How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

written by
Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! StoreYahoo! Site Explorer is a tool that lets you access the information that Yahoo! has about a site's online presence. You can see which sites and sub-pages are indexed by Yahoo! Search, track sites that link to your pages, and view the most popular pages from any site. As was the case with Google Sitemaps, there is a lot of information to be harvested from setting up Yahoo! SiteExplorer.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

This is a revised version of my "How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store" guide. The original can be found here.

Yahoo! Site Explorer is a tool that lets you access the information that Yahoo! has about a site's online presence. You can see which sites and sub-pages are indexed by Yahoo! Search, track sites that link to your pages, and view the most popular pages from any site. As was the case with Google Sitemaps, there is a lot of information to be harvested from setting up Yahoo! SiteExplorer, and it's certainly in the best interest of webmasters and site owners to do so.

The following are the 9 steps for setting up your Yahoo! Store with Site Explorer:

Step 1

First things first, open up a browser window, login into your Yahoo! Small Business account, and locate the "Store Control Panel" of your Yahoo! Store account. Click on the "Search Engines" text-link under the "Promote" section near the bottom-left-corner of your screen.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 2

Now on the "Promote Your Site on Search Engines" page, scroll down the page and find the "Yahoo! Site Explorer - View your Site's Online Presence" section. Click on the "Launch Yahoo! Site Explorer" text-link. This will automatically open the Yahoo! Site Explorer account in a new browser window.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 3

Now in the Yahoo! Site Explorer account, add your website. To do so, enter your website's URL in the specified section at the top of the screen, and click "Add My Site".

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 4

After clicking "Add My Site" in the previous step, you'll find that your website has been added to Yahoo! Site Explorer and that it now appears in a table below. The next and final step in this process is to "Authenticate" your website. Authenticating a website will allow Yahoo! Site Explorer the ability to share additional information about your website that otherwise wouldn't be shared. To begin the authenticate process, click on the "Authenticate" tab under the "Status" column.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 5

Now on the "Authentication" page, you'll find that there are 2 different ways one can authenticate a website... via an HTML upload or by adding a special meta-tag to the homepage. In this guide, we'll be using the meta-tag option, as it is very easy for Yahoo! Store owners to do.

Using your mouse, highlight the meta-tag (it should start with "<" and end with ">"), and copy it (to copy hit "CTRL + C" on your keyboard). DO NOT CLICK "Ready to Authenticate". Instead, leave this page exactly as it is.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 6

Switch back over to the previous window where you should still be on the "Promote Your Site on Search Engines" page. Click on the "Done" button at the very top of the page to return back to the "Store Control Panel". Click on the "Store Editor" text-link to edit your Yahoo! Store.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Now in the store editor on your home page, click the "edit" button found on the editor's navigation bar.

Step 7

Now inside the edit screen, find the "head-tags" property and paste the meta-tag that you had copied in step 5 (to paste hit "CTRL + V" on your keyboard) inside its respective box. Should your store not already have a "head-tags" section on this page you'll have to overwrite your variables and include it – then again, you could always place this meta-tag in the "head-tags" section of your variables. When finished, click the "update" button at the very top or bottom of the page.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

Step 8

Now back on your home page within the store editor, click the "publish" button found on the editor's navigation bar. Doing so will automatically publish your website as well as the newly added meta-tag needed to verify the authentication of your Yahoo! Site Explorer account.

Step 9

Return to your Yahoo! Site Explorer window where you should still be on the "Authentication" page. Click the "Ready to Authenticate" tab to complete the website authentication process. If all was done properly, you should now read "Your site is pending authentication" near the top-left of the page.

Congratulations! Yahoo! Site Explorer is now set-up. Give it a day or so to verify the authentication, and to retrieve data on your website. Soon you'll have all the information you need to understand how the Yahoo! search engine finds, crawls, reads, and indexes the pages on your website.

How to Set Up Site Explorer with a Yahoo! Store

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6 Tips for Generating Repeat Business

written by
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

6 Tips for Generating Repeat BusinesI think it is fair to say that most businesses now have a somewhat basic understanding of what it takes to be successful online. Granted, there are still a lot of uneducated business owners out there, but I believe a great deal of them now have an understanding that there is a large amount of time, money, and effort needed in order to attract and convert website traffic.

6 Tips for Generating Repeat Business

In February of 2012, I revisited this article and have added to it. You can find an updated version here.

While search marketing providers, analysts, and organizations continue to work together in educating the world on search and Internet marketing strategies, such as website optimization, pay per click advertising, and social network leveraging, I think it is fair to say that most businesses now have a somewhat basic understanding of what it takes to be successful online. Granted, there are still a lot of uneducated business owners out there, but I believe a great deal of them, compared to a few years ago, now have an understanding that there is a large amount of time, money, and effort needed in order to attract and convert website traffic. Those early days of being successful online simply because you were one of a few in your niche industry with a website are certainly long gone.

However, one element - arguably the most important one - that I feel isn't being communicated as clear and as often as it certainly should be is the idea of repeat business - the process of marketing to a customer after the initial purchase. While I would agree that it is awfully nice to have a solid PPC campaign in motion - one capable of converting high volumes of traffic with a decent CPA - such a strategy does not even compare to the rewards offered via a repeat business campaign. In most cases, I'd have to say that very little is being done on the part of online business owners to reach out to past customers... resulting in a mass of missed sales and opportunity.

Why is repeat business so beneficial, and why should it be included in your company's overall online marketing efforts? Well, for two major reasons.

First of all, generating repeat business is without question so much easer to attain than that of a new customer. We all know how difficult it is to get a new customer - employing marketing strategies, maintaining a website, addressing customer problems and concerns, and so on. Unlike with generating new customers, repeat business strategies provide business owners with the ability to directly engage a large group of extremely targeted buyers - those who've not only shown an interest in your products and services, but have also opened up their wallets for you once already - without the use of a middle-man, such as a marketing firm, search engine listing, or a newspaper ad. Removing the middle man immediately makes marketing a hell of a lot cheaper... bringing me to my second point.

Second, attaining a repeat sale is not only going to be cheaper then when compared to the cost of generating a new sale, but it is also going to be more profitable because of it. It's not rocket science. Spend $10, $20, $100 to get that customer the first time, and spend close-to-nothing to engage with them forever.

The following are a few "repeat business" strategies that I personally feel are worthy of at least trying. Consider combining a few of these ideas, with a few of your own, to develop a long-term repeat business campaign.

Send a Business Card with Every Order

Let's face it... not every person who places an order with you will remember the name of your company or the URL of your website. While some online shoppers, when satisfied, may add your website to their favorites list, others will simply forget about you 10 minutes after receiving their order. It is for this reason you should consider giving them a little something to remember you by.

Business cards and business magnets are perfect for such an occasion. In addition to being relatively cheap to manufacture, a business card or a magnet will almost always end up on your customer's refrigerator where it will remain for all eternity. However, it will also be there for when your customer needs to remember your website in order to restock or purchase other like products or services. Don't believe me... have a look at your refrigerator and then try and call me a liar.

Send an Occasion Email Offer

Just so we're clear, I'm not talking about flooding the inboxes of unexpected random people. There is certainly a right way and a wrong way to send out promotional emails, and spamming people as such is definitely the wrong way to approach email marketing. Instead, I'm suggesting that you use email as a way to engage your past customers - those who've shared their email addresses with you - with helpful information about the products and services you provide, as well as the occasion promotional offer here and there.

In most cases, you'll be able to collect a new email address with each new order you receive. Simply add that email address to your list, and proceed to email them with monthly specials, promotions, and relevant and educational information. Doing so will not only help remind your past customers that you're still around and willing to help them, but a worthwhile promotion may also persuade them to place additional orders with your company.

Offer Gift Certificates with all Order Discrepancies

A time will inevitably come when you will make a mistake on an order. It's going to happen. The most common errors are shipping the wrong size or color of a product, or the wrong product altogether. How you proceed and correct your error will ultimately determine whether or not the customer will buy from you in the future.

In addition to correcting the problem, say refunding the buyer or shipping out the correct order, include a gift certificate that can be used with the customer's next purchase. This action proves that your company takes order discrepancies very seriously and is committed to ensuring that things are corrected. Also, by providing such an offer, you're giving your customers a reason to purchase again (hence repeat business), and yourself another chance to make a great impression by accurately completing their next order.

Include Free Samples with Every Order

The word "free" is very rarely said or meant in a world where everything now costs a pretty penny, and so offering free samples of your product is a great way to not only get people to buy from you, but to get them to continually come back and purchase again. In my opinion, it does not matter how large or small a sample is, just as long as it is somewhat relevant to the buyer.

In addition, offering a free sample often means introducing the customer to something new. If shoppers tend to only buy one variation of a product, than it is possible that they are unaware that another exists or are wary about trying something different. This is a perfect opportunity for online merchants to reach out to their customers and recommend a product by providing a free sample of it. This kind of customer/merchant interaction will most likely encourage customers to buy again, and should the products compliment each other well enough, it may even lead to the customer purchasing both options upon their next order.

Integrate a Login / Password Shopping Cart

For me personally, I hate online customer accounts simply because I hate having to remember login and password information for every website I order from. However, integrating a shopping cart with login and password functionality can easily increase the amount of repeat business your online store receives. To an online shopper, remembering and entering a login and password results in them not having to enter several lines of billing, shipping, or credit card information with each visit. This convenience ensures customers receive a head-ache free and speedy check-out process upon future visits, resulting in a great reason for any customer to come back.

Integrate an Automatic Re-Order Option

This tip only pertains to those companies that sell consumables, such as health and beauty products, tobacco products, medication-like products, and so forth, but is great for attaining repeat business.

The idea is to set up an "automatic re-order option", either manually or programmed in the back-end, to be included within the check-out process. Customers can then enroll into the program which will be set-up to automatically charge their credit card and resend them their "refill" at the time they've specified. Therefore, if a customer purchases a box of cigars every three months, rather than having to go to the website, locate the product, and place an order each time they want to refill their stock, the customer can simply have a box automatically charged and sent to them every three months.

Under this system, and in addition to bringing convenience to your customers, you are now promised repeat business that you weren't otherwise before. Also, by utilizing an automatic re-order option, you have reduced the chances of losing business on the account that your customer forgot to reorder, misplaced your company's web address, or found an alternative supplier with cheaper prices.

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