• Optimizing, SEO, Pay-Per-Click, Online Sales And Making Sense Of It All

    In a world driven by e-commerce and online sales, the insignificance and lack of demand for brick-and-mortar businesses is inevitable. Understanding how to make the transition from selling products in stores to online sales can be overwhelming. The rules of advertising and marketing have completely changed, making it frustrating trying to thrive financially on an electronic platform that is driven by algorithms.

    To be totally honest, nobody fully understands how things like SEO, Pay-Per-Click, optimizations, organic online sales, and conversion rates mean. That’s because search engines, online marketplaces, and social platforms like Facebook that utilize advertisements have different algorithms and rules when it comes to these things. Obviously, the more you are immersed in online sales, the better versed you are in the terminology. But nobody fully knows how keywords convert except for the people running the platforms themselves. This can make understanding the business and selling your product a headache, so we compiled a list of terminology often used in e-commerce to help your understanding.

    Terms You Need To Know Right Now

    Organic Online Sales: This term is what your sales are that occur naturally, without the help of keyword optimization or pay-per-click. Usually, it’s driven by reputation, a quality product, a quality website, and reviews. 


    Conversion Rates: This is the percentage of potential customers/clients that you want to carry out an action. For the sake of sales, it translates to the percentage of “foot traffic” that ends up buying your product.


    Optimization: The discipline of maximizing a company or brand’s sales by deploying its full set of available resources.


    Keywords:  Words that are used when a person searches for something; how people choose to look up a product or service.


    Pay-Per-Click: More commonly referred to as PPC, this is an advertising tool that you pay for that is directly dependent on how much traffic you get to your site. You may also hear it referred to as “Paid Search” or “Search Engine Marketing” (SEM).

    PPC is the process of paying for advertising on sites and search engines. However, you are not charged for this form of advertising until someone actually clicks on your ad. Most often PPC is an auction where you compete for positioning against other advertisers. How much you pay for each click is contingent on how much you are willing to bid for a selected group of keywords.

    PPC can allow for much quicker wins in traffic and conversions for advertising. Since Google Adwords relies on both PPC and your quality score, they are far more likely to move your business closer to the first page based on how much you paid per keyword.

    Remember, Google is a business just like any other, and their business is being the #1 search engine online. Thus, it is in their best interest to move higher paying PPC and more quality businesses up the chain.


    Search Engine Optimization(SEO): Can be just as valuable as PPC but can take a longer time to show results. That is because it is organically driven, meaning you can optimize your webpage for certain keywords you think people will search for, but it is not part of the bidding process like PPC or Google Adwords. SEO is about getting a website found and ranking high on search engine results pages. It is also often referred to as organic or natural search results. When a searcher decides to click on your site, there is no fee charged to that website.

    The hurdle is optimizing a site so that the search engines recognize it as highly qualified and relevant to what people are searching for. This process can take time, and there’s no concrete answer for how to rank #1. These clicks are free, but it can be a long and grueling process which is why most businesses choose to invest in PPC.

    For example, say you are SEO optimized and doing quite well based on how many people have clicked on your page.  Due to the high traffic volume, you may have made it onto the first or second page of Google (which is huge.) The problem is, advertisers can use PPC ads to appear above your organic campaign, knocking your down the page. This can happen within days or even hours of opening an advertising account.


    Bidding: Advertisers select keywords to bid on, which correspond with popular search inquiries or actual words people are looking for. SEO, the content of ads, and their relevance are all significant factors in getting ads to show in the top position. Search engines like Google or Bing give each ad a quality score (on a 1-10 basis) based on factors which they won’t divulge. The same is true with Amazon. That quality score is then multiplied by your bid to get an overall Ad Rank. When bidding, an advertiser only ends up paying a little more than the one below them, once the Ad Ranks are evaluated. So the amount an advertiser bids on is not necessarily what’s charged upon a click. Confused yet? Yeah, it’s not meant to be easily deciphered by the public.


    On-Page Factors:  These on-page qualities that help with the quality ranking include quality content that is in demand, content that is linkable, the title tag (which is seen on the search engine), a clear URL, and keyword optimization.


    Off-Page factors: These attributes focus on getting other sites to include a link/reference back to your website, sort of like forming a good relationship with another company. Known as “Link Building” for SEO, this process is best managed by building relationships and generating quality links vs. spamming links across the web. A few strategies for building links can be through guest blogging, sponsorships, discounts, infographics, or building a resource.


    How Is All Of This Related To Selling Your Product On Amazon?

    Simply put, Amazon uses a lot of the same strategies that search engines use like keyword optimization and pay-per-click. While one is a marketplace strictly designed to sale products and the other is like a catalogue to showcasew where you can get such items, both the marketplace and the search engine use very similar techniques to drive advertisement and sales.

    This is why keyword optimization is crucial for your business. If you are planning on selling on Amazon, understanding the nuances of how Amazon ranks products and what drives certain things up the page is paramount to the success of your brand. It is also suggested that optimizing for SEO on google can translate to your Amazon listing appearing on Google. So cutting corners when it comes to these advertising techniques is strongly discouraged.

    online sales

    Above is a typical google search for women’s boots. Highlighted in pink is organic searches that made it to the first page as a result of traffic, sales, and quality of the website. Highlighted in yellow are sponsored ads paid for through Google Adwords. Notice the underlined website, Amazon, is not sponsored or Ad-linked, meaning this particular product listed on Amazon had such quality optimization, it made it onto the first page of Google search. 

    To understand more about how Amazon uses PPC, click here.


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