This week: Google has a new toy, your pages blocked by robots.txt can still get indexed, and a new survey has lots of stats about online shoppers.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Survey: Almost 70% of Online Shoppers Compare Prices on Amazon
According to a new survey by Episerver, 68% of consumers compare prices on ecommerce sites with prices on Amazon.
Of those, 24% always compare prices and 44% often compare prices.
Also, only 17% of online shoppers said the primary reason they visited an ecommerce site for the first time was to make a purchase. Most of them said the main reason was to search for a product or compare prices.
Just 13% of shoppers begin their online journey with social media. Less than a quarter (21%) of respondents said they purchased a product because of an ad they saw on a social media site.
Only 16% said they made a purchase because they saw an influencer’s post.
Sixty-one percent said they prefer online marketplaces because they like the price options. Almost the same number (58%) said they like online marketplaces because of product selections.
Meanwhile, two-thirds said they want ecommerce sites to offer free shipping, 61% want package tracking, and 52% want info about returns.
More than three-quarters (77%) said incomplete details on an ecommerce website always or often turns them off from making a purchase.
Google and Facebook Continue to Take Internet Ad Market Share
According to WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends report, Google and Facebook are gobbling up Internet ad market share.
The duopoly’s share will make up about 61% of all online ad spend in 2019. That leaves roughly 7% less ad spend available to other media players.
In fact, Google and Facebook will likely bring in 29% of all advertising expenditures this year.
However, the WARC study found that there’s an emerging competitor in the Internet ad space: Amazon.
Sixty-nine percent of marketers polled for the research said they intend to increase their Amazon ad spending in 2019.
Google Ads Editor Offers Cross-Account Management
Google Ads Editor is here and you’re going to love it.
For starters, it offers cross-account management. That’s a big change from the old way of doing things, which restricted you to making changes in the UI for only a single account.
“For example, you’ll be able to easily add the same set of keywords across different accounts, update campaign settings across your entire book of business, or download relevant stats across any grouping of your accounts,” Google said in a statement.
Google also included a panel on the right-hand side of the UI that lists clickable items for easy navigation.
Additionally, Google Ads Editor offers:
- Support for non-skippable video ads
- Custom rule editing
- An ad strength indicator
- Support for app campaigns
- Audience targeting in smart display ads
- Support for message extensions
Google Ads Will Show Cross-Device Activity in All Attribution Reports
Soon, all attribution reports in Google Ads will display info about cross-device activity and conversions.
That’s going to give you insight as to how people in your target market interact with your ads on different devices.
The rollout is happening on May 1.
Keep in mind, though, that reports will contain data using different calculation methods after that date.
Here’s what Google had to say in a statement about the change: “If your active date range extends before and after May 1, 2019, your conversion metrics will be based on two different calculations — one calculation for the days prior to May 1, 2019, and another calculation for subsequent days beginning with May 1, 2019.”
Google Can Index Pages Blocked by Robots.txt
If you don’t want your pages added to Google’s search index, then you should block their URLs in robots.txt. That will take care of everything, right?
According to Google’s John Mueller, pages blocked by robots.txt can still get added to the index. That’s possible if they have a backlink from another website.
All robots.txt does is tell Googlebot not to crawl the site when it’s looking for pages to index. If somebody else has a link to your site, Google will crawl that link and probably index the page.
If you’d like a page to stay out of the index, consider using robots meta tag with content set to “noindex”. That will look something like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/>
According to Mueller, that’s the best way of keeping your page out of the index.
Google Home Voice Results Now Include Local-Services Ads
You probably saw this coming.
Google Home voice results now include Local-Services ads.
Obviously, it’s only happening for local queries.
For example, if you search for “plumber,” Google will take you through a question-and-answer session to confirm your location and maybe even the type of plumbing services you’re looking for. Then, it will display a list of results.
Within that list, you might see some items identified as “Google Guaranteed.” Those are ads.
It does not, beyond that text and a green badge, specifically identify them as ads. But you have to be a Local Services advertiser to earn that badge.
Expect to see similar monetization methods from different digital assistants in the near future.
Bing Ads Custom Audiences Now Available in Most Markets
If you’re a Bing Ads user, you’ll be happy to learn that Custom Audiences are now available in almost all markets. Exceptions include the E.U., Norway, and Switzerland.
Custom Audiences allow you to retarget ads to existing customers. Even better: you can create a specific message designed for each segment.
While other platforms allow you to upload a custom audience, Bing Ads instead partners with data management platforms like Oracle BlueKai, LiveRamp, and Adobe Audience Manager.
Once you integrate your Bing Ads account with one of those partners, custom audiences will appear in Audiences under Shared Library.
You can also use Custom Audiences with the Bing Ads API.