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How to Increase E-Commerce Sales Through Paid Search & Social Media Campaigns

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How to Increase E-Commerce Sales Through Paid Search & Social Media Campaigns

The move from brick-and-mortar retail shopping to e-commerce sites has continued steadily over the last decade.

Between 2014 and 2023, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to increase by $5.2 billion. As online shopping integrates seamlessly with search and social platforms and as UX improves, more users are inclined to make their purchases online.

This shift has made retail brands rethink their marketing and advertising strategies, allocating more of their budgets toward SEO and paid search campaigns. In 2020, advertisers spent almost $200 billion in paid search ads, with retail spending over $15 billion, and this number is expected to increase moving forward.

If you’re behind in your paid search and social ad spend, don’t worry. Paid ads for e-commerce sales are pretty easy to jump into, and you’re likely to see faster results than you would with SEO.

In this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know to increase e-commerce sales for your retail brand through paid search and social ads.

How Can Paid Ads Help You Reach Your E-Commerce Sales Goals?

Paid search across social, as well as through Google Ads and Bing Ads, gets a lot of attention and helps pull leads through the sales funnel.

For example, Facebook accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. social referral share to e-commerce sites.

Meanwhile, Instagram can reach 1.16 billion users. Over on Pinterest, 58 percent of women use Pinterest to make shopping and purchasing decisions.

SEO takes time to build awareness and pull people down the marketing funnel. Your content may not appear right away, or it may not target the right audience.

Paid search, on the other hand, gives you more immediate results by targeting the right audience right away. You can use it for any number of goals, from awareness to subscription sign-ups to conversions.

When it comes to e-commerce sales, paid search gives you a lot of flexibility, too.

Think about all the various platforms out there and all the different ways to reach your audience. Take, for example, Instagram Shopping. According to Instagram, 60 percent of users they surveyed discover new products through Instagram.

Using Instagram Ads, you can create posts with product tags that link directly to a product details page, helping boost conversions.

I’m not just talking about simple product features. Brands are creating drops: exclusive, limited-time product launches on Instagram that link directly to a shopping page.

McDonald’s Taiwan created a drop for their jet-black burger, a collaboration with designer Apujan.

McDonald's Taiwan ran a paid social media campaign on Instagram called a drop.

Marketers are creating product guides through Instagram Guides that link to product pages, as well.

Sephora created Your Guide to JLo Beauty, featuring seven products to help users get the same look.

Instagram Guides feature products linked directly to Instagram Shopping and can be part of a paid social campaign.

Each product links to a shopping page that allows users to purchase products from JLo’s beauty line via Sephora.

jlo beauty example ecommerce ads

In instances like this, paid ads become part of the shopping experience. They blend seamlessly with your site to make it that much easier to convert leads, increase your e-commerce sales, and retain repeat customers.

Differences Between Optimizing for Organic Traffic and Paid Ads for E-Commerce Sales

Organic and paid search are two different animals that require completely different approaches. Here are some of the main differences.

Keywords

Paid ads take the guesswork out of keywords. With organic search, you’re making educated predictions on keywords that you think will do well for your brand, and then you’re building content against them. From there, it’s a waiting game to see if your content picks up traffic.

With paid search, you see much more immediate results because you’re paying for keywords that are already relevant to your target audience.

One-third of people surveyed by Clutch said they click on paid search ads because it answers their search query directly.

Of course, the more search traffic a keyword gets, the more you’ll need to pay to get your content to show up for that keyword.

Audience

With organic search, you’re targeting an audience across relevant platforms. However, with paid ads, each of those platforms allows you to focus on very niche audiences. You can target not only a particular demographic or psychographic but also a location or customer intent.

You can even go so far as to target people who went to your site but didn’t make a purchase, as you’ll see in the case studies below.

Effort

Both SEO and paid search and social ads require time and effort. With SEO, you monitor your content over time to see how it performs, and then you adjust your content as necessary.

With paid, the need for attention is more immediate. Paid search and social ads give you a lot of data. The key to a successful campaign is to monitor that data constantly. Marketers pore over click-through rates and cost per conversion (CPC), conducting A/B tests on different iterations of the same campaign to see which gives them a better ROAS.

Tips for Creating Great Paid Search and Social Ad Campaigns for Retail Marketers

First things first: Before you create anything, take a deep dive into your target audience. Understand who they are, how they search and shop for items, and where they hang out online.

Next, choose the platforms that will serve your brand and your sales goals best. For example, AdEspresso points out that Google Ads generally drives higher sales conversions, while Facebook is better used for raising brand awareness.

Create a buyer persona that includes not only who your audience is but what their pain points are. What are the problems your product can solve for them? Your ads should address those problems directly.

Marketers, for example, may see an ad like this one from Hotjar in their Facebook feed:

Paid social ads on Facebook link directly to product landing pages through CTAs.

Notice the tagline at the top. It directly addresses a pain point many marketers feel: the overwhelming amount of data we get.

Next, include a high-quality, engaging image (or two) or a video. No matter what platform you’re working with, you’ll need images or videos that capture your audience. On Google Ads, that means product images that appear in Google Shopping.

If you're doing paid search, good product images are key for Google Shopping Ads.

Finally, paid social ads include a CTA. In this example, Hotjar has included a CTA and a sign-up button.

How you create a great ad depends very much on the platform you choose. I’ve discussed different tactics you can use on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads, but every platform has a unique set of features to boost conversions.

Snapchat, for example, has 265 million active users every day. Their ad platform allows brands to create, launch, and monitor ad campaigns right from the platform. By installing a Snapchat Pixel, marketers can track their ads in real-time.

A unique aspect of Snapchat is that 64 percent of users view content with the sound on. So, while ads with captions work well for Facebook, marketers should pay attention to their audio track in their Snapchat ads.

How to Ensure Your Paid Ads Convert New Customers and Drive E-Commerce Sales

Here are some other tips for creating great paid search and social campaigns to increase your e-commerce sales:

  • Link to a product landing page for specific product ads: Landing pages should be optimized, with an easy UI that drives users to buy your product.
  • If conversions are your goal, aim for keywords with high buyer intent: This is especially true for Google Ads. Keywords such as purchasing an electric car can help convert more leads than electric car, for example.
  • Use retargeting tools: Google Ads, Facebook, and many other platforms provide retargeting to send highly targeted ads to users who acted, such as clicking an ad, but weren’t considered a conversion.
  • Target cart abandonment: Build custom ads for targeting users who abandoned their carts.
  • A/B test: Don’t just settle on one ad or one campaign. Test videos against images, one CTA against another, one type of ad placement against another, and so on.

Case Studies: E-Commerce Companies That Increased Sales Through Paid Ads

I’ve given you the steps to create great paid ad campaigns for retail marketing and some tips on how to optimize. Now, let’s look at some case studies to see how brands are putting those steps and tips into practice to boost their e-commerce sales.

Roller Rabbit: Creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign

roller rabbit integrated marketing ecommerce sales ad campaign

Clothing and bedding company Roller Rabbit had a problem. They needed to create awareness and grow revenue with a budget that had been cut by 25 percent while having difficulty tracking revenue data. So, they hired digital marketing firm Major Tom to create an integrated marketing campaign that included paid ads across search and social.

The goals were to reach a ROAS of 400 percent while matching their holiday season revenue and transaction goals.

First, Major Tom conducted a full audit of their data from analytics and CRM to refine their reporting strategy.

Next, they came up with an integrated paid media strategy that targeted high-impact channels, including Facebook, Google Ads, and Microsoft Ads. With reporting issues fixed and ads in place, Major Tom began to identify previously unknown audiences for the Roller Rabbit brand.

This new data allowed them to focus their targeting by expanding into smaller, more targeted ad groups and shift focus to the highest-converting categories. They also took the following steps to reach Roller Rabbit’s goals:

  • filled in missing opportunities
  • removed overlapping targeting
  • focused on special promotions and sales
  • separated dynamic search ads into their category to better control spending and targeting

As a result, Roller Rabbit saw a 95 percent increase in paid media-generated revenue, and their e-commerce conversion rates increased by 176 percent. They exceeded transaction goals by 98 percent. Their ROAS on Google was 775 percent, while their Facebook ROAS was a staggering 1124 percent.

BeautyMNL: Using Dynamic Facebook Ads

BeautyMNL used dynamic Facebook ads to run a paid social media campaign.

BeautyMNL is a women’s lifestyle company in the Philippines that offers everything from cosmetics and skincare to wellness and fitness products. They wanted to scale their marketing efficiently to boost brand awareness and online sales.

To achieve that goal, they turned to Facebook’s dynamic ads and created a single test campaign. With Facebook’s dynamic ads, brands upload several products from their catalog, and Facebook automatically places each one in relevant newsfeeds.

BeautyMNL chose to use the collection functionality, which features a hero image and several smaller images underneath. Instead of an image, BeautyMNL placed a video in the hero spot.

They targeted their campaign to people who had been to their e-commerce site but hadn’t made a purchase, which marketers can do using Facebook Retargeting.

From that campaign, which ran for three weeks, they saw a 38 percent lift in purchases and an 18 percent lift in sales compared to a similar period with no ads.

Conclusion

Investing in a killer paid ad campaign not only raises awareness of your brand but can also pull users to your e-commerce site and make the shopping experience easier than ever for them.

That translates into more conversions and higher sales for you.

With so many options across platforms, now is the time to get creative and put together ads for paid search and social that delight your audience and speak directly to their pain points.

Want my team to do your paid search and social ad campaigns for you? Fill out our consulting form.

What kinds of paid ads do you think would work best for your brand? How can you capture those leads and convert them to paying customers through paid search and social?

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/ecommerce-sales-ads/

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Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Make no mistake: running a website is hard.

There are so many areas to focus on, from content creation to admin, to maintaining a site via updates.

The good news is that WordPress maintenance services can take a load off users’ shoulders, keeping their sites up to date and allowing them to spend their time elsewhere.

These services offer support and can help with website downtime, theme modifications, site backups, and more.

I’ve put together a list of the best WordPress maintenance and management services to help you get started.

#1 – GoWP — The Best For Agencies

GoWP is an ideal WordPress maintenance service for agencies.

It positions itself as a white-label service, which allows an agency to layer its own branding and SOPs on top of the maintenance services GoWP provides as if those services are now part of the agency’s own back end. 

The white-label focus allows GoWP to create a dedicated mailbox using a domain, provide help and support to all requests to that email, and share a white-labeled dashboard with clients.

On top of that, you have WordPress plugin updates, security monitoring, and automatic site backups with 90 days of offsite storage.

Other powerful features of GoWP include:

  • Unlimited content edits
  • Dedicated account manager (premium)
  • Dedicated WordPress developer (premium)
  • Daily security scans and malware cleanup
  • White-label help desk

GoWP has four main tiers of pricing that come under the following sequential packages:

  • Maintenance / $29 monthly per site       
  • Content Edits / $79 monthly per site       
  • Page Builds / $1299 monthly per site      
  • Dedicated Developer / $2299 monthly per site

The second tier gives agencies access to a 24/7 team of experts, a support ticket dashboard, and Visual Validator WordPress updates.

The next tier jumps up in price but does provide you with a dedicated WordPress developer for it. Learn more at GoWP.

#2 – FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support

FixRunner is a great choice for dedicated tech support.

The service features monthly support time from two hours to four hours—this does depend on the plan you opt for—and additional help is available if you need it.

You’ll be able to use this support time to make all sorts of tweaks to a site, including full debugs, performance improvements, and more.

I was particularly impressed with FixRunner’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee that offers a full refund, no questions asked if you’re unhappy with the service.

FixRunner additionally offers:

  • Speed Optimization
  • WordPress core updates
  • Plug-in and theme updates
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Security scans

The service provides plans for both small websites and bigger, enterprise-level ones. There are three core plans available for smaller websites:

  • Premium / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $69 monthly
  • Rocket / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $99 monthly
  • Advance / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $179 monthly

For bigger websites or Enterprise-level business, we have the following:

  • Advance + / Monthly or quarterly / $300 monthly
  • Advance ++ / Monthly or quarterly / $500 monthly
  • Custom / Monthly or quarterly / Call for price

If you’re a smaller website, I think the Rocket package is a good starting point–it includes support for online shops, on-page SEO optimization, and a faster response time for sites, making it a notable offering all around.

#3 – WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security

WP Buffs is a top maintenance service for those that want full confidence in their site’s security.

When users purchase the service, they’ll be able to use the iThemes Security plugin—considered to be one of the best security plugins available.

The plugin exists to protect a site from nasty malware and spam, but it’s also useful for its cache feature that improves the loading speed of a site—something crucially important for good rankings.

Users also have the option to back up their entire site with WP Buffs and store it in the cloud for extra peace of mind.

Other key features of WP Buffs include the following:

  • 24/7 site edits
  • Speed optimization
  • Ongoing security
  • Weekly updates
  • Emergency 24/7 support

On the pricing front, WP Buffs offers multiple different plans. The four key ones are Maintain, Protect, Perform, and then a series of custom plans for those with advanced needs.

Itemized these are:

  • Maintain / Annual or monthly / $56 a month billed yearly
  • Protect / Annual or monthly / $123 a month billed yearly
  • Perform / Annual or monthly / $164 a month billed yearly
  • Custom / Annual or monthly / starts at $290 a month billed yearly

The iThemes Security Pro premium plugin is included from the second package onwards or the ‘Protect’ tier in this case. The third level of pricing, ‘Perform,’ includes four daily cloud backups, priority support, and complete malware removal.

#4 – Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners

Valet should be a top pick for those that run ecommerce stores.

It’s a comprehensive service that provides manual updates and includes uptime monitoring, security scanning, and full examinations of checkout workflows, all of which help ensure everything is running smoothly for your customers.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • Code checks
  • Reports and analysis
  • Remediation for website accessibility
  • Up to five hours of dedicated support per month

The first paid plan with Valet starts at $300 per month and includes two hours of support.

Ecommerce store owners should check out the professional plan that costs $750 a month but includes five hours of dedicated support every month.

The top tier plan with Valet is the ‘Elite Plan’ that offers over ten hours of support each month, and this is quite clearly catered towards large companies that have the extra funding available.

General consultations with Valet are available and cost $175 per month.

#5 – SiteCare — The Best For Performance Optimization

SiteCare is the best option on my list for site performance optimization. If you want a service that will optimize a site so it loads as quickly as possible, this is your top choice.

SiteCare gets to work by first looking at aspects of a site that could be causing it to slow down. This can be due to anything from poorly optimized images to faulty plugins or a web host’s quality.

Once that’s done, the service implements a series of best practices, removing the website’s weaknesses step by step until it’s responsive and efficient.

SiteCare offers the following to those that use the service:

  • Hack cleanups
  • Daily backups
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Theme and plugin updates
  • Mobile optimization

In terms of pricing, things are clear and simple. There are two key plans available: a basic plan and an advanced one.

The basic plan costs $79 a month and includes access to the essentials, such as daily backups, malware cleanup, and access to support.

The more advanced plan costs $299 a month, so quite a jump, but for that, you get access to custom development hours with a specialist and a few extras such as ecommerce support and Sucuri firewall.

#6 – The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

Only want specific parts of a service? Well, The WP Butler is unique because it allows users to customize their service plan.

For example, maybe you’re just looking for caching and speed improvements but don’t require anything else.

Monthly services with The WP Butler include malware scans, daily or weekly backups, and plugin or theme updates.

The itemized one-off service includes everything from configuring HTTPS to a custom security inspection.

Additional features of The WP Butler include:

  • Weekly site reviews
  • Uptime monitoring
  • 30 minutes of development time on retainer
  • Emergency site restoration
  • Security plugin configuration

As there are quite a few options with The WP Butler, pricing varies significantly depending on what you need.

If the monthly packages are more suited to you, these come in the following tiers:

  • The Basics / $39 a month
  • The Solopreneur / $69 a month
  • The Small Business / $129 a month
  • The Company / $299 a month
  • The Enterprise / $599 a month

One-off services range from $100 to $250, and there’s even the option of a monthly retainer. With this, you pay for a set number of hours of development work each month. Lots to choose from here.

What I Looked at To Find the Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

Before deciding which of these WordPress maintenance and management services to go for, it’s worth knowing how I chose them.

The first thing to mention is that there are two primary forms WordPress maintenance can take.

Generally speaking, there are WordPress maintenance services like the ones featured in this list, and there is “managed WordPress hosting.”

If a site is part of managed WordPress hosting, then there’s a good chance you won’t need maintenance service on top of that. Examples include WP Engine, Bluehost, SiteGround, and WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). If you’re hosting your WordPress site with any of these, maintenance services may not be necessary for you. 

Since you’re reading this post, though, you’ve probably chosen to use a WordPress maintenance service outside of your hosting platform (or are hosting your site with a platform that doesn’t provide those services), so here are some of the features I looked at to pick out the best maintenance services. 

Security Monitoring

It goes without saying how important security is for a site in the internet age. With the increase in threats and cyberattacks, knowing someone has got your back can bring great comfort.

Most of the maintenance services on this list include top security monitoring as part of their monthly packages, although not every service will. Some, for example, might include this as an optional extra.

How essential this is depends on the size of a company, but in most cases, monitoring a site for threats and knowing what to do if attacked is key. A maintenance service removes a great deal of worry here, so I think it’s a vital area to consider.

Site Optimization

Site optimization is a broad term, but in the case of WordPress maintenance and management services, I’m mainly talking about making a site more responsive and quicker to load.

A slow website can lead to people leaving sites rapidly in today’s fast-paced world, not to mention that Google actively penalizes slower websites by pushing them down in the search results.

A WordPress maintenance service can optimize a site to load quickly, making it responsive and pleasurable to use. This is important for every single site on the internet.

Almost all of the WordPress maintenance services on this list include site optimization in some form, though the exact service carried out can vary.

Backups

A site that’s a victim of a cyberattack could find itself damaged and beyond repair—that’s where site backups come in. These allow users to restore a healthy and fully working version of said site.

In fact, it might not be a cyberattack, mistakes that delete files or whole databases can happen, sometimes inexplicably.

Having a maintenance service ready and waiting to install a healthy backup of a site if something goes wrong is beyond useful. It removes a lot of the stress from potentially losing everything.

Companies of most sizes will find this a vital feature, although site backups are easy enough to do if you’re an informed solopreneur—in the case of the latter, they might not need this particular service.

Conclusion

WordPress maintenance and management services can be crucially important to the right person. There’s a considerable amount of choice out there too, and knowing where to start can be difficult.

My list covers all of the key areas to consider:

  • GoWP — The Best For Agencies
  • FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support
  • WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security
  • Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners
  • WP Site Care — The Best For Performance Optimization
  • The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

These are respectable choices, and thinking about exact needs can help make the decision process a little bit quicker.

There’s a lot to think about when running a site, from site backups to security and optimization.

WordPress maintenance services will allow the process to become more manageable, saving precious time for use elsewhere.

The post Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/best-wordpress-maintenance-and-management-services/

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