E-commerce: Plot Out Your Online Programs
Sure, you have programs for search engine marketing (SEM), e-mail and affiliate marketing. But how extensively have you plotted out your overall strategy? A key to your success involves a closely integrated program that involves all forms of online advertising. Following are some strategies revealed.
Gordon Hotchkiss, president/CEO of search engine marketing firm Enquiro, noted in his presentation during the Annual Catalog Conference in Orlando last week several key factors to managing a viable SEM program. He discussed two primary kinds of searches: Mapping searches are when consumers search by subject; transporter searches are when consumers search by company names or URLs.
Be prepared for both, Hotchkiss said. If you sell prom dresses, for instance, be sure you have those keywords especially during the key peak months in late winter and early spring when students search for prom dresses. Meanwhile, transporter searches are especially significant for those catalogers whose brands are readily familiar, he said.
Ensure that your company appears in”that golden triangle,” Hotchkiss said, referring to the top-left corner of search engine Web pages. He cited a recent Enquiro consumer eyeflow study showing that consumers first look to the top results among organic searches that appear in the top-middle of search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
Once you ensure that your site reaches that golden triangle, Hotchkiss said, be sure that surfers can get to a relevant page on your site. “Give some thought to the ‘welcome mat’ you offer,” he said. “Be sure your most common entry points offer a way to navigate your site. This is the front door to your store -- give it as much consideration as you would the front door to your brick-and-mortar stores.”
As for Web-integrated efforts, Howard Blumenthal, director of e-commerce and database management for multichannel tabletop marketer Pfaltzgraff, noted his company uses a large spreadsheet to keep track of all the company’s promotions within its assorted channels: print catalog, Web site, e-mail and retail. (As a side note, he said it’s effective to use the print catalog as the driver of all channels, because it requires the longest lead time to produce.)