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Strengthen Your eCom With A Strategy That Includes Paid Ads AND SEO

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - eCommerce, Paid Ads, SEO

How Paid Ads and SEO Influence One Another

As the holidays fast approach, ‘tis the season for reflection in both life and business, which also means mapping out your marketing strategy going forward.

In order to thrive during the holiday rush – and beyond – all businesses should look at ways to elevate their eCommerce for optimal results.

There’s a lot that goes into an eCom marketing strategy but the bread and butter of any successful online store is the cohesiveness of a solid PPC and SEO strategy.

In this article, we’ll explain how PPC and SEO perform strongly both separately and together for optimal results.

The Impact of COVID-19 And Why Having an eCom is More Important Than Ever

With most brick and mortar stores forced to close during the COVID-19 shutdown period earlier this year, consumers turned to online stores (Amazon in particular) to shop away the pandemic blues.

And while most stores that were able to ride out the stay at home orders have since re-opened their doors, for most consumers, the everyday way of life has been forever changed. So what does this mean for you? Simply put, online shopping isn’t going away and may, in fact, be the new normal.

Here are a few stats that help illustrate this massive shift towards eCommerce:

  • eCommerce sales in July 2020 rose 55%year-over-year to a record-breaking $66.3 billion.
  • 73% of consumers who started shopping online more during the pandemic plan to continue doing so in future.
  • Only 16%of consumers say they will go back to their old shopping habits post-pandemic.
  • 38% of consumers say they are now more comfortable shopping online.

The Role of PPC in eCommerce

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which includes ads that are shown on search engines, social media, and other websites, is a critical component of marketing your online business because it allows you to target shoppers that are already ready to buy. Plus, PPC allows you to, essentially, pay your way to the top of SERPs, and is backed by data, offers a healthy ROI, and can be easily scaled.

How PPC Can Inform Your SEO Strategy

Despite being completely different strategies, PPC should go hand in hand with SEO. Now, you might be wondering, how is that possible if SEO focuses on improving SERP rankings organically, while PPC is essentially buying your way to the top?

What you may not realize is that there are so many different ways SEO and PPC efforts complement each other, and can yield a highly successful digital marketing strategy when implemented simultaneously.

Here are just a few benefits of running a PPC campaign alongside your organic SEO efforts:

  • Increases your exposure on SERPs (kind of like a double whammy)
  • Allows you to use site search data to inform PPC keywords
  • PPC allows you to uncover granular details about your target audience that can help refine your SEO strategy
  • PPC helps you test and refine organic keywords that can be used for SEO
  • Having both gives you access to a larger amount of data more quickly
  • PPC allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can fine-tune your SEO strategy
  • Symbiosis means fewer conflicts between PPC and SEO

Steps to Take For PPC

When starting your PPC journey, here are a few steps you should follow.

Decide On A Platform

Choosing which platform you will use to run your ads is the first and most important step when setting up a PPC campaign. While Google is the obvious choice, also consider platforms that are unique to your particular industry, audience, products, etc. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Google ads
  • Facebook ads
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Instagram ads
  • YouTube ads
  • Reddit ads
  • Twitter ads

Analytics

Analytics are one of the most important components of your PPC campaign, as it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.

So, if you don’t already have analytics set up, get started now. If you do have analytics but don’t really look at them often, start going through and analyzing the data.

Targeting & Re-Targeting

In the world of PPC, there are multiple different targeting options available that enable advertisers to serve messages directly to the users they are targeting.

The main types of ad targeting include:

  • Search Targeting. The most common type of targeting; this allows you to bid on keywords your target audience is searching for.
  • Display Targeting.Targeting users based on variables such as demographics, online habits, and interests.
  • Placement Targeting.Providing Google with a list of specific websites you’d like your ads to appear on.
  • Audience Targeting. Targeting groups of people with specific interests, intents, and demographics.

Ask Yourself: Do Google Ads Make Sense For Your Industry?

PPC may not work for all industries. For instance, if your target customers aren’t turning to search engines to find the types of products or services you sell, you may not experience the results you expected. In this case, you may need to strategizealternative marketing strategies to reach these customers.

A business with products or services that require a high-touch sales process in order to secure a sale also may not benefit as much as any of the following businesses that tend to do very well with paid campaigns:

  • Online retailers
  • Travel related businesses
  • Home and garden supplies
  • Computers and electronics
  • Occasions and gifts

PPC automation

Consider automating your PPC campaigns instead of running them manually, as it can be incredibly inflexible and difficult to manage when there’s high/fluctuating demand.

Some great PPC automation tools include:

  • Google Keywords Planner
  • Word Stream
  • SEMRush
  • SpyFu
  • PPC Protect

The downside to using these tools is that they can be very expensive. However, when you work with a digital marketing agency with a dedicated PPC team, you’ll have these tools at your disposal, along with a team of experts who know how to use them effectively.

The Role of SEO in eCommerce

In the simplest of terms, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a series of organic techniques used to improve your ranking in search results without the use of paid ads.

So, why is this important, especially for eComs?

It’s no secret that when consumers are searching for a specific product, they most often click on the first few results rather than scrolling through multiple pages to find what they’re looking for.

In fact, according to Bing, websites that appear at the top of search results snag 42% of all search engine traffic, while the sites that are positioned at #2 get 11%, and third place rankings secure 8% of traffic. So, it’s safe to say that using SEO to get your site to the top of SERPs is one of the best ways to boost sales and profits.

KeySEO Steps

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a great way to better understand your target market and how they are searching for your products, services, and content.

Do some preliminary research to determine which keywords you should be targeting and get a sense of the type of content you should be producing to satisfy your audience and search engines.

Also pay attention to search trends at different times of the year so you can create content related to your business that also lines up with the topics that are trending at the moment.

Review Local Search Listing

Your local search listing is your business’s page on Google My Business. This listing is what appears when consumers in your area are searching for a local business on Google, and displays the following information:

  • Company name
  • Business reviews
  • Contact information
  • Operating hours
  • Website
  • Company bio

Having a local search listing set up, optimized, and kept up to date is critical, as Google has claimed that 46% of all Google searches have ‘local intent.’ Even if you are an eCom, local search should always be a priority.

Fresh Content

Content is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy, but not just any content will do.

You must be consistent with your publishing and produce high-quality, fresh content. Here are a few tips for producing “fresh” content that will keep your audience engaged:

  • Publishing articles or other forms of content on a regular basis (At least 1 per month minimum)
  • Ensuring all content is relevant and up to date
  • Refurbishing older content assets that are still relevant and making improvements
  • Come up with original topics
  • Don’t copy content from other sources
  • Make sure your content is accurate and doesn’t include falsities
  • Make sure content assets aren’t too long or too short (800 to 2,000 words is the sweet spot)

Check Site Analytics

Just like with PPC, analytics are everything when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Not to sound like a broken record, but if you don’t already have analytics set up, get started now. If you do have analytics but don’t really look at them often, start using them right away.

Here are some tools you can use:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • SEMRush
  • Ubersuggest

Build Your Content Strategy Around ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu

No, these aren’t ingredients you’d see on the menu at a vegan restaurant. ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu – try saying that three times fast – are three important terms that refer to the stages of the inbound marketing and sales funnel that can influence your SEO and content strategy.

  • ToFu (Top of Funnel).At the top of your sales funnel, you should be working to attract a larger audience of potential leads. This can be done with content marketing. ToFu content should be relevant, up to date, and educational to your audience and answer specific questions, needs, or pain points that they’re looking to address without trying to sell them anything. An example of this is blog articles.
  • MoFu (Middle of Funnel). When a lead converts via ToFu content, they progress to the MoFu stage. During this stage, your content should still be educational while building your credibility and positioning your brand as a solution to their needs and challenges. This can include eBooks, white papers, case studies, and videos.
  • BoFu (Bottom of Funnel). This is the most critical stage as it is where you finally secure the sale. For many industries, BoFu does not require content. Instead, an incentive or “guarantee” can help seal the deal. Think free trials, assessments, or evaluations, or even a discount code.

Link Building

Don’t focus exclusively on content and ignore the technical side of SEO. Link building is one of the most crucial parts of an effective SEO strategy and should include a combination of:

  • Backlinks. Incoming hyperlinks from another website to yours. In order for backlinking to be effective, the links must come from high-quality sources.
  • Outbound Links. Links from your website to other legitimate, quality websites that help to improve your own authority. Try linking to a research study or in-depth content from a trusted source that relates to a topic you are writing about.
  • Internal Links. These are links on your site that link to other pages on the same site. Internal links help visitors navigate your site, find other pieces of related content, and remain on your site for longer.

Importance Of Tailored Digital Marketing Strategies And Why You Should Go External 

As you can see, running PPC Campaigns alongside a strong SEO strategy is key to improving visibility and gaining quality leads.

But no amount of research can prepare you for the realities of setting up, monitoring, and optimizing SEO and PPC to achieve the kind of results that will help you grow your business.

Putting these strategies into practice requires an entire team of marketing professionals with the knowledge and expertise to not only do the work, but do it exceptionally.

A full-service digital marketing agency with dedicated PPC and SEO teams will ensure you have an entire team working together that can collaborate and bounce ideas off each other in order to get you more leads and increase conversions. Because it really is true what they say – 2 heads (or 10!) are so much better than one.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Announces Partnership With GoDaddy

07/15/2021

Google announced on its blog this week that it was teaming up with GoDaddy in an effort to help e-commerce website owners integrate their product inventory across Google more easily.

So, what exactly does this partnership mean for GoDaddy merchants? According to Google, Merchants can now get discovered across Search, Shopping, Image Search, and YouTube with just a few clicks. GoDaddy merchants can also upload their products to Google, take advantage of free listings and ad campaigns, and even review performance metrics without leaving their online store.

GoDaddy also revealed in its own press release that GoDaddy merchants who create their first Smart Shopping campaign may be eligible for $150 worth of Google ad credits.

The ultimate goal is for GoDaddy merchants to be discovered by new customers through Google Shopping, Search, and YouTube.

“By teaming up with platforms like GoDaddy, we are able to help even more businesses make more connections with shoppers who are eager to discover new brands,” said Matt Madrigal, Google’s VP/GM of Merchant Shopping in a blog post.

Merchants aren’t the only ones Google is hoping will benefit from the partnership, though. The search engine indicated that they want searchers to have more choice when it comes to finding new, unique products from small online businesses.

“Shoppers get the most choice when they can easily discover businesses and their unique products,” said Madrigal. “And when those products get discovered, businesses can connect with more customers. We see it as a win-win, which is why we’re working hard to make commerce more open online.”

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Shopify Unite Previews Features For Developers, Merchants

06/30/2021

Shopify announced plenty of exciting news and features at its Shopify Unite event in Toronto, ON, on June 29.

Shopify Unite is an annual summertime conference held to show what the future holds for the ecommerce platform and the developers and merchants who use it.

According to Shopify, this year’s conference was about “the infrastructure, tooling, and technologies that make the future of commerce possible.”

“The internet is the world’s largest city, and Shopify is building its commerce infrastructure,” said Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify. “Especially over the past year, we saw independent businesses succeed by showing up creatively and uniquely in this city. The future of commerce on the internet relies on creative expression at every touchpoint.”

Read below to learn about some of the announcements that may interest digital merchants and web developers.

Zero Revenue Share For Shopify Apps

The Shopify App Store contains plenty of free and paid plugins that Shopify users can install to transform their website.

Previously, those who published apps to the online store would have to agree to a 20 percent revenue share with the company, meaning they would forfeit 20 percent of their earnings.

Now, Shopify has announced that publishers or developers whose apps make less than one million dollars will not have to share any of their revenue – and those who make more than one million dollars will only have to start sharing 15 percent.

New Online Store

Shopify is relaunching its online store, aptly calling it ‘Online Store 2.0.’

“In the past year, we’ve seen traffic double across online stores, as shoppers turned more and more to online shopping during the pandemic,” the company explained in a blog post. “In today’s world, how a merchant’s store shows up online has never been more important.”

The new launch will include an “updated theme architecture” to ensure that merchants and developers have an improved experience, including more customization.

The ‘sections’ feature will be made available to more pages on users’ sites – previously, it was only for use on home pages.

Shopify says it will be easier for merchants to be integrated into apps without having to use any code. Additionally, users will be able to add apps’ supporting assets to their theme app extensions for fasting hosting using Shopify’s CDN.

Theme Store Relaunch

Shopify’s dedicated theme store has not accepted submissions since 2018 – but the company announced that it will soon relaunch the platform for theme creators.

Shopify says creators will not have to share their revenue, similarly to how the company is structuring its app store. Instead, creators will have to a pay a one-time fee of $99 USD in order to have the ability to submit themes.

Shopify Checkout Made Easier With Apps

Shopify Checkout is an important feature for Shopify stores – it allows shoppers and merchants to have successful transactions.

Previously, Shopify Checkout only allows users to make small changes through the ‘editor’ portal – and more prominent changes can be made if users have a Shopify Plus account.

Soon, Shopify says all users will be able to make significant changes to their Checkout service.

“These new capabilities will let you build whatever it is merchants need, from simple customizations, all the way to complex user interfaces (UI) and business logic,” the company said. “This update includes checkout extensions, changes to Shopify Scripts, and a new payments platform.”

Shopify plans to elaborate on all of these announcements and more during a ‘town hall’ event on July 15.

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