Q4 Prep Webinar Series: Take Your Google Ads to the Next Level
By Andrew Maff, on August 28th, 2018 ,
Curious about our next webinar? Check it out right here!
On August 9, 2018, our own Andrew Maff sat down with Kurt Prosser from Easton Digital, a full-service eCommerce agency to talk about Q4 preparations and how you can increase your ROI through Google ads and Bing Ads.
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Kurt Prosser: My name is Kurt Prosser. I'm a former civil engineer, MBA grad from Ohio State, turned analytical marketer. So I really sort of connect to that analytics and marketing and using that data to really help businesses grow. So that's my background. Currently I specialize in helping small to mid-size eCommerce stores really increase their ROI through Google ads and Bing ads. I'm a managing partner at Easton Digital which is a 10 person PDCA agency. We specifically focus in Google Shop in Bing Shopping, and also a seven figure Amazon seller on doing private label LED lighting products. I've been doing that for about three years, four years now. So I continue to pump out LED lighting and take advantage of that upward trend in LED lighting.
Andrew Maff: So as a seller yourself, do you see a slight downturn in your website revenue versus your Amazon business?
Kurt Prosser: Oh, yeah. Yeah. For two reasons. One is at least in the LED lighting market, there are a lot of competitors that will market for that repeat customer, for that lifetime value. For example, 1000 Bulbs is one of those companies. I know someone that works there, and it's just crazy how much money they're willing to lose every month to get those customers to come in and then use their tactics to get them to buy over and over again. We've gotten a few of those customers where every month they're buying more bulbs from us. But it's a lot more work on websites. It's a lot more effort, a lot more money, and our Amazon is going very well. So it's very hands off.
We have a warehouse here of about 2000 square feet. We have inventory that we ship out for our website. But Amazon the past few years have made it so easy to really focus on Amazon and make our business about Amazon, but we are looking to take it more offline, not selling through our website. But making, taking it offline where we sell through distributors and through some of the more traditional routes, but that's sort of in the works. Like many Amazon sellers, you don't want to be solely focused on Amazon. We don't want to put all of our eggs in that one basket. But the eCommerce for B2B lighting is a challenge.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Director of marketing and operations here at Seller's Choice. I've been doing marketing for well over ... What is it, 2018? I think I'm on my 11th year now. So I'm a little over a decade of doing this. I actually started ...
Kurt Prosser: You don't look that old.
Andrew Maff: I know, right? I appreciate that. I'm hiding it. I started in eCommerce when I was like in high school. I wasn't a seller, actually my father was. That was basically where I started on marketing and stuff, and I've been in it pretty much ever since. In and out of eCommerce but I've obviously been in eCommerce now, again, for about the past five or six years. But yeah, I'm here at Seller's Choice now. We're a little more on the full service side. We do obviously have a PPCR as well, which allows me to have this conversation. Otherwise I would just let Kurt talk and then we also help with a ton of other stuff, social media, web design, email marketing, pretty much anything on Amazon, ton of other stuff. But we're here to talk about Google shopping ads. So we will stick to Google shopping ads.
Kurt Prosser: If we get completely derailed, we can talk about your favorite types of whiskey.
Andrew Maff: Yes. More than happy to do that. So we'll have questions and answers and all that fun stuff at the end, like always. We have stuff to give away. I don't know about Kurt, but everything ... Kurt, I'm not going to speak for you. So you tell me if I'm wrong here, but everything we give away, all the stuff we put up because this ends up going on our YouTube and we push it out everywhere. If you're watching this later on, the offer still stands so you can take anything you guys want as long you watch this and mention it and all that fun stuff. So stick around, we'll hae that stuff towards the end there.
Man, this thing doesn't want to click for me. There we go.
So if you're tuning in to this webinar, if you're here, you're here for a reason. You're here because you're having either issues with your Google ads, you want to learn more, or you're just getting ready to prepare for Q4, which means you are one of very few smart people who are actually getting ready now as opposed to waiting until the turkey is out of the oven. So you're obviously here because you're looking to scale, you're looking to move forward, and then maybe you're just awesome. Maybe you're just really cool, and you wanted to me here. But we appreciate everyone who's joining us.
If we don't get to all your questions, obviously you can feel free to reach out to us, but we'll try to get through all of them. You can chat them in, you can send questions. We have polls and stuff. I have a poll here. Just out of curiosity on where the majority of sales are coming from. Everyone who is here who's joined us, whether that is on Amazon, whether that's your own platform. So if you're on Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Volusion, Big Commerce, any of those fun guys, or if you're on any of the other marketplaces, just curious. It's always nice to give us a little insight. So far 100% of people are saying Amazon. So that was pretty expected. Oh, we got an other. I don't know what that would be, Kmart, Target? We'll figure it out. That's nice. Good for you.
So polls still in progress. We'll let this thing wrap up. It's going to sit there for a little while.
So appreciate everyone joining us. It looks like we have the majority of Amazon sellers. That's great. That's kind of expected. That's what happens.
So if you don't know, the big change happened. So Google Ad Words is now Google Ads. So if you don't know what that means, it means nothing. It's a new logo. That's really all I saw. I saw like your forced to use the new backend now. I think, actually, I've always used it. Can you still use the old one or are you on the new one now?
Kurt Prosser: Some accounts you can still use the old one. So they are forcing some accounts to move over to the new one. But yeah, just out of habit I still like the old one. I don't like the new one just yet. There are some new features. If you are still using the old one, the old version of ads words, the new one does have quite a bit of new features in it that are worth taking a look at.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I actually went the other way with that. I decided to the second they gave us the option, I was like, just start learning it now because they're going to force us to use it one day. So I'm actually really comfortable with the new one. I can't stand the old one.
Kurt Prosser: Oh, really?
Andrew Maff: It's part of the reason why I worry about going to Bing because that jus looks exactly like the old one. I'm always like, I can't find anything in here. So, Kurt, you and I actually discussed this a few months ago about Amazon is back now. They went away for a little while, or at least they slowed down a lot but now they've brought it back up to the point where we're starting to see them a little more often. Do you see that they're starting to make another pretty good size impact on the shopping side of things?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, at least some of our clients. It seems like they're back to where they were previously. In terms of metrics and how they compare them, it seems like they're fully back to what they were previously. I personally still think though that Amazon at some points going to come out and say, "Amazon sellers, I'm going to now charge you for running ads on Google Shopping." Almost exactly what Etsy did years ago. If that does happen, then that, again, I think change the dynamics of Amazon being on Google shopping, but who knows.
Andrew Maff: I still think that I've seen them scale back a little bit in certain categories. There are some categories where from watching any of the insight or any stuff like that like I've seen them fall pretty lower in the rankings for some of our sellers, but others they're right back up at the top with everyone else now.
I thought this was a really interesting statistic. Even though Amazon is getting involved and sellers are just fighting more and more, that's driving up bids, that's driving up traffic, that's driving up everything. Everyone's shopping online now. So obviously Google shopping ads has just skyrocketed in terms of everything, and a lot of people are using it to shop now so they're starting to see these opportunities. So 85% of all the clicks going to strictly products is insane considering you have search ads, which used to be like the big thing and then obviously the display ads are still out there. So I thought those were really interesting statistic.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. And this is an important statistic for some of those people that rely on organic traffic or has always relied on SEO. If you look at your mobile phone, Google shopping's all across the top. So some of your organic submissions are further, further down the page. By the time they put up the shopping carousel, some of the search ads, and then they get to the organic listings. So very important.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So I was setting up this webinar, prepping the slides. I go, okay, let's start with here we get someone new we're working with, what's the first thing we do? I'm like all right, so we want to make sure we structure the campaign properly and blah, blah, blah. I go, wait a minute. No one ever thinks to talk about the merchant center first. You got to connect the merchant center. You got to get everything set up. You got to make sure your product titles, your descriptions, and all that stuff are as optimized as you can get them so you're showing for all the correct stuff.
Then one of the other things, which I realize is, obviously I'm a big Steelers fan. Playing tonight. Go Steelers. They're all my examples so I apologize ahead of time. But so the setting up of the call outs underneath everything, I find is always skipped. Every time I go into an account of someone new who hasn't done this before, I find they've skipped over if they have reviews or if they have free shipping listed or if they're doing some special off or anything like that. I also find now, which, Kurt, tell me if I'm wrong here. But there are certain problems where certain things work better than others. Like, for instance, if you were looking for new headphones or something like that, you might want to skew towards showing reviews even if you do offer free shipping just because most people are going to want to know it's a very highly rated product and a lot of people are using it, especially if you have a lot of reviews.
But then there's other stuff where my example earlier was vacuum filters. No one cares if 500 people thought you have a great vacuum filter. I want to know that I'm not paying for shipping. So I feel like there's certain products and certain categories where you really want to make sure you're picking one of these. Then obviously if you have some special offer and you kind of panicked at the last second, you can do something there too.
Do you have a go-to? I think you favor free shipping, don't you?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah, I favor free shipping. Just because, I forget the name of the company. There's a couple case studies a few years ago that analyzed free shipping versus reviews, and then the special offer that you see there is just the click through rate testing they did, the free shipping had a better result. I don't have any hard data to suggest that. Just more out of engineering habits, I guess you could say. That worked well so they kept doing the free shipping. Yeah, but that's a good point on certain products.
Andrew Maff: If you think about Amazon though, a majority of people shop there because they think they have free shipping, which you kind of do. But that's why they shop there. So at least they're going, "Well, if I can get it in a couple days, then this is great. This is just like shopping on Amazon." So it is possible that works that way too.
We'll get into the ad words part now. That was just my quick little note of never forget about your merchant center. There was a bunch of stuff you got to set up in there whether it's taxes or your shipping options or making sure that your feed is all optimized and everything like that. I know everyone's here to get into the fun stuff. So I kind of figured I would dive more into this. But I didn't want to not touch on the merchant center because there's been so many times where I've had sellers who have just been like, "I keep looking into this and it's not doing. Why isn't anything selling?" I go, "Well, let me look in your merchant center," and half of their stuff is disapproved for whatever reason. So everyone seems to skip over that so I wanted to make sure we commented on that. But okay.
Let's do this. Let's get into some stuff here. So first thought, my thought process here was starting with a completely blank slate. So you have brand new product line, let's just right at the beginning here. And, again, Kurt, I know you have ... Sometimes we have a different approach to some things. So you tell me what your thoughts are here. But I know there are campaigns that get way too granular. I know there are sellers out there who have thousands of products and they want a campaign or at least an ad group per each, which can get way out of hand and you have way too many keywords and you're sifting through way too much data. Then you have the opposite problem where you have one campaign with one ad group and throw all your products in there and you really can't tell what products showing for what. Now you don't have enough data. So I feel like there is that nice medium priority.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree with that. That is a very important I guess concept to understand is that you can get too granular and sometimes you can't get granular enough. The way that I like to sort of take a look at that at least to start, if you have a blank slate, or let's just say that you run Google shop in that past. You have some data. What is good just to download the data and look for commonalities. Look for products that can be grouped together whether it's the AOV, whether it's the price, whether it's the product type. I mean, look for things that can be lumped together. In the worse case, if you don't have any Google shopping data, then you can simply just look at your website structure. Look for reasons why products can be lumped together, and then that will sort of give you that more complete picture of the data and results that come in.
Andrew Maff: Yeah, usually my thought is exactly that. You break it down granular but not too granular, group together whatever you can. I always have ... Tell me if you agree here or not. But I always have an all products campaign at a medium priority and then I set everything else pretty much at a high priority for the most part. But that way I can keep my bids pretty low and get just those small keywords. Those keywords that I don't want to be bidding on but they're garbage keywords but I don't mind spending 10, 15 cents for it so why not. So I usually separate those out. But as time goes on and I get more data, I start to separate out, hey, these have been your most profitable products. These have been your most revenue products. These are certain season. Like you start to separate them out into different stuff, but int hat initial stage, I think that's kind of how we usually structure things.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah, no. That's a good question. For those that may follow some of that, there's sort of the product, grouping products out and breaking out products different level, that's one thing. And then the actual structuring out different campaigns is sort of almost another thing in some extent because like what you're talking about, Andrew, is a very common strategy for like larger retailers. I think that works really well for like large retailers.
Having your best sellers become your high priority, having your best version of your product become your high priority so that everything else gets traffic after that. We do something, a slight variation of that, that works well for sort of the medium to small sellers. What we'll do is we use sort of a funnel and so we'll send all the traffic into the top in the high priority campaign. If that search term is a good search term, then we bump that traffic into the med. Okay? Then if that search terms a really, really good search term, then we'll bump it to the low and we'll put the highest on that search term. So if I'm selling a personalized engraved wall clock, if someone just searches for desk wall clock, let's say, it comes in up here, right? But if they use the word like personalized engraved wall clock, that bump down to the mid or low, and we bid really, really high that. We want to make sure we get top placements, high search impression share, high traffic, and really maximize that really good term.
So that's the strategy that we sort of think of it like Brita water filter. That's the strategy we use for small to med size. Larger advertisers will use that. I guess I got to think of a better analogy, but something equivalent to Brita water filter but where you have your top product and then everything else. If you're selling Nike running shoes, your best Nike running shoes is showing in the high priority campaigns. So it shows for all the other terms. But then maybe your lower, your not so good selling Nike shoes goes in the mid priority. So it's two different strategies that someone could use.
Andrew Maff: Nice. So everyone talks about the bidding and then the keywords and no one ever talks about all the other options that you have. I always find I go into some of these and like you don't have any audiences pre setup. You don't have your locations leveled out. You don't have any of the time of days or the day of the week. Even devices I've seen, I've gone in there, and I'm like why are you even on this stuff? You should not be bidding this high like 100% bid on tablets. It's nuts. You don't want to be doing that stuff.
We'll dive into these individually.
So audiences, you can get really crazy granular with these. I've seen some accounts where they're so deep, and depending on the size of your account, it's very doable or it's not in other cases. So obviously we want to bid a little bit higher for people who have converted with you prior who are back shopping and you want them to come back or people who have been to your site before and they're a little more familiar with your brand. But there's the visitor of certain pages that always interest me about how you can kind of manipulate this. So if you have thousands of products, this is a very difficult approach. But if you have a handful, it's pretty easy. But if you can ...
So I had my Steelers thing here a second ago so I'll use that as another example. So let's say you have an NFL website. You sell NFL t-shirts, and you can target everyone who's ever visited the Steelers collection and just bid higher on them because you know they're likely to convert. They're slightly more inclined to shop with out again. So separating things out like that is definitely something you want to do. And then adding the similar too, if anyone here's ever done Facebook ads or anything like that, they're just like look-a-like audiences. It works pretty much the exact same way. It's nice to kind of be able to target people who are similar to people who have converted, people who have visited certain pages or website visitors or anything like that.
So leveling all these out for each of your campaigns and being able to adjust those bids accordingly is what really could actually make sure your bidding higher on more relevant audiences versus the audiences that aren't as relevant.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. It's good that you lead with this because this is a really important thing that a lot of people miss and I can't tell you how many Facebook marketers and how many people selling products that require a lot of research. Like, oh, yeah. Of course I want to bid more if someone's been to my website previously or saw my ... But then they don't do it, right? I mean, this gives you the opportunity to bid higher with someone that saw your page via that came from Facebook or maybe they're looking at fridge and/or some sort of research heavy product. They're coming to your site many times. This allows you to really bid higher and capture that traffic.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So locations. eCommerce sellers typically like if you're selling just in state, they typically don't care about this, right? I get it. Some sellers though, what they've started to do with some of our sellers is ask them where are your warehouses? Where is your 3PL at? Where are you able to ship from? We actually don't ... What we'll end up doing is we'll actually bid higher on locations where they're paying less per shipping. So they're actually getting more profit from customers, from the ones who are shopping within their certain area. Then if they decide, "Hey, we're thinking about doing a warehouse in the West Coast, in California. Let's increase bids just int ha greater area. We'll pay for the shipping now, but we want to see if it's worth putting out there or not." So we start to kind of do different areas.
Now, that's just based on standard customer location, and obviously that's kind of like warehouse location. But you may never know. For some reason everyone in Oregon just loves you. So you're going to want to bid higher in Oregon. You're going to want to hit those sales for whatever reason. You get some influencer who's like only in Oregon maybe is the example I'm giving you. So there's things like that. Then, to me, there's also that seasonality. So if I sell snowboarding gear, maybe I want to run those bids at an average whatever I have them at the entire country all year long. But then come June/July where it's not possible or maybe not that deep in the year, but I mean like March or April or even February. In the south, they're not even thinking about that. The majority of them can't even deal with it. So you can decrease those bids in certain areas. So you can kind of be like, "You know what, I'm probably going to get more sales up north right now because of the way the weather's going," or for things like that.
Or for another one would be big events in certain areas. I have a couple sellers who based some stuff off of colleges or base some stuff off of sports. During certain seasons, certain states are going to spend a lot more because they're going to the game. Whereas the people who are fans, they may already have their gear and they're just going to a bar and they don't really care. So when football season rolls around, which we have coming up now, I have certain states where I go these states are just getting out of hand like Alabama and Florida and Texas. I'm just like bid higher in those states right now because they're all going to games everywhere.
So right now we, and, again, this can get really granular too. This can get way out of hand. You can be like, "Well, what if New York is bidding better than West Chester?" You don't want to do that, but I'd say breaking it down by bulk locations or state or anything like that can really help narrow down certain audiences.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. That's great advice.
Andrew Maff: Day and time. This is pretty standard I feel like, for the most part. I mean, to me, this is the most obvious one that most people always do, and yet, to me, it seems to me like they do it incorrectly. They just turn off ads certain times, completely, and then severely increase ads during the other times. There's no method to the madness that I've seen. So I typically like to compare the impressions, the clicks, and then the conversions. Yes, you may be showing a lot, but are they clicking and then yes, they maybe clicking a lot, but are they converting? So you may be bidding, like for instance, for this one, which I actually think I can draw on this thing, can't I? Can you see that?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: Yeah, you can. There you go. So if you have like right in this area, you get people who are not that many impressions, probably not that many clicks, but you flip over to conversions you find out for whatever reason you had a great click through right here. So all of a sudden you're getting people who are actually clicking and actually converting here even though your impressions were really low. So kind of looking at all of them is always interesting to me. I've seen a couple different like categories where it's just like even though the impressions are massive here, you're selling coffee. So in reality, this area is great, which looks like I just ruined this slide.
So there it goes. So that is typically something I try to look at. I know it's not always the same case for everyone. But I do see that this is either an under utilized or like an over abused aspect of bidding.
Kurt Prosser: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. If you just think about how your customers buy, just think logically those Steelers' fans, they may be buying during the Steelers' game, after the Steelers' game. Maybe a hot time may be at 1:00 a.m. when they go home from the bar. I don't know. But if you think logically about it, it can answer some questions.
We have a client that sells wedding favors. Sunday is a great time for them because people get together with their family, they make decisions about what wedding favors they want to purchase, and then they make a buy. So very important to look at this.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Devices. This was a decent example of something where I was trying to find one of those examples where it's like completely, massively different. But this is where I think bidding can get very tricky, and this is why I usually suggest your bid changes should be incredibly small, like very small at a time, because ... So you get a good amount impressions on mobile. You get a good amount of clicks. I have a screen off this side, which is why I keep doing this.
I had someone going, "What are you looking at?" I was like, it's over here.
So you get a good amount of impressions. You get a good amount of clicks in mobile. But then you go over to conversions and it's all desktop. Now it's standard for pretty much a majority of categories that I've seen, but a lot of sellers don't realize, the immediate logic is like, "Okay. Let's scale back mobile. Clearly we're not converting that much on mobile or tablet. Let's scale that back." Tablet, I would arguably agree here, but the thing that they don't realize is a lot of these sellers, the impressions are on mobile, and then they're going to a desktop to purchase. So if I scale back mobile, less people are seeing that ad and not going to their desktop. So that's like basically another funnel of they started mobile and they ended up ... A very small funnel, but you know what I mean.
Kurt Prosser: No. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrew Maff: So it's just I never really suggest to make crazy bid adjustments on devices. It's always like we can inch it and see what happens.
Kurt Prosser: Right. No, that's a good point. So the one thing for the mobile, too, to consider is Justuno has some features. We use Justuno for some clients. It has some features where you can run different coupons depending on the device. So if you have a pop up that's or something that pops up in the bottom where they're from a mobile phone, you can offer different coupon code or something to try to capture that full frontal marketing from mobile to desktop.
The other thing that's important to note about devices. If you're running at a limited budget, it kills me when people run limited budget and then they're not looking at their device targeting. Consume so much of your ad spend on something like mobile and then find that your conversion rate and your ROI is really driven by computers. Well, just cut your mobile bid some to get more volume, more impressions, more of your ad spend being spent on the device that's really driving your conversions. So if you're limited by budget on any of your campaigns, which you probably shouldn't be as long as it's profitable, but if you are limited by budget, definitely look at this device targeting because that could be an opportunity to make quite a bit of money.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. In terms of the on page stuff, like you mentioned like with pop ups and things like that of trying to capture it to get them to come back. We've started to try and make as many websites that we build we try to make the product pages AMP so that the easier it is to shop. It may not be the prettiest thing in the world and it may reduce some of the branding, but it does allow them to shop easier and shop faster. Amazon's mobile shopping is still very high compared to most sites. That's really because their site and their app are relatively easy to use on mobile. Most people are just like, "Screw it. I'll shop here on the phone. I know what I'm looking for." So if you can give the user that ability to shop so easily on mobile, it may be worth reducing the amount of crazy features that you have on your site, which you can still keep the pop ups and you can still keep the standard stuff. But those people who have like all that extra stuff on a page may not be necessary on mobile.
Kurt Prosser: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrew Maff: There's another one of just stuff to keep an eye out for. Sometimes you just missed it. So you got to come back over. I actually didn't ... I blocked this out because I wasn't sure if the seller I was using this example for would be happy with me taking screenshots. So I blocked something out. But this is just major cost changes. Obviously you can change the option here to major conversion changes or impression changes or anything like that, and then obviously keeping an eye out on who's outbidding you, who's out ranking you in certain keywords, things like that. This seller's lucky. Amazon's way, way down the list here. Target beats them out, which I always found to be interesting and then a couple of other random sites come through. Then I see Google Express start to climb a lot lately as well.
Kurt Prosser: I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I haven't seen that.
Andrew Maff: This is just kind of like ... Go ahead.
Kurt Prosser: I was going to say that one number on here that's really important that I think would be really good for sellers to take a look at is impressions share. So impression share, for those of you who don't know, is how much ... what's the percentage of time that you're showing up versus the time that you're eligible to show. So, for example, if you're targeting, if you want to show that personalized engraved wall clock, what's the percentage of time that you're ad is actually getting impression? So particularly for smaller to mid-size advertisers, this number is very important. So in that Brita water filter example I mentioned, that bottom term, that bottom funnel like personalized engraved water filter. Our campaigns shoot for about 90%-95%. Okay. We want to get that impression share really high, and make sure we're showing at the top. At the higher campaigns or some of the other campaigns like wall clock or cool desk clock, those type of more generic terms, we can have a lower impression share. But that is a very important number, particularly if you're using the Brita water filter strategy that I mentioned.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So bidding. So A) for those of you who may not know, there's the four standard bidding ways, target ROS. ROS. ROS. I heard.
Kurt Prosser: I say ROS.
Andrew Maff: So maximize clicks, enhance CBC and then manual CBC where you can turn on enhance CBCs. So it's basically the same thing.
The target ROIs, not a fan at all, but ...
Kurt Prosser: Agree. Two thumbs up here. I agree with you wholeheartedly.
Andrew Maff: I don't want to say I suggest it, but I do entice sellers who are very small, who don't want to run this at all but want it up and running to see what happens and have no idea what they're doing so they don't want to touch anything and they don't want to break it. Maybe put that on so that way it just sits there and maybe you'll get a sell here and there.
Maximize clicks, not really ... I don't really use that one that often either. I'm typical manual CBC for the most part. I'll use the enhanced CBC option to turn it on or I'll just start with enhanced CBC. It kind of depends on the approach we're looking to take. But those first two, I usually don't use them. What are your thoughts on there?
Kurt Prosser: I completely agree with you. Any eCommerce store that has a goal of maximizing clicks, it seems odd. I mean, it's typically used for other campaigns or strategies. But this is a hot button issue. I mean, the AI, the automated bidding is for the hot button issue. There's a lot of new software companies that have come out and promised the world through AI, artificial intelligence. But to Andrew's point, this is at the end of the day, a lot of problems can simply be solved by thinking through this and saying, "Okay. How much should I bid? What's my expected conversion rate? What's my target CPA?" You sort of get that number. Then you can manually adjust for seasonality. You can manually adjust for new trends or products you want to push.
We have a client that was using a well known artificial intelligence software company and he's like, "Look, I have all this seasonality. I have products that sell well in the winter. I have products that sell well in the spring and summer. It's all different." It's not until a month or two months into the season that they'd get any sort of bump in some of these seasonal products like winter gloves when it start getting some real traction sells until like February. It's like wait, we should've been selling those in December and in January. So manual CBC, unless you're a Dick Sporting Goods or really massive company where it's physically impossible to do manual CBC and adjust those bids, you can get a lot of benefit from doing, like Andrew said, the manual CBC.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I'm just not a fan of automation in any way, shape or form. Same thing with Amazon. There's too many situations here just like that where you have seasonality of certain products that you sell and seasonality and they're different, which is trying to offset your business. Then you have maybe you're trying to sell through a certain product. Maybe you're really high on inventory because all automation is is just setting rules. All the stuff that we have written off to the side here, which we'll go through, is basically you just plug those numbers into automation and it automates for you and it uses its algorithm, which basically means it's just tweaking these numbers little bit for you here and there. That doesn't take into account seasonality. It does not take into account sell through or if there's a random off day. So like Amazon Prime Day was big for everyone everywhere, not just Amazon. So that was a day where we were like, "Hey, let's increase these bids a little bit because we're going to have an increase in traffic on the internet period." Same thing with like Black Friday. That automation stuff doesn't take those random like one off days into account. So it just completely messes everything up.
So that's kind of why we always play this manual approach. It's a lot easier to go in there and do stuff yourself and have more control of your business.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. Speaking of control, one other thing real quick. We had a client that was an Amazon seller that wasn't able to figure out how to get the results on Google shopping, wasn't driving a good ROI. So what we did was we started pushing that manual bid, pushing up, and we finally started getting ad placement. We realized well, okay. Why aren't we getting good results? Why wasn't that target ROS, why wasn't that automated bidding working before? Well, the simple fact was was when we push the ad all the way to the top, their click rate was way, way too low compared to everyone else. They were an Amazon seller, was offering free shipping. Everyone else that was out there on Google shopping was a lower price point, offering paid shipping. It wasn't until that we changed their price to a lower price point, did paid shipping, where their click through rating increased and then they were actually able to start to show, get sales, get traffic, and become profitable.
But my point is, manual CBC, the loudest to sort of push that up, solved the problem, get to the root cause of why it wasn't performing. Target ROS and automated bidding doesn't allow you to get to that root cause of what they should.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So all the fun stuff I have off to the right here. This is like ...
Kurt Prosser: Put everybody asleep besides you and me, right?
Andrew Maff: I'm going to try to skim through these as best as possible. I'll send that email. Everyone will have the slides. If you're watching this video later on, screenshot it, do whatever you got to do. If not, I put this up on my slide share, you can download it there.
So we're going to start on when to raise bids on a product level. So this is just my standard like filter. Filter through everything, look at all the products, where you have everything placed, but it's not enough click with no conversion. So if you have every business is going to be different. It depends on how often you're optimizing. If you're doing it once a week or once every other week or once a month or once every few months, that's going to decipher what this number really should be. But whatever your target clicks are, anything that number or less with no conversions. So you have no conversion value. You should be increasing that bid. You're not showing enough. You're not getting enough traction or you need to look into seeing if there's a problem there.
Then the other side of this would be the opposite side of things. So your cost per conversion is much lower than you're willing to spend. You want to spend more. You have some room to actually increase those bids and you're conversion rates good, which means everyone's getting there. They're buying. There's no issues there. Obviously everyone's target is going to be a little different, but whatever you set those metrics to, you can take that and increase that bid a little bit. I usually suggest about a 10%. Again, that's kind of minimal. You could do a lot more. You could do a lot less. I'm not a fan of taking massive bid changes because all of a sudden you could hit into a new just group of keywords that you did not want to be in, and all of a sudden you're not showing and everything tanks and you're spending a ton of money.
So before I go into reducing bids, thoughts?
Kurt Prosser: No, I agree. I think the small bid adjustments is completely agree with.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Cool. That's always nice to here you agree, Kurt.
Kurt Prosser: It's pretty simple. I keep it simple.
Andrew Maff: So reducing bids, same process just flipped. So way too many clicks with no conversions. That ones pretty standard. That ones going to stand out like a sore thumb anyone. So obviously or you could sort by cost and look at it that way, however you want to do that. Then the other one would be the opposite of that second one down for the raising bids. It's basically you're spending too much per conversion and you're not converting well. Everyone's conversion rates a little different. Everyone's costs are different. Everyone's category, everyone's product, everyone's business is completely different. So I didn't put numbers in here because it's always different. You always have to adjust. Then sometimes you may want to take into account what's the lifetime value of your customer for light bulbs or for a product where you're consistently replacing, your product may be worth $20, but your average customer actually spends $35. So what do you want to do to actually make sure you get a sell and a half as opposed to just one sell? Are you willing to spend a little more to continue that average, and then just focus on what can I do to raise that average?
So sometimes we get a lot of sellers who basically come in and say, "You spent this and I made this. I want to make more." Okay. We can do that but let's keep in mind the lifetime value your customers hire. So they're actually going to stick around. So a new customer is going to cost you more than an existing customer, especially if you have proper email campaigns set up, if you have social media, if you have all that fun stuff, which we might touch on in a second here. But there's a lot of other stuff that you kind of have to taking into account. So filling these numbers in is always a push and pull, but you start with something you're comfortable with and then you can kind of adjust as times goes on.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. The only other thing I would add to this is one thing that we do we talk a lot about internally is domination of search results page. So a lot of times we will manage our bidding based on impression share and number of ad placements we have. So like, for example, we have a client who sells school furniture, Varco school furniture or Varco school chairs. Like one of his bread and butter terms. We're managing bids based on how many ads we have showing and our search impression share. So that Brita water filter we had that low campaign where we're bidding super, super high, and we're bidding on probably about five times higher than the recommended CBC. So we're bidding extremely ... Like our CBC's like $15. It's super, super high. I'm sorry our bid is $15. Our CBC is around like $2 but we're bidding super, super high in order to tell Google that we want to dominate the search page. We want to have multiple, multiple ad positions, block out competitors, and really try to own the search results page for that term. So that is one little bit of one thing that you can look at in terms of bidding. What's your impression share and how many ad positions do you have?
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So negating keywords. I feel like this is always a very opinionated approach, which I feel like we're nerding out on this and it's not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. But it's fun.
Kurt Prosser: Exciting to me. Exciting to you and I. Sorry for everyone else.
Andrew Maff: This is for us. This isn't for you.
So zero conversions, less than or equal to however many clicks you think is appropriate, and then less than or equal to whatever you think your cost. Get rid of it. Pause it. Get it out of there. Thoughts? Agree, disagree?
Kurt Prosser: No, I agree. Yeah, I mean, negative keywords hugely important. Often that's especially during Q4. I mean, during the holiday time you're going to get a whole bunch of traffic that's relevant, low ... Look at those negative keywords. If you're not getting conversions, just cut them, add them as negative keywords. It's a huge, huge ... I mean, I think we have one account. He sells gift baskets and he sells liquor gift baskets. We've got thousands and thousands of negative keywords we're constantly adding to try to remove terms and it's very important to look at negative keywords.
Andrew Maff: I feel like the negative keywords is just an ongoing battle because people are always searching crazy stuff. We try to do when we optimize, so look at the previous week. What showed up during ... So zero conversions, X amount of clicks is let's say 10. So 10 clicks, and then cost is above $10-$15 or whatever. We go, okay. Over a week, get rid of it; over a week, get rid of it; over a week, get rid of it; so on. But then we do like an audit. So once a month we go and look and we go, okay. Let's tweak these numbers for the past month, and then let's do that same thing for the past two months, and one more time for the past three months. Because you may have a keyword that you don't realize you spent $100-$200 on. It's been three months but you're still spent $200 on a keyword that never converted. Now it could be raise that bid. There could be other reasons that need to be dug into and you have to look at all the numbers but sometimes those keywords do slip through where you've actually just been fighting with it for months.
So that is usually the ones we approach, and then the next one down being you got X amount of conversions but your conversion rate is garbage. So you've got two, three conversions, but you had so many clicks and so little impressions or anything along those lines where basically you're just not converting for it. Let's get rid of it kind of thing.
There's also some others that I always wondered. Like I wonder what your thoughts are here. So branded keywords that you're not converting for, get rid of them or leave them?
Kurt Prosser: Your own brand or someone else's brand?
Andrew Maff: Your own brand. Well, not so much brands. Not so much the brand name. Let's say like a very specific keyword that is exactly what your product is but you're not converting. So Steelers Tervis cup ... Well, let's not say Tervis. Steelers' tumbler cup with lid. You're not converting. Data's telling you to get rid of it. Data is saying you've got X amount of clicks. You really should get rid of this. You dig into this site. You've looked into everything. You now have just gone, you know what, for some odd reason, this is not working. We're just wasting our money. Do you get rid of it or do you continue to dig in and figure out what the problem is?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah, I think you dig in and figure out what the problem is. If that's what you're selling, that's your product, that's your ... That should work. If it doesn't work, then why?
Andrew Maff: Yeah.
Kurt Prosser: I mean, yeah. It'd be hard to add that just as a straight negative keyword and miss it and not show for that term.
Andrew Maff: So that was my favorite segway into ... Oh, no. It was supposed to be this one. We're going to go back and then skip through. So what else could the problem be? So you're showing for a very specific, which I see this all the time. So you're showing for a very specific keyword but you're just not converting. What is the problem? So we discussed a little bit earlier having those pop ups, requesting emails. You slow site speed could be another thing. Let's think of another one here. Not mobile friendly, that ones pretty standard. But it's 2018. By now, you should be mobile friendly. Let's see, what else? Negative reviews could be something. It's your own site, get rid of them. You need to delete those, pretty much. I'm trying to think of what else. There's a few I thought of.
I've always wondered, you guys specialize in PPC and you're PPC only. So I'm sure you get this problem all the time where you're driving traffic. You're getting them to the site, and maybe it's a longer term sell, right? Maybe it's they land and they go, "Look, it's an expensive product. So typically someone doesn't purchase for a couple weeks, there's a thought process behind it," or maybe it requires a sales guy or something along those lines. So you're driving the traffic and they're not converting. You start to look into, "Ah, but they have pop ups set up. They have everything." But then you realize there's no abandon cart campaign set up in the email or you realize that the emails are bad or they're skipping emails like every other month or something like that or you go I and you see that the sites not fast enough. Those are things that are out of your hands.
So I feel like there's so much other stuff connected to PPC that's out of your hands that you can say, "Oh, it's this guys fault. It's this guys fault. It's this guys fault." At one point, you're pointing fingers, which I understand is obviously not always the case. But I feel like a lot of sellers don't realize like, hey, you're not going to get every sell. So why don't you have a remarketing campaign set up on Facebook? Why don't you have an abandoned cart campaign through email? Our abandon email campaigns are usually like the top revenue ones, and it takes like 45 minutes to set one up. It's amazing how many people go, "I forgot I left that in the cart," for whatever reason. So there's a lot of other stuff I feel is connected that people don't realize it involves PPC.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. No, that's a really good point. That is a hard thing to sort of convince a client of that there's other things that could be the problem. I'd have to say, I mean, that's one reason why strategically we really focus on Shopify. So out of our 250-so clients, only a few are WooCommerce, only a few are Magento. I think we maybe have a couple of Big Commerce. But Shopify is really it for us. I mean, that's our bread and butter, and Shopify makes it so easy to launch XYZ app. Client launched this app and we'll recommend those particular apps.
Just the other day we were working with a client. We said, "Okay. Look, you need to put up the Bold Upsell App. End of story. Just put it up. Do it. Great. That's going to help because XYZ." They did it. It's helping. So that is the one reason why we focus, especially if you have a WooCommerce site or you have even a large eCommerce store where you really have to have those pieces in place. Quite frankly, that's why people go to you. I mean, that's why people go to agencies like Seller's Choice to help them connect all those pieces together. Because if you're a large eCommerce store, it's got to be done. There's no way around it.
Andrew Maff: Yeah.
Kurt Prosser: What'd you say?
Andrew Maff: I feel like these were out of order. This shouldn't have even been here. It's fine. Keep going.
Kurt Prosser: One thing I would say, there is not ... What could be the problem. It's very important to sell your products. I can't believe how many eCommerce stores I see that you go to the product page and just a short description or that's it. Or they'll take some of their title, take some of their bullet points from Amazon, and that's it. Amazon converts well because people trust Amazon. Amazon sells the product for you almost, right? But if you're sending traffic to your own store. I mean, you don't even have to go OxyClean type, Billy Blaze type model but sell it. Have some testimonials. Have some video. Really sell it to the customer and show why it's a better product or why they should pay more than what other people are selling or why you're the right seller to purchase from. It's so, so important.
Andrew Maff: It's going to open up like a long conversation of like what is going on. These guys who only sell on Amazon. So you only sell on Amazon or you sell on multiple stores but you spend so much time on Amazon. I know so many sellers who spend day in and day out digging into their listing going, "Well, if I tweak this word here, if I tweak that or if I tweak this," then I go, "Hey, your sites having a conversion rate problem." They go, "That's not what my revenue is. I need to make anything there. Do whatever you guys have to do." I'm just like, "Yeah, but do you think that's why there's no revenue there?" It's like you spend days fixing your listings and then I go to your product page on your site and it's just like the one white picture with like pixelated, maybe one or two pixelated lifestyle images, a product title that makes no sense, and then like bullet points with like nothing in it. Go and write a story for your product description. Go like make your title interesting. Put some really cool pictures in there.
We've started to look into like obviously videos doing really well so we started to look at three videos of products, depending what the product is, or we've actually started talking to like an AI company where you can like take your phone and look to see where the products sitting on your table. So there's some stuff on your site where you can just be like, "Screw it. I'm not shopping on Amazon. I was able to put this thing on my laptop. This is awesome." There's so much stuff on your site that you can be doing and that's effecting your conversion rate. If you gave your site as much love as you give your amazon business, you would be shocked at how much revenue you could actually make on your site.
Kurt Prosser: Yes. Completely agree. Completely agree.
Andrew Maff: So this was something we always talk about too here is like when you get some of those products that are just like doing really well compared to everything else. We usually suggest to create a search ad out of it. Some people just don't shop on those and I see them as sometimes nice little additives. It'll bring the revenue up a little bit. They're not like massive game changes in some cases.
Kurt Prosser: Right.
Andrew Maff: But I do seem that more people like trust just going through search ads and doing a search ad for some of those really top products tends to help really well. I don't know, do you do that same approach?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree. I think typically what we do is we'll look at this Google shopping data, what search engines are performing well, and then start to break those out as we get good results on those specific terms. We'll break those out in single keyword ad groups. So like, for example, we have a client that sells engraved Jack Daniels liquor bottles, right? Okay. So we're basically that performed well in Google shopping. We're setting up text ads this week on engraved Jack Daniels liquor bottle. That's the exact match term and phrase match term in that search ad campaign, and can just help, give you more real estate, be more ... Maybe explain a little bit more too, right? Someone's searching for engraved Jack Daniels liquor bottle, you can explain more in that text ad than just having that photo up there in Google shopping. So it is definitely recommend doing that.
Andrew Maff: That was a fantastic hour of nerding out with you, Kurt. So everyone who joined us, we appreciate it. Everyone who watched this in the future, we appreciate it. We, obviously, as promised, we have some give away stuff. So I did talk about a little bit of the emails, automated emails. You'd be surprised at how much revenue they can actually bring in versus not having emails at all. I've seen some emails that are really bad and they still bring in revenue. Revenues, revenue. Set up your automated emails. If you want to go, we did an eBook on it. It's not gated. I'm not making you give me anything. Just go ahead and download it. It's just a bit lead/auto emails eBook. It's all yours. Go have it. Also, if you want, happy to hop on like a 30 minute marketing consultation. I will not sell you on anything. I promise. I have no desire to sell you on it. Well, I do have a desire to sell you on stuff, but you know what I mean. I'll work with you. We'll go through anything you want whether that's PPC or whether that's something else, and that's Sellerschoice.mc/giveaway. We put a password on it. So that is Q4 shopping ads. So go ahead, fill that guy out. That will always be there. I will be happy to hop on a call later.
Kurt Prosser: If anybody looking specifically for Google shopping or anybody who specifically has Google shopping questions or looking for some specific recommendation, I'd be happy to get on a 20 minute call. I don't have apparently as much time as Andrew. But I'd be happy to get on a call and just point in the right direction. There's a lot of people that I think have questions about Google shopping but not sure if it's right for them or what the right path is.
I spoke with a gentleman today and it's like, focus on ... He's an Amazon seller. I said, "Focus on Facebook and branding and all that stuff before even dabble in Google shopping." He was selling bamboo boxers. Anyways, but yeah, I'll hop on a 20 minute call. Give you some recommendations on the best way to get started for your eCommerce store.
Andrew Maff: Kurt, thank you.
Kurt Prosser: We made it through.
Andrew Maff: Much appreciated.
Kurt Prosser: Yeah, no. Anytime.
Andrew Maff: Thanks for doing this.
Yeah. Really appreciate it. Andrew Maffettone, Sellerschoice.agency. Feel free to reach out. Obviously you guys can reach out on social if you guys have any questions as well. Kurt, would you like to close us off?
Kurt Prosser: Yeah. Just thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Next time we'll chat about whiskey. But no, appreciate you having me. Glad to help people out. There's a lot of small to mid-size and large eCommerce stores that just need that little bit of guidance and you're providing a great service doing these webinars and helping educate the community. So it's really awesome you're doing it. So definitely appreciate it, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me with that link. Be happy to help anybody that needs help.
Andrew Maff: Thanks, Kurt. Have a good night. Good luck everyone out there.
Kurt Prosser: Thanks.
Andrew Maff: Enjoy Q4.
Kurt Prosser: Thanks. Bye.