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3 Search Marketing Tactics to Drive Last-Minute Ecommerce Sales

When you need to quickly move stock, feature timely promotions, and generate last-minute sales in ecommerce, try these proven search marketing tactics.

3 Search Marketing Tactics to Drive Last-Minute Ecommerce Sales

Whether it’s stock management or making the most out of seasonal selling, there are always opportunities to maximize your search marketing approach to generate last-minute sales.

I’ve worked on hundreds of short-duration digital campaigns with the goal of increasing online revenue, and share some of my most effective tactics in this post.

There will always be best practice advice to build into your marketing, plus forward planning on repeat trends for ecommerce websites and industries.

However, you can shorten the distance from interest to purchase for quick wins with these three tactics.

1. Target Free Product Listings on Google

Google shopping product listing example

Many companies are missing out on a substantial volume of product listing opportunities within the search engine result pages (SERPs) by only targeting the paid product placements, or not targeting them at all.

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Even if you do not have paid product listings in place with Google you can still maximize the organic advertising opportunity.

In 2020, Google made an announcement that companies can begin to appear spanning a number of the Google search properties including Google Search, Shopping, Maps, and Lens if your company has physical (brick and mortar) location(s).

As is often the case, this rollout started with the USA in April, and since then has moved into international rollout for qualifying ecommerce companies.

As detailed on the Google Merchant Center Help, to be eligible for this you need to:

  1. Follow the Google stated policies for listing your products for free on Google as well as those for local inventory ads.
  2. Submit both your product feed as well as your local product inventory feed through the standard Google Merchant Center.
  3. Ensure that you opt in to list your local products for free on Google; you do this by choosing the relevant item in the Google Merchant Center.

For online retailers, regardless of whether you’ve paid shopping product listings or otherwise, you can complete the necessary steps to gain free exposure targeting people who are ready to buy.

I would also extend this tactic to other structured data (quick technical SEO updates) which can also be made to help target other Google Rich Results and help with your web page and total website visibility in search.

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There are many ways to use schema mark-up to enhance ranking and results within the search engines; learn more in:

2. Increase Focus on Your Core ROI & Commercial Impact Pages

This may seem obvious but there are always quick wins to make your highest commercial intent pages perform to a higher level in a shorter timeframe, and often the updates are already in your data.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to incorporate conversion rate optimization (CRO) with SEO and other search marketing activities.

It’s important to look at CRO at both on-page (post-click) level as well as in-SERP (pre-click) stages to make the most of this within a short time frame.

Whilst CRO should be seen as an always-on element of your marketing activity, it can certainly speed up results when introduced to existing approaches, and empower companies to see results sooner.

There are many tried and tested CRO experiments to run which can often deliver repeated wins. And while your data should always be the first place to prioritize which to run with, here are some more examples to help you get going:

Incorporate the top Google Search Console (GSC) term/phrase into title tags and meta descriptions where relevant to do so. This can help with relevancy to the user query and assist to increase click-through rates from SERPs and land more people onto your site’s key pages,  increasing the volume of people going into the conversions funnel.

Systematically test ad creative on organic as well as paid adverts and recombine the data sets of both channels for shared learnings.

Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in adverts to drive the user to click. Also ensure that on-page, each core page segment includes a CTA which you are testing and refining using the latest data sets.

Test persistent CTAs including other conversion elements like the use of short forms, and ensure both mobile and desktop users have CTA variations in place based on the data sets most applicable to each.

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Refresh the content. Bring it up to date and include new data, statistics, and more to enable the content to generate fresh ranking signals and target wider audience areas using GSC data and known audience questions, informational barriers, and wants/needs.

Include visual CTAs as well as in-text CTAs, targeting a variety of commitment levels for the user. A social share CTA, for example, has far less commitment for the user compared to a CTA to buy.

3. Leverage the Value of Your Home Page

This is one of the most overlooked tactics by companies looking to positively impact short-term sales from websites.

The home page, in most cases, sees the highest volume of landing page entries into a website from organic search and other marketing channels, excluding paid.

This means that minor improvements to the home page can drive dramatic increases to the value derived from higher volumes of your existing and new website visitors.

Try these updates to quickly improve home page performance:

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  • Prioritizing the content coverage and display of high ROI product ranges and services.
  • Adding a clear primary call-to-action and de-cluttering conflicting messages that may distract the user and prevent them from taking the desired action.
  • Improving page speed, loading time, and related core web vitals, which are both rankings factors as well as usability improvements directly tied to conversion gains.
  • Including clear trust signals and other content which removes barriers to the user converting without the requirement to view any other content.
  • Ensuring the page (and site) is HTTPS (secure), mobile-friendly, and responsive in its entirety.

A home page must fulfill many functions and it should be an ongoing, iterative improvement focus each quarter.

This is so that you are constantly refining, enhancing, and maximizing the value derived from this high-impact part of your website.

When you require quick results, need to manage stock levels, or want to drive users towards specific, new, or changing outcomes at different times of the year, the home page can be your primary “go-to,” underpinning other activities for increased gains.

More Resources:

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Image Credits

Screenshot taken by author, December 2020

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Lee Wilson

Head of Services at Vertical Leap

Lee Wilson is Head of (all) Services at Vertical Leap, and has led digital marketing departments since the early 2000’s. ... [Read full bio]

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