Google Marketing Live 2024: Key Takeaways from the GCommerce Team

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Every year, the marketing industry eagerly awaits Google Marketing Live, Google’s annual event to showcase what’s new in the world of Google advertising. While this year seemed to focus on e-commerce and retail heavily, there were still a lot of announcements and features that got us excited about what’s to come. Discover our key takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024 below.

By Jaylene Van Lin, Marketing Specialist

Develop ads that adhere to your brand standards

Later this year, you'll be able to supply Google AI with your brand guidelines, such as your colors and fonts, to create ads that reflect your brand across multiple formats and channels. You'll also have the option to upload sample images, enabling generative AI to produce new images that match your visual style. Furthermore, you can use the "Generate more like this" feature to create additional on-brand variants of your successful assets.

By Morgan Tuohy, Senior Marketing Strategist

Take your AI-generated creative to other platforms

While using Google’s tools to create new creative assets, you retain the rights to use those assets across other platforms, including those not owned by Google. While other platforms lag behind Google on the move to AI-generated creative assets, you can maintain brand consistency and save time by taking assets from one platform to another.

By Alex Scharpf, Search Marketing Supervisor

Don’t underestimate short-form

Google is pushing towards YouTube Shorts more than ever, and the format is growing in terms of both engagement and viewership. As Google continues to provide more in-depth ways to monetize Shorts, vertical image assets and short-form video content will become even more important in the upcoming years. And because travel-based content already has a strong presence on Shorts, skipping these assets as a hotel may leave valuable customer interactions on the table.

By Maddie Holifeild, Marketing Specialist

Google Gemini has the potential to be a powerful tool for Hoteliers

While presenting at this year’s keynote, Philipp Schindler touched on the developments of Google Gemini, an AI assistant that provides access to Google AI. With a tool like this, Hoteliers can analyze large datasets to understand customer preferences and behavior patterns. This will allow hotels to deliver highly personalized marketing campaigns, offers, and recommendations like dining options, specific room types, and local attractions based on a guest’s previous stays or preferences. With AI on the rise, there is also an opportunity to enhance customer service through advanced chatbots and virtual assistants that can handle a wide range of inquiries, from booking reservations and answering questions about amenities. 

By Meaghan Reynolds, Marketing Specialist

Google’s new brand profiles will help enhance hotels' online presence

Google’s introduction of new brand profiles and AI branding tools empowers businesses to showcase their unique brand identities more effectively. These tools will allow merchants to showcase and highlight key information with new and compelling visuals as well as using AI to effortlessly create engaging content. For Hotels, this is a great opportunity to feature new imagery, positive guest experiences, and videos directly in a search result. This new AI tool can allow hotels to generate new and engaging content which will help to enhance their marketing efforts and attract more potential guests.

By Alex Horrocks, Search Marketing Strategist

The Power Pair

At Google Marketing Live, the "Power Pair" strategy was highlighted, combining broad match keywords inside Paid Search Campaigns alongside Performance Max. While it's well-known that advertisers often prefer exact and phrase match keywords for higher quality traffic, Google shared data showing that Power Pair could boost conversions by 27%. As advertisers, we constantly test new strategies, but this approach might not suit smaller businesses. Paid search tends to be more effective with targeted campaigns rather than broad approaches for smaller businesses. If you decide to implement the Power Pair strategy, ensure you leverage your other tools by optimizing audiences, demographics, and bid modifiers to avoid unnecessary spending

By Lisa McGivney, Director of Marketing

Google will prioritize ads in AI overviews

The search community has long guessed that the only way Google would roll out GenAI into the live results would be if they found a way to maintain ad revenue. During Google Marketing Live 2024, they confirmed that although historically ads have only appeared above and below the overviews, they will now be testing ads within the AI Overviews. It will be interesting to see how this evolves and what type (if any) of reporting they offer to show the performance of ads within AI Overviews. We’ll be ready.

By Jael Dugdale, Metadesk Operations Team Lead

Embracing AI and intent-based searches

As AI takes center stage at Google Marketing Live 2024, the future of SEO is being reshaped. Google emphasized a shift from specific keywords to user intent, with more complex searches—often five or more words—becoming the norm. Where complex searches once required multiple steps, AI now provides comprehensive options in a single query. For example, a search for “fun places to eat in Monterey” can now yield clusters of results like reviews, sunset views, and seafood havens. Google Lens also enables easy identification of objects with a simple point-and-shoot. So, what’s next? Ads and organic search results will change, requiring SEO strategies to adapt. Beyond keywords, SEO should focus on intent-based searches, are they a seafood haven? Making sure their alt text identifies objects in images correctly, color, size, etc. providing relevant, concise content, and making sure they continue to highlight their Long-Term Sustainable Competitive Advantages (LTSCA) to stand out in future AI-driven searches.

By Kristina Webber, Marketing Specialist

First-party data is critical to advertising on Google 

Having good AI requires good data. At Google Marketing Live, AI was mentioned frequently. However, having the right first-party data to fuel successful campaigns will help drive conversions more cost-effectively. To assist with this, Google announced a new feature: Measurement Diagnostics. This feature can evaluate your website and gather data by diagnosing missing data or opportunities that can be used to understand your audience through first-party insights.

By Nikki Abrego, Marketing Strategist

When will Power Pair take advantage of travel? 

During the Google Live session, they introduced a game-changing feature, Power Pair. This feature combines search and performance campaigns to deliver the strongest data performance of ROI across all of Google, enhancing visual search. They demonstrated this with a retail example: a consumer snaps a picture of a suitcase, and search results populate with similar products. This got me thinking about the exciting possibilities we could explore for our clients and how this could significantly enhance our advertising strategies with hotels and travel.

Instead of taking pictures of products, users could upload an image of an aesthetic room or an environment they aspire to be in. For instance, if someone uploads a picture of a beach with a palm tree, our hotel client, The Cove, could appear in the search results with their villas providing that similar view. Or, if an image of a dark romance room aesthetic is uploaded, our client, Crossroads, could pop up with matching aesthetic suites available to book. By feeding images into Power Pair, this feature could encourage customers to book travel based on the visuals they have seen or saved on their Pinterest travel boards. 

By Kaylin Long, Search Marketing Specialist

More choice for consumers means more opportunities for advertisers

People are starting to search in new ways—they’re asking more complex questions, searching with images, etc. All of these different ways that a consumer can search mean that the consumer has more choice, which means more opportunities for advertisers. Google is implementing more ways to implement shopping and metasearch-type ads that will be more relevant to our consumers. AI powered by Google will deliver the most relevant results to our consumers, bringing in more qualified leads and a higher ROAS.

[E-Book]Promoting DEI in the Workplace

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) covers a variety of topics and tactics related to the fair treatment of all people. In the workplace, this means creating a space where all employees feel safe and welcome.

More and more businesses are starting to implement DEI programs, but there’s no real standard, given the broadness of the topic. Some programs are designed to support underrepresented social groups, some to compile employee resources, and others to signify a progressive company culture. Because of this variation, it can be hard to decide which strategies will work best for your business.

Learn our tips and strategy for promoting DEI in the workplace, in our full E-Book, here.

WordPress vs Webflow: The Ultimate Showdown

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In the dynamic world of website development, understanding the differences and benefits of each website platform is crucial for the success of your online presence. Two popular options that often come into consideration are WordPress and Webflow. Each has its strengths and unique features, making the decision a matter of aligning your specific needs with the capabilities of the platform. Let's dive into a comparison of the two platforms to help you make your own conclusions. 

Ease of Use:

  • WordPress: Known for its user-friendly interface, WordPress is widely embraced for its simplicity. With a vast library of plugins and themes, customization is accessible even for beginners.
  • Webflow: Offering a visual design interface, Webflow empowers users to create visually stunning websites without coding. The learning curve is moderate,

Design Capabilities:

  • WordPress: Good for design, but customization may require coding skills. Thousands of themes and plugins are available.making it suitable for those who want more control over design elements.
  • Webflow: Excellent for design-centric websites. Offers advanced styling options, animations, and responsive design without coding.

Flexibility and Customization:

  • WordPress: Renowned for its flexibility, WordPress allows extensive customization through plugins and themes. Developers can dive into the code for advanced modifications, offering unparalleled flexibility.
  • Webflow: With a focus on design, Webflow provides creative freedom in a visual environment. It's excellent for those who prioritize a design-centric approach, but customization might have some limitations compared to WordPress.

SEO Capabilities:

  • WordPress: With a plethora of SEO plugins and a strong foundation for content optimization, WordPress has a reputation for being search engine-friendly. It's a preferred choice for those prioritizing SEO.
  • Webflow: While Webflow offers SEO features, it may not be as robust as WordPress in this aspect. However, it provides sufficient tools for basic optimization.

Hosting and Maintenance:

  • WordPress: As a self-hosted platform, WordPress requires users to manage their hosting. While this grants more control, it also means handling regular updates and security measures.
  • Webflow: All-in-one hosting is a standout feature of Webflow. Users can enjoy hassle-free hosting, automatic updates, and security measures, making it a convenient choice for those who prefer a hands-off approach.

Cost Considerations:

  • WordPress: The core software is free, but expenses can accrue with premium themes, plugins, and hosting. It offers flexibility in budgeting based on individual needs.
  • Webflow: Pricing is based on usage, and while it might be costlier than some WordPress options, the all-inclusive package simplifies budgeting without the need for additional plugins or hosting.

Page Creation (after launch):

  • WordPress: WordPress is renowned for its user-friendly CMS, providing clients with the ability to create new pages seamlessly. Clients can navigate the intuitive dashboard, access the page editor, and use a straightforward block-based system to compose content. With its extensive library of plugins and themes, WordPress empowers clients to customize pages, add media, and manage their sites efficiently. The flexibility of WordPress makes it a popular choice for content-centric websites, including blogs, where clients can easily create and publish new blog posts, landing pages, or any other content-driven pages.
  • Webflow: Webflow, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach. While Webflow is celebrated for its powerful design capabilities, it limits the creation of new pages directly within the editor mode. Unlike WordPress, where clients can add new pages on the fly, Webflow requires a more structured process. Clients typically need to work with designated templates and predefined structures, creating new pages in the Webflow Designer rather than directly within the CMS editor. This can be seen as a potential limitation for clients who prefer a more spontaneous, on-the-go approach to content creation.

E-commerce Integration:

  • WordPress: Has robust e-commerce capabilities with WooCommerce plugin, suitable for hotels with extensive online booking requirements.
  • Webflow: Is suitable for smaller e-commerce needs. Provides a native e-commerce solution.

Webflow excels in design-centric projects, while WordPress offers extensive customization and e-commerce capabilities, making it suitable for larger establishments with complex requirements. WordPress is a robust, flexible, and well-established platform suitable for various needs. 

On the other hand, Webflow caters to those who prioritize design and seek an all-in-one solution. Consider your specific requirements, technical expertise, and long-term goals to make an informed decision. Whether you opt for the familiarity of WordPress or the design-centric approach of Webflow, both platforms offer opportunities to create a powerful and visually appealing online presence.


Need help analyzing the pros and cons of your next website? Let the website design experts at GCommerce help! Learn more about our Webflow Hotel Web Design Services.

Celebrating Womanhood: GCommerce Traditions

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Womanhood is an incredibly diverse experience, with each culture and each family having a unique approach to the journey. From quinceañeras and bat mitzvahs to Sweet 16 parties and menstruation celebrations, people from across the globe celebrate womanhood in all kinds of ways. 

And GCommerce is no exception! Each member of our team comes from a different background and has a unique experience with the concept of womanhood. Here are some of the GCommerce team’s cultural and family traditions for celebrating womanhood.

Alex Scharpf

In our family, we don’t really celebrate “womanhood” any differently than “adulthood” more broadly. However, we do have some minor traditions for “motherhood.” 

The entire extended family always comes together for Mother’s Day, and we make sure to write the name of every mother on a cake. (Though when your family is as big as mine is, it’s definitely a challenge!)

Once you’ve had your first child, you also get upgraded perks at family events. Your Christmas check is larger, you get to sit on the chairs that don’t fold up on you, and you get first dibs on holiday meals. None of these perks apply to the fathers in our family, so it’s really interesting that we specifically celebrate the moms.

Jael Dugdale

I come from a non-traditional family, so we don’t necessarily have a “tradition” to celebrate womanhood. However, what I am doing is passing on my experiences and the spirit of exploration and resilience to my daughter. As she begins to chart her own path, I'll be there for her through the twists and turns of life, cheering her on and empowering her to go after her dreams.

Jaylene Van Lin

Womanhood is a journey passed from my grandmother, through my mother, to me – a story of strength and growth. It starts with my grandmother being raised in the confines of a traditional household. She went on to enter a controlling and abusive marriage, a narrative that dictated her entire life.

But my grandmother always held onto hope for her daughter. She made sure my mother knew her worth, laying the foundation for a different life. While my mother still takes on many domestic duties that she feels obligated to do, her experience of womanhood is a world apart from my grandmother's. Sure, she still cooks my dad dinner every…single…night…but overall, she's treated with respect.

Maybe you know where the story is going now. Yes, my mother also wanted a better life for her daughter – me. Now, as I embrace my independence, I celebrate womanhood each day. I'm grateful for the sacrifices of the women before me, which have given me the freedom to define womanhood my own way. 

Kaylin Long

In my experience growing up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there hasn’t been any explicit celebration to acknowledge womanhood. But at certain age milestones, people in the religious community would begin to apply different gender roles to you.

At 12 years old, we become a “young woman” and begin attending a class at church that is only with other girls. At 16 years old, we are then encouraged to go on group dates (without steady dating). At 18 years old, “young women” become full-fledged women and move on to a different class, still segregated by gender, called “relief society.” At 18, we’re also expected to begin courting someone seriously with the intention of getting married. Once you’ve gotten married, you’re expected to begin having children and are expected to have as many as you and your spouse can physically support.

Kenyon Cotton

As a father of two daughters, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. In our household, I don’t like assigning gender roles to hobbies and interests. Our main focus is simply trying to build character and resilience, and instill moral values. 

The result is two girls who are fully enabled to explore all facets of the human experience: sports, both organized and extreme; science, mostly in the form of bugs, animals, mud, and exploration; glamour and fashion; being a leader, a follower, or somewhere in between; being a hero and a protector and knowing how to ask for help when they need it. Both transcendence and immanence. 

As I see it, one of our most important jobs as parents is to ensure that they understand that the full spectrum of possibilities is available to them as they work on figuring out how to find fulfillment and happiness, and how to provide value to the world. 

Lisa McGivney

We don’t have any family traditions that I can recall, but I’m excited to start a new one this year! I’ll be going skiing with my daughter for International Women’s Day.

Sharing Traditions

Every woman is unique, so individual traditions of womanhood are equally special. Talk to your coworkers and friends, and see what their own experiences have been. You might learn something new!

2023 DEI Impact Report

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In 2022 GCommerce produced a company survey to gather team member insights on its current Cultural Pillars. While the primary goal was to evaluate which pillars needed to be updated in a post-pandemic world, GCommerce also found that many team members requested more education and discussion around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

And that is how the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Study Group was formed.

Now, over a year after establishing the study group, the company presents a recap of the work that has been done and the outcomes it has generated.

View our 2023 DEI Study Group Impact report here.

5 Reasons to Reevaluate Your Metasearch Marketing

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OTAs are gaining share, which means less profitable business, missed opportunities to connect with your guests, and losing out on valuable 1st party data. What can you do?  Start by looking at your marketing channels that drive the most direct bookings. 📈 Metasearch is #1 and is the primary battleground to win back share from the OTAs. 🏨

Start taking back your direct bookings with our playbook - 5 Reasons to Reevaluate Your Metasearch Marketing Strategies. 💥

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