What do you think is worse? Taking a strong punch to the gut or receiving a thousand of paper cuts? Truth is that both are probably very painful in their own way. Similarly to a poorly optimized Google Shopping Campaign.
Let me explain…
When it comes to a poorly optimized Google Shopping Campaign, typically it is more of the later. While there is not a single switch to turn on or off that which will stop the financial bleeding, there is an array of factors that generally causes the slow bleeding to your bank account. Those small cuts will eat into your potential profits when using Google Shopping every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
Like the title implies, there are literally thousands of paper cuts that can costs a Google account to bleed money; however, I don’t have time to go into all of them. Below are the 3 most frequent ‘cuts’ that I come across when performing personal AdWords Assessments for customers include the following:
1. Not properly implemented Google Analytics – Without Google Analytics or some other analytics program installed that properly tracks conversions and spend, it is nearly impossible to know key metrics such as ROAS and ROI. Why is this important? Because without being able to identify numbers, you cannot adjust product bids (either up or down) in order to maximize sales and minimize costs.
2. Not adjusting mobile bids. This is an easy fix if analytics is properly installed. It also, is a relatively quick fix. However, just because it is easy to implement, don’t think that means that it is not important. In fact, it is so important that I created an entire training video on the subject. If you haven’t seen it already – check it out by clicking on the link below:
Mobile clicks seldom have the same conversion rates or the same average conversion value as desktop bids and bidding the same across all devices is one of those papercuts that really hurts!
3. Set It & Forget It – Just because you optimized your campaign fully last week, last month or even last year, in no way does that mean that your account is still running at an optimal level today. The bulls eye is always changing when it comes to finding the right bids on the right devices and using the right keywords when it comes to using Google and Google Shopping. Unfortunately, many business owners are unable due to time or due to lack of knowledge spend the time it takes to keep their account running at an optimal level.
I can’t remember seeing an AdWords account that doesn’t have room for improvement and typically lots of improvement. With so many moving parts, Google AdWords in particular Google Shopping can be difficult to manage unless you or someone on your team has spent years going through the ‘Google Learning Curve’.
Given my mission to help business owners stop wasting their money on poorly performing Google AdWords campaigns, I offer a complete personalized AdWords assessment in order to reveal what paper cuts are affecting your bottom line.
I only offer 10 of these assessments per month, so if you want to see increased results quickly, I invite you not to miss this opportunity.
For a limited time, I’m offering a $100 discount on the assessment, plus the assessment is 100% fully guaranteed.
Don’t delay and let me reveal what can be done to immediately increase the profits in your Google AdWords and Google Shopping campaigns.
Happy Marketing! Andy Splichal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andy Splichal is an online marketing strategist with more than a decade and a half of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. Although this blog focuses on driving profitable traffic through Google AdWords, True Online Presence offers additional services for lead generation as well as other proven marketing strategies customized for each client.
Google Shopping is by far the largest Comparison Shopping Engine aka CSE on the Internet. CSEs are used exclusively by ecommerce advertisers, not professional services advertisers. This is because Comparison Shopping Engines allow customers to compare the same product or type of products from multiple stores simultaneously.
there are other Comparison Shopping Engines, many of these companies have gone
by the wayside as Google Shopping has captured the vast majority of the market
Companies such as PriceGrabber, Nextag, BizRate, Shopzilla, Pronto and Shopping.com have been outpaced and left behind by Google and the opportunities that Google brings to its advertisers.
In order to have your products eligible to appear inside the Google
Shopping platform, advertisers must first open a Google Merchant Center account
and then upload their products into the Merchant Center platform.
Typically for retailers with a substantial number of products, a
data feed is formatted in either a csv or txt format. Although there are other
ways including API connections most advertisers use the formatted feed method
to upload their products.
The ability for merchants to upload their products to Google
Merchant Center has given rise to quite a few data optimization companies. Some
will also manage your feed (we can get into that later), but for the most part
their services exist to make an advertiser’s life easier when it comes to
getting their products approved and ready to advertise on the Google Shopping
Before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at the history
of how Google Shopping came to dominate the comparison shopping space.
Shopping was a free service until October 2012 called Froogle. In October 2012,
Google went to a cost per click model similar to Google text ads where
advertisers would pay each time one of their product ads was clicked. Although
it was free to list prior to October 2012, the reporting abilities and customer
support from Google was almost non-existent.
When Google changed to a CPC model they made their Google Shopping
system much more user friendly, allowing advertisers to manage their Shopping
campaign inside their Google Ads console, allowing different bidding options
and adding full customer support. Google has also made Google Shopping
more prominent in how they display it to their users.
What Google Shopping Looks Like
There have been many variations
over the years of where Google Shopping ads appear on Google as Google continues
to experiment with the best-placement for these high performing ads.
Currently, Google Shopping ads are
seen either in an expandable carousel at the top of the page above both text ads
and organic placements or in a limited view on the right side typically which
occurs for branded term searches.
To illustrate the difference, let’s look at search results for ‘baseball gloves’ vs. ‘Wilson baseball gloves’
As you can see the generic
search results for ‘baseball gloves’ yields 5 Shopping ads located above the
search ads and the organic listings. In this case, JustGloves has every
shopping listing shown as well as the Search Text ad. What a great job they are
doing with their Google marketing!
If you click on the arrow, more results for Shopping ads are shown. In addition, users can find more Shopping ads inside the ‘Shopping’ tab where shoppers can compare the same item from multiple sellers on the same listing. Shoppers are also able to sort their searches by price, brand and other criteria such as fielding position in this example.
For branded searches such as ‘Wilson
gloves’ you can see in the image above that Shopping ads are not shown on top.
Instead, there is a Search text ad. The Shopping ads, again for JustGloves, are
shown on the right side of the organic results along with information about the
How To Implement Google Shopping
advertisers to participate in Google Shopping, they must have an active Google
Ads account as well as a Google Merchant Center account with approved products.
Google Merchant Center account is where advertisers upload their products typically
through a data feed. This data feed must contain their current product listing
that they wish to make eligible for inclusion within the Google shopping
database. To open a Google Merchant Center account, visit https://www.google.com/merchants/.
The Google Ads account is where advertisers can create a Shopping
campaign and where merchants will link their Shopping campaign in order to
control bids and their Shopping ads placement.
sounds much more complicated than it is. Once an advertiser opens a Google
Merchant Center account and uploads a feed and verifies that they own the
website in Merchant Center, they can quickly link to their Ads account simply
by sending an invitation from Merchant Center to their ads account.
Here is how to link your Merchant Center account to your Google
In Merchant Center, click on the wrench icon in the upper right
on ‘Linked accounts’ under Settings.
on ‘LINK ACCOUNT’ and enter your Google Ads customer ID and ‘Send Link Request’.
open your Google Ads account.
on the wrench icon in the upper right corner and select ‘Linked accounts’ under
you should see an invitation to link to your merchant account.
the request and you are done.
The part that is a little more involved is setting up the csv file
for the Google merchant feed. Google supports a variety of different attributes
for each product. Attributes currently supported include: id, title,
description, google merchant category, product type, link, mobile link, image
link, additional image link, condition, availability, availability date, price,
sale price, brand, gtin, mpn, identifier exists, gender, age group, size type,
color, size, material, pattern, shipping, shipping weight, excluded
destination, expiration date, product applicability, promotion id, product
review average, product review count and five custom labels.
purpose of so many attributes is to allow Google to serve the most refined
results to their users performing Google searches. It may sound a bit
overwhelming, but the good news is that there are many services that help
merchants convert their products into the correct formats that are accepted by
However, most of these services do not work right out of the box
and may need some customization in order to correctly populate as many fields
This is where using a 3rd party Google data
optimization company is extremely helpful especially for merchants with a large
number of product offerings.
is in the best-interest of advertisers to populate as many of these fields as
are relevant to their product listings. Populating fields correctly will help
advertiser’s products appear more often and appear more relevant to searches
performed. It will also allow advertiser’s products to be accurately
grouped with other merchants retailing the same product which will allow for your
product ad in a Google Shopping campaign to be displayed.
when selecting a feed provider double-check that the provider has the
capabilities to both deliver Google a correctly formatted feed as well as the
ability to convert existing data from your website to the appropriate Google
Google Shopping generally delivers a better ROI (rate on
investment) and generally higher conversion rates compared to using straight
text ads. This is due to how they appear. Google Shopping ads show
customers an image of an item along with the price. In contrast, Google
text ads show provide only a text description. Even the most detailed
description may not convey what is in the customer’s mind and therefore the
customer may click on an ad (costing the advertiser money) and not be taken to
the product or products that they expected thus leaving.
not using Google Shopping ads will not appear in the Google Shopping results either
in the Shopping carousel or withing the Shopping section of Google.
As simple as that sounds, I’ve spoken to retailers before that
have said to me, “Hey Andy, I’m advertising on Google, why are my products not
being shown under Google Shopping?”
And the answer is: only products in the Google Shopping database as
submitted to Google Merchant Center are eligible to show on Google Shopping and
an advertiser needs to set up their products using the processes described
above in order for their products to be eligible to appear.
Once an advertiser has their products appearing in Google Shopping the work has just begun. Just like search campaigns, a Google Shopping campaign must be fully optimized in order to produce the best possible results and the ‘biggest bang for the buck’.
For more information on optimizing your Google Shopping listings, check out these articles:
If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.
If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for access.
Happy Marketing! Andy Splichal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andy Splichal is the founder of True Online Presence, the founder of The Academy of Internet Marketing, author and certified online marketing strategist with more than a decade and a half of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal, visit www.trueonlinepresence.com or read the full story in his article – The Full Story of The Academy of Internet Marketing.