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RKG is a digital marketing agency providing data-driven solutions to online marketing challenges.


Essential Shopping Strategy: PLA Playbook Overview

17 Jan 2017 9:25:25

Hi I'm Jared DeSisto. I'm an Associate Director here at Merkle in our SEM and Feeds Department, and I'm one of the co-authors of our PLA Playbook. PLA PlaybookDOWNLOAD NOWSo here at Merkle we have a lot of experience running PLA programs for some of the industry's top retailers. We wanted to put together a guide that outlines some of the changes that are coming to Google Shopping and a lot of the other things people need to be considering as we move forward into this new space. So the playbook starts off first with a high level, just an outline of the basics. So a 30,000-foot view of where the industry has been, where we feel it's going, and then other basic things that all advertisers need to know. What are campaign priorities? How do we set up a shopping campaign? And those types of things. From there we actually get into more detailed strategies about how we can capitalize on the shopping programs themselves and implement new strategies for our clients that are custom tailored to meet their business goals. So we talk a little bit more about query funneling, how we can emphasize some of the best products for our clients, and things of that nature. And then lastly we wanted to round it out by talking about the four main areas where the shopping campaign business is going and four areas that advertisers really need to be focused on in the coming months. So those areas being, one, mobile. That space is growing rapidly as we all know. A lot of advertisers are seeing their mobile moments where that traffic is actually surpassing the traffic they're getting on desktop and tablet. So considerations on the mobile front with PLAs and shopping, and areas people need to be considering there. Then we talk a little bit more about people-based marketing and how that is coming to shopping as well. So using some of the tools that Google has had for a while now with ROSAs, being able to go after past site visitors, then also with the introduction of customer match what some of the results we've seen here at Merkle over the past few months from some of those people based options that are now available. The third thing we wanted to focus on was emphasis on local. So a lot of our retailers have a lot of brick and mortar presence and we wanted to make sure that we're capitalizing on all the new features and tools that Google has at our disposal. The biggest of course being local inventory ads or LIAs. We get into the weeds a little bit showing some of the trends that we've noticed with LIAs and how much traffic is starting to pick up there and discuss a few things that people need to have top of mind when thinking about supporting their brick and mortar stores. Specifically with shopping campaigns and PLAs. Then, lastly, my personal favorite topic is data feeds. So, getting into more detail about what information advertisers need to be providing to Google in those feeds. Some best practices that we have here on our team from working with hundreds of retailers across not only the apparel industry but house and home, electronics, sporting goods, you name it. So some really big considerations of how important high quality data is to Google and why that needs to be a priority for all advertisers moving forward. So go out and download the playbook. And, as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you want to have a further discussion on shopping. Thank you. [...]

Reversing Course, Amazon Testing Google Product Listing Ads, May Be Ramping Up Efforts

27 Dec 2016 12:40:10

Over four and a half years after Google Product Search moved to a pay-to-play model under the new Google Shopping name, it appears that long-term holdout Amazon is finally testing the Product Listing Ad (PLA) format in the final days of 2016. As a potential competitor for nearly all retailer search advertisers, Amazon had been conspicuously absent from Google’s Shopping listings, but continued to run standard Google text ads. In the meantime, PLAs have grown to dominate the share of ad traffic produced by competitive e-commerce queries on Google. In Q4 2016, PLAs will produce just under half of all retailers’ Google search ad clicks, but between two-thirds and three-quarters of clicks on non-brand queries. The conventional wisdom around why Amazon had refused to participate in Google Shopping has been that doing so would strengthen Google’s position in the battle to be consumers’ first destination for product searches by making Google’s results more complete. That and Amazon would have to cut a (bigger) check to Google every month for traffic that Amazon may have eventually captured anyway. As more and more searches shift to mobile though, that stance may be less tenable and profitable for Amazon, as Google’s status as the default search provider on the two major mobile platforms has meant that Google’s already commanding lead in the search business has only grown in recent years. With less competing real estate on phone results, PLAs also generate a higher share of ad clicks on mobile than desktop. Amazon PLA Testing Appears Limited, but Growing Some marketers first noticed, or were alerted to, Amazon running PLAs early last week. Since then, it has not been as easy to trigger an Amazon PLA as one would expect if Amazon were aggressively bidding on the format across all of its product categories, but we’ve managed to capture some screenshots here and there. To get a better sense of what Amazon is doing, it has been more revealing to look at Google’s AdWords Auction Insights report for a number of retailers’ search programs. For about half of the programs I checked, Amazon is not listed at all, but for the others, Amazon first pops up on December 20th. It is anecdotal, but Amazon seems to be showing up more consistently for home goods retailers. Where Amazon does show, its impression share for PLAs generally started in the mid-teens and remained there through December 23rd. Amazon’s share then jumped over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (the most recent day that is populated in the Auction Insights report) and is now already high enough to make Amazon a top five competitor for some programs. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this situation over the next few days and weeks. It is certainly possible that the recent Amazon PLA impression share spike is a fluke (possibly as a result of their leaving their bids unchanged as the competition lowered theirs) and/or we’ll see Amazon abandon this test entirely. Make no mistake though, if Amazon begins running Google PLAs in earnest in the new year, it will have major ramifications for retailer search advertisers, as well as for Google and Amazon. Stay tuned. Special thanks to Melissa Rowland, Todd Bowman, and Corey Egan for their contributions to this post. [...]

2016 Google Merchant Center Updates Make Managing Product Errors Easier

7 Dec 2016 10:49:02

Google has made several updates over the past year to improve the Google Merchant Center (GMC) user experience for online retailers by making it faster and easier to manage feed errors. By making it easier to identify which products must be updated to adhere to Google’s advertising policies and what product details need to be fixed, advertisers are better able to keep feeds approved and ads running. To begin, Google started moving away from issuing account suspension warnings for price and availability discrepancies between the feed and advertiser website in mid-2016, and has opted instead to list out individual products flagged for these issues (amongst others) in the Diagnostics tab in the Merchant Center: From here, GMC users can select to download an entire list of products with errors, or click into the blue hyperlinked numbers to view a list in the interface. This is extremely helpful for those of us who are in the Merchant Center every day as it allows easy access to the issues that are causing products to be disapproved. However, it is important to note that the intent here is mostly to provide an easier means for troubleshooting issues, and that suspension warnings can still be issued to accounts that have too many price and availability problems. NOTE: Google will also still issue account level suspension warnings for other policy violations (e.g. promoting certain pharmaceutical products, providing non-functional destination URLs, etc.), and can allow as little as seven days to correct these issues or remove affected products before an account suspension kicks in. In addition, there is now the option to filter by product destination in the Diagnostics tab, which allows for GMC users to much more easily distinguish between issues affecting Shopping, Dynamic Remarketing, Purchases on Google, Local Inventory Ads, etc.: Furthermore, Google started allowing advertisers to request a manual review of products that are disapproved through the Products tab in the Merchant Center (shown below). This is preferable to account level suspensions, though manually going product by product to request re-reviews can be a bit time consuming depending on how many policy violations you have in your account. One change that’s been rolled out quietly in just the past couple of weeks is that Google has begun providing more context than they were previously around which policies an offending product violates by listing those on the product page in the GMC for some products. While no formal announcement accompanied this change, it’s an update we at Merkle have been requesting for some time. Providing this context is extremely helpful in terms of troubleshooting errors, as we previously got no insight into what policy a product violated and there was a bit of guess and check work to submitting updates and then requesting manual reviews. Thus, we are glad to see this update as a follow-up to the move away from account suspensions for pricing and availability issues. All of these updates have made troubleshooting a bit more simplified from a feed management perspective, and have helped to mitigate some concerns of receiving account suspensions during major holidays or promotional periods where prices and availability will be constantly changing. [...]

How I Used Paid Social to Save My Dog’s Life

5 Dec 2016 11:41:50

Ernie, my one-and-a-half-year-old Boston terrier ran away the day we were moving into our new home this summer. Little did my wife and I know that the following 23 days would be some of the most stressful we have ever encountered. On the day we moved out, we had Ernie staying at my in-laws under the supervision of family, three hours away from our old house, and two hours from our new residence. When doing his normal morning routine outside, something must have spooked Ernie, which led to him running into the woods. We immediately rushed back to start the foot search. A day passed, and the tough task of stapling “lost” flyers on every light pole in town was upon us. Every staple was a punch in the heart. That evening, feeling helpless, I decided to apply my career skillsets towards bringing our sweet boy home. We turned to Facebook and we did more than just ask friends – we created an ad campaign. Crafting a Campaign to Find Ernie Any good digital marketer knows to start by defining their desired audience, based on the goals of the campaign. Our primary goal was to bring Ernie home. The goal of this ad campaign was to create awareness with the measurable goal of a sighting of Ernie. Obviously, we wanted to reach people in the vicinity of where he was last seen. Geo-targeting helped us achieve this by allowing us to define a target radius of 10 miles from where he was last spotted. Not everyone in that area is going to see a missing dog ad and drop what they are doing to help, so we further refined our targeting. Pet lovers, specifically cat and dog lovers, seemed like a no-brainer as a good group to target with our ads. Knowing Ernie’s past behavior, the possibility of him approaching a stranger was unlikely. For this reason, we also added a targeting layer of people interested in outdoor activities, as they are most likely to be outside, and may have potentially seen him roaming around in the distance. We got our targeting set up, then moved on to creating an ad that would give us the best chance at meeting our goal. The ad copy for this campaign clearly identified our objective and struck a familiar chord to the end user based on our use of a geographic reference. The image drew attention, yet still clearly showed what Ernie looked like and how handsome he is, specifically his distinctive underbite. In less than 24 hours, we got a call as a direct result of our Facebook ad campaign. “Monica” informed us that she had seen the Facebook ad and wanted to help however possible due to her background with pet rescues. She lived within 10 miles of my in-laws and had a passion for helping pets.  The response gave us confidence that audience targeting was reaching the right users, even though Monica hadn’t actually seen Ernie. This initial paid targeting helped to fuel the entire campaign organically, as we observed organic reach and page likes increasing in volume at a much faster rate than prior to the paid campaign. More than two weeks had passed though, and still no sightings of Ernie. On day 20, we finally received a call from a lady named Barbara. She told us that she may have seen a Boston terrier running around her neighborhood, 6 miles from where Ernie ran away and matching his description. Barbara had seen the Facebook ad, as she was within the 10 mile radius and had an interest in both pets and the outdoors (after talking with Barbara we learned that she in fact fit our targeting mold). Barbara had also seen an ad we posted on a local classifieds internet page dedicated to school teachers in that area. We were skeptical of a sighting in a neighborhood that far away from Ernie’s last sighting, but decided to meet her at her house to walk around the neighborhood. We were amazed to find out that others in the neighborhood had also seen a Boston terrier, with one neighbor saying the dog he had seen looked identical to our picture. We set up wild game cameras, and the next day, we had a picture of Ernie! H[...]

Google Paid Search Delivers Strong Cyber Week Sales Growth for Retailers

2 Dec 2016 11:36:29

Driven by holiday shopping, the fourth quarter is obviously such a crucial period for retailers, most of whom rely heavily upon paid search ads to help drive both e-commerce and offline revenues. The quarter got off to a solid start with online paid search-driven sales up 13% Y/Y through mid-November, but the real fun doesn’t start until the week of Thanksgiving in the US. It’s been reassuring to see that performance has only improved as we have entered the peak of the holiday shopping season and advertisers have gotten through the pivotal Cyber Week. Mobile and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) remained the biggest drivers of growth, but text ads continue to deliver for advertisers as well, especially as consumer search and shopping behavior changes after Thanksgiving. Once again, sales appear to have shifted earlier in the week to Black Friday and over the weekend, but sales growth is still trending above early-Q4 levels as we have passed through to the post-Cyber Monday period. Here are some of our other findings on Cyber Week performance across key dates, ad formats, and devices, as well as some considerations for closing out the quarter on a high note: Thanksgiving Day Sales Growth Mixed after Strong 2015 After growing 39% Y/Y from 2014 to 2015, Thanksgiving Day sales driven by Google paid search rose just 12% between 2015 and 2016. There were a wide range of results, however, with the variability in growth rates from one retailer to the next running about twice as high as on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We saw a similar pattern last year and this phenomenon likely reflects the impact of differing promotional strategies from brand to brand. As expected, mobile traffic share peaked on Thanksgiving, hitting 69% of search ad clicks. Phones produced 58% of clicks, up from 42% a year earlier, while tablets produced 11% of clicks, down from 17% in 2015. Mobile sales continued to lag mobile click volume, as phones and tablets combined for 44% of Thanksgiving Day sales. Phone traffic has narrowed the conversion performance gap with desktop traffic though, producing 31% of 2016 sales. Online Sales Continue to Shift to Black Friday Black Friday paid search-driven sales grew 34% Y/Y in 2016, a solid improvement from 25% growth between 2014 and 2015. Cyber Monday sales eclipsed those on Black Friday again this year, but the gap has narrowed considerably in recent years. In 2011, Black Friday was just the 14th biggest paid search sales producing day of the holiday season. It has now been the second most revenue volume for four years in a row. Although mobile produced a slightly lower percentage of Black Friday sales than Thanksgiving Day sales, combined phone and tablet sales share was up 13 points on Black Friday from the previous Friday and even outpaced a typical weekend when mobile share tends to spike 5-10 points above the weekday average. Google PLAs Produce Majority of Non-Brand Cyber Week Sales, but Share Slips Post-Thanksgiving From the start of Q4 through mid-November, Google PLAs produced 65% of retailers’ sales from non-brand Google search ads. That rate began to slip noticeably on Black Friday, mirroring seasonality from recent years. On Cyber Monday, PLAs produced just over 59% of non-brand sales. Along with major changes to other metrics like cross-device conversions, click-to-order latency, and average order value, the small, but clear decline in PLA sales share is another example of how consumer search and shopping behavior changes significantly after Thanksgiving. Compared to 2015, PLA growth remains robust though, with sales produced by the format up 53% Y/Y from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. For comparison, text ad sales rose 16% Y/Y over the same period. PLAs continue to benefit from mobile and partner growth, including from Google image search, as well as from the Local Inventory Ad variant, which is included in these PLA figures. There Are Still Plenty of Shopping Days L[...]

Most Brands Should Use 2015 Cross-Device Data in Analyzing Early Holiday AdWords Performance

30 Nov 2016 10:45:07

The holiday shopping season is officially in full swing as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sent many retailers’ sales skyrocketing. Paid search ad spend followed a similar trajectory for most advertisers, and brands are now hurriedly assessing this year’s early performance in order to figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and how to move forward. One key consideration many advertisers take into account when calculating AdWords bids is Google’s cross-device conversions metric, which is an estimate of the number of orders on one device which are tied to a paid search click on a different device. As many consumers now own multiple devices with which to search and convert, this metric is valuable in better estimating the expected value of paid search clicks. However, one key bit of information to note on cross-device conversions is that these conversions will continue to accrue for each particular day for as long as the duration of the conversion window. The conversion window is assigned for each conversion type in AdWords, and dictates how long after clicks or impressions (view-throughs) that orders tied to a click or impression will be attributed to and reported on in AdWords. While both single-device and cross-device conversions are attributed to the date on which the paid search click occurred, cross-device conversions are more likely than single-device conversions to occur at a later date. Thus, the lift in conversions created by adding cross-device estimates to single-device conversions often grows larger for any single day over the course of the conversion window for each account. Some brands choose very short conversion windows of just one or two days, and this is less of an issue for those advertisers since it wouldn’t take long for all cross-device conversions for a date to be fully populated. However, any advertiser using, for example, AdWords’ default conversion window of 30 days can see significant movement in the number of cross-device conversions attributed to a particular day throughout the course of the conversion window. As such, advertisers with conversion windows longer than a couple of days may want to use last year’s cross-device lift during the holidays in order to estimate the lift this year, instead of looking at recent cross-device lift for bidding calculations. This is also true throughout the rest of the year, but can be especially important during the holiday season. Taking a look at the lift cross-device conversions accounted for in 2015 for the median Merkle retail advertiser, we find that cross-device conversions accounted for a smaller share of total weekly paid search conversions during the holiday shopping season compared to the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, a trend also observed in 2014. This trend indicates that searchers are more likely during the holiday season to convert on the same device searched on and/or head to a brick-and-mortar location for a purchase rather than switch devices. Paid search order latency and AOV also decline during the holiday season, and all of these trends point to quicker/less considered purchases during this time. Conclusion If your AdWords conversion window is just one or two days, it’s pretty easy to use recent cross-device performance in calculating bids throughout the holiday season as data will be fully populated quickly. However, for an advertiser using the AdWords default window of 30 days, cross-device conversions attributed to Thanksgiving Day might continue to grow all the way until Christmas Eve. As such, it makes sense for many advertisers to focus on what the cross-device lift looked like last year in adjusting bids during the rest of this holiday season. Take this into consideration as you continue to optimize your AdWords account throughout this pivotal time of the year. [...]

One Last Thing You HAVE to Do for Your AdWords Account before Carving the Turkey

22 Nov 2016 14:44:45

The marathon of holiday shopping prep is nearing an end, and many marketers can probably already smell the faintest hint of turkey and stuffing and yams and apples and….you get the point. But before you go home, there’s one last massive thing you absolutely have to do for your account right now – create Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) audiences comprised of visitors to your site during Cyber Weekend and the holiday season in general. Doing so will allow you to target these visitors throughout 2017, including next holiday season, thanks to recent RLSA changes. How to Create Holiday Visitor RLSA Lists Advertisers can create RLSA lists that are populated only with people who visited an advertiser’s site between two specific dates. Using this option, advertisers can create lists specifically comprised of users who visit between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and use those lists to target  those people after the holiday season is over. The most important thing to note, however, is that these lists have to be created prior to the dates included. For example, if you created a list to include visitors between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day on the Monday after Thanksgiving, no visitors between Thanksgiving and Sunday would actually be included in that list, as visitors can only be added to existing RLSA lists and will not backfill. Thus, it’s incredibly important that you move to create these lists right now if there’s even a slight chance you’ll want to use them later. Aside from creating general lists of all site visitors and converters during the holiday season, advertisers may also want to create more specific lists like Cyber Weekend visitors to use during the rest of the current holiday season, or perhaps create an audience comprised of last-minute shoppers to use next year. Note: Advertisers do not have to add these audiences to campaigns now in order to accrue visitors – they just have to create them in their AdWords account prior to the dates targeted. Google’s RLSA Update Opens up New Opportunity for Targeting Holiday Shoppers Next Winter This is the first year in which users included in an RLSA list from this holiday season will stay in that list for targeting next year, as Google changed the number of days site visitors can remain in RLSA lists from 180 to 540 days in September. Longer duration RLSA lists also open up other possibilities such as targeting ads for six or 12 month subscriptions in a timely manner, and more aggressively pursuing annual purchasers for other holidays such as Valentine’s Day. This means advertisers need to be thinking ahead about what types of lists they might want to target further down the road. For many, the upcoming holiday shopping season presents the busiest time of the year in accruing site visitors, and can thus be considered one of the most important times to create RLSA lists for future use. Don’t be the naughty advertiser without any RLSA lists to target once the holiday season wraps up. Get those audiences created today. [...]

Facebook Moves to Curtail Discrimination through Ethnic Affinities Targeting

22 Nov 2016 8:21:47

Hi, my name is Andy Taylor and you’re watching another Merkle Insight video. Today I’d like to talk about Facebook’s recent move to restrict advertisers from marketing housing, employment, and credit opportunities using ethnic affinities.

Now, ethnic affinities capabilities have been around for a couple of years and while they don’t actually target users who are definitively a part of a particular ethnicity, they take a user’s interests and habits into account in deciding which users have an affinity or might be connected to an ethnicity.

And so recently Facebook has come under a bit of fire for this because advertisers could theoretically target housing, credit, and employment opportunities based on a particular ethnicity and also turn it off to other users who are of a different ethnicity. So this is a pretty good move on Facebook’s part in terms of curtailing discrimination in these areas, however an important thing to understand is that this isn’t the only way that discriminatory practices can be perpetrated on Facebook or on other digital marketing platforms.

I think an easy way to understand this is thinking about something like geographic targeting. Now the geography of a user tells us a lot of different things about that person. It tells us what the average household income of the area the user is in might be. It also tells us things like weather patterns as well as proximity to brick and mortar stores, and these are all factors that advertisers like to take into account in deciding what kinds of advertising to show a particular user as well as deciding which users they actually want to target. So one thing that geography can also tell us is what the probability of a user being a part of a particular ethnicity is.

So even though advertisers are no longer allowed to use ethnic affinity targeting in these industries, discrimination can still happen using targeting methods such as geography.

So just like offline, in online advertising it’s very difficult to completely stomp out discrimination, and that’s going to be a debate that happens over the next few years in terms of whether or not the advertising industry itself can fully police itself or whether or not there will be further government regulations.

That’s it for today, but thanks for joining and if you’d like to hear anything for about Facebook or other digital marketing opportunities please stay tuned to the Merkle Blog and other Merkle Insight videos as we’ll certainly have more content for you to check out. Thanks everybody.


4 Ideas to Optimize for Voice Search

17 Nov 2016 10:16:51

Hi, Alexis Sanders here with four tips for optimizing your voice search.

Voice search has been gaining a lot of popularity over the years. Even Google’s CEO during his Google I/O speech mentioned that voice search was driving 20 percent of all mobile and android searches. A survey by MindMeld mentioned roughly 60 percent of users had said that they’d been using it.

And finally voice search was even brought up on Google Webmaster Tools Office Hours when they discussed adding voice search as something they would potentially consider for google search console.

SEOs have focused on optimizing for textual searches and voice searches are a little bit different. They tend to be a little bit longer and they tend to be a little bit more question focused a little bit more natural language. For instance, most people wouldn’t say ,”Alexa, Bill Gates.” Instead they say something a little bit more like, “Alexa, who is Bill Gates? Where was he born? Who is his wife? What does he do for a living?”

So let’s get into the tips of four things that you can do to optimize your site for voice search.

1. Answer users’ questions.

You want to be the resource that answers things that are even tangentially related to your product. Now you want to make sure you don’t interfere with your product acquisition pages, however you want to create content that interests users and makes you the go to guy for search engines like Google.

2. Create sentences that are noun focused and that have a very clear structure.

Subject, predicate, object. That will make it easier for search engines to parse, as well as users to read.

3. You want to make sure you structure your data. was introduced by Google, Bing, and Yahoo in 2011. It’s a way of taking that messy data world and organizing it and consolidating it to make content more understandable and graspable for search engines.

4. Internal linking. 

Identify thematic linking opportunities throughout your content, thereby generating easier navigation for the bots, as well as users as they go throughout your content.

That has been four tips on optimizing your voice search.


6 Ways to Spread E-commerce Cheer this Holiday

16 Nov 2016 9:58:40

The leaves have changed colors, football season is in full swing, and before you know it…it will be Thanksgiving. This can send both consumers and marketers into a panic trying to prepare for what lies ahead over the coming weeks. Don’t worry, there are still a few last-minute tips you can implement to ensure a successful e-commerce holiday season. Find Your Best Gift Givers on Digital The first priority for reaching customers through search is ensuring keyword lists and Google Shopping feeds fully encapsulate the products you have to offer and the ways that your customers tend to search during the holidays. The customers you see purchasing for you in Q4 may or may not be the same that you see throughout the year, which can impact which queries you might want to trigger ads for through both Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and text ads. For example, “gift card” terms may be less productive throughout the year but are more likely to convert during the holidays, particularly as shipping deadlines loom. Advertisers should look back to queries that drove orders during last year’s holiday season and ensure relevant terms are still represented this year. And, of course, launch keywords to account for any new or hot product offerings that weren’t sold last year. Beyond ensuring that PLA and text ad campaigns are set up to show ads for all relevant queries during the holidays, advertisers need to be taking customer affinity into account. Gone are the days when marketers could sit back and expect returns from a blanket approach for all shoppers, and brands should be looking to target existing customers and past site visitors intelligently through Google’s Customer Match and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads. E-commerce marketers should use these audiences to test the full value of customer data this holiday season by customizing ad messaging and experiences. Each customer contributes uniquely to your business, and optimizations should seek to drive as much value out of each interaction as possible. Consider testing audiences comprised of customers who’ve shopped with you in prior holiday periods as they may be shopping for the same gift recipient and could be more likely to buy from you again for that person. Although volume may be modest, we’ve seen very high click through and conversion rates for these holiday shopping audiences. Tweak Your Mobile Strategy for Holiday Shopping Mobile paid search traffic share is consistently increasing, and typically spikes around key travel days such as Thanksgiving (up over 10% from prior Thursday in 2015) and Christmas (up over 15% from week earlier in 2015), when users are less likely to have other devices available to them. Mobile share also rises at the end of the fourth quarter, presumably due to last minute brick and mortar shoppers ahead of Christmas and as a result of the new mobile devices people receive over the holidays. E-commerce marketers need to place a high level of focus on mobile site optimization to ensure smooth interactions during this pivotal time. It’s also important that performance be evaluated in such a way so as to properly value this traffic, not only for conversions on those devices, but also for mobile research that converts on other devices and channels. At a weekly level, we see the biggest lift from cross-device conversions in early November, across all device types. This cross device impact then steadily declines throughout the holiday season, picking back up slightly the week of Christmas: Be On Point with Holiday Messaging You have heard it before and I will say it again: holiday messaging needs to be consistent across platforms. Just as with other marketing tactics, e-commerce marketers need to have a content calendar in place in order to queue up timely ads. Below is a high level sample[...]