The world of SEO and search engine marketing moves fast, and with that comes an ever-growing list of channels eCommerce brands can tap into to reach their audiences. From baby boomers to Gen Z, search platforms are used every day for everything from finding how-to videos to researching new products and following recipes.
And that’s why search engine marketing presents a huge opportunity in 2023.
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are feed-based. This means that unless you pay for ads, you need to rely on the organic growth of followers and regular engagement. And while they still have a huge potential audience, the reach can be limited if you don’t have the right strategies and budgets in place.
That’s why eCommerce brands need to explore multiple channels when developing their search engine marketing efforts. Search channels like Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok connect you with your audience when they need you the most, which is when they are searching for a solution to their problem.
How Search Engine Marketing Works
We believe search engine marketing covers a variety of channels which work together to drive awareness of your products and services. It’s not just about SEO and PPC. By optimising and varying the content you produce to align with trends, keywords and user intent, you can keep your campaigns targeted, relevant and engaging for users who are searching for what you offer and who are ready to buy.
For example, if someone is searching for ‘red men’s sneakers’, it’s likely they’re in the market to buy some new footwear. Creating content around why you’re the place to buy men’s red sneakers and crafting a really well-optimised product description with great images and reviews will help to ensure customers come directly to you rather than your competitors.
Covering multiple search channels using video, images, and written pieces and repurposing content gives your brand the best chance of reaching people in their various moments of need, as many customers use multiple channels for shopping inspiration, research and buying. Maybe a TikTok of those red sneakers or a Pinterest board of the latest influencers spotted wearing them will drive traffic and demand?
Search Channels for eCommerce Brands in 2023
With consumer behaviour changing all the time and new platforms emerging every 12-18 months, it’s important to understand where your audience hangs out now and how they shop for your products or services. Which search platforms do they use most? Are the majority shopping on mobile? How many visits does it take for customers to make a purchase?
There’s a huge amount of data available through platforms like GA4, Pinterest, YouTube and other tools that show you the demographics for each platform, and you can use this data to inform your search engine marketing strategy to make data-driven decisions. You’ll also find tools that can help you with social listening and trends so you can explore what your audience is currently talking about.
Top 4 Search Engine Marketing Channels For 2023
We’re going to cover 4 key search engine marketing channels that we’re using right now for our clients across beauty, home and garden and baby products. Each is part of a unique search strategy we’ve created based on the millions of data points we’ve gathered and analysed about our clients’ audiences.
So, let’s walk through the search engine marketing channels we’re using and why and explore how you can use them in your 2023 search marketing strategy.
Search Engines (SEO) & PPC
As an eCommerce marketer or eCommerce store owner, you’ll be familiar with SEO and PPC. These are the foundations of eCommerce digital marketing and usually deliver the biggest numbers when it comes to traffic and sales on eCommerce websites, somewhere between 50%-65% depending on the other channels being used.
The principle of Search Engine Optimisation is to optimise your website for organic rankings with search engines like Google and Bing. This means ensuring your content is relevant to what people are searching for and making sure your website is easy to read and navigate.
When doing SEO, you must pay attention to all elements of your website, from technical SEO to on-page content and the links pointing back to your website. Regular SEO audits are essential, and adding fresh content to your website that demonstrates your authority and knowledge in your niche is the cornerstone of good SEO.
PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns are also essential for eCommerce success as they can help you rank high in search engine results and drive more traffic to your website at the same time. By using keywords that reflect the keywords users are searching for, you can target them with ads when they’re looking for what you have to offer.
Google Search and Google Shopping are the go-to ad platforms for more eCommerce brands. We’ve noticed the cost of PPC clicks increase by as much as 100% over the past 12 months for some search terms. So regular monitoring of the campaign, keyword and ad copy performance is essential as it’s easy to throw money away with poorly optimised campaigns.
We’ve grouped these two channels together because PPC works in tandem with SEO, allowing you to secure paid placement at the top of search engine listings. If you’re not ranking for a competitive keyword organically, then you can use PPC to get your product seen.
It might cost you more, but if you’ve worked out your margins and what you want your CPA to be, you can expect returns of anywhere between 2x-10x ROAS.
Take a look at the Pinterest website, and you’ll see they’re all about search. In fact, they claim to be the search engine of lifestyle inspiration.
We’ve been using Pinterest to drive traffic and sales for our clients for years, and it’s fair to say that it’s an underutilised search channel compared to Google or Bing. However, the growth on Pinterest has been staggering over the past few years as more people are creating accounts and searching for products.
We use a combination of organic and paid content on Pinterest, as well as showcasing our clients’ own boards with their products in them through the Pinterest shop feature. This has been particularly effective for beauty, home and garden, and baby products, where the visuals can be used as inspiration to draw people in.
The beauty of Pinterest is that visuals or infographics used to create pins can also be used to support your SEO strategy. Google loves blog posts with unique images, so if you are creating content for Pinterest, think about which blog posts on your website you can add your graphics to so you can expand its reach and give your blog posts a boost.
Finally, infographics and images are great resources that other sites love to link back to. This is a great way to build backlinks to your website, which studies have shown can help improve your rankings in search engine results pages.
Based on the number of monthly active users, Youtube is the second-largest search platform in the world. It’s estimated that more than 2 billion people are using the platform every month.
YouTube is a great way to build an audience and use video content to drive sales. It can be used for product demos, tutorials, vlogs and influencer marketing campaigns. What makes it such a powerful search engine is that you can target users based on interests and search terms.
For YouTube success, video titles should contain keywords that reflect what people are looking for and include a call to action so viewers become buyers. Tools like Keyword.io provides a wealth of data around search volumes and trends for YouTube, enabling you to focus on creating videos that are most likely to be seen and shared.
Much like pins, videos are perfect for adding to blog posts and can be used to support your SEO by creating rich snippets, which can significantly improve click-through rates and rankings. So, you’ll be driving traffic from YouTube and generating more organic traffic from your website.
The rising star of the search marketing pack is definitely TikTok. They recently released a TV ad in the UK that positioned them as a platform that’s made for search. The idea is that TikTok is full of inspiration and ideas that are ready to be found by its users.
From our experience, TikTok is great for promoting products and services that appeal to younger generations. This platform works best when you produce content that’s entertaining, light-hearted and relatable. Add TikTok Live and TikTok shop into your mix, and there’s massive potential to generate traffic to your site and revenue directly from the platform.
We love TikTok content that answers questions like how-to, why and near me. It’s also perfect for influencer campaigns, as it’s easy to search for the right content creators with an engaged audience.
You certainly can’t ignore TikTok as a search platform, and they have a lot of features in the pipeline, so you need to be ready to adapt and test.
Creating a Holistic Search Strategy
Approaching search from a holistic perspective by ensuring all channels are working together and supporting each other is the best way to generate cross-platform traffic and sales.
We recommend creating a content and search calendar for the full year, split into quarters that outline what the focus will be for those 3-months. This way, you can easily see which campaigns and digital assets can be repurposed and optimised across channels. It should inform your visual, written and video content.
The key is to develop content that works hard on multiple levels, can be used in different ways, and supports your overall business goals. Can your YouTube video be repurposed as short-form content on TikTok and Pinterest? Can that infographic you created for Pinterest be turned into a how-to video for YouTube and added to your latest how-to blog post?
Thinking about search marketing in this way will help you be more efficient and effective without compromising on the quality of your content.
Search Engine Marketing Analysis
Before we sign off on this post, we need to talk numbers. Putting a reporting structure in place that shows what you’ve achieved vs your objectives will tell you if your search strategy is working or not.
Our team measures a range of metrics to determine search success. The metrics that you choose will be particular to your type of business and objectives, although some of our favourite search marketing metrics that we like to use are
- Video Views
- Click Through Rate
- Average Order Value
- Customer Lifetime Value
One tip we highly recommend is to set up a search marketing dashboard. This makes it easy to see how your campaigns perform and compare them against each other.
If you’re keen to get a better understanding of search marketing or would like support creating a holistic search strategy for the next 12 months, we are here to help. Our team at Neural Edge can provide advice and support on the most effective search marketing channels for your business and help you create a plan of action.
We understand that search can be confusing and time-consuming, so let us take the stress out of it and put together a strategy to drive traffic, leads and sales to your site. Contact us today to discuss our search engine marketing consultancy services.
Get Going With Search Marketing
We know first-hand the impact a solid search engine marketing campaign can have on traffic and sales.
It takes time to get your search campaigns up and running, but if you focus on creating content that answers the questions of your audience, utilises all the platforms available to you, measures what works and continuously iterate, you’ll run successful search campaigns that target the right people at the right time on the right platform.
Remember that any content you create should be useful, put the customer first and include clear calls to action that focus on driving revenue directly from the platform.
Search engine marketing is essential to any digital strategy and will deliver most of your traffic and sales. It’s because of this that smart marketers are already exploring where these platforms fit in the wider marketing mix and are looking for partners to help support their search marketing goals.
If you need help getting started with your search engine marketing strategy, contact us today. We helped brands generate over £1.5m from search engine marketing in 2022 alone! Don’t miss out on the potential to grow your business with search.