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Blog items tagged with "strategy"

3-Step Creative Process for Your Ecommerce Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing on the Web is evolving the practices of SEO and Internet marketing.

As a result, almost any online business or brand can benefit from creating a content marketing strategy, especially for ecommerce.

The objective behind content marketing is to produce (and share) exceptional content (articles, videos, images, graphics, etc.) in an effort to gain the favor a targeted audience or consumer-base.

Great content can inspire, motivate, and instill loyalty, trust, and confidence in consumers. This can be highly advantageous in a competitive online marketplace.

To help get your creative juices flowing, below I share with you my simple, 3-step process of creating an ecommerce content marketing strategy.

1. Have a Clear, Well-Defined Purpose

Although it's important to have a clear purpose for any strategy, this aspect often gets overlooked amongst content creators.

I personally believe this is because some writers over-obsess about keyword relevancy (to aid their SEO efforts,) or they’re simply in a hurry to finish their content as quickly as possible.

The success of a content marketing strategy will almost always hinge on quality. This is achieved when people engage and share brilliant content, thus increasing its popularity and overall value.

Establishing a clear and well-defined purpose with your content is the pivotal planning stage that will set course for its success. To better define the purpose behind your content marketing strategy, ask yourself:

  • who is the primary target audience of my content?
  • what benefit will the audience have by engaging with my content?
  • what action (or reaction) do I wish the audience to take after engaging with my content?

Clear answers to these questions will help you develop a meaningful content marketing strategy that has righteous intentions.

2. Create Insightful Content that Provides Value

In reinforcing my previous point, the success of a content marketing strategy will mostly hinge on quality. Quality content derives from having meaning, value, and insight. In short, what can offer your audience that induces the ever-powerful "ah-ha" reaction.

For ecommerce, this can be a little tricky. Products and consumer goods are sometimes not the most exciting things to talk about. However, put yourself in the perspective of you target customer. Conjure-up your sense of empathy and ask yourself, "what form of content and insight would I find valuable if I was planning to purchase 'product X'?"

Be an Educator

In addition to finding the best deals, online shoppers are typically scouring for content about product specifications, information, reviews and comparisons.

One of the best ways to meet such needs is to be an educator with your content.

By offering accurate information and helping your audience learn about what it is they are looking for, you can position your ecommerce brand as a credible resource.

3. Be Socially Diverse and Share Your Content

Having a diverse social media portfolio is paramount for almost any online brand. From an SEO perspective, content that gains likes, shares, tweets, and +1's (social indicators) is more likely to earn top search rankings. With SEO aside, socially sharing and promoting your content on various platforms will help its visibility. If you're content is really good, it has greater potential to be shared, and ideally, go viral. In essence, social media is a must-have for almost any business model. For ecommerce marketing, social media helps to retain loyalty and credibility in a brand, while aiding content marketing and SEO.

About the Author:

Tyler Tafelsky is a SEO and content marketing specialist here at Click Centric SEO. Tyler offers over five years of experience as a content writer with a focus in organic search marketing. To learn more, you can connect with Tyler on Google+, or follow him on Twitter.

 

 

Setting Realistic Goals for Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy

In today's evolved search space, product keywords can be insanely competitive. High authority retailers and affiliate sites are practically owning organic search, making it near impossible to earn profitable search exposure.

But don't get too discouraged. Your ecommerce SEO strategy can be a successful one. You need to be mindful (and logical) when selecting keyword targets, and set realistic goals of where you envision your site ranking.

A good SEO practice centers on realizing which keywords are attainable, and which should be avoided. For some really great keyword targets, sometimes it's just not plausible to rank number one. As a result, one must choose wisely and leverage creative means to be found. 

Do Keyword Research to a "T"

Keyword research for ecommerce SEO should be an exhaustive effort. This includes more than solely using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Although the AdWords Tool is a good place to gather metrics and insights, you'll want to perform some SERP analysis on you prospective keyword targets.

SERP analysis is simply assessing the competitive nature of the Search Engine Results Pages of your prospective keywords. Here you'll want to look at the top listings in the organic search results to get a feel for how well optimized each listing is. In addition to the more obvious indicators of optimization (e.g. the inclusion of keywords in the page title and meta description,) it helps to know metrics like each listing's Alexa rank, indexed pages, PageRank, and inbound link portfolio.

You can get real crazy doing this SERP analysis, and often times, getting crazy and thorough will only give you a more accurate projection of where your site stands against the competition. A great tool to make this analysis easier is the SEO Quake plug-in. This gives you insights about each listing directly from the SERPs.

You can further narrow down your specific long-tail keyword targets by using Google Suggest Search, or "Autocomplete" as research tool. This will give you an idea of the typical search behaviors of users who search more detailed keywords.

I typically save this stage in the process for the keywords I am pretty certain we'll be targeting. This helps choose the optimal naming convention or structure of the keyword's semantics (e.g. brand name, product model, model number, etc...)

Get on Google+, STAT!

The evolving standards of ecommerce SEO are rooted to socializing on Google+. In a nutshell, the social activity and connections that your brand makes on Google+ can directly influence your connections' search results.

This profound change in the SERPs centers on Google's Search plus Your World, a shift to provide more personalized search results that reflect a user’s social engagements.

As you can see in the image, the listing from Proswimwear.com is actually a Google+ post. Because I am following Proswimwear, and because I searched a very relevant keyword query with respect to their Google+ post ("TYR discount",) Google is feeding me personalize search results based on my social orientation.

The takeaway for an ecommerce company is this: get on Google+ ASAP, and start growing your following. The larger social audience you can earn on Google+, the greater potential you'll have to be seen in their search results (so long as you stay diligent at posting relevant, valuable content.)

About the author

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our ecommerce SEO specialists here at ClickCentric SEO. Email Tyler at Tyler@clickcentricseo.com or connect with Tyler on Google+.

 

 

Using Google Suggested Search (Autocomplete) for SEO Keyword Research

When it comes to on-page SEO for ecommerce sites, optimizing for the right keyword is paramount. Ecommerce sites face an extra degree of difficulty when it comes to product-related keywords. This is primarily because product-related keywords are known to be profitable, and many marketers are investing heavily to be found on those keywords.

As a result of the keyword competitiveness found in various ecommerce markets, smart SEO's are going after more specific, long-tail search terms. So instead of optimizing an online shoe store for 'Saucony running shoes' (which is extremely competitive,) a more precise keyword target that might actually lead to high rankings is "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens running shoe," (assuming the online store carries such shoes.)

How did I come up with that lengthy, seven-word target? By using Google's suggested search feature, or autocomplete

As you start typing "Saucony progrid guide," Google suggests the Progrid models 3, 4, or 5. After following through with a model number, gender is often the next filter suggested by Google. Based on our shoe store's "inventory," we will know that "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens" is our primary keyword target, with "running shoes" as the secondary long-tail target.

In a competitive keyword category, this keyword research strategy is highly effective to gain insight on the searching behaviors of common Google users.

Use Google Suggested Search for PPC Keyword Research

Using the Google autocomplete feature is also a great way to target keywords for ecommerce PPC advertising. In any ecommerce PPC campaign, typically the more keyword-specific you can get with your ad groups, the better. By utilizing suggested search, advertisers can bid with precision on highly targeted keywords using creative bidding strategies like modified broad match.

Using the above example, we could bid on dedicated ad group for the keyword phrase "+saucony +guide +3 +womens." (Using plus signs in front of keywords is modified broad match - a highly efficient form of bidding.) The only way our ad will trigger is if all of those keywords are used in a search query.

Based on the competition in the image above, we could apply some superb PPC strategies to really stand out from lazy competitors above (except for the one at the bottom.) Spread this bidding strategy across an entire product line, and you have yourself a very powerful AdWords campaign with highly focused ad groups.

Now can you create more relevant ad copy, but your quality scores are typically lower, resulting in lower bid prices. Additionally, you can make better use of Google's Ad Extensions features, which really spruce-up the ad at no additional cost.


 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO. Connect with Tyler on Google+".

7 Impactful Ecommerce PPC Strategies

Managing a PPC campaign for an ecommerce site can be a cumbersome endeavor. In addition to keeping everything organized, ecommerce advertisers battle a lot of clutter in the paid search arena. With big budget retailers dominating the playing field, it's now more challenging than ever to stand out in the SERPs.

Building a well-structured campaign and employing the right ecommerce PPC strategies is paramount for success. Regardless of your business type, budget size, and overall competition, there are a number of techniques to make your ads more effective. Below we highlight seven effective strategies for ecommerce PPC advertising.

Peel n' Stick

Ecommerce PPC - Peel n StickAd groups typically perform optimally when they include a very narrow grouping of highly similar keyword targets.

One of the biggest faults Pay Per Click advertisers make is cramming far too many keywords in a single ad group. Attempting to cover several different keywords with one ad results in numerous inefficiencies. When this appears to be the case, the keywords in an ad groups can be further segmented, or in other words, peel n' stick can be employed.

Coined by marketing specialist Perry Marshall, the peel n' stick strategy involves taking a poor performing keyword and putting it in another more relevant ad group (or creating a new one.) Good peel n' stick opportunities are typically found in keywords with low quality scores.

For ecommerce PPC, this might be a keyword that represent product variation, such as a specific model that's worthy of a new ad group. Often times when a weak keyword is placed in a different yet more relevant ad group, the quality score will increase. Similarly, a new, more targeted ad can be written.

Split-Testing

Ad copy is an often overlooked component when optimizing a PPC campaign for better performance. Not only can the content of your PPC ads impact quality scores, but ad copy influences how well users respond to your ads (measured by click-through rate or "CTR"). It is thus important that you split-test several ads per ad group.

Try running 2-5 ad variations, depending on how many impressions a certain ad group is receiving. If you ads are getting a lot of exposure in little time, it makes more sense to split-test 3-5 ads, as opposed to just 2. By including the primary keywords of an ad group in the ad copy, the improved contextual relevancy helps to increase quality score.

PPC Split TestingFor this reason, it's beneficial to use all or some of the keyword phrase in the copy. Trying using multiple variations in your ad copy. One effective strategy is using Dynamic Keyword Insertion (shown in the middle ad in the image.)

Using this strategy will help improve the keyword relevancy of you PPC ads by having the headline of your ads to replicate what the users searches.

When using dynamic keyword insertion, you include a unique string in the headline like so: Ad Headline = {KeyWord:Kids Army Uniform} If a user's search query is more than 25 characters long (exceeding the headline's character limit,) the alternative phrase "Kids Army Uniform" will be displayed.

This strategy is highly effective in improving both CTR as well as quality score, especially for AdWords PPC campaign management. Just be careful using this strategy, for your competitors maybe doing the same thing. This is particularly common for competitive, product-related keywords where there's a number of big budget advertisers.

Ad Copywriting

Successful PPC ads will include three important elements to promote greater click-through rates (CTR). These include:

  • Offer - what's the product you're offering
  • Value - why buying from your ecommerce store is beneficial
  • Proposition - what kind of action the user should take

The offer is almost always a given and is typically included in the copy naturally. The value and proposition of the ad are the elements that most often go overlooked. The proposition is simply a call-to-action, or a verb of some kind. A few of the most common for ecommerce PPC is "Shop," "Buy," and "Save." Get creative and try more appealing verbs like "Discover," "Gain," or "Realize."

Express value in your ad copy is one of the greatest challenges of copywriting. Paid search ads have limited character space which makes it difficult to sum-up the unique benefits and qualities. Some of the most obvious and over-used examples are "Free Shipping" or "100% Money Back."

In some instances, taking a more emotional approach can be highly effective. Take the time to learn about the product your advertising and its target market. Knowledge is the best sources for great ideas for ad copy.

AdWords Ad Extensions: Product Extensions

A powerful PPC advertising strategy that can significantly help improve CTR is using ad extensions in Google AdWords. Ad extensions are simple enhancements that can greater improve the presentation of your paid ads.

Keep in mind that ad extensions influence an entire campaign (not per ad group,) so any ad extension you implement will impact all ad groups within that campaign. One of the best ad extensions for ecommerce PPC is product extensions. Using this extension will show an image for the specific product being advertised.

For competitive keywords, this strategy can really make your ads stand out from the clutter. In fact, eye-tracking studies have shown that product extensions are among the most effective techniques to capture the attention of Ecommerce PPC Product Extensionssearch engine users.

To use product extensions, you'll need to set-up a Google Merchant Center account. This is basis for Google's shopping results which display in the top right side of the search engine results. After this account is established, you can sync your AdWords account with your Google Merchant Center account to start using this excellent extension.

AdWords Ad Extensions: SiteLinks

Ecommerce PPC Sitelinks Extension

Another effective ad extension is using Sitelinks. With this extension you can include links in your PPC ad that take users to specific pages of your ecommerce site. Not only can this help make your ads appear more prominent in the search results, but sitelinks can help facilitate conversions on broad keywords like "triathlon wetsuits."

In a campaign like this, you ad sitelinks to men's or women's wetsuits or perhaps certain brands. Utilizing the sitelinks ad extension can also contribute to greater usability by minimizing your conversion funnels.

Keyword Bidding

PPC Keyword Bidding StrategiesA great method to make your paid advertising more efficient is employing keyword bidding strategies like modified broad match. Unlike broad, "phrase," or [exact] phrase match bidding, modified broad match uses a "+" symbol in front of keywords that must be included in the user's search query for your ad to appear.

For instance, if we bid on the keyword phrase +access +control +systems, those three words must be used in a user's search query for our ad to be shown. (So the keyword phrase "access control systems for banks" would trigger the ad, however "security access system" would not.)

This bidding strategy can help ensure that you ads are being shown when users search long-tail keywords or phrases with greater detail. Another advantage of using modified broad match is that the cost per click (CPC) for some keyword combinations is significantly lower.

You can try using creative bidding strategies like security +access +control. By leaving "security" as a broad match (no "+" symbol,) our ad may display for searches like "surveillance access control" because "security" and "surveillance" are closely related with respect to Google's broad match standards.

Remarketing via the GDN

Have you ever visited a product page on an ecommerce site (did not make a purchase) and later while browsing other websites (or even watching a YouTube video) noticed ads being served of that same ecommerce store?

That's called remarketing, or advertising to market segments that may have had some previous contact with your brand. However, instead of using Google Search, the most effective remarketing channel is using the Google Display Network or GDN. 

Remarketing via the GDN is a bit unique compared to traditional paid search advertising. As an advertiser, you need keep in mind that those individuals being served display ads are not actively shopping like they are using Google search.

Remarketing is the strategic process of serving a follow-up ad to someone who has already connected with your site. This practice, although very powerful, can sometimes appear intrusive, so it's important to use this approach in moderation. Google has recently unveiled some new features in Google Analytics for remarketing.

In essence, Google has made it more efficient to create highly targeted customer lists and run ads to these individuals.

Summary

Depending on the size and nature of your online store, ecommerce Pay Per Click advertising can be a complex undertaking. In addition, to properly structuring your campaigns and ad groups, developing effective strategies for ecommerce PPC is essential to thrive amongst your competitors. We hope that these seven strategies will help you stand out from the crowd and start realizing greater return on ad spend.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.

Visit Tyler on Google+

Optimize Your Ecommerce Marketing Efforts

Virtually all ecommerce sites rely on a blend of online marketing and advertising to capture more customers. Nowadays it's becoming even more challenging, for the competition has become very intense and simply establishing a good ecommerce website will not guarantee its success.

In essence, ecommerce marketers must be creative and strategic to earn an edge over big competitors. There are several strategies that will help to ensure your Ecommerce Marketing Optimizationecommerce website attracts quality traffic that is more prone to convert.

Below we share three of the most powerful strategies to help optimize your ecommerce marketing efforts

  1. Offer incentives: Most online shoppers are thrifty in that they often seek the products with the best prices. In short, the average customer will buy from an ecommerce website that has a good deal. It is thus important to employ such marketing efforts creatively without investing a great deal of ad dollars. If you want to offer incentives without breaking your bank, consider leveraging second tier products as promotional pieces. Typically offering incentives and promotions of Incentives not only encourage customers to buy, but they also ensure that your customers return as well as recommend you to others. Email and social media marketing for ecommerce sites is a great way to promote incentives to both new and existing customers, depending on the nature of the campaign.
     
  2. 2) Take advantage of social media: Social networking sites, video sharing sites and other social media platforms have taken the Internet by storm. There is immense value in using social media to leverage and manage customer loyalty for increased brand awareness and website promotion. Social media brings you greater conversion potential since you will be getting targeted web traffic for minimal investment. This is mostly because only those individuals who know what you are offering will end up on your website. Social media is also advantageous in that it allows you to get valuable feedback from customers as well as engage and interact with customers on a personal level. The trick is post only valuable, unique content on your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest accounts. The content of your social posts should be engaging and interesting, and more times often than not, encourage users to take action. You could make games and contests to get more people to engage with your ecommerce site. You could also attract new customers by offering an irresistible offer or coupon. Be proactive and engaging and this will motivate your fans, followers, and subscribers to spread your brand image through sharing and the likes.
     
  3. Optimize marketing for mobile: More and more people are using the Internet on mobile devices. In fact, statistics show that up to 79% of U.S. customers use a smartphone to compare prices, locate retailers, find product information, and make online purchases. There is also a significant number of people who are using other mobile devices like PDAs and tablets for shopping. Take advantage of this by ensuring key pages of your ecommerce websites are mobile-friendly. In some cases a custom mobile application could be the best investment for ecommerce marketing. It is also important to ensure that the checkout process from mobile devices is secure and straightforward. When making a mobile-friendly ecommerce store, ensure that the platform has such exclusive mobile features like mobile store promotions via emails, check-ins, SMS offers, and GPS localization. Mobile website optimization is a critical consideration for ecommerce sites, and it's becoming even more important as mobile becomes even more popular.

The competition in ecommerce marketing is growing to be more intense year by year. Not only is it difficult to pursue ecommerce SEO and other forms of search engine marketing, but simply establishing a web presence and solid customer bases is a challenge in itself. Before you unleash you ecommerce site or web marketing campaign, be sure to have a sound ecommerce strategy in place.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.

Visit Tyler on Google+

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