Each month we help one British business with a Digital Marketing Makeover. A team of Pay-Per-Click (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media experts give this business tailored advice with the aim of increasing their reach and sales. Ever wondered how to compete with large business for a top position? Wondered how your website could drive more sales? What bloggers can do for your SEO? Read on to find out.
Last month we advised a cake maker, today our team looks at how this maternity wear company can increase their digital footprint. Read on to see what opportunities there are to maximize the impact of the online activities of this business. Some of the challenges it has may also be familiar to you. Sign up yourself to make a chance to receive a makeover for your business too!
More about this month’s makeover business More 4 Mums
Lynn Hogg started her business More 4 Mums in 2008 after a career in the hotel industry to be able to combine work with raising small children. Inspired by this new phase in her life she decided to sell affordable maternity wear and accessories. Initially she sold her products on eBay but launched a website when business picked up. The main audience she aims at is women between the age of 25 and 45. Business concentrates on the UK market but More 4 Mums does ship to the rest of Europe as well.
Lynn is looking to expand the business further now her children are at school, to use her site as the single selling point, increase her product range and move her office and storage out of her home. She signed up for the Digital Marketing Makeover as she hopes to receive some advice which will help her to boost business during this next move.
She would like to develop an inclusive marketing strategy to ensure the maximum number of potential customers reach her site. More 4 Mums operates in a competitive niche with large corporate companies as well as smaller niche players. Lynn wants to make sure her business stands out and attracts customers.
Advertising efforts so far
Lynn has started to create a digital footprint for her business by creating a Facebook page, by signing up for Pinterest, Twitter and by writing for her blog, she also has listed products for review at My Family Club. Fairs are used to raise brand awareness but also to do market research. Alumni societies and – in the future – larger employers are being approached with staff discounts. Lynn made a start with PPC advertising and set up a mobile search advertising campaign. She loves some clever tricks on how to best move on with this.
Pay-Per-Click: How to compete for top search engine positions with large competitors
Bid on variations of keywords that may face less competition
The main PPC struggle Lynn told us she is facing is finding ways to compete with large brands.
She asked us to help her ads show in top positions. It’s a great question. The key is to bid on a variety of keywords and on keywords that are maybe a bit longer and receive a little less traffic as the big, obvious ones but that also bidded on less. In PPC terms this is also called ‘the long tail’. There's a whole bunch of other ways to describe what More 4 Mums sells - breastfeeding vest tops, long sleeved nursing tops, maternity nursing tops. There are a few ways to find these extra keywords to target:
- Brainstorm ideas - which of your products are best sellers or are the most profitable for you? What's the best way to describe them? Consider targeting keywords like these - as bringing more traffic to these products will make you the most money.
- Review competitors websites - How do they describe products? What keywords do they target?
- Use a tool like Bing Ads Intelligence to get keyword suggestions - this can give you an idea of how much budget you'll spend as well as how much traffic you can get, so it can help you to understand whether or not a keyword is likely to be cost-effective for you. You can find information on how to use this free tool here.
Write great, appealing ad copy
Another thing Lynn could do is write really appealing ad copy emphasising why customers should buy from her business opposed to the competition. Read some tips on writing effective ad copy to get you started. Great ads can increase the click through rate (CTR) which has an impact on how high in the rankings your ad appears.
Use negative keywords to Increase Relevance and Save Budget
Negative keywords are a specific word or phrase that helps to prevent your ad from being displayed to customers who are unlikely to click your ad. For example if you’d bid on the word ‘fashion’ you can add as a negative keyword the word ‘week’ to avoid tons of people seeing your ad when fashion week is on. If many people see your ad but do not click, your CTR drops which has a negative impact on your ranking. Adding negative keywords often has the opposite effect.
Lynn can use search query reports to get inspiration for her negative keywords. A search query report shows you what keywords people are using that causes your ads to display. With this impressions and click data, you can refine your keyword and negative keyword lists for your ad groups. So if your ad was displayed for a search that is not relevant to you, consider adding it to that ad group or campaign as a negative keyword. This article explains how to add negative keywords to your search campaign. Besides it is really revealing to see what terminology your customers use to find what you sell – great keyword ideas are to be had too!
Make sure you don’t compete with your own ad groups too. If you have an ad group ‘maternity dresses’ add ‘maternity trousers’ and ‘maternity tops’ as negative keywords.
Other PPC tips and how and when to look out for them
There are plenty of other tips and tricks to make your search campaign an effective marketing and sales generating machine for you. As to not overwhelm anyone with advice we’ve organised the tips in the below schedule which shows what Lynn should look into today and what other search activities she could start building into something of a routine. If anyone has trouble with any of the below we are always very happy to show how it works - just tweet us at @BingAds or pose a question in our forum.
PPC Tips & Timing
Start bidding on a larger variety of keywords. To appear more often in the top search results.
Use search query reports to find negative keywords and add these to your campaigns. Especially invaluable if you use broad match.
Find out which ads have a low CTR and replace these with new ads.
Review your campaign structure – is it still broken down enough with only highly relevant ads and keywords in each ad group?
Start adding negative keywords to improve the CTR of your ads. This will also help the position of your ads.
Start using some Bing Ads reports to find out what works and what not in your campaign. & make amendments. A step by step explanation.
Do you have campaigns going on budget pause regularly and others under-spending? Switch budget between these campaigns – especially ensure high converting campaigns have enough budget.
Are there products on your site you’re not already advertising? Add them in!
Start using all three match types but instead of general broad match use broad match modifier to have more control on what your ad shows up for. Read a great blog post on it here.
Pause keywords that don’t perform very well.
Use search query reports to new keywords and to find out what is really trending.
There are probably times of day you convert better. You could spend your budget wisely by advertising then. You can do this in the settings section (Days/Time) of Bing Ads (all our targeting options including time of day)
Your business is the perfect candidate for using Bing’s demographic targeting – you’re targeting mums 25-45, It’s highly recommendable using this form of targeting. You can target ads via the settings section of Bing Ads in Targeting Options
Check the offers and USPs competitors use in their ads. Amend your ads if need be.
Check if each ad group has at least three ads.
Ensure there aren’t duplicate keywords in your account. You could be competing against yourself, driving up costs.
Are there any peaks coming up soon from your Seasonality Calendar? If so, optimise 6 weeks in advance
SEO / Social – Quality bloggers and meaningful forum participation
The tactics that Lynn is using (guest posting and sending out products for review) are good. If time is limited she would do well to focus on going to the quality bloggers. Lynn says she likes engaging with the community. A smart approach would be to identify some important mother-bloggers and ask them to guest blog. This may take some time but the links from influential bloggers are likely to be worth more to search engines. If she picks the right bloggers, chances are that she will get traffic directly from the blog.
Participating in relevant forums can be great for your SEO
Another way to use the community to her advantage is by participating in forums. Find out which forums are used by the More 4 Mums target demographic and start joining a discussion. Lynn needs to make sure that she's joining in in a meaningful way - i.e. actually helping other users - which may mean that she can't always mention her company. Once she is considered a valuable member of the community occasionally links to her website will offend no-one and forum users they are actually far more likely to follow the link and buy from her, because they know they can trust her.
SEO - More consistency and a clear brand identity on the website to lure in style savvy shoppers!
Lynn would love her website to be more productive and it to be the single selling point. Our team of experts identified two areas which she could optimize to this objective:
1. Be more consistent: Consistency on your site looks professional and instills trust. A few tips to make the site look more consistent:
- Add to cart buttons and products should all be in line
- Main category boxes should be a consistent size and
- Different fonts shouldn't be used without a clear purpose (e.g. because it's part of a logo or headings are always a different font).
2. Design a strong brand identity: A consistent, streamlined site is likely to appeal to the target audience and instils trust. The site could look more consistent and use high quality, stylish photography even if the emphasis of the business is on value. The logo could look sharper and be better designed – for the social networks it needs to be resized to fit the profile boxes.
The More 4 Mums website
SEO – Five landing page tips to lead customers straight to sales
You may have the best PPC campaigns in the world but if your landing pages aren’t great, you will not convert. Here are 5 top tips:
- Checkout Process: ensure your checkout process is simple – state how many steps there are until they’ve bought their items and where they are in the process. Throughout the process, keep them encouraged by showing positive testimonials and images. Do not show links that will take them off your site! Check this link for further ideas.
- Step into your customer’s shoes – e.g. if you sell nursing tops, anticipate that they will want to know the material so as not to aggravate baby’s skin. New mums may not have a clue what *** pump they will need so look at adding a “Most Popular” icon to some products.
- Have main items above the fold e.g. do not have an “Add to Cart” below the fold where customers have to scroll to get to it.
- Have good clear headers at the top of each page to reassure the searcher that they are in the right place and include a benefit e.g. Stunning Maternity Tops – 10% Off Today!
- Do not clutter your webpages with content – this will stress searchers – keep the page as clear as possible but with the content they need to navigate through.
Get a Digital Marketing Makeover for your Business!
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:
Maria Waters, after working five years in search account management Maria started up her own business Online PPC by Maria. Maria has an extensive PPC based knowledge of the Travel, Retail, Finance, Motors, Gambling, Digital Agencies and Careers industry. Besides offering PPC management Maria also gives businesses training on this subject.
Katie Saxon & Wayne Barker, digital marketing executives specialising in PPC for Boom Online Marketing. Boom is a specialist online marketing company, focusing on SEO, PPC, conversion rate optimisation and social media and