Google Shopping Campaigns Are Now Live — How To Get Started

google-shopping-products-featured Yesterday morning, Google announced the Google Shopping campaign program is now available to all online merchants. Google Shopping campaigns, which have been in beta since October, are a new version of PLAs which change how ads are created. They make creating PLAs more transparent within AdWords and give advertisers more control, allowing them to view more product information with less involvement with the data feed and an intuitive product group break-out structure.  Google Shopping Campaigns 101 Here are three of the major elements of Google Shopping campaigns: Layering Structur [...]


Staying Competitive In PPC: Learning From Black Friday’s Most Popular Offers

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured The five-day Black Friday weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday provided an insightful glimpse into how retailers are running their PPC strategies for the holidays. Particularly interesting are the variety of offer types run by retailers, ranging from the expected free shipping to 2-in-1 offers which include two offers in the same ad. Since shoppers were expecting to see a retailer's best deals during that weekend, we wanted to see just how far retailers were willing to go to get the sale. Using search engine results data gathered by Lighthouse (a partnership between The Search Monit [...]


Paid Search Spend Surges 27%, Mobile Grabs 40% Thanksgiving, Black Friday Spend

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured Amid reports that brick and mortar sales were lackluster over the Thanksgiving weekend, ecommerce is looking like a bright spot this holiday season, with mobile devices playing an increasingly important role. Mercent, which powers major retailer campaigns online for brands including Brookstone, Office Depot and HSN reports same seller online sales increased 40 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to 2012. Black Friday same seller sales hit a record high, increasing 35 percent Paid search saw big increases in click volume and retailer spend. Retailers spent 27 percent more on paid search [...]


Google Launches Shopping Campaigns To Ease PLA Management

google shopping While Google's switch to paid Product Listing Ads for Google Shopping has proven wildly successful, growth has likely been hindered by the fact that setting up and managing Product Listing Ad campaigns for Google Shopping has been plagued with complexity. Today, Google announced a new campaign type called Shopping Campaigns designed to  make it easier for advertisers to manage PLAs. The key feature in Shopping campaigns is that feed data will now be visible from within AdWords, rather than being walled off in Google Merchant Center. You'll be able to see attributes in your Google Merchant [...]


Google Launches Expanded AdWords PLAs On Mobile Devices

google-shopping-products-featured Google rolled out product listing ads (PLAs) on mobile devices in March. Now the company has launched an updated display for PLAs on smartphones that allows more products to be displayed from the search results page. Users can swipe to see more PLAs from their smartphones. Google also enlarged the product images and product titles for mobile PLAs. According to Google, early tests of the updated view have shown to drive more traffic to retailers. [...]


Debate: Do Single Product PLA Ad Groups Strangle ROI?

Google Shopping Building out Product Listing Ad campaigns in Google AdWords with single product or single SKU ad groups has become a fairly common practice. The idea being that isolating each product into its own ad group gives advertisers more control over which item gets served for a given query and enables faster product-level performance analysis and more granular bidding strategies. A new paper from CPC Strategy challenges this approach to PLA management. It's not a new position from CPC Strategy, but CEO Rick Backus says, "We were surprised to see how quickly this SKU-level build out strategy gained [...]


Local Google Shopping PLAs And Local Storefronts Roll Out To Limited Set Of Retailers

google-shopping-featured Today, Google is making public what several speakers at SMX East alluded to last week: local availability for Product Listing Ads. The latest iteration of Google's wildly successful Product Listing Ads, which will be referred to simply "Local PLAs" in this article, are currently available to a select set of US based retailers such as REI and Sephora. When users click on a Local PLA, they are taken to a local storefront -- yet another new feature -- which includes product detail and availability, related items available in that location, store hours and directions and other typical Google Pl [...]


A PLA Investigation:The Case Of The Hot Pink Wedge Pump

womens_pumps The takeover of the formerly-free Google Shopping by Product Listing Ads (PLAs) is less than a year old. With any new online marketing channel, you would expect some kinks in the system -- i.e., some idiosyncratic behavior that is unexpected -- and PLAs are no exception. This article delves into a very specific problem within an actual campaign of a marketer that was using Adchemy software to manage their PLA campaigns. (Specific product brands, store name and campaign results have been disguised.) This problem may seem very esoteric at first, but if you look closely, chances are the same [...]


4 Paid Search Strategies To Advertise Your Entire Product Catalog

Clothes Shop Production
Image via Shutterstock Over the last half decade, consumers have increasingly turned to search as an integral step in their purchase cycle. The convenience of online shopping, ability to quickly compare prices, and the wide selection of products and brands have fostered a highly competitive, yet profitable landscape. As retailers continue to invest more in paid search, consumers continue to expect a richer and more engaging shopping experience. In order to capitalize on this growing revenue opportunity, retail advertisers must be equipped to advertise their entire product inventory. [caption id="attachment_172 [...]


Paid Search Drives Store Revenue… But How Much?

Category Test Set Up RKG has long been interested in the question of online to offline spillover. We've also long been critical of the sloppy, ill-conceived tests that have misled many advertisers on this spillover in the past. We've recently participated with a few of our retail-chain clients on more carefully designed studies to get a more responsible answer to this question. The Conventional Wisdom You hear numbers thrown around all the time about the online to offline spillover factor. I've heard that for every order tracked online there are 4, 6, 7 -- I even heard 10 once -- offline orders driven. All of th [...]


Retailers Promote Over 1 Billion Products With Google PLAs, Holiday Surge Expected [Marin]

google-shopping-featured Today, Marin Software release a new study that finds Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continue to see increased adoption among retailers. According to the study, over one billion products were being promoted through PLAs as of May 2013. PLA impression share, when compared to text ads, has slowed some since its holiday season peak in December 2012. Marin points out that the dip seen in June and July 2013 could be seasonal, but that the transition to enhanced campaigns as well as the new product feed specifications that went into effect in the US on July 15 may have contributed to the drop [...]


5 Secrets To Maximizing Retail Budgets For Paid Search

Retail Shopping [caption id="attachment_168059" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via shutterstock[/caption] Over the last decade, the incorporation of search into the online shopping experience has led to a savvier generation of consumers who prefer the selection, price-transparency, and convenience of online retail to traditional brick-and-mortars. As a result, online retailers are now spending more on paid search advertising than just about any other industry. In fact, in 2011, retailers accounted for more than $3 billion of Google’s revenue, just second to the finance and insurance industry -- [...]


6 Ways To Leverage Merchant Feeds To Optimize Product Listing Ads

nike air max navigate Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are the new hipster ads of search marketing, but many retailers aren't fully capitalizing on this huge opportunity. (I guess many don't know how cool they are yet.) But, what goes into optimizing your merchant feed for your PLA campaigns, and what best practices can you start implementing today? Merchant feeds are the new keywords in retail. By including common terms found in consumer intent within strategic fields of your merchant feed, your campaigns will garner additional visibility within search results and Google Shopping. If you don't have a ton of query [...]


New B2B Content Consumption Habits In An Ever-Changing Advertising Funnel

1st Riff In my last article, I discussed how some marketing tactics and concepts of yesteryear can still be applied in advertising to B2B customers today. Inevitably, however, some marketing media and channels have changed. The world of advertising has shifted from a one-step advertising funnel to a multi-step funnel, caused simply by the inception of the Internet and the ability it's given people to easily access content. Knowing that, we'll investigate how B2B content consumption habits have changed and discuss how to leverage these new habits for a successful PPC advertising campaign. Content [...]


Does Weather Affect Site Traffic & SEM Performance?

SEL_July2013_3 Omni-channel retail marketers with online sites and offline stores have often wondered about the effect that weather might have on their site traffic (which in turn would affect their paid search bidding strategies). There appear to be three competing hypotheses about weather affecting site traffic: Hypothesis #1: Site traffic is negatively correlated with weather quality -- the better the weather, the lower the site traffic as people like to get out and buy products in store (substitution effect). Hypothesis #2: Weather has little to no effect on site traffic because surfing online [...]


Back-To-School PLA Advertisers: Heed New Google Shopping Feed Requirements

This is important for all merchants running Google product listing ads to note, but the timing makes it particularly key for advertisers running back-to-school or summer blow-out promotions. As we previously reported, Google announced new specifications for Google Shopping product feeds. The key change was the addition of the unique product identifier (UPI) for custom products or other items without a UPI like brand name or MPN. Today the company announced that enforcement of the new unique product identifier has begun and will escalate over the coming weeks until September. If your fe [...]


Google Testing PLA Expansion To Show 16 Product Listing Ads

Eagle eyes over at RKG spotted a new AdWords test that gives even more real estate to Google's successful Product Listing Ads. In a screenshot captured by RKG on July 15th and posted by paid search analyst, Nick Bremenstul, an expansion arrow displays below the typical display of five PLAs.   Upon clicking the expansion arrow, the number of PLAs expands to 16. As Bremenstul points out, the organic listings get pushed further down and out of view.   Clearly PLAs have been good to Google, and advertisers have been flocking to them since Google Shopping switche [...]


Search Engines Keep The Lights Out On Fireworks Ads, Mostly

fireworks-stand-featured Happy 4th of July! It's fireworks season here in the US, a time when online searches for "fireworks" skyrocket. Yet, ads for explosives and pyrotechnic devices like "firecrackers," "bottle rockets," and "fireworks" are not allowed per the advertising policies of Google and Bing -- and their respective search partners like AOL, Ask, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. Sam Engle at BrandVerity took a look at how well the search engines are doing at enforcing their own rules during this peak season for festive explosives. Engle found a few ads that managed to get through. One ad for an Indiana-base [...]


8 E-Commerce SEO Tips Gathered From A Decade Of Consulting

In the comments of my last column about how I doubled e-commerce revenue for clients by focusing on user intent, readers asked for some more specific e-commerce SEO tips that they could apply in their own client work. Today's article shares some valuable lessons gathered over a decade of SEO work for e-commerce clients. These 8 e-commerce SEO tips have the power to transform any online business and boost profits. 1. Understand The SEO Impact Of Information Architecture & URL Structure Like most SEO consultants, I am often contacted late in the Web development process, well after in [...]


SEM-Like Control For Successful PLA Campaigns

There are notable similarities between keyword and PLA campaigns that, when leveraged properly, will give retailers greater control of their campaign management. Let’s evaluate how retailers can leverage best practices from their keyword campaigns and apply them to their PLA campaigns for maximum efficiency and control over their budgets. In SEM, search engines decide which ads are shown for which queries based on keywords; but, advertisers don’t have to yield control of their spend to the search engine. Instead, they can institute a proper campaign setup that allows for control at a gr [...]


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