This week Google will finalize the transition requiring a link between its Merchant Center offering and AdWords interface for the previously free Product Listing Ads. Though they’ve alluded to this change since early summer, the official deadline was posted on their blog earlier in the month. The shift to a commercialized model will reshape the Product Listing Ad experience. The shopping ads online retailers once benefited from for free will no longer run unless connected to an AdWords account.
Since the announcement, many ecommerce businesses have questioned whether or not to make the switch. Some have struggled to identify the ROI needed to rationalize the additional ad budget and account maintenance expenses. However, the true revenue from these powerful paid ads is right at their fingertips using Google Analytics.
Follow these steps to identify your Ad Revenue in Google Analytics:
1. Log in to Google Analytics
2. Identify a time period.
3. In the left-hand navigation, click Traffic Sources > All Traffic.
4. Using the search feature, narrow the traffic result to Googlebase / base. This is the name used by the Google Shopping Feed. Click the magnifying glass to execute the search.
5. Once the results are displayed, click the Ecommerce filter. Revenue will be listed below the graph.
In this example, the company would stand to lose over a million dollars in online sales by not moving to AdWords. It’s important to note that an effective Product Listing Campaign can run for as little as $3,000 a month– generating an unbelievable return on investment.
Earlier this summer we reported that Google Merchant will transition to Google Shopping by this fall. Google has announced that starting on October 17th, Google Shopping results in the United States will come only from merchants who have Product Listing Ads (PLA) implemented within their AdWords accounts.
The search engine will rank PLA results based on relevance and will also take CPC or CPA bidding into consideration. Google says that one of the reasons for the migration is to build a better shopping experience for its users.
Google has also announced the ability of product level bidding for PLA campaigns. Advertisers will be able to set CPCs at the item level. In addition, it is now possible to create product targets using the product ID in your Merchant Center feed to manage your bids at the product level. What’s more, a new Merchant Center tab will be available within AdWords for advertisers to be better equipped to manage PLA campaigns.
The transition to Google Shopping is just in time for the holiday season. Ecommerce sites that have seen revenue from Google Merchant organic clicks should implement Product Listing Ad campaigns in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday online shopping.
Google is in the midst of completing its transition from Google Merchant to Google Shopping and has made numerous changes from the old, free-click model to the new paid platform. Google is now showing results on the right hand side of the search engine results page (SERP) with mutiple Product Listing Ads (PLA) from Google shopping results in the same row. In the past, PLAs were stacked one on top of each other, as previously shown here.
Once the searcher clicks on the link to shop for the specific item on Google, the searcher is taken to a Google Shopping page where the item is categorized by most popular. Another feature to note is that Google tells the user how many nearby stores have the item in stock. Google uses the searcher’s location to find nearby Google Places that have the item in stock.
From there, when applicable, Google will give the user the option to shop by brand, type or by feature. In the example of the query of a digital camera, Google showed the user various digital camera brands, types of digital cameras, and different resolution options.
In addition, at the bottom of the SERP, the search engine has added the following disclaimer: Google is compensated by some of these merchants. Payment is one of several factors used to rank these results. Tax and shipping costs are estimates.
It will be interesting to see what other changes the new Google Shopping paid platform will have before its full transition by the fall.