There are lots of different ways you can optimise performance from your Google Shopping ads, but the steps you take depend on your industry, your business, and what you’re hoping to achieve with Google Shopping. In our experience, retailers who work closely with us find Google Shopping a breeze. Cut out conversion-tracking catastrophes, low visibility woes, and overspending on ads by following our simple tips.
What we suggest for our clients
Our Ecommerce Specialists provide bespoke advice, but some guidance comes up time and time again. So the team got their heads together to give their most common pieces of advice:
Google Merchant Center feed optimisation
When it comes to Google Shopping and Merchant Center, there’s a misconception that performance is largely based on spend. Whilst this is of course a key factor, poor product feed optimisation can have a huge impact on the performance of your ads.
Conversion tracking and attribution
Ensure you’ve set up your conversion tracking correctly, and choose a suitable attribution model for your marketing goals.
Conversion tracking quite simply records the number of conversions and their sources. It might sound unnecessary, but all too often we find retailers over or under-tracking conversions and revenue from their website.
This has a knock-on effect in determining how much you spend on different channels, and how much you should bid for clicks on Google Shopping.
Attribution enables you to see what parts of your marketing function drive conversions by illustrating touchpoints. It’s a little different depending on which Google product you’re using.
Google Ads and Google Analytics use attribution differently:
Google Analytics: Attribution is defined as the time the conversion occurs. So, if the user searched yesterday but completed the purchase today, Analytics would record the sale today.
Google Ads: Attribution is defined as the time the ad query was searched for, which isn’t necessarily the same date and time as the conversion. So revenue is backdated.
Google Analytics attributes conversions to touchpoints across all marketing channels including organic social and search. Google Ads, on the other hand, focuses on attribution from your ads alone.
When we onboard clients, we do a deep dive into their accounts, including checking out your tracking. Inaccurate tracking impacts bid prices, and we like to start off on the right foot.
Understanding your data
One of the biggest pitfalls of Google Shopping is that it’s a ‘black box’ in terms of data. The data readily available to users is limited which makes optimising your campaigns difficult.
Our clients benefit from fully transparent data – you can get your hands on all your data as and when you need it. This is available in a personalised Looker Studio (previously Data Studio) report, which your dedicated account managers can explain and analyse with you on weekly calls.
Having as much product data as possible really helps to understand what shoppers are searching to find your products, and which search queries are providing the highest conversion rates.
And you can go one step further. Take advantage of this wealth of your audience’s engagement and behaviour by using it to inform your strategies across other paid and organic channels as well as in business and stocking decisions.
Having a broad product catalogue
Many retailers find their stock is seasonal, finding more traffic, more purchase intent, and more conversions only in some parts of the year.
To maintain year-round visibility without sacrificing profitability, we recommend broadening your product catalogue to include products which don’t rely on large volumes of search traffic during seasonal periods. An all-seasons, evergreen inventory can help to prevent off-peak periods where growth is stalled.
Help us help you: let's work together
Our clients often tell us they feel like we’re “an extension of their team”, and it’s a position we strive to fulfil. We’re here to help boost your Google Shopping performance, and we’ll incorporate your industry expertise with our data insights to fully optimise your campaigns.
It’s a two-way relationship that works best when both sides are fully transparent. When possible, we encourage clients to provide us with data and information. This ranges from your industry knowledge and your business goals to your promotional events.
If we can fully understand your business and exactly what you’re looking to achieve, we can make sure we’re doing everything we can to optimise your account. Especially in the run-up to your big sales.
Our Client Success Managers regularly schedule calls with clients to discuss all things optimisation, performance, and strategy.
We’re also mindful of holidays like Black Friday and Christmas, which for most businesses are incredibly busy times of the year. Our technology platform uses machine learning to outbid competitors and achieve the best possible bid price for the greatest profitability, all while maximising visibility.
Of course, we can tailor how we use this technology to meet your goals on Google Shopping.
It’s important to keep in mind the increasingly competitive ecommerce landscape and the effect it has on CPC. With CPC consistently rising, it’s hard to get ahead of the curve.
It’s an unfortunate fact that spending more can yield better results, so flexibility with ad budget is an asset to have. However, our machine learning technology offers the opportunity to compete profitably on Google Shopping.
More useful guides:
• What you can do about a high bounce rate
• How your website speed can affect your conversion rate
• Is advertising low-value products on Google Shopping worth it?
• Stock availability and its effect on conversion rate