Crealytics Insights


Break down silos in ecommerce to drive performance

How to Create Successful RLSA Campaigns

For many companies, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) can represent a significant stream of revenue. Since their debut in 2012 they’ve grown steadily in popularity, in no small part due to their ability to connect with prospects already aware of their brand. Online buyers take notice of retargeted ads, and are more likely to buy. While the format raises questions surrounding incremental value, its benefits can’t be ignored.

Only about half of all brands have a dedicated budget for remarketing campaigns. If you’re only using RLSA to adjust your bids, keywords, and text ads—there is a good chance that you are falling short of your potential.

Most eCommerce companies that use RLSA see positive results. However, they’re often forced to keep it just a small part of their overall budget. Why, exactly? Because they can’t consistently produce the impressions needed to dedicate more resources to those campaigns. For RLSA ads to become a significant piece of your search marketing operations, you have to find a reliable way to grow your remarketing lists…and generate impressions through those campaigns.

How Do Remarketing Lists for Search Ads Work?

RLSA ads give eCommerce companies the ability to target customers that have already visited their website and are aware of their brand. These are typically extremely profitable ads. After all, you don’t have to spend the time building awareness. What’s more, the users may already be aware of specific products that they offer. Typically, this leads to dramatic spikes in click-through and conversion rates for ads using RLSA. In fact, many RLSA ads see results that are two to three times higher than traditional ads. Click-through rates can be as much as 10 times higher than a typical display ad.

Combine RLSA With Audience-Driving Campaigns

Since RLSA ads are more profitable than standard search ads, they lend themselves well to companies that have lower budgets. In fact — provided they have big enough remarketing lists—some eCommerce companies may be able to get by using RLSA ads alone.

But companies that lean heavily on RLSA will find that they run into a very common problem—they just aren’t able to drive the impressions required to facilitate the results that they were hoping for. To remedy this problem, try creating campaigns in broad search or display that only have the goal of growing your RLSA lists. You can use social media ads to grow those lists as well.

The idea is to use these cheap ads to grow your RLSA audience. They come to your website, a cookie is placed, and your RLSA list grows. Some of those visitors may even purchase a product, but that’s an added side benefit of the campaign.

Using these feeder campaigns to grow your RLSA lists isn’t just a one-time strategy. You can consistently use them to keep your RLSA stocked with new users to drive your campaigns. While it does add another wrinkle to measuring your campaigns’ ROI, RLSA ads are generally cheap enough to make the extra feeder campaign worth it.

Combine RLSA With Demographic & Keyword Bidding

Another very powerful strategy used to bolster  RLSA campaigns is to combine RLSA with demographic bidding. Google’s demographic bidding options are highly detailed. They provide you with lots of ways to launch creative campaigns, and allow you to adjust your bids when you want to target by gender or age groups. When combined with keyword bidding, you can laser-target qualified buyers…and avoid wasting your budget on customers unlikely to be interested in your products.

Consumers on your RLSA lists are further down the purchase funnel. Combining demographic and keyword bidding to hit your target market gives you laser-targeted impressions with extremely high conversion rates.

Try fusing this strategy with our earlier tip (to create “feeder” campaigns to fill out your RLSA lists). It can help you grow your impressions for these campaigns.

A Highly Profitable Strategy

By their nature, RLSA provide higher conversion rates and returns for eCommerce companies. The biggest question is whether you can generate enough traffic to make it a bigger part of your strategy.


How to Boost Your Search Marketing with a CRM

In the world of eCommerce, about 3 percent of search traffic converts into paying customers.

Compared to the average conversion rates for direct traffic (2.93 percent) and social (1.81 percent), that’s not too shabby.

But as marketers, we’re never satisfied with ‘pretty good’. We’re always looking for ways to increase those numbers. Today’s method? Teaching several of those traffic sources to talk to each other in order to increase their effectiveness.

Let’s examine what happens when you connect your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to your search marketing.

What is a Customer Relationship Management system?

A CRM is a program that helps manage customer data. It absorbs information about customers and their interactions with you, it organizes that data into actionable insights, and in so doing, it makes client management easier.

Popular examples of CRMs include systems like Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Accelo.

What does a CRM Do?

Every click, phone call, email and web page visit a customer makes can be collected and summarized by a CRM. This creates a complete picture of the customer’s journey from what would otherwise be scattered and confusing data points.

Someone on a sales team could open the CRM and quickly see that John Smith found your business by searching it online two years ago, scanned your site and bought a discounted product, and has been a loyal customer ever since – opening up most of your emails, making repeat purchases, and even leaving positive reviews for your products.

That sales team member could also take a wider view and look at, on average, where all your best customers come from. Search? Social? Display? Or what demographics make up your best customers. Affluent millenials? Married men? Retirees? This helps your marketing team to make smart decisions about where to put your ad dollars.

Why Pair a CRM With Your Search Marketing?

By integrating a CRM with you search marketing efforts, you can use all that valuable customer data to make your search marketing smarter.

You could leverage an audience’s demographics to send highly targeted search ads, for example. Or use your CRM to create a list of long-time customers, then target that list with search ads offering a VIP discount.

In order to stand out amongst all the noise in today’s bustling online space, you’ve got to appeal directly to your customers. Gone are the days when you could splash your USP’s across all your target keywords and wait for the clicks to start rolling in. No longer can you afford to be satisfied with a positive ROI on search ads. You’ve got to dig deeper, find out exactly where that profit is coming from, and find ways to optimize your campaigns in those areas.

This is why savvy businesses are connecting search and CRM – it’s a step in a smarter direction.

Ways to Apply CRM + Search

When you take the sophisticated data you’ve got on your customers and apply it to your search marketing, all kinds of juicy opportunities open up.

Here are a few examples of what you can do when you make that link:

  • Offer ads for low-income vs. high-income customers
  • Create a list of your most valuable customers and deliver search ads offering an upsell on your popular products
  • Observe the actions your customers have taken (Made repeat purchases? Contacted customer service? Abandoned a cart?) and deliver highly segmented ads that address their specific needs and concerns
  • Send geolocated ads based on the most recently visited shop location
  • Leverage demographic info to send ads that appeal to a specific audience

These are just a handful of practical use cases, but the possibilities are limitless.

When your search marketing pays attention to customer data, you can also avoid some common advertising pitfalls that drive potential customers (or even loyal customers!) to your competitors.

  • Avoid sending an enticing ‘new customer’ special to loyal customers who can’t use it
  • Avoid hitting the wrong demographic with an ad that makes no sense to them – and potentially train them to ignore your future ads
  • Avoid missing out on opportunities to double down on incentives that work, and customers that would have bought from you again

Clever marketing opportunities abound—but you can only take them by leveraging your CRM.

So how do you connect the dots? The answer varies depending on what systems you are using, but the key is to employ programs that are able to integrate with each other. The two main ingredients are your CRM and your search marketing ads manager.

Find an app or piece of software that can connect the two, and you’ve already won half the battle.

Here’s to Smarter Search Marketing

Higher conversion rates, better return on investment, smarter ads, and happier customers. That’s what it’s all about, right?

If you play your cards right, search marketing plus CRM data can provide all of the above. And now that you’re clear on the relationship between the two, you can start connecting the dots for yourself.

Crealytics provides retailers with paid search and shopping solutions via a proprietary technology and services platform. Find out how to get more from your campaigns here.


Retargeting Ads in eCommerce – Five Simple Tips

In eCommerce, connecting with your target audience plays a key role in your success. It’s your bread and butter, and you live and die by your ability to actively engage your audience. That’s why a customer leaving your website without making a purchase is such a big deal. You’ve already spent time, effort, and investment to get them to your website and build awareness. Why let them walk off into the sunset empty-handed?

That’s where eCommerce retargeting comes in. Retargeting, which is also often referred to as re-marketing, is the best option that eCommerce companies have for engaging with both first-time visitors and long-standing customers. Provided you have the right tools for the job, it allows you a more granular audience. Of course, it can be off-putting for users who see ads too frequently, but this is easily avoided.

Retargeting uses the cookies placed on visitors’ systems to show them additional ads for your business.

If a customer spent a long time on your website looking at the cowboy boots that you had to offer, showing them an ad for your cowboy boots afterwards might well convince them to come back and take a second look.

You can use these ads to engage with your audience in different ways. Take these tips into consideration as you set up your retargeting campaigns:

Cross (and Upsell) Existing Customers

The most common use of retargeting is to show ads to visitors that came to your website and left without making a purchase. But you can also target existing customers. Using a custom audience, you can target customers that have already made a purchase—and show them complementary products that they may be interested in.

Let’s say a customer bought a hiking backpack from your website. They might also be interested in backpacking shoes, or a backpacking tent. Using retargeting to expose these products to an already-engaged audience can keep your company top-of-mind.

Use Retargeting to Reduce Cart Abandonment

Each year, shoppers abandon an estimated $4 trillion on eCommerce websites. Picture it: Millions of items sitting in their cart, because they never reached checkout. The good news? Retargeting can help you reduce cart abandonment rates.

Start with using a custom audience to target visitors that come to your site. If they fill their cart without buying, you can then bring them back into the fold with a reminder. It may be a case of coaxing them to finish their checkout, or drawing their attention to other products they may be interested in.

Re-Engage Your Top Customers

It’s the old adage: 20 percent of your customers will generate 80 percent of your business. These VIP customers know your brand, have engaged with you readily, and are willing to spend a great deal of money on your products. You should attempt to engage with them as much as you can! Use retargeting ads to show new products (or products that you think they may be interested in) to your biggest customers. This is especially helpful if it has been a while since their last purchase.

Bolster Retargeting Ads with Product Page Reviews

Reviews: arguably the best marketing tool at your disposal. Did you know that more than 90 percent of customers read reviews before visiting a business? By including reviews in your re-targeted ads, you provide social proof for your company—a company that your targets should be, at least, passively aware of already. Include reviews in your re-targeted ads and you give would-be customers that extra nudge toward making the purchase. This applies regardless of whether they’re one-time visitors or long-time customers.

Use Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook

Customer viewed a product but are yet to purchase? Why not use dynamic product ads on Facebook to remind them?

You can use dynamic product ads on Facebook to show potential customers the products that they have already viewed but have yet to purchase. A typical listing, they include a picture of the product, its price, description, and a link your website’s product page. Here’s an example of a re-targeted dynamic product ad on Facebook from Birkenstock:

Dynamic product ads are a great way to recapture your desired audience’s attention. They give them a chance to take a second look at products they have shown interested in.

 

Crealytics helps some of the world’s leading retailers with their performance marketing, including the relationship between retargeting ads and incremental value. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.

 


Chasing Unicorn Keywords: Explaining Scarce Data Bidding

Did you know that Google processes over 40,000 search queries every single second? This translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day: more than 1.2 trillion searches in a single year. Despite these eyebrow-raising figures, 15 percent of Google searches have never been searched before.

Look at the numbers below. They climb upwards, rapidly, each year:

Source: Google

With so many completely unique Google searches, just imagine the number of “unicorn” keywords hiding out there. They’d receive comparatively little traffic, but potentially be product ad goldmines were you to target enough of them. In fact, most keywords don’t receive enough searches per month to take them out of this “scarce data” range.

In PPC, marketers look for keywords as high in volume and low in competition as possible…while showing that searchers have some buying intent. However, as the industry becomes more competitive, these high-value keywords become increasingly difficult to find. Many product ad keywords with higher volume levels require constant monitoring to avoid overbidding. This reduces any return from those advertising efforts.

With the right tech solutions in place, a bounty of unique Google searches presents lots of opportunities for scarce data bidding. So, just what is scarce data bidding? And why is it such a powerful strategy for eCommerce companies?

What is Scarce Data Bidding?

Scarce data bidding is the process of bidding on keywords for which little data exists. You can find these keywords using a keyword tool, or in your own internal documentation, discovered through broad-match PPC campaigns.

Like any keyword you can track their effectiveness and optimize them for conversions. So, what’s the main difference between scarce data bidding and traditional PPC bidding strategies? There’s no prize for guessing what it is that scarce data keywords lack! They can’t be used to influence strategic decisions unless you’ve first targeted large numbers of them.

Because they usually represent more specific searches, most scarce data keywords fall into the longtail category. With product ads, longer search terms reflect higher buying intent. As a result, scarce data keywords provide valuable opportunities to companies with products that match those queries, even if the search volume is low.

Scarce data keywords offer less competition than keywords with higher search volumes. And this lack of rivalry can make for extremely high returns for your bids. Of course, the cost—in both time and resources—may be prohibitive. But the lure of richly-performing keywords (and a boost to account performance) makes it a tough proposition to ignore.

Bringing in Automation for Scarce Data Bidding Success

That said, you need a system in place that doesn’t just identify scarce data opportunities. It must also manage the bids for large groups of keywords.

To truly manage scarce data bidding strategies effectively, automation is your friend. Marketers need to identify hundreds (or thousands) of keywords they’d like to target. They have to manage the bidding for each of those keywords separately, or in collective ad groups.

At Crealytics, we’re piloting a new feature that sidesteps these issues. Our technology uses algorithmic signals to capitalize on low-traffic keywords—saving on manual labor in the process. To see what we can do for your eCommerce campaigns, why not get in touch today?


What is the relationship between PPC and SEO in eCommerce?

Many eCommerce companies treat Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as entirely separate categories. In most setups, you’ll find completely separate teams for each: unique operations with limited interaction. After all, each remains a distinct discipline requiring different skills.

But here’s the thing. They’re both different sides of the same coin: search.

Scratch the surface and you’ll quickly see the two can—and should—form a productive relationship. Make it happen, and more effective search marketing isn’t far away.

Today’s blog offers some direct ways in which PPC and SEO can benefit you:

Stand Out From The Crowd

A synergy between PPC and SEO boosts visibility. It’s an obvious benefit: you’ll enjoy increased exposure in search engine results pages (SERPs). Lots of companies reduce their PPC budget for a keyword when they reach a top position for it organically. But that can lead to lost sales. And actually, 64.6% of people click on ads when searching for a product or service.

Source: Slingshot

Look at the above image. You can see how quickly the click-through rate falls the lower you are in the organic listings. Holding something below the top two positions offers an extra incentive to continue bidding on that keyword. If the PPC listing remains profitable…and it brings in more customers vs. the organic listing on its own…why pull your PPC ads for that keyword?

For super-competitive keywords, you may wish to continue bidding for prominence on keywords you already rank highly for (thus boosting visibility for that keyword). Reducing PPC spend for that keyword could risk a larger dip in sales than anticipated: even if you hold the top organic position.

PPC Data can Inform Your SEO Strategy

PPC data can be extremely useful for SEO. The mutual exchange of information between campaigns will help identify more profitable keywords (and the customer intent behind them).

Let’s say a specific keyword performs well for your PPC campaigns: it has a high conversion rate and high levels of user engagement. That keyword would typically make an excellent target for SEO campaigns. From a long-term perspective, you might eventually secure conversions through that keyword without paying for each click.

These days, Google doesn’t give organic marketers the same data it once did. Incoming keyword terms often remain hidden. This keeps users from identifying those that send them traffic. You can use PPC campaigns to test new keywords before targeting them in organic search strategies. That way, you don’t waste your time targeting keywords that provide low returns. Instead, you can focus on ones with a track record of success with your products.

Additionally, you can use the “low competition” filter in your keyword planner. It offers a great way to generate a quick list of keywords to target in your PPC campaigns. After that, you can integrate the best-performing low competition winners into your SEO projects.

Use PPC to Nurture Organic Visitors Through Retargeting

Keep your products on your shoppers’ radars through retargeting

From a PPC perspective, retargeting can really boost eCommerce companies. As a reminder, this is the practice of displaying ads to users that have already interacted with your brand before. Gaining ground in organic search takes time. It can be hard work…especially when only 2 percent of first-time visitors convert.

With retargeting, you can show ads to people who’ve already visited your website on the likes of Google and Facebook. It helps keep your products on their radar…and encourages further engagement.

PPC Provides Fast, Reliable Usability Data for Shaping On-Page Strategies

Google places lots of value on engagement and participation in its organic search results. When visitors come to your website and stay for long periods to interact, it knows it has delivered a search result that reflects what the searcher was looking for.

PPC offers a great testing opportunity. You can explore how users engage with a specific page before targeting it in organic search. Being able to test a certain page’s engagement via PPC helps you put that page in a better position in organic search. Because the latter takes much longer, it can be difficult to test how certain page changes can affect user engagement. PPC gives you a baseline. You can tweak changes while waiting for your page to climb up the SERPs. Without this opportunity, you may never reach the first page at all.

More Organic Backlinks

SEO-optimized landing pages usually boast a higher experience score in Google AdWords. PPC activity brings more traffic. This means more pages shared by users…and more organic backlinks: crucial for building site equity.


3 Best Practices for Dynamic Remarketing Ads

With Audience Targeting dominating the foreseeable future of Search Engine Ads, familiarizing yourself with Retargeting Options may be useful. Dynamic Remarketing Ads can massively improve your performance by allowing you to help build leads and sales by bringing previous visitors back, who may have left at different stages of the transaction. Before we get to some of the best practices for utilizing Dynamic Remarketing Ads, let’s take a step back, and recap what they are.

What are Dynamic Remarketing Ads?

Since the release of Dynamic Remarketing Ads back in 2013, marketers are able to re-engage with former site visitors with highly customized ads displaying the same and/or similar products they previously looked at. The aim, of course, is to convert them into customers.

So, while prospects are still in the early stages of their purchase, you get to continue engaging with them with tailored messages.

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The Key to Good Product Feed Management

So, you have this fantastic e-Commerce website to sell your products on, but you are also want to sell your products to buyers through the PLAs (Product Listing Ads). How do you get started?

Lucky for you, the technology that manages the products on your website, can usually be repurposed to drive buyers to your site through PLAs… and it all starts with a product data feed.

Getting a Data Feed & Managing it

Many e-Commerce platforms have ways to create an export feed of your product data. Some of the most popular platforms can even send product feeds directly to the marketing channel where you want to advertise your products. This isn’t always recommended because your products need additional valuable data that is not automatically included in the feed. Including this additional data will benefit the marketing of your products.

As far as managing your feed is concerned, make sure to send your product feeds regularly, otherwise, you may be paying for traffic for products that are out of stock, or you may miss out on advertising the newest products listed on your site.

This is where feed optimization comes into play.

Importance of Feed Optimization

There is much to be said about feed optimization & channel specific feed optimization, but for sake of time we’ll let you in on a few of the key optimizations ideas to enhance your feed.

Firstly, having unique keyword-rich titles are essential to matching your target audience search queries to your products. Check that your product titles have nouns that accurately and completely represent each product. For example, when navigating on an apparel website to a shirt page, the page data would not necessarily include ‘shirt’ in the title because you navigated to the shirt page through the breadcrumbs. So, including “shirt” in the product feed title will help increase the relevancy of the product to search queries.

Secondly, we’ve seen numerous feeds with either incorrect or missing data. This makes categorization complex and arduous. So, merchant’s will use a more generic categorization instead of the more granular category. The more granular/accurate the categorization, the better.

Lastly, if advertising on Google or Bing, review how you are managing the bid optimization of your campaigns. You can logically group and segment your products in the feed, and then bid based on these groupings. For example, if you group your products in your feed by ‘product_type’, then you can apply different bid amounts to each product type, giving you more control over how much you want to spend on bids, This should positively affect performance. Through the product feed, you can also create custom labels. Custom labels can be used to further segment data to improve performance. Examples of custom labels – by seasonality, margins, pricing buckets, performance groupings, and more.

Common Feed issues

Through the years, we have seen a wide variety of feed related issues. Some are based on data availability, while others may be based on ability to pull the data from the sources  i.e. from the website, business intelligence systems, or merchandising systems.

Here are some examples of issues we run across:

Feed Formatting

Each marketing channel has specific formatting requirements. If the feed doesn’t include all the channel’s requirements, then some of the products may not be displayed.

HTML characters

You may have seen weird characters such as ‘®’ or HTML characters on web pages. These can lead to confusion and just plain look bad.

Missing & Incomplete Data/ Multiple Data Sources

This is one of the most common problems, that we can spend hours talking about. Top reasons for missing & incorrect data: human error;  multiple data systems not talking to one another about a product; unavailable fields in any of the sources. This reinforces that sometimes, it is necessary to compile your product feed from multiple sources.

Missing Nouns

This is another common issue. As discussed above, the product title sometimes misses a noun because of the website structure. It is extremely important in the feed to have robust, keyword-rich titles.

About Feedonomics

Feedonomics is a software solution that can correct the above common issues and enhance a merchant’s data feeds with speed and at scale. Whether you have a handful of products or millions of SKU’s, we can help you. We have a team of analysts ready to manage and optimize your feeds and significantly enhance your online marketing efforts.

Feedonomics is committed to simplifying eCommerce with expedited and optimized feed management and delivery. Born in the cloud, tested and tweaked in the trenches, Feedonomics solves the technical, usability, and pricing problems of existing alternatives. It supports all major search engines, shopping platforms, and marketplaces in the industry. Feedonomics services a variety of verticals such as eCommerce, hospitality, travel, and job boards.

Learn more about Feedonomics


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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Go Beyond Standard RLSA lists

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads have always had an important role in the optimization process ever since their release in 2012. Every PPC manager worth his salt, has spent many an hour playing around with list definitions and using them as a bid modifiers.

As marketers, those lists make our lives a whole lot easier. Not only are they a powerful opportunity for segmenting, they also provide a rare optimization element whose borders we can define and refine to our heart’s content. We can add, exclude or create combinations of lists focused on specific behaviors and use them for our ads as long as the number of the users in the lists reach 1000 for 30 days (with a few policy limits).

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Benchmark your Google Shopping Remarketing Performance with this simple script

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and Customer Match have been proven to drive incremental revenues of 18% or more.

At Crealytics, we’ve seen many accounts and we developed a few rule-of-thumb benchmarks that give us an idea of how much potential we can unleash by fine-tuning the Remarketing strategy – be it via RLSA or Customer Match.

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