Friday 3 August 2012

Pay Per Click Isn’t For Small Businesses... Or Is It?

If you own a small to medium sized multi-channel ecommerce business you might have tried Adwords and found it seriously wanting. 


 The Problem with Adwords for SMEs

Here are some scenarios you might have encountered: 

In order to drive high traffic volume you may have had to bid on broad terms that were expensive and rarely led directly to revenue.

You lost lots of money on the Content Network without even knowing it (I once met a client who had spent £30,000 on Adwords with no return, and the main culprit was the Content Network). 

The market was cornered by the big players – Amazon, Ebay, etc. – who were driving up bid prices and making it impossible to compete.


Time to Give Up on Adwords?

In since 2011 Adwords functionality and reporting has come a long way, while SEO is getting harder and harder to do right and track properly.

The Panda and Penguin updates from Google have meant that optimising your site for search is no longer a case of submitting your site to the right directories and filling your blog posts with enough links. The Analytics update in Autumn 2011 also made it harder to track organic keywords. Any traffic coming from Google searches where the user isn’t signed in now lists the keyword as ‘not provided’. Google have even suggested they will penalise sites for being over-optimised.

This could be seen as a cynical strategy to drive us back to paid search, fortunately Google’s paid search offering has come on in leaps and bounds. Here are our top picks for new stuff on Adwords:

  • Product Search – Have you linked your Merchant Account to your Adwords account yet? Google will automatically take product prices and images and display them in search result pages.
  • Retargeting – Follow your PPC traffic around the internet. Adverts for products they’ve shown interest in will appear on multiple sites. This has now been combined with Google Analytics to make it even easier.
  • Social Ads – Link your Adwords to your Google+ account and display how many ‘likes’ your company has got. (Don’t have a Google+ Page? Call us about our ecommerce mentoring programme and we can help you out).
  • Assisted Conversion Report – It’s always been hard to attribute revenue to PPC, this report makes it much easier to see which Ad Groups are giving you long term value even if they aren’t delivering immediate conversions.
At Moneyspyder we run PPC Campaigns for clients in a wide range of sectors. We also regularly advise people how to improve their existing PPC strategy as part of our Ecommerce Consulting package.

If you’ve tried PPC before and it hasn’t worked, or if you’re struggling to make it turn a profit, give us a ring on 0207 492 1929.

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