(As published in the December 2003 issue of Catalog Age Magazine)

Last time, we looked at why the Google phenomenon is changing e-commerce, and how merchants can get more product content indexed and visible to Google's massive user base in order to sell products @ $0 marketing cost.

Objective No. 3: Winning Clicks

There is much you can do to get your product page “sales force” in front of a prime audience. Once you do, it's up to these pages to start selling themselves. If they are positioned on the first page of search results, the competition is usually narrowed to nine other listings. The next step is to convince the searchers that your product should be part of their consideration set. Your listings should start working for you here to weed out undesirable suspects while qualifying and compelling prospects to click open your catalog.

But remember, at that point your listings must sell on their own. You can't assume the searchers are familiar with you. You can't assume they're looking for you. They're not. They are looking for the best value regardless of what your CEO believes. Do you offer the widest selection? Free shipping on orders over $100? Lowest price? This listing should work to convince them why to buy from you. Whatever the reason, it must be clear in the link description.

Be sure to include qualifiers in your description text. If you're Boise Cascade and you sell office products, you don't want your listings attracting back-to-school shoppers. Part of the description should emphasize your B2B focus.

A balance must be struck between finding the words that will appease the engine for your topic as well as the users who find that page. Stuffing keywords into your pages may help them rank better for a variety of keywords, buy you would be sacrificing the warmth needed to convince someone to click open your site.

Objective No. 4: Selling @ $0

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Brian Klais is founder and CEO at Pure Oxygen Labs, a performance-based mobile consulting and technology firm.