Top Tips for Online Marketing and ECommerce Shops

Content, Social, Adwords and Analytics!

These were the topics covered today (Tuesday 08th March 2016)  at one of the very popular Retail Excellence Ireland E-commerce workshops which I attended in Dublins’ Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown.

As many of my clients run e-commerce websites it is important that I stay updated on trends and tools so that I can then offer them the best advice and service possible to my clients so here I share with you some of the nuggets gleaned from today’s workshop.

First up we had a talk entitled ‘Content & Social – The Critical Combo’ from the award winning team at Wolfgang Digital.

Speakers: Alan Coleman, Roisin Linnie & Michaela Simpson

10X Content aka Big Content

Ok so the gist of this is rather than spending time doing a number of ‘good’ content blogs every month instead aim to create a SUPER blog that stands out from the masses and ticks all Googles’ boxes. Use creatives such as infographics / video to make an impact. Pull your users onto the blog post for engagement and always ensure you have your Call To Action (CTA) obvious. How? Here’s the formula they suggest:

  1. Identify an engaging topic that will interest your market based on your analytics / insights (eg biggest search term used to find your product/ tweet with biggest reach/engagements etc) eg ‘Stress Management’
  • See what content related to this is already out there – what comes up on page 1 of Google – how does it look? Is it outdated? Could you do better?
  • Create a tenfold better article using creative content such as easy to understand & visually pleasing graphics (infographics are great for this) or make a professional looking YouTube video!

User Interaction On Your Blog Post: One case study they showed was based on a Facebook competition which linked to this 10X blog. The entrants had to answer a question based on the text within the page and submit the answer via the website.

This meant that Google saw traffic from Facebook to this blog and also user interaction on the actual page via the submission button. This in turn gave the blog piece extra SEO points (search engine optimisation) that meant it found a home on page one of Google Images ( this sample focused on an infographic)

Other Points:

They also worked to get back links from quality websites by literally informing them of this great new content they could share with their users. Cheeky eh? I like it!

They ran through image optimisation for web something we have spoken of here before – It really IS important so spend time doing it. I know I have seen the results again and again for clients when time is taken to name, size and tag out images appropriately.

To Summarise, Roisin Advises the following steps:

Pre Campaign Steps: 

  • Simple Idea (use insights for ideas)
  • Does your audience have this on their phone already? eg Image of family day out for ‘day out’ photo competition
  • Choose your goals
  • Offer a reward

During Campaign:

  • Engage constantly!! Say thanks, share, reply
  • Target efficiently ( Facebook / Twitter etc)
  • Utilise this lovely Authentic content ( replacing stock images immediately)
  • Reward your advocates ( extra prize perhaps? note that something as simple as a retweet for an SME can be worth it’s weight in gold)

Post Campaign

  • Create an audience that you can use in the future from your participants (capture and save this data!)
  • Remarket to this audience ( they obviously like your product or service)
  • Keep using the User Generated Content (UGC) as it is great authentic content that you simply cannot buy.

Google Adwords and Analytics

Speaker: Aiden Burke We were treated to a talk by Googles’ very own Aiden Burke who walked us through a typical e-commerce sales funnel and focused on the benefits of remarketing.


Perhaps what most interested in me is the wealth of data each of us already have in our analytics (all my clients get analytics integrated to their websites whether they then use them or not) which can then be used for remarketing, reaching people who have visited our sites and are thus likely to be interested in these services again.

The main aim of remarketing (or retargeting as it is also known) is to re-engage interested users who have left your website through visual display ads on another website. Think….

Aiden pointed out that this data could also be segmented so that you might remarket only to those who purchased from you in the past versus those who bounced away (for example).

Note: The data used for remarketing is built from users who have accepted cookies ( so will not include those who have not), thus you have permission to target them with ads. 

He suggested the building of a customer profile (something I have found very useful in the past for user centered design) where you literally make a persona of your customer giving it a name, sex, job, age, pet, hobbies etc. This can help you build a bigger picture around what your customers might want or be interested in and thereby open up ideas on ways to reach them. He also noted how important it is that every business knows the lifetime value of the customer.

YouTube Advertising

Did you know that YouTube Ads cost as little as .03 cent and you only pay if a viewer watches the whole advert!

So if your ad is 30 seconds long ( this incidentally is the best max time) and a user leaves at 28 seconds you don’t pay a thing. A neat little trick a client had done is create a video of 30 seconds duration with an advert taking up 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of nothing… thus the viewer would watch the first 20 seconds ( ie his whole ad) and get bored of the emptiness, leaving before the 30 seconds was up. Naughty.. but smart. I imagine Google will find a way to discourage this but for now…

To Summarise:

  • Identify and Segment Potential Customers
  • Remarket them with enticing offers / discounts etc
  • Check out YouTube ads – 5 secs before can close them, 30 seconds max time is best, pay only if viewer watches full advert/time.
  • Know the lifetime value of your customer!

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