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Top Marketing Tips for Retailers

Time to reflect on what will hopefully be the craziest year any of us will have to face. One of the predictions was that ad costs would rise due to COVID, but out experience has been different. We prefer to do all tasks under one roof as different site elements can affect the others. As long as you’ve got the basics covered there’s no reason why your ad campaigns shouldn’t benefit.

  • Did ad costs go up this year?
  • Are you covering the basics?
  • What’s your focus?
  • What’s your focus?


Hey. Welcome back Rankers. How are you going? So, I’ve read a few stories about how ads would become more expensive this year because of COVID. And I just wanted to show you a few of our clients. This is our last 30 days, year-on-year. We were looking after the ads for this client last year. The costs are down 5%, so $2,000. Revenues up about $100,000, or 36%. This one, these are all last 30 days. This one is… Let me do a comparison. Previous year… This one, cost is down 63%. Revenues up three points, 8%, but we’re spending way too much. We needed to get the cost down. Happy with that return. It’s getting better. It’s not where it should be yet, but we’re getting there. Here’s another one. Cost is only up 18%, or… What’s that? That’s $600. Revenues up to 122%.

It’s not just the ads

It has to do with not just the ads that you’re buying yourself, but, of course, the whole site, the whole experience, the customer experience. What sort of campaigns are running? What works best? Do you have a good brand? Here’s another one. 4% more than last year. We weren’t looking after their ads last year, and we’re nearly 200% up on revenue. So 25,000 to 75,000 over last year for the same period for ads. None of these clients did anything different. Some of them did do Black Friday last year. Some of them didn’t. Here’s another one. Ads cost up 5% or about 200 bucks, less than $200. Revenue up 274%. Here’s another one. This is one that we’ve kept the spend. He didn’t want to spend any more. So you can see here, he spent 5% less, and we’ve made 21% more, or… What’s that? 25… $37,000.

So, it really depends on what you’re focusing on. Now, if you’ve just got your separate SEO or separate ads, separate UX, and all that sort of stuff, it does become harder, that’s our experience anyway, to achieve those sorts of results. Because the reason that we do a lot of SEO tasks now, if it’s not for user experience, quite often it’s to make ads perform better as well. So there’s a number of things that you can do there. But I just wanted to… Because there’s still so much guff out there, and we had some… I had some feedback during the week, and I know you shouldn’t focus on, well, not even negative feedback, but feedback that isn’t super positive. And it was basically, “Oh, Jim only talks about the revenue bond lead more. It doesn’t give us the freebies or…” I’m paraphrasing… “…that he used to.”

Well, I still am doing that. And, I say, this channel is still about reminding you of the things that you may have forgotten or things that are common knowledge that… maybe not as common as I think they are… but certainly the gold, the gems that might double my client’s revenue or something that we did to achieve these results. It’s very specific. And I don’t know of anybody else that’s doing it. I’m not going to share it openly on this channel. I might share it in a workshop, and I might share it in some webinar. So, make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel to make sure you know when those webinars are.

But look, it gets down to these things. And this year has been, I feel, a pretty much breakthrough year for us. I know it’s been a weird year, crazy year, for everyone, right? I’m not going to go into everything because we’ve talked about it before, but basically we’ve changed the model completely over the last two years for us. It’s really getting slick now, and we know exactly the client that we have to work with. We’re very good now at working out who they are and making sure that we’re a good fit. But despite all that, the things that are still fundamental for us is that SEO is primarily about the user experience in your brand. So if you’re still doing backlinks, forget it. I’m not going to get a lot of height over that.

Don’t forget your brand

Do PR if you want to do anything for your SEO, or do some advertising on radio or television, or do those sorts of big brand exercises. Get people searching for your brand because, remember, brand mentions and citations count. And where is the biggest repository of brand mentions and citations? Well, they’re in Google. Google’s the most Googled word in Australia, right? So Google knows who’s Googled the most, and they’ve got to show the brands that people are looking for. You need to be one of those. And then, of course, get all your SEO technical stuff, right? Get all the speed fixes, the structured data, the index cleanup. So many people still don’t do an index cleanup. Make sure your site maps are right. All those sorts of things.
Go and have a look at the new Crawl Stats report. It’s awesome in Google Search Console. I’ve worked out and fixed a lot of problems recently for a couple of clients by using that new report. Really good. So if you’ve got a crawl budget issue, go and look at that report. Or you think you’ve got this crawl budget issue, go and have a look at that report. But the sorts of things that we discover as a team, I’m not just going to talk about those on this show.

With ads, it’s basically about… It’s not just about setting up the right campaigns and doing all those things. It’s also about, do you have a good brand? Because people are more likely to transact with you if you have a good brand. Have you got good customer service? Do people like dealing with you? The reviews, all those things, they all matter. Make sure you’re getting your Google customer reviews. Yes, Google My Business is great, but for retailers… Let’s face it, a lot of you are pure play. The retailers… Probably the most useful reviews you can be getting are those from, say, a third-party like Trustpilot… Hi, Red… or Google customer reviews, ones that you can use in shopping, and organic. Just remember, Google My Business reviews typically are only going to be showing in the area that the search has been done or that is about the search.

So, the most important thing that I’ve learned from retailers over the years, though… and this is going back for years and years and years… and this is pure play, mainly the big ones, the ones that have done well… all the ones that I know, the ones I’ve spoken with or worked with, at least, and looked at the data… Make sure you’re building that list. Make sure you’re doing those EDMs. I know a lot of people complain about how certain retailers that will do several EDMs a week, some a day. Well, they know what it’s worth to them, and they’ve done the calculations to say, “Well, we make a lot more money from these emails than the amount of people we might annoy because of there’s too many emails.” So build that list because that is a really good asset. Obviously, right? And use that list.

But it’s more important than ever. Especially because when we’ve got these algorithmic censors now that tell us that this is some… this griddle is a medical device that contains nicotine… Well, maybe after a few years’ use in the kitchen. There’s a lot of that stuff going on now, right? And then it’s happening on YouTube now, the censoring is getting more… It’s happening on Google search. The censoring has gone up a notch. And also, obviously on Facebook. So building that list is more important than ever. Because you could get suspended from any one of these platforms for no good reason, or your advertising could, or your page code or whatever it might be. It might be accidental, might not be real, but have a backup plan. And of course, that is having that audience in your list. Having that audience and communicating with them regularly.

If you can, if it’s big enough, sure. Slice and dice that thing. But long-term, make sure you have those EDMs as a revenue channel that you can rely on every month, because that’s what we’ve been doing with our clients this year as well, for those that haven’t been doing them.

Hopefully that’s helpful. Thank you very much for all your support this year. It’s got to be better next year, right? Has to be, right? Yeah. Look, all the signs that we’re seeing? Everything’s starting to come back. Everything… Certainly in Australia anyway. Couple of exceptions, but hopefully travel will be back up there soon as well. It’s such a weird year. I’m still waiting for the aliens to land. Should be here any minute, I suspect, given the year we’ve had. But, I will see you next year. Please stay safe. Have a great Christmas. Have a great New Year. And don’t forget to subscribe. I can’t even say it. Long year. Hey, I’ve been doing this 16 years now. Bye.

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