Managing PPC: Pay per click advertising for e-Commerce websites
E-commerce is more than making a website to sell your products. It is a business.
‘Your website is a place to sell your product and a tool to market your business’.
How to start a successful e-commerce business:
Before you make an e-commerce website, you should have following with you:
- A business plan.
- Market research report.
- Complete SWOT analysis i.e. your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities ( core competence), threats ( competitors).
- SEO agency to outsource your marketing. It is not a good plan to investing in inhouse seo department.
eCommerce Search Engine Optimization:
- First and foremost, your site should be easy to navigate. Start by proper planning and categorisation of your products. Use text based links which make it easier for all your listings, graphics can confuse the user.
- Never ever bypass a site map. Besides helping the customer they help in your SERP rankings and finding broken links.
- Avoid Catalog Pagination: Pagination is a negative factor in e-commerce SEO. Keep one page with more link value rather that dividing it in 5 different pages. Pagination splits your PR across a number of pages.
- Target Key-phrases: Find your target keywords, negative keywords. Your website is your best ally in this work. Find you best and important products and work your strategy around them.
- Use a sorting mechanism which places more weight on your most important and best selling items.
- Make precise categories under main categories. Rather than using one main category for ‘men clothes’ use categories like ‘trousers’ and further break it into ‘casual’, ‘formal’, etc.
- Use your product descriptions to your advantage. If you invest in unique product descriptions, they will help in increasing your SERP by making your page unique.
- Use tools on your website, (like comparison between products on website), which people can share.
- Build deep links in your individual product pages.To get links from other sources:
- Open up an affiliate program.
- Get the manufacturers to link to their product sections.
- Product reviews from blogs which are specific to that category.
How to increase Conversion in eCommerce Website:
You have a perfect eCommerce site, what next!!
Now there are two ways to get yourself out in the market – free i.e. organic and paid i.e. PPC. Either way is fine but if you want long term success and growth for your company I would advise you to use both in conjunction with each other. Nothing beats a brand which shows its presence in both organic search & PPC on the first page.
PPC advertising is a great marketing/sales tool for an e-commerce site. It can boost your revenue, brand presence, and customer base. But as everything has pros and cons, so does ppc. If not managed effectively it can cost you lot of money and customers.
Steps to ensure conversion in PPC:
Track your PPC:
Use tracking code prior to implementing PPC as it will help you in tracking your goals and optimizing your PPC account. For adwords use google analytics.
Use different advertising platforms:
Use various advertising platforms like Bing ads & Adwords to get the maximum exposure.
Hire a PPC partner:
I advise not to set up your in house ppc department but rather hire some competent agency to do it for you. It is always efficient and cheaper to do the latter.
Doing keyword research before implementing ppc is the right way, rather than loosing money on wrong keywords. Do research on your best selling and most important products to find best keywords you want to target in your ppc to increase conversion rate. Finding negative keywords you want to avoid is always advisable, this will save you lot of money.
Broken link checker:
Even best companies make this mistake, wasting money in ad spend while driving traffic to a broken link page. Always double check your links.
Optimize Landing pages:
Landing pages should be conversion optimized and should not have many links to distract the customer. But what is most important is that the content of your ppc ad and landing page should be same i.e. it should provide the same information the customer is looking for. Landing page should be mobile optimized.
Managing PPC advertising for eCommerce websites:
- Unlike other media, you only pay when people click on your ad so you only pay for performance.
- You can use highly targeted ads which is not possible in conventional media. You have the option to target by keyword, demographics, etc.
- You can run ppc even while on low budget. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium sized companies.
- For start ups it is a great way to start getting customers immediately.
- You can also check the effectiveness of your new site, promo, or landing page. You can track the traffic and keep refining your marketing strategy quickly.
- ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’, this fits perfectly if you have a competitive advantage. Show your best feature in ppc be it your lower prices, or free shipping, or some free offer. PPC ads can be highly effective in this scenario.
Considerations to keep in mind when using PPC:
- Making a ppc campaign is very easy, anyone can do it. But managing an effective ppc campaign can be very complicated, this is where you would need a professional’s help. You can either DIY by learning all aspects of ppc which will cost you time and money. Or you can hire a professional ( which can save you time and money).
- PPC is not a long term solution unless of course you have an unlimited marketing budget. Both free and paid search go hand in hand. As I have already said that nothing can beat a brand which has a presence in both organic and paid results.
- Broken links and non targeted keywords can cost you money if not checked in timely.
PPC is a very useful marketing/sales tool but to implement it successfully you have to continuously monitor it. For e-commerce ppc is a boon as you can track your customers in real time.
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