The Weekly Shop (4th – 8th August)

Welcome to another week’s edition of The Weekly Shop news digest. This week, we have been reading about concept stores, how and why your paid search agency should fail and how online browsing could save the high street.

Concept stores: what do they mean for customer experience?

Our first article this week looks at how we have seen the resurgence of the concept store over the last three years as retail has woken up to the value of service, great product display, interactivity, digital technology and a great shopping experience.  Econsultancy have taken a look at some of the concept stores out there from the likes of Argos, Apple and Burberry and what they mean for customer experience.

Online browsing ‘could save the high street’

While on the subject of the high street, a new study from SalesGossip has found that many of their users visited stores after browsing and researching online. The study found that their respondents will find information about products online but then go into the store to make the final purchase highlighting that online and in-store together are much greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Multichannel retailers enjoy faster m-commerce growth than pureplays: study

New research has found that multichannel retailers are enjoying stronger growth from m-commerce than their online-only competitors. Those using channels including shops and a website to sell saw sales via mobile rise by 79% in the period from January to June, according to a study by Capgemini and IMRG, while those who only sell via a website saw their m-commerce sales lift by 59%. More over on Internet Retailing.

5 Myths About Mobile Content Strategies and What You Can Do Instead

Matt Cutts recently stated that he expects Google’s mobile traffic to exceed desktop traffic in the very near future. If you don’t have a plan for mobile, you certainly need to make it a high priority. If you’re starting to think about your mobile strategy then this article from Clickz outlines five common myths about what it means to optimize content for mobile so you can be sure not to include them in your planning.

How and Why Your PPC Agency Should Fail

Here’s an interesting article from Clickz on why failure shouldn’t be a bad word in the PPC industry. It should be used as a tool for growth and continual improvement. The article features some useful tips on how you and your agency should be coming together to make progress on your accounts.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (28th Jul – 1st Aug)

In the Weekly Shop this week, we take a look at how British town centres have adapted as consumers move towards digital, some Facebook news, which includes a useful new ‘Save’ feature and how to breath life into old content.

Town centres adapt as consumers move towards digital and convenience: report

A new report has shown that British town centres are changing as they adapt to evolving customer demands. The report found that Britons are above all looking for convenience – and finding it both in high street, for quick ‘top-up’ shops, and online shopping, whereas once they found it in out-of-town retail destinations. The report suggests convenience is driving digital ways of buying and that click and collect has pushed people back to stores. More on the report over on Internet Retailing.

With Save, Facebook Lets You Bookmark Posts For Later

After announcing their ‘Buy Now’ button trial last week, Facebook have also just announced that they are testing a new ‘Save’ feature. This feature will let you bookmark things you discover on Facebook, so you can read them at a more convenient time. This will no doubt be very useful for both brands and users as posts frequently get lost in the constantly refreshing news feed.

399 Million People Use Facebook Only From Mobile

Keeping on the topic of Facebook, this week we also learnt that Facebook has now 399 million mobile-only monthy active uses. This means that almost 1 out of 3 Facebook users never use the web version of Facebook, clearly showing a trend of users moving away from Facebook’s web platform. Definitely something to keep in mind when you are planning your marketing efforts on Facebook.

How to breathe new life into old content

One of the biggest changes within content marketing is constantly coming up with ideas for great content. Whilst fresh content is important, you should equally be thinking about repurposing the fantastic content you’ve already created. This article from Econsultancy explores how you can breathe new life into old content, so it performs a useful function within your user journey.

Google Introduces Product Ratings on PLAs

Onto a new development in Paid Search. This week, Google announced that starting in late July, Product Listing Ads (PLA) will now feature product ratings. Currently this feature is only available in the U.S. but Google have stated that it will be introducing product ratings in additional countries throughout 2014. Definitely something to keep an eye on if you use reviews on your website.

Finally, Google Analytics App Arrives on iPhone

Another development from Google this week saw a version of Google Analytics released for iPhone. The iPhone app comes more than two years after Google released Google Analytics for Android and allows users to check in on their website analytics — including real-time visitor reports — from the comfort of their smartphone. In addition to real-time and time-based reports, the app can be used to view behaviors, conversions and more.

See you next week!

The Weekly Shop (7th – 11th July)

Welcome to a new edition of the Weekly Shop – our digital marketing and retail news roundup. This week we have been reading about creating customer experiences that people remember, lessons from John Lewis’ successful mobile strategy and link building habits to break now.

Create customer experiences that people remember

To kick us off this week – an interesting read from Econsultancy about how digital experiences need to become more like human to human relationships in order to create the types of experiences that people remember and want to share.

Nearly half of UK consumers use mobile as their main decision making tool when buying

The second annual UK Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study conducted by Nielsen has found that as many as 46% of UK consumers now use mobile devices as their primary tool for purchase decision making. In addition, one in four use mobile devices as their exclusive shopping research tool. These findings confirm that mobile is a becoming an increasingly powerful part of today’s consumer purchase process.

Five lessons from John Lewis’ mobile commerce strategy

While we’re on the subject of mobile, at the start of the year, John Lewis announced some impressive year on year sales figures, along with the revelation that more than three quarters of its site traffic on Christmas Day came from mobile devices. This article from Econsultancy takes a look at what John Lewis’ is getting right with its mobile strategy and what lessons can be learnt.

John Lewis Mobile Website

Image source: https://econsultancy.com/blog/65153-five-lessons-from-john-lewis-mobile-commerce-strategy

5 Bad Link Building Habits To Break Now

These days, link building is no longer just about the link. It’s about soliciting a solid mention from a relevant and quality site that drives traffic and sales. This means taking the time to find the right sites, taking the time to find the right people, and letting go of those bad link building habits. This article from Search Engine Land provides five of those habits that you really need be letting go of.

The Leapfrogg Paid Search Onboarding Process

And to finish off this week – a post from our paid search manager for the Frogblogg about how we onboard new paid search clients.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Leapfrogg Paid Search Onboarding Process

You’ve won the pitch for a great brand that need a PPC agency and have hardly finished congratulating yourself when it dawns on you – you now have to start delivering!

The initial elation of winning a great new account is quickly replaced with the often daunting reality that is the onboarding process. But where do you start, the PPC account, the website, the analytics?

Before getting bogged down in the micro details of conversion code, xml feeds and the like, it’s good to take a step back and look at your new client from a wider perspective.

At Leapfrogg we seek to understand every part of our clients’ business to ensure that our strategies are always aligned to their overarching objectives, so we start the onboarding process by asking ourselves the following questions:

  • Where are they in their marketplace? Are they a leading player or a young start-up?
  • Who are their main competitors?
  • What do they sell?
  • What is their customer retention rate?
  • What is their customer lifetime value?
  • What differentiates them in the market?
  • How strong is their brand?
  • What is their target demographic?
  • What are their financial targets? How have they performed against previous targets?
  • What channels do they use apart from PPC e.g social media and how do they work together?

The list goes on and on, but this type of detail is best discussed in a face-to-face meeting between the agency and the client including all those involved such as the marketing manager, website developer etc. This helps establish the agency/client relationship which is important for the success of any PPC campaign.

Once you have a good idea of the brand and their positioning, you can take a closer look at elements such as the clients website, product range and user behaviour. We note any potential issues such as the page load time, barriers to conversion, unclear conversion paths, poor site search etc. These should all be flagged to the client.

We then scour the analytics to get a better feel for their website visitors and potential customers.

We seek to find out if their visitors come back, how long they stay, how long they take to convert and anything else which helps us define certain campaign settings such as cookie lengths or any targeting options such as location or language targeting.

Also, it’s essential to ensure all types of tracking code and analytics goals are configured correctly. Google Tag Manager can be a good option for clients who can’t necessarily add code their website themselves.. As Google Analytics and Adwords tags are fairly easily to implement, it can mean bypassing the development team altogether which can be very handy.

Keyword research is essential within Leapfrogg’s onboarding process. This subject is worth two or three articles in itself, but clearly you need to know how your target audience searches and the type of language they use, in addition to where they visit online in order to laser target your prospects effectively.

After this extensive research phase, we then move on to concentrate on the PPC account itself.

A full PPC account audit is performed to ascertain where the quick wins are, what the biggest opportunities are, what could be improved and what should be scrapped altogether.

The client will help you decide which product lines to promote and this could depend on profit or volume, but preferably not vanity.

The big question is whether to keep the current account or create a new one? The answer depends on how well the current account is performing of course.

There is value in retaining the history of an old account for sure, but a good restructure will soon deliver more benefits in terms of higher click-through-rate, higher quality score, lower cost-per-clicks and a generally better performance.

Shopping Campaigns are now essential for retailers, so this is currently another area of focus for us.

We ensure that their feed is optimised, their product targeting is correct and that negative keyword lists are applied.

At this stage the client is pretty much onboard, but the work has only just begun and this article is far from exhaustive.

You still have to optimise, expand and maybe add in campaigns for Bing and Facebook etc. Watch this space for my next blog post expanding on these areas.

The Weekly Shop (30th June – 4th July)

Welcome to a new edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we look at how Google’s search algorithm is an ongoing challenge for anyone selling online, SEO for content marketing, the future of PR newswires, and what you need to know about the Google Shopping upgrade.

Searching times: Keeping up with Google (£)

Our first article this week explores how Google’s search algorithm is an ongoing challenge for anyone selling online. Our commercial director, Ben, has contributed to the article and provided his thoughts on the recent Panda and Penguin updates (please note – you will need a Drapers subscription to read the article).

SEO for content marketing: seven success factors

This next article from Econsultancy looks at how content marketing and SEO should go hand in hand. Great content attracts links and can rank highly, while good SEO means the content you produce brings searchers to your site. In this article, Graham Charlton provides insight into how Econsultancy approaches SEO and content and their seven tips for success.

Does Google Panda 4.0 mean the days of PR newswires are numbered?

Back in May, Google rolled out its latest Panda 4.0 algorithm update, which was again aimed at clamping down on sites with low-quality or thin content. Press release websites were heavily affected by this update which has put into question whether the days of these websites could be numbered and if press releases will have a future in digital PR.

Back To Basics: 5 Fundamentals Of Link Building That Will Never Go Away

Despite all the changes we’ve seen in SEO and link building over the past few years, the qualities that make a good link have remained largely the same. This article goes back to basics and offers five fundamentals of link building that will never go away. A useful read.

Google Shopping upgrade: what you need to know

Earlier this year, Google released Shopping campaigns to all advertisers in AdWords, which offer a simpler and more flexible way of managing Product Listing Ads on Google. Prior to this announcement, campaigns were managed using regular Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Since Google will be retiring PLA campaigns at the end of August, our senior paid search analyst, Andy, has put together a useful checklist of important things you can action now to make sure you are fully optimised for Google Shopping.

The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

Following on from the above, there have been a lot of changes this year for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Now we’re halfway through the year, Search Engine Land have taken a step back and explored what’s happened so far in paid search.

Thanks for reading!

Google Shopping upgrade: what you need to know

Earlier this year, Google released Shopping campaigns to all advertisers in AdWords. In a nutshell, Shopping campaigns are a new way of managing Product Listing Ads on Google. They offer a simpler and more flexible way of organising your Google Merchant Centre product feed inventory within AdWords.

Prior to this announcement, we had managed these campaigns using regular Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Google will be retiring PLA campaigns at the end of August, so if you haven’t upgraded to Shopping campaigns yet – you are running out of time!

The success of product listing ads is very much dependent upon the quality of information in your product feed and how your campaign is structured, so we have put together a small checklist of important things you can action now to make sure you are fully optimised for Google Shopping.

Carven Google Shopping Campaign

1. Add in custom label attributes

The most important change to note when upgrading from PLAs to Shopping is that the ‘adwords_grouping’ and ‘adwords_labels’ attributes will not work with Shopping campaigns. Instead, you need to create custom labels in your feed to organise your products. You can have up to 5 labels, numbered 0 to 4, which include your own categorisation of products. Some ideas for these values include product category, gender, season/collection, top-sellers, high margin products and sale/promotional products.

You can then use these custom labels to structure your shopping campaigns in AdWords in a much more organised way, similar to how you would lay out your website or your store if you have one.

2. Update feed with new Google requirements

Google have just released an update to their shopping feed requirements which is likely to require some changes to your current feed. There are also some new attributes which have been released:

  • Mobile landing page – a new attribute which should be used when the URL is different on mobile devices to desktops
  • Product bundles – a new attribute which should be used if you have products sold in bundles, e.g. camera with lens
  • Availability – the value ‘available for order’ is being removed and merged with ‘in stock’, while a new ‘availability date’ attribute has been added to let shoppers know when pre-ordered products will be available for delivery
  • Clothing – new attributes including age group, size system and size type

These changes need to be implemented by 30th September, otherwise you run the risk of products being disapproved. The updated specification can be found here.

Lulu Guinness Google Shopping Campaign

3. Keep your feed fresh and accurate

Once your feed has been optimised with all of the latest specs, make sure it is kept fresh and up to date with any price or stock changes, otherwise feeds can be disapproved and ads won’t show. We have seen many instances where ads are disapproved because of mismatched data between the feed and website (around price or availability), so we usually recommend the feed is automatically updated daily and run overnight so that it doesn’t impact campaign performance.

4. Optimise bids using new metrics

Once you have optimised your feed and upgraded to Google Shopping – the fun part begins! Managing Shopping campaigns is very similar to managing Product Listing Ads, but with Shopping you have access to new metrics which will help to more effectively manage and optimise your campaigns.

The first two metrics are benchmark CTR and benchmark CPC, which show how you are doing against your competition. This is useful for setting your starting bids and then you can adjust from there depending if you are above or below the benchmark.

The third metric, and in our view the most powerful, is impression share. This metric shows a ratio of how many shoppers your ads are reaching against how many they could reach. If your impression share is less than 100% and you are generating a profitable ROI, you should consider increasing your bids and budgets to maximise impression share and drive more traffic and sales.

5. Anticipate changes in search volume

One of the most important things when running PPC campaigns is to make sure you plan ahead to maximise traffic and sales during key times of the year. Your strategy for shopping campaigns should be no different to your standard text ad campaigns, so make sure bids and budgets are increased to allow for the peaks in search volume.

Conclusion

Google Shopping is now one of the most important channels for online retailers. Although product listing ads worked well for our clients, since upgrading to Google Shopping we have seen even better results, with ROI up by an average 25% across all of our clients since upgrading.

With only 176 days to go until Christmas (crazy, I know!) now is the time to get your product feed in order, upgrade to Google Shopping (if you haven’t already) and start optimising using the new metrics available.

Shopping campaigns are going to be a key revenue driver for online retail this Christmas, so make sure you plan well in advance to maximise traffic from this channel. Those who do this well be laughing come January!

The Weekly Shop (26th – 30th May)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. This week we feature articles about why people don’t trust your website, Twitter advertising, key takeaways from SheerLuxeB2B and the EU’s privacy ruling on Google.

44 reasons why people don’t trust your website

To kick us off this week, Chris Lake from Econsultancy has explored the reasons why people may not trust your website using insight from a post on reddit. Reasons range from content, design choices and the usability of a website and is well worth a read to make sure you’re not guilty of any of these.

Top 5 Learnings from Twitter Advertising

Earlier this year, Twitter launched Twitter Advertising which allows UK businesses to advertise on the platform. We’ve been running Twitter ads for a number of our clients for several months now, and our paid search analyst has provided his top five tips for using the platform over on the Froggblog.

Silos, Cycle Teams and Chief Customer Officers: Key Take Aways from Sheerluxe 2014

A few weeks ago, we were proud to speak at the SheerB2B – a conference which brings together experts from the world of online retail to help premium etailers successfully grow their online businesses. Ometria have written a round-up of their key takeaways from the conference, which includes our MD’s talk on five of the major challenges faced by retailers in trying to meet customer expectations and staying ahead of the competition.

5 Fast Facts about the EU’s Privacy Ruling on Google

On May 13th, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled against Google in a landmark privacy case, asserting that EU citizens have a “right to be forgotten.” This article from Search Engine Watch dives into some of the facts to provide some insight into what this means.

Thanks for reading! Remember you can sign up to receive The Weekly Shop via email every Friday by signing up in the footer below.

The Weekly Shop (5th – 9th May)

Hello and welcome to Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. In this edition, we talk about Twitter and Amazon’s new partnership, how to build and measure gains in customer loyalty, PPC misconceptions and 7 SEO truths that you really can’t ignore.

How Amazon is using Twitter to sell through social media

This week, Amazon and Twitter unveiled a new partnership that allows customers to buy from the retailer via the use of the #AmazonBasket hashtag on Twitter. It certainly marks an interesting step forward in social commerce but is it anything more than a gimmick? Econsultancy explores its usefulness here.

How Waitrose is using omnichannel in a strategy aimed at setting itself apart

Waitrose is a great example of a retailer using omnichannel to set itself apart. Internet Retailing visited Waitrose’s just-opened Swindon branch to see how the supermarket is bringing digital and the store together to create new ways of shopping.

Customer Loyalty Restarts with Every Experience

Allegiance to your brand begins again with every experience, from word-of-mouth mentions to social status updates that are passed around and shared. This next article explores the actionable steps that you can take to systematically build and measure gains in loyalty.

10 Reasons to Hire a PPC Management Expert

PPC advertising has the potential to deliver targeted traffic, but it takes technical know-how to do it properly. This article from Search Engine Watch explores reasons why it will cost you less to hire an expert than it will to launch a campaign on your own.

4 Social PPC Misconceptions

While we’re on the topic of PPC, Social PPC has been around for several years, and is becoming mainstream in the PPC world. Because social PPC is still relatively new, there are many mistaken beliefs about it which this article from Search Engine Land aims to clear up.

7 SEO Truths Every Business Leader Must Understand

Lastly, here’s a useful article from Search Engine Land, which provides seven SEO truths every business leader in 2014 and beyond must understand.

Thanks for reading!

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 (24th – 28th March)

Hello and welcome to The Weekly Shop. In this edition, we look at how you can create engaging packaging experiences, online videos, Pinterest tools, e-mail segmentation case studies and how mobile is fast becoming the dominate channel in search marketing.

The secret to amazing packaging experiences

For any ecommerce company, a shipped package represents one of the most direct touch points to the customer, but it’s also often under-utilised when re-marketing to customers. This article from Econsultancy explores how ecommerce stores can create engaging in-package experiences that bring customers back onto your website or mobile app using examples from the likes of Apple, Birchbox and Bonobos.

96% of consumers find video useful when buying online

A new study from Animoto, an online video creation site, has shown how online video is increasing in importance and effectiveness when it comes to purchase decisions. Their research found that nearly three quarters of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand. There’s more on the stats over on Econsultancy.

How retailers can make the most of Pinterest tools

With Pinterest users showing more passion than Facebook users do, as its content is shared more often and has a much longer shelf life, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure Pinterest has a prominent spot on your list of marketing priorities. If you need some inspiration for your Pinterest strategy, then this article from Econsultancy outlines the ways in which retailers can make most of Pinterest tools.

10 case studies that show the power of email segmentation

E-mail marketing still remains one of the most effective channels for driving traffic and conversions but to really reap the benefits, it’s important to personalise your campaigns based on user demographics and behaviours. To show why this tactic is so important, Econsultancy have rounded up 10 case studies from businesses that have improved their traffic or conversions using segmentation.

Mobile To Drive 50 Percent Of Google Paid Search Clicks By End Of 2015 [Study]

Last week, Marin Software released its 2014 annual mobile search advertising report. By digging deeper into its own data on mobile ad performance for Google, Marin has predicted that mobile devices will account for 50 per cent of all paid search clicks globally by December 2015. Although based on U.S data, this study highlights how mobile is fast becoming the dominate channel in search marketing as shoppers increasingly research products online.

Thanks for reading.