About four years ago we made one change in our company philosophy and that decision increased our conversion rate almost instantly by 20%. What did we do? We told folks what to buy. We used to just offer products and let people make their own decisions about what they wanted to buy, but once we actively expressed our opinions online, sales went up. People are busy. They have a lot of choices. They don't want to have to wade through all this information. For example, one of our Yahoo! Stores -- Gun Dog Supply -- is a company that sells training supplies for hunting dogs. My brother actually uses the products that we sell. So if you have got a Pointer and you do field trials in Texas, or if you have got a Springer Spaniel and you hunt upland game in the mountains, we sell what your kind of folks are looking for. And we're REAL retailers. We are not a drop shipper. We are not folks who just put something in a box and ship it out. We actually use the products that we sell. Real retailers can leverage this to your advantage. Here is an example of a product that we sell.
[SLIDE: Example Review]
This is an online product review that Steve wrote. We sell 1600, 1700 different products. Some products are better than others for specific situations. Once we realized that directing folks to what they actually needed instead of letting them have to wade through all that other stuff, our sales went up.
[SLIDE: Thing 2 -- Give folks enough info to decide for themselves]
The second part is giving folks enough information to decide for themselves. I am going to recommend that you need a Sport Basic for training your pet to stop jumping up on your kitchen countertops. But if you don't believe me, you can go through the information on our Website and our buyer's guide and actually find out for yourself and make your own decision.
[SLIDE: Example Buyer's Guide]
This is an example of a buyers' guide. I recommend that anybody with multiple categories of products write a buyers' guide for every single major category on your website. You basically just guide folks through the lay of the land- through that product category. You teach them what they need to know and you say, "If this is your situation, look at this product. If you are in a different situation, then look at this different product."
[SLIDE: Buyers' guides = 50% higher conversion]
Buyers' Guides work! With buyers' guides we have had a 50% increase in conversions when buyer's guide pages were used as entry pages. When folks would come into our site from a search engine organically, if they come in on the buyer's guide page, they are 50% more likely to convert. Buyers Guides also work with PPC or paid search traffic. In my paid search ads, when I use the content from a buyer's guide as a landing page rather than just a generic section page of manufacturers, I have a 50% increase in conversions over typical landing pages. Show your prospects that you are an authority on what you sell and customers are more likely to buy.
[SLIDE: Thing 3 -- Write unique product descriptions]
The third thing that I recommend folks do is write unique product descriptions. Google likes unique product descriptions. It is good for your customers to show that you are an expert and you know what you are doing, but Google loves unique product descriptions.
[SLIDE: Garmin screenshot]
If you notice here, we rank number three and four for one of the best keywords for us, Garmin Astro, a new product that came out last year. We haven't done a lot of link building for these pages -- some links came from the manufacturer, but these rankings are mainly from having page after page of new content on this new product line which draws links. Normally when a company releases a product they take some stock photos and they have their marketing department write up some copy. It is usually the same text in their sales brochure. What most folks do is they take this manufacturer copy and they literall