Thursday, 25 September 2014

Google Shopping Specification Changes - 30 September

On 30 September Google is updating their feed specifications. They are adding some  extra fields to improve search accuracy and making some changes to fields that you should already have.

These changes won't impact the majority of feeds, but they may make your feed more accurate and more useful to Google, and therefore, more valuable to your business. 

It can be difficult going through the Google help guides, so we've condensed the changes here:
  • Availability attribute - this is being simplified by combining the 'available for order' value with 'in stock'. If you use the 'available for order' for pre-orders this should be changed to 'in stock'.
  • Character length limits - Google are adding limits to how much you can write in your titles, descriptions and other attributes. These limits are quite generous and shouldn't affect too many people. Your Merchant Centre reporting will notify you if any products exceed the limit. You can see what these limits are here: 
  • Mobile landing pages - if you have a non-responsive site (an m. site) you can now specify landing pages. This cuts out the time taken for normal URLs to redirect to mobile sites and improves the mobile shopping experience.
  • Merchant-defined bundles - if you sell products as part of a bundle you can now specify that some products can be bought together. 
  • Apparel attributes - to make searches for clothing more accurate new categories have been added to the 'age_group' attribute and new size attributes  have been created. These are 'size_system' and 'size_type'.
These are the main changes. If you have any doubts about whether your feed will continue to work, please get in touch and we'll help you work out what you need to do.

Seven Quick Tips For Optimising Google Shopping Performance

Since Google updated Google Adwords Shopping Campaigns in August we have seen changes in the way Google Shopping has performed for our clients. In some cases traffic has increased dramatically but conversions have not kept pace. We've also found that estimated bid prices are much lower in some cases than they were with the old PLA accounts.

These trends, along with the increasingly competitive marketplace of Google Shopping, mean that you won't get away with turning your PLAs on and leaving them running. The good news is that the new functionality that Google has added makes it much easier to optimise the Shopping ad performance.

Here's our pick of the easiest, and most effective, optimisation techniques:

Pick the right Google Product Category - The feed will run without Google Product Categories but by adding the right Google Product Category you will make it much easier for Google to show your products to a relevant audience. You can download the Product Category taxonomy here:

Look at device performance - Google Shopping won't necessarily work across all devices. We have seen some clients where adverts have been shown on mobile as much as on desktop, but without any conversions. In this instance we've paused mobile bidding and saved valuable pounds.

Use Impression share and bid price estimates to work out bids - The new Shopping campaigns give competitor data like Benchmark CTR and CPC, as well as impression share. Use these to work out how much to spend on your clicks. 

Add negative keywords - Use the Search Term report to see which keywords are sending traffic to your site via Shopping. Exclude any keywords that are don't cost in. 

Optimise headings for keywords - Unlike normal Adwords, Google decides which searches your adverts should appear for. You can increase the relevance of these searches by optimising your headings and descriptions for well qualified keywords. 

Split Out Campaigns Using Custom Labels - Custom labels, which you can add to your feed, make it much easier to split out your campaigns by product type or category. This increased granularity is absolutely crucial to good campaign performance.

Use the Dimensions Report - Use the Dimensions tab to identify poorly performing products and exclude them from your feed. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Top 5 Christmas Ecommerce Upgrades

With the drowsy summer months finally at an end, it's time to gear up in earnest for Christmas. The festive season is a fantastic time to maximise on your revenue for the year, with most retailers making over 50% of their profit between October and January. However, that means implementing changes to your ecommerce site and processes now in order to make sure you’re 100% ready for the festive season. Here are our top five ecommerce upgrades to maximise Christmas revenue.

1. Generate more revenue with Google Shopping and Google Remarketing. Make sure your products are easy to find as people search for the perfect gift.

2. Maximise on success by inviting customer reviews. A reliable review can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned basket. 

3. Recapture sales through cart and browser abandonment emails. Approximately 2/3 of baskets are abandoned - but they can be recaptured.

4. If you haven't already then now really is the time to make the switch to a responsive mobile site. Over 50% of ecommerce traffic now comes from mobiles, but optimising your site for mobile is not as complicated as you might think. 

5. Upgrade to Universal Analytics and take advantage of the new demographic and ecommerce insights it offers, before acting on them.

Feel inspired? Need help with any of these? Get in touch by email or 'phone on 020 7492 1929.