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Mercado Debuts SEO for Online Retailers

November 07, 2007

Given that each year, more and more people do their holiday shopping online, we are entering a critical time for business-to-consumer retailers with a strong (or wholly) online presence. Holiday sales are the bread and butter of almost all retailers, and given the uncertain direction of the economy at the moment, many retailers are hoping to reap their holiday sales early this year before anything untoward happens (stock market issues, oil topping $100 per barrel, prompting all consumers to severely limit their holiday spending in anticipation of an expensive home heating oil and driving season this winter, etc.)

Nobody has fully mastered the holiday online shopping experience. It's hard to master something that is still evolving so rapidly. Still, there are steps companies can take to make sure that any shopper looking to buy online finds their sites first.

Mercado Software, a provider of e-commerce search and merchandising solutions, has announced that online retailers can now take advantage of Mercado’s new Search Engine Optimization (SEO) module and service offering, which was designed to help increase the accuracy of product searches conducted by Web shoppers, and improve overall search rankings for online retailers. By using the Mercado SEO module, online retailers of all sizes can, according to the company, now "expose the hidden jewels of their product catalog to major search engines while decreasing dependency on costly SEM programs to drive valuable buyer traffic."

In addition, Mercado has added more scalability and power with the release of their native 64-bit platform. By doubling the total volume of SKUs supported, Mercado can handle the largest product catalogs while reducing hardware requirements. Mercado’s latest release introduces a new technology that streamlines the indexing process so that customers experience quicker search response times while being able to search and browse larger catalogs. The new platform also makes it easier for business owners to manage advanced merchandising strategies across large catalogs by reducing the number of data sets created.

The SEO module is compliant with the sitemap protocol used by search engines such as Google (News - Alert) and Yahoo, making it easy for search spiders to crawl “hidden” product classifications and descriptions and enabling Web searchers to more easily find the products they are looking for – no matter where the products reside in the retailer’s database or how they are described. In addition, Mercado-generated sitemaps expose value-add content such as promotions and special merchandising content to search engines and their spiders.

The SEO sitemap generation capability supports a variety of page types including category pages, product pages, landing pages and top keyword search pages. In addition to the new SEO module, Mercado provides URL rewriting, meta-data consulting, and dynamic linking services. By using Mercado’s SEO capabilities, online retailers no longer have to play the SEO game – that is, trying to figure out which keywords will return the best results, gambling against their competitors for the best terms, and always trying to hit the moving SEM budget target.

“With search engine marketing costs climbing to more than $20 per order on average, many online retailers are depending heavily on natural search to drive more shopping traffic to their sites,” said Corey Leibow, President and CEO of Mercado Software. “Through our SEO functionality, online retailers can easily and automatically optimize their sites to obtain greatly improved natural search rankings, thereby reducing their marketing costs while increasing traffic and conversion rates.”

For more information, visit www.mercado.com.

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