Yes, and maybe. The lofty goal of increasing your ROI by 800% seems unrealistic, and in most cases it is; but with my advice and some luck you might be able to increase ROI by 20% or 600%. You now must be telling yourself that he better have some solid numbers to back up his claim, and conveniently enough I do.
This case study regarding our client, LexisNexis, shows that YOY we helped increased their book store’s overall ROI by nearly 800% (798% to be exact). Once again, this does seem shocking, but I assure you that I am not from the future, so come with me if you want to live…I mean, continue to read if you want get some tips to increase your ecommerce ROI.
First, ensure you are advertising on your brand across advertising platforms. That means yes, you should be at the very least advertising on Bing for your branded terms. Everyone focuses on Google AdWords, but Bing Ads, though it is primitive and has a much smaller search volume, does provide a place for cheap clicks (aka lower costs and higher ROI) and the ability to advertise to an older audience. Depending on your product offering, the older audience just might be your target. If you have even more advertising budget, then I would recommend putting some of your top ROI campaigns from AdWords on Bing Ads to see how they perform. Bing might be the ugly child, but it should not be overlooked, because when it comes to ecommerce ROI is king.
Besides branded keywords, you also need to focus on product-specific keywords. These keywords represent the bottom of the search funnel, as these are usually the product name or title that potential customers are actually searching on. For example, if you are a book seller, then you better bid on title-specific keywords. If you are a shoe reseller, then you should be bidding on the latest NBA star’s flagship shoes by name, like Adidas T-Mac 2 (my personal favorite from high school…in all black). Depending on the competition, you will most likely get these clicks at a lower cost (higher potential ROI) and since these searches are product-specific (showing prior knowledge of the product), you will most likely hit consumers who are interested in buying, if not ready to buy your product (increasing sales and hopefully ROI).
With the product-specific keywords comes the necessity of building product-specific ad groups to allow for product-specific ads to land searchers on a product-specific page (have I said “product-specific” enough? That should tell you something about how important this is). These will allow you to create tightly themed campaigns to allow for better budgeting of product sets.
Once you have exhausted your product-specific keywords, you can move on to building keyword sets aimed at higher in the search funnel. These category keywords will be more costly, but will enable you to reach potential customers that might not know what exactly they want.
Like I said above, with your ideal product-specific ad groups and ads you will also want product-specific landing pages. Why? Because they work. They allow users to see exactly what they were searching for, so they do not get lost or distracted on a page with multiple products that might not even be related to product in the ad they clicked on. Having focused product-specific pages will increase your conversion rates and allow you to get more bang for your buck to increase your ROI.
The human touch cannot be underestimated in a well-functioning ecommerce campaign. Automated bidding, automated keyword building, and automated account management are time savers and less costly than human labor; but in the long run your cost savings will be trumped by missed opportunities and faults in the system that only a human eye can detect and optimize. Humans can stay up to date with industry changes that are not programmed into automated bidding systems, allowing them to utilize unique or new features such as product listing ads or dynamic remarketing to help lower CPC and ultimately increase ROI. While the flashy automated systems seem nice, there always needs to be a human touch with the final say to ensure Skynet does not take over…I mean, to ensure you have the ability to increase ROI by 800% (or more).
Let me know your thoughts about ecommerce optimization below and follow me on Twitter @ScottGarrett89.
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