We bet that e-commerce, Black Friday, and Q4 are the three words that can really let your imagination run wild…
But what if we told you there’s a brand-safe and user-friendly way to maximize your e-commerce marketing profits that you quite possibly haven’t tried yet?
And trying it right now, in the middle of the holiday shopping season (that’s additionally fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global lockdown situation) might be the best thing happening to you in 2020. Not that this would be too difficult this year.
Read on to learn how search advertising can redefine e-commerce marketing this Golden Quarter and beyond!
What are Search Ads?
Search advertising has been on the market for a long time now. In fact, it’s the first ad format launched by Google. And October 23, 2000, will be a date forever remembered by internet marketers all around the globe.
Naturally, search advertising has come a long way since the day it first appeared. Apart from the fact it’s now widely used by all sorts of search engines (sorry not sorry Google) it looks and works differently from its ‘prototype’. Note that mobile advertising was still pretty much non-existent at that time.
But what’s the most important thing for all those interested in search advertising 20 years later is the fact that it’s still a great way to connect with your audience while keeping it as low-key and natural as possible. Here’s a more technical explanation, though.
Search advertising is a user-friendly and brand-safe ad format designed to instantly match brands with customers.
Search ads are displayed the moment users begin typing a keyword-related query into their search engines. For example, if users search for a specific brand, the brand’s ad tile or a URL suggestion will be automatically displayed allowing for an outright connection. Search ads operate on a CPC cost model and work for both desktop and mobile devices.
Search advertising is simply effective. It answers people’s needs (search-queries) and delivers desired results (specific keyword-related ads). And if relevant content is displayed before users even finish to input their query, the journey to conversion gets significantly shortened.
How do Search Ads work?
That’s why, when trying to understand how search advertising works, it’s important to note that search ads may operate differently depending on the target device. For example, there are two ways in which users may interact with search ads in Zeropark.
Search Autocomplete model, which works for mobile devices only, is triggered when customers start typing in a search query on their mobile device’s keyboard app. A suggestion of a brand URL is then displayed, and if users click on it, they’re redirected to the brand’s website.
Suggestion tiles, which work for both mobile and desktop devices, are also triggered once users start to input their search-queries using a keyword app (mobile) or a publisher’s search engine (desktop). Then, a suggestion tile with a related brand is displayed. If users click on the tile, they’re redirected straight to the desired/promoted brand.
Also, some search engines, like Google, AVG or Bing, feature search ads just below their search bar. Such a measure gives search tiles a bit of a native feel, making actual ads look as if these are top, last, or most common search results.
How is Search Traffic generated in Zeropark?
Search advertising is a popular ad format across both major and less-mainstream search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing, AVG are just a few examples. There are obviously technical differences to how each generates search traffic but what’s also important is that search ads are no longer limited to search engines only.
For example, mobile keyboard apps can also generate search ads. That means search ads can be served to all mobile users who have such keyboard apps installed on their device. Given such apps often come as a default setting, there’s a whole wide audience to be served.
Zeropark’s search traffic originates from independent search engines, mobile devices and apps. Placement examples include brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Opera, Accuweather, AVG Search, Norton Safe Search, Ymail, and Facemoji.
The major advantage of Zeropark’s search over traditional search traffic is that the ad placements are shown before users even enter the search engine. They appear as users start to input their queries. That means your search ad does not have to compete with other search results for the click.
What’s also worth noting is that search traffic may vary depending on the auction system. Search traffic available in Zeropark works on the CPC cost model with the first-price auction system happening in real-time.
The RTB (Real-Time Bidding) model is now possible for search ads thanks to Zeropark acting as an SSP (Supply Side Platform), a sort of mediator between publishers (search engine or keyboard app representatives) and advertisers (brands). Simply put, it’s Zeropark’s job to secure all the SDK integration and make the header bidding possible.
This, in turn, allows all kinds of brands to join the table and take part in a unified auction where the highest bid wins.
Benefits of Search Advertising.
We’ve already mentioned that search ads are simply effective — that’s not all, though. Search ads are characterized by its non-invasive, user-friendly, instant, and outright form. So the benefits of promoting your brand using search advertising are simply manifold.
✔︎ High Conversion Rates — using search ads means targeting people who have already shown interest in the brand or product you’re promoting. Cutting down on targeting an uninterested and unmotivated audience while tapping into the demand segment saves you time and money, as well as secures higher chances for conversions.
✔︎ Improved Customer Journey — Search ads significantly shorten your customer’s path to conversion. The ad tiles or URL suggestions are often shown within split seconds, sometimes even before users finish typing their queries. This allows clients to engage with the desired content faster and easier.
✔︎ Instant Match — Search ads minimize the risk of the situation where a customer lands on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and clicks on your competitor’s ad. They’re simply better, leading to faster shopping decisions.
✔︎ Tremendous User Experience — Given that keyboard apps predict customers’ intent, they’re now able to serve them ads they appreciate, too. The fully automated and AI-powered customer journey is thus more likely to result in a satisfied and motivated customer.
Why is Search Traffic premium traffic?
The reason why search ads may often be referred to as premium traffic, especially for e-commerce campaigns, is because there are some strict policy guidelines put in place both for publishers and advertisers. This is to ensure the highest quality traffic and offer search advertising possibilities to top brands out there. Simply put, the better ads we make, the better clients we get.
Search Ads policy guidelines and regulations
Naturally, there’s a list of very specific guidelines that need to be followed by every advertiser wanting to promote their offers using search ads. What we present below are only a few major policies that need to be always put in place.
- The user must always end up on the advertised brand’s website — that’s the ultimate rule number one that must be obeyed at all times.
- Look-a-like landing pages and websites are strictly prohibited.
- The landing page must strictly drive traffic to the brand the keyword is targeting. In most cases, it should be the brand’s homepage but a certified store that’s being recognized as such by the brand is also acceptable.
- Use of trademarks and brand logos is allowed only with the consent of the trademark owner:
- Promoting products or services not related to the brand is not allowed.
- Misrepresentation of affiliation with the brand is not allowed.
- Adult content is not allowed.
- Smartlinks, rotating landing pages/offers are not allowed.
- Search traffic is activated only for advertisers who run direct-to-brand offers.
Top e-commerce brands using Search Ads
As mentioned above, search traffic involves some of the biggest players in the e-commerce industry. To give you an idea of the scale of search ads’ potential below you’ll find both, a list of brands advertising with search ads, but also those that partnered up with Zeropark to enable the traffic distribution.
Macy’s, Nike, Wayfair, Adidas, or Calvin Klein are global brands that take their digital advertising very seriously. One of Khloe’s Kardashian’s latest ventures, the Good American has also trusted search ads.
If you’d like to learn more about how this exclusive women’s clothing brand reached a +500% ROI in less than two weeks of running their first search campaign in Zeropark, there’s a case study that’s surely worth having a look at.
Search Ads — the perfect choice for scaling your e-commerce business.
There’s no time for e-commerce marketers like the end of the year shopping season. The Golden Quarter, crowned with Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, is usually the time of little sleep and big business. With the holiday shopping season and the whole Q4 e-commerce craze unraveling right now, brands and marketers need to act both fast and smart to secure their portion of gains and avoid missing out on due profits.
Especially that Q4 2020 kicked off much earlier than expected and is additionally fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic craze and global lockdown. That’s why being able to tap into consumer demand while keeping the customer journey as short and satisfying as possible may be the key to success.
Some of the major e-commerce marketing trends for Q4 2020 involve both brands and marketers to make their consumer’s lives just a little easier and happier — especially this year. Given that people all around the world are confined to stay home, this year’s Black Friday and holiday shopping will be ultimately made online.
And yes, people still want to do Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. They want and need to indulge in a holiday gift-shopping spree because they simply want to forget about all the craziness that surrounds us. And while that’s an amazing business opportunity for all parties involved in the e-commerce industry, it’s also a great chance to do that using as user-friendly and non-intrusive ad format as possible. Especially if it delivers exactly what people want, faster, better, and hassle-free.
Combining a profitable and brand-safe form of advertising has never been easier.