Anyone who has a use for a tool like a knife on a semi-regular basis is probably familiar with the concept of roughing it. Whether your knife is used for hunting, camping, fishing, or you just have the kind of job that requires an EDC knife, you’re probably well acquainted with the pleasure that can come from depriving oneself of some of the advantages of modern life and accepting the challenge that brings. What you might not know is that the hobbyists and enthusiasts who have started knife stores online are roughing it a little bit too. We’re well versed in the challenges faced in both site development and digital marketing for knife retailers because we’ve worked with some of the best in the industry. We know that there are advantages out there that these merchants simply can’t use. We also know how to help them rough it, and be the best they can be in the areas where they are allowed to compete.
Taking Payments For Knife Retailers
Knife retailers can end up being locked out of a lot of payment services because of the products they sell. Almost all eCommerce payment gateways have sections of their terms and conditions detailing restricted businesses and regulations about what types of products they are willing to transfer electronic payments for. Almost all of these policies you’ll find mention weapons. But is a kitchen knife a weapon? What about a hunting knife?
Pay Per Click Advertising for Knife Retailers
Digital marketing for knife retailers is made tricky on Google for a similar reason. Google terms it their Dangerous Products and Services Policy. Any product covered under this policy is unable to participate in paid advertisements on Google platforms. Fortunately, their policy is written out a little more specifically.
A similar, but slightly stricter, policy exists for paid ad placements on Facebook and other social media platforms like it.
This means that ads for certain knives will be approved while other ones will be denied. Because we have walked this line for multiple clients in the past we can pretty quickly set up a range of product ads that we have seen work in the past without losing too much time dealing with disapprovals. If you’re doing digital marketing for knife retailers yourself, here are a few good guidelines to follow:
- Make sure your site is not entirely suspended. If your site has been suspended from Adwords for products that violate their policy, none of your ads can be approved. There is a process you can go through with Google to get a suspension lifted.
- Make sure you fix all errors. If it turns out you are suspended, it’s likely that if you’re violating a policy in one place, you’re probably violating in multiple places. Hiring an Adwords expert is the best way to start tracking down each violation that Google is counting against you.
- Be aware of your ad text and landing pages. If your site is not suspended you can start submitting ads, but be very careful about the word choice you use in the text of the ad and on the page that it leads back to. Remember, Google’s policy is not against knives, per se. It’s against weapons. Be careful about framing your products as tools, not meant for combat of any kind.
SEO for Knife Retailers
When doing digital marketing for knife retailers, and any other business whose products get caught up in these types of policies, we always recommend an aggressive SEO campaign. Because your opportunity to get your name out there with paid ads is curtailed you can fall back on moving your site up Google’s organic listings in order to gain exposure. Beyond that, organic traffic is often more valuable than paid traffic. Users generally trust organic listings more. A visitor from organic search will bounce less and visit more pages on average than visitors from paid ads. The only problem is that everyone else in the industry is in the exact same situation and has the exact same idea. This makes the search keywords you would want to target even more competitive than normal.
This is why we recommend a more aggressive SEO campaign. Google will only notice you if you’re putting in more work than your competitors, who are all jockeying for the same 10 spots on Google’s page 1. A professional SEO agency can really help out in this regard. If you’re not already familiar with the elements of technical SEO, it can be helpful to have someone monitoring your site, and fixing errors as they appear. If you’re already busy with the day-to-day task of running your business, also you may not have the time to write, post and create the backlinks you need to get Google to notice a growing network of references and content. It’s helpful to have a dedicated team working to build this authority on a regular basis, even if it’s just a few hours a month.
If you’re interested in digital marketing for knife retailers, we have experience with this tricky industry. Get in touch with the eCommerce SEO experts at 1Digital Agency. We can help get a site on its feet or push a site to the next level of competitiveness and exposure. Even if you’re used to roughing it, it can help to have a guide.
- Joe Chilson
- December 9, 2019