March 30, 2006, 12:00 AM

Cataloger tweaks SEM strategy to increase conversion rates

Home furnishings retailer Touch of Class Catalog is continuing to perfect a search engine marketing strategy that has already boosted conversion rates by 10%, the company says.

Home furnishings retailer Touch of Class Catalog is continuing to perfect a search engine marketing strategy that has already boosted conversion rates by at least 10%, Internet marketing manager Becky MacDonald tells InternetRetailer.com.

Touch of Class,No. 242 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, has increased conversion rates while improving its overall ROI through search engine marketing by bidding on keyword phrases-such as “round accent table” instead of just “table,” MacDonald says. The tactic, she adds, serves two purposes: it lets Touch of Class pay lower bid prices on less common keyword terms or phrases, and it helps to direct shoppers to the specific products they want, raising the chance they’ll make a purchase.

Touch of Class also uses tools in Google and Yahoo to set parameters on how its keyword phrases show up in search results, so that searchers can type in all or part of the combination phrase and have it appear in their results, says Gary Bell, vice president of information services.

In the past year, Touch of Class has increased its number of keyword terms to about 12,000 on each of the two major search engines, Google and Yahoo, MacDonald says. To better manage all those keywords, the retailer has developed in-house a tool that lets MacDonald see which keywords she has already placed into each search engine. “We can upload 1,000 words a day, and this lets me track which ones are already on Google and Yahoo,” she says.

In addition, Touch of Class is testing several outside bid management tools to help it deal with its larger keyword base, Bell says.

 

 

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