It has been a while since I posted here and a few links have been building up in the wings. A number of them are articles I have read from various sites on online marketing. I thought it would be a good time to publish a post with these links with a few comments around them.
First, thinkvitamin had a post on developing an online store. The critical piece of advice in this piece for me was create an online business, not a website. This is beyond avoiding a brochure-ware site, but goes towards making the online purchasing experience as easy and quick as possible. Rather than looking to copy competitors who have a complex store and shopping cart by choosing a similar product to run your store, try to find a product that provides the ability to keep your store simple. This will help you focus on your best products and set yourself apart from the competitor with a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Next, the Live Search/Bing Webmaster blogs have a number of articles on search engine aspects of web marketing. First, understand your audience by looking at who is finding your site and how. Next, review the keywords used on your site. Surprisingly, many people never think to use synonyms for words on their site, then wonder why they do not rank for a product synonym they have never used. After reviewing the keywords in use, understand where to use keywords on the page to be most effective. I have said it many times, but your content is the most important part of the site and here is another vote for focusing on your content and some advice on adding valuable content.
Finally, the Bing Community Webmaster blog provides two articles on links, explaining the basics of how links are currency on the web and an advanced discussion on how “bad” links are detected and penalized.