Catherine "Cat" Seda

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

eBay Discontinues the eBay Keywords Program

eBay will discontinue the eBay Keywords program at the end of September 2006. The program allowed eBay sellers to bid for keywords for text ad placements (a pay-per-click model). Too bad, because it gave eBay Store owners an extra dose of visibility within eBay.

It's still better business sense to invest in an eBay Store than launch single listings, however. That's because eBay gives Store owners fabulous management tools for free. Plus, a Store can be indexed by the algorithm-based search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo! for free too. That means your web site and eBay Store could score free rankings for relevant keywords.

Heard about the latest eBay fee hike? Check out the Comments under "Online Reputation Check" for Pastor Phil's question and for responses from me and eBay expert, Janelle Elms. Care to comment about eBay? Compliments and complaints are welcome. Post 'em here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Abandon Shopping Cart!

Once again, I couldn't fit all of my company's street information into a shopping cart's address field. I was booking a flight. Fortunately, the airline offered a second address field. Saved! Even still, this is a big company. Why are they limiting their shopping cart fields? Are your forms frustrating prospects?

Check out my February 2006 blog post. And let me know if you've stopped your sale because of unfriendly forms. What made you leave?

P.S. Sign-up for my free e-zine at in September and you'll get my article on "Forms of Fear: Your web forms could be scaring away potential customers" right away.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Online Reputation Check

Once upon a time, a potential client called me for consulting. I immediately "Googled" the company and to my shock saw that the firm was being sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for advertising false claims. WHOA! Uhhhh, I declined the consulting request. Too risky.

Have you ever checked out a company (or individual) before doing business with them? How did what you found online influence your decision (please don't use their name in your comment)? Did you confront your contact to confirm the information was true before making your decision?

The Internet is a confusing web of truth, lies and fairy tales. Although it's a powerful research tool, be careful when making critical business decisions based on what you see.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ego Surfing in the Blogosphere

You’ve looked up your personal or company name in a search engine, right? Commonly referred to as “ego surfing”, this is actually a good thing. You should monitor what’s being said about you. It’s rewarding to see fans raving about your business. And it can be horrifying to see unhappy customers burning your brand all over the blogosphere.

But before you can respond appropriately to good or bad publicity, you’ve got to know where to look.

That’s why you should go straight to the source. Use blog engines such as Technorati or IceRocket to surf only the blogosphere. Routinely monitor this space…because bloggers are always blogging.