Posted Dec 06, 2017 by John Dynamite Tucker
It’s that time of year: when sales tracking is as vigilant is Santa’s Elves. You’re monitoring your conversion rates day after day, week over week, monitoring the success of your campaigns and popping into Google trends every hour to see what variation of your targeted keywords is trending in that moment. Your strategy is fantastic. You are a marketing genius.
Sweet mistletoe, is this not the most wonderful time of the year, or what? When marketers become eCommerce traffic FBI agents. But don’t get too caught up in the hub-bub of holiday sales and forget that Q1 is right around the corner.
With a new quarter comes new KPIs, new targets. And if you make the common mistake of not planning for how to keep those sales coming, you’ll be singing Blue Christmas long into January. Take it from us, no matter how successful your holiday campaigns may be, there is room for improvement: ALWAYS. And there are some simple strategies we use at Human Element that you can put into play now, and expand on later, to increase traffic and conversions throughout the year.
One of the least employed best practices of eCommerce digital marketers is that of reaching potential customers that are beyond your direct audience. And while it may be one of the least popular marketing tactics, the strategy of broadening your target range after already having a definite targeted audience strategy in place, is one that any eCommerce business can benefit from.
Maybe your search campaign has reached its goal; heck, maybe a little holiday magic sprinkled on your Adwords account and your campaign has exceeded expectations. Every single page on your company’s website is dominating the high ground, standing proudly at the top of Google’s SERPs for your core search terms, and the traffic is flowing. Your site is killing your revenue targets like Anakin Skywalker in a room full of younglings. But there are millions of online shoppers out there that may not even know how badly they need your product, or that your site is the place to find the product they have in mind.
Let’s get started by taking a look at your product. Review the uses of the product once it has left your hands. Where will a user get the most use out of your product? Are there online forums or shared spaces where people will go to discuss your product? What about something that will help influence a user’s decision to purchase your product (not reviews)? Go past auxiliary uses of your product: What is some important information that people will also consider after purchasing your products? Do they fall into another industry? Many successful eCommerce organizations don’t recognize their potential in industries similar to their own.
Let’s take a look at an example. Pretend for a moment that you are in the business of organic honey. You tirelessly manage a small honey farm and have successfully sold your product online this season with a handful of search campaigns. Your eCommerce store is booming. But the bees aren’t going to stop producing honey!
Let’s keep this train moving by targeting audiences that are searching for products similar to your own – or in the same field of vision. Honey can be used for many, many purposes: As a sugar substitute, a sweetener in tea or coffee, for sore throat relief, as a homeopathic antibacterial topical treatment; the list goes on.
Begin the process of assembling the searches a person might perform to find one of the identified uses or influences by doing some keyword research. Once you have a strong list of keywords, whittle them back down to the searches targeted. Plug those pretty keywords into unique content and boom, you’re done.
Like all eCommerce strategies, this best practice digital marketing method is one that requires maintenance. You know all the ongoing research you’re doing now? Well, you’re going to keep doing it. Forever.
And like in all good eCommerce strategies, there is a balance. If you target keywords and show up in irrelevant SERPs, your quality score will go down and you will have done the complete opposite of what you set out to do. The best way to avoid this is by testing it. Doing a simple search of the keyword will show you what kinds of pages will show up in that SERP so that you can determine if your product is relevant.
Aside from the obvious, the strategy of targeting beyond your direct market reaches potential customers who are searching for information relevant to your product. A person looking for a cure for a terrible sore throat may stumble upon your organic honey cold cure campaign. A person looking for a natural acne treatment will likely find your organic honey acne remover campaign perfect for their purpose. And just like that, you have a conversion.
You may be asking yourself, “Will this dilute the relevance of the keywords that I’m targeting on my site?” Not likely. Keep in mind that the goal of this exercise is not to change the focus of your site, but offer supplementary information to users who are currently drifting in your orbit and might not have taken notice of your company. The content you begin to generate based on the newly selected keywords you work to target next should all be able to reference your product and existing content in some way.
You’re ready. Do the research and remember that there are no guarantees, just educated attempts. Monitor your campaigns and adjust as needed.
And while we’re talking about getting started, we have a final recommendation: The best way to start is to not go full force. Begin with a series of two or three focused pages on a single topic/tight group of keywords. Using the example of the organic honey business, this first step would include targeting ONLY users that are looking for cold remedies and keeping those other audiences on the back burner for later.
So get out there and make your mark. Grow like never before! And enjoy the surge of endorphins you’ll experience from personal accomplishment. You deserve it.
Still not sure if your organization has the bandwidth to manage additional marketing campaigns? Human Element has you covered. Read more about our available marketing services. After all, we wrote the blog, so we’re happy to just do it for you.