Blogs by date "04/01/13"
Promoting an ecommerce brand on the Internet can be done in many different ways these days, however many people get stuck when it comes to creating a successful ecommerce marketing strategy. They may be unable to determine the best places to promote their products, in addition to defining who their target audience is.
As a result, it is important to educate yourself and pursue the best marketing channels to promote your ecommerce brand. Every ecommerce brand is unique (as well as a brand's target market,) so leveraging the proper Internet marketing channels is critical to succeed.
In this article, we share with you seven effective tips to promote your ecommerce brand.
In order to make more and more people aware of your business, you should consider blogging for your ecommerce brand. People will be able to read the blog and find out more about what you have to say regarding your new products. Your blog can also announce new updates with certain products and give customers a general idea of a new direction that your business may be taking.
Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to brand marketing. Customers can ‘like’ a brand’s page. This page will then post various updates and continue reminding customers about the new changes that the business is making.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO can be used in order to promote your ecommerce website, which will in turn help to promote your products. You will need to put specific keywords into the text of your website. Ecommerce SEO will help to boost your product pages up in the rankings and will help to ensure that more people can find it. As a staple of ecommerce marketing, SEO is one of the first channels that you should think of investing in.
Reviews are going to either make or break your reputation. When it comes to review websites, you are going to have to make sure that you get the best reviews from customers. Review websites will also help you to gauge what the current trend is when it comes to your reputation.
With Twitter you can make announcements and engage with other customers. This is a very useful tool when it comes to sorting out certain issues that customers may bring up.
Monitoring your brand online can be done through a variety of different uses. Brand monitoring will allow you to determine just what people think of your product and what you need to do in order to improve it.
Paid surveys can give you more information regarding customers’ thoughts on your products. Do not underestimate a survey’s power, for they can reveal a wealth on insights in creating an effective ecommerce marketing strategy.
This article was provided by the advocates of Brandchats. Brandchats is unique tool designed for social media analytics and online branding.
Ecommerce SEO can be a complex undertaking that demands a higher degree of effort and consideration compared to typical websites. In addition to optimizing a robust site (that may contain hundreds and thousands of pages,) ecommerce SEO is typically more keyword competitive as well.
In short, there's just a lot that goes into the SEO process for an online store. Although the best results are attained with a professional ecommerce SEO company, there are a number of on-site SEO tasks that can be handled in-house by a webmaster or tech-savvy marketing team.
In this article we share several SEO processes that are essential for ecommerce sites. Think of all of these processes as your ultimate SEO checklist for your ecommerce store.
Your Ecommerce SEO Checklist
- Define keyword optimization naming convention - This doesn't sound as technical as it may seem. A "keyword optimization naming convention" is simply the semantic structure of words that you use for essential SEO elements (namely the Meta Title.) Because ecommerce sites are often so deep with pages, it's best to write a consistent naming convention for the Title and other parts of a page. A good place to start in developing SEO-friendly naming conventions is with the brand name and then the primary keyword phrase (or product name.) So your naming convention formula might be "[Brand] [Product Name] | [Ecommerce Store Name]" (e.g. "Nike Flex Trainer 2 Shoes | EcommerceShoeStore.com.") You can also apply naming conventions for URLs, Meta Descriptions, and other important content elements with SEO value.
- Always write unique page copy - One of the biggest SEO mishaps that ecommerce stores face is duplicate content. This often stems from using generic product descriptions provided by manufacturers. The problem is that the same product descriptions are found on various other websites (perhaps even competitors'.) As a result of using generic content, the SEO value of your product pages is significantly diminished (if not entirely obsolete.) Instead, take the time to write unique and compelling product descriptions. This might demand the help of an experienced copywriter, but the investment is usually well worth it.
- Keyword optimize media files – Most individuals who know a thing or two about SEO are familiar with keyword optimizing the ALT tag for images. However only few keyword optimize the entire file before uploading it to the website. To do this, name your media files with respect to your keyword targets (which is typically logical for product page image.) Additionally, you can modify the properties of images to be more keyword relevant. Right click the image or media file, select properties, and populate the title, sub-title, tags, description, and comments of the file to reflect your keyword targets. This helps maximize the SEO value of your pages when you go to upload the files.
- Optimize for faster load speeds - Beyond the scope of SEO, optimizing your ecommerce website for fast load speed enhances user experience (which aids in conversions.) Although there is some SEO value to having a quick load times, most value is seen for conversion optimization. Faster load speed is achieved by minimizing the HTML code and optimizing robust media files. By taking the time to strip unnecessary code and reduce the file size of images and video, you can significantly improve your website load speed.
- Start content marketing (if you haven't already) – Content marketing is the glue that holds your social media marketing and SEO efforts together. In a nutshell, you can create informative, inspiring, and enlightening videos, articles/blog posts, or images/graphics, and share the goodness with your social media followers. Awesome content earns social authority and gets linked-to naturally. As a result, you can leverage content marketing to both increase your keyword rankings and grow your social media following.
- Integrate social media icons - There's no question that social media is having a game-changing impact on SEO. Tweets, shares, likes, +1's, pins, and other "social signals" are becoming stronger ranking factors. In essence, social signals tell search engines that humans are digging it, so it's worthy of higher rankings. In addition building a presence on relevant social media sites, integrating social media icons makes it more efficient for visitors to like your content, particularly product pages, the homepage, and blog posts.
- Build a HTML sitemap - The HTML sitemap serves as the index of your ecommerce site, and is considered by many SEO experts as the second most important page of the website (next to the homepage.) Although visitors rarely use the sitemap, it's very important to search engine spiders and SEO in general. The issue with ecommerce websites is that a complete sitemap can sometimes contain thousands of pages. When this is the case, you can create segmented sitemaps that focus on specific product categories. From you primary HTML sitemap, you can link to each segmented sitemap. This is a great solution for SEO and helps to keep your online store in good shape for crawling and indexing.
Although there's a lot more that goes into ecommerce SEO than the processes mentioned above, this is a solid starting place to get the ball rolling. On-page SEO is only a small piece of the puzzle, however by respecting the potential behind content marketing and social media, you'll be well on your way to executing some momentous off-page SEO strategies.
Learning the in's and out's of Google AdWords can seem like an ongoing endeavor. And to an extent, it is.
In an ecommerce context, PPC advertising can get really cumbersome. It's critical to be both properly educated and highly organized to make the most of your ecommerce PPC expenditure.
In this article, I hope educate and inspire you to become a more proficient AdWords advertiser. Below I share five ecommerce PPC tips that reflect the knowledge and wisdom I have absorbed from my search marketing mentors.
And although these are ecommerce PPC tips, you can leverage these techniques for almost any AdWords campaign.
1. Split-Test Ad Copy, Relentlessly
One of the most common things I notice when optimizing AdWords accounts is that most PPC advertisers will only create one ad for each ad group. This poses significant limitations because ad copy has an immense impact on click-through rates (CTR).
Don't be lazy. Make the effort to split-test multiple ads for each ad group (ideally three to five ads.)
Try writing a slightly different headline for some ads, and perhaps a few minor variations in the supportive copy and URL extension. The key is to keep very organized with your split-tests and make incremental changes that can be gauged by performance.
One thing you must do when split-testing ad copy is adjust the campaign settings to rotate your ads to display evenly. This can be found near the bottom of the "Settings" tab under section titled "Advanced Settings" (see screen shot below.)
Although Google claims that this option is "Not recommended for most advertisers," simply ignore this and carry on. Choosing this option will ensure that your ads receive equal exposure, and thus enabling you to determine the ad copy that gets the highest CTR.
I like to maintain a spreadsheet that keeps track of my PPC split-tests. In the spreadsheet I note specific changes I make, in addition to the time-frame and performance metrics of each ad. It's also important to make alterations to ads only after they have received adequate exposure (or have earned "statistical relevancy.") In other words, don't assume your ad copy sucks if you've received no clicks after 50 impressions.
2. Create Keyword-Specific Ad Groups
This is perhaps the most important tip for ecommerce PPC advertisers:
Create your ad groups around very, very closely related keywords.
The more narrow and specific you can get with each ad group, the more targeted your ads will be. Here is an example:
Take a look at how the top ad from TriathleteSport.com is much more targeted compared to the lower ad from TYR.com (the actual brand of the wetsuit.)
The advertisers at TriathleteSport.com clearly have a dedicated ad group for the TYR Freak of Nature Wetsuit. TYR.com might have one ad group (and thus one ad) serving a number of overlapping keyword searches.
A good ecommerce PPC strategy for building campaigns and ad groups in AdWords is to think of brands (or product categories) as campaigns, and specific products or models as ad groups.
Create specific campaigns for each brand or product category that your online store has to offer. From each branded campaign, you can develop highly specific ad groups for each make or model of the given brand.
As a result, you can create focal ads with product/keyword-specific ad copy. Additionally, you can make strategic use of Ad Extensions per each campaign.
3. Employ Ad Extensions, Like a Boss
If your campaigns and ad groups are all structured as mentioned above, you can then employ Ad Extensions with immense creativity.
Ad Extensions offer many (and free) opportunities to make your ads pop and stand-out from the clutter. Additionally, you can use certain Ad Extensions to support other online marketing strategies.
A few ecommerce PPC tips for using Ad Extensions are:
- using SiteLinks to include product-specific links in ads that target more general keywords for brands or product categories (e.g. have SiteLinks to the top selling models of shoes ["Nike Flex Run iD"] in an ad that's triggered for a more broad keyword search ["Nike Running Shoes"].)
- leveraging Social Extensions to show-off social authority and brand credibility. The ad will display how many Google +1's your ecommerce store has, thus increasing the level of trust shoppers have in your brand.
- taking advantage of Location Extensions if you operate a big-box retail brand or an online store that has a tangible location. This technique is highly effective for local boutiques that want to advertise their products to a geographically-confined market space.
Many Ad Extensions can be used in conjunction with one another. This can significantly increase the real estate and click-through rates of your ads. To learn more about using various Ad Extension, check-out this Google Support page on the topic.
4. Use "Modified Broad Match" Keyword Bidding
When exact match is to narrow and restrictive (with respect to long-tail keyword searches) and broad match is just too general, try modified broad match bidding.
With modified broad match, you place a "+" symbol directly in front of the keywords that must be used in a searcher’s query in order to trigger your ads. This tip is highly effective for ecommerce PPC advertisers who are bidding on product-specific keywords the pose numerous search variations.
For example, if we bid on the keyword phrase +mens +saucony +guide (a popular running shoe,) those three words must be included in a searcher's keyword query for our ad to be displayed. This enables us to capture detailed long-tail searches like Saucony Guide 6 GTX for Men as well as Mens Saucony Progrid Guide Shoes.
Using modified broad match bidding also makes it a bit easier to do negative keyword research for select ad groups (which we cover in the next section.)
5. Know Where to do Negative Keyword Research
Hopefully you understand what negative keywords are and how to implement them in your Google AdWords campaigns. (If you do not, read this article on the subject.)
To get to the good stuff, below are my two favorite resources for doing negative keyword research:
- The "Search Terms" feature under the Dimensions tab in AdWords - Search terms reveals the history of keyword phrases that have triggered your ads. Here you can pinpoint which unwanted variations to include in the negative keyword list. (For more insights on this, check out this blog post all about using Search Terms.)
- Google Suggested Search (or "Auto-complete") - Open up Google search and start typing the keyword phrase you are bidding on. Often times Google will suggest keywords that not what you want triggering your ads. These negatives often include variations like "reviews," "kids," or "discounts."
The Last Word
Although most of these ecommerce PPC tips focus on Google AdWords, you can apply many of these PPC tips to Bing's AdCenter, as well as other advertising platforms. For more insights about AdWords optimization and campaign management, join this community on Google Plus.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is search marketing specialist who spearheads the SEO and PPC campaign here at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of digital marketing and branding, including organic SEO, PPC advertising, social media and content marketing. Keep in touch with Tyler by following him on Twitter.