Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics #smx

Eli Goodman, Search Evangelist, comScore, Inc.

What is driving sales?

  • Search vs. Comparison shopping vs. Email
  • Coupons

SEM on YouTube

  • Is it worth it?
  • How well is it working?

Search engines vs. Comparison Shopping

  • Brands drive what people are doing
  • In comparison shopping, brands hardly ever show up. Instead, it’s heavily weighted toward generic shopping
  • Coupon sites continue to grow in importance – especially since Summer 2008

Searches on YouTube

  • Searches are up 41% in the past year
  • Retail searches are mostly generic (branded “commercials” are the exception)
  • Great opportunity for video promotion
  • YouTube promoted videos marketplace is much less crowded than search engine SEM
  • Great long tail search opportunity in Paid Search space

Karon Thackston, President, Marketing Words

Copywriting Ecommerce Facts

  • Most attention to design and content is paid to the homepage and individual product pages
  • Only 40% of visitors arrive on homepage
  • Close to 60% of all product page arrivals leave immediately
  • BUT only about 33% of category page arrivals leave immediately

Category pages

  • What they do well:
    – Highly relevant
    – Focused on one specific topic
  • What they do poorly:
    – Small photographs
    – Sparse copy
  • So what do you do? Add copy below the fold, beside the images
  • Think of your category pages as your landing pages
  • Your golden opportunity: add keyword-rich copy to category and sub-category pages and you’ll:
    – Rank more pages highly in search engines
    – Effectively introduce your site/brand to first time site visitors
    – Improve customer’s experience

Differentiate your site from other options

  • Buy direct
  • Exclusively from
  • Manufacturer pricing
  • Offer decision-making information
  • Answer questions customers ask when decidiing to buy

Identify service offerings/brand messaging

  • Say you offer free shipping
  • Add branding

Make sure you test. What works for someone else may not for someone else!!

Khalid Saleh, Co-Founder & President, Invesp

  • Average retail conversions: 2%
  • How do I convince visitors to buy from me? Visitors are great, customers are amazing.
  • The most important question: where should I start?
    – Because starting in the middle of nowhere isn’t a good idea – more often than not, it’s not the right place

Typical Analysis

  • Focus on top landing pages
  • Focus on pages with high bounce rate/exit rate
  • Certain analyses don’t uncover site-wide issues

Important statistics

  • Bounce rate
    – Compare pages vs. site average
    – Problem: bounce rates are skewed with high traffic pages
    – SO remove top 10 landing pages and recalculate bounce rate
  • Category Pages
    – Goal: funnel to product pages
    – Traffic will: bounce away, exit site, navigate to parent/sibling/category page, navigate to product page
    – Bounce around effect: # of visitors navigate to a parent/ sibling page/total visitors to page (If bounce around is too high, work on product page

Your goal for category page

Bounce rate, exit rate, bounce around all < 5%

Product page effectiveness index

  • # people who add product to cart/total visitors to page
  • Consider: product page effectiveness relates to: product page design, product price

Product price

  • General goal is to get PPEI from 10% to 15%
  • Items less than $100 PPEI can increase to 25%

Adam Audette, President, AudetteMedia, Inc.

Smokin Tips:

  • Speed
  • Recommendations/Upselling
  • Definitive product URLs (no duplicate content)

1. Be quick on the draw

What does the load time influence?

  • Search engine crawl
  • User experience
  • Affects bottom line

What to do?

  • Content (compress, externalize, expire)
  • Service (redirects cause lag, too!)
  • Best resource: Yahoo! Dev Network

2. Give ’em Wind (Recommendations engines)

What can recommendations do?

  • Increase average product views
  • Upsell

3. Kill dead ringers

What’s wrong with duplicate content?

  • Impacts indexation (crawl caps)
  • Causes PageRank split
  • Causes page duplication

To diagnose, use Google’s intitle: search

How to fix?

  • Low intensive: parameter removal, link canonical tag
  • Medium intensive: 301 redirects
  • High intensive: URL re-structuring

Laura Thieme, President, Bizresearch

PPC Audit, using 13 months of data through AdWords editor:

  1. Keywords with zero conversions (cut those terms!)
  2. Higher than accepted CPC
  3. Broad and/or phrase match
  4. Lack of negative match terms

Tools for PPC cleanup:

  • AdWords editor
  • AdWords “see search term” button
  • 4-6 hours to spend on analysis

Other tips

  • Look in “many-per-click” in AdWords
  • Pay for brand terms!

Jiyan Wei, Director of Product Management, PRWeb

What PRWeb news release customers do well:

  • Meet audience demand with relevant topics
  • Balance with staying focused
  • Use images
    – CTR increases 15-25% when images are used
    – Drive to bloggers/writers; images drive the content
    – Increases your footprint with image search (for one release, 90% of traffic to website came from image search)
  • Use video
    – Increases time spent on page –> increases conversions
  • “Other stuff”
    – Anchor text
    – Alt tags
    – URL keywords
    – Description tag
    – Title tags

Other release options:

  • Businesswire
  • PR Log
  • PR Leak


  • Image size for PRWeb: they’ll resize it for you.
  • More about crawl caps: Google crawls based on PageRank
  • Sub domains are treated as new domains – you need to build up authority like you would for a new domain
  • Tip for attribution: Google’s paid view through metric, Yahoo assist metric (BUT make sure you look at trend reporting FAR back into the past)
  • Reinforce messaging by including [paid] search terms on landing pages
  • Don’t allow comparison shopping websites to buy your branded search terms