Thursday, 3 October 2019
Wednesday, 2 October 2019
How To Optimise & Get The Most From Smart Shopping
Once you’ve created your Google Smart Shopping Campaigns you need to know how to properly optimise them. Read on to find out how best to utilise Google’s Machine Learning and Smart Shopping campaigns.
Smart Shopping campaigns push your shopping campaigns to the next level, expanding your reach across the Google display network with new advertising formats while further leveraging Google's Machine Learning.
So let’s consider how to properly optimise your Smart Shopping campaigns to ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Set Up Your Smart Shopping Campaigns For Success
Choose a budget you are comfortable to spend every day over the period of a month.
One of the common questions we hear is, “My budget is only $50! Why did it spend $80 today?”
Particularly in the early days of the campaign while Google is testing, learning and adjusting, your daily spend may fluctuate. However, your spend will average out over the course of a month. Google allows for overspend for up to 2 times your daily budget on any given day, but will average the total budget across the month.
The next question to ask yourself is, “What is my target? Do I target the maximum possible revenue I can achieve or do I need to ensure I hit a target return on ad spend to make advertising profitable?”
With Smart Shopping campaigns, and digital advertising in general, the goal should always be to generate revenue and to maximise your conversion value.
This decision to set a ROAS target is based on your individual circumstances, including your profit margins, business goal and any shopping campaigns sales history you might have.
By not setting a ROAS target here you are telling Google, “try and get the highest conversion value for my budget as possible, regardless of return.”
For a better understanding of revenue goals and return on ad spend as a KPI read our blog on the goal of digital advertising.
You may want to think about campaign segmentation and creating multiple campaigns if you have:
- a wide range of different products,
- specific budgets for categories or
- significantly different margins or performance across products
Each campaign can be given an individual budget and target but it’s Google’s best practice to avoid segmentation until necessary. We recommend avoiding making segmentation decisions until you have sufficient conversion data in your Smart Shopping Campaigns.
Stop, watch and wait!
Your campaigns will now need time to learn and optimise using the machine learning inbuilt into the Smart Shopping Campaigns. The time this process takes can vary from campaign to campaign, but a 2 week period at a minimum is recommended before making any changes.
During this time you should:
- Monitor traffic - make sure your product feed doesn’t have any disapprovals
- Give campaigns time to learn
- Avoid temptation to change
After monitoring for 2 weeks you can begin to make changes - but one at a time!
If you are achieving your ROAS target and would like to achieve a higher conversion value, consider increasing your budget.
If you are not achieving your ROAS target or cannot increase your budget, consider decreasing your target to achieve a greater conversion value.
If you didn’t originally set a ROAS target when setting up campaigns, now might be the time to set one. Be aware that setting a goal above what you have achieved so far may limit your ads from being shown as often as they could. A recommended strategy is to look at the ROAS results and set a target within 10% of these results.
The key to successful optimisation of these campaigns is small, incremental changes at a time giving the algorithms the opportunity to learn and optimise after each change. Ideally, no more than 1 budget or goal change will be made every 14 days.
Another part of your ongoing optimisations should be feed optimisations. Look at your descriptions and product titles to ensure that your ads are generating traffic and that traffic is relevant. Look at your click through rates and conversion rates and monitor how your optimisations affect your performance in these areas.
If you want any information about managing your Smart Shopping Campaigns, or want to know how our software can help your Google Smart Shopping ads performance, please visit our website.
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Revenue: The Only Goal of Digital Advertising
Ask any business owner or CEO if they want to grow their business and they will ask you if it’s a loaded question. They will always say yes to the question of growth, it’s their job to grow revenue and increase profits. Ask the same person what the goal of digital advertising is and they will tell you that they want more sales or sales leads either in-store or online. All of these equate to revenue.
Isn't ROAS the goal?
No it is not. Make ROAS the goal and you will restrict growth opportunity. ROAS (return on ad spend) and CPA (cost per acquisition) are both KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs are a very useful way to determine how effective your digital advertising spend is tracking towards your revenue goal.
Targeting a higher ROAS or lower CPA can decrease revenue, margin and profit contribution
Let’s look at four simple examples of a website targeting ROAS and assume they make 50% margin on goods sold. Each column increases the budget by $1,000 and decreases the ROAS. To keep things simple let’s ignore lifetime customer value.
Scenario 1 is acceptable
This is where most advertisers feel most comfortable. Spend as little as possible and get the largest possible return. This is a very acceptable way to start and it is also understandable if you have capital restrictions. However, traffic, sales and revenue are often restricted by the higher ROAS target. In order to achieve a higher ROAS in digital advertising you need to bid lower than your competition and this will limit the size of the audience you are able to reach.
Scenario 2 is good
This can be a leap of faith for some advertisers but when they do accept that increasing budget and relaxing the ROAS target leads to more revenue, margin and profit contribution from advertising, they are well on their way to growth.
Scenario 3 is optimal
Scenario 3 is when your digital ads are running at their peak. You are spending more, getting less ROAS but higher returns, margins and profit contribution. I have chosen to ignore lifetime customer value in the table above but if you included lifetime value you would probably relax the ROAS and increase the budget a little more.
Scenario 4 is diminishing
It is possible to get to the point of diminishing returns. You can absolutely overpay and get the same returns that you would have for less. This scenario is double the ad spend of scenario 2 with a reduced ROAS, leaving you with a lower profit contribution.
This fear of diminishing returns is what leads to advertisers constantly pushing for a higher ROAS. A solution for advertisers is to gain a better understanding of their gross margin.
You can build a similar model as the table above for a CPA example which will tell you the same thing because the same rules apply. A lower budget and lower CPA means you bid lower, have less reach and ultimately sell to less customers.
How do I measure campaign efficiency if its not ROAS?
That is a very good question that deserves a very good answer. To answer this specifically I would need to unpack each digital campaign type separately.
If you are still reading I have convinced you that the higher budget and lower ROAS mathematically can drive more revenue, more margin and contribution to company profits.
But you rightfully want to know if it can be even better.
“Wouldn't it be great to get increase my ad spend and increase my ROAS too”
Yes indeed it would.
All of the popular digital media platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) have a measure of ad quality. They don't do this for the advertiser they do it for themselves.
All of the key media players obsess over user experience of their platforms. Google wants users to choose them to search and shop over Bing or Amazon and users won’t stay around if the ads are deemed to be annoying or irrelevant. The media platforms have also finally understood that if advertisers get good returns they will keep spending.
Increase ad quality metrics to decrease CPC and increase ROAS
Ad relevance, landing page experience and Quality Score are examples of ad quality metrics that the major digital platforms use to show advertisers the areas they need to improve on. In every case an increase in score of any of these quality metrics will reduce the amount you pay per click.
At this point I have to remind you that the ad auctions of all the major digital platforms are all developed by engineers. As one of my favorite Googlers once said, “If I had designed Google Ads instead of an engineer, there would have been more colors”.
Let’s stick with Google for a second and take a look at their ad quality metrics to illustrate how increasing relevance reduces CPC.
Quality score is measured at the keyword level. 10 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. To optimise quality score you would look at the Search Queries and set some as negative and move others to their own exact match ad group.
Ad Relevance and Landing Page Experience:
Ad Relevance is represented in the interface as average, below average and above average. Improving your ad copy and its relationship to the targeted keyword will improve your ad relevance which will also increase your click through rate which increases your quality score and reduces your CPC.
Lost you yet? Once again, what the media platforms are trying to do is improve the user experience of ads on their platforms at a mind boggling scale. If your quality score is too low your ads won’t show at all, but if you increase it, you will be rewarded with a lower CPC which means you get even more sales for a reduced cost relative to your competition.
In summary, the goal of digital advertising is always revenue
- The goal is revenue
- ROAS is a KPI that shows you the effectiveness of your budget
- Higher budget with a lower ROAS can deliver more revenue
- Optimise ad relevance for campaign efficiency
Grow your revenue through digital advertising and Dynamic Creative
If you want to use Google ads to grow and scale your business and reach a point of predictable revenue then Dynamic Creative can help. We integrate your website with our Ad Platform & optimise your product and category data to match the way that shoppers search, browse and buy. You can get a Google Shopping feed, as well as Google Search & Shopping ads, for every product listed on your website. With over 17 years experience in Google Ads and over 400 websites globally, we have the ad platform and experience to help you grow and scale your business. Find out how you can start with us for FREE via our website at www.dynamiccreative.com
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
How to set up Google Shopping ads
As effective as they are, setting up Google Shopping Ads can be complicated. We’ll go through everything you need to know about how to set up Google Shopping ads.
If you need help with any stage of setting up your Google Shopping ads you can contact us via our website or you can create Shopping ads through our Ad Platform.
The first thing you’ll need to know when creating your Google Shopping ads is how to add products to Google Shopping with a Google Shopping feed.
How to add products to Google Shopping
In order to add your products to Google Shopping, you’ll need a Google Shopping feed. A Google Shopping feed is a collection of your website’s products and relevant product information. It organises your website’s product data in a readable format ready to connect with Google Ads.
The product data must include a title, description, link to your product landing pages, a link to the product’s image, availability, price and for most products, brand and GTINs. Your feed must always stay up to date with your website’s information to avoid ad disapprovals for inconsistencies.
Google Shopping feeds can be created in two formats, .txt or .xml. You could create a feed in Google Sheets using a Google Merchant Center template and manually enter and update the required product information. You could populate your feed in Google Sheets using Structured Data markups through your website’s HTML, however there are imitations around adjustable landing pages. Another option is to use the Dynamic Creative Google Shopping Feed tool to easily create an optimised feed, that automatically updates, through API integration.
Once you’ve created your Google Shopping Feed, you must upload and register your feed in Google Merchant Centre.
How to set up Google Merchant Centre
Google Merchant Center is a tool that allows retailers to connect their product data to Google Ads to create Shopping Ads. Without uploading your product feed to Google Merchant Center, you cannot advertise your products in Google Shopping.
So firstly you’ll need to create a Google Merchant Center account with a Google account and Gmail address. You’ll then have to input your business and contact information. Part of this process includes verifying and claiming your website URL.
Google needs to confirm that you own your website and are authorised to associate your Merchant Centre account. There are 4 methods of verifying your website; by uploading an HTML file, installing an HTML tag, using Google Analytics or implementing Google Tags. The most common method is to download the HTML verification file and upload it to your website. Find out more information on verifying your website in Google’s Merchant Center help files.
Once you have completed one of the verification methods, you will then be able to claim your URL in Google Merchant Center.
If you’ve created and registered your feed, you can then upload your product data to your Google Merchant Center account. You can upload your .xml or .txt file manually or you can create an uploading schedule if you plan to make ongoing changes to your Google Shopping Feed. You must also enter your shipping details within Merchant Center to avoid disapprovals.Then you can create your first Google Shopping Campaigns in your Google Ads account.
How to create Google Shopping Campaigns
Sign in to or create your Google Ads account.You will be able to create Google Shopping Campaigns from within Google Ads.
The first thing you’ll need to do is link your Google Merchant Center with your Google Ads account by sending a link request from your Merchant Center account to your associated Google Ads account.
From your Google Ads account landing page, click on the ‘campaigns’ tab on the left-hand-side of the page and click on the blue plus button to create a new campaign.
Identify your goal and select Shopping as your campaign type. Select the appropriate Merchant Center account and the associated country of sale. You will then be able to choose your Campaign name, bid strategy, budget, campaign priority, targeted networks and locations.
Once you have selected the right settings for your campaign you can create your ads and ad groups. Select whether you would like individual product ads or shopping showcase ads then set an ad group name and bid. Once you have done that, there will be a Google Shopping ad for every product in your Google Shopping feed all within one ad group.
These steps simply outline the creation of your Google Shopping campaigns. You will need to set up conversion tracking to know where to optimize and how your ads are performing. You can do this through your Google Analytics account, if it is linked to your Google Ads account, or through global site tags and Google Tag Manager. With your conversion data, you can optimize the products within your campaigns, your location targeting, device targeting, time of day targeting and more.
To utilise Google’s Machine Learning in these optimizations, you need to know how to set up Google Smart Shopping.
How to set up Google Smart Shopping
Once you have recorded a verified conversion from your new Google Shopping ads you will be eligible to create a Google Smart Shopping campaign.
As with your standard Google Shopping ads, navigate to ‘Campaigns’ and click the blue plus button on your screen. Once again, identify your goal and click Shopping as your ad type, now you’ll be able to see a Smart Shopping selection available to you. Set your campaign name and budget and proceed to ‘Product groups and assets’.
You can select which products you’d like to advertise and upload assets for your Smart Shopping Display Ads. You’ll need to upload a marketing image and write headlines and descriptions that relate to your business and products much like you would for a text ad. Alongside these ads, you will see product based display ads that will be shown as part of your Google Smart Shopping campaign.
Hit save and you will have Google Smart Shopping ads that use Google’s Machine learning to optimize your campaigns and maximise your conversion value.
Dynamic Creative Google Shopping ads
Whether you need a Google Shopping feed, a Merchant Center account, Google Shopping and Smart Shopping ads created or help optimizing, Dynamic Creative can help.
We integrate your website with our Ad Platform & optimise your product and category data to match the way that shoppers search, browse and buy. You get a Google Shopping feed and/or Google Shopping ads for every product listed on your website.
With over 17 years experience in Google Ads and over 400 websites globally, we have the ad platform and experience to help you grow and scale your business. Find out how you can start with us for FREE via our website at www.dynamiccreative.com