The Weekly Shop (7th – 11th April)

Welcome to a new edition of The Weekly Shop. This week, we take a look at customer lifetime value, the importance of post-purchase interactions, an example of brands using Google’s Shoppable Hangouts, and the rumours that Google could be about to block paid search keyword data.

Just 42% of companies are able to measure customer lifetime value

Econsultancy’s new Building Loyalty and Driving Revenue in the Digital Age report looks at how customer lifetime value (CLV) is a crucial concept for companies looking to improve retention rate, but one which companies find hard to measure. Econsultancy surveyed almost 900 agency and company respondents, and found that, though the vast majority agreed that CLV was an important concept, just 42% said they were able to measure it. Head over to Econsultancy for more on the findings.

The sale doesn’t end at checkout: survey shows the importance of post-purchase interactions

A new survey has shown that 86% of consumers said it was important to them that they have a positive experience after making a purchase, highlighting the importance of post-purchase interactions. This article highlights some of the findings from the study and how you can make improvements to your post-purchase communications to encourage repeat customers.

Asos and Nike team up for first shoppable Google Hangout

Last week, we featured a new concept from Google, Shoppable Hangouts, and recently ASOS and Nike have teamed up for the first shoppable video web chat to celebrate 27 years of Nike’s Air max trainer. On the day of the hangout, users could shop while they watched, and make purchases directly from the promotion.

Mobile is now the main driver of global ad spend growth: stats

Forecasts suggest that mobile advertising will continue to grow by an average of 50% a year between 2013 and 2016, thanks to the widening penetration of smartphones and tablets. These figures come from ZenithOptimedia’s latest advertising expenditure forecast, which reveal that overall global advertising spend will rise from 3.9% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2014, with further growth expected to increase to 6.1% in 2016. More over on Econsultancy.

10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search

The big news in digital marketing this week was the rumour that Google could be about to block paid search keyword data. Last year, Google did this with organic search data which was a major setback to publishers, who began to losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. This article from Search Engine Land aims to clarify fact from fiction and provides 10 things you need to know about the Keyword (Not-Provided) for paid search issue.

‘No-Links Ranking’ – The Battle for Better Organic SERPs

In light of all the changes from Google, this last article from Search Engine Watch explores the possibility that links may no longer be a ranking factor in the future. Yandex, the biggest search engine in Russia, has just recently announced that they will be no longer using links as a ranking factor and this article looks at how this change might actually have an international impact and indicate the way in which search is heading.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (31st – 4th April)

Welcome to a new edition of Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. This week, we take a look at Shoppable Hangouts, channel integration, Google Authorship, insight into how consumers buy online and some exciting news from Leapfrogg!

Browse & Buy in a Google+ Shoppable Hangout Without G+ Account

Google has announced an exciting feature for Google + Hangout users – Shoppable Hangouts. A Shoppable Hangout works much like a normal Hangout, but as the title suggests, users will have the chance to shop and interact with a business’ products. Since Shoppable Hangouts are currently in Beta stage, only a limited number of brands have taken part including Diane Von Furstenberg, ASOS and Nike who have reported increased website traffic, brand recognition and engagement. Read more.

Shoppable Hangouts with Diane Von Furstenberg.

Almost two thirds of retailers now operate four or more customer touch points: new survey

Results of a new survey of retailers have shown that channel integration is proving increasingly difficult as more and more retailers turn multi-channel. The study found that just 34% of the retailers polled felt their current customer touch points were well integrated, compared to 48% two years earlier, revealing that existing technology systems are the key barrier to a coherent and innovative multi-channel customer experience.

Four Revealing Facts About How Consumers Search And Buy Online

A recently released study by retail engagement firm Parago examined how consumers research and buy across several product categories. The research is full of insight about how people buy and this article from Search Engine Land looks at one aspect of the research: insight into consumer behaviour when the buyer is in purchase mode. This research produces several insights for digital marketers which can help serve the growing shift to online ecommerce.

Google Authorship and SEO

Google Authorship is a way for content authors to connect their Google profiles to their online content to establish original ownership, and the benefits for the author can be immense. Google authorship could be one of the most significant SEO factors to help improve rankings since Hummingbird and this article from Clickz explores what it is, what it can do and how you can start to take advantage of it.

Leapfrogg wins at the European Search Awards!

We had some very exciting news last Friday, when we found out we had won a European Search AwardBen and Alice headed over to Reykjavik for the rather swanky awards ceremony and took home the award for ‘Best use of PR in a Search Campaign’ for our ‘Bride of the Year’ campaign for Wedding Rings Direct. We were absolutely thrilled!

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (10th – 14th March)

In the Weekly Shop this week…reasons you need buyer personas,  the five types of ecommerce shoppers and tips on how to find your best customers,  plus demystifying iBeacon’s and some possible changes from Google on the issue of “not-provided” keywords.

Five Reasons You Need Buyer Personas

Developing buyer personas is a great way to start being more targeted with your marketing and ensure you’re speaking your buyers language from the first interaction to the final sale. Our first article this week, explores five reasons why developing a set of buyer personas can provide value to your organisation.

Designing for 5 Types of E-Commerce Shoppers

Following on from the above, the Nielson Norman Group have identified five unique types of e-commerce shoppers. These different user-types are well worth bearing in mind when you’re designing your website as they can help design teams ensure that they are building usable and useful experiences for all types of shoppers.

Finding your best customers with the RFM matrix

Next up is a useful article from Econsultancy on how you can use the recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) matrix to find your best customers. Categorising your customers based on an RFM matrix can help you start identifying your hero customers, and those that need perhaps need a little more attention.

What are iBeacons and why they might change marketing?

This next article explores Apple’s new technology, the iBeacon, which is set to become to next big thing in the marketing world. Taking into account the user’s context, location, behaviour and profile, iBeacon’s offer a more targeted message from marketers. This should increase the likelihood of conversion as the customer’s attention will be caught just at the right point of the journey.

Google Reviewing “Not Provided,” Withholding Keywords From Organic But Not Paid Search Clicks

When Google made the move to secure search, it was a huge blow to publishers and also opened Google up to claims of hypocrisy as advertisers were still able receive the search terms. However, earlier this week, Google stated that they were reviewing the situation and seeking a better solution. This article from Search Engine Land ponders the possibilities of what this could mean for the future of SEO.

5 Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Digital Agency

This last article touches on the subject of the client-agency dynamic and provides five very useful tips on how you can get the best out of your digital agency to maximise your return. We couldn’t agree more.

Thanks for reading…see you next week!

The Weekly Shop (10th – 14th Feb)

In the Weekly Shop this week…online sales get off to a flying start this year, how small retailers can compete against their big brand stockists and the user experience signals that Google are using to rank websites.

Online sales grow at strongest rate for five years

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium, online sales grew by almost a fifth in January as the sector turned in its strongest start-of-the-year performance for five years, demonstrating the increasing importance of online in the retail sales mix. Read more over on Internet Retailing. 

How Small Retailers Can Compete Against Big Brand Stockists

If you’re a small retailer, one issue you may be familiar with is when your online competition is actually one of your stockists. Our website optimisation manager, Suze, has written a really helpful blog post on how smaller retailers can hold their own against big brand retailers. 

Customer experience is the most exciting opportunity for marketers [infographic]

According to Econsultancy’s 2014 Digital Trends Briefing, Customer Experience represents the single most exciting opportunity for businesses this year followed very closely by mobile. They’ve produced an infographic which presents some of the key findings from Trends Briefing. 

What kind of user experience ranking signals does Google take notice of?

Here’s another interesting article from Econsultancy which looks at how user experience signals are increasingly being used by Google to rank websites. The article looks at how UX ranking factors such as site speed, mobile user experience, button sizes, readability and many more can all add up to help you optimise your website. 

We Love Google, We Love Google Not: 6 SEO-Inspired Valentine’s Day Quotes

Lastly, seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, we felt inclined to include these 6 SEO-Inspired Valentine’s Day Quotes from Search Engine Watch. 

We’ve also rounded up a couple of our favourite Valentine’s Day inspired digital marketing campaigns over on our blog, which includes Not On The High Street, Evian and Ted Baker. Read the post here.

Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (3rd – 7th February)

In the Weekly Shop this week…we take a look at how there has been a huge rise in overseas shoppers searching for UK retailers, how giving consumers fewer options could actually boost conversions, a bad customer experience from a well-known high street retailer and some more thoughts on SEO in 2014.

One in five US and UK consumers did all of their Christmas shopping online: stats

This won’t come as a surprise to many but findings from a new Econsultancy survey have found that 61% of people in the UK said that they completed more than half or all of their Christmas shopping online in 2013, while just 7% completed all of their shopping offline. More on the findings over on Econsultancy. Read more.

New figures reveal huge rise in overseas shoppers searching for UK retailers online

According to data from the British Retail Consortium and Google, UK retailers are also benefiting from huge rises in online searches from overseas shoppers. The figureshave revealed that  the UK is now the world’s second biggest online retail exporter. Read more.

Want more sales? Give consumers fewer options

This is an interesting article from Econsultancy which looks at how giving consumers fewer options could actually help boost conversions. Blair Keen from Adobe looks at two psychological studies which show behaviour that might help explain cart abandonment and gives his suggestions for testing this theory on your website. Read more.

How to lose friends and alienate people: Mango

When our commercial director, Ben, attempted to purchase a Christmas gift for his wife from fashion etailer Mango, the service and experience was he received was far from what he expected. You can read more about his frustrating experience over on the Econsultancy blog. Read more.

Super rich shift their thrills from luxury goods to costly experiences

According to this article from Guardian, luxury is shifting from ‘having’ to ‘being’ with consumers moving away from owning a luxury product to experiencing luxury. Figures from the Boston Consulting Group hsve shown that of the $1.8tn spent on luxuries in 2013 an estimated $1tn went on services such gourmet dining, private flights, bespoke safaris, slimming clinics and art auctions. Read more.

Now you have to do SEO, thanks to Google

There have been many debates on the right approach to SEO recently and this is an insightful article from The Drum looks at how brands really need to do SEO and how Google has made the case for this easier in recent weeks. Read more.

2014 SEO — 6 Key Pointers

Following on from the above…this last article from Clickz looks at six key things every SEO professional should be concerned about in 2014 to overcome future update issues. Read more.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (27th – 31st January)

In the Weekly Shop this week…more search news from Matt Cutts, the importance of differentiating between content marketing and content for links, how reviews and trust signals can double your conversions and some updates on the EU Consumer Rights Directive.

How trust signals can double your conversions

As we mentioned last week, the role customer reviews are playing on the conversion landscape is increasing significantly with more and more shoppers looking for guidance on their purchasing decisions. This article from Econsultancy looks at how reviews and other trust signals can reassure your customers that they are safe when shopping with you and help to double conversions.

The EU Consumer Rights Directive: should etailers be worried?

You’ve probably heard murmurs of a new EU directive, which has implications for UK retail. It’s called the Directive on Consumer Rights and aims to improve consumer protection when shopping online. There are some good points in the directive, but also some that may concern retailers which this article from Econsultancy explores.

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You

This next article explores the importance of differentiating between content for links and content for customers and how the wrong answer could be costly in terms of risk, return on investment and performance.

Study: 34% Of Google Search Results Have Rich Media, 9 Organic Links & 9 Search Ads

Moving onto some search news, a new study has been released that showed that there was rich media on the search results page 34% of the time. The breakdown of rich media showed images appear on 28% of search results pages, news 9%, and shopping 1%. Head over to Search Engine Land for more details of the findings.

Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Try To Build Links Through Article Directories

Matt Cutts has popped up once again this week encouraging webmasters not to use article directory websites with the goal of building links. He also tweeted his thoughts on his and you can view his video answer here.

Google & Bing Agree: Past SEO Success Guarantees You Nothing Today

Matt Cutts has also released a new Google webmaster help video which addresses the topic of what an older site can do to maintain its ranking over time. Some useful tips here if you have an older website.

6 SEO predictions for 2014

And to finish off, here are six SEO predictions for 2014 from Search Engine Watch.

The Weekly Shop (20th – 24th January)

In this week’s Weekly Shop, we have four go-tos to make online reviews work for your business, figures on the UK’s online spending in 2013, an update from Google on whether Facebook and Twitter signals are part of the ranking algorithm and the last in our commercial director’s series of posts for Econsultancy on PPC payment models.

4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear just below their company website and make up the majority of the top 10 corresponding results. This article from Search Engine Land looks at how local marketers can reap the benefits of online reviews for the best local search visibility.

UK shoppers spent £91bn online in 2013 – and look set to spend £107bn in 2014

According to the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for December, UK shoppers spent £91bn online in 2013. The internet retailing marketing grew by 16% during the course of the year and it was capped by a final month in which online sales rose by 18%, with £11bn spent up from £9bn in December 2012. More on the figures over on Internet Retailing.

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Don’t Use Twitter Or Facebook Social Signals To Rank Pages

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, has been making search news once again this week with his answer to the question ‘Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm?’ His short answer was ‘no,’ and he stated that currently Facebook and Twitter pages were treated like any other page due to a number of reasons that are outlined in this article from Search Engine Land.

PPC agency payment models: fixed fee

Towards the end of last year, our commercial director, Ben, started a series of posts for Econsultancy digging into the mechanics of PPC agency pricing models. His final post on the fixed fee model is now live on the Econsultancy blog and if you haven’t already, check out his overview of percentage of spend and pay on performance models.

That’s it for news this week! See you next week.

The Weekly Shop (6th -10th January)

Welcome to the first The Weekly Shop of 2014.

To kick things off, we take a look at Christmas 2013′s ecommerce stats, how UK online shoppers’ satisfaction has slipped, retail trends in customer experience and how to link build in 2014.

Christmas 2013 ecommerce stats round up: John Lewis, Amazon, m-commerce

Our first article this week is from Econsultancy, who have rounded up some of Christmas 2013′s ecommerce stats using financial results from several of the big multichannel retailers including John Lewis and Debenhams, as well as data from IBM showing the rise in m-commerce.

UK online shoppers’ satisfaction slips, annual study shows

Every Christmas, customer experience analytics company ForeSee measures the performance of the UK’s top 40 online retailers. For the first time in six years, overall satisfaction levels have fallen. Head over to Internet Retailing to find out more.

Retail trends in customer experience for 2014

As we’ve seen in the above, customer experience is becoming more important than ever in online retail – being empathetic to your customers’ needs and expectations is essential if you are to deliver a meaningful brand experience. This article looks at the four trends that will help shape the retail customer experience in 2014.

Link building the right way in 2014

Link building has changed considerably in recent months, and contrary to what you may have heard, it’s far from being dead but the process has become harder and more time consuming. This article from Clickz looks at how link building is still the best way to improve visibility in the SERPS and how you can safely and successfully link build in 2014.

Build an Audience by Creating Content, not Crap

This article from Clickz really hits the nail on the head with the point of content marketing, which they define as the process of creating and distributing highly relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage clearly defined and understood target audiences. Well worth a read.

Happy reading!

The top five benefits of optimising your paid search account structure

At Leapfrogg, we often inherit paid search accounts from clients (and their incumbent agencies) which have a poor structure resulting in poor management and performance. We immediately look to create a clear account structure to set the foundations of our strategy moving forwards. A good structure should incorporate the strategy at an ad, keyword, and ad group and campaign level.

The points below are what I believe to be the top five benefits of putting together a strong AdWords or Bing Ads account structure.

1. Establish areas of focus and control

Maximising the revenue potential for key search terms is vital for a strong performance. For example, for a retailer of wedding rings the term ‘wedding rings’ is highly relevant and will hold high search volume. To not limit this term by budget – put your top exact match keyword in a campaign by itself. This then allows the important keyword to run with its own budget, allowing the potential for conversion optimiser and AdWords Campaign Experiments etc.

2. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs)

An audience targeting strategy, powered by RLSAs , should be of utmost importance to advertisers nowadays. Using this feature to identify whether your campaigns are targeting a previous visitor or a new visitor to the client’s website is highly beneficial to campaign performance and understanding audience behaviours.

Having used this feature for several of our clients, I feel it is best used at a campaign level. Setting up separate campaigns targeting new and returning visitors allows us to change ad copy, target broader search terms and adjust bidding strategies as returning visitors know the brand and are likely to be ‘hotter’ leads.

3. Day-to-day management

All advertisers have budget limitations and KPIs to reach, so the day-to-day management of campaign performance is pivotal. To be able to manage performance daily, a solid structure of campaigns is required to show product areas at a granular level without creating unnecessary campaigns, which can make the account difficult to manage. This allows the advertiser to quickly identify performance and spend by product area. For example, rather than one campaign for clothing, you should separate this by ‘trousers’, ‘shirts’, ‘knitwear’, etc or even ‘men’s shirts,’ ‘women’s shirts’, ‘small shirts’ and so on. The approach will be dependant on multiple factors such as product range and search volumes.

4. Budget allocation

Following on from the day-to-day management of the account, creating campaigns for specific product areas allows you to allocate budget in relation to campaign performance and overall budgets. Due to budget limitations or poor performance, the advertiser may want to spend less on particular terms. A benefit of a good account structure is that it allows the advertiser to limit click spend and affect performance at a campaign level.

Another benefit is that it allows an advertiser to allocate enough daily budget to effectively ‘uncap’ particular campaigns. A poor structure could result in particular terms using up the campaigns daily budget before other terms have had a chance to gather impressions and clicks.

5. Search term to ad relevancy

To achieve a high click-through-rate the ad copy must be highly relevant to the searchers query. For the structure to help achieve this, I recommend grouping related keywords at a granular level so that the ad copy can be tailored to each group of search terms. For example, rather than one ad group for ‘trousers’, create several ad groups with tailored ad copy and search terms such as; ‘red trousers’, ‘corduroy trousers’, ‘red corduroy trousers’ etc.

Although a lot of the points above are simple setup tasks, a strong account structure from ad creatives to campaign grouping will benefit several key tasks for an advertiser. Creating a strong structure in line with your strategy will help result in executing the above benefits.

Paid search – enhanced campaigns revisited

It has been around six months since Google made migration to ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ compulsory for all Adwords accounts, so the time is ripe for a quick analysis of our own client data to see what effect this has had on the main metrics such as Cost per Click (CPC), Conversion Rate (CR) and Cost per Action (CPA). 

Enhanced Campaigns are designed to let marketers adjust keyword bids depending on three core variables – location, time of day and type – across devices, and all within the same campaign for the first time.

The major change brought about by Enhanced Campaigns was the inability to split campaigns by device, so the main concern for advertisers was whether mobile or tablet performance would be greatly affected.

Whilst mobile bids can be adjusted and ads created for mobile use, tablets have no such luxury and are essentially grouped together with desktops for all account management tasks.
A vast majority of Leapfrogg’s PPC clients work within the retail sector, so ROI is generally our main focus but there are many caveats when carrying out such a study including:

  • Seasonality
  • Changes in product lines
  • Site changes
  • Competitor activity
  • Shifts in strategic focus

When comparing the six months before the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns i.e. February to mid-July 2013, to the following six months to December 2013 we noticed the following changes:

1. A 40% increase in mobile impressions with tablet and desktop spend unchanged

2. A 30% increase in mobile spend with tablet and desktop spend unchanged

a. This follows the trend of increased mobile usage to a certain degree but is a large percentage increase nevertheless

3. Increased cost-per-click across all devices

4. Lower click-through rate across all devices

5. Increased conversion rate across all devices (we would hope that on-going optimisation of accounts should deliver this anyway)

6. A similar cost-per -action across all devices

The increase in conversion rate experienced by Leapfrogg clients has offset the increased cost-per-click, so we are paying around the same for our conversions now as before Enhanced Campaigns. This is probably not the case in many agencies however.

It is well documented how product listing cost-per-clicks have increased, partly due to increased competition no doubt, but cost-per-clicks on the whole, particularly on mobile, seem to have followed suit too.

Again, I need to stress that this is not scientific and there are too many variables for it to be reliable but it does make me wonder…does Google know many of its advertisers will be paying more for conversions due to higher cost-per-clicks?

The recent addition of ‘Estimated Total Conversions’ to Adwords reporting estimates how many extra cross-device conversions may have been generated and then adds this to your total. This seems to suggest they may be looking to prove extra value that we don’t necessarily see at the top line. However, I somehow doubt many advertisers actually take this data seriously.

Quality of leads is a better target than estimated conversions and a recent Google update has allowed uploading of offline conversions, which will help demonstrate that, particularly for lead-based businesses.

One thing is for sure though – you can’t completely control your cost-per-clicks as Google ultimately decides that, but you can improve your conversion rate. For this reason conversion rate optimisation is playing a much larger part in PPC advertising and will be an even greater level of focus for performance-led agencies such as Leapfrogg in the future.