Posted June 20, 2006 3:13 pm by with 0 comments

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The following is a guest article written by Fortune Interactive’s very talented, Al Scillitani.

Online marketing may increase traffic to your site dramatically; this may not be a good thing.

Mylene Mangalindan’s article in today’s Wall Street Journal brings up a great point in the uses of analytics in your online paid search campaigns. Simply adding keywords to your paid search accounts is not enough and not only do you need to track your campaigns, but you need to track them down to a keyword level. Why to the keyword level?

Let’s say you have 500 keywords in your paid search account and your return on adspend (revenue/adcost) is 400%. Some companies would be very happy with this return, however you could be missing out on a huge opportunity. Out of those 500 keywords, you may have 15 high volume keywords bringing in 90% of your traffic and revenue. Fourteen of these keywords may have a great return on adspend, over 600%, yet one high volume term may be dragging your results down due to the high costs and low conversions. Testing different ways to increase conversions to this one keyword, or possibly removing it, could bring the account up to the 600%. A good way to increase conversions is to make sure you are using well targeted keywords, have proper negative keywords to block traffic you do not want, and to accurately describe what product or service the customer is getting in your ads. The ad and website needs to have well written calls to action to entice the customer to buy. The other issue online retailers run into is usability.

Online marketing may increase traffic to your site dramatically, this may not be a good thing. Your site is beautiful, you have your analytics up and running, and you just started your paid search bidding in Yahoo, Google, and MSN, everything looks great. Your reports show a dramatic increase in traffic, but no increase in sales? Most likely, this is a usability issue.

Online marketing will bring customers to your site, but it will not help them buy. Once the customer is on your site, you have to make it as easy as possible for that customer to buy. Some common mistakes: having a hard to find “buy� button, not using a consistent navigation system through out your site increasing the chances of a customer getting lost in your site, and the most common problems occur in the shopping cart. Having too many steps in your shopping cart is a killer.

Online marketing is a great tool to bring highly targeted traffic to your site. This combined with an analytics tool, reporting analysis and implementation, and resolving usability issues, you can be on your way to a very prosperous year.

Article written by
Al Scillitani
Search Marketing Manager
Fortune Interactive