When it comes to eCommerce marketing, there’s no shortage of expert resources to be found. If anything, you’ll be flooded with more best practices, ultimate guides, and must-reads than you know what to do with!
When you’re busy growing your business, you don’t have time to sift through endless resources, so I’m saving you the trouble. I asked four eCommerce marketing experts to distill their top tried-and-true tips for scaling online businesses that you can put into action today.
I know you’re busy, so I’ll get straight to the point!
1. Don’t rely on single-channel ad data. It’s misleading.
Brendan Hughes, CEO of Optily, cautions against putting all your eggs into a single attribution basket (unless you’re only running ads on one platform, that is). Facebook might say it’s responsible for a conversion, while Google claims credit for the very same transaction
Why is that? Customer journeys are not clear-cut.
Someone might see a Facebook Ad, click it and browse around a bit without buying. A few days later, they see a display ad while playing Candy Crush and then click through to make a purchase. Both platforms take credit for the same transaction, since the buyer interacted with both Facebook and Google ads along their path to purchase.
“They’re not lying to you,” Brendan says, “They don’t understand what else is happening on a customer’s path to purchase outside of their own platform. So, either by using something like Google Analytics or an attribution solution like Optily, [eliminate the double counting], so that you’re in a better position to understand where to invest.”
Attribution can be a very hairy beast and is one of the top reasons marketers lose sleep at night. Brendan offers pragmatic insights on how marketers can make attribution less infuriating and more efficient, particularly in multi-channel ad campaigns.
2. Structure your site data for better SEO and visibility
“Even if you’re in [search] position 5, you’ll probably get more clicks if you have rich results,” says Barry Schwartz, Co-Founder of RustyBrick. “Structured data is a really great way to see a big bang for your buck, without influencing rankings directly, but having a better click-through rate.”
Structured data helps the search engine know what type of data is on your site, which can help SEO over time, but more so improve visibility on search results.
With your data organized just how Google likes it, you’ll have more of your non-text content displayed on search engine results pages. As Barry pointed out, even if you’re not at the very top of the page, if you’ve got a nice image or carousel of all your awesome products, you’re going to get some clicks!
Which recipe would you click on first?
3. Refresh your no-click Google Shopping products
If you’re in eCommerce and not using Google Shopping — you’re missing out on a goldmine! For those of you who do have it set up, Kirk Williams of ZATO Marketing offers useful advice to revive listings that haven’t sent any clicks in the past month.
You’ve got some active products in your catalog, but Google just isn’t serving them up and they aren’t generating any traffic. Kirk has had great results by downloading these forgotten products from the Google Merchant Center, giving them a custom label, and then launching a Smart Shopping campaign with just these zero-click products.
“Google basically does the best they can with the budget that they have,” said Kirk.
Google prioritizes the products that have the highest potential for conversion and down weighs the rest. Running a separate campaign with just these products allows Google to serve them up on their own, so they don’t have to compete with your other inventory.
Kirk continues, “Almost every time we’ve ever done this in an account, it’s incrementally raised sales — it hasn’t just stolen [sales from other products]. It’s a good little way to get Google focused on products that they weren’t normally thinking about.”
4. Make yourself easily accessible where your customers shop (and use Google My Business!)
Shoppers will go with what’s convenient. That’s a major reason why Amazon is so successful. With free 2-day delivery, why bother going to the mall at all? Take the time to get to know how your target audience shops.
While eCommerce has taken off during the pandemic, many customers want to get out of the house and shop locally. If you can offer curbside pickup or have a small pop-up in a local store, a physical location can really boost your visibility and prove more convenient for some of your customers, according to Greg Sterling of Uberall.
Most importantly, you want to make it simple for people to reach you. “Remove the friction,” says Greg. “They want to do business with you — just make it easier for them. That’s not been something that a lot of small businesses, in particular, have thought about. Very often you get to a small business website and you can’t find the phone number or it’s hard to get the contact details.”
The step you can take right now is to ensure your Google My Business page is complete and up-to-date. This will enhance your visibility and accessibility. This free resource is surprisingly underutilized but is so important to any business.
Want more tips?
All of these experts were guests on Optily Radio, a bi-weekly podcast that I host. We bring expert marketers together to discuss compelling eCommerce topics and share pragmatic insights that help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their growth. Click here to listen in on an all-star list of top-notch marketing experts, with more to come.