The following is part two of a contributed series from Anthony Capetola, the Chief Marketing Officer for Sales & Orders Management Software for Google Shopping. Anthony shares pro tips for your Google Shopping campaigns, ecommerce shopping carts and inventory management to help you reach success with Google Shopping.
Piggybacking on where we last left off with Google Shopping: Key Components to Success, here are some even more strategic guides that will help you enhance your Google Shopping campaigns and help you bid on products more easily.
Campaign Structure & Bidding
When Shopping campaigns are built within AdWords, they can be broken down into several, more easily managed groups and categories. Some of these breakdowns include splitting products up by Brand or Google Product Category. This also leads into another important factor of Google Shopping known as Bidding. Bids are the price merchants and advertisers pay to gather clicks on product ads using what is called CPC, or Cost-Per-Click.
- The Breakdown: The deepest level of subdividing a Shopping campaign reaches right down to the product level itself, or more commonly referred to as ID-level. Although more difficult to manage, this campaign structure offers an amazing quality of control over your spending. However, for stores with tens of thousands or even millions of individual products, managing campaigns at this or any other level of subdivision presents its very own set of difficulties and complexities. Large retailers generally solve this by contracting the efforts of Google Certified Professionals.
- Bids That Matter: A term we started using more recently to describe the proper way of bidding on Google Shopping campaigns is called Meaningful Bidding. What does that mean? Well, consider this scenario:
- Evan owns store A and promotes on Google Shopping. Beverly owns store B and also promotes on Google Shopping. Evan chooses to set high bids on all products in hopes of getting more sales. Beverly takes a different approach by factoring in her costs of selling goods and starts setting individual bids on different products. Whose store wins?
It’s not actually a competition, but what Beverly did is an example of Meaningful Bidding. It is the practice of bidding according to the possibilities of profitability. Evan chose a strategy that is commonly employed by beginners to Google Shopping, something we like to call Whitewash Bidding. The biggest problem with Evan’s strategy is that although he may make sales, those sales may not translate to profitable revenue, or even worse, they may lead to loss because the combined internal cost of selling products and the ad spend itself produces negative revenue.
Pro Tip: Advertising with Google Shopping requires a daily budget that represents the total amount that can be spent gathering clicks on product ads. As a general rule for determining how much to set a daily budget to, use this principle: For every thousand products promoted, set a daily budget of at least $10.
Taking It Up A Notch
Saving money isn’t just a practice, it’s a trend that is carried down generation to generation. Now, more so than ever, consumers are looking for ways to save a few bucks. For merchants and advertisers, Google Shopping presents a fantastic solution to showcasing sales and deals with Promotions.
- Promotional Text: Product Ads can contain messages that highlight discounts consumers can get when they choose to purchase from a store. If you have a deal or a sale going on, do not miss out on adding the promotional text to your product ad(s).
- Special Offers: Different from Promotional Text, Merchant Promotions or Special Offers can blanket an entire campaign, while Promotional Text can only be applied at the ad level. Merchant Promotions are uploaded via another Data Feed into Merchant Center. This will then add a small price tag icon to product ads describing the available deal or discount. Merchants and advertisers are required to complete the Merchant Promotions Interest Form before being able to start utilizing this tool. It is currently only available in the US, Australia, Denmark, France, UK, and India.
Pro Tip: When building feeds for Merchant Promotions, consider building more than one and using them as templates throughout the years for different holidays, especially if the promotions target different sets of products on your website. Also consider starting a promotion as much as three months prior to the date of the holiday and then extending that promotion for some time after the holiday.
Among the current AdWords ad types, Google Shopping ads and campaigns are by far the most complex, requiring a plethora of components to ensure the ability to succeed. It is an ongoing process to optimize these campaigns for profitability. There are no “quick fixes.”
Always keep a trained eye on campaigns. Watch for trends of failing and winning products.
From now on keep this term in mind: Ad Waste. One of the biggest killers to profitability with Google Shopping is wasted advertising dollars. If products are not performing admirably, shut off the ad, review the product data, make necessary changes, and try again. If you notice this as a common occurrence or find specific products that simply “don’t sell,” then reallocate that budget to products that do, especially the top performers.
About the Author
Anthony Capetola is a Google Shopping Certified Specialist with Sales & Orders: Management Software for Google Shopping. Sales & Orders helps E-Commerce businesses succeed online with Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads. Anthony also holds Google Certifications in AdWords & Analytics.