Winning in retail is not for the faint of heart or the brand that can’t take calculated risks. The options available to advertise your brand are plentiful and diverse. How do you determine which one is right for your business and the best place to invest time and money? The key to success is to understand the insights that are available through each opportunity so you can be ready to exercise the option that you think is best for you. Early on, you should always be in a position to evaluate the performance of the advertising opportunity you chose so that adjustments can be made and maximum return on investment achieved.

What are some paid search advertising opportunities available for a retail setting? Product listing ads (PLAs) is one of the most well known. Both Google and Yahoo offer that option. The tendency is to run to Google but don’t ignore Yahoo. Know where your audience is. PLAs are more than just a new ad format. They are transforming search marketing with their rare combination of high volume and profitable efficiency. With the right tools, you can create product targets leveraging existing data feeds, analyze PLAs at the SKU level for increased visibility, and automate bid optimization and forecast performance.

Shopping comparison engines and utilizing retail data feeds are another fundamental way to utilize paid search for a retail organization. Another key table stake is making sure that you are optimizing for revenue, or return on ad spend (ROAS) versus number of units, as well as optimizing toward the more well-known front-end search engine metrics like click-through rate (CTR), position, or quality score. Action items such as creating campaigns based on your product feeds and promotional and seasonal calendars are key to staying on top of your game. Be sure that the products you’re advertising are in stock and available. If a product is low on stock, do you want to send traffic to a secondary product and landing page or simply cease bidding on those terms until the product comes back in stock?

The Adobe Summit from 24–28 March in Salt Lake City will include a track titled “Winning in Retail, How Can You Do it All?” I will be on the panel to help you discover the upside of bidding on more descriptive terms like “red fleece jacket” as opposed to broader terms like “outerwear,” which should appeal to those of you who are budget-minded conversion focused on mid-tier, and long-tail keywords can provide a cost-effective benefit. My fellow panelists and I will divulge our secrets in bidding and budget management against hundreds of thousands of SKUs, taking the experience beyond search to personalization and providing a targeted experience, as well as how to take full advantage of product feeds and how to produce a winning retail paid search program. We will show you how to make the most of this information and how you can make educated decisions in improving account performance with the data you have available. This session is intended for any attendee in retail and e-commerce verticals.