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seOverflow-er, Everett Sizemore speaks at Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Posted by Everett Sizemore on February 23rd, 2012

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seOverflow-er, Everett Sizemore speaks at SMX West about Driving Ecommerce & Retail Sales Through Search. Check out Everett and the other Mozers at Meet Mozers at SMX West 2012.

Here is the Presentation:

Some of these slides may make better sense when put into context with my notes:

Slide 1 (Intro)

Slide 2 (If DA were happiness)
Raise your hand if you compete with Amazon, Buy.com… Walmart, Target.
Bad News: Unless you’re also Fortune 100, you’re not going to beat them on domain-level metrics.

Slide 3 (If links were happiness)
Good News: Amazon has almost 127-million product pages.
Based on thousands I’ve checked, very few have external links.
Very difficult to scale external link building across hundreds of millions of product pages.
External links at the product level is where smaller businesses can beat the Amazons.
If you’re tired of being outranked for every product, THIS is where you need to focus.
All it takes is two or three decent links.
Here are four ways to get them…

Slide 4 (bucket-head guy)
Number One: Linkbait and Trustbait content can be put onto categories or product detail pages.
You can easily use a category or PRP as a landing page for product-specific demos or viral videos. The Blendtec videos from a few years back would have been perfect for this.
Other product-page link bait ideas include polls; giveaways; sweepstakes; infographics; comparison charts; product-related widgets and calculators; user-generated reviews; competitions - or just about anything you would otherwise build a linkbait landing page for.

Slide 5 (Edmunds.com link to Crutchfield auto category)
Amazing how few of us use existing pages for linkbait campaigns.
Probably because poorly done linkbait on cat. or prod. pages is too busy, lowers conversion.
When done right it can make design more compelling, increase conversions and attract links…
Like this one Crutchfield got from Edmunds Q&A because they have…
A self-select feature on their car audio category page that lets shoppers enter their vehicle info to get vehicle-specific recommendations, search results and installation guides.
It’s very handy for those of us who don’t know anything about car stereos.

Slide 6 (Skateboards)
Letting customers interact with your brand at the product level can be a fun way to get deep links while building brand loyalty.
Hypothetical example: a store selling skateboards might put a poll on their category page…
Tips for making this strategy work:
– Easy to vote and share (Give them the opportunity to share as soon as they hit submit)
– Make it FUN! For starters, choose interesting products.
– Use a product or category page as the landing page, or redirect it to one later
Crowdsourcing also works great for new products as well. For instance, let customers help you choose which of two or more similar products you should carry. I have a real-world example…

Slide 7 (Gaiam Compost-Off)
We let customers and organic gardening bloggers choose which composter we would sell after testing them out in real-world conditions and sharing a weekly video update.
Resulted in several good product page links, as well as lots of brand recognition and some new customers. If anyone is curious, Earthmaker one. I would have gone with the Worm Wigwam.

Slide 8 (Education / Resource Center Books)
Tip Number Three is creation of research centers, or an Abundance of info on product pages.
Examples: Comparison charts, installation guides, video demos, info graphics, sizing charts…
Could go on category or product pages, but also works on a subdomain…
The example in the next slide uses features on the product page to educate and upsell…

Slide 9 (Crutchfield PDP)
I love Crutchfield because they have an awesome research center…
But they also have some very in-depth information on product pages.
The use of tabbed product desc. areas lets you put a lot in a small space. Unique & spiderable.

Slide 10 (Gaiam Compost Guide)
While previous slide was a great resource on a product page, here is one that could go on a category page.
In this case it was on a subdomain… Had some other advantages like:
– Design freedom, control of internal links, opportunity to rank for research keywords
With the way Panda is thought to work, you probably don’t want your product pages ranking too highly for research keywords anyway. The idea of matching the query to the purpose of the page is something you should definitely be thinking about with any of these tips.

Slide 11 (Coupon Codes)
Lots of retail sites put sales items in outlet or sale cat. and reserve all coupon codes for site-wide or category-level discounts.
No reason you can’t have product-specific coupons. Some of you may already have them.
But you can go a step further and offer exclusive product-level coupon codes to high profile bloggers to share with their readers.
For example…

Slide 12 (Ashley’s Blog)
Blogger named Ashley wrote about her BB chair; post came up on my Google Alerts.
Thanked her on Twitter and linked to her post.
Contacted her directly to provide 20% off discount for her readers.
– She got something to give; readers got a deal; Gaiam got a product link; everybody won.

Slide 13 (Exit slide)
If we have time, go on. If not, stop here and ask them to download.

Slide 14 (More tips & PR Done the Right Way)
I was going to go over how to do PR the right way, but I think Chris Winfield pretty much hit it out of the park with his post on SEOmoz this week so I’ll just send you there: 92 Ways to Get and Maximize Press Coverage – on the SEOMoz blog.

About 

Everett has served as in-house SEO specialist in diverse corporate and startup environments, as well as running his own agency, learning the needs and roadblocks of clients in eCommerce and other hyper-competitive niches.

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