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Retailers Recession Proofing Through Optimizing Internet Retail Sites

Overall economic fears are causing many retailers and other businesses to step up their games in terms of promotion. While some retailers are cutting back on advertising or paring down on their inventory [1], there are compelling reasons to increase the intensity in marketing efforts in order to offset the expected reduction in average customer spending. If your competitors are cutting back on efforts, not only could you have a chance to dominate in your sector, but you could even increase profits at the expense of your competition’s market share.

The internet is a prime area to focus in this period, since the net reduces distance barriers and the difficulty of locating products for buyers, and efforts to increase sales through this medium can be accomplished at lower costs than many other options. One of the most cost-effective areas for internet promotion is via increasing your “natural” traffic referred to your site from search engines.

Many internet retailers haven’t connected the dots sufficiently to understand that the ways that a website are technically configured and designed can make or break their ability to receive traffic from the major search engines. Relatively simple improvements in the ways that page links are created or keyword choices in product descriptions are written can help to increase qualified buyers by orders of magnitude.

Larger companies with huge e-com sites often struggle the most with getting optimized for search engines, and frequently leave millions of dollars on the table per year in terms of natural search traffic. Expert consultants in optimization frequently observe that these companies suffer significant issues in getting expert guidance and then in getting necessary changes effected to improve traffic. For instance, Matt McGee who is an expert at optimizing for search engines recently noted [2] that:

“Small business owners are quick. I’ve worked with Big Companies where it took weeks to get a single link changed on their Web site. Small businesses tend to respond and act on recommendations much more quickly, making it easier to analyze the success of your project….

On a related note, small businesses are easier to work with because they don’t have layers upon layers of corporate gobbledygook. If you’re working with the Marketing Director, chances are s/he can go straight to the president/owner for a decision. No committees, no meetings, no delays.”

What Matt describes is something that Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer 500 companies feel intensely and painfully. The marketing managers for an E-com site can see that something needs to be done, but they can’t get the changes to be done and they can’t keep the intensity on long enough for changes to be continuously driving up traffic.

Our product, GravityStream, was built with large ecom sites in mind. GravityStream allows a company to leverage the brainpower of a cutting-edge, savvy internet agency’s expert think-tank without worrying about whether their technical department can change their application to take advantage of the consultation recommendations.

And, since GravityStream is billed on a “per-click” basis, companies are paying for the value they’re actually receiving.

Don’t allow 2008 to slide by without squeezing your natural traffic for everything you can get out of it. Rather than just shooting yourself in the feet by cutting costs through layoffs, paring down inventory, and cutting back on advertising — instead consider pushing back aggressively by optimizing your site and dragging in even more business at a low cost-to-conversion.

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