For many retail businesses, summers can be a challenging time to maintain steady revenue. This week, I’m going to focus on a strategy that could bring quick revenue into your business.
A lot of the marketing buzz for ecommerce businesses has been around using social media to build your brand. As the experts debate the real value of a Fan or a follower, there is still a proven way to quickly increase your revenues in a measurable way.
If you ask almost many ecommerce business owners, they will tell you that search marketing is imperative to their success. Some business owners invest heavily in search engine optimization to increase their organic search traffic. Others invest more heavily in pay-per-click advertising campaigns. I’m a proponent of both. But if you want a quick hit, you need to invest in PPC ads. If you have not been watching PPC ads in the last year or so, you might want to investigate, and then some rework on your ad campaigns. I think you’ll see the potential for a quick increase in your revenues with better-constructed and targeted PPC ads.
New and Improved Google Pay-per-click Platform
I’ve been amazed at how things are changing in search marketing. The biggest transformation is the importance of being in the top three positions on Google for its PPC ads. I’m focusing on Google here, but many of these features and tactics can also be done on the Microsoft adCenter platform.
I’ve been buying many new things for our house and cars in recent months. I do almost all my shopping online and I almost always use Google. I used to gravitate to the organic search results before I noticed any PPC ads. In the last month, virtually everything that I ordered was originated with a PPC ad. When shopping, I find the organic ad content to be far too general and non-compelling. The PPC ads that I saw included relevant information that drew me to the underlying websites. If the advertisers had well-constructed landing pages, I was practically sold. I still push myself to compare prices and do some level of product research. But in most cases, I went back to the original store to make my final purchase.
The Hummingbird Feeder Example
My wife and I have an active hummingbird community outside our kitchen window. Our hummingbird feeder is old and needs to be replaced. So I searched this morning on Google for “hummingbird feeder.” Here are the results.
Let me break this down in more detail. I was immediately drawn to the top ad. It’s clearly selling hummingbird feeders. The company is established, having been in business for 60 years. It stands behind its products with the "100% Satisfaction" policy. It provides links to its main categories, and it even offers a subscribe link for its newsletter. That’s a seriously good use of available real estate.
The second listing is also good. The company included its store rating and a reference to a large number of seller reviews.
Now, let’s look at organic results below the ads. They are not so compelling. On the right hand side, there are eight images of specific products from Google’s product feed. Those draw your eye and are likely to get a click if the price and image are appealing. When Google starts charging for this ad space in the fall, I recommend to merchants that they invest there. In my previous business of selling jewelry online, those product ads had the highest conversion rate.
The Chessboard Example
Let’s look at another example. I searched for “chess board buy” in my efforts to find a chessboard.
The Chess Store has a solid use of real estate in it top listing. It highlighted specific products rather than using site links. And for all of the top three ads, I am more likely to click on them than the organic listings below.