Shopping Search Tactics

Apr 12, 2007 - 3:05 pm 0 by

Shopping Search Tactics Thursday April 12, 2007 2pm Vertical and Retail Track

Moderator: Alan Dick, Vintage Tub and Bath


Brian Smith, Scott Greenberg, Marchex Brian Mark,

Can't believe I got to this session with time to spare. Had to depart the SEO Women's luncheon early, after gulping down soup and drying off after arriving there drenched from the pouring rain. Nice turnout, despite the weather. Tamar is not far behind, also running back to catch her session. I ducked out with Jill Whalen, who had to speak at 2pm, replacing Mike Grehan. The room was packed by the time they started.

Alan starts off. Shows a product from his company and will give them away to 4 questioners at the end, shower thingy. Another presenter has drill bits to give away. Another has water bottle and money. Silly stuff, incentives from the shopping sites.

Brian Smith - Learn to love your feed. Who uses shopping engines? Do you use more than 3? More than 8? More than 10? Show of hands as he asks. Will discuss basics of shopping search engines. He's from and SEWatch. Blogs for DFO = Data feed optimization, a new term. No one thinks it’s easy to work with shopping search engines. It's hard to get images and products up and running. Add as much info as possible with your feed. Read directions carefully. Automated XXL solutions aren't optimal. Track your stats. Submit to Google Base. It's free. They cleaned it up. DFO. Will get into later.

Lots of choices. Big/small, datafeeds/crawlers, free/paid/cpa/vertical lists them. Shopzilla, Froogle, Builders Square, USA Today, MySimon,, TheFind, vdeep, Healthpricer, Become, Smart, Cnet Shopper, Pricewatch..I grabbed what I could. There are adult toy comparison engines out there. Some search sites will appear from merchant sites, even if competitors. Consumers - know the question the shopper is asking. Merchant - Delivers a highly target market. Use automated feeds. Fill out all fields. Choose categories. Track. Do it manually is fine.

Scott Greenberg - Start with high margin areas. You will have room for error. Learn about the engines. Actively manage CPCs across cat, prod and campaign. Know the "true" ROI. Returns, charge backs, incentives understand pricing, price changes, bidding. What it means for your products. Fill out all required fields in your feeds. Add price, product availability, tax, shipping, more. Take advantage of merchant ratings, testimonials, non-standard opps. Logos, displays.

Ex. of binoculars search. Shows lots of reviews. Shows logos. Another search site shows ratings and takes advantage of that. They handed out a shopping feed matrix. Has feed positioning factors. They're all different.

Brian Mark - is his blog, to learn more. Probs are raising cpc. Poor tracking tools. Analytics don't often get it right. Too many ind. feeds. ROI is hard to calculate correctly. More competitors. Rules constantly evolve. Nowadays there could be hundreds of the same tool listed for example. At first they listed everything but have cut back. Track data. Develop technology to target exact products to send in the feed. They use Froogle/Google Base, Bizrate/shopzilla...and a few more. No need to be on every shopping search. The key is knowing your clicks and sales associated with them. Must decide how much weight each multiple clicks gets. First one, last one sold? Irregularities are several clicks at a time before making a purchase, what if it is a bot, seasons, each engine handles clicks differently. When to discount a click?

They look for most clicks vs. sales. Hidden costs are things like boxes, order processing, merchant acct fees, drop ship, call center staff, and more. GP - (CPC*Clicks), calculate the cost of each sale vs. net profit. Take a look at problem items. Watch new competitors. Set goal for ROI numbers. Drop poorly producing products. Work on conversion rates. Yank a product if it doesn't meet your goals. Smart feeds show a profit. Shows stats on cpc. Watch engines that charge an extra 10 cents per click. Try to get really good ratings. Use your seals, logos, pricing and ratings to stand out. Some engines will charge more for things like logos in the feed. Direct shopping is easiest to track. Someone clicks on a product and buys on the same visit. Indirect shopping engine sales for a number of reasons. Ask how they found the product. Set a cookie on the email to friend inbound link. When your merchant ratings are low, people tend to call to order.

Using shopping engines meant increase in sales. A redesign killed traffic for awhile but shopping engines kept things going until Google found them again. Shopping engines can lead to new customers. about 20%. Adwords - 4% MSN 6, Yahoo 9. 22% repeat shoppers come back via shopping search engines. They like being able to compare prices. Track as much as you can. The more you know the better to track ROI. Set goals and stick to them, even if it means dropping your fave product.

Brian Smith is up again. Uses to show example of how to do a feed. Everyone wants to get to the top of GoogleBase. Shows an Excel spreadsheet. Quantitative aspect and qualitative aspect. Data feed can be optimized. You can change copy. Add keywords. Don't ignore them. You can do PPC and SEO work through your data feed. Figure out where the title fields are the same. Look for long tail terms. If not using attributes on shopping search engines you're missing out. All engines have different headings. Part numbers are unique identifiers. Remember yours because others who sell forget your product may forget to add it. Don't forget product name. Some sites draw from the product title, so it has to be there. Be specific with titles. You can add color later. Suggest if a great holiday present. Show users you understand what they're looking for. A month before Mothers day, put "Great Mothers Day present" in desc. Be careful to not send JavaScript 9or other code in fields. Sometimes will get a rejection for having a dollar sign. Read directions. Track product urls, so you can track better. Image urls don't like muli9ple image urls because they can't understand the url. All engines ask for unique ID. Be consistent. Don't confuse the engines. If there is no relevant content in your feed, you're in trouble. List payment type. Some engines will strip away data they don't accept. He has issues with Google checkout. Not many people in the aud use it. He provided the audience with an optimization checklist. Make sure your products have unique urls. Don't list the same title 20 different times. No html allowed in feeds. The checklist is on the screen and is very long and detailed. Experiment with using your logo and removing it. Test results.


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