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Hello, Efficient Google Shopping Campaigns! Thanks to New Search Query Management Technology

Dave LeDonne

You only have so much money you can spend on Google Shopping. You’re always aiming to make your budget work as hard as possible to hit your cost/sale or ROAS goal, right?

That’s not always easy. Sometimes it feels like a cat and mouse game to get every product bid in the right place at the right time to maximize your return.

We’ve been thinking a lot about how we can innovate our technology to build on the cost/sale and ROAS improvements (efficiency) it already drives for retailers’ Google Shopping campaigns. And our thoughts have centered on leveraging a particular aspect of AdWords: search queries.

Yep, that big data set that most e-commerce marketers ignore when they manage Google Shopping.

The outcome of all this thinking? We added a brand-new capability to Sidecar’s technology: Search Query Management, which measurably improves the efficiency of Google Shopping campaigns.

How Sidecar’s Search Query Management Technology Works

You might remember one of our blog posts from last week where we talked about the difference between analyzing the metrics attached to an individual search query, versus the metrics attached to the words within a query.

The performance of one query (among the hundreds, thousands, or more) in your Google Shopping account is a statistically insignificant amount of information from which to create any kind of optimization strategy. But you can gain statistically significant data by aggregating the performance of many similar queries according to the words they contain.

The technology creates the right campaigns and sets the appropriate bids according to which words consumers use in their queries to find your products. It takes full advantage of high-value queries while paying less for low-value queries.

Sidecar’s Search Query Management (SQM) capability aggregates the performance of individual words in Google Shopping search query reports, evaluating metrics such as clicks, orders, AOV, and cost/sale. It understands which words, and by extension, which queries, have higher value to your business and which ones have lower value to your business.

The technology creates the right campaigns and sets the appropriate bids according to which words consumers use in their queries to find your products. It takes full advantage of high-value queries while paying less for low-value queries.

As always, Sidecar re-evaluates the data every day, and adjusts campaigns and bids when the data indicates a change should be made to maximize efficiency.

Search Query Management in Action

Search queries tell you about a consumer’s intent to purchase your product. Compare a search for “dress shoes” to “womens black Cole Haan suede heels size 8.” The first query is more generic, indicating the searcher is probably earlier in the buying cycle. The second query has many details, indicating that the searcher knows what she wants and is further along in the buying cycle.

Whatever your business, you’d probably agree that you’d want your ads to appear for both general and specific queries about your products, because all those queries are all valuable to you. But you’re willing to pay different amounts for each query.

That’s where SQM comes in. The technology calculates the value of a search query at the individual word level. It sets the right product bid when consumers include a particular word in their searches for your products, allocating spend appropriately.

The Impact

There are a few big Google Shopping challenges that Sidecar’s SQM technology can address.

1. Remove the Negative in Negative Keywords

Part of the genesis of SQM is to overcome issues with negative keywords. Although they are a way to prevent your products from showing for irrelevant queries, negative keywords can cause you to forfeit search traffic that could convert.

Say you sell parts for road bikes. You might negative out “mountain bike.” But a consumer searching for a mountain bike tire might also have a road bike and be interested in upgraded tires for it. Negative keywords, though, take you out of the running to win that consumer because your brand will not display when she searches anything including “mountain bike.”

By contrast, Sidecar evolves your campaigns well beyond negative keywords. Sidecar influences when your products show for certain search queries—and provides the bid to match consumer intent every time

2. Improve the Efficiency of Google Shopping Campaigns

I mentioned before how our SQM technology takes advantage of high-value queries while paying less for low-value queries. That translates to improved efficiency at the same amount of revenue.

Sidecar analysis has also shown that when its SQM technology was applied to a top-500 retailer’s Google Shopping account, cost/sale decreased by 12% month-over-month while revenue remained steady. In addition, the higher value queries generated two-thirds of total Google Shopping revenue.

3. Get Ahead of Search Behavior

Let’s face it—it’s hard to get ahead of consumers’ search behavior. Search queries are user generated content, and that content changes regularly. Who knows what consumers are going to search this month to find your product versus next month.

Because Sidecar determines how to value the words within queries—and because it is constantly re-evaluating every word’s value—it knows how to allocate spend to new, incoming search queries. This approach provides the scale required to evaluate queries that consumers conjure now and into the future.

So those search queries you’ve probably ignored? That constant pressure you’re under to hit your ROAS or cost/sale goal in Google Shopping? Sidecar now helps you capitalize on search queries and turn them into a data-driven way to improve campaign efficiency.

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