Products and Design

Shop Owner Holiday Tips Series: #9: Pay to Play

Once your shop is set up for holiday sales, you’re well on your way to being optimized for selling into the new year. These last few tips are going to help you set up a longer term strategy for maintaining a good shop.
By now you’ve hopefully been running a successful shop, your friends and family flock to it, bloggers are driving traffic, and you’ve got good data from google analytics to show you whats happening and how to adjust it. 
The next step is advertising. A quick and easy introduction to advertising is by using Google AdWords.
You create ads and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to your products. Your ads appear on Google and when people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to or above the search results. This means you’re advertising to an audience that’s already interested in you. Read more and get started
Why bother with advertising you ask? Shapeways designer Seth Alexander of Masterworks shares his story:
I have a different ad with different keywords for each set of dice and more general ads for related products such as DND. I’m currently running 8 ads, each with 5 or more keywords.

For my Steampunk Dice ad I use these keywords:
Steampunk, steampunk shop, steampunk gear, steampunk theme, steampunk dice, steam punk shop, steam punk gear, steam punk dice, steam punk theme
Generally, you want to avoid very general keywords such as ‘dice’ or ‘Shapeways’ since these tend to draw a high click-through rate but no sales. This means you will be paying a cost per click but getting nothing in return. The keyword ‘Steampunk’ is debatable because it’s so general but I decided to leave it because Steampunk itself is a niche market.

AdWords has doubled my sales from approximately 25 sales/month to 50 sales/month. It costs me approximately 25% of the monthly Shapeways income at my current settings. So the net profit is a 50% gain from AdWords. I would need more time to study the statistics as this is only a 3 month analysis, but I believe it is worth it! 

As you probably already know, getting linked on major news sites and blogs has the largest effect and AdWords will add visibility, so those stories are more likely to appear.
What an inspiring story, thank you Seth!
And there you have it, our top tips for your shop. Happy shaping and wishing you lots of sales!
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