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5 Tips to Boost Your Sales Using Google Shopping in 2018

Google AdWords Analytics

In 2018, Google Shopping ads (a.k.a. Product Listing Ads, or PLAs) have become by far the dominant online ad format for retail advertisers. A recent study for the first quarter for 2018 shows that nearly 80% of all retail search ad spend is going to Google Shopping campaigns[1].  Further, Google Shopping ads are driving over 76% of all retail search ad spend, generating 85% of all clicks[2].

This is important to know in an era when many retailers are wondering how much, if any, of their advertising budget ought to go toward seemingly also-on-the rise social media platforms, like Facebook.  While displaying your ads on Facebook can work, especially if you focus on a narrow demographic niche, many retailers having been moving away from social media advertising – in fact, a recent report of small business owners reports that over 60% believe Facebook ads to be “ineffective.”   [3]

The reason is quite simple: People aren’t going on Facebook to shop. They’re going on Facebook to keep in touch with friends, to stay up to date with what’s going on in their lives, to see what other people are talking about…and though something might pique their consumer interests here and there, on Facebook their primary intent is not to shop[4].

When people go online to look into purchasing a product or service, more often than not: they Google it.

Google conservatively estimates that last year their search and advertising tools helped generate $222 billion for over 1.5 million businesses.[5]

With Google Shopping, potential customers see not only words and calls-to-action, they see just about every element known to drive conversions online: images, in-depth reviews, product details, price comparisons, and customized information. Also, clicks on Google Shopping are often much cheaper than clicks for text ads. You can pay 25 cents for product queries opposed to 60 cents with regular text ads.[6]

Of course, getting your Google campaign up and running effectively can be a very technical process, and optimizing its performance can be quite time consuming, which is why many businesses hire professional digital marketers to make sure the job is done right.

To make the process more efficient, we’ve put together the following 5 helpful tips which can help you increase your conversion rate, one of the most significant KPIs for any Google Shopping advertiser:

Add Promotions to Help Boost Sales

If you’re selling products or services online, you should consider adding a promotion. This could take the form of a discount code, seasonal sales prices, or even free delivery for certain items.

When what you’re selling is also sold by other merchants, Google Shopping will display it as part of a price comparison among other options. If you add a special offer, your listing will stand out from the competition by the display of a tiny gift tag icon, helping draw the attention of interested customers to you.

Google AdWords Art

Compare Prices with Competitors

In order to stay ahead of the competition, you should be proactive in comparing your prices with those of your direct competitors. Having a low price is one of the key strategies to success on Google Shopping.  Not only are customers more inclined to choose a product that is priced cheaper (especially if it is supported by solid product reviews), Google is more inclined to show a cheaper product more often.

Google’s algorithm has been shown to favor products that have been priced cheaper, even if it’s only a few pennies cheaper. Especially if it’s the exact same product as a competitor but at a lower price, there’s a strong probability you’ll be the one to get more clicks and conversions.

Use GTINs

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the unique number assigned by a manufacturer to a specific product.  Make sure to include this information in your Google Shopping listing.

Not only does including a GTIN enable Google to showcase your listing among your competitors on Google Shopping, it can also provide you with increased visibility on Google Search. Further, many savvy, ready-to-buy customers will search for the GTIN for a product they intend to purchase.

Add Remarketing Lists

Using Google’s Remarketing lists is a great wat to make use of the data stored by Google AdWords to drive increased traffic from previous visitors to your website. Using these lists, you can target specific groups of previous visitors and encourage them to return to your site and make purchases.

Here’s an example from Google showing how—and why – these lists work:

Example: An airline wants to show ads about flight deals to people who visited a product page on their website in the past month. They create a “Flight deals” list with a membership duration of 30 days and a rule to collect all visitors to a webpage that has a URL that ends with “flight-deals.html.” When people visit this flight deals page, they’re added to the “Flight deals” list which the airline can target with an ad campaign about flight deals.[7]

By segmenting shoppers into specific lists based on their histories, you can target them more specifically with future ads, and increase the likelihood of sales.

Use Negative Keywords

One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting relevant clicks on your offerings is to filter out irrelevant traffic, those customers who aren’t looking for what it is you’re selling.

For example, if you sell only new goods, you can add “used” as a negative keyword to filter out those customers who are looking for something previously owned.  Or add “free” as a negative keyword to avoid those who have no intention of spending money on the item they’re seeking.

Effective use of negative keywords means you won’t be spending your budget on visitors who won’t be your customers

If you’re looking to launch an online marketing campaign for the first time, or if you’re looking for better results than your previous marketing efforts, the team at JXTGroup is here to help with their years of online expertise and success.  Contact us to day[8].

Google AdWords Analytics & Charts

Citations:

[1] https://www.adthena.com/insights/google-shopping-report/

[2] https://www.fierceretail.com/digital/retailers-put-80-search-ad-spend-into-google-shopping

[3] https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/62-of-small-business-owners-say-facebook-ads-dont-work-experts-disagree.html

[4] https://adespresso.com/blog/facebook-ads-vs-google-adwords/

[5] https://economicimpact.google.com/#/

[6] https://www.storegrowers.com/google-shopping/

[7] https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2472738?hl=en

[8] http://www.jxtgroup.com/contact

Email Marketing Trends for 2018…and Beyond

Email Marketing Trends

Email marketing has long been a mainstay of the digital marketing landscape – but new developments are changing what we can expect to see fill up our inboxes.  Multi-channel, multi-touch, multi-path customer journeys are transforming the traditional marketing funnel, and email marketing is finding new roles to play in the overall customer experience and lifecycle.  It’s not about simply converting leads into customers – it’s about maximizing value to expand customer engagement, purchasing, and advocacy.

Four trends on the rise in email marketing are: mobilization, personalization, AI predictions, and interactivity. While some of these are not necessarily “new” techniques, they are increasing in adoption and transforming as customers’ expectations increase and technology makes it possible to meet these new demands. Here’s a look at how these trends are developing, and how you may be able to incorporate them effectively into your own overall marketing strategies today…and in the future.

Mobilization

We are increasingly living in a mobile-first culture, in which more and more people are spending time online on their mobile devices as opposed to on PC’s, laptops, and tablets combined.  A recent research study shows 16-24-year-olds spending just as much time online on their mobile devices [1]as on all other devices combined. And this trend is growing as smartphone ownership has become essentially universal, with U.S. consumers spending an average of five hours every day on their phones[2].

What this means for email marketing is that more and more marketers are making sure their emails are optimized for mobile, with mobile responsive designs and messaging that is easy to scan for readers on-the-go. A seamless digital experience has become more important than ever, as customers now simply take it for granted.

Pictures For Social Media

Personalization

As more customers come to expect everything to work like Netflix’s “Recommendations” and Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlists, personalization is becoming increasingly more important[3] in email marketing.  It is no longer enough to simply insert the name of a customer into an email.

Instead, savvy marketers are creating customized experiences that make users feel valued and appreciated. Dynamic content will change based on the recipient and let each customer know why they should keep interacting with your brand across multiple channels.

Can you recommend products based on past purchase history? Use relevant social proof to back up recommendations? Send triggered emails with the right message at the right time based on customer data?

Email marketers who can move from 1: Many messaging to 1:1 experiences set themselves apart from the competition.

AI Predictions

As machine learning and artificial intelligence technology develops and becomes increasingly available, email marketers will be able to make better informed, data-driven decisions, with predictive marketing metrics able to predict individual and group customer lifetime value[4].  New methodologies will integrate complex data to model customers’ purchasing activities and infer what their future actions are likely to be.

In terms of messaging, AI is already capable of generating subject lines, copy, and calls-to-action, that generate more customer responses than human writing. AI is also optimizing send times and image content.[5]

In short, AI will be able to make it possible for a greater number of companies to achieve greater levels of personalization to drive customer engagement.

Social Media Apps

Interactivity

Today’s successful email marketing messages incorporate interactive possibilities across channels, with embedded videos, memes, GIFs, and click-throughs to social media platforms and websites. It’s now possible for email recipients to be able to add items to shopping carts or customize orders without even having to leave the original email. A combination of email and on-site interactions with chatbots and guided tours help customers flow between email and further brand interactions.

The future of email marketing promises to enhance interactivity, as technological developments will enable users to interact with their inboxes in ways that will feel like superpowers, with augmented reality making possible 3D experiences[6]. Imagine manipulating emails in 3D space for an immersive experience.

So, while email marketing may be an old digital marketing standby, it is poised to only grow in step with advancing technology. Check your inbox to see this future arriving soon!

Citation:

[1] https://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/16-24s-spend-50-percent-of-online-time-on-mobiles/

[2] https://beta.techcrunch.com/2017/03/03/u-s-consumers-now-spend-5-hours-per-day-on-mobile-devices

[3] https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/dynamic-content/

[4] https://www.datascience.com/blog/intro-to-predictive-modeling-for-customer-lifetime-value

[5] https://www.clickz.com/how-artificial-intelligence-is-changing-email-marketing/113211/

[6] https://www.inc.com/erik-lukas/this-is-what-the-future-of-email-will-look-like.html

SEM Trends in 2018: What’s Coming?

Digital technology has changed everything, as we all know, especially in marketing. After such drastic change over the past two decades, you could be forgiven for thinking that now is the time to settle into the new normal, applying the tools and strategies we’ve become accustomed to in the aftermath of the digital revolution. However, that is not the case.

The pace of technological development is only increasing and new advanced tools are coming to the forefront, poised to revolutionize every industry even further. Chief among these technological developments is the rise of artificial intelligence, big data, mixed reality, and the proliferation of mobile. Here’s a look at how these tech developments will impact the world of search engine marketing, and how to effectively implement them into your strategy.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and its more specific subset of machine learning are presenting new analytical capabilities and expanding the ability for humans to make informed decisions based on large troves of data. Intelligent algorithms that become more effective the more they are employed are not only able to comb databases far more quickly than human minds but also are more adept at recognizing patterns.

For marketers, artificial intelligence is useful in applications like site prospecting or identifying influencers when determining where to target your link-building efforts. By leveraging artificial intelligence to streamline these operations, marketers can allocate their time and effort to the sites and influencers that are most likely to have the largest impact on extending their reach.

Big Data

Artificial intelligence goes hand in hand with big data, which is also improving marketers’ insights into search and social tendencies of their target audiences. For marketers, capturing data is useful in a number of areas, including geographic data, keyword data, link data, local search, mobile data, on-page data, rank data, revenue data, traffic data, social network data, and universal search data.

Naturally, capturing this data and storing it isn’t enough; you must make sense of that data as well. By marrying these large datasets with machine learning algorithms, marketers can gather deeper insights to their target audience, as well as understand where their impact will be the greatest. The result is a streamlined process that is more cost-effective and boasts a further reach.

 

 

Mixed Reality

Mixed reality – the combination of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies – is also playing a role in changing the way audiences search for and find companies. Virtual reality, for example, creates immersive experiences which are optimal for establishing emotional connections with potential customers. When it comes to augmented reality, which creates digital overlays on the physical environment a user is in, it can be used to preview objects before buying, such as situating furniture in your living room or inspecting a vehicle you’re interested in buying but cannot see in person.

Moreover, mixed reality also serves as an additional data capture point, granting marketers greater insights into consumers behavioral patterns. By learning and more accurately predicting consumer behavior, marketers can better meet the audience where they already live (literally) and hyper-personalize the content they deliver to their audiences.

Proliferation of Mobile Devices

Finally, a major trend in search engine marketing is one that is already all too familiar: the ongoing proliferation of mobile devices. Tailoring content for mobile is essential to modern marketing, and as the number of mobile devices out there continue to rapidly grow, it will only become a more central aspect of every marketing aspect.

However, it’s not as simple as merely tailoring advertisements for mobile users. Constant changes to search algorithms continue to put more importance on mobile-optimized sites and advertisements, of course, but it’s also a matter of click rates and demographics.

SMS text message open rates are higher than those of email and a broader audience can be reached via mobile, for example. Moreover, mobile search gives consumers the opportunity to research and compare products as they shop in physical locations; in other words, a good mobile marketing strategy could be the difference between an immediate conversion and a lost customer.

Technological development will not stagnate, quite the opposite. Now is no time to rest on the laurels of progress made during the digital revolution, but rather double down and incorporate emerging technologies into your day-to-day marketing strategies. Failure to do so is a death sentence because the smart money is already harnessing advanced technology to gather stronger insights, streamline their process, reach more customers and, ultimately, convert more customers.

Paid Search: 2017 Greatest Hits

Paid search is a mainstay for marketers in all industries, but as regular machine learning and algorithm changes took place in 2017 marketers were forced to repeatedly adapt to stay competitive.Moreover, the shift toward emphasizing mobile continued; while the priority has shifted to artificial intelligence (AI), mobile is far from in the rear-view mirror.

As the landscape continues to change, often incrementally, it’s important to modernize your paid search strategies to remain effective. Here are the major trends and shifts that occurred in 2017, and what to be aware of moving forward.

Machine Learning Becomes The Focus Of New Updates

In 2017, Google launched no less than eight individual updates targeting machine learning and AI. These updates included expanding exact match to include close variants of a given keyword; understanding the context of a search; applying AI too smart display campaigns and data-driven attribution; establishing automated bid strategies to maximize conversions and the automated creation of audiences by projecting characteristics of an advertiser’s target consumer. Bing also shifted its focus toward AI and machine learning with similar updates of its own.

All these updates, as well as others, contributed to gradual, yet significant changes in the paid search environment in 2017. Planning accordingly to navigate the increasingly AI-dominated paid search ecosystem is essential now and for any future marketing strategies.

The Emphasis On Mobile Remains Prominent

While the major search engines are shifting their focus to AI, it’s important to note that the emphasis on mobile is still very much in place and more consumers are using mobile to make purchasing decisions. As a result, no entrepreneur can ignore the necessity of catering to mobile users. From the final quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, mobile click share increased by 12 percent, accounting for 59 percent of all paid advertisement clicks throughout the entire quarter. That’s more than desktop and tablet clicks combined!

Mobile users have grown to an estimated 4.77 billion in 2017. That number is poised to continue its rapid growth and eclipse 5 billion by 2019. It is common knowledge at this point but bears repeating, that mobile users are a critical component of any effective marketing strategy. They will only become further central, in paid search and in other elements of a marketing plan.

Cost Per Click Is Rapidly Rising, But Total Click Growth Slows

All in all, cost per click rose greatly along with marketers’ demand throughout 2017. In the final quarter of 2017, ad spend was up 24 percent over the final quarter of the previous year, while cost per click followed suit with a 14 percent increase. Total clicks, which also grew year-over-year each quarter, finished the final quarter up 9 percent from the final quarter of 2016. However, this was the lowest growth in clicks for a single quarter throughout all of 2016 and 2017.

This means marketers need to be wise with where they direct their paid search budget. A smart strategy will granularly analyze where the target audience truly lives and direct paid advertisements accordingly. Failing to really grapple with where that audience spends much of its time online, or where it is most likely to actually engage with ads, is now even costlier than it was before.

SEM Trends: The 2017 Holiday Season

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year for brands to
make an all-out push toward bolstering their bottom lines. Shoppers flock to
stores and e-commerce sites in droves to find the perfect gifts and supplies
for whichever holidays they’re celebrating, so it’s no wonder that the final
quarter of the year is also a key time for refining search engine marketing
(SEM) strategies.

Holiday Spending Spikes in 2017

Now, more than ever, search dominates the holiday season for shoppers
and businesses alike. Holiday sales increased by 4.9 percent from 2016,
and eCommerce specifically jumped a whopping 18.1 percent. Big names
like Adobe, Salesforce, and Amazon all reported record-breaking revenue
through the 2017 holiday season, splitting what Adobe estimates are more
than $108.2 billion in eCommerce revenue.

Those numbers were dwarfed by the National Retail Federation’s reported
estimate of $138.4 billion. Either way, the growth in sales year over year
was immense. With more money there for the taking, the importance of
devising and executing an effective SEM strategy to capture revenue
cannot be overstated.

Paid Search

Paid search was the big winner of the holiday season, driving 23.5 percent
of all online holiday traffic. Paid search served as an essential tactic for
marketers to get their brands in front of consumers who were still making
decisions as to what to buy, and it seemed to make a big impression.
These types of ads drove the most traffic in a record-breaking year, making
paid search the mainstay of the 2017 holiday season’s marketing push.

Organic Search

Organic search played a big role during the holidays as well. According to
Adobe, taken together with paid search, organic helped drive 44.8 percent
of all online visits. And the split is roughly even: while paid search drove
23.5 percent of traffic, organic was responsible for 21.3 percent.

Organic search cannot be neglected as part of any effective strategy,
especially when you consider organic users already expressed intent to
purchase your goods or services. Once they’ve found you, all that’s left is
conversion.

Email Campaigns

The importance of email marketing campaigns this holiday season should
not be overlooked. Closely following paid and organic search, email
marketing campaigns drove 20 percent of all traffic. That means taken
together, these three sources of online traffic – paid search, organic search,
and direct email campaigns – was responsible for driving nearly 65 percent
of all online holiday traffic.

If you’re considering revising your SEM strategy, consider this three-
pronged approach to boost your effectiveness.

The Rise of Mobile

Finally, mobile is becoming a more effective tool for marketers as
consumers increasingly search and shop from their phones and tablets.
Mobile visits increased across most retail categories last holiday season,
particularly in apparel which saw a 32 percent jump.

 

Marketing Budgets Increase to Meet Demand

According to a survey from Search Engine Land, brands have recognized
this growth and moved decisively to capture it. More than 70 percent of
respondents said they increased both search and social budgets to capture
a piece of the pie. Failing to do so risks falling behind the competition, as
many brands heavily increase investments across a variety of channels.

For example, more than 75 percent of respondents to Search Engine
Land’s survey said their Google budgets increased, and 25 percent said
those budgets grew by more than half from the previous year. Bing
spending also grew for 40 percent of respondents. On Facebook, 66
percent of respondents said they grew their budgets from the previous
year.

The takeaway? Companies are spending money on unified search
strategies across different channels. With sales growth year over year and
more consumers making bigger purchases online, it’s no secret that the
future is search. Brands that adopt and implement wise SEM strategies will
survive and thrive, while those that don’t will inevitably be left behind.

Lead Generation Tactics Using AdWords

 

With SEO proving critical to determine the survival of online businesses, having
the right tools on your side can determine the success or failure of a campaign. As
much as you want to have your site emerge at the top of a search result, you’ll
want the follow-through of a transaction from regular customers and new ones.
Getting the person on the other end to follow through after the search results is
great; increasing your CTR is gold. It is just as valuable to have customers inform
others as to why your site is worth visiting. With a buying public fully empowered
to decide ahead of any marketing effort, they need to be persuaded more than ever
that your site and products are worth their money.

AdWords Insights

As vital as Google AdWords is as a marketers’ toolbox, using it effectively
requires some research to develop ideas to maximize search outcomes. For lead
generation, it’s helpful to note these tools and what they can do.

Customer match

The purpose of Customer Match as noted on the AdWords site is it “lets you create
highly targeted ads to reach your most valuable customers with the right message
at the right time.” To make this happen, you can upload email addresses gained
from prior contact, then you can build a campaign with focused messages meant
for Search Networks, Display Networks, and so on.

To help build interest and create new customers, an “Add remarketing lists”
function allows you to identify similar audiences to your loyal base.

Keyword planner

Finding the right words to drive traffic is tricky, but the Keyword Planner is meant
to smooth out the hunt for the best words and phrases. In helping you find relevant keywords, it also allows you to conduct research with suggested bid estimates based on how often keywords appear in searches and how the volume of those appearances change over time.

Display Planner

Display Planner is a forecasting tool that creates ad groups based on customer
interests and websites they visit. It allows insight into how performance goals play
out based on campaign bids and budgets. To get the best results from these tools requires a good amount of pre-planning: care, patience and plenty of research.

Tactics

Your campaign should be relevant, built around the people searching for what your
company and site can offer, then able to expand beyond initial successful
conversions. The following are some of the tactics that can be applied to generate
leads.

Landing pages

Your landing page is the face of your business: it should be appealing, providing as
much information about your company, its services or offerings to the customer. It
should also be easy to navigate, allowing the customer the ability to find what they
need. The feedback from landing pages is important in gauging the customer
experience and whether they’ll return or even refer others to your site.

To be certain your landing page is producing its intended results, it would be best
to perform an A/B test with them. Comparing the analytics from an A/B test can
find problems in customer conversions and find out what’s bringing them in and
what’s holding them back. Behavior analysis tools in A/B tests can observe
customer habits when visiting your site.

Tracking phone calls

Most searches are performed using a smartphone. Finding an ad that appears with a call extension allows potential customers to make a phone call to you. Building a keyword campaign around call tracking, or integrating it into an existing campaign, allows for your marketing team to relate successful keywords with unique phone numbers. This is also helpful if a campaign is established around mobile optimization.

A high percentage of businesses get their leads from phone calls, especially offline
leads. With the right tracking systems, you can log numbers automatically.

Blogs

This can be a great tool for lead generation if you work it just right. As much as a
landing page is the face of your company, a regularly maintained blog can act as a
megaphone, alerting customers to help personalize the experience for a customer,
and become by being the site’s megaphone. If it is well written, with targeted
keywords sprinkled throughout, it can be effective in drawing traffic and
increasing conversions.

Social Media

Ubiquity makes it necessary to have a regular presence on Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram, etc. Though there is a struggle to recognize the importance of social
media beyond brand exposure, having a presence on a site brings you closer to new
and regular customers. A good amount of web search is performed on these sites,
inviting new leads. Also, many established and new social media sites are adding
tools and functions to help boost ad campaigns, as well as offering customer data.

Email marketing

Ever an effective way to reach customers, building leads through email remains #1 in lead generation. So many sites will require customers to enter their email addresses or ask for them to sign up for updates, more often you’ll have a wealth of addresses to work with.

Email marketing is reliant on the appeal of the message, especially when the
customer sees the subject line, as well if it is well-written and designed. Including sharing links in an email allows the recipient to share on the social media of their choice, adding to your business’s or site’s exposure.

Lead generation is where your efforts to get the word out pay off. You’ve succeeded in creating the possibility of new and repeat business. For that to happen you will have to be patient and work hard. The successful implementation of AdWords as part of your campaign can decide how to proceed beyond initial success.

JXT Group Is Partnering with Online Geniuses

The rapid growth of online commerce has proven to be a source of new opportunities, with new customers connecting every second. This translates into new challenges in trying to attract traffic to sites. There is a multitude of voices offering goods and services, each striving to make new customers or maintain established relationships. With the expansion, a galaxy of ideas and strategies are being tested by marketing professionals and researchers. JXT Group, experts in digital marketing strategies, and Online Geniuses, a forum for digital marketing professionals and thinkers, are pleased to announce their new partnership.

Specializing in search engine marketing and optimization and strategies for eCommerce shopping, JXT Group has been offering solutions for over eight years. Its growing reputation is exemplified in successful efforts for a diverse array of clients, including AmTrust and Glenny’s. Their strategies have helped companies make the most of their digital presence. JXT’s expertise in managing data feeds and comparison shopping engines have placed it at as a top expert in this marketing tool. Its experience in pay-per-click and search engine marketing has been built upon time-tested experience and skill. JXT stands at the forefront of perfecting SEO strategies that have increased website traffic and conversions for all its clients. When it comes to developing social media marketing strategies, JXT provides expert guidance in transforming social media platforms into customer magnets.

Connection is key for thought leaders to inform colleagues of new and emerging challenges. This is the domain of Online Geniuses (OG), a community found on Slack dedicated to providing a forum for marketing and eCommerce professionals, innovators, and thinkers to meet and discuss issues relevant to the growth of online commerce. With its global reach, OG is proving the perfect forum for sharing the latest ideas, utilizing real-time chat and uplifting interactions between colleagues. Members can participate in “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions where industry insiders, such as entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, former Vitamin Shop digital marketing director Joe Yakuel, Weebly’s product marketing manager Loren Elia and Rand Fishkin of Moz, share insights into using the vast digital toolbox from search to stats to developing winning strategies. OG hosts member meetups throughout the year in major cities and is willing to assist in helping set up an event. OG is inspiring its members to push past their boundaries and dream big: members are launching new startups, increasing sales, finding new opportunities and changing how the game is played.

What JXT brings to its partnership with OG is a body of knowledge second to none. At OG, there is a conversation going on that JXT Group can offer insights and perspectives, and in turn be influenced by the acquired wisdom of the brightest minds in the industry.

Widening Your Reach: Expanded Dynamic Search Ads

The capabilities of Dynamic Search Ads to bring in more business for retailers has been indisputable. The ability to target relevant search queries for a website could make the difference for a business becoming the next Amazon or sinking into obscurity.

Staying on top of technology that improves efficiency, automatically updates ads and generates a headline relevant to a customers’ search requires mastering those tools as they are fashioned. Retailers also need to grab hold of the ones that address and streamline outstanding issues. Recently, Google introduced Expanded Dynamic Search Ads which is great news for any retailer, notably if you’re a small or up-and- coming business with a specialized or seasonal clientele.

The DSA’s purpose is to do what keyword campaigns can’t do by helping develop incremental traffic and make the process of targeting ads easier: Google figures out the searches that are a match for the ad targets and generates an ad headline and a URL for the landing page. In 2015 Google presented an updated version of DSA, but since then engineers have worked to smooth out some of the processes to expand any DSA campaign’s reach. This Spring 2017 finds Expanded Dynamic Search streamlines processes, and allows for expanded text ads loaded with more information based on your site’s content.

Remember: your search ads are only as dynamic as your site. Be sure you’ve been diligent in doing the work of improving your site and creating great descriptions so your ads are relevant to the people you want to reach. This will guarantee the effectiveness these updates will be for you.

 

Using Feed Targets

Having a page feed spreadsheet allows for which URLs you want to target. AdWords will be enabled to determine when to show ads for your site and where to direct them to your landing pages. Using the page feed spreadsheet can be a benefit if you’re targeting multiple sources. For Dynamic Search to allow for expanded text, Google requires a 2-column page feed template which they provide or allows for one to be uploaded. The columns are divided between Page URL (targeted web pages) and Custom Label (the label for target ads within your page feed).

Once you’ve uploaded the spreadsheet, you can select your targeting source where you can use URLs from your page feed or from the index of your website and page feed. To use the custom labels, you will need to create a Dynamic ad target for the specific item in your page feed. If you’re not providing any labels, you can leave this section empty. You can also add a custom bid to add competitiveness for any URL with the custom label.

There are a variety of benefits to this approach, such as allowing for DSAs to steer customers to particular landing pages depending on their campaign settings, allow new products to be promoted by combining Google’s website index and your page feed, and to group products around promotions, availability, etc.

Consolidating Ad Creation

In the previous version of creating a Dynamic Search Ad campaign, you would have to go to the “Create an ad” section and enter your ad description. Creating additional ads required clicking on the “Ads” tab and then click on the “+Ad” button to enter the new ad’s text. In the update, it’s consolidated with the assumption that more ads will be generated. Just click on “New ad” and enter your text, and repeat for any other additional ads.

Improving Target Creation and Tracking Targets

As part of the effort to make Dynamic Search campaigns less reliant on keywords, the process allows you to have more control over how your campaign works utilizing your site’s content. With Dynamic ad targeting, your ads will refer to your website—even give you the ability to block pages and set exclusions.

The updates allow for more control. Under the one-stop “Dynamic ad targets” tab, you can select the ad group you want to bring to your website. Under that same tab, you can also find “Negative Dynamic Ad Targets.” Here you can choose what pages to exclude by category, page content, page title or URL and create rules.

Also, the tracking template creation now falls under the “Dynamic ad targets” tab and not under “Auto targets.” What hasn’t changed is that you will need to steer customers to your landing page with extra information in the URL. You still need to create a tracking template for you to use tracking in your campaigns. You will also need a ValueTrack parameter to populate your landing page and return landing page addresses.

Dynamic Search Ads were designed to reduce the fuss and tedium of the legwork on keyword searches and focus more on bringing a website’s experience efficiently to the customer on a variety of platforms. Expanded Dynamic Search Ads and the current round of updates continue Google’s effort to help retailers win over new customers and keep trusted ones.

JXT Group Joins Clutch!

Providing online advertising and eCommerce Solutions since our founding in 2009, JXT Group has developed many different service areas to meet our customers’ objectives. Our services include everything from conversion rate analysis and email marketing to search engine optimization and social media marketing. Our team of marketing experts has years of experience helping our clients select the appropriate channel to improve their online visibility. In order to reach prospective buyers that could benefit from our expertise, we are excited to announce our partnership with Clutch, a B2B market research firm based in Washington, D.C.

Clutch’s platform effectively guides the buyer through their process to find an ideal service provider. Companies listed on the site are evaluated and ranked according to a transparent set of criteria, which includes a company’s clientele, work portfolio, and market presence. A Leaders Matrix summarizes this research, giving the buyer an understanding of the top performers in any given industry at a quick glance. Among the other top PPC agencies listed on the site, JXT Group has a profile that succinctly captures our service offerings and company history. Most importantly, attached to each profile are client reviews, which form the crux of the ranking process.

Given the growing number of platforms like Yelp, AngelList, and TripAdvisor, it’s clear that consumers are basing more of their decisions on online ratings and reviews. Clutch found that the B2B sector can also take advantage of this trend. Online reviews are essential for building a strong online reputation, and specifically, can help to instill confidence in businesses that we can meet their expectations.

In one case, JXT Group provided PPC marketing and developed a lead generation campaign for a hospitality business. Impressed that our strategies led to a decrease in the overall cost per lead and bounce rate on their site, the Director of Marketing shared in a direct interview with a Clutch Analyst:

“We feel like we’re getting the attention, and, most importantly, the results are there. We have a results-driven relationship with JXT Group that we haven’t found with other providers.”

In our mission to help businesses reach their maximum potential, feedback from current and past clients are vital in understanding our strengths and areas for improvement. Aside from keeping up to date on all the best practices in online advertising, we want to be able to offer a strong and professional partnership that makes us stand out from the rest. Overall, with Clutch, we’re excited by the prospect of new technical challenges and more opportunities to help businesses grow!

Paid Search, SEO and Competitive Benchmarking: The Right Steps Towards Finding Success

Competitive benchmarking has proven, time and time again, to be an effective practice that can help improve and perfect your paid search marketing efforts. If you are not currently engaged with a competitive benchmarking campaign, we suggest starting one. The effort is worth the rewards!

Quite simply, competitive benchmarking is the practice of measuring specific elements of your company against your competition. This could be in areas of customer service, design, shipping, pricing and more. In our case, we are going to explore competitive benchmarking applied to paid search and SEO.

Determine Your Benchmarks

It’s vital to determine which benchmarks you will use to measure your efforts against your competitors and establish which areas of your company need to see the greatest improvements. With paid search and SEO a few key performance indicators (KPIs) to pay attention to would be impressions, ad position, and ad frequency.

Establish Your Competition

You can easily purchase reports and data on competition from firms, however, conducting your own extensive paid search competitive analysis will give you far more relevant insight into the competition. Additionally, these data reports can sometimes be costly.

Try choosing the top companies in your industry that provide the highest value at the lowest cost and start creating your own analysis reports on their KPIs. What is their usual ad position? How often do their ads appear? What is there page rank?

These are the types of metrics that you will need to record in order to help influence your campaigns and start implementing tactics that will help improve your own metrics.

Additional metrics to note from your competitors are top keywords, cost- per-click, PPC spend per month, ad copy and types of ads.

Tools of the Trade

Today’s world offers a bevy of tools that can successfully help companies in their efforts to implement a competitive analysis or benchmarking campaign. Below are a few we recommend utilizing.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is an excellent way to compare your benchmarks with other competitors who are competing in the same auctions that you are. This data can be found in Auction Insights on the AdWords platform.

Additionally, through Google AdWords, you will be able to create a list of competitors for your auctions, gain insight into impressions, ad position, and overlap rate. Make sure to take advantage of the segment reporting as well, it will allow you to break down data by device type and time.

Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, companies can compare their metrics with competitors through the aggregated industry data, but must properly configure the industry settings beforehand.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a great tool that companies can leverage to run reports on competitor organic search metrics, paid search, and display advertising. Additionally, you can discover competitors’ keywords, ad copy, and advertising budgets.

Creating Impact

Implementing a competitive benchmarking campaign can be a very involved task but is well worth the impact it can have on your business and ROI. Please feel free to reach out to JXT Group with any questions or concerns you may have regarding implementation, we are always here to help!