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Google Announces New Ad Formats, Shopping Revamps

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - In The News

News Out of Google Marketing Live Event Cover Plenty of Ground for 2019

Google’s big Marketing Live event took place on May 14, 2019 and brought with it a ton of new info about products and services they’re introducing this year. Major announcements focused on new ad formats (3 of them, to be exact) and a revamp and redesign for Google Shopping, the company’s Amazon competitor.

New Ad Formats: Discovery Ads, Gallery Ads, and Showcase Shopping Ads

Discovery Ads

Google’s 3 new ad formats include Discovery Ads, which are native ads designed to appear in Google feeds. According to Google’s VP of Product Management, Brad Bender, these ads are visually rich and use the “power of intent” based on past site visits, app downloads, videos watched, and map searches. Discovery ads won’t roll out until later this year, but once they do, they’re expected to reach 800 million users globally. Discovery ads make use of machine learning; to get started with them, users will need specific ad copy and creative assets that Google will then optimize for you. Completed ads will pop up on mobile feeds, as well as YouTube and Gmail’s social and promotions tabs.

Gallery Ads

Gallery ads are designed to appear at the top of mobile search results, giving users a scrollable gallery of images that click through to a landing page or a product page. Advertisers will pay for gallery ads on a CPC basis when a user actually clicks or swipes—the cost for a click or a swipe is the same. According to Google, these ads had 25% more interactions than other search ad units while in testing.

Showcase Shopping Ads

First introduced in 2016, showcase shopping ads, once limited to Google Search, are rolling out to Google Images, the Discover Feed, and YouTube feeds. If you’ve ever searched for a generic product on Google, you’ve probably seen these ads at the top of your search results. Now, you’ll see them in more locations.

Google Shopping Redesign

Google Shopping, introduced back in March, has been revamped and redesigned. This Google-style take on online shopping has folded in what they describe as the “best of Google Express” for a more standardized customer experience. Google Shopping’s redesign aims to be more personalized, letting users buy on merchant sites, in local shops, or directly on Google. Merchants already involved in Shopping Actions can opt-in to the new Google Shopping experience. These improvements might seem small, but it seems as though Google wants to compete more effectively with Amazon. Bringing greater consistency to Google Shopping will help streamline what could often be a scattered experience.

Lia

Google’s Updates You Need To Understand

12/21/2021

We mentioned the new Vicinity update Google has going on. It was an algorithm update no one was prepared for and caused quite a commotion in the community. To avoid history from repeating itself, we must learn from our mistakes – and what better way than going through all of the things that have already happened? It could benefit you if you go through all the major updates Google had in store in the past year and come up with a strategy for the year ahead.

Google Search Biggest Updates in 2021:

For us to have the most relevant and reliable results, Google Search Algorithms are updated thousands of times throughout the year. Of course, most of them go unnoticed, but every now and then one comes along *cough cough* Vicinity *cough cough* and makes a mess. That’s why it’s better to keep track of each change, make sure to understand what is happening and learn how to use them so it can benefit you.

The Page Experience Update

This update was designed to improve the website experience searchers have. Mobile usability, security issues, HTTPS usage, Web Vitals and Ad Experience are all taken into account. The main goal is safer browsing for users and resurfacing flags in the Page Experience Report.

What To Do?

  • Work on your loading speed
  • Make sure your page has a mobile-friendly version, with no usability errors
  • Make sure your page is secure and use HTTPS
  • Don’t use interruptive, distracting or unfavourable advertising techniques

Here’s a helpful resource for optimizing your page for this update.

Link Spam Update

This was when Google reminded us about the importance of good content and quality links. The update was and still is effective at identifying and nullifying link spam across multiple languages.

What To Do?

  • You need high-quality link building
  • Create high-quality content
  • Focus and improve the user experience
  • Avoid useless linking!

Broad Core Updates

It took longer than expected, but it is done. As usual, Google didn’t offer a lot of advice on how to deal with a core update except to try hard all the time. This update had also caused big commotion since we saw some pretty weird pages ranking high. The conclusion was, again, to use quality backlinks.

ProTip! – Improving content and backlinks might help you to recover more than fixing the technical aspect!

Product Reviews Update

This update was designed to reward in-depth product reviews and “punish” irrelevant, summary-of-a-product type of content. Instead, a review should be relevant and detailed. We have also learned that Google and potential customers like seeing realistic reviews, even if that means seeing a few bad ones as well.

What to do?

  • Write longer, knowledgeable reviews
  • Add your own content, not just the manufacturer description
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models
  • Include the Pros and Cons

Here’s more advice on what you should know about the product reviews update and how to handle it.

MUM

Google also introduced us to the Multitask Unified Model which uses AI to help searchers. It “speaks” 75 different languages and understands both image and the written word. However, it might understand much more in the future, since Google keeps saying they’re working on expanding this capability to video and audio.

One of the first things MUM learned to do is to keep track of vaccine queries and it will continue bringing more understanding to Google’s algorithms.

Vicinity

This is a fresh one and we’re still trying to figure out what exactly happened so that keywords aren’t as important anymore. Maybe the lesson with this update is not to violate Google’s guidelines and add keywords for the sake of it. It seems like new businesses are winning with this one.

 

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How to Get Your Business Holiday-Ready in 2020

09/30/2020

Tips For Preparing For The Holiday Rush

This holiday season might be a bit different this year thanks to the pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be all surprises. There are so many ways you can prepare your business for a successful holiday season, pandemic or no pandemic. With that being said, we’ll help you understand what steps you need to take when it comes to your sales, marketing, and operations departments to set your business up for success.

Show Your Current Customers/Clients That You Care

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Customers always like to feel appreciated, especially around the holidays when everyone is feeling warm and fuzzy.

Whether it’s special thanks emails, holiday cards, a loyalty giveaway, or customer appreciation sale/promotion, being proactive and going the extra mile will show your customers you truly value them and will help maintain the relationship long-term.

Promote Your Products/Services

The holiday season is the biggest time of year for shopping, so now is the time to really go all out promoting your products and services by offering holiday sales, discounts, and promotions. Also consider introducing gift certificates, so your loyal customers can share the love with their friends and family.

Pivot To Social Media Platforms

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If you don’t already have a social media presence, start now. If you do have social media pages set up, but don’t use them that frequently, start amping up your efforts with regular posting right away.

Beyond just generic posts, use your social media to promote specials and certain brands you sell, offer promotions, host virtual events, and show off your company culture. This not only helps increase brand awareness, but can help drive traffic to your website and increase leads.

Facebook is ideal as it’s the most widely used platform, but Instagram is also great.

Still not convinced? Here are a few statistics that may change your mind

  • 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media would recommend that brand to their friends and family
  • 54% of social media users use social media to research products they are interested in
  • 68% of all U.S. adults have a Facebook account

Promoting Your Brand Via Social Media Giveaways

Social media giveaways are also a great way to promote your brand.

However, don’t just give anything away. For a giveaway to produce the kind of results you’re looking for, you should be giving away a product or service from your brand. Because, while IPad giveaways can get a ton of attention, they don’t leave a lasting impression because the people who are entering aren’t usually interested in your brand.

Instead, create a post offering a free product or service to one lucky customer, and make it a requirement for all participants to share the post with their followers.

Or, you can also connect with an influencer to launch and promote a giveaway to their followers. Either way, this is a relatively inexpensive option to help get your brand in front of a wider audience.

Invest in Tools That Support Your Business

Having a strong team to help run your business is great, but, as you’ve probably learned, there’s only so much humans can do. From CRMs, to project management, chat functionalities, etc., investing in digital tools and cloud software to help manage your various departments is essential and will help you scale your business.

Start an eCom

It’s no secret that customers are moving online and taking their business with them, especially around the holiday season.

Here are some stats to back this up:

  • 76% of consumers now prefer buying holiday gifts online
  • Online holiday shopping revenue in the U.S reached $124 billionin 2018
  • The percentage of retail sales that come from eCom is expected to rise from 8.9% in 2017 to over 15% in 2022, totaling nearly $892 billion

For businesses that operate primarily from a brick and mortar, get ahead of the curve by launching your own eCom website to support your storefront.

When transitioning to online sales, make sure you are being fully transparent with your customers throughout this process. This includes being upfront about shipping costs and delivery times, along with refund, exchange, and cancellation policies.

5 Tips for Operating A Successful eCom

1. Ensure Customers Will Have The Best User Experience

Customer experience is key to maintaining long-term relationships with your clients. Make sure your website has a strong UX and is mobile friendly.

2. Automate Selling, Shipping, and Fulfillment

Automate these areas of your business to help streamline processes and avoid human error.

3. Create Strategic Holiday Marketing and Promotions

Offer holiday promotions to help draw people to your website and gain sales. These must be planned out and launched months in advance for them to be effective.

4. Ramp Up Customer Service And Support For Holiday Traffic

As holiday traffic to your site and storefront increases, it’s vital that your team is equipped to support this. Improve your customer service processes and ensure that you have enough staff on hand so that customers aren’t being left in the dark.

5. Measure The Success Of Your Holiday Campaign

Looking at your analytics is key to determining whether your marketing efforts have been successful so you can know whether to tweak or maintain your strategy going forward.

Operations Tips

While marketing is important, it’s also crucial that your team is able to handle the influx in sales you’re going to experience right before the holidays.

Here are a few tips for improving your internal operations.

Inventory Management

One of the worst ways to lose a customer’s business is to promise or even promote the availability of an item that you don’t actually have in stock. Therefore, when sales are on the up during the holiday season, inventory management is more important than ever.

Rather than risking potential human error, automate your inventory management system to ensure you have an accurate account of every product in stock.

Organize Staff Schedules/Hire Seasonal Help If Required

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Now’s the time to turn your business into a well-oiled machine. Make sure staff schedules are made and organized ahead of time and that any time off is booked well in advance and communicated with whoever is making the schedule. And, if you find that things are starting to get a bit hectic, hire seasonal help to take some of the stress off your team.

Optimize Your Downtime

Once the holiday rush is over and you’re taking some much deserved time off, take the time to reflect on this year’s holiday rush and evaluate your business’ strengths and weaknesses, what worked and what didn’t, and how you can do things differently going forward.

Communicate With Your Team

Communication and making sure everyone is on the same page is key to ensuring things run smoothly with your business and reducing the risk of hiccups from occurring. Let everyone know the business goals for the holiday season and what is in store, what’s expected of them and their roles, and who’s able to take time off (and when).

Whether it’s sending frequent emails to all staff or scheduling regular meetings (either virtual or in-person), checking in every once in a while and keeping everyone updated is vital.

Support Your Team

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Everyone within your team will be overloaded this time of year, so make sure everyone feels supported and be understanding about delays. You’re all in this together, so teamwork and communication is more important than ever.

The Takeaway

Need help building your holiday marketing plan? You’ve got enough on your plate during this time to tackle it alone. Consult with a professional digital marketing agency to help bring your marketing strategy to the next level and grow your sales.

From building a new website to setting up paid ads, developing a social media strategy, and even producing video, a full-service marketing agency will have your business ready to handle the holiday rush.

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