When you begin your search for a new mod or tank, where do you start? You ask friends, visit the local shops and hit up Google. Have you noticed it’s actually getting harder to find real information, stuff you didn’t already know, online? This might seem off-topic to your current quest for a better vaporizer experience, but hopefully I’ll provide some information you didn’t already know about search, search results, and some tricks for getting the information or product you need online with a little less frustration.
Online websites of every kind live and die by Google and where they land on Google SERPs’ (search engine results page). In fact the old joke is that the best place to hide a body is on page 2 of the SERPs. This makes the page 1 first result very valuable to a marketer which means the results are continually being gamed and Google and the like are constantly trying to stay ahead of it. We as consumers don’t fall for the same old tricks for long, the click through rate (CTR) of Googles paid ads appearing at the top of the SERP only gets a small percentage of the total clicks and an interesting trend that seems to be emerging is that the number one organic result has dropped in CTR value by about 35% in the last year and half to 2 years. We’ve come to realize that first in Google doesn’t necessarily best choice overall.
When I first took up vaping there were no local shops to see, touch and explore the options and I knew my e-liquid choices would not make it across the Canadian border if they contained nicotine. My initial searches and subsequent purchases were by far the worst I’ve made. A search for e-cigarette with nicotine Canada was too generic. I don’t blame the sellers so much, they earned their spot in the results pages by anticipating the search terms of a newbie like me. I wish they hadn’t but we do learn from failure so it got me on the right track for a more refined research.
Wag the Dog
As a general rule for search engine use it’s a good idea to “google around” a bit and develop some specific words to use in your search. Narrowing down your intent even a little will change your results page significantly and get you into a wider variety of products and more competitive pricing. In the search engine optimization business (SEO) they talk about “long-tail keywords” and from the searchers end, that’s what we’re looking for. Long-tails are like the last bit of the web address of a product, like “https://www.commonwealthvapes.com/product/sigelei-swallowtail-75a-77w-tc-mod-resin/”. Any one of those words or number combos (boldface in the example) will help you find other vendors with possibly more information or a better price or availability.
If you’re new to vaping it’s hard to know which long tails you should use. Let’s say you want to buy your first kit and you live in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Things to consider are words and phrases like Beginners Vape kit, e-cigarette starter kit, Canada, nicotine, under $100, etc. All of these are so generic you’ll get the usual crowd of high ranking websites but from there you can drill down a bit, learn some of the lingo, manufacturer names and brands and use it to search again with a little more particulars as to brand, size or style. If you’ve found a kit you’re thinking of buying first of all check and see if there are any reviews at that site. Next, copy the title into google and maybe add Canada and search again. Now you’re into specific sites that may offer that information, price or availability you’re looking for. Some of the names of vaping products are a little difficult to type into a search browser. Try different spellings or with/without a space between the model name and number and you’ll get different results.
Another good practice is appending your long-tail with the word reviews. You’ll get first hand feedback and possibly a recommendation or two. One more place to get some overall ideas for search is Pinterest with lots of pictures to get you thinking about styles and brands,
A Few Good Surfing Tricks
Right out of the gate my biggest time saver is right clicking the back button. Even though I’ve known about it for a while it took me forever to start using it. It’s got your full history at a click. I don’t know how many times I found the product I wanted, got caught up in some click bait and hitting the back button never got me back to the original product.Keep in mind that using the back key will reload the page you were on from your computers memory, not the server. This means if you made a change and are going back to view it the back key won’t display the change until you “refresh” the page. To refresh a page use the circle arrow just to the right of the back button.
Most people use multiple tabs in a browser these days. In the screen shot the active tab is the larger one (in this case labelled New Tab. Directly to the right is a shaded smaller tab. Click on it and you get another web browser to search in while keeping your original active. When you’re searching and comparing, keeping multiple tabs open is indispensable. Just know that each one is taking up some computer resources and you can’t keep adding forever.
Ever get to a point on a page where you’d like to go back for a minute but don’t want to lose your place? Right click on the tab you’re open on and choose “Duplicate”. Now you have 2 webpages on exactly the same page. Do your back business with one and switch over to the other to return to where you were.
If you’re shopping for a gift and don’t want your history to show, launch Chrome in stealth mode. Right click the Chrome icon and then left click New Incognito Window. When you’re finished your searches close the incognito window and no one is the wiser. Right Click. Use it everywhere. There’s a hidden menu waiting to be found.
Getting What You Want
One handy feature built into many website that it seldom appreciated is Tags. Most sites have their products sorted by Category and Brand but there can be a lot of variation within. By maintaining tags the webmaster provides another way to drill down to the products we want. In the example of the Add to Cart image here, the category “Vape Kits and APVs” is clickable to take you to the category page. Next to it are Tags: Convertible 18650 26650 Mod, Mods for 18650 Temperature Control Mod, Vaping Kit are all clickable links to return a list of all products with that tag. This can be very useful if you’re wading through a ton of mods looking for a mech mod or convertible for example, all products on our site with that tag will be returned.
Similarly, clicking the Vaporesso link below the tags will take you to all products by Vaporesso that we carry.
Many of us are loathe to leave an email address with a website. The spam from unscrupulous websites can be unbearable. New laws protect consumers against spam and most reputable websites abide. If a site is full of pop-ups, special offers and outbound ads, be careful. Otherwise, we recommend creating a profile on a few of the sites you’ve come to trust for information and pricing. The convenience outweighs any risk and if you do start receiving unsolicited offers you can easily opt out.