CBPO

Tag: Search

How retailers can maximize the influx of organic search traffic to PDPs during COVID-19

April 11, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • While it has always been important to optimize PDPs, which serve as one of the main entry points to a site, it is a good time for online retailers to maximize the performance of traffic to these pages, ensuring high-intent visitors are able to find what they are looking for.
  • Product recommendations are consistently used to surface relevant items for visitors on PDPs. However, brands can influence browsing even further by creating a richer recommendation experience.
  • Sometimes, a shopper lands on a PDP via search and either finds the item doesn’t meet their original expectations or they’re interested in exploring other similar products. To best serve these visitors, brands should allow for easy navigation back to the product’s main category.
  • To reduce the likelihood of a visitor bouncing from the site, brands should consider employing exit-intent popups.
  • While many consumers are now stuck at home, they may still want to browse for products they’d be interested in purchasing in the future. A great way to incentivize these shoppers to come back to the site is by allowing them to add items to a wish list.
  • The coronavirus outbreak has greatly impacted both consumers and the retailers doing their best to serve them. By optimizing these entry points, brands can not only better connect their search traffic with the products and information shoppers need, but also increase the likelihood of conversions.

Over the last few weeks, the coronavirus has triggered massive shifts in shopping behavior across affected regions, as many physical retail locations have begun operating under limited hours or have temporarily shut their doors.

Now largely reliant on ecommerce, consumers uncertain about the future are bulk-purchasing necessities and ordering otherwise non-standard items to make their extended periods at home feel more comfortable.

Among these new patterns, some brands are experiencing increases in organic search traffic, which is traditionally the second-largest source of overall monthly ecommerce traffic.

As shoppers take to Google in search of unfamiliar or high-demand products, retailers – especially those dealing in essential goods – can expect organic traffic to rise

While it has always been important to optimize Product Detail Pages (PDPs), which serve as one of the main entry points to a site, it is a good time for online retailers to maximize the performance of traffic to these pages, ensuring high-intent visitors are able to find what they are looking for.

Below, discover a few tips we’ve seen successfully implemented to improve product discovery, reduce bounce rates, and keep brands top of mind throughout an entirely new purchase decision process.

Surface more product recommendations on PDPs

Product recommendations are consistently used to surface relevant items for visitors on PDPs. However, brands can influence browsing even further by creating a richer recommendation experience.

For example, instead of just one recommendation widget, brands can include several, each experimenting with a different strategy, such as “Bought Together” or “Similar To.”

PDPs

An example of  product detail pages (PDPs) featuring two recommendation widgets: one employing a Bought Together strategy and the other, “Similarity”

Additionally, Pinterest-style recommendations with infinite scroll can serve to continuously expose and recommend new items to visitors, enticing them to keep exploring until they stumble upon the right product.

PDPs

 

An example of PDPs featuring Pinterest-style recommendations

Offer easy navigation back to the main category

Sometimes, a shopper lands on a PDP via search and either finds the item doesn’t meet their original expectations or they’re interested in exploring other similar products. To best serve these visitors, brands should allow for easy navigation back to the product’s main category.

By placing a category discovery banner at the top of the product page, brands ensure that visitors won’t have to hunt for the category page on their own from within the navigation menu or via an entirely new search. This is especially useful for mobile traffic, where limited real estate creates barriers to browsing the site.

 

PDPs

An example of PDPs displaying a discovery banner for visitors to easily navigate to the main category

Keep distractions at bay with value-adding popups on PDPs

On a regular day, consumers experience multiple distractions throughout the online shopping experience, whether they’re comparing items across different sites, toggling between devices, or jumping from one scenario to another.

With constant, frantic COVID-19 alerts, the crisis represents an entirely new challenge, making it even harder to capture and hold visitors’ attention.

To reduce the likelihood of a visitor bouncing from the site, brands should consider employing exit-intent popups.

Triggered when a visitor idles on the page for an extended period of time, scrolls down to a certain portion of the page, or upon displaying exit intent, these overlays can be used to narrow down a shopper’s focus and highlight key messaging.

These popups may highlight promotional offers to encourage a purchase or important COVID-19-related updates, such as current business hours and delivery windows.

An example of two exit-intent popups used to promote an offer or specific message on PDPs

Allow shoppers to add items to a wish list via PDPs

While many consumers are now stuck at home, they may still want to browse for products they’d be interested in purchasing in the future. A great way to incentivize these shoppers to come back to the site is by allowing them to add items to a wish list.

Once created, offering quick access to their list makes it easy to add saved items to their shopping cart for fast checkout.

Wish lists are also effective tools for capturing subscribers, which brands can then leverage to identify and further nurture the relationship via other channels, such as email.

PDPs featuring a link for shoppers to add items to a wish list

Assist like never before

The coronavirus outbreak has greatly impacted both consumers and the retailers doing their best to serve them.

By optimizing these entry points, brands can not only better connect their search traffic with the products and information shoppers need, but also increase the likelihood of conversions.

More importantly, although not all of this new traffic is guaranteed to translate into revenue, in making some of these changes, brands stand to communicate that they are being mindful of consumer needs during this unprecedented situation – the benefits of which will have a lasting impact, long after COVID-19 eventually subsides.

The post How retailers can maximize the influx of organic search traffic to PDPs during COVID-19 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


The best-kept secret to maintaining and defending the top spot with paid search

April 8, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Let’s admit it, the line between paid search and organic search is getting blurred.
  • A lot of businesses simply assume that paying more than the competition assures a piece of the most trusted real estate in Google and Bing’s SERPs.
  • While an aggressive paid strategy can certainly get you a piece of it, too often brands overlook the equally important defensive strategy of paid search monitoring.
  • CEO of BrandVerity, Dave Naffziger, helps you learn the essential techniques for maintaining your position one in paid search listings.

What’s the best way to ensure your brand is at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a branded search? For many, the answer seems pretty straightforward — simply pay more than the competition. And while an aggressive paid strategy can certainly get you a piece of the most trusted real estate in search, too often brands overlook the equally important defensive strategy of paid search monitoring.

With brands investing unprecedented amounts into paid search, and the line between organic and paid listings becoming even more blurred, it’s more important than ever for organizations to keep a watchful eye over their campaigns in order to defend them from unscrupulous third parties, infringing ads, poor customer experience and resource drain.

Understanding the basics

On the surface, paid search monitoring is what it sounds like. It involves actively watching to see who is bidding, how often they are advertising, and when infringing ads are identified, removing them by notifying search engines or contacting the party responsible for the ads. 

However, unless you are well-versed in search engine trademark rules, it can be tricky to tell the difference between an infringing and compliant ad. And in many cases, an ad may be allowed by search engines but can run counter to a brand’s partnership and affiliate agreements.

All major search engines allow brand bidding — where a partner or even a competitor bids on your branded terms. The search engines also permit trademark use in paid ads that go to legitimate resellers or informational websites.

The two main rules that limit trademark term use in paid search

1. Trademark terms may not be used in the text or title of an ad

Trademark terms may not be used in the text or title of an ad if the ad takes the user to a site where it is unclear if the advertiser is a reseller or an informational site.

In the example below, the Yahoo search engine is using the VRBO trademark to divert traffic. Someone could easily click on the ad thinking they are going to VRBO. But the ad takes you to a Yahoo search engine results page, with more ads, thus providing a poor user experience for the consumer looking to book through VRBO. 

paid search example VRBO

This is a textbook example of search arbitrage, which happens when an ad primarily leads to additional ads. The arbitrager pockets the difference between what they paid for the traffic and what they get paid for the ad clicks. This type of ad should be submitted to the search engine for a take-down.

2. You can’t use trademark terms in ad texts or titles in a competitive way

In the example below, Joss & Main, a competitor to homeware brand Restoration Hardware, bid on the term “restorationhardware.” Customers looking for Restoration Hardware’s homepage may mistakenly click on the ‘Joss & Main advertisement’ at the top of the SERP and find themselves on a different website than they intended.

paid search example Joss Main

This is the type of competitive use of a trademark that Google and Bing don’t allow, and this ad would also be subject to removal.

Taking steps to protect your position

Once you understand what trademark infringements look like, you need to establish a process to find them. Teams can do this manually by searching a list of priority keywords across several search engines once a week, and then contacting the trademark abusers directly or submitting take-down requests manually to search engines.

While this is certainly a good step to take, since many infringers use evasive techniques like geotargeting (running ads in locations where the advertiser believes the merchant won’t see them) and dayparting (setting ads to run during times of day when they believe the merchant won’t monitor them), manual monitoring can be time-consuming and ineffective. This is where automated solutions can help find and take action on trademark infringements at scale.

Another critical step that can help you defend your numero uno spot

Another critical step that teams can take is establishing and enforcing clear partner and affiliate agreements. Documenting what you will and won’t allow these various parties to do will help you stay consistent in how you handle violations and will reduce trademark infringement and affiliate abuse.

Protecting your investments and relationships

Branded keywords are the most valuable and highest converting search traffic, making them a tempting target for partners, competitors, and third parties to run ads on. However, when they don’t play by the rules bad actors can drive your cost-per-click through the roof and run your clickthrough rate into the ground. Aside from impacting your campaign ROI, these actions also negatively impact your customer experience. 

Search is the front door to your brand online. How customers find you on the SERP impacts the overall customer experience, and ultimately, your bottom line. It’s simple. Customers who can easily find your brand after a branded keyword search are more likely to buy your products and services, while those that unwittingly click on a competitor or partner’s website at the top of the page are less likely to buy directly from you.

By taking the appropriate measures to defend their SERP position, brands can optimize online investments, strengthen relationships with good partners and safeguard their customers’ online experiences.

Dave Naffziger is the CEO of leading online brand protection company BrandVerity.

The post The best-kept secret to maintaining and defending the top spot with paid search appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Coronavirus and the paid search sector: How businesses are gearing up to come out the other side

April 2, 2020 No Comments

Over the past couple of weeks, paid search specialists Adthena have been sharing some fascinating insight into how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the paid search sector in markets around the globe.

I spoke to Adthena’s VP of marketing Ashley Fletcher about the questions C-level executives are asking, their plans in the short and longer-term, and what he is observing in the data.

We’re past the shock stage

C-level executives now want to see the lay of the land amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Retailers, for instance, want a view of who’s moving out and many are asking:

  1. What’s happened to strategy?
  2. How are markets reacting?
  3. How do we now adjust?

Paid search is a fantastic window on all of this. While our offline lives have been massively disrupted by the coronavirus, the paid search sector is comparatively ever-present. We see customers switch to the channel when they can’t use others and we have good segmentation within data across products and more business verticals.

“Search intelligence offers not only remarkable clarity but also a real-time lens into market movements, trends, and opportunities across verticals and in close to real-time”,

Fletcher writes at the Adthena blog.

“PPC is a stable, transparent refuge every marketer needs to be leveraging right now to keep the oars in the water.”

There is positivity even in industries that have been hardest hit

One of the surprises for Fletcher is that the sentiment among marketers he is speaking to is not all doom and gloom.

Coronavirus hit paid search sector still industries positive

“Businesses like the UK travel sector (we’re seeing this with some of our hotel chain clients) have been the hardest hit. But the positive aspect of this is we are already seeing this sector with eyes on their recovery and looking at where they go next”,

Fletcher said.

“People are prepared to lower spend now, but are gearing up for coming out the other side.”

Data showing significant feats of agility

It is not only the travel sector which has had to change track quickly.

“In the food vertical, many brands have been seen to suspend some generic ads, but they are keeping the lights on for brand traffic”,

Fletcher said.

“Managers are coming to the paid search data asking: What’s my brand looking like while competition might be able to take more capacity?”

This is particularly visible as vast numbers of users seek to use delivery services offered by the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the UK, as well as Coles in Australia (see below).

Coronavirus effect on paid search trend

Digital-first brands like Amazon, Catch, and Hello Fresh are jumping into the gaps created when the legacy supermarkets have quickly hit capacity for food grocery deliveries.

We can also see Amazon shifting paid ad priorities to essential products, which is creating further gaps. This means other companies like Best Buy have then been able to garner clicks for things Amazon has had the monopoly on till date – such as TVs, kitchenware, and mobile phones.

Fletcher is seeing this agility being demonstrated in other sectors too – from online banking to online betting.

Takeaways for digital marketers

The paid search sector gives us a fascinating glimpse into the disruption at play across the global business. But the positivity, agility, and resolve on display is heartening too.

The real-time data available to paid search marketers answer three key questions

  1. How consumer habits sometimes shift rapidly
  2. How their brands are retaining visibility in the melee
  3. How competitors are changing strategy and focus in order to adapt

In some cases, we can certainly see prices go up and clicks go down as users and brands change their ways. The flipside of this is that gaps and opportunities are opening up in surprising places as big names shift their focus to specific products and services. Smart marketers will be observing those gaps and acting on them.

Yet, the most important takeaway from Adthena’s data is a long-term strategy

Here in the UK and US, we may still be in the beginning stages of this global event, but while many businesses have been forced to make some quick near-term changes, some are already making plans as to what their priorities will be when coronavirus is behind them.

Marketers can expect that business and consumer habits may well be altered entirely, but in the very least the value of search and data will continue to be vital. In order to remain agile and competitive in the markets of tomorrow, it’s likely to become even more important.

The post Coronavirus and the paid search sector: How businesses are gearing up to come out the other side appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Search specialist shares five ways to adapt your search strategy in uncertain times

March 28, 2020 No Comments

The events of the last few weeks have had a dramatic effect on millions of people’s lives. Uncertainty over health, childcare, work, food and the wellbeing of loved ones has dominated all of our thinking over the past few days.

Not only has it changed the way we’re shopping and interacting with others, an expert at online search specialist Epiphany, Paul Norris, has looked at how it has impacted what users are turning to the internet for and advises how businesses can adapt their search strategy during this tricky time.

The Prime Minister’s speech on 13th March 2020 served as a catalyst for many to search for “working from home essentials” with searches such as computer chairs increasing by 185%.

As a nation, we also considered our options for emergency deliveries, including “wine delivery” services, which nearly tripled in just one week.

search strategy and trends in tricky times

As people’s searches change to reflect new (increasingly home-based and socially distant) situations, it’s important that marketers adapt to the shifts in search behavior.

Here are a few ways to navigate the next few weeks and to prepare for when we emerge from the current situation:

1. Identify and capitalize on emerging trends

Monitor your search query reports closely – look for increased use of convenience and supply modifiers as availability and fulfillment is valued more. Searches containing “near me” have started to fall as queries for “online” services have increased.

If your business offers quick deliveries (and can still fulfill them), ensure it’s prominent in messaging, listings and on-site. Searches for next and same-day delivery will only continue to grow.

2. Listen to your visitors – use your site search reports and Hotjar polls

Your on-site search function is an absolute gold mine in times like these – demand and behavioral changes from your visitors are picked up directly. Use the Site Search report in GA (found under “Behaviour” on the left-hand side) as a listening board.

closely monitor site search reports to effectively work on your search strategy

Surface the most-searched-for products and services on relevant high traffic pages. Rethink, test and measure your carousels and other key product and service listing elements where relevant. Enabling Hotjar (or similar) polls can also enable you to get more specific insight.

3. Shift budget into investment channels

If you’re pulling back on sales activation because demand is dropping, look to move that budget and resource into a medium and longer-term activity that will pay dividends when demand picks up. With the previous points in mind, conduct a meta-data review and weave more highly valued services such as next day delivery into titles and descriptions. Has content taken a back seat? There are some definite benefits to content strategy, planning, and creation with the headspace you’re afforded when working from home.

4. Bypass dev queues and do what you can from your CMS

Prioritizing your activity in a busy dev queue can be difficult at the best of times. If dev time is booked up because the team is completely promo and sales activation focused, do what you can. Are you able to edit content and optimize existing pages in the CMS? Can you create new landing pages in your CMS without tech intervention? If so, now is the time to utilize those capabilities.

5. Maximize performance where demand is strong

Identify where demand remains strong (or has even picked up) and do what you can to capture and convert it. Your top landing pages and product reports are a good first port of call and can provide you with some quick wins. Segmenting and analyzing site performance by product/area/service (depending on your sector) can help you identify and capitalize on bigger emerging trends. If you’re a retailer, think about splitting out essential and non-essential products.

Paul Norris is Senior Strategist & Head of London Operations at Epiphany.

The post Search specialist shares five ways to adapt your search strategy in uncertain times appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Searching for CX: The impact of search in the age of customer experience

March 17, 2020 No Comments

With customer experience (CX) becoming an integral part of doing business today, CXOs across industries are working feverishly to delight consumers along each step of the buyer journey. At a high level, ensuring a positive CX means eliminating the friction between the customer and the brand.

Today, an overwhelming majority of these journeys begin on search engines. However, recent research shows that a pervasive confusion with how search works are having a negative impact on customer experience.

With brands continuing to deploy hefty budgets towards their online campaigns, and search engines continuing to evolve how they display results, it’s more crucial than ever for marketing teams to understand just how search is impacting CX, as well as what they can do to safeguard the experiences they’re providing.

Consumer confusion is growing as ad spend skyrockets

With paid search surpassing $ 100 billion for the first time in 2019, and accounting for almost a fifth of total global ad spend, there’s no doubting the important role it plays in today’s digital marketing mix. In fact, by the end of this year, companies are projected to increase their spend on search even further as it grows to represent a third of global spending.

Consumer confusion is growing alongside this spend, resulting in 63% of US consumers reporting that they don’t know how search engine results work. Just 37% understand that they’re in fact categorized by a combination of both relevancy and spend. Compounding this issue is the fact that more than one-in-three-consumers state they don’t believe search engines do a good job of labeling ads.

As modern consumers develop increasingly high expectations of the brands they do business with, it’s easy to see why this is alarming. And as consumers place more weight on CX, brands are at risk of losing loyal buyers if these expectations aren’t met. This, combined with dwindling patience and a growing distrust of sponsored content, signifies an important conundrum for brands. In order to meet their expectations, they must ensure they’re easy to find online or risk losing business to competitors.

In search, there is no second place

When you consider consumers’ lack of understanding of how search results are served up, it is not surprising that around 54% say they trust websites more that appear at the top of the SERP.

These sentiments are certainly reflected in real-life click-through rates. The first organic search result is twice as likely to be clicked than the second result (30% CTR versus 15% CTR), while the likelihood of your website being seen declines dramatically the lower your ranking falls.

Of course, this means brands must fight to secure the coveted top spot, which leads them to spend more on paid search ads or adopt nefarious approaches like infringing on competitors’ trademarks and breaking affiliate agreements.

Consumers feel misled by search engine results

It’s no secret that consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of advertising. Trademark-infringing search strategies and tactics to increase positioning certainly aren’t helping either.

In fact, a staggering 76% of consumers admit to at least sometimes feeling misled by search results when searching for product information online. Meanwhile, one-in-four says they often end up somewhere unexpected that isn’t relevant to their original search query.

This is bad news for brands, as it creates an exasperating customer experience and suggests that they aren’t getting optimal ROI out of the spend they are allocating towards their search campaigns.

Regain control of your ad campaigns

What does this mean for marketers? To put it simply, search has a real potential to negatively impact the customer experience. While it’s impossible for marketers to control the changes that Google or Bing makes to the SERPs, there are some important steps that they can take to ensure that their search campaigns are working for and not against them.

1. Design campaigns with CX in mind

It’s crucial for digital marketing teams to regularly refer to their customer journey map before committing to any strategic moves, and it’s an especially important step for PPC teams.

2. Make monitoring a priority

Brands must regularly check to see if partners and affiliates are abiding by their partnership agreements and if competitors are following search engine trademark rules. While you may not be able to outspend competitors with deep pockets, you can maximize click-through rates and minimize cost per clicks as you identify and submit infringing ads for a takedown. This also allows you to deepen relationships with partners that are playing by the rules and driving incremental revenue.

3. Stay on top of evolving policies

It’s crucial to stay informed of changing search engine rules and advertising policies. These policies impact how you and your competitors advertise, especially in highly-regulated industries. With the search engines updating their platforms up to several times a week (some changes going largely unnoticed and others garnering media attention) –  digital marketers need to keep up with these changes and their potential impacts on customer experience.

Your search results are the front door to your brand. However, with confusion abounding, customers often find themselves walking into an experience that they didn’t expect, which impacts their overall CX and negatively impacts the perception of your brand. By taking back control of the role that search plays in the overall consumer journey, marketers can ensure their customer experiences are optimized and on-brand.

Dave Naffziger is the CEO of leading online brand protection company BrandVerity.

The post Searching for CX: The impact of search in the age of customer experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How to Address Low Search Volume Keywords in Google Ads

March 12, 2020 No Comments

Keywords labeled as low search volume in Google Ads is all too common. Learn how to address this through unique audience tactics.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


SETI@Home Is Over. But the Search for Alien Life Continues

March 4, 2020 No Comments

Although the public part of the worldwide experiment is coming to an end this month, the world’s greatest extraterrestrial hunt is far from finished.
Feed: All Latest


Display and search advertising: Top three strategies to expand your audience across channels

February 24, 2020 No Comments

Omnichannel advertising can be complicated. Digital marketers today have an unlimited number of tools at their disposal to get their message in front of the right audience through search advertising and others. While your channels or tactics may change, the goal of all marketers remains the same – to grow your brand and build your business.

But how do you know which channel or channels to use to achieve these goals? Many marketers with smaller advertising budgets start with paid search as the first channel to target, because of the simplicity of setting up a PPC campaign in Google Ads. There are no creative assets or media buyer required, and no fancy technology to learn or understand. Search also has advanced targeting abilities, offering companies the chance to get in front of in-market shoppers the minute they start their search. And the results of search campaigns are quantifiable, with insights into exactly which terms are resonating most.

Programmatic display advertising, on the other hand, can be a bit more difficult for some marketers to get started with. This channel has traditionally been considered best for brand awareness campaigns, as display ads can appear virtually anywhere your potential customers are online. Taking advantage of display requires either a direct relationship with a demand-side platform, or DSP, or a relationship with an agency to manage the campaigns on your behalf.

But choosing the right mix of channels for your advertising campaign doesn’t need to be an all or nothing affair. In fact, combining display and search together can have a positive impact on your return on ad spend (ROAS).

Here are three strategies to effectively combine search and display advertising for maximum results:

1. Cast a wide net

If you’re looking to find more new customers and don’t have a ton of traffic on your existing site or searching for keywords you’re targeting with search, the first step is getting more site visitors. This is where programmatic display advertising comes in handy — it offers a scale that paid search campaigns can’t, at a better price point. If you have a big promotion coming up in a few months, it’s a good idea to increase spending on brand awareness tactics well in advance, in order to have larger retargeting and lookalike pools ready to go when your promotion is ready to launch. So start by casting a wide net with display, and then continue to adjust and refine your targeting parameters as time goes by to optimize performance and find your next best customer.

2. Retargeting

Once you have brought all these new visitors to your site, it’s time to introduce cross-platform retargeting. For example, if you are running a paid search campaign for sneakers and roughly only 13% of this paid search traffic becomes a paying customer, that leaves another 87% of the audience you already paid for who abandoned the site without ever converting. Now that they have already visited your site, you can use retargeting to show them a new series of messages in the hopes of bringing them back to continue further down the sales funnel. Your specific retargeting tactics can be simple or sophisticated, but the bottom line is that they will help keep the conversation going with the visitors most likely to convert down the road.

3. Contextual targeting

If you have already identified your best-performing keywords from your search campaigns, you can use this same keyword list to add contextual targeting to your programmatic campaign. While this strategy doesn’t directly link the two channels, it does allow you to further refine your audience targets. For example, if “athletic shoes” is something that a lot of people are searching for and is driving people to your site, you could create an “athletic” contextual segment to target with display advertising.

Each of these tactics are a great way to build awareness for your brand and products right when your prospects are actively shopping, and a great way to complement ongoing search activity. If you already rely heavily on paid search for a large part of your advertising, consider adding display, along with some targeting strategies to increase the efficiency of your campaigns and decrease your cost per acquisition.

Jason Wulfsohn is Co-Founder and COO of AUDIENCEX, a programmatic advertising and trading desk.

The post Display and search advertising: Top three strategies to expand your audience across channels appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Google for branding: Getting more from search engine services

February 15, 2020 No Comments

Google hasn’t been merely a search engine for some time. These days it has grown into a massive space on the web where businesses and potential customers can meet. In this article, we’ll touch on the aspects of using Google for branding.

Here’s a list of Google’s underused services, and suggested ways you can use them to your advantage.

Analytical tools which help you understand your website and app audience

Google Marketing Platform is a kind of umbrella brand that Google has developed to make its products work together more effectively. It is essentially a merger of Google Analytics 360 and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.

Google for branding - Google Marketing Platform

Source: Google support

Google Analytics is a part of the Google Marketing Platform which tracks website traffic and reports information about who is searching for what and where. There are many analytics services available, but Google’s is the most widely used in the world. It can track visitors to your website, and tell you quite a lot about them and how they interact with your site.

When someone visits your site, Google Analytics can keep track of the duration of the visit, the number of pages they viewed, how they got there, and even the bounce rate. It does all this anonymously, of course, you can distinguish between unique users, but you will not have any idea who any particular user is.

Analytics for Mobile Apps is like Google Analytics, the only difference is, it tracks and gathers data for users of any iOS or Android apps you may have. It was designed to give app developers better data on how people use their apps, what people want from them, and how the apps could be making you more money.

Analytics for Mobile apps allows you to keep records of

  • What actions your users take
  • Track their in-app spending (and your revenue for that customer)
  • Check the navigation path they take
  • Use that data in conjunction with Google Analytics data to really understand the way your customers (or potential customers) approach your brand

Services that you can use to improve brand visibility in searches

Google My Business is a service that lets business owners verify the data Google holds about them. Google generates its own internal business listings for areas literally all over the world, getting its data from a range of online and offline sources. As the process is mostly automated and done without the human verification, errors sometimes occur.

Google My Business allows business owners to ensure that Google has accurate information about them, after claiming the existing listing business can make all the necessary corrections. Besides, if the company is for some reason still off Google’s radar, by creating a Google listing they can let Google know about them.

Google for branding with Google My Business

Thanks to Google My Business, companies can be certain that their customers will find up-to-date information about their business, and their chances of getting featured in the local pack increase as well.

Google Maps is more than just a navigation tool, as well. Google suggests businesses and events in the areas where people are searching for directions and encourages people to search for services (“Show me restaurants near 35th and Maple”) relevant to the way people use Maps.

Using Google My Business to view ratings and info of a business

Some businesses now try to outsmart Google Maps by adding fake business listings to  Google Maps, and so, such fake results sometimes crowd out the real ones. Not let this happen Google is now putting effort into verifying the results it displays in Maps and elsewhere – more on that below.

Cloud-solutions for creating and customizing domains as well as store server

G Suite is a set of software products developed by Google Cloud. It was initially called Google Apps for Your Domain. The current lineup of tools and services includes collaboration tools like Sites, Forms, Slides, Sheets and Docs, cloud storage solutions like Drive, and communication tools like Currents, Calendar, Hangouts, and Gmail. Premium versions of the service often include Jamboard (an interactive whiteboard app) as well as Vault and an Admin Panel to help you manage both users and features.

G Suite

Source: Rohutech.com

Google Cloud Platform is a suite of software services offering cloud-based access to the same global data infrastructure that it uses to deliver Google Search and YouTube. It essentially combines all of Google’s “infrastructure as a service”, “serverless computing”, and “platform as a service”. Google Cloud Platform offers cloud-based processing, data storage, analytics, and even some pretty advanced machine learning applications, all under a single set of management tools.

Advertisement platforms to pull in additional traffic from popular web channels

Google Ads, which was until very recently known as Google AdWords, is where Google really makes its money. It is still at its core a pay-per-click advertising service, but it operates across all the Google’s ever more sprawling service landscape. Businesses of all kinds can pay to get highly targeted users from showing them ads, relevant product listings, videos with sales or branding content, or offering users an opportunity to download the business’ app.

Some of the services under Google Ads include AdWords Express, Keyword Planner, Reach Planner, Google Ads Manager Accounts, Google Ads Editor, Google Partners, and IP Address Exclusion tool.

Google for Retail is a service designed to make it easier for retailers to connect with existing customers as well as finding new ones. It gives you tools that you can use to better engage with existing customers and potential customers over Maps, Google Assistant, YouTube, and Search.

Google for Retail

Source: Google for Retail

Google for Retail includes individualized solutions for offering inventory to local customers, developing shopping campaigns with partner organizations, and combining Google Ads with Smart Shopping Campaigns.

YouTube Ads is, as you might have guessed, the primary way to get your ads served up on YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the planet, only Google processes more searches than YouTube. It is the infrastructure that connects nearly 2 billion active users to more than 50 million content creators, and 10% of US businesses already have a YouTube Business Account.

Ad types include TrueView Ads – demos, testimonials and adverts that users often search for directly, Non-Skippable YouTube Ads – ads which last up to 20 seconds that play either before or in the middle of a video, and Bumper Ads which last up to six seconds at the end of a video.

YouTube video ad formats

Source: TipsforSEM

Universal App Campaigns are a way to advertise your app throughout Google Ads, Google Play, YouTube and the rest of Google’s advertising empire. It is heavily automated and relies on Google’s machine learning expertise to determine which of your ads work best with particular types of audiences (the ones which cause more users to install your app) and then ensures that the right users see the right ads.

The big benefit here is that you are relieved of the burden of manually split testing and tracking ad performance.

The secret key: NAP

NAP in Google terms stands for Name, address, and phone number. Most experts believe that Google relies heavily on your business’ listed NAP to target search results to individual clients. That is why using NAP in SEO is incredibly important. If you aren’t using it consistently and accurately, you could be losing out on a huge number of highly targeted, site visitors every day – those who Google believes are in your area and actively looking for the goods or services you provide.

How do you use it correctly? It’s not difficult. List your business’ name, address and phone number accurately on your website, and on as many other sites as you can manage. Start with the obvious – your GMB listing, the Internet Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and any local or national business directories which cater to your industry or niche. Most importantly, though, list it consistently. Always use the exact same name, address and phone number, and make sure that all are real.

Examples of good and bad NAP

Why does Google care so much about NAP? It isn’t merely about geo-targeting search results. It is about eliminating false and spam sites from those search results. There are a great many businesses that depend on showing up in as many searches as possible, even those that are not particularly useful to the searcher. Great for them, but it makes Google’s results seem less reliable and relevant to the user, and Google can’t let it happen. It looks for widespread, consistent NAP data for a business or a website to gauge how legitimate your business is. Few false sites have real addresses or phone numbers, and even fewer use them consistently across multiple sites and platforms. Using Name, Address and Phone Number data accurately and consistently help your company look legitimate, as well as bring in geo-targeted searches.

Conclusion

Google has become a vast landscape of user-centric services that are almost completely funded by advertising. It has become incredibly canny about how to get advertising messages out to its users in a way that does not annoy users and brings them something they actually need. They make sure that your sales message reaches people who actually need your service, which truly is a game-changer.

Google now has so many individual services that it can be difficult for non-experts to really get the most from its features. However, failing to gain a certain level of expertise in Google advertising can be disastrous for even a small business these days.

Diana Ford is a digital marketing specialist with writing expertise that spans across online marketing, SEO, social media, and blogging.

The post Google for branding: Getting more from search engine services appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How to Use Creative Sets to Make the Most of Your Apple Search Ads

February 14, 2020 No Comments

Can you use Creative Sets instead of A/B testing? Read to find out Apple Search Ads best practices & insights for using Creative Sets, pros and cons of this tool.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero