Looking to do everything possible to help online retailers improve the accuracy of their paid search advertising, Vioby decided to conduct some research into the field. What we found helped contextualize why so many organizations struggle to direct shoppers to the correct landing page with paid search advertising.

What did we find?

Over the course of 30 days, 20-30% of pages representing product categories in a retailer’s e-commerce catalog significantly change.

What Does This Mean?

For many, the significance of this statistic won’t be immediately clear, and it’s understandable. What this factoid demonstrates is that even in a short window of time, many of the destinations of a paid search campaign needed to be re-evaluated. In addition to that, new keywords might be added, while others might be deleted, but the fact remains that, for online retailers, the product catalog is something in constant flux, always changing.

This makes sense of course. Like any retailer, online retailers are constantly debuting new products and discontinuing old ones. For example, a branding might change so a dress that was originally labeled as “sky blue” is now “cerulean.” No retailer expects their stock to remain static, and that cycle of products is, in large part, what attracts customers. Everyone wants to see something new and different when they go shopping.

Change is good! Or not?

It would make perfect sense that a constantly changing catalog requires dynamic advertising.  Retailers constantly need to be certain that they’re letting customers know about the presence of new and discontinuation of old items. If a department store advertises a clearance sale on decorations right after Christmas, but forgets to remove the banner after the stock is depleted, those customers who drove all the way out in cold winter day are going to be pretty annoyed when they’re told the shelves are empty.

It’s no different when it comes to paid search advertising. If a customer searches for that sky blue dress, and finds an old paid search ad that promotes it, they’d be just as annoyed when the ad directs them to a page that says “item not found.”

How this affects Paid Search Advertising?

The reason “item not found” would happen is simple but insidious: ads and keywords are not in sync with the daily changes taking place in the catalog or e-commerce site. So, it would be great  if a shopper was searching for “sky blue dress” while a “cerulean dresses” category was introduced on the site,  the paid search destination for this keywords instead of pointing to “item not found” would now be pointing to the new category. If, on the other hand, the paid search management function had not picked up on the keyword change at the right time, the click would be wasted, and a longer term the quality score of the Ad group would decrease driving cost up and conversion down!

Keeping up with catalog and site changes is key for successful paid search campaigns

These mistakes and shortcomings on the part of search management tools often make it seem as though the only way to ensure the accuracy of the page to which a search ad directs a customer is to update all of these keywords manually, which–given the rate of change in the catalog, and the number of items that most online retailers sell-would be pretty much impossible to do without automation.

Luckily, it’s not the only way.

What’s the Solution?

In their commitment to helping businesses optimize their paid search advertising, Vioby looked at this common problem and presented a solution in the form of their powerful component . Through AI and semantic understanding, Vioby’s AI driven Link Director™ works with any search management tools to dynamically update keywords and match their destination to customer shopping intent.

AI enabled Link Director™  keeps paid search campaigns up-to-date with site and catalog changes

In other words, Vioby’s Link Director™ service would recognize the shopper’s request for a sky blue dress, account for the fact that “sky blue” has been replaced by “cerulean” in the retailer’s catalog and, when the customer clicks the ad, direct them to the most relevant page for their request, in this case the dresses under the new branding.

Vioby’s LinkDirector™ means that shoppers will never have your ads direct them to discontinued merchandise or unavailable services, and–if there’s a brand new product that matches the customer’s search–they’re able to see it right away. Prior to the implementation of a tool like Vioby’s, if the search management technology hadn’t been manually alerted of that product’s presence yet, there’s a chance the customer never would have seen it.

Does it Actually Work?

Absolutely. Vioby’s LinkDirector™ has helped retail organizations in all different sectors–from apparel to athletic equipment–increase both the conversion rates and the ROI on paid search advertising by 15%-28%.

Vioby understands that your retail environment is dynamic, and that’s what makes it valuable and exciting to shoppers. Vioby also understands that you need paid search advertising that can account for that dynamism, and provide customers with accurate up-to-date landing pages to items relevant to their search.

Learn more about Vioby’s benefits and request personalized reports in their here.