Everything Google Shopping

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

Q1: How do you break out your Shopping campaigns (i.e: by product type, top sellers, etc)? Why?

  • I generally start with product type campaigns and a catch all campaign at a much lower bid. – Matt Umbro
  • Most often, price and profit margin make these decisions for me. Far easier to evaluate return that way. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Based on ROAS to ensure top products are always fully funded. – Scott Garrett (@ScottGarrett89)
  • Depends 100% on the client & what will work best in their situation. I’ve done a little of all of the above, but my goal especially is to identify natural profit groupings & segment those out. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • By product type, then brand (when you have a retailer of many brands that sell multiple products each). – Patrick Cusumano (@heypatrick20)
  • Luckily we have access to margin data for most of our clients, but in those cases we don’t typical by product category. – Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
  • As much as I hate being a cop-out, the answer is “it depends.” Many vars at play, all different for each advert. – Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
  • Further down the line I’ll experiment with various campaign types, including top sellers (and low sellers) and type/brand combos. – Matt Umbro
  • Some new clients with previous AW history or Analytics can help make this decision more rapidly than others. – Kirk Williams
  • Definitely depends on the client. I tend to break out campaigns for ease of reporting if it’s viable, usually by brand. – Christian Wenzel (@cdwenzel
  • Really granular, product type campaigns/ad groups, catch all ad group also (if volume warrants it). Found we have to have a lot volume to get this work/be worth the effort. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
    • Yeah, need that data to determine where to invest efforts. – Matt Umbro
  • Usually whatever makes sense from a budget/coverage perspective first. – Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
  • If products are less than 1K, I’ll bid individually by SKU at times. – Matt Umbro
  • Usually start with product type, but may break out later on if it makes sense based on ROI or other performance metrics. – Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
  • One good way to tell is Search SQR. If customers search & buy according to brand start there. If product type, start there. – Kirk Williams
  • Bbroken down by price range, then product type then brand (in general). Depends on client, may also do RLSA vs. regular. Also, looking at breaking out campaigns by broad vs. high conv keywords. – David Jaeger (@ppcguru)

Q2: Do you allow affiliates to show ads for your products? Why or why not?

  • I’m generally fine with this – if you want to sell for me, go for it. – Mark Irvine
    • True, but what if they are stealing your revenue from your own Shopping account. Could be getting the revenue without paying a middle man. – Matt Umbro
      • I’m sure that’s true, but that’s true with all affiliates. If you’re not ok with a middleman, you should prob not have affliates. – Mark Irvine
        • Good point, just a matter of determining where they can help the most with lowest cost. – Matt Umbro
      • Solution would be to have affiliates, but don’t let them send paid traffic. – Christian Wenzel
  • I’ve only audited accounts in that situation, but I’ve seen some pretty egregious butchering of titles and images. – Gil Hong
  • I will also generally allow affiliates to bid on my products…as long as I don’t see sharp declines in Google Shopping. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes but only if the message is cotrolled. Affiliates have strict messaging guidelines the have to follow. – Sarah Holder (@SarahAHolder)
  • Affiliates don’t touch my budgets.
    Someone else can pay for them & deal with them, thank you very much. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Non PLA specific answer for us but yes. Position based strategies are in place however. – Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
  • I would also look into Google Manufacturer Center and possibly Adsense for shopping. – Gil Hong
  • Don’t often get to make that mandate, but this is where controlling the feed/data quality helps. – Elizabeth Marsten

Q3: Are you actively making feed edits (titles & description) in order to help Google show your products for more relevant queries?

  • Yes when possible, or giving suggestions to client when I don’t have direct feed access. – Kirk Williams
  • Usually make recommendations for the client to update with best practices. – Gil Hong
  • Description fields have been tweaked repeadetly to try and create as much overlap as possible between search queries & products. – Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
  • I wish I could say yes, but often it’s difficult to even get access to client’s feeds and have them trust you to make changes. – Mark Irvine
    • Yes, but you are allowing more changes for your product to be seen and (hopefully) purchased. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes/No, most of the feed work revolves around fixing errors and issues in the feed. – Scott Garrett
  • Yes, if client is responsive enough or if we have access to tools that allow us to do so. – Marcel Sprecher (@msp1406)
  • Not actively, but I help when/if I can. – Matt Umbro
  • Yeah I don’t generally have feed access, so I’ve gotta hope clients will be open to suggestion! – Patrick Cusumano
  • Yes, when possible/allowed. Can depend on how the feed is set-up also. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • If you aren’t you should be. We had a dedicated feed optimizer back when I managed it. Very important IMO. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • Usually do an audit & make recos when we take over. Haven’t done much testing in that way though – will have to try it out. – Heidi Smith
  • Where possible & practical.
    It’s a lot of work, but should be constantly tested just like anything else. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Constantly. it’s kind of what CommerceHub does. It does make a difference. Product titles, spend your time there and proper categorization. (Error resolution as you can, get your assortment up). – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I Wonder if this will still be relevant once Google is able to pull data from manufacturer centers. All we need is GTIN then. – Marcel Sprecher

Q4: What are your parameters when determining whether to exclude search queries and products? Why? 

  • Is there another product that would work better for this query? Is it just mapped poorly? – Kirk Williams
  • Does it convert? 2. Is it a type/size/color they sell? 3. Does is convert? – James Svoboda
  • Usually profitability on the client side (which needs to include profit, shipping, availability, etc). – Gil Hong
  • In a perfect world, performance. Sometimes budget limitations can impact, but if it don’t perform it don’t play. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Negative KWs can be pandora’s box at time with shopping. I err on the side of error and exclude them based on performance alone. – Mark Irvine
  • IMO this is where a query mapping strategy can help. Oftentimes, not a “product” issue, but a query-mapping one. – Kirk Williams
  • Exclude products based on CPA/cost, avg price point (like under $10), competition (includes thinking about shipping). – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I generally set filters, something like at least 100 clicks with 0 conversions and exclude queries/products from there. – Matt Umbro
  • Queries – is it relevant to the product, or would it fit elsewhere? Products – conversions and conversion value/cost. – Patrick Cusumano
  • In an ideal world, you’re solving these query mapping questions by fixing their feeds, not with neg KWs. – Mark Irvine

Q5: What is the benefit of using a custom label over setting a bid for an individual SKU? Why? 

  • Only benefit is saving time – always bid on SKU’s when possible. – Christian Wenzel
    • I tend to take this route as well – plus saves the client from having to implement the label. – Matt Umbro
  • You get the best of using performance data and added contextual data to analyze and make changes. – Gil Hong
  • I’m prob in minority here, I rarely use custom labels. – Kirk Williams
  • Reporting flexibility. Bidding by “portfolio”. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • More custom reporting & analysis capability.
    Leads to better tactical & strategic command if used well. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • For those mentioning reporting/portfolios – you can use the AdWords labels to do the same thing without touching the feed. – Christian Wenzel

Q6: Do you utilize Merchant Center Promotions? If so, how do they perform?

  • Yes and up for debate on the performance. Sometimes impr too low to be worth the effort. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • When using them I tend to see slight increases, though, there isn’t currently a way to see how they perform. – Matt Umbro
  • Promotions are great – like regular search, any thing that sets your PLA apart from the competition has value. – Christian Wenzel
  • For major promotions, yes! Performance tracking can get iffy unless we can use dedicated promo codes. – Gil Hong
  • Not available in my market yet unfortunately…like so many great things (local inventory ads). – Marcel Sprecher
  • I anecdotally see better conversion numbers, but can’t definitively say it’s from the promotions. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes. Generally see what appears to be a positive revenue impact, but TBH I’ve not yet done a detailed before/after analysis. – Kirk Williams
  • Also the ease of setting up a google sheet in advance makes it more convenient to use. – Gil Hong

Q7: How will the removal of sidebar ads impact Shopping listings & performance (if it will at all)? Why?

  • Might impact incremental lift of text ads that used to show there along with PLAs. – Gil Hong
  • Probably provide more impressions via more keywords. People tuned out side “text” ads, harder to do with product images. – James Svoboda
  • I assume we’ll see more traffic to PLAs as visible text ads are reduced in SERPs. – Kirk Williams
  • Any advertisers eligible for but not utilizing shopping needs to implement Shopping ads today. – Christian Wenzel
  • It will Increase performance for Shopping. Why? Because Google changes usually make more money for Google. – Mark Parent (@parentmark)
  • We think the desktop change is minimal to clickshare. more ceremonial. – David Jaeger
  • I’m expecting to see more impressions, esp with the expanded option on the google.com SERP. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • The change isn’t a game changer, but shopping CTRs and paid clicks are up some. – Mark Irvine
  • Shopping CPCs will increase as a result. – Christian Wenzel
  • I expect Shopping to see more traffic (fewer distractions on side). I also expect Google to add more products to the side box over time. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)

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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.


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

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
• Christian Wenzel (@cdwenzel)
• David Jaeger (@ppcguru)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
• Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Marcel Sprecher (@msp1406)
• Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Mark Parent (@parentmark)
• Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
• Patrick Cusumano (@heypatrick20)
• Sarah Holder (@SarahAHolder)
• Scott Garrett (@ScottGarrett89)

Everything PPCChat Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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