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Utilising Google Shopping Custom Labels

Paid Search, Google AdWords 27th May 2015

This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would.

Hi. Today I want to talk to you about Google Shopping and, in particular, custom labels. With Google Shopping, you basically set up a data feed that pulls in only the products from your website. It pulls into the Merchant Center on Google, which then links up to Google AdWords.

Now, you’ve got lots of attributes within your Merchant Center feed. But when it comes to actually creating and managing your AdWords campaigns for the shopping feeds, you’re quite limited in terms of how you construct your campaigns and how you can segment all of your data and your products. So this is where custom labels come in.

AdWords helps you to have five of these custom labels, hopefully labelled from zero through to four. I’m not sure why they have not done one through to five. You’re quite limited still in terms of the number of labels that you can use.

So what I want to do is talk to you about nine different strategies that you can use when it comes to custom labels, so that if you’re managing your Google Shopping campaigns, you can really, really segment your data and your products so that you can effectively bid according to all of these different segments here that we’re going to talk about. Rather than just going down the standard route of just bidding on different items or categories, using these types of custom labels, you can really make the most out of your Google Shopping campaigns. So let’s get started.

The first one is special events. So you may sell products that sell really well when it comes to Christmas, when it comes to Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day. There’s all these events throughout the year. So you can have a custom label, and you can label each of the products that are really key for those specific events, create separate campaigns for those, and bid higher when you know that those events are taking place, because you know, from looking at your historic data, that these products sell really well around those times of year.

That then leads me on to seasonality. So similar to the events, you might be a retailer that’s selling sporting gear. If you’re selling scuba gear or if you’re selling sporting gear for like skiing holidays, for example, then the skiing gear is going to sell better, I would imagine, around sort of autumn to winter versus stuff for scuba, that might be a bit more seasonal in terms of the summer months. So you can tag up those products again, like we said, with the special events. Tag those up and actually bid higher at the certain times of the year when you know that those particular seasons are coming into play. So you can really try and capitalise on the revenue that you can make off the back of them.

Next up is price buckets. So rather than just taking a blanket look at all of your products and saying, “This type of product, I’m going to bid roughly this, because we know that’s how much they roughly cost,” you can categorise all of your products and say, “This group of products, I make this much in terms of revenue, say from X to X. These products from X to X. These products from X to X.” So that you know that when you’re actually putting together your bidding strategy, you know how much you can afford to bid. If you’re only making a small amount of revenue from a particular item, you know that you can’t afford to bid too high, because the amount that it’s going to cost you to actually get a sale is going to be higher than the amount you actually make in terms of revenue.

Complaint rate is another one. So if you know that you’ve got certain products that you get sort of a high complaint rate on, you might wish to kind of bid a bit lower on those if your customer service team are quite full-on with work at the moment. So you might want to try and bid a bit lower on those. You still want to obviously sell those products, because you’ve got that stock that you need to get rid of. But you might not want to sell too many of them in one go. Whereas if you’ve got products that you know you don’t typically get any complaints for, you’re more comfortable bidding higher on those. That’s another bidding strategy that you can use.

When it comes to selling rate, I’m talking about best sellers or low sellers. So if you’re looking for a quick cash injection of revenue from your AdWords campaigns, if you put all of your best sellers into a campaign and you bid higher on those, your historical data is telling you that you’re selling really well on those particular products. So if you bid higher, get your ads seen more, the likelihood is you’re going to potentially get more sales off the back that as well. But, obviously, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and say, “These are definitely my best sellers. I’m going to bid higher.” You still need to make sure that you’re managing and optimising those campaigns accordingly so that you’re not bidding too much and the costs aren’t outweighing how much you’re making in terms of revenue.

Profit margin, I like to break this down so that you can see, rather as a value, it’s quite interesting to look at this as a percentage. So if you know that this bracket of products here make around 10% profit margin or these ones make 50% profit margin, 50% profit margin you know that you afford to bid a lot higher for those products because the return that you’re going to get off the back of selling them is much greater. So that’s profit margin.

Sale items are particularly useful for if you’ve got a flash sale, if you know that you’ve got a clearance, some stock that you need to clear, or you might have some spring sale coming up. You can again categorise all your products and say, “These are the ones that are in the flash sale. I need to really, really push these particular products this week, because the flash sale is only lasting for a week.” That coupled with your promotion and strategies are all part of the Google Shopping network as well. You can really, really get some valuable sales off the back of using this particular custom label.

Then the other one here is release year. So if you were selling something like CDs, DVDs, or even they can be cars, you could be selling all sorts of stuff on the shopping market like model cars, there could be specific years that come out, and again grouping your products based on that, there could be bidding strategies that can really, really work well for you.

And then the final one is stock levels. If you know that in your warehouse that you’ve got loads of stock that you need to try and get rid of, you want to really try and push that. You want to get that out of the door. Put all of those into one particular campaign, bid higher and try and get that stock moving quite quickly.

So that’s just nine strategies that I’ve come up with here. The benefit of using custom labels is the world is your oyster. You can basically define the label to be whatever is it that you want it to be. You just need to remember that you are limited to five. So use them carefully, plan out what you want to do before you start using them, so that once you’re starting, that’s the sort of route that you’re going down.

So as with everything with a Google Shopping campaign, take things slow. Let the data guide you. Understand what you’re trying to achieve out of your shopping campaigns and then make the decisions.

I’ve written a blog post, and I’ve also done a presentation on Google Shopping as well that you’ll be able to find on the Koozai blog. If you have got any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thank you.

Samantha Noble
About the author

Samantha Noble

Sam is a talented multi-tasker, a dedicated mother to the gorgeous Theo and a big fan of cooking – word on the street is that she’s pretty good in the kitchen but we’re yet to know if this is true or not. Hint hint, we like cake, Sam.

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