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January 5 2010

Snag Those Post Holiday Shoppers

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With the 2009 Holiday season behind us many ecommerce businesses will see a sharp decline in their sales.  So how can ecommerce retailers still bring in revenue without feeling the pinch of the slow economy?  The answer is; incentives, incentives, incentives.

Ecommerce retailers should be especially attentive to product prices.  Even though the holiday season is over, it is still important to be competitive and aggressive.  Searchers are always looking for the best deal regardless of the time of year.

Use ad copy such as, ‘after holiday free shipping’ to entice customers to purchase.  If free shipping is not an option, perhaps charge a small fee to ship regardless of the order size.  For example, charge $1 to ship anywhere in the continental U.S.  This promotion depends greatly on the size and weight of the products you will be shipping.

Is free shipping not an option?  Try offering a free gift with purchase.  This is a great way to move old inventory.  Gift with purchases increase the customer’s perceived value of the overall purchase. You can also offer a gift certificate for a small amount for the shopper to use on their next purchase.   Not only does this give your customer an incentive to return, but also helps build loyalty to your site.

Another way to capture shoppers is to consider specials for upcoming holidays.  For example offer special deals or savings for Presidents or Valentine’s Day.

Although times are tough and the economy is still sluggish; you can still be a shinning star in your industry by thinking outside the box.  Now is your opportunity to attract new customers, as well as retain old ones.  Whatever promotion you decide to utilize, be sure that your efforts are reflected in your search engine marketing campaigns.  Remember to keep to the message cohesive between your site and your ppc ads.  With the amount of people searching on Google, Bing and Yahoo you can get your 2010 sales started off with a bang. 

November 12 2009

Just A Little Bit of Character

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For any advertiser who has participated in search engine marketing, part of the difficultly is saying what you want to say within the allotted characters.  The major search engines; Google, Yahoo and MSN (Bing) each allow 70 characters for the description lines (including punctuation and spacing).  What makes Yahoo’s situation unique from Google and MSN is that Yahoo automatically places a period at the end of the ad description; which technically allows 69 characters.  As many search engine marketers know, one character can make a big difference and as a result you will need to completely rewrite ads.

Only recently, Yahoo broke the mold of limiting the amount of characters from 70 to 71.  This one extra character makes a big difference.  In the past many advertisers have had the last letter cut off the end of the ads, which caused the ads to not make sense.  In the case of advertisers who used automated platforms to push campaigns to various search engines, many did not even know that the last letter had been removed and replaced with a period.

One character may not seem like a lot, however in the world of search engine marketing, a little goes a long way.  This may be the perfect opportunity to revamp your Yahoo ads or to start running on Yahoo, if you are not already doing so.

October 29 2009

Bing It On!

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It should come as no surprise that MSN’s new search engine, Bing has created a rivalry with Google.  On July 29, 2009, MSN declared that they will be merging with Yahoo; this merger will give Bing a much larger share of the search engine market.

Since MSN’s rebranding as Bing, it has reportedly spent $100 million in advertising across multiple platforms including, television networks promotions, television commercials, online entertainment mediums and many more.  According to eWeek.com, this additional exposure helped Bing boost its search engine share to 9.6 percent in August; however September’s search engine volume share fell sharply to 8.5 percent.

Bing continues to brand itself as a ‘decision engine,’ not just another search provider; its goal is to prevent searchers from ‘search overload’ as with other engines.  Bing’s new interface is equipped with tools and a new layout to differentiate itself from the old MSN Live interface.  Whether these new features alone are enough to give Google a run for its money remains to be seen.  However, with the merger, Yahoo will give Bing a larger portion of the search market; making it second only to Google.

According to PC World, the battle between Bing and Google is starting to heat up on Facebook and Twitter.  Google recently announced it plans to launch its social search platform as well as the ability for searchers to stream live music within their search engine.  Google’s new music feature will allow users to eventually purchase songs from large music moguls such as Apple’s iTunes with just a few clicks.  Only a short while later, Bing fired back saying that they will be working with Facebook to incorporate profile status updates within Bing search results.  Although, Facebook claims that ‘no money has changed hands’ concerning the deal.

Even though the Yahoo/Bing merger has not yet been completed, it is apparent that Bing is making strides to capture and retain internet searchers.  The battle is on.  Who will win?  Only time will tell.

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