Three ways to use a domain name for business today

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Registering a domain name is one of the first steps to starting a new business. That’s because whatever name is chosen will represent the business’s space on the internet — and, possibly, a customer’s first impression of the company.
But once you have that domain name, what do you do? Don’t stress over building an online space. Start using a domain name right away. Here are three ways to do it.
Set up a company-branded email address
The web address can also be used as an email address. A company-branded email address can give you and your employees a more professional-looking branded channel for communication with customers, as well as free marketing for your company. In a 2015 survey, 74 percent of consumers said they would trust a company-branded email address more than a free email address. It’s easy and cost-effective to set up, too. The provider you use to register your domain name can most likely help you set

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3 behavioral stats for retailers to supercharge your holiday strategy

What’s different about the holidays this year? If you’re a marketer, you need to know how your target consumers have changed their needs, wants and shopping habits before you can truly craft your best seasonal strategy. You also had better keep an eye on what your competitors are doing differently.
At the company I work for, Salsify, we analyze aggregate retail search activity, and we’ve discovered it grows more widely distributed during the shopping period leading up to the holidays. We’ve recently conducted research (registration required) on the keywords that shoppers use around the holidays and we’ve identified important opportunities for brands to expand their keyword lists. Leading brands are also dramatically boosting the pace of their product content updates to capitalize on the opportunity throughout the season to win market share.
Let’s run through the top three takeaways from our study:
1. The 2016 holiday season drove a 30 percent increase in the number of top retail search terms —

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Google Shopping gets top spot impression share & product diagnostics reporting

Each year, Google rolls out several new features ahead of the holidays for retail advertisers. This year’s updates have started coming out.
The company introduced a new metric and new reporting for Shopping campaign advertisers — only in the new AdWords interface.
The new metric, called absolute top impression share, reports how often Shopping ads and Local Inventory ads appear in the first spot on mobile and desktop. Google says that during Q4 last year, the first Shopping ad on mobile saw up to three times more engagement than the other spots.
On the Products page, a new diagnostics report lets advertisers dig deeper into product status issues in AdWords.

 
These features can be added to the list of features exclusive to the new AdWords interface — what Google calls the new AdWords experience — that’s rolling out to advertisers through this year.
The post Google Shopping gets top spot impression share & product diagnostics reporting appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google debuts giant new look for Local Inventory Ad product search in Knowledge Panels

Last May, Google introduced the ability to find out if a local retailer had specific products in stock right from the knowledge panel listing for the retailer. Now, it’s dedicating a whole lot more real estate to the feature.
Glenn Gabe, digital marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactive, tweeted a look at the update. Below are a couple of examples. It’s available on both mobile and desktop and goes well beyond the simple “Search items at this store link” that Google originally showed. A large section includes a search box, product category links and large product listings. On mobile, users can swipe through a carousel of product listings.

The feature is part of the Local Inventory Ads product, which enables retailers to promote products available in their locations via inventory feeds submitted to Google. The links and search results lead to Google Shopping pages.
Google is also running a test to show relevant text ads in knowledge panel listings for local businesses.
The

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Nailing down ads for the holiday season

Believe it or not, it’s that time again for us to start gearing up for the holidays. Not every brand sufficiently prepares their paid media campaigns for this fast-paced season — and for e-commerce brands, this is especially crucial.
Getting ahead of the competitive holiday season is a recurring obstacle. To start off on the right foot, you need to centralize your merchant feed, plan on making foundational optimizations, analyze your historical and competitor promotions, but most importantly, diversify your paid media shopping mix.
By creating diversification within your paid media shopping campaigns, you will positively impact your holiday ROI and set up a framework for future e-commerce growth.
Consider the following paid media tactics to be more effective and successful as an online retailer.
Capturing demand through PLAs and Google Shopping
Google Shopping or product listing ads (PLAs) are sizzling hot, especially while we prepare for the holiday season. Ever since PLAs gained popularity in 2011, they’ve evolved to be prominent

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Amazon’s Echo Show is a ‘1.0’ device, both exciting and frustrating

I’ve now been living with the Echo Show for several weeks. It has supplanted my original Amazon Echo in the kitchen. I find it both more exciting and more frustrating than the original.
The screen adds a compelling new element but creates expectations that are not fully realized — as though Amazon is ambivalent or uncertain how far to take the screen as a parallel way of controlling and navigating content.
The screen makes things more complicated, even as it makes the device more interesting and useful. It opens a door to a much larger set of use cases, including a much more obvious commerce opportunity. (It’s not clear whether Amazon’s rivals will follow and add screens to their devices. If the Show is a runaway hit, I suspect they will.)
Creates tablet-like expectations
Immediately for me, the Echo Show’s screen created UX expectations associated with a tablet. I wanted to touch it and get menus and navigation. I wanted to browse and search for things using the screen. I

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Report: 43% of millennials have made a voice-device purchase in past year

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According to a new “Future of Retail” report from Walker Sands, 19 percent of consumers have made a purchase using a voice-controlled device in the past 12 months. The numbers go way up, however, for millennials, with 37 percent reporting “they ‘always’ or ‘often’ shop online via voice-controlled devices.” Among this group, 43 percent made a purchase using voice in the past year.
The data are based on a recent US consumer survey of just over 1,600 adults and can be interpreted in bullish or bearish ways for voice. More than 80 percent of the overall survey population said they had not made a voice-driven purchase and nearly half (48 percent) said they were “not at all likely” to do so.

Source: Walker Sands Future of Retail report (July 2017)
Security, privacy, “lack of visuals” and uncertainty about price/payment were the top four reasons that people were hesitant to buy on voice-first devices or devices without a screen. Of

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Reviews & other UGC more influential for consumers than search engines & ads [Study]

It’s well-established that ratings and reviews are widely consulted and have a significant impact on consumer purchase decisions. A new study from TurnTo affirms this and provides some additional color and nuance for the discussion.
Called “Hearing the Voice of the Consumer” and conducted by Ipsos, the study involved 1,070 US consumers who had bought something online in the past 12 months. User-generated content (UGC) is defined here to include ratings, reviews, photos, videos, social posts and Q&A participation. The most common forms were reviews and ratings, however, with 71 percent and 69 percent of survey respondents saying they’ve submitted those types of UGC.
Online ratings and reviews are a form of word of mouth, which is the most trusted source consumers consult before buying. Indeed, 90 percent of survey respondents said UGC had at least some influence over their online purchases. Roughly 53 percent rated it “extremely influential” or “very influential,” a higher percentage than for any other category. After UGC, search engines had the greatest influence over purchases.

UGC helps increase consumer confidence

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How to solve the mystery of what your customers really want

How well do you really know your customers? If your company is like most brands, you already realize that you don’t really know them at all. In fact, a 2015 study from Aberdeen Group found that just 4 percent of organizations are fully satisfied with their ability to ensure data-driven conversations with their customers.
That’s a shockingly small number. And it’s also a huge problem, especially in today’s customer-first culture. Data-driven insights are the key to increasing customer satisfaction. If you don’t know your buyers, how can you really help them? That disconnect can very quickly translate into reduced ROI and decreased revenue for your business. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate data and analytics into every activity designed to support the customer experience. It’s simple math: better customer interactions equal superior business results.
So, if it’s so simple, why aren’t more companies doing it? What does it take to use analytics effectively, and how can you turn

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How much is a happy customer worth?

In today’s highly analytical marketing world, is it really possible to place a value on customer happiness? Well, yes. And that’s just what we’re going to cover in our upcoming webinar, “The Value of a Happy Customer: Action steps to a great customer experience.”
We’ll hear from customer experience expert Christine Crandell, who will explain why – and how – brands must focus on building positive customer experiences at every digital touchpoint.
Katy Keim of Lithium will then share the results of a new Harris Poll, that quantifies the value of a positive customer experience. In today’s sharing economy, where customers can instantly amplify their experiences, savvy marketers know how – and where – to connect with and build a loyal customer base.
Join us to learn how to build and maintain loyal, happy customers – and deliver positive results to your bottom line.
Register today for “The Value of a Happy Customer: Action steps to a great customer experience,” produced

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