PPC Posts

Google Ecommerce Product Feeds To Go Paid

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Google has recently announced that it will make a profound switch when it comes to ecommerce marketing. Starting this fall, it will shift from Google Product Search to Google Shopping. While this will involve numerous changes, let’s discuss some of the most profound and how it will change things for both businesses and consumers.

The primary change is that businesses will be required to use product listing ads to bid on the positioning of their products. Rather than getting free clicks from organic search engine traffic, the business with the top bid will usually get the top position when selling products. Along with this, positioning for ecommerce product listings will depend upon relevance as well. As a result, this concept is somewhat similar to Google’s Adwords platform where individuals bid on ad placement.

While it’s apparent that Google is most likely doing this increase revenue, representatives have stated that this change will be beneficial for most consumers. Some of these benefits include an improved shopping experience where consumers will have access to products that are consistently updated. Basically, this new platform should encourage companies to keep product information fresh so they can remain competitive. It should also keep consumers abreast of the latest deals or promotions that a company is offering. Besides this, it should minimize the frustration that sometimes stems from ordering a product only to find out that it’s out of stock or unavailable.

In terms of the benefits for business owners, they are as follows. This new model for ecommerce product feeds should result in better traffic that is more highly targeted than it has been in the past. Since the search results that appear to consumers will be more up to date and accurate, businesses can expect to receive traffic that is more likely to make a purchase. Consequently, this should maximize the conversion rates for many businesses. Google has also stated that it will offer some perks to businesses that make the transition to this ecommerce marketing platform early.

For example, Google will offer a 10% discount to businesses that create Product Listing Ads by August 15 of this year. Also, businesses that currently use Google Product Search will be given $100 for their Adwords campaign if they sign up by this date. Even those these aren’t major advantages, they can prove helpful for many ecommerce companies. In addition, Google will offer businesses the option of signing up for the Google Trusted Stores program. This involves giving a special badge to quality stores where customers can look at ratings.

This brings us to the final question of what will this mean for large and small businesses. In all likelihood, this shift should be advantageous to larger business with more money to spend on an ecommerce marketing campaign. Since the company that can make the highest bid will usually get the best positioning, it could hurt smaller businesses with limited budgets. However, the full effect of this change in ecommerce datafeeds is still yet to be seen.

SEO vs PPC Advertising

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising are both extremely popular forms of search engine marketing. Both can generate some excellent returns depending on how well they are executed. So what makes them different and what else do they have in common…besides three-letter acronyms?

Many search engine users (and even marketers) still don’t know the difference between the two set of results, so lets take a quick look:


The search engine results on the top and right sidebar are part of a pay-per-click campaign, so the advertiser is charged a fee every time someone click on one of these links. The search engine results in green are considered “organic” or “natural” results and can be influenced by SEO. While many internet users still aren’t aware that some of these Google results are sponsored, more people are becoming savvy to this and come to trust the organic listings over the paid results. Because of this, the natural listings often have a much higher click-through rate than the sponsored ads.

Let’s take a look at some of the other differences between SEO and PPC:

SEO Advertising Campaigns:

  • Can take weeks or months to generate traffic
  • Provide permanent (owned) rankings
  • Often less expensive over time
  • Organic results generate more clicks

PPC Advertising Campaigns:

  • Generate traffic immediately
  • Provide temporary (rented) rankings
  • Often more expensive over time

Generally, the two differ in three areas…time, permanence, and cost:

Time – When it comes to the times it takes to see actual traffic from a campaign, PPC is the winner by far. PPC campaigns can be launched within a day where SEO results can take weeks or months.

Permanence – The downside to this “instant traffic” is that it’s temporary and rented. The advertiser has to pay for every click and the traffic disappears as soon as they stop paying. With SEO, once top rankings are achieved much less (if any) ongoing maintenance may be required.

Cost – Many times, this is the first question we get from clients…”How much does it cost?” Initially, SEO is more expensive but has a better ROI in the long run. Think of it this way…would you rather rent an apartment or buy a house? We highly encourage all our clients make SEO their long term goal. PPC is quick and easy , but SEO allows you to build equity in your website and marketing.

So which one is better….SEO or PPC?

The real answer is “It depends.” They’re both tools for achieving success online. PPC is fast and agile, where SEO is slow and methodical. We’re definitely biased toward SEO as a long-term strategy for any business, but for clients that “need sales yesterday” PPC can make it happen overnight.

Google’s US Economic Impact…Exaggerated Warm-Fuzzy PR?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Google recently released a report that indicates their total contribution to the US and individual state economies in 2009. What’s not surprising are the truly massive numbers, but what caught my attention are the “conservative assumptions” they rely on to get these numbers:

Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (source) Now, Google has included the methodology behind this assumption but that sounds like a pretty bold statement to me. Are they implying that on average businesses receive a 100% ROI from AdWords?! It would seem so, as the entire report is on “Google’s US Economic Impact”. I’ve spoken with plenty of clients that have wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars on AdWords with out a substantial return. This isn’t to say that AdWords doesn’t work, but generating a positive return from Adwords can be very challenging for the average small business owner.

Businesses receive an average of 5 clicks on their search results for every 1 click on their ads. (source) No complaints here! Many studies have shown that natural search engine results get many times more clicks than paid search results. The problem with this second “assumption” is the assumption they make afterward, stating this: “…clicks through search results may not be as commercially valuable as ad clicks, so we want to be conservative: we estimate that search clicks are about 70% as valuable as ad clicks.” Where does this estimation come from?! I’ve consistently seen comparable (if not better) conversion rates from natural search engine result clicks compared to PPC ad clicks.

Is Google just trying to create some feel-good, public relations during a time of otherwise economic downtime? I might be a little less skeptical if the report weren’t also accompanied by success stories from small business owners who have benefited from AdWords campaigns. Not to mention the video was published on YouTube on the “googlepublicpolicy” channel.

Here’s their presentation and summary of the report. You tell me…?

New AdWords PPC Reports In Google Analytics

Monday, May 17th, 2010

There are a number of ways to track the performance and ROI of a Google AdWords campaign. Now there’s another channel for AdWords PPC analytics….Google Analytics. No brainer, huh?! AdWords campaign data has previously been accessible in Google Analytics, but now there is extended metrics on what happens AFTER the customer clicks on your ad. This can be critical in optimizing your PPC campaigns and your website for increased conversions and overall ROI.

Check out this brief video for an overview: