Google’s dominance of the UK search engine landscape continues, with figures published in January indicating that the search engine currently has more than 85% of the market share. With online sales growing year on year, it’s never been clearer that UK retailers need to maximise positioning within Google’s search results, in order to drive sales.
But it’s also evident that many retailers are facing a highly competitive environment. As a result, it’s necessary to take a structured approach to ensure the best results. Relying solely on search engine optimisation (SEO), for example, is likely to mean that you will be missing out on sales that can be driven from other channels. Your competitors may be pleased to see you taking such a limited approach, as they enjoy picking up the sales that might otherwise have been heading in your direction.
One channel that you can’t afford to ignore is Google AdWords advertising. Paid advertising has become even more prominent in recent months, with the decision of the search engine giant to display 4 paid ads at the top of the results pages for many searches that are conducted online. This means that the top “organic” listing is often being shown in 5th position on the page. In short, if you want to be seen on Google, then you need to be investing in getting great results via AdWords.
Taking an active approach
Some advertisers make the mistake of imagining that AdWords offers a “fire and forget” model, where you can simply set up your campaigns and then sit back, allowing the sales to start rolling in. Although it’s certainly true that a key advantage of the Google AdWords platform is that it enables you to get your products in front of potential customers quickly, those who are most successful using this advertising channel are the businesses that invest the time in getting it right.
Identifying your objectives and getting comprehensive tracking in place is critical to delivering results from AdWords. You need to understand exactly how much profit you derive from individual sales, in order to examine the Return on Investment (ROI) that’s generated from your advertising activity. Getting the best results over time relies upon the ability to carry out regular analysis of the performance of your AdWords account, with a focus on ensuring that you are targeting the most appropriate keywords and pushing your budget into the areas where it will consistently produce the best returns.
In addition to standard AdWords Search campaigns, retailers can take advantage of Google Shopping campaigns, which enable product images to be displayed prominently within results pages and also allow potential customers to be directed to individual product pages, increasing the conversion rates that might be expected. When combined with Search and Display Remarketing options, there is enormous scope for increasing online sales volumes and profitability.
If you want to drive more sales online, then it’s vital that you get highly targeted, effective AdWords campaigns in place, as part of your wider digital advertising approach.