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Roundtable Roundup – eTail West Search Summit

With a backdrop of desert mountains and palm trees, more than 90 individuals representing many of the top online (and offline) retailers gathered on Monday, February 27th in Palm Desert, CA for eTail West’s Search Summit and SEO Conference. Attendees saw veterans in SEM and SEO give great strategic and tactical advice for improving paid and organic search. Adchemy’s own Aurelie Davis, Director of SEM Client Services, hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “Leveraging In-House Data for Profitable Campaign Expansion.”

Some of the feedback from the retailers on hand was surprising:

  • More than half of the roundtable participants were not using their product catalog to generate keywords for their paid search campaigns.
  • The retailers that were leveraging their product catalog to create keywords were mostly focused on model numbers and brand names, but not the intent-rich features and attributes like colors, materials, and size, which make for great input to keywords.

With only a handful of retailers using in-house assets to their fullest extent, there are a lot of growth opportunities and gains in competitive advantage to be had by harnessing sources of consumer intent to grow campaigns.

Aurelie highlighted several sources for keyword generation:

  • On-site search:  Mine your query logs to use the terms and phrases that consumers use to search for products on your site for exact match keyword coverage — chances are, other consumers are searching for them on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
  • Facets:  If your site utilizes faceted search, facets can be a good source for different product, price, and feature combinations to create new long-tail keywords.
  • Broad match queries: Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter both report on the queries that come through broad match. Use these reports to promote high-converting queries with exact match, or use negative match terms to block inappropriate, non-converting terms.

There is a huge opportunity to win more customers and profits with long-tail, exact match keywords. As Rahmon Coupe, chief executive officer of YourAmigo pointed out, 70% of queries on Google do not have an exact match keyword. Considering that 20% of daily queries are new to Google (or are unique within the last six months), retailers need to get out in front of this issue to use their in-house data to create more relevant and profitable campaigns.

eTail continues through March 1st — and there will no doubt be a lot of issues that retailers will want to tackle after the conference –  but many retailers still have many opportunities to maximize their paid search advertising campaigns. Paid search is crucial to eCommerce success, because it’s still one of the highest ROI channels out there — it’s still one of the only venues for advertisers to match their product catalog to a consumer’s exact expressed intent.

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