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Sales are just a click away

A well-thought-out strategy can ensure that pay-per-click advertising is money well spent for etailers

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a valuable tool for fashion companies as part of a marketing strategy where return on investment is easily measurable.

For Finlay Clark, senior strategist for digital marketing specialist Big Mouth Media, PPC is “advertising on a search engine or website for specific keywords or themes”.

Most commonly associated with Google, PPC works by allowing firms to bid on keywords in order to appear in the sponsored section of Google’s search return pages. How much you pay goes part of the way to determining whether an ad appears on the first page or further down.

But it’s not just spend that Google considers when deciding on the hierarchy of PPC ads - relevancy is also considered. Google UK industry head Paul Frantz explains that the number of previous clicks, consistency of keywords in an ad and the quality of the landing page it clicks through to are also major factors.

Frantz advises anyone building a PPC strategy to carefully consider the keywords they choose and to use free Google tools to track conversion and success levels of these keywords. Both Google AdWords and Google Analytics can help users measure the most effective PPC strategy. Clark also recommends advertising on other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing.

Phillip Nixon, brand manager at young fashion brand Rare, allocates 10% to 15% of his marketing budget towards PPC with the aim of making Rarefashion.co.uk easy for consumers to find.

Fee Drummond, managing director at maternitywear etailer Mama-la-mode.com, spends a third of its marketing budget on PPC. “Marrying internal product knowledge to sell-through patterns and stock levels, along with ensuring all marketing channels are pushing the same message, is key to a successful PPC campaign,” she says.

Depending on the reason behind starting a PPC campaign, it can be effective in both driving awareness of a site and increasing product sales, especially when specific terms are used and businesses catch active consumers looking to spend.

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