Effective ways to run CSE advertisements

1. Advertise FREE!. There are TWO very popular comparison shopping engines everyone should use: Google Product Search and TheFind.com. If you're not using these two, do it immediately by following the specifications. There is no better ways to bring traffic to your site than doing it FREE.

2. Use CPA before CPC. The next best thing to free traffic is traffic that you pay only when conversion occurs, or Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA). Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is the most common model employed by CSEs, and they charge you for the traffic they drive to your website regardless of whether the traffic converts or not. One of the well known CPA shopping engine is Bing Cashback.

3. Keep your listings active all times. Most Shopping Comparison Engines (CSEs) have some measure of a listing's popularity, and display the search results in popularity order. If your listing is removed from shopping engines, your popularity score will be reset and visibility of your listing will be impacted when you re-launch your campaign. To maintain your popularity score, keep your listings active all times by funding your campaign "continuously".

4. Update your feed regularly. One of the worst thing that can happen to CSE advertisement is when a consumer clicks on your listing and finds the price that is different (higher) than advertised price. Chances are that this traffic will NOT convert, and you lose advertising money while demaging your brand. The best way to keep your pricing current is by updating your feed whenever you change price.

5. Do not overbid to improve visibility. CSEs use popularity score in addition to bid to determine placement of your listing. Bidding higher will move your listing higher, but there are other things that you can do to improve your popularity score. Becoming a "Trusted Store", positive feedback ratings, and adding eye-catching message may also draw consumers attention to your listing. Be aware that bidding is not the only way to improve your CSE search results.

6. Include relevant data in your product feed. (1) One of the decision criteria is overall price of the item. Including "Shipping Cost" in your product feed will increase your conversion as the consumers will be able to see your total price before clicking on your link. (2) Including MPN and/or UPC code will help CSEs to categorize your item correctly to their taxonomy. (3) Including Sales Price, Promotional Offers and Coupon Codes could also help improve your conversion if used properly.

7. Improve your conversion. Making a profit from CSE advertisement is a challenge. As you're paying for each click, you could potentially lose money if derived traffic do not convert well. Forrester Research suggests that comparison shopping can influence as much as 55% of overall online purchases. Analyze your conversion data, and exclude the items that do not convert well or lower the prices of items that draws large traffic but do not convert. As an advertiser, you should always analyze your traffic and conversion statistics and adjust your product feeds based on the ROI.

8. Improve your merchant rating. Consumers are savvy. They look at your merchant rating before they buy products from you. You should make every effort to obtain positive feedback from consumers, and continue to maintain good merchant rating. By having a great merchant rating, you could potentially sell items at a slightly higher price as consumers do not wish to take risk with merchants with negative reviews.


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