Ecommerce Club London Working Lunch: New Trends in Search Marketing: Successes and failures

At the Ecommerce Club London Working Lunch on 28th March: New Trends in Search Marketing: Successes and failures we had some great discussions, lead by Andy Headington, CEO of ADIDO, who talked us through new marketing trends, and new ideas for increasing ROI.

We were also lucky enough to be joined by special guest speaker, action sports and lifestyle brand ANIMAL, who presented a case study of how they have implemented their search marketing strategy and give other retail marketers some hot tips! We’ll be focusing on that in a later post.

Andy talked us through some of the central issues around search, and why it continues to play such an important role in ecommerce marketing.

Google still plays the most important role, at 88% of search but while Google makes 90% of its revenue via search ads, Facebook has doubled its adspend in the last two years. Other players still have a role to play – Yahoo for example, which is powered by Bing, takes about 10 per cent of the market, which can make it a cheaper option for paid search.

What’s important today however is smartphones, and the real estate differs. Last year globally smartphone searches outstripped desktop, and constituted 45 per cent of the UK market. That means you must pay attention to what you’re paying for – whether its organic, paid or product feed. In a smartphone view for example, product feed and paid ads take up the immediate visual real estate.

One of the big changes we’re seeing is the requirements Google has to stay in the game. That means ensuring that your pages are secure to be acceptable, and its recommended to use AMP, or accelerated mobile pages – whatever the device speed plays a critical role, not just to consumers but to your ranking on Google.

The thing to remember is that with Google having an effective monopoly, any changes made to its algorithms will have an impact. There is talk that Google will be offering ads on brands behalf, but remember the importance of owning your own customers and, more importantly, their data.

The shift towards AI and Google’s use of Rank Brain will also have an impact. We can expect to see increased bidding on maps and geolocation.

Things to think about with your strategy:
• Where are your clicks and traffic coming from – if you can’t understand that how can you work out what your spend is worth?
• If you’re using Adwords, think about the structure of your campaign
• Make sure your site is fit for purpose – Andy mentioned a site for hearing aids where the only option to contact the company was by phone
• Increase your quality score, whether that’s through secure pages, speed – engineer your site right from the get go
• Look at remarketing lists and control your bids
• Mark up matters – be clear how you categorise and title tag
• Tracking is crucial – explore the customer journey and attribution. Working with Google tools analytics explores the blended mix

In the end it boils down to these points:
• Think mobile first!
• Invest in your website for your customers but also Google
• Make sure your campaigns & websites are set up properly – spend time on them and don’t take shortcuts
• Google can be your best friend as an etailer – but also your worst enemy – be careful!