A Quick Guide to Google’s Page Experience Update

businesswoman with questions about Google's page experience

Brands atop Google’s search query results may soon see a shakeup due to Google’s Page Experience algorithm update.

As a marketer, what should you know about this algorithm change? How can you be sure your website is fit and ready? What can you do to stay ahead?

Read on now to get quick answers to these Page Experience pressing questions plus the resources and expert advice you need to get your website in fighting shape to meet Google’s changing standards.

What Is the Page Experience Algorithm Update?

Do the websites that sit atop Google’s search query rankings truly belong there? Are they the reputable and trusted sites that include good info AND a high-quality user experience that visitors expect and want to see? That’s what Google’s Page Experience factor aims to determine.

One way Page Experience works is by evaluating Core Web Vitals – Google’s three user experience metrics that gauge how well a webpage performs based on load time, interactivity and stability. Another way is by looking at existing specific Google search signals, whether a webpage is safe to browse and secure, accessible, interactive and mobile-friendly.

When Did the Page Experience Algorithm Update Kick In?

Google started gradually rolling out the Page Experience rankings update globally in mid-June but said the algorithm wouldn’t be complete and at full power until the end of August.

This longer time frame will help Google monitor and tend to any unexpected issues that crop up as the rollout progresses but also will give website owners more time to improve or refine their webpages to make them more accessible, more mobile-friendly.

What 5 Tasks Should Marketers Do Now to Stay Ahead?

If you’re concerned about not being ready for Google’s latest algorithm change, this may give you more peace of mind. Google said the Page Experience algorithm update is a lightweight change so likely won’t dramatically affect your web traffic in most cases. Page Experience is just one of many factors that contribute to how your website ranks in Google’s search results. But to stay as competitive as possible, here’s what you should do now to keep your website in good working order:

1) Check if your site is mobile-friendly with this mobile-friendly test and your site page speeds with Page Speed Insights and make adjustments.

2) Ensure your site is free of malicious content by reviewing and following Google’s security issues report.

3) Enable your site for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is the encrypted version of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This is proof to website visitors you’re serious about securing and protecting your site and all its data – all the passwords and credit card, user and personal info you handle and collect on the internet.

4) Test your Core Web Vitals with these popular web developer tools. These three Google measurements focus on the user experience and include the following:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures your website loading performance, which is how fast your webpage loads from a user’s perspective from first click to when most of your page content appears. To offer the best user experience, strive to have your largest piece of content load within 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load according to Search Engine Land.

First Input Delay (FIP) measures your interactivity, for instance, how fast it takes a user to pick an option from your navigation menu, click and go to another page on your site or enter info into a form field. Per Search Engine Land, if you want to achieve a good interactivity score, ensure your site handles input within 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability, in other words, how quickly your website elements drop into place on your site when it loads. Of course, the goal is to have your page stay static so content doesn’t jump around and confuse and irritate users. Search Engine Land also suggests you  keep your visual stability score lower than 0.1. (With this in mind, it may be the right time to test if reducing your page pop-ups or removing your interstitials could improve your score.)

5) Tackle website housekeeping tasks to keep your website effective. Search Engine Land recommends you make your web content your highest priority. Also, work at improving your page speeds. Evaluate your web design and call to actions (CTAs) so they’re at their most compelling, be sure to set up your image alt tags and review and adjust your site navigation so it’s both simple and clear.

With a firm handle on what Google’s Page Experience is, how it works and what tasks you should consider knocking out to help you achieve more Google ranking success, keep track of your progress with the new Page Experience report available in the Google Search Console. As you do, or if you have any questions as you tackle any part of your digital advertising strategy, reach out to us for support or a complementary assessment.

P.S. Want even more info, insights and advice on today’s top digital advertising topics and trends all for free? Sign up for our newsletter or check out our range of free resources. Learn the strategies behind our biggest success stories by reading our case studies. Peruse our in-depth white papers or blog for actionable ideas you can put to the test now. Also, visit our new, must-see Identity Resource Center – created for you – so you can have all the essential materials you need to get up to speed quickly and confidently on where cookieless digital advertising, identity and privacy are heading today.

3 Essential Elements of a Full-Funnel Search Strategy

Want a winning formula to hit your business goals? While there’s no one size that fits all, our Lisa Little, one of Search Engine Land’s 2020 search marketers of the year,  says it comes down to having these three elements in your search strategy – a healthy mix of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and ecommerce.

The search engine results page (SERP) is filled with aspects and listings that fall into SEO, SEM and ecommerce, and you need to have a solid combination of all three to take up more real estate on the SERP, not only for maximum visibility but to push out your competition. Since typical searchers don’t know if they’re interacting with organic, paid or ecommerce listings, including all three elements in your search strategy means you can be there for your customer when, where and how they personally prefer to interact with your brand. No matter your customers’ path to conversion, having a consolidated search strategy will cover your full-funnel bases and ensure you’re reaching each of your customers in a personalized, effective and efficient way.

Three Different Games, Same Playground

Lisa compares SEO, SEM and ecommerce to playing three games during a playground tournament: You’re playing dodgeball (SEO), kickball (SEM) and tetherball (ecommerce) on the same playground (SERP) with the same type of ball (platforms) but with different rules, gameplay, player positions, strategies, variables and objectives to win. Rather than invest everything into one game, to succeed at a full-funnel search strategy, you have to play a combination of these three games and find the right mix of SEO, SEM and ecommerce for your brand. When you do and when you can communicate well; enjoy continual learning, testing and rapid change; and excel at data storytelling, you’ll be well-versed to reach your brand goals. That’s when you’ll rule the playground.

SEO, SEM and Ecommerce – What They Are and How They Relate

Let’s dig into what SEM, SEO and ecommerce are and how they relate to one another. They each bring different benefits to advertisers, so including all three channels in your full-funnel search strategy is vital. Never ignore them, pit them against one other or compare them on a one-to-one basis. Each one is supplemental and pivotal to your success:

SEO

SEO is your brand’s DNA, your fundamental online infrastructure. It’s your organic search online strategy, your mindful, smart messaging that lays the groundwork for your brand. Lisa says without SEO, your paid advertising, like a beautiful mansion, will crumble under a weak foundation.

SEO provides listings based on relevant search terms to the SERP, which can be in the form of knowledge graphs, SEO and map listings, social media ratings and reviews to app search optimization, location list management, content mapping, free shopping listings and web development. It’s an ongoing process, trying to rank your website in organic search listings, updating location listings for brick-and-mortar businesses and more.

SEM

SEM is paid advertising triggered by keyword searches. Each time a keyword is searched, you and other advertisers compete in the same real-time blind auction (a combination of bid, quality and relevancy) to determine positions on the SERP. The one who wins gets to display their messaging and targeting at the top of the SERP. One good reason to engage in SEM is because your competitors are. But doing so can be beneficial in other ways: It can tell you who your customers are and how they behave. Plus, you can control your promotional messaging and measure its effectiveness  with tangible dollars. SEM is an excellent way to build immediate awareness, traffic and results if you have a budget to spend on paid digital media.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is the broad term for online retail, which encompasses paid and unpaid aspects that work together, and can range from shopping ads on search engines, open marketplaces such as Amazon or Walmart or integrations such as Shopify. For ecommerce success, automation and machine learning are key, so leverage a management platform like Kenshoo to consolidate holistic ecommerce stories and gain more ecommerce program capabilities.

How To Elevate Your Holistic Search Strategy

To evolve and use SEO, SEM and ecommerce and elevate your holistic search strategy, determine your primary business objective and the pain points you’re trying to solve. Our ecommerce playbook and any of our other free digital advertising resources – guides, case studies, white papers and more – can offer you the expert insights and tips to know where to start. Or seek out the right partner with the strength, expertise, tools and capabilities who can be with you right from the beginning and every step along the way to help you grow and evolve across all search channels.

To see if we may be a good fit and to get a recommendation custom built for your brand, reach out now. We can help you harness the right combination of SEO, SEM and ecommerce capabilities and opportunities to rise above your competitors and claim the notice you deserve.

Win Big With Data-Driven Marketing These 3 Ways

Collecting data and then using it well can be overwhelming to marketers. But these tasks don’t have to be. Get the expert advice and sound recommendations you’ve been looking for from our own Ben Diesbach, director of analytics and insights, and Justin Orkin, VP of business development and strategy. Tune in now to their recent Digiday presentation (or read on below for the highlights) as they break down how to boost your data-driven marketing.

1. Harness Your Own Data

Tap into your first-party data to drive results and return on investment (ROI) by using the data-driven marketing process we at Goodway Group use ourselves:

  • Take it one step at a time. Keep it simple to start. Identify and get a hold of the data assets you have (even if your first-party data is laid out in a disparate or disconnected manner).
  • Think about what you want to solve. Have a hypothesis and broader goal of what you seek to achieve before you even make decisions about using a customer data platform or DMP, building something on your own, or investing in tech stacks, custom data integrations and more.
  • Curate the right custom audience targeting and segmentation strategies. Base your decisions on real data rather than gut feel.
  • Test and learn. Start with simplistic tests that answer larger high-leverage test first. Then get granular and iterate and refine as you go to inch closer to your goal over time.

Throughout the process, Ben says the most important thing is “to stay flexible and not let perfect be the enemy of the good.” “As you test different data segments, different platforms, different ways to get in front of the right users at the right time, where your attention goes, where your time goes will shift and change. That’s OK,” he says. Your data strategy is a journey.”

Though while you’re on that journey, Ben cautions, “Whether you’re testing creative iterations for a media strategy or different audiences you’re targeting for a prospecting strategy, the key is to not test too many things at once or you can end up not learning anything.”

2. Create Custom Audience-First Segmentation

To connect and engage consumers, develop audience targeting strategies rooted in the actual behaviors, demographics, and context of your existing first-party audience. Then create impactful segmentation strategies for your existing audience as well as with those audiences you want to target – to get net-new customers to engage with your brand.

When you do, results can be eye-opening. For instance, at Goodway, we recently worked with a client that has a large ecommerce presence selling a variety of at-home products across a couple primary categories. From a creative and audience standpoint, there’d been an assumption that cross-brand messaging can serve as a great upsell tactic to get customers from one brand to buy from another. We wanted to work with the data and actually test this assumption.

We checked if there was any amount of natural cross-over purchasing between the client’s brand categories in the first place. Surprisingly, we found little crossover between brands. The purchaser buckets from the client’s two brands were largely mutually exclusive to one another. Next, we examined the audience characteristics of both brands and spotted some key differences. In this case, the client’s data combined with ours informed us a cross-brand upsell strategy wasn’t the right one. Instead, the data revealed we should build more individual audience targeting strategies for each brand.

3. Keep Pulse on the Future of Data, Identity and Privacy

Data analytics as a practice has been historically siloed to an individual  team, but the mindset and skill set are now being infused across organizations. Justin thinks this evolution will really pick up steam in 2021, especially now that the C-suite is paying more attention to data analytics and looking to marketing to drive results.

“Now we finally have the ability to measure and track marketing and put things in place to get a full view of the customer,” Justin says. “The cookie may be crumbling, but a lot of new partnerships and avenues are forming that will help give clarity into those users with or without the cookie.” In fact, Goodway is one such company now taking part in a few councils where we get to dig in and partner with leading buyers and publishers in the digital advertising industry and think about ad tech challenges from a discovery, targeting and measurement standpoint.

Ben says he’s excited to see the ad tech industry actively getting their hands dirty to come up with alternative and sustainable identity and privacy solutions to test and implement. He thinks this will serve everyone in the ecosystem better. “Though a lot of challenges lie ahead when it comes to data, especially related to identity and privacy, third-party cookies going away in Chrome, and the IDFA consent on iOS, they force ad tech to come up with a better long-term solution.”

 “Targeting is not going to be like the targeting with third-party cookies that we’ve been used to,” he said. “There will be obstacles, and there won’t be 100% match rate, but the unfolding solutions will be something that works for marketers and consumers in the end. 2021 is going to be a great step forward in getting there.”

Justin is also optimistic about the future. When he thinks of the challenges ahead, he sees only new opportunities such as these. “You can put the consumer first across your website or mobile app and really think through that data-driven marketing process and what that journey looks like starting from the consumer,” he said. “And companies and brands can put the consumer first through this journey while ensuring acknowledgements exist along the way to build brand equity through one-to-one relationships.”

If you want to execute data strategy, audience targeting and brand messaging built for the future and get a return on advertising spend (ROAS), we’re here for you. We can help you create effective custom data-driven marketing and navigate the ever-changing, complex ad ecosystem with ease.

Three Reasons Why the Future of Digital Marketing Is Bright

Doom and gloom. Many marketers are feeling anxious about the future of digital marketing – data privacy concerns and regulations, the changing ad tech ecosystem, Google’s expected deprecation of the third-party cookie in 2022 and the uncertainty ahead. But our Amanda Martin, VP of enterprise partnerships, isn’t one of them. Quite the opposite. She’s feeling optimistic about the path forward, and though she knows challenges lie ahead, she’s already found the silver linings. Read on or watch now as she explains to Magnite why the future of digital marketing is bright.

1) Losing the Cookie, Gaining an Opportunity

Having to give up the third-party cookie isn’t worrying Amanda. “I think we’ve painted this as a kind of ‘sky is falling’ situation, but I look at it as a true opportunity. This is our time to fix an infrastructure that was never solid and wasn’t meant to be built upon to the manner it has been. So for me, the cookieless future is actually a better future than the one we exist in today,” she said.

Amanda knows there will be hurdles to clear, of course, and the ad tech industry will have to do things differently on the way to a better cookieless future, but she thinks all this change is good and buyers should keep a positive outlook. “In the end, we’ll have a far safer consent-oriented landscape we’re working in that respects the users’ privacy as well as the brand’s needs,” she said. “And that will get us in a better place for programmatic to grow in the way and to the size it should.”

In the interim, Goodway Group is primarily focusing on our brands’ first-party data and working on their valuable data assets to help them lay a solid foundation that will withstand the test of time. Even as we all prepare to say goodbye to cookies and work to hammer out new identity solutions that will benefit the open internet, how brands use their first-party data moving forward will play a large role in how well they’re able to reach and engage consumers in the coming cookieless world. Amanda added, “What we’re doing is working with brands to redefine key performance indicators (KPIs) that maybe won’t be available anymore and leading them down a path of identifying metrics for success that work today and will work in the future.”

2) Embracing Collaboration

One thing Amanda finds uplifting about losing the third-party cookie? “What I’m really excited to see is that this issue transcends any one company, and it affects everyone. I think it’s actually the first turning point in maturity for our industry  to actually create a collaboration that we haven’t seen in the past,” she said. “It forces everyone in our industry to come together.”

All of us working toward the shared goal of finding new identity solutions to replace the third-party cookie is a major stride forward when you consider the ad tech industry incentivized companies to work alone rather than together in the past. Amanda said, “I’ve seen conversations that used to always stay at the conversation level now transcend into action, and so if that continues, I feel confident we’ll come up with solutions built for the future of digital marketing that are far better than the ones we have today.”

Amanda thinks with all this close collaboration, the data ecosystem will also improve. “With all the cookieless changes, regulations and consumer consent concerns, I think we’ll get to a place where we’ll value quality over quantity, which will ensure brands are truly buying the quality inventory they’ve always strived to achieve,” she said. “At the same time, consumers will also enjoy a better ad experience because the value proposition between consumers and brands will be more honest and transparent, and will help drive up everyone’s results in the end.”

3) Evolving Ad Tech’s Programmatic Supply Path Optimization

Supply path optimization (SPO) is a really important piece of the ad tech ecosystem, and Amanda believes everyone should be participating. She said, “It’s really grown in importance because the tools the industry has created and continues to iterate on afford us insight into more information than we’ve ever had on the buy side, which allows us to action off of signals that we didn’t even imagine, say, two years ago.”

SPO may be a little misunderstood. It’s not all about fees and shrinking the middle. “Though I think SPO started out in this kind of transparency fight to the bottom fee structure, it’s evolved far beyond this at this point,” Amanda said. “Today, I think it’s far more about value and the path to the end publisher and the end user that the brand desires. It’s all about efficiency on the buy side – knowing the value of the inventory you’re buying and guiding brands to the best inventory possible.”

So how do you ensure SPO success? Amanda said that’s a bit hard to nail down. “It’s an iterative process. You have to consistently be working on SPO and tweaking it because the ecosystem is also tweaking it on the sell side, and it’s not something you can simply set and forget,” she said. “To be successful, you have to define your key performance indicators (KPIs) as a brand or an agency and really stick to driving those metrics and then reassess them on a given cadence so your goals continue to match up with the ad tech industry’s latest advances.”

Reassessing is exactly what Goodway has had to do. Over the past four years, how we’ve handled SPO as a performance marketer has changed a lot. Amanda explained, “In the beginning, SPO was really a manual partnership and relationship game. But it’s taken a technological turn of late that’s allowed us to change our bidding strategies. Now, we work with our DSP and SSP partners to improve the efficiency of how we buy and, in the end, get more working media dollars into the publisher’s hand. We’re no longer turning SPO off then on again. Instead, we’re now taking a fine-tuned approach, one that allows us to use all the technology and API configurations we have at our fingertips.”

Whether it’s navigating a cookieless world, embracing industry collaboration, keeping pulse on SPO and more, the future of digital marketing is bright. Want to be sure to embrace all the promise it holds? Download our Going Cookieless 101 Guide today to see where the ad tech industry is headed and for the expert tips you need to go cookieless yourself. Download more of our free resources packed full of the digital marketing news, trends and tips you can’t get anywhere else and can put into action immediately. Or work with us – our award-winning team can expertly guide you and help you achieve your brand goals at every turn along the way on the journey ahead.

Goodway Group Ranks Third on Ad Age Best Places to Work 2021 List

With a fresh new year comes an exciting new distinction: Goodway Group just ranked third on the Ad Age Best Places to Work 2021 list of marketing, media, advertising or ad tech companies with over 200 employees.

Ad Age produces the Ad Age Best Places to Work competition, now in its third year, in conjunction with Latitude Research. The final results were tallied based on the findings from two surveys, a company questionnaire and a confidential employee questionnaire specifically designed to capture how a company performs in the following areas that matter most to employees: company culture, company environment, employee benefits, employee development, employee engagement  and employee perks.

Goodway’s top marks in the above Ad Age key scoring categories were what separated us from other well-known media agency and digital company contenders to go on to achieve one of the highest numerical scores on the list.

Why Goodway Was Chosen as an Ad Age Best Places to Work 2021 Top Scorer

“From the challenges of the pandemic and a recession to the opportunities to stand up for social justice, diversity and inclusion, 2020 was a remarkable year for the advertising industry,” said Dan Peres, editor-in-chief, Ad Age. “Amid all of this, the Ad Age Best Places to Work winners went above and beyond in supporting their employees and communities.”

For over 13 years, Goodway has been a remote work leader. When the pandemic hit, fortunately we were already structured to not miss a beat in a new world where working from home became the norm. So we assumed it was our remote work expertise along with our robust employee benefits and perks that propelled us to the top of the Ad Age Best Places to Work list.

Yet, Ad Age said those weren’t the deciding factors. What gave us the edge? It was how we put employees first during a tumultuous year. But this was no different than how we’ve operated for over ninety years: We’ve always succeeded by caring about one another and treating employees like family.

“When advertising revenue dropped in early 2020, we were really torn about how to keep our people and our team together,” Kandi Gongora, our VP of people and organizational development, said. But the solution quickly became clear. To ensure our entire team stayed intact, all our 371 employees, including our two owners, took temporary pay cuts to ensure zero furloughs or layoffs. The goal was Goodway would pay back every penny as long as it met its reduced annual target for the year, and we  accomplished this by early December 2020. Not only were we able to pay our staff back in full, we also were able to return pay levels to normal.

In addition to keeping the team together in 2020, Goodway implemented new programs to boost employee morale and support as we navigated a remarkable year. Here’s a look at a few:

Voluntary Employee-Funded Financial Assistance Program

Goodway established a fund to offer employees confidential financial assistance for needs both large or small, such as supporting family members who lost their jobs or taking care of sick pets.

Respect, Inclusion, Support and Equality (RISE) Initiative

We respect our employees and are committed to workplace diversity and cultivating a culture of inclusion and belonging through our everyday practices to continually move Goodway forward. “As a family business, we want every person at Goodway to feel like they are part of the family,” Kandi said. “Since we are remote, connections are really important, and we saw this even more so during 2020. We strive to support our team members, enabling everyone at the agency to perform at their best while creating, fostering and preserving a work environment where everyone feels welcomed and heard.”

Community Resource Groups

Our community resource groups give employees the opportunity to share different perspectives and ideas, build skills for further growth and development and explore special interests by participating in cooking and crafting tutorials, fitness and meditation classes and more. For instance, to help working parents strike a better work-life balance during the pandemic, Goodway even offers company-led virtual childcare, tutoring services and kid-friendly events.

Goodway Cares

Through our nonprofit Goodway Cares, we were able to give back to the less fortunate who were rocked by the effects of COVID-19 by donating to a variety of causes close to our heart.

Front and center at Goodway will always be our people, and that’s why we’ll always lead the pack when it comes to continually strengthening our supportive work environment and unique company culture, within the U.S. and now internationally too. Interested in joining Goodway? See what else makes us different. Check out our job opportunities and apply today.

Optimize To Those Primed To Buy With Amazon Advertising

Brands who have online stores often face the challenge of choosing between focusing on lower-funnel channels to acquire in-market consumers, or on spreading awareness to create new followers and drive interest. With Amazon Advertising, you can get both!

Through Goodway Group’s agreement with Amazon and our award-winning holistic advertising strategy, these brands can access the platform’s entire ecosystem to seamlessly promote their message as customers discover, research and purchase online. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Check out our top four tips for harnessing the power of Amazon Advertising below or download our full online retail advertising playbook to get even more digital advertising insights.

1. Get found with Amazon’s sponsored ads

Amazon knows what shoppers are in the market for. Take advantage to get in front of customers when they are searching for products like yours on Amazon and drive the results that matter most to your business. Amazon’s sponsored ads are triggered by shoppers specifically searching for your product or similar products.

Remember, seven out of ten Amazon customers never click past the first page of search results, and the top three items displayed in the search results account for nearly two-thirds of all clicks according to Search Engine Journal. So promoting your products through Amazon Advertising’s sponsored ads is vital to generating conversions. That’s why we recommend brands who have online stores use Amazon’s sponsored ads as part of their evergreen plan and ramp up with additional budget during peak holiday seasons to drive sales among the highest-intent users. Increase product visibility with ads directly in shoppers’ search results, and you’ll be on your way to driving more lower-funnel activity.

Why partner with Goodway for your paid search campaign?

With Goodway’s full-service solutions, our experts deliver ongoing innovation and performance at every step of your paid search campaign, from planning to optimizing to reporting. Plus, our relationship with Amazon means you get access to new betas, advanced tools, training programs and more. Don’t just take our word for it! See how we helped our client achieve a Silver Global Search Award for Best Local Campaign Pay Per Click (PPC) at the 2020 inaugural Global Search Awards.

2. Power you programmatic campaigns on and off Amazon’s site with Amazon’s DSP

On average, U.S. consumers own eleven connected devices per household including seven smart screens, according to a recent Deloitte study. Since your customers don’t browse, research and buy in a silo, why would you spend your ad dollars that way? Using Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP), we can buy all your digital inventory [including desktop display, mobile, video and over-the-top (OTT) ads] programmatically at scale for seamless cross-device coverage on and off Amazon’s site. And you don’t need to sell products on Amazon to use its DSP.

How can Goodway help you get more out of your programmatic campaign?

Our experts can help you leverage Amazon’s audience solutions across hundreds of retail categories to reach your customers wherever they are shopping. Plus, our partners get best-in-class human intelligence and leading machine learning tech layered on top of the DSP’s algorithms for enhanced performance.

3. Don’t forget to add Amazon’s data-driven audience targeting to your cart

For most people, online shopping equals Amazon. It’s the world’s largest online retailer with consumers ordering items from Amazon 6.5 times per month on average – more than any other online marketplace – according to Wunderman Thompson research. Meaning its millions of shoppers leave behind a valuable trail of information about themselves, creating a treasure trove of data that can enhance targeting precision. So you can use a unique combination of your own first-party data and exclusive Amazon audiences to enhance targeting precision based on what users have searched for, viewed, subscribed to or purchased.

Why should you use a partner like Goodway to help you build a smarter data strategy?

Often when brands try to leverage Amazon’s data in-house, they layer on too many niche targeting parameters and end up limiting the campaign’s reach. Our experts know how to create audience segments that not only expand your customer pool but are also precisely targeted. Let us handle your data onboarding, matching and segmentation to expertly craft custom audiences for your brand.

4. Prove your advertising impact with Amazon’s advanced reporting and insights

Maximize cross-channel measurement and audience insights with all your reporting in one place! Amazon’s sophisticated measurement solutions help you gauge ad performance to know what’s driving results in your campaigns and optimize toward the most effective channels.

Because everything on Amazon is interconnected, marketers can capitalize on this reporting to build a custom holistic approach that leverages the best performing ad tools. With Amazon, you can experiment with a variety of tactics and optimize toward those that yield the highest return for your brand, but always remember to remain fluid enough that you can quickly adjust if consumer behaviors shift.

How can the right reporting insights impact your bottom line?

Working with Goodway also means your dedicated team constantly analyze audience overlap and attribution reports to better understand your customers, optimize your campaigns to where and how they prefer to shop, and identify new audience pockets for incremental sales lift. You get best-in-class human intelligence and machine learning tech at every step of your campaign, from planning to optimizing to Silver Global Search Award for Best Local Campaign Pay Per Click (PPC).

With today’s shoppers relying on Amazon for everything from toilet paper to school supplies, it’s crucial for brands to ensure consumers in the discovery and consideration phases can find your products wherever they do their research. Reach out to us to learn more about how you can get started with Amazon Advertising today or talk to us about how we recently ran an Amazon Prime Day campaign that doubled the sales benchmark for a nutritional supplement brand.

Goodway Group Named a 2020 AdExchanger Programmatic Power Player

AdExchanger recently announced its 2020 Programmatic Power Player list, the first definitive searchable guide to the top digital marketing agencies, tech providers and strategic partners in the digital advertising business, and Goodway Group is on it! It’s a one-stop shop for brands seeking the top partners in programmatic – and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be included.

How Was Goodway Picked To Be a Programmatic Power Player?

AdExchanger editors evaluated and chose Goodway based on our strong offerings, documented case studies and client references from hundreds of submissions received from around the globe.

Wait a Minute … Remind Me. What Is Programmatic?

Our Paul Frampton, president of Europe, recently explained it like this:

“Programmatic is a way of media buying, NOT a channel. In fact, TV, audio, digital out-of-home (DOOH) and other media channels are fast adding programmatic scale because it’s the art of using tech and data to buy audiences effectively and efficiently,” he said.

So What Are Programmatic’s Benefits?

  • Access the best inventory with the least effort. Buy advertising across thousands of sites at a time while focusing only on the audience segments you choose, no matter if they’re existing customers or new customers.
  • Target, segment and reach your audience across a range of devices, and with cross-device technology, show them a unified message wherever they access the web.
  • Track your consumer interactions and get data instantly that will tell you what’s working and what’s not. Be nimble with your ad strategy. Discover which ad format and message gain the most attention and why. Then adjust your ad campaign in real time.
  • Capture your campaign’s impact through the full conversion funnel and evaluate your media investment against real-world business results – in-store foot traffic, online and offline purchases and brand lift.

What Are Goodway’s Core Capabilities?

Though our AdExchanger Programmatic Power Player listing shows only two of our core offerings – performance marketing and media planning and buying – we offer a full gamut of custom digital marketing solutions meant to drive real business outcomes:

  • Audience Design
  • Performance Paid Media
  • Measurement and Analytics
  • Dynamic Creative
  • Custom Technology
  • Consultative Services

When you work with us, get account managers, media strategists and data scientists dedicated to achieving your goals. Our results have been award-winning. Don’t just take our word for it; The Drum Digital Advertising US Awards named Goodway Best Programmatic Media Partnership for our Anytime Fitness new membership campaign. And at the Global Search Awards, Goodway won Best Local Campaign (PPC) for our Kubota Farmbelt Equipment campaign.

Where Do I Start?

Wish you could get your hands on programmatic insights for free that could really pay off? Take a look at these highlighted programmatic tools and resources:

  • Check out our data science team’s programmatic trends dashboard to examine how COVID-19 impacts programmatic buying – how buy-side prices and competition are trending daily.
  • Learn why you should consider a holistic, cross-channel approach with our cross-channel insights planner.
  • Close the gap between your digital media metrics and your organization’s bottom line. Download our president Jay Friedman’s 2020 Stevie® award-winning book, Prove Your Advertising Works.
  • Peruse and download our full spectrum of digital media resources from our online library.
  • Become an Industry Insider and gain access to newly released best practice guides, new and trends first by signing up for our newsletter!

Or learn directly from a programmatic power player – how programmatic advertising can work for you and how to take your business to higher heights. Talk to an expert now.

Consumers Will Want Third-Party Cookies Back

Consumers may be anxious to say goodbye to third-party cookies, but this will be short-lived. That’s what our president Jay Friedman predicts, and he explains why to Matt Spiegel, executive vice president of marketing solutions and head of media vertical at TransUnion in a recent Beet.TV The New Media Reality episode. Watch the full interview for all of Jay’s digital advertising industry insights or read on for the highlights – his quick takes on some of digital marketing’s hottest topics right now, from identity to  privacy regulations to cookieless advertising.

What do you think will happen when Google joins the other web browsers in dropping third-party cookies?

Google plans to drop the third-party cookie in 2022 to preserve consumer privacy and to keep companies from tracking users across the internet. But when it does, consumers will likely have this one unexpected wish.

We’ll look back two years from now, and consumers will say, “I wish we just had cookies again, because I can delete those — and I didn’t have to log in and hit ‘accept’ on every site I go to.”

How will consumer privacy, consent regulations and tech changes affect digital advertising?

They will have tremendous impact. Though in the end, how much, we don’t know. We may prevent the worst use cases from happening again, but the day-to-day use cases are going to be much harder to implement and aren’t going to do a lot of protecting.

Is Apple updating its software on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV streaming devices for consumer privacy?

Apple has taken a sneakily creative way of approaching privacy and that is probably secondary to Apple’s primary motive, which is to beat Google and to eliminate the need for the open web in favor of the app ecosystem.

As these changes hinder audience tracking, consumers may become more frustrated with ads that aren’t targeted, but are still intrusive. If unaided, consumers would rather see ads that are relevant to them — because you’re going to see ads either way.

How will the loss of third-party cookies and the 2021 Apple software update impact agencies?

It forces everyone to get their first-party data in order. When before, we really didn’t know the name of the person we were targeting very often. Now, we will.

Getting first-party data in order is a no-brainer for marketers and getting comfortable with the idea of incrementality as a metric is a good idea, regardless of what happens. (Incrementality can help you show your marketing strategy works; download our Guide to Incrementality now to find out how.)

Will measurement be different soon because of data privacy concerns?

Measurement will probably be worse in the future. But even with all the measurement capabilities available currently, the majority of marketers only include a few in their toolbox. Marketers are given this professional auger, but the hole they dig is only big enough for a sprinkler head. Too many are still stuck on last-click attribution today (or last-touch, if focusing on viewthroughs) instead of looking at other metrics such as incrementality, both by channel and by message.

There are so many different ways to measure lift. I do believe that as some of these tools are shifted, we will not be unable to measure lift and incrementality, but it will be a little more challenging and broad. My hope is that, let’s say the tools never change, 10 years from now, I would hope that 80% of marketers instead of 20% of marketers are really advanced. I think this maybe slows the progression.

How should advertisers and their agencies proceed without third-party cookies?

Though Google and the digital advertising industry have yet to choose what identity solutions will replace the third-party cookie, measuring an advertising campaign’s effectiveness will still be the main goal.

Whatever identity solutions are implemented will be more challenging than the cookie. So I advise advertisers and their agencies to continue using all the tools they have in their arsenal while they have them – while also developing new tools on a parallel track.

Are you comfortable going cookieless? If not, download our free Going Cookieless 101 Guide and learn all about Google’s plan to drop third-party cookies and how the digital advertising industry is responding and preparing now for this big change to come. Plus, get expert tips you can act on now to succeed in the cookieless future. Or don’t go it alone; let us help. Work with us at the start to discover the right digital strategies and tools you can put in place now. Then when the time comes, you can confidently step into the new cookieless world without ever breaking your stride.

The Paid Search Advertising Inside Tip for Better-Performing Campaigns

Wish you knew a little-known paid search advertising inside tip to make your search campaigns more effective? Instead of simply targeting your search campaigns by keyword as most marketers do, target by audience at the same time. Read on to discover how to leverage keyword targeting and audience targeting in tandem for better-performing paid search advertising campaigns.

Paid Search Keyword Targeting

The majority of search engine marketing (SEM) is designed to target by keyword searched. Based on your budget and goals, determine a healthy mix of keywords, such as brand, non-brand, long-tail, geomodified and their variations to appeal to your customers and prospects.

Unlike other channels, with paid search, you aren’t buying inventory. You’re bidding on keywords in a real-time blind auction. Choose keywords relevant to your brand that with good account health and quality trigger your ad to be served on a searcher’s personalized search engine results page (SERP).

Choosing Keywords

So. Many. Choices. It can be overwhelming when you’re tasked with selecting the right keywords for your search campaigns. How do you know which ones are the right ones? Follow this process to make choosing easier: Put on your consumer hat. What keywords would you search for? Consider targeting behavior beyond the self-indicated search term to align your budget and efforts to your goals. Don’t forget to stay up to date and leverage match typing to adopt the most recent keyword mapping nuances that differ for every search platform.

Structuring Your Account

How you structure your paid search account is crucial; it can make or break your success. Set up your keywords and match typing, your ad groups, bidding technology and the landing page to offer a good experience to searchers.

For each campaign, group common keyword terms together under different themes for ideal messaging. Then when you want to reach different personas or audience segments via keywords, you can easily add these specific campaigns for these segments to supplement your always-on evergreen search activity and enterprise and branding efforts.

Paid Search Audience Targeting

A few years ago, paid search was only keyword-based and focused on keywords and geographic locations. Now there’s a variety of audience targeting strategies you can use and layer on top of keyword targeting to help you reach the right people with your message at the right time.

To determine what audiences to target, think through and answer these questions: Who is your core audience? What are people searching for? How does your target audience’s behavior differ from other key audiences you want to reach? What do your audiences look like across other media channels such as programmatic and social? What is your target audience’s persona and behaviors? Do you have first-party data? Are you using retargeting?  Do you have a different messaging strategy for retargeted searchers?

Understanding the Current Targeting Strategies

  • Customer match targeting is when you use the first-party data you own with all the online and offline info you know, to reach existing customers.
  • Remarketing is when you reach people who have shown interest in what you have to offer, who have visited your website or interacted with you in the past.
  • Affinity targeting is when you reach people based on their lifestyle, their passions, hobbies and interests.
  • Look-alike targeting is when you reach people who have similar characteristics to your existing customers or prospects.
  • In-market targeting is when you reach people who have researched and are actively considering purchasing from you.
  • Demographic targeting is when you reach people based on common traits such as gender, age, income or marital status.
  • Keyword targeting is when you show ads based on what people search for within search engines or when they visit webpages that contain your keywords.

Attracting the Right Audience

Paid search audience targeting methods should vary based on the type of searcher you’re trying to reach. For people who have interacted with your brand before, mine your first-party data and try customer match targeting. For those who have interacted with your website or other media before, try remarketing. If you want to reach people who haven’t interacted with your brand yet, try affinity, look-alike, in-market and demographic audience targeting. Or for those people simply searching that you don’t know anything about yet, choose keyword targeting.

For quick reference, here’s a handy audience targeting visual that explains what targeting options you should try with your campaigns based on the people you want to reach:

Once you discover and focus on your high-performing keywords and layer the most effective paid search audience strategies that work with your campaign type, you can open up endless possibilities, such as ad, device and geotargeting variations, to reach your customers and prospects right when they’re eager to act or buy.

But remember there’s no one cookie-cutter approach for paid search success. The important thing is to experiment with all these audience targeting methods, as your budget allows, to discover what works for you. Test and let the data and results tell you how to continually adjust your keyword and audience targeting strategies, your account settings and your budget to achieve better-performing paid search campaigns.

Want more paid search insights? Check out this post to discover how to escape the vanity metric trap and focus on the search metrics that matter. Or see why search should be a major pillar of a successful holistic digital advertising campaign. Or if setting up, monitoring and optimizing your own search marketing campaigns seem daunting, reach out to us at Goodway Group. We can give you award-winning up-to-the-minute expert search advice and the support you’re looking for every step of the way to help make your paid search advertising campaigns perform at their best.

Unwrap the Possibilities This Season With Our 2020 Holiday Advertising Playbook

There may never be another holiday season quite like this one. Fourth quarter sales from the holidays typically create a big year-end boost for brands, but the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has many marketers wondering how to make the most of their media spend this year.

While COVID-19 upended almost every aspect of daily life, it hasn’t stopped people from shopping. However, where, what and when consumers shop has changed. In the wake of the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, people are shopping online more than ever and starting their holiday searches earlier than ever before. According to Google, 70% of consumers plan to do their shopping even earlier this year than in the past to avoid crowds during the pandemic. Plus, marketers must prepare for more cost-conscious consumers in 2020, as over 40% of people will be celebrating on a budget this season, according to Facebook research.

That’s why many advertisers are already in holiday mode, building and launching robust campaigns for the busiest selling season of the year. For those looking to take advantage of digital advertising to incentivize holiday shoppers, it’s not too late to build the perfect digital marketing strategy for every potential consumer. You can start with our tips below or dive right in and download our 2020 Holiday Advertising Playbook to get ahead of the hustle and bustle that’s to come.

Start by connecting your online and offline efforts

Ecommerce shopping was already on the rise in recent years, but COVID-19 fast-tracked consumer adoption in 2020, particularly among older generations. With safety top of mind for middle-aged and older adults, spending less time in stores has played a big role in shaping their new shopping habits. According to eMarketer, usage in buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) services that minimize human contact for buyers have surged 60.4% this year, with sales reaching over $58 billion. And this trend will continue throughout the holiday season according to recent daVinci Payments research, which shows 71% of all U.S. adults and 60% of those over 55 say they plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping online this year. So marketers already using an ecommerce store should focus their efforts this fall on making the shopping process as seamless as possible.

Then reset your audience expectations

Brands relying on past patterns or consumer behaviors to guide this year’s holiday advertising decisions will be at a disadvantage. While core audience demographics may not change significantly for some brands, consumer attitudes, consumption trends and buying behaviors are very much still in flux. This means there’s an opportunity for agile marketers to re-evaluate shoppers’ needs and adjust their strategy to capture new market share. To target effectively, marketers must build new buyer personas for their specific industry that will establish the right connection this holiday.

Finally, make the experience memorable, but celebrate with sensitivity

Holiday parties, shopping trips and family gatherings will look very different from past years and from state to state. National advertisers should be aware of regional regulations and choose ad creatives that match each market’s situation. It’s also especially critical that you deliver a consistent and hyper-relevant experience across every possible touchpoint. More and more, people are shopping for individual items throughout different points in their day using a variety of channels and devices to do it. So one approach is to break out your campaigns into the different stages of the customer journey and personalize messages and outreach to consumers based on their particular stage.

Despite the added complexity this year, holiday advertising is a must for almost every vertical, especially retail. The holiday shopping season is the most important sales period for many brands, so those that want a strong return this season should begin laying the groundwork now.

Still not sure which tactics should be on your nice list and which will give you nothing more than a lump of coal? We’ve got you covered. Unwrap all the campaign possibilities you can achieve this holiday season by downloading our 2020 Holiday Advertising Playbook. Or if you want to discuss how you can prepare now for a more successful year-end and beyond with an expert, reach out to our team.