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Yahoo Releasing New SEO Feature

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Brent Carey

On July 8, 2013 and over the course of the next several weeks, Yahoo will be releasing a new feature for all Yahoo Merchant Solutions stores. The new feature will be directed at creating more SEO friendly image URL’s. The feature will be released in two stages. With each release, store owners will receive a notice in Store Manager indicating the feature is now live.

Yahoo is releasing this new SEO-friendly feature as a way of strengthening the URL’s that are associated with store images. The first phase of this new feature will create SEO-friendly Static URL’s for any new image uploads. Existing image URL’s will stay as they are until the second phase of the rollout. Why are static URL’s good for your images?

  • Static URL’s will help ensure that images are not broken when appearing in directories.
  • Static URL’s do not change. This creates consistency in your SEO efforts.
  • Static URL’s that are descriptive will boost SEO.

To learn more about how you can edit/change image names using the new feature, please have a look at this page.

The first release will focus only on new image uploads, the second phase will give ALL of your existing product images SEO-friendly URL’s. There are some specifics Yahoo is outlining in their post regarding the new Image Upload feature. For more information please see this page.

This is an exciting new feature from Yahoo and we’re sure store owners will find tremendous benefit in its usage. If you have questions about how we can assist, certainly let us know.

Thanks –

CWS Staff

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Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Planned System Maintenance

Posted on February 18th, 2013 by Brent Carey

A quick reminder for all Yahoo store merchants – Yahoo will be performing their first of two planned system maintenance periods February 19-20th. The maintenance will last from 7:30pm PT on the 19th until 7:30am PT on the 20th. During this time period:

  • Store Manager will not be available
  • Store publishes/Order Manager sessions will be stopped
  • Database Inventory will not be available
  • Real-time order posting will be delayed
  • Order numbers will not be generated, Order Confirmations/Order Ship status will be delayed
  • Order, Payment and Catalog API’s won’t be available
  • Promotions Center and Coupon Manager will not be accessible
  • Redeeming Gift Certificates will not be available
  • Registered customers will not be able to access order history
  • FDMS batch submissions and site statistics will be delayed
  • FTP upload will not be available
  • Please do not change user access during this period

Make sure to check Yahoo’s System status page for updates during this planned maintenance. You can find that here.

– CWS Staff

 

 

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Yahoo Stores – the Perfect Solution

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by Brent Carey

The Yahoo store platform is in many ways the prefect solution for first time web store owners. Granted there are many competing platforms out there, but it’s been our experience at Colorado Web Solutions that Yahoo offers one of the better user interfaces, a web store platform full of quality features and with their basic plan starting at just $29.96 – a price that won’t break the bank.

Nowadays, most small businesses are looking to have an online presence. Many of those business owners have little to no experience managing an online store. They also seldom have the available budget to bring in a dedicated employee with the skills necessary to create/manage their new online initiatives. We thought we’d list three key reasons we feel the Yahoo store platform is one of the premier choices for first time web store owners.

 

Highly Functional Dashboard

Often times a store owner’s first exposure to a new web store or web platform causes a state of shock. There is a bewildering amount of data and processes that a new store owner needs to become familiar with and use effectively in order to make their store a success. Yahoo has helped mitigate some of the stress by creating a very comprehensive User Dashboard that provides quick access to every key function within the store.

From shipping procedures to coupon management, site statistics to order processing – everything can be found via their dashboard. First time store owners are very impressed with the logical arrangement the Yahoo dashboard offers. If you’ve ever been involved with managing sites that don’t offer a detailed dashboard, you’ll have to agree that having one available makes it so much easier to understand how to effectively manage a store. Also, we feel it important to mention that Yahoo provides an extremely comprehensive online library accessed via the dashboard which provides store owners quick solutions and detailed information concerning all store-related questions.

 

Easy to Upload Content

The sheer amount of content that a new store owner will need to upload can be intimidating. If you’ve ever created/uploaded hundreds of products to a store, you’ll know how time consuming this can be. While a Yahoo developer such as Colorado Web Solutions will create an attractive store, owners are responsible for content uploads including all product information and related images.

While this process is a major undertaking regardless of the functions present to facilitate it, Yahoo offers a fairly easy interface to assist the store owner. Product content can either be uploaded one product at a time via the Store Manager back-end or in bulk using an Excel file. While the product upload interface Yahoo has created is pretty seamless – using an Excel file is even more efficient. A new store owner gets to choose which method they want to use. Images, another time consuming process can be added in a similar fashion – either one at a time or in bulk. The bulk image upload can really save a lot of time.

 

Scalable Feature Set beyond Basic Offering

Yahoo stores – out of the box, provide a decent feature set that is competitive with any basic web store platform. Yahoo provides a way for non-developers to create their own sites via a “Design Wizard”. For more advanced features, most store owners consult with a dedicated Yahoo developer. Yahoo designed its store platform in such a way to allow relatively easy integration of more advanced features at any time – from any authorized developer. From Advanced Pagination to Advanced Shipping procedures to Product Reviews, Yahoo gives store owners the ability to build the store to fit their specific business model. As the store grows, so too can the feature set the site offers. We’re proponents of enhancing a store as it grows rather than starting with all the bells and whistles that a store may or may not need. Having the ability to add more features as the need arises is a major benefit when deciding which platform to choose.

For more information on creating a Yahoo store, please see: http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/yahoo-dev-build-new-yahoo-store.html

 

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Yahoo Launches New Marketing Dashboard

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Brent Carey

Yahoo recently launched their new Marketing Dashboard. The release of this new tool allows Yahoo Small Business owners the ability to:

  • Review new online marketing opportunities
  • Get a comprehensive snapshot of marketing results, website statics and more.
  • Assist with overall marketing management

The Dashboard has been created in such a way that it offers Yahoo small business owners a comprehensive overview of their entire marketing program, while at the same time delivering those metrics in an easy to understand format. Key Features of the Dashboard, which are free to all users, include:

  • Monitoring of Search Engine and Directory Listings
  • Analysis of site performance metrics
  • Detailed Campaign Tracking
  • 24 hour Support for the tool
  • Online “reputation” management – allowing store owners the ability to review social media and more

If Yahoo Small Business owners are looking for greater marketing assitance they can also opt into a paid services extension of this program which offers:

  1. Local Visibility Pro – providing data submission into over 100 search engines
  2. Reputation Management Pro – Owners will be given more detailed data and the ability to track competition
  3. Integrated Campaign Tracking – 3rd party marketing vendors can be integrated into the Dashboard for even more control of additional marketing initiatives.

We highly recommend that Yahoo Small Business owners take some time to review this exciting new tool:
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/marketing-dashboard

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Incremental Publishing now Available for all Yahoo Stores

Posted on April 27th, 2012 by Brent Carey

In early April Yahoo released a new feature, Incremental Publishing. They have been releasing this feature in phases. At this point it should be available to all merchants within their Yahoo Toolbar in Store Editor.
If you haven’t yet used this feature, it’s a great way to increase the publish speed by decreasing the total page generation. This feature works great for larger sites that require small regular updates. Rather than publishing the entire site using the Publish All link, merchants can now use the Publish Changes link and only push recent updates live. Pages and content with no updates will not publish.

If you haven’t yet used the feature, a full site publish will be required the first time. With the first full publish, you may experience a later publish time. This is to be expected and the slower publish period should only happen once.

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Yahoo! Stores Business Solution Extends Reach

Posted on September 28th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Colorado Web Solutions was recently Featured In Internet Retailer. A copy of the article is below.

Bridgeport, CT, September 27, 2010

Colorado Web Solutions, a design solution that enables online businesses to improve performance, announced today a partnership with Bongo International that provides international shipping for online retail customers, effectively opening up the global marketplace. Colorado Web Solution’s customers (U.S. Yahoo! stores) can now access Bongo’s international shipping capabilities almost immediately, thus allowing shoppers to view real-time international shipping costs, local currency, language translation, and an expected delivery date.

“We don’t just design website’s, we design businesses. That’s what makes us such a great company to work with. We understand online business,” says Matt Sampson, CEO of Colorado Web Solutions. Matt specializes in taking an idea and making it into a productive reality. The business model is simple; design a solution that allows online businesses to do better business through improved efficiency allowing increased profits. “It’s not about our success, ” says Sampson, “We’re only successful if our clients are successful. We remain steadfast and focused on the clients themselves and their businesses. The proof of their success is determined by the success of their clients. This is a time tested equation, service levels are often the defining lines between companies who make it and those who don’t. This is even more critical in a tough economy when the customer ‘experience’ weighs in more heavily than usual in the final purchasing decision.

Colorado Web Solutions is not just writing code and selecting a color theme for the client site. Rather, they perform as business analyst and virtual architect. These are the guys who do the behind the scenes work ensuring the customer has a positive experience, and continues through the checkout process to return again. Brent Carey, Lead Project Manager of CWS continues, “The most important thing to consider is creating a website that accurately reflects your business culture and clientele. It’s very important to understand your expected customer base and to create a site that caters to their expectations.”

This is also where Bongo International’s area of expertise in overcoming international eCommerce obstacles is applied, and is paramount due to the significant growth occurring in eCommerce. Very often in the international checkout process, the steep estimated duties and taxes shock a potential conversion into a definite shopping cart rolling down the virtual aisle unattended, or abandoned, as it were. Bongo counters this by offering competitive and accurate shipping costs, including duties and taxes, delivery date, insurance, and language translation. Bongo is able to provide significant shipping discounts to U.S. merchants because of the product volume they ship out of the United States. Through Bongo, U.S. Merchants are able to access untapped international demographics with a simple software implementation that is almost immediate. In brief, Bongo offers a simple solution to the complex process of transitioning into international eCommerce.

Meagan Jump, Account Executive with Bongo first came across Colorado Web Solutions when another merchant mentioned that they utilize CWS to complete all web developing within their site. “This merchant suggested I contact CWS because they are always looking for value-added solutions to offer all of their merchants. When I contacted Colorado Web Solutions they were excited about offering their merchants a solution to open the doors to the international market without taking on any of the risks or challenges that are involved when shipping internationally.” Bongo International also screens international shoppers to prevent fraudulent orders, resulting in an impressive 0.00 percent fraud rate throughout company history. For international buyers, Bongo offers a one-off purchase plan or a subscription plan that provides additional shipping savings. For additional information on Bongo visit the website at http://www.bongous.com/.

Colorado Web Solutions (http://www.ColoradoWebSolutions.com ) has been designing Yahoo! Stores since 1997 and is one of a select group of official “Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Developers”. Colorado Web Solutions specializes in designing and re-designing Yahoo! Stores and focuses on helping train merchants to use and understand their stores in addition to crafting user friendly and custom store designs. Colorado Web Solutions has an additional service called 15SEO.com designed to assist all Yahoo Store owners with SEO reporting and training. Colorado Web Solutions is a full service provider for any small to medium sized business working within or moving to the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions platform.

Source: http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/09/28/yahoo-stores-business-solution-extends-reach

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Yahoo Store Customer Registration Installation $150 and up

Posted on August 30th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Cusomer Registration installationAs you have probably seen by now, Yahoo! released an extremely anticipated update to Yahoo Store’s this month, Customer Registration. We have been waiting for this feature for a LONG time and we are extremely excited to see that it is officially out. We are also excited to see that it is working perfectly! If you are a Yahoo Store Merchant with any sort of design customization on your store you may have also noticed that it is not super easy to install without some basic RTML knowledge.

We have spent some time researching, testing and playing with the Customer Registration functionality and today we are happy to release our pricing for installation. Many other companies are charging one fee to install Customer Registration, but we have decided to offer three different installation options based on your needs and budget.

Customer Registration Installation Only: $150

Installation Only: With this option we will code your custom templates to allow for the new Customer Registration and give you the opportunity to enable the registration and customize your colors on your own. [More Details] [Order Installation]

Customer Registration Installation & Color Optimization: $250

Installation & Color Optimization: We will install the Customer Registration on your custom templates and adjust the colors to match the look and feel of your site. [More Details] [Order Installation]

Customer Registration Install, Color Optimization & Custom Buttons: $500

Installation, Color Optimization & Custom Buttons: This is the best option for conversions. We will install the Customer Registration, modify the colors to match the look and feel of your site and also design all of the custom buttons necessary to create a perfectly seamless experience for your customers. [More Details] [Order Installation]

As an Additional Bonus we are also offering a 50% discount on Floating Cart Installations ($100) if you add a floating cart install to your Customer Registration Install order! ORDER NOW

Ready to get started? SIGN UP NOW for your installation!

Some details on the Customer Registration Installations:

Location: We will install your Customer Registration directly above the header of your site. We can align the content to the right or to the left (we suggest left).

Time Frame: Customer Registration typically takes just a few days, but that will be based on the number of pending installations when you order. If you are in a hurry to get this installed, please sign up asap.

More details:

Here’s the Official Yahoo! Blog post about the new Customer Registration Feature and here are the Help pages as well.

As always, if you have any questions please let us know. We are excited to start installing Customer Registration for Yahoo Stores on your store today!

Have a great week everyone.

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Free SEO Reports for Yahoo Store Owners @ 15SEO.com

Posted on August 10th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

15SEO.com has always been a hidden gem within our company. Our clients that use it absolutely love it and the ones that haven’t heard of it yet don’t know what they are missing. Until now. I am very happy to announce that we have just launched a brand new version of 15SEO.com and with that launch we have added the ability to order a FREE SEO REPORT with absolutely no obligation. We don’t even need a credit card from you!

In addition to the new “Freebie” SEO Program we are offering, we have added two new paid options to the mix to bring the total packages to five. We offer Monthly, Weekly and even Daily SEO reporting now. Our monthly packages start at only $15 a month!

If you are not familiar with 15SEO yet, let me tell you a little bit about what we offer and how it benefits you as a Yahoo Store Merchant. There are way too many features to list them all here, so if you would like to get more in-depth information about 15SEO’s features, please click here to view them all.

In a nut shell, 15SEO offers you the ability to track your store’s ranking within the three major search engines, Yahoo.com, Google.com and Bing.com. We track on an individual keyword basis and at the start of every month we send you a detailed and easy to read report outlining your search engine rankings, how they have changed from the previous month and provide you with a list of keywords that are not showing up at all in the engines. In addition, we send monthly tips and guidance for Yahoo Store owners to work within their own store and improve their search engine rankings.

If you would like to learn more details about the new 15SEO.com SEO Programs for Yahoo! Stores, please click here.

Our new re-design also brings with it a new feature that has been extremely popular so far. Live Sample Reports! If you are unsure as to whether 15SEO’s reports are right for you, we have a live sample report available for you to play with, view and explore. If you would like to see the live SEO report samples, please visit: http://15seo.com/view-sample-reports/

What reports are prepared every month for your Yahoo Store?

An overview report on your SEO success

You will receive an in-depth analysis online of your sites performance, changes and rankings in relation to the search engines and keywords you have specified. These reports will aggregate the data so each month you’ll see performance trends and overall statistics.

Keywords that are newly indexed in the engines

Another great way to measure your results. If you are adding fresh content on a fairly regular basis, you should start to see more and more keywords added to this list each month. This is a list of any keyword that was not listed in the previous month and now is listed in one of the engines.

Average position within the Search Engines

It’s important to have details and data, but it’s also important to be able to glance at your data quickly and identify your SEO success. This report simply averages out all of your rankings into a final number and then graphs that data every month creating a trend report of your ranking success.

Keywords no longer listed in the engines

We hope that this list is always empty, but inevitably listings move up and down and you’re bound to have keywords fall from the top 5 pages from time to time. This list will give you a heads up of keywords that used to be listed but no longer are in the current month.

Every keyword and where it ranks

Every month we will provide you with a full list of all the keywords we are tracking for you and where they rank in the three major engines. This list provides a great overview of your SEO success. Each keyword can be clicked on to view an individual success report over time and view more detailed info.

Every URL found Report

As we are running your reports every month, we also keep track of every individual URL we see from your site. We will provide you with a list of all the url’s (web pages on your site) that we found and on which engines they were found. You can further click the link and see all of the keywords that listed that particular URL.

Top 5 Rising Keywords

Have you been targeting specific keywords that you hope to promote higher in the engines within your content and blog? This is a list of the 5 keywords that are climbing the fastest in the search engines. A perfect way to see your work paying off.

Top 5 Falling Keywords

A lot of energy is put into getting keywords phrases higher and higher in the search engines. Once the terms are indexed we tend to move on to new keywords. This list will give you some red flags of keywords that are falling out of favor in the engines and allow you to react before it is too late to save them.

Keywords not listed in the engines

This is one of the most useful reports you will ever receive for your website. All of the keywords on this list are terms that are not found on any one of the particular engines. We highly suggest using this list to help populate any new content, blog posts, etc that you add to your site.

Keywords in the #1 Position Report

This is our favorite list! Any keyword you are tracking that returns your site as the number one result is listed on this list. In a perfect world, you would see 40 keywords listed on this list every month.

As you can see, we offer a great deal of information for Yahoo Store Owners. Our programs start at only $15 a month so they will fit in virtually any store owners budget and provide great data for continued SEO success.

I truly hope that you enjoy the new features and reports we are now offering at 15SEO.com. Stop by for your Free SEO Report and see for yourself the power that SEO insight can provide.

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Is it time to hire a Yahoo Store Designer?

Posted on July 13th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Yahoo Merchant Solutions stores are fantastic for small to mid-size businesses to quickly get their products online. One of the many benefits of the Yahoo platform is that customers with little web knowledge have the ability to create their own stores, upload their own products/ images and run an online store with little or no involvement from third parties.

For many store owners this works great initially, and possibly even for years. However, there comes a time when the default Yahoo store won’t be able to compete with more attractive and functional competitors running the same platform. At that critical juncture the store owner can learn HTML/RTML and attempt to re-design their own store or they can seek out a yahoo store professional developer to handle the process for them.

There are a few key reasons why I believe it’s a good idea to use a professional developer like Colorado Web Solutions to facilitate a yahoo stores redesign process.

First and foremost is experience.

Colorado Web Solutions clients all work with individual Project Managers, Developers and Designers with extensive backgrounds in Yahoo store development encompassing the use of various coding languages such as RTML, HTML, PHP, CSS. Our team has in-depth knowledge relating to custom website creation, analytics, affiliate platforms, Adwords, blogs, social media et al. We also have real-world experience running Yahoo stores and non-Yahoo custom stores. When a client comes to us looking for a Yahoo Store re-design – they get our combined knowledge and perspective which immediately increases their chances for success ten-fold.

Redesigning a Yahoo store can be a challenging and frustrating process for store owners as they might not know where to start or where to focus. At Colorado Web Solutions we use a unique management style to guide smoothly through design process. From the onset – the client is given a broad overview of how and where they should focus their energies. The client receives a plethora of supportive materials to educate and illustrate how they’ll manage their new store. We take care of the project progression, the time-lines, the milestones and the creative and functional processes. That leaves the client free to continue to focus on running their business instead of running their project.

As I mentioned earlier, the out of the box Yahoo store is a great start to selling on the web. Most clients recognize however, without advanced programming skills, the default functionality Yahoo Store’s offer can take a store only so far. This is where Colorado Web Solutions comes in. We offer a large feature list from Advanced Product Reviews to our Wholesale Hub to Custom Scripts for a variety of use – all of which are not available to default Yahoo store owners. Our knowledge and expertise can greatly increase a store’s chances to convert existing customers and attract new ones. Our education program that is incorporated with all designs and re-designs is easy to understand and efficient.

If you are debating about whether or not a new design for your Yahoo store makes sense, please take a look at one of our recent redesigns and the article that was written regarding our design. I think the results speak loudly as to the benefits of using a professional developer to take your store to the next level.

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Introducing the Colorado Web Solutions Partner Program

Posted on July 8th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Earn $100 when you sign up with our Preferred Partners!

We have always prided ourselves on helping Colorado Web Solution’s clients find and use the best technology available for their needs. In the 13 years we’ve been building Yahoo Store’s for people, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.

Today I am proud to announce that we are presenting our first two technology partners as the original Colorado Web Solutions Partner Program members. We have vetted both of these companies for a few years and feel that they both can benefit almost every Yahoo Store Owner.

The two founding members of the Partner Program are:
Constant Contact and Capital Merchant Solutions.

Constant Contact is the ultimate email marketing suite for businesses of any size and Capital Merchant Solutions offers incredibly low credit card processing rates for Colorado Web Solutions clients. As a part of the Partner Program, participation in their services will earn you cash to spend on current or future design needs!

If you sign up for both Constant Contact and Capital Merchant Solutions through the links we provide for you, we will credit your account for $100 to be used at any point now or in the future. This offer only applies to signing up for BOTH services. We are also offering a $25 credit for only one of the services.

The Details on Signing up for Constant Contact:

  1. Sign up for a Constant Contact account here. If you are a Colorado Web Solutions client getting a full design package we will create this for you.
  2. Convert your Free Trial to a paid account with Constant Contact
  3. Send an email to cws (at) coloradowebsolutions.com with your constant contact user name and we will verify.

The Details on Signing up for Capital Merchant Solutions

  1. If you do not have a merchant account yet, follow this link and submit your application for processing.
  2. If you currently have a merchant account, follow this link to request a savings evaluation on your processing. If your savings are adequate for you, submit your application for processing.
  3. Once you are approved, please send an email to cws (at) coloradowebsolutions.com and let us know you are live with the service.

Once we receive confirmation that you are actively using both Constant Contact and Capital Merchant Solutions a credit of $100 will be applied to your account.

Further Information:

  1. Can people that already use both Constant Contact and Capital Merchant Solutions qualify for this credit? In many cases, YES! Send us your constant contact ID and we can verify for you. If you originally signed up for Capital Merchant Solutions through Colorado Web Solutions then you will also qualify.
  2. $100 is delivered in the form of a credit on the clients account. No refunds or cash will be sent. Credit expires after two years.
  3. If service with either Constant Contact or Capital Merchant Solutions is canceled within 6 months, Colorado Web Solutions reserves the right to remove any remaining credit (up to $100).

We hope that you find this new offer beneficial! Two services that you should already be using can earn you money in return! We hope to offer additional rebates and discounts with future partners that we feel are a perfect fit for most Yahoo! Store Owners. Visit our Partners Page and look for the Partner Program Logo to see the current list.

Have a great week everyone.

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