047 Google Ads: Shopping Campaigns – the latest tactics for success with Richard Hill

by April Buencamino-dy

In one way or another Richard’s been in digital marketing and eCommerce since 1999, working in a range of sectors, and helping retailers in a wide variety of ways. He’s now best known in the eCommerce space as the CEO & Founder of the eCommerce Marketing Agency eComOne.

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How did Richard get into Google Ads?

In 2002, Richard had his own stores that got him exploring and doing a lot of SEO, and that is how he got his start with Google Ads.

At that time, the platform was called Free Google Listings, where you could list your products for free.

Richard considers that time the glory days when it was free to list products on Google, not too many people were doing it, and SEO was very easy.

He has seen Google Ads from both sides when he was a store owner to now having an agency that helps retailers.

Same techniques over the years

Richard agrees that for Google Ads, the techniques have remained the same even after 20 years.

For Shopping, you still have to cover the following:

  • Basics or fundamentals
  • Creating a thorough feed
  • Tweaking your campaigns
  • Having a budget to test

There are more levers to pull and more competitors today but the basic techniques for running a Google Ads campaign have not changed.

Basic scripts to use

One is a script that does base optimization and automatically reduces your bids for campaigns that are not performing or increase the bids for those that are meeting or exceeding your expected return on ad spend.

Another is for creating a very specific single keyword ad group or SKAG in Search Ads for your product.

Retailers will have thousands of skews so using scripts is key. It will do more of the heavy work so businesses can focus on high-level matters.

Taking it further in Google Shopping

Richard gives us 4 key things that can lead to success in Google Shopping:

  1. The way you structure your campaign in the first instance is key
  2. Use custom labels to subdivide the products in your campaign
  3. Look at mobile optimization or your device bids
  4. Perform keyword sculpting where you apply bids on the keyword by creating multiple campaigns for each search word and using negative keywords to improve performance
  5. For more on keyword sculpting, read about it on eComOne’s blog

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Google Ads – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

For shopping in particular, if you have an eCom store:

  • Get a feed from that store
  • Connect it to a merchant account
  • Get your ads up and running with penny bids

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve google ads performance?

Richard mentions several ways:

  • Look at what’s working and what’s not working
  • Get familiar with the interface
  • Understand the ways to set up the different filters on the account
  • Make sure the tracking’s working for your ROAS
  • Tweak and test

He’s also a big believer in Pareto’s Law, which states that small amounts of action can give you the biggest benefit.

If someone listening wants to learn more about Google Ads is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in google ads?

The demand for eCommerce brought on by the pandemic is not going away. If you’re not doing Google Shopping, you need to be doing it now.

If you are on the fence with Google Shopping, you need to at least be testing and trying it out. If you’ve done it before yourself, you can also get professional expertise to help you set it up.

CSS or Comparison Shopping Service is also what’s coming, and it can give you a big advantage in terms of showing shopping ads in Google searches.

Interview Links

Richard on Social media:

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