Richard: Good morning and welcome everybody
to this webinar. This webinar as you can see, is on Google
Shopping. Welcome to everybody. Good day Gareth. Gareth: Hello Gareth reporting for duty. Richard: Thank you very much everyone for
coming along. This webinar is part of our Concise Digital
Webinar series. My name is Richard Keeves and the other voice
is Gareth. Concise Webinars are, for people who haven’t
seen the concise webinars before,  intended to be 100% educational. We try to get to the point without waffle,
without sales pitches and we provide helpful information advice that you can use in your
business. That is what these are all about. Today’s topic is Google Shopping. Before we begin though we are recording this
hopefully. You are very welcome to ask questions as we
go through. We will address those as we go through or
hopefully at the end. Hopefully there would be time for Q and A
at the end. Gareth is going to be running today’s session
primarily so I’m going to hand over to Gareth. There you go. Take it away. Gareth: Thanks Richard. Google Shopping is e-commerce only. If you don’t have an e-commerce website
none of the next 20 minutes is going to be relevant but you’re welcome to listen and
ask questions anyway. It works best for common products where you
have a competitive advantage. If you’re selling lawnmowers which is my example
that I’m showing in a minute. If you are the most expensive of all of your
competitors Google Shopping isn’t going to work. If you are the cheapest you’ll probably find
that Google Shopping is very good for your business or if you have excess stock or local
stock. If you have stock of a particular set of items
that no one else has that would be very good for you or if you have some sort of unique
delivery ability to deliver same day or something like that. If you don’t have a competitive advantage
in a particular product then I would normally suggest that you don’t use Google Shopping
to promote that product. The name of the game is to know your numbers. You really want to focus on return of investment. Google Shopping can be very cost effective
but you can also waste a lot of money. You have to remember that Google is a publicly
listed, capitalist American company that just turned over a $100 billion in the last 12
months. All of that revenue comes from advertising. Just remember it’s in Google’s interest
to take money off you as quickly as possible and not to help you deliver a return. Richard: Just in case you didn’t know, Google
is definitely not a not for profit. Gareth: With that in mind, what is Google
Shopping? When you run a search and you use a keyword
like I have done here lawnmower and those ads that appear on the right hand side that
I’ve highlighted in red with little sponsored mark in the top right. They are Google Shopping ads. On a mobile view you can see from this example
that it pretty much dominates the entire first view when you land. That is taken on an iPhone 7 sized screen. Even under there you’ve got the typical Google
ad and then they’ll be four of those. Then under that would be the Google organic
SEO type listings. If you are saying we put all of our energies
into SEO then you are potentially two or three scrolls down the page before you’re even going
to be seen. Google Shopping can be very handy to insure
that you appear at the top of the page. In addition to that there is also the Google
Shopping tab that shows a more advanced almost marketplace like filter where you can sort
by lots of different options, price, location, reviews. There is a very advanced filter based on price. In my particular example of looking for a
lawnmower it automatically knows which ones are petrol, what’s electric, if it’s robotic,
how wide it is, who is selling it. Google is trying to push people into using
Google Shopping as a marketplace like eBay or Amazon so it becomes really useful if you’re
an online store that wants to compete with products specifically rather than having people
come to your website first. How does it work? Google Shopping is configured through Google
Merchant Center otherwise known as GMC, another acronym to add to the list. It’s different to Google Ads and Google
Analytics. If you have a Google Ads or Google Analytics
account that won’t actually get you a Google Shopping account. You need to set a Google Merchant Center account
up. If you Google it and follow the prompts you’ll
find how to do that. It sets a feed from your e-commerce website. You tell the information that you want to
pull from. You then configure your tax and shipping conditions
in Google Merchant Center. For example you would set GST and you would
then set your delivery conditions, where you deliver, where you don’t deliver, how much
you deliver, etc. Google’s bot then comes along and checks that
that information is valid on your website. You have to be very careful that you’re not
misleading the bot because you can get penalised and potentially banned. We had a client overnight who has been banned
for a month because the GST was showing to an international audience and not just an
Australian audience so the bot takes things very seriously. It doesn’t want to show prices that are
inaccurate. You’ve got to be very careful with that. To get your product to show in the Google
Shopping area you configure that in Google Ads or Google Adwords as it used to be called. There’s a few steps to getting that campaign
set up but you use Google Merchant Center to connect Google’s Shopping bot to your website
and then you configure the campaign and the ads in Google Ads. Inside Google Ads you can set locations, bids,
budgets, etc. you can’t control the ad text or the image or the price. That is all pulled from the feed directly. That is coming from your website. It’s very important to make sure that your
website has all the relevant information in the right place and is accurate. There’s good quality pictures. They must have white backgrounds for example. They’re not allowed to have text in the
picture. They’re not allowed to have little banners
or promos on them. Google wants to keep it very clean. They’re very protective of their home page. They need to make sure that all the product
information is accurate and applies. Things like typos and spelling mistakes they’ll
ban those products. Then you use Google Analytics to monitor the
success. Once you set up the campaign you can then
connect Google Merchant Center to Google Ads and then Google Ads to Google Analytics and
then everything will be connected together and you can monitor the success of the campaign. Top tip. Make sure that you control your product feed
so that you only show the products where you are competitive. For example fi you have 5000 products on your
website but you’re only price competitive in 500 of those products then you would be
silly to be uploading the entire feed to Google Shopping. You should only really be uploading or telling
the bot to show the products that you are competitive. You can control that based on category or
individual products as well. You can set those products directly in the
feed or you can include certain categories that you don’t want to show as well. Example of a poorly configured ad here is
I have searched for an electric lawnmower and this particular product that I’ve highlighted
here is a manual lawnmower. That is a waste of an ad because it’s not
relevant to what I’ve searched for and that is probably down to the ad itself and the
feed because it’s clearly a manual lawnmower and it’s not an electric lawnmower so that
ad should not be showing. Richard: You could also argue on that that
potentially someone thought about offering this as a competitive product to electric
is that I want to spend $700 or $300 and maybe they might want to go for a manual one but
it is an example of a bad placement. Gareth: This is an example of it down well
where I’ve used the term cheap lawnmower and all the lawnmowers that were shown are
cheap. The same product is shown again as an alternative
and it is a cheap lawnmower. Google understands that the word cheap is
lower priced. It is very clever in working out what the
intent of the user wanted. If you compare that to my electric lawnmower
you can see that it hasn’t necessarily looked at price. It’s pulled in a few examples. There’s one there that is $800. There’s one there that is $550. There’s one that is $99 but if I use the
word cheap they’re all around the same price $199, $215, $100, $130. It’s very clever at showing relevant ads
to the user. Some tips on how to structure your product
data. Your product data is what makes up the feed. This is just simply the information that you
have on your website for each product. There’s a few tips here that we’ll go through. With your product titles make sure that you
are being very specific. In the product title itself you can include
the brand, the model, the type if it’s an electric or people or manual lawnmower you
would put that in the title. The product descriptions. While the product description doesn’t show
in the Google Shopping ad itself the Google Shopping bot is using the product’s description
to work out the keywords and what the product has and it builds its filtering system based
on the product description. If you’ve got a product that you are trying
to promote in the feed then you want to make sure the product description is really clear
and accurate with all the information that the user or the bot might want to find out. Category selection is very important. This is to do with how your categories on
your website are set up. Google has a public taxonomy listing which
you can email. It’s quite a long list. If you just want to send either myself or
Richard an email we can send you a link to that. These are Google’s official category listing. When you’re building your e-commerce store
and creating your categories or collections for products you really should be using Google’s
category structure because that is going to help not only your Google Shopping, your Google
Ads but also your organic SEO by making sure that the bot knows the category of product
that you’re trying to use. It’s a very long list. I think there’s about 6500 lines on there
but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything on there that isn’t relevant. I would strongly encourage anyone watching
this to review their categories on their website and update their category listing to suit
Google’s taxonomy list. Richard: Gareth, that is actually a really
good tip even if you never use Google Shopping. Take a look at Google taxonomy to understand
the categories of products and how Google thinks things can or should be categorized
because as Gareth said it will help or can help your organic listings even if you don’t
use Google Shopping. Would you agree Gareth? Gareth: Absolutely. Probably the most important tip on there and
applies to everything not just Google Shopping. Next tip, images. You need to have an image that can be visible
in large and also a thumbnail as you can see from some of these images here on my example. They are quite small. They are all very clean. They all have white backgrounds. Some have had shadows put on them. Google is looking for very clear, very clean,
very crisp images otherwise it will block your ads from the feed. You can’t have text or watermarks in your
pictures either. If you’re trying to put sort of banners or
promos or watermarks on images then you need to use an app or module on the website itself. Shopify for example has an app that you can
do that with so that it overlays an image to the viewer but the actual underlying image
itself can be picked up by the feed. Price, personally I’ve never seen Google
Shopping work unless you’re either the cheapest or in line with everybody else price wise. If you have a product where you’re 10% more
than everybody else then you’re wasting your time with Google Shopping ads because it’s
really designed for price shoppers because it presents say five options and whoevers
got the lowest price usually will get the ad shown over someone else. Make sure that you are price competitive. You don’t have to be price competitive for
your entire product range. You just have to be price competitive for
the products that you are trying to show in Google Ads through the feed. Again, you can control those. Brand, if you’re selling a product that has
a brand or a manufacturer that must be included as well because Google is trying to crawl
through all of the Google Shopping ad accounts and look for all of the products that are
the same. By having the brand and the product name included
and clear it helps the bot work out what to show and to whom. The GTI and bar codes, these are unique identifiers. If you are selling a product that has a bar
code on it make sure that bar code has been uploaded in the product directory or catalog
or reference number because that again will help Google associate that product with everybody
else’s who is promoting it and that will help you get your product shown in the Google shopping
ads as well. It is required in most circumstances. If you have a product that does have a bar
code or an internationally recognized identifier and you’ve not included that on your website
in the product details then you probably won’t get your ad shown and you probably get locked
because it’s a requirement. The second most important tip I guess is the
quality score concept that Google is famous for which a lot of people don’t seem to
understand still applies. If you would like to learn more about the
quality score concept, Richard and I did a webinar on that a few weeks ago. You’re welcome to send us an email and we’ll
send you a link to that because that is also how Google shopping bot calculates position
and the bid pricing also comes into play with that as well. Richard: Just to add to that those previous
webinars are on the Concise Digital website and also up on our YouTube channel. Gareth: Look for the one that says Google
shopping. There’s also a really good one on writing
product descriptions which will also help you write product descriptions that the bots
love. A few top tips for Google Shopping generally. You want to make sure that you have a goal. Richard, do you want to just talk through
that? Richard: Different people think about goals
in different ways. A few years ago someone came up with a clever
approach. The acronym for SMART goals. A goal without specifics is kind of a dream. SMART goals have the acronym Specific, Measurable,
Achievable, Realistic and Timely. If you’re going to set a goal the more specific
it is the better. Make it clearly measurable. No point in having unrealistic goals that
are never going to be achievable. Also have some time element into goals as
well. We can talk more about that and have a whole
webinar just on goals and goal setting but SMART goals. Think specific don’t think dreams. The point as it relates to Google Shopping
is to understand what the goals are that you want before you start paying money to Google. You can let things run for a month or two
but if you’re not clear on what you want out of it then you won’t really know whether
you’re being successful or not. Set some goals at the start and then judge
things along the way and adjust your goals. Gareth: Make sure as I have for the last 18
minutes make sure that you select products that you know are competitive. Absolute no no is just putting your entire
product range on there. You really want to select categories or certain
areas of product or even individual products that you are price competitive. I usually recommend a lot of clients they
just start with the specials, what they have on specials and use them as a loss leader. You get a customer into your business that
you can then remarket to, send email campaigns to, upsell other products to, so on and so
on because remember you are paying for these ads and you are paying per click. You are not paying for results. You are paying every time someone clicks on
that ad. You really need to make sure that when that
user lands your website you get the absolute maximum return out of that spent. You want to select locations. This is often overlooked. People say I’ve got an online store so I
want to target everyone in Australia so that they could buy from anywhere whereas that
is wrong. Typically an online store has a physical store
in a particular area or state. You really want to focus on people who are
within a vicinity of say 50 kilometers of that store first because then they’ve got
multiple potential options to purchase. They can either buy directly to your website
or they can come in and pick it up from store particularly if someone is in a hurry for
some stock they might Google online and because you’re within 50 km of them they might drive
to your location. You then might sort of otherwise pick pockets. You might know that you’re in Sydney and people
from Brisbane and Melbourne often buy from Sydney. You might target the Brisbane metro area and
the Melbourne metro area with individual campaigns. You can set different budgets for each of
those campaigns as well. You can help improve your return on investment
by being selective with locations. Google Analytics also give you some really
good information and data on where your users are coming from. It will keep track of your conversion rates
and all those bits and pieces as well. That’s it. That is our sort of 20 minute guide to Google
Shopping. Hopefully that was interesting and helpful. Now we’ll put out to some questions. Richard: Happy to take questions. What sort of products sell well through Google
Shopping? Gareth: Products that I believe sell well
are products that are common products that people know lawnmowers, tools, anything that
is sort of typical household object where it’s not unique to a certain business. It’s a well-known brand where you have a
lot of stock or you have local stock or you’re the cheapest in Australia, that sort of thing. Those are the sorts of products that do very
well in Google Shopping. Even if you’re running a promo for two weeks
on a particular product where you’re cheaper than everybody else that is a great way of
just having a two week campaign for that product just to acquire some new customers. Richard: Added to that same products where
people are looking to compare things anyway and know that there are enough comparative
products that can meet their needs that they actually want to compare. Then they will have the chance of looking
through the Google Shopping products that are presented to them and clicking on those
that look interested to them but then it’s a case of understanding as Gareth sort of
hopefully drummed in through this whole session to know your numbers because you don’t just
want to be clicked on. You pay for the click. You really want to look at your conversion
rates on the way through. Another question, how much does Google Shopping
typically cost? Gareth: Google Shopping works in the same
way as cost per click. That means that you pay every time someone
clicks on that ad. The ads effectively show for free. Then if someone clicks on that ad then that
is when you pay. It uses the quality score algorithm to calculate
that bid price. You set a ceiling bid price that you’re prepared
to pay per click. Then the bot comes along and does it little
quality score magic and then works out a competitive bid price based on how relevant your ad is
and how much other people are willing to pay for that bid as well. That is why you’d often find people like Amazon
and eBay and so on at the top of the results because they’re trying to acquire customers
and get people to their platform so they’re spending a lot of money on Google Ads trying
to get people there. Richard: To follow on that. Is the cost of ads for Google Shopping similar
to the cost for Google Ads Adwords? Gareth: No, it’s often a lot less because
there’s a lot more potential for more ads to be shown. The pricing is a lot cheaper. It depends on certain areas and certain products
and how competitive they are but in general in my experience they are sort of at least
half of the price of a similar bid for a normal ad that you would find but no doubt that is
going to change and increase over time as more people jump on the Google Shopping bandwagon. Richard: Another question, if all my product
photos have text and watermark can I just upload one main image without text and watermarks
to use for Google Shopping? Gareth: I’ll just have to reread that and
I hope I understand that. Richard: All my product photos have text and
watermark. Can I just upload one main image without text
and watermarks to use for Google Shopping? Gareth: Tricky question. I’m not actually a 100% sure what the answer
to that would be. I think it would be a case of connecting your
site to the Google Shopping feed. It does a very good job of telling you what
it doesn’t like. That is before you need to activate the ad
as well. It doesn’t like text and watermarks so if
it had an alternative image, say you had two images per product. One was the clean image and the other one
was the image with the text and the watermark on it then you might find that you get away
with that but I think that that question really is a case by case basis. You would have to try the things and it will
tell you if it didn’t like that. I’m not entirely sure. Richard: Another question, I guess this wouldn’t
work for services like workshops or courses as you need physical products. Gareth: Absolutely correct. It’s a product based ad. If you’re doing web design or workshop absolutely
you’re not going to get in the feed. It would need to be a common product with
a suitable image. It’s just like a typical department store
in a physical sense. Richard: Next question, how long does it take
to set up Google Shopping and is it easy to set it up? Gareth: It depends on your technical ability. It’s quite easy to sort of create a Google
Merchant Center account however the tricky bit is the feed. There are quite a few apps particularly if
you’re running a Shopify store that you can connect into quite easily however if it doesn’t
like the feed or it doesn’t like the products or you can get into quite a bit of technical
mess that you probably need a developer to help you with. Setting up a Google Shopping campaign in Google
Ads is also quite easy to do but it’s fraught with danger because if you don’t understand
the quality scores and locations and languages and long list of other bits and pieces then
you will find that you will spend money very quickly and that is in Google’s interest. You’ll also probably likely get hounded
by the Google account managers trying to tell you how to set things up and just remember
the golden rule is Google is an American capitalist company that has to deliver a return to shareholders
that increases over time. They will do whatever they possibly can to
get money off you as quickly as possible. Any call that you get from Google directly
take with a grain of salt and generally ignore what they say because they’re doing it for
them not for you. Richard: Just remember the Google Account
Manager is not your friend. One more, is there press to shop module for
Google Shopping? Gareth: There is. It works relatively okay as long as you don’t
have any dramas with your feed. The actual connection to the Google Merchant
Center is quite straightforward. It is pretty point and shoot. Where things get very messy and difficult
is when the bot doesn’t like your products or it can’t find your shipping information. It’s kind of one of those things that you
fire up and see what happens. Then you go about fixing it from there. It does a relatively good job of telling you
what it doesn’t like. For all of the major software platforms there
are modules that exist. Some are better than others but most of them
are free. Richard: Thanks guys. Thanks Gareth. Gareth: No worries. Richard: If there any other questions please
feel free to contact us afterwards. There is a button up there that you can click
if you want to schedule a chat with Gareth. That chat is absolutely free. If you want to clarify anything click there
and you can get right into Gareth’s calendar. Just a quick one. What is coming up next week is a really good
webinar like they all are. This is The Secret Ingredient of a Successful
Brand. The Secret Ingredient of a Successful Brand
is going to be with our guest presenter Michelle Hogan who is a brand specialist from Melbourne
and has done a lot of work in the US and different places. That is next Thursday. After that one on the 26th Smart e-commerce
Strategies for 2020. That is not a do not miss session in our view
because we are going to really be outlining some key things to think about. One we’re also putting together at the moment
is Ransomware How to Avoid Getting Hurt. Thanks very much again. Gareth, do you want to wrap up? Gareth: Thanks everyone for attending. Richard: All the best everybody. Have a great day and thanks again for being
part of this Concise Webinar. Thank you. Bye.