chapter 7

Bidding - Reporting & Optimization

This is where an ordinary shopping campaign can become a rock star. Where a good marketing channel can become one of your best and most profitable channel. With Shopping Campaigns there is a lot to see and several levels to pull  in order to adjust performance. These are reports you’ll want to review at least on a monthly basis. Some of most helpful information can be found in the Dimensions Tab in AdWords. From your Shopping Campaign click the Dimensions tab, then click to View by: Shopping then Item ID in the drop downs.

While actual bid adjustments amounts and strategies will vary from company to company, here are some helpful best practices.

Products with No Impressions - Most likely this means that your bids are too low, or that your feed isn’t providing Google with clear enough info to display your products.  You can start by increasing your bids first and consider feed changes later. After increasing bids you’ll want to go back through your feed and confirm that you follow the recommendations in this guide for product titles, descriptions, etc.

Products with High impressions, No (or low) Clicks - This is a scenario where Google finds your product relevant for different search queries, but users aren’t clicking on your listing. More often than not, this is an indication of a product price issue. See for yourself by using the Ad Preview and Diagnostics tool in AdWords and look at what ads display for your search queries. Likely your competitors are charging less than you by a significant enough amount to discourage users from clicking on your ad. This high-impression, low-click scenario can also be caused by poor image quality. Conduct searches in Google or with the Ad Preview & Diagnostics tool and see how your images stack up with the competition. To identify these products first go to the Dimensions Tab as shown above and click to view by: Shopping and then by Item ID. Then sort them by clicking on the impressions column to filter products from high to low impressions. Look for products with less than a 1% CTR.

Products with High Clicks, No Conversions - This is when Google finds you relevant and users find you attractive enough to click your PLA, but then they don’t buy. Likely this is a product page issue. See how your competition stacks up by clicking their ads and analyzing their landing pages. There are several things you could look for from a conversion optimization standpoint, but it’s best to start with the basics.

  • Do they offer free shipping?
  • Are shipping options listed by the Add to Cart button?
  • Do they offer guarantees?
  • Do they have more or better product reviews than you?
  • Do they offer better and clearer product images or maybe product videos than you?
  • Do they offer financing or some other special incentive that you don’t?

It’s possible that you might need to lower your bids to start showing up for longer tail keywords that have a higher probability of converting.

Also, you may need to edit your feed if you have info in your title or description that is misleading or causing you to show up for unwanted keywords. You can also add negative keywords to block unwanted search queries from triggering your ad.

Other Helpful Reports

Search Query Report

This report shows the actual queries that searchers type into Google that result in ad impressions for you. I prefer to run this report in Google Analytics, but you can also easily run this in AdWords. In Google Analytics click on the Acquisition tab in the left, then the AdWords drop down, then click on Search Queries.

Then you can choose your date range and then sort by clicks, impression, or conversions. If you are running text campaigns and shopping campaigns, you’ll want to click on secondary dimension - and choose campaign.

Once you set up the secondary dimension, it’s helpful to create a filter and just look at Shopping campaigns. Click the blue link labeled “advanced” next to the search box.

Then select to include campaign containing and enter the name of your shopping campaign or campaigns. Then click apply. This will filter out everything but your shopping campaign search query data.

I think it’s helpful to look at a 2-3 month window to see keyword performance over time. And I like to look at a few week and a one week window to see trends. I usually look for search queries approaching 100 with no conversions or limited revenue compared to cost. You can then consider if you need to add keywords as negatives or possibly change your feed or reduce bids for certain products.

Product Performance Report

This will show you what specific products are selling. When you sort by advertising campaign type you can see exactly what products are selling from your shopping campaigns. This can be used to supplement what you would find in AdWords in the Dimensions tab where you can see conversions by Item ID. In Google Analytics under Conversions, click the Ecommerce drop down, then click on Product Performance.

Then you’ll want to apply a filter to show only products sold by your Shopping Campaigns. First add a Secondary dimension of Advertising > Campaign.

Then click the advanced link next to the search box.

Then filter to Include Campaigns containing the name of your Shopping Campaign. Click Apply.


Next chapter

8. Ad Extensions and Other Extras

2 min

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