Increase Your Sales & Search Engine Marketing ROI With Web Metrics

I have a new Internet marketing client who is pretty Internet savvy. He knows business, and has a very good grasp of the Internet. He runs a consumer e-ccommerce site in a niche market. He is running an Adwords campaign, and has a decent conversion rate. In a nutshell, he has got it together. So I was surprised to hear that he wasn’t using any type of web metrics / analytics.

This leads me to wonder how many folks out there are running Pay Per click campaigns, but don’t track the full cycle. If my new intelligent, Internet savvy client isn’t, then how many others aren’t? This means going beyond ” I am spending $X a day, and making $y in a day sales”. This is a good start, but not enough to optimize your true revenue potential.

Web metrics / analytics are important. And having the right features in an analytics package is even more important. Right now, I can’t find one package that meets all of my needs, so I end up using 2 together. I use Google analytics and Statcounter. Both are free, and I find quite powerful when used together. Google analytics is the main bread and butter. It allows me to quickly identify trends and patterns in visits, conversions, keywords by referral source and more. Statcounter is a simple package, but offers the one thing Google analytics cannot, individual visitor path information. I find that this is such a valuable feature, I can’t live with out. Both of these packages are free. So there isn’t any excuse to not use them.

Anyway, let’s get to my point. Get a good analytics package or combination set up and running. Why? Because then you can tell, not only which keywords in Adwords bring you traffic, but which ones result in sales. Then you can see if there is a particular time of day that results in more sales. Is there a keyword that has a higher ROI? If you can answer all of these questions, not only will it help you refine your Adwords campaign to increase sales, but it will end up increasing your overall ROI. You will be spending money where you will get the best bang for the buck, instead of casting a wide net.

Imagine knowing that increasing your bid on a particular word between 12 and 2 pm will result in 10% more sales. This kind of information is powerful, and can help you make key decisions that will increase revenue.

Can Changing Your Buy Button’s Color Increase Your Conversion Rate?

Good ecommerce retailers are constantly trying to figure out ways to increase their conversion rate. If you are wondering what the bad ones do, well they just focus on getting traffic to the site. Understanding your conversion rate, and testing ways to increase it is a core fundamental of eccommerce success. So I always look at case studies and articles that experiment with conversion rates.

Recently Marketing Sherpa, released a case study “Shopping Cart Design Tests – Color & Size Lift Results 44.11%” that looks at how color and size changes impact conversion rates. The test site was an office supply site and its shopping cart buttons were all light blue and the same size and shape. The site heavily used cross sell pages between the “add cart” action and the payment page. So the site really needed to test its entire process.

What did they find? They found that a red “Buy Now” button increased conversions by 4.03%. The found that a “Select quantity” button in green easily beat the current light blue color. And interestingly enough, they found that the existing light blue button was the best version of the shopping cart button on the cross sell page.

The most interesting item in the case study, is the eye popping 44.11% increase in conversion rate when they used “Proceed to Checkout” instead of “Add to Cart”, and “Proceed to Cart” out performed “Add to Cart” by 21.8%. I would never have guessed these results. In fact, I can see myself fighting these changes. However, the data is there, and you can’t fight the data.

The biggest take away, different colors had different impacts at different stages. So the same color may not produce the same result across all stages of the sales funnel.

So what do you do with this information? Form your own tests. DO NOT just run out and change everything to red. If you are tight on resources, just A/B test one thing at a time. Try switching out the “Buy Now” button with a different color and compare the results. It sounds tedious, but proper testing is important when trying to optimize your conversion rate.

Have you had similar experiences with color changes, or simple button changes?

Google Fighting Trademark Lawsuits

When you are king of the hill, you have a lot of lawsuits, and Google is no exception. I wonder how successful they are at finding attorneys that are legally and Internet savvy. Either way, Google’s AdWords program is being challenged in court because advertisers can purchase keywords and phrases that are trademarked. For example, Mazda can purchase the keyword Pontiac, and run Mazda text ads whenever someone searches for Pontiac. This was actually done in 2006 during Pontiacs “Google Pontiac” TV commercial campaign.

Needless to say, marketers who invest heavily in branding and their trademarks are not happy about this. Plus, due to US trademark law; companies must defend their trademarks in order to protect them (Bayer lost its right to Asprin because it was found to not have protected the trademark). So the question becomes, how will companies protect their brands and trademarks in this type of situation. Brandweek reports that both Geico and Louis Vuitton have sued Google over this issue. The premise is that Google is selling trademarks that they do not own. However Google is taking the position that the trademarks are not displayed and therefore infringement does not occur.

Come November, Google will have to stand trial in a California court over this very issue. American Blind & Wallpaper factory has alleged that Google sold their brand names to its competitors. If the results determine that Google’s actions cause consumers confusion or infringe on trademarks, it could lead to a ban on trademark sales in AdWords.

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