Why is Search Engine Marketing Such a Big Part of Ecommerce Marketing?

cost per click

With a Brick and Mortar store, you count on two main types of purchasers: (1) Buyers that come in looking for particular items, and (2) Window Shoppers. Overall, you count on your serious shoppers who are “on a mission” to buy something to generate sales more readily, while expecting that some window shoppers will be enticed by your merchandise and make a purchase. While some brands like Apple may be able to count on a much larger percentage of destination shoppers who go to the mall specifically to visit an Apple Store; there are other businesses, such as apparel and department stores, that are much more competitive. It’s why they rely on various marketing campaigns, like time-based sales, signage and direct mail, to drive shoppers in to their stores.

On the internet, the same principles apply — in some cases to a higher degree. With a physical store, you can rely on some foot traffic based upon your location. If you’re in a shopping mall, you’re going to get window shoppers automatically. On the internet, the closest equivalent is getting natural/organic search engine results. In an ideal situation, a majority of your traffic will come through free search engine rankings, but, relying on only SEO traffic is a big limiting factor to your sales and success.

If you sell designer, slim-fit faded jeans, you still want shoppers on the internet searching for “designer slim-fit faded jeans” to get to your site instead of your competitors, even if you aren’t ranked at the top of search engines for that term. A shopper that’s searching for a specific product or type of product that you offer is likely to be an ideal customer for you – someone that’s looking for exactly what you sell.

That’s where Search Engine Marketing (SEM) comes in. SEM programs, like Google AdWords, offer ways of attracting shoppers to your store who would have otherwise not found you, and wound up shopping at a competitor’s website. These are in essence the Glengarry leads. (If you don’t get the reference, you may want to watch Glengarry Glen Ross, or ask any salesman that you know. Chances are, they’ve seen it.)

Google AdWords, aside from being Google’s biggest revenue generator, is one of the best ad networks to attract targeted traffic to your website quickly and effectively. When managed properly, it also provides a wealth of data to understand which advertising parameters are driving sales – and which are not – helping you to continually optimize your advertising campaign around what’s generating the most sales for you. Ads can include text ads, banner ads, and in the case of an eCommerce website, Google Shopping Ads – showing shoppers a photo of the product you are selling and the price of that product.

Most of these ads are what are known as Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. In other words, you’re only charged if someone clicks on your ad. Since you’re tracking the success of your various ads, you begin to focus your campaign on the more profitable ads, and stop ads that aren’t as fruitful. In the long run, you have a steady stream of sales coming in profitably that you can continue to track. These can effectively supplement traffic that you get from organic SEO, social media, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, and other traffic sources.

To learn more about Google Adwords & Google Shopping, and other Pay Per Click Marketing Opportunities, please join Springbot and Rand Marketing (a Google Partner and Google Adwords AllStar Agency) on Tuesday, September 29 at 2pm EST / 11am PST to learn Top AdWords Tips for Magento.


Robert RandRobert Rand of RandMarketing.com was educated at NYU Poly and has managed the development and marketing of hundreds of websites. Along with Rand’s award winning team, he helps clients take their businesses to the next level by employing best practices, while staying at the forefront of the eCommerce and internet marketing industries. From technical issues to traditional marketing efforts, Robert takes pride in providing our clients with services that will make a difference in their bottom lines.