Tips for online retailers: How to optimise your store for search engines (part two)

In part one, we covered the first two subjects in our online retailer’s guide to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), using your keywords effectively and producing regular, quality content.

In part two, we will cover two other important aspects of SEO, social media participation and link building, and how to tackle them with confidence.

Dive into social media, and keep swimming.

One of the most recent Google updates increased the amount that social media activity counts in search engine rankings. Now, your engagement in social media will enhance your SEO efforts as well as increase your reach and popularity.

Put your best business hat on and go forth and participate in social networks such as twitter, facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Set up accounts under your brand name and share images and stories, ask for opinions and comment on other people’s posts. Retweets, shares and comments on your social media content are taken into account in search rankings.

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Tips for online retailers: How to optimise your store for search engines (part one)

Like most people setting up an online store, you probably know you should be optimising for search engines to get more qualified traffic. The trouble is, you may not know where or how to start.

Never fear! we’ve put together this two-part blog post to get you up to speed in no time.

Let’s kick off with a quick refresher on why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is so important.

SEO is not paid search marketing such as Google AdWords. We will look at that in a separate post. SEO is a bunch of techniques that you can apply to your web presence to help you get into Google search results without paying for advertising. It’s commonly called ‘organic’ search.

Search engines send out ‘robots’ to find your web content and index it so they can refer to it quickly during search queries. Once your content is indexed, the search engine can then list it in the organic search results for the relevant search query. The whole process is very complex and highly automated – it relies 100% on the information the robots can find.

Therefore the ‘trick’ to good SEO is for your content to be easy for the robots to find and highly relevant to the keywords your target audience will use to search.

Luckily for you, your Spiffy Store is already brilliantly formatted and coded to be search engine friendly, but you will still need to use your keywords in the right places, create interesting content, embrace social media and build links to your site to improve your search engine ranking.

We’ve broken four basic SEO principles down into manageable techniques that you can do yourself. In this post we will cover using keywords correctly and creating quality content. Using all four elements will make a real difference to your search engine rankings, pushing your pages further up the results listing towards that coveted first page position.

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Tips for online retailers: How to choose the right keywords for your online store

“Keywords” are the words and phrases people type into search engines to find the content they’re looking for. As this is how most people will arrive at your online store, you need to spend time choosing the ones that will get you the most relevant traffic. Then you need to use them on your website.

You may have a good idea of the phrases people use when looking for your products or services on the Internet, but it’s important to use some proper research to back up your hunches. And anyway, you can uncover some fresh ideas.

Here’s how to get started…

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Shipping with Fastway Couriers now available

Fastway CouriersWe’re happy to announce that we’ve completed testing of the Fastway Couriers shipping module, and it’s now available in all stores based in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or South Africa.

To activate it, go to the “Preferences -> Shipping and handling” section of your store’s Toolbox, and click on the “Add a shipping agent” button in the top right of the screen.

You’ll need to click the “Activate” button under Fastway, and then choose which services you’d like to offer to your customers. Whether or not you’re entitled to the Frequent User Rate depends on your account standing with Fastway, so you’ll most likely want to contact them to either set up an account or find out if you’re eligible.

After you’ve activated the Fastway shipping agent, you’ll the need to add a weight based shipping rate for Fastway. Further instructions on how to do this are located in our knowledge base.

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Minimize Shipping Costs with the Spiffy Stores Advanced Packing Algorithm

“How do I save money by minimizing my shipping costs?”

That’s a question we hear all too often as our store owners stuggle with the problems of shipping their goods to customers.

Setting your shipping costs is one of the most important aspects to running an online ecommerce business. If you charge too little, then you may lose money on each order and if you charge too much, you may lose sales as customers go elsewhere.

Other Shopping Cart Software Fails to Deliver

As incredible as it sounds, the popular ecommerce software packages available today are of little help, with most offering no more than simple flat-rate shipping schemes. If you find a service offering real-time carrier calculated shipping rates, such as from Australia Post or New Zealand Post, then the chances are that if your customers order more than 20kg of items, they’re out of luck as that’s the maximum weight that you can send using these services.

This means that you could lose customers or risk going out of business because you’re not making enough profit. What’s worse is that you may be losing valuable orders where your customer wants to purchase a large number of items and your shopping cart software says: “Sorry! I don’t know how to handle that many items. It’s all too complicated for me. Please take your business elsewhere.”

Large shipping companies pay $100,000s for software to help them optimize their parcel packing because it saves them money. It’s expensive because it’s a very complicated problem and requires a lot of advanced mathematics to solve.

Spiffy Stores Advanced Packing Algorithm Software Solution

At Spiffy Stores, we’ve solved the packing problem and we’ve added our advanced parcel packing algorithm to all stores at no extra cost. Every Spiffy Stores plan includes real-time carrier calculated shipping rates, and all orders are processed by our advanced packing software.  This means that the cost of shipping every package is minimized, and that means you save money!

Our Advanced Packing Algorithm software is unique to Spiffy Stores and you won’t find it anywhere else. Our range of shipping options is unmatched by any other vendor, and every one of our shipping features is freely available to every store on every plan. Other providers charge extra for basic carrier shipping apps, plugins and add-ons that we provide for free!

There’s simply no competition. Have a look at what the others offer and you’ll see the advantage in choosing to build your business with Spiffy Stores.

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Card Access Services payment gateway now available

We’re always on the lookout for more options for our store owners to accept payments online.  Last week we integrated the Fat Zebra payment gateway into Spiffy Stores, which is now available to all online stores in Australia.

This week, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve joined forces with the Card Access Services payment gateway to provide real-time payment processing.

This means that you now have even more options for accepting credit card payments directly in your online store.

Our current direct payment gateways available to e-commerce stores in Australia are:

  • Advam
  • ANZ eGate
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Camtech
  • Card Access Services
  • Commonwealth Bank CommWeb
  • eWay
  • Fat Zebra
  • NAB Transact
  • NetRegistry
  • PaySecure
  • PaymentExpress (Australia and New Zealand)
  • SecurePay
  • Suncorp Bank
  • Westpac PayWay

These are in addition to our support for PayPal Website Payments Standard, PayPal Express, and the ability to accept credit card payments manually using your own credit card processing facilities.

More information about Card Access Services, and instructions for activating the gateway can be found in our knowledge base.

Easy theme editing using WebDAV

We’ve always believed in pushing the technical envelope to provide advanced technical solutions to make life easier for our store owners.  This is way more important to us than the hype and gloss that you may find in the rest of the industry.

Over the past year, we’ve been talking to loads of web designers who use Spiffy Stores to create online stores for their customers. Although they love creating new e-commerce shops using our software, the resounding feedback we’ve been getting is that whilst the current Theme Editor in the Toolbox is great for small changes, it get’s a bit more difficult when designing an entire theme for a store.

For larger theme updates it’s really necessary to download the theme files to your computer, edit them and then upload the new files to the server. Using the Theme Editor to do this is a bit cumbersome, and makes the design process more difficult than it should be.

We’ve listened to these concerns, and have spent considerable time and effort working on a solution… so today we’re very proud to announce a major new capability which allows all your theme files and assets to be edited directly from your computer using WebDAV enabled editors such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver, and Panic’s Coda.  If you’re on a Mac, you’re even luckier, as WebDAV is built right into OSX, and can be used in conjunction with TextMate and Taco.

To use this new feature in Windows, all you need is a WebDAV enabled editor or a utility such as NetDrive which allows WebDAV files to be mounted on your computer as a local folder. This means that you can use your favourite editor to edit your store’s theme files directly from your computer.

If you’re using a WebDAV enabled editor such as Dreamweaver, you also have access to some advanced features such a file checkout and locking so that you can work in a team without having to worry about whether someone else overwrites your changes.

If you’re a web designer and your current e-commerce software doesn’t support WebDAV, then you should seriously consider Spiffy Stores for this feature alone, as you’ll find your theme development time slashed significantly.

For more info about using WebDAV to edit your store, head over to the WebDAV section of our knowledge base.

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Fat Zebra payment gateway now available

We’re pleased to announce that Spiffy Stores now supports the Fat Zebra payment gateway for accepting credit cards in your e-commerce shop.

Fat Zebra is easy to set up, and has some of the lowest fees in Australia, at just 40¢ per transaction… dropping down to 18¢ on their larger plans.

Setting up a payment gateway on your website can be time consuming and costly, with some startups spending in excess of $6000 just to have something live… let alone actually covering the costs with sales.

Fat Zebra charge on average around $220 per year, and take a flat rate from each transaction.  This combined with the assistance they will provide you in setting up your account, along with the ease of integrating the gateway into your Spiffy Store makes their payment gateway one of the best value for money solutions available for accepting payments online in Australia.

When it comes to systems like PayPal, one of the major issues a lot of small businesses and startups have is that they are cash flow poor, this means that waiting up to three days for money to land in an account can have a negative impact on the business.  Most payments processed by Fat Zebra will appear in your merchant account by the following business day.

Find out more about Fat Zebra at

For instructions on integrating the Fat Zebra gateway into your Spiffy Store, go to

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Store of the moment: The Possible Co.

The Possible Co. Online Store
At The Possible Co. they believe it is possible to always shop nice – nice for people, nice for animals and nice for the planet.  Shopping nice doesn’t mean sacrificing creativity, adventure or design however…

All of their products have been specifically sourced from companies that work hard to ensure neither animals, humans or the environment are harmed in the making of their products.

Check out their new Spiffy Store at

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