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How To Drive Discoverability, Performance & Sales

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How To Drive Discoverability, Performance & Sales

This post was sponsored by Channable. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

The nature of ecommerce marketing has grown increasingly complex.

Gone are the days when you could rely solely on a single channel to drive sales for your business. 

Now, in order to seamlessly integrate into consumers’ daily digital experiences, you must embrace a strategic approach that spans multiple channels.

But multichannel marketing comes with a unique set of challenges:

  • Optimization: Product data must be optimized and updated to meet the needs of various sellers like Google, Amazon, etc.
  • User Experience: Customer shopping experiences should be unified and consistent across each marketplace.
  • Perfect Campaigns: Hyper-targeted, data-driven advertising campaigns are needed to drive traffic, clicks, and sales.

So how can your ecommerce business be omnipresent across channels, especially if you’re managing an extensive product catalog?

How can you scale your efforts when faced with rising demands and limited resources?

Easy: streamline your product data process and cut your manual, low-effort tasks by 50%

Through automation, you can: 

  • Bring your products to market faster.
  • Optimize your data with greater reliability and efficiency. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through some of the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to master multichannel marketing for your ecommerce brand. 

Let’s explore four key ways you can improve product discoverability, run smarter ad campaigns, and amplify your online presence:

  1. Feed Management.
  2. Marketplace Integration.
  3. PPC Optimization.
  4. Insights & Analytics.

1. Optimize & Organize All Your Product Data

The key to making sure all of your products are visible is to make sure your feed is optimized.

Your goal here is to make sure your products stand out enough to captivate the right audience and get them to convert.

Successful ecommerce merchants focus on feed management and product categorization to optimize and organize their products for multiple sales channels – and you should, too. 

What Is Feed Management?

Feed management is the process of filtering, enriching, and optimizing product data to sell products on multiple platforms in a seamless way.

What Is Product Categorization?

Product categorization, also known as product taxonomy, is organizing products into specific, hierarchical categories. 

Basically, this is similar to creating virtual aisles for your online customers to shop in.

Having solid product categories makes it easier and faster for potential customers to find what they’re looking for. 

It can also skyrocket your search engine rankings by allowing Google to crawl your site and index pages faster.

Easier navigation for consumers and Google bots means an increase of up to 35% more sales for you.

How To Optimize & Organize Your Product Data For More Sales

Time Required: Varies significantly for each marketplace

  1. Learn: Start by learning the rules and requirements for each individual marketplace. Each marketplace has different rules and requirements for how your product feed should appear. 
  2. Centralize: Then, instead of creating dozens of different XML, CSV, or text files, create a central hub of information that can easily feed into all of your potential marketplace platforms.
  3. Optimize: Focus on making sure that every piece of required product data, such as GTINs, product availability, optimized product descriptions, etc. is included in your centralized product feed. Then, make sure products are placed in their most intuitive product categories for each channel.
  4. Connect: Finally, begin the process of selecting and connecting all of your marketplace platforms to that centralized document.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to manually import all of your data sources into a single product feed, automation can help.

The Easy Way: How To Automate Feed Management

If your business has thousands of products, your true first task is to speed up your inventory management process.

  1. Use Smart Categorization to categorize millions of products instantly with ecommerce AI. 
  2. Automatically merge all of your product feeds and connect to multiple channels with one click.

By merging multiple data sources into one powerful feed, you can start:

  • Bringing products to market faster and growing your sales in a sustainable way.
  • Boosting visibility across top-performing channels and reaching your target audience where they are.
  • Optimizing your inventory to get the most out of each channel and better identify top performers.
  • Taking your business to the next level by automating low-impact work and focusing on what matters most.

2. Choose The Key Digital Marketplaces That Will Grow Your Revenue

The best way to maximize product discoverability for your business is to position your products where they can be easily found.

Where are your customers shopping? Amazon? Etsy? 

You need to be there, too.

How To Configure A Product Feed For Online Marketplaces

Time Required To Upload: Varies significantly for each marketplace

Each marketplace is different and has different product requirements for your product feed. 

Repeat these steps for each marketplace you want your products to sell on:

  1. Create: Follow your chosen marketplace’s process to create a seller account. Some marketplaces, such as Amazon, require you to have an initial personal account before you’re allowed to create a business or seller account.
  2. Verify: Follow the process of verifying your business’ legal existence, tax information, shipping policies, and privacy policies.
  3. Discover: Learn the required, optional, and custom product data figures, as well as recommended file types or data transfer methods (XML feed file, API connection, or automated third-party provider).
  4. Configure: Set up your XML file or database, depending on which marketplace you’re connecting to, in accordance with their requirements. Google Merchant Center allows you to connect your products to their marketplace by an API or product feed, so select your preferred method, and plan accordingly.
  5. Map Product Categories: Each marketplace has different product taxonomies, so be sure you map each individual product to the correct version of your chosen marketplace’s categories. For example, you may store candleholders under “Home Decor > Shelf Decor,” however, Google and your users will expect it to be placed under “Home & Garden > Decor > Home Fragrance Accessories > Candle Holders.”
  6. Upload: Connect to or manually upload your completed document to your selected marketplace.
  7. Validate: Each marketplace will need to process and provide insight or repair instructions to make sure your products will display properly.
  8. Check For Orders: Manually check for orders placed on each marketplace and enter them into your point of sale (POS) system or shopper database.
  9. Repeat: Repeat these steps for each individual e-commerce marketplace your audience shops on.

The Easy Way: Upload Products To All Marketplaces In Minutes

Time Required To Upload: 20 Minutes

Use Channable to:

  1. Automatically list your products on multiple marketplaces in minutes, not hours. 
  2. Ensure your feed will be accepted by easy marketplace by quickly seeing the errors and requirements for the feeds.
  3. Cut your product feed research time down by having everything in one place.
  4. Use fine-tuned controls to adjust your listings and even filter certain products you don’t want to advertise.
  5. Fully synchronize all marketplace orders and manage everything from one place.

3. Engage Your Audience With Optimized, Impactful PPC Ads

At this point, you’ve got your expanded e-commerce business all set up and ready to go. 

Your marketplace presence is diverse and your products are all categorized appropriately.  

However, on some marketplaces, like Amazon, your products may never be seen without ads.

So, it’s time to get some ads running to help boost brand awareness and generate more product clicks.

The goal here is to be able to configure, launch, and customize your campaigns, all from your product feed – and you want to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you’ve used the easy way, you’ll be able to use Channable’s PPC Optimization to:

  • Generate your campaigns in no time. Simply generate a Search, Display, and Shopping campaign structure from one place, and keep it automatically updated based on your product feed.
  • Create targeted ads for all your products. Creating hyper-relevant ads can often be challenging, especially when your product offering is large and you want to highlight all your items. Combine static with dynamic data from your product feed to make your ads more relevant than ever.
  • Increase engagement with different ad formats. Automatically create a highly customized campaign structure consisting of RSAs, DSAs, Shopping, and PMax campaigns.
  • Automate your keyword & URL strategy. Easily set up long-tail keywords from your feed, inserting dynamic keywords into your ads, and defining Final URLs at keyword level in just a couple of clicks.
  • Optimize ads with powerful rules. Always ensure that your copy is either included or excluded in ads. Optimize your ads automatically with Channable’s “If-Then” rules. Simply connect your data feed to campaign creation so you can take full control of your ads and enjoy real-time updates to things like sales prices, stock information, shipping costs, and more.

4. Use Data Insights & Analytics To Inform Product Growth

By using data-driven intelligence and performance metrics fine-tuned to your KPIs, you can spot key trends, make more informed decisions, and boost your overall brand image.

Here’s how real-time performance data can help boost your results: 

  • Automate product segmentation based on performance, and optimize campaign goals based on ROAS or CPS. Some tools even provide a full overview of your best and least performing products, so you can lead with data and take your business to the next level.
  • Monitor your performance data on different levels. For instance, you can import revenue and cost data from your preferred channels over a certain date range right into a platform like Channable. This way, you can always calculate new data such as ROAS at a product level and make the right decisions.
  • Gain actionable insights with Performance Max. Use performance data to segment your products into PMax that have different goals. Read your goals by understanding which products you need to boost in views or clicks.
  • Integrate with Google Analytics and Google Ads to import data straight into Channable’s dashboard for performance-based optimizations. Make data-driven decisions for your digital marketing strategy, boost top sellers, or create more visibility for low-performing items.

With smarter data, you can run more accurate campaigns and optimize your product listings to help customers find exactly what they need from you with ease.

Automate your ecommerce marketing with Channable to boost audience engagement, gain efficiency, and save time.

Transform Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy With Channable 

We live in a hyperconnected era, where consumer attention spans are fleeting and technology is constantly evolving.  

And the only way to thrive in this fast-paced digital landscape is to establish a presence across various platforms, and reach your customers where they are, at the time they’re ready to convert. 

Channable can help with that. 

Through automated feed management, seamless marketplace integration, targeted PPC optimization, and smarter insights/analytics, you can unleash the full potential of multichannel ecommerce marketing. 

Start streamlining your strategy, driving product discoverability, and boosting conversions with Channable’s advanced, all-in-one platform!


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Shutterstock Used with permission.



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Google’s AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

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Google's AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

An analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries by Bartosz Góralewicz, founder of Onely, reveals the impact of Google’s AI overviews on search visibility for online retailers.

The study found that 16% of eCommerce queries now return an AI overview in search results, accounting for 13% of total search volume in this sector.

Notably, 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.

“Ranking #1-3 gives you only an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews,” Góralewicz stated.

Shift Toward “Accelerated” Product Experiences

International SEO consultant Aleyda Solis analyzed the disconnect between traditional organic ranking and inclusion in AI overviews.

According to Solis, for product-related queries, Google is prioritizing an “accelerated” approach over summarizing currently ranking pages.

She commented Góralewicz’ findings, stating:

“… rather than providing high level summaries of what’s already ranked organically below, what Google does with e-commerce is “accelerate” the experience by already showcasing what the user would get next.”

Solis explains that for queries where Google previously ranked category pages, reviews, and buying guides, it’s now bypassing this level of results with AI overviews.

Assessing AI Overview Traffic Impact

To help retailers evaluate their exposure, Solis has shared a spreadsheet that analyzes the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.

As Góralewicz notes, this could be an initial rollout, speculating that “Google will expand AI overviews for high-cost queries when enabling ads” based on data showing they are currently excluded for high cost-per-click keywords.

An in-depth report across ecommerce and publishing is expected soon from Góralewicz and Onely, with additional insights into this search trend.

Why SEJ Cares

AI overviews represent a shift in how search visibility is achieved for ecommerce websites.

With most overviews currently pulling product data from non-ranking sources, the traditional connection between organic rankings and search traffic is being disrupted.

Retailers may need to adapt their SEO strategies for this new search environment.

How This Can Benefit You

While unsettling for established brands, AI overviews create new opportunities for retailers to gain visibility without competing for the most commercially valuable keywords.

Ecommerce sites can potentially circumvent traditional ranking barriers by optimizing product data and detail pages for Google’s “accelerated” product displays.

The detailed assessment framework provided by Solis enables merchants to audit their exposure and prioritize optimization needs accordingly.


FAQ

What are the key findings from the analysis of AI overviews & ecommerce queries?

Góralewicz’s analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries found:

  • 16% of ecommerce queries now return an AI overview in the search results.
  • 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.
  • Ranking positions #1-3 only provides an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews.

These insights reveal significant shifts in how ecommerce sites need to approach search visibility.

Why are AI overviews pulling product data from non-ranking sources, and what does this mean for retailers?

Google’s AI overviews prioritize “accelerated” experiences over summarizing currently ranked pages for product-related queries.

This shift focuses on showcasing directly what users seek instead of traditional organic results.

For retailers, this means:

  • A need to optimize product pages beyond traditional SEO practices, catering to the data requirements of AI overviews.
  • Opportunities to gain visibility without necessarily holding top organic rankings.
  • Potential to bypass traditional ranking barriers by focusing on enhanced product data integration.

Retailers must adapt quickly to remain competitive in this evolving search environment.

What practical steps can retailers take to evaluate and improve their search visibility in light of AI overview disruptions?

Retailers can take several practical steps to evaluate and improve their search visibility:

  • Utilize the spreadsheet provided by Aleyda Solis to assess the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.
  • Optimize product and detail pages to align with the data and presentation style preferred by AI overviews.
  • Continuously monitor changes and updates to AI overviews, adapting strategies based on new data and trends.

These steps can help retailers navigate the impact of AI overviews and maintain or improve their search visibility.


Featured Image: Marco Lazzarini/Shutterstock



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Google’s AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

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Google's AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

Google’s rollout of AI-generated overviews in US search results is taking a disastrous turn, with mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and CNBC reporting on numerous inaccuracies and bizarre responses.

On social media, users are sharing endless examples of the feature’s nonsensical and sometimes dangerous output.

From recommending non-toxic glue on pizza to suggesting that eating rocks provides nutritional benefits, the blunders would be amusing if they weren’t so alarming.

Mainstream Media Coverage

As reported by The New York Times, Google’s AI overviews struggle with basic facts, claiming that Barack Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States and stating that Andrew Jackson graduated from college in 2005.

These errors undermine trust in Google’s search engine, which more than two billion people rely on for authoritative information worldwide.

Manual Removal & System Refinements

As reported by The Verge, Google is now scrambling to remove the bizarre AI-generated responses and improve its systems manually.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is taking “swift action” to remove problematic responses and using the examples to refine its AI overview feature.

Google’s Rush To AI Integration

The flawed rollout of AI overviews isn’t an isolated incident for Google.

As CNBC notes in its report, Google made several missteps in a rush to integrate AI into its products.

In February, Google was forced to pause its Gemini chatbot after it generated inaccurate images of historical figures and refused to depict white people in most instances.

Before that, the company’s Bard chatbot faced ridicule for sharing incorrect information about outer space, leading to a $100 billion drop in Google’s market value.

Despite these setbacks, industry experts cited by The New York Times suggest that Google has little choice but to continue advancing AI integration to remain competitive.

However, the challenges of taming large language models, which ingest false information and satirical posts, are now more apparent.

The Debate Over AI In Search

The controversy surrounding AI overviews adds fuel to the debate over the risks and limitations of AI.

While the technology holds potential, these missteps remind everyone that more testing is needed before unleashing it on the public.

The BBC notes that Google’s rivals face similar backlash over their attempts to cram more AI tools into their consumer-facing products.

The UK’s data watchdog is investigating Microsoft after it announced a feature that would take continuous screenshots of users’ online activity.

At the same time, actress Scarlett Johansson criticized OpenAI for using a voice likened to her own without permission.

What This Means For Websites & SEO Professionals

Mainstream media coverage of Google’s erroneous AI overviews brings the issue of declining search quality to public attention.

As the company works to address inaccuracies, the incident serves as a cautionary tale for the entire industry.

Important takeaway: Prioritize responsible use of AI technology to ensure the benefits outweigh its risks.



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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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