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Market Insights – compare your prices with your competition

market insights

Google once again comes to the aid of the eCommerce industry. Recently, Google Merchant Center has been expanded with a new service, namely Market Insights. It allows you to compare the prices of your products with the prices of competitors. So if you run an online store and know how important it is to analyze your competitors’ activities — this article should be interesting for you.

Measuring company performance and prices relative to the competition is an extremely important aspect of marketing any online store. Thanks to a thorough analysis, stores can assess their progress and better understand how they’re doing in relation to the competition. Google is well aware of the importance of this knowledge, which is why a new service — Market Insights has been added to the Merchant Center tool.

Google Merchant Center — tailored to the online stores

The Google Merchant Center tool was created for people selling their products on the Internet. It enables sending information about the online store and offered products to Google. This data is then made available to potential clients who search Google.

If you run an online store and do not yet use Google Merchant Center, we encourage you to catch up as soon as possible. With this tool, all data about your store and products is available to buyers throughout the Google ecosystem. You decide the frequency with which product information is to be updated. It can happen as often as every day. After pairing your Google Ads account with Google Merchant Center, you can manage your shopping campaigns more effectively, which has a real impact on sales in your online store. To set up your Google Merchant Center account, click this link. More information about registration in Google Merchant Center and the tool itself can be found here.

Even more possibilities in GMC thanks to Market Insights

Recently, through the Merchant Center you also have access to full reports and statistics on discounts and prices from other sellers. The Market Insights tool is only available to people who already have a Google Merchant Center account. With its help, vendors are presented with data on best-selling products and the most competitive product prices in a particular industry.

People who use Market Insights will appreciate the opportunity to use the tips on making assortment and pricing strategy decisions in the online store. Thanks to Market Insights, you can also find out which products are looking good against the competition and will give you an advantage over other sellers.

Market Insights operates based on a juxtaposition of two key reports generated by Google Merchant Center:

market insights

1. Bestsellers report — it informs you about the products and brands that are currently the most popular in product ads. This data is updated weekly. Depending on the specifics of your brand, you can use the report to view data covering sellers of products in many categories or specializing in a particular category.

Unfortunately, at this moment the bestseller report is only available for products popular in the United States, France, and Great Britain. However, by using the possibilities of this report, you will certainly get a lot of useful information. In Poland, the Suggested Product Report is currently available, but Google has already announced the extension of the bestseller report to other countries and replacing the suggested product report with it.

2. Price competitiveness report — you will learn how other vendors price the same products you offer. The report presents the average price for each product. Thanks to this, it’s possible to estimate which price drives users to click the most.

There are two ways to view the data presented by the competitiveness report. The first option is to view data by category, brand or type of product. The second option offers data display for particular products.

One tool — lots of benefits

The new service in Merchant Center expands reporting capabilities with information useful when planning an advertising campaign. On the basis of collected market data, Google illustrates price ranges in the form of charts and tables. The data includes information about the price of our product. That way we can check whether our price is below or above the reference price.

The availability of competition data and product prices offered by other stores in one place saves time spent on preparing competition analysis. The combination of current and historical data also increases the value of performed analyzes. Product prices can play a big role in both product visibility and traffic from Google Shopping campaigns.

Market Insights offers exclusive access to retail data on Google. It will also be useful when planning the company’s pricing policy, operation strategy or an effective SEM campaign.

Acquired price reports will allow you to increase the quality of analysis and influence tactical decisions regarding marketing in the company. Knowing where your products are currently competitive, you can decide to intensify your activities in this area.

Join Market Insights

Market Insights users are subject to the Merchant Center Terms of Service. All reports are available only for internal use of the seller and people acting on his behalf. In other words, only the person who owns the domain on which the products are sold or the seller who offers his products on the trading platform can have access to the data. To be able to join Market Insights, you must be an administrator of the Merchant Center account and meet certain requirements for participation in shopping ads or purchasing actions. You can launch the service in the “Manage programs” section of the GMC panel. If you qualify, you’ll get access to all price competitiveness reports, development opportunities, and bestsellers reports that will help you expand your online sales.

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New extension for text ads – Google Contact Form

Google Contact Form

Google introduces a new extension to text ads as part of Google Ads. The contact form, because that’s what we’re talking about, currently works in selected countries and is available in beta. Its main task is collecting valuable leads from advertising campaigns. However, you must hurry! Leads will only be available for 30 days.

The Google Ads contact form helps you get the contact details of potential customers directly from text ads. For now, this solution has been launched in beta in almost 60 countries. It is addressed only to users of mobile devices, both those with Android and iOS.

It’s hard not to get the impression that Google has modeled on the solution previously introduced on Facebook. Facebook Lead Ads work very similarly, they also have an identical role — leading potential customers directly to the advertiser. Interestingly enough, Google emphasizes that the data provided to companies as part of the Google Ads contact form won’t be used to personalize the displayed ads.

Google’s requirements

The Mountain View giant places a number of requirements on advertisers who want to use the new extension.

  • First, the form should include the company’s privacy policy so that customers can read it before providing their personal data.
  • Secondly, contact info of potential customers will be automatically deleted after 30 days, therefore you should copy it regularly so that you don’t lose anything. Contacts can be exported to a CSV file.
  • The name of the company in the contact form must not be misleading, illegible or with promotional content attached (e.g. a CTA).
  • It is not allowed to use the form to promote sexual content or one related to drugs, alcohol, gambling, healthcare, and politics.
  • The information in the advertisements must be accurate, and the products and services themselves must be available in the company’s offer.
Google Contact Form

Notably, the search engine offers the possibility of integrating the contact form with the advertiser’s CRM system. This is done via a webhook (an API that sends contact details from Google forms to CRM in real-time). Detailed instructions on how to connect CRM to a webhook can be found here.

Measuring forms’ effectiveness

It should be noted that contact forms don’t function as stand-alone, separate ads, but only as an extension of existing text ads. Therefore, targeting and bidding settings do not change.

Every time a potential customer opens a contact form, Google will count it as a lead. Each time the customer enters his data, it will be counted as a conversion. Submitting completed forms from potential customers is the only type of conversion that will be assigned to the form. Other conversion actions won’t be reported if potential customers click the form extension. For example, if someone clicked your order form and later bought something on your site, the conversion won’t be attributed to the form. In addition, these conversions won’t be visible in Google Analytics.

Users can check the effectiveness of clicks and conversions at any time by simply filtering the performance report by “clicks” and “conversion type”.

How to set up a contact form in your campaigns?

Google has prepared a detailed step-by-step instruction, it’s available here. In the campaign settings, the “Ad extensions” list, you can select the “Contact form extension” option. In the next steps, you configure the settings and parameters of the form, including the CTA (possible options are e.g. more information, check the price, submit an application, contact, register, book now) and type the extension text. Interestingly, the CTA will be automatically translated into the recipient’s language, while the extension text will not.

In the next steps, add the company name, form the header and description. Then you need to indicate the type of data you want to get from the potential customer (you only need to indicate one option, e.g. email address). Careful! It won’t be possible to edit this data, so you should think about what information you care about. It’s also possible to embed a photo in the background of the form. The image must comply with Google Ads standards and the graphics can’t be blurred.

The last step before accepting the form is to prepare the content of the message confirming that the form has been sent.

A step in the right direction?

For a long time, Google has been successively striving to provide its users with as many opportunities and amenities as possible without leaving the search engine. This is another step in this direction. Since forms are a relatively new solution (interestingly, the first tests of a similar solution took place already in 2010), it’s difficult to assess at this stage how successful they will be.

A large part of customers may be concerned about the security of contact details they provide, and on the other hand, it’s a quick and convenient way to express their interest in a particular product or service. Certainly, advertisers who focus on online queries from customers should test run contact forms and assess their effectiveness.

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Reach Planner – help in optimizing video campaigns

Reach Planner

Google Ads campaign planning tools are constantly developed and improved. One of the solutions worth discussing is Reach Planner, available since 2018. This tool enables accurate planning of YouTube video campaigns and their optimization. Everyone who uses video ads should get interested in this topic!

It’s no secret that planning an advertising campaign can be tedious for many reasons. In particular on YouTube, where new solutions are constantly being introduced, such as Outstream ads or Trueview for Action. Ad sequencing in conjunction with experimental TrueView and Bumper ads could cause YouTube ads to appear chaotic and in no way related to each other.

In addition, some formats generate views paid for in the CPV model, while others generate views paid for in the CPM model. Still others promise conversions and are accounted for in the CPA model. In such an environment, the advertiser could ask the obvious question: “What exactly do I get from advertising on YouTube?”

To deal with these kinds of problems, Google decided to launch the Reach Planner tool in 2018, used to measure YouTube’s reach and facilitate the planning of advertising campaigns on video services.

What is Reach Planner?

Reach Planner is a tool for planning advertising campaigns. It was designed by Google to accurately plan the reach of video campaigns on YouTube and Google Video Partners (GVP) network. Currently, it is available in over 50 countries. Reach Planner simplifies the planning process and provides unique reach on various devices to all target video advertising recipients.

Reach Planner solutions are based on Unique Reach data. This allows you to find out how many unique users your ad will reach. If a user displays your ad on several devices, the data obtained from Unique Reach will show this as one view, because it was generated by one user. In other words, thanks to Reach Planner you can see your reach based on people, rather than just cookies.

Indisputable advantages

Another important piece of information is that Reach Planner is updated weekly. Thanks to this, the tool uses the most current of the available data. On their basis, you can target the ideal audience and plan the reach of your ads based on your campaign goals.

The data collection methodology used by RP is fundamentally different from other reach planning tools available on the market. Reach Planner presents data collected based on the commercial reach of the campaign, unlike other tools that rely on organic reach. However, general trends in the data presented by different tools should be convergent.

One of the basic advantages of Reach Planner is the ability to tailor relevant YouTube advertising tools to your marketing goal, advertising preferences and campaign budget. For example, if you want to maximize reach to increase brand awareness with short ads, Reach Planner will recommend that you properly allocate spending between TrueView in Stream and Bumpers ads to achieve this goal.

Only 3 steps to an effective video campaign

You’ll need to contact a Google representative to access Reach Planner.

Then you’ll be guided through three very simple steps, after which you can use the full range of possibilities of the tool:

Reach Planner
  1. Defining recipients. In other words, at this stage you define who your target customers are. Consider how you can reach them via YouTube.
  2. Finding the right combination of ads. Considering the indicated campaign goals, Reach Planner helps you find the right ad formats, tailored to the goals and budget of the campaign.
  3. Seeing your reach. Using a curve, Google will present you with the scale of your reach, frequency and other key parameters for the target group chosen by you. You can also change parameters in real time to check how the forecasted reach changes.

The most important campaign information in one place

When you start using Reach Planer, you will see that it is divided into four sections. In the first you can choose the target group, in the second you will adjust the campaign settings, in the third you can change key parameters, and in the fourth you can track your results.

TARGET GROUP

This is the simplest section of the tool. It shows five basic online targeting options that you can freely modify: country, gender, age of the audience and parental status of your target group.

CAMPAIGN SETTINGS

Here you can change the campaign emission dates, set frequency limits, specify the devices on which the advertisement should be displayed and define preferred display spots. You can set a frequency limit in days, weeks or months, and decide whether to display your ad on mobile devices, computers or tablets. When it comes to places, you can show ads not only on YouTube, which is considered the best placement, but you can also join video partners on the Google Display Network.

Google Display Network consists of millions of possible placements, so selecting it can increase the effectiveness of the campaign, but weaken the branding effect, because some placements are not ideal to associate with an advertising campaign. You can always change specific placements or exclude categories in which you don’t want to show your ad.

MEDIA MIX        

In this section you can choose the types of video ads you’ll use. In addition to standard TrueView In-Stream and TrueView Discovery ads, you can also include Outstream and Bumper ads in your campaign. At the same time, you can modify your campaign budget here.

DATA VISUALIZATION

This is probably the most important aspect of RP. Here you get forecasts for reach, advertising costs and display frequency. This is also where you can set the minimum effective frequency for your campaign –— the minimum number of ads that should be displayed to a user in order for them to reach you through your campaign.

It’s not all Reach Planner can do

Google and YouTube are constantly intensifying their activities, supporting brands and helping them reach a wider audience. The first step to this end was to launch the Reach Planner. This allows advertisers to plan their activities on YouTube and in video media even more accurately.

NIELSEN TV DATA

Recently, Nelsen TV Data has been added to Reach Planner to further facilitate the optimal connection of television with YouTube and maximize the reach of media campaigns. Recipients are increasingly choosing digital technology. According to Nielsen’s report, GPR (the value specifying viewership in percentage points of a single ad broadcast or the entire advertising campaign) on cable and television is falling. Over the past 5 years, in the group of respondents aged 18-49, weekly GPR decreased by as much as 31%.

The introduction of Nielsen TV Data to Reach Planner allows you to compare TV and YouTube data. This allows advertisers who display TV ads and YouTube ads to see their results on one screen. Thus, they can design campaigns more accurately and choose tools that will enable them to achieve their advertising goals.

Unfortunately, at the moment Nielsen TV Data is only available to users in the United States. However, Google plans to introduce this tool next year also in other countries. It’s a good idea to follow the news from overseas about the operation of Nielsen TV Data to be able to implement it, monitor and plan your advertising campaigns as soon as it is available in your country.

Start today

Considering all the current abilities of Reach Planner and the benefits it gives its users, you should start to use this tool right now. The possibility to reach audiences on different devices, precise advertising planning on YouTube and Google Video Partners in over 50 global markets, or the ability to calculate the view rate in the target group along with the cost of the campaign are just some advantages of this solution. If you are not using Reach Planner yet, be sure to look here. In this Google article you will learn how to skillfully use the Reach Planner to estimate the reach of advertising campaigns among audiences on YouTube, as well as on GVP websites and applications. You will be guided through the stages of creating a media plan and learn how to use ready-made advertising sets.

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Product ads — now also in Gmail!

Product ads

Starting March 4, product ads will also be displayed via Gmail. The solution will be (to a limited extent) also available to customers from Poland, and its launch will take a few moments. From now on, over one billion new users will see product ads!

The campaign targeted at Gmail users will be able to be launched using both Product Shopping Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads. Unfortunately, as of now, only the first format is available to advertisers from Poland. Product Shopping Ads is a solution dedicated strictly for the eCommerce industry. This type of ad gives users detailed information about what you are selling, even before they click on it. The advertisement shows potential customers a picture of the product, its brand and model, and most often also a brief description and name of the store, which is the source of the ad.

This graphic shows how product ads look on different devices:

Why Gmail?

Google’s Inbox is a good place to enter product ads. First of all, it should be mentioned that this is the most popular free email address in the world, and therefore a huge target group. At the end of October 2018, the official Gmail account on Twitter showed that the number of Google mail users exceeded 1.5 billion.

In addition, Gmail is very much appreciated by its users. Google is committed to ensuring that the inbox provides the right quality of service and attracts more and more users. For example, the option to send money transfers via Gmail is slowly being introduced (this service isn’t available everywhere). Another strength of Gmail is its simple and clear interface. On the one hand, it’s a great advantage for users, and on the other — good news for advertisers, because the minimalist design allows the space to be used for promotional purposes.

Product ads advantages

Product Shopping Ads are the perfect solution for online store owners. They allow you to precisely target people who are looking for goods you offer. The customer can pre-familiarize himself with the product before buying it. Hence, once he clicks on your link, the path to purchase is very short.

Product ads don’t only work on the basis of keywords, they primarily use product attributes defined in the data sent to Merchant Center. This solution allows you to group products in a very flexible way and indicate which items in the offer you want to promote.

Google also offers wider possibilities of reaching customers through product ads. It turns out that a given user may see several product ads from one source. It is also possible to display a combination of text and product ads. This means that your reach among buyers can multiply, which at the same time significantly increases the chance of a click-through.

Google also provides a tool for in-depth analysis of your ads’ performance. For example, you can see how many clicks a particular shoe brand got in your offer. You’ll find that out simply by filtering the product view. Thanks to this solution, it is possible to identify growth opportunities and development directions of the company’s offer. To facilitate analysis and reporting, Google has created a tool known as the Bid Simulator.

How to launch product ads in Gmail?

Product ads

To start displaying product ads to Gmail users, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account
  2. Click the plus button and then “new campaign”
  3. Select the campaign type “Sales” and “Product”
  4. Go to the settings section and check the box next to “YouTube, Gmail, and Discover.”

Checking this checkbox is enough to start displaying product campaigns also for Gmail users. Of course, you should have product ads configured and prepared in advance. Detailed instructions showing how to create a new product campaign step by step can be found here. You’ll need both Google Ads and Merchant Center to run it. Product campaigns are billed in the CPC (Cost Per Click) model. Until recently, they were displayed only in:

  • “shopping” tab in SERP
  • right side of SERP
  • Google Display Network

However, as you can guess from the above changes, this list will be gradually developed. We can expect that in the future product ads will be visible one way or another in every channel of reaching the customer in the Mountain View giant’s portfolio. This is good news for online store owners because the number of channels they can use is increasing.

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Showcase shopping ads – Overview of the possibilities

showcase shopping ads

Google is not slowing down. New advertising formats are appearing (we have already written about Discovery Ads and Gallery Ads), and existing solutions are undergoing major modifications (recent update of eCPC optimization). Another change in the Google checklist is the appearance of Showcase Shopping Ads. If you have an online store, then read on!

The idea of Showcase Shopping Ads is to present several products from a particular category to the customer. A secondary goal is the possibility of building awareness of your brand in a potential customer. Unlike other Google Shopping ads, clicking the Showcase Shopping ads does not redirect the customer to the target page, but instead, a larger ad will develop which will present a catalogue of relevant products.

Imagine a hypothetical situation when a client enters “snowboards” in the search engine. He is not looking for any particular model, he does not know what shops offer this type of equipment, but he wants to understand the market and compare different models and offers. In such a situation Google SSA will be perfect. They allow the customer to present several products from the same category.

Another important feature of Google Showcase Shopping Ads is the ability to customize the presented content. For example, you can set your ad to present only the best-selling products or products that are of exceptional interest in a given month/season.

As with other ads for e-commerce, Google’s algorithms are based on the data entered the Merchant Center when they decide when to display your ad and to whom. At this point it is worth mentioning that there are currently three types of ads available for online store owners:

·         Product Shopping Ads

·         Local Catalog Ads 

·        Showcase Shopping Ads, which we are covering in this text 

Google Showcase Shopping Ads in practice

As mentioned earlier, this advertisement may appear when someone searches for a wider term, such as “backpacks”. Then Showcase Shopping ads show products that match the search term, but also graphics and photos that show the lifestyle with which you want to identify your brand.

When someone clicks on a Showcase ad, it develops and reveals your products that are best suited to a particular request. The advertiser can choose up to several dozen products or an entire product category to present in Google SSA.

Google recommends starting by advertising large groups of products, from which it can then form smaller subgroups. It is crucial to understand how the new advertisement works and only then start optimizing it. And what can you do to make your ads appear as often as possible? Google has a short and simple answer – create as many as possible!

Payment model

When you decide on Google Showcase Shopping Ads, you have three options to pay for your campaigns:

·     Maximum CPE (cost per engagement): you set the maximum price you are willing to pay for a given interaction. The fee is charged when someone directly clicks on a link in an advertisement, extends it or takes 10 seconds to familiarize themselves with its content.

·        Maximizing clicks: this model is built to get the most interactions in Showcase product ads within your budget.

·      ROAS (return on ad spend): the point here is to obtain the highest possible conversion value or revenue with a target return on established advertising expenditure.

How to create a Showcase Shopping ad?

To be able to run this type of advertising, a number of requirements must be met. To start, you need to create a Google Ads and Google Merchant Center account. After logging in to Google Ads you go to the Campaigns tab. You choose a shopping campaign and create groups of advertisements. One of the available group types is Showcase Shopping.

In the next steps, you choose the method of payment and groups of products to advertise. In the next steps, you adjust your advertisements: you create a header image (Google recommends 1200 × 628) and text:

·         Heading (optional, up to 24 characters)

·         Description (optional, up to 120 characters)

·         Destination and display URL

Detailed instructions on how to prepare Showcase Shopping Ads can be found here. Currently, Google Showcase Shopping Ads are available in selected markets including Canada, Australia, Brazil and the United States, and in Europe in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Content provided for ads must meet Google Shopping’s policy and the advertised product data should be updated at least once a month.