8 Search Advertising Questions Every Retailer Should Know the Answers to in 2010

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Questions Every Retailer

Should Know the

Answers to in 2010

Questions Every Retailer

Should Know the

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Introduction

Introduction

Happy New Year!

I have the pleasure of presenting to you our first “Fresh SEM Ideas” white paper of 2010. The next few pages are packed with thought-provoking questions and powerful suggestions. We could have made the content a little less heavy. However, we chose

not to. After all, search advertising is serious business.

At NetElixir, we believe, 2010 marks the beginning of the next generation of search advertising. Knowledge, creativity, adaptability and global mindset will drive our young industry to the next level. In this paper we have hand picked 8 out of the 50+ questions on search advertising, our team is focusing on. We have also shared suggestions and practical advice on how we are trying to address these questions. I strongly urge you to read and re-read this paper and most importantly apply the knowledge to your business. Once you are able to do so in a disciplined manner, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that your search advertising program will be ready for 2010 and beyond.

Wishing you continued success.

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1. Should I be running paid search advertising

campaigns for all product categories?

1. Should I be running paid search advertising

campaigns for all product categories?

NetElixir Suggests:

• Identify the products you want to advertise and the ones you don’t. (Based on your campaign objectives like product margins, wave making ability, etc.)

• For typical retailer search campaigns, 55% of keywords are linked to specific products, 20% of keywords are generic, 15% are brand specific and 10% are linked to unique situations. (Example. Special occasions, target markets, etc.).

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Wave
Making
Capability**

high

high

Star
Products

(must
adver@se)

Aspirant
Products

(must
adver@se)

Wave
Makers

(adver@se
on
a
case
by
case
basis)

`ues@on
Mark
Products

(Jhink
twice
before
adver@sing)

**
 Wave
 Making
 Capabilitya
 Products
 that
 oRen
 lead
 the
 visitor
 to
 consider
 other complementary
 products,
 as
 well.
 (Example.
 Shoes
 have
 the
 wave
 making
 capability
 of leading
to
a
sale
of
socks.)

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2. What are the short term and long term goals

of my paid search advertising program?

2. What are the short term and long term goals

of my paid search advertising program?

NetElixir Suggests:

• DO NOT START paid search advertising without setting short term and long term goals. (Our experience shows that many retailers often do not have a measur-able goal for their search advertising campaign.)

• Ensure that the goals are measurable. (What cannot be measured cannot be managed.)

• Look beyond just using search advertising for customer acquisition. Sample Search Advertising Goal Sheet

Ehat
are
the
short
term
and
long
goals
of
my
>aid
search
ad+er,sing
>rogramA NetElixir
Suggests: •
DX
#XJ
SJ!YJ
paid
search
adver>sing
without
sefng
long
term
and
short
term
goals. 
(Xur
experience
showsQ
thoughQ
that
many
retailers
oRen
do
not
have
a
measurable
goal for
their
search
adver>sing
campaign). •
Ensure
that
the
goals
are
measurable.
(What
cannot
be
measured
cannot
be
managed). •
gook
beyond
_ust
using
search
adver>sing
for
customer
acNuisi>on. Sam>le
Search
)d+er,sing
Goal
Sheet Goals Key
Performance Indicators
(KPI’s) Industry Benchmark Internal
Targets Profitable
customer acNuisi>on Example:
Profit/click Drive
new
visitors
to website Example:
%
new visitors
from
search versus
all
new
site visitors Impression
Share
for top
50
keywords Example:
Share
of Impressions
previous month
versus
this month.

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3. Are the “Key Performance Indicators” I use

to measure SEM performance “outdated”?

3. Are the “Key Performance Indicators” I use

to measure SEM performance “outdated”?

Are
the
“Key
Performance
Indicators”
I
use
to
measure
SEM
performance
“outdated”?
 KPI (need
to
re‐think) KPI (suggested,
2010) Sa,ona6e

Dpend
Z>liia>on Cost
per
!cNuisi>on Cost/Revenue The
average
value
per sale
has
been
erra>c
over the
past
12
months.
The suggested
KPI
of Cost/Revenue
is
a
more efficient
metric
in
present >mes.

Value
Per
Click Revenue
/
Click Profit/Click This
helps
in
focusing
on profitable
products. Return
on
Investment (incorpora>ng
click
to conversion
latency) Revenue
(within
30
days aRer
first
click
on
search ad)
/
Investment Revenue
(within
60
days aRer
first
click
on
search ad)
/Investment The
suggested
metric
is more
relevant
today when
the
click
to conversion
>me
(latency) has
gone
up
by
20%+
in many
categories.

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4. How efficiently am I using search advertising

for advertising short term marketing promotions?

4. How efficiently am I using search advertising

for advertising short term marketing promotions?

NetElixir Suggests:

• Create 90 day Campaign Plan based on marketing promotion calendar.

• Customizing existing campaigns for the promo is more effective than creating new campaigns.

• Tailored landing pages are essential for maximum impact.

• Treat each promo linked campaign as a unique project with defined perfor-mance goals.

• Develop specific KPI’s (in sync with performance goals) to measure performance. • Measure actual campaign performance and document the learnings.

• Build an in-house knowledge base that captures each promo campaign so that you can apply the learnings in future.

T38
eU'ie/tl4
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<
usi/g
se%r'(
%*+er,si/g
@3r
%*+er,si/g
s(3rt
ter?
?%r7e,/g
>r3?3,3/sA


NetElixir
suggests:


Create
n5
day
Campaign
Plan
based
on
marke>ng
promo>on
calendar.


Customiiing
e)is>ng
campaigns
for
the
promo
is
more
eoec>ve
than
crea>ng
new
campaigns.


Tailored
landing
pages
are
essen>al
for
ma)imum
impact.


Treat
each
promo
linked
campaign
as
a
unique
project
with
defined
performance
goals



Develop
specific
KPI’s
(in
sync
with
performance
goals)
to
measure
performance



Measure
actual
campaign
performance
and
document
the
learnings


Build
an
in‐house
knowledge
base
that
captures
each
promo
campaign
so
that
you
can


apply
the
learnings
in
future.

Short
Term


Promo
Campaign

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5. How often do I analyze and tune my

keyword list?

5. How often do I analyze and tune my

keyword list?

NetElixir Suggests:

• Keyword analysis and tuning exercise needs to be done at least twice a month. • Before adding or removing a keyword, weigh its importance and contribution

towards the entire campaign.

• Often, advertisers dump thousands keywords in the account without asking the simple question – “Why am I adding this keyword?” We have seen advertisers announce with a sense of pride that their account has half a million keywords. In most cases they do not have a clue as to how many of these keywords are re-ally performing per expectations.

• Keywords are the most important element of a search advertising campaign be-cause through them you are trying to be visible to the appropriate searcher seg-ment during different stages of “the buyer consideration cycle”. Manage your keyword list with CARE.

Tow
oVen
do
<
analyWe
and
tune
my
keyword
listA NetElixir
Suggests: •
Keyword
analysis
and
tuning
exercise
needs
to
be
done
at
least
twice
a
month. •
Before
adding
or
removing
a
keyword,
weigh
it’s
importance
and
contribu>on
towards 
the
en>re
campaign. •

XRen,
adver>ser
dump
many
thousand
keywords
in
the
account
without
asking
the simple
Nues>on
–
“why
am
I
adding
this
keyword”q
+e
have
seen
adver>sers
announce
 with
a
sense
of
pride
that
their
account
has
half
a
million
keywords.
In
most
cases
they do
not
know
have
a
clue
as
to
how
many
of
these
keywords
are
really
performing
per
 expecta>ons.
 •
Keywords
are
“the
most
important
element”
of
a
search
adver>sing
campaign
because through
them
you
are
trying
to
be
visible
to
the
appropriate
searcher
segment
during different
stages
of
“buyer
considera>on
cycle”.
Manage
your
keyword
list
with
CARE. Analysis
Table Keyword Related Product
Type Match
Type )c,vity Period X
contri=u,on towards campaign revenue X
contri=u,on towards campaign
cost )c,on Taken
(post analysis) Expected outcome

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6. Is my paid search advertising program in sync

with other online customer acquisition campaigns?

6. Is my paid search advertising program in sync

with other online customer acquisition campaigns?

NetElixir Suggests:

• A Paid Search advertising campaign delivers superior returns when coupled with other channels like social media.

• Search is a critical element within the “Shopper Engagement Cycle”. However,

it is not the only element. As the table below shows, it is important to under-stand the role that search plays in the consumer buying process.

Note: Very often, the role played by search in post purchase evaluation gets neglected. NetElixir has been able to conduct successful tests that supports the importance of search during the post purchase evaluation process.

Is
my
>aid
search
ad+er,sing
>rogram
in
sync
8ith
other
online
customer
acYuisi,on
cam>aignsA NetElixir
Suggests: •
Paid
search
adver>sing
campaign
delivers
superior
returns
when
coupled
with
other
 channels
like
social
media. •
Search
is
a
cri>cal
elements
within
the
“Shopper
Engagement
Cycle”.
However,
it
is
 not
the
“only
element”.

As
the
table
below
shows,
it
is
important
to
understand
the role
that
search
plays
in
the
consumer
buying
process. Stage
in
Consumer Buying
Process Influence
of
Search Influence
of
Social
Media

Problem
Yecogni>on Low High

;nforma>on
Search High High

Evaluate
Alterna>ves High Moderate

Purchase
Decision High High

Purchase High Low

Post
Purchase
Evalua>on Low
to
Moderate Low

Note:
kery
oRen,
the
role
played
by
search
in
post
purchase
evalua>on
gets
neglected.

NetElixir
has
been
able
to
conduct
successful
tests
that
supports
the
importance
of
search during
the
post
purchase
evalua>on
process.

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7. Is my ad copy message relevant for the

“new online shopper”?

7. Is my ad copy message relevant for the

“new online shopper”?

The New Online Shopper is:

• Demanding – She wants more value at a lower price.

• Organized – She spends more time in research and evaluation. • Patient – She is willing to wait longer for a better deal.

• Vocal – She shares her product experience regularly. She feels happy that her “opinion matters”.

• Ready to Switch – She is less loyal and less tolerant. She is happy to switch brands as long as long as her value expectations are met.

NetElixir Suggests:

• Search advertisers need to be sensitive to the “new online shopper”. • The buying process often starts with a search.

• Ad Copies need to be tailored extensively. The days of of standard ad templates, when keywords were changed but not the message, are thankfully over.

• Ad copy performance needs to be analyzed bi-monthly.

• Ad copy performance analysis is critical in understanding the preferences of the

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8. How many “new/fresh SEM Ideas” have I tried

each month? Have I documented the learnings?

8. How many “new/fresh SEM Ideas” have I tried

each month? Have I documented the learnings?

5 questions you need to ask your SEM manager:

5 questions you need to ask your SEM manager:

1. Do you have a calendar for testing new search advertising ideas?

2. Are all the tests being documented?

3. What are the key learnings?

4. How will the learnings be used in future to make the tests sharper?

5. What cross-channel tests have been done so far and what are the results?

NetElixir is a firm believer in the power of fresh ideas. Our willingness to test “new stuff” has helped us delight our clients through

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Concluding Notes:

Concluding Notes:

• Search advertising practices need to be in sync with the changing times.

• The recession has changed consumer behavior. Search advertising needs to be

relevant for the new consumer.

• We believe 2010 marks the beginning of the next generation of search advertising. • The key differentiators will be – knowledge, creativity, adaptability and global

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About NetElixir:

About NetElixir:

NetElixir, Inc., is an online customer acquisition management firm headquartered in Princeton, NJ, with global offices in London, UK; Hyderabad, India; Freiburg, Germa-ny; and Copenhagen, Denmark. The company advises clients worldwide on online customer acquisition strategies and, using its proprietary technology - the LXR core platform, helps them achieve online advertising performance maximization.

NetElixir’s suite of services and products includes both an end-to-end campaign management service as well as optimization technology and service solutions for online retailers and agencies.

For additional information, please visit www.netelixir.com or call us at 609.356.5112

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

This NetElixir report is intended for general information and is based on publicly avail -able data avail-able on the Internet at a particular point in time. NetElixir gives no guarantee regarding this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience, or any direct or consequential loss, arising from reliance upon this information.

No part of this report may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise with -out the permission of NetElixir, Inc.

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