Consumer behaviour is heavily influenced by digital technologies, with 80% of online shoppers wanting to compare prices and 17p of every Sterling Pound being spent over the internet. Online spending is expected to rise to 50p for every Sterling Pound. “Grab hold of the opportunities in the online marketplace and grow your business”, says Andy Barke (Industry Head), Satyan Joshi (Product Specialist), and Gilli Goodman (Product Specialist) from Google.
Google’s Adwords marketing team was in Edinburgh, to talk to local businesses about the advantages that Google can provide to those wanting to trade online. The conference hall at the City Chamber (High Street, Royal Mile) was filled with representatives from local businesses. The event was organised by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Business Gateway (Scottish Enterprise)
Start thinking about exporting to the EU zone
Andy Barke commented that the UK’s electronic commerce market is at its mature phase and the EU zone is warming up to online shopping carts. With the value of the Pound weak against the Euro, businesses in the EU zone will now afford more to import to EU from the UK. “UK businesses should consider export to EU” , he says. Google provides an export advisory tool at the following link http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/exportadviser. This export advisor and market value calculator is at its beta stage and partnered with Applied Language, HSBC, Royal Mail, UK Trade and Investment, The Institute of Export, and Alibaba.com.
How can Google help me?
Google offers a wide range of free and inexpensive tools that can help businesses compete in the ever changing market. Andy says, “Your business has to be insightful, agile, and fast”. The following free tools from Google are worth a try.
- Google Insights : http://www.google.com/insights/search/ (Research tool to help find what your target market is looking/searching for)
- Google Local Business: http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter (Promote your business on the internet)
- Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics (Research and understand your website visitors and their behaviour over your web pages)
Pay for Adwords and you will benefit from it
While Google is being very nice to us by offering so much for free, they ask us to spend just a little in return. Adwords is Google’s advertising network. Gilli Goodman detailed the process involved in setting up a new Adwords account and repeats over and over again that we need to spend a lot of time in researching keywords and target market and demographics before setting up a new campaign. Give it a try, the Google team along with Satyan Joshi urged.
Key points that I observed
Always mention prices in your Adwords ad block. By doing showing the prices on your advertisement, you avoid clicks from people who couldn’t afford your product.
- Adwords advert position depends upon your ranking that is made up by multiplying the maximum CPC (Cost per Click) and the website’s Quality Score (depends on click through rate, link value, landing page, quality of user experience, and page speed).
- Organic/natural website listing position is based on the website’s relevance to the users search and latency (speed, web standards, IP address, etc).
- Do not pay your hard earned money to agencies that charge a bomb. At most times, you might be able to get great results by putting aside some time for research and experimenting.
Buffet dinner and networking followed the event. I had the opportunity to talk to Andy Barke and Satyan Joshi. Both of them denied the myth that Google favours big brand and names that can afford to pay for a special arrangement that will provide better search results. They mentioned that they have even stopped paying the 15% commission that the advertising agencies used to get.
I hope the presentation will prove useful to the 200 odd businesses that had attended the event titled as “Speedup during the Slowdown”.
Photograph by Mykl Roventine.