Elevating search campaigns with the three-star approach

This industry’s evolution is swift and capricious, but it always manages to steer itself to the next best iteration. Marketers can never really sit back and rest on their laurels, successes or stellar ROI. If you want to inject some momentum into a cam­paign that’s gotten a little “comfortable,” consider these sugges­tions, ranked from one star (easy next step) to three stars (better clear your week — and your weekend, too).

For paid search, an easy one-star project is setting keywords to multiple match types. Monitor any potential negative keywords — running separate versions of your terms on phrase, broad and exact match types can significantly increase your exposure. Using these methods is a quick way to broaden your coverage and increase traffic and new visi­tors while keeping low CPCs.

Another simple one-star project with stellar results is ini­tiating a product feed. There’s an array of feed programs, many of them free. If you miss this component, you’re also missing out on revenue. Once you have feeds running, begin aggressively monitoring your data. This becomes a two-star project but, if a team member can devote some time to optimize product data and change titles and descriptions to fit promotions, inventory changes and shifts in customer preferences, it’s worth the added effort.

Your next (or simultaneous) step is ensuring your SEO house is in order. SEO is a three-star project as the upfront work is fairly involved, but it’s one of the better campaign additions. The first stage of SEO is the audit process, which shows what aspects of your site need to be changed, often something as simple as changing a few title tags from “shoes” to “trainers.”

How’s your site’s usability? How many clicks does it take to get to “buy now?” Site audits will find the holes and bottlenecks that keep users from converting.

A great three-star project is initiating a re-messaging campaign. Target your converters, and serve them with relevant messaging. Coordinating with feed programs, you can cross-sell them with a complementary product while their initial purchase is still fresh. If a person buys a cutting block, re-message them with ads for new cutlery. While the cross-channel coordination can be chal­lenging, remessaging campaigns are indispensible to customer-loyalty and repeat conversions.

Remember that your competitors are not simply utilizing simplistic paid and natural search campaigns. By challenging ourselves, our thinking and our campaigns with these one- to three-star tactics, we can better meet customers’ needs and continue to outpace competitors in the long run.

Misty Locke is co-founder and president of Range Online Media. Reach her at [email protected].

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