Attention e-Commerce Managers: Why Is Your Paid Search Advertising Not Driving Sales?

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Is your paid search not driving the returns you expected? It may not be the ad campaign that is failing you. Zoe Bates asks, ‘have you looked at the four Ps of your business?’ Price, product, promotion and place are vital components to driving your e-commerce results.

Your paid search campaign is only one part of your marketing mix. If you find your campaigns are not delivering desired impact, don’t automatically assume or conclude that the campaigns are being poorly managed or that it simply doesn’t work.

When looking at the performance of your paid search campaigns look at the data in Google Analytics. If you see a drop in traffic, revenue or CR do you see the same site wide? How have your other channels been affected? Do you see the same statistics across the board?

In general, we believe paid search has the capacity to deliver value for all companies that have a competitive marketing mix or customer proposition. However, we’ve seen many scenarios where a company has been unable to accept that they have a fundamental issue with their marketing proposition which they need to address before spending money on AdWords or other forms of marketing for that matter.

The 4 Ps of Online Retail Success

There are numerous elements of your marketing proposition that may affect your campaign’s ROI, and central to these are the four Ps - price, product, promotion and place. Let’s take a look at them one by one:

  • Price – The fickle nature of consumers online means that if your price isn’t competitive with other companies in the SERPS, your CTR and conversion rate will be affected. Having a well-known and trusted brand can make consumers less price sensitive. However, ask yourself - if you are 15% more expensive than your closest competitor, will the power of your brand be enough to offset this?
  • Product – Be honest: is your product the best? If a competitor has a wider produce range and more choice, or if your products don’t provide the quality of features and benefits your consumer is looking for, then this will impact on your conversion rates.
  • Promotion – If your competitors are offering strong promotions or appealing incentives, they are likely to get higher CTRs and conversions. Remember to populate your ad creatives with calls to action and details of your best promotions, such as two-for-one offers or price discounts.
  • Place – How easy is it to access your products or services? What geographic area do you cover? And how does this compare to the competition? Free P&P can go a long way to winning conversions. However, being niche can also work to your advantage. If you are a specialist localised company then target your paid search activity to the locations you serve and you may achieve better performance than your national competitors.

Once you’ve considered the four Ps of your business, take a look at your competitors. Look at what they are doing in terms of price, product, promotion and place, and then do it better.

Other Paid Search Tactics To Grow Visibility & ROI

Once you are confident that your product is the best on the market, or at least has a huge advantage over your competitors, there are other paid search tactics to grow visibility and ROI:

  • Are you embracing the mobile revolution? More and more browsers are using mobile as a research tool to drive desktop and tablet conversions. See our recent cross-device test results for more insight.
  • Have you considered Paid Social to drive revenue? Create a buzz on Twitter and watch how this translates to site visits and conversions.

Make The Weather Work For You

Bear in mind external factors and how these might work in your favour.

Your paid search campaigns do not exist in a vacuum. External factors can have huge impacts on conversion and are often beyond your control, but not always. Travel companies, for example, will often take advantage of the post-Christmas blues with summer holiday promotions regularly launching on Boxing Day and continuing throughout January. After all, what better way to mentally escape from the cold than by counting down to your week in the sun?

The weather has a huge impact on conversion for many firms. A water cooler vendor will pray for a day where the Celsius soars and thirsts need quenching while a retail interiors brand can cash in on rainy weekends, when people stay indoors and critique their surroundings – reaching for the tablet to order that all important set of scatter cushions needed to brighten up a living room.

Get more from your online adverting campaigns with a clear, concise and optimised 12-month paid search forecast. Read our other blogs:

  • How Paid Search Forecasting Can Improve Your e-Commerce Revenue
  • How A 12-Month Online Advertising Forecast Can Boost Your e-Commerce Revenue

Or download your free eBook How to Build an e-Commerce ROI Forecast for Paid Search to better understand the impact your wider marketing activities can have on paid search ROI.

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