11: E-commerce SEO with Jason Mun

11: E-commerce SEO with Jason Mun
In todays episode, we talk to Jason Mun, and ecommerce SEO expert about what problems hold ecommerce businesses back from search engine success and how to overcome them.
 
 

Resources for this Episode

Jason Mun's Website  (his ebook will available from there)

Darryl:                    Welcome to My Bloody Website, the show where we talk all things online for small and medium business owners, or executives who still refer to "their bloody website." I'm one of your co-hosts, Darryl King ...

Edmund:                And I'm Edmund Pelgen.

Darryl:                    Hi Edmund. How are you doing?

Edmund:                Not too bad mate. Yourself?

Darryl:                    Very good. So in the episode today, we've got another SEO; Jason's a Melbourne-based SEO who helps e-commerce businesses maximize their digital presence from their market. Oh, all those big words in there, eh? Jason has spent over 10 years helping businesses understand how to get the most from their SEO and online marketing, which he has; I know that. He's most often found deep in data unearthing the opportunities that make e-commerce businesses hum. He thrives on the technical aspects of SEO and inbound, and is a longstanding proponent of sustainable SEO tactics, which we might talk a little bit about that as well, that integrates across a business's whole marketing function. Welcome, Jason.

Jason:                     Thank you. Thanks for having us, guys. Thanks for having me.

Darryl:                    Before Ed jumps in, because I know he's going to grill you with questions as well, I love that term "sustainable SEO," because I think it goes to the heart of, what we hope the show is helping people with. Which is not quick-fix pad, it's not jumping on the latest thing. It's doing that stuff, but we're in the business of building businesses; that's what we're all about. And so maybe you'd just quickly talk about, what do you mean by "sustainable SEO"?

Jason:                     Yeah, so sustainable SEO is all about maintain best practices within your website. So there are a lot of black hat or gray hat SEOs who find little loopholes and shortcuts to try and get a website ranking. You know, me and Ed and a lot of SEOs out there have tried it, tested it, and it's certainly not a sustainable approach to SEO. So if you do engage in a little slightly grayish and black hat-type of tactics, what you get is short-term gains, but in the long run you'll start to see the diminishing returns of the investment. So we've done it before; I've personally done it before. I've got websites penalized before, so I do know the ramifications of cutting corners.

                                    So at the end of the day, sustainable SEO is all about putting in the hard work, maintaining best practices on your website, and reaping the rewards in the long run.

Darryl:                    Okay. So, for the audience that, you know, because we've got a broad, some people still getting hit around SEO. An example of that is like, there are always opportunities to buy links, or- [crosstalk 00:02:37]

Jason:                     Oh, 100%.

Darryl:                    Stuff like that. And so, jumping in and finding this little way and getting it done, yes you might get a little boost today. But in eight, 12 months when there's a correction, and I'm using a really simple example, but that correction comes along and hurts you much more. So it's not sustainable. And what we're talking about, whatever that you're going to invest your energy in, from an SEO or any form of marketing, make sure that it's got longterm value, rather than jumping on a fad and just doing this thing that someone in a forum, a great thing, or you heard it from some guy, "Ah it's really good and I spiked straightaway!" It's being implemented without thinking about the long term.

Jason:                     That's correct. Yeah, that's correct.

Edmund:                There's a lot of sad SEOs out there who are crying in their noodle soup after they've been penalized and their affiliate sites are down, so you don't want to be that guy or gal. Hey Jace, I want to ask a question: you have a very strong expectation; you're very well known for e-commerce SEO. So, for the average punter out there, can you explain the difference. When you say "e-commerce SEO," what are you talking about, when isn't it just all SEO?

Jason:                     Yeah, so e-commerce SEO is very specific because, it's a very exciting channel simply because it's transactional, right? You've got 5,000 products and potentially you're dealing with a very, very large website. So that's when e-commerce SEO comes into play. And both from a technical perspective as well as a content perspective as well, it is vastly different from say, a brochureware website or, you know, a plumber that's servicing the Melbourne area. They might have just a six-page website, whereas an e-commerce website would have anywhere upwards of 5,000 to 10,000 pages that you have to deal with and optimize for. So the scale of it is massive in comparison to say, a brochureware website.

                                    So that's where I draw the distinction between e-commerce SEO. And with e-commerce SEO, I normally deal with stakeholders who are very passionate about driving revenue and conversions. So every dollar that they invest in me as a consultant, they expect a dollar value return, whether that is 3X or 5X or 10X return on the investment. That's a distinction of e-commerce SEO.

Darryl:                    That's a really good point, that. And for those listening that have five or 10 products, the principles are going to apply equally too, but obviously they'll be much easier to handle than a complex 5,000 site. But it gives you the example of Jason's scale.

                                    But I think that's the really key thing I guess, and when Jason gets excited about it, is because when you tweak the dial, either way, you see an impact on revenue. You know, it's a lot harder when, we're talking leadgen or things like that, because there's still work to be done to generate sales. But you have a direct impact on the revenue, and the sales tomorrow and the day after. You know if you make a mistake, things go off; if you get it right, things go up.

Jason:                     That's correct, and to your point Edmund, the core SEO fundamentals and tactics and techniques that we apply, applies the same to any type of website; it's just the scale of it that's different in comparison.

Edmund:                Are there any specific e-commerce issues or problems that people continue to make? Like when you get a big enterprise e-commerce site, or even a smaller business e-commerce site come to you, what are the common problems that you see?

Jason:                     The common problems that I tend to see is a wrong information architecture. So, when you say you have a product catalog of about 5,000 products, for example, right? How to group and categorize products together and name those categories makes a big, big difference. And obviously with keyword research, it's going to help unearth what your target audience is using to search for a specific product category. For example, if you sell laptops, would you call them "laptops" or "notebooks"?

Edmund:                Good point.

Jason:                     And if you take the other comparison, a complete opposite of that would be, if I was a notebook, you know physical exercise book, retailer, to scribble notes on, would you call your products "notebooks" or "notepads"?

Edmund:                Yeah.

Jason:                     So you need to firstly decide, what type of keywords your target audience are using, and how you can group your products together to logical little categories and subcategories; that makes a big, big difference.

                                    So sometimes I think business owners or e-commerce providers, they tend to forget the term, right? That they use to describe their products and services, but they don't consider what the target audience are using to search for your products and services.

Darryl:                    That's the danger of saying, the catalog I get from my supplier calls them "exercise books" so this is what my web developer's putting up, and they do it. So obviously the keyword research is really, really big there.

Jason:                     100%.

Darryl:                    And I mean, even down, I suppose people can make some pretty easy mistakes. Even in the examples of menswear, women's wear on the same site; you don't necessarily make that distinction, based on what you think it should be, do you? So information architecture was point one. What about other issues?

Jason:                     I guess, wrong use of website features is another common issue that I tend to discover. So for example, if you have a website that sells 5,000 products. So technically, you should have about 5,000, you know maybe 6,000, pages that Google has to crawl and index. So most of the websites that I see have an issue of what we call "index bloat," or "crawl budget issues," whereby every time Google crawls a website, it crawls more than the five or six thousand pages that you actually have. So, that is what we call "index bloat issues." So that tends to happen when you have [inaudible 00:08:55] navigation. You rely on, say, product filters and URL parameters to filter and sort your product within a product category page and stuff like that. So those things are great for user experience, but from an SEO perspective you're sort of creating what we call "internal duplicate content pages," and you're actually diluting your crawl budget.

Darryl:                    I think we should explain to the audience what Jason's talking about is, you know, when you're on an e-commerce website and you say, just show me red or show me these sizes or show me these products in this price range, it creates a special URL that filters those products, and that URL is actually another page in Google's eyes. But the issue is, it shares the same content as other pages. And it just creates all of these myriad pages that Google has to crawl through. So basically the issue is, why is that a problem ultimately, Jace?

Jason:                     Yeah, so the reason why it's a massive issue is because Google allocates what we call a "crawl budget" to every single website depending on the authority of the website. So for example, fairfax.com.au, [inaudible 00:10:08].com.au, which is a news publication. So that website is deemed to be very authoritative, so it probably has what we call a page rank of maybe eight to 10. And if I newly launched an e-commerce website, I probably would have zero out 10, in terms of page rank. So Google wouldn't crawl as deep on my website as they would on Fairfax's website, for example.

                                    So you need to understand that if you are a fairly new website, you've got to make sure that you get Google crawling pages that are important to you, and are converting for you, rather than them crawling all those different variations of a specific page, which are non-transactional.

Darryl:                    So, for the audience, like Ed said earlier, hey if I've got colors of shirts, and I've got red, black, blue, and green, and it's one shirt, it's Darryl's Design Demon Shirt, and I've got all these different colors, and then Google's only going to crawl 10 pages on my site today, and I've got eight color variations of that. And they hit that page first, and crawl each of them as individual pages, it's eight out of my 10 pages crawled and indexed, or updated, and they haven't got to the new product yet that I added two days ago, because every time they come, they keep getting caught around these page variations, and not on the page I want, which is my new product.

Jason:                     That's correct.

Darryl:                    And so, we've talked about crawlers and stuff like that in previous episodes so people should be across that already. If not, go back, listen to the earlier episodes!

Jason:                     Yeah. To your point, Darryl, one of the most common issues that webmasters or business owners come to me about and say, I just made a change on this specific page, you know, the content and the banner and stuff like that; Google's not picking it up. You know, or we're going to change the title tag to say "free shipping storewide"; I don't know why Google is not picking that up and indexing that change on its servers. That's the reason why, is because Google is wasting their crawl budget and time crawling all the other pages and not crawling and indexing the pages that I want- [crosstalk 00:12:12]

Darryl:                    And this is probably a great alert for anyone, e-commerce or not, that as you get through this series and as you start spending more time, and if you, you will learn in a future episode how to identify what's being crawled or not, but if you can't steer your updates in a timely fashion, and the guys, either of these two geniuses here in SEO could tell me what a timely fashion is, but if I added a new page or I updated something critical on my homepage, what that time is. If you don't see that in that timely fashion, then you know you've got a crawl problem.

                                    What would you two guys reckon is a timely, if I've been crawled and I'm already out there and I've been at least online for year; I make a major change, say, to my page URL or my homepage content, when would you expect that? If everything was natural, and normal, in my crawling; is it 24 hours, 72 hours? What do you reckon?

Jason:                     I reckon we're in the timeframe of 12 to 24 hours, you should be able to see the change being rolled out and live to public.

Darryl:                    But if it's more than 72 hours, you've got a problem?

Jason:                     100%.

Darryl:                    Yeah. Okay. What about other problems, Jason? Info architecture, wrong use of web features ...

Jason:                     I guess, sometimes clients choose the wrong platform. Choose the wrong e-commerce platform, right? So from an SEO perspective, you've got what we call "search engine friendly" CMSes, and you've got non-search engine friendly CMSes. So sometimes clients would sign up to a cheap alternative of a content mangemetn platform and expect to take on, you know, big retailers like The Iconic, or eBay or Amazon. But you've got to think, if you're paying $15 a month for a crappy little CMS which does not give you the flexibility to scale, and be able to control the tags that help you optimize your website from an SEO perspective, you're being very restricted. So we've dealt with a lot of clients where we recommend them to actually move and migrate CMSes and platforms to have that level of flexibility to actually manage and also optimize a website.

Edmund:                Jason, do you still see a lot of old content management system sites, built on those systems that are really old and archaic? Because, you would think the new ones like BigCommerce and Shopify would have their SEO chops down pat. Are there still a lot of people on old-

Jason:                     Yeah, not so much old, but some of the newer platforms, you know, something that starts with W and ends with an X, that platform is extremely bad from an SEO perspective. So it's not so muc the old, even the new ones are, you know, questionable at times.

Edmund:                I was struggling to figure that out, but I do know it now!

Darryl:                    And this is the same with a proprietary system, or a custom-built site. And this goes to what we talk about with it all. Sometimes you just have to do it. Like eBay, and these types of places, they're using custom platforms but they have been evolved over the years, and they have big engine rooms that are hard to change. Like, you can ask Dennis what it was like changing some of the stuff at eBay.

                                    But the reality of it is, that there are tools that give you the broadest reach. And going with them gives you a lot of benefits. If you go out and choose something that is trying to appeal to the masses, as in, you know, the Shopifys and all the rest of it, at some point there is some functionality you are not going to get. Because, you know, they're dealing with the 90% not the 10% of requests. So the more cutting-edge stuff that you might want to do, country-specific, you know, variations. We've seen Edmund somewhere, they end up having five sites on say a Shopify installation, because the only way they could handle multi-country, or there might be some way, while it might have functionality it might not have the SEO ability. Is that right Jason?

Jason:                     That's correct.

Darryl:                    I don't think there's any perfect platform, don't have that ability.

Jason:                     Yeah that's correct. So I mean, we've got a lot of clients that are just starting up. And Shopify or BigCommerce are popular platforms because they're literally, you pay, whip out your credit card and next day you're up and running and live. But you do hit a brick wall very quickly. So if your business does scale up to be a $2 million, $5 million business, and your product SKUs tend to grow up to five, 10 product SKUs, that's when you start transitioning away from software as a service type of offerings such as Shopify or BigCommerce into something more advanced and more custom-built, because you're going to start thinking about warehouse integration, pick and pack integration, and all this kind of different integrations to help run your business.

Edmund:                Jace can I ask, if I was a new e-commerce business owner and I was serious about it, you know I had money to invest or had an existing business I was transitioning to online, you talk about Shopify and BigCommerce, what other CMSes should I be considering that will allow for this growth that you're talking about?

Jason:                     So basically any that is open source is great for integration work and future growth of the website and the business. So things like Magenta, is pretty good. WooCommerce is really good as well, which Darryl can attest to as well. So these two platforms are open sourced, which means that the code's open. You can actually hack in and customize it to your own requirements.

                                    And when it comes to integration and looking for external developer help, there's tons of them around. Whereas if you are locked into something like a Shopify or a BigCommerce, yes they do have the connectors and plugins and integration type of plugins you can pay for, but you're still locked into the Shopify ecosystem. For example, with Shopify you can't actually control this special file called "robots.txt." On those kind of platforms, which is a big, big restriction from an SEO perspective.

Edmund:                Right.

Darryl:                    So, were there any other key common problems? I mean we've hit three pretty big ones there.

Jason:                     Another common problem is content.

Darryl:                    Yeah, we'll get to content I promise.

Jason:                     You'll get to content, okay cool.

Darryl:                    Yeah, yeah. Okay, so we've talked about these things, and you've talked about, and I know we're not going to be able to encompass the fixes for some of these things; some of them are quite complex. I guess what our goal here is, to help people understand those. But what are some key things, I mean you talk about hey, sometimes you've got to move platform. So I guess one of the fixes or understandings is if you're in e-commerce, you need to make sure, you've not just read a couple of blogs and doing basic stuff. You're probably going to want some advanced help with your e-commerce SEO, and that will take care of some of those more technical things. Because really, most business owners don't want to get their head buried in that.

                                    But what are things that everyone should probably do, make sure they've checked off? If they've got an e-commerce store, big or small, what are some fundamentals that they should be doing?

Jason:                     Yeah, so I think a quick, easy win for an e-commerce store is to actually optimize what we call their "metadata." So the title tag and meta description tags are very, very important, because they act as an elevator pitch when someone searches and finds you in Google. So, there is a specific formula that we use to optimize these, which is for your meta descriptions you want to make sure that you convey your USP, your unique selling proposition, and also include a strong call to action to entice a user to click on your listing. So, if you do offer free shipping, which has been proven to be time and time again the most popular call to action from an e-commerce perspective, if you do offer free shipping make sure you add that into your title tag and meta description tags to tell the user that hey if you buy from me, I'm going to give you free shipping with these.

                                    So optimizing call to actions, including call to actions and strong USPs with your metadata makes a really big difference. Both from a ranking perspective, but also to drive traffic perspective as well.

Darryl:                    So we're back in the content thing, because I can't not do this, Ed. So, I've got 300 bits of clothing, and I've got 15 different printed shirts like this T-shirt, right? And they've got different prints on them and I've got five colors per one. Like come on Jason, how am I going to write something in the metadata for each one, and the product is, sorry we're in the content already, in the product description. This is not really what we're talking about, right?

Jason:                     Pretty much, yeah.

Darryl:                    How does a business owner handle this issue of, you know it's a T-shirt, right!

Jason:                     Yeah, so this is a very common issue and a common road block that most business owners tend to face. You know, when we recommend that every page on your website should be unique from a content and metadata perspective. The first thing that they'll say is, "But I've got 10,000 products; how am I going to write unique content for all these 10,000 products that I stock?" So this is where it differs from a brochureware website to an e-commerce website. This is where again, back to the fundamentals, you can't tackle everything all at once. So what you want to do, is prioritize things. Put them into a workflow. And this is where keyword research comes into play as well, because once you know what pages are important to the business, and what pages yield you a high search volume, from a keyword research perspective, you prioritize and optimize those pages first.

                                    So let's just say, we currently have a client who is a beauty retailer. They stock about 15,000 products. So periodically, every quarter, we tackle about 2,000 products for them, to optimize those pages. So it's all about prioritization. You can't tackle everything all at once, even if you have a massive amount of resources and you've got a big content team, you wouldn't be able to roll everything out all at once. It's all about prioritization.

Edmund:                Jason, why couldn't I just go to Amazon and cut and paste their descriptions? Because I've got some competitors who are selling the same stuff on Amazon, why don't I just cut and paste all their stuff?

Jason:                     Yeah, well, you will trigger, or you trip what we call a "duplicate content filter." So Google is very smart to know that, you know, the source and origin of a specific content. So to give an example, Apple recently released the new Apple iPhone X, and Apple iPhone 8, I think. So, what Apple actually does is they give their retailers and stockists a different set of product descriptions that they can use versus what they put on their website. So if you go to say JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman, if you look at the product descriptions that are used on their website, it's completely different from what Apple uses on their own website. That's to actually battle that specific issue of duplicate content.

Edmund:                So Apple actually provides that?

Jason:                     100%, yeah. I know that for a fact because I've got a mate who works on the Apple account, so he tells me that they actually provide separate product descriptions to retailers.

Edmund:                That's some very forward thinking isn't it?

Jason:                     Yeah, that's how it should be. But again, if you're a sole business owner, you have no time to do all this, how do you actually tackle that? So once you find out how you prioritize things, you can outsource this, right? Everyone has a specific skillset and there are people out there who, you know, just love to write content, who just live and breathe content day in day out. So that's what we do as an agency, so we've got in-house copywriters to help-

Darryl:                    Not me!

Jason:                     Yeah, Darryl's an advy writer as well!

Darryl:                    No, not me!

Jason:                     But there are a lot of, external help that you can hire to help you write this content, and roll it out in phases and batches to help optimize those pages.

Edmund:                Alright.

Darryl:                    We've talked about content like that. Sorry Ed!

Edmund:                No, go for it, I'm just taking notes.

Darryl:                    So, I want to talk about, it's a combination of content and information architecture issue here. So I've got, I don't know, a few hundred products. I've got these categories. Where should my energy be deployed first? Should I be optimizing product page, or should I be looking at categories and subcategories? Like, are we creating silos like we would typically with content and saying well, I've got a better chance of my T-shirt page in general being found than Demon Darryl's Design T-shirt being found?

Jason:                     Yeah.

Darryl:                    Yeah? Is that what we should work on, like you talked about your priorities should be, we come down from the head and work our way down?

Jason:                     That's correct. Because if you were to group your products and optimize your information architecture correctly, what you see is a top-down approach right? The top will always have the highest number of search volumes, and that's say, "T-shirts." And then underneath T-shirts you have men's T-shirts, women's T-shirts, and under these men's T-shirts you've got, I don't know, long line, V-neck, round, cotton, what do you call it? All the different materials and stuff like that.

                                    And then you might also want to start breaking things out into Nike T-shirts, or custom design T-shirts, or a specific style of T-shirts. And then as you go down deeper into the IA, the number of search volumes that you get per page or per category tends to diminish down. So you work from top to bottom, 100%.

Darryl:                    Okay.

Edmund:                If we're talking on content again, Jason, I get this question all the time. People who run e-commerce sites say hey I want to start blogging. And you say why? And they say well everyone else is doing it.

Jason:                     Yeah.

Edmund:                And this is the place that I see some of the worst content put out there. So, what should they do? I've got an e-commerce shop, and I want to create content, but where do I even start, why am I creating content? You want to give us some insight into your thoughts?

Jason:                     Yeah that's correct. A lot of people jump on the blog bandwagon without actually thinking about the long term. So with e-commerce websites, how we advise clients is this. We draw a clear distinction between what we call a "guide," and also a blog post. So a guide is something that helps answer questions about the product that you're selling. For example, if I'm in the market to buy a dining table, I need information to help me decide which dining table to buy from you, what color, what style, how big, how small. You know, if you're answering all those questions through content, those are what we call buyer's guides. Not actually blog posts; blog posts tend to be timely, viral, and a bit more inspirational. So things like "How to Style Your Apartment," they sit in the blog. But things like "How to Choose the Perfect Dining Table for Your Small Apartment," that sits on a guide or what we call an "evergreen" type of content sits on that site.

                                    So I think that there needs to be a clear distinction between the type of content that you want to publish on your e-commerce store. There needs to be a clear distinction. Because things that are evergreen should sit together with your product categories, and things that are a little bit more viral, a bit more timely, a bit more newsworthy, will sit in your blog. And what you find, you know, six, 10 months down the line, things that are sitting with your product categories, they are evergreen and your buyer's guide and stuff like that, they will continue to drive you traffic day in, day out, without much promotion.

Edmund:                Nice. Nice. Well that helps.

Darryl:                    Well yeah. What about, so the other stuff, the obvious things. When we're an e-commerce store, you know, visual is important as words. I mean, I guess, a lot of the words are there to answer questions or product descriptions, because we have to, because it's kind of a minimum amount of words, but in a lot of cases it's the pictures that sell, right? Or the videos or things. What advice do you have for people about, how important is little video, you know, of the dining room table, you know, looking at it underneath? Versus, here's a diagram schematic of images, and making sure they're SEOed well?

Jason:                     Yeah. So when people shop around online, people tend to look for inspirations. People want to get ideas about a specific product, how it would look like on someone, or how it would look like in a specific environment.

                                    So we've got a client recently who sells online furniture. And when they first started up, you know, it was bootstrapped; what they did was they truly rendered a product on a plain white background. Which was pretty boring. You know, conversion rates were really low, and it's a very stale user experience; when you go into a product page you just see, you know, different angles of this specific product, or the dining table on a blank white background, with a little bit of shadow at the bottom. It doesn't really inspire people go "Ah, I really like that, because it looks like my living room." But then once they started integrating lifestyle images, so things that show the product in action, in a real-life environment, they saw-

Darryl:                    More like an Ikea shoot.

Jason:                     Yeah.

Darryl:                    You know what I mean? Like this is the room. This is a room of an inn.

Jason:                     Exactly. And that just, significantly improved the conversion rates, because people got inspired by the product. "Ah that's the kind of look I want; I'm going to buy that product right now," because I can see it in a real life environment, rather than a stale white background. So images and videos tend to make a big, big difference, 100%.

Darryl:                    Okay. And obviously there's a whole lot of technical SEO that needs to go with them. So people, if you're adding images and videos to your websites, no matter whether it's SEO, as e-commerce or not, they need to be treated, you need to speak to people like these two guys or whoever your advisor is for SEO, understand how to optimize them better.

Jason:                     That's correct. So every single asset that you use on your e-commerce website needs to be optimized. And I'm pretty sure you guys will be covering things like page speed, and stuff like that in future episodes, so I'm going to leave that to you guys.

Edmund:                I have a bunch of questions, but I'm going to wade into the muddy pool of link-building for e-commerce. So, have you got some tips for people who want to build links, who don't want to go black or gray hat. How do I get people to link to my e-commerce website to help my rankings, to send me customers? What are your recommendations about the best ways?

Jason:                     Yeah. The way I like to approach link-building is, I tell my clients to go, imagine Google did not exist. Imagine the internet did not exist. How would you promote your business and your products? What would you do? Right? You go hand out brochures in high-traffic areas to promote your product, or to promote your business. You would start listing your product in things like Yellow Pages, or local business directories, or you would join up things, like in networking groups and local chamber of commerce and stuff like that.

                                    So once you think about how you would market your product without the internet, you can start translating those things onto the era of Google and the internet. So again, business directories, there's lots of business directories that you can sign up and add your business to online. There's also what we call "coupon code seeding." So if you run an e-commerce store, chances are you'd be running a lot of promotions, you know giving 20% off this time or free shipping at this time and stuff like that. So there are websites such as OzBargain or RetailMeNot that solely curates and promotes coupon codes and promotions online. You could submit your promotions and stuff like that to those type of websites as well. They will not only create a link to your website, but also help you promote the offer and drive through a lot of residual and referral traffic.

                                    One big thing, you know. If you are stocking products from other manufacturers, you could always ask them for a link on their website. So, for example, if I were to sell a specific pair of sneakers, from Nike for example, I can bet you 100% that Nike would have a stockist page on their website to say, this is our new product; here's where you can get this new product from these specific retailers, or here is a list of stockists. You know, if you're not listed on those websites, on that list, make sure you hit up your rep and say hey, we're actually selling your products, can you actually include us into this page as well? So then it's a win-win situation. So those are some quick wins.

Edmund:                Yeah, I mean, what amazes me is that they are just logical, right? You would expect to list your business there regardless, and it's surprising to me that a lot of people would miss those easy, simple, fundamental opportunities. There's that word again, "fundamental."

Jason:                     Yeah, fundamental. Best business practice, that's what builds a business, right? There's a chap in the States, his name is Will Reynolds. He's a very, very popular SEO celebrity, I'm going to call him that. He coined this term called "real company shit," right? RCS.

                                    So RCS is all about, again, translating good business practices into the online world. You don't cut corners. If you're running a legit business you don't go to black market to buy crappy products to sell on you website, right? You don't do that.

Darryl:                    Most people don't.

Jason:                     Yeah, exactly. Everyone has ethics, and you know, at the end of the day cutting corners is not going to bring you much- [crosstalk 00:34:15]

Edmund:                So if I'm a real business owner, e-commerce shop owner, I'm in it for the long haul, and I've got a limited amount of time, where should I focus my efforts to make sure that my SEO is improving, that my business is growing in Google, I'm getting more traffic and making more sales?

Jason:                     Yeah, so big issues that I see most e-commerce businesses fail, is that they rely solely on a single channel. One single channel. So, whether it's maybe SEO, or affiliates, or PDMs, or PPC. Where I see people succeed is when they invest in all of these channels, and you know, dissect their media budget accordingly.

                                    So my advice is, don't just rely on SEO, because SEO is a longterm play. It takes anywhere between six to 12 months for you to see results, and in the interim, you should be investing in things like, you know, growing your email list, investing Google AdWords, Facebook ads and stuff like that. So diversifying your traffic sources so you don't just rely on a single channel. That's when you're going to succeed.

Edmund:                That's right. And you heard it here first as an SEO guy saying don't rely on just SEO. But I guess coming back to your points before though, you said a lot of fundamental SEO issues boost the performance of those other channels, right?

Jason:                     Correct.

Edmund:                Good site load speed, good content, good product descriptions; all those things help those other channels convert better and make more sales.

Jason:                     100%. So, if you invest in PPC, for example, Google AdWords has a quality score metric. And the way quality score metric is calculated is based on those fundamentals that you just mentioned: is the keyword being used in a title tags, within the content; is the page loading really fast? Is the page converting seamlessly for users? Those things make up what we call a "quality score" within Google AdWords as a channel.

                                    Same thing applies to SEO. Those things will make up what we call "page rank" or what we call "authority" for each of those pages. So those two go hand in hand, like you said.

Edmund:                Excellent.

Darryl:                    That's pretty awesome. I know Jason, we appreciate your time and I know you've got some time restraints today. Is there anything else that we haven't touched on that you think's super important? Before we wrap things up?

Jason:                     No I think we've covered pretty much the fundamentals of running an e-commerce store from an SEO perspective. But a tip or an advice is, remember don't cut corners, ignore those things that sound to good to be true. So you know, everyone like us, we get constant spam emails in our inbox every day from people from third world countries that offer you and guarantee you traffic and ranking improvements by investing near hundreds or sometimes even dollars to help you boost your website. Don't fall into that trap; those never work. And if anything they're just going to get you penalized and you're going to have to start from scratch again which nobody wants.

Edmund:                Mate, where can people go to find out more information about you and what you do?

Darryl:                    And also talk about your ebook, because he's got a top 10 tips coming, an ebook on- [crosstalk 00:37:34]

Edmund:                Ah yeah.

Jason:                     Yeah. Yeah. So if you want to learn more about what I do, I do blog every now and then, at JasonMun.com. I'm also on Twitter, @JasonMun. And like Darryl said, I'm currently working on an ebook that clearly outlines the top 10 e-commerce SEO mistakes and tips on how to fix those top 10 e-commerce stuff. It's coming up in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully I'll publish it before this episode goes live, and we can include it in the show notes.

Darryl:                    Yeah, we'll update the show notes anyway, so if people are following along, just keep an eye out and come back to the show notes and we'll put the link in once it's fully up online.

Edmund:                Awesome.

Jason:                     Sounds good.

Edmund:                Jason thank you, that's awesome. Darryl do you have anything else to add? You think we're at the end today?

Darryl:                    I reckon we're at the end mate.

Edmund:                Awesome. So that's it for today. If you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, please sign up to notifications on our website at MyBloodyWebsitePodcast.com, or subscribe to the podcast at iTunes. If you enjoyed this podcast and you bloody well should because Jason's awesome, please leave a review in iTunes. It really helps other people find our podcast. We hope to see you next week when we'll continue this discussion about My Bloody Website. It's goodbye from me ...

Darryl:                    And it's goodbye from him.

Jason:                     Thank you very much guys.

Edmund:                Cheers Jason, thank you again