Last week, the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference wheeled its way into London. Marin was heavily involved across the three-day conference with Clive Morris, Matt Ackley and Jon Myers speaking in multiple sessions. I just wanted to wrap up three key trends from across the show:
1) The Rise of PLAs
As our white paper The State of Google Shopping found, there is no stopping the growth of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in the e-commerce industry. Chris Howard, Head of Digital at Shop Direct Group, said that PLAs are one reason why paid search is interesting again. He also mentioned that they generate better ROI for retailers than traditional PPC.
Brendan Almack and Alan Coleman at Wolfgang Digital ran a great session, diving into detail on PLAs. They shared these useful insights:
2) Audience Data in Search
With SERPs becoming more personalized and advertisers increasingly targeting people – not keywords or positions – we talked a lot about how audiences and audience data can be integrated into both paid and organic search.
Ian Carrington, Director of Performance, Northern and Central Europe at Google introduced Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) into the conversation during the very first session on day one of SES London. Ian recommended using RLSA remarketing if you want cheaper CPAs and increased conversions, which is a no-brainer for most advertisers.
Marin Software’s Matt Ackley and Jon Myers both suggested that audience data is the next frontier in search. In reference to our recent integration with BlueKai, both said it’s essential to understand and utilize audience data, because it will make your PPC more strategic. Matt also speculated that Google could eventually use its own user data to bring audience targeting and analytics even further into paid search. For example, you might have the ability to adjust bids for searchers with different incomes and family sizes.
3) Context Increasingly Plays a Role in Search
With recent algorithm updates across paid and natural search, the impact of context on search was a also hot topic. Matt Ackley talked about how context is going to become more integrated with search, for example by integrating weather forecasts to adjust your bidding strategy.
Allistair Dent, Director of Paid Media at Periscopix, agreed saying that Google AdWords new features will use the enhanced campaigns structure, where context is just as important as keywords and other targeting. He suggested blending contextual items together to make decisions about your audience. For example, if a user is searching for your brand near your store, then you can send them to a special local-focused landing page.
Were you at SES London? If so, let us know what you thought in the comments!
In today’s tech-savvy world, consumers are increasingly shifting their media time away from traditional channels such as television, print, and radio, towards the emerging digital channels of search, social, video, and mobile. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are seeing customers take to the web thanks to the convenience, selection, and price-transparency of ecommerce. Consequently, the battle for revenue is experiencing a seismic shift and marketers are increasingly allocating their investments towards these emerging digital channels.
The research firm eMarketer estimates that global B2C online sales grew 21 percent last year to $1.09 trillion, the first time sales have topped $1 trillion. The US ecommerce industry chipped in $365 billion and eMarketer expects that amount to grow to $409 billion in 2013. With the average sales per US consumer reaching $2,466 this year among those who purchase goods online, advertisers are seeking more efficient and effective ways to reach their audience.
Following suit, a new Strata survey found that nearly one-third of ad agencies expect to spend more on digital advertising than on traditional media within the next three years—indicating that digital media may eclipse traditional advertising in the near future.
“Focusing on revenue acquisition is an absolute necessity to thrive in today’s digital marketing landscape.” – Linda Harjono, Senior Manager of Search, Symantec
To win the battle for revenue, smart marketers are breaking away from their competition and overcoming the challenges of a highly complex and data-driven digital landscape with Revenue Acquisition Management (RAM)—an emerging category of technologies that enable advertisers to improve revenue outcomes and return on investments from digital advertising. RAM solutions allow marketers to manage digital advertising across multiple channels, publisher, geographies, languages, and devices; providing them with complete visibility and control over their programs and enabling them to optimize their digital advertising to meet desired revenue goals.
Marin is proud to announce the release of our 2012 Q1 online advertising report. This report, which identifies significant year-over-year paid search trends, was compiled using data from over 1,500 advertisers and agencies who invest over $3.5 billion annually in online advertising through Marin.
At a glance, our study revealed an increase in click-through-rate (CTR), with cost-per-click (CPC) remained relatively steady. More specifically, we found a significant increase in CTR and a drop in CPC on Google. Some of our key findings include:
So what does all this mean? The increase in CTR coupled with a 12% lower CPC points to Marin users increasing their efficiency on Google. This finding is further validated by the increased usage of exact and phrase match type keywords, as users continue to identify and fill gaps using Marin’s keyword expansion tools.
Device targeting, specifically smart phones and tablets, continues to soar in popularity. Increases in click volume give evidence of the growth in consumer adoption. With smart phones and tablets showing higher CTRs and lower CPCs compared to desktops, mobile search should continue to be top of mind for advertisers.
Want to see other Q1 industry trends from 2012 with our recommendations? Download the full report here.