Building Enterprise eCommerce SEO Traffic and Sales


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Fresh from eTail West 2012! Here are five specific ways for businesses to grow their enterprise SEO traffic and sales, complete with actionable takeaways.

You'll learn what moves the meter -- and what doesn't -- when it comes to organic search. See examples of real SEO work at REI and the results it produced. Find out what to measure in order to track your progress and understand how SEO data can feed into your larger cross-channel customer experience.

You can learn more about Jonathon Colman at

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Building Enterprise eCommerce SEO Traffic and Sales

  1. 5Specific Ways to BuildYour Enterprise SEOTraffic and Sales Jonathon Colman Twitter @jcolman In-House SEO for REI
  2. 1.CREATE ORIGINAL CONTENTPhoto © Sukisuki on Flickr. Source:
  3. CREATE ORIGINAL CONTENTFOCUS: Increase rankings and portfolio diversityfor traffic-driving keywords• Original, relevant product information that adds value and solidifies your brand• <title>s, <meta> descriptions, on-page copy• Landing pages for categories, brands, and search results• New value-added content your customers can use to enjoy the products you sell
  4. Let’s look at a standard REI product page…Source: Vibram FiveFingers Bikila Running Shoes at on
  5. That’s nearly 250 words of branded, original, unique, relevant content – what search engines need!Source: Vibram FiveFingers Bikila Running Shoes at on
  6. This article on our site draws qualified traffic from over 1,800 individual keyphrases every week.Source: How to Choose Barefoot / Minimalist Running Shoes at on
  7. 2.MINIMIZE DUPLICATIONPhoto © leg0fenris on Flickr. Source:
  8. MINIMIZE DUPLICATIONFOCUS: Rank higher and increase traffic• Duplicate content = the same content at two different URLs• A likely warning signal for Panda algorithm• You have enough competition without competing with yourself!• Solutions: rel=canonical, rel=prev/next, 301 redirects, setting default domain, selective blocking of crawlers, and more…
  9. Duplicate content waters down yourrankings for competitive keywords,reducing your traffic and conversion.Source: Google Webmaster Tools reporting
  10. 4 TOOLS FOR DUPLICATE CONTENT• Use rel=canonical to point from a duplicate back to the authoritative version of the content – used for exact duplicates• Use rel=prev/next to handle paginated content, such as a large search result set• 301 redirect from deprecated content or near duplicates to authoritative versions• Set your preferred domain to avoid duplication at the domain level
  11. Using these tactics, we reduced duplicatecontent on by 96% Y/Y, drivingincreased traffic to authoritative content.Source: Google Webmaster Tools reporting
  12. 3.GO FAST OR GO HOMEPhoto © ShootNFish on Flickr. Source:
  13. GO FAST OR GO HOMEFOCUS: Increase your conversion• Google uses speed as a search ranking factor for the most competitive queries• This can drive more traffic and associated sales, but site speed has a much larger impact than just SEO…Source: Google, Matt Cutts [via Search Engine Land]
  14. Customers expect your web site to load in 2 seconds or less.Source: Forrester/Akamai [via GetElastic]
  15. 40% of customers will abandon any site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.Source: Forrester/Akamai [via GetElastic]
  16. The average Fortune 500 company web site takes 7 seconds to load.Source: Andrew Davies, Web Performance: A Whistlestop Tour…
  17. For every 1 second of load time, conversion drops by 7%.Source: Strangeloop
  18. For every 1 second of load time, user satisfaction drops by 16%.Source: Strangeloop
  19. A faster site reduces the costs of infrastructure and releases by 50% or more.Source: Shopzilla [via O’Reilly]
  20. REI’S RESULTS:A 50% decrease in the time it tookfor Google to crawl an average pageSource: Google Webmaster Tools reporting
  21. REI’S RESULTS:A 100% increase in the amount oftotal pages Google crawled per daySource: Google Webmaster Tools reporting
  22. REI’S RESULTS:In 2011, we saved customers 22 yearsof time by speeding up REI.comSource: Google Webmaster Tools reporting
  23. TOOLS TO SPEED UP YOUR SITE• Yahoo and Google best practices• Google Webmaster Tools speed report• Site speed data in Google Analytics• Google’s Page Speed Online tool• Yahoo’s YSlow browser tool• WebPageTest, Pingdom test suites
  24. 4.BE META, NOT JUST <META>Photo © sarah0s on Flickr. Source:
  25. BE META, NOT JUST <META>FOCUS: Increase traffic and conversion• Structure product search results into faceted navigation to allow for filtering• Structure product, store, event, author, video, recipe, and other data for Rich Snippets in search engine results• Increase findability and interoperability at the same time
  26. Use product metadata to structure search results for your categories into faceted navigation.Source: Sleeping Bags at on
  27. Facets help users narrow down their searches and provide niche results for search engine crawlers.Source: Sleeping Bags at on
  28. WHICH WOULD YOU CLICK ON?RESULTS:Rich Snippets can drive up to+30%more clicks over standard search results
  29. Structured data makes youmore findable in verticals,such as local search.
  30. TOOLS FOR RICH SNIPPETS• Google’s guide to Rich Snippets• Microdata: standard used by Google, Bing, and Yahoo• Microformats: hProduct for products, hCard for people and locations, and hCalendar for events• RDFa: GoodRelations vocabulary• Google Merchant Center feeds
  31. 5.LINK IT ALL TOGETHERPhoto © Ravages on Flickr. Source:
  32. LINK IT ALL TOGETHERFOCUS: Increase rankings and traffic• Don’t buy links – any purchasing scheme goes against Webmaster Guidelines and is “Black Hat” SEO• Earn links to your site by providing great content, products, services, and features• Be social to listen to and engage with your customer base and attract new followers
  33. Don’t let this happen to you. Do not buy links. Ever.Source: Paid Links (via Google Webmaster Tools)
  34. EARN LINKS FOR DISCOVERYSearch engines index the Web by following links topage after page of content. But most of the time,they can’t find content without following a link to it. Strongly interlinked site New pages without links arewith numerous inbound links isolated from search engines
  35. EARN LINKS FOR TRUSTFor a search engine, links from one site toanother are like a vote of confidence and trust,similar to a citation in a scientific paper. This isthe original basis behind Google’s PageRank. Page on Page on Site A Site B “I trust you!” Link
  36. EARN LINKS FOR AUTHORITYIf all else is equal, pages with more links can besaid to be more authoritative because moreindividual sites trust and cite their content. Thisoften translates into higher rankings. Page on Page on Site A Site B Five inbound links Ten inbound links from external sites = more authority
  37. HOW CAN YOU EARN LINKS?• Create useful content that fulfills a customer need – especially tacit needs• Be original, funny, engaging, or amazing• Hold a contest or giveaway• Be timely or relevant to a current event that your customers care about• Feature your customers and their efforts – make them feel special.
  38. Source: S’mores at on
  39. Source: Backpacks infographic at on
  40. A customer-created video for one of ourproducts went viral, driving awareness,links, traffic, and ranking increases.Source: REI Match Test video by dalemclmm at
  41. We rank #3 for a broadsearch term that doesn’tuse our brand or even thecategory. What if this wasa high-margin product?
  42. 5KEY, ACTIONABLE TAKEAWAYSPhoto © mrjoro on Flickr. Source:
  43. 5 KEY, ACTIONABLE TAKEAWAYS1. Create original content that meets your audience’s explicit and tacit needs2. Reduce duplicate content to stop competing with yourself3. Speed up your site to drive conversion4. Structure your content with metadata to make it more findable and easier to use5. Earn links by building great content or have customers build it for you
  44. MANY THANKS! Jonathon Colman In-House SEO for REI Home: Twitter: @jcolman E-mail: