Jellyfish Attends SMX Advanced & Wins at LANDYs

Blog | 11 Jul, 2018

Jellyfish recently attended SMX Advanced and the 2018 Search Engine Land Awards in Seattle, WA. It was a successful trip, to say the least: we gained valuable insights at the conference and took home the LANDY for Best Local Search Marketing Initiative - SEM. Here are the highlights.

 

SMX Advanced Takeaways

At SMX Advanced, industry leaders gave their input and insights around hot topics like advancements in Google Shopping formats, mobile’s evolution, and more. Two key themes that stood out were the evolution of today’s shopper and the importance of mobile.

How to Catch Today's Shoppers

With shopping becoming a larger part of the Google Ads offering and more products/features that revolve around shopping-specific functions being built each year, it’s crucial for digital marketers who are involved in managing shopping campaigns to stay up to date on advancements.

Shoppers are becoming more curious, demanding, and impatient. In order to combat these behavioral trends, advertisers must do 4 things:

  1. Be discoverable to shoppers in a non-linear journey
  2. Reduce friction
  3. Accelerate innovation
  4. Position yourself against competitors

To be more discoverable to consumers, Google has launched some new shopping products. The most notable are Showcase Shopping Ads and Local Catalog Ads.

Showcase Shopping Ads: An ad format that uses imagery and your existing product catalog to promote your offerings in an engaging way. These do a great job of displaying lifestyle images that are relevant to specific products, while still featuring a wide array of products from your catalog.

Local Catalog Ads: An ad format that uses display imagery and your local inventory ad feed to show on display placements. This format enables local retailers to promote items currently available at stores nearest to searchers via display placements.

In response to consumers’ growing demand for hyper-personalized experiences and instant gratification, Google has dedicated a lot of focus to improving their local marketing features.  According to a Think with Google study, about 76% of people who do a local search visit the store within 24 hours. They also found that digital ads influenced 58% of in-store sales in 2017, which is up significantly from previous years.

One of the most important components of successfully driving local searchers in-store is Local Inventory Ads. When pairing Local Inventory Ads with granular location radius targeting around store locations, advertisers can increase their ad engagement rates.

In order to remain competitive, advertisers need to pay constant attention to competitive pricing. Google has released two new product price insight reports that allow advertisers to gauge price comparisons on the SERP:

1. Price Benchmarks

  • Now available for the same item across retailers
  • Great for manufacturers who sell into multiple retailers as well as direct
  • Can also see similar products on the auction with price comparisons

2. Product Suggestions

  • Know which products are in high demand and are missing from your feed

With these tools, advertisers can now more accurately gauge their competitive positioning and thus begin developing price strategies around priority products and auctions.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize competitor conquesting, priority product grouping, and the new price benchmarks to improve shopping campaign performance
  • Implement shopping features that combine display and shopping products for greater visibility and brand reach

The Importance of Mobile Site Speed

As mobile search volume continues to grow year over year, mobile load time is becoming an increasingly important metric. According to Prashant Nair, Product Manager at Google, a 1-second decrease in page load time can decrease conversions by up to 20%. The decrease in conversions is more skewed to faster page loading times with the decrease becoming smaller as page load times become longer.

Starting soon, mobile site speed will be a factor of an advertiser’s mobile search ranking.

In an effort to decrease page load times, Google is pushing for more AMP integration from advertisers, which can help decrease page load time to under 0.5 seconds- up to 85% faster than standard mobile pages. While many think of AMP as an SEO initiative, it’s now compatible with almost all content types, including retail shopping pages.

Use this Impact Calculator to check your mobile speed. If your load time is over 3 seconds, you could be losing out on revenue.

Chrome HTTPS Update

Another important update from Google is that Google Chrome browsers will now start to mark HTTP sites as “Not Secure,” which could detract potential searchers from staying on the site. If an advertiser is switching to HTTPS, they can now update ad URLs without resetting performance by changing the Final URL in the ad and saving as a new version. This will create a new version of the ad without losing historical performance.

Parallel Tracking in Google Ads

Another feature that Google Ads has released is parallel tracking, which advertisers can implement within the UI if running strictly through the interface. If an advertiser uses a third party management platform, they’ll need to reach out to their rep to confirm that parallel tracking integrates with their tracking. Parallel tracking will allow tracking parameters to be run in the background so that pages load faster and increase mobile site speeds.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure your mobile site loads under 3 seconds due to large amounts of consumers dropping off if it takes longer
  • Google is emphasizing local shopping and is making efforts to push location-specific marketing
  • If you're using shopping campaigns, ensure that the GTIN is included within the feed as Google is now deeming this as the most important feed feature to have
  • Google is rolling out parallel tracking for HTTPS sites, which essentially delivers the page faster and loads tracking parameters on the back end

 

Search Engine Land Awards Win

This year, the Search Engine Land Awards were incorporated into SMX Advanced. Jellyfish was delighted to be recognized as a finalist at the awards, and honored to win the LANDY for Best Local Search Marketing Initiative - SEM.

Our win came as a result of the team’s unique, strategic approach to driving more in-store visits to retail locations.

 

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