Google Shopping Updates & Optimization

Some of you may have noticed that Google has been investing more time lately into their Adwords Shopping Campaign features. Last year Google renamed their Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to Google Shopping Campaigns and provided retailers the ability to segment and optimize on a product category, group, traffic type, and custom label level. If you are familiar with these updates than you have probably read an article or two about how to “optimize your feed”. I’d like to think this one is a little different.

In this article, we are going to skip past setting up your product feed titles, adding brand names, and ensuring attributes and descriptions are up to par, as there is plenty of literature out there on this. Instead we are going to dive right into your current Google Shopping campaign metrics and Adwords settings. The goal is to walk you through 4 key optimization tactics for your Adwords Shopping Campaigns that may have gone unnoticed or appeared daunting and time consuming in the past. In order to make these optimization tasks less daunting and time consuming, I’ve provide some Google Analytics Assets (4 Custom Reports and a Dashboard with direct links to the reports) to get you analyzing and optimizing quicker.

Free Google Analytics Dashboard & Reports

These Google Analytics Assets are built specifically for analyzing your Google Shopping Campaigns and the 4 optimization strategies below. As GA assets, they are obviously fully customizable and intended to be a foundation for helping you analyze your current campaign metrics to decide where/how you would like to optimize… because as we know in digital marketing one size rarely fits all.

So first off, if you would like to follow along and analyze your own metrics you’ll want to download the Google Shopping Quick Optimization Reports & Dashboard  by clicking the button below (be sure you are signed into your Google Analytics account)

Import Dashboard & Reports

Assets Import Housekeeping

*You must have Google Analytics installed with eCommerce enabled and Adwords integrated. If you do not, feel free to reach out as we will help get you started… at no charge ;)*

*All Dashboard Widgets and Custom Reports have been filtered for Campaign = “Shopping Feed“. Before you can get started using the Dashboard & Reports you must replace the “Shopping Feed” campaign name in the filter to match your Google Shopping Campaign name… Click here to see how*

Alright now we are ready to dive in…

4 Quick Google Shopping Optimization Tips

Tip #1: Remove Poor Performing Keywords

Google Shopping Campaigns do not allow you to bid on keywords however you can add negative keywords to your campaigns to drive your bidding in a more profitable direction. In the GS: Quick Optimization Dashboard you will notice the Poor Keywords Widget in the top left which gives you a quick look at your poorest performing search queries. Its worth noting here that keywords are different than “search queries”, and if you do not know the difference you will want read this post. In this article, we will be referring to search queries as keywords for simplicity sake.

In traditional Adwords bidding you can avoid odd, irrelevant, and poor performing keywords all together with the exact match approach, however because you are not bidding for keywords in Google Shopping there is no way to avoid being matched for keywords you might not want to appear for. The best way is to identify the matched search queries you are currently appearing for an adding them as negative keywords in Adwords.
Depending on your business, budget, and products each account will vary on what is a “poor performing” keyword, but use the bounce rate and ecommerce conversion rate as the main indicators to determine what keywords might be worth avoiding. You may want to filter your report to only show the keywords with a minimum number of clicks to avoid skewed bounce and conversion rates.

Tip #2: Analyze and Improve Geographically

In today’s digital economy you have the ability to compete in nearly any city, state, or country; however budgets often dictate otherwise. Retailers face a flat and competitive market online and you will want to allocate your budget in those areas that provide the most return on your investment. View the Geographical Analysis Widget on the Dashboard to get a snapshot of your best converting regions. [If you sell globally or outside the United States] adjust the widget accordingly by selecting the widget’s pencil icon and modifying the region.

Click in to the Geographical Analysis widget to drill down into the best performing states and cities. Select the second “cities” tab to view top performing cities without having to drill down and filter by state. Analyzing the conversion/bounce rates, product revenue, and average session duration will help you drive your decisions on excluding or modify bids for certain regions in your Adwords campaign settings.

Tip #3 – Promote your best sellers

Just as brick and mortar operations invest heavily in their best products through advertisements and valuable end cap space, online retailers should look to invest in those products more likely to convert from a click to a purchase. Although many of your products that are a top performers in one channel will hold true in the other channels, it can be helpful to analyze your best selling products at a channel level when you are optimizing your advertising spend. Use the Top Selling Items Widget to see a list of your top 10 best sellers specifically from your Google Shopping Campaign. Click through to the report and utilize these metrics to segment your products, adjust bids, and gain impression share for the items that provide the highest return.

Tip #4: Modify Bids for Mobile

Your website design, type of buyer, product industry, among many other things can all factor in to how much the mobile conversions and revenue differ from your desktop metrics. It can be helpful to determine if the return on your mobile clicks are worth bidding the same, more, or in most cases less. With many mobile buyers browsing on their phone and completing the purchase on desktop, there can be differing opinions on the strategy to implement here and for the purpose of this article we are not going to dive into assisted conversion reporting. However for those looking to increase their ecommerce conversion rate and further optimize their feed, you will likely decrease your mobile bid in the Adwords campaign settings. Get a quick snapshot of bounce rate and eCommerce conversion rate from the Mobile Engagement Widget and click through to the report to analyze your mobile performance metrics. If there is a significant decrease in your performance from mobile traffic you can easily decrease the bid from your campaign settings in Adwords.

Wrap Up

With several articles out there on how to “optimize your feed”, I hope this was able to provide some tangible value and get you over the hump in making strides toward increasing ROI and driving paid search sales. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to reach out as I am always happy to discuss how to improve our dashboards/reports and talk eCommerce shop. If you would like us to send you the updates as we improve and add to our Google Analytics assets, click here to sign up.

By | 2017-12-28T15:05:51-05:00 July 7th, 2015|

About the Author:

Analytics Addict, Outdoors Enthusiast, eCommerce/Marketing Blogger, & Startup Founder.