Checkout this infographic of the Google AdWords landscape from the folks at SEOmoz.
Irina Tsumarava is a Marketing Coordinator at aheadWorks, a dynamic market leading provider of Magento extensions, Magento templates and themes, and custom development services with a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class solutions for eCommerce businesses.
Do you find that visitors of your website leave it too quickly? They enter your web store and after a while (often no longer than a few seconds) they close the page, thus increasing your bounce rate and lowering conversions. Working on Magento platform, aheadWorks makes the following recommendations to its clients to help eliminate this problem.
In contrast to visitors of brick and mortar stores, online customers can enter and leave web stores with a click or two of a mouse. If the time between these clicks is more than 20 seconds, it is a small victory. However, the main goal is to convert visitors of the store into customers. But due to numerous factors you may fail here. First you need to think about things that may cause visitors to leave. Numerous articles list up to 30 reasons, but only few describe the ways to cope with them. Let`s focus our attention on the reasons a potential customer might leave your website, and functionality that may prevent them from doing so.
1. Content Structure and Design
Complicated content structure and poor design head the list of possible website drawbacks, because people simply can’t find what they are looking for. What are some ways to fix this issue? Inform your customers about stock availability of your products. Create visually appealing label images and call-to-action texts, rotate pictures of your items, so that you can be sure your customers’ attention will be definitely attracted. Play with different animation effects and select the one which is the most comfortable for your customers’ eyes. Promotional, advertising and other blocks on the product page are quite useful too. But keep in mind – too many of them look irritating, so maintain the balance.
Complex navigation makes users feel helpless and frustrated. To eliminate that, first, transform your page loading process by removing annoying reloads that frequently occur when users click “add to cart” and “delete from cart” buttons. Then enable site search with the autocomplete option, show product pictures to users in search results, and allow customers to configure search item layout. This all will make navigation more logical. Let your visitors move directly to desired product pages, completely bypassing the search results page.
3. Checkout page
Online stores that use multiple page checkouts have been reported to cause 60% of shopping cart abandonment. For the most part, the longer the process, the easier it is for people to change their minds and avoid purchasing. It is much wiser to allow customers to buy directly from the product page with a single mouse click and also to remove all unnecessary checkout questions, replacing them with one page checkout. Recent studies suggest that buying with a single click increases conversion rate up to 70%.
It is always difficult to trust someone you don’t know. Blogging establishes a personal connection between the website and target audience, thus, building reader loyalty. Writing a good blog has proved to be one of the most effective marketing tactics. If your customers feel you listen to them and respond to their needs, they are more likely to come back to your store again. With the help of blog you will learn more about your customers’ choices, views, and preferences. Being a part of the blog community, your customers will spread the word about you and express their honest opinion.
Numerous sites use advertising as the main source of income. However, poor graphics and tasteless headache-inducing advertisements very often prompt visitors to escape and never come back. Make sure to extend your website functionality with multiple configurable blocks for positioning ads on checkout and shopping cart pages. Thus, users won’t be enraged about ads that flash and pop.
Where these ideas useful to you? Have comments or suggestions? Drop us a line and let us know what you think.
Mary Weinstein is an Account Manmager at CPC Strategy specializing in Comparison Shopping Engine, and PLA management with an emphasis on individualized merchant attention.
Amazon and Google Shopping are major heavy hitters in the comparison shopping and ecommerce arena. This year, Google Shopping’s switch to paid cost per click listings on Google Shopping through Product Listing Ads has switched up the rivalry even further.
CPC Strategy analyzes data across the comparison shopping engines (CSEs) each quarter based on metrics such as cost per click (CPC), traffic, conversion rate (CR), and revenue for online merchants.
This last quarter, Q4 2012 the engine data is quite varied for the CSEs, most notably Google Shopping and Amazon Product Ads.
Cost Per Click: Google vs. Amazon
In the war for Q4 dominance, Google Shopping won out with cheaper cost per click (CPC) rates.
For Google, Q4 was the first fully paid quarter in Google’s history. However, Google’s average $0.31 CPC for Q4 2012 was still cheaper than Amazon Product Ads average CPC of $0.41. Overall, Google Shopping was 32.5% cheaper CPC than Amazon for the holiday quarter.
Conversion Rate: Google vs. Amazon
Google Shopping has seen a steady decrease in conversion rate metrics since 2011, with a 22.35% decrease from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.
Inversely, Amazon Product Ads saw a 57.5% increase in conversion rates, from 1.8% in Q4 2011 to 2.8% in Q4 2012.
Traffic: Amazon vs. Google
Although Google Shopping is now charging for its traffic, that isn’t stopping consumers from shopping on the engine. Google Shopping sent 96% more traffic to sellers compared to Amazon Product Ads in Q4 of 2012.
Compared to the previous quarter, where Amazon dominated traffic generation. Google sent merchants 144% more traffic than Amazon Product Ads in Q3 2012, when the transition to a commercial Google Shopping took place.
Check out the full Rankings to see additional engine metrics such as cost per sale.
This post was written by Terry Costa, Vice President of Marketing, SLI Systems. As VP of marketing, Terry Costa is responsible for SLI Systems’ global marketing efforts as well as for driving growth of SLI’s search technology and services in the e-commerce and publishing industries.
We know that more and more holiday shoppers are doing their gift buying online, but there are some new developments this holiday season that eCommerce professionals should have on their radar. For one thing, mobile devices are playing an even bigger role in the shopping process. In addition, the audience for online holiday shopping appears to shifting somewhat – in fact, older shoppers are increasingly enjoying the benefits of online shopping.
These new angles in eCommerce – during the holiday season and beyond – require special attention from eCommerce providers. For instance, a recent study from Valero found that 20 percent of shoppers ages 55 to 64 expect to do some portion of their shopping online during the 2012 holiday season. According to the study, this is the highest percentage of online shoppers from any age group, followed closely by shoppers ages 45 to 54 (19 percent).
In an interesting turn, as the study uncovered, shoppers ages 18 to 24 were least likely to do their shopping online – which is a switch from conventional wisdom that younger consumers are more likely to embrace eCommerce tools than their older counterparts.
If older consumers are increasingly taking to online shopping, what does this mean for your business? Make sure your online shopping experience welcomes all shoppers, not just the under-30s. Usability features like refinements and relevant site search results will help all of your customers – even the less-savvy online shoppers – easily navigate around your site and find the products they want. Also, make sure that your merchandising showcases your most popular products and promotions, such as free shipping and free returns, in a variety of ways such as merchandising banners, ribbon overlays, and pages full of product images. With multiple merchandising venues, you’ll guarantee that shoppers in every demographic get the message.
As for shoppers making use of their smartphones and tablets to get their holiday shopping done, usability needs to be one of your top priorities. A recent study we conducted among e-commerce companies found that 40% of respondents still plan to build a mobile commerce site. If you’re one of them, make sure your search box is easy to find and position it in a prominent location at the top of your mobile webpage.
Younger and older consumers rely on mobile devices to do their shopping when they’re on the go and away from home, so localized search results, created with a device’s GPS tracking information, can be very useful. If you have brick and mortar locations in addition to an eCommerce website, localized results can help direct shoppers to stores where a product may be available.
During the holidays and long after, it’s important to keep a close eye on eCommerce trends that will impact how you present products and structure the shopping experience. Mobile commerce shows no signs of slowing down – but rest assured that there will be new trends developing out of the mobile wave that will demand your attention.
This post was written by Melody King of Treepodia. Melody has 13 years of experience in IT, focusing the last 7 in eCommerce. During this tenure, she consulted with more than 500 organizations to assist with increasing their site usability, merchandising, conversion, and order size. She has a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, BSIT with a minor in DBA, and MBA.
To make sure your product videos get as many viewers as possible, you may be thinking about hosting them on YouTube. This is a logical step to take, since YouTube has a massive audience, and makes it easy to do social sharing of your videos.
But hosting videos on YouTube isn’t the only option. You may want to check out third-party video hosting solutions that can offer features that aren’t available on YouTube. It’s a good idea to compare YouTube to other video platforms so that you can decide which way to go. Here are some factors to consider.
Look & Feel
Generally, it’s quite easy to embed videos that are hosted on YouTube on your eCommerce website. However, you don’t get too many choices as to how the video is displayed, or what size they are. YouTube-hosted videos generally take up a lot of space – space that you might want to use for more description of the product, or more images. If you host your videos via a third-party provider, you may have more presentation choices available to you. For example, you may be able to use tabs to showcase video options; when visitors click on a tab, the video screen expands.
Free vs. Paid
YouTube doesn’t charge to host video, and free options are always attractive, especially if your company is new and just getting on its feet. But that free price tag may come at the cost of functionality that you need to run your eCommerce business effectively, and to make sure that your videos are seen by the widest possible audience. For example, if you have a lot of videos, it can take many hours to upload them to YouTube, since the site isn’t really designed for mass uploading. On the other hand, a third-party video platform can automate the uploading process so you can get more done in less time.
Search Engine Rankings
The common wisdom says that by placing your videos on YouTube, you’ll get them listed higher in search rankings, since YouTube is owned by Google. Conversely, so the wisdom goes, if your videos are hosted by anyone besides YouTube, they won’t show up as high in search results.
However, this isn’t necessarily true. The algorithms that Google uses to decide video ranking will place higher importance on a site’s topical authority – so a computer equipment site will rank higher in the algorithm for a wireless router video than a similar video on YouTube, which the algorithm views as a video portal.
If customers see your product in a YouTube video, or watch the video on a social network, they have to return to your website and search for the product if they want to buy it. This takes a lot of time, which may discourage them from making the purchase. Third-party video hosting solutions have features that make it easier for viewers to make a purchase – for instance, being able to add a product to a shopping cart directly from a video player.
YouTube is a popular choice for hosting e-commerce videos, but sophisticated e-commerce capabilities are limited. eCommerce professionals should consider the features they need in hosted video – such as flexible presentation options, metrics and testing. Third-party hosting providers can offer enough options to make them a strong alternative to YouTube.
Image Credit: jonsson
It looks like Google Shopping is trying to beef up their product listings now that a lot of merchants are pulling their feeds because it is no longer free. Until Google transitioned to a commercial model, they had the most comprehensive shopping database because almost every merchant would list their products. Obviously not all merchants can afford to pay Google and have since de-listed their product datafeeds.
This would be a great way for Google to have a more comprehensive database while they try to get more merchants to sign up directly.
Shopping.com sent out a nootice of the partnership today:
We are pleased to announce that Google Shopping recently joined the Shopping.com portfolio of leading publishers. Google recently moved to a commercial-model based on Product Listing Ads and has become a critical channel for retailers. Via our new partnership, you automatically get exposure on this high-performing channel without any extra effort.
This partnership delivers several advantages for you:
It’s easy – submit one data feed to Shopping.com and get exposure across a powerful network of high-caliber publishers, including Google Shopping. This allows you to tap into Shopping.com’s rich catalog to deliver highly optimized feeds to Google. You will also have a centralized point of contact who will optimize your performance to achieve optimal ROI.
Benefit from historical relevance
As an early participant in the Google Shopping pilot, merchant offers from Shopping.com gained valuable click history, a key element to boost quality score, which in addition to bid and relevancy, helps Google determine the right offer to serve. This improves the odds that your offer through Shopping.com will be displayed.
Leverage Value Based Pricing
Shopping.com’s sophisticated algorithm automatically adjusts CPCs daily with our Value Based Pricing model to meet ROI goals.
No action is required on your part to gain access to Google Shopping’s customer base. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this partnership or would like to opt-out.
Shopping.com Merchant Services Team
When I logged into AdWords yesterday, I noticed that Google released a new feature that always felt as if it was missing: a date selection tool. The new tool now let’s you compare date ranges à la Google Analytics. This can be very useful in measuring the performance of your campaigns over time. Just click the blue slider and select the previous period.
Google will then generate a chart with multiple graph lines comparing the dates selected.
Image Credit: TheBusyBrain
Google AdWords just released a new feature which will help you control your budget. Until now, each campaign had it’s own budget. If you wanted to cap your spend across specific campaigns/promotions you had to merge everything into one campaign. The new Shared Budgets feature allows you to group campaigns and override their budgets.
Google AdWords Shared Budgets
Step #1 – Navigate to Campaigns –> Shared Library –> Budgets –> New Budget
Step #2 – Enter Budget Settings
- Budget Name (i.e. Fall Campaigns)
- Apply to Campaigns – select which campaigns should be under this budget umbrella
- Budget Amount – this new budget will replace the existing campaign budgets
- Delivery Method – same options as on the category level (Standard or Accelerated)
Try it out and let us know how it performs for you.
Status Alert: Hey, all. We’re aware of the trouble people are having with our site. We’re working on it.
— Go Daddy (@GoDaddy) September 10, 2012
Today is not a good day for GoDaddy. At least they are aware of it. Twitter is currently blowing up with people trying to find more information. The first reports seems to be from 1:20pm EST, so Twitter seems to be having problems for almost an hour.
I tried calling GoDaddy’s customer support line and the phone just rings non-stop. It would seem as if I’m not the only person trying to get through to them. Or maybe their phone system is down too.
At this point it looks like every single GoDaddy service is inaccessible, including DNS, Email, Hosting etc… GoDaddy has responded to multiple tweets with a variation of “Sorry for any inconvenience. We’re aware and are working to resolve this quickly.”
Are you using GoDaddy? I use them to purchase domains, but I host them elsewhere.
“Bring your kid to work day” goes poorly as @godaddy children spill juice/pull plugs on servers.
— William Reinier (@SGTWillReinier) September 10, 2012
Thankfully @godaddy won’t be held liable… they only guarentee a 99.99%* uptime.
— Luke M. Vaillancourt (@lukeMV) September 10, 2012
UPDATE: Anonymous is taking credit for GoDaddy being down.
— Anonymous (@AnonOpsLegion) September 10, 2012