Google launches new features for mobile shopping moments

Overnight the search giant announced a suite of features to make shopping easier than ever once a product is discovered via its search results. Mobile conversions have lagged desktop primarily because of poor mobile navigation and conversion experiences.

This has resulted in smartphones being used to research and compare, before the final purchase is made on laptop/desktop or in-store. The new features enhance the search results by bringing all the tools a user needs to purchase into the search results page. Presumably the move by other competitors (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.) to launch buy functionalities in recent months has stirred Google into its own Buy version.

POG - Under Armour The most compelling feature is called Purchases on Google which allows users to pay for a  product using a Google checkout process. Here’s how the Adwords blog describes the process:

When a shopper searches on mobile for a product such as “women’s hoodies”, she may see a  shopping ad with ‘Buy on Google’ text. After clicking the ad, she’s taken to a retailer-branded  product page hosted by Google. Checkout is seamless, simple, and secure, thanks to saved  payment credentials in her Google Account.

Other features include expanding Product Listing Ads, two new shopping cards in Google Now  and the ability to directly link to retailers apps from their shopping ads.

All these features will be a boon for retailers who lack the time and resource to overhaul their  current mobile landing pages. The added functionality doesn’t appear to cost advertisers any more but will certainly entice them to invest more in mobile search on Google in future.

 

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Some Questions ahead of the Adwords Enhanced Campaigns roll-out

The new Adwords Enhanced Campaigns interface is being introduced to agencies over the next week with training webinars lined up from this Friday. Search meetings all week have been dominated by speculation over what the changes would mean. While all will presumably be explained and any loose ends smoothened out eventually, I started to put down a list of questions for myself that I thought I’d share here. Bear in mind, I’ve purposely stayed away from reading articles on the change outside of the Adwords blog or having speculative discussions with colleagues. So if some of the updates you’ve read on the internet this week have already addressed some of my questions please excuse me for that.

Structure

Plenty of studies have highlighted how the 3 screens have different usage patterns … why then have PCs and tablets been combined.

If intuitively I know that some campaigns are better suited to a particular device eg End Funnel terms convert better for PCs, how do I shift my weightage to favour one device if the budget is shared.

Search managers have shied away from implementing too many separate mobile campaigns as everyone in the industry is time poor. With every keyword (anywhere between 10,000 to 80,000 in some accounts) now opted in to mobile by default, the required oversight and attention to detail has increased probably more than the savings expected by merging all device targeting.

Keywords

Does an individual keyword have a separate Quality Score for each device or a single one affected by performance (CTR etc) on each device?

Will separate destination urls be assigned to the same keyword for PCs/tablets and mobiles to account for different domains eg full site vs m.site. Campaign managers have been adding unique parameters to urls by device so web analytics systems can differentiate and stack incoming traffic in dashboards.

Bidding

In the introductory post, Adwords mentioned that bid multipliers could be applied to have differential bids by device or other contexts like location, time of day etc. Will these multipliers be at the campaign level i.e. apply to every keyword in the campaign or can they be assigned at the individual keyword level.

Large agencies use goal-based (traffic, CPA, position) bidding at the keyword level. Will the new Adwords interface be mirrored in the bid management platform to be able to still set keyword bidding (and different bids for different devices for the same keyword)

How long until 3rd party SEM management platforms used by large agencies, are ready to work with Enhanced Campaigns. Some platforms are yet to offer support for one-year old features like Adwords for Video.

Creative

Presumably there will be separate sets of ads and site-link extensions (click to call, location etc) by device. eg if an advertiser utilizes branch phone numbers from his Google Places account for PCs but a nationwide 1300 number for mobile search phone extensions.

Will there be an easy way to vary extensions by day-part, eg make phone extensions invisible post work hours when a customer service number is unmanned.

Will separate reporting on site-link extensions be available by device. Will we ever get individual site-link reporting as well. Fingers crossed.

Miscellaneous

Is Adwords for Video also going to adopt the compulsory mobile opt-in interface. With tablets largely used as a personal entertainment device, this is one landscape where I would strongly recommend tablets being separated from PC’s so in-search and in-stream bids can be set accordingly.

When I create a display remarketing campaign with banners, is this also an all-device campaign. Should I create separate audience lists (one of mobile visitors and one non-mobile) and can I then use both in the one re-marketing campaign with separate creative.

Well that’s my list I’ll be taking into the training session. If you’ve got any additional areas I’ve missed please ping me. All the best.

eMarketer predicts Paid Search to dominate US Mobile Ad Spending by 2015

According to a latest press release by eMarketer, US Mobile Ad Spending will touch $4.4 bn by 2015 driven by smartphone and mobile internet adoption.  The release also provides a year by year breakdown by format, which shows mobile paid search growing 57% CAGR from 2010 to be the No.1 format by 2015.

eMarketer Mobile Ad Spend Forecast

To date, messaging-based formats have been the lead choice for advertisers as mobile experiences have been limited by screen experience on older feature phones. With the high uptake of feature-rich smart phones starting with the iPhone and then accelerated by Android phones, this is no longer an issue.

This blog has already advocated reasons why mobile search is important in 2011. Advertisers must start setting up test and learn experiments using enhancements like click-to-call and location extensions that I have written about before. Google is now factoring in mobile search optimisation into quality scores for mobile search ads which means mobile optimised sites benefit more.