Today was the first of a 3-day Advanced E-commerce Training workshop organized by Janette Toral, and I was able to mine nuggets of online wisdom in the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) Laboratory, National Computer Center / Commission on Information and Communications Technology in UP Diliman.

Advanced E-commerce Training participantsJanette Toral starts the day with her talk on Enhancing your website pages for search engine optimization, and shares a number of ways to attain search engine visibility.

It all begins with keyword research. When you know what your target market is searching for, creating a web site that answers those needs makes the effort worthwhile. What is the point of building a site that people can’t find in the search engines, if the words on your site are not even typed by people in the search boxes, right? Janette gives you seven tools to help you with keyword targeting.

Marc MacaluaMarc Macalua talks about raising conversions with the help of landing page optimization. A landing page is the page your visitors end up on, and whether or not you are able to elicit a desired response or action determines the success or failure of your page.

Marc raises issues which need to be discussed by marketing and the design team. For example, how long should your online surveys be? How can you reassure your online customers?

He also provides wait-a-minute pause points which make you carefully incorporate feedback mechanisms in your online ordering process. For example, do you know how effective your toll-free customer assistance number is?

We sometimes tend to obsess over web site traffic too much, that we end up wondering what happens after we get the traffic. Perhaps as we slowly find a balance between traffic and conversion, we will find sustainable financial success with the help of the internet.

Marc also reveals what could be the next SEO arena. If you’re still merely focusing on title tags, meta tags, and sitemaps, your competition can blindside you in the next SEO battlefield. You may have already seen it in your searches (as I have), but you might have simply glossed over it (as I have, too).

Anyway, Marc will be posting his handouts along with other whitepapers in Macalua.com soon.

Aileen ApoloAileen Apolo speaks about Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Her quick overview gives online merchants advertising ideas to try out, new markets to test, what-if headlines to consider, plus tools that allow us to find out what our customers want.

Google Adwords is a great way of finding out what makes your customers click. It provides you with firsthand information on what people are searching for online, or what people are NOT searching for online (which can save you a significant amount of effort).

It’s interesting to hear the audience express their concerns about PPC (pay per click) advertising, such as tire-kickers who simply click on your ad but don’t have any intention of buying from your online store.

Here’s a tip: Include the price of your product in your ad. That has a dampening effect on people who are more interested in “researching” than in “buying.”

Thank you, Aileen, for the Adwords voucher. I’m now inspired to revive various campaigns. Don’t worry, I won’t drive the per click price of your favorite keyword up.

Manuel Viloria and Janette ToralJanette closed today’s session with her presentation on Tapping blogs for marketing promotion. I was inspired by the case study on how a FREE Blogspot blog was used to promote a PAID domain dot com site. Out here on the web, no free site is too small to make a difference.

Most of the workshop participants already have blogs, and those who don’t are looking forward to starting their own blogs. The benefits of blogging are becoming apparent, particularly in the marketing side. You can use your blogs to promote your products, or even to protect your products in case some nasty rumors start spreading via sms text.

Thank you, Janette, for the two Digitalfilipino Web Awards (ManuelViloria.com for the Blog – Professional Category, and the Viloria.com Pinoy Podcast for the Podcast Category). Thank you also to the APEC Digital Opportunity Center for the beautiful glass trophies. I am honored and inspired to continue creating quality sites.

A big thank you also goes to Ms. Reggie Bundang of RegaloService.com for taking our photo. Congratulations, Reggie, for winning the First Place award in the 2007 Digital Filipino-ADOC Web Awards held yesterday, 27 April 2007.

(For those of you who are looking for more web site traffic, please consider building sites that address the needs of people. The DigitalFilipino.com awards, for example, drove a considerable amount of traffic before, during and after the awarding ceremony.)

Search engine visibility, landing pages, Adwords and Analytics, podcasting, online video, blog marketing… today’s online merchant sees that the e-commerce success factors are evolving. It is not enough to do what has worked before. It is not prudent to just jump on the latest SEO fad.

What’s needed in today’s new SEO arena is good old fashioned marketing melded with the enthusiasm of technophilic youth. Yes, it’s time to join forces.


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