August 16, 2005, 12:00 AM

How attention to detail doubled Levenger’s search-related web sales

By using more detailed keywords and the right outside help, Levenger doubled its web sales tied to search engine marketing campaigns from $3 million to $6 million in the last year, says Lynnette Montgomery, general manager of e-commerce.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

A closer attention to detail such as using more precise words and phrases and hiring the right consultants is helping Levenger Co. double the amount of web sales generated by its search engine marketing campaigns, says Lynnette Montgomery, general manager of e-commerce.

In the past year, Levenger, which ranks as No. 182 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, has increased its web sales from search engine campaigns from $3 million to $6 million, Montgomery says.

Levenger, a multi-channel retailer of reading products and related accessories, says its investment in search engine marketing, particularly organic search, is paying off in large measure because of a closer scrutiny of details such as using a better combination of advertising language in its bidding for key words and phrases.

In the last year, Levenger has doubled the size of its search engine keywords and phrases to between 8,000 and 10,000 combinations. More words are needed as Levenger bids on words and phrases that contain specific elements such as a product name, a price point and a specific color.

“Bidding on a word or phrase such as ‘office chair’ is becoming astronomical and while it may deliver hundreds of thousands of hits, those hits will be very general,” Montgomery says. “We expanded our word search to add very specific elements such as a color and a price point. The results have been much more precise.”

Simple changes such as using “buy” rather than “shop for” in keyword bids and search campaigns is yielding higher conversion rates, Montgomery says. “We test everything and it’s pretty clear that we are getting better results using more specific phrases that include a price point or the phrase ‘save now,’” Montgomery says. “The key to getting a better search marketing return on investment is getting a lower cost on very targeted wording.”

To assist its search engine marketing program, Levenger uses 360i, a search engine marketing company, as a broker and campaign report analyst. Levenger also uses Bizresearch for other search engine marketing projects. “Having the right partners makes a big difference,” Montgomery says. “They have the latest analytics and reporting capabilities that can tell us what’s working and what isn’t.”

Despite the tight wording limits of most search marketing campaigns, Montgomery says that adding a specific detail such as a price is converting more visitors to buyers for Levenger.com. “It’s still advertising and people want to know that they are getting a good deal and being taken care of,” Montgomery says. “We see good conversions in our campaigns when we feature a detail such as ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed.’’’

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