Where To Start With eCommerce Marketing
So you’ve launched your new website, and are finished working out all the post-launch kinks (at least most of them!). Next steps; bring visitors to your site to sell your products/services, which is easier said than done.
The online landscape changes daily; with new search engine algorithms changing the first page results for your targeted keywords, to competitors driving up your PPC bid costs.
Start with the advertising initiatives below (which are the top traffic/revenue sources for eCommerce websites) to increase your exposure, and drive sales.
- Email Marketing
- Shopping Comparison
1. Pay Per Click (PPC) - PPC is quick to get started, and can return positive results immediately. There are thousands of resources to learn how to setup a PPC campaign. Start with Google Adwords first. Browse over to the Google Library to learn more.
Some areas you want to focus on are: keyword selection (which keywords to bid on), ad copy (what content will show up on selected keywords), and your landing pages (what page visitors will be linked to when they click your ad). There are other settings you can tweak such as; geographical targeting (radius, country, etc…), content network (usually disable this), and day parts (limit ads to be shown during specific times).
Finally, make sure you have Google Analytics and the Google Adwords conversion code setup on your ecommerce website so you can gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some will do very well, others, not so well.
Once you have a few months of results under your belt, try initiating a Bing Search Advertising account next. Although it accounts for a smaller percent of traffic, it can bring in a few extra sales!
2. Search engine optimization (SEO) is getting more and more challenging as Google keeps updating their algorithm (how they rank websites). Ranking tactics change quickly, and it is important to keep up-to-date on the latest methods.
The organic search landscape (where your non-paid keywords show up) is dynamic, geographical, personalized, and very challenging to break into. Consider the following:
Geographical or local search – Google has been adding in local results based upon addresses in their Maps database. Get your brick and mortar store listed here, and benefit from the added exposure. However, this also means that when visitors type in your targeted keywords, they could wind up seeing local results first.
Personalized search – Google will log each website you click on and visit from their search result page, and then personalize your next search result page with these results. This is saved in your account, so the more times you visit a single site, the more often (and higher) it will show up on the first page results.
Other elements – besides the geographical and personalized search features mucking up your SEO strategy, you also have; news, social media, images, videos, products, and other items taking up real estate. Considering these challenges, focus on the two major components to achieving higher search engine rankings; on-site optimization, and link building.
To learn more about on-site optimization, check out an article I wrote on the subject at:
This will provide you with the fundamental concepts behind your on-site optimization.
Link building is the process of procuring links from the billions of websites on the Internet. Outsource this phase to one of the sites here
3. Email marketing is one of the easiest methods to get traffic into your site. Simply add a newsletter sign up button to your site; make sure it is placed in a prominent place, and that it is labeled well (savings club, etc...).
Develop a schedule which includes the sending of at least 4 newsletters per month. Increase or decrease your sending based upon your sales results and unsubscribe rate.
When developing your email marketing campaigns focus on; the promotion (x% off, free gift, free shipping, etc...), subject line, body content, list segmentation, and design layout (make sure it renders properly in major email clients).
Just like with PPC, make sure you are tracking your links within each email campaign so you can see what type of sales you are generating from each send.
4. Shopping comparison has been a major money maker for many ecommerce websites. It allows customers to compare (in a list format) pricing of products through different ecommerce websites. As discussed earlier in this post, Google has been incorporating products within its search engine result pages. These products are generated from the Google Product Search system. Bing/Yahoo also have shopping comparison sites that you can setup.
This is more of a complex system to setup as you need to either manually import your products to Google Product Search, or setup a feed that will do this for you automatically. Right now, setting up and submitting your ecommerce site’s products to the Shopping site is free. However, it will only be a matter of time before Google monetizes this system.
Learn more about Google Product Search Optimization here
With these initiatives, you should see some huge traffic increases, and ultimately, sales-good luck!
Awesome advice. These are all advice we offer out clients here at Dydacomp to help them jump start the marketing for their eCommerce sites. Email Marketing is a great way for them to test out different marketing campaigns, messages, and target specific groups. One thing to keep in mind when creating an email campaign is the importance of personalization and engaging the customers. We recommend to our clients to include personalized URLs in emails to help keep track of activity and gather more information about customers.
Thanks for these!
Molly Griffin http://www.dydacomp.com
Louis Camassa says:
@mollygriffin - why not just track the email campaigns with analytics, that way you don't need personalized URL's. Every email campaign we send out is tracked with Google Analytics so we can gauge its success in opens, clicks, and sales.
Glad I've stumbled across this blog, got it RSS'd.
I'm personally still learning SEO, bit of a mammoth to get your head around, but things are going good. My site is in a niche so I'm aiming for #1 with all my keywords, just gets frustrating at times!
Keep up the good posts.
Louis Camassa says:
@James - thanks for the feedback, SEO is a changing landscape and requires a lot of patience to master, then when you think you have mastered it, the game changes!