As Gemini has rolled out search retargeting on native for customers, opting them in automatically, the questions that have arisen are “What is this?” and “What should I do next?”
To answer the former, this is Gemini’s version of Google’s ‘Search with Display Select’ with less control and no say. Once your account has been added, you are locked into search retargeting on the Yahoo search network.
The type of results that you will rank for are based on the keyword sets within your campaigns with costs per click based on the Max CPCs you have set. When your keywords do qualify for a listing, users will see a text ad that is currently associated with that ad group in addition to an image.
If you don’t add images to your campaigns, Gemini is using stock images at their discretion that (ideally) are brand specific. Though, you won’t be able to see what the images are as Gemini does not provide a preview. Once you add images to your campaign (Gemini reps recommend to add images sized 1200x627px & 627x627px to each campaign) the stock images will stop showing up, and you will regain control.
The placements that these ads are on is only based on the placements that are included in the Yahoo Display Network (placement reports are not currently available for SRN, but Gemini has confirmed it’s in the pipeline). Bid adjustments for native can be done within campaign settings.
Currently, it’s not possible to completely exclude retargeting from search campaigns. Instead, you can increase bids for native by at most 100% and decrease by 90% (Example: Your max CPC on a keyword is $1, at most your bid for the native auction is $2 on that keyword or $0.10 at its lowest within SRN).
Now that we understand just what SRN is, what’s the best strategy for handling this change in Gemini? Looking across agency accounts here at BMDi, SRN, since its implementation, has increased traffic by 10-15% in search campaigns on average. With the increase in traffic, we have seen 29% increases in conversion rate leading to 50% improvement in orders.
For you to see exactly what the impact of SRN is on your search campaigns, we recommend implementing conversion tracking within Gemini at which point you will be able to segment native and search conversions within campaigns, ad groups and keywords. Based on the performance from native, this should go into the decision-making behind the % bid adjustment you make for SRN.
To help improve performance on your existing keyword sets, your best tool is within ad copy. Either by uploading images that speak directly to the keyword sets and correspond with the text copy and/or creating new text ads and launching new images with the new ads.
Your goal is to provide creative that correlates best with the search and landing page. Through creative testing, you will be able to do just that. A/B tests in ad copy across all ad groups is the best way to identify which text/image combinations are going to drive the best click-through and conversion rates.