I have never posted a tutorial before because SEO is pretty personal and everyone has a different strategy and several strategies can be effective. The reason I am posting this is because there are some of us who (like me) are going to do SEO for a 3rd party yet really have no idea where to begin. This post will ATTEMPT to cover basic SEO and managing your client. The 1st thing I want to cover is that many e-comm clients will have their own product, likely have a branded domain (instead of a keyword domain) and may have spent considerable time and money creating their website. Taking on a client like this should not be taken lightly. This is usually not a micro niche site that you can afford to let die once one of Googles animal updates comes to visit, on the other hand if you do a good job (and the company has a good product and service) they will likely get visits due to the brand name recognition. Next you have to realize that E-Comm SEO is not cheap. You have to have a realistic budget to account for the time and effort that is going into this project, a $500 p/month client just screams of automation and you will want to avoid spammy type tools as much as possible, especially for tier 1 links. You have better look into a budget of $2,000 p/month or more depending on how competitive the niche is. So Lets get to it shall we? 1st thing to look at is site design. The site should be crisp, clean, fast and products or product categories be prominently displayed on the homepage. The customer should be able to navigate from any page on your site to a product or category. The easier and more obvious you make it for the customer to buy the more you will sell in my opinion. I am not a web designer so getting the site perfect is either up to you or you can outsource it for the client if the site is not already up. If it is up and it is not acceptable, be honest and tell them! You are the pro and a ranking website that does not convert is doing harm to your client. A client is always willing to listen when it comes to earning more money, aren't you? Once the site design is setup and everything is fast and looks good now you have to get to ranking keywords. What is different about E-comm sites is they typically have several products and sometimes have several categories. A site like JC Penney for instance would be a HUGE undertaking if they did not already have an established brand name. But for the sake of this basic tutorial lets assume your client is only selling widgets. But he is not just selling any widget, he is selling red widgets, blue widgets, green widgets, small widgets, large widgets, edible widgets and even widget accessories. How do you go about ranking internal sales pages for the particular widget? You do this by setting up an SEO Silo structure. The way you go about this is by having content on the site about EACH product that talks about each specific product but the articles have a chance to rank for long tails themselves. So for the red widget product I might write an an article about "the best red widgets", I would anchor the keyword "red widget" to the red widget product page, this is probably a buying keyword since the user is not typing a question or long tail phrase, you want him to go to the product so it is easy for him to buy. By the same token you want people to find your article about "best red widgets" if they are searching for that and once they get to your article page they should easily be able to go to the "red widget" page if they decide to buy, a hyperlink in the article does that too! I found this Silo Structure on G Images and using Paint I gave an example. The quality of my work here is bad but I think it makes the point! Some questions I anticipate getting include "How many articles do you write for each product"? A: As many as it takes, if I find a long tail keyword about red widgets with ANY traffic I write about them, or I hire someone to do it. Warning, the content had better be UNIQUE and QUALITY, a customer will not buy from you if they read poor quality articles and/or articles with errors! "Do you backlink to the product page or the articles"? A: Both Speaking of backlinks..... Here is how to backlink your E-Comm Site the white hat way. Set up multiple accounts in Web 2.0's, Manual/Moderated Business Directories, Manual/Moderated Article Directories, Popular Bookmark sites, Pinterest etc... Place high quality content on these sites and as your profile gains reputation, age and links the PR will rise as the PR rises articles you generate will create PR on their own, in addition you can usually place a link on your user profile, I have seen many times that my user profile increases in page rank so I drop a naked url to the site on it and pass the juice to it. Lets think this over for one second, when ranking with tools what are we doing? We are getting many backlinks, often surrounded by content on high PR sites with hopefully some authority. Sometimes we are getting links via comments or forum profiles, sometimes it is bookmarks, sometimes it is directory and/or article submission. Well in order to get the same result you do the same thing only with higher quality and better content. Its really that simple, but it is also time consuming. Here are my suggestions: Hire a VA, you can find some here on BHW that will provide the service. Get your VA to build manual Web 2.0's with unique themes, images and sometimes videos. Have them add content to the Web 2.0's, 3-6 articles, give the web 2.0 a few weeks to go from N/A to PR 0, log in go back and edit an article and add a link. You can do this for all the Web 2.0's and a decent VA should be able to create 3-4 properties per day with up to 4 articles each even if they are working part time (4 hours per day) The content should be unique, but does not have to be award winning, stay away from spun. Sign up for a press release service. PR Web is good but they have a lot of rules now so depending on your niche you might have issues with them. PR Newswire is a little more forgiving but they are much more expensive. There are a few lower tier PR services out there like Email-wire but I dont find they have the same success as the other 2 I mentioned. Benefit to this is you get a lot of links fast and it is white hat. Some are not followed, some are followed so it gets diversity. Finally, depending on your niche sometimes the PR shows up as "news" on the bottom of page 1 which gives you some light traffic almost right away! Bookmark your articles, Facebook your articles, tweet your articles, Pin your articles....all from real accounts! Guest Post! You can do this yourself or hire a VA. Find niche sites that take guest posts and email the owners and see if they will accept your articles, they will only take good and unique content but will reward you with a link from a relevant and usually decent authority site. For every 10 requests I send out, I get maybe 1 yes. Here is an example of an email I send out- This is just a basic outline for sites that are acitvely asking for Guest Posts, if they are not typically I read the site, email the owner, comment on a post I liked and then ask them if they would like a guest post. I usually get 1 in about 20 this way but these are usually PR 3 or up sites that I know have a chance to give me link juice and even traffic if I am accepted! When you have an article go live on a guest post blog- Bookmark your articles, facebook your articles, tweet your articles, Pin your articles....all from real accounts! The site owner will appreciate it and you will help get it indexed this way. So what about BH SEO? Well if you are doing this with enough frequency and quality you will start seeing results BUT if you must go BH then I would suggest getting Super Spun articles (there are some good Tut's here on bhw) and build readable Tier 2's on article directories and web 2.0's. Tier 3 you can fire up some of the other tools but use at your own risk. This is just a basic overview but I feel it provides a good base from which to start, I also feel this is very safe. The difference between a micro niche affiliate type site vs a legit E-Comm site is that with time, people will stop looking for "red widgets" in google and instead start looking for "MY Widget Store" in Google, so even if you get spammed or slapped by Google you will still have traffic and sales. The key is to get the site to the point that the customer knows about you and also come across as an authority on your personal web 2.0, article sites and guest posts. What makes me an expert? Well I'm not, since SEO is 75% art and 25% science (IMO) but here are our sales for the month so far, most of which is via organic traffic. Anyone with experience in E-Comm feel free to contribute, I will visit this thread periodically and answer additional questions if I can. Enjoy and thanks for reading, now go get them!!!