May 22, 2008, 12:00 AM

After a fast SEO install, Thompson Cigar aims to light up long tail sales

After implementing the NetConcepts GravityStream search engine optimization system in just six weeks, Thompson Cigar’s site is indexed against more of the highly specific, multi-word search terms that often lead directly to conversion.


When consumers searched for broad terms like “cigar” or “humidor,” Thompson Cigars came up fairly high on search results in the past. But that often wasn’t the case when the search terms were more specific, long tail phrases, such as Arturo Fuente Maduro, a brand of cigars. Recognizing that consumers typing in such specific phrases are good bets to convert, Thompson Cigars went looking for a more sophisticated search engine optimization specialist early this year.

In early March the multi-channel retailer signed a contract with NetConcepts LLC and by April 15 the NetConcepts GravityStream technology was up and running, says Gina Bongiovanni, director of Internet marketing at The Thompson Group, parent company of Thompson Cigar. “They were always available to my I.T. team when they had questions,” Bongiovanni says. “We were able to get things arranged quickly because it’s an easy implementation.”

While it’s too soon to measure sales lift, Bongiovanni says the GravityStream system ensures that Thompson Cigars is indexed on the major search engines for all the specific phrases someone looking for cigars or related products might search for. It also ensures that the when the customer clicks on Thompson Cigar he’s taken to the page on the Thompson site featuring the specific product he searched for. Bongiovanni is convinced this will increase sales. “It stands to reason if someone is looking for something highly specific and if you have the product you’ve got a good chance of converting,” she says.

The other advantage of the GravityStream system, she says, is that it ties into the retailer’s analytics tools. That allows Bongiovanni to view at any time such metrics as sales, clicks and what keywords are being indexed. “It’s great to have that visibility into the program,” she says.

Thompson Cigars sells online, via catalog and through one store in Tampa, FL. The privately held company does not report its revenue.


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