All posts by James Gurd

James is an Ecommerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an E-commerce and Digital Marketing consultancy helping retailers develop, execute and evolve E-commerce strategies and optimise their digital channel. With a background as a Head of E-commerce and also agency side as Head of Client Development, he has experienced life on both sides of the fence. He has helped companies like A&N Media, Sweaty Betty and Smythson to manage RFP/ITT proposals. and been lead consultant on high profile projects for Econsultancy, Salmon and Greenwich Consulting. He is a guest blogger for Econsultancy, for whom he also writes best practice guides, regularly contributes to industry events and co-hosts #ecomchat, a weekly Twitter chat for e-commerce knowledge sharing. For e-commerce advice and support, connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Recommended design patterns and best practices for online retail Product category pages

This is the second in the series of posts from me in which I hope to give you ideas to consider for testing improvements to page elements on retail and other ecommerce sites following emerging best practices. In my first post, we covered best practices for ecommerce homepage designs. If you work in an ecommerce team at a retailer, or are involved in design for your client’s accounts, then I hope these templates and tips will help generate ideas for testing page enhancements.

Key Ecommerce category page wireframe requirements

In retail, 'product category page' is the general term referring to pages listing the range of individual products. But you may know Category pages as Hub, Department or Division pages. Then there will often be sub-category pages too depending on the information architecture for the catalogue. The key core elements of…

Recommended design patterns and best practices for retail Home Pages

This is the first in a series of posts from me in which I hope to give you ideas to consider for testing improvements to page elements on Ecommerce sites following emerging best practices. In each post I will provide a wireframe summary of a typical layout showing key design elements, to give you a toolkit to review and optimize your pages. In this first guide, we have focused on Desktop and tablet design and merchandising elements since in today's era of mobile responsive and adaptive web designs, the smartphone experience is usually simplified in style and content - so it needs separate treatment which we cover in our mobile marketing guide. If you work in an ecommerce team at a retailer, or are involved in design for your client's accounts, then I hope these templates and tips will guide you along the design/re-evaluation process to…

SEO is.... alive!

In this post we're sharing this highly rated presentation to our Digital Marketing 2014 Summit from regular contributor and author of our SEO guide, James Gurd who explained how SEO has evolved and will continue to evolve. Despite the prenouncements by some that "SEO is dead", the evidence is that it still needs to be treated proactively and the latest best practices adopted. Key issues to consider in 2014 are: Content marketing, social and integration into SEO (of course!) More natural search queries prompted by Google's hummingbird and ad promotion of voice activated contextual search Author influence (through Google+ profiles and authorship markup) Specialist developments in technical SEO in particular for international domains Reporting SEO effectiveness given the Growth of Not provided / missing keywords This Slideshare was presented as a webinar by James Gurd, Digital Juggler at the Smart Insights Digital Marketing Priorities…

What makes a good ecommerce landing page?

So, what does make an effective landing page for an Ecommerce site? Well, I’m going to give a typical consultant’s answer – "it depends"; on the campaign and your goal for the landing page. That’s not being evasive, it’s the truth; not all landing pages are born equal. For example, some marketers invest in prize draws and competitions as marketing tactics to drive data capture for their eCRM programs, so the landing page needs to focus on making it quick and easy to enter. Typically ecommerce landing pages are used for tactical marketing campaigns (e.g. from AdWords, Display Re-marketing or Email marketing) and are  designed to drive sales making use of existing site page templates. A good ecommerce landing page should satisfy the following criteria: The creative design is consistent with the marketing campaign that generated the visit. The copy and CTA are consistent with the marketing…

Building your landing pages around the call-to-action

‘Best practice’ learning promotes placing the primary CTA (call-to-action) for your landing page near the top of the page, above the fold. At face value, this seems logical, right? You want visitors to complete the primary goal for the page, which means following your CTA. However, there are several reasons why this basic recommendation isn’t necessarily true or accurate: 1. The ‘fold’ is a myth The mind-numbing variety of devices (it’s estimated there are about 6,500 and counting!) means that the fold is not a fixed entity and depends entirely on the device type accessing your landing page. 2. Your CTA should be placed where an action is most likely to be taken New visitors to your landing page may not know who you are and what you do. These people are less likely to be willing to commit to an action immediately as they need to know that…

Why you should place regular analysis at the heart of your SEO 

In this article I will review the importance of regular analysis to help SEOs learn what is and isn’t working on their website, helping to inform optimisation and testing programs.

Why is regular analysis required?

The world around us is forever changing which impacts online behaviour. The key reasons for this are:

1. Online search patterns change

This is driven by several factors, including social trends and fads. A fad can drive a surge in specific search activity, only for this to wilt quickly.

A great example is retail fashion – each season has its theme and only a few of these themes will stand the test of time. Also some trends are cyclical/seasonal so will phase in and out of search e.g. Knitwear – popular at Christmas and through Winter.

Screenshot – declining and rising search keyphrases in the UK market

This is the 12th step in my 12 part series on SEO.  In this article I’m looking at the role of voice-of-customer programs to help SEOs learn what is, and isn’t, working on their website, helping to inform optimisation and testing programs. It’s going to be short and hopefully sweet.

Why is Voice-of-Customer relevant to SEO?

Consider this scenario: You’ve got a webpage ranking well for a primary keyphrase. It’s driving muchos traffic, but your bounce rate is over 90% and has blown the site average for organic landing pages. As a result, you start to see your ranking drop. The search engines are starting to think your webpage isn’t so great after all. You can dig into your web analytics data to find out what is happening – visits, bounce rate, time-on-site etc, but...

What web analytics data won’t tell you is why that’s happening

This is where voice-of-customer (VoC) programs can help. VoC techniques…

Practical tips and an example of creating a content plan for SEO

This is the 11th step in the 12 part series on SEO. In this article I’m looking at the crucial role of content marketing and providing easy-to-implement tips on how you can use it to support your SEO program.

Why is content relevant to SEO?

There are several ways in which content can support SEO by boosting search presence: 1. Content drives search presence It's simple, to be found by searchers and search engines, you have got to have something for them to find. But to compete it needs to be outstanding content. Moving into 2013, content is still king as it helps you build webpages & other content assets (e.g. videos) that can be indexed. This applies to database driven product pages for e-commerce as well as CMS driven content pages like Buying Guides and Articles. 2. Content variety can increase SERPs penetration Search…

An introduction to the 6 new Social Reports in Google Analytics

In my previous post I wrote about the increasing importance of social media with SEO. In this follow-up I'll show how Google Analytics can be used to assess how effective you are in generating social signals through an engaged audience.

Using Google Analytics social reports to measure impact

Google Analytics introduced a new Social report suite in March 2012. This makes it much easier to evaluate the contribution of traffic from social media domains and sharing of content from your site on social networks. When it was first announced it was known as "Social Analytics" (see Dave Chaffey's introduction to 10 features) and had its own menu option. Now the Social report is integrated in the Traffic Sources report, available by selecting "Social". There are 6 reports available which I will explain. If you haven't used them, I recommend it, it certainly…

An introduction to the main social signals used by search engines and how this changes SEO

If you have followed the first 9 steps in this SEO series, you’ll have picked up tips on what have been the core elements of SEO since the optimisation of organic search listings began. In step 10 we move on to one of the newer components of SEO, one that is increasing in importance and likely to have a greater impact as search engines evolve from thinking about optimisation to rewarding interaction and influence. Social media signals started to play a part in search engine algorithms back in December 2010 but it wasn’t until 2011 that the likes of Google really started to pay attention and dedicate more effort to indexing social content and using social signals to boost content in search results. For a neat…
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