December 14th, 2009
The State of Retailing Online 2009 reports that ecommerce spending will rise 11% to $156 billion this year from $141.3 billion in 2008.
Although many retailers have experienced lower sales, four out of five online retailers surveyed think the web is better suited than other channels to withstand the recession. Furthermore, one-third of the retailers said the downturn has helped them capture greater market share. Retailers report their conversion rates continue to run between 3% and 3.5%, as they have for years.
What can a wholesaler or retailer do to weather the economic downturn? Most businesses are doing more with less by making smart spending decisions and using effective, affordable tactics to grow their businesses. Search Engine Marketing is ideal because it’s both accountable and cost-effective.
According to comScore, $595 million was spent online on Black Friday 2009, making it the second best shopping day of the year. With over $10.5 billion spent during the holiday season so far right now is the best time for internet retailers to ensure their websites are getting the traffic they need to help their business grow.
Search Engine Marketing for Wholesalers
The benefits of paid search advertising are many. Directory listings in particular are extremely cost effective. With a small initial investment, you get tons of qualified traffic, unlimited category selection, ample keyword selection, a site description, and options for premium listings, banner ads and more.
Paid search advertising is realistic for every type of business, small or large. It is an excellent way for small businesses to level the playing field and for big businesses to get found. Your listing has a chance of placement right above or below a larger competitor or national chain. A wholesaler can easily be found by retailers looking for its products, and retailers get the benefit of quickly sourcing products.
The beauty of paid search is immediate results; your listing can be up in a matter of days as opposed to the time it takes for natural search listings to materialize. This is not to degrade organic listings, because the best of all worlds is to have both organic and paid listings for conversions and branding galore.
The biggest advantage of directory listings is targeted traffic. While it’s difficult to target your message with traditional media, directory listings zero in on your target audience through your selected keywords. You’ll be pre-qualifying your customers before they land on your site.
Lastly, you get branding with directory listings. Top placement on sites like WholesaleU or OffPriceNetwork is proven to be very effective for promoting your brand.
In closing, let me remind you that the Internet gives you top value for promoting your business and results are accountable. WholesaleU helps wholesalers connect with thousands of resellers looking to order their products online every day. What’s not to like?
November 30th, 2009
With a surplus of confusion and uncertainty making this business harder than it should be at times, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic truths that make wholesale and retail a fairly straightforward affair. Since many of you have been asking for more profiles on wholesale champions that are getting things done, I’m going to dive right into another example of a company that has been doing things the right way for some time. You’ll find the FLOMO / Nygala Corporation to be one of these industry giants who are giving sellers and buyers the tools they need to succeed in the world of online and physical sales. While you could search the many thousands of names that turn up through categories on toptenwholesale.com, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start here… so let’s take a minute to get to know FLOMO’s accessories and wholesale gifts!
If you’re interested in attending shows that put the fun back into trade shows, look no further. FLOMO’s next 2010 show will be running from 9:00 am to 5:00 on January 6, 7, and 8. Since they have a large product line that can take care of a retailer all year long, this January VIP Show is all about helping them kick off 2010 with everything you need… at tremendous savings. While the cost-cutting is always an attractive feature, keep in mind that lots of delicious food, great discount promotions, and an exciting giveaway will be part of the event as well. At the last show, a 50” PANASONIC plasma HDTV was given away, and this time around for the January show there will be three laptop mini computers handed out to some very lucky customers! Attendees have a great time at these events, and they usually spend an entire day at the show. Many of these customers come from all over the USA just to stock up on the amazing deals that are featured during this promotion.
The Flomo VIP Show on January 6-8, 2010 will be held at:
Flomo Private Showroom 698 Route 46 West,
Teterboro, NJ 07608
For those looking a little further down the road, let’s not forget that they will also be holding a show at:
ASD/AMD Merchandise Show – Las VegasFebruary 28 – March 3, 2010
August 8-11, 2010Las Vegas Convention Center
3150 Paradise Road,
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Please keep in mind that this is a seriously focused event that is not open to the public, so be sure to make your arrangements ahead of time by contacting FLOMO through their online contact form!
Keep in mind that retailers can get all their merchandise needs from one place because FLOMO manufactures, imports, and supplies all holiday/seasonal merchandise for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Graduation, Halloween, Christmas, and New Years. They’ve also got photo frames, school/office supplies, color table covers in all styles, cutlery, artificial flowers, ceramic gifts, and their specialty; gift bags. The emphasis at this particular time is upon Valentine’s Day items. While FLOMO carries a huge selection of discount goodies for all holidays, it’s recommended that you shop for the Valentine’s Day goods early, if you hope to catch the best deals. These items sell out quickly, and once they’re gone… you’ll be paying a lot more for them… and wondering why you didn’t contact FLOMO earlier! The clock is already ticking for the best Valentine’s Day merchandise, and they’ve been concentrating a lot on maximizing their Valentine’s Day line. They’ve also recently added hundreds of new products. Valentine’s Day gift bags, decorations, cards, point of purchase item displays, party favors for kids, life-like artificial roses, and tons of other great gift items can be found just a few clicks away.
New customers should call 1-800-445-5936 to make arrangements for getting catalogs and a special VIP code that will allow full functionality of the online catalog as well. The friendly and professional staff at FLOMO speak English and Spanish, and welcome customers from all over the USA and South America!
Anyone can stay updated on shows, promotions, and company details at the FLOMO Blog,
FLOMO is a major national brand of quality accessories, wholesale gifts, gift bags, party supplies, photo frames, ceramic gifts, plush items, bows, ribbons, artificial flowers, school supplies, stationery, holiday/seasonal merchandise, dollar store items, and more. FLOMO can be found in stores across the United States, the Caribbean islands and Central / South America. Nygala Corp’s mass market distribution includes discount stores, dollar stores, 99 Cent stores, party stores, drugstores, supermarkets and catalog companies. Whew!
September 9th, 2009
Wholesale handbags come in every color, size or material (cloth, leather, nylon, microfiber, suede, quilted, plastic) that a fashion accessories reseller can stock. Many styles push the product category “handbag” to its edges . . . tote, carry-all, duffle, gym bag, book bag.
Now, where do you find unique handbag designs? What if you need to stock handbags shaped like megaphones, footballs or licensed school jerseys this fall? I thought there was something awfully Fashion Designer about an artistic sugar cookie I found in a gift basket; I’m sure I saw it in a Vera Bradley collection. Keep reading: Top Ten Wholesale and WholesaleU found unique handbags, from sports locker to fashionista chic.
College Handbags is the #1 Licensed Collegiate Handbag Manufacturer. It’s official . . . here are their seal and logo:
Search for Handbags By College Logo and Colors
· By Athletic Conference (ACC Atlantic, ACC Coastal, Big 12 North, Big 12 South, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Other School, PAC 10, SEC East, SEC West) OR
· By Collection from an Alphabetical School Drop-Down List. OR
· By entering a handbag / school name keyword into the Quick Search Box
You’ll find Handbags … Totes … Wallets … Cell Phone Holders… Checkbook Covers … Clutch Bags … Denim, Cloth, Quilted Handbags … Men’s Wallets. All customized with collegiate insignia and in school colors. Stretch the concept of “handbag” to cover large totes and styles that mimic duffle or gym bags.
Samples from Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, North Carolina Wolfpack and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
New Line: Football Jersey Handbags
Specialty handbags cut to look like sports team number jerseys . . .
Alabama Jersey Bag . . . Appalachian State Jersey . . . Duke Jersey in School Colors.
Plus a Duke Quilted Handbag. Guess which is the Texas Quilted Bag. (Black, gold and longhorn?)
Suit Up, Sports Fans
Alabama Megaphone Shoulder-strap Handbag, embroidered with school logo.
Or Football Handbags.
College Handbags will customize specialty handbags with their designs or yours, such as team logo or school mascot. (Custom Order Minimum is 120 of same style.) And they offer drop shipping to resellers.
Here’s How To Brand a Designer Handbag, Sugar.
I read about a small specialty company whose annual sales increases earned it a spot on Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in the country. And they made the list with lots of butter and shortbread cookies that are hand-decorated for holidays, special occasions (wedding, birthday, graduation), special event displays and gift baskets. Oh, and branding campaigns.
You betcha. That cookie bouquet you bought online – the one with race car shortbread cookies for your nephew and edible tulips or gerbera daisies on Mother’s Day – probably came from Corso’s.
But you’ve never heard of them because Corso’s cookie creations don’t show in local stores. Most of its sales are online, and 90 percent of those online sales come from third-party sites (resellers).
Like Vera Bradley Designer Handbags, where Vera stretches the “handbag concept” from a Jet Set Nylon Duffel Tote in the color of wine to backpacks, laptop cases and even diaper bags.
Corso’s “icing artists” and fast-growing specialty sugar cookie business is now doing a tie-in to brand handbag designer Vera Bradley. Cookie designs will exactly mimic the colorful designs and textures of Vera Bradley bags. Delicious handbag branding!
September 3rd, 2009
I don’t like doing this but I feel like part of my job duties are to help protect the community. There are so many scam artists out there so it is my job to help point them out. Publishers and buyers beware of this company. I Have worked for JP Communications Inc for about 5 years now and I have handled the online advertising for thousands of clients. Not once have I ever dealt with a situation or a customer like Chris from Dow Superstore Inc., aka www.dowsuperstore.com. This company illegally and fraudulently paid us for advertising using a pay pal account. I want to warn other media outlets and buyers about this company. Pay Pal told us that we should should press criminal charges, so we are. In the mean time, if you are allowing this company to advertise or if you are buying from them, beware because they are scam artists.
Dow Superstore paid JP Communications Inc for advertising through pay pal. Pay pall released the funds into our account and we processed the funds to Dow’s account. We gave Dow Superstore Inc. $1,000 in pay per click funds and we started designing an email for them which cost $800. Services were given to Dow.
A few days later, Pay Pal took money out of our account telling us that Dow was a fraud company and that they did not have any funds in their account.
On July 9, 2009, Dow emailed my company and told me that he sent us $1800 for advertising on Top Ten Wholesale and for our company to design and send an email. Pay Pal cleared the funds and we added $1,000 to his pay per click account and spent hours designing and testing out the email he paid $800 for. 2-3 days later, Pay Pal took the $1800 out of our account and said that the payment Dow sent us was a fraudulent payment. I contacted Dow, and Chris told me it was an error. He then told me that he would have the funds to us shortly and never paid. On August 21st, 2009, Chris told me that he would send us a check for the advertising seeing as that he already used the funds up. Dow never sent the check and he owes JP Communications $1800 for PPC funds spent and time spent on designing, coding, and testing email.
I have had multiple conversations with Chris Dow and one conversation with Jimmy. They both pretended that it was an error and that they would have the funds back to me. On August 21, 2009, I called Chris Dow from www.dowsuperstore.com and he finally picked up the phone. He told me that he would send me a check for $1,000 to start making good on his bill. I was at trade shows most of the month of August and returned on Sept. 2. Dow Superstore did not send the check. It does not take more than 5 business days for a check to get mailed.
If anyone is interested in learning more, I have saved all our email contact so I can prove to you that the owners and others staff members at Dow Superstore Inc. are liars and scam artisits. Here are just some of the email conversations between Chris Dow and myself:
I will call you monday afternoon.
On 8/14/09, Jonathan wrote:
Hello Chris. Please call me and let me know how you plan on settling
your balance. It has now been close to a month.
From: Chris Dow [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: Chris:
Yes. We are doing alright just these issues with paypal put a damper
on our success. We have things in place and we will be clearing the
invoice soon. I will keep you posted
On 8/4/09, Jonathan wrote:
Tell me about it. The funds are coming out of my commission for being
a nice guy and putting a push on the order so I’m hoping we can get
the funds in asap. This is why we don’t like dealing with pay pal and
prefer cc or check.
What else is going on? How’s business? How long has Dow been around for?
You mainly an internet business or is this new for you?
—– Original Message —–
From: Chris Dow
Sent: Tue Aug 04 18:52:27 2009
Subject: Re: Chris
No not yet we will know more this week. I will keep you updated. What
a mess paypal caused us.
On 8/4/09, Jonathan wrote:
Any word from pay pal yet or have you received your amex payment yet?
From: Chris Dow [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 8:04 AM
Subject: Re: Chris
I’m going to see when I get those funds from pp or ill pay it when I
get my merchant amex payment.
On 7/29/09, Jonathan wrote:
Thanks Chris. Let me know how we are going to work this out asap
so I can tell my COO.
In short, publisher, buyers and sellers beware. If he is willing to scam a service provider that helps bring his company business, I can only imagine what he is willing to do to people that buy from him. If anyone has any questions about this company, feel free to contact me.
Groovy Is Back: Clothing, Jewelry, Accessories Wholesalers and Retail Suppliers Celebrate Peace Signs and the Summer of Love … 40 Years Later
June 24th, 2009
If you’re searching for trendy niche market merchandise to sell this summer and fall, then look backward, savvy sellers. Look back to a Nostalgia and Vintage Fashion Trend in clothing, jewelry, hats and accessories: Summer of Love Update 2009.
Would apparel and accessories buyers for Macy’s worldwide lead you astray?
Note, please, the knit caps … gauzy blouse-on tops … distressed and ripped denim jeans …paisley and tribal patterned clothing … jewelry dangling beads, shells and large chunky signature beads. All flash the Peace Symbol, butterflies and plump – sometimes misspelled — Peter Max-inspired typefaces: Love. Luv. Summer of Love. SOL..
Timing is right:
· The universal symbol of Peace is having a 50th birthday this year.
· The big Hippie Summer of Love – epicentered in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco – kicked off in 1967 at the first “Human Be-In” in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Though the media “officially” declared SoL over at year’s end, it continued in fact as a cultural, political and social movement straight through to the end of the sixties.
· Kept alive by anti-war protests against U.S. involvement in Vietnam, plus an impromptu gathering in 1969 on a small farm outside Bethel, New York (Woodstock Music & Arts Fair), plus youth political/social activism that rocked governments the world over … all extended The Hippie/Youth/Flower Child Era to the end of the 1960s decade.
· The official San Francisco Summer of Love hit 42 years ago. But peace imagery, styles and mindsets extended thru 1969. Now, 40 years later in 2009, they’re baaaaack.
See other items on this season’s revival of Peace Symbol jewelry and Nostalgia Clothing styles at the Top Ten Wholesale Blog:
Including coverage of a Peace Necklace Collection from jewelry wholesaler Cool Jewels . What’s going to be hot this season as teens and young adults gear up for another school year. And, what’s selling in wholesale fashion jewelry .
April 29th, 2009
Fashionising Trend Blog stalked designer shoe collections, paced fashion show catwalks and snapped famous feet to predict Summer 2009 footwear trends. The Fashionista Forecast? Shoes as Statement Pieces. Exotic Influences. Architectural Elements. Details, Details, Details (like laces and lace ups, fringe, buckles and straps). Gladiator Sandals are baaaaaack, for women and men. And the High-Fashion Fetish Shoe has arrived.As Fashionising Bloggers summed up Summer 2009 shoes:
One thing is for certain: Boring just doesn’t cut it.
Take a glance at the trendy “not boring” edge of footwear. Then scroll down to the ultimate Summer & Beach Sandals and Shoes from Star Bay Group.
As the must-have trendy summer shoe of 2008, the gladiator sandal is reaching critical mass (adoption) this summer. For Men: Raw Leather Gladiator Sandals to match rustic accessories: Explorer travel bags in leather and canvas or leather and string; Rustic techno sandals.
For Women: Laced up to the knee.
Lace Up Boots
Part of a Tie-Ups Trend toward lace-up shoes, ankle straps, criss-cross laces and ballerina ribbon ties. From: Dio, Lacoste, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. These demure lace-ups were spotted on London celebs …
And, now for something slightly fetish …
Walking the Line between Fetish Shoe Trend and Exotic Detailing, the above Runway Shoe Trends feature studded booties and chain-detailed heels … “bondage details” … Anna Sui’s Egyptian-inspired sandals … lots of jewel and beading embellishments.
Welcome to Star Bay Group
Star Bay Group imports and exports footwear, specializing in sports sandals, beaded and sequined sandals, summer beach sandals, moccasins and popular EVA clog shoes. For women, men and children. In various colors and detailing.
Here is a quick look at selections from the women’s, men and children’s summer collections. (Note the tie-up sandals –- v. trendy this year — at Square One.)
You can catch Star Bay Group at Value Price Expo in Atlantic City from May 17 to May 19. (Booths #217, 219) … timed to Summer and Beach Wear buying on the East Coast.
Or, check out Star Bay Group at the Off-Price Show in Las Vegas from August 28 to September 1 (Booth #822) … where the Off-Price motto is: You Have To Buy Right to Sell Right.
March 18th, 2009
Keywords rule in successful search marketing, at every level, from manufacturer and wholesaler to retailer and customer. Keyword enrichment of ad copy, web landing pages, search directory listings and search marketing also filters out top-ranking product sellers from bottom-feeding losses.
Of Spider Bots and Buyers
Online marketing trend trackers and analysts reach the same conclusions: Marketing budgets continue to move from offline media channels (newspapers, print, TV) to online media. The most measurable results come from search-based advertising and marketing, over online display advertising (paying for views or “eyeballs”). And, the best-performing, highest ROI search advertising runs on specialized, business-professional-interest communities called “vertical search engines.”All built on the right keywords.
Just because you have a brand doesn’t mean
people searching online will find you.
–COO of media company Philippe Guelton
American Magazine Conference
If a wholesaler sells The World’s Best 5th Generation Electronics – at lower-than-3G prices! – don’t buyers beat an electronic path to their cyber store?
Everyone knows that Uber-trendy clothing (say, the latest women’s summer apparel at lowest discount prices) sells itself, as soon as retail chain store buyers stock it. (True or False?)
Not if the right keywords don’t show up in the right places. If automated bits of web-crawling software — search engine spiders — can’t see your discount-priced new mobile electronics or trend-targeted styles, then almost nobody else sees the merchandise either. Because, without the right keyword strategy – in advertising copy, on web site product pages, in search results listings and search ads, in product directory listings – without the right keywords in the right places, search engine indexing spiders and potential buyers never “see” you, either.
Good News: Keyword enrichment is one part of the online marketing matrix that’s easy and inexpensive to fix with these tips:
(1) Keywords First
(2) Keyword Images
(3) Repeat KWs, Hold the Spam
(4) Use Long-Tail Keywords in B2B Marketing
(5) Refined Keywords Live at Vertical Engines
1. Keywords First
Keyword sets vary depending on marketing objective. A wholesaler-manufacturer-exporter of gold, silver and diamond fine jewelry will use its business name as a keyword in a branding campaign, to associate the company with high-end contract manufacturing for global wholesalers and importers sourcing product.
But the company’s business name would not be a critical keyword in wedding jewelry promotions before a major bridal trade show … or on web landing pages for a search ad campaign promoting designer jewelry collections to specialty jewelry store buyers. (Those keywords are likely to be: antique, designer jewelry, custom watches for men, crafted jewelry, etc.)
Whatever the campaign-specific keywords are, they should always be placed first … on the Home Page, in Landing Page Headers, in Product Descriptions, in site Meta Tags and Paid Ad Heads.
· First 25 Static Words on the Page. The first 25 words a search spider and web visitor see should include three-to-five top keyword phrases, describing your company’s core product category and level in the product supply chain (retail store, auction reseller, distributor, dropshipper, wholesaler, manufacturer).
This First-25-Words position for keyword-rich introductory text on a web page is a simple design guideline that any search indexing software picks up. Keyword-rich introductory text becomes the first 12 words a potential buyer sees highlighted on a list of search results. (A search engine spider harvests the headline in these organic, unpaid search listings; but in paid search ads, the ad client specifies which 8 or 10 keywords will be the search ad “headline.”).
· First 15-to-18 Words in META NAME KEYWORDS Field. Another not-visible-on-screen code string, the META NAME field is what search spider’s scan for relevance, matching a search term – womens athletic shoes or iPod shuffle – to your product offerings. The more specific your keyword phrases, the higher your web site will rank on search engine results pages … when combined with other page and content “quality” measures. (Quality Index scoring is a secret formula at big consumer search engines like Google or Yahoo!)
Get META NAME keyword ideas from competitor or industry sites. Go to View in the command line of your browser. Click Source. And note the keywords entered in the code field: META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”nnnnnnnnn” . Here are META NAME keywords for a popular shoe and accessories retailer:
META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”Millions of men’s shoes, women’s shoes, girl’s shoes, boy’s shoes, handbags, men’s clothing, women’s clothing, Uggs, Nike shoes”
Limit entries to top keywords: Many search engine spider bots truncate scans of META NAME code after 18 text strings. Endless keyword lists don’t count more.
· First on Landing Pages. In online advertising, being sent to a targeted Landing Page wins over being dumped on a Home Page, every time. Online Ads – text or image, search or display ad – have higher rates of conversion to a customer lead or sale if the ad links to a specific inside product page … rather than linking an interested click-thru visitor to a generic home page, requiring a second search to find the specific advertised model or promised discount.
Creating search ads that link to a dedicated inside Landing Page also opens new opportunities to place and repeat critical keywords. Keyword real estate on an ad-driven Landing Page includes: Page Title, Header or Description … First 25 Text Words of the targeted product page … and the unique Title that displays on a page’s browser frame.
2. Keyword All Important Images
Search engine indexing software is not image-literate; it only speaks HTML text. Business-critical keywords should never appear ONLY in graphic images, logotypes or web page background designs. Search spiders don’t “see” them.
A code fix for this search spider image-blindness is inserting descriptions in ALT IMAGE TAGs. Not only does this offer a word label for the subject of the photo or video still-frame, which also makes web pages more accessible to surfers who turn off browser graphics or have disabilities, but ALT IMAGE TAGS offer another placement for important keywords.
Bonus: Specific Image Description Keyword ALT IMAGE TAGS may also get your site indexed on Universal Search Results, search engine results pages that combine Text listings, Video Clips, Photo Galleries, Audio files and Maps into one set of search results.
3. Repeat Keywords to Increase Rank and Returns
The number of times your core keywords appear on a web page is one way search engine indexers measure Relevance (match to searcher requests) and help determine the Ranking or Position your company gets on SERPs, Search Engine Results Pages. Search indexing software calculates this repetition as Keyword Density.
There is a costly difference in site traffic and click-through rates to your site — as well as rates of conversion to prospects, leads or purchasers – between being listed on Page One or Two of search results and ranking on one of the other hundreds of SERP pages. Search User research shows over 85% of consumer and business searchers never look past Page Three results.
Avoid Keyword Spamming. As important as Keyword Density is to a high-traffic web site, repeating core keywords must be done in natural language patterns. (Yes, search spiders can detect ungrammatical or out-of-context repeated keywords, as well as Hidden Keywords coded in the background page color.) Such clumsy repeating is known as KW Spam, which can bring ranking penalties to a web site. No-Spam Keyword Repetitions: Well-written product descriptions and web copy that repeat critical keywords in different sentences and contexts. Repeating core keywords in both Site Links and the Anchor Text that refers the link.
One example of No-Spam Keyword Repeats: The footwear site noted above repeated its most frequently requested brands and shoe categories as top keywords (hold the spam) by listing “Popular Searches” near the top of their home page:
shoes, nike, womens shoes, ugg, uggs, wide shoes, heelys, dansko, keen, the north face, clarks, mbt, frye, snow boots, cowboy boots, new balance, born, stuart weitzman, boots, donald pliner, sandals, clothing, womens boots, leather shoes, mens shoes, mens black shoes, womens black shoes
Another Example: 10th Inning Athletic Equipment, a reseller of new and used sporting goods and fitness equipment, links to a leisure industry trade report showing increased sales of health/fitness equipment for the home market, and interest in reduced-price used team equipment.
Keyword Don’t: (a) Don’t begin every paragraph on the page with the KW Used Sporting Equipment, or (b) Don’t link to the leisure trend report with: Click here to see research.
Keyword Repeat Do: (a) Use variations (stemming) and synonyms for core keywords, such as used sporting equipment, sports equipment reseller, fitness and sports machines; (b) link to the leisure trend report with: See trends in Sale of Used Sports and Fitness Merchandise here.
4. Long Keywords Work with B2B Product Searchers
One much debated topic among online marketing professionals was whether or not long, specific keyword phrases entered by searchers are worth it. Take another look at the “Popular Searches” list under #3, above. It runs the keyword gamut from one-word “shoes” (entered by millions of searchers), to brand names, to multiple keywords that get specific: cowboy boots, womens boots, leather shoes, mens black shoes.
Problem with those multiple-word (Long Tail) keywords is that they don’t pull in high numbers of searchers (potential customers). Are long-tail keywords worth your marketing time?
One answer comes from research into the low-frequency searchers who enter those long keyword phrases into search queries. Turns out they’re serious prospects who are close to making a purchase decision and are most likely sourcing products in the business/industry sector.
When the Tail Is Longer Than the Head. A respected search marketing blogger put it this way when HitWise plotted out 14,000,000 keyword searches for financial services in 2008.
First, the HitWise plot of 14,000,000 search terms: The Top 100 terms pulled 5.7% of all traffic. The Top 1000 terms pulled in 10.6% of all search traffic. The Top 10,000 terms 18.5% of all search traffic.
Second, the analogy from Chris Anderson’s Blog:
“If you had a monopoly over the top 1,000 search terms across all search engines (impossible), you’d still be missing out on 89.4% of all search traffic. There’s so much traffic in the tail it is hard to even comprehend. To illustrate, if search were represented by a tiny lizard with a one-inch head, the tail of that lizard would stretch for 221 miles.”
We didn’t have room to show that keyword long tail stretching over 200 miles. But that’s where nearly 90% of all searchers fell in this study, into specific and multi-word search phrases.
Lower “hits” or frequencies for longer keywords from all search terms entered … Far less competition than for those high frequency, high-cost head keywords … In aggregate, better returns and finer focus on serious, business, ready prospects.
Your financial advisor may have told you to “short” your investment portfolio. But in business search marketing terms, Go Long (tail) on your keywords.
5. Refined Key Words Live At Vertical Search Engines
A common trade publication explanation of the difference between giant consumer-focused search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live Search, Baidu et. al) and specialized industry-profession-interest group search sites, called Vertical Search Engines, uses haystacks and needles.
Large market-dominant search engines excel at indexing a large portion of the world’s online information. Complex web crawling, search spidering and indexing algorithms sort terabytes of information and then deliver it in neat haystacks of organized data. Accessible to all.
But, what about time-pressed business users? What of online searchers in the B2B sectors who are sourcing products, finding suppliers or buyers/sellers, and seek business-critical needles in those haystacks of organized web data?
Enter Industry-specific VSE’s (vertical search engines) who sort through all the irrelevant hay and deliver pinpoint results, trends, information, directory listings and search advertising to their users.
Refining Key Words. One way vertical search engines deliver pinpoint results is by refining key words through human-moderated search systems. Human-moderated search uses the best of both worlds: The best search algorithms, indexing and data capture technology (Super Spider?) with the refinement, judgment and experience of human expert filters to guide the search results.
Human-moderated search systems don’t depend exclusively on algorithms or information-harvesting formulas; they also use “parabolic” search results (big word for applying context and associations) and industry or subject matter human experts to sort through the haystacks before delivering results. One consumer-targeted example of a human-moderated search site is Mahalo.com – where human guides filter and refine what search spiders harvest, and what human users prefer, to return guides on thousands of topics. Mahalo refines topics of interest in the same way the old About.com engine used human editors and guides to answer search questions.
Refined Keywords at Vertical Search Engines. Another example of human-expert-moderated search that merges with industry-focused vertical search is the S.A.S.E. search refinement system used on the JPC network (Top Ten Wholesale, Wholezilla, Off Price Network, WholesaleU), which serves wholesale, manufacturer, discounter and retail buyers and sellers.
S.A.S.E. is the network’s acronym for Synonymous Algorithm Search Enhancer, an abbreviation for merging search indexing technology, plus patterns of wholesale buyer search behaviors, with professional expertise (staffers who worked in wholesaling, chain store buying, surplus and liquidation merchandise fields), to deliver only refined search results to industry users.
An example of S.A.S.E. keyword refinement at vertical search engines on the JPC network is working around common misspellings or word substitutions in search queries (such as hancag for handbag or biker for leather clothing). The S.A.S.E. search refinement system also uses industry experience to re-direct search keywords to Related Product Category listings (such as redirecting sports caps … to … licensed logo hats, bicycle helmets, team insignia apparel and sporting/fitness apparel ). This spares the wholesale product searcher many many search steps.
Any vertical search engine worth its algorithms, pay-per-click ad charges and professional staff will have a mission to deliver refined keywords and search results to its specialized users. Saves time, marketing budget and hassling haystacks.
This is Part 3 of a Search Marketing Series posted to Top Ten Wholesale Newsroom. For the first two articles in the series, see:
Attention Home/Gift & General Merchandise Vendors: How would you like to reach over 8,000 apparel retailers interested in new categories who don’t attend non-apparel trade shows?
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March 16th, 2009
Many of the intended readers of this blog may currently be participating in the ASD/AMD Show in Las Vegas this week (3/15-18). I wish all of you the greatest success at an event that continues to be critical to general merchandisers in the US and beyond. For those of you interested in developing new business, as you may know already, there is a growing demand for home/gift, general merchandise and new categories by apparel retailers who are looking for that one niche product that will get new customers into the store and allow their apparel lines to sell themselves. Accordingly, our team at the Off Price Specialist Center is launching a new salon area at our August Off Price Show called “HOME.” HOME @ the Off Price Show is designed to be a home/gift, gen merch and new product “incubator” for apparel retailers looking to add more excitement at their stores. It is a ground level opportunity for vendors in these categories to make a significant impact at the largest and perhaps ONLY Off Price Show in the apparel industry. Our apparel “jobbers” or off price specialists (the newer, more politically correct term) have become known as heroes to struggling apparel retailers who have found excellent values at our semi-annual trade show – which is the offical Off Price Show of the multi-venue/concept Las Vegas Fashion Week. Home/Gift, Gen Merch / hard goods are not new to the Off Price Show. My good friend Larry Manus (who is at ASD this week) has been bringing his hard lines to the Off Price Show since its inception in 1995. “I meet entrepreneurs and savvy retailers who already got the message about the need for diversification.” His New Jersey-based company, United Auction LLP, has been wildly successful at our show in hard goods, as has St. Louis off price specialist CWC Inventories. And as long ago as 2003, when I was first involved with the Off Price Show as its outside marketing agent, I met candle and gift vendors in the second last row of the show who were doing cartwheels because they were writing orders like crazy from aggressive retailers looking for new products. Now that I have been more directly involved with the show for the past 5+ years, it doesn’t surprise me that there is a great fit for home/gift and gen merch vendors at Off Price. Our concept is known to many of our seasoned buyers as “the treasure hunt” because you are sure to find 1-2 new products (not on your pre-show shopping list) that could make your whole season or year. The show is not arranged by category because of the nature of the off price business. Our vendors carry either all categories or they specialize in one or two, plus they may come across an opportunity in a new category or product line that they know (based on their years of experience) could be a winner for their retail customers or prospects. For Home/Gift, Gen Merch and new category vendors, we are making a more centralized HOME salon area to accommodate our largest retailers (who serve on our retail advisory board) who have been begging us for this kind of centralized space so that they can go back to their offices and – mind you they are all CMOs, CEOs and other executive types) tell them about the great values they found in bed & bath, table top, home decor, gift and other non-apparel categories that could be real winners for their chain. I invite all who are interested to contact me at the Off Price Specialist Center at either 262.754.6910 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I feel that this is an exciting opportunity for these vendors to develop new business that happens right on our show floor. If you need further assurance, talk to my good friend Jason Prescott, President of JP Communications, whose TopTenWholesale.com is an official sponsor and media partner for the Off Price Show and has been since 2001 (I think). Jason is a real visionary who’s very big on building bridges online for wholesalers and retailers, and takes advantage of the onsite connections at the Off Price Show to transcend this message across apparel retail lines. Thanks, Jason, for this wonderful blog and for all the great things you do to support our respective industries.
January 27th, 2009
Jacksonville, FL (September 22, 2008)—Robert S. Bryan, Jr. has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Dignity U Wear, the locally-based, national nonprofit that provides brand new clothing to men, women and children in need. The announcement was made by T. Parker McCrary, Chair of the Dignity U Wear Board of Directors.
“Bob has a strong track record of leadership and has successfully grown the organizations he’s been involved with,” said McCrary. “He has great vision, knows how to develop people and build innovative, efficient organizations. He’s the ideal person to take Dignity U Wear to the next level. As we grow our business, increase sources of funding and generate additional revenue, we will have the ability to expand our reach and help even more people. We have high expectations of what Bob will be able to accomplish.”
Dignity U Wear was founded in 2000 and distributes brand new clothing it receives from manufacturers and retailers through a network of 300 recipient nonprofit agencies in 30 states. Nationally, the organization has provided more than 4.4 million pieces, valued at $71 million, to more than 354,000 people. Locally, the organization has donated clothing valued at more than $20 million through 70 Northeast Florida-area nonprofits.
The nonprofit does not receive any city, state or federal government grants or funding; they operate exclusively on private donations from individuals, corporations and private foundations. Volunteers help process 100% of the incoming inventory, providing 95% of the time and labor necessary to accomplish the task.
For more information about Dignity U Wear, visit www.dignityuwear.org or call (904) 636-9455.
Wholesalers, Retailers, Online Auction Power Sellers and other pioneer members of the Online Direct-Marketing Club, take note.
As little as 5% (five percent!) of Google paid-search ads produce a click-through.
Gian Fulgoni, Chairman
If the chairman of a major Internet tracking firm like comScore tosses out a statistic like that in front of search conference attendees, then there is little point in comparing Google’s pay-per-click ratios to, say, Yahoo or Microsoft Live Search or Ask.
Fulgoni had his reasons. He wants to yank online marketers away from their “obsession” with direct-marketing measures of success … what Fulgoni called “The Last Click.” Instead, comScore’s chief wants to look at the ignored value of over 80% of search advertising: Latent online and offline results.
In other words: Branding effects of paid-ad search marketing.
This isn’t simply an interesting argument for e-commerce entrepreneurs, who try to improve ROI, hold onto profit margins and maybe survive an economic downturn. In fact, the most consistent tip offered by merchandise sellers who survived every national and regional economic bust in the past 20 years is this: Keep marketing your business brand and image. When the going gets tough, the remaining wholesale, retail and consumer dollars go to trusted brands. No one trusts a brand that hides.
So, what does branding babble have to do with hardworking online buyers and sellers? Here’s what:
1. Because search advertising is still a direct-response medium — measured by click-throughs pulled to your site and, then, converted to sale, purchase order or request for quote — that doesn’t mean paid search has no branding value. Brand value is becoming more important.
2. The bad news is that online buyers and consumers do not separate search ads with a Call to Action from search ads that reinforce business brand awareness or reputation (whether for quality merchandise, on-time delivery, no-hassle refunds).
That’s also the good news. Every search result that lists the business or product name, every display ad button or skyscraper ad on a trade industry web page that features a brand (even if it goes un-clicked that time), every appearance of your brand name has an effect. It may not show up until next time or offline … in a retail store, at a trade show, in a trade publication.
This is called latency; latent results are still results that bring in revenue.
3. Whether the response from a buyer is immediate and direct, or whether it’s latent and time-delayed, brand awareness is bankable, as “trusted” supplier for “brand loyal” customers.
4. Last, according to comScore chair Fulgoni, only 1/3 of online ad spending goes to building brand. But that was last Spring, before the economy went to the top of concern charts. And the forecast is for integration anyway – better measurement of branding results from search advertising and less emphasis on CTR as the be-all and end-all of search advertising.