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The Ultimate Guide to SEO for E-commerce Websites

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If you’re retailing products and want to reach the widest audience possible, having a well-optimized e-commerce website is an absolute must.

Why? Well, there are several benefits.

A great e-commerce website helps you understand the basics about your customers, for example, demographics like their locations, age groups, and how they found you.

By using tracking, you can then use your visitor’s information for behavior analysis to get to know them even better.

An e-commerce website does more than this, though. It can also help you understand where things are going wrong. For example, which traffic sources don’t work, which offers don’t appeal, and cart abandonment issues and their potential causes.

Of course, the more obvious reason you would want to have your site fully optimized: the growth of e-commerce worldwide. Year on year, e-commerce keeps growing, and this pattern looks like it will continue.

If you’re already online, that’s great. However, you risk remaining invisible to fresh prospects and new leads if you don’t take proactive steps to increase visibility.

How do you do that? It’s simple enough: with SEO for e-commerce.

What Is SEO for E-Commerce?

SEO for e-commerce is a strategy that helps web retailers rank higher in search engine results. A well-designed and optimized website with high-quality content will rank better in search engines such as Google, increasing your store’s visibility and driving traffic.

In other words, SEO for e-commerce concentrates on optimizing your site, which makes it easier to get leads and conversions.

However, unlike SEO for content-focused websites, SEO for e-commerce is more than just adding keywords, writing blog posts, and gaining links. You need to understand how search engines work and what they reward.

That means having a working knowledge of SEO for e-commerce, considering Google’s guidelines, analyzing buyer intent, and implementing it strategically.

E-Commerce SEO Best Practices

E-commerce for SEO is a complex field, and with millions of online retail sites in existence, it’s not always easy to make your site stand out.

While it might seem like a huge challenge to build your SEO rankings, you can make a positive start by applying some best practices. In time, this increases your chances of visibility and gaining more organic leads and customers.

For the unfamiliar, what do best practices for SEO for e-commerce look like? Well, you could start by addressing fundamentals like:

  • navigation
  • internal links
  • avoiding clutter
  • creating unique content
  • including alt text for images

However, there’s far more you can do. Below, explore our list of SEO for e-commerce best practices you can implement today.

1. Perform Keyword Research the Right Way

There are many different ways to optimize your e-commerce site, and not every approach is suitable for every site or product. However, some guidelines apply to every online retailer, and one of them is performing keyword research correctly.

Yes, you want the most relevant and popular keywords in your industry, but you must also understand buyer intent.

Keyword intent is the intention behind a search query. You can identify it by looking at the specific phrases and terms people use when looking for an item online.

There are two main types of keyword intent you see most often.

Informational Keyword Intent

Informational keyword intent is used in SEO to describe the type of information the searcher is looking for.

These types of searches usually consist of:

  • How tos: These are searches that contain questions such as “how do I?”
  • Direct purchase: These involve searches with keywords like “buy this.”
  • Factual queries: These use words such as “fact” and “information” when a searcher wants more details about a subject.

Commercial Keyword Intent

Commercial keyword intent is when people are looking for information to help them make a purchase. This means that they want to find what they need and buy it as fast as possible.

Consumers typically use commercial keyword intents when they know what they want but don’t know where to find it yet. You see this when you’re typing specific terms into Google like “buy digital camera” or “find new laptop deals.”

Commercial keyword users typically have more intent to purchase and are less likely to search for information about the product or service than just researching where to find it.

Determining Keyword Intent

Deciding consumers’ keyword intent seems challenging, but you can make it easier on yourself. For example, AgencyAnalytics breaks it down into stages.

  1. Analyzing SERPs: Pay special attention to paid ads, knowledge graph results, and organic listings.
  2. Look at Google ads for commercial intent: Seeing bid prices for keywords gives an idea of how competitive keywords are.
  3. Review your analytics: Look for content with high bounce rates as it may mean it doesn’t match with searcher intent.

You could also use keyword tools like Google’s keyword planner. Others you can try include:

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a free online tool that can find long-tail and related words to any topic or keyword, or you can opt for the paid version.

This tool is great for content writers, bloggers, copywriters, and marketers who want to generate new content ideas or find out what users are searching for about a given topic.

Features include:

  • backlink data
  • rank tracking
  • site audit reports

Backlink Data

To see what backlinks you are getting from other sites, go to the backlink analyzer under SEO Explorer. This can help you see who is already a fan and what related sites you can target for more linkbuilding.

Backlink analyzer example

Rank Tracking

See how you rank in organic SERPs for your target keywords with Ubersuggest rank tracking. That way, you can see how you have improved over time. This is under Dashboard on the left side.

SEO for ecommerce tracked keywords example

Site Audit

Run a site audit to track what issues need to be fixed on your site that could be affecting user experience and organic traffic. Think of the audit as a starting point, then review it regularly to make sure you’re fixing other issues. This is under the SEO Analyzer section. One the audit has run, it will tell you your top SEO issues and how to fix them.

SEO for ecommerce: site audit SEO issues example in ubersuggest

It also has a free chrome extension to do keyword research while you’re conducting Google or YouTube searches.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a great tool. It lets you uncover what people all over the world are curious about and going through.

Answer the Public is intuitive, too. Just enter your keyword on the homepage to understand precisely what people are asking. It can also help you find which topics are most popular at any given time, which might be helpful as another tool for keyword research. However, if you want further guidance, there’s a set of tutorials available.

It’s free to use, but you can upgrade to pro for more features. The following example uses “multivitamins.”

Guide to SEO for E-commerce - Perform Keyword Research the Right Way (Answer the Public Image Search)

The results give a detailed picture of the kind of questions people are asking and give a better idea of intent.

2. Optimize Product Pages to Improve Ranking

If you want to attract and acquire new customers, look at your on-page user optimization. It matters because it gets your site a higher rank, meaning fresh streams of organic traffic and more conversions.

Not every area of your e-commerce site needs optimizing, so in this section, let’s focus on the ones that matter most to online retailers: product descriptions, images, and reviews.

Optimize Your Product Descriptions

A product page is interesting because it has a lot of different features that all need attention. You also want a few things to stand out from the page to gain visitors’ engagement and get them to click through.

To begin optimizing your e-commerce product pages, you need to keep in mind three key aspects:

  1. What are the most crucial things on the page?
  2. How can you maximize visibility and impact with these elements?
  3. How can you use this information to improve your product description’s effectiveness?

Now, start looking at what you can do to maximize the impact of your product descriptions. This could be things like.

  • adding multiple, high-quality, unique images
  • including keywords
  • including detailed, keyword-rich descriptions
  • adding calls to action (CTAs)
  • including testimonials

Optimize Your Images

A sometimes neglected area of SEO for e-commerce is images. Photos are an excellent way to communicate a message and draw in an audience. However, they can also distract people from the message you are trying to convey, so be careful not to use too many images and crowd your descriptions.

Although quality images are vital to show your goods at their best, there’s more to it than that. Optimizing your images for SEO will give you higher search engine rankings and more traffic from potential customers and may gain you traffic from social media channels.

Here are some pointers for optimizing your images:

  • Choose suitable images for your platform. Your host usually specifies optimal image sizes and other image guidelines.
  • Provide captions with alt tags for pictures.
  • Use the right keywords in file names.

Feature Reviews

Reviews provide a snippet of information that helps shoppers weigh whether to go with a particular product or store.

Reviews are vital for success in e-commerce as so many people rely on them. Additionally, they help you build trust with your potential customers and improve conversion rates.

You can encourage customers to leave reviews by sending automated messages whenever they purchase. You can also set up email campaigns to send out reminders or offers once they have left a review on your site.

Before moving on, here are more optimization tips:

  • Use canonical tags to link duplicate product pages and similar group products together.
  • Create a well-written page that includes the necessary information about the product, an image of the product, and a video of it in action.
  • Include at least one CTA on your product page. For example, “Add To Cart” or “Check Availability.”
  • Make sure you include shipping details and policies upfront so customers know what they’re paying from the start.

3. Make Sure Your Site Is User Friendly

UX stands for user experience. You can enhance UX by good design, making the aesthetics more visually appealing.

However, it’s not just about making a website look good; it’s about making it work well. UX includes everything from navigation, ease of use, and the overall “feel” of the website.

UX is also about making sure people can find what they are looking for, keeping them engaged while browsing, and giving visitors the best experience possible.

You may not think that UX affects SEO, but the interaction between the two began some years ago, and UX is also imperative for discoverability.

Additionally, recent changes mean that UX is soon to be a Google ranking factor. According to Search Engine Land, that means if Google thinks your website offers visitors a bad experience, it may rank lower. Google measures the new ranking with “Core Web Vitals” and has set out its guidelines online.

Many things can influence UX, but a few key factors are apparent:

  • Ads shouldn’t interfere with the user’s view of content.
  • Your site should load quickly and be mobile-friendly.
  • Any website should be clutter-free and easy to navigate.
  • You should include CTAs, so customers know what to do next.

Finally, use consistent styling throughout, and make it accessible.

4. Don’t Forget Long-Tail Keywords

You usually see long-tail keywords on the right side of a search engine results page (SERP).

A long-tail keyword is a term that typically has low search volume but still meets the criteria for relevancy to your business. They also tend to convert well because they’re a better match for what the searcher is looking for, and they typically give higher traffic.

For those reasons, you shouldn’t be afraid to rank for long-tail keywords because they’re a valuable source of traffic.

Long-tail keywords are great for:

  • competitive niches
  • increased conversion rates
  • ranking new sites more easily

You can find long-tail keywords by using Google’s “People also ask” or use a free keyword tool like Ubersuggest. There are plenty of other tools available too.

The following example uses Wordtracker, where the search for “dumbells” delivered this:

E-Commerce SEO Best Practices - Use Long-tail keywords

As you can see, they give you a firm idea of what your customer is looking for and of their intentions.

5. Use a Simple URL Structure

There are more detailed guides on URL structures, but this section gives you the basics.

A simple URL structure not only enhances the user experience but also improves your SEO e-commerce efforts to some extent.

Additionally, when your e-commerce site has a simple URL structure, it’s easier to share products on social media and other websites, and it can improve SEO for e-commerce as it provides more relevant data for search engines.

For the best results, URLs should be as readable and understandable as possible.

For instance, here’s an example of what NOT to do: https://www.example.com/article-about-hiking/

It would be much better to use this URL structure: https://www.example.com/hiking-articles

Google also has some advice on improving URL structure.

Additionally, you can:

Use Keywords

Search engines scan the URL and use the keywords in the URL to determine where that page should rank in the SERPs. The keywords in the URL are called “metatags” and help tell search engines what the content or topic of that page is.

That’s why you must spend some time thinking about your keywords before deciding on a URL structure.

When people search for your business online, they often type in the precise words they’re looking for. As an example, a person may type in “online shoe store” into a search engine.

Therefore, when someone types in “online shoe store,” it’s crucial those words are somewhere in your URL structure.

Use Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a navigational tool. They allow website visitors to retrace previous steps and return to where they started. Breadcrumbs are not just a usability technique but also provide additional SEO benefits.

For example, if you visit a blog post from your main homepage, the breadcrumb for that post would be “Home > Blog > This Post.”

You find breadcrumbs in many web design tools, and you can add them by using markup tags or via JavaScript.

Avoid Stop Words

Common stop words are “the,” “and,” “of,” and “a.”

Stop words can decrease your content’s readability and may lower your SEO rankings.

In addition, stop words are less likely to hold a reader’s interest. By removing these words from your website, you can use those spaces for more creative and relevant copy.

6. Use Schema Markups to Help Google and Users Understand Content

Schema markups are HTML tags that provide additional information about the content on web pages. By using these markups, it can improve your SEO for e-commerce efforts.

When you use schema markup, it produces rich snippets. These are a way for search engines to show more information about specific items in the search results.

They also help people find what they are looking for faster and easier by showing different types of information.

There are many different types of rich snippets, such as:

E-Commerce SEO Best Practices - Use Schema Markups

The kinds of e-commerce schema are:

  • Product schema: This is an extension for products, services, and organizations. It enables discovering new products and services in web search queries by providing rich product information such as images, price, and availability. Product schema also allows the display of product ads on the SERPs.
  • Review schema: This enables online reviews. The author and title filters allow you to find specific people who have written reviews on your website or blog post and for searchers to find product reviews.
  • Product availability schema: The product availability schema is a list of products that are available to purchase. It can be a single page, or it can be within an online store. Such lists typically detail the product name, description, price, images, and variants.
  • Video schema: Video schema is a type of metadata used to describe the content and format. For example, video schema may include the audio language, video resolution, or age rating of the video.
  • Price schema: Price schema is a technique for the pricing of products or a price range.

7. Avoid Duplicate Pages and Content

Have you ever visited a website and got the feeling you’ve read it all somewhere before? That’s all too common with production descriptions and category descriptions when online retailers use duplicate product catalogs and images.

It’s understandable why e-commerce sellers just republish the same descriptions. Usually, it’s simply because they don’t have the resources to produce fresh content themselves.

However, even if you don’t have time to rewrite everything, you can still significantly reduce the amount of duplication on your site in product descriptions and other areas.

For instance, by

  • using a CMS with site-wide 301 redirects or adding canonical tags on every page that you know might have duplicates (pages with similar titles, pages that share an identical URL, etc.)
  • adding a suffix to the URL
  • using different product images
  • adding unique keywords on other pages

8. Don’t Let Page Speed Kill Your Ranking

Website page speed loading time is the measurement of how long it takes for an internet user to open a web page. You can measure it by adding up the time to download all the non-hidden assets, such as images, scripts, and stylesheets.

Page speed is a ranking factor, and survey after survey shows consumers aren’t willing to wait around while a site loads.

Web-users say their ideal site speed is just two seconds, but the faster, the better. If you’re not sure about your current speeds, you can test it at Cloudflare or try Google’s tool.

What should you do if your site is too slow? First, you need to find the reason. It could be:

  • Your site simply has too much content for your server to handle.
  • Too many scripts are slowing down load times.
  • Images take an excessive amount of time to load.
  • There’s a problem with your web host.

While not all e-commerce site owners can guarantee a perfect 100 percent on Google’s PageSpeed Insights, you can try and fasten load times by:

  • having fewer images on the pages
  • compressing files
  • using fewer social media widgets
  • optimizing your images
  • avoiding clutter and using plenty of white space
  • limiting redirects and HTTP requests
  • fastening your server response time

Additionally, you might want to think about changing web hosts or upgrading your hosting package to accommodate your needs better.

9. Content Does Matter for E-Commerce

E-commerce isn’t just about images and keywords. Written content should also be part of your SEO for e-commerce strategy.

Posting regular content not only attracts organic traffic. It can gain your customers’ trust, boost your website rankings, and solidify your reputation as an expert in your niche too.

There are many types of content you can focus on:

  • sharing how-to pieces and answering FAQs
  • new product launches and anything newsworthy
  • a glossary page
  • including user-generated content (UGC)
  • testimonials and launches
  • video demonstrations and Q and As
  • webinars

For more ideas, take it a step further and get to know your audience so you understand their main concerns and problems. This allows you to write content that addresses their everyday worries and offer products that solve these.

Now you’ve got some ideas for content. However, content isn’t worthwhile without a strategy behind it. Let’s break it down:

  1. Get to know your customers better with buyer personas.
  2. Understand their preferred content. If you’re tracking your content data, you should see which content types get the most views. Additionally, you can ask customers and prospects through surveys or groups.
  3. Establish a content calendar and create the content.
  4. Publish the appropriate content for the various stages of the buying cycle.
  5. Use A/B testing in key areas like titles.
  6. Measure the results and tweak.

10. Link Building for E-Commerce

Link building is a ranking factor for SEO. Quality links tell Google that your site has credibility. Backlinks also influence how your website ranks for keywords.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But just how do you go about creating these all-important backlinks?

A few ways to do this are:

  • creating internal backlinks
  • writing guest posts
  • using social media ads
  • sharing content on social media
  • issuing press releases
  • writing blog comments and sharing on forums (if allowed)
  • creating infographics and sharing them online
  • issuing whitepapers and case studies

These are all legitimate ways to build quality links. Although they can take time, you shouldn’t take shortcuts by buying links. Some paid links violate Google’s guidelines, and if you’re buying cheap links, the quality is usually questionable. Poor quality links lead to lower SERP rankings and reduced traffic, as well as a potential negative impact on your site’s reputation.

11. Add a Sitemap

A sitemap is a visual representation of your website or digital product. It provides visitors with a bird’s eye view of the website and explores different pages.

Your sitemap should detail all of the pages on your site, from category pages to product pages. It should also include all the subcategories, products, and other content within those sections.

You can develop a sitemap manually or use an automated tool such as Google’s Webmaster Tools to generate one. Sitemaps use both XML and HTML, although HTML sitemaps are more helpful to visitors.

Other tools for creating a sitemap are:

Lucid Sitemap Generator

The Lucid chart sitemap generator is a user-friendly tool that makes creating a sitemap for your website easy. It has many features, like adding categories and subcategories.

Powermapper

Powermapper is an easy-to-use tool for creating and updating sitemaps and allows you to generate one-click checkouts.

It’s a web-based tool with no coding expertise required. However, there is a fee.

12. Make Social Sharing Easy

Google’s Matt Cutts once said that social sharing doesn’t impact SEO, but many would disagree.

While social media sharing may not directly affect your SEO, sharing your content on social media increases brand exposure and gets people more familiar with your business.

Further, the more mentions you get on social media, the more influence this can have on your SEO by:

  • driving organic traffic and increasing visibility
  • improving local SEO
  • expanding your content reach and enhancing brand recognition
  • increasing backlinks

If you want an easy way to increase your shares on social media, consider getting a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to automatically post content from your site across all of your social media accounts at scheduled intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions About SEO for E-Commerce

How do I Find the Right Keywords For my E-commerce Store?

There are several free resources that you can use to find keyword ideas, such as Google AdWords, Ubersuggest, and Google’s Keyword Tool. You should also look at what your competitors are using to find the best keywords for their audience.

Finally, avoid using broad keywords that generate many clicks but don’t provide much conversion value. Use long-tail keywords where you can.

How Much Does SEO for E-Commerce Cost?

The cost of SEO depends on many factors, including the number of keywords targeted, competitive landscape, and how much effort you need to optimize each page for ranking.

It’s not easy to put a price tag on SEO because it depends on how many resources you allocate and what you want to achieve. To help you budget, Search Engine Journal provides an SEO budget calculator.

What Is SEO for E-Commerce?

SEO for e-commerce is the process of optimizing a website so that it can rank more highly in search engines. Several factors affect how well a website ranks on the SERPs, such as the quality and relevance of the content, the use of appropriate keywords to optimize the site, and the site’s load speed.

How Is SEO for E-Commerce Different?

When it comes to SEO for e-commerce, there are different areas you need to focus on, such as optimizing:

  • product pages and descriptions
  • diversifying product content and information
  • images on your website
  • your homepage

SEO for E-Commerce Conclusion

SEO for e-commerce helps boost your website visibility, brings new queries and customers, and helps build your loyal audience.

It may seem like there’s a lot to think about. However, by concentrating on the main SEO best practices and optimizing the critical areas of your website, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds.

The most important thing to remember is SEO for e-commerce doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s an ongoing strategy that requires updating as you go to get the optimum results.

What is your experience of SEO for e-commerce? Tell us below.

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



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