Live: Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics

Oct 6, 2009 - 10:40 am 2 by
Filed Under SMX East 2009

Below is live coverage of the Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics from the SMX East 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Sheara Wilensky of Promediacorp & Keri Morgret of Strike Models.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage, please excuse any typos. You can also interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed.

Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics(10/06/2009) 
10:45 Sheara Wilensky:  First speaker is Eli Goodman from ComScore
10:46 Sheara Wilensky:  Search and comparison shopping has continued to increase in popularity in Q2 vs a year ago
10:46 Sheara Wilensky:  You can see referred is going up vs non referred
10:46 Sheara Wilensky:  Do people search differently on searchengines vs comparison shopping engines?
10:47 Sheara Wilensky:  On comparison shopping brands barely ever show up while brands are KING on search engines
10:47 Sheara Wilensky:  So on comp shopping engnes we dont really worry about brands as much.
10:48 Sheara Wilensky:  Coupon searching: growth is way up. Double digits increase over the year.
10:49 Sheara Wilensky:  The number of searches of ppl looking for coupons and deals is way way up. So keep that in mind when playing with copy. But dont use "free" for luxury goods!
10:49 Keri Morgret:  YouTube is second largest search property in US.
10:49 Sheara Wilensky:  Michael Jackson was number 1.
10:50 Sheara Wilensky:  When you talk about retail related searches on YouTube, people are looking for commercials. There is great opportunity for video promotion.
10:50 Sheara Wilensky:  I put in "shoes" and you can see JC Penney on the #1 promoted videos list. But you can see that it's still a much less crowded marketplace.
10:51 Sheara Wilensky:  A smaller retailer ranks #4 on YouTube for shoes.
10:51 Keri Morgret:  There are good long tail opportunities on YouTube.
10:51 Sheara Wilensky:  Ex: women;s shoes: I couldn't find any promoted videos!
10:51 Sheara Wilensky:  Even imp terms, there is definitely opportunity.
10:51 Keri Morgret:  How well has it been working?
10:52 Sheara Wilensky:  You can see the numbers are high forJC Penney and Target.
10:52 Sheara Wilensky:  A smaller retailer will still have strong numbers on YouTube
10:52 Sheara Wilensky:  So you don't just have to be an enormous retailer.
10:53 Sheara Wilensky:  If you come up with something interesting, people will view it!
10:53 Sheara Wilensky:  Next up is Karon Thackston
10:53 Keri Morgret:  Karon Thackston, President, Marketing Words
10:53 Keri Morgret:  Most attention to design and content is paid to the Home page and individual product pages.
10:54 Keri Morgret:  However, only 40% of visitors arrive on the website's home page -- yet we don't give attention to these pages!
10:54 Keri Morgret:  Close to 60^ of all product page arrivals leave immediately.

Only about 33% category page arrivals leave immediately.

10:55 Keri Morgret:  She asks why category pages often have very little copy. People don't know who you are, what you offer.
10:56 Keri Morgret:  There's also a natural affinity for category pages and search engines. Flaws in category pages usually have small photographs, sparse copy, and ill-equppped brand and service messaging.
10:56 Keri Morgret:  The fix: Add copy above the fold.
10:56 Keri Morgret:  Rosetta Stone put product copy next to the images on the right.
10:57 Keri Morgret:  Think of your category pages and landing pages. It's not always a linear type of search.
10:58 Keri Morgret:  Your golden opportunity -- add keyword-rich copy to category and sub category pages. You will:

Rank more pages highly in the engines.

Effectively introduce your site/brand to first-time visitors.

Improve visitors' shopping experiences.
10:59 Keri Morgret:  What to put:

Unique information to differentiate your site from other options, especially if you're a reseller.
- Buy Direct
- Exclusively from
- Manufacturer pricing/selection.

Offer decision-making information
- Answer questions customers ask when deciding to buy. What questions would you have if you were trying to buy and only had a category page to tell you?

Identify service offerings/brand messaging.
- Free shipping
- Paid shipping on returns
11:00 Keri Morgret:  She shows an example from one of her clients. The site sells to wholesalers and end users.

There is copy on the top that address how to use the products. Click more information, you go to the bottom of the page with information for wholesalers.
11:00 Keri Morgret:  Immediate 20.5% increase in sales.
Average increase of sales dollars of 55% over 12 months.l
Peak increase in sales of 71% over 12 months.
11:00 Keri Morgret:  She's seen this happen over many ecommerce sites she's worked with.
11:01 Keri Morgret:  Don't give up if your first test doesn't work.
11:01 Keri Morgret:  Do yell at Microsoft when their product fails right as you're trying to finish your presentation.
11:02 Keri Morgret:  We're fixing technology, a break for a moment.
11:02 Sheara Wilensky:  Next up is Khalid Saleh
11:02 Keri Morgret:  Khalid Saleh, Co-Founder & President, Invesp
11:03 Sheara Wilensky:  Most ecommerce stores report an average conv rate of 2% but plenty report upwardsof 10%, Amazon typically anywhere from 12% to 17%.

So how do you convince visitors to your site to buy from you?
11:04 Sheara Wilensky:  The most imp question to ask is where should I start. About 70% of conversion optimization projects fail bc the wrong pages are optimized.
11:04 Sheara Wilensky:  Focus on your top landing pages, pages that have high bounce rates and exit rates.
11:05 Sheara Wilensky:  Segment by traffic source, traffic medium.
11:05 Sheara Wilensky:  Now what about site-wide issues?
11:05 Sheara Wilensky:  3 metrics that are imp for conv rate optimization:
11:06 Sheara Wilensky:  1) Bounce rate: some pages will have higher than others, but you should focus on what;s higher than the site avg.
11:06 Sheara Wilensky:  But this data is skewed, bc when you have pages with alot of traffic, the bounce rate is skewed.
11:07 Sheara Wilensky:  For example, the top 10 pages are responsible for 47% of entraces. So exclude the top 10 pages and recalculate your bounce rate.
11:08 Sheara Wilensky:  2) Category pages - if you look at the traffic here you see some traffic that exits right away, some navigate to other category pages, and some navigate to actual product pages.
11:08 Sheara Wilensky:  Here is a categorization scheme for a typical web site.
11:08 Sheara Wilensky:  Look at the traffic patterns and see how ppl are navigating.
11:09 Sheara Wilensky:  The Bounce Around Effect.
11:09 Keri Morgret:  Looking at Google Analytics entrances and where they go next.
11:09 Sheara Wilensky:  That tells you there are site wide issues you should investigate.
11:10 Sheara Wilensky:  Goals on a category page: bounce rate less than 5% , exit rate less than 5%, bounce around rate less than 5%.
11:10 Sheara Wilensky:  3) Is your product page working for visitors?
11:11 Sheara Wilensky:  The goal is to convince users to add an item to the cart. Sometimes we redesign the pages, we want to reduce the actions to get the user to stay and buy.
11:12 Sheara Wilensky:  i.e. reduce navigation to othe pages.
11:12 Sheara Wilensky:  We want 10% of people who come toaproduct page to add the item tothe cart.
11:12 Sheara Wilensky:  If the item is less than $100, we should get 25% of ppl to add product to cart. If the number is less than 1%, it's a poor product page.
11:13 Sheara Wilensky:  Next up is Adam Audette.
11:13 Keri Morgret:  Adam Audette, President, AudetteMedia, Inc
11:14 Keri Morgret:  Three tips for ecommerce Ecommerce SEO

Definitive product URLs.
11:15 Keri Morgret:  Speed Rules (latency).

What does load time influence?
  • Search engine crawl/discovery.
  • User experience. It's poor if it's slow loading.
  • Your bottom line.
What can you do about it?
  • Optimize your content at the server level. Compress, externalize, expire.
  • Redirects cause lag, too.
  • Best resource: Yahoo! Dev Network. They came out with y! slow.
11:16 Keri Morgret:  Adam will give the slides afterwards for URLs.
11:16 Keri Morgret:  Recommendation Engines

What can they do?
  • Increase averages pages per visit
  • Flatten a site
  • Relate product together
  • Upsell (Amazon is king!)
11:17 Keri Morgret:  Results of doing this for zappos:
Average PPV up 20%
Time on site up 2.8%
Bounce rate down 5.9%
Conversion rate up 5%

This is just from adding recommendations.
11:17 Keri Morgret:  Adam is a Meatloaf fan too!
11:18 Keri Morgret:  Duplicate content. What's wrong with it?
  • It impacts indexation. There's a crawl cap for number of pages it indexes.
  • Causes PageRank split.
  • Causes page dilution
11:18 Keri Morgret:  Use a site search, inurl: and intitle: searches for a domain.
11:19 Keri Morgret:  He shows an example of ticketmaster and a search for Madonna tickets.
11:19 Keri Morgret:  How to fix dupe content?

Low intensive:
- parameter removal
- link canonical tag

Medium Intensive
- 301 redirects

High intensive
- URL re-structuring
11:20 Keri Morgret:  yslow
Google and Yahoo! DConsoles
9am session on Wednesday

11:20 Keri Morgret:  Check out search engine land post yesterday by Adam.
11:20 Sheara Wilensky:  Next up is Laura Thieme.
11:21 Sheara Wilensky:  6 ways to cut your ppc budget for those who need it, I will teach you to cut 15% of budget.
11:21 Sheara Wilensky:  How many of you have done a conversion audit?
11:22 Sheara Wilensky:  We suggest to pull 13 months of data. If you pull kws with ZERO converions or a higher than accepted cost per conversion, low ctr, average position.
11:24 Sheara Wilensky:  Customer Challenge - CTR was in the tank, less than 1%. So we looked at 13 months of KPIs, we found $53k of kws that never converted!!! These were kws that were not getting a lot of focus. And we founf $85k of kws that were getting very high costs per acquisition.
11:25 Sheara Wilensky:  Solutions:
  • Broaden phrase match. In the new Adwords interface, there is a "see search terms" feature.
  • Care about negative matches!
11:26 Sheara Wilensky:  In one month we were able to increase CTR and CVR and lower CPA.
11:26 Sheara Wilensky:  Tools needed forPPC cleanup:

  1. Adwords editor is strongly recommended
  2. Any search analytics tool that enables you to see trends
11:27 Sheara Wilensky:  Goal: Significantly lower your cost per acquisition. You don't need more budget, you just need to reallocate.
11:27 Sheara Wilensky:  Caution: If you want to keep your job, do trend analysis!!!
11:28 [Comment From Guest]
You rock, thanks for the work you are putting in here!
11:28 Keri Morgret:  You're welcome guest!
11:28 Sheara Wilensky:  Increase your brand term exposure.
11:29 Keri Morgret:  Jiyan Wei, Director of Product Management, PRWeb is up now.
11:29 Keri Morgret:  He's speaking on News Release tips.

Meet Audience Demand.
Finding your story is a balancing act between locating a story that is relevant to you and matching that with customer demand.
11:31 Keri Morgret:  Stay Focused. Balance the audience demand while keeping true to your topic.
11:31 Keri Morgret:  Use images with your news release. CTR increased about 15-25% when images were used.
11:32 Keri Morgret:  I believe that previous stat was when the thumbnail was included in the SERPs.
11:32 Keri Morgret:  Images also help to get other people to pick up the story.
11:33 Keri Morgret:  Images increase your footprint on release of the distribution. Images show up in image search in the engines, in once case, there was 90% of the traffic that came from image search.
11:33 Keri Morgret:  Use Video. Long time on page with video.
11:34 Keri Morgret:  Other things:
Anchor Text Links
ALT tags
URL keywords
Description Tag
Title Tag.

Different services provide these in different ways.
11:35 Keri Morgret:  That's the last of the speakers, with 25 minutes for Q&A.
11:36 Keri Morgret:  We had eight minutes per speaker. All speakers were well prepared and kept in their time limits.
11:36 Keri Morgret:  Image size -- PR web shrinks it to 200x300. They haven't done a whole lot of research on exact size to make image.
11:37 Keri Morgret:  Product level pages -- Land's End and Omaha Steaks have good examples of product-level pages.
11:38 Keri Morgret:  Conversion optimization: be sure to test, test in a systematic way.
11:39 Keri Morgret:  Page rank does affect crawl budget.
11:41 Keri Morgret:  Laura talks about one of her clients that had keywords that didn't have any conversions. They may have been relevant at the beginning, or it could have been an off suggestion by Google.

Look at your keyword search report to look for negatives and suggestions for better keywords.
11:46 Keri Morgret:  The audience ran out of questions, so the moderator is doing something new. He's asking the audience for their tips for ways to make money, and he'll give the best tip (based on audience votes) a $300 gift certificate to his site.
11:46 Keri Morgret:  In Yahoo's search marketing there's an assist metric that shows you what keywords supported a conversion in the last 30 days.
11:51 Keri Morgret:  The session is now over.



Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google Core Update Coming, Ranking Volatility, Bye Search Notes, AI Overviews, Ads & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 19, 2024

Jul 19, 2024 - 10:00 am
Search Video Recaps

Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Update Coming, Ranking Volatility, Bye Search Notes, AI Overviews, Ads & More

Jul 19, 2024 - 8:01 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Billions Of Google URLs Will No Longer Work

Jul 19, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: ccTLDs & Language Do Help You Rank A Little Better In Local Country Region

Jul 19, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google's On Knowing If Your SEO Team Is Doing Their Job

Jul 19, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google Ads

Google Merchant Center Next Gains Support For Supplemental Feeds

Jul 19, 2024 - 7:21 am
Previous Story: Live: Real Time Search: Opportunity Or Hype?