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    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 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 »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Optimizing Ratings, Reviews and Comments

    February 17, 2012 •

    Content that consumers leave on an ecommerce site can improve the site’s search engine optimization, if the platforms and underlying code are set up optimally. Ratings, reviews and comments each play a part in SEO, utilizing the words and opinions that real shoppers voice to strengthen ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO Impact of Google’s Search Plus Your World

    February 3, 2012 •

    As search and social become ever more entwined in Google’s and Bing’s algorithms and search results, search engine optimizers cannot afford to turn a blind eye to social media. Bing incorporates Facebook data into its search results. Google has taken another big step with the introducti... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Optimizing a Page for Search Engines, Part 3: Keywords to Content

    January 27, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series on optimizing ecommerce pages for search engines. The first two installments, "Part 1: Keyword Research" and “Part 2: Keyword Mapping,” we published previously. I discussed keyword research and content mapping in detai... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Optimizing a Page for Search Engines, Part 2: Keyword Mapping

    January 20, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a three-part series on optimizing ecommerce pages for search engines. The first installment, "Part 1: Keyword Research," we published last week. "Part 3: Keywords to Content" we published after the article, below. Keyword research is ess... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Optimizing a Page for Search Engines, Part 1: Keyword Research

    January 13, 2012 •

    Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a three-part series on optimizing ecommerce pages for search engines. “Part 2: Keyword Mapping” and “Part 3: Keywords to Content” we published ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    10 Tips to Hire a Great SEO Agency

    January 10, 2012 •

    Staying on top of search engine optimization requires time and effort that many small businesses can’t afford in-house. One obvious solution is to turn to an agency. But which ones can be trusted and which will under deliver and overcharge? Before just picking the number one result in a... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Using Social Buttons to Enhance Search Engine Optimization

    January 4, 2012 •

    Social "signals" increasingly influence search results in both Google and Bing. The search engines are coming to consider social signals as more indicative of how searchers value a page than traditional link signals — though links remain very important to search engine optimization. In ... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Title-Tag Optimization for Ecommerce Sites

    December 27, 2011 •

    Optimizing title tags is a bit like eating your vegetables. No one wants to do it, but everyone knows it's good for you. Search engine optimization professionals universally agree that title tags are the most influential on-page element. SEOmoz recently confirmed the importance of title... Read More »

  • Marketing

    How to Benefit from Googlebot-Mobile’s New Smarts

    December 16, 2011 •

    Google’s mobile crawler Googlebot-Mobile has traditionally focused on content designed for feature phones and their extremely limited browsers. Google recently announced, however, a new version of Googlebot-Mobile that crawls using an iPhone user agent, enabling it to discover content d... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Managing SEO and Social Media Together

    December 13, 2011 •

    How etailers manage their social media marketing channel has a growing impact on organic search results. Google and Bing have both incorporated social data into their algorithms to signal content freshness and quality. While the datasets each engine has access to differ, the fact remain... Read More »

  • Marketing

    5 Conversion Tools for SEO and Beyond

    November 29, 2011 •

    The quickest path to earning more from an ecommerce site's organic search traffic is to convert more consumers who already go there. I addressed that topic previously, at "SEO: Convert More Before Driving More." Many SEO strategies focus on driving more visitors. But what use is driv... Read More »

  • Marketing

    SEO: Letting Customers Generate Long Tail Search Terms

    November 23, 2011 •

    Search engine optimization typically focuses on the trophy terms, the high-volume keyword phrases, because marketers need to drive the highest value with the lowest effort. Unfortunately, those juicy trophy terms are great for brand recognition and customers' initial awareness, but they... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Syndicating Content for SEO Benefit

    November 18, 2011 •

    When ecommerce companies think about content syndication, they typically consider acquiring content that others have written to beef up their own sites. Depending on the goal, placing content from other sites onto your own can be beneficial from a branding, partnership, or reference poi... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Does SEO Conflict with User-Friendly Websites?

    November 3, 2011 •

    Google's so-called "Farmer/Panda" algorithm update rewards original, high-quality site content. Aggregators suffer under Panda, as do ecommerce merchants who rely on generic product descriptions that are not unique to their sites, or who offer poor content generally. We've addressed t... Read More »

  • Marketing

    Navigation: Your Biggest On-Site SEO Asset

    October 28, 2011 •

    A site's navigational links can help its search engine optimization. Links pass "link popularity," little votes of value, from the linking page to the destination page. In addition, the link's anchor text — the visible text portion of the link — passes a relevance signal. Relevance and... Read More »