In this episode, Andy discusses the perks of being an official Google Partner agency including the rewards that Google offers.
In addition, to what Google offers (more interesting to advertisers) is for why they offer. Discover why advertisers should be leery of agencies and Google representatives pushing Google Smart Shopping campaigns and display advertising.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:09
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. Today I wanted to discuss the perks of being an official Google partner agency. What that means for us and for our clients? And being an official Google partner agency, Google Offers my agency a variety of perks. One of those perks are reward points based on how much our clients spend. Along with how well optimized our clients accounts are based on Google's criteria of automated metrics. These reward points have never done much to incentivize actions with as a trauma and presence. Our focus has always been to do what is right for our private clients. First and foremost, my sole goal with working with a private client managing their Google Ad spin is optimize their Google account with the purpose of increasing both sales and profitability. Now, as a disclaimer, I did redeem some Google reward points about a year ago for a shiny new Google color bicycle that I sometimes tour around my neighborhood riding. So even though the points don't incentivize us, I'm admitting to you now that I do sometimes openly look at the Google reward point updates and some of the swag gifts that they're offering. Before I go any further, in addition, I'm not accusing Google of being diabolical and now to get their advertisers. However, truth be told, like within a mega company, Google has their own agenda that sometimes may not fully aligned with that of their advertisers. I think that Google's reward system is genius, and nudging advert agencies to optimize clients accounts in a direction that Google would prefer. It's a classic example of positive reinforcement. And the bigger the rewards that Google offers, the more effective the strategy becomes. With all that said, a few days back, I open the Google rewards updates email that I received, as I wanted to see what Google was currently promoting and offering. The first page that opens for a Google partner agency is an introduction page to Google's product adoption. Google refers to their product adoptions is challenges that are designed to help you improve the quality of clients accounts. Product adoption targets are specifically tailored to your company's clients and to performance I quote. For my product adoption, Google was offering 11,000 points for converting at least 27% of my private clients shopping campaign ad spend into their smart shopping campaigns. I'm currently at 0%. And another 6600 points for having at least 12% of my clients ad spend dedicated to using display advertising. I am currently at 3%. Translating that into goodies and swag gifts, and agency would need 10,610 points to redeem for a new Google ping pong table. 15,300 points for a Google Pixel book, or 16,260 points for an official Google foosball table. Now there are other ways for an agency to earn Google reward points. However, Google is currently being very, very aggressive with trying to help agencies such as mine, move clients into using smart shopping campaigns, and to spend more using Google Display ads. And this begs the question as to why. First, let us look at Google smart shopping campaigns on what they are. By using Google smart shopping campaigns. Advertisers no longer define their bids, negative keywords or devices that they wish to advertise. In addition, the option to adjust bids by time or day or location no longer exist. Instead, advertisers are trusting Google and blindly to make those decisions for them. Now I have written about both smart shopping campaigns, and the different automated bid strategies and the drawbacks from using them quite a bit in my blog blog.trueonlinepresence if you're looking for more information on the pitfalls and exactly why you should mostly avoid. However, in a nutshell, the biggest drawback of using these automated strategies is that Google assumes the control from the advertiser on how and where to spend their ad dollars. Instead, advertisers blindly trust Google to make the best decision with their advertising spin. Another factor to consider is where your ads appear now, and where they would be eligible to appear using Google smart shopping campaigns. Currently, when advertisers create a standard shopping campaign, they're opted into Google Search Network. Google Search Network includes all Google sites as well as google.com. And in addition, ads are by default also opted in to being shown on Google search partners, YouTube, Gmail, and Google discover. However, currently, advertisers with a standard shopping campaign have the option to opt out of showing ads anywhere other than within the Google Search Network. However, with Google smart shopping campaigns, the option to remove certain networks is no longer an option. In addition, with smart shopping campaigns, advertisers cannot see specific product bids, what keywords or ads appear for, what networks their ads appear in, or what device their ads are running. And this takes a whole lot of trust. And trusting Google in this instance, is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse, wouldn't you say? Why would Google prefer advertisers even use smart shopping campaigns, you may ask? Of course, Google wants its advertisers to be successful. Because if advertisers are not profitable using Google, they will most likely not advertise anymore. I think we all can agree on that. But there are different levels of success when it comes to advertising with Google. If Google is slightly reducing advertisers profitability while substantially increasing advertisers ad spin, and at the same time also been able to test different, lesser used marketing channels such as display ads. While it might make perfect sense for Google, however, is this the ideal strategy for the advertiser? If Google smart shopping campaigns and their other automated campaigns performed better, I would have absolutely no problem implementing them across all my clients accounts. In fact, it would make my life much easier and allow my team more time to work on other things to help increase a client's conversion. However, I've tested all of these types of automatic campaigns extensively, and only one time has an automated campaign outperform one of our private clients manually optimized campaigns. And granted, we are doing more than the majority of agency optimizing accounts, particularly using Google Shopping strategies and best practices as I detail in my new book, Make Each Click Count using Google Shopping. However, heed my warning. When you were working with an agency or interacting with a Google representative, be aware that they are getting incentivized to increase your spend, and to have you switch to using automated bidding strategies which you know what will also increase your spend. I believe that the reward system is a very effective way for Google to make sure agencies are incentivized to help Google push their automated strategies. However, my agency first and foremost works for our private clients. And our private clients with their goals of increased sales and profitability is our sole focus. Given that it does not look like I will be earning the reward points for changing clients ad spend over two smart shopping campaigns anytime soon. Now on to display ads. Remember when I told you earlier that Google was offering 6600 points for having my clients total spin for display advertising reach 2% display advertising for those of you that may not know Is when ads appear within the Google Display Network outside of the Google Search Network. There are over 2 million websites within the Google Display Network. And display ads are typically promoted as being effective for building awareness and brand recognition. However, since they appear when users are not actively shopping or searching, they have a much lower conversion rates and generally are not nearly as profitable. That is why the only Display Network ads I typically run for my Ecommerce clients are dynamic retargeting ads. Dynamic retargeting ads work to show a product that is shopper looked at on your website, but where they did not purchased these type of ads I find to be much more effective and therefore they are the only types of display ads that I will typically use. Dynamic retargeting ads work to keep businesses and products where shoppers shown interest in the forefront of shoppers mind. In addition, these type of display ads are going to give shoppers the impression that you are a large company that advertises across many sites. And in addition to standard display ads not being effective, they are also riddled with fraud. If you listened to a recent podcast episode that I did with Neil Andrew a PPC Protect. He says within that interview that up to 80% of all display ads are actually fraudulent clicks. When it comes to display ads, it is important to keep in mind your advertising goals with my private clients goals. The goal typically is profitability with display ads is your goal and advertising profitability or is it brand awareness. I love that term brand awareness. Brand Awareness means advertising knowing you are not going to get many if any sales. Instead, your goal is letting people know who you are, and what you are. And especially for those of you that are small to midsize e commerce companies, who the heck cares if they see your name if they aren't going to buy. So with a Google rewards system. Bottom line, they're offering 6600 points for increasing the client spin to advertise more on a network that historically provides poor results and is riddled with fraud. Oh darn, it does not look like all get the Google rewards points for the display ads either. A final word Google continues to redesign their search results trying to determine the optimal layout for its users. The more users continue to use Google, the more advertisers will seek to advertise with Google. However, the number of advertisers is not infinite. If an advertiser is not successful, showing profitability and their sales. Depending if that's their goal, of course, then most likely, they will not continue to advertise with Google, at least not for very long. The more advertisers the more competition, the more expensive Google will become. Fortunately for us, our private clients, and for those who have read and implemented the strategies inside my latest book Make Each Click Count Using Google Shopping. Using Google's a marketing channel continues to work to drive profitable sales. But those companies were Google advertising may not be as well run may indeed find becoming profitable using Google Shopping ads a challenge. For those advertisers, they may be better off letting Google handle their ad placements and their ad spin through Google smart shopping campaigns. In fact, while they're at it, they may want to try to increase their brand recognition through some Google Display ads. Although I would highly advise against it for most ecommerce companies. By letting Google manage campaigns in this way, they will most likely see better results than just setting up a single shopping campaign that has all the products lumped together with just one bid. This, by the way, is what I unfortunately see all too often and companies starting just starting to advertise with Google Shopping. They do not have a plan. However, with either letting Google run their ads, or setting up a shopping campaign and not optimizing lumping all the products together. These companies are missing an opportunity to use Google Shopping as a significant and profitable marketing channel, simply because they either do not know how Google Shopping works, or they do not have the time to manage it. Fortunately, our clients this is not the case. Although sadly, very sadly, it does not look like Team true online presence will get that new ping pong table anytime soon. Well that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave a five star review. And if you're looking for better results from your online marketing request to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group. Remember to stay healthy, keep safe, and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.