Rank on Bing

Bing-vectorA couple of years ago I started using an SEO assistance software (UpCity.com) that helped me capture some online directories and other beginner SEO tactics. Being a novice at SEO at the time I didn’t really understand the importance of ranking on any other search engines besides Google. Bing and Yahoo have merged their directories and even though you still need to have a listing on both Yahoo and Bing, Yahoo is where you will increase your rankings on Bing believe it or not.

Similar to Google, Bing has their own algorithms to help throw off all those black hat SEO cowboys. But for us white hat SEO people, I’ve discovered a fairly simple way to help increase your rankings on Bing/Yahoo. Even if it is short lived, Bing will pull down your ranking numbers if you are not consistent with your traffic, so keep this in mind. I first discovered my ranking on Bing when I set up my UpCity SEO software. I chose my industry keywords and I automatically indexed very very high (100+) with my chosen keywords, but ranked in the mid 20’s with Google with those same keywords. I just thought this was good enough, being naive to the importance of online diversity and search engines. However, slowly this number started to bother me and I began to do some research and reworked some of my website content, but still nothing. Then one day, I noticed someone wrote a review about our office on our (free) Yahoo local listing. Two days later I opened up my UpCity and noticed my numbers dropped below 100 and we were sitting at 55, which is a significant difference. At first, I didn’t realize that the impact of the Yahoo Local review but as I looked further I noticed there were two reviews.

yahooThis was no coincidence. Yahoo and Bing are lumped together, like Google+, Yahoo local is a place where people can post reviews, and Bing does not have a review platform, so they point everything over to Yahoo Local. For testing purposes, I let some time pass and after not soliciting any reviews to our Yahoo Local page I noticed that our ranking on Bing went back up to 100. Over the next couple of weeks, I solicited a couple more reviews from satisfied customers that had Yahoo accounts. The ranking went back down to 65 with one review. I updated our content as well and put in some keywords in our description and it went down a couple more points too.

Bottom line, similar to Google, Bing wants fresh content on their sites. This is understandable, and this is good and basic SEO. It’s the simplicity of SEO practices that we so quickly disregard, so don’t forget about the simple things. Content is always king and raw data and content such as reviews should never go untouched or undervalued! If you are not collecting and asking for reviews, chances are people will not partake and this is your easiest way besides blogging to create original content and authority. It’s a lot to ask someone to take time out of their busy schedules to write a review about your business. So, make it enticing for individuals to write about you online by offering a small reward for doing so.

PRO TIP: One other point, if you have not set up a Bing Local (Places) account or Yahoo Local account, do so! Also make sure to index your website through Bing Webmaster Tools. One of the biggest mistakes I see with clients who are managing their own websites and SEO, they never index through Bing. Big mistake!!!

NOTE: Yahoo Local is one of the most confusing and frustrating directory listings on the web, however it is important and essential to your business and online authority. DO NOT disregard Yahoo and do not pay for a listing with them. Use the free business listing but keep in mind every time you change something on your Yahoo local listing, it has to be approved by Yahoo. And it can sometimes take up to 7 days for it to be approved. They want you to use their paid listing, but in my opinion, I’ve used the $10 month premium upgrade listing and you still have to wait almost 7 days for change approvals and if you don’t have a yahoo account, it can be tricky to login and find your local listing. Use your Google account to login instead of creating a yahoo account, it will keep things congruent and easy to remember.

Links and Likes

Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Places/Local
Yahoo Local
UpCity SEO
Google Webmaster Tools

Shopping Cart Websites Made Simple

Ecwid

I manage a great deal of diversity in my business, my clients are from all walks of life which in turn makes my life very interesting. I deal with doctors, dentists, handymen, bakers, accountants and because of this interesting and eclectic list of clientele I receive a new challenge about every other week. I enjoy this challenge and because of it, I can keep my creative juices flowing as a marketing consultant and business owner. I embrace daily challenge and quite honestly if everything was even flow all of the time, nothing would be interesting or engaging and that’s what its all about being an entrepreneur!

I was recently contracted by a Gluten Free baker, Ebenezer Foods, who needed a Website, Social Media and branding assistance. To start with she is a Gluten Free enthusiasts and baker that wanted to bring her Gluten Free Mixes to the outside world by developing her own eCommerce company but didn’t know how to go about it; enter 512City Design. She was wanting to use the website to showcase her products and then allow people to call her or email her their orders. My initial response was why not set up an commerce website, as if I knew how to do this, but I knew I could get the right people involved in the event this was something she elected to do. However, her needs were small initially and she just wanted the website and then possibly down the road she wanted to discuss the possibility of an eCommerce site. Little did I know that there was a very simple and easy way to set up a virtual shopping cart on her site with little or no effort at all.

First of all, for most of you that follow or read my blog, you know I am a huge proponent of WordPress powered websites. There are two reasons for this, one they are robust and two they are customizable. WordPress websites allows for a great deal of customizing and with the amount of free plugins offered from thousands of WordPress free lance developers around the world, you can pretty much do anything to and with a WordPress website. With the new Cherry Framework, WordPress just got a little bit sweeter and more efficient from a productive point of view.

Ecwid

Ecwid Shopping Cart

I began doing some research on eCommerce websites but everything I found was very involved and directed more towards larger scaled eCommerce sites and then I stumbled upon a new client who contacted me needing to increase his online traffic and reputation for his online t-shirt business. He was using a Wix website which is a very basic do-it-yourself website builder program, very minimal in regards to SEO and not as customizable or robust as WordPress. But he was using something I found extremely useful, he was using a simple shopping cart powered by a company called Ecwid. And even though his website was very simple and minimal, his customers could very easily purchase their T-shirts without a fail through his website using the Ecwid shopping cart. I did some research and came to the conclusion that Ecwid is a legitimate payment provider company worth using for small scale eCommerce websites, enter my new client Ebenezer Foods the Gluten Free Baker.

I talked to my client, Ebenezer Foods about the possibility of using a shopping cart on their website to simplify the ordering process, save them time and reduce manpower by running all transactions through Ecwid. Melissa, the owner was all for it, and I endeavored in my first eCommerce website. It was pretty simple to setup, WordPress has a very simple Ecwid plugin you can use to add an Ecwid store to any WordPress website. The setup is simple and easy to implement into your WordPress website. All you need to do is setup an Ecwid account, which is FREE for basic use and upgradable over time depending on your demand and product amount. The transactions are run through a business Paypal account, also free. You upload your pictures, catalog, descriptions and sku’s all through ecwid (see features here), This is a great approach for small eCommerce companies looking for a simple and effective solution for their online transactions.