Our huge library of search engine optimization articles addresses strategies and tactics for ecommerce businesses. Our 12-part “How-to” series explains the basics. Advanced topics include faceted navigation, crawling and indexing, cross-border optimization, and much more.

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  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: “Uncommonly Sophisticated”

    May 11, 2009 •

    This month is up for review. Ken Kikkawa, CEO of eHobbies, submitted the site for grading. I have to say I was impressed. Chief executive officers of companies that large - #364 on the Internet Retailer 500 list for eHobbies - are usually too high level to concern themselve...

  • SEO

    SEO: Try Surfing Like a Search Engine Spider

    April 15, 2009 •

    I’m a visual learner. I need to see and interact with things to understand them. It therefore helps me to mimic the behavior of search engine spiders when I’m digging into a site for the first time to review its search engine optimization issues. I like to think of it as “being the bot....

  • SEO

    Search Engine Friendly Shopping Carts?

    April 2, 2009 •

    Practical eCommerce will soon publish our "Shopping Cart Roundup" PDF guide. This guide will offer suggestions for choosing the shopping cart that best fits a merchant's needs. It will also list every shopping cart company that we know of. One question that most all merchants have in e...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Poor SEO Choices Cost Worthy Charity

    April 1, 2009 •

    Although you might not think of nonprofits as having ecommerce sites, they do. They accept donations via secure transactions. Rarely will they have a shopping cart, but nonetheless, nonprofits suffer from a number of the same search engine optimization ills that plague traditional ecomm...

  • Keyword Research

    SEO: Targeting the Longtail for More Sales

    March 25, 2009 •

    For many small online businesses, especially ecommerce, search-engine, keyword optimization is a once a year process at best. Once you have gone through the laborious and mind numbing process of keyword research, writing title tags, page descriptions and revising your copy, the idea of ...

  • SEO

    Measuring SEO Performance

    March 17, 2009 •

    Measuring success in search engine optimization can typically be done in four ways. “Indexation” measurements will determine if a search engine has properly identified all of your site’s pages. “Backlink” measurements will show the number of internal and external links that point to you...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card:

    March 5, 2009 •

    I took a long hiatus from "SEO Report Card" when my capable colleague Jeff Muendel filled-in for me. But now I'm happy to report, “I'm baaaack.” Our lucky contestant this month is Steven Hutt, echannels director with that company, requested this site grade. Home Pa...

  • Keyword Research

    SEO: Estimating Sales Potential from Keywords and Phrases

    February 19, 2009 •

    The perception that search engine optimization is a limitless source of free traffic and sales is one reason that SEO campaigns sometimes fail to live up to expectations. Yes, SEO efforts can deliver excellent returns on investment. But how much expected return is realistic? This articl...

  • SEO

    Survey of The Month: SEO is Both Important and Misunderstood

    February 9, 2009 •

    Ecommerce merchants overwhelming said that search engine optimization (SEO) was an active part of their marketing efforts and that they believed it accounted for a significant portion of their web traffic, but many of those same merchants identified black hat SEO tactics, like purchasin...

  • SEO

    Ecommerce Know-How: Information Architecture to Improve SEO and Usability

    January 7, 2009 •

    Taking lessons from two marketing disciplines, online retailers and their web designers can build a well structured Internet store organized into themes or categories that will make it easy for shoppers and search engines alike to find important information and product pages. In this ...

  • SEO

    Chart of the Week: SEM/SEO Most Important Marketing Tactic

    January 5, 2009 •

    A recent study from SLI Systems asked 319 respondents about the importance of various technologies and tactics in terms of their effect on ecommerce strategy. While the sample for the study was not necessarily large, it tended to support many preconceived ideas about which web technolo...

  • SEO

    Ecommerce Know-How: Bot Herding, A SEO Internal Linking Tactic

    December 30, 2008 •

    A relatively simple SEO linking strategy can improve how well and how often your store's product pages are indexed and displayed in organic search engine results. This linking technique goes by several names. Bruce Clay Inc., an Internet business consultancy, refers to it as "siloing."...

  • Keyword Research

    PeC Traffic Report: Use Blog Titles that Reflect Keywords and Content

    December 26, 2008 •

    Blog titles play an important role in how search engines index blog posts. Bloggers that want to get the most web traffic possible seed post titles with important keywords and make interesting promises about the content. Many online retailers use blogs to both communicate with consumer...

  • Screenshot of a Google search page SEO

    PageRank: What Is It? And How Do You Calculate It?

    December 19, 2008 •

    Google’s PageRank technology plays an important role in how online stores show up in search results. Understanding how this ranking system works will help ecommerce merchants improve their search engine optimization and potentially increase website traffic. PageRank is a proprie...

  • Link Building

    SEO: Buying Links is Risky Business

    December 2, 2008 •

    Garnering inbound links from websites with good PageRank is a mainstay of search engine optimization. Links are like votes for a given website in the eyes of search engines, and their number and quality have much to do with determining the outcome of search engine results. That’s why ...

  • Link Building

    Find and Measure Links Better with Linkscape

    November 7, 2008 •

    One of the most important attributes of search engine optimization (SEO) is link building, which is garnering quality inbound links to a website. A single link from a high-quality, trusted source can raise the rankings of multiple pages on a website because search engines aren’t just co...

  • SEO Tools

    Boost Sales with Google SEO Tools

    September 25, 2008 •

    As search engines have gotten better at discovering web content in many forms, manually submitting to them has become less of a focus. But content and distribution platforms continue to expand, and as they do so, the need for manual search engine submission remains an important, if chan...

  • Keyword Research

    Keyword Research: Wordpot Rivals KeywordDiscovery, Wordtracker

    September 4, 2008 •

    While website architecture, link building, and template coding all affect search engine optimization, keyword research and placement is perhaps the easiest SEO attribute to implement. It is often the low hanging fruit of an SEO campaign. To that end, a few months ago, I wrote about Goog...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card:

    April 2, 2008 •

    I have to admit that both the design and focus of this month's report card recipient stood out from the many requests I receive. The website is not subtle, and it's probably not even pretty in the classical sense, but it's certainly fun. sells clothing accessories that ha...

  • SEO

    Video: SEO Update

    November 8, 2007 •

    In February 2006, Contributor Stephan Spencer, founder and CEO of search-firm Netconcepts, critiqued the search engine optimization efforts of, following a request from that company. In this SEO Report Card critique, Spencer issued a C- for an overall SEO grade. In ...

  • SEO

    Video: SEO Website Update

    October 29, 2007 •

    In January 2006, Contributor Stephan Spencer, founder and CEO of search-firm Netconcepts, critiqued the search engine optimization efforts of, following a request from that company. In this SEO Report Card critique, Spencer issued a D+ for an overall SEO grade....

  • Link Building

    SEO Report Card: Link Building Could Improve Strong Site

    October 1, 2007 • is a website run quite frugally by its two main proprietors. For a site that hasn’t had a lot of professional help with regard to search engine optimization, it possesses some positive SEO attributes. That’s not to say there aren’t issues, but some of the main facets ...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card:

    September 12, 2007 •

    Ranked 359 in the Internet Retailer 500, and boasting over 45,000 products in its catalog and 151,000 pages in Google, Beach Audio has a lot of grunt. According to Troy McKinnon, their director of ecommerce, Beach Audio did a complete search engine optimization overhaul using in-house s...

  • SEO

    Search Engine Optimization And Web 2.0

    September 6, 2007 •

    That well-used buzzword "Web 2.0" encompasses a number of technologies, including blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, tagging/folksonomies, podcasts, widgets, AJAX and Flash. Some of these technologies are a net positive for your search engine visibility and some are a net negative.
 Blogs and RSS...

  • SEO

    SEO: Heads or (Long) Tails?

    August 29, 2007 •

    Search engine optimizing for the "Long Tail" is fundamentally different from optimizing for the head. Therefore, it’s important to initially point out that the strategies and tactics for “Long Tail” SEO are more automated and extensible than for traditional SEO. What is "Long Tail?" ...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card:

    August 15, 2007 •, operated by Pangea Vegan Products, is a site after my own heart. As a recently turned vegetarian (as of a year ago), I'm definitely in the target market. Too bad it's unlikely I would have discovered the site. That's because I'm not strictly vegan, and the site isn't ta...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card:

    August 6, 2007 •

    Founder Rafael Jimenez of NYC-based Latino and multi-ethnic men's streetwear brand Republica Trading Co. volunteered to have his site reviewed. That was a good call because the site misses the mark when it comes to SEO in some key areas. Before even loading the home page, I uncovered...

  • SEO

    SEO: Is Your Site Holiday-ready?

    August 1, 2007 •

    Those of you with school-age children may have been preoccupied with back-to-school, but now it’s time to start preparing your site for the holidays. The holiday shopping season is not that far off, so get on with implementing these traffic-building tips in order to achieve maximum sear...

  • SEO

    SEO: Metrics That Matter

    June 17, 2007 •

    Out with the old, in with the new. In terms of SEO, what’s falling by the wayside? Obsessively watching indexation numbers and rankings on “trophy” keywords (like the one you know the CEO always checks first thing in the morning). Worrying yourself sick over “duplicate content penalt...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Change Home Page Links

    June 12, 2007 •

    This month's selectee,, is an outdoor furniture manufacturer operating a small (less than 100 pages) MIVA Merchant-powered ecommerce site. Its rankings are in the doldrums. The store does not appear in the first 100 listings in Google for critical terms "Adirondac...