Myriad Ways to Drive ROI via Paid Search
As reports of April's retail sales attest, consumers are continuing to keep a firm grip on their pocketbooks. In this ultracompetitive environment where every dollar is fought for, customer acquisition takes on added importance. Paid search often serves as the battlefield for access to these elusive consumers.
In a session at the Annual Conference for Catalog & Multichannel Merchants earlier this month in New Orleans, Kevin Lee, chairman/CEO of the search engine marketing firm Didit, and Amy Wong, e-commerce marketing manager at the women's apparel retailer New York & Co., presented several ways to help companies optimize their search marketing dollars across all channels.
3 Keys to Paid Search Success
Lee began his session by giving his three keys to paid search success:
- seek audiences, not clicks — and be willing to pay for them;
- engage targeted searchers; and
- be ready for the future.
Search clicks provide more high-quality traffic and better quality scores, Lee said, but you have to figure out when to fight for that top position, as well as subsequent clicks. “Conserve your budget for when times matter most,” he said. “You're in an auction with your competitors, whether they're bidding rationally or irrationally.”
Then use all the data and strategy at your disposal to determine the best clicks to go after. Lee advised following the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your search clicks drive 80 percent of your business. “Target beyond keywords,” Lee stressed, instead focusing on audiences.
Ask yourself the following questions to get a better understanding of your audience members, he said:
- Who are they?
- What do they respond to?
- Are there audience members you don't want?
- Can you rescue a poorly performing segment?
Know the customers that your search campaigns are after, including higher spenders (average order value) and lifetime value (short-term sales vs. long-term relationships). For B-to-B companies, predict lead quality by asking questions that'll help you predict good leads vs. bad leads — for example, company size.