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Posts Tagged ‘store’

Why Small Business Owners Should Be Taking Advantage of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know

 

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising undoubtedly ranks as the most effective form of paid advertising available to small business owners today. The results can be almost immediate, with new leads coming in the day the account is created, configured, and made live.

 

PPC is the price an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on an ad. Unlike most other types of advertising where you pay to have ads printed or distributed, with Pay Per Click you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. The power in this form of marketing is the assurance that you only pay when your marketing message is seen. PPC advertising puts your site at the top of search engine results for your product or service every time someone uses the keywords you chose for your ad. Using a number of advanced research tools to determine the best keywords and ad copy, you can generate qualified visitor traffic and increase the conversion rate of click-throughs to sales— guaranteeing a competitive, profitable PPC campaign.

 

The Benefits of Using PPC

 

1. Targeted marketing message. The reason PPC is so effective in generating sales? PPC reaches potential clients or consumers at the exact moment they are ready to buy. Unlike other forms of marketing that require you to convince the general public that they need your products or services, PPC ads deliver a targeted marketing message directly to targeted buyers at the instant they are searching for what you offer. It’s already in their mind that they need it … and then your ad appears in the top of the search results.

 

More than 300 million searches are conducted every day, and up to 80 percent of people use the Internet to find local products and services. The more often your ad appears at the top, the more credibility and trust your company will gain with consumers.

 

2. Cost effectiveness. A typical PPC investment is anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month, depending on the client and their services. While a one-time full page ad in a magazine can run over $1,000 and bring in only a handful of leads (if any at all), that same $1,000 spent in PPC can bring in two or three new clients EVERY DAY over an extended period of time.

 

PPC can be extremely cost effective when using the right combination of complex configurations and campaign strategies. Without the right configurations and analysis mechanisms in place, PPC can be a budget drain producing few to no results. At best, you may have a lucky accident and see some short-term success. But for long-term success in this highly competitive market, you need to create the most efficient marketing campaign possible: optimize the PPC landing pages, use the right combination of filters, and manage your PPC campaigns across multiple search engines to make sure every dollar is working maximally to deliver the highest possible return on investment (ROI).

 

3. Flexible ad schedule. Because advertisers have a high level of control over their PPC ads, this can be the single most effective form of marketing available. Unlike many other types of ads, you can enable or disable PPC ads based on the daily changing needs of the business. Some advertisers may increase or decrease their ad budget, turn off the ads temporarily for health or staffing reasons, or run ads seasonally based on their business. There is even detailed control over the days or hours ads are displayed, and the schedule can be adjusted to exactly match the working hours of your office to ensure that someone is available to answer the phone when new inbound leads are generated.

 

PPC Tracking Gives Precise, Measureable ROI

How many people came to your website from the most recent print ad? How many sales did you make from the radio ad? PPC is the only form of advertising that allows you to find out exactly how many people actually saw your ad, how many of those people came to your store (website), and how many of the people who saw your ad bought your product. With PPC, there are a wide variety of tools to measure and track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some of the metrics available include:

  • Click-through rate tells you how many people are clicking through from your ad to your site, which helps to determine if your ad text is effective.
  • Conversion rate tells you how often people are buying your product or service after clicking through to your site.
  • Cost per acquisition tells you the average cost per sale or lead and which keywords are most effective.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) tells you whether the profits from the campaign are meeting your financial goals.

 

The goal of PPC campaigns is to attract better qualified visitors to your website who are more likely to buy. Working with experienced PPC consultants can result in a significantly higher rate of return on your investment. The team online marketing experts at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will relieve you from the time drain of learning how to create a PPC campaign…and will work with your goals and your budget to design a winning campaign. Call us today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free one hour consultation and let us demonstrate to you how we provide your Arizona business with the best online marketing solutions and greatest return on investment for your limited marketing budgets.


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seenBEST Web Design

Importing a CSV of products to Magento

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We have recently designed a highly functional new online store for a client of ours using the advanced Magento shopping cart, taking eCommerce for this business to an entirely new level! We ran into a small snag during the initial stages of development as the client has a proprietary database system that stores detailed information for several hundred products. Their database software held everything from product name, pricing information, description. The client did not have the time to recreate all of the product information in the back-end of Magento using the built in tools. So, the challenge: How do we extract this information from their locally installed database information in a way that could be easily imported and put to work in Magento?

Fortunately, the database storing the client product details provides a mechanism to export product information to a CSV file. While it wasn’t pretty, the data was all there on the export. Sorting through 30 fields of data we didn’t need, we found fields for product name, model, color, asking price, category, and photo name. The trick now was figuring out how to map and then import this data into Magento.

The trick that helps you with a Magento import is knowing what’s absolutely necessary to import, and supplying that data in your own custom xls file. To do that, we added a product manually through the Magento interface. Here’s how:

  • Click on catalog/manage products
  • Click on Add Product
  • Click through to enter a name, description, short description, sku, weight, status (enabled), and set visibility.
  • Go to prices, enter a price, and tax class
  • Click to the inventory area and set an initial quantity, then change stock availability to in stock
  • Click to the category area and assign the new product to a category

Now save your product. If everything went according to plan, you will see your new product listed in your store under the selected category you selected previously. Great! Now that we have a functional product to work with, one that appears in the store, it’s time to export that data to a CSV file.

Exporting Magento items:

  • Go to system, import/export, profiles from the admin panel
  • Click on export all products
  • The default values are fine, CSV/Tab Separated, attribute names, all fields
  • Click on run profile to generate your CSV file

Now look in your Magento directory on your server, and find the var/export folder. The file export_all_products.csv will be on your server, download this to your local computer and open it in your favorite spreadsheet program (Excel works well!).

Now comes the tricky part. View export_all_products.csv side by side with a CSV of the data from your other database product. You are going to need to make the data from your previous database match the Magento data. I don’t want to tell you exactly how to do it, there are many different paths you can take to get to the same result. Find the fastest way that works for you. For me, it was as easy as deleting all of the columns from the old database CSV that weren’t used in Magento, renaming the column names to match similar columns in Magento, then creating columns that Magento needed that did NOT exist in the old data and pre-populating it with standard info. The fill function in Excel is extremely useful for this.

At the very least, you will want to make sure you have these columns:

  • store
  • websites
  • attribute
  • type
  • category
  • sku
  • name
  • url_key
  • url_path
  • price
  • weight
  • description
  • short description
  • status
  • tax_class_id
  • visibility
  • enable
  • qty
  • product_name
  • product_type_id

Try to be as complete as possible, and include as many (if not all) of the fields from the original Magento export as you can in your new set of data to import. Leaving out something important could result in a botched import!

When you’re all finished and, depending on the size of data you’re dealing with, several minutes/hours/days/weeks later, you will have a new XLS file that you can save, ready for import to Magento. Go to System, Import, Profiles. Import all products. Be sure to increase the “number of records” to a higher value, like 3, if you’ve already modified and improved your Magento memory settings. I also like to import using the MS Excel XML (save to this format first) as it’s less prone to data errors caused by improper characters in the data stream. Save the file as XML Spreadsheet 2003, change the data type, then use the upload file tool to upload your XML file.

The process CAN take a long time, so be sure you leave the import window up during the process. With a little luck, all of your products have been imported! There is a way to do this while including images, but it gets a little complicated. With the method I’ve discussed, you will need to go in and manually upload images to each item. While that can be somewhat labor intensive, I like having Magento create proper names and file sizes for me for each product.

Enjoy!


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