Black Friday and Cyber Monday means potential customers are essentially one search query away from keeping your brand at the center of their hearts and the top of their shopping carts. Undoubtedly, the competition for paid search visibility is fierce, often with competitor brands striving for a standout in this “universe of search” compiling thousands of terms.

There is no end-all key for winning search, but instead, brands and retailers must focus on “winning the little battlegrounds,” said Ashley Fletcher, vice president of marketing at Adthena, a competitive search intelligence technology.

Recently recognized in Seattle’s Search Engine Land Awards, Adthena analyzes more than 40 million ads across the U.S. and U.K. from 260,000-plus advertisers within Google Shopping Insights. Their roster includes clients such as River Island, Target and Burberry.

With total search ad spending expected to reach $70.66 billion in 2020, up from $33.09 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer’s September 2018 report titled Net U.S. Search Ad Revenues — retailers are increasingly seeking data-driven search strategies to stand out from the pack.

During holiday peaks, the payoff for beating competitors with targeted search is notable, an example being River Island who received a “220 percent increase in shoppers” and “82 percent sales increase on Black Friday” while using Adthena.

“Black Friday is the biggest retail event of the year for us,” said Andy Miller, pay-per-click manager at River Island. Using this technology, River Island found campaign optimization and greater ease navigating the search engine results page, maintaining a “strong share of voice” and “increased traffic” to their site.

Being a standout in the search ranks means strategic planning. Through “tailoring all fronts” by way of keywords, ad copy and specific category strength identification — optimized search is better achieved.

Strategic search solution providers such as Adthena create a separate space outside of simply “paying for clicks,” instead of offering tailored plans for ranking which also bear in mind regional differences and real-time data.

And with the aid of machine-learning and artificial intelligence technology — retailers are better able to groom their search categories for key shopping surges.

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