So you now have an e-commerce shop but what should you do?

As an accountant, it occurred to me just recently that there are many people who’ve established online shopping websites and sit wondering why they aren’t performing as well as expected and where they should be allocating their budgets.

Of course ideally you have good organic prominence and social media, which are huge subjects in themselves, but with the impact of Google Shopping being so significant nowadays, how well is your site performing for you (oh and do you realise that you have to pay for Google Shopping!? It is surprising how many people I have spoken with were unaware of this). Well… here’s half a dozen points for you to consider .

1.  My first thought is relevant if you’re working with an agency, but if you are, how is your agreement set up? Have you considered agreeing to pay them on results? And if the results are better, who cares if they earn more money, point is they’ve earned it! Set return on investment benchmarks  with your agency, monitor those and adjust budget allocations accordingly.

2.  How well are you funding your paid advertising for Google Shopping? Some people don’t realise the impact of good listings on Google Shopping and it may make sense to clarify what proportion of your budget goes on standard PPC and what you should allocate to shopping prominence.

3.  Are you including “negative keywords”? Sounds like ga ga doesn’t it,  but if you’re not familiar with the term and you’ve not asked your agency to check, you are missing something. Basically entering a negative keyword in paid advertising tells Google NOT to promote your ad to search queries that you have no interest in and thus saves you money.

4. Have you thought about “product targets”? The point here, is that if you haven’t, you could be paying a high PPC for low value items as Google Shopping will group them all under the same bidding structure. Ask your agency.

5. Ensure your titles and key-words are correct (yes, perhaps this should have been number 2), but ensuring they’re correct ensures the right sales message is presented to the search query. Sometimes with big e-commerce sites it can be complex, but if someone searches for a “black handbag” and the results for your “black leather handbag” come up as “leather handbag” the conversion rate will necessarily be lower.

6. Are you taking advantage of the Promotional Text Field? (or is your agency?) There are great opportunities here to add terms like ‘guaranteed next day delivery”, “free survey”, “order by 3pm for next day delivery” etc

So there’s 6 ideas for you, but if there was one that was most important, I’d say it’s to ensure ad nausea that your agency fully understands your aims and aspirations when appointing them including what feedback you expect.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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