David and the Web-Op team had the pleasure to meet with Chris Antonsen of Merchant Account Solutions. Chris is an expert in the merchant account industry and works with fortune 500 companies to small business start ups. Web-Op looks forward to working with Chris and his team at Merchant Account Solutions.
Do you sell direct to consumers online? Product listing ads may boost return on ad spend.
In October of 2012 Google Shopping transitioned from being a free service for online retailers to a paid model incorporated into Adwords. So what does this mean for adwords advertisers? In a nutshell product listing ads allow you to get images of your product directly on Google’s search results pages. Even better, these ads typically don’t cost more than traditional text ads and often cost LESS!
How well do they work?
We currently have three advertisers with us that have lower CPA’s on product listing ads than on their brand search! Every product is different so this may not translate to your site/product but its definitely worth a look.
Example Product Listing Ads
Getting Product Listings Live
First off, getting PLA’s live is NOT easy. Google requires advertisers to jump through hoops to integrate with their system. To get going you will need:
- an Adwords Account in good standing
- a Google Merchant Center account
- a Shopping Cart
- an SSL Certificate
- terms of service
- And the tricky part – An XML, TSV or CSV product datafeed that conforms to Google’s guidelines
One note of caution: If you sell hundreds or thousands of products on your online store – chances are one of these products will be forbidden from advertising on Adwords. Take great care to exclude controversial items for sale from your datafeed or you could see your account banned.
Here at Web-Op we have many conversations about improving landing pages for different campaigns we are managing. There is nothing we love more than seeing conversion rates increase. We often discuss the design, call to action, and message of the page. We review the page to ensure the message has clarity, rewrite the copy to focus on benefits rather than features, and add security registrations to make visitors feel nice and safe. Often, however, the real culprit for low conversion rates is lack of scent.
The ad a visitor clicks on needs to smell like the landing page you direct them to. Lack of scent can create confused visitors – and confused visitors rarely do what we want them to do.
So what makes good scent?
- Ad copy needs to match the landing page copy. Try to have the main heading of the page as close to the main heading of the ad as possible. The rest of the copy of the landing page should focus on a single purpose: the message of the ad copy.
- Ad design needs to match the design of the page.
If your ad copy and design match up you are maintaining scent.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “I have a lot of different ads in my campaign.” You have a couple of options here. You can create a new page for each ad or you can create one page that shows different messages for each ad by loading content dynamically using a PHP query string.
Here is a little piece of code Ryan Underdown has used recently to capture the right headline.
This will work with a url like www.website.com/?headline=This+Is+A+Headline
$headline = $_GET["headline"];
$headline = str_replace(‘+’, ‘ ‘, $headline);
So if you are trying to increase conversion rate make sure you maintain scent.
I enjoy seeing the new trends in web design that come and go. I compiled a list of the most common trends I have seen, read about or designed. Check them out:
Responsive design (this means whether you look at a site on a 24-inch monitor or your iphone, the website will automatically adjust nicely to your size device.
Simplicity. You can notice this in the new Iphone IOS 7. All the design has gone from a 3-d feel to a very flat, clean and simple design.
Typography. You will notice huge type and fun ways of displaying type on sites.
Full size Images. Many websites are using photographs more and more in their sites, especially as backgrounds.
Fixed Headers. This means as you scroll, the header stays at the top.
Mobile Design. A very simplistic version of the main site, where you can easily navigate with your fingers.
Retina Display. Thanks to newer Apple monitors, phones and tablets their retna display can now fit twice as many pixels as the regular LCD screen. Which means higher, more beautiful resolution designs.
Web-Op has always been interested in maximizing cross-sell opportunities. On our new King Supplements project, it’s become an obsession. And why not? With a cross-sell, you’re dealing with customers who are already ‘pre-sold’, saving you the initial cost of acquiring another lead. It also offers excellent research potential, as you can pair products to see which perform well, even on products which might not be viable for direct pay-per-click marketing.