Google converted its free product search solution to paid product listing ads in 2012 to the dismay of many marketers.
Around this time we started looking into strategies that would help us to deliver better performance. We managed to gain an advantage over competitors who were largely not staying ahead. It became apparent that the best way to benefit clients is though fully understanding new developments as soon as possible, then developing and testing innovative ways to improve ROI.
Google Shopping campaigns arrived the following year to further unsurprising resistance. Once again though this provided opportunities for gaining considerable ground over competitors.
So where is Google Shopping now? Well there many agencies getting by with low maintenance set-ups that tick along and provide reasonable incomes for advertisers. Most of these advertisers are missing out on the huge potential advanced strategies and techniques. Admittedly taking the time to set up Google Shopping for top performance, does require more time to set up and run. but are truly worth the effort in terms of returns and profit.
At Elevate UK we employ bid strategies based on careful evaluation of the searches visitors make before visiting the website. Bids are adjusted according to the quality category of the search. Although a more general search is often less valuable paying proportionally less for this traffic maintains search volume without damaging profitability.
Search Related Bidding Strategy
The Google Shopping bidding strategy that works for our clients was developed through observation of searches made by those exposed to our shopping ads. We also avoid looking at the number of sales, if possible. Instead we use sales or conversion value and and profit margins to really understand what’s happening.
If a search isn’t appropriate or doesn’t convert, we add that term as a negative keyword. Future searches then no longer show ads. The search queries that are not rejected vary in terms of how well they convert and also the value of the conversion.
So how do we deal with the variation in search quality. Here are the four categories of search we look at:
- Unwanted search
- Generic search such as ’80 inch TVs’
- Specific search or brand related search ‘Samsung 85 UHD 4K Flat Smart TV S9 Series 9’
- Search including product codes or SKUs ‘UA85S9AR’
Using multiple campaigns, negative keyword strategies, priority settings and product bidding we apply stratified bidding to each of these groups. To respond to the commercial value of the search, generic search gets the lowest bids. Very specific searches such as product codes get much higher bids.