News and Press
New RKG Q4 Digital Marketing Report Reveals PLA Impact, Holiday Performance and Growth Trends
January 15, 2014, Charlottesville, VA – Leading search and digital marketing agency, RKG, today released its Digital Marketing Report for the fourth quarter of 2013 – showing digital trends for paid search, SEO, social media, product listing ads (PLAs), display advertising, comparison shopping engine management, mobile and a special section on holiday performance. Across its client base, which includes over 40 of the IR Top 500 retailers, RKG found that search spending growth on Google increased slightly to 19% year-over-year. This growth was driven primarily by traffic increases as average cost-per-click (CPC) was up just 3% year over year in Q4.
Google PLAs played a key role in holiday performance, accounting for 23% of all Google traffic and 42% of competitive Google traffic, which excludes clicks on keywords that include a site’s own brand name. By comparison, the newly minted Bing Product Ads format, which launched in Q3 as a closed beta, accounted for 7% of Bing competitive ad spend. Based on PLA success on Google, that figure is likely to rise quickly.
Compared to another similar ad format in Amazon Product Ads, Google PLAs sales volume was nine times larger among advertisers running on both platforms.
On the whole, PLA spend increased 72% year-over-year as Q4 CPC for the format surpassed those of competitive text ads for the first time, coming in 13% higher. Competition in the PLA space will likely continue to drive up CPCs as return on investment for PLAs outpaced comparable Google text ads by 18%.
Continued Growth of Mobile
The volume of smartphone and tablet searches continued to grow through the holidays, and traffic on these devices accounted for over 25% of paid search spend in Q4. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day were the largest mobile days by share of traffic in Q4 at 43% and 45% respectively, as those traveling during these holidays were probably more likely to pack only mobile devices. Eagerness for Black Friday deals may have also played a significant role on Thanksgiving, while searches by those receiving new mobile devices for Christmas may have contributed to the increase in mobile share on that day.
While Q4 smartphone click traffic more than doubled year-over-year, CPC was down 8% – continuing the trend from Q3 due to the transition to the Enhanced Campaign model. Enhanced Campaigns’ mobile modifiers gave advertisers greater control to hit more demanding efficiency goals on mobile devices, which have historically returned much lower revenue-per-click than desktop and tablet computers.
Mobile now accounts for a greater share of PLA traffic than Google text ad traffic, indicating that advertisers and consumers are already largely taking advantage of the product ad format on mobile devices.
The full RKG Digital Marketing Report offers over 40 charts with additional insights and analysis on paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, comparison shopping engines, attribution and more. More »
“This year will be about mobile, the intersection of search with social, and creating digital visibility.” says RKG’s CEO, George Gallate, in the Direct Marketing News article “Hot Marketing Trends for 2014.” Read more of George’s thoughts on the hot marketing trends, as well as the full article here: DMNews Hot Marketing Trends 2014
Charlottesville, VA (December 11, 2013) – Yahoo today announced that search and digital marketing agency, RKG, has been named a Yahoo Preferred Partner. The announcement comes as Yahoo expands their Preferred Partner Program to include product feed technology experts – recognizing RKG as a top feed technology provider.
“RKG is built on smart people using smart technology to deliver results for our clients, and when it comes to product feeds, this really sets us apart. We actively manage feeds focusing on optimization and categorization and use our adaptive portfolio bidding technology to drive an exceptional ROI for our clients through real-time strategic adjustments” said Todd Bowman, Director, Comparison Shopping Engines & Feeds, RKG.
A product feed is a comprehensive catalog of a business’ product data that can be used to create search ads on the fly – ideal for businesses with lots of inventory to move. The quality of the product feed is critical to top performance. To help advertisers get the most out of this approach, the Yahoo Preferred Partner Program has tapped three top product feed technology providers— RKG, ChannelAdvisor and Mercent.
“Our new partners are recognized throughout the industry for creating optimized product feeds that can benefit any retail or feed-based search campaign,” says Jackman Cheung, Senior Manager of the Preferred Partner Program. “This move is part of our ongoing commitment to expand the program to cover more technology platforms and help our advertisers find the trusted solutions they need to continually improve their campaigns.” More »
RKG’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Adam Audette, is part of a group of SEO experts interviewed by Social Media Today for an article/infographic titled “SEO Experts Weigh in on the Future of Marketing.”
Find the full article and infographic here: Social Media Today
Highest-Ranking Full-Service Search & Digital Agency on List
Charlottesville, VA (November 13, 2013) – RKG was the highest-ranking full-service search and digital marketing agency in the 2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ list released today, coming in at #334. An annual ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America, 2013 marks the third consecutive year RKG has made the list.
Award winners were selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2008 to 2012, during which time RKG grew 238%. The 2013 ranking had the highest number of private company winners ever, accounting for nearly 60% of the list. A privately held company, RKG experienced over 80% growth in 2012 and earlier this year was named the fastest-growing search agency by Advertising Age as well as a Top U.S. Job Creator in the Advertising & Marketing Industry in the Inc. Hire Power Awards.
“RKG has experienced phenomenal growth – both in terms of revenue and job creation – in large part because we’re able to help clients win in a digital marketplace by pairing smart people with the proprietary technology we’ve developed over the past 10 years,” said George Gallate, CEO, RKG. “In 2013, we took this a step further with the strategic acquisition of an SEO Analytics and Diagnostics platform. We’re most proud of our growth and investment in developing technology and creating jobs.”
2013 marks the eighteenth consecutive year where there are more software companies on the Technology Fast 500™ than any other single sector.
For more information about the Technology Fast 500™ and to see the complete list, visit: www.fast500.com.
RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven digital marketing solutions. RKG drives business to clients by maximizing a full range of opportunities including pay-per-click, SEO, social media, display advertising and comparison shopping engine management services. Founded in 2003, RKG partners with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, including CareerBuilder, Drugstore.com, Express, Herman Miller, Jones New York and Urban Outfitters. In 2013, Advertising Age ranked RKG the fastest growing search agency. A privately held company, RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit www.rimmkaufman.com or follow RKG on Twitter @rimmkaufman.
CONTACT: Dalton Dorné
RKG’s Giving Back Committee had a very busy October, and Charlottesville’s Newsplex (CBS 19, ABC 16, Fox 27) covered two great stories about their projects.
First, RKG held a canned dog food drive for the SPCA. (Newplex RKG/SPCA coverage)
RKG also held a Halloween party for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. (Newsplex RKG/BBBS coverage)
Top 10 Job Creator in Virginia
Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Awards recognizes America’s leading job creators
New York, NY (October 24, 2013) – Search and digital marketing agency, RKG, ranked among the top job creators in the advertising & marketing industry in the US – and is the highest ranking full-service search and digital agency in the 2nd annual Inc. Hire Power Awards, recognizing the private businesses that have generated the most jobs in the past three years.
RKG generated a 56% increase in jobs from January 1st, 2012 to June 30th 2013, placing it among the top private business job creators within the advertising & marketing industry, as well as being a top 10 job creator in Virginia – ranking #8 in the state. Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, RKG hired over 73 people during the eligibility period.
This year, RKG was named the fastest-growing search agency by Advertising Age and experienced over 80% growth in 2012. The agency continues to grow and is now hiring: www.rkgjobs.com.
“RKG helps clients get discovered in a digital world,” said George Gallate, CEO of RKG. “Working with more of the IR Top 500 retailers than any other digital marketing agency, we have built our reputation by building their businesses – we’re smart people, working with proprietary technology. While we’re proud of our business growth and the results we achieve for clients – we’re most proud to be a top US job creator.”
RKG is among the 437 private growth companies that are HIRE POWER AWARDS honorees, leading the way in creating more American jobs.
RKG Makes Recommendations for Marketers Heading into Q4
RKG, a leading search and digital marketing agency, today released its Digital Marketing Report covering the third quarter of 2013. Across its client base, which includes over 40 of the top 500 online retailers, RKG found that Google search spending growth was stable at 18% year-over-year, despite advertisers reducing average smartphone cost per click (CPC) in conjunction with the transition to Google’s new Enhanced Campaign model.
RKG has consistently shown a wide range in the value of ad clicks across device types, with smartphones generating an average revenue per click that was 74% lower than desktops in Q3. Utilizing RKG’s upgraded proprietary Adaptive Bid Management technology, and taking advantage of Enhanced Campaigns’ improved ability to capture long-tail traffic, RKG advertisers were able to hit more demanding ROI targets for mobile, while maintaining traffic levels.
For the full third quarter, tablets and smartphones combined to generate 30% of search ad clicks, up from 28% in the prior quarter. With smartphone CPCs reduced from 60% of desktop levels to 35%, mobile spending share was flat from Q2 to Q3 at 24%.
While mobile continues to drive the bulk of search volume growth, with smartphone and tablet spending up 66% and 79% Y/Y on Google respectively, advertisers reinvested gains from their mobile ROI improvement back into desktop, which saw spending growth jump from 1% in Q2 to 10% in Q3.
As marketers head into the all-important holiday season, relevant learnings are to:
- Revisit your mobile strategy to invest smartly. New mobile opportunities with Enhanced Campaigns are paying off but you must adjust your strategy to capture better performing mobile traffic.
- Have an air-tight Product Listing Ad (PLA) strategy. If you’re a retailer and are not leveraging PLAs, you should be. In Q3 alone, Google PLAs drove 35% of non-brand search clicks.
- With Google’s change to secure search, query data is becoming entirely “not provided”. This comes at a critical time for marketers, find solutions – like RKG Blueprint – that can help surface “not provided” query data and help continue to inform your SEO strategy.
For more findings, download the full report at:
RKG’s Chief Knowledge Officer Adam Audette recently contributed to an ebook titled SEO Experts Reveal the Truth About Marketing. Read more here: SEO Experts Ebook
RKG has made the 2013 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America. At #1889, RKG has a 201% 3-year growth and ranks at #199 for Advertising & Marketing industry companies making the list. You can find the full list here: 2013 Inc. 5000 Full List.
INC 500 Coverage:
The Daily Progress