|Mon Mar 30 2009 00:08:03|
AuctionBytes Podcasts at Search Engine Strategies
By: Ina Steiner
Last week's Search Engine Strategies conference in New York provided coverage on paid search and SEO (search engine optimization) with a lot of attention paid to social networking sites. I spent two days talking to exhibitors and sitting in on some sessions. Along the way, I did four podcast interviews that are posted to AuctionBytes' Ecommerce Industry SoundBytes.
My favorite interview was with Ilana Rabinowitz, Vice President of Marketing at Lion Brand Yarn Company whose products can be found on the shelves of Wal-Mart, Michael's and craft stores. She faces the challenge of providing an ecommerce platform where consumers can purchase yarn on the LionBrand.com website, and also providing compelling content in order to drive foot traffic to retail sites that carry the brand.
Ilana has found a number of ways to engage customers and uses podcasting, blogs, Flickr and other Web 2.0 tools. I spoke to her right after Guy Kawasaki's keynote address, and she came away impressed at the ways you can use Twitter and the tools available to make it easier to manage. Ilana is in the process of adding Facebook and Twitter to her marketing activities, and she had some interesting things to say from an ecommerce merchant's point of view. Link to podcast.
I had previously done a podcast with Adam Epstein of AdMarketplace about his paid-search service - his company had started out years ago as eBay's exclusive paid search provider, eBayKeywords.com. Given that eBay has just relaunched the program after having discontinued it for several years, it was great to talk to him again, and he shared his thoughts on eBay's new AdCommerce advertising program for eBay sellers. (No, he says, the data he gathered when managing the eBay service indicate that it does not generally make good use of your marketing budget to buy traffic from eBay to go to eBay.)
After eBay dropped the program, Adam, along with CEO Jamie Hill, had to rebuild the company, and they created an ad marketplace for online retailers using a network of websites. Adam explains how the service works and why sellers should try it. Link to podcast.
But how do you know whether your marketing efforts are working and which sites are driving traffic to your listings? Ophir Prusak, the Search & Analytics Strategist at Pop, talked to me about Google Analytics, the free program from Google that helps you analyze just that.
Pop is a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant, and Ophir said the free program can show you who's coming to your site, how they got there, and what they did on your site. The tool gives website owners actionable information, according to Ophir, who also shared his thoughts on tracking the effectiveness of social networking activities. Link to podcast.
My last interview at Search Engines Strategies was with David Gettinger, Director of Sales for SLI Systems. I was attracted to his company's booth by the mannequin wearing a T-shirt that had a message about search for retailers.
While SLI Systems offers a search platform geared for retailers larger than many of our readers, I asked David about the principles of search that would apply to sellers of all sizes. He emphasized the importance of structured data, making sure your listings contain all of the product attributes a customer is looking for.
David also had advice on the important things to consider when hiring a search vendor; how the economy is affecting the search industry; and about the power of product reviews on social networking sites. For those larger merchants who are looking for a search platform for their ecommerce sites, SLI Systems will be exhibiting at the Internet Retailer conference in Boston in June. Link to podcast.
SEO and paid search are cornerstones to improving your traffic when you have your own ecommerce website, and it was a good show for Internet marketers who are more than dabbling in search.