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SEARCH ENGINE TRICKS

Landing Page Optimization Techniques Lower Acquisition Costs
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-06-08

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    Landing Page Optimization Techniques Lower Acquisition Costs
    by Matthew Roche

    Any marketer that has been involved in search engine marketing
    and search engine optimization understands the never-ending quest
    to attract customers at a reasonable cost. With acquisition
    costs that can rise to $60 to $100 per customer or more, there
    is a constant demand for better word lists, better bidding, and
    better ad copy to compel click-throughs on the meatiest words.

    The reality is that there often simply is not enough highly
    affordable traffic to sustain business growth unless the marketer
    optimizes the landing page offer as well as the search terms and
    makes them work as a team!

    Search Engine Marketing works -- provided you are selling a
    product that has some demand, that is priced reasonably, and
    that you are able to satisfy the basics of security and
    fulfillment. We can buy product names, brand names, and other
    hot terms that are very specific to a product we specialize in,
    and qualified customers will find us.


    The Vicious Cycle of SEM

    The problem with search engine marketing is when you need to
    increase revenue and profitability. I cannot count the number
    of times I have heard of marketers who have developed a list of
    2,000 to 20,000 words and phrases to garner traffic. This number
    is inevitably reduced, sometimes to 100-150 high-performing
    terms, when the cost per customer acquired soars beyond
    profitability.

    Growing a list definitely grows traffic, but it can often be
    “bad traffic.” This traffic consists of words that are cheap,
    but have a .01 or even lower conversion rate during visits as
    well as words that have a 3% or more conversion rate, but end
    up costing $80-100 per acquired customer because of competition
    from other sellers.

    For example, “ecommerce” is a high-traffic term, and results in
    a lot of clicks for online advertisers because the searchers are
    usually looking for at least information if not an actual product
    or service. Unfortunately, this traffic is so unqualified that
    actually converting a visitor into a buyer of a commerce
    platform, consulting service, or marketing service is very
    unlikely.

    Alternatively, the names of brand name electronics equipment
    like Olympus C-460 can be high-conversion search terms, but
    even when they result in a purchase the yield on the sale does
    not merit the cost paid for the click. In our experience, you
    have to buy both product terms and category terms like these to
    maximize the volume of traffic of your online segment.


    Optimize your Landing Pages

    To make such a traffic purchase affordable, you need to optimize
    your “Landing Page” or the page that the PPC search term ad links
    to, on your site. Effective landing page optimization strategies
    include:

    1. Assortment Optimization - Develop the ability to continually
    optimize assortment to make certain that you find the right
    offer for “category” words. A key/supporting product scheme
    can work, provided you have the technology to rotate and test
    what product to present as the leading offer and what other
    products to provide in the assortment.

    2. Accessory Optimization - Deploy an aggressive accessory
    strategy to maximize AOV (average order value, or the total
    dollar value of merchandise that the average customer buys).

    3. Substitution Optimization – With high-cost, highly specific
    terms, it can be advantageous to recommend higher-margin
    substitutes on your landing page. A slight increase in
    average margin can make better search positioning affordable.

    4. Promotion Optimization - Test and optimize promotions
    including free shipping to encourage increased purchases
    during a qualified visit without needlessly sacrificing
    profit margin.

    New software tools like Offermatica (available at
    http://www.Offermatica.com) are focused on providing merchants
    or direct marketers with these types of optimizations.


    Customer Case

    For example, one company sold games for children and adults
    online and generated traffic around search terms largely selected
    by the brand names of the games they sold. This strategy was
    effective, but the words were competitive and they wanted more
    revenue per purchase. Using Offermatica, they providing an
    automated list of top-selling products on the pages where the
    target products were displayed, the company increased their
    AOV by 20% against a control group.

    In another case, a company represents travel products that have
    radically different gross margins. The company should continue
    to drive traffic from external and internal search to the
    low-margin properties, but could also begin to purposefully
    display higher-margin alternatives in the same region and price
    range to increase the profitability of their acquired customers.

    Finally, a consumer products retailer that generated much of
    their traffic around a limited range of brand-name products
    tested a gift-with-purchase strategy to try to increase
    conversion rates on expensive brand-based terms.


    None of these marketing approaches are earth-shattering. They
    reflect well-trodden paths lain down by traditional retailers,
    catalog retailers, and even the late-night infomercials. They
    are also very effective.

    Any retailer can drive traffic if they pay enough, and anyone
    can refine the traffic to pay relatively little for relatively
    low traffic. The search engine future, however, belongs to
    those who can sell enough to pay enough for a large, growing
    base of online customers.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Author:
    Matthew Roche, CEO, Offermatica, http://www.Offermatica.com

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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