Social media is a valuable marketing tool retailers of all sizes and industries should use. Consumers spend a lot of time on social media sites, and retailers should take advantage of this. In comparison to many outbound marketing practices, social media is a simple, cost-effective tool for retailers to reach consumers and lead them to their website, as well as convert leads into sales. Here are four easy ways retailers can use social media to successfully market their business:

As websites continue to see a rise in visits from searches conducted on Bing, the search engine optimization world wonders about the degree of focus the search engine should be given. On average, Bing pales in comparison to Google at percentage of organic traffic share (10.5 percent vs. 78.1 percent in this year's third quarter). However, with Facebook Graph Search presenting Bing search results since January, and now Apple defaulting to Bing as a blanket solution for questions Siri can't answer, is Bing really beginning to gain ground? The answer is a little and there's potential for more, but no thanks to Siri or Facebook … yet.

With search moving away from desktops for a mobile alternative, Google became aware of the need need for a new web design layout that could help better monetize search results across all devices.

The key to getting shoppers to notice your online videos is to get as much mileage out of them as possible. That means thinking beyond product pages. Sure, they're the logical place for your videos, but there are many more ways to place videos in front of consumers’ eyeballs — at the beginning of the shopping process, in the middle and after browsers become buyers.

Charming Charlie, a Houston-based fashion, jewelry and accessories retailer, launched a local search marketing program late last year that helped its local first-page Google search rankings nearly double on average in the more than 240 cities where the retailer has brick-and-mortar locations.

With so much consumer activity moving online, retailers must be strategic in the ways in which they market products to internet shoppers. A significant part of those strategies will center on comparison shopping engines (CSEs) such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, Shopzilla and others. However, marketers are still struggling to make informed, profitable decisions about which CSEs are worthy of their budgets. Too many retailers look first at the cost per click (CPC) and never dig deeper to determine actual CSE value. In reality, it's the revenue-per-click (RPC) data that should influence retailers’ CSE investment decisions. Marketers that know how much revenue each click generates can then determine the return on investment by considering the CPC.

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