Trending February 2024 # Amazon Ppc Challenges Google Ads # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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The study was conducted by Marin Software, extrapolated from billions of dollars of PPC budgets. Wes MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software offered this insight:

“While Google and Facebook continue to be the most prominent channels for digital ad spend, we’re now seeing more and more early adopters experimenting with Amazon’s ad offerings…”

Google Ads

Google Shopping Ads

Of the billions of dollars of ad spend researched, Google Shopping Ads represented about 27% of the Google Ad spend in US Dollars. Although it fell to 24% during the fourth quarter it regained in the following quarter, essentially staying flat.

Amazon Advertising

Amazon offers Headline Shopping Ads and Sponsored Product Ads. Headline Shopping Ads are more prominent, showing at the very top of the search results. They received a significantly higher CTR of 2.68% versus 0.49% for the Sponsored Product Ads (SPA), yet the SPA represented nearly 80% of the ad spend.

Key Differences Between Google and Amazon 1. Return on Advertising Spend

Mark said,

“Amazon searchers are typically much further along in the purchasing path, and are already in the mindset of wanting to purchase a product. Customer searches tend to be much more specific, and product focused. In Google, customers typically are still in the browsing stages, and wanting to either learn about products, or searching product categories. With customer’s search intentions differing greatly in Amazon vs. Google, it causes your PPC strategies to be much different as well.”

He then elaborated and explained that the Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is dramatically better on Amazon. And not just on your own brand name, but across the board on keyword phrases and competitor brand names.

The benefit of the higher ROAS is, according to Mark Jackson of Vizion Interactive:

“This allows your ability to boost incremental sales much higher than in Google.”

2. Algorithms

Amazon’s algorithm factors in things like reviews. This adds an additional layer of complexity to bidding on Amazon versus Google.

3. Ramp Up Time

3. Budget Strategies

A key feature of Amazon is that it is a de facto shopping search engine (much like YouTube is a video search engine). Because of this, consumers are lower on the sales funnel (lower is better).

This affects budget strategy because bidders on Amazon on more specific as opposed to on Google.

Mark Jackson of Vizion Interactive offered this insight:

“In Amazon, customer’s searches are much more specific, causing broader terms to be less utilized (and less expensive). This ends up having a direct effect on the size of budgets you can push in Amazon vs. Google.”

It’s exciting to see competition in PPC. Competition benefits everyone.

Read the interactive Digital Advertising Benchmark Report by Marin Software  here.

Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author

Screenshots by Author

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Facebook, Microsoft & Google Ads Compared

If you have to choose between Facebook and Google Ads for promoting your SMB, Facebook is your best bet.

And in the debate between Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads, Google provides greater reach at a lower cost.

These are among the key findings of a new study by Cambridge University MBA students and ad platform Adzooma.

The study also considered whether landing page quality had an impact on conversion rates, and revealed new CPC and CPM benchmarks for Facebook, Microsoft, and Google Ads.

Which Factors Moved the Needle Most for Ad Performance

Facebook Ads was the most cost-effective channel on average.

Microsoft Ads was most responsive to increasing ad spend.

Google Ads had the greatest reach for the lowest cost.

How CPM and CPC Differ on Facebook, Microsoft, and Google Ads

Upon determining this connection between channel and cost KPIs, researchers went looking for the average CPM and CPC across Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads:

This is because 54% of Bing users are over the age of 45, and a third of them have a household income of over $100,000.

How Increasing Ad Spend Impacts ROAS

Here’s what they found:

Microsoft Advertising showed the greatest ROAS for increasing budget in terms of impressions, a good metric for brand awareness campaigns.

How Sentiment Impacts Ad Performance on Google and Microsoft Ads

The opposite was true on Google Ads, where negative sentiment won the day with CTRs of:

Study participant Sunil Grewal, formerly of Amazon, said:

Landing Page Quality Had Greatest Impact on Conversion, Yet Few Excel Here

Srishti Warman, formerly an associate VP at Barclays Bank and an MBA Star winner at the Women of the Future Awards, was responsible for the study’s landing page analysis.

She explains:

“The task was to identify the key parameters that lead to a higher conversion e.g. faster page speed, better optimisation for mobile and web viewing, page responsiveness, etc. This analysis would eventually help understand not only which companies scale quickest within verticals, but critically, why.”

Warman found that although landing page best practices had the greatest impact on conversion rate, not a single one of those tested had perfect score for best practices in Lighthouse.

These best practices included using HTTPS, displaying images with correct aspect ratios, serving images with appropriate resolution, and avoiding a request for location on page loading.

Only 5% of landing pages had a perfect score for website performance checks.

That means that 95% of businesses are leaving money on the table.

Warman also noted that she was surprised to see that optimization best practices outperformed page loading speed as the most important factor in driving conversions.

In addition to the primary landing page factors studied—best practices, SEO, performance, and accessibility—Warman identified content quality, CTAs, and the PPC to landing page journey as impactful for improving conversion.

Key Takeaways from Facebook Ads v. Microsoft Advertising v. Google Ads Comparison

Facebook is, on average, the most cost-effective channel for SMBs.

Ads with positive sentiment perform better on Microsoft, and negative sentiment performs better on Google Ads.

Best practices were the most important conversion element for landing pages, followed by SEO (titles and meta descriptions, valid chúng tôi ensuring links are crawlable, etc.).

Methodology:

Study participants were given access to anonymized campaign data from the Adzooma platform, selected at random and spanning thousands of accounts and a variety of industries.

Participants used Lighthouse to evaluate landing page quality, as well as SEMrush, Screaming Frog, Adzooma, and Google Analytics.

Sources:

Image source: All screenshots by author, February 2023

4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience Targeting

Gone are the days of solely relying on keywords to drive your PPC success.

With the relaxed keyword match types, the use of audiences in Google Ads has sophisticated tenfold.

Utilizing audience targeting is no longer an option for campaigns; it should be part of your overall campaign strategy.

1. Smarter Use Of Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSAs)

Example: Target people who spend over your average purchase revenue when searching for competitor brands.

For example, an online grocery retailer could identify shoppers who spend over their average order value each week.

This is a great way of ensuring your budget is only spent on retaining profitable customers.

You can set the event parameters and add any conditions:

2. Combining Social Audiences With RLSAs

With more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook has no rival when it comes to the enormity of its audience.

While Facebook targeting can be beneficial to reach the masses, another main benefit Facebook offers lies in the potential granularity with which you can target Facebook’s users.

Unlike Google Ads, Facebook has information on what users actually “Like” or follow, and in-depth data from users’ personal profiles.

For example, a recent case study from Facebook showed that the brand Bombas saw a 27-point lift in ad recall for evergreen campaigns when utilizing Custom Audience targeting.

Example: Use Facebook to uncover new potential buyers and then target these people on search to increase the likelihood of them converting.

Facebook is one of the best platforms for expanding your reach and identifying new users who aren’t actively looking for your products or services right now.

You’ll then be able to create an audience list in Google Analytics which consists of traffic from this particular Facebook campaign:

Remember, like any audience list you create, the list must contain at least 1,000 members before being eligible for use on Google search.

Once you’ve populated your audience list with enough traffic from Facebook, create a search campaign on Google Ads which includes only top of the funnel keywords such as informational queries related to the product/service you offer (they need to be top of the funnel because this audience isn’t specifically searching for your product/service).

I strongly recommend this tactic if you feel like you have exhausted current demand on Google search in your industry, as it allows you to effectively create search demand by reaching new users and promoting consideration of your product or service.

You can also utilize this same strategy using Microsoft Ads to maximize your reach.

3. Using Custom Affinity Audiences

This tackles the issue with regular Google Ads affinity audiences in that there isn’t a predefined affinity audience suitable for every business.

Here you can create your own specific audience using free form interests entered as keywords and/or using URLs as a proxy for interest bundles:

In this example, the custom affinity targeting has built an audience of “Garden Enthusiasts” using interests (keywords entered) and URL targeting.

You’re able to get real-time demographic insights as you’re building the audience. This can help drive further granularity to ensure you’re targeting the right people.

While custom affinity audience targeting allows for more control on the GDN, I think it’s best used for brand building.

You can take an even more granular approach to GDN targeting by layering custom affinity audiences with other forms of targeting to increase campaign efficiency.

4. Combining In-Market Segments With Remarketing

In-market audiences allow you to set up your campaigns to reach people who are further down the funnel and are more ready to make a purchase.

Google accurately categorizes users so you can target those most interested in their offerings.

Google states that you can distinguish interest from the purchaser’s intent by leveraging real-time data and a powerful classification system based on demonstrated in-market behavior.

In-market audiences can help drive incremental conversions, helping you to connect with consumers as the last step before they make a purchase decision.

Here you will see a list of almost 500 available in-market audiences, with the option to further granulate the high-level categories (highlighted below).

The real impact on conversions comes when using in-market segments in conjunction with website remarketing lists.

You can layer the in-market segments on top of your remarketing lists to increase reach while maintaining a high degree of relevancy with the aim of bolstering overall conversions.

Conclusion

Paid search keyword costs continue to rise every year. If your marketing budget doesn’t increase to keep up with the shift, you’ll need to get creative to drive new demand growth.

With this in mind and the increased use of automation within Google Ads, I think Google will be continuing to add to its options of audience targeting in a privacy-centric way.

The PPC landscape is always changing. Make sure you keep on top of the latest features as well as test some of the tips outlined above to see whether they can deliver improved paid media results for your business.

More Resources:

Featured Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock

14 Types Of Google Ads Extensions & What They Do

If Google Ads are a part of your marketing strategy, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to boost performance.

But that’s easier said than done. You could spend countless hours tweaking every ad as you A/B test minute differences in copy and structure – or you could utilize Google Ads extensions.

You may be familiar with Google Ads extensions; you may have read about them or maybe you’re even using them already.

But you may not realize Google adds more types nearly every year.

This guide will help you understand each type of ad extension, so you can optimize them for maximum performance and get more bang for your PPC buck.

Google Ads Extensions Basics

Let’s start at the beginning.

What Are Google Ads Extensions? Why Should You Use Them?

Better ad ranking: Google uses a variety of factors to determine your ad position, including expected CTR, relevance, and landing page experience. Simply using ad extensions will automatically improve your ranking, because it allows Google to offer a better variety of ad formats.

Manual And Automated Extensions

There are two general extensions categories: manual, which requires some setup, and automated.

Most of the extensions discussed here are manual, though some of them can also be dynamically applied by Google when it predicts they will improve performance.

It’s important to note that in February 2023, Google announced several changes to automated extensions, including allowing them to be shown alongside manually added extensions like sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets (more on these later).

They can also be added at an ad group, campaign, or account level, and may be included in reports.

14 Types Of Google Ads Extensions

Now that we’ve covered the basic categories of extensions, let’s dive deeper into the different types.

1. Location Extensions

Location extensions list your location on its own line, helping people find your location(s), a map to your location, or the distance to it. These may also include a phone number or call button for mobile users.

This extension, which can be automatically applied, is ideal for any business that depends on in-person transactions, including restaurants, retail locations, and service providers like barbers or beauty salons.

There are also benefits for primarily online companies, as a physical address can increase your legitimacy in the eye of customers.

2. Product Extensions

By linking your Google Merchant account to Google Ads, product extensions allow you to enhance your products listing.

This is a useful tool for any campaign in which you’re selling goods related to your target keywords.

Because products are more specific than location or phone number, you’ll want your campaigns to be more granular, particularly if you sell a wide variety of products.

3. Sitelink Extensions

Useful for directing users to other pages on your website, sitelink extensions allow targets to choose where they would like to go, as opposed to just visiting your landing page.

Making it easier for users to find exactly what they’re looking for can increase your CTR significantly.

Common pages used with sitelinks include Contact Us pages, pricing pages, sale pages, and testimonials pages.

Ecommerce sites have used them to great effect when directing customers to specific categories pages.

These can be added manually or dynamically as an automatic extension.

4. Seller Ratings Extensions

Showcase your business’s reputation and build trust with seller ratings extensions.

Google gathers ratings from reputable business review sites and aggregates them into a single rating on a five-star scale.

This extension shows your overall rating, as well as the total number of reviews. They also sometimes include a qualifier to describe the rating (e.g., same-day delivery).

These automated extensions typically only appear if you have a minimum number of unique reviews and an average rating of 3.5 stars or better.

5. Callout Extensions

A versatile extension with all sorts of uses, callout extensions are 25-character snippets used to highlight important selling points, sales or any other key points about your business, products, or services.

For example, if you want to promote a 25% off sale, free delivery, or your business’s 60th anniversary, callout extensions are perfect.

The best callout extensions tend to use numbers and specifics (i.e., “5 left in stock,” works better than “limited quantities remain.”)

If your website includes useful information like “online reservations,” these descriptions can be added automatically as a dynamic callout, as well.

6. Structured Snippets Extensions

Identified by colons, structured snippets are useful for highlighting specific products, services, and features users may be looking for.

Like sitelinks, you can select these manually or they can be dynamically applied by Google.

7. Call Extensions

You can include call extensions manually or Google can apply them automatically.

8. Affiliate Location Extensions

Affiliate location extensions are useful for companies that sell their products through third-party retailers.

They help users find nearby stores that carry your items, helping them decide where and what to buy.

These are commonly used by manufacturers who work with major retail chains, as they do not specify your own business’s location.

9. Price Extensions

It’s no secret that price is a key factor in almost every buying decision.

Price extensions let you set cost expectations upfront, establishing transparency and helping build trust with searchers.

As a result, users are more informed and more likely to buy by the time they hit your website.

These extensions are useful for businesses that have variable pricing, sell service packages, or offer many different products.

10. App Extensions

From the local pizza place to real estate agents, it seems like everyone has a mobile app these days.

These only appear to users on mobile devices and direct users to your app in iTunes or the Google Play Store.

11. Promotion Extensions

Used to highlight sales and promotions, they appear below your ad and use the price tag icon or deal in bold.

You can also display up to two lines of copy with them to provide users with more information.

What’s great about these (aside from their effectiveness), is that Google is flexible on how you use them.

You can show promotion extensions on specific dates, days, or even hours, as well as allow you to use pre-populated event tags like Black Friday or end-of-summer.

12. Lead Form Extensions (New)

The newest Google Ads extension, lead form extensions eliminate the need for users to fill out a form on your landing page by allowing them to submit their contact information directly on the SERP.

13. Video Extensions

Video extensions allow you to show drive action below your video ad on the YouTube mobile app, providing the opportunity to extend your message beyond the primary video and keep viewers engaged.

14. Image Extensions

How To Set Up And Create Google Ads Extensions

Now that you know more about the different types of Google Ads extensions and how they can work for you, let’s take a look at how to set them up.

The first thing you need to do is determine your goals and which extensions will work to make them a reality.

Do you want customers to contact you? Visit your website? Submit their contact info?

Figure out what you want targets to do, and then select the extension that facilitates that.

From there, it’s a simple process:

Log into your Google Ads account.

Select your campaign or ad group.

Select the extension(s) you want.

Customize each type of extension.

Final Thoughts

With so many types to choose from, there’s an extension that will work for every organization, no matter what industry it’s in.

More Resources:

Featured Image: Song_about_summer/Shutterstock

Google Ads: How To Boost Revenue & Optimize For Offline Sales

Google Ads: How To Boost Revenue & Optimize For Offline Sales

Are you optimizing for offline actions, too, like calls and sales?

Join us for a live presentation on the basics of Google Ads offline conversion optimization, and we’ll show you how to maximize your ad ROI.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

How to change your campaigns to optimize offline actions rather than only on the “online” activity.

Sign up now, and start shifting your focus more on actual sales.

Can’t join us live? Register anyway and we’ll send the recording and slides later that day.

Speakers

Michael Scott

Paid Ads Marketing Strategist, Manticore Marketing

Amelia Northrup-Simpson

Product Marketing Manager, CallRail

Host

Loren Baker

Founder, Search Engine Journal

Amazon And Intel Team Up Against Google In Iot

Amazon and Intel team up against Google in IoT

Amazon and Intel are teaming up to spread Alexa, with stronger voice control skills as well as faster ways for third-parties to build devices with the assistant baked in. The news, announced at Amazon’s AWS-focused re:Invent conference this week, sees Intel renew its efforts to get its silicon into places where, traditionally at least, you might expect to find ARM-based processors. However it’s also a big deal to Amazon, which faces stronger competition from Google and others in the smart home.

Their plan is fairly straightforward. On the one hand, it’s about making Alexa more capable, with Intel adding Alexa skills support to its Smart Home Hub platform. That means voice control over connected devices like lighting, locks, appliances, and other technologies.

It’s something Alexa can do in part today, using the integrations with Philips’ Hue lighting, SmartThings’ hub, and other devices, but Amazon and Intel are aiming to make it a whole lot more streamlined. That’ll begin from the point of setup, where Alexa will be able to guide users through installation and connection of Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets by voice, but also extend to everyday use. “This will allow end users to interact more naturally with the technology in their homes,” Ted Karczewski, Alexa Voice Services content marketing manager at Amazon, says of the partnership.

However, the second phase is about putting Alexa into more places, and making it easier for third-party device manufacturers to get up and running with Amazon’s virtual assistant. The two firms are cooking up a reference design for smart speakers, effectively a blueprint for the various hardware elements a successful Echo-like unit would include. That includes speakers and microphone arrays, so as to enable successful voice recognition from a distance.

It also covers the array of radios and wireless standards required in the current, fairly fragmented smart home. Along with WiFi and Bluetooth, there’ll be support for ZigBee and Z-Wave, which are both widely used by connected devices for their low power requirements and mesh networking support. Intel’s design would include sufficient flexibility that manufacturers building products based on the reference could add various sensors for monitoring environmental conditions, together with video if they see fit.

Meanwhile, there’ll be extended support for the Alexa SDK which allows existing connected devices to be linked in with Amazon’s cloud-based processing. According to the firms, the first reference design will be available in the first quarter of 2023.

NOW READ: Amazon Echo Dot Review

What’s interesting is that, even as Amazon looks to extend its reach into third-party hardware, it’s also reportedly looking to push the boundaries on its own range. While the 2nd-generation Echo Dot effectively took the original Echo and shrank it down – both in terms of physical size and the device’s price – leaks suggest Amazon is also investigating ways of augmenting voice-alone on future products. A new model is rumored to include a display for giving visual feedback in addition to spoken results.

Whether that will be sufficient to give Amazon an edge as Google pushes its own assistant and Google Home remains to be seen. The air-freshener-esque Google Home doesn’t have a display of its own, but it can tap into screens in the house that have been equipped with Chromecast dongles. Amazon is yet to do something similar with its own Fire TV Stick, though the latest iteration of that does have some Alexa control using a microphone on the Bluetooth remote.

SOURCE Amazon

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