In case you missed our Webinar last Wednesday on How To Increase Conversions Using Google Product Feeds, we’ve uploaded it below.
Things You Will Learn from the Webinar:
– How to segment keywords that are triggering Google Shopping ads and conversions.
– How to manage bids and leverage your data feed to pinpoint best-performing ad groups.
– How to use price-bucket reports to optimize ads for high-margin conversions.
– How to identify conversion issues and opportunities for improvement.
– Factors that influence the buying behavior of paid traffic.
Have any thoughts or questions that weren’t addressed in the webinar? Let us know in the comments below.
Below is the full transcript of How To Increase Conversions Using Google Product Feeds presented by CPC Strategy & Conversion IQ
Nii: Hi, everybody. This is Nii Ahene with CPC Strategy. We’re going to
give everybody about a minute or two before we start the
presentation. Again, thanks, everybody, for being on today’s
webinar. We’ll get started in just a couple of minutes.
Cool, so how’s it going, everybody? Again, this is Nii Ahene, co-
founder and Chief Operating Officer of CPC Strategy. Welcome to
today’s joint webinar on increasing conversion using Google
Shopping. We’re very excited to have Bob Lang from Conversion IQ
on deck today to chat about conversion rate optimization. I know
that both of these topics are top of mind for many e-commerce
marketers. Hopefully, by the end of this webinar, you will be
positioned to have a great 2013 based on the tips that you learn
Here is the agenda for today. First we’ll do introductions,
agenda, and housekeeping. We’ll follow that up with CPC
Strategy’s guide to dominating Google Shopping. That will then
be followed up by Bob’s conversion IQ guide on increasing
[unpaid] conversions, and we will wrap things up with a Q&A.
First, introductions. Again, I’m Nii Ahene, co-founder of CPC
Strategy. We help clients sell products online, be it Google
Shopping, comparison shopping engines, and Amazon.com. If you
have any questions about these particular topics, feel free to
ask them during the webinar or via email.
Also with me is Andrew Davis, who got today’s event set up and
will be running the Q&A board. Andrew, do you mind saying a
Andrew: Yeah. I have just set this webinar up. It’s my responsibility
to get the right content in front of you guys who are attending.
If you guys have any questions about the webinar, what’s going
on, feel free to ask them here. We’ll try to get them in the Q&A
sessions. If you have feedback, if you want to talk after the
webinar about anything, you can reach out to me personally. My
email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nii: Thanks, Andrew. Again, we’re happy to have Bob Lang from Conversion
IQ on the line as well. Bob, would you mind saying a few words?
Bob: Hi, this is Bob Lang. I manage business development here at
Conversion IQ. Also, I have with me Keith Hagen. He’s our co-
founder and chief analyst. He’s going to be joining and helping
me do the presentation today.
Nii: Awesome. Thanks, Bob. Thanks.
We encourage everybody to stay to the end of the webinar for the
Q&A, but if you have to leave, there will be a recording
available on our websites. We’ll go ahead and blast that out via
email as well next week. Also, speaking of Q&A, feel free to ask
questions and via Go-to Webinar, through the chat box, and we’ll
try to get to all of them during the Q&A session. Last but not
least, we’ll be using the hash tag #CPCWebinar to talk about the
webinar while it’s going on, so feel free to join the
conversation there as well.
So, what’s going on? Well, as everybody knows, Google has
transitioned the free Google Shopping programming to a fully
commercialized one last year to offer what it’s calling a better
shopping experience for searchers. What does this mean for
website owners? Well, it means that the gravy train is over.
For years, all a retailer had to do to get their products listed
was to submit a data feed with accurate inventory product and
pricing information, and they could sit back and watch the
traffic roll in. Now that traffic has a cost associated with it.
It’s going to take some active management to get the same
results. The days of set it and forget are over. But one thing
is for sure: Google Shopping drives qualified traffic.
Every quarter we examine the performance of each comparison
shopping engine, and quarter after quarter, Google is best in
class, both in terms of conversion rate and traffic driven to e-
commerce websites, meaning that smart retailers like yourselves
that take the time to educate themselves and build and manage
solid campaigns are going to see great returns on their
advertising dollars as things ramp up.
It’s very easy to get started with Google Shopping. All you have
to do to get started is to log into your merchant center
accounts, open up the settings tab, click “Adwords”, add your
customer ID to your Adwords account, link your data feed and
you’ll be good to go. Once your inventory is linked to Adwords,
you can start to create campaigns that target specific groups in
your data feed.
It’s a bit much to go over the entire setup process in a
webinar, but we’ve created a comprehensive guide that details
the entire process. You can download this white paper at the
[bit] URL displayed on your screen. I’ll give you guys a minute
to write that down. We’ll also be distributing or publishing a
new, updated version of this document in about the next two
weeks. That should accompany our quarterly rankings that we put
out each quarter. We’ll also send an email when that comes out.
Definitely stay tuned and pay attention to your inbox. We can
expect that to come out in the first or second week of February.
Enough about the setup process. Let’s jump into what you guys
actually care about: how to compete on this exciting new
channel. Well, here are CPC Strategy’s eight insider tips to
dominating the new Google Shopping. Tip number one: get a data
feed guy. Tip number two: suppress out-of-stock products. Tip
number three: learn how to bid properly. Tip number four:
understand the places where your products will show up. Tip
number five: use the dimension search term report to cut key
words. Tip number six: take advantage of short-term bidding
inefficiencies, or bid inefficiencies. Tip number seven:
consider accelerating your ad placements. Tip number eight:
consider getting involved in the Google Trusted Stores program.
Tip number one: get a data feed guy. Now, with the old Google
Shopping, it was possible to get a plugin to set up a data feed
one time and not really worry about it. Now the new Google
Shopping requires IT departments and personnel to collaborate
with internet marketers to slice and dice the data in your
inventory feed to create Adwords labels of products and brands,
to insure that you can increase visibility for segments that
perform well and decrease bids and visibility for segments that
do not. Ideally, the person that currently handles your data
feed will be versed enough in your marketing metrics to make
segmenting decisions on his end. Similarly, your marketing
person should be technical enough to look at your existing
inventory feed so he or she can target product groups that
perform well within the Adwords interface. Either way, there
needs to be collaboration between the two parties.
Now, if you’re just using a tool to push out your data feed, you
have to make sure you know how to use that tool to create labels
for product groups with the tool. Otherwise, you will not be
able to take full advantage of the great targeting capabilities
of the new program. Again, this is a data feed-driven program,
so it’s essential that you have the tools or processing place to
slice and dice your product feeds.
Tip number two: suppress products that you don’t want showing up
in Google. This seems like almost a no-brainer, but you
definitely want to make sure that products that aren’t in stock
are not going out in your outgoing Google feed. We’ve seen it
happen to clients we’ve taken over in the past. Google chooses
which products to target on PLAs, meaning that if you don’t have
a particular product, that product is still going to get
traffic, so you have to make sure you suppress those products
for your data feed.
Again, I would actually say that you need to have high
availability for all your products. If you sell out, maybe you
have one or two products, then you’re sending traffic to a page
that doesn’t have that actual product. You’re paying for traffic
that isn’t going to convert, even if the intent of the searcher
is there. Definitely make sure that you’re sending products to
Google that have high availability. The worst thing you can do
is pay for traffic that lands on pages that don’t have the
Tip number three: learn how to bid properly. What exactly do I
mean by taking full advantage of the targeting capabilities of
the new program? Well, since you can group your products in any
way with the Adwords label column, you can, for instance tag all
your bestsellers with the tag “bestsellers” in your inventory
feed and double your bids for these products because you know
they convert better than anything else on your site. If there’s
a particular brand that does not perform well, you can tag it
with a term like “low” on your data feed and bid as little as
possible for it. The possibilities are literally endless.
With that said, there’s one very important thing to bear in
mind. Make sure you set your all-product bid target as your
lowest bid across your product listing ad campaign. This
actually bears repeating. Make sure you set your all-product bid
as your lowest bid across your product listing ad campaign. Why?
Because Google will always select the product target that
generates the most revenue for Google. For instance, if you sell
pet food and you want to bid 70 cents on cat food products but
your all-product bid is at a dollar, guess what? Despite all the
segmentation work you’ve done in your feed, Google will take
that one-dollar bid for that cat food click because an all-
product target includes everything in your feed, including cat
food. This is a very easy mistake to make. We’ve seen it in
campaigns we’ve taken over in the past, and we don’t want you to
do the same thing. Learn how to bid properly, and you’ll be in
Tip number four: understand the places your products will show
up. Now, an interesting quirk about the Google Shopping program
is that you’re participating in one option for two different
placements. Taking a look at the slide here, we see the one box,
or the universal search, Google Shopping placement, located at
the top right of the search result page. This is prime real
estate. We can assume that if Google does its job by identifying
product-related searches, then the traffic generated from these
pages will be at least as qualified as organic or traditional
Adwords placements on this page.
On this page, we see the other placed Google product listing ads
show up. This is a product comparison page. This page is
accessible by clicking the shopping tab on search result pages.
On this page, your products are shown to the consumer next to
those of your competitors. This page comes in various types, and
this is one that shows different products. You are given the
opportunity to sort by various methods, like price or nearby.
What this means is that a savvy retailer should consider whether
they’re considering targeting placement on the first sort of
listing on the main page or the second sort of listing on the
comparison page when determining their bids. For instance, if
you’re super price competitive but your margins are thin, you
might want to penny bid your products so that they still get
exposure when consumers sort by price on the comparison pages.
Alternatively, if you have a bit of marketing margin to spend,
it might make sense to bid up those products so that you can get
as much of that front-door traffic as possible. In any
situation, figuring out the right bidding strategy for your
product mix is essential. Unfortunately, we’re four or five
months down the line and it isn’t a rule of thumb here. It
really depends on your product mix and what you’re actually
selling. Definitely follow the data, see where your products are
converting, bid up on those products, and decrease bids on
targets that aren’t working. There’s no rule of thumb. You have
to follow the data just like Adwords.
Tip number five: use the dimension search term report to
determine negative keywords. Search marketers familiar with
Adwords know that maintaining a target portfolio of negative
keywords is essential to avoid keyword creep in their paid
search campaigns. Given the fact that Google selects where your
placements are, the same holds true for product listing ad
campaigns as well. A powerful tool in determining which search
queries to block from Google from marketing your products on is
the search terms report located in Adwords. To locate this
report, select “add group or product target”, click the
dimensions tab, then hit the view drop-down. You’ll then be
shown a report that details the exact search queries that have
generated traffic to your website. As a bonus, if you have
Adwords tracking correctly set up, you should be able to see
which keywords have actually converted. Looking at the data,
it’s very easy to eyeball whether the keywords Google thinks are
associated with your products are the correct products you want
to be driving traffic to your product pages. If they aren’t, you
can easily add the keywords to your negative keywords in Adwords
to block them from sending traffic to your website in the
While most of the keywords driving traffic to PLAs today are
pretty targeted, over time we can see Google getting more and
more aggressive about associating keywords for particular
products as has happened with broad match and even modified
broad match in Adwords. Regularly running reports like these
will ensure that you’re not buying unprofitable traffic moving
Tip number six: finding short-term market inefficiencies. Since
the PLA program is new and many retailers aren’t even aware of
the need to segment their feeds, nor do they have any inkling
about the tips that I’ve highlighted so far today, it means that
there are a lot of opportunities to pick up traffic on the cheap
for those that move quickly.
On this slide, we see a search for Microsoft Office 2010. On the
left we have traditional Adwords, and on the right we have
product listing ads. Both paid placements appear above the fold,
and I would venture a guess that to the average consumer, they
would say that the PLAs on the right are a lot more eye-
catching. Guess what? Traffic on the PLA side cost a tenth of
what it does on the Adwords side. I don’t think it gets much
clearer than that. There is a huge opportunity to drive cheap,
qualified traffic to your website because these are two
I’ve said it in the past; we didn’t anticipate these
opportunities to last fever. The program was fully launched in
October, we’re in January now, and we’re still seeing instances
like this across the board. The Adwords traffic is always a
multiple more expensive than the PLA traffic. Definitely try to
pick up as much of this traffic as possible, especially while
Google is selecting keywords that are highly qualified to send
traffic to your e-commerce website.
Tip number seven, this is something that we discovered about two
or three months ago. It’s a way to increase the frequency that
Google shows PLAs by shifting the delivery of your ads. We’ve
taken advantage of this technique for clients that are
performing well on PLAs, but I’ll leave you with a caveat that
if you’re not sure which products actually convert, you probably
don’t want to experiment with the strategy.
The default setting that occurs when you set up a campaign in
Adwords is for Google to display your products evenly across the
time based on your budget. What we’ve found is that if we
increase the daily budget and decide to switch from focusing on
standard to changing that to accelerate to actually show your
ads as frequently as possible, Google starts to increase the
portfolio of keywords that they show for your particular product
listing ads. This is a great way of driving additional traffic
to your website because Google gets to be more liberal about
associating keywords with the PLAs. Again, this is not something
that I would suggest to you if you haven’t had [inaudible 18:39]
PLA campaign. It’s an easy way to blow money fast, actually. I
mean, if you don’t have the right mix there, you’re going to get
a lot of unprofitable traffic. Let’s say you’ve done the
strategy we’ve mentioned about segmenting your best performing
products into their own campaign and you’re hitting your daily
budgets but you want more exposure for that. You can increase
your budgets, hit accelerate, and see what that does. Then, if
you’re keeping an eye on those negative keywords, you can then
cut back where you see Google being too aggressive and keep the
keywords that are actually driving good traffic to your website.
That’s a great technique to continue to get incremental gains
over time after you’ve mapped out your base campaign.
Tip number eight: consider getting involved in the Google
Trusted Stores program. Google announced the official launch of
the Trusted Stores program around the same time they announced
the shift to paid with Google shopping. For those of you who are
unacquainted, the Google Trusted Stores program aims to help
shoppers identify online stores that deliver a great customer
experience by tracking seller metrics like on-time shipping and
Google [has] mentioned, and we’ve seen it on search results
pages, that merchants that have performed well enough to earn
the Trusted Stores badge are highlighted in organic paid and
yes, even Google Shopping listing ads. With that said, given the
breadth of information that merchants have to give Google to be
involved in the program, it might not be for everybody. But if
you feel like you need an additional leg up to compete,
especially because the big guys like Target and Best Buy and
Amazon are participating in this program, the Google Trusted
Stores program is definitely worth looking into.
That wraps up things for our tips on Google Shopping and
hopefully puts you far ahead of your competitors who aren’t on
today’s webinar. We’ve aggregated the coverage of the new Google
Shopping on our blog. We’re going to go ahead and send out a
link to that as well during the Q&A portion. With that said,
I’ll hand the stage over to Conversion IQ, who will go into
detail on what you can do once you have all this qualified
traffic on your website. Thanks, everybody, and I’ll see you on
Bob: Thanks, Nii. I appreciate you covering all of that. What I’d like to
do now is give you a brief introduction to our company. At
Conversion IQ, we use analysis to gain insights and deliver
results for our clients. We do in-depth investigation using
analytics and behavior studies to determine what is and isn’t
working on a site. We then translate these insights into high-
impact recommendations to improve site performance, and then we
conduct rigorous validation testing to measure their performance
before asking our clients to make changes to their site.
Now I’d like to introduce Keith Hagen. As I mentioned earlier,
Keith is Conversion IQ’s co-founder and their lead analyst.
Keith will explain how we go about optimizing conversions for
Keith: Hello, everybody. I’m sorry for the delay there. We just had a
quick headset issue.
At Conversion IQ, we really take an insights approach. This
might differ from a best practices approach or something you’ve
heard of as heuristics, which is looking through and kind of
making the best guess based on expertise and experience. We do
analysis of customer behavior and motivation. We might extract
this from user testing or screen recordings or surveys, etc. We
try to investigate the behavior by each traffic segment, so we
break up paid traffic as well as product feed traffic. Just a
note: In product feed traffic, Google will not segment this for
you within your analytics. It’s something that you have to
manually set up in order to see that traffic, so just a word to
the wise. Talk to your analyst or your Google Analytics geek,
and find out if you’re currently segmenting traffic.
The one thing we look to do is we look to make insights based on
data and recommendations. Any kind of qualitative insights that
we get, we always go into the analytics, or heat maps, or other
quantitative means, and we try to validate those.
The first question that we always ask ourselves when we are
looking at product optimizing, product feeds, is who exactly are
these Google customers? Google shoppers who are using these
feeds, they’re motivated. They’re definitely in at least the
research phase if not the consideration phase of purchasing. A
lot of people would say that the product feed list is actually a
short list of who they’re going to buy from, or who they could
possibly buy from. It’s a very loyal group of people who know to
use products, Google products, Google Shopping, and they’re
motivated. They’re also a bit skittish. They’re very handy with
the back button, and for unoptimized product pages we see the
highest bounce rate for the landing pages than we do for any
other medium, including pay per click or organic traffic.
The next is that people tend to be very methodical. You can
imagine you have a list of results, and you have so many options
laid out. You really don’t want to just take the first one and
buy, so you methodically take a look through things. When we
look at traffic attribution for people who purchased from
product traffic, we see that half of the people who came in
through the product search went in at least twice, or three
times, or four times, or five times. The amount of people who go
through product, you know, to have them go four times through
the same product feed isn’t uncommon. In fact, it comes up as
one of the top ways that people actually buy from product feeds.
Another thing that we try to identify with Google shoppers is we
take a look at, for people who are coming from product feeds,
how many of them are new visitors? This number usually lands up
being around 70 to 80 percent, so this is a real unique
opportunity when it comes to conversion optimization. There are
very few traffic sources that we know about where you can say
these are new visitors, new visitors come in this way. Most of
the time, you have to consider returning customers who are later
in their buying cycle. You have to have a page for everybody.
When you talk about product feeds, you pretty much know that
they are discovering your site, or at least entering it, from a
new perspective almost every time, and that means you can
optimize for that in your experience.
Now, increasing conversion rate. On these product pages, when
people come from product feeds, it’s all about two things. It’s
all about creating an “aha” and developing confidence in the
site. The first is, when somebody lands on a page, you want them
to have that “Aha! I’m in the right place, this is the right
product, this is the kind of store I’m going to buy from.” You
also want them to have confidence once they get past that to
say, “I can trust this store. I see other people are using this
store. This store can get me a product when I need it, and this
store has a reasonable price.” You want to develop that
Typically, optimizing for paid traffic has a few hallmarks, a
few things that we always try to run down. First is continuity.
Is it the right product? Whatever is in the product feed on
Google products, you might want to make sure that that’s also
what they see when they arrive on the landing page.
Orientation. When somebody arrives on your site for the first
time, you want to make it clear where they are. That’s something
that gets overlooked more than you might realize. We’ll talk
about that in a moment.
Trust. You want people to immediately trust you. The first
things that people might object to or might have kind of initial
objections to is they don’t want to pay for shipping, or they
don’t want to pay for returns, or they want a money-back
guarantee. The more trust that you can establish on the page and
eliminate those objections, the further along you are in
competing in the product feed scenario where you know people are
going to be looking at more than one product, and it’s going to
be your competitor.
The next thing that we look at is content. This goes product by
product. People have certain requirements in making a decision.
If you don’t answer the questions that they’re asking about the
product, you’re simply not going to make the sale. Let’s take
selling tents. For instance, you might list a tent as a three-
person tent, but we all know that three-person tents are barely
big enough to fit two people. People want to know the
dimensions. They want to know what the floor size is. They want
to know what the pitch of the tent is. Without that essential
information, you’re really not going to get a good segment of
your most savvy purchasers. Those savvy purchasers are more
highly concentrated on product search than any other traffic
Next we have navigation. You want to be able to find the right
product. Now, one missed opportunity of navigation is that
people come in and they see the product that they saw, but they
might not see other products that they might like. There’s a
major opportunity missed to not only keep people on the site
longer but also to cross-sell, up-sell and to help people find
something that they might not have realized was on your site in
the first place.
Let’s talk about continuity. Here’s a great example of
continuity. This is the product feed shot, right from Google
products. If you take a look at this, you’ll see that the image
of the backpack is quite clear. It has little light and sound
waves coming out of it. You’ll also notice that there’s free
shipping for this product. That’s great. You’ll also notice the
name of the product itself.
Here’s what happens when you actually get to the product. We
know that we have free shipping, but it turns out the free
shipping is only on orders of $75 or more. There’s an immediate
disconnect. We also see that the picture over here is not the
same. You immediately have something that we call scent. That
“aha” factor is now thrown into question. Is this really the
product that I was looking at? I don’t see the same picture.
Another thing is, we’re on iSafe Guardian backpacks. We saw on
the previous slide that this was for iSafe. However, coming into
it, we see it’s actually a Guardian backpack. It has a different
name. We also see Rakuten is listed here as somebody else. I
believe it’s Buy.com. We see Buy.com here, but we really see
Rakuten. There’s a loss of continuity, and what that does is it
creates anxiety. Is this the right product? Am I in the right
place? Is this the right store? What’s going on?
The next one, orientation. We call it orientation because people
are just trying to get oriented as to what else is on the page.
Sure, they’ll focus on the product, but they also want to know
who they are. Here’s the example. Buy.com leads into Rakuten
that I mentioned earlier, but you also want to know, what other
products does this company sell? If I look at this, I see that
they’re selling cell phones. If I look over here, they’re
selling cell phone batteries. The conclusion that I draw is that
I’ve landed on a site that sells cell phones. Now, I’m looking
for a backpack and I immediately think, “Oh, these people aren’t
exactly experts in backpacks because I see two references around
The funny thing is, on this particular site, this is actually
advertising. You might come in, and you might see clothing here.
You might see women’s clothing. If you were on a women’s
clothing site recently, you’d see ads for that. There’s
immediately a mixed message being sent there. You’re not sure
where you are. You might even think you’re on that clothing
store again, or on one of their affiliates.
The next is, can I contact these people? If you take a look
here, you don’t see a phone number, so can I contact these
people? Is this generally the right place? It starts to raise
the question of, if I hit the “add to cart” button, do I even
stay on this site?
Next is trust. Trust is another hallmark of a great landing page
from anything, but especially paid traffic. Right now, in the
industry, there isn’t a great awareness of users that products
are paid traffic. However, paid traffic, historically, is more
suspect. As awareness grows amongst customers that this is a
paid traffic source, trust becomes more and more important. To
get off on the right foot right from the start, you want to make
sure that you have your trust elements and that you actually
bring them above the fold.
Here’s an example of a typical site that has a lot of its trust
factors at the bottom of the page. We see Stella Services, a
great trust mark, at the bottom, in the footer. We see that the
toll-free number is hidden here at the bottom. It could very
easily, and should likely, be at the top in the header. You see
return policy questions are answered, but they’re answered at
the bottom. If there are free returns to a site, that’s
something that absolutely needs to be brought to the attention
of somebody when they land on the site.
The next is content. We talked about how important it is to
answer people’s questions. It’s very fundamental. It’s something
that goes back to the very moment that e-commerce came online,
but it’s also something that people have always missed. Color
options, features, materials, even something as much as the
elasticity of the material, for some products, could really
matter and clinch the deal when you’re talking about sports
apparel, for instance.
You also want to know from the page if the product is in stock.
If it is in stock, you’ve got something positive to say. If you
don’t say whether it’s in stock or not, people, in the back of
their mind, might be questioning, “If I add to cart, is there
going to be a pop-up, or is the cart going to tell me that it’s
not in stock?” So it’s good to always mention something is in
You also want to answer the questions around final costs as much
as possible. People want to know about taxes; they want to know
about shipping costs. As much as it’s impossible to know that
right off the bat, if you know their zip code, that’s an easy
question to answer. Here’s a good example, this backpack where
the estimated delivery time is actually asked and provided.
That’s a major coup. When you consider that people have several
pages to choose from and they’re going to click on five of the
same product, the one that can estimate the delivery costs has
The next is specifications, features and benefits. As long as
things are well organized and all the questions to get them
further down the line are there, that’s something to look at. As
an example, I recommend looking at Wayfair.com. Anybody can go
to Wayfair.com and take a look at their product pages. They’re
excellent in terms of product feeds.
Next is navigation. With navigation, we have Wayfair itself.
What makes Wayfair so good for product pages presentation when
someone has landed from a product feed. Well, they answer all
that essential information that I mentioned above, but what they
also do is they handle navigation. If this product isn’t for
somebody, they might be interested in similar products. Now, to
have those readily accessible is one thing. To have them
actually presented well, organized on the same page, is actually
brilliant. It keeps them on the site, it lets them know in a
nutshell what other products, and it’s just an easy scroll away.
Generally, if people know that there’s more product to be seen
in the same category, they’re going to scroll about 96% of the
time, according to heat maps that we’ve run on such pages.
What you want to do is you want to not only show the product
that’s there, you want to show the most popular product.
Remember, we’re talking about new users to your site, and users
who can easily hit the back button and go to your competitor.
Giving them an option and an alternative to what they originally
identified, you’re enhancing their experience. If you have all
your ducks in a row and you’re helping them get final cost
information such as letting them know that this item has free
shipping, for example, then you’re more likely to nail this than
Another thing you could do to enhance their in terms of
navigation, you could offer meta-menus. And meta-menus are those
top menus that you have that when you mouse over them or click
on them, they bring down pictures, lists of products, that sort
of thing. You can use that technique to enhance for people so
that they can easily get through your site from whatever landing
page they’re at. If people can easily navigate to another part
of your site that’s relevant to them, your chances of getting a
sale go up dramatically.
I’m going to hand it back over to Bob Lang.
Bob: Thanks, Keith. What I’m going to cover now is to take some of what
Keith has explained and talk about what kind of results you can
get and how you go about optimizing these elements.
On the screen now, you see three different trust marks. We
actually have partnerships with these companies, and we do
regular optimizations of these trust marks. What we find is that
even the smallest changes can produce really large results.
What’s important is to not just look at conversion rate or
overall for a site but to look at the effect on the average
order value. In particular, trust marks, not only do they
influence whether a person will buy, increase the odds that
they’ll buy. They impact how much a person buys. We see this
over and over again. You see some of the results on the screen.
In particular, if you look at the McAfee one, if you’re only
looking at overall conversion rate, you’re really missing out on
the impact that these confidence elements are having on your new
and paid traffic. Keith, can you progress it?
Now what we’re looking at is a common optimization test plan.
This is one of our clients, Batteries for Less. What we’re doing
here is taking the McAfee Secure badge. They already had it on
their site, but McAfee wanted to figure out how well it was
working in the position they had it and could it actually
produce better results if we optimized its location and style. A
typical setup has four different positions in this case, and we
have two different styles of the badge. If you look down at the
bottom there, we have their standard vertical version and also a
horizontal version. You wouldn’t think that these small
adjustments of style and position would have much impact. As I
will show you in a minute, it’s actually quite dramatic. When we
set up these tests, it’s not just varying position, but we’re
actually doing full-frontal optimization. We’re creating
different combinations of these positions on different pages
throughout the funnel and playing those to the live traffic.
Here are typical results that we’re seeing just by optimizing a
single confidence element, a trust mark in this case. If you
look at all traffic, we’re seeing a 12% lift in that particular
test. If you drill down a little bit, when we set up one of
these optimizations tests, we like to integrate with Google
Analytics so that we have access to seeing our results with all
of the segments provided by Google Analytics. In this case, if
you look at new traffic, we’re seeing the impact of the
confidence elements just on the new traffic segment at 16% and,
most importantly for you, the paid traffic is almost 33% in this
case. You wouldn’t have really realized its impact if you hadn’t
integrated your test with Google Analytics and had visibility
into its effect on these individual segments.
With that, I’m going to go ahead and wrap up now and let you
know that we’d be very happy to set up a call and talk to you
about how we can help improve the performance of your site. The
contact information is there on the screen.
I’ll turn it back to Nii.
Andrew: We have a few questions now. I’m just going to go read them
off. Some of them are for Google Shopping, and some of them are
for conversion rate optimization. Each of you can just kind of
The first one is from Dan Creviston. It is: “We currently are
running a CPA campaign for our PLAs, currently running at a 600%
return. We have started a CPC campaign for the PLAs but are not
getting much traffic/revenue. How will the CPA and CPC campaigns
conflict with each other? We would like to think that a CPC
campaign can bring in even more revenue than the CPA campaign.
How would you suggest we manage this situation?”
Nii: Great question, Dan. When it comes to running two campaigns on Google
at the same time that are targeting the same keywords, or in
this case product targets here, you’re going to run into
conflicts as you guys have seen. You’re absolutely right. Your
CPC campaign should, in theory, send more traffic than your CPA
campaign. The issue is Google is going to optimize, or show
products that they’re going to make the most money in. It looks
like, for whatever reason, whatever you have set, I would assume
that wherever you’ve set your CPC bids is not high enough for
Google to want to shift over the traffic from your CPA campaign
to your CPC campaign. My suggestion would be either, one, lower
your CPA target so that your CPC campaign looks more attractive
to Google to start sending traffic that way, or to increase your
CPC bid so that they can make more money that way. Of course,
you know, it’s going to take some time for Google’s algorithm to
adjust to win the auction, and of course there’s a good chance
you’re going to sacrifice some ROR at that return; but if you go
with that strategy of increasing your bids, increasing the
amount of revenue you’re willing to risk or give to Google to
send more traffic, Google will start to favor that campaign.
That’s what it is. You’re playing a game with Google. Google
always is trying to optimize for their best benefit to get the
most money for that particular click. You’ve got two guys in the
auction. Whether it’s the CPA guy or the CPC guy, Google’s going
to go with the one with the most history unless you can make a
compelling argument–and when I saw argument, I mean a
compelling amount of money–to drive that traffic to the other
campaign. That same thing exists for paid search campaigns as
well, when you’re trying to buy two keywords that are the same.
Great question, there, great question.
Andrew: The next question is from Warren Marlin [SP]. It says: “I’m a
home-based business, set up an online store myself using
Prestashop and employed an Adwords guru to manage my campaigns
but haven’t gone into Google Shopping yet. How much of an
overhead/effort is it going to be to set up and manage an
ongoing shopping campaign on top of the current Adwords?” He
says, “I’m in a very competitive skin care sector.”
Nii: Got, got it. Yeah, so with a product listing ad campaign, it’s not
hard to set one up. It’s very straightforward to set one up. As
long as Prestashop can generate a data feed, you’re good to go.
Your Adwords Guru can link them together, which is pretty
straightforward. Your Adwords guru can go ahead and download our
white paper and learn how to set up that campaign one time.
That’s not hard. It’s actually following the data and making
sure that your guy can actually make changes to the data feed
where he’s going to have troubles. If you can go in and slice
and dice some data, or you can use the default settings which
are, you know, ID and I believe [brand] and a couple of other
default settings, then he’s good to go. You’ll run into issues
when he has to create custom buckets if he doesn’t have the
ability to manipulate a data feed, so definitely have a
conversation with your Adwords guru. Download our white paper,
download our content. We give you a how-to, how to do
everything. As long as you can slice and dice data, you’re good
The alternative is to use a service like ours or use another
service that allows you to modify that data feed so that you can
slice and dice data in custom ways. That’s where you start to
get the real power of PLAs where you can say, “Okay, these are
the six products that perform extremely well. Let’s go ahead and
slice them, this one part of the feed. Let’s start bidding
higher on these and lower the feeds for the rest of them.”
That’s the challenge. Not many people have the capabilities to
work with data feeds on the Adwords interface. That’s something
that we’ve been doing for years. But yeah, if he has the ability
to slice and dice the data, he should be good to go. Again, we
put out a bunch of free content, so definitely have him take a
look at that bit URL I sent before. We’re making a more
comprehensive guide that should be out in the next two weeks.
Take a look and download that. If he has time to get up to
speed, he could definitely help you out there. If not, feel free
to give us a call as well.
Andrew: I would say be very careful about getting into the data feed
section things. It’s completely different than Adwords, and
you’re going to want to know what you’re doing before you start
paying Google Shopping money. You’re just going to want to have
all your ducks in a row and be able to manipulate the data feed
easily. It’s very different. It takes kind of a different skill
set from just doing plain Adwords.
Another thing is, look at your Adwords campaign, and you can
envision that your Google Shopping campaign is going to be a
fraction of that. It’ll probably have a higher conversion rate.
You can do a quick analysis on how much value your Google
Shopping campaign is going to be by looking at your Google
Adwords campaign and again, Google Shopping is probably going to
be a third or less of this in terms of volume.
Next question is on conversion rate optimization, it looks like.
It says: “Is requiring user registration worth it in the long
run to be able to be remarket to our customers?”
I’m guessing they’re thinking of some sort of user registration
when a user goes into a website for the first time.
Keith: Yeah, that’s a great question. Keith here. I’ll answer that
one. Generally, one of the things that we work with our e-
commerce clients to do is to remove that registration. It’s a
barrier. It’s hard to have it not be a barrier. You can have a
screen where you offer to people to do a guest checkout, or you
can try to sneak those password fields into the one-page
checkout. Nothing works better than just getting rid of it all
and assigning somebody an account ID on the confirmation page
and in their email so that they can have the same benefits. If
they want to change their password, then let them do that, but
don’t cost that initial sale. When we streamline carts and
remove that registration, you typically see about a 20% increase
in conversion rate on e-commerce shops.
I hope that answers your question. Registration is bad. I would
extend that and say that you don’t want it for your wish list,
either. If you have a wish list, you want to just let them save
it. If they leave without creating a registration, you want to
give them a quick exit prompt that says, “Hey, you’re about to
lose your wish list unless you save it.” Don’t stop people in
their tracks. Let them keep going. If you do it well, you’ll get
more benefit out of it than anything you could possibly lose.
Andrew: Awesome. Next one is: “Are there any good tools that will
automatically list similar products on a website?” I’m guessing
they are talking about maybe some cheap, effective things that
web owners can use to add those product recommendation, similar
product style sections to their website.
That’s for Keith or Bob.
Nii: I can go ahead and answer that. It really depends on your platform,
especially when it comes to [inaudible 51:02]. If you’re working
with a platform that’s custom based, you’re going to run into
issues, but I do know it’s a fact that platforms like Magenta do
have similar products. Whether they are based on user behavior
or some attributes or tagging, I couldn’t tell you; but if
you’re using a platform which is one of the common platforms out
there, it’s very easy to find a plug-in for it. Where you run
into issues is when you have custom things going on, whether
that’s custom coding with your Magenta platform, or your
Prestashop platform, or just an entire custom platform.
So, yeah, there are plugins that exist. They can be free, but
the biggest issue is making sure that it works with your
platform. Take a look. Those stories exist, and I’m pretty sure
those plug-ins exist. I’ve seen a couple of them in the past.
Andrew: All right, cool. The next one is also for Keith and Bob. “Do
you guys have any experience, the best ways or the best
techniques to get good quality product reviews?”
Keith: Keith here. I’ll answer that one again. That’s a great
question. Often, as part of our continuous improvement programs,
we suggest to people that they get reviews if they don’t have
them already. The best way to do it is, you have to seed
properly. We call it seeding, before you release your reviews on
the website. If you have a product and it doesn’t have any
reviews, that can actually be a detriment when it comes to some
websites. What we try to do is, we seed. That means, post
purchase, sending an email. You have to send that email far
enough out after the purchase so that the person remembers
buying the product, but you have to make sure that they’ve
received the product and that your customer service team has
actually had ample chance to handle any issues. You don’t want
to send an email to somebody that says, “Hey, how do you rate
this product?” and they’ve got a broken product. You want to
give your customer service team enough time to respond to it, to
get a new product out to them, so typically that’s about three
weeks. That’s kind of the Goldilocks zone for asking for
reviews. When you get enough reviews, you can do a little bit of
development and say, “Hey, if there are more than two reviews on
this product, then show.” That’s how we generally try to seed
reviews when we work with our clients.
Andrew: Awesome. Next question is from Farhan Haider [SP]. I’m not sure
if we’re going to have time to answer this whole thing. He’s
asking, “How do you track Google product ads in Google
Keith: You’re absolutely right, we can’t answer the entire thing, but
I’m pretty sure we do have a white paper on the way that’s going
to cover exactly that topic. I hate to do it, don’t mean to be a
teaser there, but it’s possible. It’s very straightforward.
We’ll go ahead and release that white paper pretty soon. I think
that’s coming up in the next month or so, so definitely stay
tuned. We’ll release that. I think there might be a blog post, I
don’t remember off the top, but I’ll go ahead and follow up
offline if there’s a specific white paper I can send you if we
have something out there that already covers that topic, but I
definitely know that’s something that we’re working on
internally here, so we’ll get that to you as soon as possible.
Andrew: I’m sending a link, actually, right now, on a blog post, so
that blog post I just sent to the audience. It should tell you
exactly how to set up tracking in Google Analytics on Google
Keith: There you go. Awesome.
Andrew: Next question is from Gary DePriest [SP]. “How does Google
Shopping compare to Nextag, Shopping.com, and other CSEs? How
should we prioritize the importance of the different CSEs?
Nii: I think all these questions are great, so I’m going to say that’s a
great question as well. Google Shopping, again, like I mentioned
in the presentation, is a huge driver of qualified comparison
shopping traffic. It’s going to be your biggest driver, so if
you have a limited amount of time, limited amount of resources,
go to Google Shopping first. From there, it really depends on
what you sell in terms of if Nextag is your next number one
engine, or if it’s Pricegrabber, or if it’s Shopping.com or
Amazon Product guides. It really depends on your category and it
really depends on what you sell. One thing that we do produce
each quarter are quarterly rankings that list the top comparison
websites in terms of traffic, average CPC, conversion, and
revenue. We do break that down into specific categories that are
huge categories for e-commerce. Definitely take a look at that,
the Q3 rankings. Andrew, if you can bring that up as well, we
can go ahead and send you a link to that. The Q4 rankings are
coming out, I believe, on February 2nd or 4th. Stay tuned for
But yeah, in terms of prioritizing your time, Google is
definitely going to be your number one category, or number one
engine. There’s a chance that if you’re selling specific things,
if you’re selling things that are prohibited by Google like
firearms or adult products, you have to work with the other
engines because you can’t sell those on Google at all. But for
most categories, yeah, Google is going to be your number one
source of qualified traffic.
I think Andrew just sent out the link, the last quarter’s survey
as well. Awesome. Great question.
Andrew: We’re about to run out of time here. One other question is
asked: “Will I get a recording of this?” Yes, we are going to be
sending out a recording to all attendees tomorrow.
Also, one question that just came in from John H. He’s looking
for a link to the Google PLA tracking white paper. I’ll send out
a link to the white paper into the chat box.
One more question on conversion rate optimization. Well, it’s
actually kind of similar to it. It says: “We’ve seen the best
practices on increasing conversion rates. Is there anything we
can do to increase average order value?
Keith or Bob, do you have any tips on how to increase the
average order value of a customer?
Keith: Sorry about that little mic issue. Keith here. That’s a really
Nii: I think we’re having some technical difficulties with Keith’s line.
We’ll go ahead and answer that question offline.
Keith: Hey, sorry about that, guys.
Nii: Okay, here we go.
Keith: Can you hear me now?
Nii: Yes we can.
Keith: All right. Sorry about that. I lost you for a moment.
That’s a great question about increasing average order value.
First, I’d caution you against following best practices unless
you really understand the underlying reasons for the best
practice and understand how it might impact your site. Really,
when it comes to average order value, there’s a lot of things
that you can do. The hallmark is doing bundling. There’s classic
up-sell, there’s classic cross-sell, and all that works great.
If you’re going to do classic up-sell and classic cross-sell,
don’t just default to “people who bought this also bought.”
That’s a good start, but what people are really looking for is
the highest-rated products, or the top-rated products.
Cross-sell and up-sell, that’s all fun and good, but if you
really want to increase your [inaudible 59:27], when it comes to
search results, you want to list your higher-in-cost products a
little bit earlier. You want to start bundling. Bundling is
probably the biggest that you can do. If you know something
commonly gets bought with something else, then throwing it into
a bundle or making it easy for them to add within the cart-we
call that the candy rack-those are the types of activities that
are going to increase your average order value.
Andrew: Awesome, thanks. I think that’s all the time we have for
questions today. I know there were a couple more from Joseph
Walker and Chris Moynihan [SP]. We’re going to get back to them
offline, but thank you all for coming. Thanks, presenters, for
presenting. If you guys have any questions at all that you
didn’t get answered here, feel free to email me directly at
Again, this was CPC Strategy and Conversion IQ, talking about
how to optimize Google product feeds. Thanks, everybody.