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The place to be for paid search and Google Shopping

How to determine price competitiveness in product advertising

As we covered previously, how your price compares to that of your competitors has a huge impact on the success of your Shopping campaigns. Price your products too high and Google will display them lower in the paid results or refuse to show them at all. Price too low, and you lose margins – a race to the bottom is never fun.

The key to a good pricing strategy is to identify a few high-impact products and make sure that they are priced correctly within the competitive landscape. To do this, you’ll need a way of measuring how pricing affects your Product Advertising efforts on Google Shopping.

Focus on products with a lot of impressions, since these products play a huge role in acquiring new shoppers, a few key price adjustments can have a dramatic effect. Sounds simple in principle, but the reality is slightly more complicated.

Here’s how you can identify which products you should be monitoring, how to do that monitoring at scale and how to derive actionable insights from the data you collect.

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The role of price on Google Shopping performance

Naturally, product price has an impact on everything in eCommerce, but when it comes to Google Shopping this impact is incredibly severe. A simple 5% increase in price produced a whopping 60% drop in clicks while keeping the bid stable. It certainly appears as though impressions and clicks in Shopping are very sensitive to pricing, more specifically how your price compares to all the similar products on Google Shopping.

For a deeper insight into what is actually going on inside Google Shopping, we analyzed a dataset of more than 15,000 Google Shopping client conversions across the German, UK and US markets covering several international retailers from the fashion, sports, outdoor and luxury sectors.

What we found shed a lot of light on how price affects Shopping performance and why. It also gave us some insights into what retailers can do to turn this phenomenon into a positive for their business.

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Voice search becomes voice action: A key talking point at SMX London – Search Engine Land

From combining search and social to leveraging moments that matter, last week’s attendees at SMX London gained a deeper understanding of the numerous ways they can optimize their search strategies.

Described as the “ultimate survival guide to the dynamic and tumultuous world of search marketing,” SMX  — run by Search Engine Land’s parent, Third Door Media — is a conference series designed to highlight the reach and opportunities that can be achieved through search advertising and outline search’s position in the wider marketing mix.

From my own perspective, one of the more enlightening sessions of the London event featured a presentation by Pete Campbell, founder and managing director of Kaizen, on the subject of voice search — a prominent theme given the ongoing battle of the AI assistants.

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Adapting to Digital Duopoly: Customization Counts (from AdAge)

I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for AdAge on the digital duopoly we see in Digital Marketing. In case you didn’t see it, here it is:

 Adapting to Digital Duopoly: Customization Counts

This is the era of duopoly in digital advertising, a time when Facebook and Google control the lion’s share of the overall digital U.S. ad spend (54%), as well as the mobile ad spend (67%). The situation is even more stark when you look at incremental growth numbers: Facebook and Google together account for 98% of new digital ad dollars spent last year. Smaller players have to fight over a still significant, but ever-shrinking, share of the pie, even as other behemoths — most notably, Amazon and Verizon — emerge to grab at the same piece. These large players, each with proprietary tech and money to spend, seem destined to conquer every last inch of the digital advertising landscape.

They won’t. Digital advertising is not, as the territorial metaphors would suggest, a two-dimensional space that can be conquered and divided among large players like borders on a map. The needs of marketers are multidimensional, varied and vertical-specific. They require custom solutions as singular as the products, regions and audiences themselves. This is what the market needs but the duopoly fails to deliver; this is where independent ad tech players should concentrate their efforts.

Industry observers have predicted various unsavory fates for the smaller ad tech companies: that they will face increasing pressure to consolidate, or get squeezed out entirely. They are asked to provide boutique-level quality in their services, while reducing margins and staying lean. (Like ad tech companies, publishers and agencies face this unappetizing menu of options.)

For companies that want to avoid becoming isolated or getting squeezed out of the market, that want to thrive against the big boys without having a seat at the big-boy table, there is another way. It doesn’t involve building scale and reach to compete with Facebook and Google, whose “walled gardens” are virtually impenetrable. It involves rigorous and unrelenting focus on developing top-notch customization capabilities for targeted verticals, and ensuring that those functions are interoperable across platforms, including within those walled gardens.

Read the full article on AdAge

8 ways small retailers can compete with retail giants using Google Shopping (via Search Engine Land)

Think you’re too small to benefit from Google Shopping campaigns? Think again! Columnist Andreas Reiffen has some advice for smaller retailers looking to improve their Product Listing Ads.

As a small, niche retailer it can seem daunting (almost pointless) to invest too heavily in Google Shopping. After all, how could you ever compete with the major players who have far more money, products and people than you do?

Well, the good news is, it is possible to be competitive in Google Shopping as a small business. In fact, done right, Google Shopping can actually be the most effective digital advertising platform in terms of Return on Ad Spend.

Here are the top strategies to be successful as a small/medium retailer in Google Shopping.

1. Focus on your niche

As a small retailer, you likely sell a very limited selection of niche products. Whether these are your own personal brand, or from independent designers, this exclusivity is your strength.

Selling products that aren’t sold by Amazon or a hundred other retailers, means there’s less competition to appear in Google Shopping for relevant searches. Even better, if you create and sell your own label you won’t have any direct competition in terms of brand queries. Private labels have the added benefit of commanding higher margins, making them a smart investment for any business.

Focus your campaigns on niche, new or unknown brands and try to get these products exclusively.

2. Segment your campaigns effectively

The key to creating Google Shopping ads with great ROAS is making sure they reach the people who are most likely to buy. In the example below, you can see that query A is much more specific – and therefore likely to convert – than query B, yet the bid is the same. Your strategy should be to leave the generic traffic to your competitors and get more of the high-converting traffic to your business.

To generate the maximum amount of sales from Google Shopping, you want to make sure your ads appear for these types of “high-conversion” queries. As with any form of paid media, that generally means bidding slightly more.

But, reverse engineering of Google Shopping has revealed that simply bidding higher on your PLAs makes your ads attract more low-quality traffic. Instead, you want to focus on displaying your ads for specific queries, which tend to convert much better. This is why segmenting your campaigns correctly is essential.

By segmenting your campaigns into the type of queries that receive high, medium and low conversion rates (this will likely differ from business to business) you can set bid amounts that correlate to the user’s intent. That way, you bid more for “high-converting” queries and low for “low-converting” queries.

Here’s a more detailed description of how campaign segmentation works.

3. Incorporate natural language in Product Titles

As a retailer selling new or small, unknown brands it’s unlikely that you will get a high volume of search traffic looking for that brand specifically. Instead, you want to focus your attention on popular natural language queries that describe your products.

You can use Google’s keyword planner to identify the queries that most closely match your product offerings – remember to focus on products that are unique to you. Once you’ve identified these queries, append them to the beginning of the relevant Product Titles in your Product Feed.

This method will help Google be better at finding and surfacing your products when they match the query. It will also make your products look more relevant to shoppers. In many cases, updating your Product Titles with natural language queries can double, if not triple, your impressions without the need to increase your bids, making it a cost-effective way for smaller retailers to compete.

Here’s a handy guide for writing more compelling Product Titles.

4. Use Geotargeting

Another way to make sure your ads are reaching those shoppers most likely to purchase your products is through geo-targeting. Obviously, you first want to make sure you are only advertising your products to people in the areas to which you deliver.

But, you can also use geotargeting in a more granular way by bidding higher for your ads to show in very specific areas. For example, if you are a high-end fashion retailer, you may want to bid more for ads shown in high-income areas where the people searching are more likely to be able to afford your products.

Use something like this buying power map to help determine where your ads would have the most impact and invest heavily in those areas.

5. Leverage RLSA lists

Because Google Shopping is usually a lower funnel advertising medium (ie people generally click on it when they are close to a buying decision), retargeting lists can be extremely useful.

These lists allow you to bid more for ads that will be shown to people that have already visited your site – and therefore are more likely to purchase your products. You can even make these lists more specific by targeting customers who have purchased before, or just those with an Average Basket Value above a certain amount.

6. Don’t bid too much

No one ever wants to bid more than they have to. But, it’s especially important to remember when working with limited budgets, that simply increasing your CPC is not the answer to getting more sales in Google Shopping.

Bidding in Google Shopping works very differently to traditional PPC bidding. Instead of decreasing marginal revenue, there is an S curve.

Essentially, in Google Shopping there is a minimum bid amount to be entered into the auction, then for small bid increases we see a huge jump in conversions, but at a certain point the bid becomes too high and the conversion rate plateaus. When the bid is too high, it means Google is showing your products for very generic queries that are unlikely to convert.

If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to overbid on your Google Shopping campaigns. Setting and forgetting your bids is simply not an option. Instead, you need a system of incremental testing, measuring and tweaking. Make small changes in your bids and see what happens to your CR. If it goes up by a lot, try increasing the bid a bit more until you see a very small (or no) change in CR. If you don’t have the time to manually test all your bids, you should invest in a

tool that can automate that process for you.

When in doubt,  it’s much better to be highly targeted with your bids – through RLSA lists, geo-targeting, campaign segmentation, etc – than to try and “outbid” any major players through raising your base CPC.

7. Decrease your prices

If you do sell some of the same products or brands as your competitors, you’ll often get more out of Google Shopping by decreasing your prices then by just increasing your bids. This may sound somewhat counterintuitive, but it has to do with Google’s algorithm for selecting which products to show.

In an effort to make Google Shopping more appealing to online shoppers, Google seems to have what we call a “low-price bias”. That means, given the choice between two products, Google will almost always choose to show the cheaper of the two, even if the more expensive product has a higher bid. In fact, if your products are too expensive Google may refuse to show them at all.

According to Google, their algorithm doesn’t favor cheaper products. Rather, they apply a machine learning algorithm which reacts to what users like or dislike. In this case, users apparently dislike high prices and therefore the algorithm chooses lower priced products. Either way, the bottom-line is the same: price matters.

In order to compete against bigger online retailers, you may want to consider lowering your prices – at least on the items that you sell in common. In reality, once you get people to your site they’ll often end up buying something other than what they initially clicked on. Think of these lower priced products as “gateways” to your site. Once a shopper is on your site you can try to upsell them to another (or more) product and add them to your retargeting lists for future promotion.

If lowering any of your prices isn’t an option, try focusing your campaigns on the items you sell that are more competitive in price for their category. Overtime, you’ll gather data on which products perform the best in Google Shopping and can start to focus your energies on those products.

8. Take advantage of “Purchases on Google”

Creating a good mobile experience is hard. It requires a lot of design and development experience – which you may not have access to as a small retailer. But, with mobile sales growing by the day, it’s important to make the mobile buying experience as pleasant (ie. easy) as possible.

Google recently introduced “Purchases on Google” – or a Buy Button as some have called it. At the moment it’s an opt-in service that allows retailers to let Google handle the mobile online transaction in Google Shopping without sending the shopper to the retailer’s mobile website.

Some major retailers are concerned about losing control of their opportunity to upsell and/or retarget shoppers once they’ve clicked through to their site and therefore are hesitant to adopt this feature. But, for a small retailer, it’s could be an opportunity to increase mobile sales without having to invest too heavily in a mobile website or app.

At the moment Purchases is only available to a select group of beta testers so you may need to get in touch with Google directly and see if you can get access to it.

Invest smarter, then grow

You don’t necessarily have to invest a ton upfront to make Google Shopping successful for your business. Take time to refine your strategy, and make sure you know (or find out through testing) the answers to these questions:

  1. Which products make you stand out from the competition?
  2. What types of shopper queries indicate high-conversion potential?
  3. Which words or phrases do people search for that could describe your products?
  4. Where do your customers (real & potential) live and what other areas have similar demographics?
  5. How long is your conversion cycle? What is the optimum timeframe to wait before retargeting someone?
  6. What bid range is most efficient for your products?
  7. How competitive are your prices?
  8. How good is your mobile site (or app) at converting?

Once you’ve created highly efficient Google Shopping campaigns, you can begin to ramp up your spending and aim for a larger market share.

The most important thing to remember as a small/medium retailer is to focus on what makes you unique. This uniqueness is why someone would choose to purchase from you in the first place and it’s also what will make your ads stand out both to Google and online shoppers.

See the original article on Search Engine Land

Feed Title Changes: A Complete How-To Guide

Our goal: Maximize traffic by integrating high-potential search queries into your product feed titles.


Why change product titles?

In early tests, we saw that adding the correct term to your product title can lead to massive uplifts in traffic:

Which kind of queries actually work?

To find out more about the impact of title changes, we conducted a series of further tests consisting of 3 strategies:

1. Unrelated Terms: Terms with volume on Google, but no relation to the product – which therefore don’t show up in product titles

2. Existing Queries: High-traffic Shopping queries that aren’t included in titles

3. Under-represented Queries:

(a) “Low share of voice” Shopping queries that aren’t included in titles and could get more impressions according to market size

(b) Text Ads Queries: Terms that work well in Text Ads but don’t receive Shopping traffic

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The Future is Now: Ramp up your Google Shopping ROI

Product Listing Ads (PLAs) across desktop and mobile have taken the majority of retailers’ budgets and are driving search advertising growth. But mastering Google Shopping campaigns requires more than just a basic understanding of bid management and product feeds. You need to engage shoppers with a richer, more intuitive search experience by aligning product titles with shopper intent and leveraging semantic signals to improve impression share.

We had the great pleasure of co-hosting just such a forward-looking discussion of new Google Shopping strategies with Colleen from Feednomics and Search Engine Land.

Couldn’t make it? That’s ok! We recorded the whole thing. Have a listen and learn how to capture new customers, improve your brand relevance, and maximize your approach to online retail.

All the Retail Marketing conferences worth attending in 2017

With literally thousands of Marketing conferences around the World, we’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to picking where and when we want to go. But, as the price of a conference ticket creeps steadily upward, you want to make sure you’re getting the best experience for your money.

Finding the right balance between interesting speakers, relevant topics, useful networking and decent food/drink can be a challenge. We feel ya.

So we did some of the hard work for you by evaluating which conferences are actually worth attending in 2017. We’ll be at quite a few of these ourselves either as attendees, speakers or exhibitors so make sure you tweet @camato_io and say hello.

Here are the top Digital Marketing conferences for 2017 in chronological order. See you there!

eTail West

  • Where: Palm Springs, CA
  • When: 27 February – 2 March
  • Price: $1,699 – $4,499
  • Follow: @eTailNews

If the snow in NYC is getting you down, hop a flight to Palm Springs for eTail. If you’re in ecommerce, this one’s for you. Over 1,200 retailers from more than 600 companies come together to talk disruptive strategies for profit optimization. They purposely find the speakers who are in trenches, doing the dirty work – so they can tell you the why, how, and what they would change next time. If the end of the month is too soon, catch eTail East in Boston in August.

Online Marketing Rockstars Festival

  • Where: Hamburg, Germany
  • When: 2 – 3 March
  • Price: €379
  • Follow: @OMRockstars

Over the course of two days, the OMRF offers one of the best entertainment, networking opportunities and development programs in the industry. This year they’re expecting a whopping 25,000 attendees. There’s a two day Expo hosting both established and new companies in digital marketing, exclusive masterclasses, a conference featuring some of the biggest names in the space, and a legendary after party (just trust us).

Retail Week Live

  • Where: London, UK
  • When: 8 – 9 March
  • Price: £1,590 – £3,735
  • Follow: @RetailWeek

Retail Week features visionary speeches, insightful interviews and candid conversation from influential business leaders and personalities. With all the industry’s biggest names all in one place, you’ll get to hear how their current challenges are shaping their business and what they are doing to combat the ever changing landscape.

Marketing Week Live

  • Where: London, UK
  • When: 8 – 9 March
  • Price: FREE
  • Follow: @MWL2017

Directly competing with Retail Week this year is the equally heavy-hitting Marketing Week Live. No matter the issues you’re facing – technical, practical or professional development; MWL has sessions, experts and exhibitors to help you. It’s a mixture of practical, hands-on, expert advice, and inspirational case studies from some of the most disruptive brand marketing campaigns of the moment, all presented in an electric, live environment. Plus, it’s free!

SMX Munchen

  • Where: Munich, Germany
  • When: 14 – 15 March
  • Price: €109 – €2,195
  • Follow: @smx

SMX kicks off their year of great SEO/SEM conferences with SMX Munchen in Munich. Don’t let the exotic location or possibility of snow deter you, though, this conference is headlined by some of the biggest names in SEO/SEM including Rand Fishkin (Moz), Wil Reynolds (seer) and Oliver Borm (Google).

SMX West

  • Where: San Jose, CA
  • When: 21 – 23 March
  • Price: $599 – $1,895
  • Follow: @smx

Can’t swing an overseas flight to Munich this year? Head to sunny San Jose instead and check out SMX West. Search Marketing Expo has been the leading conference for SEO & SEM professionals since 2007, helping thousands of marketing practitioners succeed with actionable tactics. This list features several SMX conferences for a reason – they’re great. And with such varied ticket prices, you should be able to attend no matter your budget.

World Retail Congress

  • Where: Dubai, UAE
  • When: 4 – 6 April
  • Price: £2,395
  • Follow: @WorldRetail

Returning to Dubai for a second year, the 11th edition of World Retail Congress will help you “reimagine the customer experience”. Differentiation is key to the survival of any retailer and customer experience both physically and digitally is crucial to achieving this. Across the three days of the Congress, 1500+ attendees will gather to hear from industry legends and thought-leaders including Chairman of Macy’s, Terry Lundgren and Former CEO of Richemont Fashion and Accessories, Marty Wikstrom as well as emerging retail disruptors from Soko, Lesara and Myntra as they cover key themes and sessions pertaining to the developments and debate across the industry.


  • Where: Brighton, UK
  • When: 7 April
  • Price: £100 –  £475
  • Follow: @brightonseo

BrightonSEO is a one-day search marketing conference and series of training courses held, not surprisingly, in Brighton. It takes place twice a year and brings together some of the best speakers in the world of search. One of the best things about this conference is that even with 3,500 attendees it still feels like small, intimate pub meeting it started out as.


  • Where: Los Angeles, CA
  • When: 18 – 20 April
  • Price: $1,450 – $3,200
  • Follow: @heroconf

Hero Conf is the world’s largest all PPC conference, and each year it brings the biggest names and brightest minds together under one roof to discuss the tactics, strategies, present and future of pay-per-click advertising. With 60 speakers, 40 breakout panels, 4 keynotes and 650+ PPC like-minded attendees, it’s the platform for innovative ideas, creative discussions and connections that matter. If you’re on the other side of the pond there’s a HeroConf in London in October.

Marketing United

  • Where: Nashville, TN
  • When: 19 – 21 April
  • Price: $695 – $1,045
  • Follow: @emmaemail #MarketingUnited

No sleepy workshops, no stale cookies, and absolutely no soulless hotel ballrooms. Marketing United is an annual three-day event packed with hands-on sessions to help marketers from around the world get better at what they do. With only 750 spots this feels like a smaller, more intimate affair. Yet, headliners still hail from exciting companies like Netflix, Pixar, The Met and Southwest – so you’re sure to learn a lot.

Search Insider Summit

  • Where: South Seas Island, FL
  • When: 26 – 29 April
  • Price: $3,295 ($100 off with Membership)
  • Follow: @mediapost #MPSIS

Don’t let the steep price tag scare you away, this conference is definitely going to be worth every penny. Search Insider Summit is brought to you by the MediaPost journalists and editors that produce Search Marketing Daily and the Search Insider, so the content is sure to be cutting edge. This year they’ll be focusing on machine learning, programmatic technology and data’s ability to create personalized experiences.

Online Marketing Forum

  • Where: Berlin, Germany
  • When: 2 May
  • Price: €217.50

With quality festivals in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, it seems Digital Marketing is taking Germany by storm. The OMF is aimed at anyone who’s active in online marketing and ecommerce and wants to gain an overview of current online marketing advertising opportunities and be inspired by best-practice examples.

Fashion Digital

  • Where: Los Angeles, CA
  • When: 4 May
  • Price: Early Bird $195 (retailers) and $1,095 (non-retailer)
  • Follow: @fashionDTL

There are quite a few good looking conferences in LA this year, but if you’re in fashion, lifestyle of beauty, you’ll definitely want to check out Fashion Digital. This one day conference holds panels and discussions on mobile, social and influencer marketing, multi-channel marketing attribution, SEO/SEM, customer acquisition and more.

eMetrics Summit

  • Where: San Francisco, CA
  • When: 15 – 18 May
  • Price: $897 – $4,450
  • Follow: @eMetrics

The eMetrics Summit is the most comprehensive, forward-looking conference covering the impact of data and technology on marketing ROI. You’ll learn how to make the most of today’s tools and techniques, get a glimpse of what technologies are on the horizon and receive expert guidance on the resources necessary to leverage them effectively.

SMX London

  • Where: London, UK
  • When: 23 – 24 May
  • Price: £75 – £1,595
  • Follow: @smx

Like we mentioned earlier, SMX is one of the premier marketing conferences. So, you should make sure you attend at least one of their conferences this year. Not only does SMX London take place is one of the best European cities, it’s got a diverse line-up for both beginners and advanced SEOers. Can’t make it to London? Check out SMX Paris in July.

C2 Montreal

  • Where: Montreal, Canada
  • When: 24 – 26 May
  • Price: $2,495
  • Follow: @C2Montreal

For their 6th edition, C2M’s international business conference will focus on Ecosystems – trends and transformations that are having a growing impact on business and on our hyperconnected world. This conference is about as high-level as it gets, but there are sure to be some fascinating presentations including the repercussions of mass migration, private space travel, VR and more.


  • Where: Berlin, Germany
  • When: 29 May – 2 June
  • Price: €369 – €999
  • Follow: @webinale

Webinale is one of those conferences that are great for mixing with people in other specialties. It’s for digital professionals and trendsetters from all industries and genres which makes it the optimal crossover platform for knowledge transfer, inspiration and exchange of experience. Topic range from Web Design to Online Marketing and UX.

Global E-commerce Summit

  • Where: Barcelona, Spain
  • When: 12 – 14 June
  • Price: €515 – €1,995

This year’s GES promises to take participants on a journey from the possible to the actionable, and explores how developing technologies, policies and business models meet consumer expectations that shape the future of digital commerce. Now in their 9th season, the Summit provides digital B2C companies a platform to learn about the latest impactful disruptions and showcase e-commerce ecosystem services.

SMX Advanced

  • Where: Seattle, WA
  • When: 17 June
  • Price: $99 – $2,595
  • Follow: @smx

If you’ve ever been to a conference and thought – how basic – this is the one for you. SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced search marketers. Sessions are fast-paced, Q&A-packed, always informative… and they don’t stop to cover the basics. Talks are led by leaders in the search marketing industry providing you with valuable and actionable takeaways. And the networking is top notch.

MN Search

  • Where: Minneapolis, MN
  • When: 23 June
  • Price: $329 – $404
  • Follow: @MnSEARCH

In the US it’s the coasts that tend to get the most love when it comes to conferences, but don’t count out the Midwest just yet. MnSearch Summit is a one-day marketing conference that brings together marketing and business professionals for a day learning from an elite lineup of keynote and session speakers. Topics being covered by leading marketing pros this year include: SEO, PPC, social media, email, content, video, analytics and much more.


  • Where: Vancouver, Canada
  • When: 25 – 27 June
  • Price: $599 – $699
  • Follow: @unbounce #CTAConf

At a lot of conferences you end up hearing the same stuff recycled over and over. Not at Call to Action Conf. Their program is carefully curated to teach you next-level, actionable marketing tactics you can utilize the very next day. Topics are many and varied including conversion optimization, email marketing, copywriting, landing pages, PPC, analytics, content marketing and much more.


  • Where: Seattle, WA
  • When: 17 – 19 July
  • Price: $849 – $1,349 (Earlybird)
  • Follow: @Moz #MozCon

One of the most fun events this year will undoubtedly be MozCon, so if you’re at all interested in SEO make sure to check it out. Speakers will share next-level tactics on everything from ranking higher in today’s evolving search results to making data-driven decisions in your marketing. And there’s a free pub crawl (#MozCrawl) on the Monday – enough said.


  • Where: Cologne, Germany
  • When: 13 – 14 September
  • Price: TBC
  • Follow: @dmexco

With more than 50,000 visitors, in just a few short years dmexco has grown into one of the biggest (and best) Digital Marketing conferences around. Visitors can look forward to a full program of practice-oriented presentations by top international speakers, lively discussions, and a wealth of new impulses.

SMX East

  • Where: New York, NY
  • When: 24 – 26 September
  • Price: TBC
  • Follow: @smx

We know what you’re thinking: another SMX? This is the last one. Promise. But seriously, if you’re in digital marketing find the SMX closest to you, and go. SMX is programmed by the team at Search Engine Land, the publication of record for search marketers. So you can rest assured, what you’ll learn is what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

Festival of Marketing

As the largest global event dedicated to brand marketers, you can expect an unrivaled line-up of industry gods, disrupters, motivators and activists. With 12 stages, more than 200 speakers and 150 hours of content, FoM has something for everyone whether you’re more marketing, digital, tech or business.

Luxury Interactive

  • Where: New York, NY
  • When: 16 – 18 October
  • Price: TBC
  • Follow: @LuxInteractive

You won’t find any generic PPC or SEO talks at Luxury Interactive, this conference is by retailers, for retailers. More specifically, they focus on luxury brands like Saks Fifth Ave, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Oscar de la Renta, Moda Operandi, Audi and NARS. Talks will cover just about everything digital marketing with a special focus on how transformative technology can take your brand’s online experience to the next level.

PI Live

  • Where: London, UK
  • When: 24 – 25 October
  • Price: TBC
  • Follow: @piliveshow

PerformanceIN Live is a two-day event packing in 2,500+ attendees for an international celebration of all forms of measurable marketing. At it, you’ll find pointers for developing a killer Facebook advertising strategy, using data to fuel performance or simply looking for new publishers and advertisers to do business with. There’s also a Nook Zone with private meeting pods where you can book one-on-one meetings – making it a great place for networking.


  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • When: 6 – 9 November
  • Price: $399 – $699
  • Follow: @Pubcon

Last year’s PubCon was lauded as a “must-attend” by both Forbes and Inc, so it’s a pretty safe bet that this year’s will be even better. This conference focuses mainly on Search and Social Media optimization and boasts not only an impressive roster of speakers but also a full day Masters Group Training Workshop. Ticket prices rise significantly after Feb 20, so book now!


Small, but targeted the ad:tech Performance & Innovation conference will mix the inspirational and the practical, giving you the forum to discover tomorrow’s next big idea and enhance the performance of your marketing today. So whether you’re interested in the latest trends and innovations across performance media buying, AI, new tech, display, mobile, data science, lead generation, search, attribution, content, data or cognitive marketing, you’ll hear how industry trendsetters are setting the industry agenda.

What the Google “Buy Button” could mean for your business

Google’s Buy Button, or Purchases on Google as it’s officially called, has been in extremely limited test phase (and only on mobile) since mid-2015 and we predict a full rollout sometime in 2017.

“Customers increasingly want to shop on their own terms. Purchases on Google facilitates that flexibility while maintaining the merchant’s ability to own the customer relationship.”

– Peter Cobb, eBags Marketing EVP and Chairman.

At the moment the feature is opt-in, and it appears that most retailers – who are reluctant lose traffic to their sites and would rather own the transaction process themselves – have chosen not to opt-in.

But, if our prediction does come true and Google rolls out the buy button for everyone in 2017, what will this mean for businesses and the profitability of Google Shopping?

A departure from Google’s mission

Before we get into its effect, we should ask ourselves why Google would create a Buy Button in the first place. Its very inclusion is an interesting departure from Google’s core mission: indexing the World’s information.

Until now, everything Google has done could be seen as pointed towards that specific objective.  Moving from a navigational perspective to a more transactional one changes that mission entirely.

Why introduce a Buy Button then?

One word. Amazon.

Amazon has found a way to hurt Google at the core of what Google does best – search. 55% of people in the U.S. now start their online shopping trips on, according to results from a 2,000-person survey commissioned by the e-commerce startup BloomReach.

Amazon’s breadth of products and recent entry into the local service space means that Google faces a competitor that is just as aggressive, nimble, and innovative as Google themselves.  Developing a Buy Button is an answer to that challenge.

Google as a Marketplace

The Buy Button gives Google the ability to let manufacturers sell their goods directly via Google Shopping – much like they do on Amazon – without the need for a fully functional ecommerce website.

If that happens, we’ll see a much more competitive landscape in Google Shopping, a platform that is fast becoming a vital sales channel for many retailers.

Purchasing on Google devalues the retailer’s role in the buying process. It also encourages shoppers to do all the product browsing in Google Shopping rather than on the retailer’s site – not good considering the majority of people don’t actually buy the product they click on.

Google get’s even more data

The potential issue is that in the Buy Button process the customer never reaches the retailer’s site. Instead, Google interacts with the checkout API and submits the order.

That means that unless Google allowed retailers to place a conversion tag in the checkout process on Google’s domain – which seems unlikely – the customer will never be visible to the retailers’ own online tracking. This makes including those sales in any cross-channel attribution impossible.

If a customer never interacts with the retailer’s tags, they can’t be remarketed to or have the fact that they made a purchase be reflected in a remarketing campaign if they’ve interacted with previous marketing campaigns. Since they never hit the retailer’s site Google Analytics remarketing tags would also not function unless Google made special provisions for it.

Finally, it seems unlikely that Google will enable the customer to create an account on the retailer’s site during that checkout process. Accounts are highly valuable as they enable retailers to do all sorts of things which encourage the customer to come back and purchase something else.

Even though Google will pass all the data a retailer needs to process the customer order, in today’s world that is far less than the data you’d gather if the customer came directly to your site.

An opportunity for small business

It’s not all doom, gloom and Google trying to take over the world. The Buy Button has the potential to give real uplift to some of the smaller retailers.

In its current opt-in form, the Buy Button offers an interesting opportunity for smaller retailers who struggle to compete in Google Shopping. Since Google always tries to push its latest invention to the customer, anyone who opts-in to the Buy Button will likely get a leg up (courtesy of Google) in their quest to appear for relevant search queries. It’s a chance to improve conversion rates and grow their online sales.

The Buy Button is also better for those who are not so online-savvy. Many retailers lack trust, online experience or tech know-how and therefore are unable to convert online traffic into sales. Hence, they don’t spend enough money. If Google becomes responsible for the conversion, they can help retailers perform better while simultaneously getting more budgets from them.

The shopping experience is evolving

Whatever you think of the Buy Button, or even Google itself, there’s no denying that the world of shopping is changing and businesses need to change with it. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay competitive in today’s retail and it’s only going to get harder.

It’s time retailers started investing in smart technologies that help the optimize and automate a lot of the tedious tasks that are still done manually. If you’re still spending most of your work day on campaign segmentation, you’ll never be prepared for the next innovation wave to hit.

The Buy Button may be good, it may be bad, it may never even see general release. But, game-changers are coming. And soon. It’s essential that we as an industry are ready for them.

Related: Google Shopping experts on what to expect in 2017

Speak your customer's language with Feed Title Optimization

Speak your customer’s language with killer Product Titles

What’s in a name?

Well, unfortunately, when it comes to paid advertising a rose by any other name does not smell as sweet. Sorry, Shakespeare.

In the world of Google Shopping, the name you give your products in your product feed is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to ensure a good ROI. Not only do your Product Titles help Google decide whether or not your product is relevant to the search query, but they will also entice more shoppers to click on your product.

Providing all the required data in the right format according to Google’s product data specification is mandatory, of course. But, to really make the most of Google Shopping, you need to start speaking your customer’s language.

What do we mean by that? Well, we did some testing to see just how much Product Titles effected performance and what sort of language works best.

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