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Shop with Google AI launches for select users

Shop with Google AI is now available to select users.

The feature enables consumers to generate AI images of products they’re searching – for example “red dress”. Then, they can pick the image they like best, and Google will serve them similar-looking products.

Why we care. This new shopping experience is a chance for brands to reach high-value consumers. To make the most of it, ensure your product images are high-quality and optimized.

First spotted. The rollout of Shop with Google AI was first flagged on X by Digital Marketing Lead Shameem Adhikarath. He posted:

Tried and Tested. Search Engine Land’s Contributing Editor Barry Schwartz tested the new feature for Search Engine Roundtable. He noted: “I cannot see it unless I am logged into my personal Gmail account which is opted into SGE, on the Google Search app on iOS.”

Schwartz commented that Shop with Google AI worked effectively when simple prompts were entered, such as “blue flower dress”:

Alphabet Inc.

However, when Schwartz entered more complex product descriptions, such as  “blue robot dress with dinosaurs”, Google’s generative AI feature wasn’t quite so helpful:

artificial intelligence

Deep dive. Read Google’s November announcement in full for more information.

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/shop-with-google-ai-launches-select-us-437657

Google Analytics 4 bug causes data gaps in reports

Google Analytics 4 is allegedly missing data from User Acquisition and Traffic Acquisition reports due to a bug.

Users report that data prior to September 6 is no longer available, despite it having been in place for at least two years prior, as demonstrated in the screenshot below:

Alphabet Inc.

The screenshot was shared in the Google Analytics Help Center.

In response, 15 others confirmed they were experiencing the same issue:

Cloud analytics

Why we care. If you are experiencing this problem, rest assured that the bug has been submitted to Google in Issue Tracker. Additionally, your data is not lost – you can still generate reports on traffic in Exploration reports or Standard reports using a different dimension such as source/medium.

What Google is saying. Google did not immediately respond to Search Engine Land’s request for comment.


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Deep dive. Read the full thread on the Google Analytics Help Center for more information.

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/google-analytics-4-bug-missing-data-437671

Starting a Damp-Proofing Business: A UK Entrepreneur’s Guide

Home Business Magazine Online

Are you a budding entrepreneur in the UK looking for an unconventional business opportunity? Have you considered diving into the world of damp-proofing? While it might not be the first idea that comes to mind, starting a damp-proofing business can be a rewarding venture in the United Kingdom. In this blog post, explore the steps and considerations involved in establishing your very own damp-proofing enterprise in the UK.

Embracing the Damp Dilemma

Dampness is a pervasive issue in many UK homes, causing structural damage and health concerns. Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are common adversaries that British homeowners face. As a damp-proofing entrepreneur, you can play a crucial role in protecting these homes and providing solutions to damp problems.

Building Your Arsenal

Before you embark on your damp-proofing business journey, you’ll need to equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge. Invest in essential equipment such as damp meters, thermal imaging cameras, dehumidifiers, and a range of waterproofing materials. Additionally, continuous learning and training are vital to becoming a proficient damp-proofing expert.

Crafting Your Business Plan

Every successful business starts with a well-thought-out plan. Begin by researching the UK market to understand your competition and identify your unique selling points. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your objectives, strategies, and financial projections. Having a clear roadmap is essential to navigate the challenges of the damp-proofing industry.

Navigating Licensing and Regulations

To operate legally in the UK, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Familiarize yourself with local building regulations and ensure your business complies with them. Obtaining the right certifications and permissions will instill trust in both your clients and regulatory authorities.

Assembling Your Team and Equipment

While you might start as a one-person operation, as your business grows, you’ll need to build a team of skilled technicians who share your passion for damp-proofing. Invest in reliable vehicles and equipment to ensure your team is well-equipped for the job.

Establishing Your Presence

In the digital age, a strong online presence is crucial for any business, especially in the world of damp proofing. Create a professional website and maintain active social media profiles. Network with real estate agents, property managers, and homeowners in your local area to build a client base. Word of mouth and client referrals will be invaluable in growing your business.

Delivering Quality Service

In the damp-proofing business, your reputation hinges on the quality of your work. Use damp meters to accurately diagnose issues, propose effective solutions, and execute them meticulously. Uphold high standards of integrity, transparency, and customer satisfaction to build a loyal client base.

Leaving a Legacy

Your damp-proofing business isn’t just about making a profit; it’s about making a difference in your community. Educate homeowners about damp issues and prevention measures. By safeguarding homes from dampness, you contribute to the well-being and longevity of UK households.

Setting Sail

Starting a damp-proofing business in the UK may not be the most traditional entrepreneurial path, but it offers a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on British homes. If you’re ready to embark on this journey, take the plunge! Armed with knowledge, dedication, and a commitment to keeping homes dry, you can navigate the challenges of damp-proofing and chart a course toward a successful and fulfilling business venture.

So, set sail on your damp-proofing voyage, and may your business prosper as you work to keep British homes dry and comfortable.

The post Starting a Damp-Proofing Business: A UK Entrepreneur’s Guide appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/business-start-up/how-to-guides/starting-damp-proofing-business-uk-entrepreneurs-guide/

Google gets tough on third-party ordering and booking providers hogging GBP listings

In a recent update, Google has mandated that all third-party providers include a dedicated opt-out landing page within the New Merchant Experience (NMX) dashboard.

This page must clearly outline the steps a merchant can follow to disconnect their Google Business Profile (GBP) from any booking, waitlist, or food ordering application.

Regaining control from third-party providers on Google Business Profiles

Before this mandate, third-party service providers had significant control over Google Business Profiles, often leaving merchants unable to remove these integrations themselves and confused about where to turn.

When merchants sought help from support, they were advised to get in touch with the provider directly.

Remove a specific third-party provider

Guide to removing third-party providers

To disconnect a service provider from your Google Business Profile within the NMX dashboard, follow these steps: 

  • Navigate to Food Ordering.
  • Choose the service provider you wish to remove.
  • Click on Remove Provider.
Removing third-party providers from NMX dashboard

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Manage provider

The remove provider link is provided by the third-party integration. 

When managing your Business Profile on Google, it is important to note that these links cannot be directly edited or removed unless the URL was manually added. 

Instead, each provider provides a landing page that informs the merchant on how to disable the integration. 

Some providers outline a step-by-step guide on disconnecting within their applications, while others have forms or direct the merchant to their support rep.

Disabling Toast Web
Disabling Uber Eats

Google documents have been updated with the following:

“Providers need to remove third-party links from your profile within 5 days of receiving removal request. If a provider doesn’t process your request, report a violation.”

Too many options?

Food ordering pages can sometimes feel like they’re overflowing with options. Take DoorDash, which owns Caviar, and GrubHub, the parent company of Seamless, Eat24, and Tapingo. 

The abundance of choices can lead to a merchant’s Google Business Profile looking too busy, confusing customers on where to place their orders. 

With the recent updates, providers are now required to offer merchants an easy out for any service they’d rather not offer. This is great news for brands aiming to declutter their online ordering and booking options.

Too many pickup and delivery options on GBP

In light of the mandate, DoorDash launched a Google Form, allowing brands to tailor their offerings for all or some stores, with options to opt out of DoorDash, Caviar, or both.

Request to exclude DoorDash from NMX

This shift is a real game-changer for business owners, opening up a new level of transparency.

Perhaps, from Google’s perspective, this new process can help reduce the number of support tickets they get about third-party removal requests. 

The impact of third-party integrations on your Google Business Profile metrics

Merchants should weigh the pros and cons before deciding to cut ties with third-party providers. Dropping these integrations could have a direct impact on your performance metrics.

Remember, every interaction on your Google Business Profile (GBP) gets tallied up in your performance stats.

But if a third-party link sends a customer off to another site outside your GBP, that action won’t get counted in your metrics. 

So, think it through. What will serve your business and customers best in the long run?

GBP performance metrics for food orders

Dig deeper: How to manage and edit your Google Business Profile from Google search

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/google-third-party-ordering-booking-providers-gbp-listings-437571

Google will issue advertisers credit refunds after overcharging error

Google will be providing credit refunds to advertisers who were overcharged due to a technical glitch.

The error affected a small number of campaigns within Display and Video 360 that ran from July through to December last year.

Why we care. If your campaigns were affected by the technical glitch, make sure to contact Google to get the credit refund process started.

Email notifications. Google sent emails to affected advertisers, notifying them of overcharges caused by the technical glitch, reports Ad Age. While the search engine assures that the issue has now been resolved, the tech giant plans to compensate advertisers for the overcharges by issuing credits.

Next steps. Google advised affected advertisers to contact their sales teams for more information.

What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land:

  • “We detected a bug that resulted in a limited number of partners being overcharged for a small number of impressions on Display & Video 360.”
  • “These overcharges were minor. We resolved this issue in December 2023, and yesterday, notified impacted advertisers that we have issued them credits for the overcharged amount.”

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Meta overspending glitch. Meta also issued an apology to advertisers this week after an Ads Delivery outage that resulted in campaigns overspending by “thousands”. Refunds are expected to take four to six weeks to process.

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/google-credit-refunds-advertisers-overcharging-437608

How After-Hours Answering Services Can Help Capture More Leads

Home Business Magazine Online

The ability to capture and nurture leads is significant for the success of any business.
But what about those potential customers who can only contact you outside your typical
working hours? That’s where an after-hours answering service is a game-changer.

What Is an After-hours Answering Service?

An after-hours answering service is a B2B solution that helps answer all your inbound
calls to your business. The service helps ensure your callers receive a prompt response
from a real person, even outside your working hours. That means you can offer a 24/7
service to capture leads and convert sales while your competitors are asleep. In this
article, explore

  • Why customer retention matters so much
  • How after-hours support can help grow your business
  • When to utilize an after-hours service
  • How to choose an after-hours answering service

Why Customer Retention Matters

Some businesses are focused only on getting new customers. However, it’s just as
important to encourage your existing customers to continue using your products and
services. Why? Here are three simple reasons:

  1. It costs less to retain your existing customers than it does to gain new ones.
  2. Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat customers, increasing revenue.
  3. A happy customer spreads the good word about you, which helps attract new
    customers.

What does this have to do with an after-hours answering service? It plays a significant
role in customer retention as such service can assist customers anytime. Offering
support outside of office hours shows you’re dedicated to meeting your customers’
needs, regardless of time. And that, in turn, helps capture leads and build customer
loyalty, too – driving long-term business success.

Why It’s Time to Consider After-hours Support

Providing an out-of-hours service can be a challenge for many businesses. It usually
incurs additional costs, can lead to inconsistent availability, and cannot handle customer
queries effectively. This results in missed opportunities to capture leads or retain
customers. That’s where after-hour support can make the difference.

With an after-hours answering service, you can offer a consistent customer experience.
A well-trained team of professionals handling your calls will work seamlessly with your
office-hours staff.

It’s an invaluable resource for your business. Not only does this free up time for
in-house staff, but it’s also a cost-effective way to maintain customer satisfaction.

How Can After-hours Support Help with Customer Retention?

Creating a positive experience is a great way to retain your customers. And offering
after-hours support is an even better way to achieve it. If you support your customers
outside of regular hours, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to meeting their needs
around the clock. It also increases loyalty and trust, making them more likely to stay
with you long-term.

An after-hours answering service also plays a vital role in capturing leads that otherwise
would be lost. A missed call is a missed opportunity. If a potential or existing customer
reaches out and can speak to someone there and then, it’s more likely to convert to a
sale.

As customers, we have the world at our fingertips. We’ve come to expect this level of accessibility in every walk of our lives. We know from experience that customers don’t
like to wait – because we don’t want to wait! With business being more competitive than
ever, offering after-hours support is critical.

How to Choose the Right After-hours Support Service

You must select the right after-hours answering service to capture leads and increase
customer retention. So, what are some best practices to consider in your search?

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure your answering service is well-trained on your products and
services. You need to know they can provide accurate information and handle common
queries. You can help them do this by providing clear guidelines and step-by-step instructions. A script for common scenarios will also help achieve consistency and accuracy.

Secondly, you’ll want to create a protocol for escalating complex issues to your in-house
team. That way, your team can quickly handle customer problems with the right attention level.

Finally, you’ll want to compare cost, expertise, and reliability factors. Do your research by looking into reviews, asking for references, and even testing the service.

Final Thoughts

Offering after-hours support is vital to the success of your business. It means you
always take advantage of a lead. It also allows you to build trust, confidence, and
customer loyalty. Look at it as a strategic investment in the growth of your business and
its customer satisfaction.

The post How After-Hours Answering Services Can Help Capture More Leads appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/sales/customer-service/how-after-hours-answering-services-can-help-capture-more-leads/

Signs Your Business May Be in a Financial Crisis

Home Business Magazine Online

When your business is in trouble there are certain key issues that you will always see popping up. Having a business that is in financial crisis is never fun and you need to take control of the situation before things get out of hand.

One of the most detrimental things to your business is financial issues. The lack of financial health can severely impact the success of your business. 

Here are some of the warning signs that your business is headed down the wrong financial path and how you can grab hold of the reigns and pull it back in.

Cash Flow

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when your business is in financial crisis you are likely having problems with cash flow. If you can’t pay your bills on time, or pay your workers their salary you are in trouble. You also need to have a healthy amount of working capital that you can use to purchase inventory.

When this happens there are some things you’re going to need to do immediately to ensure that things go smoothly. You may have to optimize your invoicing process and perhaps negotiate better payments with your suppliers.

Profit Margins Are Dwindling

At some point, you may find that your profit margins are not doing well when your business is having financial issues. This is a huge red flag and should never be taken lightly. 

You always have to make sure that you are analyzing your financial statements so that you can identify spikes and dips in your profitability. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a fog and be blindsided by the sinking of your finances.

A business’s declining profit margins are a sinking ship when in a financial crisis. You have to start bailing water out, so to speak, as soon as possible. Look at ways in which you can tighten your bottom line and save money.

Investments and Debts

If your investments start sinking especially if you are doing options trading you need to take steps to reverse the situation as soon as possible, by making sure you take steps to understand options order flow.

This is just one example but any form of investment must not be carefully monitored when you are in a financial crisis. When you have excess debt your interest rates will go up and this can greatly damage the financial health of your business. Restructuring your debts and getting a debt reduction plan is a must.

Overdue Invoices and Late Payments

To reverse your financial health, the best thing you can do is to make sure that you are collecting from the people who owe you. You need to get those coins into the piggy bank as soon as possible. That’s the only way to mend those holes in your pocket.

Get those payments done so that you can know where you stand financially. You need to make sure that you establish great payment terms with your customers and follow up on late payments as soon as possible.

The post Signs Your Business May Be in a Financial Crisis appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/money/money-management/signs-business-financial-crisis/

6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2024

Amazon’s reign as the king of ecommerce won’t end any time soon.

There were over 15 billion worldwide visits to Amazon.com in 2023. 

The continued flood of purchase-ready visitors makes Amazon lucrative for sellers who can stand out and generate sales from the platform. 

This year, Amazon’s core belief behind its algorithm remains straightforward. They want customers to continue buying. They are just as interested in making sales, if not more so, than the sellers themselves.

Here are six marketing strategies to help you grow your sales on Amazon in 2024.

1. Cover the basics

Tips and tricks still don’t replace solid marketing fundamentals. In general, you should think about strategy, not simply tactics.

  • How are you positioning your brand/product? 
  • Are your prices competitive?
  • Is your product differentiated? 
  • Do the photos and copy represent that?

You can’t start optimizing your marketing until you have covered the basics.

2. Continuously analyze your keywords and focus on relevancy

Amazon’s algorithm may be focused on customers buying products, which is similar to saying Google’s algorithm is focused on providing the best answers. While it may be true, many variables and nuances go into rankings.

  • On-page elements.
  • Customer reviews and ratings.
  • Pricing.
  • Inventory/availability.
  • Images and multimedia.

Targeting the right keywords has always been critical. However, this has increased with Amazon’s focus on using AI and machine learning for product recommendations, search relevancy, and customer behavior analysis.

If you haven’t done keyword research on your product detail pages recently, it’s time to do so. Shopping trends evolve, and fresher data is available. Regularly researching keywords is crucial. Ensure they’re integrated into key areas like the title, description, and bullet points.

This doesn’t mean stuffing keywords in your copy. You still have to write for shoppers in a way that drives conversions. In 2024, this has become even easier with generative AI. Amazon even has its own AI tool to help with product listings.

Remember, shoppers are the ones reading and making decisions to purchase. No matter how the copy is created, it must help convince them your product is the right choice. 

3. Go all in on Amazon Advertising

Amazon’s ad revenue was more than $49.9 billion in 2023. It’s hard to imagine it was only $10 billion in 2018.

Ad campaigns continue to be a must for success on Amazon.

Sales on Amazon are rewarded, meaning you can use advertising to get those sales, unlike Google Ads. This means by increasing your ad spend, you can stimulate sales velocity and improve your rankings.

Amazon continues to invest in its advertising offerings, which include expanded targeting options with:

  • Sponsored display audiences.
  • Sponsored display product targeting.
  • Ssponsored brands video targeting. 

They are also offering new ad formats, including:

  • Sponsored display video ads.
  • Sponsored brands video-only creatives.
  • Amazon DSP marketplace targeting.

Amazon has even introduced a new AI-powered image generation tool to help you produce improved creative. 

With new features and capabilities comes the ability to gain more granular insights into campaign performance allowing for better resource allocation of your advertising spend.

To differentiate your campaigns, you should explore and invest in emerging ad types, such as interactive and augmented reality ads.

Stay informed about updates to Amazon’s advertising platform to optimize your advertising cost of sales (ACoS) and leverage these insights for better ad performance.

Dig deeper: 5 reasons Amazon Ads is better than Google Ads for ecommerce


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4. Utilize off-Amazon traffic strategies

Amazon’s brilliance has always been how they gain traffic from other websites. That’s why they are and have been one of the largest customers of Google Ads.

Taking an omnichannel approach by utilizing social media, influencer marketing, and content marketing will build brand awareness and direct users to your Amazon listings.

Implementing target campaigns, offering exclusive promotions, and sharing engaging content related to your products helps diversify your traffic sources.

You can also take advantage of Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus program that incentivizes sellers to drive external traffic by offering them a percentage of sales as a bonus.

By strategically directing traffic from other sources, sellers can enhance their product’s discoverability and competitiveness on Amazon, standing out in a crowded marketplace.

Dig deeper: 3 tips for using promotions and discounts in paid search

5. Incorporate coupons and promotions with Amazon Ads

Everyone loves a discount and a good deal. You can play off both psychological triggers by running a coupon for sponsored product ads.

Running a coupon with advertising on Amazon is a powerful tactic to enhance product visibility, attract more clicks, and significantly boost conversion rates. 

Coupons serve as a direct incentive for potential buyers, offering them a tangible saving on their purchase, which can effectively differentiate your product from competitors. 

When these discounts are highlighted in sponsored product ads, they grab attention within search results, making your listing more appealing. 

This strategy leverages the psychological appeal of getting a deal, encouraging shoppers to make a purchase decision more quickly. 

Additionally, advertising your product ensures that it appears in front of a targeted audience actively searching for items in your category, increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions. 

Using coupons and advertising boosts immediate sales and enhances your product’s Amazon ranking by increasing sales velocity. Implementing this approach entails pricing and profit margin analysis to ensure sustainable discount and advertising costs. 

Despite this, the potential visibility, sales, and customer acquisition benefits make running coupons with advertising a worthwhile investment for Amazon sellers aiming to expand.

6. Invest in high-quality product videos

Videos have become an indispensable element of effective Amazon listings, providing a dynamic way to showcase your products and differentiate your brand. 

In 2024, leveraging high-quality, informative videos that address customer pain points, demonstrate product use, and highlight unique features is key. 

Consider incorporating user-generated content, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes footage to build trust and authenticity. Amazon’s platform now offers enhanced video capabilities, making integrating this content into your product listings easier.

Optimizing for better visibility and sales on Amazon 

Amazon continues to be the de facto product search engine. Their improvements in technology and advertising for brands continue to pave the way for online sellers while setting expectations for consumers.

Even though it may feel like it, it isn’t you vs. Amazon. It is you vs. the other products someone would buy instead of yours on Amazon. Remember, Amazon wants happy customers and more sales – just like you.

By focusing on these tactics, you can improve your visibility, conversion rates, and, ultimately, your sales on Amazon. 

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/amazon-marketing-strategies-385714

Yelp ad revenue jumps 13% to record $1.28 billion

Yelp’s ad revenue increased by 13% to a record $1.28 billion in the final quarter of 2023.

Ad clicks for the year experienced a year-over-year growth of 5%, while the average cost per click (CPC) increased by 9%.

Services sector. Yelp reported a record-breaking $793 million in advertising revenue from Services businesses in 2023, marking a 14% increase from the previous year. The Home Services category stood out in particular with a rise of 20% year-on-year in annual revenue growth.

Restaurants, Retail and Other sectors. Yelp reported a 10% increase to a record $483 million, driven by growth in advertiser demand

Self-serve and Multi-location. Together, these channels accounted for approximately 50% of Yelp’s 2023 advertising revenue. Self-serve revenue increased by approximately 20% year over year and multi-location revenue grew by approximately 15% year over year.

What Yelp is saying. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement:

  • “Looking ahead, we’re increasing our focus on our Services categories in 2024 as we execute on a robust product roadmap to build Yelp into the best place for consumers to connect with trusted service pros and drive more quality leads to advertisers.”
  • “Our team has repeatedly shown that focusing on our product-led strategy can drive durable growth, and we remain confident in the significant opportunities ahead to drive shareholder value over the long term.”

Why we care. Yelp’s increasing ad clicks, indicating a positive return on investment, make it a strong contender for your ad spend this year. This is especially noteworthy for brands in the Services sector, as Yelp is strategically shifting its focus to this area to generate more quality leads for advertisers.


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Deep dive. Read Yelp’s full Q4 2023 earnings report in full for more information.

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/yelp-ad-revenue-q4-2024-437618

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