June 26, 2003, 12:00 AM

Aubuchon Hardware sees surge in web visitors after optimizing for search

After optimizing its web content for Internet searches, the number of monthly search referral visitors to the web site of Boston-based regional retailer Aubuchon Hardware grew from 2,400 to 300,000 a month.

Before optimizing its web content through iProspect.com Inc. for Internet searches, Boston-based regional retailer Aubuchon Hardware was getting 2,400 referrals a month from non-paid search listings to its web site, AubuchonHardware.com. Now it`s seeing more than 300,000 per month, says Frederick Marckini, CEO of iProspect. And that doesn`t include other web site hits it gets from separate paid listings in search results, he adds.

"They outrank every online hardware retailer in searches on the keywords we target," Marckini says. Marckini says he`s unable to reveal the keywords Aubuchon uses, but he notes that the retailer, whose traditional selling area is New England and northern New York, has seen substantial sales of items like snow shovels in markets as far as Dallas.

Once the reworked AuchubonHardware.com was crawled and indexed by the search engine Google, Marckini says, sale surged. "Their web sales doubled overnight," he says.

Marckini says that iProspect typically works with 300-400 variables in a web site`s content to optimize it for Internet search engines. Its fees range from $10,000 to $50,000 per month, typically over a 12-month engagement, as part of an overall search engine marketing campaign.

In the near future, he adds, iProspect will be providing to Auchubon and other retailers a new patented conversion and enhancement service designed to increase the sales conversions from a web site`s traffic. The research-and-analysis service provides insight into the types of people visiting a site, then modifies page content to maximize activity by those visitors, Marckini says. In this way, he adds, web sites can increase conversion rates without necessarily increasing the amount of site visitors.



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