Bing Shopping ads updates include multiple images, product status reporting & more

Bing Ads announced some new features and capabilities for Bing Shopping campaigns on Tuesday.
Heres’s a rundown of what’s new.
Show multiple images
Marketers can now include multiple image URLs in their product feeds to show a product from different angles, for example. Multiple images will begin to show in Bing Product Ads by the end of April.
Advertisers can now show multiple images in Bing Shopping.
You can add up to 10 image URLs in the optional [additional_image_link] in your product feed, separated by a comma delimiter.
Images must be bmp, gif, exif, jpg, png or tiff. The recommended minimum size is 220 pixels by 220 pixels, and the maximum allowed is 3.9 MB. As always, product images cannot contain watermarks or free shipping text.
Product status reporting
Four new columns are now available in the Product Groups reporting grid in the Bing Ads UI.
The Products Submitted column shows the number of products that were uploaded to Bing Merchant Center. Of those submitted, the

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New test prominently showcases Google Express in mobile search results

Image: Google
This week, we spotted a new treatment for Google Express in the search results. This included two new elements: a promotion for the program at the top of the results and a new look for Google Express ads in the Shopping carousel.
The “Get it with Google Express” promotion at the very top of the results, just below the navigation, touts the program’s easy checkout and free delivery. The Google Express Shopping ad features the program logo and displays the participating retailer name — in this case, Walmart — selling the product showcased in the ad.

These changes combine to make the Google Express program much more prominent on the page. Google typically displays these ads with “Google Express” in place of the retailer name and “Free shipping” in the promotion area of the ad. Here are examples of these ads in a Knowledge Panel and a regular Shopping carousel:
The test is quite limited. It’s running on mobile

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‘Purchases on Google’ Shopping ads test is running on iOS devices

AmsStudio / Shutterstock.com
Google appears to be testing Purchases on Google ads on iOS devices.
Purchases on Google ads enable consumers to buy products shown in Google Shopping ads right from Google-hosted landing pages when users have payments set up through their Google accounts. The product launched in pilot on Android devices in 2015 and opened up in beta to US advertisers this spring.
Below are a couple of examples of the Purchases on Google ads we spotted this morning on iOS. Each is slugged with “Easy checkout.”

It’s not clear how long these ads have been available on iOS. With the initial pilot launch in 2015, Google said Purchases on Google would come to iOS in the “coming months,” but it appears to have taken much longer than that, perhaps closer to the beta opening up. We’ve asked Google for comment and will update here if and when we get a response. Update: We received confirmation that these ads have been available on

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Is holiday paid search more competitive in 2017 than 2016?

The busy 2017 holiday shopping season is now in full swing, and we’ve already witnessed impressive Y/Y sales growth on key shopping days.
As advertisers dig into their own performance, many are taking stock of the competition to get a sense for what other brands are doing. This was a key topic for a #ppcchat Twitter conversation immediately following Cyber Weekend, in which host Kirk Williams posed the following question to chat-goers.

As you can see, most brands felt they saw more competition this year than last year, though 39 percent felt it was about the same. Zero respondents felt that there was less competition this year than last.
Taking a look at Auction Insights reports from Google for a sample of large Merkle retail advertisers, we can get a sense for how many brands were bidding on paid search keywords this year compared to last. As always, the metrics found in these reports and the stories they tell will

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Bing expands Shopping Campaigns to Canada & India

Bing Ads has announced the expansion of Shopping Campaigns to Canada and India starting today.
Advertisers may now begin targeting Canada and India with their Shopping Campaigns. Quebec will be the one exception in Canada, as Bing product ads are only supported in English in Canada, and Quebec’s language laws mandate that stores located in the province must also provide a French website experience.
Bing product ads are now available in Canada and India.
These latest countries join the US, the UK, France, Germany and Australia with support for Bing Shopping Campaigns. Bing product ads launched in the US in 2014, with its first international expansion into the UK in April 2016.
 
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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.
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SEM growth hack #4: Grow ROI with cross-channel optimization

This article addresses the importance of optimizing your SEM (search engine marketing), SEO (search engine optimization) and PLA (product listing ads) channels together to gain monster ROI growth in the search channel.
Optimization of search advertising often occurs in a vacuum where SEM, SEO and PLA efforts are optimized separately. By optimizing these channels together, you can save money on unneeded ad spend while boosting your page visibility in the right places to generate more sales or leads — pushing you into monster growth territory!
Why cross-channel optimization matters
Search engine results pages (SERPs) feature different sections where different types of results appear. These sections include, but are not limited to, organic listings, text ads, product listing ads, local results, image results, news results and more. In implementing a holistic, cross-channel strategy, which takes into account site visibility across these different sections, we can direct our search marketing efforts to the channel where they will have the biggest impact on a keyword-by-keyword

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Google testing new look for local inventory ads in place of local pack

Google appears to be running a limited test for local inventory ads (LIA) on mobile that looks like a shopping ad-ification of the Local Pack.
Spotted on mobile by Mike Blumenthal on a search for “engagement rings Buffalo,” the result shows a map with a couple of LIAs below it where local pack results would typically show. I have been able to replicate the result in the Google mobile app. Here the ads are for two different rings at two different Kohl’s locations in the area, signified by the respective shopping icons on the map above the ads. Clicking on either ad takes the user to the local inventory ad landing page hosted by Google.

For comparison, here’s the result I see using Safari on mobile for “engagement rings Rochester” (the same search with “Bufflalo” looked similar). The result shows an all-organic local pack with listings for three independent jewelry stores.

When introducing new promoted places ads in Maps last spring,

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New take on Showcase Shopping ads? Categories of used items showing for retailer outlet queries

A strange thing happened just now when I was searching to find out whether the promotions extension Google is testing is also showing on mobile (it is). I came across an example of what appears to be a Showcase Shopping ad for the first time in the wild.
When Google introduced Showcase ads, the idea was to spotlight retailer collections on broad, non-brand search queries like “summer dresses.” One of the odd things about what I found today is that these examples are all showing on retailer brand terms, not broad, non-brand queries. This format appeared on brand+outlet queries: “talbots outlet,” “banana republic outlet” and “ann taylor outlet.”
When I first saw the Shopping result on the Talbots query, I assumed the ads linked to a Shopping page featuring the items shown in the ads, among other items in the category sold by Talbots itself. But then I saw the results for “banana republic outlet” and “ann taylor outlet” featuring used items in

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See how Google is showing even more Shopping Ads on desktop this season

As product listing ads continue to resonate with consumers and drive clicks for advertisers, Google has experimented with showing more of them on the page over the years. As we head into Holiday Season 2016, Google is continuing to ratchet up the count and is showing PLAs in cards rather than single ad packs.
On some queries now, Google shows as many as 15 product listing ads (PLAs) on phones and tablets and up to 18 PLAs on desktop, thanks to the scrolling slider of ads. The slider won out over a test early this year that showed up to 16 PLAs when a user clicked to expand the block of ads and rolled out to desktop earlier this fall. CPC Strategy began noticing a new slider treatment being tested and more ads showing in the right-hand column on desktop this week.
This screen shot that CPC Strategy provided shows the new slider treatment.

Comparing to the current example below, notice

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