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Sales aren’t increasing and traffic has plateaued. Leads from PPC are holding steady, but your conversion rate just isn’t improving. What’s an ecommerce marketer to do?
First, don’t panic –– and don’t leap to increase your PPC budget just yet. Take a deep breath and review these five ways for increasing traffic by refining your content marketing strategy. You may discover that content marketing returns a bigger bang for your buck than throwing more money at your PPC campaigns.
1) Review Your Content Strategy
Analyze your content marketing based on the following criteria:
- Which pages get the most traffic?
- Which pages have the highest sales?
- Which pages have the lowest sales?
- From which pages do the most people exit your site immediately (Look at your bounce rate per page to gain insight into this)?
On the product pages that are converting and producing revenue, dive into the cause. Are these pages performing better due to any of the following:
- Popular/trendy product
- Lots of relevant information provided in the product description copy
- Customer reviews for the product are positive
- Videos for the product show off the item or give instructions
- Product page links to relevant articles on your site
- Additional products are offered for upsell or cross-sell
- This product in particular has been shared a lot on social media
How to Know What’s Working and What Isn’t
With A/B or multivariate testing, you can figure out which combination of variables are causing such high traffic product pages to perform so well. With the right tools, you can then focus your energy on testing high traffic pages that aren’t making money and fix them.
To fix them, mimic the characteristics of product pages that are performing well. Was it additional product page copy? Were the product photos particularly useful (360, gifs, etc)? Were you A/B testing where the “Put in Cart” button appeared? Figure out what caused the increase in conversions and then apply those successful strategies to all other pages.
2) Review Your SEO Strategy
Review the list of keywords your personas use at different stages of the buying cycle and make sure they’re current and valid. The market changes fast and it can be challenging to stay on top of them. Here’s a short checklist to help you along the way.
Does your list of keywords include:
- Problem/need/desire phrases (top of the funnel)
- Solution and industry based phrases (middle of the funnel)
- Brand names as they look for pricing, warranties and availability (bottom of the funnel)
- Level of market competitiveness (so you can gauge how expensive the keyword will be to buy in PPC)
- Level of ranking difficulty (so you can track your progress)
Make sure you have content that uses these keywords. If they aren’t on product pages, are they on your company blog? Can you create a white paper that uses them, and then write about it on your blog? You want to make sure that you’re providing relevant (and search-engine optimized) content at every stage of the funnel to drive traffic.
3) Review Your Social Strategy
When reviewing your social strategy, be sure determine the following:
- Which channel drives the most traffic and converts the most leads
- Which channel generates the most revenue
- Which social media campaigns generated the most traffic AND the most revenue
Once you’ve identified which channels are your most profitable, evaluate whether you’re sharing the right content and if you’re following good social etiquette. There are very productive ways to promote your products on social media. You can drive more traffic and increase your social media ROI by optimizing your social strategy.
4) Review Mobile Optimization
According to Internet Retailer, more than 60% of U.S. consumers’ time spent online with retailers takes place on a mobile device. In 2014, that resulted in a 79.9% increase in mobile ecommerce sales — to the tune of $84 billion. Optimize your site so it’s easy to navigate and buy while on a mobile device, if you haven’t already. Your site has only 6-10 seconds to load before the average person clicks away to buy from someone else.
5) Review Pay-Per-Click Campaign Performance
Analyze your PPC campaigns’ performance. Be sure to figure out the following:
- What type of keywords are you using? Try re-organizing your campaigns to see if there’s a pattern you can leverage.
- Which campaigns send the most traffic to your site, product pages, blog, etc.?
- Which campaigns deliver the greatest revenue, and can you scale your efforts via that medium?
- Are you constantly split testing? You should always have the highest performing ad in each campaign become your control, and you should always be trying to beat the control’s performance.
You can save money and increase traffic by optimizing your campaigns, and reallocating budget to favor high-performing PPC campaigns.
In all, just because it’s easy to adjust tactics, doesn’t mean do it now. Smart marketers rely on data to help make better, more informed decisions. Constantly testing different variables in your content, keywords and campaigns lets you optimize your marketing investment to be more effective.
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