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Video: 2014 Q2 Findings to Prepare You for the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching, but there's still time to optimize your SEO, PPC and PLA programs and boost your ROI. Don't miss a chance to attain a digital marketing edge by examining current trends for product ads, mobile, cross-device, and social that can inform your approach for connecting with users during the year's busiest shopping season.

Discover just how well digital channels performed in Q2, along with which factors drove growth the most, in this video from Paid Search VP Rachel Schnorr.


Rachel Schnorr: Hi, I'm Rachel Schnorr, VP of Paid Search at RKG. I wanted to spend a few minutes today talking to you about some trends from RKG's Q2 Digital Marketing Report.

Overall, we saw growth in most channels. Paid search was up 20% with mobile and PLAs being the biggest growth drivers. As we switch gears to start focusing on holiday, here are things that you should consider.

First, image-based product ads, aka PLAs for Google or product ads for Bing, have continued to gain share. We see Google and Bing continuing to monetize these more, increasing their presence on the SERPs. We've seen product ads grow 72% year-over-year, while still showing a higher ROI from a much higher conversion rate compared to text ads. On average, PLAs account for 50% of non-brand clicks, but this varies by retail sub industry. So, for example, if you're in the apparel vertical, if your PLAs are making up for less than 37% of your non-brand clicks, you might be missing an opportunity.

Mobile is the other main area of growth for paid search, but also for organic and for social. Smartphone and tablet traffic combined increased to roughly 35% for both paid search and organic in Q2. With the growth of mobile, understanding and tracking cross-device behavior is crucial to determining the value of a paid search program.

Google's cross device functionality gives advertisers this visibility that's needed to determine appropriate bidding across devices, but also appropriate allocation of budgets across channels. Based on what we found with cross-device conversions, you might expect to see something like a 7% lift in total conversions factoring in the cross device data. For smartphones specifically, that lift is actually more like 14%. This shows that smartphones are an important piece of the purchase process.

Looking at mobile trends specifically for social, we find that mobile makes up about 42% of social visits, compared to about a third for paid search or organic. As each social media platform continues to grow, we'll see mobile become increasingly important as a way to reach social users.

Also in the social realm, we saw Facebook share decrease slightly to 51%, and that looks to be from an increase in Pinterest traffic. While the volume of Pinterest is still much lower than Facebook, it's something to keep an eye on.

Be sure to check out the Digital Marketing Report for more detailed analysis, and stay tuned for more videos on the RKG Blog, or on our YouTube channel, RKGDigital. Thanks for stopping in.

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