Internet Marketing: Gear Up For Changes in Online Marketing
Much has changed in catalog retailing over the past five years. But as Michelle Farabaugh, a partner with catalog consultancy LENSER, sees it, there’ll be more change over the next five years than the past 30. She offered points and noted some key issues catalogers should be on the lookout for during a session at last week’s New England Mail Order Association conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): “Because search is so important,” she said, “it’s critical once we get customers to the site that they can acutally find what they’re looking for and we can find what they need and close that sale.”
Include key words in page titles (which should contain 40 to 75 characters), in a static landing page, in product headlines, next to prices and in site maps, she said.
Check Google Indexing: “It’s really all about Google Adwords, Froogle and AOL,” she pointed out. “It’s pay for placement, because you really want to get to the top of the page.” The number of Google indexed pages should equal the number of product pages on your site.
The higher ranked your paid search, she noted, the higher you’ll see your SEO results. When a consumer sees both a sponsored and organic link, they tend to go to your site more. “They tend to think this site will be appropriate for what they’re looking for,” she pointed out.
Consider outsourcing: If you’re paying more than $10,000 a month for search, and if you dedicate more than 20 hours a week to this, “it’s a lot of time for someone who doesn’t have this much time,” she said. “Select a search engine marketing firm that specializes in it, has similar accounts in size and industry as well as longevity of clients. Don’t pay based on sales, especially when your [branded terms] are included in that.”
E-mail in moderation: The more e-mails you send, the less overall business you can get from a consumer, she pointed out. “It’s not always the case, but it can be overkill,” she noted, adding that it’s worth testing sending e-mails on Monday and Wednesday, but Tuesday is usually the best day of the week. E-mails’ effectiveness wear off within two days.