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Digital Marketing Makeover – Helping Sugar Couture to Sell Tasty Treats like Hot Cakes #ppc #seo #social


In this, our very first digital Digital Marketing Makeover we’re challenged to help a cake maker from the Greater Manchester area make the very best of her PPC, SEO, web design and social efforts to help her sell her tasty treats like hot cakes! Read on to see what opportunities our panel of digital experts sees to maximize the impact of the online activities of this small business and sign up yourself to make a chance to receive a makeover for your business too!

About Sugar Couture

Mandy Smith is providing Manchester, Cheshire and the odd customer from the Midlands, Merseyside and even Wales with creative creations of the cake kind. Trained as a chef, Mandy found that cake making offered her a more creative outlet which is why, in May 2011, she opened the doors of Sugar Couture.


Key cake audience and most profitable products

Sugar Couture’s customer profile sees a slight dominance towards women – about 60% of cake buyers are female and 30+. Birthday cakes are most often ordered followed by Christening and anniversary ones. Wedding cakes are also important to the business.

Advertising efforts so far

Mandy has placed some ads in the newspaper but did not see the ROI she hoped for. Parties are currently the best lead so the proof must certainly be in the pudding! (or rather cake). Her shop window also seems to be doing a good job at drawing customers in. Mandy hopes to grow her business so that it is up there with the kind of well-known cake shops that produce cookbooks and courses.

Although, Sugar Couture has a Facebook page and Twitter account, Mandy, like most SMBs, finds it hard to juggle marketing with the hands-on elements of her business. The Digital Marketing Makeoveraims to offer you a fresh pair of expert eyes to look at your digital marketing efforts – point out what’s great (for others to learn from) and recommend where you can make easy chances that are likely going to make the world of difference for the business you are generating with your digital efforts.

Pay Per Click – Use your advertising budget on your most likely customers

Over to what can be done online to let Mandy get closer to her business objectives – this month with the additional help of two of our Bing Ads accredited professionals, Matt Hopson and Katie Saxon.

Make the most of your budget by targeting your customers

  1. Mandy has a clear idea of who her customers are. With paid search ads in Bing Ads you can target those potential customers most valuable to a business, making the advertising effort more effective. In this case Mandy could increase bids (called incremental targeting) when women (and men as they still represent 40% of her customers) over the age of 30 come online.
  2. Create a campaign that targets only your local area – you can choose how far from your location you want your ads to show – to get the most out of your budget. You can create location targeted campaigns aimed at the North-West (including Manchester, Chester etc.) around each new landing page. Local targeting can help drive local people to your shop.
  3. Make sure to add your business location and enable the location extensions. This will display your business address and phone number in your ad increasing its size and encouraging users to either click or pick up the phone.

Finding out what works – and what doesn’t

  1. Regularly review your ads and keywords to see which ones send traffic to you and whether you’ve got the bids right. Pause what doesn’t work (if it has over 250 impressions and a CTR less than 1% it may not be working) and test something new.
  2. As Sugar Couture grows Mandy may need to consider using a call tracking service and/or an online form so that you can use Bing Ads’s conversion tracking. This can tell you which keywords and ads generate leads so you know where to spend your money.

No PPC campaign yet? Here’s how you get started quickly and easily

  1. Mandy isn’t running any PPC campaign today. It does actually not take that much time to get started. Here are some tips on how you can get free support to get a campaign up and running quickly and how to get to understand the basics of it.
  2. If you are daunted by the prospect of setting up your own PPC campaign, use QuickLaunch: Let one of our service specialist’s help you plan, create, execute, and analyze your Bing Ads campaigns. This service is free. If you already have a campaign, ring our service center today to get free expert advice.
  3. Use friendly, personable ad copy and run at least two ads so that you can test what sort of ad delivers you the best return. Try to include in at least one ad with a unique selling point (USP).
  4. Send your ad traffic to a page relevant to their search – if they looked for “birthday cakes” ideally send them to a dedicated birthday cake page with information, pictures, testimonials and most importantly contact details to ensure you close a sale!
  5. If you’re unsure what type of keywords to run, use the keyword research tool in the Bing Ads UI or the Bing Ads Intelligence Excel add in to identify search volume & estimated cost per click (CPC) bids. We also created some downloadable keyword libraries which may be useful to some (also available in German and French)
  6. Follow the PPC Back to Basic series aimed at reminding those using PPC advertising of best practices and to simply explain these to those new to it.
  7. We’re online to help you too – Monday to Friday our social team is happy to help for example via Twitter @BingBusiness and @BingAds and in our forums.


Six SEO tips to improve Sugar Couture’s digital footprint

  1. Currently the URLs of the Sugar Couture website look like the base URL plus a few numbers and symbols for every page other than the homepage. You can actually name these URLS so that they tell people what the page is about for example: and this does wonders for the SEO of the site. The best way to think of this is that this is a way that you’re directly telling a search engine what the content is on that specific page.
  2. Create a separate page for category of cake you make. This aids SEO but also makes it easy to point PPC ads to a very relevant page (which leads to more sales!).
  3. Include the keywords you would like to rank for on the webpages. Currently there is no mention of the birthday and wedding cakes you would like to promote.
  4. Mention the fact you have a shop on your website. Visitors could currently be confused that this is just a head office type location. You can your shop on your homepage as well as on the contact us page (add a Bing map!)
  5. Ask customers for reviews on local websites.
  6. Research websites that offer a listing for local businesses and get listed (as long as it’s free). Those that provide a link are especially useful.

Getting Sugar Couture more exposure through social media

  1. It is key to convert your Facebook account to a Business Facebook page. Find out how to do this here:
  2. Running a business page means that all Facebook users can view all of your content– whether or not they are signed in at the time. This all takes the pressure off you to accept a friend request to allow the user access to all of your content.
  3. Ask questions via Facebook Polls (i.e. favourite cake fillings etc.)
  4. When you have your page set up you may want to consider using Facebook advertising to help increase customer orders. You can target recently engaged ladies in Manchester, friends of your fans or a specific age group in your target region.
  5. To build up your Twitter following tweeting more regularly will help – at least once or twice a day would be great. You could use hashtags to pull in new followers too. The style of tweets Mandy uses is really friendly – more of it!
  6. If you don’t have time to tweet every day, try using a service to schedule tweets. Services like Buffer or Crowdbooster can tweet and post to Facebook on your behalf.


       7. As Sugar Couture is selling such a photo friendly product, pictures of the cake creations on the Twitter timeline would work really well.

       8. Follow other local businesses (and potentially celebrities)

       9. Follow fellow cake-makers to keep abreast of what’s happening in the industry.

      10. Cover industry events and engage with participants.

That’s lots of advice, where should one start?

Mandy should start with amending some basics before diving into tweaking some finer details. Starting a PPC account, adjusting her Facebook settings to allow everyone to see her content and making some site changes to improve her SEO is most important.

Once these things are sorted these are some minimum activities she should look at on a very regular basis:

  • Check your Bing Ads account, pause the ads that don’t perform and create new ones. Use conversion data to track which ads are performing best and test new versions against them.
  • Run search query reports in Bing Ads once a month to identify new search queries (to generate new keywords and negative keywords)
  • Try & update Twitter & Facebook regularly- at least once a week (can use the mobile apps if short on time on PCs – you can also schedule some ahead using the tools mentioned. If you have time, write a new blog post.

Be part of the next Digital Makeover!

Are you interested in digital advice from our digital experts to help you to drive more customers to your site and business? Sign up here you can also leave questions below this post or contact us through Twitter, Facebook or connect with us on LinkedIn!

Special thanks! Our special thanks goes out to the Bing Ads Accredited Professionals who contributed their insights to this post: Matt Hopson from Screaming Frog and Katie Saxon, a digital marketing executive specialising in PPC for Boom Online Marketing. Boom is a specialist online marketing company, focusing on SEO, PPC, conversion rate optimisation and social media