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December 12, 2018

Hey, you! Here's what we've got today... The big news of our industry is Facebook relaunching Search Ads on their platform. Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO was put in the hot seat by US Congress and his performance left some doubts. We also have a look at how to deal with customers who play dirty. And how to get started with push notification ads.

December 12, 2018

December 12, 2018 2160 1440 WHAT THE AFF...

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E-commerce giants built by SEO – how you can apply the same strategies

Yesterday, we talked about building successful e-commerce stores using unique angles focused on single-product stores.

Today, we deep dive into some of the biggest e-commerce stores with behemothic inventories and how they grew huge traffic to their stores by dominating the Google SERPs.

So, how did these industry leaders become so big, and organically too?

Four key takeaways from e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Etsy are:

XL product catalogues.
A huge network of third-party sellers.
Backlinks, and tons of them.
Clearly defined niches, bitches.

One of the least talked about reasons Amazon dominated the e-commerce industry is how extensive its catalogue is when compared to other E-tailers.

Now, how did they come up with such a large variety of product catalogues?

Yup, you guessed it right! Third-party sellers.

In Q1 of 2018, their third-party sellers contributed to about 52% of total sales.

Internally, as defined by none other than Jeff Bezos, they call it “The Virtuous Cycle”. This is basically about the flywheel effect, which surfaces by having a huge network of third-party sellers, leading to huge inventories and reducing the overall operational costs.

The more products you have, the more search queries you are able to target. The more brands you are able to offer on your store, the more brands you will rank for.

Using the above strategy, Amazon accounts for around 43% of all e-commerce sales.

Next is, earning backlinks of others’ interest.

Amazon is the most talked about, however, eBay, the 2nd most successful e-tailer, which arrived a little later than Amazon, used the concept of Entirely-Third-Party-Sellers, to make a name for itself in the industry.

How? Even though Amazon is much larger, eBay beats Amazon on one factor. Backlinks! eBay has nearly 4.8B backlinks (genuine and organic ones, mind you!), while Amazon has 2.7B of them, closely followed by Etsy.

Of course, this is not a strategy that every e-commerce store can follow. However, if you are an e-commerce store owner, with an aim to connect brands and manufacturers, you may want to reach out to other business partners and encourage them to promote your products on their platforms too!

You can help make this easy for them by providing them with product listing embeds, social media posting tools, “buy now” buttons and similar tools.

Clearly defined niche.

Etsy, which arrived almost a decade after eBay and Amazon, is the perfect example for this. Appealing to third-party sellers with a unique ingredient: A Focused Niche!

Almost anyone can trade on Amazon and eBay, however, Etsy is a place for people to buy and sell strictly “from creative people everywhere” as it currently states in their homepage title tag.

Unlike Amazon, which ranks for Products on Google search, Etsy ranks for an entire catalogue of product categories like Keychains.

And they did so, by positioning themselves as a narrower niche.

This isn’t any different from what you already do and are a master at: affiliate marketing! If you want to succeed like these e-commerce stores, you need to consider what your unique selling proposition is going to be.

You can’t offer more products than Amazon, but you can offer more products within a specific niche! There’s still plenty of room in the market for smaller players and we can learn from these biggest players in this industry as long as we have the vision to strike out our own path.

When customers play dirty…

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, there’s always more to learn, isn’t there?

Let us explain. So you already know how many companies, especially those from the performance marketing space, really push the boundaries when it comes to ads. They can certainly often be misleading.

There are whole collections out there, just a Google search away.

OK, so then what happens when the tables are flipped? What if your customers are after unfair refunds, discounts and basically trying to blackmail you? If that didn’t happen to you yet, count yourself lucky.

Peter Anderson posted about two situations he had with his stores just recently. In one, the customer threatened to “bash him on facebook if he doesn’t take care of it”. The other just asked for a replacement for an item they bought 4 months ago.

The problem with both? The items in question were not available for sale until AFTER the date both customers said they had purchased it.

Group members started sharing their experiences and tips in the comments. Here are the cliffs for you.

1. Check if the complaint is actually for your store or if someone saw your ad for the same product they bought somewhere else.
2. Reply calmly but don’t be afraid to hold your ground when the customer is plain wrong.
3. Expect that in some cases you will get disputes filed. If you’re selling stuff, this happens.

Overall lesson that this thought us? Well, it’s something we knew already: not everyone is honest. And sometimes you lose. Just gotta make sure you set your business up in a way where one customer cannot ruin it!

Oh and when a customer tries to pull a fast one on you, and then complains, send them this:


FACEBOOK

Facebook going into… wait for it… Search Ads!

Facebook seems to be fanatic about monetizing its Search bar traffic. Well, a few extra ad placements from them to offer and for us to take, right?

They tried to do this in 2013 but didn’t work back then and had to eventually shut it down.

In a re-debut, it’s now testing with some automobile, retail and e-commerce advertisers to show users ads on the search results page on mobile in the U.S. and Canada.

Repurposed newsfeed ads with a headline, image, copy text and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to advertisers websites.

Videos ads won’t be allowed for FB Search Ads for now and this placement won’t be open for desktop traffic. Also, Marketplace search ads will appear on both iOS and Android, while Facebook Search Ads are only being tested on Android.

Still, this placement might let advertisers dive deeper down the conversion funnel to reach people who might already have intent to buy something and fulfill that demand.

With advertiser base growing so fast, FB is just trying to come up with more ad spaces with this, along with the newly launched Stories format and Watch Party.

Well, another revenue stream for them, another ad space for us to buy? Both FB and us advertisers will be testing simultaneously. Considering Sundar Pichai’s round with Congress, it could help Google look like it has lesser monopoly over Search ads. Speaking of which…


GOOGLE

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai in the hot seat

In his three years as Google CEO, Sundar Pichai managed to avoid the political grilling that came to other big tech company leaders, Facebook and Twitter especially. And probably that’s the reason why we didn’t make Sundar memes so far.

However, it only lasted until yesterday. He finally testified in front of the US Congress but it looks like he didn’t convince them.

The first questions he answered were about the “liberal bias” inside Google. That story of the search engine hiding Trump-positive-articles and stories. Then, lawmakers asked him about how much data Google collects from its users, especially on its Android operating system.

But the worst thing Sundar had to face was a protest that happened during the hearing: a man entered the room and showed a sign protesting some operations that Google is undertaking in China. Basically, in order to operate there and comply with Beijing censorship regulations, Google could violate human rights.

Pichai’s answer? Google currently has “no plans” to launch a search product in China.

However, when pressed by Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, Pichai conceded that there has been an “internal effort” at Google around a potential product for China. Pichai said the effort was being led by the company’s search team. He characterized it as a “limited effort.”

What does “limited” stand for? We are not sure. And it seems there’s nothing too big when it comes to Google’s advertising business… for now! Still, you know it, we’ve said it before: avoid depending on one platform. So check out what today’s sponsor can do for you! Hint: it’s a direct connection to users!


SPONSORED

We’re telling you to test this traffic NOW or you’ll regret it!

The WTAFF Crew just attended one of the year’s key conferences last week and guess what one of the trends was? Push traffic is on the rise and will probably be the main thing for 2019 in affiliate marketing!

Whether it’s sweeps, trials or e-commerce, push can work with the right angles! Pro tip: spy on regular native ads to see what can work for push notifications too 😉

That’s why we’re telling you to get going with it NOW or you’ll wake up in 3 months thinking “if only someone told me to do it earlier…”

And get going with Adcash, because they have a great promo running until the end of the year (from 21st December to 2nd January). They are offering 10% cashback to ALL ADVERTISERS (new and existing) who run campaigns during the holiday period! 

And if you are not sure how you can use push traffic, here are the top 3 ways, straight from Adcash:

1. Buy Push Traffic to promote your affiliate offers – pretty straightforward, right?
2. Monetize your user-base through Push Notifications – if you have your own subscribers, you can have Adcash help you monetize the list!
3. Buy Pop traffic to grow your own push user-base – never bad to create your own list too, right?

So, you get 10% of your ad spend back if you sign up with Adcash now and start testing push traffic, or any other traffic type. This promo is valid for all ad spend, regardless of ad format. You can test push, or you can go with the classic pop-unders, native, banners, interstitials, etc.

You do have to take one step before that!

If you are new to Adcash, sign up right here.

If you have an account already, register for the promo here.

PS: Remember we said that your usual native ads are where you should draw inspiration for push? Well, with Adcash you can run all your native ads as push ads too – 2 in 1!


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Sundar loses the “battle of the memes” against Mark in Congress, we think…

So we thought we’d be able to share a bunch of funny events from Sundar Pichai’s hearing… Unfortunately, it was not Mark-level memes that came out of it.

Still, there are 2 highlights. First one was Rep. Steve King asking Sundar why his 7-year-old granddaughter saw ads of her grandpa Steve that said bad things about him on her iPhone.

Sundar tried explaining Google didn’t make the iPhone… But we have absolutely real evidence that says otherwise. See the picture below!

Next one didn’t even involve Sundar. Congressman Ted Lieu flat out called out those in the room “unhappy” with the search results tech platforms. We quote:

“So let me conclude here by stating the obvious. If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.

And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google, or Facebook, or Twitter – consider blaming yourself.”

Shots fired! And then people laughed…

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