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What if You Had to Pay For Google?

Will Google search ever be a paid service?

Google search has been around for nearly 20 years now and plays an important part of our everyday lives.  Many of us could not imagine a day without it – think about the number of times a day you do a Google search.  So what if Google started charging us to use it? Have you ever thought about this? Well, we did.

Let’s start by considering how Google would work if it was a paid service.  We think the most feasible option for payment would be based around a monthly or yearly subscription service, where the user pays a fee for unlimited use of their services.  But why would Google do this? Google earned $57.80 billion in 2016 from advertising and this number has been increasing Year-Over-Year, so surely they would want to stick to their existing (highly successful) business model, but maybe not?…

How much would it cost?

Let’s stick to the idea of a Google search subscription service.  How much do we think Google would charge? We’ve tried to estimate how much we, as the user, would have to pay.  How did we do this? First, we have to understand that Google would only want to switch to a subscription model if this would bring them more revenue.  So, if we use the revenue they generated last year, and divide it by the number of worldwide users, we can calculate the minimum cost per annual subscription.  This is shown below:

We calculated the number of Google users as the number of total internet users in 2016 multiplied by Google’s market share in 2016.  This equation therefore turns into the following:

This really doesn’t seem that much for a service that we use all the time! However, we need to consider the number of Google users who have ad blocking software set up on their devices, since these users will not be clicking on the paid search ads. In 2016, ad blocker use meant that only an estimated 70% of the Google users in 2016 actually saw search ads on their results page.  The calculation above therefore needs be changed to:

As mentioned earlier, Google would only switch to a paid model if it generated more money than it did in the previous year.  They would also have to compensate for sunk costs in setting up this new search engine and the costs of losing existing Google users switching to free alternatives.  So we would expect the subscription would be slightly higher at around $45/year (which still doesn’t seem that much!) to compensate for those factors.  However, we can’t quite imagine that this would be a flat rate around the world considering the variation in average wages globally.

Why would you pay for Google?

It’s all good and well to estimate how much Google would charge users, but we are missing a crucial factor in why users would pay for this service.  There would have to be some sort of additional benefits that come along with paying. What could these benefits be?

Privacy has been a huge topic of debate for years, and many users express concern about how their personal information is used and who has access to it.  The Google subscription service could, therefore, include a full privacy agreement whereby no data about the user is collected.  This could ease privacy concerns, but could also place consumers at a disadvantage as this data is currently used by Google to improve the user experience – they often show you what you want or need before you even know it’s needed!

Additionally, Google may offer their paid service as an ad free search platform.  This could have benefits for the user in terms of streamlining the search results pages, although users would lose valuable price comparison figures that are currently available through Google Shopping. Could this mean the end of paid search on Google?!

If yes, this would have significant implications on other search engines. We would expect average CPC’s would rise as competition for ad space would become even more fierce, because these search engines would gain users switching from the now-paid-for Google service.   There would also be a significant impact on traffic for Google search partners, who could potentially lose their Google search capabilities.

Why wouldn’t Google work as a paid service?

Currently, the Google business model is based on mining data.  It collects and uses information from our browser history, device settings, and locations to show us the most relevant information when we need it, which is ultimately supposed to be beneficial for the user.  If Google were to switch to a paid service model, which includes a privacy agreement, this valuable data would be lost. Google would have no way of tailoring information towards its users, meaning all users would see the same things.  This would be a huge barrier for Google. Why would users pay for a service which offers them less?

Why would Google want to change their entire business setup when it already works so well?  It would be a huge risk and could cause massive losses due to the fact that people are wary and cautious when it comes to change, especially when it comes to paying for something that used to be free.  A great example of this comes from The Times newspaper’s paywall, where they began charging users to view their content.  This resulted in 62% drop in visitors and a 90% fall in page views when it was introduced in 2010, and it took a long time for the user level to pick up again.  These percentage drops were extremely large, so introducing a subscription service could be a huge risk for Google if they were to follow suit.

If we consider the search engine industry as a whole, Google may be the most powerful and popular source of gaining information quickly, but it is not the only way.  Bing now accounts for 21% of the search market share, followed by Yahoo with 12%.  If Google were to switch to a subscription service, there are definitely readily available alternatives that consumers could switch to as a way of obtaining information at no cost.

Conclusion

Even if we don’t pay at the moment in monetary terms, Google in its current form is not completely free. We pay as we go by feeding Google with all the valuable information about us, such as things we are searching for, websites we visit, videos we watch, ads we click or tap on, our location, information about our device, IP address, and cookie data. That’s just the beginning. Google stores our emails, contacts, calendar events, photos, and the videos we upload. Within our Google account, we share our name, email, date of birth, gender, telephone number, and country. Sharing this valuable data is the price we pay, and it seems a price we are prepared to accept. We get more targeted information and Google gets a slice of our privacy pie which earns them so much money!

The question remains: How long would it take for Google to reach a big enough volume of paying users to hit, or even exceed the current profit made by charging advertisers? Google would have to come up with a value proposition enough users would happily pay for.

One way or another, paying to use Google search would mean a fundamental change not only to user behaviour and the advertising industry as a whole, but also to the way Google operates. Would Google risk losing more than it gains? Only time will tell, but we would be surprised if this happened anytime soon!

Google to Improve YouTube’s Cross-Device Metrics and Satisfy User Privacy Concerns

Google recently announced that it will take steps to improve YouTube metrics reporting for its advertisers, while addressing privacy concerns for users. It will rely less on pixel and cookie data to give advertisers an idea of how their video campaigns are faring, and focus on developing better mobile video tracking tools. On the user side, viewers will be able to mute advertisers that track them with irrelevant ads. Google is trying to strike a balance between transparency and control for viewers, and better, highly refined metrics for advertisers.

Why the sudden move away from pixels and cookies?

Google’s blog, Inside AdWords, indicated that 50% of all YouTube video viewing now happens on mobile. Traditional desktop tracking tools don’t provide an accurate overview for mobile based video campaigns because pixels and cookies were not designed for the way users interact with YouTube on mobile. This means measurement can be skewed. Google is developing a new way of measuring viewership to rectify this discrepancy.

How is this a win for advertisers?

In addition to a clearer view of campaign dynamics, it allows advertisers to reach the right audience. The new tool will provide accurate metrics to advertisers across devices. Information from a user’s Google account, such as past searches and Customer Match, can be used to suggest the ads they see on YouTube. In addition to this, Google will also allow advertisers to use their own data to target high value YouTube shoppers.

For viewers, Google will put the control back in their hands by allowing them to mute a particular advertiser across multiple platforms. For example, if a user has purchased a gym membership and is still being tracked with gym promotions, they can mute that advertiser.

According to AdExchanger, the new system will be cloud based with Google collaborating with several Media Rating Council third party vendors. This initiative was recently rolled out to a few select advertisers.

Easy Ways to Implement Paid Search Call Tracking for B2B Businesses

Phone calls remain an important facet of B2B marketing today. Even in this digital age where many people turn to their mobile or computer for information, shoppers still like to ask detailed questions over the phone to start the purchase process, or to ascertain important facts that will assist them in making a final decision. Callers are usually further down the sales funnel versus users who have filled out a form online.

Often businesses face the problem of how to track these calls accurately and how to integrate the information into a viable paid search strategy. Not having a method for tracking calls can be detrimental to business revenue. This is because you may be disabling keywords that you believe are having little effect but ultimately lead to offline interactions.

So, in a time when advertisers should be focusing their energy on fully understanding the effect of each of their marketing channels, it is crucial to have a method of tracking not only across digital activity, but how digital activity effects offline activity.

We understand cross channel attribution and tracking can be a complicated process, but there are easy alternatives for tracking calls influenced by digital activity. Whilst there are numerous options available, this blog post will focus specifically on the paid search activity and the technology available for tracking calls online.

Call Extensions

Offered by both Google and Bing, call extensions are ad extensions that allow users to contact a business directly from the ad via a clickable “Call” button on mobile, tablet or desktop. On desktop, the full number is shown so that the user can pick up their phone and call or in some cases, click on it and be re-directed to a Skype call.

 


Bing offers two types of call extensions and reporting:

All Devices: Bing generates a call number for you to place in your ads (local or toll-free). Call tracking is automatically activated and the advertiser is provided with in-depth call analytics such as: call type, call duration, and area code. On desktops, and tablets, clicking on the call immediately re-routes it to Skype. Unfortunately, this granular type of call-data analysis is only available to US and UK customers at the moment.

Mobile Only: The advertiser provides their own number for the ad. This method is limited to regular click-reporting only.

BA_CONC_Web_BingExtension_Call

Costs: Whether it’s via mobile, desktop or tablet, standard CPC charges apply. (Note: You can only add one call extension per campaign.)

Location Extensions: Bing also offers brands the option of using a location extension with their call campaigns. Your phone number, address, website link, and a clickable link of directions to your store are provided within the ad. If an advertiser happens to have multiple locations, Bing permits the use of two addresses within the location extension and intelligently selects the relevant store based on their current location. This helps potential customers find you. The cost is the same for location extensions as it is for clicking on the advertiser’s text ad.

To add a clickable number to Bing, follow these steps:

Adding Call Extensions to Bing Campaigns

  1. On the Campaigns page, click Ad Extensions.
  2. Click Call Extensions from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Create ad extension.
  4. Select the appropriate Campaign and Country/Region.
  5. Enter your phone number.
  6. Select On all devices using a Bing Ads forwarding number or On smartphones using my own phone number. If you choose to display your call extension on all devices, select if you want to Show a toll-free number or Show a local number.
  7. Select the links you want to display: Both my website and the phone number or Just the phone number.
  8. Click Save. *courtesy of Bing Ad Extensions

Google Call Extensions 

Control Advantages: Google has some nice features that give advertisers more control over the call extension process. Advertisers can set “call-only” campaigns where ads aren’t wasted by being shown to people without a mobile device. Advertisers using Google Call Extensions can also control when ads appear to keep wasted spend minimal. Ads can be set to only appear when your business is open, and advertisers can also share phone numbers across campaigns and ad groups.

Calls as Conversions: Google offers call forwarding where the advertiser can see where the call is coming from, their area code, and the call duration, all via an assigned, unique Google phone number. Even with a Google number, calls get re-routed to the business’ local phone number and caller ID still works normally.

phone-call-only

Costs: The same cost as a standard Google headline click (standard CPC rates apply).

To add a clickable number to Google, follow these steps:

Find the call extensions window

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Select the campaign or ad group for which you’d like to add call extensions.
  3. Go to the Ad extensions. If you can’t see this tab, find out how to enable the tab.
  4. In the top corner, choose Call extensions from the View
  5. Enter your phone number
    1. Click on + Extension.
    2. You’ll see a list of phone numbers that you’ve already set up. You can choose one of these or create a new one by clicking on the grey + New phone number The following steps take you through how to add this new number.
    3. Choose the country where your business phone number is based and enter your number in the box next to the country menu.
    4. If you’re in an eligible country, you can choose to display your ad with a Google forwarding phone number in order to access advanced call reporting. If you don’t want to use a Google forwarding phone number, choose “My own phone number”.
  6. Choose optional settings and save
    1. If you’re using a Google forwarding phone number and want to track your mobile phone calls as conversions, tick the box next to “Report phone call conversions”. Specify how long a call should last for it to be reported as a conversion.
    2. You can choose to have this call extension preferred over other call extensions when people see your ad on mobile devices. To do this, select the box for “Mobile” next to “Device preference”.
  7. If you’d like to limit when the phone number will be eligible to appear in your ad (such as during your opening hours), click on Start/end dates, scheduling and choose your hours.
  8. Click on Save.

You can repeat the steps above to add up to 20 call extensions to each campaign or ad group.

Want to learn more about B2B Marketing? Download our white paper: Your Guide to Successful Digital B2B Marketing 

The Death of Google’s Sidebar Ads

Every now and then Google likes to drop a small, well-placed, bomb on the paid search industry.  In February 2013 the company behind the world’s most visited website launched “Enhanced Campaigns” changing the way advertisers were able to manage spend on different devices, and just last year Google introduced “Upgraded URLs” altering the way that 3rd party tracking needed to be applied to destination URLs in AdWords.

The latest significant change for advertisers appears to be the death of right sidebar ads on Google’s search engine results pages.  This change, as reported by Search Engine Land, will see text ads on the right hand side of the search results become defunct as Google looks to add an additional fourth ad to the top of the search results page for what they are calling “highly commercial queries.”

Cue the hysteria.  There are several immediate questions that spring to mind. Firstly, what does this mean with regards to CPC inflation?  With fewer results to bid on, the competition for the top places will inevitably increase and therefore bidding wars for top performing keywords are likely to become greatly intensified.  Secondly, is this the end of smaller advertisers being able to use AdWords as a channel to drive incremental revenue?  Currently advertisers with smaller budgets are able to occupy a place on right hand side of results where bigger spenders have the additional cash required to push for positions one to three.

The truth is this probably does mean CPC inflation, but what it should not mean is the end of AdWords being an important channel for smaller advertisers.  For years Google have been working to help advertisers serve even more relevant ads on the search engine results pages.  This has meant giving advertisers more control over when and where their ads are showing, allowing advertisers to overlay both first party audience data (through RLSAs) and third party data (through demographic targeting).  The fact that many advertisers still choose to ignore these features is not just to the detriment of the advertiser, but also to the user of the search engine itself.

This development should serve as the ultimate kick in the backside for paid search advertisers that are still seeing their campaigns as simply keywords and text ads.  I suspect the higher levels of keyword competition will lead to advertisers finally invoking many presently neglected AdWords features, ensuring that when paid search strategies are built greater emphasis goes into understanding how audience data can be applied to maximise return.

So yes, CPCs may go up, but if paid search advertisers are smart and start to utilise the full set of available AdWords features they will ensure that even more relevant audiences are met with their ads and therefore any inflation in CPC shouldn’t come at the detriment of return on investment.  For those of us however, that are currently utilising the full extent of AdWords features, well, it’s time to start the moaning, I suggest directing our complaints in the direction of Mountain View, Santa Clara, California.

Google Launches Black Friday & Cyber Monday Ad Extensions in the UK

Google have relaunched their Black Friday/ Cyber Monday ad extension to make more of the weekend!

The ad below is an example of this new Black Friday Paid Search ad, which was available in the US only last year. The ad allows you to add specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday attributes to your ad text. These attributes are displayed as an extra line on the ads.
Google-Black-Friday Ad Extensions UK

*Text in image has been made bold to emphasise change to ad.

The extension allows you to actively promote your offers for the Black Friday weekend and will appear in your AdWords account on 9th November. Once the extension has been set up, it will start appearing from 24th November. The extension will switch messaging automatically to Cyber Monday part way through the weekend and will stop showing on the evening of 30th November.

We recommend monitoring the percentage of time the extension shows with your ads, and testing whether ad copy also containing ‘Black Friday’ performs better or not.

We will be reporting on the results we saw when the weekend has finished, so stay tuned!

5 Tips for Expanding Internationally with Paid Search

With many UK brands now seeking growth through international expansion, we take a closer look at how brands can successfully expand their international operations with Paid Search and Display. Focusing on international campaign management and execution, this article offers our top tips on running effective campaigns targeted to different territories.

 

Please click here to see our earlier article on 5 Tips for Introducing a Brand into a New Territory.

 

Our top 5 tips for international expansion

1. Decide which countries to target

When expanding internationally, a good starting point for advertisers is to research which territories are likely to perform well:

  • Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner with its Traffic Estimator function to find out the level of brand awareness of your brand in a target territory by estimating the average monthly impressions your brand may receive.
  • To gain further insights on new territories, we would suggest that you create a worldwide brand campaign targeting all countries and all languages, while being careful to exclude any territories where you already have campaigns running. By running a worldwide campaign, you will be able to assess which locations drive the most traffic and sales. Let the campaign run for at least 2 weeks and you will see the territories which are performing the best. The highest performing campaigns should then be separated and optimised individually.

 

2. Find the right keywords

Building a strong keyword list for your campaign will help you ensure that your ads show to your target customers as they search for specific terms or visit certain websites. To find the right keywords for your campaign, we would suggest you:

  • Use keywords which perform well in the UK as a starting point, as these are likely to perform well in international territories too. Start with exact match keywords and then expand into phrase match keywords. This will allow you to see which terms users are searching for in a particular territory and therefore enable you to grow the campaign.
  • Expand your keyword selection further by using Google’s Keyword Planner to see which keywords are likely to drive the most impressions for a given territory. We have found that misspells of brand terms and products names tend to perform well in international territories and can be effective in driving more traffic to your website.

 

3. Localise your language

When running multi-language campaigns, it’s important to ensure that your ads resonate with different, local audiences:

  • Ensure you use a reliable translation service to accurately and appropriately translate your ad copy. Consumers are less likely to click on ads which do not read well.
  • Separate campaigns by language as this will allow you to target consumers who speak a local language differently to consumers who speak English. This is particularly important for UK brands that are looking to tap into the lucrative expat market. It is worth noting that there is no conclusive link to show that consumers will always prefer to click on ads in their local language, therefore this important to test ads in different languages across all target territories.

 

4. Drive more performance with effective ad copy

There are many factors which should be considered when creating ad copies for an international territory. Each territory will vary and react to ad messages in different ways:

  • Test different types of ad copy as small changes to ad copy can have a significant impact on CTR. For example, we performed a split test adding ‘/au’ at the end of the display url for an international client running campaigns in Australia. CTR for this ad copy was +17% higher than the ad copy without ‘/au’ at the end of the URL. In another test, we trialled different discount codes for a retail client who was trying to improve performance in low converting territories. By using discount-led messages in ad copy we were able to increase CTR by +22% in these territories.
  • Research the preferred terms and phrases used in your target territories, for example use “Shipping” in ad copies for the US rather than “Delivery”. It is also important to understand seasonality factors and key dates for your targets territories, for instance Christmas Day is on 7th January in Russia.

 

5. Don’t lose a sale due to poor landing pages

When trying to drive more onsite conversions, it’s important to test the most effective landing page for your target territory. There are a number of different ways to optimise landing pages:

  • Localise the language of the landing page to the territory that your campaign is running in. We tested a simple localised landing page in the US against a UK landing page. The localised landing page had a 95% higher conversion rate than the UK landing page.
  • In territories where you are receiving a large number of clicks through to the landing page but a low number of sales, test a localised landing page with images of local currency and clear messaging on local delivery options as this should improve conversion rate.

 

 

To sum up

In conclusion, knowing which territories already have a strong brand presence is key in generating sales internationally. By creating a worldwide campaign you will be able to understand which territories have higher traffic and sales volume and build campaigns accordingly.

 

When optimising your international campaigns it is important to take into consideration the differences between the different territories. By adopting some of our recommendations to help localise your campaigns to each target territory, you will be well equipped to run successful international Paid Search campaigns. Good luck!

 

Case Study: Building a new customer base in the UK

We are pleased to share a new case study of our work with well-known international travel brand, Sunweb. Adopting a new approach, we integrated Paid Search and Display advertising to help effectively reach a new audience and successfully help build a customer base in the UK.

 

Challenge

Sunweb are a leading international specialist tour operator. They have an established customer base in Europe and were looking to increase brand awareness in the UK and build its customer base locally. They appointed us to help them achieve this through Paid Search and Display advertising. We believed that we could use an integrated Paid Search and Display advertising strategy to increase brand awareness and drive incremental bookings in the UK.

 

Our Approach

Sunweb has some brand awareness in the UK, and as such already has some existing traffic to the website from UK consumers. To capture this existing search traffic, we launched a Paid Search campaign promoting Sunweb’s holiday services through a series of text ads. Messaging was designed specifically to drive consumers directly to the website.

 

To expand reach further, we implemented a Programmatic Display prospecting campaign promoting Display ad placements on contextually relevant websites. This approach was designed to target new consumers who fit a pre-defined audience profile, who we believed would have an active interest in the type of holiday being offered by Sunweb.

 

To drive more online bookings, we analysed campaign conversion data to pinpoint the times at which most on-site conversions were made. Using this data, we commenced a retargeting campaign to pursue our target consumers at times when we knew that they would be most likely to convert.

 

Results

The campaign has been a great success. Since launch, UK revenue has increased by +96% and bookings by +36% month on month. At the same time we have also managed to decreased cost per acquisition by 73%.

 

For further information on this campaign, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting Digby at digby@netmediaplanet.com.

 

Channel crossing: creative offline to inform online

As Paid Search and Display advertising specialists we are passionate about running great campaigns, and are always looking to see how we can drive even more performance from them. So, when a fashion retail client invited us to attend a recent launch of their new product range, we jumped at the chance. Little did we know that it would have a wide ranging influence on the future strategy for our Paid Search and Display campaigns, not only at a strategic level, but tactically also.

 

In this article, we share some of the insights gained from this day, and highlight just how important offline marketing activity is for driving more performance from your online marketing campaigns.

 

Here we share our top 4 key takeaways from the day:

1. Planning for campaign preparation:

The day proved invaluable in helping us to create a plan for a new high performing campaign, well in advance of its launch date. Following the day, we have:

  • Created a schedule for each campaign, and are working collaboratively with the client on key campaign elements such as the development of new landing pages for the separate collections and new remarketing lists. This means that we will be able to coordinate launch times and product pushes with consistent messaging and creative to offline marketing activity.
  • Gained insight into the trends that will be directing fashion over the next 6 months. We also learned what the press had picked out as ‘the next big thing’, which since the press ultimately dictates fashion is really important. This means that we can prepare specific campaigns to push these target products – and capitalise on the buzz that the press interest will generate around them.

 

2. Understanding consumer engagement behaviours:

We gained a number of insights on the target audience from the client’s in-house marketing team. As a result we have been able to further refine our online marketing efforts to reach our core target audience with a specific interest in this new product range. The insights gained have:

  • Informed our optimisation strategy so that campaigns can be fully optimised with known contributors to high converting opportunities – such as time of day, device targeting and seasonality factors.
  • Improved our understanding of our target demographic which has helped us to develop highly specific remarketing lists.
  • Informed our website placement and topic targets for Display marketing. As a result we can find new ways to add further influence to the target consumer through the purchasing funnel.

 

3. Getting the terminology right:

We learned about the new terms that consumers and the media will use to search, find and talk about the new product range. New words entered our vocabulary, such as double-sided bags and trophy skirts. As a result we have:

  • Found new keywords to match future search queries to inform long tail keywords and additionally expand our existing keyword selection to capture more traffic.
  • Developed compelling messaging which incorporates the new terms that consumers will be using to talk about products. This will ensure that our ad copy is in tune with the latest consumer trends and terms.

 

4. Bringing creative synergies:

We learned more about the offline creative that will be used to promote the range and gained ideas of creative styles and imagery – in terms of colour palette, tones and formats. As a result we have:

  • Identified the best images to use for image ad extensions in our Paid Search campaigns that will present a look and feel consistent with offline marketing activity, while bringing consumers to the site.
  • Developed the most impactful creative banners to continue connecting with consumers through Display advertising while they browse other websites.
  • Applied the most effective imagery to develop compelling land pages that will keep consumers onsite and drive conversions.

 

In summary:

Attending this press day has not only enabled us to bring brand new ideas to our Paid Search and Display campaigns, it has given us a better view of the target audience and a clearer picture of our client’s overall strategy.

 

Sometimes it can be all too easy to get set in what is happening in your Paid Search and Display campaigns so that you miss the bigger picture of the overall marketing strategy.

 

Paid Search and Display is just one cog in the marketing machine. Gaining new business insights allows this cog to be better cut, better positioned and better oiled for what is to come, and to help the marketing machine work at maximum capacity. Seeing how the business operates first-hand has helped to drive our campaign direction over the first half of the year and we look forward to delivering some fantastic results!

 

Watch this space!

 

Simpler Shopping On Mobile

Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are beginning to play a major role in the digital marketing strategies of retail brands. Over the past year they have soared in popularity, and this growth looks set to continue. Indeed, recent research from Marin Software shows that retail advertisers have increased spending on PLAs by approximately 300%*.

 

Following this growth, Google is now expanding the reach of PLAs even further, with the recent launch of a new version of mobile PLAs.

 

Given the size of the opportunities for retailers to connect with mobile shoppers using PLAs, we decided to put the new mobile PLA update to the test.

 

Understanding the new mobile PLAs:

Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices not only to research but also to buy products. Google’s recently updated version of mobile PLAs has now made it simpler for consumers to quickly and easily browse products. One key new function is the new swipe feature, which allows users to swipe across the screen to browse all of the products. Not only does this enable users to browse more products from the initial search results page, they can also view larger product images and longer, descriptive product titles. This update has also given more retailers the opportunity to appear on the mobile PLA unit, as the screenshot below shows:

 

Example mobile PLAs:

 

 

Testing out mobile PLAs:

To conduct a test of the new version of mobile PLAs, we analysed performance data of an existing PLA campaign being run for one of our online retail clients, which was opted in for all devices. Mobile has consistently performed well for this client, and currently holds 14% share of traffic and a 7% share of sales from PLAs, with an outstanding conversion rate of 4.8%!

 

Following the launch of our campaign with the updated Google mobile PLAs, we noticed an initial decrease in CTR which could have been due to initial usability issues, with users unaware of the new scroll feature. It is worth mentioning, that even if the product is not seen, it will still warrant the impression but not the click and could affect CTR as a result.

 

Following the initial drop in performance, the number of clicks from mobile PLAs quickly started to increase, as shown in the graph below. Over the 8 week reporting period, the share of sales from PLAs on mobile increased by a significant +29%.

 

Campaign data pre- and post- launch of the new mobile PLA:

 

In conclusion:

Although it is early days and the test analysed a relatively small data set, there are some interesting insights. Certainly, the results suggest that Google have developed something that is far more in tune with how users are searching for and looking at products.

 

Furthermore, the marked increase in performance with this campaign demonstrates the growing value of PLAs on mobile for retailers, and the growing importance of mobile for connecting consumers researching the best places to buy products, both online and in store.

 

Therefore, if you have not already set up your PLA campaigns into mobile, we recommend carrying out initial testing by applying appropriate mobile bid adjustments. This will help to capture more searches which are relevant to your product set.

 

Mobile PLAs could provide a potentially profitable new way to reach new consumers and incrementally grow your business. Certainly, with advertiser investment continuing to increase, and the on-going success of the PLA format, they seem here to stay.

 

 

*http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/industry-insights/retailers-increase-spending-on-product-listing-ads-by-300

 

Net Media Planet joins Global Search Marketing Panel

This week, Net Media Planet continues its international speaking road show, as it joins Yandex and Baidu’s European business partner, CharmClick on an international Search marketing panel hosted by leading US ecommerce company Borderfree.

 

This event will provide a unique opportunity for brands to hear from three international marketing experts who will be discussing Search marketing trends, tactics and opportunities in Russia, China and Europe. Some of the confirmed attendees include Saks Fifth Avenue, DKNY, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Barneys.

 

At this event, Luke Judge will present Net Media Planet’s POV on how brands can unlock the online business opportunities in Europe. The session will provide insights and practical guidance on how brands can take that first step into new international markets.

 

Attendees will also hear from Preston Carey, US & UK Business Development Director at Yandex, who will discuss the ecommerce opportunity in Russia and will offer guidance on how to reach the growing consumer market in Russia through Yandex.

 

Johnny Zhu, CEO of CharmClick and the exclusive Baidu European partner, will also be joining the panel to give an overview of the China business opportunities, and discuss strategies for maximising the business potential on Baidu.

 

Borderfree is a leading US ecommerce company that works with some of the world’s most iconic brands, helping to pave the way for their global expansion. As a UK business partner, Net Media Planet works with them on an on-going basis to help drive new business opportunities for leading UK and USA brands looking to launch into new markets.

 

For more information on the event and to discuss international opportunities further, please contact Carolyn@netmediaplanet.com