Store Coach eCommerce Blog

Coach’s “Fab 5″ of the Week – August 29, 2014


TweetShare on TumblrBeing in charge of marketing here at Store Coach means that I read a serious amount of business related articles each week... I mean, I'm talking 100+ of the latest and greatest articles to come out each week. Below is my list of the "cream of the crop" this week. If you only take the time to read three articles this week to further your growth, make it these: #1 - How To Apply Psychological Principles To Boost Your Conversion Rate My favorite article this week was by Thomas Smale and is one of the best pieces I've ever read on conversion rate optimization. Sure, website owners try to "put themselves in their customer's shoes" when optimizing their web pages, but rarely do they implement true psychological principles that are well known to those that study the human mind. In the original article, Thomas discusses thinking patterns of the typical shopper and how these patterns can be "optimized for" to improve your conversion rate. For example, optimizing your pages for the "right side" and "left side" thinkers of the world! Image Source #2 = Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle: Maximize Existing Content, Generate Quick Ideas & Cut Blogging Time in… Read More»

How to Use Google Alerts to Follow Websites When There Is No RSS Feed – Coach’s Tip of the Week

TweetShare on TumblrOne of the very best ways to follow what is happening in your industry and to get ideas for blog articles is to follow other blogs related to your niche. The problem, though, is that checking all of the relevant blogs to see if there is anything noteworthy going on is not a very productive use of time. It is much better to get the feeds of great blogs and let your feed reader (or Email program) let you know whenever something has been written. You can then just scan the headlines and see if there is something of interest that you'd like to share or write an article of your own about. Unfortunately, the number of blogs that have an RSS feed these days is far outnumbered by ones that don't. An RSS feed used to be considered a "must-have" for any blog but now that social networking has become so popular, many people figure that having a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ "follow us" button is enough. The problem with not having an RSS feed for a blog is that when somebody really wants to follow your articles, they end up getting lost in a sea of… Read More»

Quick Tip: Customize Your AVS Settings to Prevent Chargebacks

TweetShare on TumblrIn most markets, fraud isn't a huge risk. Still, when a single wipes out the profit generated from several orders you worked hard to get, it's important to do everything you can to prevent them. One very simple thing you can do to prevent potential fraudulent transactions is customize your Address Verification System () settings for credit card processing. AVS is a simple "address check" your provider does before approving & processing a transaction. Basically, your merchant account provider checks to see whether the address the customer provided during checkout matches the address on file with the customer's credit card company. By customizing your AVS settings, you can decide how "strict" you want the address check to be. Since we use & recommend Durango Merchant Services and we're most familiar with their system, we'll walk you through how to customize your AVS settings within Durango's secure payment gateway. If your merchant account provider uses another payment gateway (such as, the process will be slightly different but the concepts will be the same. Follow these steps to access the page in your Durango payment gateway where you can customize your AVS settings... Log in to your Durango payment… Read More»

Directory Links – Which Ones Are Hurting Your SEO? – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrIt may seem not seem like it, but it's been more than two years since Google blew up its search engine rankings with the original Penguin algorithm filter. Thousands of websites went from the top of the mountain to buried so far underground, no amount of digging could bring their once stellar rankings even to the surface again. Targeting websites that were trying to manipulate their search rankings with unnatural links, Penguin is harsh and ruthless, and many types of links were immediately declared "unnatural" by members of the SEO community. Forum profile links, comment links, and directory links are three types of links that you most often hear about when people start talking about cleaning up your link profile. Unfortunately, all three of those have gotten a bad rap post-Penguin. They all can be very useful for generating the one thing you really want - traffic. Like almost everything in SEO, it's all about moderation and relevancy. Almost a year and a half ago we wrote about Comment Links That Actually Have Value and, although practically no forum passes any link juice from a profile link, if you are a prominent member of a forum who constantly… Read More»

How to Social Network the Right Way – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrThese days, few things are more effective at marketing a business and obtaining real, natural backlinks than social networks are. It's why social networking is the core of our Insanely Simple SEO Plan. They give you exposure, help you become known as a "player" in your niche and certainly will earn you links if you have anything worth linking to on your website. When used properly, social networks can be a HUGE boost to your business. When used incorrectly, they are nothing but a waste of time. Unfortunately, far too many people are not using social networks properly. They think of them as a marketing tool only and completely forget the social aspect. It's about making new friends and influencing them, folks. It's tough to do the latter if you have nobody who really cares about the things you share. About a month ago, Ben Jacobson wrote an excellent piece for Search Engine Journal, titled, "5 Laws You've Got to Stop Breaking on Social Media." Ben says that you can be forgiven for committing minor offenses such as forgetting to mention an author in a tweet, but there are major social engagement rules that must NEVER be broken.… Read More»

How to Write Great Product Descriptions – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrBecause of our Expert Site Review Service, we get to see a whole lot of websites. Although there are many common problems, probably the biggest mistake we see on websites we review is that their product pages are simply not good enough. Despite the fact that we tell people in our eCommerce Training Course to provide their own unique product descriptions, more than half of the sites we critique have simply slapped up the same generic manufacturers' copy that every website has. When that's not the problem, a very large portion of the websites we review either have no text at all on their product pages or have tossed up one or two sentences, I guess as a means of placating themselves ("there, I wrote something"). I'll say it again; if you don't have at least 300 words of unique copy on your pages, you are giving the search engines very little to index. If your text is the same as everyone else's, why should they index you at all? Just as important, when a visitor lands on your site, what have you done to give them a compelling reason to buy products from you? Knowing the questions… Read More»

How To Turn Google ‘Not Provided’ Data Into Something You Can Use – Coach’s Tip of the Week

TweetShare on TumblrOnce upon a time, Google Analytics was one of the greatest tools on the planet for seeing exactly what keywords people were typing in to find your website, what pages they were landing on and what the bounce rates and conversion rates were for those keyword searches. Unfortunately, due to privacy concerns, Google has gradually been hiding all of that wonderful data that we have come to rely on. Instead, depending on the website, as much as 90% of the keywords entered now show up as "not provided" - something they might as well re-name, "not at all helpful." A few years ago, when Google was first rolling out this change, Dan Barker wrote an excellent article about how to turn some of that "not provided" data into something you could use, titled, "How to steal some 'not provided' data back from Google." While his "hack" won't help you with past searches, it does allow you to change the way that Google collects data, which you can then use to provide much better insights into all of those "not provided" queries. You won't be able to see the keywords people typed in, but you WILL be able to… Read More»

How to Get Traffic Without Google – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrSurely, few things are as great as having excellent first page rankings for numerous targeted keywords in Google. With 67% of the search market, Google, alone, can drive more than enough traffic to make any website profitable. Putting all of your eggs in the Google basket can have drastic consequences, though, as thousands of businesses discovered over the past couple of years. No search engine monkeys with their algorithm as much as Google does and you are always just one algorithm tweak away from disaster if your only source of traffic is Google. You definitely want to do everything you can to score as high as possible in Google search rankings but you are playing with fire if you aren't also doing everything you can to bring in traffic from many other sources. Three weeks ago, Chuck Price wrote an article for Search Engine Watch that highlighted ten other sources that you should be using to generate traffic for your website. Although I won't highlight every one of the ten methods that Chuck wrote about in The 10 Best Ways to Generate Traffic Without Google, I'll point out what I consider to be the top methods, below: Blog Commenting… Read More»

How to Stay on Track and Get Things Done – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrI was having a conversation with Dave Hermansen (a.k.a. "Coach") the other day about a couple of articles I had cranked out earlier in the day and he asked "How did you write two detailed 1,000+ word posts like that in just a couple of hours?" He commented that it would have taken him a couple of days to write each one (something that I know isn't true because I've seen him crank out four very detailed tutorials in a day). I told him how I stay focused and get things done and he suggested that I write a post about it, so here goes ... Really, there are only five basic things I do to make sure that I get things accomplished, no matter if that is writing a new blog article, building a new website or finding a new supplier: Know what you need to get done Do one thing at a time Have a schedule Create the perfect environment Reward yourself Know What You Need to Get Done Really, you are never going to get anything at all done if you don't have a plan. Whether you are insanely organized and need to map out… Read More»

4 A/B Split Tests to Try – Coach’s Tip of the Week

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TweetShare on TumblrA couple of weeks ago, Jamie Smith wrote an article for Search Engine Watch that discussed 5 takeaways from 4 different split tests. People are always asking us about what they should do to boost sales and, other than fixing some obvious things that we see when they order an Expert Site Review, the next step is to run split tests. Instead of guessing what might work or rationalizing what should work, it's a much better idea to see what actually works and the only way to do that is with trial and error. When you are stuck for new things to try, it never hurts to see the types of things other people are split testing. I thought this article did an excellent job of not only providing ideas, but also cautioning that every website is different and that you should only use the results of other websites' split tests as ideas of what to try - not absolutes on what will necessarily work for your own website. The four things that were split test were: Testimonial placement Pricing Trust symbols Special offers Testimonial Placement We've pointed out numerous times, both in our eCommerce training course and… Read More»