How to make money with Google Shopping: the guide for business. Part III. Campaigns audit
Read the whole Google Shopping guide:
There are two audit types for shopping campaigns:
- marketing audit: goal, KPI, and strategy analysis;
- technical audit: technical correctness analysis of the realization of marketing goals.
First of all determine the goals of advertising, KPI and the strategy. This is where we determine point A (the current situation, where we are now), setting point B (the target situation, where we want to be) and constructing the way to achieve point B from point A (realization of advertising campaigns to go all way through to point B). Only knowing this we can start the analysis part.
Marketing audit of Google Shopping campaigns
To determine your point A look at your data from the account. Point B should be determined by a specialist i/c (marketing director, manager). However, that point B and point A can’t lay on different planes. What are we talking about? It’s easy. For example, if you don’t have net profit data, you can’t set the goal “net profit at the level $X”. You simply won’t have an origin, a reference point — point A. And if you don’t have a place to start, you can’t work your way from A to B. First you need to count up the current value and only then you can decide how to improve it.
Google Shopping is an e-commerce tool so the most common goals for it are:
- to increase the number of transactions;
- to increase revenue;
- to increase ROAS (ROI if possible);
- to get target net profit from Shopping campaigns.
A clearly understandable goal helps to choose the best way of improving it. Some goals can’t be combined. It’s impossible to work on increasing transactions and increasing ROAS at the same time and not to lose effectiveness. This way from A to B, way to more transactions and higher ROAS — are two different roads that lead in different directions. And you can’t have it all at the same time.
It is also important to correctly determine the actual purpose of advertising considering your current business strategy.
Important! The standard Google Ads and Google Analytics tools can’t calculate ROI and net profit. To do this you need to make some customization, for example:
Option 1. Upload the data from Google Ads to Google Sheet. Specify the margins of the goods:
Adding marginality allows you to calculate ROI and net profit. This is a huge benefit which is, of course, quite labor-intensive to obtain but it’s definitely worth it. The calculation allows you to determine account growth zones at the micro-level (analysis of each product’s performance) and identify budget leaks. One drawback — you have to spend time creating and updating the file.
Option 2. The Panda (beta) — PPC micromanagement soft which does this calculation automatically.
The Panda allows you to generate a report with ROI and net profit really quickly. And when you know ROI and net profit, you can conduct micro-account management for profits and a return on investment boost. And at the same time labor costs for the process become minimal unlike the first method of customization.
Option 3. Use the other software. Unfortunately, we haven’t found any good alternatives for the Panda but if you know something — let us know in the comments, we will be grateful.
When you have your strategy formed, the goals set and the KPIs known, you can initiate stage 2 which is the one and only technical audit.
Technical audit of Google Shopping campaigns
In a technical audit start with the question “Is there enough data on my products, are there enough clicks and conversions?”. If the answer is yes, you are fine. If not, you can already understand the direction of the audit.
If there is little data in Google Shopping
If Google Shopping is low:
- check bids: maybe you have them too low. Google doesn’t have a special planner for shopping campaigns that can forecast the desired bid. So try to raise your bids and keep an eye on where it leads you;
- set up the accelerated ad delivery method;
- estimate your budget: it is possible that it is too small and the bids, on the contrary, are too high;
- check the status of your products, you may have disapproved items. Merchant Center shows all errors, even those that didn’t lead to disapproval but could affect the number of impressions;
- check the quality of your product feed because it defines what queries your users will be able to use to find products:
- titles contain names and specification of products. Example: Supreme T → T-shirt Supreme red M-size;
- the most important information is contained in the first 70 characters of the title because those are visible in the ad. In other words, ads don’t show the entire title, only the first 70 characters. Example: Red and white polka dot size M mini dress → Mini dress red and white polka dot, size M;
- in the ads for high-intended users, titles should contain a brand name: i.e. users who are looking for a specific branded product are already higher in the sales funnel and inherently more “convertible”. Dress red and white polka dot → Dress H&M red and white polka dot;
- description no shorter than 500 characters;
- google_product_category attribute used (if possible);
- the additional_image_link attribute with additional pictures is used to show products from an advantageous angle;
- the main image is clear, bright and the items are clearly visible on it; view shows maximum product visibility; the photo doesn’t have a bright background that distracts from it;
- the colors are simple and understandable: the hips of the frightened nymph → pink.
If you need to make just a few changes in the product feed, use the Merchant Center feed rules.
If there is no data in Google Shopping at all
- if the country of sale and location is chosen correctly;
- the presence of ad;
- the correctness of Merchant Center ID: it’s possible that several Merchant accounts are linked to Google Ads and there is only one with products in it;
- whether the products have passed moderation or not;
- campaign structure. Maybe the website structure was changed: the product moved to another category, the categories were renamed or the page was deleted and new ones were created with a different id. In such situations, the campaign may continue to target empty id when other products are excluded. Accordingly, there will be no impressions because there is nothing to show. To check if there is any item in the id or subgroup, just move the cursor to the desired point.
When you find a mistake, correct it and wait for at least one day. If everything is done correctly, during this time you’ll receive some statistics. If it doesn’t, continue to check the correctness of your technical settings. If Google Shopping still doesn’t bring any results, request a free audit from the Penguin-team and we’ll find out what the deal is.
If there is a lot of data in Google Shopping
#1 Quick audit
- The campaign structure is adjusted for the chosen strategy, it’s implemented correctly and bids are set properly.
- Campaigns bring enough convertible traffic which contains people who do not just look at the product but also buy it.
- There are negative keywords and the negative keyword lists are set.
- There are no disapproved items in the product feed.
- Products that spend a lot but don’t bring results are found and taken care of.
- There’s enough of a budget for all of the products.
#2 Account audit checklist
- Shopping expenses are 70% or more of all advertising spending in e-commerce Google Ads account. If less, Shopping probably isn’t working efficiently enough for this online store.
- Bids adjustment by location is set up. A higher bid is assigned to more important regions: those that convert better (have a higher conversion rate and CPA), and also those where manufacturing is located to outflank local competitors (if it corresponds to business goals).
- Bids adjustment by devices is also set up. Devices with higher conversion rates have a higher bid.
- For the RLSA, target audiences must be added to each campaign. If you have a separate remarketing campaign make sure that the audiences are excluded from all non-remarketing campaigns.
- Does the account structure match the client’s strategy? And how well is it implemented?
- Does the bidding strategy match the overall client’s strategy?
- Transactions are tracked correctly and data import from Google Analytics is configured. You can make import settings in the “Linked accounts” section in Google Ads. To check e-commerce, go to the “Conversions” tab where conversions are contained. There should be no big difference between data from Analytics, client and Google Ads. Small differences are normal since different attribution models are used in these systems.
- The campaign contains no more than 10,000 products.
- Branded and non-branded campaigns are split.
- Priority between campaigns is set right based on your chosen strategy.
- Product rating is set up and uses all features. In the Merchant Center, check whether there is some data on the Promotions tab (adds info about discounts or bonuses to the ad) and Product reviews tab (adds stars with product ratings and reviews). This is a kind of extension for Shopping ads.
#3 Feed audit checklist
- There are no errors in the product feed, it’s updated regularly and it contains all the products for advertising with up-to-date information on availability/price, etc.
- The product feed contains all possible attributes.
- The title contains keywords and they are correctly distributed by “weight”: the more important keyword is, the closer it is to the beginning. The title can contain 150 characters max but usually customers see even less — like first 70 characters. So, put the most important info at the beginning to make sure people see it.
- The description is written accurately, usefully, transparently, without any grammatical or other mistakes. It has at least 500 characters.
- The quality of images is high. This is required.
#4 Google Ads management checklist
- It’s important that optimization actions are being relevant to business goals. So, if a business strategy is based on stabilizing and optimizing the current situation, it’s important to work on ROI and net profit but not increase the number of transactions or ROAS.
- During campaigns and seasonal sales separate campaigns are used with the correct priority settings and separate budget as the other products can consume all the budget and there won’t be enough budget left for first priority products. Also, you can use Promotions — they are placed in the Google Merchant Center.
- You analyze search queries and add negative keywords weekly to make your campaigns perform better.
- You analyze search queries and add ones with the highest capacity into the search campaign.
- There are permanent titles and descriptions testing to find better wording and increase the CTR in that way.
- Check the dynamic remarketing setup. When launching, you can use the same product feed as for Google Shopping and half of the task is done!
- Does product micromanagement take into account the item’s productivity? While managing products, rely on ROI and net profit. That’s how you’ll be sure that your advertising is profitable, effective, and doesn’t bring any losses into the business. Read more about the management with a focus on ROI and supporting software in the article “All shades of strategies”.
And that’s basically it. Now you can make even better results with your Google Shopping campaigns! Don’t wanna check it yourself? Request a free ROI and Profit Analysis of your Google Shopping Campaigns and we will determine exactly how Penguin-team can improve and scale your Google Ads account with The Panda — PPC micromanagement tool.