Recently, I decided to run an outside of the box idea shopping feed test just to see if it would actually work. The customer has a product that is suitable for pets. It is their only SKU. I know… one product. It clearly is an infomercial play, they’d hit it out of the park. People spend a lot of money on their pets. But this client is stubborn and DRTV can be a little pricey. So, for now, it’s shopping ads.
Attempting to optimize the feed for one product may seem like simple task… only one item to worry about, right? That is true. So although the client wants to push this item as being for pets, we in the digital world know that dog people look for dog items and cat people look for cat items. One could argue, “Well I have a son and a daughter, but when I look for places where kids eat free, I don’t search for restaurants where girls eat for free or sons eat for free.” A valid point… it applies to both of them.
Fortunately, I was able to make enough of a case (simple logic didn’t work) based on search query data and got approval to try this test.
I took the shopping feed (all of one item) and made a duplicate feed. I left the original feed in place and optimized for just the pet item (product ID 1). On feed #2, I changed the product ID to 1C and optimized for all the places it said “pet” and changed it to “cat”. The third feed, as you can guess, has 1D for a product ID and was optimized for “dog”.
Here’s what happened:
On the 18th, 3 versions of the same product (from 3 different feeds) were live. But dude, why didn’t you just do it all in the same feed? The reason is a similar “rule” that applies in Shopping ads… In the same way Google won’t show two PPC ads on a SERP from the same Google Ads account, two products in the same feed going to the same product landing page would be considered duplicate products and be disapproved. Now there are 3 products but still only one landing page.
What about the results?
Interesting to say the least. Clearly, my hypothesis (cat people buy cat stuff, dog people buy dog stuff) seems to have some merit and is worthy of further investigation.
CTR and Search Impression Share point to better relevancy using the specific “cat” and “dog” terms in the titles and descriptions of their respective feeds. Conversion rate is similar. 2 conversions on the dog product would’ve put us at 2% there as well. Cost per conversion is much too high regardless.
Keep in mind this is only a week’s worth of data with no changes to favor any one of the three versions of the product. The pet version is spending much more but is still generating more conversions. Is this one of those cases where more clicks, knowing some are less relevant, is still a better situation to generate sales? We’ll see.
The next steps in this test will be to put each version of the product in its own ad group and applying negative match terms specifically for just those ad groups and optimize bidding. Stay tuned for part 2…
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Frequently Asked Questions About Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads show in search results as thumbnail product images with the product retailer name and price. They are displayed based on product data uploaded by merchants in the Google Merchant Center. Meanwhile, Google Ads are text-based ads that show up in search based on keywords selected by the advertiser.
Google considers advertisers’ feed, website and bids in order to determine which product listing ads to show in its comparison shopping results for a particular search query.
Google Shopping Ad cost is determined auction-style based on maximum bid and product availability. According to a recent study by WordStream which examined a wide variety of industries, the average cost-per-click for a Google Shopping Ad is $0.66.
In order to get products listed in Google Shopping results, start by setting up a Google Merchant account. Next, create high-quality thumbnail images of your products. Images should be larger than 32×32 pixels and smaller than 64 megapixels and should not have borders, watermark, logo or text overlay or a dark or patterned backgrounds. In addition, only one product should be included in each image unless the products are sold as a set or bundle. Next, set up a Google product feed, including information such as product description, availability and ID. Depending on the product, there may be other attributes you can add as well. When the products and feed are both ready, you can add the feed to Google and then link your Google Ads account to your Google Merchant account from within the Merchant Center. This will enable you to set-up and manage shopping campaigns from within your Ads account using Google’s campaign creation wizard. After you set-up your campaigns, be sure to monitor results and keep your Google Shopping feed up to date.