Tag Archives: google

On the hunt for a new website provider

I went in a couple of business courses earlier this about improving websites and SEO which I found extremely useful but also a little disconcerting, in that they highlighted how many issues we still wanted to resolve. Our ecommerce website – www.comacodirect.com has now been running for 5 years. At the time our choice of provider seemed an appropriate one but 5 years is a long time… Also if I’m being brutally honest it has never quite delivered the results we had hoped for. The majority of our sales still come via other online sales platforms.


The Comaco Toys website as of early August 2014

So what do want a revamped site to do? Well we need fast download speeds for a start, our current provider is steady but slower than average. We would like the facility to export our listings to other sales platforms, currently this is all done manually and it is a time consuming task! We would like the facility to be able to write meta tags for all pages on the site; we need a responsive design which will adjust for mobiles and ipads; and we want an integrated blog so that this one can be quietly retired.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to find a provider who will give us the maximum confidence that the site will have improved SEO and better sales will follow. A tall order? Possibly. Obviously the content of the site is ours, but this can only get us so far if the design is not up to spec.

And where do we find this miraculous provider? I don’t know yet. Magento has certainly been mentioned to me more than once and I am hoping to get some further advice through the Highlands and Islands Digital Health Check for businesses, although they haven’t replied to me yet. Clearly though it is something that needs to be up and running by October for the run up to Christmas.

Watch this space!



Customer Review Sites that try to Blackmail You

At Comaco Toys we pride ourselves on having excellent customer service. Very occasionally problems do occur; an item may fail to arrive in the expected time scale, it may arrive damaged in transit, or it might even prove to be defective. Whatever care you take with product sourcing, shipping methods and packaging all of these issues will inevitably occur at the some time or another. The trick is how well you work to resolve them.

Positive customer reviews at Comaco Toys

Around 6 months ago one customer in Australia had an issue with a toy gun we sent not arriving within the expected time scale. Following some correspondence we resent the item assuming the original had got lost in transit. This too took longer than expected and the customer left us a review on a website specialising in negative customer testimonials and offering reviewees the option of contesting the review at a considerable price. The first we learnt of the review was someone emailing us saying they would they would minimise its effects if we paid them lots of money. This was sent within a few hours of the review being published and we have had many similar emails since.

It so happens that the customer’s toy gun actually turned up very shortly afterwards and the situation was resolved very amicably. The customer however found it was impossible to retract the review, but he did leave a follow up comment saying they had acted hastily and the problem was now solved. Unfortunately this comment appears not very prominently beneath the main reputation damaging text of the original review.

Over the last few months this review has been steadily rising up the Google search results for our website. It is now appearing at the bottom of page 1 for some searches which is obviously a significant concern. However from what I can find out the only way of doing anything about this is too get a court action for defamation against  the reviewer upheld and then submit this to google so that they will remove the review from their index.

Currently I am not willing to go to this much trouble and expense, especially as I don’t really blame the customer. It is the “review” website they used I have a significant issue with. They are not interested in genuinely representative reviews of companies and products; positive, negative and indifferent. They court only the negative and their business is extortion pure and simple. Each defamatory attack is SEO ‘d for maximum effectiveness and then the victim is repeatedly pestered with emails offering to suppress it only if they pay through the nose.

I have chosen not to mention the name of the review site in question for obvious reasons, but any readers sufficiently interested will be able to find it by googling us. The situation is annoying and frustrating. Has anyone one else out there had similar issues?

The Blog that Shouldn’t Be

There hasn’t been a post for a little while now and the main reason is that I have learnt that having separate blog providing links to our main website may not in fact be a good idea.

According to a very knowledgeable SEO advisor  I spoke to around a month ago, Google may consider a third party site (albeit one transparently written by the business themselves) providing so many links to our website as “suspicious”. In the future this could even lead to penalisations which might have a sizeable negative impact on our web traffic.

The correct way to do it apparently is to set up an “in house” blog on our website, which is what I am going to look at next. In the meantime there may be a few more posts on here while the transfer is completed. Especially as we may also decide to move to a different web provider – but that’s another story!


SEO Shenanigans

Ok I admit it. This blog was basically started as I was told that we needed it for SEO reasons. The fact that I’m posting this on the blog proves how few potential customers for Comaco that I actually expect to read this.

The problem we have this is a small business and we do not have vast amounts of money to invest in building our online profile. I recently met some very nice SEO people who quoted me a small fortune to pimp things up on the web. I’m sure they could have achieved some positive results but the total cost would probably have ended up rivalling our annual budget for new stock.

Consequently I am stuck again with trying to make sense of webmaster double speak and doing what I can on my own. For example here is part of a comment someone has just sent regarding an earlier blog post

I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article…

I’m sure this will mean something to many potential readers, but personally it makes me want to throw my hands up in horror and go back to quill and ink. Latent Semantic Indexing for goodness sake! Isn’t life just too short? Oh well…