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7 Things to Prepare for this Holiday Season

The holiday season is the busiest time for e-commerce and with just days until Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, everyone in the search marketing community is knee-deep in last-minute preparations for the sale of the year. Considering what 2020 has been like so far, what else should we expect to be different? We can’t predict the unexpected, but we can point out some new trends that you should be prepared for.

More even than in previous years, we have seen a bigger rise in the number of online shoppers. Owing to health restrictions and lockdowns, people have turned online to look for products and services. We need to look at audience behavior, pay close attention to logistics, and keep a close eye on our messaging. And because we are living in such an ‘unprecedented’ year, we are bound to see some ‘unexpected’ things in the upcoming weeks. 

Here’s my take on 7 such things that we need to be prepared for this Holiday season.

1. Holiday shopping will start sooner

Holiday shopping started early this year and that’s backed up by Microsoft research showing that over 40% of shoppers intend to start earlier this year. Due to the pandemic, a lot of retailers have been very aggressive with deals throughout this year and that may have reset some expectations with consumers. We may now see deals lasting longer and pop up more frequently than before. 

While Black Friday is usually the unofficial start to the Holiday shopping season, this year shoppers won’t be waiting that long. Counting the fact that there are around 50 days between Amazon’s Prime Day (Oct 13) and Cyber Week, shoppers will have begun planning and purchasing for the Holiday season from early October. Moreover, considering the current health regulations, social distancing, and movement restrictions, shoppers might be looking towards a safer way to continue their shopping. This will prompt them to be less spontaneous and instead better plan their in-store visits, and even space them out over a few months to lessen the stress related to the circumstances of this unusual year.

2. Most shopping will be done online

E-commerce is going to be huge in the upcoming months. Even in Q1 & Q2, we saw an unprecedented push towards digital shopping and e-commerce. So the same wave is expected to follow through till the end of the year. According to a report published by Statista Research Department (Aug 10, 2020), titled United States: retail e-commerce sales 2017-2024, US online retail sales are projected to reach 476.5 billion US dollars by 2024. 

E-commerce has accelerated ahead of where everyone expected it to be. For example, the Snacks Daily podcast reported that the Disney+ streaming service has reached its 5-year goal for subscriptions just 7 months after launch, more than 4 years ahead of schedule!

Another thing we are expecting to see is a constant rise in the number of online shoppers post-pandemic, relying on e-commerce stores for their purchases. Data from IBM’s US Retail Index supports this and shows that the pandemic has quickened the transfer from physical to digital stores by 5 years! 

BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) is going to be a huge hit. People who never dreamed of buying online may now use this hybrid approach. But for retailers, this brings a shift in the competitive landscape. Earlier, brick-and-mortar stores were just competing against pure-play e-commerce shops where consumers liked their convenience and low prices. Now they also have to compete against hybrid players with a strong BOPIS model, like Target and Walmart instead of just Amazon. 

While it’s true that physical stores were already competing with brands like Target and Walmart, that was based more on local convenience and low prices. But with consumers relying on the added convenience of shopping in apps and opting for BOPIS, things may get even tougher for old-school brick-and-mortar stores with no digital capabilities.

4. Holiday 2020 will be celebrated differently

Microsoft’s research data indicates that people will be celebrating differently than before.

More people will celebrate at home (40% will change usual holiday plans according to Microsoft’s data), with smaller groups. Which means less travel but more first-time chefs cooking their first-holiday meal. This in turn is a big boon for food delivery services like DoorDash which, driven by the pandemic, turned a profit for the first time and will have its IPO soon. 

Moreover, with people deciding to stay home, they might be more inclined to invest in self-pampering products like fitness equipment, beauty products, or even streaming subscriptions. So those industries will continue to see an increase in sales as the holidays roll around.

5. Figuring out shipping & delivery

Free shipping, which has long been a staple of e-commerce deals, is likely to take on a new meaning. With higher e-commerce sales, shipping logistics are more strained than ever and that’s on top of pandemic-driven supply-chain issues that have created empty shelves and shortages of a variety of products over the past months. According to a Salesforce report — traditional delivery providers (like FedEx, UPS, DHL) might face issues with capacity (by 5%) between the week before Cyber Week and Boxing Day. Consumers may be surprised when they have to order much earlier than before to get their gifts on time for their celebrations. 

And in turn, retailers and service providers will have to keep a lookout for unanticipated delivery delays of inbound and outbound goods, shipping surcharges imposed by carriers, and potentially higher than usual returns from consumers who are panic buying. 

6. Sale events will be game-changers

Contrary to previous years, Black Friday 2020 might not be able to get much in-store action, courtesy of the pandemic. And while Black Friday has been associated with big-item sales which require a lot of planning and intent, Cyber Monday has always been about online-shopping. 

In-person Black Friday shopping used to appeal to consumers for 3 primary reasons:

But things are different this year and despite the usual appeal of Black Friday, according to Microsoft, Cyber Monday is the sales event to be on the lookout for this year. If your Black Friday follows the trend and is lower than expected, it’s not too late to shift that budget to Cyber Monday over the weekend.

And for international marketers, the following data might be much insightful. In the US, these sale events might bring in consumers, UK & AU report lower numbers of shoppers attending them.

7. Rise of the gift cards

Microsoft says gift cards are growing faster than other categories this year. They are an ingenious solution to a big Holiday problem for consumers – choosing a gift and delivering it on time, even for procrastinators who waited too long! They can even help small businesses market their products and gain stability in the Holiday season by bringing in steady revenue with minimal investment. Consumers have been buying gift cards to support their local businesses in the pandemic.

As gift cards are traditionally excluded from sales events like Black Friday, that may explain why some people don’t intend to participate in the event this year (as explained in the point above).

The other items that are on shoppers’ lists are apparel, toys, electronics, and self-care products.

Conclusion

2020 has been a year with many ups and downs. Unlike earlier years, this year consumers won’t be crowding aisles for Black Friday sales, but rely on purchasing from the comforts of their homes. Since we only have a week to Black Friday, most marketers would have already put their plans and strategies in place. 

While you might not be up for making major changes directly to your ads right now, you can still create last-minute monitors and alerts so that you get some help staying on top of things during your busiest time of the year. If you don’t have these set up, do so now! Also, check out the tips we shared from speaking to 14 PPC experts about their advice on navigating Holiday 2020 and winning e-commerce sales

Tips to Leverage your PPC Campaigns with Standard Shopping

As a PPC professional, you’d have often wondered which campaign type would best suit your goals and business objectives. While it can’t be denied that Smart Shopping is more data-driven and less time consuming, Standard Shopping campaigns can also be quite beneficial if used efficiently. Not only will you be able to have full control over your campaigns, but direct the adjustments more effectively without compromising on the target.

This means that you can run efficient and profitable campaigns with Standard Shopping if you want to! Here are some tips to structure Standard Shopping campaigns to make them profitable with insights from Optmyzr products.

1. Campaign Structure

Pro Tip: If you have an existing shopping campaign, use the Shopping Analysis Tool to see performance aggregated by different product attributes. This can help you decide on the best structure for your campaigns and ad groups. We recommend choosing attributes that have 100% coverage in the feed because it prevents products from falling into everything else in the product group. The feed analysis feature from Optmyzr can give you an overview of attribute coverage.

Using inventory filters for campaign settings can help you make sure that you’re not advertising the same products in multiple campaigns. You can define inventory filters in the Google Ads interface in the campaign settings. Also, when you create shopping campaigns using Optmyzr’s Shopping Builder 2.0, these inventory filters are set up automatically based on the structure you choose.

2. Search Query Management

Shopping campaigns do not have keywords so it is not possible to tell Google which queries you want your ads to show for. However, you can tell Google which queries you don’t want to show your ads for by using negative keywords. Negative keywords can also help sculpt traffic to direct traffic to more profitable ad groups. This makes sure that queries are more accurately matched to products that help maximize ROAS. 

Pro Tip: Use the Shopping Negatives tool from Optmyzr to send traffic to more profitable ad groups or to add unprofitable queries as negatives to save cost. You can also use the Rule Engine to automate this process. 

3. Bidding

Standard Shopping campaigns give you a lot of flexibility with bidding strategy and that is one of the reasons we prefer them over smart shopping campaigns. You can either choose to use a manual bidding strategy or put the campaigns on an automated bidding strategy like target ROAS (tROAS).

Automated Bidding (tROAS)

You can set your shopping campaigns to run on a tROAS automated bidding strategy. We recommend using standard automated bidding instead of portfolio automated bidding. This way you will have the opportunity to tweak the target ROAS at the ad group level when you use standard automated bidding. In fact, this is one of the ways to use automation layering to get better performance and benefit from Google’s automated bidding.

You can use the Optimize Target ROAS optimization that helps increase conversions and increase ROAS. This optimization was built using the Rule Engine so you can build your own version of it as well and automate it.

Manual Bidding

You can also use manual bidding which will give you more granular control over bids. Apart from making bid changes at the product group level, you can also set bid adjustments by time, geography, audiences, and devices. While it requires a higher level of monitoring than automated bidding, it can be quite rewarding. 

Optmyzr has a whole suite of tools to help you manage hours of the week, geo, audience, gender, and device bid adjustments. You can also use the Rule Engine to automate your strategy which reduces the day-to-day overhead. When you are running on manual bidding, analyze the benchmark CTR and benchmark CPC metrics to see how your products are performing against your competitors. This information can come in handy when you’re setting bids. 

4. Budgets

When you have a multi-campaign structure, make sure to allocate budgets in a way that maximizes the performance. For example, if your most profitable campaigns are losing impression share due to budget, reallocate budget from other campaigns. The Optimize Budget tool from Optmyzr can help you do this very easily.

Points to remember

Make sure to note the following points to maximize the profits and efficiency of your Standard Shopping campaign:

When you choose to go with Standard Shopping campaigns, you’d have full control over your campaigns, making every decision based on your own business choices. You can structure campaigns to have separate ad groups and product groups which will give you the flexibility to manage their bids, ROAS targets, and negative keywords. Smart shopping campaigns don’t give the user control to manage any of these things.

If you are an experienced professional, working with Standard Shopping campaigns can help you analyze and experiment with your accounts. Using predictive tools like Optmyzr can help you hone your campaign objectives and give meaningful suggestions to better optimize your PPC accounts. 

Google Smart vs. Standard Shopping: When to choose which campaign type

While many marketers and agencies might prefer Smart Shopping campaigns for its ease of use, some still prefer Standard campaigns because they feel more in control. One question that we hear from e-commerce advertisers time and again is what works better: Smart or Standard Shopping campaigns?

You’re in for a surprise if you think we advocate for one over the other.

To be honest, there’s no universal ‘right answer’ to which campaign type is better. It all depends on your vertical, business goals, and the strategy for your PPC campaigns.

In some cases, Standard Shopping campaigns outperform Smart ones in terms of ROAS; other times, a purely Smart campaign strategy can deliver better performance; or you can deploy a hybrid strategy, like using Standard campaigns with automated bidding.

In this article, we’ll take you through some use cases to help you better understand which Google Shopping campaign type will work better for your needs.

1. Feed size and variety of products

If you have a small feed with products that are very similar to one another, then combining all of them in the same campaign will probably work well. For example, if you’re only selling custom shoes that are all priced between $100-150, running a single Smart Shopping campaign may be a good idea. This is because the expected return on ad spend (ROAS) for all products in the campaign is pretty much at the same level.

Optmyzr Tip: Our Shopping Analysis tool can help you see if products in your Smart Shopping campaigns have varying performance.

However, if you have a large product feed with varying products, a single Smart Shopping campaign will not yield the best performance.

Consider the example of a large clothing retailer who sells a variety of apparel like t-shirts, shoes, ties, shirts, and socks. A single Smart Shopping campaign is not the best strategy since different products will have varying manufacturing costs and price points, and you may wish to allocate different budgets to different categories of products based on what you want to advertise more.

If everything is in one Smart Shopping campaign, the performance will average out and won’t be optimized for profitability. In cases like these, we recommend either multiple Smart Shopping campaigns or multiple Standard campaigns.

Optmyzr Tip: Our Shopping Builder 2.0 _tool can help you create multiple campaign structures for your feed very easily._

The proof is in the pudding. Shopping Builder 2.0 is a great way to create
Shopping campaigns faster and get straight to selling.

2. Niche products or seasonal products

If you are selling niche or very seasonal products, like highly specialized tools or Christmas ornaments, it would be wiser to avoid Smart Shopping campaigns. This is largely because there may not be enough data for Google’s machine learning algorithms to make smart decisions.

In this case, a Standard Shopping campaign with manual bidding or target ROAS/target CPA bidding strategy will work better.

3. Scarcity of time

When you don’t have much time to manage your Shopping campaigns and the choice boils down to either running a campaign or none at all, pick a Smart Shopping campaign. However, if you do have some time to manage your campaigns and your feed has different kinds of products, choose a multiple campaign structure.

4. Control & Visibility

Let’s face it: Smart campaigns don’t give you much control. If you want more granular command over different attributes — bids, target ROAS, search queries, networks, and devices to name some — then consider switching to Standard Shopping campaigns.

With Standard campaigns, you have the flexibility to choose which parts of the campaign management process you want to automate.

For example, you can use automated bidding strategies like target ROAS that automate the bidding process, but you can still retain control over other things like search queries and negative keywords.

When you need more visibility into your campaign’s performance, Smart Shopping may not be the best option. If you want to see which search queries drive the most sales — or even which ones are not profitable and should be added as negatives — Smart Shopping won’t give you that data while Standard ones will.

What can you do in each type of campaign?

To wrap things up, here is an overview of the levers you can pull to optimize both smart and standard shopping campaigns. 

For Smart Shopping campaigns: 

For Standard Shopping campaigns:

Both Smart and Standard campaigns have their pros and cons, so choose what suits the campaign you’re running, your line of business, your marketing strategy, and how much time you have.

At the same time, stay mindful of your clients and their business goals while choosing a strategy. If your clients are focused on profitability and not ROAS (as we all should be), then adapt accordingly.

One recommendation we make often is to run Standard Shopping campaigns with an automated bidding strategy like target ROAS, as it brings together the best of both worlds — the power of automation without sacrificing insight and control.

Happy selling!

Omnisend’s 8 Best Practices for Shopify App Advertising in 2020

Among the main contributors to Shopify’s growth are the multitude of apps available on its platform. Indeed, some of the top Shopify apps make it easier to develop, grow, and maintain online businesses. But how do you use them to advertise your e-commerce store and grow your revenues in today’s business environment? Here are some of the best practices you should employ this year:

1. Prioritize personalization.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/omnisend

It’s critical for today’s consumer to feel a connection with the brands that they patronize. So, whenever you reach out to your customers, make sure that it’s with a highly relevant message.

There are apps that seamlessly plug into your Shopify store that give you incredible personalization options. Such software allow you to segment your subscriber base in great detail in order to reach out to them with highly converting messages. With the right tool, you’ll be able to target your customers not merely based on their profile data but also their specific activities or shopping behaviors.

2. Focus on customer retention.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/swell

Acquiring customers is much more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. Plus, it has a greater impact on your bottomline. In fact, even a 5% increase in your customer retention rate can boost your profits by up to 95%.

One of the best ways to cultivate customer loyalty is to maintain a compelling rewards program. By rewarding your customers for every interaction with your brand, you’ll easily boost repeat purchases and strengthen relationships with your customers. All it takes is finding the best Shopify app to integrate into your store.

3. Recover abandoned carts.

Source: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-top-7-reasons-for-shopping-cart-abandonment-tips-for-avoiding-them/

About 7 out of 10 of shoppers on your store will fill up their carts without checking out. Often, that happens either because of unexpected shipping costs or they’re simply not yet ready to purchase. But no matter the reason, it pays to lure these shoppers back in.

Some Shopify apps allow you to build automation workflows that identify cart abandoners and re-engage them through personalized and targeted messages. This allows you to revive what would have already been lost sales. You can also recover abandoned carts by setting up exit-intent pop-ups as well as retargeting ads.

4. Engage in retargeting.

Source: https://www.business2community.com/marketing/17-retargeting-ad-statistics-will-make-retarget-right-now-2-infographics-01464774

Retargeting can be useful not just for cart abandoners but also for window shoppers, which are common even in e-commerce. The good news is that there are digital tools that allow you several chances to convert online window shoppers into actual paying customers. This makes a significant impact on your revenues, as window shoppers are 70% more likely to convert with retargeting.

With Shopify apps, you can easily run retargeting campaigns on sites like Facebook, Google, and their properties (e.g. Instagram, Youtube, and Gmail). These allow you to integrate your shop data and manage your entire marketing strategy on a single platform and drive traffic to your Shopify store.

Source: https://sixads.net/blog/shopify-traffic-channels-generating-sales/

5. Optimize for mobile.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/shopney-mobile-app

Transactions on mobile devices are expected to make up at least 50% of all ecommerce sales. So, it’s essential that you have a platform that’s optimized for the mobile audience. That means making sure you have an incredibly responsive website. Or, if it makes sense for your business, you can build your own native app.

Mobile app builders on Shopify make creating your own native mobile app remarkably easy. These software don’t just make it easy to develop your brand’s ecommerce app but also provides everything you need to offer a good mobile customer experience. Typically, that includes features like simplified checkout process, in-app messaging, and rich push notifications. When you are planning to improve your ecommerce business, mobile should be on priority list.

6. Make the most of social proof.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/loox

User reviews are valued by 88% of shoppers just as much as personal recommendations. Given this, it pays to use the reviews you already have not only on your social media pages but also everywhere else you can manage. These are especially valuable on your product pages.

Shopfiy apps allow you to easily integrate social proof like user photos and product reviews onto your product pages. By using these apps, you make your web visitors more likely to complete a purchase.

7. Produce interactive content.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/pickzen

Interactive content like quizzes and questionnaires is one of the most effective lead magnets for retail websites. This advertising tactic has an average lead capture rate of 31.6%.

Apart from engaging quizzes, among the best ways to use this tool is to produce questionnaires that lead to highly relevant product recommendations. Shopify apps don’t just make it easier for you to create these interactive content but also capture data and gather insights from your users.

8. Host engaging contests.

Source: https://apps.shopify.com/gleam

A chance at winning enticing prizes can be an excellent motivation for your customer to help you grow your audience and boost your brand’s popularity. If planned correctly, hosting contests can also be a cost-effective advertising tactic.

Today, there are Shopify apps that allow you to easily create online competitions or giveaways. These tools provide everything you need not just to develop and run your contests but also to pick winners, verify entries, and capture data.

Conclusion

Shopify has enabled hundreds of thousands of businesses to reach online audiences. Its success as an ecommerce platform is undoubtedly driven by its versatility. It is simple enough for novices to navigate but also dynamic enough for experienced digital retailers to get exactly what they need.

But to really make the most out of the platform, you should learn to identify the best Shopify apps to support your business. Take advantage of them to advertise your shop, grow your audience, and nurture your customers. Consequently, you’ll enjoy incredible revenue growth as well as a stellar brand reputation.

4 Smart Shopping Myths BUSTED: How to Optimize Even with Limitations

Over the years, through many product webinars and solution calls with customers, I’ve noticed that search marketers continue to perpetuate certain myths around Smart Shopping. While Google has made Shopping campaigns more accessible (and marketers benefit from that), some misconceptions still float around on whether you can optimize them.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Check out 4 of the most common myths around Smart Shopping campaigns that I’ve seen, and find out how you can optimize them better.

Myth #1: Smart Shopping campaigns don’t offer any control.

It’s no secret that Google Smart Shopping doesn’t let you control negative keywords or offer many bidding strategies to choose from. But even with these limitations, there are still a lot of things that you can control.

Myth #2: Smart Shopping campaigns can’t be optimized.

I beg to differ. You can certainly optimize the structure and performance of your campaigns as explained above. And there are a few more things you can optimize.

Myth #3: You can’t favor high-performing products.

While you depend on Smart Shopping campaigns to maximize your conversion value for an allocated budget, you can still favor your choice of products. Do this by creating different campaigns for products based on their performance or attributes, such as price point. Then, set up different budgets for each campaign to help Google maximize your conversion value. Allocate budget to campaigns with products that have higher profit margins or higher expected ROAS.

Check out the screenshot below to get a better idea. 

Myth #4: You have to advertise all products from your merchant feed.

Google recommends adding as many products as possible to your merchant feed. That’s a very good idea… please continue to do that. But at the same time, it’s imperative that you monitor campaign performance and exclude products that underperform. 

Some ways to identify product groups that should be excluded from Smart Shopping campaigns are:

Google is currently not favoring that last category of products and may continue to do so.

Pro Tip: Create a new standard Campaign to target these kinds of products with better results.

Improving the Shopping Experience in Optmyzr

While you can make these optimizations manually in Google Ads, they’re going to eat up much of your time — time that could instead be spent on testing and planning. If you’re a fan of getting back hours of time each week, sign up for our 14-day free trial. All our features are ungated during this time, letting you explore all the ways we help you optimize your campaigns.

As a quick sneak peek into an upcoming Optmyzr feature, we’ll be adding support to the Rule Engine to exclude product groups that are underperforming. Stay tuned for more on when this goes live!

Still have questions? Write to us at support@optmyzr.com to get a demo of Optmyzr!

How to Build a Profitable Google Shopping Campaign Structure

In a world where people can’t always go out to make a purchase, e-commerce is more important than ever.

We’ve been buying clothes, shoes, electronics, and many other categories of products online for several years. Now, we’re seeing surging demand for new ones — groceries, home entertainment, educational products, and office equipment to name a few.

Besides, if your business is able to fulfill orders made online, it enables you to service a larger market and potentially tap into additional sources of revenue.

So while there are several great reasons for businesses to implement Shopping Campaigns and promote all the inventory they can, it can be daunting to get started.

A major point about Google Shopping campaigns that we hear from our customers — and performance marketers in general — is setting up the right campaign structure to manage bids and (eventually) optimize them with ease.

Here are our recommendations on how to approach campaign structures for a Google Shopping campaign.

Campaign Creation Strategy

Planning a campaign creation strategy typically depends on how many products your feed contains, as well as how you’d like to segregate the traffic you’re driving to your account. For larger feeds (tens of thousands of products) and to better manage search queries, multiple campaigns are the best setup.

Here are some key strategies to build the right campaign structure:

Inventory Filters

Use this feature to direct traffic to campaigns based on criteria such as product condition, size or color. Let’s look at a real-world example to understand this better.

If you’re selling laptops, then ‘refurbished’ and ‘New’ are two possible conditions for your inventory that you’ll want to take into consideration. This ensures that you don’t advertise new laptops to potential customers who are searching for refurbished ones.

You can segregate your campaigns using this logic by implementing inventory filters for each condition type.

Campaign Priorities

If you have multiple Google Shopping campaigns that promote the same product, you can prioritize showing ads for search terms that matter — ones that are more relevant to your goal from a specific campaign.

Campaign priorities have three tiers: low, medium and high.

Priority levels outweigh the bid amount at auction time. So if a campaign on high priority has a lower bid than a campaign on medium priority, the high priority campaign’s bid will be used. When multiple campaigns have the same priority, the one with the highest bid will count during the auction.

This feature was created by Martin Röttgerding, head of search engine advertising at Bloofusion, and a panelist on episode 4 of PPC Town Hall.

You can read more on how you can leverage Campaign Priorities in our detailed blog post.

Ad Group Creation Strategy

Selecting your creation strategy at the ad group level depends on multiple factors:

Managing Negatives

Ad group creation strategy helps align the right traffic to the right ad groups.

For users searching for a Macbook Pro, it’s better to show available configurations for the same model rather than ads that promote the Macbook Air. To achieve this, you can build a campaign for each brand and ad group in both categories: Macbook Pro and Macbook Air.

This will help you add negative search terms — ‘Macbook Air’ to the Macbook Pro ad group and vice versa.

Size of your feed

If your inventory consists of more than 20,000 SKUs (or if you expect to cross this number in the near future), you won’t be able to fit all of these products into a single ad group. Instead, you’ll need to set up multiple ad groups to bypass the ad group limits established by Google.

Product Group Hierarchy

Selecting your product group hierarchy will depend on how you want to manage bids.

If you’re selling shoes and you know that the Adidas Black Alphabounce+ is your best-selling product, you’re probably going to want to bid higher on it. Going one layer deeper, you realize that just size 11 constitutes 70% of your sales for this product.

If you have a structure that also includes the size, you’ll be able to bid especially high for the size 11 Adidas Black Alphabounce +.

A high degree of granularity can help you make sure only the right products get a higher bid.

If you’d like to manage bids for each item in your feed, you can choose to build product groups at the item ID level and structure it by incorporating all the important attributes into the campaign structure.

But when choosing your hierarchy, you also need to analyze the attributes defined for products in your feed to select a split where the fewest products end up in the ‘Everything Else’ product group, so that you are able to manage bids to an optimal degree.

Real-world examples

Let’s take a look at a couple of real-world scenarios and how they translate over to Google Shopping campaigns:

Laptops

We’re revisiting this product category, this time in order to prioritize display. To do that, you’ll need to figure out which products have the highest profit margin, or which ones sell the most units. Consider the placement of your different laptops similar to the bids you’re going to place.

As store manager, you know the different factors that influence buyers who are looking to purchase a laptop like: screen size, processor, operating system, graphics card, etc.

In order to arrange your products, you need to decide the order for the product arrangement to deliver the best possible customer experience: helping people find what they want quickly and easily.

Naturally, products that sell faster and ones with higher profit margins take priority in the lineup.

Assigning degrees of importance to all of these features helps you select which products need to be most visible i.e. which ads you need to bid highest on.

Apparel

Let’s consider that a brand like H&M or Zara is running a seasonal sale.

While the storeboard at the entrance will highlight this, it’s also important for store managers to promote all the products that are being sold. The idea is that before a prospective buyer gets to the discount rack, they go through all the new arrivals and are tempted to buy something because it’s trending.

Overall, the sale value for the buyer would be higher — a combination of discount purchases and the excitement of owning something on the edge of what’s trending. For the store, it means a better profit margin.

In this case, the higher bids are placed on new arrivals that have better margins then on-sale products, which might receive lower bids or be advertised on a landing page for the new arrivals.

Conclusion

Just like deciding the order in which to present your products in a brick and mortar store, Google Shopping campaign success requires businesses to identify the right products by attributes. You’ll want to bank on this priority list to create your Google Shopping campaigns, so that you’re able to draw the right audience and receive the best profit return on ad spend.

Though each business and industry is different, there are some common parameters for choosing the right structure for your Google Shopping campaigns: what’s new, what’s selling well, what’s in demand, what’s easy to procure, and what’s easiest to ship.

Together, they can help you identify where your marketing dollars will yield the best results.

Improve your Shopping Campaign’s performance by leveraging Campaign Priorities

Shopping campaigns are managed very differently from Search and Display campaigns. � In this series of posts, we’ll address some of the most important differences and share best-practice strategies based on what we’ve heard from our customers.

One of these strategies is to set Campaign Priorities, to prioritize the products you want to highlight or sell more of.

What are Campaign Priorities?

Campaign priorities in Google Ads are used to select the bid when a product is advertised through multiple campaigns. Though every new shopping campaign is automatically created on “low priority” as a default setting, you can modify this and set your campaigns to either high, medium or low priority.

Keep in mind that campaign priorities are not the same as using negatives, as you aren’t driving or excluding traffic, but rather giving first or second priority for participation in auctions.

Priority levels outweigh the bid amount at auction time, so if a campaign on high priority has a lower bid than a campaign on medium priority, the high priority campaign’s bid will be used. In another case, if multiple campaigns have the same priority, then the campaign with highest bid is the one that will be used in the auction.

Note that budget issues can cause the priorities to be ignored. For example, if the highest priority campaign runs out of budget, then the bid from the runner-up in terms of priority levels will be used.

Campaign priorities are mostly useful when you’re advertising the same product, for the same country, in multiple Shopping campaigns.

Strategies Using Campaign Priorities

Prioritize Best Sellers for Generic Searches

Campaign priorities can be used to give first participation in auction for a campaign with your best sellers, or a campaign with the products you want to prioritize or highlight in appearing.

To avoid your shopping ads showing up for unqualified searches you can make your campaigns “compete smarter”, as detailed on this CPC Strategy article. �

As an example, let’s say your inventory contains a variety of wireless speakers. You have different brands and models, but the Bose Minilink II and the JBL Flip speakers are your best-selling items. And as best sellers, you want to make sure that they have first participation in auction upon a generic “wireless speakers” search.

The way to do this would be to create a campaign for best-sellers and include the Bose Minilink II and the JBL Flip speakers, and then set the priority of this campaign to “High Priority”. This doesn’t exclude any campaigns from participating, it just helps you define where you first want to place the bid from.

Prioritize Flighted Budgets

Another case would be to use campaign priorities to spend flighted or seasonal budgets before spending evergreen budgets. Say you are creating a winter campaign which runs on a specific budget and focuses on winter clothing items only. One of the products in this campaign is a jacket, which is also included in the outdoor apparel campaign that runs year-round.

Considering the winter campaign has its own specific budget, you can make sure that budget is used first, before that of the outdoor apparel campaign. To do this, you’d set the winter campaign on a high priority, and the outdoor apparel campaign with a medium or low priority.

Bid Less for Generic Searches and More for Product Searches

Somewhat counterintuitively, CPCs for generic queries tend to run higher than those for specific product searches. Here’s an illustration of that effect from Andreas Reiffen and Crealytics:

The higher the bid, the more one word (generic) queries the ad is shown for.

This is generally bad because generic searches tend to happen long before the conversion. The more specific, multi-word queries tend to immediately precede the sale. So ROAS focused advertisers will want to bid more for specific queries and less for generic queries but that’s the opposite of what happens when you have just one campaign for your products.

A strategy that lets you bid more for specific product searches involves a mix of campaign priorities, different bids, and different negative keywords. Kirk Williams wrote a detailed step-by-step article on the benefits of setting up an SKU-level shopping strategy.

This strategy was pioneered by Martin Roettgerding. Here’s how it works:

So for the Generic Campaign, the one that is supposed to attract clicks for the most generic queries related to what you sell, you set a high priority, low bids and add negative keywords for the brands and product names. Now if a branded search happens, the high priority campaign is skipped because it has a negative brand keyword so the medium campaign will pick up the traffic with a reasonable bid.

If you’ve tried some of these techniques or explored others that leverage shopping campaign priorities, let us know. We’d love to feature your story in an upcoming blog post.

3 Shopping Tools & Smart Bidding Tips to CRUSH Holiday Sales

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. After-hours convenience. Price. Easy/free shipping. All are huge motivators driving people from brick-and-mortar stores to the ease and convenience of online retail. The trend lines are unmistakable. 2018 promises to be another transformational year for eCommerce at holiday time, with many experts predicting double digit increases in online holiday shopping.

Billions of dollars will be up for grabs.

PPC pros have an unprecedented opportunity to be real heroes this year by making sure their company wins more than its share of the shopping frenzy. Working in your favor, holiday shopping is always ripe with intent and immediacy.

Semantics Matter

First, let’s briefly recap the ongoing rapid evolution of the tools at our disposal. Google and Bing are both continually enhancing shopping tools to drive that high-intent searcher to conversion. They have added core automation to streamline the basics of PPC and more advanced tools such as Shopping Ads.

Focusing specifically on the Google platform (but still keeping in mind Bing is remarkably Google’esque with PPC), we all know the greater the specificity of a person’s search, the greater the intent. “Men’s black analog diving watches” tells the Google machine a lot about the � searcher’s eagerness. Google can serve up engaging Shopping Ads featuring cool black diving watches to capture eagerness to purchase, serving product-specific ads with click-to-buy ease.

The holiday shopper doing more casual digital window shopping, however, will offer less specific searches such as “Men’s watches” or more vague “gift ideas for dads.” While vague, that shopper likely WANTS to get into a funnel and may need just a little prodding to convert.

In this less-specific search, Shopping Ads and Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads can create immersive and meaningful experiences for people browsing for that perfect gift. �

If you haven’t dabbled yet with Showcase Shopping Ads, perhaps you should. They provide pre-click browsing of your products to generate purchase ideas based on more general searches. Previously, PPC pros didn’t have a lot of power to draw casual browsers into their funnel. Showcase Ads are an inexpensive option to meaningfully engage shoppers of modest intent – particularly those meandering for ideas on a mobile device.�

Build – Optimize – Automate – Control

While Google and Bing do a good job automating core aspects of search ads for everyday PPC practitioners, the PPC rockstar needs tools like Optmyzr to take their game to new levels. The goal is beating competitors in the second-by-second, search-by-search battle for holiday sales.

The Optmyzr system gives you greater control and automation beyond what Google and Bing offer – and it’s all managed from a single interface. Everything from building campaigns, syncing with inventory, and managing bids to choosing your preferred mix of automation/manual intervention.

Campaign Builder greatly simplifies and automates creation of product group and other campaign structures. Tapping data in your merchant feed, this tool helps automatically align structures by category and craft groups by brand, product type, etc. Campaign Builder’s easy-to-use interface gives you greater control and flexibility to analyze structures to refine and improve them prior to launch. It will also flag gaps in structure that could negatively impact reporting and analysis downstream. In other words, you catch the clunky, annoying misses that would otherwise create headaches or hamper insight after the fact.

Next, let’s talk inventory. Retailers have greater opportunity to serve up ads based on _actual _inventory – you know…the stuff you have on hand and want/need to sell. Whether you sell cars or speciality holiday dresses or sporting goods, accurate inventory data fed into Optmyzr allows efficient set up and management of hundreds of potential rules and parameters to serve the right ad at the right time. Through rules and automation, you can streamline processes to serve ads based on highly specific product attributes – size, color, style, tech specs. Essentially, if you have data about the products, Optmyzr drives powerful tools to serve the ads aligned with that highly specific search.

Finally, let’s cover bid management. This is where a third-party tool like Optmyzr layers exceptional power on top of the standard automations from the search engines.

The day-to-day task of managing bids can be horribly time consuming, but it’s really at the heart of taking campaigns from basic to extraordinary. For those who need to manage basic modifications in bulk – such as blanket modifications across a product group, our Shopping Bidder tool allows a PPC pro to do that in minutes.

PPC pros, however, often want/need to make decisions at a much more granular level. Shopping Attribute Bidder taps data from Google Ads and specific attributes in your merchant feed. This combination deepens the ability for PPC pros to make different bids to accommodate variations based on any number of attributes. You’ll want to read up on GrIP structures to get the most bang for your buck with Shopping Attribute Bidder.

Finally, Optmyzr Rule Engine is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of a PPC rockstar. With this proprietary tool, it’s really quite easy to adjust bids based on deep data points, such as conversion, CPA, ROAS and others. Among the most versatile tools in the PPC toolbox, you can automate bidding structures across pre-set parameters. Big snowstorm about to hit the northeast? Bids can automatically adjust to push snow blowers or skis. July heatwave predicted in the midwest? Rule Engine can push window air conditioners in Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis. You can set those rules up well in advance to automate against countless eventualities.

Conclusion

Holiday shopping season always puts eCommerce topics to top-of-mind, so it’s always a great opportunity to talk about Shopping Ads and powerful bidding tools. Of course, we all want to capitalize on the November-December gift buying frenzy, but these tools are 12-month necessities to allow PPC pros to beat the competition.

People are out there searching for your products/services right now. Make sure they find you before they find your competitor.

Of course, if you want a free 14-day trial or demo, just let us know.

Shopping Ads Management for Bing Now Available

As longtime Search veterans ourselves, the Optmyzr team’s legacy generally comes from the Google universe. Yet we’ve always viewed Bing’s emergence as a true player in search as being a good thing for search marketers. More choice for users. A bigger pie overall. More opportunity for marketers to help brands reach the customers who are searching for what they sell.

Accurate market share stats are elusive, at best, but seem to range between 10-33% for Bing these days (in terms of search volume). While Google still rules the search universe, 10-33% of billions of searches conducted is massive – to say the very least.

Search is clearly the powerhouse way to reach customers, because users tell the search engines specifically what they are seeking – � “Men’s black dress shoes” or “trendy prom dresses” or “[brand name] camera lenses” or “family restaurants near me.” As Bing continues its steady growth in volume and its evolution to Google-like ad types, data and analytics, search marketers have found themselves working across platforms with greater frequency.

Trouble was, working in two platforms typically more than doubled the work for the PPC pro. Google automation and powerful tools like Optmyzr made it a snap to launch and manage Google Shopping Ads. Bing ads, though? Not so much. It’s been a much more manual and time-consuming prospect for PPC pros – until now.

The Optmyzr team is excited to introduce powerful new functionality that allows PPC pros to manage all critical aspects of Bing Shopping Ads from the same Optmyzr interface that manages Google Ads.

The new Bing-specific functionality greatly simplifies Bing Shopping Ads in much the same way it simplifies Google Shopping Ads. We set out to simplify core activities, including setting up advanced campaign structures, keeping campaigns synced with dynamic product inventory, and optimizing performance quickly and efficiently with AI-enabled decision support.

We’ve made it possible for PPC pros to tackle Bing Shopping Ads in minutes instead of hours. Many automated features speed things along, but Optmyzr also provides extensive manual intervention and optimization, so you can dig deep into your product data to improve performance.

A few of the most notable core features to highlight:

  • Optmyzr Campaign Builder: Set up your campaign structure for the most optimal deployment and management. Highly flexible in setup, much like what we’ve offered for Google Shopping Ads management.
  • Optmyzr Campaign Refresher: Keep your Bing ads in sync with a merchant feed.
  • Optmyzr Bid Management: Creates customizable reports that will help you identify commonalities affecting performance deep within campaigns. Commonalities might be brand, style, size, product type, price – any number of attributes essential to a successful campaign. You can act on the insight to drive better (more profitable!) bids.
  • As always, we focus much of our innovation on mid to advanced PPC pros, but the ease and flexibility of the system allows up-and-coming PPC managers to improve their abilities and execution.

    One final important piece about the new Bing-specific functionality – you’ll still manage campaigns (setup to execution) individually for Bing and Google within Optmyzr. Each platform has its own unique structure and specific requirements. However, the time savings of deploying campaigns AND tracking metrics and reporting through the same system will undoubtedly help PPC pros work more efficiently and effectively.� Optmyzr allows the PPC pro to access campaign metrics and reporting through the same interface, which allows more immediate comparison of performance in Google and Bing.

    Best of all, you won’t be leaving millions – if not billions – of Bing searches to chance. As the overall search pie gets bigger and Bing continues to grow its share of search volume, it’s becoming more important than ever that search pros build their cross platform expertise and capability. If not, the competition might just run away with a huge percentage of previously untapped search traffic.

    Google Marketing Live: Automation & AI = Smarter/Easier Google Advertising

    Google Marketing Live just wrapped up this week in San Jose, clearly laying out the path for search marketers and business owners alike. Now in its fifth year, Google Marketing Live has grown in size and sophistication. It’s essential that search marketers pay close attention to what happens at Live.

    I had the great opportunity to spend time at the epicenter of the event, alongside friends and former colleagues from my days at Google. Reconnecting with so many amazing Googlers is always an invigorating time, professionally and personally. Google upped the game with an on-site experience on par with, or better than, major network TV events, including a slick live video stream for those attending online.

    [Google Marketing Live prep][1]
    Prepping with Ali for live post-keynote analysis

    My main takeaways from Live 2018 – machine learning, AI and automation continue to be among the most powerful forces simplifying search marketing today. On the surface, search marketers could understandably fear being automated right into unemployment, but the advancements occurring in this space actually open new opportunities for advanced marketers IF they stay ahead of the game.

    Advertising that works for everyone

    Marketing Live keynoter,� Google’s SVP for Ads Sridhar Ramaswamy, cemented the theme “advertising that works for everyone” by spelling out core opportunities and challenges for businesses. Today’s reality, people want help in the moment, where they are and on their terms. Search makes it possible for them to find answers to immediate questions or needs, 1:1, no matter where they are.

    But search advertising also has to work for the advertisers. Solving problems is a two-way street. People need assistance in the moment. Advertisers can remedy those problems and drive new business for themselves. During Marketing Live, it was clear that Sridhar and the rest of the Google team continue to work toward ensuring that advertising works for everyone.

    Three critical things stood out to me during Marketing Live this week:

    I encourage you to invest 90 minutes this week to watch the entire keynote along with post-keynote analysis featuring Google experts Matt Lawson, VP of Ads Marketing, and Ali Miller, Group Product Manager for Video Ads, and me. We dug deep into the keynote to help the livestream audience get even more value out of the event. I think you’ll find it of great interest as we move through 2018 and start seeing Google’s latest innovations come to life.

    [][3]
    Google Marketing Live demo hall

    In the meantime, here are a few key takeaways that really stood out to me after spending 2+ days at the event. Context for PPC experts like you, continually adapting to a shifting playing field:

    Automation is good

    There’s no way to stop the innovation we are seeing today. Automation is not futuristic anymore. It’s here and it IS happening. Smart PPC experts (like you) see opportunity instead of threat. Automation is happening most profoundly at the solution level to eliminate tasks and process. The PPC experts who will lead in this new era are those who will invest time to stay on top of the latest innovations and learn how to put them together to create great campaigns.

    We will always need people with smarts & intellect to visualize, strategize, run tests, think through the nuances, and make amazing things happen in PPC and search overall.

    Final note: AdWords is dead

    Okay, that subhead is the storytelling equivalent to clickbait. The statement is true, though, because we all need to purge “AdWords” from our vocabulary. Sridhar talked about it during his keynote, as did other Googlers during Marketing Live. Google AdWords is now officially known more simply as “Google Ads.”

    After spending time at Google Marketing Live, it’s clear the search giant is making great strides unifying its advertising offerings as a cohesive set of channels. Google Ads becomes the umbrella for search, display, YouTube – with structure and services that allow a more integrated approach and helping advertisers become more of an assistant to the user.

    Consider the theme for this week’s event, “advertising that works for everyone.” Customers, businesses, agencies alike. We all benefit when we (PPC pros and search marketers) get it right. So immerse yourself in the new innovations from Google. Doing so will help you maintain relevance for a long time to come.

    Managing Negatives for Shopping Campaigns

    Shopping campaigns work very differently from search campaigns. The biggest difference is that, unlike search campaigns, you can’t specify the keywords that you would like to show your ads for. However, you can decide which keywords you _don’t_ want to show for, by adding negatives at the ad group and campaign level.� Usually the purpose of adding negative keywords is to cut out irrelevant traffic which helps increase profitability. However, Google does a pretty good job of not matching irrelevant queries to shopping ads. The question then is – how can negative keywords help improve performance of AdWords shopping campaigns?

    It can be done in two ways:

    Direct traffic to more profitable ad groups

    Negatives for shopping campaigns can be used to direct traffic to more profitable ad groups. When using a multi-campaign structure with different priorities, the same query can match to different ad groups. Comparing performance of the same search query across ad groups and adding it as an exact match negative to the ad group it is underperforming in will make sure that the query always matches to the more profitable ad group. By doing this you can sculpt the traffic to go to the ad group that you want.

    Remove generic non-converting queries or queries with low ROAS

    Google doesn’t match irrelevant search queries to shopping ads but it does match generic queries. For example, if you have an ad group selling ‘Adidas Running Shoes’, it can match to a query like ‘Black Shoes’ which is not irrelevant because it does refer to shoes but the search query is generic. Sometimes when campaigns have limited budget it is a good idea to concentrate on the queries that have the highest return on investment. Adding generic queries that don’t convert or have a very low ROAS as exact match negatives helps increase overall ROAS.�

    The new Shopping Negatives Tool from Optmyzr supports both the above strategies of adding negative keywords. It analyzes the search terms for shopping campaigns and recommends exact match negatives based on the these strategies.

    Duplicate Queries (Across ad groups)

    This strategy finds queries that match to more than one ad group and recommends adding the query as an exact match negative to the under performing ad group. It is like AB Testing the search query and keeping it in the best performing ad group.

    Low Performing Queries (within ad groups)

    This strategy finds queries that are not performing well within an ad group. They may have a lower ROAS than the ad group average or a much higher cost/conversion. If you’re on a limited budget, these queries can be added as exact match negatives to the ad group to reduce cost.

    You have the option of clicking on the query and seeing exactly why the system is recommending adding it as a negative keyword. Also, the confidence level says how confident the system is when making the recommendation.

    Watch this video to find out more.� � � Try the Shopping Negatives Tool here.

    Use Feed Analysis to Build AdWords Shopping Campaigns

    Shopping campaigns are set up very differently from search campaigns in AdWords. The biggest difference is that technically your entire feed is part of each ad group in your shopping campaign. Unlike search campaigns where you choose the keywords that should be targeted, in shopping it is specifying what you don’t want to target and bid on separately. This is the reason that when you set up a shopping campaign in AdWords it starts off with one ad group and product group (All Products) which shows ads for all products in the feed. It also means that every product in the feed will have the same bid and it doesn’t matter if it costs $10 or $300.

    Having the same bid for products that have a varying price point is not a good strategy and will result in low ROAS. This is because you will invest less in big ticket items which will most likely result in lower returns. To avoid this, it is recommended to create separate product groups for different products and set different bids. Deciding on the structure for your shopping campaign depends a lot on how you want to monitor and manage performance.� The new Shopping Feed Analysis feature in the Shopping Campaign Builder gives you the additional layer of data you need to have the most accurate product group structure based on the data available in your feed. Before we get into the details of this feature, lets talk a bit more about campaign structure.

     

     

    It is a good idea to follow the structure you have on your website. For example, if you’re selling accessories, you can choose to have different campaigns by the top level product category, ad groups by brand and product groups by product type. However, technically there are two things to consider – the attributes that AdWords lets you use to structure campaigns and the coverage of these attributes.

    Attributes available to structure a shopping campaign

    It is only possible to create product groups using specific attributes from the product feed as AdWords doesn’t allow the use of all attributes available in the feed to define product groups. The attributes you can use are:

    Brand
    Condition
    Item Id
    Google Category
    Product Type
    Custom Labels/ Attributes

    Coverage of attributes

    If you use an attribute to define the structure but certain products don’t have a value for that attribute, those products will fall into everything else. This is what the Feed Analysis feature that I mentioned earlier helps fix. It’ll tell you in advance� the attributes in the feed, the number of variations per attribute and the number of products that have that attribute defined. This can help you decide which attributes to select when� setting up your shopping campaign.� For example, if the feed has 80,000 products and the analysis shows that only 50,000 products have the brand attribute defined then avoid using brand to structure the campaign because 30,000 products will end up in everything else. It will also tell you how many different types of brands are there in the feed. For example, if the e-commerce store only carries one brand, it is not a good idea to split by brand. Therefore, choose attributes that are defined for most products in the feed and have some variation.

    How to use the shopping feed analysis?

    The feed analysis feature is available in the Shopping Campaign Builder tool in Optmyzr. When you are deciding on a campaign structure, select those attributes that have the highest coverage. This means they are defined for a majority of products in the feed. Also, after choosing the structure in the Shopping Campaign Builder, the tool will tell you the percentage of products that will fall into everything else. This way you can change the structure in the Shopping Campaign Builder before uploading the ad groups and product groups to AdWords.

    In the screenshot below, the column ‘Products missing this attribute’ will tell you how many products in the feed don’t have a value for that attribute and if you were to use that to split your feed, those many products will end up in everything else.� For example, the attribute Brand has 32 different variations and the number of products that don’t have brand defined is 0. This means it has good variation and full coverage so it is a good option to use. On the other hand, Custom Attribute 2 is not defined for 25,039 products so it is not recommended to use that to structure your campaign.

    Understanding ‘everything else’

    Products that don’t have a value for the attribute you selected to create product groups will go to everything else. This is essentially a group of products that are not split into their own product group. Each level of split in an ad group has an everything else node associated with it to accommodate the products that are not targeted at that level. The more products or SKUs that fall into everything else, the less control you have over their performance and bids. Think of it like a supermarket but instead of neatly stacked shelves by type of product, everything is mixed up together with a single price tag.

    Why should products not fall into everything else?

    AdWords only lets you set bids at the product group level. The everything else node is one product group and all the products inside it will get the same bid. You don’t have the flexibility to bid differently for products that have a different price. Also, performance metrics (for the purpose of setting bids) are reported at the product group level so the performance for all products will be consolidated. It doesn’t matter how many sales individual products in the everything else group drove.

    If you’re just getting started with shopping and want to better understand why products should be split into different product groups, read the example below:

    You are an e-commerce advertiser selling shoes. Each SKU or shoe in your feed has multiple attributes associated with it which provide information about it. Like brand (Reebok, Nike, Aldo etc.), product type (walking shoes, running shoes, heels…), price, color, gender, custom labels and the list goes on. Using some of these attributes, you can define product groups in AdWords which let you set a different bid for a pair of Nike shoes that cost $200 compared to another pair of Nike shoes that cost $90. If you don’t split your ad groups into specific product groups, all the products in your feed will be in a single product group and will have the same bid. To manage performance and bids, products need to be split into product groups because that is the lowest level at which AdWords allows changing bids for Shopping Campaigns.

     

     

    Restructure Google Shopping Campaigns

    Optmyzr has a new tool that will make it easy to restructure existing shopping campaigns to improve performance.

    Create GRIP Structure Tool

    In shopping campaigns, the product group is the level at which you can set bids. A product group can have any number of products. Having a granular shopping campaign structure lets you set a bid for each product individually. This is important because different products have different prices and having the same bid for all products may not result in high ROAS. For example, if you’re selling shoes and you choose to split campaigns by Category 0->Category 1->Product Type 0, you could end up with a structure where the last level has different types of shoes like running shoes, walking shoes. In this case you could end up bidding the same $2 for a pair of shoes that costs $100 and another that costs $250. To make sure you can bid relative to how each product performs, it is important to have a structure where there is one product or item in each product group. This is the GRIP (GRoup of Individual Products) structure.

    How can you achieve the GRIP structure without spending hours in your AdWords account? The Shopping Campaign Builder lets you create the GRIP structure for new campaigns. You can specify the high level split, the tool will pull the data from your feed, put it into the defined structure and you can upload it to AdWords with a single click. For existing shopping campaigns that already have performance data, you can either spend hours creating this structure in AdWords or use the new Create GRIP structure tool from Optmyzr. This lets you restructure existing shopping campaigns to have the GRIP (groups of individual products) structure.

    How does it work?

    The tool detects the last level at which an ad group is split and splits it one level further at the item id level. This enables you to have one product group per item id while preserving the historical data associated with the ad group. Once you have this structure you can use the Shopping Attribute Bidder to aggregate data by any attribute in the feed.

    Benefits of using the tool

    This tool is currently in beta and is available in the Pro subscription plan on Optmyzr.

    Better Shopping Bids With the GRIP Structure

    I’m the engineer behind our� recently announced Shopping Attribute Bidder and I would like to show you some of the benefits you can achieve by deploying a more granular structure for your product groups in shopping campaigns.

    How Bids Work For Shopping Ads

    In shopping campaigns, you set bids for product groups. However, not all product groups can get a bid. Why is that? It’s because product groups can be subdivided and the bid can only be set at the final level of subdivision.

    The AdWords API documentation� explains this fairly well.

    Here’s an example where products have been segmented (subdivided) along a few dimensions: first by the category (‘electronics’ or ‘toys’). Electronics are subdivided further by ‘brand’, and toys are not subdivided further. The right column in green represents all other product categories and is called “Everything else” in AdWords. This is further subdivided by ‘used status’.

    This segmentation can be shown as a tree:

    What’s important here is that in the AdWords interface, each division is called a ‘product group’ but only the ones at the lowest level (the colored ones in the image above) can have a bid. We’ll call these ‘biddable product groups’.

    Why AdWords Has Non-Biddable Product Groups

    So why does AdWords even have non-biddable product groups? It’s because the way they let advertisers do the subdivisions in the interface requires one subdivision at a time. In creating the tree, each level has to be subdivided individually.

    Doing this is actually really really painful if you just want to build a logical division, for example, splitting all products by category 0, and then splitting all those by brand. AdWords supports 7 levels of subdivision but in the interface anything more than 2 levels is extremely manual.

    If you need help with that, check out our super fast Shopping Campaign Builder tool. We’ve had advertisers create hundreds of ad groups and thousands of granular product groups in just minutes with it.

    How to Set Unique Bids Per Product (SKU)� in Shopping Ads

    How granularly you can set bids depends on how granular your biddable product groups are. So if you want very granular, SKU level bids, you must place each SKU in its own product group.

    It’s a similar concept to SKAGs in search campaigns. SKAG stands for Single Keyword Ad Group. The name I came up with for the equivalent of a SKAG in shopping campaigns is the GRIP structure. GRIP stands for GRoup of Individual Products.

    Let me show you two ways to split four SKUs (item IDs) into biddable product groups.

    Here’s what your biddable product groups contain in a GRIP structure:

    In the GRIP structure above, each individual shoe is placed in a product group. The same four products in a non-GRIP structure below are all grouped together based on a subdivision of something they have in common, in this case the fact they’re all sneakers.

    In the GRIP structure, I can set a unique bid for each item I sell. In a non-GRIP structure, the bid for all four sneakers has to be the same.

    Why the GRIP Structure Is Good For Bidding

    With the Shopping Attribute Bidder tool I created, we can analyze AdWords performance for any attribute we have included in our Google Merchant Feed. For example we could analyze how shoes of different sizes perform. Here’s what we might see in Optmyzr:

    shoe sizes.jpg

    As you can see, size 11.5 shoes have an ROAS of 1361%. Size 10 shoes on the other hand haven’t sold anything so their ROAS is 0%.

    In a non-GRIP structure, this useful insight cannot be acted on because shoes of different sizes exist in the same biddable product group.

    In a GRIP structure, on the other hand, we can act on this insight:

    What’s really cool is that your structure no longer limits your ability to act on insights. If you want to analyze performance by brand or color, that would work just as easily. Here we use the GRIP structure to change bids for things that are red:

    And here we change bids for products from a certain brand:

    Not only can you now analyze data using attributes not available in AdWords (we do this by merging your merchant feed with the AdWords reports in our systems), you can even combine attributes to find more granular insights.

    Changing Bids For GRIP Ads

    It was important for us to give you the ability to act on insights right from the page where you got the insight. Here’s what the Shopping Attribute Bidder tool looks like when you’ve found an insight that you want to use for a bid change:

    The analysis here looks at price ranges of products, something the advertiser has entered using a custom attribute. We can see performance data for each attribute. When products with the same attribute have different bids, we show each bid so that you can raise or lower them all by a percentage or a fixed amount.

    Conclusion

    I see a lot of e-commerce advertisers with sub-optimal product groups. That’s why I’m excited about the fact that with Optmyzr you can now more easily create a great shopping structure and use that to improve bid management. Try it out and let me and the team know what you think…

    Manage Shopping Ads More Efficiently

    Today you will see some new tools for managing Shopping Ads in Optmyzr’s One-Click Optimizations™ menu. These new and updated tools help e-commerce advertisers manage every aspect of advertising an e-commerce business on Google AdWords. Both the setup and management of shopping ads are made more efficient so that you can get better results with less effort.

     

    The following tools are part of our updated Shopping Ads management suite:

     

    Shopping Campaign Builder

    You specify how you want your products to be segmented in AdWords. Our tool automatically builds out the associated structure, handling the creation of thousands of very granular ad groups and product groups.

    This tool speeds up the creation of well-structured shopping campaigns, making it possible to conduct A/B tests and experiment with different structures. Without the Campaign Builder tool, a merchant selling ten brands, and products in ten categories and ten subcategories would have to load 1,000 pages in AdWords to create the same structure that can be set up with Optmyzr in just six clicks.

    Video Tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Shopping Campaign Builder.png

    Shopping Campaign Refresher

    To achieve the best return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), you have to set the right bids for all products you advertise with Google Shopping ads. This level of bid control requires that product groups in AdWords correctly reflect the range of goods you sell. Because ad groups in AdWords don’t automatically get updated based on changes in the merchant feed, Optmyzr has created this tool to make it easier for you to sync a store’s inventory with AdWords.

    In AdWords, product groups are created based on a snapshot of the data in a product feed. Because this data changes dynamically based on inventory, the AdWords structure can quickly become out of sync. Catching mismatches between what is sold and what is managed in AdWords is time-consuming, manual, and often overlooked by advertisers. Accounts whose bids are poorly managed due to the complexity of maintaining a correct structure can suffer from decreases in ROAS.

    Optmyzr’s Shopping Campaign Refresher analyzes the AdWords Shopping campaign to determine its structure and compares this with the data in the Merchant Center feed to provide an automated optimization proposal that corrects any mismatches.

    Video Tutorial� | Try Now� | Read more

    Shopping Campaign Refresher.png

    Bid Management for Shopping Ads

    Optmyzr now provides three ways to manage CPC bids for product groups.

    Bid by Rules (Rule Engine)

    Complex bidding logic can be automated with our Rule Engine. The Rule Engine can combine data from different entities, and date ranges with data maintained in Google Sheets. The data can be used to create a series of if-then-else statements, giving you the complete flexibility to create advanced bidding logic.

    We have provided default rules for managing bids based on ROAS and CPA, and you can enhance these rules with your own insights about your company and industry.

    Video tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Rule Engine.png

    Bid by Product Group (Shopping Bidder)

    Quickly identify product groups that meet basic profitability criteria and apply bid changes in bulk with this tool. When there isn’t enough data to make bid management decisions, the tool can help reach the required data levels by aggregating metrics based on commonalities between products. For example, advertisers who have structured product groups by brand could use brand-level metrics to make bid changes for items where data sparsity is an issue.

    Video tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Shopping Bidder.png

    Bid by Attribute (Shopping Attribute Bidder)

    The most powerful way to bid for Shopping Ads is with the new Shopping Attribute Bidder. Regardless of the structure in AdWords, you can view shopping performance by any attribute of your merchant center feed (even by color or size). If product groups are divided by item id, you can act on insights by updating bids from the same page where you got the insight.

    For example, a shoe retailer can get instant insights into what size shoe has the best ROI. They could further refine their analysis by analyzing a combination of multiple attributes, like shoe size and color.

    What makes Optmyzr’s tool unique is that insights can be turned into intelligent optimizations unlike in AdWords where the analysis and bid changes happen in separate places, and where they are limited by the way an account is structured.

    Video Tutorial� | Try Now� | Read more

    Shopping Attribute Bidder.png

    Bid Adjustments

    Optmyzr’s tools for optimizing bid adjustments for dayparting, device, and geography� are all compatible with Shopping Campaigns.

    Budget Pacing

    Our Enhanced Scripts™ for reaching a target budget� without exceeding it are compatible with Shopping campaigns as well as many other campaign types.

    The Lifecycle of a Shopping Ad

    We covered the three stages of managing Shopping ads� in a recent blog post. Whether you need to build, update, or optimize shopping ads, Optmyzr now makes that easier than ever.

    If you’re relatively new to managing shopping ads, you might enjoy our 3-part series on SearchEngineLand. Part 1, part 2, part 3. Many of the concepts have evolved but this series of articles lays out many of the basics you should understand before you can become proficient in managing shopping ads.

    We hope you’ll try out our new and updated tools and let us know how we can help make your shopping ads even more successful.

    AdWords Shopping Campaign Optimization in Three Steps

    How much time do you spend managing shopping campaigns in AdWords?� In this blog post, we talk about how you can save time by automating shopping campaign optimization and management.

    #1 – Creating Campaigns

    The first step is to create a well structured shopping campaign with properly defined� product groups. Unlike AdWords search campaigns where keywords are the biddable elements in shopping campaigns it is product groups. The ideal structure is to have an individual product group for each item in the feed. This enables you to control and manage bids at the most granular level based on performance. In AdWords, it is difficult to create one product group per item id because you need to split them� manually. Due to this, depending on the size of the feed it could take hours or days to just set up a shopping campaign.

    The Shopping Campaign Builder from Optmyzr lets you create shopping campaigns� within a few minutes. You can define the structure you would like to split your product feed by and upload product groups to AdWords with a single click. Watch this short video of how the Shopping Campaign Builder works.

    #2 – � Managing Bids

    When you’re managing bids for product groups, it is important to take into account� the revenue they generate and the return on investment (ROAS).� Having one product group per item id gives a lot of flexibility when managing bids as you can measure the return on investment at a very granular level. However, if you have thousands of product groups, AdWords doesn’t make it easy. I’ve mentioned three tools from Optmyzr that can help you manage bids at scale for product groups.

    Shopping Bidder

    This is a One-Click Optimization™ that lets you change bids for product groups based on performance. You can choose to change bids for product groups that have ROAS>100% and ROAS<100%. It is also possible to automate your optimization strategy by creating custom filters. These can then be used to change bids for product groups based on performance. This version of the Shopping Bidder lets you view data for product groups at the product group level.

    Shopping Attribute Bidder

    This new optimization for shopping campaigns lets you aggregate and combine data across product groups based on attributes and use that to change bids. You can choose from attributes available in the feed like color, size, gender, group id and more. What makes this powerful is that it enables you to aggregate data across the campaign� irrespective of the structure and change bids at scale. Watch a video of how the Shopping Attribute Bidder works.

    Rule Engine

    The new Rule Engine from Optmyzr gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of analyzing performance for product groups and also how bids are changed. It lets you automate your own bidding strategy for shopping campaigns. For example, you can use a formula to compare the performance of the product group to that of the ad group and campaign. Similarly you can choose to change the bid using a formula that takes into account conversion rate when calculating the new bid.

    The Shopping Bidder and Rule Engine let� you change bids by absolute numbers or percentages.

    #3 – Refreshing� Campaigns

    Once you create shopping campaigns in AdWords, the number of product groups will not automatically change based on your feed. For example, you are selling shoes and create one product group for each model or item id in the feed. Now when new types of shoes� get added to the feed, AdWords doesn’t automatically create product groups for them. As a result, the new products end up in Everything Else. This may lead them to get very little traffic as ‘Everything Else’ usually has a low bid.

    To avoid this, you can go to your AdWords account and create new product groups for products that end up in� Everything Else. Or, you can use the Shopping Refresher from Optmyzr.

    Shopping Refresher

    This One-Click Optimization™ automatically finds new products that are added to the feed, identifies the structure of the Shopping Campaign and creates new product groups. We have two versions of the Shopping Refresher. In the regular version, you can run the refresher ad group by ad group. In the Pro version, you can run it for all ad groups in the campaign together. The Pro version also creates new ad groups if the campaign structure requires it. See how the Shopping Refresher works. To try the Shopping Refresher Pro (currently in Beta), contact our support team.

    Have questions? Write to us at support@optmyzr.com 🙂

    Use Aggregate Data to Set Bids for Shopping Campaigns

    When� shopping campaigns are split at a very granular level like product id, each product group may not have enough data to make a bid decision. This makes it difficult to optimize these product groups creating a chicken and egg problem. You can’t optimize without data and you won’t get traffic if bids are set too low. In such cases, it helps if you can group product groups� to create a critical mass and use aggregated� data to set bids for product groups. We recently launched the� roll up feature in the Shopping Bidder One-Click Optimization™ that is designed to do this. It makes it� easier to set bids at scale by aggregating data for product groups.

    How does the roll up feature in Shopping Bidder work?

    The first step is to select the metric by which you want to roll up data and the second step is to set the threshold for that metric.

    Step 1: Select the metric by which you want to group or aggregate data

    Step 2: Set the threshold for that metric

    Step 3: Click update

    Shopping Roll Up -1

     

    Understanding the results

    The tool will roll up product groups to the lowest level that meets the data threshold selected.� For example, if you select clicks as the metric and the threshold is set to 500, the tool will show all� product groups that have at least 500 clicks. Product groups that don’t have 100 clicks will be rolled up to the lowest level at which the threshold is met.

    1. Product groups are rolled up and grouped together at the lowest level. The number of product groups in the group show in brackets (n) next to the name.
    2. Sometimes there are a lot of product groups in a single group but the range for max cpc is broad. In this case, the tool further breaks it down into sub groups that have a smaller max CPC range. This helps set bids at a more granular level. You can click on the rolled up product group to see sub groups.
    3. The max CPC in this case shows the range (min – max) for all product groups under the roll up.� If the new CPC requires the bid to be increased by a percentage, this is applied on the max number in the range.

    Shopping Bidder - 2

    Demo Video: Roll up feature in Shopping Bidder

    Shopping Ads Webinar

    According to Merkle RKG’s Digital Marketing report for Q2 of 2015, shopping ads now account for 32% of paid search clicks for retail advertisers. As this type of PPC ad is increasingly becoming a more important� factor in driving sales for e-commerce sites, it’s important to make sure they are fully optimized.

    To that end, Optmyzr recently removed the limits on how many product groups can be created through our Shopping Campaign Builder tool. Now you can easily build the best structure for your Shopping ads, even if that means having thousands of ad groups and tens of thousands of product groups.

    [Optmyzr_-_Shopping_Splitter][3]
    Optmyzr’s Shopping Campaign Builder lets you build the ideal structure for your Shopping campaigns quickly and efficiently.

    We also partnered with Whoop! a company out of Austria that we met at SMX Advanced in Seattle this summer to host a webinar about optimizing bids for Shopping Ads. We hope you’ll join us and Reinhard� Einwagner,� Product Manager at Whoop! for our webinar on Wednesday� August 26, 2015 at� 9 AM PST (USA) | 6 PM CEST (Europe) where we’ll cover:

    You can reserve your seat for the webinar here and also get on the mailing list to get a copy of the materials afterwards.

    [Join Optmyzr and Whoop! to learn how to optimize Shopping Ads][5]
    Join Optmyzr and Whoop! to learn how to optimize Shopping Ads

    Bid Management Made Easy For Google Shopping Ads

    We’ve been pretty excited about the launch of Google Shopping ads since they’re a great way for retailers to highlight their products’ photos and prices. Unfortunately when running Shopping ads for thousands of products, bid management using the AdWords interface is a full time job: not because it’s difficult, but simply because the interface is excruciatingly slow when managing many products that are split across many campaigns and ad groups.

    After confirming that this was a real problem with some other PPC folks at the HeroConf conference last month, we started building a bid management tool for Shopping Ads and today we’re excited to reveal it to the world.

    [Shopping Bidder for AdWords][1]
    Optmyzr’s Shopping Bidder Tool for AdWords makes setting the correct CPC for your shopping ads a quick and easy process that can easily be done for thousands of product groups in a matter of mere minutes.

    Here’s how our Shopping Bidder works:

    1. You get all the biddable items for your entire account on a single page.
    2. You can filter the view to see just ROI positive, ROI negative, or items with no impressions or you can apply a custom filter using your own criteria like clicks, cost, impressions, etc.
    3. You can change bids in bulk for all the items that meet your filter criteria, for example, lower all bids 10% for ROI negative items with at least 10 clicks in the past 30 days.
    4. With one click, you can send the new bids to AdWords where they go live instantly.

     

    This is much, much faster than doing the same in AdWords which has a few shortcomings:

     

    Initially this tool will � make bid management for Shopping ads a lot faster but when it becomes this easy, you’ll also find yourself splitting up your product groups ever more granularly, and that should further improve results.

    We’re really excited to have this ready for our users today and we hope you’ll send us feedback about how we can make this even more useful for you.

    Regular Pages

    7 Things to Prepare for this Holiday Season

    The holiday season is the busiest time for e-commerce and with just days until Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, everyone in the search marketing community is knee-deep in last-minute preparations for the sale of the year. Considering what 2020 has been like so far, what else should we expect to be different? We can’t predict the unexpected, but we can point out some new trends that you should be prepared for.

    More even than in previous years, we have seen a bigger rise in the number of online shoppers. Owing to health restrictions and lockdowns, people have turned online to look for products and services. We need to look at audience behavior, pay close attention to logistics, and keep a close eye on our messaging. And because we are living in such an ‘unprecedented’ year, we are bound to see some ‘unexpected’ things in the upcoming weeks. 

    Here’s my take on 7 such things that we need to be prepared for this Holiday season.

    1. Holiday shopping will start sooner

    Holiday shopping started early this year and that’s backed up by Microsoft research showing that over 40% of shoppers intend to start earlier this year. Due to the pandemic, a lot of retailers have been very aggressive with deals throughout this year and that may have reset some expectations with consumers. We may now see deals lasting longer and pop up more frequently than before. 

    While Black Friday is usually the unofficial start to the Holiday shopping season, this year shoppers won’t be waiting that long. Counting the fact that there are around 50 days between Amazon’s Prime Day (Oct 13) and Cyber Week, shoppers will have begun planning and purchasing for the Holiday season from early October. Moreover, considering the current health regulations, social distancing, and movement restrictions, shoppers might be looking towards a safer way to continue their shopping. This will prompt them to be less spontaneous and instead better plan their in-store visits, and even space them out over a few months to lessen the stress related to the circumstances of this unusual year.

    2. Most shopping will be done online

    E-commerce is going to be huge in the upcoming months. Even in Q1 & Q2, we saw an unprecedented push towards digital shopping and e-commerce. So the same wave is expected to follow through till the end of the year. According to a report published by Statista Research Department (Aug 10, 2020), titled United States: retail e-commerce sales 2017-2024, US online retail sales are projected to reach 476.5 billion US dollars by 2024. 

    E-commerce has accelerated ahead of where everyone expected it to be. For example, the Snacks Daily podcast reported that the Disney+ streaming service has reached its 5-year goal for subscriptions just 7 months after launch, more than 4 years ahead of schedule!

    Another thing we are expecting to see is a constant rise in the number of online shoppers post-pandemic, relying on e-commerce stores for their purchases. Data from IBM’s US Retail Index supports this and shows that the pandemic has quickened the transfer from physical to digital stores by 5 years! 

    BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) is going to be a huge hit. People who never dreamed of buying online may now use this hybrid approach. But for retailers, this brings a shift in the competitive landscape. Earlier, brick-and-mortar stores were just competing against pure-play e-commerce shops where consumers liked their convenience and low prices. Now they also have to compete against hybrid players with a strong BOPIS model, like Target and Walmart instead of just Amazon. 

    While it’s true that physical stores were already competing with brands like Target and Walmart, that was based more on local convenience and low prices. But with consumers relying on the added convenience of shopping in apps and opting for BOPIS, things may get even tougher for old-school brick-and-mortar stores with no digital capabilities.

    4. Holiday 2020 will be celebrated differently

    Microsoft’s research data indicates that people will be celebrating differently than before.

    More people will celebrate at home (40% will change usual holiday plans according to Microsoft’s data), with smaller groups. Which means less travel but more first-time chefs cooking their first-holiday meal. This in turn is a big boon for food delivery services like DoorDash which, driven by the pandemic, turned a profit for the first time and will have its IPO soon. 

    Moreover, with people deciding to stay home, they might be more inclined to invest in self-pampering products like fitness equipment, beauty products, or even streaming subscriptions. So those industries will continue to see an increase in sales as the holidays roll around.

    5. Figuring out shipping & delivery

    Free shipping, which has long been a staple of e-commerce deals, is likely to take on a new meaning. With higher e-commerce sales, shipping logistics are more strained than ever and that’s on top of pandemic-driven supply-chain issues that have created empty shelves and shortages of a variety of products over the past months. According to a Salesforce report — traditional delivery providers (like FedEx, UPS, DHL) might face issues with capacity (by 5%) between the week before Cyber Week and Boxing Day. Consumers may be surprised when they have to order much earlier than before to get their gifts on time for their celebrations. 

    And in turn, retailers and service providers will have to keep a lookout for unanticipated delivery delays of inbound and outbound goods, shipping surcharges imposed by carriers, and potentially higher than usual returns from consumers who are panic buying. 

    6. Sale events will be game-changers

    Contrary to previous years, Black Friday 2020 might not be able to get much in-store action, courtesy of the pandemic. And while Black Friday has been associated with big-item sales which require a lot of planning and intent, Cyber Monday has always been about online-shopping. 

    In-person Black Friday shopping used to appeal to consumers for 3 primary reasons:

    But things are different this year and despite the usual appeal of Black Friday, according to Microsoft, Cyber Monday is the sales event to be on the lookout for this year. If your Black Friday follows the trend and is lower than expected, it’s not too late to shift that budget to Cyber Monday over the weekend.

    And for international marketers, the following data might be much insightful. In the US, these sale events might bring in consumers, UK & AU report lower numbers of shoppers attending them.

    7. Rise of the gift cards

    Microsoft says gift cards are growing faster than other categories this year. They are an ingenious solution to a big Holiday problem for consumers – choosing a gift and delivering it on time, even for procrastinators who waited too long! They can even help small businesses market their products and gain stability in the Holiday season by bringing in steady revenue with minimal investment. Consumers have been buying gift cards to support their local businesses in the pandemic.

    As gift cards are traditionally excluded from sales events like Black Friday, that may explain why some people don’t intend to participate in the event this year (as explained in the point above).

    The other items that are on shoppers’ lists are apparel, toys, electronics, and self-care products.

    Conclusion

    2020 has been a year with many ups and downs. Unlike earlier years, this year consumers won’t be crowding aisles for Black Friday sales, but rely on purchasing from the comforts of their homes. Since we only have a week to Black Friday, most marketers would have already put their plans and strategies in place. 

    While you might not be up for making major changes directly to your ads right now, you can still create last-minute monitors and alerts so that you get some help staying on top of things during your busiest time of the year. If you don’t have these set up, do so now! Also, check out the tips we shared from speaking to 14 PPC experts about their advice on navigating Holiday 2020 and winning e-commerce sales

    Tips to Leverage your PPC Campaigns with Standard Shopping

    As a PPC professional, you’d have often wondered which campaign type would best suit your goals and business objectives. While it can’t be denied that Smart Shopping is more data-driven and less time consuming, Standard Shopping campaigns can also be quite beneficial if used efficiently. Not only will you be able to have full control over your campaigns, but direct the adjustments more effectively without compromising on the target.

    This means that you can run efficient and profitable campaigns with Standard Shopping if you want to! Here are some tips to structure Standard Shopping campaigns to make them profitable with insights from Optmyzr products.

    1. Campaign Structure

    Pro Tip: If you have an existing shopping campaign, use the Shopping Analysis Tool to see performance aggregated by different product attributes. This can help you decide on the best structure for your campaigns and ad groups. We recommend choosing attributes that have 100% coverage in the feed because it prevents products from falling into everything else in the product group. The feed analysis feature from Optmyzr can give you an overview of attribute coverage.

    Using inventory filters for campaign settings can help you make sure that you’re not advertising the same products in multiple campaigns. You can define inventory filters in the Google Ads interface in the campaign settings. Also, when you create shopping campaigns using Optmyzr’s Shopping Builder 2.0, these inventory filters are set up automatically based on the structure you choose.

    2. Search Query Management

    Shopping campaigns do not have keywords so it is not possible to tell Google which queries you want your ads to show for. However, you can tell Google which queries you don’t want to show your ads for by using negative keywords. Negative keywords can also help sculpt traffic to direct traffic to more profitable ad groups. This makes sure that queries are more accurately matched to products that help maximize ROAS. 

    Pro Tip: Use the Shopping Negatives tool from Optmyzr to send traffic to more profitable ad groups or to add unprofitable queries as negatives to save cost. You can also use the Rule Engine to automate this process. 

    3. Bidding

    Standard Shopping campaigns give you a lot of flexibility with bidding strategy and that is one of the reasons we prefer them over smart shopping campaigns. You can either choose to use a manual bidding strategy or put the campaigns on an automated bidding strategy like target ROAS (tROAS).

    Automated Bidding (tROAS)

    You can set your shopping campaigns to run on a tROAS automated bidding strategy. We recommend using standard automated bidding instead of portfolio automated bidding. This way you will have the opportunity to tweak the target ROAS at the ad group level when you use standard automated bidding. In fact, this is one of the ways to use automation layering to get better performance and benefit from Google’s automated bidding.

    You can use the Optimize Target ROAS optimization that helps increase conversions and increase ROAS. This optimization was built using the Rule Engine so you can build your own version of it as well and automate it.

    Manual Bidding

    You can also use manual bidding which will give you more granular control over bids. Apart from making bid changes at the product group level, you can also set bid adjustments by time, geography, audiences, and devices. While it requires a higher level of monitoring than automated bidding, it can be quite rewarding. 

    Optmyzr has a whole suite of tools to help you manage hours of the week, geo, audience, gender, and device bid adjustments. You can also use the Rule Engine to automate your strategy which reduces the day-to-day overhead. When you are running on manual bidding, analyze the benchmark CTR and benchmark CPC metrics to see how your products are performing against your competitors. This information can come in handy when you’re setting bids. 

    4. Budgets

    When you have a multi-campaign structure, make sure to allocate budgets in a way that maximizes the performance. For example, if your most profitable campaigns are losing impression share due to budget, reallocate budget from other campaigns. The Optimize Budget tool from Optmyzr can help you do this very easily.

    Points to remember

    Make sure to note the following points to maximize the profits and efficiency of your Standard Shopping campaign:

    When you choose to go with Standard Shopping campaigns, you’d have full control over your campaigns, making every decision based on your own business choices. You can structure campaigns to have separate ad groups and product groups which will give you the flexibility to manage their bids, ROAS targets, and negative keywords. Smart shopping campaigns don’t give the user control to manage any of these things.

    If you are an experienced professional, working with Standard Shopping campaigns can help you analyze and experiment with your accounts. Using predictive tools like Optmyzr can help you hone your campaign objectives and give meaningful suggestions to better optimize your PPC accounts. 

    Google Smart vs. Standard Shopping: When to choose which campaign type

    While many marketers and agencies might prefer Smart Shopping campaigns for its ease of use, some still prefer Standard campaigns because they feel more in control. One question that we hear from e-commerce advertisers time and again is what works better: Smart or Standard Shopping campaigns?

    You’re in for a surprise if you think we advocate for one over the other.

    To be honest, there’s no universal ‘right answer’ to which campaign type is better. It all depends on your vertical, business goals, and the strategy for your PPC campaigns.

    In some cases, Standard Shopping campaigns outperform Smart ones in terms of ROAS; other times, a purely Smart campaign strategy can deliver better performance; or you can deploy a hybrid strategy, like using Standard campaigns with automated bidding.

    In this article, we’ll take you through some use cases to help you better understand which Google Shopping campaign type will work better for your needs.

    1. Feed size and variety of products

    If you have a small feed with products that are very similar to one another, then combining all of them in the same campaign will probably work well. For example, if you’re only selling custom shoes that are all priced between $100-150, running a single Smart Shopping campaign may be a good idea. This is because the expected return on ad spend (ROAS) for all products in the campaign is pretty much at the same level.

    Optmyzr Tip: Our Shopping Analysis tool can help you see if products in your Smart Shopping campaigns have varying performance.

    However, if you have a large product feed with varying products, a single Smart Shopping campaign will not yield the best performance.

    Consider the example of a large clothing retailer who sells a variety of apparel like t-shirts, shoes, ties, shirts, and socks. A single Smart Shopping campaign is not the best strategy since different products will have varying manufacturing costs and price points, and you may wish to allocate different budgets to different categories of products based on what you want to advertise more.

    If everything is in one Smart Shopping campaign, the performance will average out and won’t be optimized for profitability. In cases like these, we recommend either multiple Smart Shopping campaigns or multiple Standard campaigns.

    Optmyzr Tip: Our Shopping Builder 2.0 _tool can help you create multiple campaign structures for your feed very easily._

    The proof is in the pudding. Shopping Builder 2.0 is a great way to create
    Shopping campaigns faster and get straight to selling.

    2. Niche products or seasonal products

    If you are selling niche or very seasonal products, like highly specialized tools or Christmas ornaments, it would be wiser to avoid Smart Shopping campaigns. This is largely because there may not be enough data for Google’s machine learning algorithms to make smart decisions.

    In this case, a Standard Shopping campaign with manual bidding or target ROAS/target CPA bidding strategy will work better.

    3. Scarcity of time

    When you don’t have much time to manage your Shopping campaigns and the choice boils down to either running a campaign or none at all, pick a Smart Shopping campaign. However, if you do have some time to manage your campaigns and your feed has different kinds of products, choose a multiple campaign structure.

    4. Control & Visibility

    Let’s face it: Smart campaigns don’t give you much control. If you want more granular command over different attributes — bids, target ROAS, search queries, networks, and devices to name some — then consider switching to Standard Shopping campaigns.

    With Standard campaigns, you have the flexibility to choose which parts of the campaign management process you want to automate.

    For example, you can use automated bidding strategies like target ROAS that automate the bidding process, but you can still retain control over other things like search queries and negative keywords.

    When you need more visibility into your campaign’s performance, Smart Shopping may not be the best option. If you want to see which search queries drive the most sales — or even which ones are not profitable and should be added as negatives — Smart Shopping won’t give you that data while Standard ones will.

    What can you do in each type of campaign?

    To wrap things up, here is an overview of the levers you can pull to optimize both smart and standard shopping campaigns. 

    For Smart Shopping campaigns: 

    For Standard Shopping campaigns:

    Both Smart and Standard campaigns have their pros and cons, so choose what suits the campaign you’re running, your line of business, your marketing strategy, and how much time you have.

    At the same time, stay mindful of your clients and their business goals while choosing a strategy. If your clients are focused on profitability and not ROAS (as we all should be), then adapt accordingly.

    One recommendation we make often is to run Standard Shopping campaigns with an automated bidding strategy like target ROAS, as it brings together the best of both worlds — the power of automation without sacrificing insight and control.

    Happy selling!

    Omnisend’s 8 Best Practices for Shopify App Advertising in 2020

    Among the main contributors to Shopify’s growth are the multitude of apps available on its platform. Indeed, some of the top Shopify apps make it easier to develop, grow, and maintain online businesses. But how do you use them to advertise your e-commerce store and grow your revenues in today’s business environment? Here are some of the best practices you should employ this year:

    1. Prioritize personalization.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/omnisend

    It’s critical for today’s consumer to feel a connection with the brands that they patronize. So, whenever you reach out to your customers, make sure that it’s with a highly relevant message.

    There are apps that seamlessly plug into your Shopify store that give you incredible personalization options. Such software allow you to segment your subscriber base in great detail in order to reach out to them with highly converting messages. With the right tool, you’ll be able to target your customers not merely based on their profile data but also their specific activities or shopping behaviors.

    2. Focus on customer retention.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/swell

    Acquiring customers is much more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. Plus, it has a greater impact on your bottomline. In fact, even a 5% increase in your customer retention rate can boost your profits by up to 95%.

    One of the best ways to cultivate customer loyalty is to maintain a compelling rewards program. By rewarding your customers for every interaction with your brand, you’ll easily boost repeat purchases and strengthen relationships with your customers. All it takes is finding the best Shopify app to integrate into your store.

    3. Recover abandoned carts.

    Source: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-top-7-reasons-for-shopping-cart-abandonment-tips-for-avoiding-them/

    About 7 out of 10 of shoppers on your store will fill up their carts without checking out. Often, that happens either because of unexpected shipping costs or they’re simply not yet ready to purchase. But no matter the reason, it pays to lure these shoppers back in.

    Some Shopify apps allow you to build automation workflows that identify cart abandoners and re-engage them through personalized and targeted messages. This allows you to revive what would have already been lost sales. You can also recover abandoned carts by setting up exit-intent pop-ups as well as retargeting ads.

    4. Engage in retargeting.

    Source: https://www.business2community.com/marketing/17-retargeting-ad-statistics-will-make-retarget-right-now-2-infographics-01464774

    Retargeting can be useful not just for cart abandoners but also for window shoppers, which are common even in e-commerce. The good news is that there are digital tools that allow you several chances to convert online window shoppers into actual paying customers. This makes a significant impact on your revenues, as window shoppers are 70% more likely to convert with retargeting.

    With Shopify apps, you can easily run retargeting campaigns on sites like Facebook, Google, and their properties (e.g. Instagram, Youtube, and Gmail). These allow you to integrate your shop data and manage your entire marketing strategy on a single platform and drive traffic to your Shopify store.

    Source: https://sixads.net/blog/shopify-traffic-channels-generating-sales/

    5. Optimize for mobile.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/shopney-mobile-app

    Transactions on mobile devices are expected to make up at least 50% of all ecommerce sales. So, it’s essential that you have a platform that’s optimized for the mobile audience. That means making sure you have an incredibly responsive website. Or, if it makes sense for your business, you can build your own native app.

    Mobile app builders on Shopify make creating your own native mobile app remarkably easy. These software don’t just make it easy to develop your brand’s ecommerce app but also provides everything you need to offer a good mobile customer experience. Typically, that includes features like simplified checkout process, in-app messaging, and rich push notifications. When you are planning to improve your ecommerce business, mobile should be on priority list.

    6. Make the most of social proof.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/loox

    User reviews are valued by 88% of shoppers just as much as personal recommendations. Given this, it pays to use the reviews you already have not only on your social media pages but also everywhere else you can manage. These are especially valuable on your product pages.

    Shopfiy apps allow you to easily integrate social proof like user photos and product reviews onto your product pages. By using these apps, you make your web visitors more likely to complete a purchase.

    7. Produce interactive content.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/pickzen

    Interactive content like quizzes and questionnaires is one of the most effective lead magnets for retail websites. This advertising tactic has an average lead capture rate of 31.6%.

    Apart from engaging quizzes, among the best ways to use this tool is to produce questionnaires that lead to highly relevant product recommendations. Shopify apps don’t just make it easier for you to create these interactive content but also capture data and gather insights from your users.

    8. Host engaging contests.

    Source: https://apps.shopify.com/gleam

    A chance at winning enticing prizes can be an excellent motivation for your customer to help you grow your audience and boost your brand’s popularity. If planned correctly, hosting contests can also be a cost-effective advertising tactic.

    Today, there are Shopify apps that allow you to easily create online competitions or giveaways. These tools provide everything you need not just to develop and run your contests but also to pick winners, verify entries, and capture data.

    Conclusion

    Shopify has enabled hundreds of thousands of businesses to reach online audiences. Its success as an ecommerce platform is undoubtedly driven by its versatility. It is simple enough for novices to navigate but also dynamic enough for experienced digital retailers to get exactly what they need.

    But to really make the most out of the platform, you should learn to identify the best Shopify apps to support your business. Take advantage of them to advertise your shop, grow your audience, and nurture your customers. Consequently, you’ll enjoy incredible revenue growth as well as a stellar brand reputation.

    4 Smart Shopping Myths BUSTED: How to Optimize Even with Limitations

    Over the years, through many product webinars and solution calls with customers, I’ve noticed that search marketers continue to perpetuate certain myths around Smart Shopping. While Google has made Shopping campaigns more accessible (and marketers benefit from that), some misconceptions still float around on whether you can optimize them.

    So, let’s cut to the chase. Check out 4 of the most common myths around Smart Shopping campaigns that I’ve seen, and find out how you can optimize them better.

    Myth #1: Smart Shopping campaigns don’t offer any control.

    It’s no secret that Google Smart Shopping doesn’t let you control negative keywords or offer many bidding strategies to choose from. But even with these limitations, there are still a lot of things that you can control.

    Myth #2: Smart Shopping campaigns can’t be optimized.

    I beg to differ. You can certainly optimize the structure and performance of your campaigns as explained above. And there are a few more things you can optimize.

    Myth #3: You can’t favor high-performing products.

    While you depend on Smart Shopping campaigns to maximize your conversion value for an allocated budget, you can still favor your choice of products. Do this by creating different campaigns for products based on their performance or attributes, such as price point. Then, set up different budgets for each campaign to help Google maximize your conversion value. Allocate budget to campaigns with products that have higher profit margins or higher expected ROAS.

    Check out the screenshot below to get a better idea. 

    Myth #4: You have to advertise all products from your merchant feed.

    Google recommends adding as many products as possible to your merchant feed. That’s a very good idea… please continue to do that. But at the same time, it’s imperative that you monitor campaign performance and exclude products that underperform. 

    Some ways to identify product groups that should be excluded from Smart Shopping campaigns are:

    Google is currently not favoring that last category of products and may continue to do so.

    Pro Tip: Create a new standard Campaign to target these kinds of products with better results.

    Improving the Shopping Experience in Optmyzr

    While you can make these optimizations manually in Google Ads, they’re going to eat up much of your time — time that could instead be spent on testing and planning. If you’re a fan of getting back hours of time each week, sign up for our 14-day free trial. All our features are ungated during this time, letting you explore all the ways we help you optimize your campaigns.

    As a quick sneak peek into an upcoming Optmyzr feature, we’ll be adding support to the Rule Engine to exclude product groups that are underperforming. Stay tuned for more on when this goes live!

    Still have questions? Write to us at support@optmyzr.com to get a demo of Optmyzr!

    How to Build a Profitable Google Shopping Campaign Structure

    In a world where people can’t always go out to make a purchase, e-commerce is more important than ever.

    We’ve been buying clothes, shoes, electronics, and many other categories of products online for several years. Now, we’re seeing surging demand for new ones — groceries, home entertainment, educational products, and office equipment to name a few.

    Besides, if your business is able to fulfill orders made online, it enables you to service a larger market and potentially tap into additional sources of revenue.

    So while there are several great reasons for businesses to implement Shopping Campaigns and promote all the inventory they can, it can be daunting to get started.

    A major point about Google Shopping campaigns that we hear from our customers — and performance marketers in general — is setting up the right campaign structure to manage bids and (eventually) optimize them with ease.

    Here are our recommendations on how to approach campaign structures for a Google Shopping campaign.

    Campaign Creation Strategy

    Planning a campaign creation strategy typically depends on how many products your feed contains, as well as how you’d like to segregate the traffic you’re driving to your account. For larger feeds (tens of thousands of products) and to better manage search queries, multiple campaigns are the best setup.

    Here are some key strategies to build the right campaign structure:

    Inventory Filters

    Use this feature to direct traffic to campaigns based on criteria such as product condition, size or color. Let’s look at a real-world example to understand this better.

    If you’re selling laptops, then ‘refurbished’ and ‘New’ are two possible conditions for your inventory that you’ll want to take into consideration. This ensures that you don’t advertise new laptops to potential customers who are searching for refurbished ones.

    You can segregate your campaigns using this logic by implementing inventory filters for each condition type.

    Campaign Priorities

    If you have multiple Google Shopping campaigns that promote the same product, you can prioritize showing ads for search terms that matter — ones that are more relevant to your goal from a specific campaign.

    Campaign priorities have three tiers: low, medium and high.

    Priority levels outweigh the bid amount at auction time. So if a campaign on high priority has a lower bid than a campaign on medium priority, the high priority campaign’s bid will be used. When multiple campaigns have the same priority, the one with the highest bid will count during the auction.

    This feature was created by Martin Röttgerding, head of search engine advertising at Bloofusion, and a panelist on episode 4 of PPC Town Hall.

    You can read more on how you can leverage Campaign Priorities in our detailed blog post.

    Ad Group Creation Strategy

    Selecting your creation strategy at the ad group level depends on multiple factors:

    Managing Negatives

    Ad group creation strategy helps align the right traffic to the right ad groups.

    For users searching for a Macbook Pro, it’s better to show available configurations for the same model rather than ads that promote the Macbook Air. To achieve this, you can build a campaign for each brand and ad group in both categories: Macbook Pro and Macbook Air.

    This will help you add negative search terms — ‘Macbook Air’ to the Macbook Pro ad group and vice versa.

    Size of your feed

    If your inventory consists of more than 20,000 SKUs (or if you expect to cross this number in the near future), you won’t be able to fit all of these products into a single ad group. Instead, you’ll need to set up multiple ad groups to bypass the ad group limits established by Google.

    Product Group Hierarchy

    Selecting your product group hierarchy will depend on how you want to manage bids.

    If you’re selling shoes and you know that the Adidas Black Alphabounce+ is your best-selling product, you’re probably going to want to bid higher on it. Going one layer deeper, you realize that just size 11 constitutes 70% of your sales for this product.

    If you have a structure that also includes the size, you’ll be able to bid especially high for the size 11 Adidas Black Alphabounce +.

    A high degree of granularity can help you make sure only the right products get a higher bid.

    If you’d like to manage bids for each item in your feed, you can choose to build product groups at the item ID level and structure it by incorporating all the important attributes into the campaign structure.

    But when choosing your hierarchy, you also need to analyze the attributes defined for products in your feed to select a split where the fewest products end up in the ‘Everything Else’ product group, so that you are able to manage bids to an optimal degree.

    Real-world examples

    Let’s take a look at a couple of real-world scenarios and how they translate over to Google Shopping campaigns:

    Laptops

    We’re revisiting this product category, this time in order to prioritize display. To do that, you’ll need to figure out which products have the highest profit margin, or which ones sell the most units. Consider the placement of your different laptops similar to the bids you’re going to place.

    As store manager, you know the different factors that influence buyers who are looking to purchase a laptop like: screen size, processor, operating system, graphics card, etc.

    In order to arrange your products, you need to decide the order for the product arrangement to deliver the best possible customer experience: helping people find what they want quickly and easily.

    Naturally, products that sell faster and ones with higher profit margins take priority in the lineup.

    Assigning degrees of importance to all of these features helps you select which products need to be most visible i.e. which ads you need to bid highest on.

    Apparel

    Let’s consider that a brand like H&M or Zara is running a seasonal sale.

    While the storeboard at the entrance will highlight this, it’s also important for store managers to promote all the products that are being sold. The idea is that before a prospective buyer gets to the discount rack, they go through all the new arrivals and are tempted to buy something because it’s trending.

    Overall, the sale value for the buyer would be higher — a combination of discount purchases and the excitement of owning something on the edge of what’s trending. For the store, it means a better profit margin.

    In this case, the higher bids are placed on new arrivals that have better margins then on-sale products, which might receive lower bids or be advertised on a landing page for the new arrivals.

    Conclusion

    Just like deciding the order in which to present your products in a brick and mortar store, Google Shopping campaign success requires businesses to identify the right products by attributes. You’ll want to bank on this priority list to create your Google Shopping campaigns, so that you’re able to draw the right audience and receive the best profit return on ad spend.

    Though each business and industry is different, there are some common parameters for choosing the right structure for your Google Shopping campaigns: what’s new, what’s selling well, what’s in demand, what’s easy to procure, and what’s easiest to ship.

    Together, they can help you identify where your marketing dollars will yield the best results.

    Improve your Shopping Campaign’s performance by leveraging Campaign Priorities

    Shopping campaigns are managed very differently from Search and Display campaigns. � In this series of posts, we’ll address some of the most important differences and share best-practice strategies based on what we’ve heard from our customers.

    One of these strategies is to set Campaign Priorities, to prioritize the products you want to highlight or sell more of.

    What are Campaign Priorities?

    Campaign priorities in Google Ads are used to select the bid when a product is advertised through multiple campaigns. Though every new shopping campaign is automatically created on “low priority” as a default setting, you can modify this and set your campaigns to either high, medium or low priority.

    Keep in mind that campaign priorities are not the same as using negatives, as you aren’t driving or excluding traffic, but rather giving first or second priority for participation in auctions.

    Priority levels outweigh the bid amount at auction time, so if a campaign on high priority has a lower bid than a campaign on medium priority, the high priority campaign’s bid will be used. In another case, if multiple campaigns have the same priority, then the campaign with highest bid is the one that will be used in the auction.

    Note that budget issues can cause the priorities to be ignored. For example, if the highest priority campaign runs out of budget, then the bid from the runner-up in terms of priority levels will be used.

    Campaign priorities are mostly useful when you’re advertising the same product, for the same country, in multiple Shopping campaigns.

    Strategies Using Campaign Priorities

    Prioritize Best Sellers for Generic Searches

    Campaign priorities can be used to give first participation in auction for a campaign with your best sellers, or a campaign with the products you want to prioritize or highlight in appearing.

    To avoid your shopping ads showing up for unqualified searches you can make your campaigns “compete smarter”, as detailed on this CPC Strategy article. �

    As an example, let’s say your inventory contains a variety of wireless speakers. You have different brands and models, but the Bose Minilink II and the JBL Flip speakers are your best-selling items. And as best sellers, you want to make sure that they have first participation in auction upon a generic “wireless speakers” search.

    The way to do this would be to create a campaign for best-sellers and include the Bose Minilink II and the JBL Flip speakers, and then set the priority of this campaign to “High Priority”. This doesn’t exclude any campaigns from participating, it just helps you define where you first want to place the bid from.

    Prioritize Flighted Budgets

    Another case would be to use campaign priorities to spend flighted or seasonal budgets before spending evergreen budgets. Say you are creating a winter campaign which runs on a specific budget and focuses on winter clothing items only. One of the products in this campaign is a jacket, which is also included in the outdoor apparel campaign that runs year-round.

    Considering the winter campaign has its own specific budget, you can make sure that budget is used first, before that of the outdoor apparel campaign. To do this, you’d set the winter campaign on a high priority, and the outdoor apparel campaign with a medium or low priority.

    Bid Less for Generic Searches and More for Product Searches

    Somewhat counterintuitively, CPCs for generic queries tend to run higher than those for specific product searches. Here’s an illustration of that effect from Andreas Reiffen and Crealytics:

    The higher the bid, the more one word (generic) queries the ad is shown for.

    This is generally bad because generic searches tend to happen long before the conversion. The more specific, multi-word queries tend to immediately precede the sale. So ROAS focused advertisers will want to bid more for specific queries and less for generic queries but that’s the opposite of what happens when you have just one campaign for your products.

    A strategy that lets you bid more for specific product searches involves a mix of campaign priorities, different bids, and different negative keywords. Kirk Williams wrote a detailed step-by-step article on the benefits of setting up an SKU-level shopping strategy.

    This strategy was pioneered by Martin Roettgerding. Here’s how it works:

    So for the Generic Campaign, the one that is supposed to attract clicks for the most generic queries related to what you sell, you set a high priority, low bids and add negative keywords for the brands and product names. Now if a branded search happens, the high priority campaign is skipped because it has a negative brand keyword so the medium campaign will pick up the traffic with a reasonable bid.

    If you’ve tried some of these techniques or explored others that leverage shopping campaign priorities, let us know. We’d love to feature your story in an upcoming blog post.

    3 Shopping Tools & Smart Bidding Tips to CRUSH Holiday Sales

    Black Friday. Cyber Monday. After-hours convenience. Price. Easy/free shipping. All are huge motivators driving people from brick-and-mortar stores to the ease and convenience of online retail. The trend lines are unmistakable. 2018 promises to be another transformational year for eCommerce at holiday time, with many experts predicting double digit increases in online holiday shopping.

    Billions of dollars will be up for grabs.

    PPC pros have an unprecedented opportunity to be real heroes this year by making sure their company wins more than its share of the shopping frenzy. Working in your favor, holiday shopping is always ripe with intent and immediacy.

    Semantics Matter

    First, let’s briefly recap the ongoing rapid evolution of the tools at our disposal. Google and Bing are both continually enhancing shopping tools to drive that high-intent searcher to conversion. They have added core automation to streamline the basics of PPC and more advanced tools such as Shopping Ads.

    Focusing specifically on the Google platform (but still keeping in mind Bing is remarkably Google’esque with PPC), we all know the greater the specificity of a person’s search, the greater the intent. “Men’s black analog diving watches” tells the Google machine a lot about the � searcher’s eagerness. Google can serve up engaging Shopping Ads featuring cool black diving watches to capture eagerness to purchase, serving product-specific ads with click-to-buy ease.

    The holiday shopper doing more casual digital window shopping, however, will offer less specific searches such as “Men’s watches” or more vague “gift ideas for dads.” While vague, that shopper likely WANTS to get into a funnel and may need just a little prodding to convert.

    In this less-specific search, Shopping Ads and Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads can create immersive and meaningful experiences for people browsing for that perfect gift. �

    If you haven’t dabbled yet with Showcase Shopping Ads, perhaps you should. They provide pre-click browsing of your products to generate purchase ideas based on more general searches. Previously, PPC pros didn’t have a lot of power to draw casual browsers into their funnel. Showcase Ads are an inexpensive option to meaningfully engage shoppers of modest intent – particularly those meandering for ideas on a mobile device.�

    Build – Optimize – Automate – Control

    While Google and Bing do a good job automating core aspects of search ads for everyday PPC practitioners, the PPC rockstar needs tools like Optmyzr to take their game to new levels. The goal is beating competitors in the second-by-second, search-by-search battle for holiday sales.

    The Optmyzr system gives you greater control and automation beyond what Google and Bing offer – and it’s all managed from a single interface. Everything from building campaigns, syncing with inventory, and managing bids to choosing your preferred mix of automation/manual intervention.

    Campaign Builder greatly simplifies and automates creation of product group and other campaign structures. Tapping data in your merchant feed, this tool helps automatically align structures by category and craft groups by brand, product type, etc. Campaign Builder’s easy-to-use interface gives you greater control and flexibility to analyze structures to refine and improve them prior to launch. It will also flag gaps in structure that could negatively impact reporting and analysis downstream. In other words, you catch the clunky, annoying misses that would otherwise create headaches or hamper insight after the fact.

    Next, let’s talk inventory. Retailers have greater opportunity to serve up ads based on _actual _inventory – you know…the stuff you have on hand and want/need to sell. Whether you sell cars or speciality holiday dresses or sporting goods, accurate inventory data fed into Optmyzr allows efficient set up and management of hundreds of potential rules and parameters to serve the right ad at the right time. Through rules and automation, you can streamline processes to serve ads based on highly specific product attributes – size, color, style, tech specs. Essentially, if you have data about the products, Optmyzr drives powerful tools to serve the ads aligned with that highly specific search.

    Finally, let’s cover bid management. This is where a third-party tool like Optmyzr layers exceptional power on top of the standard automations from the search engines.

    The day-to-day task of managing bids can be horribly time consuming, but it’s really at the heart of taking campaigns from basic to extraordinary. For those who need to manage basic modifications in bulk – such as blanket modifications across a product group, our Shopping Bidder tool allows a PPC pro to do that in minutes.

    PPC pros, however, often want/need to make decisions at a much more granular level. Shopping Attribute Bidder taps data from Google Ads and specific attributes in your merchant feed. This combination deepens the ability for PPC pros to make different bids to accommodate variations based on any number of attributes. You’ll want to read up on GrIP structures to get the most bang for your buck with Shopping Attribute Bidder.

    Finally, Optmyzr Rule Engine is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of a PPC rockstar. With this proprietary tool, it’s really quite easy to adjust bids based on deep data points, such as conversion, CPA, ROAS and others. Among the most versatile tools in the PPC toolbox, you can automate bidding structures across pre-set parameters. Big snowstorm about to hit the northeast? Bids can automatically adjust to push snow blowers or skis. July heatwave predicted in the midwest? Rule Engine can push window air conditioners in Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis. You can set those rules up well in advance to automate against countless eventualities.

    Conclusion

    Holiday shopping season always puts eCommerce topics to top-of-mind, so it’s always a great opportunity to talk about Shopping Ads and powerful bidding tools. Of course, we all want to capitalize on the November-December gift buying frenzy, but these tools are 12-month necessities to allow PPC pros to beat the competition.

    People are out there searching for your products/services right now. Make sure they find you before they find your competitor.

    Of course, if you want a free 14-day trial or demo, just let us know.

    Shopping Ads Management for Bing Now Available

    As longtime Search veterans ourselves, the Optmyzr team’s legacy generally comes from the Google universe. Yet we’ve always viewed Bing’s emergence as a true player in search as being a good thing for search marketers. More choice for users. A bigger pie overall. More opportunity for marketers to help brands reach the customers who are searching for what they sell.

    Accurate market share stats are elusive, at best, but seem to range between 10-33% for Bing these days (in terms of search volume). While Google still rules the search universe, 10-33% of billions of searches conducted is massive – to say the very least.

    Search is clearly the powerhouse way to reach customers, because users tell the search engines specifically what they are seeking – � “Men’s black dress shoes” or “trendy prom dresses” or “[brand name] camera lenses” or “family restaurants near me.” As Bing continues its steady growth in volume and its evolution to Google-like ad types, data and analytics, search marketers have found themselves working across platforms with greater frequency.

    Trouble was, working in two platforms typically more than doubled the work for the PPC pro. Google automation and powerful tools like Optmyzr made it a snap to launch and manage Google Shopping Ads. Bing ads, though? Not so much. It’s been a much more manual and time-consuming prospect for PPC pros – until now.

    The Optmyzr team is excited to introduce powerful new functionality that allows PPC pros to manage all critical aspects of Bing Shopping Ads from the same Optmyzr interface that manages Google Ads.

    The new Bing-specific functionality greatly simplifies Bing Shopping Ads in much the same way it simplifies Google Shopping Ads. We set out to simplify core activities, including setting up advanced campaign structures, keeping campaigns synced with dynamic product inventory, and optimizing performance quickly and efficiently with AI-enabled decision support.

    We’ve made it possible for PPC pros to tackle Bing Shopping Ads in minutes instead of hours. Many automated features speed things along, but Optmyzr also provides extensive manual intervention and optimization, so you can dig deep into your product data to improve performance.

    A few of the most notable core features to highlight:

  • Optmyzr Campaign Builder: Set up your campaign structure for the most optimal deployment and management. Highly flexible in setup, much like what we’ve offered for Google Shopping Ads management.
  • Optmyzr Campaign Refresher: Keep your Bing ads in sync with a merchant feed.
  • Optmyzr Bid Management: Creates customizable reports that will help you identify commonalities affecting performance deep within campaigns. Commonalities might be brand, style, size, product type, price – any number of attributes essential to a successful campaign. You can act on the insight to drive better (more profitable!) bids.
  • As always, we focus much of our innovation on mid to advanced PPC pros, but the ease and flexibility of the system allows up-and-coming PPC managers to improve their abilities and execution.

    One final important piece about the new Bing-specific functionality – you’ll still manage campaigns (setup to execution) individually for Bing and Google within Optmyzr. Each platform has its own unique structure and specific requirements. However, the time savings of deploying campaigns AND tracking metrics and reporting through the same system will undoubtedly help PPC pros work more efficiently and effectively.� Optmyzr allows the PPC pro to access campaign metrics and reporting through the same interface, which allows more immediate comparison of performance in Google and Bing.

    Best of all, you won’t be leaving millions – if not billions – of Bing searches to chance. As the overall search pie gets bigger and Bing continues to grow its share of search volume, it’s becoming more important than ever that search pros build their cross platform expertise and capability. If not, the competition might just run away with a huge percentage of previously untapped search traffic.

    Google Marketing Live: Automation & AI = Smarter/Easier Google Advertising

    Google Marketing Live just wrapped up this week in San Jose, clearly laying out the path for search marketers and business owners alike. Now in its fifth year, Google Marketing Live has grown in size and sophistication. It’s essential that search marketers pay close attention to what happens at Live.

    I had the great opportunity to spend time at the epicenter of the event, alongside friends and former colleagues from my days at Google. Reconnecting with so many amazing Googlers is always an invigorating time, professionally and personally. Google upped the game with an on-site experience on par with, or better than, major network TV events, including a slick live video stream for those attending online.

    [Google Marketing Live prep][1]
    Prepping with Ali for live post-keynote analysis

    My main takeaways from Live 2018 – machine learning, AI and automation continue to be among the most powerful forces simplifying search marketing today. On the surface, search marketers could understandably fear being automated right into unemployment, but the advancements occurring in this space actually open new opportunities for advanced marketers IF they stay ahead of the game.

    Advertising that works for everyone

    Marketing Live keynoter,� Google’s SVP for Ads Sridhar Ramaswamy, cemented the theme “advertising that works for everyone” by spelling out core opportunities and challenges for businesses. Today’s reality, people want help in the moment, where they are and on their terms. Search makes it possible for them to find answers to immediate questions or needs, 1:1, no matter where they are.

    But search advertising also has to work for the advertisers. Solving problems is a two-way street. People need assistance in the moment. Advertisers can remedy those problems and drive new business for themselves. During Marketing Live, it was clear that Sridhar and the rest of the Google team continue to work toward ensuring that advertising works for everyone.

    Three critical things stood out to me during Marketing Live this week:

    I encourage you to invest 90 minutes this week to watch the entire keynote along with post-keynote analysis featuring Google experts Matt Lawson, VP of Ads Marketing, and Ali Miller, Group Product Manager for Video Ads, and me. We dug deep into the keynote to help the livestream audience get even more value out of the event. I think you’ll find it of great interest as we move through 2018 and start seeing Google’s latest innovations come to life.

    [][3]
    Google Marketing Live demo hall

    In the meantime, here are a few key takeaways that really stood out to me after spending 2+ days at the event. Context for PPC experts like you, continually adapting to a shifting playing field:

    Automation is good

    There’s no way to stop the innovation we are seeing today. Automation is not futuristic anymore. It’s here and it IS happening. Smart PPC experts (like you) see opportunity instead of threat. Automation is happening most profoundly at the solution level to eliminate tasks and process. The PPC experts who will lead in this new era are those who will invest time to stay on top of the latest innovations and learn how to put them together to create great campaigns.

    We will always need people with smarts & intellect to visualize, strategize, run tests, think through the nuances, and make amazing things happen in PPC and search overall.

    Final note: AdWords is dead

    Okay, that subhead is the storytelling equivalent to clickbait. The statement is true, though, because we all need to purge “AdWords” from our vocabulary. Sridhar talked about it during his keynote, as did other Googlers during Marketing Live. Google AdWords is now officially known more simply as “Google Ads.”

    After spending time at Google Marketing Live, it’s clear the search giant is making great strides unifying its advertising offerings as a cohesive set of channels. Google Ads becomes the umbrella for search, display, YouTube – with structure and services that allow a more integrated approach and helping advertisers become more of an assistant to the user.

    Consider the theme for this week’s event, “advertising that works for everyone.” Customers, businesses, agencies alike. We all benefit when we (PPC pros and search marketers) get it right. So immerse yourself in the new innovations from Google. Doing so will help you maintain relevance for a long time to come.

    Managing Negatives for Shopping Campaigns

    Shopping campaigns work very differently from search campaigns. The biggest difference is that, unlike search campaigns, you can’t specify the keywords that you would like to show your ads for. However, you can decide which keywords you _don’t_ want to show for, by adding negatives at the ad group and campaign level.� Usually the purpose of adding negative keywords is to cut out irrelevant traffic which helps increase profitability. However, Google does a pretty good job of not matching irrelevant queries to shopping ads. The question then is – how can negative keywords help improve performance of AdWords shopping campaigns?

    It can be done in two ways:

    Direct traffic to more profitable ad groups

    Negatives for shopping campaigns can be used to direct traffic to more profitable ad groups. When using a multi-campaign structure with different priorities, the same query can match to different ad groups. Comparing performance of the same search query across ad groups and adding it as an exact match negative to the ad group it is underperforming in will make sure that the query always matches to the more profitable ad group. By doing this you can sculpt the traffic to go to the ad group that you want.

    Remove generic non-converting queries or queries with low ROAS

    Google doesn’t match irrelevant search queries to shopping ads but it does match generic queries. For example, if you have an ad group selling ‘Adidas Running Shoes’, it can match to a query like ‘Black Shoes’ which is not irrelevant because it does refer to shoes but the search query is generic. Sometimes when campaigns have limited budget it is a good idea to concentrate on the queries that have the highest return on investment. Adding generic queries that don’t convert or have a very low ROAS as exact match negatives helps increase overall ROAS.�

    The new Shopping Negatives Tool from Optmyzr supports both the above strategies of adding negative keywords. It analyzes the search terms for shopping campaigns and recommends exact match negatives based on the these strategies.

    Duplicate Queries (Across ad groups)

    This strategy finds queries that match to more than one ad group and recommends adding the query as an exact match negative to the under performing ad group. It is like AB Testing the search query and keeping it in the best performing ad group.

    Low Performing Queries (within ad groups)

    This strategy finds queries that are not performing well within an ad group. They may have a lower ROAS than the ad group average or a much higher cost/conversion. If you’re on a limited budget, these queries can be added as exact match negatives to the ad group to reduce cost.

    You have the option of clicking on the query and seeing exactly why the system is recommending adding it as a negative keyword. Also, the confidence level says how confident the system is when making the recommendation.

    Watch this video to find out more.� � � Try the Shopping Negatives Tool here.

    Use Feed Analysis to Build AdWords Shopping Campaigns

    Shopping campaigns are set up very differently from search campaigns in AdWords. The biggest difference is that technically your entire feed is part of each ad group in your shopping campaign. Unlike search campaigns where you choose the keywords that should be targeted, in shopping it is specifying what you don’t want to target and bid on separately. This is the reason that when you set up a shopping campaign in AdWords it starts off with one ad group and product group (All Products) which shows ads for all products in the feed. It also means that every product in the feed will have the same bid and it doesn’t matter if it costs $10 or $300.

    Having the same bid for products that have a varying price point is not a good strategy and will result in low ROAS. This is because you will invest less in big ticket items which will most likely result in lower returns. To avoid this, it is recommended to create separate product groups for different products and set different bids. Deciding on the structure for your shopping campaign depends a lot on how you want to monitor and manage performance.� The new Shopping Feed Analysis feature in the Shopping Campaign Builder gives you the additional layer of data you need to have the most accurate product group structure based on the data available in your feed. Before we get into the details of this feature, lets talk a bit more about campaign structure.

     

     

    It is a good idea to follow the structure you have on your website. For example, if you’re selling accessories, you can choose to have different campaigns by the top level product category, ad groups by brand and product groups by product type. However, technically there are two things to consider – the attributes that AdWords lets you use to structure campaigns and the coverage of these attributes.

    Attributes available to structure a shopping campaign

    It is only possible to create product groups using specific attributes from the product feed as AdWords doesn’t allow the use of all attributes available in the feed to define product groups. The attributes you can use are:

    Brand
    Condition
    Item Id
    Google Category
    Product Type
    Custom Labels/ Attributes

    Coverage of attributes

    If you use an attribute to define the structure but certain products don’t have a value for that attribute, those products will fall into everything else. This is what the Feed Analysis feature that I mentioned earlier helps fix. It’ll tell you in advance� the attributes in the feed, the number of variations per attribute and the number of products that have that attribute defined. This can help you decide which attributes to select when� setting up your shopping campaign.� For example, if the feed has 80,000 products and the analysis shows that only 50,000 products have the brand attribute defined then avoid using brand to structure the campaign because 30,000 products will end up in everything else. It will also tell you how many different types of brands are there in the feed. For example, if the e-commerce store only carries one brand, it is not a good idea to split by brand. Therefore, choose attributes that are defined for most products in the feed and have some variation.

    How to use the shopping feed analysis?

    The feed analysis feature is available in the Shopping Campaign Builder tool in Optmyzr. When you are deciding on a campaign structure, select those attributes that have the highest coverage. This means they are defined for a majority of products in the feed. Also, after choosing the structure in the Shopping Campaign Builder, the tool will tell you the percentage of products that will fall into everything else. This way you can change the structure in the Shopping Campaign Builder before uploading the ad groups and product groups to AdWords.

    In the screenshot below, the column ‘Products missing this attribute’ will tell you how many products in the feed don’t have a value for that attribute and if you were to use that to split your feed, those many products will end up in everything else.� For example, the attribute Brand has 32 different variations and the number of products that don’t have brand defined is 0. This means it has good variation and full coverage so it is a good option to use. On the other hand, Custom Attribute 2 is not defined for 25,039 products so it is not recommended to use that to structure your campaign.

    Understanding ‘everything else’

    Products that don’t have a value for the attribute you selected to create product groups will go to everything else. This is essentially a group of products that are not split into their own product group. Each level of split in an ad group has an everything else node associated with it to accommodate the products that are not targeted at that level. The more products or SKUs that fall into everything else, the less control you have over their performance and bids. Think of it like a supermarket but instead of neatly stacked shelves by type of product, everything is mixed up together with a single price tag.

    Why should products not fall into everything else?

    AdWords only lets you set bids at the product group level. The everything else node is one product group and all the products inside it will get the same bid. You don’t have the flexibility to bid differently for products that have a different price. Also, performance metrics (for the purpose of setting bids) are reported at the product group level so the performance for all products will be consolidated. It doesn’t matter how many sales individual products in the everything else group drove.

    If you’re just getting started with shopping and want to better understand why products should be split into different product groups, read the example below:

    You are an e-commerce advertiser selling shoes. Each SKU or shoe in your feed has multiple attributes associated with it which provide information about it. Like brand (Reebok, Nike, Aldo etc.), product type (walking shoes, running shoes, heels…), price, color, gender, custom labels and the list goes on. Using some of these attributes, you can define product groups in AdWords which let you set a different bid for a pair of Nike shoes that cost $200 compared to another pair of Nike shoes that cost $90. If you don’t split your ad groups into specific product groups, all the products in your feed will be in a single product group and will have the same bid. To manage performance and bids, products need to be split into product groups because that is the lowest level at which AdWords allows changing bids for Shopping Campaigns.

     

     

    Restructure Google Shopping Campaigns

    Optmyzr has a new tool that will make it easy to restructure existing shopping campaigns to improve performance.

    Create GRIP Structure Tool

    In shopping campaigns, the product group is the level at which you can set bids. A product group can have any number of products. Having a granular shopping campaign structure lets you set a bid for each product individually. This is important because different products have different prices and having the same bid for all products may not result in high ROAS. For example, if you’re selling shoes and you choose to split campaigns by Category 0->Category 1->Product Type 0, you could end up with a structure where the last level has different types of shoes like running shoes, walking shoes. In this case you could end up bidding the same $2 for a pair of shoes that costs $100 and another that costs $250. To make sure you can bid relative to how each product performs, it is important to have a structure where there is one product or item in each product group. This is the GRIP (GRoup of Individual Products) structure.

    How can you achieve the GRIP structure without spending hours in your AdWords account? The Shopping Campaign Builder lets you create the GRIP structure for new campaigns. You can specify the high level split, the tool will pull the data from your feed, put it into the defined structure and you can upload it to AdWords with a single click. For existing shopping campaigns that already have performance data, you can either spend hours creating this structure in AdWords or use the new Create GRIP structure tool from Optmyzr. This lets you restructure existing shopping campaigns to have the GRIP (groups of individual products) structure.

    How does it work?

    The tool detects the last level at which an ad group is split and splits it one level further at the item id level. This enables you to have one product group per item id while preserving the historical data associated with the ad group. Once you have this structure you can use the Shopping Attribute Bidder to aggregate data by any attribute in the feed.

    Benefits of using the tool

    This tool is currently in beta and is available in the Pro subscription plan on Optmyzr.

    Better Shopping Bids With the GRIP Structure

    I’m the engineer behind our� recently announced Shopping Attribute Bidder and I would like to show you some of the benefits you can achieve by deploying a more granular structure for your product groups in shopping campaigns.

    How Bids Work For Shopping Ads

    In shopping campaigns, you set bids for product groups. However, not all product groups can get a bid. Why is that? It’s because product groups can be subdivided and the bid can only be set at the final level of subdivision.

    The AdWords API documentation� explains this fairly well.

    Here’s an example where products have been segmented (subdivided) along a few dimensions: first by the category (‘electronics’ or ‘toys’). Electronics are subdivided further by ‘brand’, and toys are not subdivided further. The right column in green represents all other product categories and is called “Everything else” in AdWords. This is further subdivided by ‘used status’.

    This segmentation can be shown as a tree:

    What’s important here is that in the AdWords interface, each division is called a ‘product group’ but only the ones at the lowest level (the colored ones in the image above) can have a bid. We’ll call these ‘biddable product groups’.

    Why AdWords Has Non-Biddable Product Groups

    So why does AdWords even have non-biddable product groups? It’s because the way they let advertisers do the subdivisions in the interface requires one subdivision at a time. In creating the tree, each level has to be subdivided individually.

    Doing this is actually really really painful if you just want to build a logical division, for example, splitting all products by category 0, and then splitting all those by brand. AdWords supports 7 levels of subdivision but in the interface anything more than 2 levels is extremely manual.

    If you need help with that, check out our super fast Shopping Campaign Builder tool. We’ve had advertisers create hundreds of ad groups and thousands of granular product groups in just minutes with it.

    How to Set Unique Bids Per Product (SKU)� in Shopping Ads

    How granularly you can set bids depends on how granular your biddable product groups are. So if you want very granular, SKU level bids, you must place each SKU in its own product group.

    It’s a similar concept to SKAGs in search campaigns. SKAG stands for Single Keyword Ad Group. The name I came up with for the equivalent of a SKAG in shopping campaigns is the GRIP structure. GRIP stands for GRoup of Individual Products.

    Let me show you two ways to split four SKUs (item IDs) into biddable product groups.

    Here’s what your biddable product groups contain in a GRIP structure:

    In the GRIP structure above, each individual shoe is placed in a product group. The same four products in a non-GRIP structure below are all grouped together based on a subdivision of something they have in common, in this case the fact they’re all sneakers.

    In the GRIP structure, I can set a unique bid for each item I sell. In a non-GRIP structure, the bid for all four sneakers has to be the same.

    Why the GRIP Structure Is Good For Bidding

    With the Shopping Attribute Bidder tool I created, we can analyze AdWords performance for any attribute we have included in our Google Merchant Feed. For example we could analyze how shoes of different sizes perform. Here’s what we might see in Optmyzr:

    shoe sizes.jpg

    As you can see, size 11.5 shoes have an ROAS of 1361%. Size 10 shoes on the other hand haven’t sold anything so their ROAS is 0%.

    In a non-GRIP structure, this useful insight cannot be acted on because shoes of different sizes exist in the same biddable product group.

    In a GRIP structure, on the other hand, we can act on this insight:

    What’s really cool is that your structure no longer limits your ability to act on insights. If you want to analyze performance by brand or color, that would work just as easily. Here we use the GRIP structure to change bids for things that are red:

    And here we change bids for products from a certain brand:

    Not only can you now analyze data using attributes not available in AdWords (we do this by merging your merchant feed with the AdWords reports in our systems), you can even combine attributes to find more granular insights.

    Changing Bids For GRIP Ads

    It was important for us to give you the ability to act on insights right from the page where you got the insight. Here’s what the Shopping Attribute Bidder tool looks like when you’ve found an insight that you want to use for a bid change:

    The analysis here looks at price ranges of products, something the advertiser has entered using a custom attribute. We can see performance data for each attribute. When products with the same attribute have different bids, we show each bid so that you can raise or lower them all by a percentage or a fixed amount.

    Conclusion

    I see a lot of e-commerce advertisers with sub-optimal product groups. That’s why I’m excited about the fact that with Optmyzr you can now more easily create a great shopping structure and use that to improve bid management. Try it out and let me and the team know what you think…

    Manage Shopping Ads More Efficiently

    Today you will see some new tools for managing Shopping Ads in Optmyzr’s One-Click Optimizations™ menu. These new and updated tools help e-commerce advertisers manage every aspect of advertising an e-commerce business on Google AdWords. Both the setup and management of shopping ads are made more efficient so that you can get better results with less effort.

     

    The following tools are part of our updated Shopping Ads management suite:

     

    Shopping Campaign Builder

    You specify how you want your products to be segmented in AdWords. Our tool automatically builds out the associated structure, handling the creation of thousands of very granular ad groups and product groups.

    This tool speeds up the creation of well-structured shopping campaigns, making it possible to conduct A/B tests and experiment with different structures. Without the Campaign Builder tool, a merchant selling ten brands, and products in ten categories and ten subcategories would have to load 1,000 pages in AdWords to create the same structure that can be set up with Optmyzr in just six clicks.

    Video Tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Shopping Campaign Builder.png

    Shopping Campaign Refresher

    To achieve the best return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), you have to set the right bids for all products you advertise with Google Shopping ads. This level of bid control requires that product groups in AdWords correctly reflect the range of goods you sell. Because ad groups in AdWords don’t automatically get updated based on changes in the merchant feed, Optmyzr has created this tool to make it easier for you to sync a store’s inventory with AdWords.

    In AdWords, product groups are created based on a snapshot of the data in a product feed. Because this data changes dynamically based on inventory, the AdWords structure can quickly become out of sync. Catching mismatches between what is sold and what is managed in AdWords is time-consuming, manual, and often overlooked by advertisers. Accounts whose bids are poorly managed due to the complexity of maintaining a correct structure can suffer from decreases in ROAS.

    Optmyzr’s Shopping Campaign Refresher analyzes the AdWords Shopping campaign to determine its structure and compares this with the data in the Merchant Center feed to provide an automated optimization proposal that corrects any mismatches.

    Video Tutorial� | Try Now� | Read more

    Shopping Campaign Refresher.png

    Bid Management for Shopping Ads

    Optmyzr now provides three ways to manage CPC bids for product groups.

    Bid by Rules (Rule Engine)

    Complex bidding logic can be automated with our Rule Engine. The Rule Engine can combine data from different entities, and date ranges with data maintained in Google Sheets. The data can be used to create a series of if-then-else statements, giving you the complete flexibility to create advanced bidding logic.

    We have provided default rules for managing bids based on ROAS and CPA, and you can enhance these rules with your own insights about your company and industry.

    Video tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Rule Engine.png

    Bid by Product Group (Shopping Bidder)

    Quickly identify product groups that meet basic profitability criteria and apply bid changes in bulk with this tool. When there isn’t enough data to make bid management decisions, the tool can help reach the required data levels by aggregating metrics based on commonalities between products. For example, advertisers who have structured product groups by brand could use brand-level metrics to make bid changes for items where data sparsity is an issue.

    Video tutorial� | Try now� | Read more

    Shopping Bidder.png

    Bid by Attribute (Shopping Attribute Bidder)

    The most powerful way to bid for Shopping Ads is with the new Shopping Attribute Bidder. Regardless of the structure in AdWords, you can view shopping performance by any attribute of your merchant center feed (even by color or size). If product groups are divided by item id, you can act on insights by updating bids from the same page where you got the insight.

    For example, a shoe retailer can get instant insights into what size shoe has the best ROI. They could further refine their analysis by analyzing a combination of multiple attributes, like shoe size and color.

    What makes Optmyzr’s tool unique is that insights can be turned into intelligent optimizations unlike in AdWords where the analysis and bid changes happen in separate places, and where they are limited by the way an account is structured.

    Video Tutorial� | Try Now� | Read more

    Shopping Attribute Bidder.png

    Bid Adjustments

    Optmyzr’s tools for optimizing bid adjustments for dayparting, device, and geography� are all compatible with Shopping Campaigns.

    Budget Pacing

    Our Enhanced Scripts™ for reaching a target budget� without exceeding it are compatible with Shopping campaigns as well as many other campaign types.

    The Lifecycle of a Shopping Ad

    We covered the three stages of managing Shopping ads� in a recent blog post. Whether you need to build, update, or optimize shopping ads, Optmyzr now makes that easier than ever.

    If you’re relatively new to managing shopping ads, you might enjoy our 3-part series on SearchEngineLand. Part 1, part 2, part 3. Many of the concepts have evolved but this series of articles lays out many of the basics you should understand before you can become proficient in managing shopping ads.

    We hope you’ll try out our new and updated tools and let us know how we can help make your shopping ads even more successful.

    AdWords Shopping Campaign Optimization in Three Steps

    How much time do you spend managing shopping campaigns in AdWords?� In this blog post, we talk about how you can save time by automating shopping campaign optimization and management.

    #1 – Creating Campaigns

    The first step is to create a well structured shopping campaign with properly defined� product groups. Unlike AdWords search campaigns where keywords are the biddable elements in shopping campaigns it is product groups. The ideal structure is to have an individual product group for each item in the feed. This enables you to control and manage bids at the most granular level based on performance. In AdWords, it is difficult to create one product group per item id because you need to split them� manually. Due to this, depending on the size of the feed it could take hours or days to just set up a shopping campaign.

    The Shopping Campaign Builder from Optmyzr lets you create shopping campaigns� within a few minutes. You can define the structure you would like to split your product feed by and upload product groups to AdWords with a single click. Watch this short video of how the Shopping Campaign Builder works.

    #2 – � Managing Bids

    When you’re managing bids for product groups, it is important to take into account� the revenue they generate and the return on investment (ROAS).� Having one product group per item id gives a lot of flexibility when managing bids as you can measure the return on investment at a very granular level. However, if you have thousands of product groups, AdWords doesn’t make it easy. I’ve mentioned three tools from Optmyzr that can help you manage bids at scale for product groups.

    Shopping Bidder

    This is a One-Click Optimization™ that lets you change bids for product groups based on performance. You can choose to change bids for product groups that have ROAS>100% and ROAS<100%. It is also possible to automate your optimization strategy by creating custom filters. These can then be used to change bids for product groups based on performance. This version of the Shopping Bidder lets you view data for product groups at the product group level.

    Shopping Attribute Bidder

    This new optimization for shopping campaigns lets you aggregate and combine data across product groups based on attributes and use that to change bids. You can choose from attributes available in the feed like color, size, gender, group id and more. What makes this powerful is that it enables you to aggregate data across the campaign� irrespective of the structure and change bids at scale. Watch a video of how the Shopping Attribute Bidder works.

    Rule Engine

    The new Rule Engine from Optmyzr gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of analyzing performance for product groups and also how bids are changed. It lets you automate your own bidding strategy for shopping campaigns. For example, you can use a formula to compare the performance of the product group to that of the ad group and campaign. Similarly you can choose to change the bid using a formula that takes into account conversion rate when calculating the new bid.

    The Shopping Bidder and Rule Engine let� you change bids by absolute numbers or percentages.

    #3 – Refreshing� Campaigns

    Once you create shopping campaigns in AdWords, the number of product groups will not automatically change based on your feed. For example, you are selling shoes and create one product group for each model or item id in the feed. Now when new types of shoes� get added to the feed, AdWords doesn’t automatically create product groups for them. As a result, the new products end up in Everything Else. This may lead them to get very little traffic as ‘Everything Else’ usually has a low bid.

    To avoid this, you can go to your AdWords account and create new product groups for products that end up in� Everything Else. Or, you can use the Shopping Refresher from Optmyzr.

    Shopping Refresher

    This One-Click Optimization™ automatically finds new products that are added to the feed, identifies the structure of the Shopping Campaign and creates new product groups. We have two versions of the Shopping Refresher. In the regular version, you can run the refresher ad group by ad group. In the Pro version, you can run it for all ad groups in the campaign together. The Pro version also creates new ad groups if the campaign structure requires it. See how the Shopping Refresher works. To try the Shopping Refresher Pro (currently in Beta), contact our support team.

    Have questions? Write to us at support@optmyzr.com 🙂

    Use Aggregate Data to Set Bids for Shopping Campaigns

    When� shopping campaigns are split at a very granular level like product id, each product group may not have enough data to make a bid decision. This makes it difficult to optimize these product groups creating a chicken and egg problem. You can’t optimize without data and you won’t get traffic if bids are set too low. In such cases, it helps if you can group product groups� to create a critical mass and use aggregated� data to set bids for product groups. We recently launched the� roll up feature in the Shopping Bidder One-Click Optimization™ that is designed to do this. It makes it� easier to set bids at scale by aggregating data for product groups.

    How does the roll up feature in Shopping Bidder work?

    The first step is to select the metric by which you want to roll up data and the second step is to set the threshold for that metric.

    Step 1: Select the metric by which you want to group or aggregate data

    Step 2: Set the threshold for that metric

    Step 3: Click update

    Shopping Roll Up -1

     

    Understanding the results

    The tool will roll up product groups to the lowest level that meets the data threshold selected.� For example, if you select clicks as the metric and the threshold is set to 500, the tool will show all� product groups that have at least 500 clicks. Product groups that don’t have 100 clicks will be rolled up to the lowest level at which the threshold is met.

    1. Product groups are rolled up and grouped together at the lowest level. The number of product groups in the group show in brackets (n) next to the name.
    2. Sometimes there are a lot of product groups in a single group but the range for max cpc is broad. In this case, the tool further breaks it down into sub groups that have a smaller max CPC range. This helps set bids at a more granular level. You can click on the rolled up product group to see sub groups.
    3. The max CPC in this case shows the range (min – max) for all product groups under the roll up.� If the new CPC requires the bid to be increased by a percentage, this is applied on the max number in the range.

    Shopping Bidder - 2

    Demo Video: Roll up feature in Shopping Bidder

    Shopping Ads Webinar

    According to Merkle RKG’s Digital Marketing report for Q2 of 2015, shopping ads now account for 32% of paid search clicks for retail advertisers. As this type of PPC ad is increasingly becoming a more important� factor in driving sales for e-commerce sites, it’s important to make sure they are fully optimized.

    To that end, Optmyzr recently removed the limits on how many product groups can be created through our Shopping Campaign Builder tool. Now you can easily build the best structure for your Shopping ads, even if that means having thousands of ad groups and tens of thousands of product groups.

    [Optmyzr_-_Shopping_Splitter][3]
    Optmyzr’s Shopping Campaign Builder lets you build the ideal structure for your Shopping campaigns quickly and efficiently.

    We also partnered with Whoop! a company out of Austria that we met at SMX Advanced in Seattle this summer to host a webinar about optimizing bids for Shopping Ads. We hope you’ll join us and Reinhard� Einwagner,� Product Manager at Whoop! for our webinar on Wednesday� August 26, 2015 at� 9 AM PST (USA) | 6 PM CEST (Europe) where we’ll cover:

    You can reserve your seat for the webinar here and also get on the mailing list to get a copy of the materials afterwards.

    [Join Optmyzr and Whoop! to learn how to optimize Shopping Ads][5]
    Join Optmyzr and Whoop! to learn how to optimize Shopping Ads

    Bid Management Made Easy For Google Shopping Ads

    We’ve been pretty excited about the launch of Google Shopping ads since they’re a great way for retailers to highlight their products’ photos and prices. Unfortunately when running Shopping ads for thousands of products, bid management using the AdWords interface is a full time job: not because it’s difficult, but simply because the interface is excruciatingly slow when managing many products that are split across many campaigns and ad groups.

    After confirming that this was a real problem with some other PPC folks at the HeroConf conference last month, we started building a bid management tool for Shopping Ads and today we’re excited to reveal it to the world.

    [Shopping Bidder for AdWords][1]
    Optmyzr’s Shopping Bidder Tool for AdWords makes setting the correct CPC for your shopping ads a quick and easy process that can easily be done for thousands of product groups in a matter of mere minutes.

    Here’s how our Shopping Bidder works:

    1. You get all the biddable items for your entire account on a single page.
    2. You can filter the view to see just ROI positive, ROI negative, or items with no impressions or you can apply a custom filter using your own criteria like clicks, cost, impressions, etc.
    3. You can change bids in bulk for all the items that meet your filter criteria, for example, lower all bids 10% for ROI negative items with at least 10 clicks in the past 30 days.
    4. With one click, you can send the new bids to AdWords where they go live instantly.

     

    This is much, much faster than doing the same in AdWords which has a few shortcomings:

     

    Initially this tool will � make bid management for Shopping ads a lot faster but when it becomes this easy, you’ll also find yourself splitting up your product groups ever more granularly, and that should further improve results.

    We’re really excited to have this ready for our users today and we hope you’ll send us feedback about how we can make this even more useful for you.