG content get credit for all your hard work - claim content w/ + google authorship - use FB open graph mark it up - mark-up your pages using rich snippets curate additional quality content - link to it - share on FB/twitter/G+ amplify all this content - show it to your prospects and customers - pimp on FB / twitter - advertise it TAKE YOUR PLACE IN THE ECOSYSTEM help folks pro bono (no quid pro quo) facebook, twitter, topic interest forums, groups, email lists support your suppliers improve what they sell - vendor prototype / beta testing (helps products leapfrog) - be available for press opportunities - informal networking / r&d / food and drink support organizations that support your industry clubs, forums, user groups - great for meeting influencers (and doing them favors) - get access to new customers - sometimes get extremely relevant links speak in public any time the opportunity presents itself write articles, blogs, books for DEAD TREE PUBLISHERS TELL FOLKS WHAT TO BUY ( was RECOMMEND SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS TO CUSTOMER PROBLEMS) old: don't just offer things for sale, tell them what to buy STEVE'S PICKS lift - sell everything you want, but give CLEAR choices - take an editorial position - tell folks what YOU use ASK FOR THE MONEY why should they buy it from you? - pimp your USP - enumerate your value adds - reduce / eliminate risk - flesh this out ------------------------------------------------------ RECAP: FIND YOUR STEVE TAKEAWAYS if you're real online, and show your expertise, folks trust you faster, you convert more traffic, lower marketing costs, save time / make more money. Sharing your knowledge / experience online is a lot of work. TO START there's a huge amount of work on the front end, you're never, ever really finished, UPKEEP and a lot of maintenance, and updating content and lot of customer support, but it's worth it. -- MASTERCARD THING /end slide -------------- other stuff -------------- Building a relationship. Lifetime value of a customer when they're not dead delegating video: shooting videos SET pic new MFG asking for STEVE'S PICK + Good Review GDF: bought a forum FB: PUPPY pix / more icing than cake Can dress up as an authority but doesn't make it so. WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S downside of " Don Burleson " ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ~~~~~

Shawna Fenell Interview -- May 2008@@@@@@***5/19/08 Show - Increasing Conversion Rates w/ Rob Snell*** from http://www.powerhourradioshow.com/5-19-08.html Rob Snell, author of Yahoo Business for Dummies, provides real life tips and information on increasing conversion rats for Yahoo Store. Tips include how to find your conversion rate, how to track your conversion rates, and using the new Checkout Manager. Rob discusses how to increase conversion rates by building confidence, providing contact information, and trust symbols. Rob Snell gives away a free copy of Chapter 21 of his book which discusses in more detail how to increase your conversion rates. Send an email to info@powerhourradioshow.com to get your copy today! INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION [musical interlude] Narrator: Welcome to One Choices Yahoo Store Power Hour with your host Shawna Fennell. Shawna: Thank you so much for joining me today. I have to tell you, I am like a little kid in a candy store. I have had a huge smile on my face all day long. One of the very first websites I came across for education, when I opened up my first store way back when, had Rob Snell giving advice on search engines and conversion rates. I signed up for help on his website and received a series of emails. I was immediately hooked on Rob. And by the way, you can still get these emails if you go to Ystore.com. I highly recommend you do so. You have heard the phrase hooked on Phonics worked for me. Well, it was hooked on Rob worked for me. Rob was and still is my Yahoo Store idol. I am honored to have him here today with us. He is the author of Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies. If you have been to one of my speeches or you have been to one of our books, this is the book I pass out like candy. This is the book to have next to you computer while you are working on your Yahoo store. Whether you have had a store for one week or ten years, you will learn something new from his book. So today, I get to ask Rob a ton of questions. My first one starts with can you tell people exactly who you are, besides my idol, and what you do? Rob Snell: Wow. I dont know if I can live up to that introduction. Shawna: You can. I know it! Rob Snell: All right. My name is Rob Snell. (www.robsnell.com) I am from Starkville Mississippi. I have been a retailer all of my life. My Yahoo! Store experience; back in 1997 we launched our first online store. I have been online since 1990 on CompuServe learning marketing ideas from different retailers. Shawna: Oh, way, way, way back! Rob Snell: Yeah. Back when you could actually read the letters as they downloaded scrolling across the screen. Shawna: Yeah. Rob Snell: We had a situation in our family business where my moms offline business, her bricks and mortar store, had Petsmart coming in across the street and she said Get me online. I said I dont know anything about getting online. She is like Well, just get me online. I know that is the secret to our problems. I was like All right. All right. So I built us a website and we got a bunch of traffic. We were getting so many catalogue requests my dad was like Shut the website off or put our products online. We cant afford to send all these catalogues out. Long story short, we found Via Web, which is now Yahoo! Store, and I have been selling stuff online and helping folks sell stuff online ever since. Shawna: You know it is interesting that the same problem you had then is the same problem a lot of stores are having now. Rob Snell: Right. Shawna: And the reason to get online. My next question for you, because I know you are the man when it comes to conversion rates and I tell everybody this, why is conversion rate so important? Rob Snell: Well, the thing is conversion rate is the percentage of folks who visit your online store and actually buy something. That percentage of folks nationally runs between two and three percent depending on which survey you are looking at. On Yahoo! Stores I have seen it all over the place. Some Yahoo! Stores have a high conversion rate. Some Yahoo! Stores have a low conversion rate. But by monitoring that number and doing small itty bitty improvements to your store to make shopping easier, you can increase that number and it is the largest multiplier. I mean, if you get a bump in your conversion rate it does awesome things to your sales. I have just been obsessed over my stores conversion rates ever since we have started using the Yahoo! Store platform because the traffic is so easy. Shawna: Yes. I love that about the Yahoo ! Store. Rob Snell: Yeah, it is like the metrics that are built in. I mean, they are still using the stuff from 1997 in the store manager, but what I call a conversion rate Yahoo! calls orders per customer. I have actually got a store manager window open right now on my desktop. If folks want to play along at home they can actually just go into the graphs and click on orders per customer and set a date range and kind of see what their conversion rate is. Shawna: That is wonderful to kind of explain that because that is one of those questions that we get all the time: What do I track and how do I find out what my conversion rate is. So if we could explain that in more detail that would be excellent. Rob Snell: Yeah, absolutely. The basic metrics, or statistics, or stats that you get in a Yahoo! Store are a good starting place for most retailers. In our family business (www.gundogsupply.com), my brother runs the operations and customer service side of the company. I am responsible for everything through getting people to the site and clicking the place order button. Once they place that order it is then his responsibility. I know how busy he is shipping out hundreds of boxes a day, talking to people on the phone, dealing with employees, and dealing with suppliers. Most retailers have got so much on their plate that they dont really have a lot of time to dig into all these numbers. I am in a pretty good situation where I can actually go off into my office and lock the door and just dig into these numbers for two or three days at a time sometimes. I just dont think a lot of retailers have the luxury to do that. So there are some things that you can do as a retailer, just some key performance indicators or KPIs, that you can just watch on a regular basis. You dont even have to be digging into your stats. You can get an intern or an assistant or somebody on a daily basis to log into your Yahoo! Store and pull these numbers for you. Shawna: And it is so important! Rob Snell: It is a big deal. Like right now, I am looking at one of our stores. I am looking at the orders per customer. I can see a dip in November right before Christmas. What happens is that when you get a lot more traffic coming in you get a lot more unqualified traffic. So lets just say you have a Christmas bump. Your conversion rate is actually going to go down a little bit during Christmas because you are actually going to have a lot of tire kickers and a lot of folksI mean there are so many more people shopping on the Internet. Shawna: Excellent point. Most people think that it is just going to go up during Christmas. Rob Snell: Exactly. There are all kinds of other numbers that you can look at on a regular basis. If you are in a situation like we are in several of our different Yahoo! Stores where the pricing is limited by the manufacturer; the minimum advertised price is set by the manufacturers. You really cant lower your prices, so there are so many other things that can affect conversion rate, like how much junk traffic you have coming across your site or are you doing a free shipping promotion? For example, we did a free shipping promotion for like five days and we actually doubled our conversion rate on the site, but we got so many itty bitty orders. Our average sale dropped to a third of what it had been before because we had so many $10 and $20 orders where we had the shipping process $6 before and now it is free. So a lot of folks are ordering a $5 whistle or a $10 book to take advantage of that free shipping. So doubling your conversion rate is not the key to doubling your profits. And for folks who do have variables where like they are changing their pricing or can do different shipping options-that kind of thing, there are other numbers you want to watch, like Revenue per Visitor. Yahoo! calls that Revenue per Customer. But if you have a pretty stable amount of trafficWe have been online since 1997, so from an SEO standpoint our traffic is pretty solid. And from a PPC standpoint, I am pretty happy with my bids. So I am not seeing huge fluctuations in the amount of customers or visitors coming to the store. But that is something that folks need to take a look at as far as Revenue per Customer. Shawna: Absolutely. Now, the other thing is that they need to work on tracking. Are there specific issues for tracking and how it works within the new checkout? Rob Snell: Well yeah. I am real excited about the new checkout by the way. Katrina hit the week that I launched a Beta on the new checkout. So that tells you how long ago that was when Yahoo! started rolling this thing out. There are so many cool things in the new checkout. And now, Yahoo! is making us jump over to this new checkout. Most of my stores are on the new Version 3 checkout. But they have made tracking so much easier now because they actually give us access to some of the variables. I am not a propeller head; I dont understand all that highfalutin tech stuff. Shawna: [laughs] Rob Snell: But I have friends who are. And they tell me the fact that these variable exist is real easy for you to work with a third party affiliate program. It used to be you had to use Commission Junction if you wanted to be a Yahoo! Store. The minimums were like five grand or whatever. I mean, it was a lot of money to even just get your little toe in there. The same thing with revenue tracking. I actually use two other services besides Yahoo! for tracking on most of my stores. Index Tools, which just got bought out my Yahoo!, is the first one. I also use Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/). The reason I use two different sources is because I like to reconcile the difference between the two. The way these tracking systems work, you are going to have different numbers on your Yahoo Store for the same day when you compare it to your Index Tools number and when you compare it to your Google Analytics numbers. Shawna: Yeah, and that is one thing that they teach us when we go to these big SCS conferences. People want to know Well why isnt it an exact science? Why does one site say one thing and one site say another thing? So a very important lesson to learn is you will get different results. So I like the fact that you are talking about using two different services. And I have to mention of course when we are talking Google Analytics-Monitus ( http://www.monitus.com/) . Rob Snell: Yes. And Michael Whittaker (http://monitus.blogs.com/) of monetus.net has got it figured out. He is one of the smart guys that I call when something is on fire and I dont understand something. Yeah, I know. He is awesome. He has got a little tool that will actually allow Google Analytics Revenue Tracking to actually work with Yahoo! Store. You know how like on the Yahoo! Store you are on your domain and then you hit add to cart and it takes you off of your domain over onto Yahoo! Secure servers. So a lot of the first party cookie, and I dont even understand what all that stuff means, but a lot of the services for tracking have to have first party cookies, which means that you really need to be on the same domain. He has figured out a way to do that that takes care of business and it is pretty cheap for what he is doing. Shawna: Absolutely. We had him on two weeks ago and just the information that he gave was just so amazing, so helpful for the Yahoo Store owners. We are telling people that you have got to get that connector because you can really understand what is going on. Rob Snell: He has got some other cool tools like the Keyword Monkey (http://www.monitus.net/content/blogcategory/32/84/) and stuff that are baked into his system when you are using his tool. There are just all kinds of information that you can get that you just wouldnt normally get out of the normal Yahoo! Store stats. And then there is Google Analytics. It is awesome. It is so easy to use and you can see all these numbers that you just cant see inside the Yahoo! Store. I am just crossing my fingers with Yahoo! buying Index Tools; hopefully Yahoo is going to roll out better analytics for stores. A little bird that keeps me in the loop every once in a while keeps telling me something is going to happen. So cross your fingers. Shawna: I am excited about it. Well we are going to take a quick break here pretty soon. It is just so much information to share with the Yahoo ! Store owners and I am very excited to have you here and I really appreciate it. Rob Snell: Oh you are most welcome. I appreciate you having me. Shawna: Oh I love it. We will come back and talk about more things about increasing those conversion rates. I think we may have a little bit more here so I wanted to ask you a quick question. Rob Snell: Sure. Shawna: With the Monitus tools and the Keyword MonkeyI will probably have to save this here, but something to think about: How can we increase conversion rates and things that we can do at the Yahoo Stores. We will cover that when we get back. Rob Snell: Awesome. Shawna: We are here with Rob Snell, of course my Yahoo Store idol. This is Shawna Fennell on WS Radio-the worldwide leader in Internet talk. [advertisements] Narrator: Welcome to One Choices Yahoo Store Power Hour (http://www.thepowerhour.com/) with your host Shawna Fennell. Shawna: Welcome back. We are still talking with Rob Snell and remember this is the man when it comes to understanding your conversion rates. So before the break we were talking about a question I wanted to ask you. What are some things that the Yahoo! Store owners can do on the store pages to increase those conversion rates? Rob Snell: That is a really good question and it is something I am very passionate about. On an example site that I will use, one of my client sites, I wont tell you who it is so that I can talk actually about there real numbers. For every 100 folks that visit the site, only four people add something to the cart, only four of those six make it to the checkout, and they end up getting about 3.1 orders per 100 people. So that is a 3.1 percent conversion rate, which is actually pretty good. This is a multi-million dollar Yahoo Store that has been around for, lets just say, more than five years. Shawna: OK. Rob Snell: If you just concentrate on making the shopping cart and the checkout more conversion friendly, you are missing out on 94% of the folks who visit your website. One of the big things that I finally got through my thick skull in regards to conversion rates is you want to move folks who just visit from one bucket to another. I divide visitors on my website into these five or six different buckets. The first bucket would be folks who visit your website on one page and then hit the back button. Those are the folks who bounce of your website. You want to move them into the second bucket, which would be folks who visit your website and actually browse around more than one page. So those are the folks that are actually visitors on your website. Then you want to get those folks who are visitors on your website to actually go to a product page. The third bucket is all the folks who visit a product page. Then the buckets get a lot smaller. It goes down to folks who actually start a cart, and then to the folks who start a cart and go to the checkout. And then there are folks who actually complete a checkout and place an order. So one of the easiest ways that you can increase your conversion rate is to move somebody who is in the first bucket into the second bucket or somebody who is in the second bucket to the third bucket. So working on your store is so important because like I said, 94% of the folks who are visiting this site never even make it to the shopping cart. Shawna: Right. Rob Snell: So lets talk about stuff on the store. And actually, if folks have my book (http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Business-Dummies-Personal-Finance/dp/0764588737/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top) they can jump to Chapter 21 in my book because man, I spent more time on this chapter than any other chapter in the entire book. And a lot of the stuff in my Dummies book, because Yahoo keeps rolling out all these new features, a lot of the stuff, I would say about 40% of the actual technical things, on Yahoo Store have been fixed or upgraded. But the conversion stuff I think still really applies. One of the most important things you can do on a website is to have a professional looking well designed easy to use website. It is so subjective, but I think it is easy to tell. When you are looking at a website you can tell if somebodys 12 year old nephew knocked it out in their basement or if they actually had somebody who has some design skill implement a store design. Shawna: Absolutely. Rob Snell: That is extremely important. Once you have a good looking store, then I want to have all the different ways that folks can contact people. Having the contact information, how to reach the retailer, is paramount to success. I live out here in the sticks which is miles from the boonies. OK? Shawna: [laughs] Rob Snell: I live in Starkville Mississippi. It is two and a half hours to a Target, OK? Shawna: Oh my gosh! [laughs] Rob Snell: I know. I mean, once a month we go into town for provisions and come back out here. So I order a lot of stuff online. What I want to know when I am on somebodys site are the same things that every customer wants to know. Who are you? Who is this person I am about to give my credit card and personal information to? It is so much easier just to go to Amazon (www.amazon.com) and order it than it is to take a chance on a smaller retailer. But because I believe in small business e-commerce, I always try to go to the smaller stores first when I am looking to buy stuff. One of the ways we found to increase our conversion ratesIf you go to one of our stores, Gundogsupply.com, and click on the info button, you can see all the different ways that we have on our store for folks to contact us. We have got email. We have got fax. We have got snail mail. We have got all of our telephone numbers. We have our physical address if you want to come by and see us. We have all of our contact information. The main reason is I think that gives folks confidence if there is a problem. I know where these folks are. I can hop in my truck and come see them and talk to them if there is a problem. So having a lot of contact information is extremely important. The other thing is the 800 number. I have found that stores that have an 800 number, and by that I mean an 8-0-0 number, not at 877 or an 866 or an 888 number, it looks like you have been established a lot longer when you have an 800 number. Plaster that thing all over your site. I like to have it in the upper right hand corner of all my stores, inside the shopping cart, and on every single checkout page. It is not that folks are actually going to call you as much; it is that they like to know that they can call you. Shawna: There are a lot of services out there that hold those 800 numbers and allow you to get those through their service. Rob Snell: Right. I guess other people have used it in the past but they are not using it now. It is harder to get those real easy to remember 800 numbers, but I think having a good 800 number on your site is so important to establish credibility. The other thing I want to do when I am on a website is I want to read the story of the people who are behind the website. I have no confidence in a Yahoo! Store when I come across it and it looks like they have a product feed from one of the drop ship databases and a generic looking header and they have 50,000 different products. It is very obvious to me what they are doing is they are just copying the database, uploading it to a store, and hitting the publish button. Shawna: Right. Rob Snell: Folks want to shop with people that they know and trust. So tell people your story. On our site we probably dont do as good a job as we should of telling people how we got started. But we actually go in and we have pictures of my staff. We actually got a 20% increase in our sales when we made my brother our spokes model on our site and put his picture up there. Shawna: Wow! Rob Snell: I know. It is crazy. Back when my dad was alive he was so self conscious. He did not want to position himself as an expert even though he was an expert. When my brother took over as president of the company about five years ago, we made the decision that he is an expert, he has all this information, and lets position him as the expert that he is. It was like turning on a switch. If you look at my graph coming across the conversion rate at what it was before, there is a rise in the graph that corresponds with us taking an editorial position on the products that we sell. Shawna: That is phenomenal! Rob Snell: Yeah, it is crazy. I go around telling everybody this because there are so many places where when I go shopping for something I want an expert to tell me what I should buy. I was looking at guitar tuners the other day and I was having to read all this information and compare is it for an electric guitar? Is it for an acoustic guitar? And all the products I was looking at werent the same and they didnt have the same types of features and it was really hard to explain stuff. We have got our dog tracking colors buyers guide which walks folks through and ask them questions. It helps them whittle down the choices of what they want to make. I was on Amazon buying this guitar tuner and I just had to take the retailers word that this was a good product. It was only like a $30 product, but the higher the price of the items that you sell, the more information you need to provide. So that is another way to establish trust-to have more information on your products and just be the products expert in your field. Shawna: You know, that is excellent advice. When I was looking for something I could stick in my pocket and take with me to do video blogging, I of course come across a website that talks about the flip video and how wonderful it is and how easy it is, and it sticks in your pocket and it does all these great videos. I went out and bought it because somebody said how excellent it was and they got personal about it. So you are absolutely right. Rob Snell: Exactly- This will solve your problem. That is what folks are looking for. I dont think folks are dumb. I think folks are busy. A lot of people are like You dont need to spoon feed people. I kind of like to take the attitude that you need to recommend, in your opinion, of what you tell your friend to buy of all the different things that you sell that would be the best in that class for solving that particular problem. You can still provide all the information on all the other products. Some folks are just going to want to make up their own minds. But a lot of times folks want to know what to buy. One of the advantages, I think, to being on the Internet is I say It is good to be small. On the Internet you can look like a big company even when you are an itty bitty company. But I think there are actual advantages to knowing that when you shop on our store it is like our different families house payments are dependent on you getting good customer service. So there are three families who have a vested interest in making sure that you get what you get, and you are happy, and you come back, and you love us, and you keep shopping with us. Well tell that story and I think that is such an important deal, because a lot of folks want to look like they are a huge company. Look at the dot com crashes. I mean, the big boys, those are the ones who failed and didnt ship orders and all kinds of stuff. Shawna: That makes an excellent point because there are so many people that want to start up a Yahoo store and they want to be the next Amazon and the next Wal-Mart. It is like OK. They have already got that cornered. Rob Snell: Right. Shawna: [laughs] Rob Snell: Yeah, you have to pick your niche and not try to be everything to everybody. I got back from E-Metrics (http://www.emetrics.org/) a couple weeks ago out in San Francisco, which is an awesome conference if anybody is interested in numbers. It was a lot of math people and really smart folks. One of the biggest takeaways I got is that you can look at your analytics but it doesnt really tell you exactly what your customers are thinking. There is a product called 4Q (http://4q.iperceptions.com/) by Avinash (http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/). He is the Google guru of analytics. He is partnered with this company and you can put these surveys for free on your site. I just started doing it on Gun Dog. I have already started to get some really good information back on what our customers are thinking. A lot of the things that we are trying to do, they are actually telling us we are doing a good job at doing that. Besides getting sales, sometimes it is good to get feedback like that. So that is something I would definitely recommend folks doing to see what the satisfaction level is of somebody shopping on your store. Shawn: Oh, that is excellent advice for people. Rob Snell: Yeah, and it is cool. It is like four or five questions. It gives them a chance to actually type in an open answer in the comments field if they actually want to give you more specific data about why they were happy or why they werent happy. We have only had it on the site for 48 hours and I have already learned some ideas about how to make the site better for those folks. Shawna: And talking about standing out from a niche, I mean, how often do we really feel like Wal-Mart is listening to our words? Rob Snell: Exactly. Shawna: Well we are going to come back after the break and talk a little bit more about increasing those conversion rates, like using trust symbols. This is Shawna Fennell on wsradio.com. Stay with us. We are the worldwide leader in Internet talk. [musical interlude] Narrator: Welcome to One Choices Yahoo store Power Hour with your host, Shawna Fennell Shawna Fanell: Welcome back. We are here with Rob Snell. It is my Yahoo store Idol; has been for many years. He is the author of Yahoo Business for Dummies, although I hate saying that dummies because nobody out there is. But it is the book and you have got to have it. Especially go right to chapter 21 and grab yourself some more information on what we are talking about, which is how to increase those conversion rates. So lets talk a little bit about trust symbols. Rob Snell: Well, yeah. Shawna, one of the things you can do on your site for folks dont know you and they meet you for the first time or they come across your website for the first time is have trust symbols on your site. And by trust symbols I mean things like icons from reputable companies that you also do business with. A good example would be you have a Yahoo! store. Well, Yahoo! is a known brand on the Internet. A Yahoo! Store icon that says Hey, this website is a Yahoo! store; that is one of the first trust symbols every single Yahoo! store should have on their site. Shawna: You know, and that is one of the things when people say Why should I use a Yahoo ! Store? it is like Hello, everybody has heard of Yahoo ! . Rob Snell: Absolutely. Shawna: So why not use that towards your advantage? Rob Snell: And you are paying for it so you might as well use it. And they provide some badges that you can use on your site. I have made my own. I will probably get in trouble for doing that. [laughs] Shawna: We wont tell anybody. [laughs] Rob Snell: Exactly. Keep that between you and me. Shawna: All right! [laughs] Rob Snell: But also like credit card logos; we had a slightly less than a one percent increase in our conversion rate by just having the credit card logos in one of our stores checkouts. That is not going to double my conversion rate, but it was actually a measurable increase after thousands of transactions. So trust symbols actually work. And by that, I also mean like your shipping methods; like a UPS logo, or a USPS logo, or FedEx. Or like a Better Business Bureau symbol-that kind of thing. That basically shows folks that you are a real company and you are affiliated with other places that they trust. It is kind of like your badge that says this is who I am and you can trust me. Shawna: Absolutely. And you know, a lot of the stuff that they are talking about with the new marketing is that moreI hate to say senior people, but older generation are shopping online and they are scared to give out their credit card information. Rob Snell: Absolutely. Shawna: So by giving those logos that they are used to seeing, because a lot of them are not used to seeing Hacker Safe. Rob Snell: Right. We have done really well on some of our sites by having the Hacker Safe logo. It is expensive. It is like $1,800 I believe a year. But the amount of increase that we got, the ROI was like 50 to one on one of our projects. We saw a seven percent increase in conversions where new shoppers saw the Hacker Safe seal on the Yahoo! store. The funny thing is my dad used to call this eye wash; stuff that makes you look good but doesnt really matter. He is like I am not paying $1,800 for eye wash! I understand where he is coming from. But Hacker safe runs the test on your website like they do for everybody else. Between you, me and the fence post, Hacker Safe cant advertise this but they are the company that actually does the testing on Yahoo! Stores servers. They have a contract with Yahoo! to make sure that their servers are secure. That is public information but Hacker Safe cant actually go around and have a big flag that says that. But I learned that and I like to pass that on. They are a really good company to have. The other thing is that when you are a Hacker Safe retailer I believe that you get a link back from their directory. So it is always good to get some traffic from that too. Shawna: Absolutely. We love those link backs. I love the Hacker Safe logo. I agree with you, but I also love the fact that you are also talking about those other logos too that people who maybe dont shop online all the time, who may not be familiar with that logo, they have seen Better Business Bureau. They have seen the UPS logo. So I love that you mention that. Rob Snell: Right. Paypal (www.paypal.com) is another good one if you accept Paypal as a payment method. And you should if you dont because that will increase your sales. Put the Paypal icon on your site. I am sitting here looking at one of my product pages not seeing a Paypal icon. Oh, there it is. OK. Good. Shawna: [laughs] Rob Snell: I need to take my own advice, you know? Shawna: Thats all right! Rob Snell: The thing is you can do different things on different types of pages on your site. We were talking about the home page and the checkout, but actually, on the product page I have learned this the hard way. The manufacturer of a product usually has a logo that they spend millions of dollars advertising across the United States. Take advantage of that with their permission. You want to make sure you are an authorized retailer or whatever, but put the manufacturers logo on your product page. I have a story to tell. On one of my sites it is a site where we sell softball bats and baseball bats (www.softball-bats.org); one of my revenue share sites. I got obsessed with load speed. I wanted my pages to load so fast I was like Well what little icons are on here that I can get off? Anything to make my page load faster Well, there were all these baseball bat manufacturers logos at the top of the page. I was like Well man, I can just take those off the product page because they dont need to see these 12 different bat logos. I did that and 12 hours later I got a phone call from my retailer freaking out because sales had dropped by 50%. Shawna: Wow! Rob Snell: I know! And it was like on the product page! I felt like an idiot after doing it. Who knows how many thousands of dollars in sales we didnt get that day, but I learned a very valuable lesson. Manufacturer logos are trust symbols. So take advantage of that. You are advertising their brand. If you sell Easton baseball bats put an Easton logo on that baseball bat page. Shawna: Now you got to a good area I want to talk about. Lets talk about how do you improve your conversion rates on your product pages? Rob Snell: Yahoo! Store has come a long way from their original templates. We are probably on like the third version of RTML now. Shawna: Thank God. Rob Snell: Yeah, I know. [laughter] Rob Snell: But now they have finally got it to where this last version of the store, if somebody has a generic store, they are actually pretty much OK. There are all kinds of things that you need to add, but they have taken all the things that all the different RTML developers have done over the years and folded most of the good ones into just a basic template. If you want to really boost your store up there are some things that you can do that Yahoo! Store is not doing. One of those for me is having a big honking red add to cart button. Everybody in the warehouse used to make fun of me because I had an add to cart button that was smaller than my pinkie fingernail. I was like Well I wonder what happens if I make that bigger. So I kept making it bigger and bigger and bigger. And finally it is as big as half my thumb right now. Everyone in the warehouse was laughing at me going Look at that huge honking red button. But our conversion rate kept going up. And then I stopped making it larger as soon as our conversion rate topped out. So I was doing some testing and I learned for my site, for this specific site, this add to cart button is what it needs to be. So that is one example of what you can do on the product page. Another example is to actually show that you have the item in stock. Yahoo! has the availability field. What I usually put in there is I like to say it is a normally stocked item or in stock and ready to ship or usually ships same business day. I think that is very important on the product pages. Another thing is I think it was like a third of the products on the internetThis was like a Yahoo! survey from a million years ago. But they talked about only a third of the products on the Yahoo! Store platform actually had sale pricing. It is so important to show the list price and actually what you are selling it for because most people on the Internet are selling things less than the MSRP. You want to show what full retail would be, what you are paying at my store, and then I like to show either the percentage and/or the dollar savings depending on what type of store it is. Shawna: It is that whole mental thing. People want to think that they are saving money. Rob Snell: Yeah! And they are because they are shopping online. They are not having to use gasoline. A lot of folks have free shipping. Most of the folks that I know online are discounting at least 10% off. So it really helps the conversion rate by what I call pimping out your product page. Shawna: [laughs] Yes, and I have seen the pimping pictures. Rob Snell: Oh man. I will never live that down. I was telling my brother at lunch today, I was going I cannot believeThey woke me up from a nap and I got stuck on this panel called Pimp Your Website. It was on Yahoo! Stores. That was awesome. I had more fun because of that after that than I have had in a long time. So now I am the Yahoo! Store pimp. Shawna: Oh yeah! Pimp Daddy! [laughs] Rob Snell: Awesome. Shawna: Now one of the things I have heard a lot about is doing free gifts with purchase. What do you think of those? Rob Snell: Absolutely. If you have something where you can provide a small incentive, something that has a pretty high value to the customer but doesnt cost you a whole bunchLike on one of my revenue share sites we got about a 20% increase around Christmas offering a free gift with purchase. It was close to a 20% bounce once we started doing it. Shawna: Wow! Rob Snell: I know! And it cost us a dollar for this gift on the retail price because my dude is buying them on closeout. The retail value if you went and bought one of these things would be like 10 or 12 bucks. With import companies you can find all kinds of cool little things you can do. Like just a little bonus item when folks get to the shopping cart. It is like Hey, if you order today you get a free whatever. Shawna: Now, one of the things I hear you talking about- We tested this. We tested that. We tested this. What are some best practices for our smaller Yahoo ! stores that want to start testing and finding out OK, does this work or does this not work? Rob Snell: Well the first thing is tracking. I mean, there are people whose full time job is to do nothing but test offers on websites. I remember I was eating lunch with somebody from Victorias Secret, which sounds better than it is. Shawna: [laughs] I had a vision. Rob Snell: Yeah. I got to find out Victorias Secret other secret, which is they have an hour for a home page special to prove itself in sales because that real estate is so valuable, if that whatever, thong or whatever doesnt convert like it should, they yank it off and put another thong on there or something else. Shawna: Wow! Rob Snell: I know retailers who have the same exact home page specials, and I am one of them, for ten years. What I recommend folks do is you want to test your home page specials. Tracking is the first step. Once you get good tracking in, that is the first step. The second step is actually being able to use a third party tool like Google Website Optimizer (https://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/splash?hl=en). It is free and boy it makes my head hurt. It is very difficult to test things in there. But let me back up two steps, OK? Shawna: OK. Rob Snell: Rotate your specials out on the home page. You can actually manually keep up with this if you want to. As a general rule of thumb, I can double the sales on an item if I stick them on my home page. That right there is why my home page specials really havent changed much on a regular basis. Shawna: Wow. Rob Snell: Yeah, it is pretty cool. Shawna: Well, we are going to come back and talk more about how to use ad words to do different landing pages and all kinds of other great stuff. You are just providing wonderful information here. This is Shawna Fanell on WSradio.com - worldwide leader in Internet talk. [advertisements] Narrator: Welcome to One Choices Yahoo Store Power Hour with your host Shawna Fanell. Shawna: Welcome back. I started this interview so excited and now I have to tell you I am so bummed out because I have like three more pages of questions to ask you and I cant believe that already 45 minutes has gone by, because didnt we just start this like a minute ago? Rob Snell: I know. We can do it again. Shawna: OK good! I am holding you to that. Rob Snell: Awesome. Shawna: I am going to be seeing you in about two weeks here for Internet Retailer so I will be twisting that arm, you know? Rob Snell: Absolutely. No, I love talking about this stuff. You know that. Once you get me talking it is kind of hard to get me to shut up. Shawna: Hey, that is what I love though. It is wonderful. All right. So we were talking about how you can test things out for yourself. What about using Google Adwords ( adwords . google .com/) to try out different landing pages? Rob Snell: Oh, that is awesome. I call it redneck landing page testing. Shawna: [laughs] I love your phrases! Rob Snell: It is like even a redneck can do it! If a redneck can do it you can do it, all right? Shawna: I love your phrases! Rob Snell: Oh, man. OK. I will give you a real world example, all right? We sell a bark collar. I hear all these people talking like Well, if you sell apparel you want the model to be wearing the clothes instead of just showing the clothes on a hanger. They say It doubles conversion rate. I was like We dont sell clothes really. We sell dog collars. So what could I use for a model? I guess I will get the dog and I will have two different versions of landing pages. Landing page A has got a picture of just the product shot. Landing page B is going to have a picture of the dog wearing the product. Shawna: OK. Rob Snell: Inside Google Adwords you can have multiple ads for the same keyword. If you click the rotate button it will automatically rotate different version of your ad and it will allow you to use split testing that way. So the landing page for A would be like barkcollara.html and the landing page for B would be like dogcollarb.html. At the end of the day you could see which version of the page sold more product. From that you could decide OK. Well from here on out I want to make sure that I have got dog shots all over my website. It worked. It is like we saw a huge lift in increase in sales on the picture on the product shot where we would show the dog wearing the product. Shawna: So now you have them coming in and posing? Rob Snell: Absolutely. Shawna: [laughs] Rob Snell: My brother has got me with the camera out in the dang woods and in the swamp and in the field and I have got chiggers all over me. Oh man. There are places I thought I would never go to take pictures that are authentic. You know, everybody uses the same manufacturer images on their website. He wanted something a little bit different so I got him to go in with me on this fancy camera. He woke me up at six oclock in the morning on a Saturday. He had me out in Louisville, Mississippi in a swamp. Oh man. I dont even want to talk about it. Shawna: [laughs] Now see, you also have to share those pictures of you in the swamp. Talk about getting personal with your customers! Rob Snell: Yeah, absolutely! We are actually in the field. He is an enthusiast. He is a hunter. He trains dogs. He has 13 dogs. He is serious about this and that allows him to bond with his customers. His customers go Hey, he is one of us. Lets get it from this guy instead of some guy who is just doing a database feed from a drop shipper who is a competitor of ours. Shawna: Well I love the way that you bring up the redneck way of doing it. Rob Snell: Yeah! Shawna: I do get a lot of questions about Google Website Optimizer and how they are trying to use it with the Yahoo Store. This is such an easier way to do it. I believe that another thing, it is like you have to uncheckWhat is it? Rob Snell: Yeah, you dont want Google to optimize your ad. I dont know if it is on the campaign setting or if it is on the actual ad group setting, but there is a box. The words rotate. You want the radio button; click next to rotate and it rotates your ads evenly. Shawna: Right. We have got to make sure we mention that part. All right. A lot of the customers with the Yahoo store got an email this week about migrating to the new checkout. Rob Snell: I know. I called technical support the day after the email it. The average wait time was more than 30 minutes. Shawna: Ooof! Rob Snell: I know. Everybody is calling Yahoo!, pulling their hair out, and freaking out over this. It is not that big of a deal. It is really easy for folks to do. There is a ton of information online about it. There are some things we can just touch on that will get folks educated about what to do and what not to do. Shawna: Perfect. Help me. Rob Snell: All right. Yahoo! has got over 100 pages of documentation in their help files. Shawna: So different than 10 years ago, huh? Rob Snell: Yeah. They actually have help files. One of my buddies is one of the writers for these. They have done such a good job, whereas like you said, ten years ago they didnt have time or whatever. We just kind of had to figure stuff out on our own. Shawna: Oh no. We had Istvan and you. Rob Snell: Well yeah. There are some people who put information out there. I am glad you brought up Istvans name. Istvan of ytimes.com or ytimes.info has a book called Yahoo Store Checkout Customization. I have known Istvan for a while. We have done seminars together. He is a good buddy of mine. He is out in Hawaii. He has written the book on customizing your Yahoo store checkout. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of it. I have not finished it yet but it is cheap. I was like Dude, you need to be selling this for like two or three hundred bucks, you know? Shawna: Ahh! Rob Snell: I know. It is like $20. It is a bargain. If you have a Yahoo! store you need to buy this book. I dont get a commission or anything for saying that. Shawna: Well, we are going to put links on our website to all of these great tools and to your website and even to his book. I am sure you have heard I give out his book too when I am giving the speeches. Rob Snell: Very good. Shawna: It is like your book and his book go hand in hand. Rob Snell: Awesome. Well, I will do something. The Dummies folks let me give away free chapters. If folks email you and you send there names to me I will send them a free PDF of the conversion chapter. Shawna: Perfect. Rob Snell: We did a promotion with the Dummies folks and with Yahoo store; I guess about a year ago when we did that. I still have permission to do that, so I will be happy to send that conversion chapter to anybody who forwards their name to me. Shawna: I love it. I hate to say it- we only have a little bit more time together. Cover some more. Rob Snell: Chapter 14 in my Dummies book is a really good overview of the checkout process. The main difference between the new checkout and the old checkout is that the old checkout used to be that you actually had to customize the shopping cart on the store editor side of the fence and then you had to customize the shipping info and the billing info pages on the store manager side of the fence. Well now they have gotten everything in this nice little wizard, in this one checkout manager, and it is pretty easy. It is something where you dont have to have custom programming skills to actually implement the thing, but you might need some help and there are a lot of developers who are really good at this who can help folks. Shawna: Absolutely. One of the things that I really like about it is that you dont even have to publish it and you can do a whole bunch of testing and place test orders and verify that everything is working the way that you want it to be working. Rob Snell: Exactly. And it is not like the old way where you press a button and you just get to preview it and kind of get somewhat of an idea. You go to the checkout manager and press a button and it puts a cookie on your machine so your computer actually gets a different shopping experience than your customers and you actually get to test your shopping cart settings before you roll them out and let everybody see them. Shawna: Now do you have specific advice as far as conversion rates for the checkout order flow? Rob Snell: Yeah. The main thing, the first thing is dont use their review page. I hate the review page. For me the biggest advantage of using the new checkout is that you can uncheck the button and not have the review page. Once a customer has given the retailer the shipping information and the billing information and hits place order, I call it the are you really, really sure you want to give me money or do you want to change your mind? I swear! We have seen two to three percent of the folks who actually are ready to give us money back out once they hit that review page. I dont know if it is an error or people are having second thoughts, but I dontYou know. Shawna: A lot of times people get to that page and think that they are done. Rob Snell: Yes, there you go. Shawna: Then they call up and say Well why didnt I get my order? Rob Snell: Exactly. So undo that. I think the default is not to have a review but I cant remember. You will know what I am talking about when you go into order flow. You dont want a review page. The other thing is if you have lower priced items, nowadays you can actually have a one page checkout. You can have it to when somebody adds something to the shopping cart it is secure and on that page they can put in their shipping info and credit card info and Boom and hit the place order button. So it is a one page checkout. The funny thing is if you have something that people want, they will jump through flaming hoops to get through your checkout if your checkout is just horrible. If you have something that people dont want, even if you have the best checkout in the world, they are still not going to buy from you. So it is really important that you are doing a good job, selling a good product, and providing good customer service. Shawna: We have about 30 seconds left. Give me your best tip for the new cart. Rob Snell: My best tip is to make sure that you put we will not spam you by the email address and mean it. People hate spam. Dont spam. Shawna: I love it. I absolutely love it. All right. If you want a copy of the chapter that talks about conversion rates, you email us and we will get it over to you. Of course if you want the book go to Amazon.com. We will have on that as well. And dont forget, you can catch us live here Monday 3 PM-4PM Pacific Time, 6-7 PM Eastern, or catch the archives at wsradio.com. Thank you Rob for being here. I appreciate it so much. Rob Snell: Thank you so much. Any time. Shawna: This is Shawna Fennell on WS Radio-Worldwide leader in Internet Talk. [advertisements] ~~~~~

Sherlock Systerms@@@@@@~~~~~

Shopping Cart Software, Reviews, Companies & More@@@@@@ Shopping Cart Software Companies / Products Accware, Actinic, Active C, Actra Netscape Merchant System, AllCommerce, Amazon zShops, AmeriCart, Andromedia Aria, Annuncio, Ariba, bCentral, BigStep, Blue Martini, Broadbase, BroadVision, Buildashop, BuyItOnline, Cart32, Cartalog, CartSecure, Cat@log, CatalogMaker, CCNow, CheckOut!, Click2u, ClickBank, CommercialWare, Connect, Dansie, DigiBuy, Digital Exchange, Digital River, Domino.Merchant, Dydacomp SiteLink, E.piphany, eActivate, EasyCart, eBay, EC Store, ecBlast, ecBuilder, eCongo, ecSalesdata, ECwareQDCat, ECXpert, EDS c2o, EGORA, Emaze, E-Merchant, Emercis, Entice, EntryPoint, Erol E-Catalog, Eshop, eShops, eStoreManager, FairMarket, FastCart, FreeMerchant, Fusion, GeoShops, GERS Retail Systems, GlobeStores, GoldPaint, GoLinQ, Hazel, Hitachi, HyperMart, IBM HomePage Creator, IBM Net.Commerce, IBM WebSphere, iCat, Impulse, Intershop, Interworld Commerce Exchange, JumboStore, Kiva Enterprise Server, KoolCat, LeGarde StoreFront , LiveExchange, Lotus, Lycos Stores, Maestro, Mercantec SoftCart, MerchandiZer, Merchant Planet, MerchantStuff.com, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft Site Server (Commerce Edition), MiniVend, Miva Merchant, MonsterCommerce, MLeaP, Netscape CommerceXpert, Online Merchant Gold, Open Market LiveCommerce, Open Market Transact, OpenSales, OpenShop, OpenSite, Oracle Bill & Pay, OrderManager, Pandesic, PayPal, pcOrder, PDG Shopping Cart, PeachLink, Prime Access, ProCart, Prodigy, QuickBuy, SalesCart, SellerXpert, Shopbiz, ShopBuilder, ShopCart, ShopFactory, ShopMaster, ShopSite, ShopWizard, Smith-Gardner WebOrder, Speedware OrderPoint, StarVisor, StoreFront, StoreSense, uStorekeeper, Virtual Shopkeeper, VirtualShop, Virtuflex, vMerchant, vStore, Web+Shop, WebCart, WebCatalog, WebClerk, WebGenie, WebOrder, WebStores, WorldPay, Yahoo! Store, Zelerate Call 1-800-332-7601 for a recommendation for your shopping cart software! ~~~~~

Show-all-final-text@@@@@@~~~~~

Simply Baby Furniture@@@@@@~~~~~

Snell Bros@@@@@@~~~~~

Snell Brothers@@@@@@~~~~~

Softball Bats@@@@@@http://www.softball-bats.org~~~~~

Softball Bats from Closeout Bats.com@@@@@@http://www.softball-bats.org~~~~~

Solid Cactus XML Export Tool -- This ROCKS!@@@@@@http://www.solidcactus.com/export/~~~~~

Sonics Online@@@@@@~~~~~

Sorry! This page could not be found.@@@@@@~~~~~

SPECIALS (Front Page Element)@@@@@@The SPECIALS field shows all of the OBJECTS codes for items that you have selected to be featured on the front page by using the SPECIAL button on each item or section. TRICK: You can also manually cut and paste the object codes in this field for faster manipulation of the order of these items.~~~~~

Sphinn: Search Marketer Rob Snell Testifies Before Congress@@@@@@http://sphinn.com/story/54578~~~~~

Starkville MS / Mississippi Real Estate@@@@@@ Starkville Real Estate from LSNELL.com We developed this Starkville Realtor site for Leigh Ann Snell using YAHOO SITE to demonstrate that internet marketing was as good as any form of marketing, even when your market is as small as Starkville, MS, a town of 30,000 people. Starkville real estate shows featured real estate listing and has links to a mortgage calculator, links to Starkville area real estate brokers, and other sites of interest for folks looking to buy or sell a house in the Starkville area. Starkville Real Estate 's LSNELL.com She says: Moving to Starkville ? I can make it easier for you! Call me, Leigh Ann Snell at 662-418-9785 (cell) for FREE information about the hundreds of properties available today in the Starkville Real Estate Mississippi / Oktibbeha County / Mississippi State University Area ~~~~~

Starkville MS Apartments Guide@@@@@@ Mississippi State University student, faculty, or staff? Need an apartment, townhouse, or rental house in Starkville, Miss. ? Contact Jan Rhodes and tell 'em Rob Snell & COPY COW sent ya! Call (662)-323-8700 ext. 30 or see her website .~~~~~

Strings and Beyond@@@@@@~~~~~

Summer Chase Apartments@@@@@@(662) 324-3961 300 Carver Dr Starkville, MS~~~~~

Tabor Construction & Development Co Inc@@@@@@(662) 324-0506 100 Starr Av Starkville, MS~~~~~

Tee2GreenGolf@@@@@@http://store.yahoo.com/ttggolf~~~~~

Thanks for your request!@@@@@@You should get an email in the next few minutes and six more stories over the next 2 weeks. I fix Yahoo! Stores for a living. When I'm not working on your store, I'm working on my family's stores. There are many things you can do to fix improve your store. Our company-owned Yahoo! stores (as well as client sites) have generated millions of dollars in sales for independent retailers over the past 3 years, so we know what works (and what doesn't!). You benefit from my Yahoo! Store experience because we've been using the software since 1997, even before it was called Yahoo! Store. We also own and maintain our own Yahoo! Stores, so we're aware of the unique needs of the independent Yahoo! Store retailer. You will also profit from my extensive retail & marketing experience. In addition to Snell Brothers Web Development , we also own COPY COW a copy shop we opened in 1996. We just sold our fifth GUN DOG COMICS , the retail pop-culture company we started in 1988 as college students. The company who bought our Starkville store also bought all of our hobby-related Yahoo! Stores. Your bottom line is #1. I understand that the most important thing about your web store is making it easier for your internet customers to shop, so you make more money. You have things you want your store to do, but you're not quite sure how to pull it off within the confines of the Yahoo! Store software. We can implement YOUR ideas on your Yahoo! Store. You can request a Ystore Deep Site Analysis to look at your statistics and traffic flow . You'll see areas in your store where we can focus to make the most impact on your bottom line. We can also convert your existing logos & graphics to a web friendly format. You can have us scan your catalogs or photos as well as convert images from manufacturers and distributors cd-roms into Yahoo! Store product graphics. -- Rob Snell, http://ystore.com email: rob@ystore.com P.S. Let me help you get the most out of your Yahoo! Store. By looking at your unique situation through the eyes of fellow business owner rather than just a web designer or marketer, I can help you improve your business by helping you make more money and by saving you time . ~~~~~

The Plan@@@@@@ Yahoo Stores: Internet Marketing Plan You know, I've been building, maintaining, and fixing Yahoo Stores for small business folks for over 5 years. I've researched, designed, maintained, analyzed, and/or owned and operated over 300 Yahoo! Stores since the Viaweb days in April 1997. How Do I Get More Traffic? "How do I get more traffic" is my most frequently asked question. The answer is pretty simple: Internet Marketing. Knowing what to do is hard enough, and implementing it is another thing entirely! What is Internet Marketing? It's pretty much anything you do using the internet to drive customers to your website. Most folks think it's getting ranked in the top ten in search engines "Search Engine Optimization (or SEO)." That's an important part of what we do, but there's a lot more to it than that. Internet Marketing includes getting listed in Search Engines, buying Directory listings, bidding in Pay-Per-Click programs, and opting in the Yahoo! Shopping database. It also includes writing good META tags, email marketing, referal programs, cross-linking strategies, creating affiliate programs, buying banner campaigns (or maybe not!), and looking at site sponsorships, e-mail newsletters, content creation, and more!~~~~~

The Spirit Zone@@@@@@~~~~~

THX Lemur@@@@@@~~~~~

Top@@@@@@ search me ~~~~~

ToyGuy's Swimming Pool Toys, Floats & Games@@@@@@http://toyguy.store.yahoo.com/~~~~~

ToyGuy's Swimming Pool Toys, Floats & Games@@@@@@ Pool Floats, Pool Toys & Games! Shop for pool toys & floats! Welcome to Toy Guy! We are part of PTC ,Inc. We have been selling pooltoys on the internet since 1997. Our business is rated a 5 star merchant by Yahoo due to our customer response after the sale. ~~~~~

Triangle & Birchwood Townhouses@@@@@@(662) 323-9074 1212 Hwy 25 S Starkville, MS~~~~~

TRICK - Calling SEARCH form with html@@@@@@Yahoo! Store uses simple html code to call the search form. You can use the following code and change anything in BOLD to reflect your store's ACCOUNT NAME and URL. <center><FORM METHOD=GET ACTION="http://st6.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/nsearch"><INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME=catalog VALUE= "YOUR_ACCOUNT_HERE" ><INPUT NAME=query TYPE=TEXT SIZE=30> <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE="Search"><input type=hidden name=.autodone value=" http://YOUR_URL_HERE.com/ "></FORM></center> You can also change the text on the button by changing the <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE= "Search" > to whatever text you want inside the VALUE parameter. To add text to the search box add VALUE="Your Keywords here" to the >INPUT NAME=query TYPE=TEXT SIZE=30< You can also use an image for the search button by replacing the <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT VALUE="Search"> with one that calls the IMAGE.~~~~~

Twitter Me @robsnell@@@@@@http://www.twitter.com/robsnell~~~~~

Twitter Search for Yahoo! Sell@@@@@@http://search.twitter.com/search?q=yahoo+sell~~~~~

U.S. House of Representatives: Impact of Online Advertising on Small Firms@@@@@@http://www.house.gov/smbiz/hearings/hearing-6-25-08-ads/hearing%20witnesses.html~~~~~

University Commons@@@@@@(662) 324-8400 1000 Campus View Dr Starkville, MS~~~~~

University Villages@@@@@@(662) 323-7615 1900 Stirling Dr Starkville, MS~~~~~

Use BUY WORDS (Commerce Modifiers) Globally@@@@@@~~~~~

Use Transaction Assist to find hidden keywords@@@@@@~~~~~

useit.com: Jakob Nielsen's Website@@@@@@http://www.useit.com/~~~~~

User Expectations for E-Commerce Web Layouts (2004)@@@@@@http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/62/web_object_international.htm~~~~~

VIDEO: How to Decide What to Sell Online@@@@@@http://www.wilsonweb.com/ecommerce/snell-decide-to-sell-online.htm~~~~~

VIDEO: How to Improve E-commerce Sales in Your Online Store, Three Tips@@@@@@http://www.wilsonweb.com/ecommerce/snell-ecommerce-tips.htm~~~~~

View from back door@@@@@@ Serenity now! Steve calls this my great backyard with a house attached...~~~~~

View from the back@@@@@@~~~~~

View from the driveway...@@@@@@2 acres is A LOT to mow! Y'all come see me! I have 3 extra bedrooms!~~~~~

WARNING: Don't buy a Certified Pre-Owned Lexus until you read this... * Marv Ingram Used Lexus CPO Program Manager?@@@@@@ Addendum Friday afternoon, June 16, 2005: "Satisfaction at last." Yay! Got a call from Herrin Gear Lexus and Clay said "Well, looks like the folks at Lexus Customer Satisfaction decided to pick up the cost of the part. You cover the labor and the rental car." Done deal. Thanks, Denise, wherever you are! Note to Marv Ingram : Denise just saved a customer. If Lexus had NOT picked up the part cost, I don't think I could have ever owned a Lexus again. I love my Certified Pre-owned Lexus SC430. Buying a used Lexus didn't seem like a bad gamble. Thursday morning, June 16, 2005: "Can't Get No Satisfaction." When it rains, it pours. Not only did the folks at Lexus Customer "Satisfaction" drop the ball and not call me back within 48 hours of investigating my concern (as I was told), but someone neglected to even put my ticket in someone's queue. If I had not called Lexus back today, I never would have gotten a phone call. I'm depressed. I just gave Lexus an "F" on a customer survey. In 18 months of owning my dream car, every experience with Lexus has been an "A" or "A+." Until now, owning a Lexus has been the most wonderful customer experience I've had in my lifetime. Now the part's a day late at the dealer, so who knows when I'll have my car back. At least I have my rent-a-car Chevy Malibu . -- r Monday, June 13: Well, my CERTIFIED Pre-owned (that means I paid more to get the warranty) Lexus SC430 had a problem with the retractable roof. I bought my sporty Lexus convertible from another Lexus dealer. I even paid extra for an extension to the 3 year / 100,000 mile "bumper to bumper" warranty. On June 6, 2005, my assistant drove it 125 miles to Jackson (we live in the boonies) to Herrin Gear Lexus to get it fixed. It's been a week now. I got a phone call that said that the little sensor that was broken would be covered by my warranty, but one of the huge motorized mechanical arm had stripped it's gears and was about to stop working. And there was some BAD NEWS... Okay. I knew that my Lexus SC-430's Certified Warranty didn't cover headlights. It also doesn't cover: brake linings, pads and shoes * drive belts * spark plugs * carpet * chrome * hoses * rust damage * fluids * seat covers * dash cover and pad * filters * clutch friction disk and pressure plate * interior trim and moldings (including cup holders, ash trays, covers, and vents) * wiper blades * door trim and handles * tires * paint * glass * batteries * bumpers * shiny metals * weather stripping * nuts, bolts, clips, retainers * hinges * light bulbs * vacuum hoses, lines, and tubes * OR heating hoses lines and tubes. This makes sense. These exclusions are not mechanical parts. They don't have motors. They aren't made of multiple pieces. They aren't assemblies. Even Marv Ingram knows that! What I didn't know was that Lexus calls the Part #6451024030 $3600 motorized mechanical arm that lifts the retractable roof from the trunk a "hinge" so they don't have to pay for warranty repairs!!! QUESTION: Do you think any reasonable person buying an extended warranty and paying extra for a CERTIFIED LEXUS would think that the two huge mechanical arms that open the trunk, as well as lift, extend, and close the roof a "hinge?" I believe it also has multiple motors attached to it. BEFORE YOU THINK ABOUT GETTING A "CERTIFIABLE" LEXUS, ask for a price list of all the parts that are NOT included in your Lexus "Warranty." I wonder what else isn't covered? Are you also having trouble with Lexus? Contact us for more info on how to get help. Call 1-800-332-7601 or email robsnell at gmail.com -- Rob Snell PS. Thanks to all of the folks who have e-mailed or called. ~~~~~

WashingtonPost.com: Today in Congress@@@@@@http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/activity/2008/jun/25/~~~~~

Web Design and Development: Authoring: Online Tools: Keywords@@@@@@http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Authoring/Online_Tools/Keywords/ target=_blank~~~~~

Web Position Gold@@@@@@http://www.webposition.com/d2.pl?r=KBX-5558~~~~~

WEBINAR (archive) Official Yahoo! Store SEO Webinar @@@@@@https://www.meeting.corp.yahoo.com/p41563277/~~~~~

Webinar Questions@@@@@@~~~~~

WEBINAR TEXT: Official Yahoo! Store SEO Webinar @@@@@@ Introduction   Rob Snell:  My name is Rob Snell and today I am going to talk about Yahoo Stores and search engine optimization, specifically how our Yahoo stores get millions of visitors a year that generate millions of dollars in sales from free search engine traffic.    Several years ago I wrote a Dummies book.  I have been a retailer online since '97.  My brother Steve and I are in business.  We are second generation running our family business.    We had 100's of questions come in through the forum.  If you go to Robsnell.com, I have got a forum on there.  I think it is SEO-Webinar.html where I got a lot of people who are on my mailing list and friends and clients to sign up and give me some feedback on what kind of stuff you guys were looking for today.   And it was really interesting to me because most of the folks who filled out that survey have been in e-commerce for either two or three or four or five years, they have multiple Yahoo stores, they consider themselves intermediate search engine optimization folks.   What I am going to do is I am going to talk about some stuff.  I am actually going to go through my Yahoo Store Summit presentation that was a five to seven minute presentation to kind of hit some high points.   Since 1997   This is Gun Dog Supply, a Yahoo store.  This is a business my parents started in 1972 on their kitchen table.  We have had this Yahoo store since 1997, since even before it was Yahoo Store.    We sell training supplies for hunting dogs like Click.  This dog is Click.  This is one of my brother's 13 hunting dogs.  If you see the orange collar on Click's neck, that is a GPS tracking collar, which is how my brother Steve tracks Click when he is out hunting birds in the field.  Click is a big running bird dog.  He is going to run a mile when he sees some birds.        Track your Converting Keywords   It is kind of like analytics for hunting dogs.  Just the way Steve tracks his bird dogs, I want you to track your converting keywords.  How do you do that?   Well nowadays it is extremely easy because Yahoo Store has Yahoo Web Analytics now baked in.  I have been running Index Tools, which is YWA, for almost five years now.  But now it is free for the upper tier Yahoo Store owners.  And there is tons of information in there.  We are going to talk all about that kind of stuff today.   When someone is searching for something that you sell on a search engine, you want your store to show up in the search results.  So let's say somebody has got a dog and their pads on their dog's feet are hurting.  They say, "My dog's feet hurt.  I need to order Tuff Foot for dogs," which is a foot balm.    Yahoo Search   So they go to Yahoo Search and they type in Tuff Foot for dogs, and that comes up.  What you are seeing now is a search engine results page for a search for "Tuff Foot for dogs".  And if you want to follow along at home, feel free.   I want my store to appear on the first page of search results.  Why?  Because 90% of all the clicks that come from search engines come from the first page.  And 80% or so of those clicks come from the first five results.  So you really need to be on the first page and above the fold in the first five or six results.    Notice that on this search engine results page that the words that somebody searched for are bolded actually in the listings.  And if you will see our listings, we are actually listed three and four on this page right behind the manufacturer, which it is really tough to compete with the manufacturer these days.   The words in the link to our page come from the <title> tag.  The snippet of text comes from the Meta description or text on the page.  Also notice that we have two listings on this page that are cracking the top 10, and that is extremely tough to do.   Yahoo Web Analytics   When somebody clicks on that, Yahoo Web Analytics tracks that keyword and says, "OK.  This person came from Yahoo and they searched for Tuff Foot for dogs, and now they are on the product page."  And let's pretend they go to the product page, they see it and they buy it, and the place an order.  Yahoo Web Analytics keeps up with it and they store this information.    One of my favorite reports from Yahoo Web Analytics is the converting keywords report.  And the reason I like that is because it actually collects all the converting keyword phrases and it gives you not only the returning visitors, the number of orders that are placed, but also the revenue that is attached to those keywords so you can see that some keywords are more valuable than others.    One of the things I like about all this information is that it helps you prioritize what things you want to work on when it comes to search engine optimization.    Top Terms- 75% of sales   The top three terms for this one product, "Tuff Foot," "Tuff Foot," and, "Tuff Foot for dogs" generate around 75% of the sales for that product, which is pretty typical.  You are going to see that across a lot of different pages and a lot of different products.   39 Terms- 25% of sales   But, 25% of our sales come from the 39 terms under that.  So you want to chase those terms as well.  How do you do that?  Well, you want to put the converting keywords in the caption.    Put Converting Keywords into Captions   What I have done here on this slide is I have taken a list of these 39 terms and I have just boiled it down to the unique words.  And then I deduped the list so that I made sure that I am just weaving these words back into the captions.  These are the unique words that I want to have in the caption page.    Write Unique Product Descriptions   Now that you know what these words are, I want you to write a unique product description.  And this is extremely, extremely important.  Folks ask me all the time, "How much should I write?"  I want you to write one new paragraph for every $10 in item price.  This is just a good rule of thumb.    The main reason why I want you to write unique content is because it is good for your customers.  Folks are going to buy stuffI mean you don't want to look like every other store online.    Google loves Unique Content   But the other reason is it is awesome for SEO.  Unique content is one of the main drivers of all of our millions of SEO customers that come through our sites.    For example, if you do a search for one of our best selling keywords, "Garmin Astro", it is a very competitive keyword and we rank on the first page, and we had 20 or 30 pages of content because of that.  Here is the Google search results page for the Garmin Astro.    Don't be lazy (like most retailers)   Do you want to find out how many people are actually lazy retailers?  Most retailers are lazy.  They take a manufacturer's product description from one of their better selling products.  And it was really easy to find how many people are being lazy by taking the first sentence of this description, and there are 1,770 retailers who are just copying and pasting or getting their information out of a data feed.  1,770 lazy retailers and I am competing with these guys.   Well so now that you know that you need to collect your converting keywords and write unique content, what do you do?  Well, I want you to create compelling content as well as unique content.    We found that we got 50% higher conversions when folks visited our site and came in on a buyer's guide compared to coming in on a typical section page.  And man, we got religion pretty fast about this, so we started writing buyer's guides about everything.    Tired of searching for your dog in high grass or dense cover?   One of the best things that Steve does is he takes the conversations that he has on the telephone with folks and he boils that down into the most important stuff, and he actually puts it on the website.  And he will actually say, you know, "Tired of losing your dog?  Buy this tracking collar."  We put Steve's name on these things and it works.    This is a sales graph of the past nine or 10 years on one of our stores.  You can tell when we started providing opinions on the website, telling folks what to buy, more content drives more traffic.    Also, when you tell folks what to buy, you are going to increase conversion rate.  People are busy.  They don't have time to sort through hundreds and hundreds of similar products.  If you say, "This is the product that will solve your problem.  This is what you need," conversions go up.    And the secret to creating this content is that we are always creating content no matter what we do or where we go.  Steve and I are riding around in his truck, we are on the farm, we are training dogs, and we are recording everything.  I have got a video camera.  I use my iPhone.  I have got some pretty high fallutin cameras.  We photograph everything.  We transcribe everything.    Transcribe Everything   I have got a guy in Alabama that about once a week I send him an hour or two of video.  He types it up and we put it on the website.  I actually get to play the straight man.  It is like, "How do you teach a dog how to sit?"  Steve says, "Well, blah, blah, blah, blah."  And I am like, "Well how long does it take him to learn?"  "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."  And this is stuff is keyword loaded.  This stuff is awesome for search engine optimization.   Steal all Manufacturer Content   Now I am about to tell you something that is the opposite of what I told you as far as creating unique content.  I want you to steal all manufacturer content.  What do I mean by that?  Well, manufacturers do a really good job of creating content, but they don't do a good job of getting it out there.  So I want you to liberate content that you are going to find in like owner's manuals and PDF files.  I want you to transcribe DVD's that come with products.  Online videos-I want you to get the text out of that.    A lot of people have Flash movies.  I want you to go and look at their Flash movies and have somebody transcribe what is in that and get that information out in simple text HTML where people can see it.   Another thing we have done is we have repurposed product packaging.  We actually will take a box and I will give it to one of the production assistants, and she will type up the information on the box.    And the point of purchase materials are awesome.  Look at that little flip book down there.  There is tons of stuff in there that is not on the web or anywhere else.   There is Sage looking at you there.  Steve's GSP.   SEO Elements-Title tags and Text Links   Search engine optimization elements haven't really changed in the past five years.  I mean ranking comes down to mostly two things: <title> tags, which is text on the page where you have your keywords inside your <title> tags.  And what I tell folks is when you are naming your products on the Yahoo store, make sure you use your best keywords, what folks actually call these things, in the name field of your products, because for most Yahoo stores, the <title> tags are created from the name field.  And it depends on who designed your Yahoo Store, and if you have a Legacy store, and if you are using a version 3 store.  It is a little bit different, but we are going to touch on that in just a minute.   The second thing for ranking is text links.  You want other pages pointing at pages you want to rank with keywords inside the links.  That is how Google's tells what a page is about.  It is called Reputation Analysis.  It is what other pages say about your page.  It is <title> tags, text on the page, and anchor text.   I actually went in last night and I completely redid my slides at 4 o'clock in the morning because I wanted to do some hands on things.    If I could only do five things?   This is the second part of the presentation, actually getting in and getting your hands dirty.  Paul, one of my good buddies over at Yahoo, he said, "Dude, don't be telling all this theory stuff.  Actually give them some stuff to do.  Give them some tactical things so they can go in and get their hands dirty.  What if you could only do five things on a Yahoo Store and you are starting from day one?"   And some of this stuff is going to be basic, and I am going to go as deep as I can based on the amount of time that I have got.  It looks like I have got another 30 minutes or so.    #1 Install YAW   If you can only do five things on your store, what would you do?  Well the first thing I would do: install Yahoo Web Analytics.  You know why.  We talked about it a minute ago, so I will skip through this.   Configure Domain Redirects   The second thing I would do is I would configure the domain redirects.  Mr. [16:31] and I bumped heads over this about three years ago, four years ago maybe, about how important it was.  And it is like he got it.  It was awesome, because back in the day when ViaWeb was made, when Paul Graham made ViaWeb, you could have four of five different URL's pointing to the exact same content, like store.yahoo.com/accountname/ pagename , and then yourdomain.com/pagename , and then www.   Well now they have these domain redirects.  And I would be willing to say that half of the people on this phone call don't have their 301's configured correctly.  So I went in and did some screenshots this morning.    You go to your store manager page, and they have a help file that is really helpful as far as doing this, but you then go under site settings to the domain names link and then you check the "redirect all host names to my domain," and you pick one domain.  And whether that is www.yourdomain.com or store.yourdomain.com , or just plain old yourdomain.com , you want to pick one domain and have one URL for your content so there is only one URL pointing to your content.    And what happens is this means that instead of having three or four versions of your site in the Google, and in Yahoo, and in Bing, you are going to have one version, and one page is going to get credit for all of the links.  So you will get credit for the 301 redirect.  All the link juice flowing to the store URL's will get redirected to your main URL.  All of the link juice pointing to the non-www will get redirected like in our case of the www.  I mean it is really good for consolidating your link popularity.  And after about three months of doing this, you will see an increase in your Google traffic.  I mean this is probably the most valuable thing that I could tell.  Out of the 45,000 Yahoo Store owners, who knows how many people are not doing this?    Homepage <title> tags   If I could only do three things, the most important on page element for SEO is the <title> tag.  The most important page on your site is your homepage.  Therefore, your home page's <title> tag is it.  If I could only do one more thing, that is what I would do.  I would pimp out your homepage <title> tag.    And <title> tags are hard.  I mean you get 65-70 characters to work with.  On your homepage you are working with broader keywords.  I recommend going for three or four overlapping phrases.    One of my spammer buddies is awesome.  He said that a <title> tag is not a wish list.  If you are not ranking top 20 or better for the terms that are in your <title> tag, you are wasting one of your most precious resources.      If you want to go check out and see how good an SEO is, take a look at somebody's homepage, like a Yahoo Store developer or an SEO, and go see on Google, do they rank for the three or four keyword phrases that are in their <title> tag?  And if they are not in the top 20, they don't know what they are doing, me included.   Homepage: Write intro text 500-1000 words of body text   If I could do a fourth thing, I would put 500 to a 1,000 words of body text on my homepage.  So many Yahoo Store owners that I see, they have these beautiful graphics and they have these pictures with these specials, and they have their contents, and they have like maybe to or three sentences, and they have their final text, but there is no meat on the sandwich.   On your homepage, I want 500-1000 words of text.  And one way to do it is to put snippets to explain what you sell and have a welcome message.  But load that sucker up with keywords.   Here is an example on my homepage, Robsnell.com, where I just wrote an intro letter.  And I basically talked about what I do and have some information in there.    The fifth thing corresponds with this.  This is so impotent nowadays because since you homepage is your most important page on your site, because most of your link popularity is flowing to it, the links coming off your homepage are your most valuable links.    If I link to something from Robsnell.com with anchor text in it, I need it to rank for that relatively quickly.  I mean even really competitive phrases.  I use it all the time to get other pages on other domains to rank.  It is awesome.   You want to link your 40 best pages using information from your Yahoo Web Analytics using you 40 best keywords in the anchor text.  And I just picked 40 out of a hat.  Google is going to count 100 or so links on a page, but if you don't know HTML, you need to learn how to hand code these little bitty links.    Email me and I will show you a place.  I know it is in the book.  If you don't know HTML and you are just using "specials", you can throw you 20 best products and specials on the page, and you can use the contents to have your 20 best category links.  Here is an example further down the page on Robsnell.com where I have embedded these little bitty HTML links inside my body text.    This is the most important thing.  This is why I didn't sleep last night.  I stayed up all last night because at about seven o'clock yesterday evening I had an epiphany on something I have been working on for the past three to six months as far as how to put a dollar amount on SEO.   CKWP   CKWP-you will see that in my notebooks.  If you know me, see me at conferences, every conference I have been to has a notebook.  I have dozens of these little black notebooks chalked full of SEO stuff.  And the thing that I finally wrapped my head around, CKWP is Converting Keyword Phrase.  That is a keyword phrase that if somebody searched for in a search engine, came to your site, and placed an order and bought something.    I have 21,000 of those on Gun Dog Supply as of last night.  21,000 converting keyword phrases; little bitty oil wells.  Some are worth more than others.  The most awesome thing is now, because of Yahoo Web Analytics, now we know what the dollar amount is, the value of a visitor.    There is a statistic called "revenue per visitor".  You divide the revenue by the number of visitors for any given keyword phrase.  And once you have 1,000 or so visitors and maybe 100 or more sales, you have a pretty good idea of what the value of a visitor is.   So on any given keyword you are going to see pretty consistent revenue per visitors.  If you got $5 revenue per visitor and you have 100 people coming to your site a week, you have a pretty good idea that you are going to be able to getif you double that, you will be able to double your sales for that one individual keyword.   Well that is the first part.  The second part is, and I will talk about this more in a minute, is that we have a pretty good idea where folks click on a search engine results page.  If 90% of the people who are visiting a search engine results page are coming from the first page of results, and it is about 30% from number one, 12% from number two, 9% from number three, and it just drops off like a stone after that, most people are clicking in the top three to five places.   I can tell you that you can double your traffic if you are in four, five, or six if I can get you up into maybe two or three.  And if you know revenue per visitor, you can multiply that and go, "Gosh.  I will make an extra $50,000 in sales off this one keyword if I go from number seven to number three."  And you can say, "Well OK.  What is my profit on that?  Gosh.  If I keep this up, if I actually do a good job of building up some content and getting some links, I could probably spend $10,000 on developing content just for one keyword phrase," one of your best keyword phrases.    So what I want you to do is once you have Yahoo Web Analytics and you have got more than three months worth of data, I want you to go in and export all of your converting keywords.  And I do this about every 90 days, and I love this.    Paul asked me what I was going to run.  I go in and under marketing in the tab, I go down to conversions and then I select "SEO and SEM", and then I click "by search phrase", and I get a list of my converting keywords.  This was early in the morning.  These were my converting keywords.  And normally when you log into YWA, you have that one day on your calendar.    Well the first thing I want you to do is I want you to go set the date range as long as you can.  And in one of my index tools accounts I have got five years worth of data.   The second thing I want you to do is I want you to go set the results per page to a number higher than 10 so you can see a whole bunch of stuff in one fatal swoop.    I had to strip the keywords out of here because I want to show you guys some real data.  I appreciate what you guys are doing.  You guys want to learn stuff.  Talking about theoretical stuff is BS.  You need to see real data.  I am actually going to show you stuff from a real store.  And once I get away from the super, super money keywords, I am going to talk real numbers on some real keywords.   Look at these different keywords.  Keyword number one: I have got 35,000 visits, $175,000 in revenue, my conversion rate for that one keyword is 2.4%, my average sale is a little bit over $200, my revenue per visitor is $5.   Now go down and compare that with keyword nine where I have got one tenth of the traffic and it is a much smaller amount of revenue.  But look at my revenue per visitor- $12.  And I have got a pretty good idea of what keyword that is.  And I know that I can increase my traffic and sales by concentrating on that one keyword.  Look at that revenue per visitor and the average sale.  I mean I look through this and I am looking for opportunities inside all of these keywords.  I get real excited about this, and I apologize if I am going too fast.    Look at keyword seven.  Not that much traffic, not that many orders, a pretty good revenue number.  I mean it is the seventh biggest keyword in the history of the company.  About a 1% conversion rate.  But that average sale is $639.  And I know for a fact that people are calling on the phone to place orders that aren't getting tied back into Yahoo Web Analytics.   But this is the information that you can take and then match it up with your position in the search engines to figure out what your opportunity is, and this is the epiphany that I had.  And Whittaker, we have some work to do.  We got to build this thing out.   One of the first things I do when I have theseI had 100,000 and I did a full export.  Not just a full screen; I did 100,000 keywords last night.  One of the first things that I did was I took out my company name and my domain name.    Some people call these branded terms and navigational terms.  But they are keyword phrases that have your company name in them and then have you