In our first issue of this series, we discussed how Brands and Retailers should view eCommerce not as purely transactional/sales channel, but rather as BOTH an audience reach/marketing and transactional/sales digital ecosystem.
Step One was about Getting Back to Basics. We shared the 5 main elements of the Product Detail Page (PDP):
Once these BASICS are in place, you can move to Step Two:
DRIVING (more) TRAFFIC to your perfect PDP’s! Reaching MORE qualified shoppers and directing them to your brand’s curated/premium consumer experience will begin to fuel conversion that will accelerate your products’ sales, and therefore their rankings, while solidifying their rightful place as key items in the eCommerce channel.
There are a variety of ways to build awareness of your brand both on and offline, including:
Search (organic and paid)
UGC (User Generated Content)
Digital ad campaigns
In this article, we will focus on the most essential way (and first step) to ensure your product is getting the attention it deserves by AMPLIFYING SEARCH. Both Organic and Paid search.
And coincidentally, Organic Search (SEO) harkens back to the key message of our first article – getting back to basics. Organic search relies heavily on great, consumer-centric content.
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to generate incremental buyers is by appearing in organic search results. It is cost effective because organic search is free.
By optimizing titles, descriptions and feature bullet points - and by attracting inbound links from trusted, relevant and authoritative websites, you drive search rank.
Using Google Search, Google Adwords or specialist tools such as termexplorer.com you can research the keywords and phrases that people are actually using to find your product. Or before they’re aware of your product - to research the things for which your product may be the solution for their needs or challenges.
You can decide whether to focus on the most popular and competitive terms. Or the ‘longer tail’ - niche keywords and phrases that are less competitive, but collectively will deliver the same volume of targeted traffic, most likely to convert to a sale.
Search engine optimization helps you create strategic marketing messages that not only bring in new qualified buyers, but importantly, SEO will keep building and strengthening your online results/driving conversion.
Now a turn at Paid Search…Paid search (Search Engine Marketing) is typically a pay per click model (brands pay either each time an ad unit is clicked or is displayed). This gives brands access to ad placements within the sponsored listings of a search engine (e.g. Google) or partner site.
To keep your Digital Marketing Ecosystem fluid and productive (yielding high rankings and sales conversions), there are a variety of options, but two key platforms in search – offering both organic and paid exposure opportunities delivering on two different consumer/shopper expectations or parts of their journey:
Google – world’s most utilized search engine. Keyword search delivers: the results that most accurately answer the searcher’s/consumer’s query (top of funnel – brand awareness/evaluation/information gathering)
Amazon – world’s largest online retailer. Keyword search delivers: the product(s) the searcher/shopper is most likely to buy (bottom of funnel – conversion/purchase)
And an important Watch-out relative to rankings and velocities – Product Innovation as a marketing tool can be a double-edged sword.
It can be effective/incremental offline, but becomes a challenge for online, due to long time required to build product search history.
It may take from 6 months to 1 year for the new product launched on a site like Amazon to get high search ranking.
New products can also “steal from” old/like items existing traffic, volume and rankings
Consider improving vs replacing key sku’s to maintain past velocities and rankings
A simple summary about the ongoing value of great content and driving qualified traffic (awareness) via search (SEO/SEM) – and the virtuous cycle of growth:
Awareness and engagement ultimately lead to conversion … and sales velocity is key - if you don’t convert, your product’s ranking will drop.
More sales = higher rankings = more sales
Content needs to be monitored, edited and updated to reflect the latest consumer/shopper search queries/keywords and product benefits.
So, DO NOT “set it and forget it” Consider what the right organization structure and ways of working are to consistently execute quality content and drive efficient and effective search results.
This is the very fuel that drives a productive Digital Marketing Ecosystem.
In our next issue, we will discuss Step Three: leveraging differentiators – how you can set your brand/consumer experience apart, so shoppers choose your brand instead of your competitors both on and offline and therefore drive sales and loyalty.
Please reach out and let us know how we can help you evaluate opportunities to optimize your digital ecosystem, delight your consumers and drive profitable growth and market share.