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bandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football ticketsbandar bola
seo consultant
SEO Rochester NY
automotive seo
college football tickets Steve Costanza – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:21:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 New customer acquisition vs. retention: 7 best practices for search /new-customer-acquisition-vs-retention-7-best-practices-for-search-315674 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:56:31 +0000 /?p=315674 Here’s how retailers should map their audience strategy for new-versus-returning customers to search.

The post New customer acquisition vs. retention: 7 best practices for search appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Like nearly all retailers, a large health and beauty organization is facing escalating competition and CPCs on search. The performance marketing team realizes it can’t keep paying heightening costs to acquire the same levels of revenue from repeat customers.

At the same time, the team recognizes it can better coordinate its strategy on other channels. Retargeting, email and direct can work together more cohesively to push customers to purchase once they’re in the door, or back in the door, from search.

They developed a new strategy for tackling Google Ads, one focused on identifying and treating new customers differently than returning customers. The ultimate goal is to achieve more granular return targets for new versus repeat customers, with repeat customers generating a much more efficient return than in the past.

This scenario is not an isolated case. Many performance marketing teams in retail are keen to understand how a new-versus-repeat customer model works for search. Some of the most common questions are: What should we know about this approach? What’s the process to implement it? How would we measure success?

Here are some best practices.

1. Realize the war for the wallet will be won at the top of the funnel

A new-versus-returning customer strategy can make a lot of sense in today’s competitive climate. Here’s why:

  • Retailers can’t fight for the bottom of the funnel anymore. CPCs continue to rise in direct response channels like search. Retailers’ average CPC in Google paid search (text ads) grew by 14% in 2018, reaching $0.71, according to Sidecar’s 2019 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail. Google Shopping CPC averaged $0.57 in 2018, up by 4%. Competition in search is at a fever pitch. Retailers are moving the battle to the top of the funnel because they’ve realized the downstream benefits it provides to get in front of customers in the research stage.
  • Most retailers own their customers less and less. Consumers have more options than ever in terms of where and when they shop. As a result, most retailers own their customers less and need to work harder and smarter to secure loyalty. With that in mind, consider this: If someone who just purchased from you is now searching for products you sell using generic terms in a competitive space like Google, is that person really your customer? Or is she a prospect you need to re-acquire at the top of the funnel?

Both these realizations speak to the growing importance of the upper funnel. Similarly, acquiring new customers requires you to strengthen the top of your marketing funnel. And strengthening the top, in turn, requires you to shore up the middle and bottom of your funnel, so prospects move forward to conversion.

2. Define what ‘customer’ means to your business

Here’s one of the biggest pitfalls marketers face when developing an audience strategy: They overlook the step of defining what comprises a customer, and how that definition translates to their search campaigns.

That definition can vary greatly among marketing departments. Some define a customer as any visitor who has purchased in the last six months. Others define a customer as a visitor who has purchased at any point in time. Still, others consider a customer to be a returning visitor who is searching only using branded keywords.

Your definition of a customer should align with how you want to treat past purchasers. This thought goes back to the idea that “most retailers own their customers less and less.” If someone bought from you four years ago and hasn’t purchased since, would you still consider him a customer, and treat him the same as someone who bought from you a month ago?

Say two people bought from you yesterday. Theoretically, your brand is still fresh in their heads. But today, one shopper searches for the types of products you offer using a generic term. The other shopper uses a branded term. Would you consider both of them active customers? Or would you say you need to re-acquire the shopper who used the generic term?

Those are some philosophical considerations to help arrive at your definition of a customer. The other factor is data. Analyze your transaction data to identify trends in repurchase cadence. At what point in time does it become highly unlikely that the shopper will return? One month? Three months? A year? More? Those findings can help inform whether it makes sense to define a customer based on time, and what that timing threshold should be.

3. Understand your customers’ purchase path

Search is typically a new customer acquisition channel, and you can find new customers at varying levels of cost. As you move up the funnel within search marketing, it tends to cost more to acquire new customers.

However, if you have a strong understanding of your customers’ purchase path, you ideally know that a heightened cost is justified, because you can see your other channels—like email, affiliates, direct, etc.—are coming into play to nurture customers to purchase.

Gaining this understanding has a lot to do with your attribution model. Having a multi-channel attribution model is essential to viewing performance across your channels—and that also makes it a key best practice with a new-versus-returning customer strategy.

Most retailers’ audiences interact with the brand using multiple channels. A multi-channel attribution model lets you more accurately value the role of those channels. That knowledge can translate into critical information for determining the size of your investment and your ROI goal, channel by channel.

4. Create campaigns supporting each audience segment

Once you’ve defined what a customer means to your business, segment your ad campaigns based on new versus returning customers. This is where features like Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) and Customer Match can come into play.

Here’s an example setup involving these features and several similar ones. Keep in mind, this is just one way to slice it. You might find a version of this approach is better for your business and goals.

  • New and uncookied customers (prospects) – This audience is comprised of shoppers who are uncookied and have never purchased. You can build this campaign without remarketing lists, but you can enhance your prospecting efforts by using tools like similar audiences, in-market audiences, affinity audiences, and demographic targeting.
  • New and cookied customers – This bucket could be comprised of shoppers who visited your site but did not purchase within a certain time frame, such as the past 180 days. Create sets of remarketing lists and adjust bids using audience modifiers in Google Ads. Create lists and set modifiers based on the user’s likelihood of converting (e.g., cart abandoners vs. bounced users). The new and cookied bucket also could include customers who have purchased further back than your specified window (in this example, 180 days), because you might consider this audience to fall back into the “new, yet cookied” category.
  • Returning customers – This encompasses shoppers who’ve purchased within the past 180 days (to continue with the example). You can create this segment with a combination of Customer Match (email lists) and cookied purchasers (users who landed on your order confirmation page). For even more granularity, break these users into segments, such as high lifetime value, dormant, or first-time buyers.

5. Set a unique return goal for each audience segment

Once you’ve developed your audience buckets, determine a unique return goal for each audience. A good return goal should align with the goals of your business and the campaign.

Also, it’s important to note the inherent relationship between return and revenue. Generally, a stricter return goal will limit revenue opportunities, and a more liberal return goal will open revenue opportunities.

For instance, you might be willing to target a less efficient goal for prospects (perhaps 30-45% cost/sale), a similar or slightly more efficient goal for the new and cookied audience (25-40% cost/sale), and a much more efficient goal for returning customers (about 5-10% cost/sale).

Generally, with a new-versus-returning customer model, you should be willing to spend more budget and operate to a less efficient return goal to attract new customers. By contrast, you should target a more efficient goal for returning customers because you’ve already invested in this audience and you’ve determined it is more likely to convert after having purchased in the past.

6. Segment each campaign further to align with your customers’ journey

Once you establish baseline campaigns for new and returning customers, analyze your data to determine if there’s enough volume to segment even further. For instance, do you still have enough data to split each campaign by device? If you know that more users are beginning their purchase journeys on smartphones compared to desktop or tablet, is there further value to be gained by targeting these mobile users differently?

Also consider whether you can segment by branded and non-branded terms, or trademarked and non-trademarked terms. That’s because search terms, naturally, reveal tremendous insight into purchase intent.

A new customer searching “laser printers” is probably at the top of the funnel, while a new customer searching “Brother HL-L2370DW printer” is further along in the funnel. If you have enough traffic hitting each of those two types of terms, consider segmenting by them in your new customer campaign.

The same concept applies to your returning customer campaign. For instance, If you see enough traffic going to generic terms versus branded or trademarked terms, consider creating campaigns for each type of query.

7. Watch for KPIs of success

Some of the most important questions to ask yourself as you evaluate performance are: Are you hitting your return goals? Are new customers aligning with your ideal customer profile? Are you increasing net new customers, while maintaining the same level of profit? Is cost per conversion down for returning customers?

Get in the habit of making incremental tweaks about every three months, depending on the trends arising in your data.

Your growth in search will naturally level off if you don’t innovate. Refresh your view of performance, and rethink the role of search in your performance marketing strategy. Consider whether your business and marketing goals are a fit for a model centered on targeting new versus returning customers.

The post New customer acquisition vs. retention: 7 best practices for search appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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How retailers can survive Amazon’s stronghold in Google search /how-retailers-can-survive-amazons-stronghold-in-google-search-313725 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 19:24:35 +0000 /?p=313725 Keep Amazon’s impression share in perspective because it shouldn’t directly drive strategy, but rather provide context around the advertiser competition in your market.

The post How retailers can survive Amazon’s stronghold in Google search appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Retail marketers can’t out-Amazon on the paid Google SERP, but they can find white space.

Among the metrics that can help is impression share. It’s in the Google Auction Insights report for shopping and paid search campaigns.

Impression share is the percentage of impressions your ads received divided by the estimated number of impressions the ads were eligible to receive. Google determines eligibility based on a number of factors, including targeting settings, approval statuses and quality.

On the surface, impression share can help you understand whether your ads might reach more shoppers if you increase your bids or budget.

But a smarter way to use impression share is for gaining context into how your advertising environment is shifting. Evaluate it alongside other performance and competitive metrics. From there, use those insights to identify how to adapt your campaigns and bidding strategy to the changing competitive pressure.

Let’s take a look at the latest data and examples for how to go about it.

Amazon’s impression share in Google Shopping

We analyzed Google Auction Insights reports for a leading retailer in five verticals. These retailers all see Amazon as a regular competitor in Google Shopping and Google paid search.

The following chart shows the share of impressions Amazon has garnered over the last two years for Google Shopping auctions in which both the retailer and Amazon were eligible to serve an ad.

From this chart we can make a few observations. One is that Amazon’s impression share tended to increase as each year progressed, reaching a peak just before or during each holiday shopping period, and dipping sharply during Q2 2018 when Amazon briefly paused its shopping campaigns.

We can also see that Amazon’s share of impressions for categories such as office supplies and home improvement was consistently higher than its share for sporting goods or apparel.

Why the difference between verticals? In part it’s a reflection of each retailer’s search query universe and how much it overlaps that of Amazon. The home improvement and office supplies retailers likely share more of Amazon’s search query universe.

By contrast, a retailer who sells a lot of, say, North Face and Nike products might not see much competition from Amazon, because those brands are not available on Amazon. When consumers search using North Face- or Nike-branded terms, for example, Amazon could possibly appear in search results with ads for similar products. Still, Amazon would have a much lower impression on those items because of their lower relevance.

Ramping up apparel

Take a closer look below at Amazon’s impression share within the apparel category on Google Shopping over the past several months.

One takeaway here is that the hockey-stick growth aligns with Amazon’s private label surge. The company introduced seven new private label brands and over 150 Amazon-exclusive brands in Q4 2018, according to the TJI Amazon Brand Database. Amazon’s largest brand portfolio? Apparel and accessories, with over 80 private label and exclusive brands in the U.S.

Amazon’s impact in paid search vs. shopping campaigns

Looking at the same retailers in Google paid search shows a slightly different set of results.

Amazon has long been active in paid search. While it continues to experiment and fine tune its Google Shopping strategy, the company has a more established and consistently growing presence in paid search, as this impression share data suggests.

An outlier, however, is Amazon’s heightened impression share within the office supplies category. That trend aligns with Amazon’s push in the office supplies market over the past few quarters.

For another view of the data, let’s isolate Amazon’s impression share for each vertical.

Compete with Amazon, not against it

The best way to respond to Amazon’s growth is not to panic. Look at your bottom line and determine what, if any, impact Amazon is having on your business. Impression share is a metric that shouldn’t directly drive strategy, but rather provide context around the advertiser competition in your market.

At the end of the day, keep Amazon’s impression share in perspective. Amazon is influential, but retailers that know their business and customers can be well-equipped to handle rising impression share from competitors. Here’s how.

Know how to interpret impression share

Impression share can you help you determine your biggest competitors on Google, and how that landscape is changing. While you probably know your competitors overall for your business, that composition might differ in Google’s shopping and paid search channels. For instance, retailers that devote most of their digital marketing budget to Google Shopping could create strong competition for you on that channel, while creating little competition elsewhere. Use impression share to uncover new entrants or established competitors who are being more or less aggressive with their bids. Say your CPCs suddenly rise. Examine impression share to see whether a competitor’s heightened spending is a factor.

Understand a healthy impression share for your business

Your business, competitive landscape, and return goals determine an ideal impression share. If you’re up against deep-pocketed competitors like Amazon, an impression share of 10% might be healthy for your campaigns, as long as you’re driving revenue efficiently. If you’re achieving your revenue targets within your campaign’s return goals, there’s little concern about a few competitors outranking you.

Dig into click share, too

Click share is the percentage of clicks on your ads relative to the clicks they were eligible to receive. Analyze click share in combination with impression share to get a better sense of where your campaigns are weak and can improve. In paid search, if impression share is high but click share is low, your ads might be appearing for irrelevant queries. If the same situation is happening in Google Shopping, your products might be priced too high above the competition. Or, maybe competitors are showing promotions on their ads more often than you. Conversely, if impression share is low and click share is high, consider bidding more aggressively to increase impressions and earn even more clicks. Push products that have the best price for an easy win.

Use smarter segmentation

If you can’t simply increase budget as a response to competitors’ rising impression share, try this instead: Segment products into campaigns based on how much exposure you want those products to get. Increase bids in the campaigns containing the highest margin or best performing items. Or, create separate campaigns for branded and non-branded queries. In Sidecar’s 2018 Google Shopping Benchmarks report, we found that clicks from branded searches delivered 171 percent more ROI and a CTR four times higher than that of non-branded searches. Also, within Google Shopping, use negative keywords to filter queries and avoid wasting impressions on less relevant or low-performing terms.

Bring your mobile strategy up to date

Google Shopping hit a milestone in Q4 2018, according Sidecar’s research. For the first time ever, more than half of all Shopping conversions on occured on mobile devices. Google paid search wasn’t far behind with 44 percent of all conversions occuring on mobile in Q4. If exposure and brand awareness are among your goals for Google Shopping, you’ll get more bang for your buck on mobile where CPCs are cheaper and where Showcase ads are a factor. Those mobile impressions can lead to conversions on both mobile and desktop. Consider creating a separate campaign for mobile traffic if you haven’t yet. It will let you tune bids granularly to how your products perform on mobile.

Plan search and shopping campaigns cohesively

As the above charts show, metrics like impression share vary between shopping and paid search campaigns. You might find, for instance, that you face greater competition in paid search than Shopping. As a result, you might treat paid search as more of a bottom-of-the-funnel channel and focus spend on high-intent queries that have the greatest chance of converting. To complement that strategy, consider how you can fill the top of the funnel with Google Shopping—a channel where you already have an advantage in terms of exposure. You might be able to withstand bidding more aggressively on a greater swath of products to drive up impression share even more.

Evaluate a move to multi-touch attribution

Most retail marketers probably agree that last touch attribution is a fundamentally flawed approach in today’s omnichannel world. On the other hand, multi-touch attribution can empower you to measure performance across channels and gain an entirely new (and more accurate) view of your customers’ journey. While it’s certainly not a simple feat to shift attribution models, some retailers, like Moosejaw, are successfully making the move. The retail landscape is only becoming more competitive. A multi-touch model that aligns with your business and goals might be among the few, major ways you can uncover a new advantage to push shoppers through your marketing funnel.

By carefully coordinating shopping and paid search campaigns, you’re positioning yourself to achieve a full-funnel marketing approach. Put your customers first when devising any strategy for Google Ads, while keeping your competitors in view.

The post How retailers can survive Amazon’s stronghold in Google search appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Navigating Showcase Shopping Ads this holiday season /navigating-showcase-shopping-ads-this-holiday-season-308500 Fri, 23 Nov 2018 12:30:40 +0000 /?p=308500 Recent updates have made Showcase ads appear for more specific queries while the addition of video is giving retailers a new, visual way to promote their brand.

The post Navigating Showcase Shopping Ads this holiday season appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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When Google announced Showcase Shopping ads in 2016, two objectives were mission critical: to help shoppers discover what they wanted to buy and where they wanted to buy it.

Today, the ad format is still an important method used to capture shoppers using broad terms on Google. But the tech giant is doing more than just catering to upper funnel shoppers this holiday season. Recent updates have made Showcase ads appear for more specific queries while the addition of video is giving retailers a new, visual way to promote their brand.

A lot is happening in the world of Showcase ads ahead of the year-end retail rush. Let’s talk about Google’s latest updates, results we’re seeing, and what retailers can do to get the most out of Showcase ads during the holidays.

Here’s what is new

Showcase terms expand

Showcase ads were initially released as ads displayed for generic queries. Recent data from Sidecar (my employer) has shown that they’re also moving down the shopping funnel as the holidays approach. In addition to broad search terms, Showcase ads are now rendering for more specific and branded terms.

These terms, which now range from broad searches like “couch” or “sofa” to detailed searches like “KitchenAid mixer,” indicate Google’s willingness to test a wide range of search queries and determine the value of Showcase ads throughout the shopping journey. Engaging high-intent shoppers may lead to higher conversions and position Showcase ads as a full-funnel format.

Top Showcase slot drives higher CTR

Google last year revealed that Shopping ads appearing in the leftmost spot on mobile receive up to three times more engagement from shoppers than other positions. Showcase ads have seen similar results since launch. According to Google, the top Showcase slot drives 3.6 times higher than average click-through rate. Shoppers rely on Showcase ads to discover new products, and retailers who appear in the leftmost slot have more opportunity to engage with these shoppers.

Video in showcase ads

In September, Google announced a new addition called video in Showcase ads. This feature allows retailers to include a video of any length along with their Showcase ad. Video is a vehicle retailers can use to differentiate themselves and serve captivating visuals to get shoppers’ attention. Google was strategic with its release, too: The rollout of video comes just in time for the holiday season.

Still a discovery-driven format? Look to the data

Showcase ads may soon be an effective way to drive purchases and find new customers, but the data suggests they are still mainly an exposure play for retailers. We took a look at Showcase ad performance over a 16-week period between July and October 2018. The data, based on a sample of over 50 U.S. retailers, shows that impressions and engagements increased significantly while conversions stayed relatively flat over that time.

 

Both impressions and engagements began to tick up in mid-September, with each reaching peak values in mid-October. Conversions, on the other hand, remained static over the 16-week trial, never seeing more than a 20 percent week-over-week increase.

Google’s expansion of Showcase terms to include specific queries may help bolster conversions over time, but for now, Showcase ads remain an exploratory ad format.

Tactics to employ this holiday season

Use Showcase ads to increase exposure

Discovery is key when it comes to Showcase ads. While it’s helped inform early-stage shoppers about new retailers and products, the expansion of Showcase terms targets shoppers in every stage of the shopping journey.

Use Showcase ads to get your name and products in front of as many shoppers as possible. It’s a powerful format that helps shoppers get more acquainted with your brand and the products you have to offer. Whether your ads appear to low-intent shoppers in the research phase or high-intent shoppers ready to buy, being visible to a wide range of shoppers can only benefit your business.

Keep an eye on specific and branded query performance

The growing number of Showcase terms expands the playing field to include shoppers who are further down the funnel. While it remains unknown just how well specific terms in Showcase ads perform, retail marketers should keep a keen eye on specific and branded searches — especially during the holidays.

Use query mapping to see which ad groups and keywords specific queries are being matched with. This will shed light on how well these lower-funnel searches are faring in Showcase ads. Stay close to shifts in performance from one campaign to the next and use this intel to inform spend on specific keywords.

Know the difference between negating keywords in Shopping and Showcase ads

When two or more Shopping campaigns promote the same product, a priority setting (low, medium, or high) can be set for each to determine which campaigns’ set of products should be bid on in auction. This setting can also help funnel certain keywords downward.

The process of segmenting keywords is different for Showcase ads. According to Google, campaign priority is not compatible with Showcase ads. If you create a low-priority Showcase campaign that only contains keywords you negated from the high-priority campaign, the low-priority campaign will pick up many queries along with the queries negated from the high-priority campaign.

Don’t look to your Shopping campaigns to inform your negative keywords for Showcase ads. Instead, simply negate the keywords you don’t want to appear for Showcase ads.

Build a campaign tree that excludes underperforming products

Showcase ads don’t allow you to bid at the product or product group level. Since this is the case, think about building a campaign tree to exclude certain products that don’t perform well. This will help you focus directly on promoting the products that move the needle for your business and achieve your Showcase ad goals.

If you’re focused on generic query performance, for example, you may exclude high price tiers so you’re showing products that are more affordable and approachable to a wider variety of buyers.

Use the search terms report to gauge the need for new ads

Let your query performance inform your campaigns. In Google Ads, use the search terms report to determine which queries are driving traffic to your site and which queries are performing poorly. Running this report helps you gauge the need to create new Showcase ads. For instance, if you have a kitchen appliance ad or ad group and are seeing queries roll in for coffeemakers, it may be a good idea to build a separate ad specifically targeting coffeemakers.

Develop a strategic approach to video content

Video in Showcase ads will be an important vehicle in maximizing brand exposure. Before deployment, however, retailers should give their development process careful consideration. Think about how your business can benefit from the addition of video and what its purpose will serve in each of your Showcase ads. These factors should serve as the backbone of your video production strategy.

Consider all that goes into the development of video for Showcase ads. From content ideation to creative execution, video requires collaborative thought from some resources. Create a content strategy for video that makes the best use of your time and team.

These tactics can play a big part in getting the most out your Showcase ads this holiday season. With these actionable items in place, your Showcase ads are set to take on the holiday retail blitz and beyond.

What to read next

  • Declining engagement, conversions cast shadows on otherwise sunny Black Friday weekend
  • Amazon ad spend up 3.5X Thanksgiving week compared to pre-holiday ad investments
  • Move over, Prime Day; Amazon’s Cyber Monday takes the crown
  • 165 million people shopped online and in stores over Black Friday weekend

The post Navigating Showcase Shopping Ads this holiday season appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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