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How to reach overseas shoppers at low cost (and master Google Shopping too)

February 27th, 2013

If you can distribute your products internationally but struggle to get visibility on the web, we’ve got a new web marketing service that will put your offering in front of millions of shoppers across 23 countries at very low cost. And it’s not Google Shopping because that’s no longer low-cost.

As you may know, Google has been charging for all clicks to its Shopping channel since 2013. Since Feb 13th it’s been compulsory for UK merchants to set up Adwords Product Listings Ads for the products they wish to display in Google Shopping.

So, what’s this great new service for merchants who want to sell overseas? Well, strictly speaking, it’s not entirely new - it’s been around for a while but is being promoted more aggressively across Europe, its main market and in more countries, languages and currencies across the globe.

THE BIG BENEFIT

Apart from the opportunity to reach millions of people without needing a marketing budget the size of Manchester, the really big deal is that you don’t pay for clicks - just for sales. There’s a 13% commission but translation, currency and shipping details are all dealt with via the service - it does all the transactional calculations too. Dealing with those kinds of hassles can be enough to put most small “etailers” off international marketing.

Currently the main markets covered are UK, Western Europe, Scandinavia, North America and Canada, South Africa, Australasia and Russian Federation.

HOW DOES EPICADO HELP?

With our Feed Manager software.

We run feeds from clients’ websites into Google Shopping - we do so daily so that our clients’ data is as up to date in Google as it is on their websites, something that Google likes. Google has rules in terms of the data it demands for its listings and if you comply with those rules, you have a better chance of displaying your products against the right keyword searches. Our software enables you to comply with Google’s rules and, as all clicks are now chargeable, that’s vitally important.

The same principle applies to the channel we’ve been keeping coy about - it’s called Fruugo.

We charge our clients a small monthly fee for running their product feed via our software into Google. For existing clients or any client who pays that fee for an alternative feed, we can provide a feed into Fruugo AT NO EXTRA CHARGE!

Have we gone mad? Yes but there’s method there. You get to reach millions of extra potential customers and we get more clients for a set monthly fee. 

If that’s the kind of web marketing that appeals to you, talk to the agency that needs certifying.

Proof that blogging works for SEO

March 14th, 2012

If you’re at all interested in search engine optimisation ‘SEO’, it’s likely that at some stage you will have been hectored by a ‘guru’ about the role of blogging, particularly its value in targeting ‘long tail’ search terms. You may have acted on this advice or, on the basis that you have better things to do, like cleaning the drains or pressing your underpants, you’re more likely to have ignored it with the happy consequence that you’re now the proud owner of sparkling drains and crisply ironed Y-fronts.

Assuming you fall into this latter category, here is a recent example of how a single blog post got to page 2 of Google in less than a week. Prepare to abandon your drains and neglect your smalls.

Last Thursday 8th March was International Women’s Day  - yes, they get their own day now - they’ll want rights next! After ‘harumphing’ at the vulgarity of a gender celebration, we thought we’d be decent global citizens and write a blog post for a client who sells, amongst other coffees, Fairtrade coffee and in particular, a coffee produced by a Peruvian women’s co-operative ‘Cafe Femenino‘. His company is D R Wakefield and they were the first company to import Fairtrade into the UK. Cafe Femenino is an inspirational example about how, with a bit of support, a group of previously disenfranchised women have developed a prosperous co-operative and a stronger community for themselves and their families. (Ok, hands up, we’re just a bunch of Guardian reading softies).

We published the blog post on Wednesday 7th March and, because we build websites in such a way that search ‘bots’ can quickly find and index our clients’ content, Google had indexed it within 24 hours. Clever old us.

Yesterday, in a familiar moment of regret after losing a tenner in the 3.15 at Cheltenham, we thought we’d see how ‘Cafe Femenino’ was doing in Google. Much to our surprise, our blog post was at position 11 for that search term after just 6 days. It then slipped a couple of places but its presence on that page is compelling evidence of the potential for relevant content to achieve visibility in Google.

We rest our case. You may now blog or if you remain unconvinced, please resume your drain oblutions, resplendent in your pristine undergarments, quietly to reflect upon this intriguing phenomenon.

Ethical search engine optimisation – you know it makes (web marketing) sense

January 26th, 2012

Ethical optimisation? What other kind is there? Sad to say, there are far too many so called ‘seo’ experts promoting ‘first place in Google’ and the like.

The fact is, nobody can guarantee first place in Google, or any other search engine for any meaningful length of time against keywords that are worth targeting. Any fool can get first place for ‘John Smith Left-handed Ironmonger Gloucestershire’ (with apologies to any left handed Smiths called John Smith specialising in Ironmongery in the Gloucestershire area) – but is anyone searching against that term? As for the length of time that you might maintain a good ranking, the search engines change their ranking methodologies regularly. They do this to ensure that web sites that use illegitimate optimisation tactics get found out and relegated.

First place in Google is not a business objective anyway – it might be a means to an end, but only if the keyword being targeted is used by significant numbers of people searching for precisely what your business offers. So, if your business targets UK residents looking for financial advice, you’ll want visits from UK people searching against ‘pensions advice’ or ‘investment planning’. If your business is regionally focused, you’ll want a local qualifier such as Gloucestershire, Bristol, Birmingham, the Midlands and so on.

So how should you optimise your site?

There are three key aspects to any search optimisation strategy.

1.    Preparing your site for the search engines

Search engines feed on content. To be able to access your content they need to be able find their way through your code. Far too many web sites are designed and built using complex code or graphically sexy tools like Flash. By presenting your core content in easily accessible html pages and providing the search engines with a sitemap in an appropriate format, you immediately get a head start over your competitors.

TOP TIP – Remember that search engines index pages, not sites. Every page on your site is a search engine optimisation opportunity.

2.    Targeting the right keywords with valuable, dynamic content

The search words and phrases that people use are often different to those which an insider might use. Search engine optimisation (seo) experts have access to databases that capture the words and phrases people use. We can identify the number of searches, the engines in which they’re made and the number of web pages competing for them. By building useful, regularly refreshed content around these phrases and programming each of your pages’ code correctly, we can ensure that the search engines index your pages accurately and that you score well in relevant searches.

TOP TIP – For every keyphrase you target it helps to have a separate page of valuable content.

3.    Building links to your site

Last but by no means least, link building is critically important to your pages’ search rankings. When Google was an academic research project it was known as ‘Backrub’ as in ‘back links’ – the pages that link back to you. Google’s premise is the same as that used by academic research papers – the more often a paper is referred to in other papers, the more credible it is likely to be. This is known as ‘citation authority’. On the same basis, the more sites that link to you, the more important your site is likely to be, provided that these sites are thematically relevant.

There are various ways of attracting links – by getting listings in the right directories, syndicating content to other sites, blogging and so on.

TOP TIP – Don’t link to sites or accept links from sites that are irrelevant to what you offer. Avoid links with gaming sites.

Epicado is a uk search engine optimisation firm. We have clients across the uk but mainly in Gloucestershire, the South West, Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands.

We can help you get better quality traffic from good search rankings. We won’t promise you the earth – but we won’t charge it either. Call us on 01453 873638 or send us an enquiry.

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Inventors of the Bath Melt - they look so good you could eat them - KAT needed a more contemporary looking website and an e-commerce system allowing them to control all site content, including a diary.

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