If youre a small business with a goal of doing between $500,000 and $15 million in annual e-commerce sales, you need to learn more about Yahoo Merchant Solutions. And to answer your first question no, Exclusive Concepts, Inc is not in any way affiliated with Yahoo. Ive simply been persuaded over the past 6 years that Yahoo provides the most powerful and scaleable e-commerce solution for the small business that cares about search engine placement. Why should you care about search engine placement? Search engines are the single most powerful and cost-effective mechanism for driving qualified traffic to your site. What good is a great online store if customers cant find you?
First things first What is Yahoo Merchant Solutions (a.k.a. Yahoo Store)
Its a complete platform for building an e-commerce website for your company. It has a easy to use forms-based interface (for a low cost entry-level solution), but it also has very advanced capabilities that allow third-party Yahoo Store specialists to customize the design and features of your site (for companies that need greater functionality and customization and are willing to make a larger investment).
What makes the Yahoo Store so outstanding?
If you visited the Yahoo Merchant Solutions website, you would find a number of valuable features that make Yahoo Store appealing. Instead of repeating that list, Ill focus instead on what I believe to be the most important feature of a Yahoo Store from a search engine ranking perspective.
Static Pages The Search Engines Eat These Things Up
Before you glaze over from this obscure technical phrase, consider that this single Yahoo Store benefit, if properly taken advantage of, can be the difference between having a wildly profitable e-commerce store, and just an average online presence. Im sure I have your attention now, so let me explain.
Static Pages means that when you publish your Yahoo Store (to make the store available to the public), the program actually regenerates every single database page and turns it into an .html page. The search engines have an easier time indexing .html pages, and as a result, you can expect better and more consistent rankings. Im sure that for many of you this will sound confusing, so let me give you an example:
This is important because it is easier for search engines (like Google) to index a website that has static pages, as compared to dynamic sites with many parameters. Google says so on their website.
Bottom line: Im convinced that Yahoo Store platform is the most conducive for garnering high search engine placement primarily because of this feature but also because of additional complimentary optimizations you can make to your Yahoo Store.
Other Important Features/Benefits Include:
Whats the biggest downside to a Yahoo Store?
You dont have access to the source code. While you can customize 99% of a Yahoo Store, you cant customize all of it. This rarely becomes a problem, even for larger stores, but you should be aware that there are some things you might like to do with your Yahoo Store that you simply wont be able to do.
How can I take advantage of Yahoo Store?
Assemble the right team of professionals to help you. Youll need:
With all the business you and your company are about to do, youll be able to afford (and maybe need) to take more frequent vacations.
Ive evaluated dozens of alternatives, but Ive found nothing that can hold a candle to Yahoo Store. That said, I remember years ago, before I understood the power of the Yahoo platform, a prospective client asked me about the Yahoo solution. No offense to the folks at Yahoo, but I figured it was a Mickey Mouse, template-based, mass-market solution that was not worth considering. Its a good thing that Im an open-minded person, because once I took the time to properly evaluate the software, I recognized its true potential.
Bottom line: There is no better way to achieve your sales objectives than combining the robustness of the Yahoo Store solution with the power of search engines to drive qualified prospects to your site.
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