Category Archives: Guides and Tutorials

Control your search and direct traffic on DistributorCentral

Did you know that you have control over how your customers search on your DistributorCentral website? You are able to change preferences, provide a constant search feature, create links to guide the customers to the products, and provide feedback to suppliers.

1.) The easiest and quickest way to provide help and direction to the customers is to change some of your website’s preferences.

1. Go to Websites MenuAdd/Edit Websites.

2. Under “Websites List“, find your website and click on “Preferences” to the right.

3. First click on “Catalog” and find the preference called:

– “Choose your default search fields

– “Search type default setting

– “How many columns of products do you want to display in your catalogs/search results?

2.) Try to keep a search field on every site.  If you look at some of the largest online shopping sites, like ebay and amazon, you see the trend to always have a search field on each page of their site.  You can provide this to your customers as well, so they are always only a keyword and a click away from your products.

This usually means that you will put the quick search into the header of your website.  Here is what that would look like and Click Here for a video that goes over modifying the header of your site.

3.) At times, customers can get confused if the site is complex.  Try to keep the site simple.  If you have customers that do not use the shipping estimator in the product catalog, you can turn that off, and other buttons that you may not use, in your website preferences.

Another great way to help simplify your site is to add links to your most commonly ordered product, Click Here for a video on adding links, or you can put it in a featured product, Click Here for a video.

4.) Last but not least, a great way to help customers find products is to inform suppliers if it is difficult to find their products.  Since the suppliers have full control over their product data on DistributorCentral, they can edit their products based on what you are experiencing, ie adding categories or putting better text in the details.  Help the suppliers help you.

If you need the contact information for a supplier:

– Log into your account at www.DistributorCentral.com

– On the home page, type the number of the product in the “Product Search” and click go.

– You will see the Supplier of each product above the product image in the search results.

– Click on the name to pull up a page with their contact information.

Utilize Facebook Social Plugins To Enhance DistributorCentral Website

Facebook Social plugins allow you to easily integrate you company fan page with your website.

 Here’s how to get started:

– First, login your Facebook account, and then access your company fan page and click on the Edit Page button (see example below).

Next, click on the Resources menu, and then on the Use social plugins link (see example below)

From here you can select the Facebook plugin that you’d like to use on your site (see example below)

You can then fill in any variable to get a desired appearance and then click on the Get Code button (see example below)

Once the code displays, you’ll want to copy both sections (see example below)…

…then you’ll want to paste the code into a Written Content area on your DC site where you want to the plugin to display, make sure that the Web Editor Preference for the Written Content area is set to Basic HTML (see example below)

There you have it…your Facebook plugin should be displaying on your DC website, make sure to Publish your changes to have the plugin display on your live site. Click here for more Facebook tips for your DC website.

Converting your Quotes to Orders- Orders to Quotes

DC offers a  feature  that allows you to convert a quote that you have created into an order. There is also another feature to convert a previous order into a new quote for a customer.

Converting a quote to an order:

-Once you have created a new quote, (click here to learn more about creating quotes) you can convert the quote by going to the top right of the quote area and opening the drop down menu next to “What would you like to do?”

-Here find Convert to Order and hit Go

-You have just converted this quote to an order.

Remember that this eliminates the quote and makes that Quote number the new order number.

Converting an order to a quote:

allows you to convert and existing order back into a quote where you can then have your customer review and confirm before committing to an actual order.

– First, look up your previous order in your DistributorCentral account

–  Then click on the Reorder button on the right side of the page

– From here, you can indicate the order type; An exact reorderA reorder with changes, or Rework of previous order (see description of these below), and then select the check box for Convert Reorder into Quote 

– Then click on the Create Reorder button (see example image below)

– From here, you can revise the quote if you like, and then click on the Finish button officially save the quote, where you can then send it to your customer…if you customer approves the quote, you can then convert that quote back into an order. (see above)

Discount/Coupon Feature Added for Suppliers.

DistributorCentral has add the capability for Suppliers to offer discounts or coupons for their products in DistributorCentral. This tool will work for your products when a Distributor orders them from within their DistributorCentral account, as well as on your website. (Distributors, click here for information on how to add discounts/coupons to your DC website!)

You can use our discount feature to setup and offer discounts in a variety of ways, here are just a few:
– Offer percentage discounts if the product or order total is more than a set amount
– Offer flat rate discounts if the product or order total is more than a set amount
– Offer discounts on freight by percentage or a flat rate
– Offer a coupon code that can be entered to receive a percentage or flat rate discount

This feature is incredibly easy to use, just watch the short video below to learn all about this feature and how to apply it to your website.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PiUpynJkzQ?rel=0]

Organic SEO Tips For Your DistributorCentral Website

Hello DistributorCentral website users! As you are aware, you can create a website within your DistributorCentral account to market to your customers. While DistributorCentral does not provide assistance with SEO, here a few tips that can help you optimize your website in DistributorCentral so that it can be properly indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Website Title This is located in the Sidewide Settings area of the web editor. It’s somewhat of a mystery regarding how many characters Google and other search engines actually index, but it’s probably around 70 – 150 characters. The website title is one of the first things that the search engines will index for your site. It also displays as the link in the search engine results (see example image below).

 

Page Names This is located in the Page Editor area for each of your pages on your site. The Page Names would be considered as an extension to your Website Title. What this means is that if you use a long Website Title, your Page Names might only partially get indexed by the search engines. To compensate, you may want to have a shorter Website Title, maybe something that you feel is relevant to be on every page, and then put the bulk of the information in the individual Page Names on your site. You can also opt to leave the Website Title completely blank, and just add information into each of the Page Names on your site. Each of your pages should have unique Page Names, and they should not be exactly the same on multiple pages (see example image below).

 

 

Image Descriptions (ALT Tags) Whenever you upload images to your website, you can give them descriptions. This is also known as an ALT Tag, which generally means the alternative tag. ALT Tags are the HTML tag that tells search engines about the images since search engines cannot read text in actual images. To add Image Descriptions to your current images on your site, go the Content Manger, and then click on the Edit link for an image, and then add the text in the Image Description field.

Meta Tags Meta Tags help search engines find out important information about your website. For example, related keywords or a description of a specific website page. You should add unique Meta Tags to each of your individual website pages. This is contrary to our previous advice to add Meta Tags to the Footer of your site so that the same Meta Tag information would display on all the pages of your site, which has been found out that Search Engines actually do not like repetitive Meta Tag information on multiple pages of the same site.

– Description Meta Tag – This should be an actual description of what is on your particular website page. It’s a short pitch where you can put strong keywords to entice viewers to click on your site in the search results. Again, it is a mystery here as to how many characters that the search engines will index for your Description Meta Tag, but it should be fairly short (around two sentences) and should be somewhat readable like a sentence, as opposed to just random keywords (see example image below).

Keyword Meta Tag – This can be random keywords that can help the search engines determine what’s on your site. It’s a rumor that Google’s crawlers may totally bypass the Keyword Mata Tags, since oftentimes, website owners would just load this area up with 100’s or even 1000’s of keywords. Whether that’s true or not, the idea for keywords would be relativity versus quantity. They can just be random keywords that are separated by a comma (i.e. custom apparel, imprinted apparel, screen printed shirts)

Here’s how to add Meta Tags to your site:

– Go to the Websites menu and select Add/Edit Websites
– Click on the Edit link for your website
– Click the Add/Edit Web Pages tab
Edit a page for your site (i.e. the Home page)
Add a Block to your page
– For the content type for the block, select Meta Tags
– Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your meta tag block

 

Additional Tips

Heading Tags – The <h1> to <h6> Heading tags are used to define HTML headings. <h1> defines the most important heading, and <h6> would define the least important heading. Heading Tags are important for on-page SEO purposes. Furthermore, H1 tags should be used only once per page. The opening heading should be an H1 tag that describes the whole theme of the page. Any sub information or more specific topics should go under separate headings in the form of H2 Tags, filtering down appropriately.

Here’s how to add Heading Tags to your site:

– Go to the Websites menu and select Add/Edit Websites
– Click on the Edit link for your website
– Click the Add/Edit Web Pages tab
Edit a page for your site (i.e. the Home page)
– When adding text to your site in the Written Content area, you can highlight the text that you want to make a heading, and then select a heading from the Format drop-down menu (see example image below)

 

– Add actual text to your site – Search engines will index the text on your site, so be sure to add descriptive text along with strong keywords to the individual pages of your site.

Create a WordPress blog And then blog like crazy about particular promotional products, and all the different ways about how they can be used. You can then feed that blog into your website using our RSS News Feed tool (see example image below).

Here’s how to feed you blog into to your site:

– Go to the Websites menu and select Add/Edit Websites
– Click on the Edit link for your website
– Click the Add/Edit Webpages tab
Edit a page for your site that you’d like to have the blog display (i.e. the Home page)
Add a Block to that page, and then select RSS News Feed from the content drop-down menu.
– Next, enter in the blog feed URL (you can also adjust how many records to display and length of the descriptions)

– Create Product Specific Websites – It’s been proven that if you create a website in your DistributorCentral account that caters to a narrow niche in the Promotional Product Industry, that those sites get organically indexed far better than sites with 1000’s of products or our standard All Products Catalog. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. For example, if you create a site that just has Eco Friendly Tote Bags, when someone searches in Google for those particular products (which they will), your site (if you follow the techniques above), will have a more likely probability of displaying higher in the search engine results. Your DistributorCentral account makes it easy for you to create custom catalogs with specific products that you can add to a site that you’ve created. Click here for information on how to create a catalog with specific products for a site. You can even customize the website to have your own products using our Fulfillment Account feature. Click here for more information on Fulfillment Accounts.

 – Have your domain name include keywords – When you purchase a domain name for your site, it’s good idea to have keywords related to your site in the actual domain. For example, if you are going to create a site in your DistributorCentral account that focuses on Eco Friendly Tote Bags, it’d be logical for you to purchase a domain name such as EcoFriendlyToteBags.com, or Eco-Friendly-Tote-Bags.com, or EcoFriendlyTotes.com, etc.

DistributorCentral does not provide assistance with Search Engine Optimization, but following the steps above to apply unique and relevant content to your site will most definitely improve your organic search results in Google and the other major search engines. If you don’t have time to do the research for unique content to add on your site, you can hire a SEO specialist, but be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money. Also, be cautious of hiring a SEO specialist since there are literally 1000’s of sites that claim to know how to get your site organically ranked in the search engines, but they may not provide you with the results that you want, since variables that affect SEO can be relative to different Search Engines (i.e. techniques that might help you in Google, may not help in Yahoo or Bing). Furthermore, the rules (by the search engines) are constantly changing and virtually impossible to keep up with…so what gets you organic results today, may not tomorrow. If you feel that you’ve developed a great site, don’t be afraid to try Google AdWords.

“I received my first order from my website…what do I do next?”

This is a popular question from Distributors, here are a few tips to get you on your way:

•  Once an order is submitted from your website, you’ll receive an email noting that there has been an order placed. Go to the Account Maintenance area in the Account menu to verify your email address. A notice will also display on the Home page in your DistributorCentral account (see figure below).  

 

•  Once you have located the order within your DistributorCentral account, you will be able to see who your customer is on the Order Summary page. You’ll also see  when they placed the order and any payment information they have provided (see figure below). 

 

DistributorCentral does not process any payments for you. Also, payments between you and your customer, and you and the supplier are separate. The payment information that your customer provides would need to be processed by you. You would then need to also provide your payment information separately to the supplier.
To access the payment setup area in your DistributorCentral account, Go to the Account Menu >> Payment >> Payment Setup.

•  On the Order Summary page, you’ll also be able to see who the supplier is for that product as well. Orders are never automatically sent to the supplier, and you will have control over when/if you would like the order to be sent to the supplier. (see figure below). 

 

•  Once you verify the order, you have the ability to create and send the PO to the supplier through the DistributorCentral system. If you prefer, you can also print out the order and fax it to the supplier, or you can save the order as a PDF and email it to the supplier with your standard email client (see figure below).  If it the first time placing an order with a supplier, you will need to contact them to setup an account and business relationship.

Watch the short video learn how handle orders from your DistributorCentral website. 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMS0KQyALX4&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

Click on the links below to access brief guides that can help you get your account setup and ready for business.

Checklist
Order Management Guide

We also recommend that you place a few test orders from your live website to see exactly how the system works. Make sure to log out of your DistributorCentral account when doing this.