Google Ads – New predefined landing page reports

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There are two new predefined reports coming to the Report Editor: landing pages report and expanded landing pages report.

Both reports have been available in the “Landing pages” page. However, soon you’ll be able to easily manipulate and chart them in the Report Editor, as well as add them to your custom dashboards.

The landing pages report is an improved version of the final URL report, as it contains additional columns:

  • Mobile speed score
  • Mobile-friendly click rate
  • Valid AMP click rate

The expanded landing pages report includes all the same columns as the landing pages report, but also shows the URL users reach after contextual substitutions have been made and custom parameters have been added.

You’ll be able to easily engage with all of your landing page performance data through multi-dimensional tables and charts. For example, you can create a pie chart for conversions segmented by expanded landing pages or landing pages. – read more

Explore product search trends with Shopping Insights

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With the world of commerce at their fingertips, consumers are more curious, more demanding and more impatient than ever before.

As a result, retailers have to anticipate customers’ needs in order to provide the products they’re looking for and plan marketing strategies. In a recent study, we learned that 84 percent of Americans are shopping in any given 48-hour period, in up to six different categories. Whether they’re looking up designer sneakers or DSLR cameras, Google is the first place they go to discover a new brand or product.

Starting today, a new version of our Shopping Insights tool can help you uncover which products and brands are popular, trending up or down, and how these insights vary by regions in the U.S. This new version includes data for more than 55,000 products and 45,000 brands—significantly increasing coverage over the previous version—as well as nearly 5,000 categories. It’s a free tool, available to everyone, that can help you follow trends in your categories.

In addition to more data, we’ve also added several key features to help you inform your strategies.

Compare the popularity of a brand within searches for a category

Nearly nine out of 10 smartphone users are not absolutely certain of the brand they want to buy when they begin looking for information online. That’s a huge number of consumers looking to uncover new brands and products. With this new feature, retailers can track the relative popularity of various brands within a category and adjust their strategies accordingly.

For example, the most-searched backpack brands of last 12 months were JanSport, Fjällräven and The North Face, classic brands that have been around for at least 50 years. Searches for the category and all three brands peaked during back-to-school season in 2018, and saw slight growth during the holiday season. – read more

4 steps to finding a true human insight about your audience

Data is important. It can tell you a lot about your target audience, like demographics (18- to 24-year-old urbanites), habits (Gen Z uses social media an average of X times a day), and trends (mobile payments have risen X%).

However, there’s a side of your audience that data alone can’t tap into: what exactly makes human beings, well, human. People in your target audience have desires, wants, needs, fears, emotions, and ideas that can’t be measured with numbers and stats.

By exploring this side of your audience, you can discover a human insight, or a fundamental truth that’s motivating people’s behavior. This insight can help you create and market products and services that fulfill your audience’s needs and desires, and fit into their lives.

Here are four steps you can take to find a genuine human insight and shape your audience strategy.

Step 1: Create an audience sample

Even the narrowest target audience can include different types of people, with each group having its own desires, needs, and emotions. And there’s simply no such thing as a one-size-fits-all human insight.

The first thing you should do is divide your audience into segments and choose one to focus on. For example, a laundry detergent brand could segment its customers into parents, college students, and single city-dwellers, and decide to focus on the parent segment first.

Find a selection of people who represent your segment, called a sample audience. This should include at least 15 people who cover a broad spectrum of your customer segment. The detergent brand might include parents of babies, pre-teens, and teenagers.

Add some “wild cards” in there, too (like a parent whose 30-year-old son has moved back home or a parent with 10 children). They might reveal new ways to use your product or tell you why they won’t use it. – Read more

Understanding The Diversification Of Google Search Results

My Post.jpgIn a 2008 blog post by Moz’s co-founder Rand Fishkin, I read about the diversification of search results regarding their subject area. And today, Google has only expanded its diversification efforts.

It doesn’t matter where you currently are, if you type the word “veterinarian,” “lawyer” or “mechanic” into the search engine — especially when you add a city to the search term (e.g., “New York City Veterinarian,” “Los Angeles lawyer” or “Prague mechanic”) — you will not get links to the websites of the 10 best veterinary clinics, law firms or car repair shops in a given city. Instead, you’ll see results such as Google Maps listings and some business cards pinned to given locations, catalogs of the institutions you’re searching, encyclopedic references or cross-references to various forums where users ask for a particular service in their city.

By diversifying the results, Google increases the chance that you will find what you need, even though you asked for it in general terms.

Responsible For This State Of Affairs Is What I Call ‘Google Results Diversity’

From my perspective, diversification most likely occurs when Google spits out thematically unified search results because it’s not able to respond perfectly to a user’s queries.

In 2014, Google began using featured snippets (extended descriptions of websites) as one of its tactics for search results ranking. Featured snippets were supposed to help display the best answers to users’ inquiries, pulled directly from the specific websites. After an affair with numerous cases of promoting false or inappropriate content (e.g., “women were evil”), Google started working on increasing the number of responses to search results, calling them diverse perspectives.

And in its next step — direct answer — the company has accelerated the delivery of the results one expects, showing an answer at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), similar to the way a voice assistant might provide an answer. – Read More

Beyond the traditional marketing funnel — a new formula for growth

My Post1.jpgGoogle’s President of the Americas Allan Thygesen explains how intent-rich moments are altering the shape of the marketing funnel.

Marketing has always been about driving growth. And the formula for how to drive growth in today’s market has changed.

As marketers, we were taught to master the funnel — a linear customer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. And using mass media, the key levers to drive growth were reach and frequency. We used demographics to approximate user intent and inform our targeting and creative.

But this model no longer applies to today’s customer journeys. In the last six months, Google looked at thousands of users’ clickstream data from a third-party opt-in panel. We found that no two journeys are exactly alike, and in fact, most journeys don’t resemble a funnel at all. They look like pyramids, diamonds, hourglasses, and more. Digital technology and mobile devices have put people in control. We all now expect an immediate answer in the moments we want to know, go, do, and buy. And all of these intent-rich moments are creating journey shapes as unique as each of us. In many ways, intent is redefining the marketing funnel.

Let me explain. Take the example of Jill, a 25-year-old from Tennessee. She’s shopping for some new makeup after learning from a friend that the products she’s been using for years may be irritating her sensitive skin.

 

Her journey starts off with a flurry of Google searches where she learns that she needs hypoallergenic and aluminum-free products. Then, she quickly narrows her search to a handful of promising brands. Pretty predictable funnel-type behavior, right?

Not quite. She then broadens her search again by looking for “makeup brands without aluminum.” We see Jill’s consideration set expand and narrow several times as she researches brands on Google and watches YouTube videos over the next two months — yes, two months. She’s more undecided than ever.

Jill explored a number of retailers and brand websites over this time period, but ultimately it was Ulta Beauty’s loyalty program “Ultamate Rewards” that won her over. Results from searches for that retailer’s “rewards” and “rewards birthday gift” seal the deal. Her next move? A search for that retailer’s locations. – Read more

Measuring Ad Viewability

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Just because your ad is served on the web or in an app, doesn’t mean it will be seen. Viewability tells you whether an ad had the chance to be seen or not.

What is viewability?

Viewability is a measure of whether or not an ad had a chance to be seen by a user. It helps marketers by providing metrics on the number of times their ads actually appear in front of users.

So why does this matter? If an ad isn’t seen, it can’t have an impact, change perception, or build brand trust. Viewability helps marketers understand campaign effectiveness and allows advertising spend to be allocated to the most valuable media.

56.1% of all ads are not viewable56.1%

Measuring viewability for your ads

What is Active View?

Now that you know more about viewability and its importance to your media plan, how can you measure it?

Google offers Active View — a free, transparent, and effortless solution, accredited by the Media Rating Council, that measures viewable display and video impressions across the web and in apps. Active View is integrated into all of Google’s advertising products, and measures in real time, on an impression-by-impression basis, whether or not an ad was viewable. Each impression is directly measured. No sampling. No extrapolating. – Read more

Personalization features now available in Google Optimize

My Post.jpgPeople want compelling and relevant digital content that’s delivered at just the right moment.

That’s why Google Optimize is making changes to help businesses deliver better, more personalized experiences to your customers. Now, in addition to running short-term website experiments with Optimize, you can create custom website experiences that deliver the right message to your customers—every time they visit your site.

Put your experiment results to work

Optimize has always helped you test which version of your site works best for your customers. Now it’s even easier for you to immediately launch the winning version of your site with just a few clicks.

Say you’ve run an A/B test on your site and Optimize has determined the winning version. You can now simply click “DEPLOY LEADER,” and Optimize will re-create the winning version of your site as a new personalization that you can launch to any segment of your customers. If you’re an Optimize 360 customer, you can also specify an Analytics audience you want to reach.

Personalization 2

Once your experiment has ended, you can set the winning version live on your site.

Launch personalized changes from the ground up

You can also create personalized experiences without running a test first. For instance, you might want to offer a special like free shipping to all customers in San Francisco.

Launching a personalization from scratch is now simple in Optimize. First, click the “Create Experience” button and select “Personalization” as the experience type. Using the Optimize Visual Editor, you can add the free shipping offer to your site. Then, select “users located in San Francisco” and launch the personalization. It’s that simple.

Personalization 1

Use the Optimize Visual Editor to make a change on your site and then make it available to any segment of your users.

Personalization 3

Rituals Cosmetics, one of the leading bath and body brands in Europe, has been an early tester of the new personalization features. Now Rituals Cosmetics is able to deliver more than 50 different custom product promotions on their site at once.

“With personalization features in Optimize, we’ve been able to quickly build personalized site experiences at scale. And with the analysis capabilities in Optimize, we’re able to easily measure the impact these experiences are having on our business.”

– Martijn van der Zee, Digital Director, Rituals Cosmetics – Read more

New format for Google Sitelinks shows more site content in search results

My Post.jpgCheck out this new Google search result user interface that looks like featured snippets within Google Sitelinks.

Google is testing, or maybe rolling out, a new feature in the search results that lets you see more content from a web site without having to click to the site.

Instead of showing normal Sitelinks, which are in the screen shot above on the left, you are presented with more detail Sitelinks, which are shown in the screen shot on the right.

How do these new Sitelinks work? When you are shown the new Sitelinks, they are listed under the main search result snippet with arrows down to expand the results. Here is a closer look:

You can expand the number of sitelinks by clicking on “show more” and/or click on a specific sitelink to see more from the web site directly related to that sitelink directly in the Google results:

How can I see this in action? I was able to replicate this myself by searching for [translate api] while in Chrome in incognito mode. I was not able to replicate this in any other browser. I was given a heads up on this by SEMRush on Twitter.

Why does this matter? This may change your click-through rates from Google search. If Google shows more of your content directly in the search results, it is possible that people may click less or even more. It is hard to say how the click-through rate from Google search will be impacted by this. It is a similar argument to the featured snippets in search, which is what these new snippets look like. Some studies said the featured snippets resulted in gains, while others showed losses. – Read more

Google to close Google+ after 7 years: A look back at the impact it once had on Google search

My Post.jpgJust about seven years ago, Google launched its own social networking site named Google+.

On Monday, Google announced it will be closing down the consumer version of Google+ in the coming months as it disclosed a privacy bug.

Google said “the consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement,” adding that “90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.”

Google+ and +1 button ranking influence? Before Google+ rolled out, Google launched plus one buttons for websites in 2011. It hinted those buttons were one of many ranking signals used for search quality and rankings. Over the years, Google pushed back on that, and as Google+ grew (or shrunk), Google said it did not use Google+ or plus ones as a ranking signal. It was a hot topic as studies showed evidence both ways.

In any event, with Google+ going away, you can rest assured that Google+ and +1 buttons will have no impact on rankings going forward. So this case is closed.

Google+ did influence some search results. Google+ and +1 buttons did show up over the years in Google search. With Search Plus Your World Google would personalize your search results based on what your Google+ friends searched for and clicked on. Google would also show your personal assets, such as your photos, emails, flights, etc based on your Google+ account directly in the search results. These days, Google barely uses personalization in search, as it recently admitted.

Google also showed Google+ posts in real time search when Google Real Time Search was a feature Google had.

Google also suggested that searchers take conversations to Google+ over the years. This was Google’s way of trying to drive conversation on its social network. Google would highlight Google+ content in search results and in Google News, even by showing you what is being discussed on Google+. You would see Google+ show up all over the search results early in the days so often that it became a joke in the SEO community.

Let’s not forget about the heavy local search integration between Google+ and Google Local results. In fact for a time, Google+ pretty much replaced Google Places, the old name for Google My Business.

Google+ had a long, slow death. As adoption lost steam over the years, Google slowly stopped pushing Google+. I saw fewer and fewer Googlers posting on Google+, at least the public commercial version. We saw Google sunset Google+ features like ads integrations, saved searches, Google+ in knowledge panels and Google local edits.

In fact, we rarely covered Google+ announcements or changes over the past few years because it was a product/service that was out sight and out of mind.

Google said it will wind down Google+ “over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August, ” adding that, “Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.”

For more on the Google+ bug and additional security measures Google is taking in response, see Google to shutter Google+ following undisclosed privacy breach on our sister site Marketing Land. – Read more

New ways to manage and measure your experiments in Google Optimize

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With more and more customer interactions happening online, it’s critical to have a high-performing site.

One of the best ways to improve the performance for your site is to run site tests. But it can be a challenge to manage all of them. That’s especially true when you’re managing multiple experiments, juggling different schedules, and then analyzing all the data. That’s why today, we’re adding three features to Google Optimize to make it easier to manage and measure your experiments.

1. Email notifications
With new email notifications, we’ll give you a heads up any time there’s an important update on your experiment. That way, you’ll know when experiments start, when they end, and what was the winning variation.

Now, whenever you create a new experiment, you can choose to receive email notifications directly. You can also opt in or opt out at any time in your container settings or within a specific experiment.

2. Easier reporting with a new Analytics dimension
It’s important to understand how your site experiments impact your business. To help you do that, we’ve created a brand new dimension in Analytics, “Experiment ID with Variant.” This dimension combines your Optimize Experiment ID with the specific variant of your site that users saw. That makes it easier to conduct deeper analyses of your Optimize experiments in Google Analytics.

Now that your experiment data is in one dimension, you can create a segment in Analytics with a single click. Use it to add a segment to your Analytics report and understand if Variant A or Variant B had a more positive impact on your revenue per user. If you’re using Optimize 360, you can also create an audience from your segment, then reach these users through remarketing campaigns or custom site experiences.

3. Scheduling experiments
Want your experiment to launch during a specific time or event, like a campaign or holiday? Now you don’t have to stress about organizing your schedule just so you can push the “Start” button at the right time. Use the schedule experiments feature ahead of time and Optimize will automatically push it live for you. Optimize can even notify you with an email when the experiment is live. – Read more