PPC Chat Streamcap – Google Shopping

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Google Shopping.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How has the Google Shopping update affected your PPC education and management style?

  • This update has given me a whole new insight into Google Shopping – I now know terms and variables that I didn’t know existed. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Take a harder look into Margins & Order Fulfillment rates. Product Target AdGroups w high margins get higher bids. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Even more feed focused now with data quality and tracking. – Ginny Marvin (@GinnyMarvin)
  • It has made me focus on feed management and learning that more. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • Finding many clients need LOTS of education around shopping feeds and targeting G-Shopping campaigns effectively. – Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
  • The transition highlights the significance of the data feed and the integrity of the data within it especially since Google is calculating/assigning relevancy (pronounced mapping?) for each product & potential queries. – David Weichel (@DavidWeichel)
  • Going to be even more important for clients to release their grips on feeds – be team oriented now. – Ginny Marvin
  • Lots more trial and error from the get go, monitoring changes in non-PLAs too. Lots of industry reads for other’s findings. – Alyssa McGowan (@alyssacmcg)
  • Especially for ecomm clients, AdWords management now also involves feed management. – Matt Umbro
    • Def starting to move toward this. – Alyssa McGowan
  • Made me fight to take over the product feeds. No more letting the product guys handle it. – Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
  • Google is going to have to provide a Client Management Merchant Center Account (Multi-User is no good) to make it work. – Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
    • They do offer multi-client merchant center accounts. – Bryant Garvin
  • Another thing to consider is with the increased exposure of PPC ads in SERP’s. PLA’s are more valuable than ever. – Brian Gaspar

Q2: Along with managing the AdWords account, do you actually update and optimize the feed as well?

  • 100% Yes otherwise pointless. – Andrew Baker
  • Yes. – Ginny Marvin
  • I currently do for one client – multiple feeds. Just as a CSV. It is time consuming and frustrating. – Bryant Garvin
  • Still ironing out the deatails, but moving in that direction, yes. – Alma Smith
  • Depends on client. Some are tech savvy enough to do it. For those who need help, we do it. – Mark Kennedy
  • Without access to the feed you are somewhat running blind. – Matthew Umbro
  • For now- manage and update the AdWords grouping/labels based on how we’re adjusting our ad group structure. – Alyssa McGowan
  • Fortunately I have someone great here that works on that. – Brian Gaspar
  • Feed optimization is crucial for maximizing PLAs, but running PLAs even w/o optimizing the feed is better than not doing so. – Logan Durant
  • Without access to the feed you are loosing the main targeting options. – Andrew Baker
  • Feed updates, a must otherwise products will expire after 30 days. Also want to manage inventory via daily feed updates too. – David Weichel
    • Agree, our client feeds our scheduled to run every night – FRESHNESS is key! – Andrew Baker
  • I like intercepting the feed as a marketer before it publishes. That way I can apply rules that are based on conditions. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Adwords_label and redirects are going to give you more levers to pull and the data that you want for successful management. – David Weichel

Q3: What are some new strategies and “tricks” you’ve learned managing PLA campaigns?

  • That average ad position doesn’t actually mean anything. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
    • For the most part…still being within the top 6 – 8 is key. – Matt Umbro
      • A rep told us that it’s total bs. Actual words used. they’ve got some way of seeing the “real” position on their end. – Elizabeth Marsten
        • Interesting…I am starting to see average positions upwards of 17, 18 and 19…so I guess it’s not a big deal. – Matt Umbro
      • Great trick. Usinge negatives to sculpt traffic. So you can set lower bids for one category than All Products. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
    • Disagree. Avg. Position can be important as a trend line. Increasing bids should get you higher position. – Jeremy
    • This is true. avg pos 1 is pretty much the same thing as 6-8 when all your listings are being clumped together it seems. – David Weichel
    • Avg. Pos. is also why you want ad groups instead of just Auto Targets. Targets don’t show Avg. Pos. but ad groups do. – Jeremy Brown
      • Have you found a better structure for tracking key metrics aside from one product target per ad group? – David Weichel
        • That can be too granular at times. Sometimes categories work well (product_type, adwords_labels) work well. – Jeremy Brown
  • Getting consistently more granular, watch SQs closely- guided where to break out certain products into new groupings/ad groups. – Alyssa McGowan
  • Add generic, 1 term negative queries before launching any PLA campaign (ie: [shoes] in “basketball shoes” campaign). – Matt Umbro
  • Make sure you have good adwords_groupings so you can granularly break products/groups out. – Bryant Garvin
  • Has anyone heard about any consolidation between Merchant Center & Adwords – feel like its only a matter of time. – Chris Kostecki
    • Yeah they’ve been testing this I’ve heard.. Makes sense. Jumping from the Merchant Center to Adwords isn’t smart. – David Weichel
  • Creating bidding tiers that actually don’t create conflicts takes some finessing of feed labels. – David Weichel
  • “If you’re a low cost player, shop competitor prices constantly.” make a TON of difference. – Alyssa McGowan

Q4: What role (if any) are the actual feed attributes (title, description, etc) having in PLA optimization?

  • As a brand, need to use any avenue to demonstrate value, since cannot undercut competition, and don’t have the lowest price. – Chris Kostecki
  • Think of them as ad copy. Google needs more transparency on feed best practices for title and description. – Jeremy Brown
  • Depending on items in the product target can impact the messaging you have in your PLA…Free Ship for 1 but not other. – Brian Gaspar
  • Haven’t been able to prove but better titles and descriptions (keyword rich) seems to help with Query relevancy. – Bryant Garvin
    • YES! I compare to writing optimized page titles and descriptions for SEO purposes. – Matt Umbro
      • Which if their SEO was good should already have good data to pull in. Sadly most don’t I’ve found. Speaking of SEO the Query reports for PLAs give you some good “fodder” for SEO teams. – Bryant Garvin
        • And for new text ad ad groups/campaigns. – Matt Umbro
        • YES! The PLA query reports should be used by every SEO. – Rick Backus
  • Role = huge. actual usage = limited I’m sure. Few ppl pay attn to optimizing product-level data bc it doesnt scale well. – David Weichel
  • Google assigns a data quality score to every feed. The higher quality the feed, the lower you can bid an to get PLA real estate. – Rick Backus
  • Feed attributes are key, but you can’t vary too far from what is actually on the page. Overall SEO optimization is best. – Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
  • Title & description fields essentially act as your keyword list for that product. Very important to optimize. – Logan Durant
  • Follow up – are people utilizing adwords_publish?
    • I am definitely using adwords_publish especially to run lower cost products in feed vs larger size more $ products. – Bryant Garvin
    • AdWords publish is great for suppressing low ticket/low stock/low margin items. – Logan Durant

Q5: If you could only invest in one activity, would it be Google Shopping or the Display Network? Why?

  • Google Shopping, most definitely! High conversions, better intent. – Kristi Davis (@KristiBug)
  • Shopping – better CPOs so far. – Ginny Marvin
  • Google Shopping. Exposure to new customers and leverages the product data/images you already have on your ecomm platform. – David Weichel
  • Despite what PLAs have done to our search landscape, display is too big to ignore. Shopping behavior on Google is shrinking IMO. – Chris Kostecki
    • What do you see that suggests it’s shrinking? – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
      • Traffic volume from other CSEs shrinking, Google getting rid of free inventory will degrade the experience (again IMO). – Chris Kostecki
  • Shopping because Shopping is direct response. Display is generally demand generation. Big difference. – Jeremy Brown
  • Shopping – You see much better (and tangible) results. – Matt Umbro
  • Google Shopping > Google Display Network and it’s not even close. High quality traffic with much more advertiser control. – Rick Backus
  • Shopping. I hate the mess that it is, but like the direct response. – Elizabeth Marsten
    • Embrace the Google Shopping pain! You’ll be a hero to your clients who hate it even more than you do. – Rick Backus
  • Display….Not. Shopping without a doubt. And besides Remarketing is the new Display. – Brian Gaspar
    • You can’t have remarketing if you exclude display! – Chris Kostecki
      • Remarketing is Display but only to people who have already been to your site. Gen Display not as effective. – Brian Gaspar
        • Our display kills it on CVR, CTR tougher of course, but traffic is qualified and much more diverse. – Chris Kostecki
  • I am the only one one that will take the expansive display network instead of the narrow shopping field! – Chris Kostecki
    • Not the only one… I wouldn’t choose between them 🙂 They both have their place especially when used for strengths. – Bryant Garvin

Q6: How will Google Shopping change the paid search landscape in terms management and results?

  • For some advertisers Shopping could become a bigger source of business and potentially replace some of their standard PPC. – Bryant Garvin
  • It’s all about the top 3 for text ads; positions 4+ now like second page thanks to PLA box. – Chris Kostecki
    • Absolutely, we’re seeing that happen already. – Ginny Marvin
  • More time spent on management, but should increase the results. Ecomms are now in paid 2x (feed and ads). – Mark Kennedy
  • Traditional AdWords Agencies will need to manage data feeds and retailers need to take their feed more seriously. – Rick Backus
  • Already has changed things. Some queries there is only PLA box at the top and text ads moved to bottom of page. – Jeremy Brown
  • Remarketing will be on search / shopping soon enough IMO. – Andrew Baker
    • DO WANT! Remarketing + Google Shopping would be awesome. – Rick Backus
  • About Display – if none of you have checked out Search Intent Display you should – Fetchback & Chango. – Bryant Garvin
  • Will give you more actionable insights in terms of Campaign expansion rather than past speculation on areas to focus on. – Brian Gaspar

Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
• Alyssa McGowan (@alyssacmcg)
• Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
• Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
• David Weichel (@DavidWeichel)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Ginny Marvin (@GinnyMarvin)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Kristi Davis (@KristiBug)
• Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
• Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
 

Streamcaptain of the 7 PPC’s

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, PPC Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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