Online Retail: 5 Strategies for Search Marketing Success, Part 1

Kye Mou
August 7, 2013
retail roi adwords marin software

Did you know? Online retailers spend more on paid search advertising than just about any other industry. In fact, retailers will account for more than $3 billion of Google AdWords revenue this year.

Retailers face unique challenges in the battle for online revenue. And in this highly competitive space, technological inefficiencies and the inability to execute effectively on paid search strategies results in higher costs, lower margins, and missed opportunities.

Marin Software studied some of the world’s largest and most successful retailers, and identified 5 strategies for success. Read on for ideas to improve your own search marketing programs.

1) Allocate your budget efficiently. Retailers that efficiently allocate their budgets are able to maximize revenue without increasing spend.

  • Measure performance by business need. Segment and analyze your paid search performance across several dimensions (product line, geography, etc.) to gain insight into ROI, unconstrained by account structure. Then allocate your budget accordingly.
  • Manage by exception to reduce wasted budget. Filter large datasets and create alerts to make smarter decisions faster. Deploy negative keywords, find and eliminate unprofitable keywords, and optimize underperforming creative.
  • Forecast performance based on revenue goals. Automated tools can build forecast models to anticipate changes in performance, allowing search marketers to hit their business targets based on adjusted revenue goals and projected budgets.

2) Capitalize on brand equity to beat out the competition. Retailers that do this are able to maximize ad visibility and create engaging brand experiences.

  • Integrate ad extensions to increase brand presence. When it comes to sitelinks in particular, make sure to align differentiated brand messaging with specific, high-value landing pages to minimize the presence of competitors and provide a more intimate retail experience.
  • Bid to position to maximize visibility. Flexible bidding solutions that can target a preferred position for brand keywords enable search marketers to increase bids immediately following a competitive shift in ad position.
  • Engage customers with expanded brand keywords. First, gain visibility into your paid search query reports and isolate the keywords that align with the needs of your customer. Then, assign each with unique landing pages that provide engaging content. Finally, generate highly relevant content that aligns with customer intent.

Stay tuned for three more strategies, coming soon. And for more information, download our white paper, “Revenue Acquisition Management for Online Retailers.” The white paper reviews the challenges in executing each strategy and highlights tools and techniques for addressing them. It’s a must-read for any search marketer in the online retail vertical.

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