Practical Ecommerce

Jill Kocher Brown on July 19th, 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Using Google’s New Keyword Planner.” Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimization. They’re what searchers type into Google’s search box, and what marketers incorporate into their web pages to attract searchers to their sites. Google recently launched a new tool that changes the way we […]

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Jill Kocher on March 15th, 2013


One of the challenges that plagues the search marketing industry is a lack of standards around the quality and scope of work. Different agencies and consultants will use similar words to describe very different deliverables and processes. One of the most abused of these is the SEO Audit.

Clients have told me bitter tales of ghosts of “audits” past that didn’t live up to expectations, like the big-brand shoe retailer that paid $10,000 over three months’ time for a two-page Word document containing weak, tactical recommendations. I thought my client was exaggerating for effect until he emailed me the product. To protect their investment, businesses need to understand what to expect from an SEO audit and which questions to ask to ensure t…

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Jill Kocher on March 1st, 2013


Information architecture and search engine optimization are both critical aspects of developing an ecommerce site. During the process, early decisions made about the structure of a site and its product catalog can have surprising ramifications for SEO.

Which product types and attributes are assigned as categories, subcategories, and filters within the catalog impact much more than user experience. They also impact which pages the ecommerce platform will generate and how they’re interconnected in the navigation, both of which impact SEO.

Let’s use a hair care products site as an example. Say we’re selling shampoo, conditioner, and styling products for men, women, and children. Our products are tailored to normal, dry, oily, and chemical…

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Jill Kocher on February 15th, 2013


Social media and organic search work hand in hand, but not in the way most people think.

Building up a grand social media presence will not drive link authority back to your ecommerce site. The major social networks have long since stripped the link authority from their outbound links to discourage spammers. There are, however, many other ways that social media benefits search engine optimization, including search engine result page — SERP — domination.

Both social media and organic search are essential pieces of a strong content marketing strategy. Organic search helps drive customers to social media, and social media helps customers discover content they want to share and link to. SEO is not the only or best reason to run a strong s…

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Jill Kocher on February 1st, 2013


The ecommerce platform that hosts a site determines the URL structure, which in turn can have an impact on the site’s search engine optimization. Each platform creates URLs according to its own rules, but nearly all can be modified for greater SEO and brand recognition.

In years past, URLs with lots of folders and parameters posed major crawl issues for the search engines. In some cases the “spider traps” created by complex ecommerce URLs would even prevent the engines from indexing a site, effectively cutting off the flow of organic search customers.

Google and Bing are much more capable of crawling or intelligently ignoring parameters and long, scraggly folder paths in URLs today, but optimal URLs do play a role in SEO. Using descri…

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