tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ppc Latest PPC content from Econsultancy 2017-10-31T11:33:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-10-31T11:33:00+00:00 2017-10-31T11:33:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3327 2017-10-26T18:12:35+01:00 2017-10-26T18:12:35+01:00 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Advanced <p>SEO is a complex subject and for those wishing to move their knowledge beyond the basics, this course has been designed for the intermediate to advanced learner. There is lots to consider when optimising for maximum visibility through search. From key phrase research and query audits, to content strategy, page mark-up and site architecture. Getting all these things right is key to grabbing customers who know what they want, but not where to get it from.</p><p>Providing you with a structured process to improve your results from SEO, an industry expert will lead this one-day workshop, reviewing attendees' existing optimisation approaches, analytics and tools against their top-performing competitors and best practice.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69432 2017-09-20T14:15:00+01:00 2017-09-20T14:15:00+01:00 Restoration Hardware bid on 3,200 keywords, found 98% of its PPC sales came from just 22 brand terms Patricio Robles <p>It's a question worth asking in light of a revelation made by Gary Friedman, the CEO of home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware. </p> <p>At the Goldman Sachs 24th Annual Global Retailing Conference held earlier this month in New York City, Friedman <a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/parsimony16/status/906198105678372864/">told attendees</a> that several years ago, his online marketing team requested a doubling of its budget. Such a significant request was met with some skepticism, but the online marketing team was confident and for a seemingly good reason: their customer acquisition and ad costs were the lowest in the company.</p> <p>Intrigued, Friedman asked them for the details. "Tell me about the data, show me how," he requested.</p> <p>Eventually, the conversation turned to the company's AdWords buys and Friedman asked a simple question: "how many [keywords] do you buy?" The answer: 3,200. </p> <p>To which Friedman followed up:</p> <blockquote> <p>I said, well, what are the top words? How are they ranked, the ranking of the words? Oh, we don't have that, right. And I was getting the look at like, oh, Gary is kind of one these old brick-and-mortar guys. He just doesn't get it.</p> <p>And I said, well, what are the top 10 words? And they didn't have the information. I said, why don't we cancel the meeting and come back next week when you have the data? I'm sure that Google sales representatives who are taking you to the expensive lunches and selling you the 3,200 words have that data. So why don't we get the data and then let's review the data?</p> </blockquote> <p>When the group reconvened, the online marketing team had the data, and it was quite surprising. 22 keywords were driving 98% of the business. And what were those keywords? "Restoration Hardware" and 21 ways to spell "Restoration Hardware" wrong.</p> <p>According to Friedman, Restoration Hardware canceled its buys for all keywords, including its name, the next day.</p> <p>The online marketing team at first objected, pointing out that a competitor like Pottery Barn could "squat" on the company's name, but Friedman, who to this day is dismayed by the number of companies that pay Google millions of dollars a year "for their own name", wasn't having any of it:</p> <blockquote> <p>I said, "excuse me?" I said, if someone goes to a mall or a shopping center and they're going to Restoration Hardware and there's a Pottery Barn there, they're already squatting, okay? It doesn't mean they're going to go into their store. If somebody wanted to buy a diamond from Tiffany and just because Zale's is sitting on top of them in a shaded box doesn't mean they're going to go to Zale's and buy a diamond.</p> </blockquote> <p>Friedman's revelation about Restoration Hardware raises a number of subjects that are worthy of examination.</p> <p><strong>Perhaps the biggest: despite the fact that it is a publicly-traded company that does more than $2bn in revenue per year, Restoration Hardware's online marketing team didn't know which of the more than 3,000 keywords it was buying ads against were driving business.</strong></p> <p>Let that sink in.</p> <p>The marketing team knew its customer acquisition cost and its ad cost, and probably could have reported on any number of other fancy metrics, giving it the confidence to ask for a doubling of its budget, but it didn't know that "Restoration Hardware" and common misspellings were responsible for 98% of the revenue its paid search campaigns were delivering.</p> <p>This is a great reminder to marketers of the importance of seeing the forest from the trees. There are more tools than ever that promise mastery and optimization of every facet of digital marketing, but these can be a double-edged sword. While many of them no doubt deliver benefit, they can also make it easier for marketing teams to get lost in the weeds and overcomplicate their efforts. </p> <p>While Restoration Hardware's experience might be slightly more extreme than typical, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69309-how-much-waste-is-in-the-digital-ad-market">the experiences of major advertisers</a> like JPMorgan Chase, which drastically slashed the number of sites it advertises on after finding that most of them were useless, and Proctor &amp; Gamble, which cut its digital ad spend by $100m without ill-effect, suggest even the most sophisticated of companies could probably benefit from taking a closer look at their digital ad efforts.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3246 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 Mini Masters in Digital Marketing Online <p>If you want to accelerate your career to take a leadership role as a professional digital marketer then the Econsultancy Mini Masters in Digital Marketing is the course that will give you the practical and strategic skills to step up.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Econsultancy’s Mini Masters is taught online with intensive, challenging, interactive modules taught by the very best in the business. Formalise your existing skills, and come away with the confidence that you really know your stuff – and how to prove it at the highest level. </p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><strong>Book your place now! Next course dates are in April and October 2018.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69178 2017-06-16T11:58:58+01:00 2017-06-16T11:58:58+01:00 Facebook adds value optimization to ad bidding & Lookalike Audiences Patricio Robles <p>This week, Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/news/new-tools-to-get-more-value-from-your-campaigns">announced</a> two new tools that marketers advertising on the world's largest social network will want to take a look at: value optimization and value-based Lookalike Audiences.</p> <p>Both rely on the Facebook Pixel and are designed to help marketers reach Facebook users who are likely to spend more money with them.</p> <p>As Facebook explained in its announcement:</p> <blockquote> <p>Value optimization works by using the purchase values sent from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend with your business over a seven-day period. The ad's bid is then automatically adjusted based on this estimation, allowing campaigns to deliver ads to people likely to spend more with your business at a low cost.</p> </blockquote> <p>Value optimization is somewhat similar to Google's <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6268632?hl=en">Target CPA bidding</a>, which allows advertisers using AdWords automated bidding to let Google's technology work on their behalf to minimize their cost per acquisition (CPA). To use Target CPA bidding, marketers must use Google's conversion tracking. </p> <h3>Value-based Lookalike Audiences</h3> <p>Facebook is also extending its value optimization algorithms to Lookalike Audiences, one of the most powerful tools Facebook offers marketers.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65505-lookalike-audiences-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing/">Lookalike Audiences</a> allow marketers using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences">Custom Audiences</a> to target Facebook users that Facebook determines are similar to their Custom Audiences. The performance delivered by Lookalike Audience targeting can be impressive. For example, according to Facebook, one ecommerce marketer realized a 56% lower CPA and 94% lower cost per checkout using Lookalike Audiences.</p> <p>Unfortunately, working with Custom and Lookalike Audiences is not always efficient. More sophisticated marketers, realizing that not all of their users or customers are as valuable as others, frequently segment their customers into multiple Custom Audiences. For obvious reasons, this can be a tedious task.</p> <p>Now, that step can be eliminated in some cases as Facebook is giving marketers the ability to create value-based Lookalike Audiences so they don't have to perform this segmentation on their own. Facebook explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>With this enhancement, advertisers are no longer limited to creating small groups of audiences based on their spend or LTV prior to creating a Custom Audience. Now, they can include a value column to their entire customer list, which Facebook can use to create an additional weighted signal for people most likely to make a purchase after seeing your ad. </p> </blockquote> <h3>Worth experimenting with?</h3> <p>For marketers that have already implemented the Facebook Pixel on their properties, value optimization and value-based Lookalike Audiences are potentially significant offerings that many marketers will probably find worthwhile to experiment with.</p> <p>However, Facebook's methodology for estimating how much customers might spend with a business over a short period of time is a black box, something that some marketers might be a little wary of given <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook's recent string of metrics faux pas</a>. Despite this, offering marketers tools for identifying and targeting their most valuable users is a no-brainer for Facebook and it's all but certain the company will continue to add similar offerings well into the future.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4055 2017-05-30T17:00:00+01:00 2017-05-30T17:00:00+01:00 Paid Search Best Practice Guide <p>Now including new sections on topics such as <strong>paid search in social media, video advertising, mobile paid search, Shopping campaigns and ad extensions</strong>, Econsultancy's refreshed and updated <strong>Paid Search Best Practice Guide</strong> covers everything you need to know about paid search advertising.</p> <p>The guide will help beginners and experts to plan, create, launch and optimise paid search campaigns and maximise their return on investment.</p> <p>Built on the foundations of our previous report, this document has been created and updated using insight, tips, strategies and tactics from those working every day in the paid search field and generating profits for their clients.</p> <p>This guide contains actionable, real-world insight with detailed explanations to help you start and improve your performance within paid search.</p> <h2>Topics covered</h2> <p>Sections covered include:</p> <ul> <li>Paid Search Basics</li> <li>Planning and Strategy for Paid Search</li> <li>Setting up Paid Search</li> <li>Paid Search Optimisation</li> <li>Mobile Paid Search</li> <li>Google Shopping: Shopping Campaigns and Product Listing Ads</li> <li>International and Multilingual Paid Search</li> <li>Marketing Campaign Integration Strategy</li> <li>Video Advertising</li> <li>Paid Search in Social Media</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jcMukdgGWMU?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h2>Contributing authors</h2> <p>This guide has been put together and updated by <strong>Rob Jones, an experienced digital consultant and owner of Romor Digital</strong>, with the assistance of leading agencies and practitioners working at the coal face of paid search. They have kindly contributed their time and effort in producing this guide.</p> <p>They include:</p> <ul> <li>Neil Hancock, Head of Optimisation and Planning, Silverbean</li> <li>Kevin Joyner, Director of Planning &amp; Insight, Croud</li> <li>Paul Kasamias, Head of Performance Media, Starcom/Performics</li> <li>Sophie Kleiner, Head of Search, NMPi</li> <li>Judith Lewis, Founder, Decabbit Consultancy</li> <li>Tom Lewis, Head of Professional Services, DC Storm </li> <li>Hannah Zora Mattinson, Senior Paid Marketing Manager, Silverbean</li> <li>David McDiarmid, Head of Paid Search, DigitasLBi</li> <li>Oscar Romero, Head of Performance Media, Mediavest/Performics</li> <li>Sam Vandermark, Associate Director - Digital, The Specialist Works</li> <li>Matt Whelan, Digital Strategy Director, The Specialist Works</li> <li>Peter Whitmarsh, Head of Paid Media, Search Laboratory</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68936 2017-03-30T09:00:00+01:00 2017-03-30T09:00:00+01:00 Tackling branded paid search in complex APAC markets Ben Davis <h3>Strategy cannot be transferred from west to east</h3> <p>According to Ben, "brands fall down because you can’t automatically transfer your strategy in the west to these complex markets."</p> <p>"By complex markets," he continues, "I mean China, Korea and Japan. In China and Korea, nothing in those two markets is Google-centric. Nothing in those two markets is Facebook centric (there’s a little bit in Korea now, but not very much)."</p> <p>And even in Japan, where Google has approximately 50% search share with Yahoo, Ben points out that the "Yahoo Japan landscape has nothing to do with Yahoo formats or technology in Hong Kong and Taiwan. They have an entirely different structure - it’s a Japanese specific search engine."</p> <p>Whereas Singapore uses pretty much the same ad technology as the western world and, to a certain extent, so does Hong Kong and Taiwan, Ben argues that being local is vital in China, Korea and Japan.</p> <p>Forward3D maintains London teams for these markets, too, chiefly to allow western clients to manage activity in their own timezone, but local relationships and tech integration are paramount. "Very few or none of the well known management tools integrate well or at all with local platforms," says Ben, "so you very much have to create your own solution."</p> <p>One of the big differences observed in China, Korea and Japan is branded paid search. </p> <h3>Branded paid search strategy</h3> <p>Korea's Naver has Brand Search, China's Baidu has Brand Zone, and Yahoo Japan has Sponsored Search Display. Each are specific search ads triggered only by brand keywords, but they bear similarities with display advertising products.</p> <p>Hannes Ben, Forward3D's Chief International Officer, explains:</p> <p>"In search you can obviously split your keywords into brand or generic terms. On Google it’s the same ad structure whatever the keyword. But on Baidu, Naver and Yahoo Japan, you have fixed products for only your brand keywords, and these products are very different from the normal paid search."</p> <p>"Brand Zone has much bigger real estate [than standard PPC] on Baidu and it covers almost the whole first page and combines lots of images, even videos and text and site links. It can look almost like a small microsite in the search results."</p> <p>"And Brand Zone is not bought on a cost-per-click basis. It is bought on the volume of impressions and you negotiate a price based on a monthly fixed fee."</p> <p>"That’s where the confusion happens. Quite often, you have clients who think it’s a display product (because it’s a fixed price and timescale) but it’s actually keyword triggered, within the same ad space as all the other ad copy, so it’s very important from a technical perspective to run this together with your normal paid search."</p> <p><em>Baidu's Brand Zone (game format)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5053/brandzone_game.jpg" alt="brand zone" width="650"></p> <p><em>Naver's Brand Search</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5052/naver_brand_search.jpg" alt="naver brand search" width="650">  </p> <p>Fairly obviously, if brands regard this branded search product as akin to display advertising, and give it to the display team to manage, it's hard to optimise for search.</p> <p>Ben cites this as a common problem for brands new to the APAC market. He says "It has to run alongside PPC. New clients still get this wrong and we have to do an education piece to say 'if you run this with the display team, separately from your paid search team, then you can’t optimise your keywords sufficiently'."</p> <p>Branded search strategy is particularly important because these products are vital for brand protection in these markets. As Ben puts it, in China "it’s one of the only ways to secure your position."</p> <p>Competitors may be able to compete with you on generic keywords, but Brand Zone ad products are only available to the brand in question, which makes it so valuable. Because of that, Baidu's Brand Zone is expensive, so, as Ben highlights, "some new brands with low search volume can’t afford it and it doesn’t make sense from an ROI perspective."</p> <p>However, he continues, "if you have a few thousand brand searches per month, it’s important to purchase Brand Zone, because in China, trademark doesn’t always work out that well, so the only way to secure your brand is to buy it." </p> <p>Negotiation power with Baidu is important, and that's where the local relationships that Ben mentioned come in use. As he puts it, "it’s great if you have fantastic tech, but you need negotiation power."</p> <h3>Differences between markets</h3> <p>Even with the three branded search products on Naver, Baidu and Yahoo Japan, there are differences that need to be taken into account.</p> <p>On Naver, for example, Ben points out that Brand Search occupies a smaller section of the search results, but the product is much cheaper than on Baidu. What's more, generic PPC ads can rotate to the bottom of the page on Naver, which causes a sudden drop in clickthrough rate. That makes Brand Search even more important, fixed as it is to the top of the page.</p> <h3>A premium on data science skills</h3> <p>One of the difficulties of complex APAC markets is a lack of skills which can hinder agencies in their efforts to adapt to local platforms.</p> <p>Hannes Ben, Forward3D's Chief International Officer, comments that "in the data science field, there's much stronger expertise in the western world and the UK. Finding Japanese, Chinese and Korean expertise which also knows paid search or social and has a data science approach is almost impossible."</p> <p>When I pressed Ben on what particular skills he is looking for, he stressed that attribution "is not a buzzword any more, it's important for everyone. Performance for many channels is often judged purely on a last click basis. More advanced models such as causal-impact analysis are required to understand the true value and interactions of each channel."</p> <p>That means agencies want people who will ultimately be able to "create their own statistical attribution models to look at different channels simultaneously, and use advanced profitability analysis to look at what point a certain product drives diminishing returns."</p> <p>This sort of work requires programming skills as well as statistical acumen and can get "pretty complex on big accounts where you can’t look at keywords in isolation - you have to group them together by similarities and behaviours, then optimise those clusters."</p> <p>Ben echoes many employers and their approach in east and west when recruiting in the current market - he says, "We take very smart young individuals and we train them ourselves because it’s hard to find people with that performance driven mindset."</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68399-programmatic-in-china-seven-things-to-know/">Programmatic in China: Seven things to know</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3207 2017-03-21T12:27:06+00:00 2017-03-21T12:27:06+00:00 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Advanced <p>SEO is a complex subject and for those wishing to move their knowledge beyond the basics, this course has been designed for the intermediate to advanced learner. There is lots to consider when optimising for maximum visibility through search. From key phrase research and query audits, to content strategy, page mark-up and site architecture. Getting all these things right is key to grabbing customers who know what they want, but not where to get it from.</p><p>Providing you with a structured process to improve your results from SEO, an industry expert will lead this one-day workshop, reviewing attendees' existing optimisation approaches, analytics and tools against their top-performing competitors and best practice.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68881 2017-03-13T14:38:17+00:00 2017-03-13T14:38:17+00:00 Dodgy testimonials might get your agency's AdWords account suspended Ben Davis <p>In a sense, this is nothing new - Google has had <a href="https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020955?hl=en-GB">guidelines</a> in place about misrepresentation for some time and AdWords community managers have posted <a href="https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Articles/Site-Not-Working-Disapproval-amp-How-to-Fix-It/ba-p/555663">updates about their enforcement</a>.</p> <p>However, the issue was in the spotlight last week, thanks to a tweet from Joel Klettke, who was surprised to see an agency's AdWords account suspended, something he has 'never seen' before.</p> <p>Given that Klettke works as a copywriter on landing pages, amongst other content (including for <a href="http://casestudybuddy.com/">Case Study Buddy</a>), it's perhaps worthy of note that this is his first experience of a Google suspension for misrepresentation. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">An agency's Adwords account got suspended because their landing pages had case studies/testimonials on them. Never seen anything like this. <a href="https://t.co/qF1jyA9dY1">pic.twitter.com/qF1jyA9dY1</a></p> — Joel K (@JoelKlettke) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoelKlettke/status/839617078759849984">March 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>As you can see from the text in Google's response to Klettke, the main points of contention when it comes to misrepresentation are that:</p> <ul> <li>testimonials with claims attached need disclaimers</li> <li>no claims of exact results should be present outside testimonials unless linked to a peer-reviewed journal</li> <li>any claim that is general needs a disclaimer</li> </ul> <p>Furthermore, and fairly obviously, no guarantees or claims of permanent results are permitted.</p> <p>The tweet caused surprise for a few, with @lakey suggesting that enforcement could lead to rather absurd or unnecessary disclaimers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/herrhuld">@herrhuld</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/stephenkeable">@stephenkeable</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LordManley">@LordManley</a> Are we to expect this kind of thing... <a href="https://t.co/l6mdsUENI0">pic.twitter.com/l6mdsUENI0</a></p> — Chris Lake (@lakey) <a href="https://twitter.com/lakey/status/839785306756952064">March 9, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Whilst Google's own examples of where these guidelines apply are consumer-facing, such as for weight loss treatments, anyone with knowledge of the martech industry knows that testimonials and cases studies abound. </p> <p>That means companies need to be careful when making claims about the impact of their services. For case studies claiming an uplift in sales, for example, this means a simple asterisk and some copy indicating results may vary, often found within terms and conditions.</p> <p>However, if a company is making general claims on a landing page, perhaps arising out of specific case studies, a definitive study needs to be referenced. Klettke's experience comes as a welcome reminder to agencies and martech companies to get their landing pages in order.</p> <p>Consumer watchdogs are having to catchup with malpractice such as quiet renewals and surcharges, and last year the UK Government announced its intention to <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/fake-online-reviews-could-be-made-illegal/">crack down on fake reviews</a>. There's no reason why this burgeoning focus on transparency shouldn't be taken very seriously in martech.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68752 2017-02-23T13:54:22+00:00 2017-02-23T13:54:22+00:00 What do inventory ads in local search mean for retail? Ben Davis <p>At the beginning of 2017 another test was witnessed, with these local inventory ads now appearing in 'local pack' search results (see image below).</p> <p>With this further prioritisation of ads in local search, I wanted to catch up with a PPC expert to get their thoughts on inventory ads and what they mean for retailers.</p> <p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-watson-57453b40">Rob Watson</a>, Head of Digital Advertising at Supplyant, kindly answers my questions below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3445/ppchubbub-blog-flyer.jpeg" alt="local pack inventory ads" width="300"></p> <p><em>Local inventory ads in the local pack results <a href="http://ppchubbub.com/local/local-inventory-ads/google-testing-local-inventory-ads-in-local-pack/">via PPC Hubbub</a></em></p> <h4>Econsultancy: Who do local inventory ads benefit? Aren't brand terms at the forefront of the local searcher's mind? (e.g. Maplin, Best Buy)</h4> <p>Rob Watson: I feel these local inventory ads are all about offering consumers choice.</p> <p>If you are searching for a particular product it's expected that you will be able to find an online retailer that will stock it. So to then be presented with an ad showing that a local store has that product in stock and you can pick it up within the next hour is extremely powerful. </p> <p>Ultimately the price of the product is the big influence on someone deciding to buy, but knowing you have the convenience to collect, without delivery charges, could be enough to win the sale.</p> <p>Certainly consumers do search for store names, along with product terms, but anyone that's been advertising on Google for a while will know that your Google ads will show for those retailer searches too. So, local inventory ads can really help the smaller local store win against the bigger chains. </p> <h4>E: More ads in local listings - is this another threat to the truly local business?</h4> <p>RW: We've heard this argument since the earliest days of online shopping nearly 20 years ago. I see this more as an opportunity for local businesses.</p> <p>Most online retailers do not have a physical destination, and many also focus on drop ship models with no stock, so for a local business, with a sales counter and products in stock, local inventory ads could be extremely valuable. </p> <h4>E: How easy is it for retailers who might already be running Shopping campaigns to also use local inventory ads? Do many have an accurate picture of in-store stock?</h4> <p>RW: If you've been capable of setting up a products feed and Google Merchant Centre account, technically you will be able to overcome the challenges of setting up local inventory ads. It's not that much more difficult.</p> <p>If you don't have an accurate picture of what products you have in stock, then running local inventory ads is only going to make life harder for you.</p> <p>Customers get annoyed when they place an online order for an item that's out of stock, so imagine how they will react if they've just driven 10 miles to your store. It's not going to do your online reputation any favours! </p> <h4>E: How seriously are retailers taking Google Store Visits, when calculating return on ad spend?</h4> <p>RW: Local inventory ads open up a whole new dimension to tracking challenges. My expectation is that Google will make improvements to this to allow for call tracking numbers, or even an option to show click-and-collect as an alternative call to action. </p> <p>The Shop Online option is the only one where you can get any reliable tracking, but it's not clear why anyone would interact with this if their intent is for a local shopping experience.  </p> <h4>E: How are retailers adapting their ad budgets, now that more focus is on driving sales in-store?</h4> <p>RW: There's a general belief that people shopping in-store are of greater value to a retailer, in both average order values and lifetime values.</p> <p>So understandably, retailers are excited about the opportunities of using their online budget to generate more in-store sales. However, the lack of reliable tracking means budget allocation for local ads is mostly going to be classed as experimental.  </p> <h4>E: What are the pros and cons of the local ads currently available? (local inventory, pins etc.).</h4> <p>RW: The pros will be better average order values and lifetime values. Those two are extremely compelling. Along with the ability to compete with the more aggressive pricing of drop ship online retailers.  </p> <p>The cons will be tracking. Not just because many of the interactions with the ads will no longer lead to a website visit, but also because it's reasonable to assume more of these searches will be on mobile, further exaggerating all the cross device tracking challenges retailers face.</p> <p>A final thought on this is what happens if Google starts to open up the shopping ads to local businesses that do not have an ecommerce website. Imagine if your local garden store, hardware store or niche grocery stores were able to take advantage of Google Shopping ads. Retailers that cannot compete with online stores, and whose models are based purely on in store sales.</p> <p>If these retailers were allowed to start participating in Google Shopping's Local Inventory ads, that could open up an opportunity for Google to further monetise these product searches and be of huge value to those offline retailers. </p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/"><em>Paid Search Marketing (PPC) Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/ppc-training/"><em>PPC Training Courses</em></a></li> </ul>