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 [...]

Product Listing Ads: Five Tips That Increase Conversions

Google Shopping scored best in class in our latest rankings of comparison shopping engines. How can you get more revenue out of it? Read on for our five tips to increasing the conversion rate of your Product Listing Ads. 1. Please The Feed Your Google Shopping product data feed is the most important element of a healthy PLA campaign. It tells Google what information to use for your product ads and helps Google determine where your ads should appear in search results. It's better to err on the side of providing too much relevant information than not providing enough. Give Google as many cl [...]

How to Double Your Revenue With SEO

In 2012, I was privileged to handle SEO for some of the biggest Norwegian e-commerce sites. This is the story about how I doubled (and even tripled) revenue for them by following a simple, easy, yet unconventional approach that anyone -- even you -- can implement starting today. At the heart of this accomplishment lie two things which are related to one another: A focus on uncovering user intent, and then filling that need The ability (and budget) to do all that's necessary This may sound easy, but when you consult with a business that is stratified and compartmentalized into water [...]

Why Vertical Search Is Threatening Google’s Reign

Until recently, Google has dominated search. It has been the main stomping ground for consumers looking to buy products, visit sites, or conduct research. However, the nature of search is changing, especially on mobile devices. My own search behavior is a prime example. As a frequent traveler, I go straight to to search for flights. When I'm looking to buy a consumer product, I often sidestep Google entirely and go right to Amazon, eBay or PriceGrabber. Recent research proves that I'm not alone in this and that consumer search behavior is evolving. According to comSco [...]

Study: PLAs Buck Post-Holiday Trends For Google Shopping, Traffic Nearly Doubles in Q1

Google shopping traffic doubles CPC Strategy The momentum of Google's PLA program didn't slow after the holidays. After seeing Google Product Listing Ad traffic jump 82% in Q1 over Q4, CPC Strategy followed up its latest quarterly review of top CSEs with a closer look. The agency hadn't been surprised to see the 87% increase in PLA traffic in Q4 over Q3 as Google's pay-to-play program ramped during the holiday season. However, the huge traffic spike from Product Listing Ads that occurred after the holiday shopping rush did catch them by surprise. Bucking the typical trend of CSEs (and e-commerce in general), paid Google Shopping traf [...]

Google Shopping Tops Amazon Product Ads: 32.7% More Cost Effective

google-shopping-featured A new report from CPC Strategy looks at how Google Shopping fared against its rival, Amazon Product Ads, after making the switch to a commercial model in Q3 last year. The analysis finds its performance changed significantly compared to Amazon Product Ads, and provides further evidence that the move bolstered Google Shopping. Surge In Traffic & Lower CPCs In the second half of last year, Google Shopping sent 120% more traffic to merchants than Amazon Product Ads. In fact, Google Shopping more than doubled the amount of traffic it sent to merchants compared to 2011. At $0.31, Google Sh [...]

Google Tests B2B Market With Google Shopping For Suppliers

Google Shopping For Suppliers Beta Google is entering the B2B shopping segment with Google Shopping for Suppliers. CPC Strategy reported yesterday on the quiet roll-out, noting that the beta is open only to electrical and electronics industries at this time. The beta started about two weeks ago and is showing in the US only. Google has built Google Shopping for Suppliers to accommodate the unique aspects of B2B selling that has limited supplier participation on Google Shopping. Recognizing that B2B transactions often involve negotiations on shipping costs and volume discounts, many Google Shopping policies on Pricing and [...]

Advertisers Increased PLA Budgets By 600% In Q4; Trend Likely To Continue

google-shopping-featured The Google Shopping gamble paid off – for both Google and e-commerce advertisers who ran product listing ad campaigns last quarter. A  report from Adobe and a study by RKG each highlighted consumer interest and advertiser opportunity in Google product listing ads. Today, Marin Software released findings showing that, after the transition of Google Shopping to an entirely paid model in October, advertisers increased their share of search budgets directed toward product listing ads by nearly 600%. Those advertisers were rewarded with higher click through rates and lower cost per click than [...]

eBay Offers A Mobile Search Shortcut For Online Stores

Last month, I touched on several ways that businesses could use apps as an alternate channel to reach mobile searchers. Online retailers have a couple opportunities to use apps in this way, by tapping into the eBay and Amazon marketplaces. Let's take a closer look at eBay, and some strategies for using it to extend the reach of your existing catalog. Starting At The Desktop Before mobile was part of the equation, there was a well-established practice for leveraging eBay for online retail. Of course, it goes without saying that many retailers use eBay as their sole storefront, taking advantag [...]

Paid Search Drives $6 In Local Sales For Every $1 In Online Sales — Study

Screen shot 2011-12-10 at 6.50.09 AM Annual US retail spending is roughly $4 trillion according to the US Commerce Department. And while e-commerce is growing very rapidly, it remains less than 5 percent of total retail sales. Historically, most search marketers have focused almost exclusively on e-commerce sales. But a new study finds that the real impact of paid search is offline. Six-to-One Impact in Offline Stores Based on two years of research conducted by retail marketing firm RevTrax, the study discovered that "for every $1 of e-commerce revenue generated from paid search, marketers can expect to see approximately anothe [...]

Tips For Optimizing Content In Mobile Commerce SEO

mobile-seo-featured This month, a lot of mobile commerce sites are being put to the test for the first time. Mcommerce sites are expected to cross the 10% mark in their contribution to online retail sales, and retailers will be collecting usage data to figure out what users like and dislike. In my own shopping experiences, both through mobile sites and mobile apps, I'm finding a consistent theme running through the product pages I see: retailers are unsure how to handle product descriptions. It's a fact of life that mobile screens are small, and I've recently looked at how that impacts decisions about SEO a [...]

Infographic: Tips To Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

shopping cart abandonment infographic With the holiday shopping season about to begin -- "Black Friday" this week and "Cyber Monday" next week -- it's a good time for online merchants to ensure they're not going to suffer from the dreaded abandoned shopping cart syndrome. The cure for that disease? The folks at testing service Monetate have created an infographic full of tips: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Shopping Cart Abandonment and Tips To Avoid It. Related Stories Holiday Season Countdown Kickoffs For Online Marketers 5 Holiday Shopping Tips For Search Marketers Data Shows Retaile [...]

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Recap: Search Ads Drove Big Retail Gains

The dust seems to have finally settled on the long holiday weekend, and according to several reports both formal and informal, that dust is largely colored green. Green, as in money: transactions, average order size, revenue, and other metrics are widely reported as being up this year compared to 2009. Here's a recap of several reports related to paid search ads, online holiday shopping, and so forth. Kenshoo: Budgets, Transactions, Revenues Up Kenshoo, a provider of digital marketing software that's used by five of the top 10 US retailers, says search advertising boomed during the month [...]

Vurve Advances Trend Toward Online Marketing Automation For SMBs

This past Monday Vurve launched. The CEO is Amit Kumar, who built SearchMonkey at Yahoo and then was at Dapper, which was recently acquired by Yahoo. The company's tagline is "advertising on autopilot for your online store." Vurve is targeting small businesses (SMBs) with e-commerce stores that spend up to $10,000 per month. The minimum monthly spend is $200. Traditional "offline" SMBs (service businesses) aren't part of the program right now. The company says it can entirely automate online advertising across a range of media types including search. The platforms and media types Vurve a [...]

Search Dominates Social Media When Shopping Online: Study

A new study about the buying habits of computer and consumer electronics shoppers shows the importance of search to the online shopping process. Search engines, in particular, are relied on much more heavily than social media -- but the study also speaks to the importance of on-site search boxes. The report -- which can be downloaded via this contact form -- was conducted by comScore and sponsored by Searchandise Commerce and iProspect. It involved more than 1,000 shoppers who took part in online focus groups in April of this year. When asked to describe the steps they took to begin the sho [...]

Black Friday 2009: Bing Cashback Bumps, Users Searching For Deals

It could be that the general state of the 2009 economy is fueling the increase in early search queries for "Black Friday" related terms, or it it could be that the retail industry as a whole have embraced the annual event as part of a clever marketing strategy to boost overall holiday sales. As you can see from the Google Trends data below, the increase in usage since the advent of "Black Friday" has grown exponentially. In 2009, consumers began flocking to the Web earlier than ever to search for Black Friday deals, although it's difficult to see in the graph below, the uptick does begin sligh [...]

Forget Black Friday! Are You Ready For Holiday Season’s Cyber Mondays?

"Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year for U.S. brick-and-mortar retailers. But, for each Monday after Black Friday, consumer searches spike up on the internet and online retail websites enjoy their highest traffic and associated sales of the year. Search engine use is directly impacting businesses during this period, and companies which haven't optimized their internet presence stand to lose out on some of the sales they could be getting if consumers could find them. This is true for online businesses as well as for brick-and-mortar stores. While [...]

Free Webcast Next Thursday: Successful Feed-Based Search Marketing

Most search marketers focus their efforts on organic search optimization or sponsored search listings. But there's another channel that offers unique opportunities to reach additional viewers and potentially drive conversions that might otherwise never be realized. On Thursday, May 10, I'll be presenting the webcast Successful Feed-Based Search Marketing: Shopping Engines, Paid Inclusion & More through our sister site, Search Marketing Now. In this webcast, I'll describe the multiple types of feeds that can be used to extend a search marketing campaign, and will talk about some of the benefi [...]

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