June 26, 2003, 12:00 AM

NYDancewear.com gets jump in web orders after redesigning for web searches

After seeing traffic grow gradually for several years, niche retailer NYDancewear.com reports a 50% jump in orders since redesigning its site to rank higher in consumers` Internet searches for ballet slippers and other products.

After seeing traffic grow gradually for several years, niche retailer NYDancewear.com reports a 50% jump in orders since redesigning its site to rank higher in consumers` Internet searches for ballet slippers and other products, Ben Hahn, vice president and co-founder of parent New York Dancewear Co., tells InternetRetailer.com.

 

"In the past, people would search the Internet for words like `dancewear` and we were nowhere to be found, or if we were found, we were far down on the list," Hahn says. "Today, type in `dancewear` or `ballet slippers` or other terms and we`re high on the list."

 

The result, Hahn adds, is a sharp increase in online orders. Before hiring web site design firm 10E20 Web Design last fall, NYDancewear was receiving about a dozen online orders per day, or close to one-fifth of all orders taken through the retailer`s catalog and its single brick-and-mortar store, The Dance Shop, in its home base of Queens, N.Y. Following a site redesign intended to optimize the site`s performance in Internet searches, its average number of daily web orders increased 50%, to 20 from about 13, Hahn says. Now the web accounts for 26% or more of overall orders, up from 20%.

 

Hahn adds that he relies only on regular search listings without resorting to paid listings.

 

Chris Winfield, president of 10E20, says the redesign included reworking NYDancewear`s home page to include more crucial keywords, including several that are hyperlinked to inside pages with more merchandising information. The redesign also increased the number of web sites with related information that link to NYDancewear.com, and it introduced a news section, placed at the bottom of the home page, with links to published articles related to dance and dancewear. Winfield says the news section helps attract site traffic from consumers who might be searching for information other than dancewear products, such as news about celebrities, but that the section is designed to focus only on dance-related information. A news item recently posted in the section about the singer Jewel, for instance, reported on her interest in dance.

 

Winfield says his redesign strategy is to incorporate keywords and links that make Dancewear.com show up higher in searches on Google and other search engines without relying on misleading keywords or links unrelated to the site`s content. Google, for instance, will filter out listings for sites known to not have content related to certain keywords or links.

 

 

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