Google Shopping Holiday Webinar Recording
Lots of new programs, and feature updates all right before the highest online shopping season. Makes you wonder if there is a Google executive somewhere out there in a high backed swivel chair stroking a bald cat.
This month we hosted a Google Shopping Holiday webinar to help ecommerce retailers deal with Google’s changes, and maximize revenue during Q4.
CEO and veteran retail search speaker Rick Backus covered Google updates and programs including:
- Google Special Offers
- Google Paid & Organic view in Dimensions
- Google Shopping Campaigns
- Google Local Storefronts
In addition to outlining how retailers can leverage Google Shopping to make more revenue such as:
- How to take advantage of the new Google Shopping features
- How to gauge your PLA ad group performance to out-rank your competitors
- Category level CPC data to help understand how competitive your bids are
- Last minute fixes to optimize your Google Shopping campaign for profits
Watch the Google Shopping Holiday Webinar:
Google Shopping Holiday Webinar Transcript
Webinar Introduction: Three Major PLA Mistakes That Leave Money On The Table And How To Fix Them
Mary: Hello, everybody, and welcome to the CPC strategy Google shopping webinar, “Three Major PLA Mistakes That Leave Money On The Table And How To Fix Them.” My name is Mary, and I’m the content director here at CPC strategy. My job is to find, create and share useful content for you, so please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
Some quick house cleaning before we begin. We will be recording this webinar and sending the recording to all registrants. Additionally, if you have any questions during the webinar there will be a brief Q&A following the presentation. To ask questions use the chat box to the right. You can also reach out to [email protected] with any questions, comments or cat videos.
Speaker: Rick Backus, CPC Strategy CEO
Our speaker today is Rick Backus, CPC strategy CEO and vetted speaker at top E-commerce events, including IRCE and Search Live. With over seven years of retail experience, Rick is the source on Google shopping. So without further ado, I’ll pass it over to Rick.
Rick: Thank you, Mary. I appreciate it. For everyone who is attending, we also really appreciate your time. I know that for retailers this is an extremely busy season, and so I will try to only give you information in today’s webinar that’s actionable, that you can take back to help you get more customers during the holiday season.
CPC Strategy Overview
So real quick, I just want to give you an intro to CPC strategy, which is our company. Some key stats: we have over 200 active clients. You can see a view of our clients on the slide. We manage over 30 million a year in advertise and spend. That’s through Google shopping, Next Tag, Price Grabber, shopping.com, the comparison shopping engines, and we’re one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in San Diego.
We’re based out of San Diego. I’m originally from San Diego. I went to school in LA and then we came back down here to start the company. Our product listing out guide has been read by over 12,000 people in the last six months.
So the link is right there. It’s free. It doesn’t require any sort of a download. A lot of the information in today’s webinar is already published on that product listing out guide. So feel free to check it out.
Webinar Agenda; Google Shopping Then & Now, Tips for PLAs, The Future of Google Shopping
The agenda for today: we’re going to try to look into the past of Google shopping and get a sense for this transition that happened when Google used to be free and then transition into a paid program. There was a lot of confusion about it, there was a lot of emotion behind it, and so I want to go into a little bit of the history of Google shopping.
Then we’re going to get into some actionable tips for today. So we’ll hopefully learn from the past, get into some tips for how to actually optimize your campaigns to get your best results today, and then we’re going to take a look at a glimpse into the future, figuring out where Google shopping is going. They have already announced a bunch of new features and programs that we’re going to review on today’s webinar.
Google Shopping Now: No Free Traffic
So free Google shopping traffic is gone. You can see on this particular graph that the red traffic, this is from our clients, and the red traffic was previously free. So back in Q2 of 2012 you can see that blue dot. There was no paid Google shopping traffic at all. It was all free, and then in Q3 of 2012 that shift happened really quickly, and by Q1 of this year there was almost no free traffic in Google whatsoever.
As of, I think, this week, when you log into the Google merchants center you will no longer see any sort of free traffic posted. So for awhile it has been trickling down, but we’re at the point now where it’s officially gone. There’s no more free traffic that’s going from Google.’
It’s all paid. So that’s why today’s webinar, that’s why your strategy on Google shopping and PLAs is so important because you can no longer just send a feed, get sales from Google and not have to worry about it.
So essentially, what has happened in a really quick time period is that product listing ads have replaced a lot of the long tail traffic in E-commerce. Previously, when somebody did a search for five or six keywords they would see either a text ad or an organic listing that they would click on. With product listing ads, Google has done a really good job of showing products for those searches that are driving the user towards the product listing ads.
So when you’re a user on Google and you now see an image of the products that you’re searching for, obviously that’s going to draw your attention and have a much higher click through rate than either the text ads or the organic listings.
So the long tail for ad words and text ads within E-commerce is disappearing, and even organically it’s becoming much more difficult to get traffic that’s coming from these long tail searches. All of that, or the majority of that traffic, is now being shifted towards Google product listing ads.
Google Shopping Transition From Free To Paid Traffic
So these are the stages of Google shopping grief. This is a transition that we went through with pretty much all of our clients. We had them managing their comparison shopping engines, the Google merchant center data feed. It was free traffic, they weren’t paying for it, and so initially when Google announced that they were going to star charging for the Google shopping traffic there was a lot of denial. It was really the first stage of grief.
“This can’t be real. How is this possible? How is Google doing it? It doesn’t make sense. Maybe this will only apply to certain merchants.”
And then quickly they moved on to anger. “How could Google do this? Google is evil. They’re proving that they don’t care about the user anymore and they’re just trying to screw over all E-commerce retailers.”
Then it went to depression. “How am I going to compete? There’s no way I can participate in this program, because essentially Google is trying to take me out of the market.”
Then it went to bargaining. “Well, maybe I can send a few of my top sellers. I do have some brands that my margins are pretty strong on. Maybe I’ll send a couple of products to Google shopping.”
Then it ended up in acceptance. “Okay, this might not be the end of the world. Google potentially will get rid of a lot of the affiliates and the low quality traffic that’s currently going through the free program, because there are no barriers to entering.”
Anyone can list on Google shopping, whether you’re an affiliate or an eBay store or anything. So that was hurting the customer experience on Google shopping, which long term was hurting the vision for Google to become a destination for people to shop on their site.
Google Shopping Grief
So most of our clients went through these stages of grief, I’ll say, in realistically a couple of weeks. So it was a scary time for us as an agency. We had to jump on the phone with all of our clients. We had to assure them that, yes, we can manage product listing outs for you, and no, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to kill your business.
For the majority of clients it has actually worked out really well for them. They are able to drive more substantial traffic to their sites than when Google shopping was free at a rate that was profitable for them.
So every quarter we rank the top comparisons hopping engines. We started doing this five years ago, and each quarter has continued to grow in their dominance, especially once Google PLAs were pay traffic. So you can see on this graph, it’s on a scale of 100, but compared to Next Tag, shopping.com, Amazon product ads, Price Grabber and Shopzilla, Google sends more than double the traffic.
This graph is for revenue. They send more than three times the revenue to our clients relative to the other comparison shopping engine, and the cost of sale is the best. So cost of sale is the inverse of ROI. It means that 12.69% means that there’s somewhere between a nine to ten to one return on investment. So keep in mind with this particular supply that ROI is really specific to your category.
So for someone in electronics, 12% cost of sale might not be profitable for them, whereas for apparel that would be wildly profitable. So we’re getting this data across all of our client base, and the point is just to illustrate what’s the return on investment with all of these sales channels, and as you can see from the graph here Google had the best return on investment in addition to sending the most traffic and the most revenue.
Google Shopping Strategy
Alright. So now we’re going to get into the actual strategy session, so this is the portion of the webinar where you might want to start taking some notes, because we’re going to get into the actual tips. So here are the tips that we’re going to go over today:
1. Get a data feed guy.
2. Learn how to bid properly.
3. Use the proper ad groups.
4. Use labels.
5. Discover your search terms.
6. Average position does not increase your click through rate
7. Modify bids by state.
8. The Sold SKU strategy.
1. Get a data feed guy
So number one, get a data feed guy. This is supposed to be a guy eating a feed, feeding the paper into his mouth. That’s what it’s supposed to be. I’m not sure if you got the context or not, and on a webinar, when you tell any sort of a joke you get no reaction. So hopefully there are one or two people smiling out there.
But you need a data feed guy. You need to be able to trust this person with your data. It’s not okay to be a retailer and just not have the ability to generate a data feed.
So whether you’re working with an agency like ours or a tool that helps you to submit the feed, or you have somebody in house who manages the feed for you, you need somebody that you can trust with your data. We get potential clients coming to us saying, “I have a huge budget. I want a list on the comparison shopping engines in Google shopping, but I can’t come up with a feed.”
To them it seems like this trivial deal. “I can’t come up with a feed. Can’t you guys just do that? Isn’t there some bottom that you can hit to generate a feed?”
The reality is that when you really think about that, if you’re an online retailer and you can’t generate a digital file of your products, you have a lot bigger problems than just Google shopping.
You need to be able to represent your inventory off of your site, and so you need someone that you can trust with your data who isn’t just an IT guy who, you send these tech specs off to and they don’t really have any understanding of how feeds work. You need to figure out how to generate a feed in a high quality format so that you can list on these channels and give yourselves the best chance to succeed.
2. Learn how to bid properly
Learn how to bid properly. So this still happens to this day. Google shopping has been a paid program for about 18 months now, and we still take over clients where their all products bid is higher than their other ad groups bid, and the way that it works is Google will default to that all products bid, and so you can see in this example that the all products bid is only one penny. The reason we do it that way is the all products bid should be the net that catches all of the other products, and the other ad groups should always have higher CPCs.
If it was the inverse, and in this instance the all products bid was two dollars or three dollars, all of those ad groups would have bids that wouldn’t be applied. So we see that happening, like I said, still to this day, where somebody was managing the campaigns in house or another agency. They were having an all products a bit higher than the other ad groups. They have been tweaking the bids of the other ad groups for months without realizing that those bids aren’t even taking place.
So when they look at the every CPC for the entire account it’s exactly what the all products bid was, and there’s a lack of understanding that your all products bid needs to be lower than your other ad groups. Otherwise, Google is going to default to that all products bid.
3. Use the proper ad groups
Products visibility curve. So there has been a lot of information put out about the best way to manage PLAs. A lot of that information is coming from agencies that have a traditional paid search or a keyword background, and data feeds, and sending the data feed to the Google merchant center, it’s all new to them, and so the easiest way to go from an all products bid to an actual structure is to do the SKU level build outs.
So essentially to have a bid per SKU, and within that format you can automate it, and you can say, “Okay, every time this particular product gets over 15, 20 clicks without a sale I want the algorithm to either remove that product or to down bid it, and vice versa. Every time I get a sale I want to increase the bid.”
That actually isn’t’ the best way to get your products visibility. It’s one strategy that should be part of a bigger role that your analyst should be playing. So if you’re just doing an all products ad group and a SKU level build out, you’re not giving your products the most exposure and you’re leaving money on the table.
So there’s a ton of different ways that you can set up the ad groups. It really depends on your store, on your products, on how your customers think about your products, but we typically recommend that you start with somewhere between ten to 20 ad groups.
So that can be by category; it can be brand. You could have an ad group that’s for best sellers. You can literally name the ad groups anything that you want, but what you need to do is sit down and think about what’s the structure of my campaign that’s going to give me the most control? How are my customers talking about my products? What blocks can I put my products into that are going to give me the most control?
And if you’re just doing the SKU level build outs you’re not going to give your products as much exposure as you could be getting, and you’re not going to drive as many sales through Google shopping as you could be getting.
4. Use labels
Use data feed labels. So this comes back to the conversation about keywords versus data feeds, and if you just try to manage Google shopping based on keywords you’re missing the boat, and you need to use the labels and the data feed to really have full control over the campaign.
So if you’re in house or you’re an agency or you’re managing Google shopping with no control of the feed whatsoever, you’re severely hampered and you’re limited in your ability to actually impact the campaigns.
So if you can get access to the feed and you can use these labels, that’s how you get control of your ad groups. That’s how you set up your product targets. That’s how you set up the segmentation of all of your products, and so when you sit down and you put some thought into, “How should I build out my ad groups, and what are the different formats where I can build out my ad groups,” you can use the labels to actually come up with that strategy.
Once you use the labels within the feed, then you log back into ad words. You’ll see the different product groupings based on the labels that you set up.
Discovery your product search terms. So keywords are not worthless when it comes to Google shopping. They are extremely important, and it’s part of the overall analysis of the campaign and part of the strategy of the campaign. You need to understand which search terms are actually driving traffic, and if you go to the dimensions tab and you view search terms you can see the exact search terms for your products.
An important caveat here is that you should be optimizing towards conversions. So just because you have a search term that is getting a lot of traffic, it doesn’t mean that you should throw that search term into your data feed or onto your landing page. You want to only include search terms that are converting for you.
5. Discover your search terms
So if you have a search term that is getting a lot of traffic and it’s not converting, then that’s what negative keywords are there for. They are there to make sure that, okay, this search term is not driving qualified traffic, I’m not converting for whatever reason and I no longer want that traffic. That’s where you use negative keywords.
But for the rest of the search terms where you’re getting conversions, maybe it’s a product that only has four clicks and has a conversion. You want to optimize towards that search term. You want to figure out, “Can I scale out this search term while maintaining my conversion?”
So in that instance when you’re optimizing towards conversions you want to include that search term in your feed and you want to include that search term on your landing page. There is definitely a component of SEO to this.
Traditional SEO, figuring out the proper keywords to include on your website and your different tags on your website, all of that has changed pretty dramatically, but with data feeds and with Google shopping there still is an element of SEO.
So find the search terms that are converting and figure out how to get more exposure of those particular search terms, and you’re going to grow your sales in Google shopping.
So you can also discover your search terms on the ad group level. So these are the instructions for how to do that. When you go to dimension search terms you’re going to see the search terms of the entire campaign.
If you just want to see the ad group level, you can go to PLA campaign, select an ad group, select the auto targets tab, show search terms and select all, and then you can see the search terms just on the ad group level.
6. Average position does not increase your click through rate
Average position does not increase click through rate. So this is something that is counter to how most people have been managing paid advertising on Google in the past. In the past, when you’re talking about text ads, the average position is really important.
If you get the number one spot on Google you’re going to get more traffic than the number two spot, which is going to get more traffic than the number three spot, and that’s all because of the click through behavior from the users. The higher the ad the more likely they are to see it, the more likely they are to click through. It’s very logical.
With product listing ads they’re showing a block of products, and so in this instance your average position is not going to impact your click through rate. So, for instance, the product here sold by Bonanza versus the product here sold by the Nike store, they’re in opposite corners, their average position is completely different, but the clickthroughs are going to be the same.
The customer sees the product listing ads, they see the product that they want and they click through on that particular product. It doesn’t matter where in this block your product is showing.
The important takeaway here is that once your product is showing up in these product listing ad blocks you shouldn’t increase your bid, and so your average position may be three or four and in your mind when you’re just in the log in an you’re not actually looking at the ads, you think to yourself, “You know, I need to increase my average position. That’s going to be increase my click through. I’m going to get more traffic.”
In reality, with product listing ads you’re just wasting money. So if you’re bidding a dollar and you’re showing up in the PLA block and you double your bid to two dollars and that increases your average position, you’re not going to get more traffic and you’re just going to be paying double for that traffic.
So this is difficult to monitor, and it’s hard to figure out where your products are showing up and if you’re coming up for a PLA block, but what I would recommend is to start pretty small and say, “What are the keywords that are most important for my business?”
Do a search for those keywords. Figure out if your products are showing up there. Figure out which product is showing up there, and use the bidding and the labels to determine if you want to increase your bids to get in that PLA block, or if you can actually back off some of your bids and maintain that position. But the goal is to get your products into product listing ads, the block of products, but once you’re in there you don’t need to continue to up your bids.
7. Modify bids by state
Bid modifiers by state. So this is the type of analysis that’s pretty common n traditional text ads, and the management of traditional text ads uses a lot of these techniques, but they’re not being applied to Google shopping yet.
The reason for that is because Google is not offering all of the same data within the ad words log in. They’re moving in that direction with the announcement of Google shopping campaigns, which I’m going to get into more detail about.
But this is a technique that we started using recently just to see our clients’ products clicks and conversions by states, and so in this instance the traffic from Arkansas was negative 45%. So it was really unqualified, and that traffic, essentially, we could change the entire bid for the Arkansas traffic.
Whereas the District of Columbia Washington DC traffic converted really well, 95% higher than the average. So in that instance, obviously, we’ll want to bid more on that traffic. So this is something that I haven’t seen a lot of retailers doing. The data is available in Google analytics.
You can download a report and you can look at the data yourself, and you might find some trends across states that surprise you, and it might make sense to actually change your bids based on the state where those customers are clicking.
8. The Sold SKU strategy
Sold SKU Strategy. So this is a technique that I think is kind of proprietary to us. I haven’t seen a lot of other agencies use it, but we have a lot of success with it and I highly recommend it.
In an instance where ROI is an issue, meaning that you have a ten to one ROI goal and you launch Google shopping or PriceGrabber or NexTag, and you’re getting a five to one return and it’s just not profitable for you. A really smart approach to approving the ROI is to figure out the SKUs on your website that have already sold.
So you can go into Google analytics and you can create a report that says, you know, “What SKUs on my site have sold in the last 30 days, in the last 60 days, in the last 90 days?” We have some clients with over a million products, where less than 10,000 of those products have actually received sales. So if we’re paying for traffic to all of these products that have never in the history of their website converted, that’s an issue. The long tail is going to kill us in that instance.
If we have over a million products that have never received a sale, and each one of those products there are getting a few clicks, that’s going to kill the ROI. Obviously that’s an extreme example, but even if you have 1,000 products, and out of those 1,000 products only 60 of them have received an order in the last 30 days or the last 90 days, you probably should start there.
You should start your bids on products that already have validations; your customers have already told you, “This is a product that’s valuable. I have compared your products to the rest of the market and I made a decision to purchase this product from you.”
You can logically deduce that that product is going to perform better on sales channels where they are comparing your products to other retailers. So it’s a really smart approach to your campaign when you’re not getting a positive ORI, you’re struggling to get the ROI where you need it to be, just advertise your sold SKUs.
So this isn’t a recommended strategy for retailers that are performing really well. It’s going to hurt your volume. You’re going to lose some customers, but if you absolutely can’t get the camping to perform for you, just bid not he SKUs that you have already sold before.
Future of Google Shopping
Alright, so now we’re going to get into a little bit of the future of Google shopping. They have already made some recent announcements and features that we’re going to go over, and then we will discuss a really big announcement, which is about the Google shopping campaigns. It’s going to fundamentally change the way that Google shopping is managed. So let’s jump right in to some of the new features.
Google Price Drop
We actually just saw this one this week, where Google is displaying a price drop, and the interesting thing here is that it wasn’t using the sales column within the data feed. For the client we had a sales column and we had a regular price, and the regular price and the sales column had the same price.
So Google was accumulating historical data on this product, and they showed the difference in price based on their historical data. So this should be happening automatically. You won’t have to send them a different price. They might offer a feature where you can specifically call out price drops, but based on what we’re seeing this is just going to happen automatically.
So if you reduce the price of a product, there should be a call out for that product. It doesn’t seem like they have rolled this out to everyone. It seems like a pretty small test they’re running right now, but obviously if you’re a customer and you can see the difference in price and they call out the price drop, it’s a pretty big deal.
Google Promo Codes
So this is a new feature that we’re pretty excited about: promo codes. This one is definitely having an impact on our clients’ campaigns. To this day it’s a very small percentage of retailers on Google that are using these prom or codes, and what happens on the PLA is you’ll see the little link that says Special Offer, and the customer can click on the special offer and they will see the promo code the you’ve given them. Then when they hit Shop they actually go to your website, and if they enter the promo code then they’re going to get that percent of savings.
You can get really creative with the promos that you advertise, with the codes that you use. There are a lot of different ways that you can test out these promos, and they actually give you the ability within the ad words login to AB test the promotional offers.
This is something that I highly recommend for any retailer. It’s helping our clients conversation rates a lot, and if you’re giving a small percentage off, you’re going to get more of a boost in sales than that percentage that you’re giving away.
For the retailers that never, ever use coupons, and they never drop a percentage, you can still use a special offer, but you have to get a little bit more creative. You have to give the customer an incentive to buy from you that isn’t just tied to a percentage off in price.
So for you, it’s going to be a little bit more challenging, but you still have the opportunity to use the special offers, and I highly recommend it.
Paid and organic view. So within the dimensions tab you can now see paid and organic traffic for individual queries, so you can see what the clicks, impressions, click through rates, average CPC and average position are for the ad, and then you can also see your organic stats.
Google Keywords Not Provided
So with Google taking away the keyword data in Google analytics, the not provided era that we now live in, a lot of SEOs are struggling to figure out which keywords are actually driving traffic to my client’s website?
In house SEOs are trying to figure out the same thing, and this paid and organic view shows you that query data, and you can figure out which queries are driving traffic to your paid advertisements, and you can then see what the opportunity is for the organic traffic.
So they can work together. You can say, “Okay, organically I perform really well for this individual keyword. I need to unbid my pay advertisements and vice versa.” So this is a new report within the dimensions that we found to be really helpful.
Google Top Movers Report
Top movers report. So within dimensions you can actually see the products and the ad groups that are performing, that have the most volatility, and so you can figure out, “Okay, I see that my traffic has gone up, I see that my sales have gone up, or vice versa, but I really don’t know how to analyze where that’s coming from.”
The top movers report will help you to focus on the top five percentage of your products that are driving sales, and the bottom five percent of your products that are hurting your ROI.
So this is the type of information that wasn’t available previously in the Google shopping log in. It was making it difficult for a lot of people to figure out how to actually manage this channel. This data will help a lot to dig in and figure out not just, “What’s my total ROI in Google shopping, but how do I actually have the levers and control to improve that ROI?”
Google Local Storefronts
Local storefronts. So this one has a lot of long term potential. I think that it offers some insight into where Google is going in the future. As a local store, you can submit a local data feed and have a storefront on Google, and so in this instance you can see for REI the Google PLA has a link underneath it that says In Stock Nearby. When you click through on that link you go to an REI storefront that’s hosted on Google.
So it’s not just huge big box retailers that will have the opportunity to do this. It’s anybody. Anybody can have a local storefront, so you can be a tire store that doesn’t have a big online presence that submits your data to Google and potentially Google will show them the local store front and drive visitors into your store.
It presents a lot of challenges for the local store that Google is well aware of, but I think the long term vision for this experience is to take customers down a path that’s trying to show them the best products online, but also showing them where those products are in stock nearby, and giving the user the choice, “Do I want to make this purchase online, or do I want to make this purchase in person?” And that’s a fundamentally different shopping experience than Amazon creates.
On Amazon, when you check out, you know that that product is going to be there in a day or two, especially if you’re prime. It’s going to be there the next day. It’s actually pretty amazing. But it’s still a virtual shopping experience.
You don’t have an option on the Amazon to figure out which retailers are located nearby that are selling that same product. These local store fronts give Google an advantage that Amazon doesn’t have. So if Google is serious about retail and they’re serious about trying to take market share away from Amazon, this is one competitive advantage that they have.
Amazon is well aware of it. Amazon Fresh is trying to deliver products to people’s houses. Google Shopping Express is delivering products directly to people’s houses. There’s definitely a lot of investment from both companies to figure out how to create the best long term experience for shoppers.
But local stores fronts are something that’s really interesting. If you have a local availability and warehouses or retail stores, you can submit a feed to Google for that local storefront and you can get your products on PLAs to have that link that says In Store Nearby.
Google Shopping Campaigns
Google shopping campaigns. So this is a really big deal in terms of how PLAs are going to be managed moving forward. Previously if you didn’t have access to a data feed it was almost impossible to come up with a sophisticated strategy of how to manage Google shopping, and with Google shopping campaigns it’s going to allow everyone to, within the log in, come up with their ad group structure, to come up with their bids and impression share by ad groups.
So they are giving the adviser a lot more data than they had previously. They are giving them a lot more control to drive qualified traffic to the stores, and so it’s really witnessing to see where they go with it. We’re just going to go into a little bit of a brief overview of how those Google shopping campaigns will be displayed, and our analysis of the Google shopping campaign.
So you can see here within the ad words log in, you can subdivide your categories into the sub categories. So for this one it’s shoes, and within shoes there are 17 products that are in dress shoes, and there are 11 products in outdoor shoes. You can see the main categories of boots and slacks and sandals and slippers.
All of this before was very difficult to manage and keep track of, and you had to use labels within the feed to get these sub categories into Google, and the management of the subcategories was pretty sloppy. It was difficult to do well, and so now with shopping campaigns you can get much more granular in your management of the category data.
Also, for the product groups, you can get data for all of the sub categories. Here you can see max CBC clicks, impressions, click through rates, average CBC cost for each of the product groups. And so you can come up with the product groups that make the most sense for your business, and then you can get the impression data and the click through rate, and you can get much more advanced in your approach to your campaigns.
All of this previously was not available through the ad words log in, and when you were comparing text ads there were so many levers to pull to try to get better results, but when it came to PLAs you kind of juts had to have this approach of, “I’m going to send Google the data and then I have to trust them to get me a good ROI.” Google shopping campaigns have given you much more control over the entire structure of the account.
Google Bid Simulator For Shopping Campaigns
This one is a bid simulator. It will help you to see how you can grow impression share based on your bids. So this is a pretty logical tool for merchants to use. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure this one out. In the past these bid simulators for Google a lot of other platforms haven’t always worked perfectly. It hasn’t always been an exact science, but it’s directional. It helps to give you an idea of if you increase your bids, if that’s going to drive more traffic.
And if you can figure out the products that are converting really well you can use this bid simulator to drive more traffic to qualified products. So our key takeaways, these are just cliff notes about Google shopping campaigns.
The priority is now going to trump the bid. So previously when I was talking about the all products bid always trumping the other ad groups, now you’re going to be able to set campaign priorities. So there will be low, medium and high, and those priorities will trump the bids that you have.
Networks. So Google is going to start offering co brands, essentially. So they are going to list these products on other websites. The search traffic or the search networks for text ads traditionally haven’t always performed that well. It really depends on the category.
So it’s going to be interesting to see if these networks are consistently producing a positive ROI. There will probably be a lot of best practices from that, just by default turning off or on networks, and it will really just depend on the quality [of the terms, which sites are displaying the products and revenue source for the retailers to turn on.
Local. You can now opt into local ads through Google shopping campaigns. So this is something that’s brand new. It’s moving in the direction of the store front. They really want to give retailers the opportunity to drive customers to their local store front. They really want to give users the opportunity to figure out when there’s local availability near them so that they can make the decision of whether they want to make a purchase online or through a local store.
Google Shopping Campaigns Structure
Structure. The campaign structure is completely different than it was before. If you’re used to the normal ad words log in, when you log into Google shopping campaigns there is going to be a learning curve because it’s a completely new structure. The average labels are morphed. There are now five custom labels that only contain one label per product, and so how you use labels is going to change.
And the exclusions. You can now create targets to exclude a brand category of product from a particular group. So it’s not just about negative keywords. They’re giving you more control over exclusions.
So this is our analysis based on the data feed methods that we’re using today. Here is what we think is better about Google shopping campaigns, and also what we think needs to be improved upon.
The pros are that it’s easier to build out and evaluate multi level strategies. So when you would have a complicated strategy before you really couldn’t execute that to the log in. Now Google shopping campaigns are giving you that ability. The data will already exist when you subdivide your groups, making it easier to see if the new strategy will be effective.
The benchmark click through rates and bids will let you know your bids compare to other retailers with similar products. So that’s really important. You get more competitive information than you received before.
The products tab shows you all the products directly in the average log in, and is searchable by any attribute. So it’s a lot easier to find your individual products through the ad words log in than it was previously.
The things that we think need to be improved upon, there’s no graphical representation of performance over time, so they need to add graphs that make it easier to figure out your performance. There’s no segmentation. You can’t add segments like top or other. That’s something that could definitely be improved upon.
You can’t download reports. That’s pretty important, and I’m sure that they are going to address that, but right now based on the campaigns we’re seeing that’s not available.
There’s no change history, which is definitely important, and it’s very easy to wipe out your entire build with a few clicks. So there needs to be better checks in place to make sure that you can’t just delete your entire campaign structure, and at this point in time it’s one button that you hit and it’s all going to disappear. So they need to improve upon that process.
So that’s it. I think we’re going to turn it over to Mary for some Q&A. I appreciate you sitting through the entire webinar. We’ll have a recording to send out afterwards. So with that being said, I’ll turn it over to Mary.