Archive for April, 2012

Google Offers Now Comes with Rewards

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Google is retooling its Offers programs to come with better incentives and to better collect data about offline purchases. For now there are only a few participating partners and only MasterCard is the cooperating credit card. Users register a credit card and when the requisite number of purchases is made Google will put money on that card. An example is the partnership with Sonoma Chicken Coop. When a registered customer makes two purchases, then he will find an $8 credit on his credit card bill.

google-offers1

The past few months have seen a drop-off in the daily deals market, as people are either consider them tired gimmicks or the market is saturated or both. However, this new incentive is a boon for the social media agency. The new incentive is likely to increase customer participation even if it is merely because of the novelty.

The other benefit of this initiative will be in the data accumulation it helps Google collect. The largest problem with online selling has always been the offline component. This program will help bridge some of that divide and make them coexist in a manner that can be measured. Google will be able to better see what people are buying and what motivates them to do so. That data will then be able to trickle down to the social media agency and help make conversions. It is possible brands will also find the reinvigorated user base receptive to the offers as an advertising vehicle.

Google Gives More

Paid Search Ads Redux

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Last week Google released a report about the 89% in incremental gains a brand earns when it has paid search advertising. After that report Google was flooded with questions and it has now released some answers to those questions. Some of which are very instructive for the social media agency.

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The main question is about organic leaders in a search. If a website is the #1 result in a search organically, then is it still hurt when it cancels its paid search spending? Google answers that the question is based on a false premise. 81% of search results do not have an organic result on the first page. 66% of ad clicks occur when there is no organic result to be clicked on instead. While Google has not really answered the question, there are few times when the question actually matters. A brand should not make spending decisions on the hopes or suppositions that the question matters and should instead take the statistically likely method of maximizing its investment.

Even if a result is a highly placed organic result it can still benefit from paid search spending. When the organic result is number 1, half of the clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when paid search ads do not appear. When the organic result is ranked second to fourth, then the ad clicks are incremental 82% of the time. That number grows to 96% when the ranking is below 5.

While it is possible that a brand can dominate search rankings based on their organic rankings it is very unlikely. Even if a brand does have that name recognition, then it can still benefit from paid search ads. Social media agencies can choose to cancel it and try to strike out on their own, but those efforts probably do not return as high an ROI as paid search advertising does.

Google Answers Ad Questions