From DM News' Special Report on Web Analytics: Eckler's Revs Up Sales with Coremetrics Search Engine Marketing Services

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The war to be at the top of the search engine results pages is more intense than ever, and the cost to participate is escalating at an accelerating rate. With the increasing importance of the online channel, companies are bidding against competitors and sometimes, even themselves, to be easily found by their high value customers.

In a system where you pay a fee each time a Web visitor clicks on your link, eliminating irrelevant clicks is almost as important as drawing desirable clients to your site. Finding the right combination of keywords and bidding for them at the optimal level has become a highly sought-after skill, and one that can pay off with big results.

Eckler's, a leading distributor of aftermarket parts and accessories for Corvettes, has firsthand experience playing the search engine marketing game.

Eckler's knew that it was missing out on potential sales and that its search campaigns could perform better. With only 250 active keywords, Eckler's was generating a fraction of its revenue potential, and sales conversions weren't at the level it had wanted.

With more than 21,000 items available through its online catalog, Eckler's prides itself on providing accurate, detailed technical information. Effective SEM campaigns are instrumental in reaching Eckler's car-buff customers, who are often seeking highly specialized products. Eckler's engaged Coremetrics' search marketing services, replacing an independent contractor, to help it revamp its SEM program.

The war to be at the top of the search engine results pages is more intense than ever, and the cost to participate is escalating at an accelerating rate. DM News' Special Report on Web Analyics

[DM News' Special Report on Web Analytics is available as a PDF file. To download the article click here or on the image.]/SPAN />

Using on-site search, natural search and custom SQL query reports, Coremetrics' experts helped Eckler's identify some of its most sought-after items. The team pinpointed niche keywords that would drive sales of product categories that Eckler's wanted to promote, with a low cost per click. Bids were increased on high performing keywords and were closely monitored to ensure that competitors would not outbid Eckler's during the critical season of automotive shows and expos, typically between March and September each year. A significant number of new keywords were identified, including negative keywords to decrease unwanted traffic resulting from irrelevant search queries. For example, Eckler's knew that people searching for "B&B" might be looking for Bed & Breakfasts rather than B&B Exhaust Systems.

When we analyzed the results, we were surprised at how much we were spending, so moving from broad match to phrase and exact match helped us tremendously.

By implementing the strategy outlined by Coremetrics' Search Marketing Services, Eckler's SEM program realized dramatic, positive results. Online orders jumped by 602 percent, while sales revenue increased a whopping 541 percent. Results for Google were particularly impressive, with click through rates shooting up 623 percent, resulting in an astounding 3,737 percent increase in sales.

The difference in our SEM results since working with Coremetrics' Search Marketing Services is the difference between night and day. Total clicks, click through rates, conversions, orders and sales have all dramatically improved in both our Yahoo and Google programs, and we're now expanding to other search engines.

The combined Eckler's and Coremetrics team has not rested on its laurels. In the SEM world, being nimble is imperative. Strategies and direction are discussed weekly, and bids are adjusted as inventory changes. It's an investment that has paid off for Eckler's many times over.

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