Ecommerce Marketing Roundup: Industry Updates From August 2016

It's time for another ecommerce marketing roundup, our curation of all the latest happenings in the industry. August saw several Google announcements, as well as an update to Pinterest. Read on to find out more!

Adwords Health Score

In a continual effort to streamline the functionality of its services, Google is currently testing a new Adwords Health Score feature that will become available to all AdWords account holders in the future. This feature can be found in the "Campaigns" section of Adwords, and displays an overall health score along with various recommendations for improvements that are designed to increase click-through rate, drive customer traffic and reduce wasted ad spend, making ad management easier than ever! vblog_august1

Seller Ratings

Although Google hasn't officially broken the news, it looks like we'll soon be seeing big changes to the review requirements for Seller Ratings in AdWords ads. If you're the owner of a small business or an undiscovered brand, you may soon find that your ads no longer display star ratings like they did before. That's because Google is increasing its review requirement from 30 reviews to a whopping 150. vblog_august2

Unfortunately, as ad space becomes more and more competitive and Google continues its efforts at driving ad click-throughs and revenue, this will likely be an ongoing trend.
In order to keep up with Google's demands, we recommend that you ensure both the customer reviews and the auto-survey features are enabled in your store's admin. Both can be found within the Config Variables section of your dashboard.

Mobile Usability

Over the last few years, Google has placed more and more emphasis on website usability, making user experience an increasing ranking factor for websites. Part of this demand for user friendliness already requires site owners to adhere to certain standards for mobile usability, such as displaying readable text without the need for zooming. In an effort to improve upon these standards, Google will begin to crack down on sites with intrusive popups. vblog_august3

Beginning on January 10, 2017, sites where content is visually obscured by mobile popups may not rank as highly. This includes popups that obscure the main content, popups requiring user dismissal and sites using a layout that displays popup-like content above the fold.
Sites that will not be affected by this new rule are those requiring age verification popups, login popups for private sites and small banners that do not obscure content.


Search Results

Google is testing a new format for their "People also ask" feature, which currently displays up to four additional search suggestions related to the searched topic. The new design will feature a side-to-side scroll to allow for more results to be displayed to users, without additionally impacting front page real estate. This change also reiterates Google's increased emphasis on mobile friendliness since the sideways scroll will allow mobile users to swipe through the displayed search suggestions.


Local Analytics

Google My Business will soon provide better insights into how people find and interact with your local Google listing. The update will include a breakdown of site views to show local business owners whether traffic to your site originated from a Google search or from Maps, as well as whether your local listing was found with a direct search or through search discovery. These new insights are designed to help business owners better understand their audience to target their marketing efforts.

vblog_august6 If you're a local business owner and have not submitted your listing to Google My Business, it's free and easy. Help boost your online presence with a local listing by visiting this link.


Videos are a great way to increase user engagement, and now you can boost your numbers even more with Pinterest's new Promoted Video feature. Promoted Videos work in conjunction with featured Pins to allow customers who are inspired to purchase your product after viewing your video to simply click to view additional products and services. The seamless experience of this feature takes the frustration out of additional browsing, making customers more likely to convert. vblog_august7

Pinterest is further adding on to this idea by offering engagement retargeting to help your brand receive more attention by targeting customers who have previously interacted with your brand. This feature allows you to target Pinterest users based on their previous interests by showing them pins that are similar in nature. For example, you might retarget a user looking for New Year’s decorating ideas with pins about party snacks, and so forth.
And that’s our round-up of the month – feel free to add anything we may have missed in the comments below, or send over any questions you may have about this information. And happy marketing!