This is a guest post from Elisa Abbott. Elisa is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered. 😉 When she’s not engaged in assessing translation services for PickWriters you’ll usually find her sipping cappuccino with a book.
New or small online businesses often struggle to gain traction in multiple customer acquisition channels. Even finding great traction in a single channel can be difficult, depending on which channel you’re targeting.
Many merchants start their efforts in customer acquisition by learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to develop organic traffic. The particulars of Google’s algorithm determines where specific sites show up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and whether or not a site will be visible to people browsing the web. The reason for this is simple – Google does their best to promote relevant content and push spam down the proverbial drain, so better SERP placement typically means more traffic. There’s a huge drop off in traffic from being the first result for a search to being the 10th, or being on the first page to the second or third. However, developing good search engine ranking is difficult for new domains, as not only do you have to develop great content, but also promote that content and get others to link to it.
There is an often-overlooked way to improve site search engine ranking while also developing new acquisition channels: implement a Google AdWords advertising strategy. Not only will pay-per-click (PPC) ads drive additional traffic, but they can also improve organic search results.
I’d encourage you to check out this overview from Moz for full details, but for a quick summary:
- Paid advertising does not directly influence organic search ranking.
- However, paid ads do tend to make subsequent organic listing more likely to be clicked within the same page of results, which improves your position in SERPs for the organic listing.
- Visitors engaged via paid listings are more likely to engage with organic listings later as well (e.g., if the visitor comes back six days later), also improving position in SERPs in the same manner.
- Paid ads can lead to increased mentions, sharing, and link-backs, all of which improve organic ranking.
This is where Google AdWords comes into play as a genuine tool for eCommerce storefronts whose sole goal is traffic and conversion. Let’s take a look at why advertisement is so important for eCommerce sites and how you can use Google AdWords to your advantage when it comes to SEO optimization and adequate search engine ranking.
The truth is that your eCommerce website isn’t the only one on the web. There are numerous sites that sell or promote the same type of product as you. What is it that makes your site special and different from the rest?
This is where advertisement with Google AdWords can truly help and elevate your site above the rest. In doing so, you will effectively create authority over within niche; meaning that you will be for your niche what Book Depository is for books or what Newegg is for electronics.
Proper advertisement and SEO optimization usually mean more customers to work with. The more people come across your site, the more they will convert as a result.
Converted customers will leave you their contact information for future promotion, discounts and other activities. Building a community in this way is highly beneficial for your ongoing eCommerce development.
Lastly, it costs far less to implement Google AdWords than to pay professional agencies for your marketing needs. Google AdWords is a very cheap and effective way to “play by the books” when it comes to SEO and search engine ranking. You can easily earn a lot more revenue and sales than you would if you invested into social media ads or premium marketing materials.
Before you start creating promotional content through Google AdWords, make sure that you have a clear goal in mind. What is it that you want to promote and who is your target audience?
It’s also a good idea to use professional online translation services if you wish to localize your content for international audiences. Decide on these details early on in order to maintain some form of consistency throughout your campaign.
What is it that you want to accomplish by using Google AdWords? Do you want to sell more of product X or convert Y amount of people into email subscribers?
The goal you set should be numeric and have a deadline after which you will shift priorities again. This will give you a clear goal and something to chase after with every step you take towards full Google AdWords implementation.
The meat and potatoes of Google AdWords lie in keyword research. Every audience, age, gender and profession has a different set of keywords that is relevant to them. Decide on which keywords you will use in your advertisement content and make sure that these words are sound.
They should be easy to remember, catchy, and seamless for implementation across your eCommerce website. This is what is commonly known as “keyword optimization” and it represents one of the cornerstones of Google AdWords implementation on an ongoing basis.
Adequate calls to action (CTA) serve to invite visitors to “take action” once they see what you have on offer. They can be directed at different actions depending on your initial goal (subscription, purchase, discussion, etc.).
Decide on what type of goal you are trying to accomplish and implement the keywords you have acquired from Google AdWords. This can be done by a professional copywriter or a clever marketing team expert willing to flex their creative muscles and come up with unique CTA. The calls to action you use will serve as a great SEO addition that will help you rank higher and get more visitors in the long haul.
All the keywords and SEO optimization in the world won’t save you from a poor landing page layout. Make sure that it takes no less than three clicks to make a purchase, become a subscriber, or create a new account.
People have a far shorter attention span today as opposed to only a few years ago. The fewer steps it requires, the better your chances are at converting a visitor into a loyal customer.
Lastly, track your optimization results daily and adjust course as necessary. Chances are that you won’t perfectly optimize your content on the first try and that’s ok.
The trick to effective Google AdWords usage is to constantly track trends and use them to your advantage. Once you have achieved your set goal, you can go back to square one and create a new campaign targeted at a different aspect of your eCommerce storefront.
The landing page matters – The first thing your visitors will come across when they see your site is your landing page. Ensure that people can convert, purchase and otherwise interact with your brand from the landing page itself.
Use phrase-based keywords – One-word keywords are too generic and will rarely work in your favor. For example, if you sell “paint”, make sure to use a more specific term such as “home improvement paint products”.
Negative keywords are negative – Google AdWords also features lists of negative keywords you should absolutely avoid. These words will dip your ranking lower for no good reason – swap them out for more appropriate words.
Consider the mobile users – More and more people use smartphones to browse the internet and make purchases. The keywords and CTA you use should be limited to short-form sentences that are easy to remember and spread around.
Google isn’t solitary – Google is the number one search engine with 72% of the market. But other search engines, like Baidu and Bing, will send your site traffic. They each have their own algorithm, but all operate under similar principals (highly cited and linked pages are weighted higher, content is parsed by keywords, etc.), and many of the optimizations you make with Google in mind will help you rank better in other search engines as well.
Optimizing your eCommerce website’s content with Google AdWords is an ongoing project. You will always have new items on offer and they will require adequate optimization and keyword implementation.
However, the more time you spend implementing Google’s rules, the more your site will grow as a result. Start implementing Google AdWords into some of your products and site categories in order to get the general feeling for the platform. Before you know it, you will have a site-wide AdWords implementation and far more traffic than ever.
This is a comprehensive post on using Google AdWords for online shopping. Very helpful.
And, thank you for the shout out to Karooya!
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