March 15, 2013

This week in digital: User experience key to sales, the value of PPC, multi-tasking and Facebook hashtags

Written By Martin Sandhu
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eBay questions the value of PPC

A report by eBay found that keyword based adverts on search engines have little impact on sales. The auction site saw that most people who clicked on the ads were loyal customers who would have ended up on the site regardless.

In an experiment, eBay stopped their paid ads on Bing and Yahoo search engines, but kept them running on Google. They saw little difference in traffic figures as searchers simply clicked on the natural results instead.

Google said that its own research suggested there was a significant increase in clicks as a result of search advertising.

Whilst the reason behind eBay’s findings is likely to be due to its status as a household name, it highlights the fact that it’s worthwhile experimenting with search campaigns. Certainly if you have strong SEO you may be able to turn down or even stop spend on some keywords.

Businesses believe user experience is key for improving sales
A new survey has found that almost three quarters of businesses see user experience as the most important factor in improving sales.

According to Econsultancy’s User Experience Survey Report, 74% of digital and ecommerce professionals, both in-house and agency based, cited increased sales and conversions as the main benefit from improving user experience.

Other popular reasons were increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand strengthening. Surprisingly cost-reduction scored lowest for the majority of professionals surveyed.

68% use multiple devices at once
We’ve probably all done it, sat watching TV and picked up our smartphone to Tweet about it or research an actor; but now it’s been confirmed that almost two thirds of people regularly use two devices at once.

The survey, commissioned by Microsoft Advertising, found a variety of different ways in which consumers multitask with their devices, take a look at the full article for them all and the interesting marketing-speak labels they gave them!

Facebook # is coming
Facebook is said to be working on a way to group conversations together, using a familiar Twitter sign…the hashtag.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Facebook is testing whether to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to click on a hashtag to pull up all posts about similar topics or events so it can quickly index conversations around trending topics and build those conversations up, giving users more reason to stay logged in and see more ads.”

It’s unclear how far into testing Facebook is and when the update might be release.