Google is constantly maintaining a healthy tension in its search engine results page (SERP) real estate between more ad space and less ad space. More ad space means more opportunities for advertisers to reach out to their audiences, while less ad space allows for a cleaner, less cluttered user experience. The latest set of changes Google made, back in February 2016, aimed to address this tension. Google updated the SERP display by removing standard text ads from the right rail and increasing the number of text ads above the organic results to four (up from the previous maximum of three) for certain “highly commercial” queries. This change only applied to the desktop SERPs. Overall, how does the change impact the market? Advertisers It appears that advertisers are spending the same amount of budget for the same volume of clicks. The top ad positions are costing a bit more — no surprise here. For smaller advertisers who have relied on lower-volume, long-tail terms, the … [Read more...] about How Google’s latest design choice impacts consumers’ ability to search and discover
As one of the hottest topics in marketing, attribution is often presented as a panacea for marketers’ dilemmas, allowing you to understand how different advertisements in a purchase funnel work together. The typical description first shows how conversions attributable to various channels change when going from last-click to even-distribution or U-distribution (pick your favorite open-shaped letter!). The line of reasoning then claims that multi-click attribution is needed to properly optimize your search campaign. Some attribution vendors even claim that attribution can solve the media mix problem, i.e., finding the right budget allocation to maximize the overall impact of a marketing campaign. The truth, however, is far more nuanced than a broad brushed statement claiming the superiority of multi-event attribution over a last-click approach. Last Click Is Not Always Bad The typical marketing mix of an omni-channel marketer is about 50-70% offline (TV, Print, PR), 10-15% search, … [Read more...] about Attribution: Busting The Myths
Omni-channel retail marketers with online sites and offline stores have often wondered about the effect that weather might have on their site traffic (which in turn would affect their paid search bidding strategies). There appear to be three competing hypotheses about weather affecting site traffic: Hypothesis #1: Site traffic is negatively correlated with weather quality — the better the weather, the lower the site traffic as people like to get out and buy products in store (substitution effect). Hypothesis #2: Weather has little to no effect on site traffic because surfing online shouldn’t depend much on weather (independent). Hypothesis #3: Site traffic is positively correlated with weather quality (synergistic).The theory here is that, when the weather is good, many people think about the store but start their searches online. A good fraction of these searches end with online purchases; as a result, weather quality is directly correlated with online site … [Read more...] about Does Weather Affect Site Traffic & SEM Performance?
Search crawlers are becoming more and more effective every day in discovering new content pages on websites. But, that process of organic discovery can be slow and spotty, so it’s hardly any solace to sites that publish hundreds of new pages a day, or publish extremely time-sensitive content such as news articles, or publish a huge amount of specialized digital media content such as video. Even with the continuing improvements in organic search for discovering your content, it still takes time for search to find it all. It takes patience on your part, and in many cases, the content found in a crawl has inadequate context to the needed, relevant keywords that make it discoverable to searchers. Wouldn’t it be cool if a webmaster could just identify a list of content pages you wanted the search engines to crawl, telling them “these are the most important content pages on my site,” and in some cases, even offering a little bit of keyword context to it? Well, great … [Read more...] about A Primer On How To Get The Most Out Of Sitemaps
“I grab my tablet and get busy with the pen. Y’all could not be just like me if y’all was my twin.” –Andre 3000 That consumers are rapidly changing the way they interact with advertisers is no secret – but the rapidity in which they are doing so is quite surprising. As I looked into the data from the last retail season three trends stood out. Christmas Day Is The Early Predictor Of Tablet Traffic For The Next Year Tablet impression-share has a distinct pattern. It spikes on the weekends when people are home and drops in the weekdays when people are on desktops in their offices. This five low, two high pattern is clearly seen in the chart below which shows the tablet impression share of paid clicks for a subset of retail advertisers. However, note the spike around December 25 , Christmas Day. Tablet impression-share spikes and remains high until Jan 1. I noted the same trend with 2011 data. We found similar trends in the UK, too. This spike reflects … [Read more...] about Recent Trends In Mobile Usage