Quick Tips for Good Google Shopping Titles

Bad product titles can confuse shoppers, raise costs, discourage clicks, and have many more adverse effects on your Google Shopping campaign. While optimizing titles SKU by SKU can be very tedious, eliminating bad titles from your product feed can have profound effects on impressions, clicks, and conversions. These quick tips will help you improve the quality and effectiveness of your product titles.

Optimizing Google Product Titles Chart

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Social Commerce Platforms: Which is Best for My Business?

Innovative retailers, e-tailers, and manufacturers are using social commerce apps to drive social engagement and increase sales directly through social media.  However, success in social commerce is more than just plugging in your products and waiting for people to buy.  Success is a result of strategy, technology and engagement.

A large number of merchants have learned firsthand that just because you post it doesn’t mean consumers will buy. That understanding is now fueling the innovation of the top social commerce platforms and app developers.

Here are a few of the industry’s top performers:


Why ShopTab?

  • Provides a complete eCommerce set up within your Facebook page.
  • Offers various other apps you can use, such as SharedDeal, which enables you to create a Daily Deal Store on social media for your customers.
  • Allows for a mobile-friendly Facebook shop.
  • Highly versatile – has Facebook shops in over 70 countries and accepts over 50 currencies.
  • You can optimize your product titles with various colors, sizes, and other unique attributes, which provides your customers with more information about your product.
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Data Feed Basics for Comparison Shopping Engines

Getting Into Comparison Shopping: Step 1, The Data Feed

Is your business ready expand into comparison shopping engines (CSEs)?  You’ll need to get your hands on a product data feed to start!

Follow the Vertical Rail blog for our upcoming series of posts focused specifically on data feeds.  Today we begin with a basic introduction and in following weeks, will delve deep into each CSE’s data feed specs and unique requirements.

What is a product data feed?

In its simplest form, a data feed is a structured spreadsheet listing all of your products. In a data feed, each numbered row represents a single product and each letter column contains one characteristic of that particular product.

An example of a product data feed

A product data feed can be created in Excel or other spreadsheet software and then either uploaded directly to comparison shopping engines through their respective dashboards or through FTP.

Comparison shopping engines use the data provided in your product feed to identify, classify and catalog your products. They then employ that information to match products to shoppers’ search queries and display the products when they are most relevant.

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Google Page Layout Algorithm Update

Today head of Google’s spam team, Matt Cutts, announced a change to Google’s search algorithm via Twitter:

More specifically, the change will be a tweak of the portion of the algorithm that takes layout into account when determining page quality. The page layout algorithm first launched in January 2012, and has not been updated since October 2012, so this “refresh” may be typical Google maintenance. Cutts’ original announcement, the link in his tweet, explains who may be affected by the change:  “Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content ‘above-the-fold’ can be affected by this change.”

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Generate Great Backlinks from Great Content

linksContent is one crucial aspect of a website that easily gets overlooked. All too often website owners, managers or marketers write content without ever understanding its true potential.

Well optimized content (written, video, photo) signals to search engines what your business is about and helps to ‘categorize’ your site, products, and services in the SERPS.  Content also puts your site, products, and services in context for your readers. It helps spread information, creates a sense of business culture, and plays a big role in consumer engagement.  But one of the major benefits of content that is frequently overlooked is backlink generation.

In short: build GREAT content and backlinks will follow.

So, why does great content generate great backlinks? It’s Easy!

  • Content that helps people, informs or excites is more likely to be shared by others via a link from their social account, blog, or website.
  • People will link to an excellent blog post, video, image, webinar, or infographic because it helps build a reputation of quality – both for your business and the business/individual who linked to you.
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5 Simple Ways to Make Your eCommerce Site More Customer-Centric

ecommerce_customer_serviceOnline sales are more relevant now than ever.  Each year, eCommerce sales grow by leaps and bounds. However one of the main reasons people continue to shop at brick-and-mortar locations is for the exceptional level of customer service that many eCommerce websites cannot compete with.

While shopping online is the ultimate convenience, many people appreciate the fact that they get to touch and experience the products first-hand in brick-and-mortar stores.  Perhaps even more important is the fact that they can settle disputes, get answers to important questions, and receive real, live human interaction.

We want to see eCommerce sites offer the same level of customer service that brick-and-mortars do, because their customers expect it.  Here are 5 simple ways to make your eCommerce website more customer-centric:

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Why Should Ecommerce Merchants Pay Attention to Bing Ads?

why-bing-shoppingWhy are Bing Ads important to keep an eye on?


Bing Ads are currently catching up the market leader- Google.  In fact, each year, Bing continues to capture more and more of the market share.  While Google retains roughly 67% of the search market, Bing has around 17.9% with a 2% increase over the previous year according to Search Engine Journal.

What does this mean for possible ecommerce merchants on the Bing Ads platform?  The answer is great ROI.  In other words, Bing Ads has not reached the same level of saturation as seen in Google Adwords, meaning there is there is currently less competition for important, in-demand keywords.  This spells a unique opportunity to diversify your marketing bracket that is not completely reliant on Google or Amazon.

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Alternative Social Media

social media logos

A good social media marketing strategy is essential to any e-commerce business in 2014. Whether your goal is to increase site traffic, brand awareness, or conversions, it’s well worth while to explore the marketing potential of social media.  At the moment Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the names atop many marketing campaigns, but that doesn’t mean other forms of social media should be overlooked. Taking a look at alternative social media platforms (the smaller guys) can help diversify and expand the reach of any marketing effort. Before implementing a marketing plan, it is absolutely essential to have a working knowledge of the social communities you’ll be engaging with.



Instagram is a free mobile app that allows users to easily share photos and video. A picture is worth a thousand words, and sharing well composed photos can crate buzz around a brand or product. Merchants can showcase their products, show a human side to the company, or simply participate in the community, anything to engage potential customers. Ultimately, Instagram offers two distinct opportunities for merchants: the ability to easily distribute visual content, and the potential to reach an audience of over 150 million mobile users.

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Why Should I Invest in Marketplace Listings For My Business?

marketplace shopping

Why should I invest in Marketplace listings for my business and what are some strategies to follow?


First and foremost, people come to Marketplaces such as Amazon, Newegg, Walmart and Sears for one reason:  to shop.

Each and every Marketplace has a following of loyal customers who do their online shopping exclusively through their favorite Marketplaces.

Merchants are able to compete for top positions on Marketplace channels -allowing them to increase their visibility and sales.  Marketplaces are not associated with cost-per-click fees as seen on Comparison Shopping Engines like Pricegrabber or Google Shopping.  Instead, Marketplaces charge a percentage of a sale, monthly fee and/or per sale flat rate fee. Typically, Marketplace merchants list their top-selling items so that only the proven top performing products are set in place to incur the percentage of sale costs.  This strategy allows merchants to achieve economies of scale and profit by producing a high volume of sales.

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Mobile Commerce: Worth Investing In

mobile commerceMobile is not a new trend.  Over the past 5 years the world has quickly transitioned into a mobile-friendly atmosphere.  Mobile used to be associated with just smartphones, but now it includes tablets, smartwatches, and even glasses.

Many businesses haven’t adopted a mobile-friendly interface, and as a result, miss opportunities for engagement, brand recognition, and revenue.  After observing the impacts of mobile commerce for years, we’re here to tell you definitively: go mobile now.


If you’re not mobile-friendly, you’re not customer-friendly. Here’s why:

  • 1 in 5 individuals in the world own a smartphone.
  • Individuals spend approximately 2 hours per day on their mobile devices.
  • 50% of online traffic is from a mobile device.
  • The average order value from a tablet is $329.00, from a smartphone it’s $250.00.
  • 85% of individuals who have mobile devices will “second screen.”  This means they will engage with their mobile device while using their laptops, desktops, or watching TV.
  • 79% of individuals will engage with social media, especially Facebook, while watching TV.

More benefits of mobile:

  • Mobile positively impacts your SEO.
    • Google will rank mobile-friendly sites higher in Organic searches on mobile devices over sites that are not mobile-friendly.
  • It’s easy for customers. 
    • Mobile interfaces usually enable the transaction to take place faster, which is better for the customer and the livelihood of your business.
  • A mobile-friendly interface gives your site credibility in the eyes of customers, this makes it more trustworthy then a competitor’s site that is not mobile-friendly.
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