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Posts tagged with James Gurd

6 questions to ask when choosing CMS for your e-commerce platform

A CMS is just about content so it doesn’t need much attention, right? Wrong. In an e-commerce environment CMS means so much more than being able to edit and publish content.

E-commerce pages have dynamic content served by code and this content can change depending on the visitor session; given such variation, how can you weave static content into dynamic pages without screwing the display?

As the sophistication of consumers and online technology has risen, so have the demands on e-commerce managers to understand which tools are the best-fit for the business. Having worked on many CMS implementations and seen the pitfalls, I thought I’d share some advice on what questions you need to be asking.


How do you get the biggest bang for your content buck?

Producing relevant content is important for site optimisation, both for pure SEO benefit and to improve the user experience and drive conversion.

This post looks at how you can make the most of four types of web content (information pages, images, videos and blogs) and move away from a flat view where content is isolated in one place.

Much of this is common sense but I know many web teams who don’t fully appreciate the value of their content. 


How do you write good copy for your website?

Copy, copy, copy. Not a Labour Party election slogan but an ode to the all important words that help elevate your website above the masses and improve on-page engagement and conversion.

Website copy plays a crucial role in informing your visitors, presenting your values and directing people to take actions, not to mention giving a boost to your SEO efforts.

But what is good copy? Is it copy that raises your search engine visibility? Or words that extol your virtues as the next laureate? 

In my latest attempt to open myself to professional and personal slaughter, this blog explores the qualities of good web copy, linking to useful articles written by respected copywriters. I don't claim it to be definitive but the intention is to open a discussion about what good copy really is.


Can Augmented Reality be a commercial success for e-commerce?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the next keyword wet dream for the online industry buzz word bingo enthusiasts. As social media becomes more ingrained in commercial planning and the excitement fades into practical solutions, it’s inevitable that the new kid on the block will start to make headlines.

I think AR is an exciting development. However, behind the pomp that surrounds another buzz word, is there a commercial model that could make AR a practical tool in the e-commerce armoury?

I’m going to stick my neck on the line and say yes....


Food for thought: driving demand and innovation through Twitter

Twitter food trucksThere are still a lot of sceptics out there who consider Twitter overblown with hype and offering no tangible commercial value. I can understand that point of view but it often comes from a lack of vision regarding the role social media can play in customer communication and engagement.

This week I came across a truly innovative way that Twitter is being used in the US to generate demand and tap into a social vibe. Food trucks are cruising the streets of the US, using social media channels like Twitter to reach their audience and drive local street level activity.

The net result is queues of hungry punters lining up to savour their delicacy of choice, coverage in mass media and a whole lot of love and money. Who says Twitter is hot air?


Top 20 SEO requirements for scoping your eCommerce platform

site optimisationHaving spent the last 6 years Client side as Head of eCommerce and agency side managing digital marketing teams, one constant has been confusion in new platform builds over what a “search engine friendly” website actually is. 

eCommerce solution providers advertise optimised platforms and Clients demand search engine friendly sites; do both mean the same thing? Rarely. Client side eCommerce managers can confuse technical and content optimisation, leading to miss-matches between expectation and delivery. A technically optimised web platform does not necessarily mean that keyword planning and meta content optimisation have been carried out.

This blog provides a tick list of the core elements that you should specify in any RFP or ITT when scoping a new eCommerce platform. They act as a starting point for SEO dialogue, enabling you to push vendors on specific areas of optimisation expertise. Please note the list is not in any order of priority.


Five easy ways to maximise your social media content

Content sharingAccording to a recent dotCommerce report, over 70% of brands with social media presence fail to publicise this on their website.
For many retailers there are quick wins for content aggregation that are seemingly untapped. It costs time and money to build social profiles and generate compelling content, so why do so few companies ensure it has the biggest possible impact?
You don’t have to pay for the simple ideas. This blog looks at five quick wins for content integration, giving you easy to follow advice to increase the reach and impact of your content.


Ten tips for scoping your e-commerce platform

If tProject scoping mindmaphe last five years have taught me anything about e-commerce platform selection, it’s that the devil is in the scoping detail.

I’ve had project headaches and budget creep because I’ve not understood all the touch points of an e-commerce solution. I’ve seen vendors underestimate time and cost because they’ve not had enough detail to understand requirements.

I’ve learned that the cost (time and resource) of managing a comprehensive project scoping phase prior to going to market is the best investment you can make. Regardless of your knowledge base, you need to understand what you want to achieve with your e-commerce platform, who it affects and how you will evaluate available solutions.

This is my take on the top ten project elements you should include in your scoping phase before you write an ITT...


How to get your web analytics implementation right

Web analytics and data confusionAnalytics is the cornerstone of online optimisation, right? So why is that so many retailers I’ve spoken to have a limited understanding of what their analytics tools are doing and can do for them?

On the surface it would seem that indifference rules the roost and analytics is just another tick box on the requirements list.

However, on closer inspection, the criticism of apathy can often be harsh. More often than not, data obscurity lies in a lack of education amongst stakeholders uncertain as to what analytics really means and what it should do for them.


Stop, collaborate and listen: knowledge management has a brand new adventure

Business has always faced the challenge of managing knowledge so that it can add value and support internal teams as well as collaboration, both internally and between different organisations. How you create, share and manage knowledge plays a vital role in the efficiency of your business and therefore can impact profitability.

Whilst there has been a lot of focus on how emerging technology can be used to drive e-commerce and customer engagement, less is written about how it is transforming internal business process and knowledge management.


Are tech retailers missing a trick with customer reviews?

You should all know the rationale for retailers putting customer reviews on their websites. What is less explored is how customer ratings & reviews can be integrated with content from independent experts, respected industry voices whose opinions influence the masses.

Media sites are great at providing expert reviews and news content but retailers rarely look at the potential for content syndication in supporting website and conversion optimisation.


Why testing online should not be optional

This week I'm writing for the SME audience on Econsultancy, a sweet homage to the much debated yet scarcely implemented topic of website testing, something which should be an integral part of your strategy, the testing plan being the culmination of analysis of web data and voice-of-customer. 

If you are not yet testing and are spending money on marketing/advertising, then read this post and do something about it. Testing is not the preserve of major brands with big budgets, it’s the mental gap you need to cross not the financial one.