An initiative which I proposed on the previous blog post, was for the firm to undertake and employ paid searches onto their website. This was only one of a few, including working to lower their bounce rate, and increase their site traffic, however the one which I feel is the more straight- forward to tackle is increasing their paid searches. A firm can have paid searches, with things like PPC (pay per click) or they acquire organic searches when people are naturally looking for their site.
Since around 2012, there has been a crackdown by google on websites who have been gaining top spots on their pages, through unethical practices. These changes have been codenamed into things like ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ (Wikipedia, 2017). The changes have essentially been cutting out websites who have been writing key- words and then changing it into the colour of the background. This makes them appear higher on the search engine, as we can’t see the word, however google will pick it up. Also, there are a number of sites who get many other sites to put their link up, giving unnatural traffic which shouldn’t be there. These are all unfair practices as they are not paying, they are merely trying to cheat the system.
As google have cut down on these, it leaves a space for a firm such as Boohoo to seize on the paid searches function. ‘Paid traffic will of course cost money upfront, but it does have a key advantage over organic traffic: it’s quick. If you need to grow your top line quickly, this shouldn’t be overlooked! It also offers a way to get instant feedback on whether you are doing the right thing’ (Craig, 2016). It is not that Boohoo have a deadline in which they must grow, but inducing paid searches I feel will snowball their firm into something much larger, and more on ASOS’s calibre.
You must be able to weigh up the pros and cons of the organic to paid searches and decide whether it is worth it for your firm. For Boohoo, who boast under 3% of their search traffic from paid searches (SimilarWeb, 2018), those not taking part in PPC’s or other paid searches is keeping them at a disadvantage. Their close competitor ASOS, who have a significantly larger share of the market, invest money in paid searches and it is clear to see they are making a difference. Organic searches are fine, and will make sure the company stays growing its customer base, but for short term market share gain, paid searches could give them a kick-start in the right direction.
Trust gained while enjoying entertainment and communication provided on the sites seems to contribute greatly toward a luxury brand’s profit’ (Kim & Ko, 2010). Many of the firms who were ousted by google would not have built trust with their customers, as rather than trying to make connections, they were trying to cut corners and maximise their own profits in the short run. This is why playing the long game with elements of organic and paid searches is the more effective way.
However, there is of course risks when it comes to running a scheme like this. ‘There are times when you will have to incur great amount of money for this type of online advertising’ (Paul, 2017). This is to be expected when running a campaign of any sort, but there is the risk that all this money could have been paid and there will be no positive effect on the firm. The paid campaign may just miss or not be effective at reeling customers in, leaving the firm with less money to spend and still without a market share which has grown. There is also the disadvantage that people may just ignore the PPC and click on the organic website anyway as that’s what they are accustomed to. This means there is a chance they will be once again, paying large money for no actual gain.
Overall, though there are certainly drawbacks and risks with the paid option, for Boohoo, it is something I feel they must at least try. They have gained a respectable market share, but I feel that without this extra boost they may become stagnant. If their Paid campaign falls through and is ineffective then it would be back to the drawing board, but I believe that incorporating this will give them very quick results.
Craig, W. (2016). Organic Vs. Paid: Where You Should Invest Your Budget. Digital Impact. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://www.digitalimpact.co.uk/organic-vs-paid-marketing/
Kim, A., & Ko, E. (2010). Impacts of Luxury Fashion Brand’s Social Media Marketing on Customer Relationship and Purchase Intention. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20932685.2010.10593068
Paul, D. (2017). Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pay Per Click Advertising. Bigcheaphosting.com. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://bigcheaphosting.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-ppc-advertising/
En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Google Penguin. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Penguin