E-Commerce is extremely competitive. If you’re in the e-commerce business, you know how much of a nightmare it is to get yourself seen by your customer. You may have the greatest product in the world, but if no one finds it…who cares? If you’re lucky enough to have a one-of-a-kind product, then the challenge becomes getting seen. If you’re selling something in a market that has a lot of competition (i.e. sports memorabilia), then the challenge becomes getting seen in a better position than all your competitors. There is a slight, but very important, distinction there. While there are some great, and free, ways to get your e-commerce site seen, those strategies can take time. To get a leg up on the competition and to get seen immediately, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) strategies are extremely effective. Here are a few tips for those in the e-commerce realm that are attempting to use PPC effectively (getting conversions/sales) and efficiently (streamlined).
How Much Should I Spend Per Click?
First, let’s be clear. While you can pay for some high-traffic keywords, they can be extremely expensive, depending on the market. On the other hand, there are a wealth of keywords that are not too expensive, but still get a decent amount of traffic. These are the goldmines, and can take a little creativity and research to find. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to be proficient at PPC, but your budget spend depends on your efforts. First, are you trying to brand your company or are you going directly for sales/conversions? There can be a large difference in spend based on which strategy you are using. Usually branding requires more money and a wider variety of more expensive keywords. Conversions are a different beast. The problem with managing PPC for e-commerce stores boils down to the fact that usually they have many different items ranging anywhere from $0-$5000, and that’s not including sales tax or shipping! How do you judge what to spend per click then? You will need to sit down and figure out your COCA (Cost Per Customer Acquisition). Wikipedia has a great breakdown of all the statistics and math that goes into calculating your COCA. Once you’ve figured your COCA out, you then know what your maximum bid should be in order to stay profitable.
Am I Competing When I Don’t Need To?
There’s been quite an argument lately in the PPC world about this. Many argue that to be effective, you need to have a PPC ad in at least the top 4 ranks as well as be at the top of page one results for your given keyword. This may not be suitable for your business, based on your budget. If you’re already ranking high organically for a very competitive word, it’s best to let your competitors duke it out for that keyword, and focus your PPC budget on the lower hanging fruit. These are the keywords that get searched less often, are less expensive, but still get a healthy amount of traffic. Remember, five low-cost, average search volume keywords can be more (or equally) effective as one high-cost, high-volume keyword. Not to mention, if you continue to fine-tune your organic efforts for the costly keywords, you’ll guarantee you stay at the top of the page. Never let your organic efforts slough off for a coveted keyword!
Is My Landing Page A Problem?
There are just sometimes when the best PPC strategies in the world can’t help. Not to be gross, but have you ever heard the phrase, “You can’t polish a turd”? Well, that’s what we’re talking about here. You can be great at PPC and get tons of traffic being driven to your website, but if your website just plain sucks, or is confusing, then you’re out of luck. Try playing around with different landing pages, and tweaking some design concepts here and there to see what converts better. This should be a never-ending job if you’re serious about your business.
Do I Want To Be In The First Slot?
Short answer: No, it’s not necessary. Studies have shown that being in positions 1-4 are just effective. Some have even shown that positions 2-4 receive better traffic than 1! It’s often ridiculously expensive to push for position 1, and frankly, just not worth it. If you’re COCA is doing well, and you’re seeing great conversion rates…stick with a position between 1-4 and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Do My Ads Need To Be SEO’d?
Yes! Google loves relevancy. Your keyword should be in your ad, your ad should have a destination URL that contains your keyword, your destination URL should have a page that has your keyword repeated on it several times. This will give you a better Quality Score, potentially lower your cost per click, and possibly guarantee higher ad positions. Google favors the prepared.Google+