Paid Search Tactics from an Online Shopping Addict

I am a big online shopper. I could be an even bigger one if my favorite stores would implement the mobile online shopping tactics that are helping retailers all across the nation sell more products. I am forever filling my online shopping cart with what I believe are the softest of sweaters, the hippest of hats and the trendiest of tees only to panic and abort mission when I scroll down to read the total cost of my cart. “Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget,” my mother has always said of me.

So, rather than stew on my purchase options and run some numbers on my own time, I empty my cart and carry on with my day. Now if these retailers would give me the option to “email my shopping cart” or better yet, “email my mother my shopping cart” they’d have a greater chance of getting at least one member of the McManus family to make a purchase – even if that purchase isn’t instant. Seeing my shopping cart in my email allows me to return to the site on my time, and most importantly, it doesn’t let me forget what I had coveted. You’ve also then collected my contact information for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) opportunities. It is a brilliant marketing move. Except for you, Mr. Urban Outfitters. If you’re reading this, please ignore me. I need not spend another dime with your establishment.

Smartphones and CPC

This leads me to my next statistic from Merkle RKG Digital marketing report, Smartphones account for 21 percent of paid search traffic but just 10 percent of the spend.

While this may look discouraging at first glance, what this means is that mobile cost per click rates run significantly below desktop cost per click rates, allowing advertisers to hit cost per acquisition and return on investment targets while device usage grows. For example, the average CPC for desktop is $.59 and the average CPC mobile $.39, according to the 2014 Kenshoo global online seasonal shopping.

This screams opportunity for retailers and businesses through paid mobile search.

People are definitely making payments and purchases on their mobile device. “42 percent of people made a mobile payment in 2014,” said the Smashing Magazine article, Designing a Better Mobile Checkout Process. Now retailers can develop and optimize an easy mobile checkout process to help customers complete their purchase. Retailers should also enable specific payment processors, like Amazon.

“Cart conversion is 20 percent higher for a customer choosing to pay with Amazon compared with those who chose to use a card,” said Justin Petszaft, Managing Director of

A Simpler Buying Process

Simplify the buying process for your consumers and reap the benefits. I recently attended a three-day search marketing conference San Jose, called SMX West. I learned some new practices and trends and also had many Noble SEO/SEM theories and practices validated, such as these nuggets, offered by Martin MacDonald, Head of SEO, Orbitz Worldwide LLC, a key speaker at SMX West:

  • Don’t ask for non-required data in forms (Remember, make it easy for the consumer)
  • Encourage cross-device logins
  • Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter

Keep looking for ways to simplify the CTA (call to action) for consumers. When creating your mobile paid search ads, you can promote calls to your service line through the “Click to Call” function. This is the perfect example of how the call to action on an ad should be tailored toward the mobile user. According to Wordstream, “Mobile calls convert at a rate 3 times higher than desktop ad clicks.” When I am searching for delicious Thai restaurants in Reno, I love when a food joint gives me the option to “Click to Call” to order my pad Thai. The quicker and easier the order process, the more likely I am to order through your establishment.

Lastly, take advantage of ad extensions and the mobile carousel. Google began to selectively show ad extensions instead of description line 2 ad copy. They’ve also increased their mobile carousel depth from 7 to 9-10. Users can easily glide through a list of product offerings, just make sure the landing page for that product makes it simple for the user to buy. I’m talking 1+1 =2, simple. Make the purchase process modest.

Apply these mobile tactics towards your marketing campaign and I am certain you will see an uptick in conversions and sales. If you aren’t converting immediately from your paid search ads, remember that search ads lift top of mind awareness for any brand, which can be analyzed through multi-channel funnels within Google Analytics.