Live from #SMX East: Ecommerce & Retail Search Marketing Tactics

By Chad Rhodes | Sep 14, 2011
More Articles by Chad

In the Ecommerce & Retail Search Marketing Tactics session at SMX East 2011 this afternoon Alex Edelstein, Jason James, Laura Thieme, and Lisa Williams are presenting on the challenges facing online retailers. Topics to be covered include how to do well in search results, and how to stand out from your e-commerce competitors with your PPC campaign.

Alex Edelstein – Servio

Comparing the Top 3 to the Page 3 Results

  • Most top 3 sites have a page rank above 3
  • Over 35% of the page 3 sites have a page rank of 3 or less

Impact of Page Rank

  • Page rank is highly correlated with search rank.

Impact of Keyword Insertion

  • Number one ranking search results average a keyword insertion count of over 6.

Impact of Word Count

  • Average word count of number one ranking search results have over 2500 words. The Top 5 results typically have around 1500 words.

Impact of Video

  • 98% of top 3 search results have no video on their page

Distance from Root Domain

  • About 50% of the top 3 search results are root domains.

Impact of Images

  • 35% of top 3 search results have 1 to 5 images, and only 3% of top 3 search results have no images. It is also notable that 28% had 30+ images, which consists mostly of catalog-type pages. Number one results average around 15 images, and there does appear to be a downward trend of number of images to search rank.

Number of Product Reviews

  • Product reviews do not appear to be a huge factor.

Top 3 Takeaways

  • Prevalence of keywords in number one search results.
  • Title tag and keywords is clearly important for getting into the top 30 results
  • Page rank is highly correlated to search rank

Jason James – ChannelAdvisor

Paid search is hard and getting harder. ROI is under pressure, CPCs are going up, more shoppers are price shopping, there are lower product margins, and there are increasing levels of competition and more competitors.

Product level advertising is a great way to grow income. As you would expect, RIO is not high on head terms (broad terms), and goes up as the search term gets more specific. You can increase revenue, and ROI.

Tip 1 – Campaign structure

  • One product = 1 ad group
  • Specific keywords
  • Ads include product offers
  • Building product level kw’s
    • Product data
    • Part numbers
    • ISBN’s
    • Product titles
    • Brand/sub-brand names
    • Be specific!

However, this does not work for all verticals.

Tip 2 – Optimize initial bids

  • Bid manager are reactive
  • Optimize intial bids, formula:
    • average order value x conversion rate / RIO goal = target CPC

Tip 3 – Bing + Yahoo = 30% of Traffic

  • One simple interface
  • Only one account required
  • Good ROI
  • Ad effectiveness is improving

Tip 4 – Promote yourself

  • Promote yourself to your buyer in the ad
  • Include your value proposition
    • Shipping rate
    • Stock status
    • Authorized dealer
    • Reputation
    • Years in business
    • Price

Don’t try and get them to buy one brand over the other, get customers to buy their brand of choice from you.

Tip 5 – Advertise on your brand name

  • Overall revenue lift
  • Low cost
  • Block competitors

Natural clicks and conversions might go down, but overall clicks and conversions will probably go up.

Tip 6 – Life Time Value matters

  • Paid search buyers are new buyers (around 62%), or at least new to you
  • Look at:
    • Paid search orders for 3 months
    • Repeat buyers in subsequent 12 months
    • Compare standard ROI vs. LTV ROI

Tip 7 – Average rank is irrelevant. People above you don’t necessarily convert better

  • Focus on ROI
  • Net profit
  • Unlimited budget
  • Position does not impact conversion rate (Source: Google)

Laura Theime – Bizwatch

Fastest ways to Increase Online Orders

  • PPC – Google AdWords
    • Product and brand names
    • Keyword expansion
      • Check third party keyword tools, and competitors
      • Analyze competition
        • Ads
        • Landing pages
        • Images
        • Pricing
        • Which campaign CVR’s consistently perform better than 5% with <$5 CPA

Google Merchants Center and Product Extensions, Data Feeds

  • Set up your Google Merchant Center account and link it to your AdWords
    • Closely monitor data feeds

Value of PPC and SEO Combo Metrics

  • Customize your reports to highlight >50 visits and 10% CVR
  • Review paid vs organic visits, CVR, and orders side by side
  • Know your keyword metrics

Analyzing Paid vs Organic Visits & Orders for Core Keywords

  • Organic ranking needs to be less than 3

Increasing CTR to > 2.0%

  • Negatives are important
  • Broad match modifiers
  • Competitive ad copy
  • Average position less than 3
  • Average CPC and daily budget
  • Image ads

Improving CVR to Lower CPA

  • Your CVR affects CPA
  • To lower CPA, you must increase your conversion rate
  • Know your CPA threshold
  • Increase your conversion rates in time for holiday seasons in order to lower your CPA

Methods to Increase CVR

  • Match types
    • Consider +broad +match +modifier for your best keyword phrases
    • Add negatives
    • Ensure adequate budget for top words
    • Monitor holiday PPC campaigns daily

Integrate PPC and SEO Tactics

  • Take your top 25 performing keywords phrases in PPC and add them to:
    • Page titles
    • Description meta data
    • Make sure these pages are indexed often

Ways to Save $10k+ in PPC Spend

  • In AdWords look at your search terms and find non-converters, or that aren’t relevant
  • Add negatives
    • Broad match is the root term that is the offending term
    • Add +broad  +match +modifier
    • In addition, consider a 3rd party auditor (like a co-worker) to review long term trends and provide outside insight for you

Lisa Williams – President of MEDIA forte marketing

Cost Effective Search Marketing Strategies That Deliver

Product Recommendations

  • Fast and easy to integrate
  • Most have shopping cart plug-ins
  • Lots of great vendors available to choose from

Not one size fits all. There are different types of results, including personalization, cross selling, and up selling

Micro Data

  • Helps the engines distinguish between types of data, making it easier to categorize
    • Reviews
    • Recipes
    • Events
    • Products
    • Local

Supporting Rich Snippets

  • Give the searcher more information that is relevant to their query
    • Google verification tools

Micro data and rich snippets are not guaranteed to be used by Google, but it does not hurt to ad them. Try it out and see if you get any results.

Display and Remarketing

  • Fastest growing advertising segment

Global display advertising is predicted to reach $25.27 billion this year. In addition it is growing at a rate of 36%. Display marketing can help reduce the ~90% of people who leave a website without completing the desired action, like purchasing something.

How display works and some benefits:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Integrated creative crowd sourcing
  • Pressure is on the provider
  • It can get a little creepy, so be careful

Data Feeds

  • Google Merchant Center
    • Data feed formerly known as Google Base
    • Shopping Results Matrix

With data feeds you can totally dominate search results pages.

Cause Marketing

  • Discovery and awareness as a priority
    • Consider social media
    • Choose a cause close to your boss/clients heart
    • Partner with the cause agency or organization
    • Built-in evangelists
    • Engagement counts
      • Size is not everything


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