Search Engine Marketing: Finding Santa's Helpers
In June, BIGresearch reported that 89.9 percent of Americans with jobs don't expect to see a pay increase in 2012. As a result, people plan to continue their belt-tightening habits: 58.9 percent plan to spend less on clothing, 53.1 percent plan to comparison shop and 50 percent plan to stay on a strict budget. So, how can you grow your holiday sales while consumers are reducing their spending habits?
It's not a revelation that people use search to find the lowest prices and most convenient ways to purchase products. Search engine marketing is constantly evolving to meet shoppers' needs. Perhaps now more than ever, today's searchers need and want coupons, promotions and free shipping. Search is therefore evolving to better engage these deal seekers. There are three promotional search trends that every cross-channel retailer should explore this holiday season:
- search-embedded coupons;
- free shipping; and
- mobile-targeted promotions.
Embracing these trends requires alignment between your company's online marketing team, offline stores and merchandising department.
As always, promotions will be a critical component of holiday sales. How do your promotions stand out on search engine results pages (SERPs)? Retailers have always been able to highlight promotions in search ad copy, but now there are beta opportunities to embed coupons within paid search listings — i.e., Google Offers. Like Groupon or LivingSocial, Google Offers provides daily deals and coupons. Google Offers' coupons can be embedded in top sponsored paid search ads on both desktop and mobile devices. The coupon appears below the search listing, allowing your listing to occupy more valuable SERP real estate and provide an incentive for deal seekers to give you a second glance. Searchers who click on the coupon are able to redeem it one of three ways: online, print it to use in-store or show their mobile device to a cashier to scan the coupon's barcode.