Whether you are completely new to the world of Google Shopping, or have been using it for a while but are not maximising its features to the full potential, we are here to help. As a leading marketing agency, we’re pretty familiar with Google Shopping and how eCommerce businesses can maximise their ROI through using it correctly. Of course, with many aspects of marketing, we find that some continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
Fundamental principles of paid media in eCommerce are the ability to track a sale, understand where it came from and whether there is potential to gain more sales. By knowing what you can measure will help you uncover a wealth of insights into your product portfolio and customer journey. From this cornerstone you can then define your product scope and match the appropriate product to users who are more likely to buy from you, thus helping generate revenue for your business.
In this blog, we will take you through the seven most common, but unavoidable, sins of Google Shopping to help you understand its significance as a game changing digital marketing channel.
No Ecommerce Tracking (What Gets Measured, Gets Done)
Failure to have eCommerce tracking in place to understand traffic, user behaviour (including add to basket/checkout data) and ultimately sales and revenue will mean setting yourself up to fail. Essentially, you’ll be running blind in eCommerce and not be able to benefit from Google Automation to help boost your ROI.
Pro Tip: Most standard eCommerce platforms will have plugins available to enable integration your data for Google Analytics and Facebook. Ensure this is connected before you begin selling.
For custom build sites, speak with your IT developer about tracking the user journey and build in your design to track products from page view to basket to checkout and sales. If you have this built prior to starting your eCommerce journey, you will already have the foundations in place to measure your success.
Not Knowing Your Products (What Is It You're Selling?)
Like with most things, you also need to take the time to understand your products, the market, the profitability and the sales cycle of your business. When it comes to Google Shopping, even the smallest bit of product knowledge will go a long way into helping you understand how best to sell online and who your target audience is.
Pro Tip:Learn your top products and apply the 20/80% rule to find those which do the heavy lifting vs. window shopping items. To boost your secondary items, consider creating a Capture all low bid campaign to showcase your products with minimum spend behind.
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No Product Segmentation (Not All Products Are The Same!)
Even if you sell everything from cat food to jet skis, would you put all of those products into the same shop to advertise alongside one another or within the same campaign? Our guess would be no. You need to ensure that you categorise your products into the relevant campaign. Using your product feed data such as Custom Labels and Product Types can help you to more effectively manage your portfolio and therefore your success.
Pro Tip:You have 5 x custom labels and 0-4 available in a shopping feed. Use these to your advantage in setting defined product categories to help segment products into the right categories.
No Title Optimisation (Don’t Ruin Your Campaigns With Poor Titles)
You pull your data directly from your website, but your website title is excluding the main keyword that explains the product. The product title, along with a good quality image, are two of the most important elements in a Google Shopping campaign. Consider using supplementary sheets or “feed rules” to optimise your titles to make sense and ensure you have the most important keywords included.
Pro Tip:Ask yourself what is the main keyword that defines the product. Do you have the name, brand, size, type or colour in its title? Build out a structure to use from products with most important words going from left to right.
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Inconsistent Item_Ids (Have A History Of Skus & Data)
Your item_id (product record) has history in Google Shopping. If you’re amending product records on your store, make sure you keep the item_ids the same. A campaign can quickly lose traction if you amend the products and lose the item_id with a new value! The product history will disappear, and you’ll be right back at square one.
Pro Tip:Create a record of all your item_ids and product SKUs to have a complete history of products so if/when you change data in the back end, you can either setup feed rules to keep the same item_id or at the very least know what your IDs have changed to.
Managing Your Stock (Ensuring The Right Products & Variants Are Always Available)
Whatever you sell in Google shopping, make sure you can buy it online and it is still available to order. All too often you list a relevant product ad and get good click engagement but zero sales as the sizes or colours available are not what the user was looking for. Advertising items which are not in stock is quick way to spend money, reduce your user experience and can lead to a Google suspension for violating Google Shopping polices.
Pro Tip: Have a link up to your stock records and using Custom labels to mark stock quantity or which items are high/medium/low stock values.
Google Compliance (Do Not Pass Go & Do Not Collect Your Shopping Account)
Make sure to comply to all the Google rules for your account. If you see a warning, don’t ignore it as Google will penalise and suspend your account. When you see a warning, be it about price, account data, shipping, tax or data quality of your feed, make sure you resolve it quickly!
Pro Tip: This might sound obvious, but make sure to login to your Merchant Centre account daily to review notifications, possible warnings and your product feed data.
Stephen is our PPC Account Manager specifically for our lead generation clients. He provides data driven solutions to increase lead quality, campaign optimisation and rich insights into user behaviours. Stephen’s read more.