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In early 2013 Google overhauled the way PPC worked with the announcement of Enhanced Campaigns.
The new system enabled (or forced) marketers to manage their mobile and desktop PPC bids within the same campaign.
While the stated aim was to simplify how PPC campaigns were run and reflect the way consumers shift between devices, some marketers felt that it was a ploy to drive up Google’s mobile ad revenues.
In May 2013 I asked several PPC experts for their initial opinions, with the consensus being that Enhanced Campaigns had made their jobs easier by streamlining the bid process.
The earth has spun around seven times since the last stats roundup, which means it's time for another edition of this ever-popular blog post.
This week it includes Twitter analytics, the pursuit of a single customer view, YouTube, content marketing, social customer service, Facebook ads and Google's ever-increasing ad revenues.
For more delicious stats, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium...
I’ve recently been making a point of plunging myself deeper and deeper into the murky depths of SEO.
It’s a fascinating place that can be filled with deeply satisfying victories, bafflingly contradictory advice, black and white hat gunslingers and requires dogged determination, nerves of steel and a strong sense of routine discipline.
While writing various beginner’s guides to SEO and paid search over the last year, I realised that I still had many more questions to ask, in particular how these two disciplines relate to each other.
And what’s the best way to seek enlightenment? Ask a bunch of experts that know way more than you, and pass off their advice as your own!
Before we begin to understand what ‘off-page SEO’ means and the various methods that relate to it, let’s have a quick recap at what ‘on-page SEO’ means.
On-page SEO (or on-site SEO) refers to all the elements on your web page that you can control in order to make it visible to search engines.
For instance: internal linking, using a clear navigation with a naturally flowing hierarchy, search engine friendly URLs that have relevancy to the content, fast loading pages, submitting regularly updated XML sitemaps or remembering to tag your images and videos properly.
On-page SEO can be considered a technical job, although there’s nothing particularly complicated to learn if you want to carry out the basic techniques of good SEO. It’s about adopting a routine or having a checklist in place that ensures you remember the tasks that benefit your page’s visibility.
Off-page SEO requires a different discipline or skillset from the above, but the desired outcome remains the same.
Did Google make £3.768bn from users who had no idea they were being advertised to?
Here's a study of 2,000 people where we try to find the answer to that question & more.
You may remember two studies which found that 40% of people did not understand that Google ads were ads in 2013, and that 36% still don't understand this in 2014.
These were researcher-led user tests, of around 100 people each, led by Bunnyfoot.
During the tests, at the end of a scenario based around a Google search, users were asked the question "Recall any ads?".
Is eBay's latest report on paid search really a blow to search engine marketing? Or are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
Following the release of the final results of an ongoing study, there have been headlines proclaiming that “eBay warns that search ads have 'no measurable benefit'”.
So, either eBay is making an outrageous claim that paid search ads don’t work. Or, the headlines are slightly misleading.
Having now read the paper by eBay, it would appear that both may be true.
It's that time again when we round up the most interesting digital marketing and ecommerce stats weve seen in the past seven days or so.
This week it includes Google Adwords, online video shares, live chat, Channel 4's earnings, mobile ads, and email marketing.
And for more delicious stats, download Econsultancy's Internet Statistics Compendium.
It’s no great secret that mobile search is becoming increasingly popular and that it will soon become more common than desktop search.
However new data from The Search Agency suggests that there’s some way to go before mobile devices challenge desktop’s dominance of paid search.
Its new Q1 2014 report shows that smartphones accounted for 16.9% of ad impressions, compared to 11.1% on tablet and 72% on desktop.
While proportionately these are large year-on-year increases of 35% on smartphone and 21% on tablet, it should be noted that desktop ads still account for 72% of search impressions.
There are several reports suggesting that Google is about to make paid search keyword data 'not provided'.
As Google has already done this with organic search keywords, such a move would at least be consistent, but it would also make the job of the search marketer much more difficult.
In the UK, the share of clicks coming through mobile search ads almost doubled in 2013, from 24% in January to 43% in December.
According to the latest research from Marin Software, mobile devices will account for 50% of all paid-search clicks globally by December 2015.
The UK is ahead of the rest of Europe, where mobile and tablets only accounted for 20% of paid search clicks in 2013.
That being said, advertisers in Europe increased their investment in mobile paid search by 109% in 2013, while UK advertisers increased their mobile paid search spend from 22% to 35%.
Google and Ipsos have published new research intended to detail the use of click-to-call in mobile search.
The results show that almost half of those surveyed (42%) had used click-to-call in search, with the need to talk to a real person stated as the main motivation. Other motivations included ‘wanting answers more quickly’ and ‘needing more information than a website could provide’.
Of smartphone users, a massive 94% have needed to call a business directly when searching for information, whether click-to-call is available or not.
Google has a unique perspective on much of the mobile customer journey with search, Maps, Chrome, Places, click-to-call, Wallet, to name a few.
Google ads drive 40m calls a month and with in-search features growing more on desktop and smartphone, customers are using them more and more. The research showed 47% were aware of additional information displayed in search results.
Here are some more findings from the research and an additional click-to-call case study from sk:n clinics.
For further information on this topic, check out our blog posts looking at five good and five bad examples of click-to-call mobile CTAs, or 12 useful tips for optimising mobile landing pages.
Consumer electronics shoppers usually spend a lot of time researching products before they eventually make a decision, which typically involves looking at upwards of 14 sources of information.
This includes searching for advice from consumer publications such as Which, comparison sites and customer reviews.
Organic and paid search is therefore an extremely important tactic for gaining brand exposure during the purchase journey.
There is a mix of competition within this sector as manufacturers, specialist suppliers, ecommerce brands and multichannel retailers attempt to improve market share.
A new report examining which brands achieve the highest visibility for consumer electronics has found that Amazon.co.uk comes top for both organic and paid search, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise.