January 24, 2007, 12:00 AM

Computer Geeks plugs into better site optimization

Computer Geeks likes being noticed by search engines and is going to ever greater lengths to increase its natural rankings. The online merchant has implemented a revised taxonomy and added a new XML mapping scheme from Google.

Computer Geeks likes being noticed by search engines and is going to ever greater lengths to increase its natural rankings on Google, Yahoo and other major engines.

In 2006, ComputerGeeks.com, No. 164 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, began a major site redesign with dual goals of simplifying navigation and optimizing its natural search rankings.

To enhance site optimization, ComputerGeeks.com is implementing a revised taxonomy that will direct visitors from search engines to product pages in fewer clicks.

“We are refining the site’s taxonomy to more of a siloed structure,” says director of marketing Peter Green. “When a visitor wants to find product pages devoted to laptops, we want to facilitate their shopping experience and help guide them to the product or category they are looking for.”

Computer Geeks, which posted 2006 web sales of about $52 million, also recently installed on the back end a new XML mapping scheme from Google that make it easier for Google spiders to crawl the site and rank pages. “We are creating a more spider-friendly environment,” Green says.

Computer Geeks prefers enhancing natural search optimization instead of maintaining a large pay-per-click program. To enhance natural search, Computer Geeks is also sending content- and keyword-rich newsletters to its e-mail subscriber base. The newsletters, which feature more technical information, product specifications and buying tips, will be archived on Computer Geek’s product pages and various affiliate and industry sites. “The new information and rich content we are presenting will help improve our natural rankings and, hopefully, grow the number of links pointing to our site,” Green says.

The emphasis on better site optimization is paying off with higher conversions. The online electronics retailer reports that the site’s overall conversion rate is now at about 2.97%. Along with some fundamental changes to its web site structure, Computer Geeks also plans to streamline its shopping cart by summer by eliminating unnecessary data on check-out pages. We are going to take out all of the unwanted navigation queues in our shopping cart,” Green says. “We are going to simplify things.”

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