Practical Ecommerce
    Get the Practical Ecommerce RSS feed

    Jill Kocher

    Jill Kocher

    Jill Kocher is a writer and search-engine-optimization expert in Chicago. She began her Internet marketing career in 1996 with Intel Corp., followed by SEO management positions at Netconcepts, Covario — two SEO consulting firms — and Groupon, the daily deals site.

    Jill serves as Director of Search Marketing at Resource/Ammirati, a digitally led creative agency. She holds a B.A. in Communications and American Studies from Stanford University. jill@practicalecommerce.com


  • Marketing

    SEO: Putting Navigation to Work

    September 28, 2012 •

    Navigation does more than shuttling customers around your site. In addition to its obvious usability and design functions, navigation can be optimized to improve organic search traffic. Well-optimized navigation strengthens the flow of link popularity throughout your site while sending ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Ranking Forecast: 74 and Sunny

    September 21, 2012 •

    One of the hardest aspects of search engine optimization is determining whether changes in your site’s organic search results are based on changes to your own site or external influences like algorithm changes. SEOmoz created MozCast weather report to help answer this question, and tod... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Using Automated Landing Pages

    September 14, 2012 •

    Marketing automation tools make creating landing pages a snap. They focus on making it more efficient to deliver relevant content to relevant individuals at relevant times via email and paid search campaigns. So why not use them to create landing pages for search engine optimization cam... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Avoiding Penguins and Pandas

    September 7, 2012 •

    Google’s recent penchant for naming major algorithmic updates after animals has the world of search engine optimization sounding more like a zookeeper’s dilemma. But with rumors of an impending Penguin update — see this article from Search Engine Roundtable — right around the corner, e... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Launching a Redesigned Site

    August 31, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is part two of a two-part series on identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risk of site redesigns on organic search traffic. Part one, "SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign," we published last week. Launching a redesigned site is filled with potentiall... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign

    August 24, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is part one of a two-part series on identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risk of site redesigns on organic search traffic. Part two, "Launching a Redesigned Site," we will publish next week. Site redesigns can create a period of intense instability for organi... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Using Excel for Keyword Analysis

    August 17, 2012 •

    Excel is the SEO tool I use most frequently. Excel helps me organize my thoughts, decide which keywords or pages to focus on, illustrate key concepts, and even draft rudimentary content. This article lists my favorite Excel formulas, menu items, and keyboard shortcuts for search engin... Read More »

  • Marketing

    4 Simple Visuals to Explain SEO

    August 10, 2012 •

    When talking to marketers, it can be nearly impossible to get them to look beyond the brand imagery and user experience they’ve crafted for their customers online. And while they’re locked into that perception of their sites, it’s very difficult to explain why search engines don’t perce... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Can Local Searchers Find Your Stores?

    August 3, 2012 •

    Online location pages of physical stores should provide much more information than just the physical address of a store close to the individual user. Many consumers already know where a store is, based on their everyday routines. What they don’t know and are seeking are the hours, holid... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Guide to Google Webmaster Tools

    July 27, 2012 •

    Valuable search-engine-optimization tools that provide unique data tend to be expensive. Tools with limited data sets or limited capabilities tend to be free. Google Webmaster Tools bucks that trend by offering — for free — a unique data set and features that can't be found in any other... Read More »

  • Marketing

    5 SEO Shortcuts to Avoid

    July 12, 2012 •

    Search engines are programmed to reward relevance and popularity, and are striving to algorithmically determine quality as well. Ecommerce sites are programmed to sell product to customers as efficiently as possible while offering a positive brand experience. Ecommerce sites often striv... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Google Shopping’s Impact on SEO

    July 6, 2012 •

    Over the next several months, Google’s free Product Search feature will start costing ecommerce sites a lot more. Since the launch of Google’s Froogle in 2002, Google has provided a free product search service. The newly launched Google Shopping marks the first time that the company has... Read More »

  • Design & DevelopmentMarketing

    SEO: Understanding XML Sitemaps

    June 29, 2012 •

    XML sitemaps serve a very niche purpose in search engine optimization: facilitating indexation. Posting an XML sitemap is kind of like rolling out the red carpet for search engines and giving them a roadmap of the preferred routes through the site. It’s the site owner’s chance to tell c... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Keywords: ‘Red Roses’ vs. ‘Roses Red’

    June 22, 2012 •

    Search engines are code-driven, logic-based pieces of software and hardware that know and do what they’re programmed to do: rank data gathered from crawling websites according to specific algorithms against searchers’ queries. Those algorithms based on keyword relevance prefer exact mat... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Report Card: MotoGP Store, Part 2

    June 7, 2012 •

    The MotoGP Store volunteered for an SEO Report Card. This is the second installment of my analysis of that site. In "Part 1," I reviewed the home page and category pages, internal navigation, HTML templates, title tags and keyword choices on, again, The MotoGP Store. Now I'll look at UR... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Report Card: MotoGP Store, Part 1

    June 1, 2012 •

    Every now and then an ecommerce site raises its hand for an "SEO Report Card." It’s a great way for the site to get some free advice and a good link, and an interesting way to give Practical eCommerce some, well, practical tips on how we’d handle SEO challenges with real ecommerce sites... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Why Does SEO Take So Long?

    May 25, 2012 •

    Search marketing’s two halves are so similar and yet so different. A new pay-per-click advertising campaign can be set up and pushed live, and data starts to roll in that same day. Within a week there may be enough data to analyze performance, tweak and iterate the optimization of the c... Read More »

  • Design & DevelopmentMarketing

    SEO Site Migration Checklist

    May 18, 2012 •

    Migrating a site to a new platform or domain, or implementing a major redesign, is one of the most stressful situations in search engine optimization. The potential for massively impacting organic search traffic and sales is higher during these launches than at any other time. But with ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: How to Amplify Keyword Signals

    May 11, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization is all about "signal" and "amplification." The signal is simply using relevant keywords. Amplification is about how to use those keywords and encourage linking and sharing. Think of the keywords as the voice of a site and the amplification as a megaphone. The ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Professionals Can Harm an Ecommerce Business

    May 4, 2012 •

    Like Bon Jovi’s song, “You Give Love a Bad Name,” some search engine optimization companies give that profession a bad reputation. Practical eCommerce recently fielded a question from a reader wondering why his site was being penalized for work his SEO company had done on his behalf. It... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty an Evolution, Not Revolution

    April 27, 2012 •

    Google’s much discussed over-optimization penalty turned out to be a moderate evolutionary step in Google’s site quality crusade. Launched April 24, Google wrote in a blog post of its update, “The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality gui... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Avoid Link Building Shortcuts

    April 19, 2012 •

    There are no safe link building shortcuts. Instead I want to warn marketers about deceptive search marketers and the dangers of using “easy” link building tactics. In the latest instance, the search engine optimization community is abuzz with news that Home Depot’s SEO team has attempt... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Build Relationships, Not Links

    April 13, 2012 •

    When the Internet was new, it was difficult to find interesting and relevant websites. Link building was easy in those days. It was often just a matter of letting webmasters know that your site existed and they could link to it. Things have changed in the last couple of decades. Webmas... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO and PPC: Synergistic or Cannibalistic?

    April 6, 2012 •

    Many ecommerce managers wonder whether the paid search ads they place enhance or cannibalize the organic search results. They wonder, in other words, if they end up paying for clicks they could have had for free organically. A recent study by Google suggests that the relationship betwee... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Google’s Secure Search Squeezes SEO Planning and Reporting

    March 30, 2012 •

    Google's secure SSL search protects users' search results and the keywords they searched on. Unfortunately, it also poses a growing threat to data-driven search engine optimization. Firefox recently joined Google Chrome — and Google.com, for logged-in users — in defaulting to secure sea... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Google Plans SEO Over-Optimization Penalty

    March 22, 2012 •

    Google’s head spam cop Matt Cutts announced the impending launch of a new over-optimization penalty to “level the playing ground.” The disclosure came earlier this month at the South By ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Top 5 Reasons to Use Google Webmaster Tools

    March 16, 2012 •

    There’s a common misconception that registering with Google Webmaster Tools somehow enables Google more access to information about a site. In fact, just the opposite is true. Google Webmaster Tools provides site owners access to data available from no other source, data every ecommerce... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO for Mobile Apps and App Stores

    March 9, 2012 •

    The world of mobile applications is foreign territory to most Internet marketers. App development requires different skills than traditional website development. App planning and design forces marketers to understand the limitations of different platforms and devices. But once an app i... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

    March 1, 2012 •

    Site owners have many competing needs when developing mobile sites. Different devices, different capabilities, different screen sizes and resolutions, all have an impact on designing and developing mobile sites today. According to Mongoose Metrics, a tracking and analysis firm, only 9... Read More »

  • Marketing

    BloomReach to Change SEO Technology?

    February 24, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization, boiled down, is the process of making sure a web page ends up highly ranked on search results, for searches relevant to that page. A merchant selling "Columbia Traverse Men's Hiking Shoes," for example, will want to optimize its product page so that searches ... Read More »