PPC In A Down Economy

In case you haven’t been tuned into the news over the past year or so, we’re in something called a “recession.” People just aren’t spending money like they used to, and this is adversely affecting a lot of retailers.

Fortunately for us online folk, a lot of this hurt is happening in the brick-and-mortar space. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook about optimizing your PPC campaigns to tailor them for the current economic circumstances. Here are three ways to improve your online marketing for better results in a recession:

  1. Price Points: It’s no secret that consumers are looking for the most bang for their buck these days. Do some competitive analysis to see what the price point of your product is in your market. Do you have the best prices? Tell your consumers in your ads! Keep in mind that they’re probably shopping around, so a false assertion of “lowest prices” is likely to be found out.
  2. Adjectives: Even if you don’t have the best prices, there are still opportunities to cater to your appropriate market. Consider this example: if you sell expensive, luxury watches, you probably don’t want to pay for a lot of traffic from people looking for Swatches or Timex. In your text ads, instead of using the term “Watches for Sale,” try something like “Luxury Watches For Discerning Customers.” Sure, you’re going to lose a lot of traffic by being more specific, but your cost per conversion will look a lot better when you’re driving out unqualified traffic from customers who probably aren’t looking for something in your price range.
  3. Free Shipping: These days, free shipping is considered more a right than a privilege. High shipping costs are the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment. If your shipping costs are too high, it’s probably going to cost you a lot of customers. Instead of having high shipping costs, consider raising your prices a bit and charging less for shipping. That way, customers won’t feel duped once they get to the checkout process. Even better, consider offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount. Every time I order something from Amazon, I try to go over the $25 minimum to get the free shipping. Adding a threshold like this will not only prevent you from losing customers over high shipping costs, but will also push customers to make additional purchases from you, increasing your sales. Also, don’t forget to advertise your free shipping in your text ads!

Got any more ideas for PPC marketing in a recession? Let’s hear them in the comments.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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