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Benchmarks 2019: 5 Tips to Fill the Funnel on Google Ads

Mike Farrell

Retailers, we get it: Staying ahead of the curve in Google Ads is challenging. In the 2019 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail, we discovered new growth patterns in Google’s search and shopping channels. We concluded that, while growth is apparent in both channels, more parity in terms of spend exists than ever before.

What’s driving this parity? It’s simple. More retailers understand the value of a cohesive, full-funnel approach in both channels. Data insight showing success in one channel can inform tactics in the other and move customers down the funnel.

Filling the funnel on Google Ads will be mission critical for retailers in 2019 and beyond. Consider these five tips when optimizing your full-funnel approach on Google paid search and Google Shopping.

Filling the funnel on Google Ads will be mission critical for retailers in 2019 and beyond.

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of the 2019 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail. Read the complete report here.

Audit Your Attribution Approach

Shopping behavior is now a multichannel experience. No longer do customers shop solely online or in store. Rather, they use both at their convenience and create a personalized experience. See if your current attribution model shows performance views that match your customers’ journey.

If not, look at the channels you advertise on. How many touches occur before a sale? Is competition making your performance strategies less impactful? Answer these questions and decide if you need a new attribution approach.

Learn more about different attribution models and best practices in this Sidecar Point of View, Marketing Attribution Needs to Catch Up to Retail’s Omnichannel World.”

Determine Mobile’s Role in Your Marketing Strategy

More people are using their phones to shop. As a result, they expect fast and seamless shopping experiences. Make sure your 2019 playbook considers all the ways mobile shoppers engage with your business.

Use Test My Site to evaluate your mobile site speed. Your mobile site and app (if applicable) should be quick to load and easy to navigate. Optimizing for mobile can also better engage customers who use both desktop and mobile to shop. They may add products to their cart on mobile and finish the purchase on desktop, and vice versa.

Watch this webinar, “The Mobile Tipping Point: Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Mobile Google Ads,” to find out more about mobile performance and strategy in Google Ads.

Segment Campaigns and Ad Groups By Purchase Intent

Target upper funnel and lower funnel shoppers by digging into search query intent. For example, branded and long-term keywords often indicate high intent. Conversely, generic keywords often indicate users early in their shopping journey.

Segmenting campaigns and ad groups by purchase intent fills gaps in you marketing funnel. It ensures you hit shoppers at each stage of the shopping journey.

Learn more about segmenting by purchase intent in Google Shopping and paid search in our ebook, “3 Ways Retailers Can Amplify Revenue with Cohesive Search & Shopping Strategies.”

Determine If Automation Helps Reach Your Business Goals

Google automation promises a faster, simpler way for retailers to manage their campaigns on Google Ads. However, there are inherent risks involved that are easy to overlook. Automation tools like Target ROAS and Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) could have varying effects on your business strategy depending on your goals.

For example, Smart Campaigns don’t allow retail marketers to view Google’s set bids or targeted keywords. In turn, retailers struggle to gain performance insights from these campaigns. This forces them to build manual campaigns from scratch.

Learn about Google’s automation tools and services in our ongoing series, “Keeping Up with Google: A Sidecar Point of View.”

Hone Your Audience Strategy As the Omnichannel Experience Grows

Formats like Showcase ads and Local Inventory Ads can increase top-funnel exposure and support your omnichannel efforts. Determine what goals you want to achieve with these formats and what impact they’ll have on your business.

Use LIAs to advertise products that are in store but not available on your website. For example, an office supplies retailer may advertise commercial desks online that are only available in select stores. This directs shoppers to those stores and exposes them to other items for sale. As the omnichannel experience grows, leverage your brick-and-mortar locations to get in on the action.

Get more tips and tricks about Local Inventory Ads in this Discover article, “15 Ideas for Scaling Your Local Inventory Campaigns.”

Get More Google Ads Insight

Download the 2019 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail and get more advice to power your performance in Google Ads. Sidecar’s annual report examines the latest trends shaping the retail industry and what retailers can do to find the white space in 2019 and beyond.

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