5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday SeasonNovember 20115 Trends that Should ChangeYour On...
Introduction                    Despite the sluggish economy, recent reports suggest that this year’s consistent growth in...
1. Mobile Commerce                    Thanks to the proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices, and the consistent gro...
Separate mobile and desktop paid search campaigns                    Mobile-only campaigns enable marketers to create a un...
sites to focus on creating unique product descriptions and copy, rather than repurposing manufacturer                    d...
Here’s an example from Rachel Ray’s online store:                    As you can see, Rachel Ray’s site simply copied Cuisi...
4. Landing Page Quality                    Google recently announced that the relevance and quality of a landing page woul...
Quick load time                    Your page should load in roughly 3 seconds – any longer and your Quality Score is likel...
If your business sells a wide variety of products, it is important to make your campaigns as specific as                  ...
Reference                    1. “U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $32.6 Billion for November-December Pe...
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  1. 1. 5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday SeasonNovember 20115 Trends that Should ChangeYour Online Marketing Plansthis Holiday Season
  2. 2. Introduction Despite the sluggish economy, recent reports suggest that this year’s consistent growth in e-commerce spending may result in a record breaking year in online holiday spending. As online retailers plan their holiday marketing strategies, it’s important to reflect on the key trends of 2011 that have impacted search and online marketing. Last year’s e-commerce holiday sales (November-December 2010) reached an astounding $32.6 billion, representing a 12 percent increase year-over-year, but given the growth of online retail spending in 2011, don’t be surprised to see this number increase.1 comScore recently cited that Q2 2011 online etail spending reached $37.5 billion, a 14 percent increase from Q2 2010, marking the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.2 eMarketer and comScore both predict ecommerce sales to grow by 12 percent during the 2011 holiday season.3 US Holiday Season* Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2005-2010 billions and % change $32.6 $29.2 $29.1 $28.0 $24.6 $19.6 26% 19% 12% 4% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Sales % change -4% Note: *includes November and December Source: comScore Inc., “State of the US Online Retail Economy in Q4 2010.” Feb 17, 2011 All of this suggests we’re in for a record-breaking holiday season. Is your online marketing strategy up to date with the most important trends of 2011? Let’s take a closer look at five key developments that have changed the landscape of digital marketing this year, and discuss best practices to ensure you’re prepared for the upcoming holiday season.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 2
  3. 3. 1. Mobile Commerce Thanks to the proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices, and the consistent growth in mobile search queries and conversion rates, 2011 has proven to be an important year for mobile marketing. To date, clicks from mobile devices represent 14.2 percent of all Google search clicks – a metric that’s expected to jump to 17.3 percent over the holidays, according to Performics.4 Mobile Click Share 20.0% 18.0% 16.0% 14.0% 12.0% 10.0% 8.0% 6.0% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2010 2011 2011 Est. source: blog.performics.com Not only have mobile search clicks increased, but mobile commerce has also been rapidly growing. ABI research cited mobile commerce annual sales grew to $3.4 billion in 2010, a 143 percent increase from 2009.5 2010 mobile holiday sales on smartphone devices increased 550 percent year-over-year, according to Foresee.6 Customers are increasingly using their smartphone and tablet devices rather than their PCs to search for relevant information and it’s affecting both their on-and offline purchasing behavior. According to a study from Admob, “mobile searches drive in-store purchases: 65% of high end device users report that they have used their device to find a business, and then made a purchase at that business in person.”7 Google has also predicted that, “44 percent of total searches for last minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices this holiday season.”8 What’s more, Google anticipates 47 percent of smartphone users will use their devices to compare product prices and that 42 percent will use their phones to search for the nearest store-based location. To avoiding missing out on mobile sales and searches, it’s essential for marketers to have a website optimized for the smaller smartphone screen, with features that leverage location and touch-screen features. Here are some essential best practices for making the most of mobile marketing this holiday season: Mobile-optimized site A mobile-optimized site is the first step in creating a mobile marketing strategy. Keep in mind that mobile users are often looking for information while on-the-go and from a device that isn’t as convenient or comfortable as a traditional PC. Your website should be streamlined to these needs. Focus on the speed of your site and having accessible, relevant content.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 3
  4. 4. Separate mobile and desktop paid search campaigns Mobile-only campaigns enable marketers to create a unique budget and keyword bids for mobile-targeted keywords, and drive ROI. Mobile Landing Page Make sure both the content on your landing page and the page itself are optimized for the mobile experience. Unique mobile ad copy Mobile users are looking for information fast, so get to the point quickly. Remember to create strong calls-to-action that are appropriate for mobile users and reinforce the relevance and value of a service, product, or app. Click-to-Call Ads Click-to-call ads enable marketers to embed local or national telephone numbers in their ads, allowing mobile users to conveniently call businesses directly from a website or search-results page. 2. Tablet Commerce The rapid adoption of tablet devices represents another important mobile marketing opportunity, as tablet users consistently spend more time and money on their devices than their smartphone counterparts. Evidence from Google also suggests that the conversion rate on tablets is higher or equal to the average conversion rate on PCs.9 Tablet owners also generate higher average order values and a lower cost-per-click.10 According to Jumptap and comScore, 63 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase with their device, compared to just 31 percent of mobile owners. For consumers ages 18 to 34 the gap between PC and tablet spending is even narrower with 79 percent reporting that they have made a purchase from their tablet compared to 89 percent on their PC. Tablet-optimized site The first step in creating a tablet marketing strategy is a tablet-optimized site. Tablet-optimized sites should provide faster load times and touchscreen friendly navigation. Stay clear of Flash Keep in mind that the iPad, which represents roughly 75 present of the tablet marketplace, does not use Flash.11 If you do have Flash on your site, redirect consumers to your mobile site. 3. Panda Updates By placing more emphasis on the value of original content in its search algorithms, Google’s Panda Updates have forced an important conversation this year among SEOs about the definition and importance of quality content online. One area that’s been significantly impacted by Google’s Panda updates is eCommerce product descriptions. Create unique product descriptions Because Google’s Panda Update penalizes duplicate content online, it’s important for reseller and retailer5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 4
  5. 5. sites to focus on creating unique product descriptions and copy, rather than repurposing manufacturer descriptions. Reusing manufacturer descriptions can adversely affect your organic search results. u Take the time to create original content for each of your products. Although it’s more time consuming than copying manufacturer’s content, it will positively benefit your organic search efforts. Let’s look at an example: This page from Cuisinart is an example of copy that’s being used by multiple online resellers.12 The highlighted copy is Cuisinart’s original product description for its 12-Cup Food Processor. A quick Google search for the product description reveals that several online resellers are reusing Cuisinart’s production description for the same product.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 5
  6. 6. Here’s an example from Rachel Ray’s online store: As you can see, Rachel Ray’s site simply copied Cuisinart’s original content, rather than spending the time (and money) to create original content. Aware that the content originated from Cuisinart, Google penalizes the sites that reuse the copy, by burying them in the search results. In contrast, sites that author their own original content are rewarded on the SERP:5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 6
  7. 7. 4. Landing Page Quality Google recently announced that the relevance and quality of a landing page would carry more weight in calculating AdWords Quality Score.13 The goal of the change is to improve customer experience with paid search ads. Thanks to these changes, higher quality landing pages will be ranked higher for lower cost- per-click bids. Marketers should focus on creating a landing page that’s relevant to the keywords you’re bidding on, and which provides for a positive customer experience. Basics u Product or search is presented as promised in the ad copy (if applicable) u Create a short and easy path to purchase or receive the product/service/offer promoted in the ad u Include relevant keywords in the HTML text of the page u Include “About Us”, “Terms and Conditions” and “Contact Us” pages u Prominently feature promotions Strong call-to-action Make sure your call-to-action is direct, visually big and above the fold. Landing page relevance Search engines strive to provide their users with the best experience possible. Landing pages that do not directly correspond to a user’s search query detract from that user experience, which is why it’s important to create micro-pages that are as closely related to your ad copy and keyword list within an ad group as possible. u Content should be relevant to the ad and original to the page. The ad keyword should be included on the page.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 7
  8. 8. Quick load time Your page should load in roughly 3 seconds – any longer and your Quality Score is likely being adversely impacted. Here are some best practices for keeping your landing page load time down: u Avoid using Flash animation, which can increase your load time and result in usability issues for some users u Avoid excessive pop-ups and pop-unders u Make fewer HTTP requests u Optimize the file size and format of each image, we recommend PNG files. Testing Use A/B and multivariate testing to determine which designs are the most effective in converting clicks into sales. 5. Product Ads – Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions With increasingly more customers shopping online during the holiday season, it’s important to distinguish your site from the rest. With product extensions, your ad will appear with an image of your product along with the price of the product, allowing customers to browse your selection before clicking on your ad. While providing your customers more information on your products, Product Extensions also save you money and generate highly-qualified traffic; CTR is often higher than on standard text ads and conversion rate is slightly higher. Product Extensions Compliment your standard text ads with an expandable box that includes product information (name and price) from your Google Merchant Center Feed. Example: Product Listing Ads Product listing ads are not associated with keywords. Instead, they are shopping results, triggered when a user searches for your product, which displays relevant information about your product from your Google Merchant Center Feed. (It is possible to have two ads – product listing and text – shown on the same page from separate auctions.)5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 8
  9. 9. If your business sells a wide variety of products, it is important to make your campaigns as specific as possible. We recommend separate AdGroups for each product category. This will provide more control over bidding, offer copy and targeting. Example: Best Practices for both Product Extensions and Product Listings Ads: u Use negatives and product targets u Optimize your Google Merchant Center datafeed to include complete product information • Product images, categories and titles are especially important • Adding keywords into your product titles and descriptions will help Google determine relevance and increase the chances of having your product extension displayed u Ensure that your Google Merchant Center datafeed has keyword rich content that will match your customers’ searches. Conclusion Competition is increasing in the online marketplace, as more and more consumers turn to their PCs and mobile devices to purchase products and services. Make sure you are providing your customers with the best online experience this holiday season across all media channels with quality content, ad extensions, well-optimized sites for smartphones and tablet devices and high quality, well-tested landing pages.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 9
  10. 10. Reference 1. “U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $32.6 Billion for November-December Period, Up 12 Percent vs. Year Ago - ComScore, Inc.” ComScore, Inc. - Measuring the Digital World. 5 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/1/U.S._Online_Holiday_Shopping_Season_Reaches_Re- cord_32.6_Billion_for_November_December_Period>. 2. “ComScore Reports $37.5 Billion in Q2 2011 U.S. Retail E-Commerce Spending, Up 14 Percent vs. Year Ago - ComScore, Inc.” ComScore, Inc. - Measuring the Digital World. 8 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.comscore.com/Press_ Events/Press_Releases/2011/8/comScore_Reports_37.5_Billion_in_Q2_2011_U.S._Retail_E-Commerce_Spending>. 3. 2011 Ecommerce Holiday Season Statistics | Fortune3 Blog.” Shopping Cart Software Ecommerce Solutions: Fortune3. 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.fortune3.com/blog/2011/09/2011-ecommerce-holiday-season-statistics/>. 4. “Performics Forecasts Biggest Holiday Ever for Mobile Paid Search; December Mobile Clickshare to Jump from 9.5% to 17.3% YoY.” Performics Performance Marketing Blog: SEM, SEO, Social & Display. 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http:// blog.performics.com/search/2011/10/performics-forecasts-biggest-holiday-ever-for-mobile-paid-search-december-mobile-click- share-to-jump-.html> 5. “Mobile Commerce - Mobile Commerce Sales More than Double This Year - Internet Retailer.” Industry Strategies for On- line Merchants - Internet Retailer. 10 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/12/17/us-mobile- commerce-sales-hit-34-billion-year>. 6. Increase Customer Satisfaction with ForeSee Results. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.foreseeresults.com/>. 7. AdMob | Promote Apps | Monetize Traffic | Measure Performance. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www.admob.com/>. 8. “Holiday Retail Mobile Insights.” Google Mobile Ads Blog. 6 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://googlemobileads. blogspot.com/2011/09/holiday-retail-mobile-insights.html>. 9. “Mobile Paid Search: Dial Up Your Online Marketing Results.” The Search Agency. May 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011 10. Google, “Mobile Paid Search: Dial Up Your Online Marketing Results in 2011.” 11. “Apple’s Share of the 2011 Tablet Market: 75 Percent or More - John Paczkowski - News.” AllThingsD. 7 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://allthingsd.com/20111107/apples-share-of-the-2011-tablet-market-75-percent-or-more/>. 12. Cuisinart’s Kitchen Appliances for Professional and Home Chefs - Cuisinart.com. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cuisin- art.com/>. 13. Juda, Adam. “Ads Quality Improvements Rolling out Globally.” Inside AdWords. 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http:// adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/ads-quality-improvements-rolling-out.html>.5 Trends that Should Change Your Online Marketing Plans this Holiday Season 10

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