THE RKGBLOG

Comparison Shopping, Paid Search, Product Listing Ads:

The 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 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.

One often overlooked feature of Google AdWords campaigns that affects broad matching is that Google determines ad relevancy by the user’s Google Language preferences and not the language of the query entered by the user.

Part two of our three-part video series on Google Shopping Campaigns covers best practices for structuring your new Google Shopping Campaigns, along with pros and cons for three potential campaign structures.

What ROI goal or KPI is right for your digital marketing program? Join me for this Google Hangout, The Profit Playbook, where I discuss what considerations advertisers should take into account when setting their program goals and what the potential danger is in viewing performance with too narrow a lens.

As part of our ongoing university outreach efforts, we’ve recently developed a paid search retail business case to provide materials for business programs that use the “case method” and/or professors seeking content to drive a quantitatively-based classroom discussion (or team competition!).

Part one of our three-part video series on Google Shopping Campaigns takes you through key differences between Google Shopping Campaigns and legacy PLA campaigns.

Google announced last night that, starting in September, they will no longer respect the intentions of advertisers to have AdWords exact and phrase match function as they have historically. Instead, both match types will now bring in traffic on close variants by mandate.

Discover just how well digital channels performed in Q2 of 2014, along with which factors drove growth the most, in this video from Paid Search VP Rachel Schnorr.

Here’s our take on a new extension for Google Product Listing Ads called Product Ratings. Product Ratings are displayed on a 5-star ranking system based on aggregated data from a variety of sources across the web.

We are happy to announce the release of the RKG Digital Marketing Report for Q2 2014. This quarter’s report offers over 50 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.

We all get behind in our reading periodically. I still write pretty regularly for Search Engine Land and we don’t republish these on RKG Blog anymore. I thought I’d give a quick synopsis of the posts I’ve written for them recently with links to the full post.

Many marketers have misunderstood the Shopping Campaign priority feature as allowing advertisers to specify that Google serve a particular product or set of products over other relevant products in lower priority campaigns. This is not the case.

With PLAs making up an increasingly significant chunk of advertisers’ paid search programs, the Google Shopping Campaigns transition is understandably a hot topic right now across the industry. Here is a quick overview of some of the enhancements you can expect to see after transitioning to the new Shopping Campaigns, along with our take on how to structure your campaigns for success.

Conventional wisdom at RKG holds that when making strategic decisions, clients should focus on their own paid search goals and performance metrics rather than reacting to competitors’ actions. As a best practice we always follow that piece of advice; however, it can be beneficial to examine your competitive landscape to gain insight into what external factors may be affecting your PPC program. Google’s Auction Insights report is an extremely useful tool that can be used for just such a purpose.

Google’s recently released whitepaper outlining recommendations for the soon to be mandatory Shopping Campaign model offers up best practices for feed optimization, campaign structure, bid management, and mobile strategy. While there’s plenty to dissect in this whitepaper, I found it interesting that Google chose not to mention item ID level targets at all in their structural recommendations.

The reality for many retailers is that the end of Q4 may not be most crucial time of year to drive sales volume. The following ten tips can help you to utilize paid search strategies to achieve a successful non-holiday peak season.

In this video, learn how Google’s Paid and Organic report might not be providing the data you think it is.

The AdWords Paid & Organic report isn’t as useful as it could be because Google doesn’t filter the organic data by the regions being targeted with ads.

Bing Ads is moving closer to Google’s model for Enhanced Campaigns, but will still allow some segmentation of tablet bids. Unfortunately, that won’t be sufficient for many advertisers

Average household income levers, proximity bidding, and betas measuring the in store impact of ads are all powered by the measured location of the user. But how much of an advertiser’s traffic can Google measure at a granular level? We took a look at a few advertisers and found some interesting trends.