Although some reports say just 10% of consumers searching for a product or service through Google click on the sponsored ad, the art of search engine marketing cannot be ignored.
This especially holds true if you are a small merchant trying to gain credibility in the marketplace, says Ben Kirshner, CEO of online consultancy Elite SEM.
By concentrating on certain keywords to buy and coordinating them with product- and brand-driven landing pages, Kirshner says BedBathStore.com saw a 200% increase in sales originated by SEM during the 2010 holiday season.
“We took a more analytic approach and were able to break down categories and subcategories much better,” says Mike Reichman, BedBathStore.com cofounder/chief operating officer. “We focused on buying terms that offered us more potential for growth and bid aggressively on them.”
Here’s the three-pronged search engine marketing approach Elite SEM took to help build BedBathStore’s trust factor and search-related sales:
Kirshner’s team looked at the analytics for the prior two years worth of web analytics and determined which search words and search terms converted the most. Those were the terms and phrases BedBathStore.com committed to spending the most on with Google and other search engines.
Thorough testing of products and landing pages
Once the paid search terms were determined, where they send the customers? BedBathStore.com built landing pages to showcase entire product or brand lines in stock. So for instance, a search for thermal curtains would bring the searcher to a landing page that would showcase only thermal curtains. Or if BedBathStore.com had a good relationship with a certain manufacturer, it would build a landing page to showcase that brand.
Creation of compelling lifestyle-focused web content and copy
Even if a shopper knows what she wants to buy, she can never have too much information. BedBathStore.com created buyers guides for several product categories, such as bedding, to help guide the customers on its path to purchase. That content was also searchable, so if someone Googled a question about mattress sizes, that would come up in the sponsored search box.