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E-commerce: How to Guarantee an Increased Return on Your Marketing Investment

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Phil Norris
on 18/11/16

Whether you’re looking to grow brand awareness, engage your audience, or promote a new product launch, the end goal of any marketing campaign is simple: it must deliver a return on investment.

Every digital marketing agency promises to grow your ROI. But, practically speaking, what do they actually mean? What actions will they take to deliver a return on your marketing spend?

As a multi-award-winning online marketing agency, we feel pretty qualified to recommend the actions you need – channel by channel – to hit your ROI targets. Read on to find out the steps our delivery teams would take to guarantee more bang for your buck!

 

Strategy

Customer Journey to Online Purchase

From a strategic perspective, your first task should be identifying the single objective that will make the biggest difference to your business. It’s vital that your overall strategy focuses on one objective, not several. Is your weakness around traffic volume, new users, awareness, perception, or conversion rate? You can’t be effective in targeting anything if you try to target everything. Set a clear objective and align all your resources towards that end.

You shouldn’t expect identical performance from each channel. Use Google’s Customer Journey to Online Purchase tool – customisable by company size, sector and location – to get a feel for the role of any individual channel if you’re unsure.

The importance of picking one clear objective is highlighted by the following example: a new audience acquisition campaign on social is unlikely to deliver a strong conversion rate. If you design and judge the campaign against these two disparate objectives, it’s unlikely to achieve either. Likewise, your brand PPC should be outperforming generic. Set individual expectations for each channel and understand the full marketing mix.

But while it’s crucial to focus on a single objective, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of trying new things. Your agency should be constantly pestering you for business insights so they can make recommendations on actions – if they aren’t, you should be worried!

 

Mobile

Page load speed is a key factor

A sub-point from our Strategy team: whatever you do, remember mobile first.

Almost every research journey now starts on mobile. Yes, your desktop will be more likely to close the sale, but if you miss out on that initial “I need to know” moment on mobile, the top of the funnel will be pretty dry (read this recent blog for more information on the buyer journey).

Long-tail organic search and generic PPC typically fit in with these top-of-the-funnel searches. And make sure your mobile site is easy to browse. Another typical issue here is speed. A slow page will lead to a high bounce rate – check your speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

 

Paid Search

Paid search ads

Successful paid search campaigns that deliver strong ROI are all about utilising the available data to make informed improvements to your budgets, keywords and messaging.

Your first port of call should be ensuring that your Google Analytics tracking is set up and reporting correctly – particularly e-commerce tracking. E-commerce tracking codes can be set up to record a range of metrics – such as order amount, product names and size of basket – to give you a detailed breakdown of keyword performance.

Rather than seeing that a certain keyword generated 20 conversions, you’ll instead be presented with a monetary amount. This allows you to calculate your return on ad spend, and ultimately the success of your campaigns.

 

Outreach and PR

Blogger event PR and outreach

Think it’s impossible to report the real-world impact of outreach and PR work? Think again! As the recent success of our Harry Potter campaign for estate agent chain Chancellors demonstrated, outreach can provide massive – and measurable – results for your business.

Product launches often provide the perfect platform for building buzz and awareness for your brand. It also places the focus on a particular product or collection, making the potential journey to purchase slightly more streamlined. In short, if you’ve got a launch in the pipeline, this should be your top priority from an outreach and PR perspective.

Blogger events are the perfect way to capitalise on a launch. For smaller ecommerce businesses, organising an event like this can seem like a mammoth undertaking, but this doesn’t have to be the case (for more information on organising and running a successful blogger event, check out this blog). The beauty of a blogger event is that, without a massive amount of input, you can secure a large amount of coverage from both social and blog posts.

One final point on this: it’s important to bear in mind that just because something doesn’t convert immediately, or send a massive amount of referral traffic through, that doesn’t mean it won’t convert in future. Many of the blogger reviews we’ve been involved with have gone on to convert 6-12 months down the line. Provided you’ve stayed true to your brand and selected a relevant influencer, there’s a good chance you’ll see conversions later on.

 

Content

The value of ranking on page 1

Want a content-related action that’s guaranteed to give you a return on investment? Look at keywords for which you’re ranking on page 2 of SERPs, and focus on bumping them up to page 1.

Websites ranking on the first page of Google attract 91.5% of traffic, according to online ad network Chitika. For high-volume terms, the difference between appearing on the first and second pages can be tens of thousands of extra visits per month – not to mention a spike in sales.

Of course, climbing to page 1 is easier said than done (after all, your page 2 competitors will be looking to do the same). But by identifying and optimising your priority page 2 URLs – with a focus on meta descriptions, title tags, introductory content and internal linking – you’ll give yourself the best chance of reaching one of those lucrative page 1 slots.

 

Paid Social

Paid social advertising

Social advertising is all about delivering ROI – but what should be your top priority?

Simply put, it’s vital that you differentiate between new audience targeting and re-marketing. Make sure that when you target a new audience, not only are they of high quality (which can be determined through various targeting methods), but that you exclude any existing data from targeting – such as email lists or subscribers. Likewise, make sure that your new audiences really are new audiences. For re-marketing, it’s important to not only target web visitors, but also email data, and be sure to update email regularly.

It’s also crucial to split out different channels when targeting users. For instance, you need separate campaigns for Facebook and Instagram. Each channel has its own set of cost-per-click levels and ROI benchmarks, so it’s important to design channel-specific creative, copy and targeting.

 

Tech and Web Performance

Schema markup

Despite the growth of social commerce, most of your customers will still convert via your website. That means it’s vital your site is well optimised for e-commerce.

From a tech perspective, one of the best ways to achieve this is through implementing schema markup to make your product, price and reviews stand out in search, thus attracting more clicks. Pages with schema integration rank an average of four positions higher than those without, according to research from Searchmetrics.

Not seeing the ROI you expect from your digital marketing activity? Get in touch to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation on improving your profitability and ROI

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