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5 Strategies for Ecommerce Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertisers

eCommerce Pay Per Click PPC StrategiesThere's a lot of effort that goes into ecommerce pay per click (PPC) advertising. Ecommerce PPC campaigns a challenge to keep organized, and sometimes it seems like there's no time to develop strategies. Don't get discouraged.

There is indeed time to implement some strategies, and they're not all that hard to execute. You simply need some understanding of the Google AdWords platform and how to create a basic campaign. Below we offer five strategies for ecommerce PPC advertisers.

Ad Copywriting

To produce solid ad copy that maximizes your click-through potential, your ads must include three essential elements. These are:

* Offer - what the product is you're offering

* Value - why buying this product from you is beneficial

* Proposition - what the user should do to take action

The Offer element to your ad copy is almost always given and is naturally included in the copy. It's the Value and the Proposition that are the most overlooked. The proposition is purely a call-to-action, or a verb of some sort. A couple of the most obvious for ecommerce PPC is "buy" or "save." Get creative and try more appealing verbs like "explore," "learn," or "pursue."

Stating value in your ad is one of the greatest challenges of copywriting. Pay Per Click ads have limited space for text, making it difficult to describe the benefits or unique attributes. Some of the most common are "free shipping" or using a coupon code in the ad. In some cases, taking a more emotional approach is effective. Getting to know your product and your target market is a good way to get great ideas.

Peel n' Stick

Ad groups often perform the best when they're very focused to only select grouping of very related keywords. One of the biggest mistakes Pay Per Click advertisers make is having too many keywords in one ad group. As a result, they are trying to cover all of these keywords with just one ad. When this is the case, ad groups can be further segmented, or the Peel n' Stick strategy can be employed.

The process of peeling n' sticking is taking a poor performing keyword and putting it in another more relevant ad group or creating a new one. For ecommerce PPC campaign management services, good peel n' stick opportunities are often found in product variations, such as colors and models. Often times when a weak keyword placed in a new, more relevant ad group, the quality score will rise. In addition, the ad copy can be written to be more targeted.

AdWords Ad Extensions

Another awesome strategy that can significantly help improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads is using ad extensions in Google AdWords. Ad extensions are tools and enhancements that improve the presentation of your PPC ads. It's important to keep in mind that ad extensions are set on a campaign basis, not per ad group. So any ad extension you employ will influence all ad groups within that campaign.

Product Extensions

One of the most effective ad extensions for ecommerce PPC are product extensions. Product extensions can display an image for the specific product being advertised, which can really make your ads stand out from the clutter. For model-specific ads, testing the product extensions feature in Google AdWords is an effective ecommerce PPC strategy.

Site Links

Another solid ad extensions is using Site Links. Here you can include links in your ad that direct users to specified inside pages of your website. Not only does this help facilitate conversions and overall usability, but using the Site Links ad extension can help make your ads more prominent and outstanding in the search results. This can be very effective for competitive keywords in an ecommerce context.

Re-Marketing via GDN

Have you ever visited a product page (but did not purchase) and later noticed banner ads of the same product on other websites? That's an ecommerce store executing it's re-marketing strategy. However, instead of using Google Search, they're using the Google Display Network or GDN.

Re-marketing is a little bit tricky, but can be highly effective when done right. It's the process of serving a follow-up ad to someone who as already visited your website. Re-marketing can sometimes appear intrusive, so it's important to re-market in moderation.

Keep in mind that those being served your ads are not actively shopping like they are using search. For this reason, your ad copy and presentation should tweaked accordingly. Re-marketing is like reminding, so you want to make your presence known, but in a respectable manner.

Well we hope that the latter five strategies will help enhance your ecommerce PPC services and capabilities. If you have any comments or questions, let us know in the comments section below.

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SEO PowerSuite for Ecommerce SEO Companies (Review)

There are a number of different tools available for ecommerce SEO companies. Most of them are software programs that help in the management, tracking, and reporting of ecommerce SEO campaigns.

One tool (or four tools rather) that stands out from the crowd is SEO PowerSuite. As the name implies, the SEO PowerSuite is quite possibly the most powerful arsenal of tools for ecommerce SEO service providers.

SEO PowerSuite for Ecommerce SEO Companies

From off-site link building to on-site content creation, the SEO PowerSuite (which can be found at www.link-assistant.com) delivers the complete SEO package. Each program can be momentous in progressing your ecommerce SEO efforts to the next level. You can buy each of the four program individually or as a complete package.

Let's go into more detail about each program of the SEO PowerSuite.

Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker is by far one of the best programs for generating keyword rank reports. Rank Tracker can tell you the exact placement of your optimized pages on any of the 349 supported search engines, in addition to the exact URL found. This program also tells how many times a keyword is being searched, how powerful a keyword is, and puts it all together in a professional report.

WebSite Auditor

The WebSite Auditor is a solid tool for the on-page SEO work that goes into your eCommerce store. WebSite Auditor is one of the few SEO software platforms that enables users optimize a website on two levels: the domain level (site-wide) and content level (per page). The software will also find aspects of a website that need to be fixed such as HTML code errors, broken links, duplicate content, and more.

SEO SpyGlass

SEO SpyGlass is perhaps one of the most powerful tools for advanced search engine optimization. When it comes to eCommerce SEO, it's all about building links. The SEO SpyGlass will reveal the links of any domain, namely your competitor's. Additionally, SEO SpyGlass will tell you the authority behind each link, include the URL source, the Google PageRank, and more.

Link Assistant

Link Assistant is powerful tool for building quality backlinks to your website. Link Assistant gives SEO's the resources they need to build thematically relevant links from the right sources. Link Assistant can help ensure they your links are quality and natural.

The SEO PowerSuite is a must have for professionals in ecommerce search engine optimization. All of the work that goes into managing SEO campaigns for ecommerce sites can get overwhelming. The ecommerce marketing tools provided by this software platform help take care of it all.

The "Professional" package for the SEO PowerSuite is priced at $249, while the "Enterprise" level package is $599 for a one-time download. Continuous updates are provided as changes take place with major search engine algorithms.

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Why Content Owns Organic SEO for Ecommerce

Valuable, reader-focused content is paramount when it comes to SEO for ecommerce sites. Long gone are the days of writing keyword stuffed content to obtain better rankings. Now, content must be good. And I mean really good.

Google's Panda Attack

In 2011, when Google released its algorithm update called Panda, many sites were penalized for having overly keyword-stuffed content. In other words, they had too rich a keyword density on targeted phrases. This release has underscored the immense importance of creating quality content.

But what's more than just creating good content, is producing exceptional content that people will value and share. This, my friends, is the true way to improve your ecommerce SEO efforts.

In a nutshell, great content can become very popular on the web in minimal time. And when online content gets popular, it often is linked to (or earns backlinks.) This is called "link bait."

So if we write a stellar article that gets a ton of popularity (and backlinks,) that article becomes more authoritative, and thus the outbound links in the article (some of which may point to our money sites) will offer more power, or "link juice."

Ecommerce SEO Content MarketingIn addition to publishing phenomenal content, we must also share the content through a more social approach. With Google+ being a social platform that's integrated with search, the content marketing approach to better SEO is even more essential.

Google +1's Feed Authority

Although the 'backlink' currently holds the greatest authority in producing high rankings in Google, the socially oriented "+1" is beginning to make an impact. In fact, there have been numerous studies that show webpages with more Google +1's often rank higher than those with less or no +1's.

With respect to Panda (as well as Google's Peguin which targets over-optimized backlinks) this little +1 is momentous game-changer for SEO's.

My theory is that Google's +1 is quality control measure for its search engine rankings. Think about it. What better way for Google to overcome poor quality (yet highly optimized) pages holding top keyword rankings?

The answer: by slowly diminishing the authority of backlinks and increasing the power of +1's in determining the search engine results. The pages that have more +1's are more socially accepted and righteously approved by real people.

Backlinks will still have an influence, but over the next couple years as Google+ begins to grow, integrating socially-focused content marketing into your ecommerce SEO will be a must.

Moving Forward

So the major focus for ecommerce SEO agencies is to start producing quality, relevant content that speaks directly to your target market. Some ideas include:

* Start a blog and write posts that inform readers of the features and benefits of products that you sell

* Create videos of product reviews or highlights and optimized those videos for SEO

* Build a sub-domain for your ecommerce site that emphasizes education about your industry or the products that you offer

Just remember, content creation is a big piece of the pie, but so is social promotion of your content. Be sure to establish accounts on primary social media platforms like Google+, Facebook, StumbleUpon, YouTube, and Twitter, to name a few. These platforms will help the spread and sharing of your content.

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Natural Link Building for Ecommerce SEO

The practice of link building is essential for any search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Due to the immense SEO potential of building backlinks, many ecommerce SEO practitioners have employed some rather sketchy and unethical tactics to establish link popularity (or off-page website authority.)

Penguin & Over Optimized Backlinks

As a result of these black hat link building practices, Google has counteracted these issues by releasing an update to its search engine algorithm called "Penguin." The Penguin update is designed to target websites that have too many over optimized backlinks. In other words, Google may penalize (and knock the rankings) for websites that have a backlink portfolio that's clearly the result of SEO link building.

Optimized backlinks are links pointing a website with a keyword target used as the link's anchor text (or link text.) Where a natural backlink would have the anchor text of a URL (.com or .org) or a call to action phrase (e.g. "click here" or "learn more,") an optimized backlink would have an obvious keyword phrase (e.g. "men's New Balance shoes for sale".) There are also semi optimized backlinks which have a portion of the keyword target used in the anchor text, however not in the form of exact phrase match.

The websites that are being penalized by Google are those with an overwhelming majority of optimized backlinks. As a result, Google's Penguin update has shaken the SEO profession and many well-ranking websites have plummeted.

It is now more important than ever to build links in a natural manner when optimizing an ecommerce website. In essence, the perspective to have while doing this is to ensure that your backlink portfolio has a blend of natural and optimized anchor text, and that your links come from various sources.

Diversify Your Anchor Text Profile

Natural Link Building for Ecommerce SEOTo build a more natural backlink portfolio, there should be a high degree of link diversity. This includes both the sources of the backlinks as well as the links' anchor text profile.

Before the Penguin update, most ecommerce SEO experts would heavily utilize exact phrase match anchor text to build highly keyword targeted rankings in minimal time. Yet now, the link building approach diversified with various other forms of anchor text.

Some ways in which you can diversify the anchor text profile of your backlinks includes using:

* a portion of the product or brand name (semi-optimized)

* images as links (natural)

* synonyms or related phrasing (semi-optimized)

* action words like "click here" (natural)

* simply the URL of link's destination (natural)

Spread Your SEO Backlink Sources

Website's involved in ecommerce SEO can further diversify and naturalize their backlink portfolio by utilizing a blend of link types. This may include a blend of contextual links (backlinks found in the body copy of an article or blog post), image links, blogroll links, and so on.

In addition to the type of link, the source of links is also a major consideration when building links for ecommerce SEO. This may include a mixture of high and low authority blogs (based on Google PageRank), articles, press releases, affiliate sites, forum posts, tweets, and other natural sources.

The key to creating a natural looking link portfolio is keep in mind the keyword relevancy. If you have an ecommerce website that sells shoes, but most of your links come from blog posts about hair loss, the nature of those links is far from natural. Google is smart and can recognize the contextual relevancy of your backlinks. For this reason, ensuring you build links from quality, relevant sources is important.

Natural Link Building Tips for Ecommerce SEO

By now you should be aware of the nature of backlinks and how they influence the practices of SEO. Below we provide some ecommerce link building tips for SEO. These ideas are designed to help you sharpen your perspective on the new best practices of SEO link building.

* Social Signals - Although social signals, like Facebook likes, Re-Tweets, and Google +1's, may not directly impact rankings, they give your content natural credit. In the eyes of Google, when your link-infused content is socially shared and appreciated by real people, the link quality is greater. Be sure to share your blog posts, articles, and other forms of link-oriented content. This will also force you to keep quality control in mind.

* NoFollow Links - Even though NoFollow links are not quite as powerful as DoFollow links for ecommerce SEO, they help to diversify your backlink portfolio for a more natural look.

* Blogrolls - Use the blogroll section strategically for ecommerce SEO link building. Instead of linking directly to your product pages, try linking to other web properties (that contain links) to spread PageRank. For instance, if you a blog with a PageRank of 6 and another blog with a PageRank of 1, you could try linking from the PR6 to the PR1 to help the PR1 grow higher.

* Directory Listings - The web is filled with various online directories. Some have a very niche focus for ecommerce, which is ideal for ecommerce optimization. Seek out quality directories and build your profile as thoroughly as possible. The backlink provided in profile listing will not have tons of authority, but will still help make your backlink roster look more natural.

* Guest Blogging - If you don't have many link building sources, or would like to further diversify your backlink portfolio, guest blogging offers a great solution. In this context, you can inquire to other blog owners about writing a post for their blog. By doing this, you can set terms with the blog owner to allow you include a couple backlinks to your website.

Although these forms of link building for ecommerce SEO are not the most powerful, they will certainly help to make your backlink portfolio all the more natural. Also be sure to include various forms of link types as well as anchor text. If you have any ideas or tips you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments section below.

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Ecommerce Search Engine Marketing: Opportunities in Long-Tails

The playing field for ecommerce marketing, whether via organic SEO or PPC advertising, is becoming even more fierce. Almost any product category that pertains to online selling is expanding with more and more ecommerce stores marketing their goods. This has made the opportunities for ecommerce search engine marketing a difficult endeavor.

Ecommerce Internet Marketing - SEO or PPCThat doesn't mean your ecommerce site is hopeless for search marketing. Google users, when searching for a product, often search long-tail keyword phrases. That is, instead of searching for "mens shoes," an efficient searcher will submit "men's Saucony Glide running shoes size 11."

These trends in long-tail searching enables ecommerce marketers to capitalize in many ways. Let's go into more detail below.

The Search is in the Long-Tail

Understanding the concept of long-tail search is momentous for both ecommerce search engine optimization and Pay Per Click advertising, especially when competition is rough and advertising budgets are limited. This enables ecommerce marketing teams to optimize (SEO) or advertise (PPC) their inventory with great specificity. As a result, the search engine traffic coming to the site is way more qualified and more apt to make a purchase.

One of the best keyword research tools for long-tail targeting is Google's Instant feature. When you go to type a search in Google, it will offer more detailed search suggestions based on trends and popular phrases. This can enable you to drill down on exactly the types of keyword phrases shoppers are using.

Ecommerce Search Engine Marketing

After typing only "mens saucony..." Google tells use that "mens saucony kinvara 2" and "mens saucony progrid" are two popular models perhaps worth targeting. Not only do these insights offer ideas for organic SEO, but they can also help us narrow in on our ecommerce PPC efforts. For instance, we can create an ad that stands out from the competition by writing a very focal headline per each model.

For sites with limited ecommerce marketing budgets, easing into ecommerce PPC advertising with long-tail keyword targeting is great technique. When bidding on long-tail keywords, try using [exact phrase match] or use modified broad match to capture any relevant searches that include specified words. Bidding on keywords with modified broad match would look something like +mens +saucony +kinava. Any keyword searches that use those three words (regardless of any other inclusions) will trigger the ad.

Ecommerce search engine marketing, whether through PPC advertising or SEO Peoria IL, is great deal of time, effort, and money. For that reason, it is best to strategize very wisely and enter the playing field cautiously. One of the best ways to do this is targeting long-tail keywords that very relevant to your ecommerce site and the products you have to offer.

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The Mind-Set for Good Ecommerce Landing Pages

The landing page/lead capture page is a Web page where visitors who click on a link or an ad to your website first land. This is the face of your ecommerce website and it is therefore important that you optimize it.

Ecommerce Landing PagesOptimization of landing pages for ecommerce should be focused on high traffic generation, but more important is a high conversion rate. Optimization of the landing page must be accompanied by testing since it is only through testing that you are able to determine what needs to be done. The optimization and testing of ecommerce PPC landing pages is not rocket science, but there is demand for an expert hand because there is need for knowledge in different fields, among them copywriting, math, Web design, and usability.

You must however, never forget that the purpose of the optimization is trying to influence buyers’ behavior. Human nature remains constant. A framework that describes stages of customer behavior and interests was pioneered by Elias St. Elmo Lewis back in 1898. The same concepts are still in use today. The 4 stages in the framework that describes the stages of customer behavior and interest are commonly referred to as AIDA. They are:

1) Awareness

2) Interest

3) Desire

4) Action

There should be a great deal of continuity and logic in the landing page decision making model so that the progression of the visitor is properly supported through all the steps. None of the steps is optional and they should be done in sequence. This however, does not mean placement of equal emphasis on each step.

AIDA applies to different time frames and scales of tasks. A potential customer may interact with a site several times before making the final decision. The other extreme is short-duration and small-scale micro tasks that take a few seconds only.

Visitors should be given what they want. Define key user roles and classes and define the most important conversion tasks for the different classes. For conversion actions that have long delays, mechanisms recording the progress of the visitors must be put in place and the visitors should be restarted from where they reached when they return.

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Best Practices of Ecommerce Web Design

When building an ecommerce website, the process encompasses a wide range skills and contributions. There are the technical components of ecommerce, which include electronic data interchange (or EDI,) inventory management, automated data collection, supply chain management, electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, and Internet marketing.

And then there are the more creative and aesthetic components such as ecommerce web design and website development. Every ecommerce website should be geared towards being user friendly and allowing visitors to make purchases as easily as possible.

Web Design for Online Shopping Sites

There are several online selling principles that web designers should consider while designing and developing an ecommerce site. These include:

1) The ecommerce site should be attractive so that it attracts as many people as possible.

2) The site should be organized so that users have an easy time navigating through the site.

3) The colors should fit the spirit of the website.

4) Users should not have a difficult time determining the owner of the website.

5) The website must be trustworthy.

6) Users must enjoy the shopping experience.

7) The site should have an edge over competitors’ sites.

You do not need training to know that these training are important since the same principles are applicable even when shopping in a shopping center, a mall, or any other marketplace. Web designers however, usually have a challenge translating these principles to the virtual Internet world. Web designers need to front websites so that there is high conversion rate. This is comparable to supermarkets that have breads further inside the shop, but where you can smell the freshly baked bread right from the entrance.

Drawing an imaginary path in an ecommerce website, a path that ensures most visitors to the site make a purchase is not rocket science, but a professional is best suited to handle it since experience is valuable. The Web designer must design the ecommerce website in such a way that customers/clients are exposed to most if not all the products. Failure to do this means the customer/client will buy from your competitor’s site.

Ecommerce Web DesignThe layout is an important component of ecommerce web design. The Web design should focus on where the eyes of the user first focus on when they visit a Web page. There has been a lot of research on this, with most of the research indicating that the mid-left side of Web page is what attracts most attention, followed by the center. With this knowledge, Web designers can mimic what supermarkets do by drawing the ‘walking path’.

Lead Driven Website Design

The Web designer should create a site that leads visitors to the right Web page in not more than 2 clicks. Web designers often use techniques that are never used for non-ecommerce sites. One way of doing this is having only one link, the link pointing towards the order form in a sales letter site. Sales letter sites are not conventional ecommerce sites since they usually sell a single product. Web designers are therefore able to exaggerate this one-click principle and to take full advantage from it. As is the case in sales letter sites, details about the products on sale must be presented in an intelligent way. The Web design should be such that the user is prompted to go to the order form page after every few lines of the description. Ensure there are further facts and customer testimonials about the product/s for customers/clients who are not convinced.

Online shops have more products. The more the products, the more complex the website will be. Different personalization technologies are used in more complex ecommerce sites to determine the best products to sell in the sites. All successful ecommerce sites today use these personalization technologies. Amazon.com was the pioneer in the use of personalization technology. The company used the technology to push books to visitors based on past orders and using statistics collected in the past. Today’s goal of personalization technology is to try to also predict what to first offer users on their first visit.

Simple Web Design Navigation

Keep the ecommerce site simple. There should be a clear hierarchy so that the navigation is consistent. Do not provide more information than is needed. Use images for your products. Human beings are visual creatures and as the old adage goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. The images should pop out when highlighted. This ensures that you have as many products on each page as possible. You could have more than one picture for each product preferably from different angles. This helps in the building of trust since visitors will see you have nothing to hide.

Give as much details as possible in your content and in the website's design. Anticipate all questions that buyers are likely to ask. The customer should never be left in doubt since this might push him/her to your competitors’ sites. A lot of attention must be put on the shopping cart page. The page should have such features as the changing of item quantity while shopping, estimation of taxes, and removal of products without starting from scratch. In other words, the shopper should have full control.

Provide answers to all the questions the clients could ask if were in a physical store. Do not let your customers doubt or question certain web design functionality, otherwise they will go to another website. There should be a search tool that works perfectly. There should be pictures in the results generated by the tool. This can be most effective when consulting with a Peoria web design company.

Ensure there are no hidden charges since this will drive away return customers. Give your phone number and real address since some visitors prefer calling while others will only buy once they confirm that you are a genuine store. The URLs should be search-engine friendly and popular searches URLs should be included in the Google sitemap. Give as many payment options as possible.

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