February 3, 2011, 11:47 AM

Paid search sales grow 200% for BedBathStore.com

The e-retailer bid on keywords that led to sales from natural search.

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Home furnishings e-retailer BedBathStore.com says sales driven by paid search grew 200% during the holiday season compared with the previous year.

The e-retailer attributes the climb to its work with paid search consultants at Elite SEM, as well as it having redesigned its landing pages for branded products to appeal more effectively to customers who came to the site after clicking on paid search ads. For example, a shopper who searched on a search engine for Jessica McClintock-brand bedding ensembles would land on a page where only that brand’s products appear.

BedBathStore.com says it boosted its search engine marketing budget about 50% during the holiday season compared with the previous year.

“It was a more dedicated effort than we had done in the past,” says Mike Reichman, chief operating officer and co-founder of BedBathstore.com. “We spent a significant amount of time and resources with our search engine marketing efforts this holiday season as opposed to last. The old adage is what you put in, you get out. We put a lot more effort in.”

Reichman says overall sales were up about 15% year over year during the holidays. He also says that the company’s return-on-investment goals for paid search were met and that conversion rates were up, although he declined to reveal specific metrics.

He says Elite SEM helped the company greatly expand the amount and type of keywords it used to draw consumers to the site and also helped it refine its paid search ad copy.

Elite SEM dove into BedBathStore.com’s analytics to determine which keywords would help the merchant.

“We looked at every conversion BedBathstore.com ever got from natural search and determined if we could build it into paid search. We looked at one and half years worth of keyword records,” says Ben Kirshner, founder and CEO of Elite SEM. He adds that Reichman also gave the firm a heads-up on terms and products that he thought could be winners during the holiday season.

Reichman isn’t sure whether BedBathstore.com will increase its investment in paid search during the next holiday season. That’s because the paid search market and search engine ad products are evolving quickly and there might be something new to add to his online marketing mix.

But he does intend to keep an eye on the market and to continue consulting with Elite SEM.

“I am going to follow the markets closely and act based on that and what Elite SEM proposes that we do,” he says.

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