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Google Shopping: What’s New and How to Use it!

It’s all change for Google Shopping as new updates create evermore ingenious ways for brands to reach their consumer. Croud PPC Croudie Rob, runs us through the changes and how you can benefit.

PLAs are changing, well strictly speaking they’re evolving, from the messy, hard to control toddler to the eloquent, softly spoken young adult. Google Shopping (as they are now known as), released globally last week, is the fancy new method that we are now flocking to in order to generate as many sales as humanly possible!

When I first started reading about the new format way back when, it was with fear and trepidation. We had just emerged from the dark and dangerous world of Enhanced Campaigns, (I still have nightmares of those first weeks), but that initial doubt was misplaced. Shopping appears (it’s still early days granted) to make things easier, transparent and less fragmented. With the old PLAs you had to upload your feed to the merchant centre, then link your ad words account and then if you wanted to optimise in any way, shape or form you had to go through the painful process of setting up and validating any “Auto Targets” you needed. Shopping changes this, well it changes the last bit, the Merchant Centre is still alive and kicking so that process all remains the same. The biggest change within the AdWords interface is that your feed, with all their attributes are pulled through automatically, resulting in a somewhat seamless process when setting up the “Product Groups” (RIP Auto Targets). Setting up the Groups works in exactly the same way as it did with PLAs, however all the data is now in front of you and it’s a simple case of ticking a box or two, assigning a bid and you’re away.

Google Shopping

I know that after reading that you’re thinking, “well things aren’t exactly new, just slightly re worked” and yes I agree, however this slight change in my opinion will make the biggest change to the smaller businesses who previously didn’t fully understand how to optimise PLAs from the out. Let’s face it we’ve all been there at some point, staring at a screen scratching our heads!

So on to the new new stuff, once you’ve got everything set up and optimised how you want it the reporting in Shopping now allows unprecedented ability to view performance by any attribute you set, as all performance data is now set at an item level rather than the product group! Meaning you can optimise or exclude products within the interface without having to readjust product groups. Exciting stuff hey…..but wait that’s not all. Google has realised that there was never enough benchmarking data provided; no impression share, no auction insights, nothing! So their solution is to throw as much data at us as they possible can! Not only will we be able to view impression share data, but there will be estimated average CTR and Max CPC all based on similar products. Now obviously it remains to be seen how accurate this data is, but it’s a whole lot better than the nothing we got before and will enable calculated optimisation decisions, rather than the “Oh god, I don’t know what to do” approach which always results in Max CPCs being raised!

And that’s Shopping in a nutshell, a new and “exciting” way for advertisers to push their wares to the unsuspecting consumer!