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.

  • Marketing

    Search Result Domination with Social Media

    February 15, 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... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Optimal Ecommerce URLs

    February 1, 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, ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Facebook Takes on Local Search

    January 17, 2013 •

    Consumers use the Internet to search for local businesses, events, and topics. Google is a major player in local search, but so is Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp,, Foursquare, and other sites. Local search now has a new competitor: Facebook Graph Search. Launched this week, Facebo... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

    January 4, 2013 •

    With a new year ahead, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions. What do you want search engine optimization to do for your site in 2013? The most likely goals for any ecommerce site revolve around driving more traffic and converting more visitors. Let’s look at some steps for an... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: When Product Facets and Filters Fail

    December 21, 2012 •

    Ecommerce sites rely on filtered or faceted navigation to make their product catalogs more easily digestible for customers. Depending on how filters and facets are implemented, however, they can either be fantastic for search engine optimization or a big failure. SEO is based on three ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Working Around a Redesign

    December 14, 2012 •

    When a redesign or platform change looms in your site’s future, it’s easy to turn off all search-engine-optimization work and focus on planning the new site. After all, why bother making changes that will just be overwritten when you launch the new site? Focusing on a few key areas will... Read More »

  • Marketing

    The SEO Benefit of Infographics

    December 7, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization professionals don't usually recommend creating more images, but infographics can have a real benefit to SEO. Typically, images are used in place of textual content to convey the same message visually. Consequently, images tend to be viewed as detrimental to SE... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Using Keyword Research beyond SEO

    November 30, 2012 •

    Keyword research is one of the foundational pieces of search engine optimization because it illuminates the exact words real-life customers use to search for the products we sell. But why stop there? The insights that keyword research provides can inform other many other areas of the bu... Read More »

  • Marketing

    How to Measure SEO Performance

    November 14, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization may be a mix of art and science, but it’s as measurable and accountable as other online marketing channels. Knowing what key performance indicators to measure for SEO is the first step. Establishing a regular routine for monitoring and measuring performance wi... Read More »

  • Marketing

    4 Fast Ways to Kill Your SEO

    November 9, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization experts usually focus on what you should do to improve your site’s organic search rankings. In this post, I'm asking the opposite question: What are the fastest ways to destroy your site’s SEO performance? Here's a list of my top four mistakes. Mistake 1: Lau... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: 3 Ways to Grow Links to Your Ecommerce Site

    November 2, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization relies in large part on relevant content and authoritative links from other sites. As the search engines develop ever-more stringent algorithms around relevance and authority, it becomes harder to acquire links that will actually matter to your site’s SEO effo... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Understanding Google’s Algorithm Updates

    October 26, 2012 •

    The term "webspam" refers to low-quality sites that use manipulative search engine optimization strategies to win rankings and traffic. Google’s war on webspam has reached an all-time high, with the search giant churning out an average of one-to-two updates a day. Understanding these al... Read More »

  • Marketing

    YouTube’s Time Watched Algorithm Update

    October 19, 2012 •

    In the past, YouTube measured a video’s popularity based on the number of clicks it received. Last Friday the video search giant changed its algorithm — here's the blog post at YouTube — to take the time spent watching a video into account. As a result, ecommerce sites wanting to attrac... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Marshaling Your Keyword Army

    October 12, 2012 •

    Content optimization for search engines seems straightforward. You research the keywords that your customers use most frequently and you use them on your site in the places that matter most to search engine algorithms. But deciding which keywords to apply to individual pages when you’re... Read More »

  • Design & Development

    Smartphones, Tablets Account for 1 in 8 Visits

    October 5, 2012 •

    One in eight pages accessed on the Internet in the U.S. today are viewed on mobile devices, according to a report by comScore. Mobile phones account for 9 percent of Internet visits and tablets make up another 4 percent. It begs the question: What sort of experience are those mobile use... Read More »

  • 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 »