Critical Improvements for Paid Search: Shop the Wag Checkup Part 2

Not getting an ideal ROI for your paid search campaigns? In today’s Ecommerce Marketing Checkup, our panel of experts provides real-world PPC and Shopping Feeds advice for Shop the Wag.


Shop the Wag Featured Image

Each month, Volusion assembles a team of marketing specialists to evaluate a Volusion store and provide recommendations for boosting their online success. In this edition, our team looked over the website for Shop the Wag, an online boutique that features tons of dog products and accessories. Last week, our team examined ways Shop the Wag could improve conversion rates and search engine traffic. In Part 2 of the marketing checkup, our experts are analyzing ways Shop the Wag can utilize paid search to increase sales.

Check out their recommendations below.

PPC Advertising

“Managing a paid search account is all about finding the best avenues to speak directly to your audience. But what happens after you’ve followed all the right steps to no avail? What’s next? Paid search platforms are constantly changing which leaves plenty of room for experimentation. By following the suggestions below, Shop the Wag will be sure to keep their paid search accounts in tip top shape while converting site visitors into life-long customers.” – Chelsea Cepeda, Search Marketing Specialist

Take advantage of seasonal products before competitors beat you to the punch.

Shop The Wag has a great selection of fun dog costumes and apparel for several holidays. While it may only be midsummer, now is a great time to get a head start and begin advertising to shoppers looking ahead. Consider creating a holiday themed campaign or at least ad groups focused on specific holiday terms. Try focusing each ad group on a certain topic like “dog Halloween costumes,” “holiday dog costumes,” “valentine’s day dog costumes,” etc. By doing so, Shop the Wag will likely see higher quality scores, higher click through rates and more qualified shoppers. Additionally, they’ll save themselves the headache of sifting through several different ads when it comes to pausing and enabling when the holidays do arrive.

Stand out from the pack by bidding on less expensive keywords with lower competitiveness.

While researching new ad groups, try using Google’s Keyword Planner to review existing keyword data. The Keyword Planner provides great information regarding existing keyword competition as well as estimated search volume and suggested bids. If you find that you can’t afford to compete with the big name competitors financially, then consider adding keywords with fewer advertisers and less expensive bids. This will most likely result in less impressions and clicks for Shop the Wag but they’ll save on wasted clicks, reduce the amount of comparison shoppers and find themselves bidding on keywords closer to what their audience is looking for.

Use the Dimensions tab to learn more about paid visitor data.

The dimensions tab contains a wealth of information that can assist in making well informed decisions about your account. Try viewing user data by time to find what day of the week converts best, what hour of the day has the highest conversion rate and more. You’ll also be able to see more detailed data regarding geographical locations as well as a detailed report explaining changes made and how they affected performance.

Find what bidding strategy works best for your account.

The default bidding strategy in Google AdWords is manual. While manual is a great way to directly control each bid, there are several different options available to explore. For example, if Shop the Wag was focused on driving the most clicks to their site, then they could change the bid strategy to “maximize clicks.” Additionally, you can also take historical conversion data into consideration when creating an alternate bidding strategy. Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) allows account owners to specify the desired CPA while Google attempts to show ads to users most likely to convert within the target CPA window.

Lastly, when experimenting with different bidding strategies, be sure to allow each one to run for a few weeks in order to establish a baseline for the new algorithm then optimize over time.

Shopping Feeds

“Shop the Wag’s product data is already top notch – with a bit of product pamPURRING they are sure to find success with Google Shopping. By following Google Adwords’ best practices they’ll be able to ensure Comparison Shopping Engine success.” Sean O’Connor, Search Marketing Specialist

Product Data

Google Shopping campaigns highlight a product’s title, image, price and short description above everything else, and Shop the Wag does an excellent job utilizing these elements.  The higher quality of these four attributes, the higher likelihood a consumer will click through an ad. Unlike normal PPC ads, Google Shopping only allows product pages to serve as landing pages. Let’s consider some of their most effective landing pages.

The product title “Ocean Blue Outdoor Dog Bed Duvet” is purrfectly optimized for Google Shopping. Including spaces, the title only takes up 32 characters, well within the 70 character limit. This product title also adeptly describes the product without keyword stuffing. The important keyword to note here is outdoor – a potentially high ranking search term for consumers looking for duvets which are able withstand the summer weather.

A word of warning however – keep track of the search queries that are triggering this ad. Under Google Shopping’s Dimensions tab, you are able to filter the view based on ‘search terms.’ Be mindful of a product like this because it is an accessory to a pre-existing product. A search for “outdoor dog bed” could trigger this ad when we’re only selling the duvet for it.

Additionally, we notice that size is a required option on this product. If you are monitoring stock levels on each product variant, then submit each child product separately. This will conform to the precision Google desires as well as open your products to appear in auction for size specific searches.  (Additionally, there is a great use of alternate photos for this product. You get a sense of the true size of this product with the second image).

Campaign Structure

Campaign architecture is a critical element of a successful data feed and Shop the Wag’s wide product offering allows for a variety of different structures.  If we’re going to submit all of our products we have a few options. Ideally, we will divide our products by Google Product Category. Google’s product taxonomy allows us to divide our offerings based on animal type as well as product type. Once we categorize our products into their respective product category, a best practice would be to further subdivide the products to the Item SKU level.

Subdividing products allows us to focus on product lines, profit margins, and our best sellers. By going to the SKU level, we can adjust our bids appropriately and keep popular product lines in the forefront.

Additionally, you may wish to use the Custom Label attributes to divide your products by seasonality, type of pet, or price point. In many ways, your Adwords campaign structure can mirror your storefront categorization. The ultimate goal will be to create an environment within your campaign which is consistent, covers all different types of product offerings, and is an effective way of categorizing your products.

If you are interested in the professional guidance that specialist like Chelsea and Sean offer, we encourage you to learn more about the PPC and Shopping Feeds Management services that Volusion offers.

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