The India Digital forum was held on 29 July 2011 at the India Habitat centre in Delhi. The topic of the forum was “The Digital Convergence Revolution – Collision of Web, Mobile, Community and Media”. They had an array of speakers lined up for various panel discussions including the topic that I was one of the speakers for “Ecommerce – What is driving this revolution”. My fellow panellists were Vikram Malhi -Expedia, Aloke B -iXiGo.com, Navin Chandani –Experian India, Uday Sodhi –HeadHonchos.com, Badri Sanjeevi – Mauj Mobile.
Some speakers focussed on the basics of the Ecommerce ecosystem, that is, what are key components of setting up an ecommerce enabled website. They covered logistics, payment gateways, shopping cart providers. Other speakers covered the various pain areas within this ecosystem. E.g. Logistics is still at a nascent stage in India, the poor infrastructure in our country & unreliable transportation systems magnify the problems for logistics providers.
I spoke about how to drive traffic to a website, this is the core of any successful website. I have coined a term which I refer to as the “4S Digital Marketing” (name has obviously been derived from The 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) aka Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Social Media Optimization (SMO)
- Site Analytics Optimization (SAO)
Social media is being discussed at every forum I go to & is part of the news on a daily basis. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn need to be part of your overall digital strategy. Each business will need to define the optimum level of engagement in each of the Social Media forums & some will lend themselves beautifully to some of these mediums. A B2B business will most likely derive more value from pursuing an active LinkedIn or Twitter strategy rather than focussing on Facebook.
SEM aka PPC I believe is a fantastic complimentary strategy to SEO. The business needs to determine the correct bidding strategy for its PPC campaigns. In determining your bidding strategy you will need to involve your business head as you will need to determine whether you will look at the lifetime value of a customer or you are only willing to look at the profitability from an immediate sale. Once you have determined this only then can you figure out the correct bidding strategy. Essentially you will need to figure out if your business is willing to “buy” customers knowing that each sale actually results in an immediate loss however once you factor the lifetime value of a customer then you would actually come out ahead.
PPC allows you to get instant traffic to your website & you can quickly test out keywords to see what works best for you. It is also a good way to do testing for CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
I chose to focus on my passion within this mix- SEO! I asked for a show of hands within the audience, I asked them how many people actually click on the ads vs the organic search results. Only 4-5 hands went up and the poll results were not suprising as our own research indicates that 87% of the clicks are on the Organic Search results and only 13% clicks are on the “Paid Search Results”. I then gave a quick run down on some basic elements of SEO such as Keyword Research, Title Tags, Content, Links etc.
SAO- Any business that has a website and is not using Site Analytics is making a big mistake. Google offers a free product called Google Analytics & this must be implemented on a website as it gives access to some very powerful statistics. Some key terms to look out for are: “Bounce Rate”, “Time on site” , “Page Views”, “Keywords”, “Landing Pages” etc
More info about the India Digital Forum by CellStrat can be found here: