THE RKGBLOG

Google, Mobile, Paid Search, Product Listing Ads, SEM, Tracking:

The Merkle | RKG PPC mind is unmatched in the industry. Our thought leadership and proprietary knowledge has landed us strong alliances with the search engines and the very best results for clients. RKG analysts blog here about the topics that directly effect the performance of paid search marketing campaigns from user behavior, to lead generation to insights about niche search engines. When we discover new efficiencies, this is the first place we’ll be talking about it.

Google has confirmed long-standing reports that it will deploy a “buy button” for Google Shopping results on phones. What will it mean for advertisers?

While none of the individual announcements were earth-shattering or will impact all advertisers dramatically in the way that Enhanced Campaigns did, there were several announcements that may be big for some specific segments, and the bigger takeaway from these largely incremental changes may be what they said about where Google sees the industry heading and where they want to take it.

While CVM has certainly not been good for the value of phrase and exact match keywords, the notion that Google has so diluted the meaning of the individual match types that they no longer matter is, in short, just not true. The difference in traffic value between different match types of the same keyword is still significant, and worth launching multiple versions of the same keyword to account for.

We are excited today to announce the release of Merkle|RKG’ s Q1 2015 Digital Marketing Report. Now available for download, this quarter’s report offers data and analyses on the latest trends across paid search, product listing ads, search engine optimization, display advertising and other topics surrounding digital marketing.

At Merkle|RKG, we’ve always advocated for using paid search landing pages that match the specificity of users’ queries. However, as is the case with most rules, there are exceptions. Let’s walk through an example of how one advertiser found success using a category level page for some product specific keywords.

Across a sample of RKG clients, we see that close variant exact match search terms see a conversion rate of just 48% that of true exact match search terms, while close variant phrase match conversion rate was 86% that of true phrase match.

Hot on the heels of the 2015 Digital Bowl, we’d like to offer marketers a few guidelines for making their television advertisement shine in the digital world.

Dissecting phone data by geography reveals some interesting trends that advertisers may be able to take advantage of in order to drive even more value from this growing traffic source. Here’s a look at some of our findings surrounding phone performance by state.

The traditional idea of Valentine’s Day may not match your company’s offering but plenty of people are looking for non-traditional ways to show they care. Use our Valentine’s checklist to capture some of the gift-giving frenzy and turn it into conversions for your business this year.

We are excited to announce the release of Merkle|RKG’s 2nd Annual Digital Bowl Report. This in-depth review of advertiser performance before, during, and after the Super Bowl highlights digital efforts made across channels including paid search, search engine optimization, display advertising, email and social media.

We’ve kept a close eye on search data and we’d like to fill you in on how Firefox’s shift to Yahoo might potentially affect your PPC campaigns this year.

We’re pleased to announce today’s release of Merkle | RKG’s Q4 2014 Digital Marketing Report for download. The DMR highlights the latest trends in paid search, search engine optimization, display advertising, product listing ads (PLAs), comparison shopping engines, and other topics across the digital marketing spectrum.

In this Google Hangout, we share examples of how advertisers are using Estimated Total Conversions to better optimize their programs and gain customer insights. We also discuss what challenges and opportunities changing consumer behavior poses to advertisers, especially with regard to mobile devices.

Amazon has been a major competitor in almost every industry over the past few years, expanding its product selection and entering into video streaming and web services. While its presence in paid search has likewise been fairly large, Auction Insights data shows that the e-retail giant is moving up the page with its paid ads, and entering into auctions for more product categories, every day.

We’ve run the numbers on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday paid search performance and find that sales growth was strong at 23% with mobile carrying more weight.

How much does Yahoo stand to gain from its Firefox deal once we consider the degree to which users change their default search provider settings?

The differences in smartphone versus desktop/tablet SERPs, the clumsiness of users’ thumbs, and the large difference in CPCs between devices dictate that advertisers have to approach these spaces differently. Naturally, advertisers might be questioning if there are differences in how shorter queries perform versus longer queries.

A recent Google SEO penalty was significant enough to eBay’s bottom line that they have addressed it as a factor that is weighing on their growth rate.The penalty may have also prompted eBay to reconsider its status as a Google search partner.

New and different Shopping result format tests are seemingly being pushed out every day. While most of these tests have shown relatively small differences in how the different products are displayed, such as being sorted by price as opposed to having prices mixed together, a new test seems to be taking the biggest leap yet in terms of impacting user experience, this time encroaching on brand oriented searches.

Google recently released a new tool in the Merchant Center that has made uploading Merchant Promotions for PLAs a bit more straightforward, allowing sites to add Merchant Promos with the click of a button.

It’s been nearly two months since Google rolled out the release of mandatory close variant matching for all exact and phrase match keywords, much to the concern of RKG and others in paid search. Taking a look at the overall impact of this change, we are starting to see slight shifts in the makeup of Google traffic.

Today we are excited to release the Q3 2014 Edition of the RKG Digital Marketing Report. Download the report for over 50 detailed charts with insights and analysis on trends in paid search, search engine optimization, social media, product listing ads (PLAs), comparison shopping engines, display advertising and more.

As a multi-service agency, RKG has many clients that work with us on multiple channels and our client service teams regularly share data and findings to help inform marketing decisions. Paid search, comparison shopping engines, and display advertising are all excellent data sources to help guide your SEO efforts.

Advertisers have had this tool for search on Google.com for just over a year and have been able to incorporate cross-device data into their bidding and budget decisions. The extension of estimated cross-device conversions to Google’s Display Network is a logical next step in providing advertisers with the means to gain greater insight into overall AdWords performance.

As we move into adjusting bids based on more and more attributes, both geographic and not, it will only become more important to understand how Google’s auction is already impacting the cost per click paid for different audiences.