Category : Google Adwords
10 simple strategies for reducing CAC for Google Ads campaigns
Is your business feeling the squeeze of the current economic climate? With costs rising across the board, profit margins are shrinking. The last thing you want to be doing is handing over a huge slice of what’s left to Google, especially when costs per click were going up long before everything else! In this article, we’ll look at ways of reducing CAC (customer acquisition cost) for Google Ads campaigns. We’ve got some simple strategies to help you preserve your margins or even improve them to drive growth for your business. What is Google Ads CAC? Let’s first set out what we mean by Google Ads CAC. Your customer acquisition cost is the amount it costs you to get a new customer from your Google Ads. Google Ads metrics like CPA (cost per action) and CPC (cost per conversion) factor in only your ad spend. Remember your CAC for Google Ads actually includes all the spend that goes into your ad campaigns, including design, copywriting, salaries, commissions, and admin. How to calculate Google Ads CAC Before starting to look at ways of reducing CAC for Google Ads campaigns, you first need to know your current CAC. This can be calculated by simply taking the total amount you spend on Google Ads in a particular period and dividing it by the number of new customers acquired via those ads. That gives you the average amount it costs to get a new customer from Google Ads. Keep in mind that it’s the total amount you spend on Google Ads, not your total Google Ads spend. Factor in the things we’ve mentioned above, like the time that’s spent on creating, maintaining and reporting on Google Ads. You’ll need to put monetary values on all of those things in order to accurately calculate your CAC. Strategies for reducing Google Ads customer acquisition costs Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies for reducing Google Ads CAC so you can lower the cost of bringing new customers to your business. 1. Ditch low-performing ads If your Google Ads campaigns are running profitably, it’s easy to bring some low-performing ads along for the ride inadvertently. Dig into the details of your campaigns to find out which ads are bringing in new customers most cost-effectively. Stop ads with high CAC and especially stop those that are not bringing in sales at all. Even for ads that are working well, use split-testing to improve performance. Test colors, copy, calls-to-action, and audience targeting — see what lowers CAC for your ads, then do more of it. 2. Ditch low-performing keywords It is a very simple point, but one worth reiterating: do your keywords actually match your ads? If not, this could be generating clicks on your ads that do not ultimately result in sales. Deadweight keywords that are not driving the right people to your website eat up your budget and inflate CAC. Google rewards ads that already have closely matched keywords with better placements and cheaper clicks, both of which will reduce CAC. So that’s definitely the way to go. To optimize your keywords: Choose keywords that are closely related to your ad intent Check the search terms tab in your Google Ads account every couple of weeks, adding low-performing terms to your negative keywords list and top-performing search terms to your campaign keywords list Monitor quality score, which is Google’s measure that your keywords match your landing page Use a manageable number of keywords (ideally less than 20) per ad group Don’t let Google Ads settings like broad match keywords undermine your good work 3. Delve into your CAC in Google Analytics Your Google Analytics data could contain the answer to lower Google Ads CAC. Take a look at conversions from your Google Ads campaigns and consider: Which days are best for conversions? What times are best for conversions? Where are new customers based? Which devices do new customers use? Maybe your Google Ads are most successful when targeting people in Belgium using desktop devices on Saturdays. Tailor your ad campaigns to reach the right audience at the right time to reduce CAC. McDonald’s Hong Kong is using this approach to increase app orders. Collecting real-time ecommerce data via Google Analytics 4, McDonald’s used predictive audiences to find the customers most likely to order again within seven days. These predictive audience segments were then exported directly to Google Ads. The resulting campaign increased conversions by 550% and decreased acquisition costs by 63%. [tip]Littledata's Google Ads to Google Analytics connection gives you accurate reporting for better CAC calculations and improved retargeting.[/tip] 4. Improve your tracking If you’re not able to get the sort of data we’ve just discussed from your Google Analytics, you might need to improve your tracking. This will ensure you can accurately determine: Which Google Ads campaign has driven a particular click What that potential customer did when they landed on your site Whether it converted into a sale 5. Tackle your hidden CAC We’ve already discussed how CAC goes beyond CPA, which is the tip of the iceberg. That figure is based on your ad spend — but what about the cost of time and resources managing your Google Ads campaigns? Using Juni’s Google Ads integration you’ll be able to reduce administrative costs with features like Google Ads automatic receipt generation, a centralized overview of your ad accounts in real-time in a single dashboard, and monthly invoices pulled automatically from your account. 6. Create and test landing pages It’s tempting to find an ad that converts, direct people to your homepage or a category page, and wait for the sales to come in. That’s great, but how much higher would your conversion rate be (and consequently how much lower would your customer acquisition cost be) if you created a custom landing page dedicated to the proposition of your ad? Once your landing pages are in place, you can run A/B tests to improve your conversion rate. Map software Radar created a suite of landing pages on which the copy was tailored to the intent of the ad that the potential customer had clicked. The result was a 50% increase in conversions and therefore a huge reduction in their Google Ads CAC. Create further savings by using: Sitelink extensions, which allow you to create links to multiple landing pages within a single ad Image extensions, which places a CTR-boosting image next to your ad Callout extensions, which enable you to add extra text to promote free shipping, discount, price matching and other benefits within your ad 7. Use remarketing Remarketing — the Google Ads version of retargeting — allows you to reach people who have already visited your website via Google’s display network. Warmer leads usually result in a higher conversion rate. That higher conversion rate should translate to a lower CAC on Google Ads. Fintech company IndiaLends used remarketing to reduce its customer acquisition costs by 53%. Just keep in mind that this approach still needs people to find their way to your website initially. 8. Use bidding strategies One way to make your ad budget go further and reduce acquisition costs is to use bidding strategies. There are a range of options for bidding strategies within Google Ads automated bidding. These include enhanced CPC, maximise conversions, maximise clicks, and target return on ad spend (ROAS). Any of these options may offer a route to lower CAC. For something that’s right on the money, experiment with target CPA, which essentially allows you to name the CAC you want to achieve. But remember, Google Ads is not one size fits all. Octopus Energy cut acquisition costs by 36% when it switched bidding strategy from target CPA to target ROAS. There are also third-party apps that will help you to implement bidding strategies. Cosmetics brand Charlotte Tilbury Beauty used Scibids and was able to cut its acquisition costs by 29%. 9. Test user-generated content User-generated content tends to perform better and costs less per click across all platforms. Run tests to see whether this applies to your Google Ads accounts. You could choose to use user-generated content from YouTube videos, customer reviews, Google Seller Ratings, or find another way of incorporating user-generated content within your ads. Danish ecommerce brand Cykelpartner reduced its acquisition costs by 11.14% — saving the business more than €40,000 per year on Google Ads in the process — by incorporating reviews within its ads. 10. Get cashback on your Google Ads spend A simple way to boost ROAS and reduce CAC is to get some of your Google Ads spend paid back to you. That’s exactly what Juni offers. When you pay with your Juni card, you’ll receive 2% cashback for your first 30 days, and up to 1% cashback thereafter. Excellent Sneakers gets more than £1,000 paid into its account every month as cashback on its ad spend. The result is that each click, conversion and customer acquisition costs less than would otherwise be the case. Start reducing your Google Ads CAC now As with any process for optimizing paid media, reducing CAC for Google Ads is going to involve some trial and error. Different brands, products, and audiences need different approaches. You can get to work immediately on some of these strategies and start to build up an idea of what works for you. For some quick wins: Study Google Analytics for useful conversion insights and update your campaigns accordingly Find underperforming ads, mismatched keywords, and other Google Ads basics that are pushing up CAC Create and test landing pages that are closely aligned with specific ad groups, keywords, or campaigns Start earning cashback on your Google Ads spend This is a guest post from Juni, the financial platform built for ecommerce that ties together physical and virtual cards, accounting, analytics and digital advertising platforms, giving businesses a holistic view of their finances. Get 2% cashback on your Google Ads spend for 30 days, and up to 1% cashback thereafter, when you get Juni.
The Shopify merchant's guide to Google dynamic remarketing ads
As a Shopify merchant, you probably use a number of marketing strategies to drive unique traffic to your store. With the help of SEO marketing, PPC ads, and even influencer advertising, you will notice a significant increase in traffic to your site. However, not all new visitors ensure a conversion (most don't), and not all Shopify marketing strategies are created equal. In fact, over 75% of all online businesses report that new visitors hardly convert or commit to making a purchase. If you're finding many of your shoppers stop midway through the purchase funnel (either after adding an item to cart or not purchasing after multiple store visits), thenGoogle dynamic remarketing ads sounds like the perfect solution for you. Campaigns from these types of ads result in increased sales and greater visibility among potential buyers. With the full guide below to creating dynamic remarketing ads that drive higher-quality traffic to your store, you'll give shoppers the extra push they need to convert. What are Google dynamic remarketing campaigns? Google’s dynamic remarketing campaigns are special Google Ads campaign types that target users who have already visited your Shopify store at least once. These campaigns are fully customizable; different ads can be used for different visitors based on their interaction with your store. As a concept, remarketing ads were born from the idea anyone who has visited your store or clicked on a product must be interested in a purchase. While this may seem like an assumption, the stats don't lie. The main job of remarketing campaigns is to follow up with visitors and remind them of their initial interest, which inducing them to make the purchase. For example, let's say you sell sports apparel on your Shopify store. A visitor on your site looks up a pair of Nike shoes, reads the product description, stays on the page for 45 seconds, and then exits the tab. With a Google dynamic remarketing campaign, you can send targeted ads for Nike shoes to that visitor based on the product page they visited. You can create these campaigns with multiple iterations as well. For instance, you can split your visitors into customizable audience lists and have Google send out custom ads based on the list they belong to. These lists include shoppers who visited your home page, product pages, added an item to cart, and more. Why Shopify merchants need Google dynamic remarketing campaigns There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. Here are a few of the best reasons for you to sue such a campaign using a Google ads dynamic remarketing guide. Reason 1: Encourage shoppers to return to their carts About 75% of shopping carts are abandoned without a completed checkout. This is where remarketing ads can make a difference. Most shoppers simply browse or add things to their cart for a purchase at a later date. You can create a campaign that targets such kinds of visitors and remind them of their interest which will nudge them into making a sale. If your store has a special offer, you can also add this to the ad which sweetens the deal for the customer. Reason 2: Personalized ads Recent studies by Accenture show that customers prefer personalized ads. Not surprisingly, the chances of a shopper making a purchase increase significantly following a "personalized" ad. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns are tailor-made for ads that feel personal and highly targeted. One way to do this is sending customized emails based on past shopping behavior on your site. This creates a personal connection with the customer and makes them feel like you care about their experience and patronage. Reason 3: Returning customers Returning customers tend to spend more money than any other type of shopper. A remarketing campaign wades through the sea of choices and reminds customers of their previous spending history. These types of targeted ads will boost your sales and create a stronger bond with your customers. Reason 4: Updating shoppers One of the top advantages of a remarketing campaign is showing new products to past (interested) visitors. For example, if you have recently expanded your product line to sell plus-size clothing for women, creating a campaign about this update will keep you relevant. A shopper who couldn’t find her right size (but liked the style of clothes at your store) has a better chance of returning to your store. You can also use the campaign to promote customer loyalty programs. Reason 5: Great ROI Blue Mist Marketing found remarketing campaigns cost 56% less than other types of marketing strategies. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns give you relevant data to show exactly how much you are profiting with respect to your time investment. Based on this data, you can create more effective marketing ads. How to create a dynamic remarketing campaign in Google Ads Even with minimal coding experience, dynamic remarketing is fairly easy to set up. Google automatically creates 5 different customer match lists based on the pages shoppers have visited on your store. These include: Converted customers Homepage viewers Product Page viewers Shopping cart abandoners Category Page viewers You can also customize these lists. However, if this is your first time using dynamic remarketing, we suggest you use Google’s list and make changes later. Creating a remarketing campaign is a simple 3-step process. For success, carry out the following steps in order: Make sure that your Google Merchant Account is linked with your Google Ads account Using the right tag, add the Google remarketing pixel to your online store Set up a bid after you have created your desired dynamic remarketing ads Step 1: Link your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant account 1. Go to the Google Merchant Center. Click on the three small dots in the top right-hand corner next to your icon. Click on Account Linking. 2. Add your Customer ID for Google Ads, and then click on ‘Send link request’. 3. Select the Settings to a cog in your Ads account, and click ‘Linked accounts’ from the drop-down menu 4. Select the Google Merchant option 5. You will see a request in your Google Merchant Center like the screenshot below: 6. Select ‘View request’, and click on ‘Approve’. It will say ‘Approved’. Your Google Merchant Center will be now linked with Google Ads. [note]If you want to audit your Google Merchant Center, check out the Google Merchant Center audit guide.[/note] Now that you've linked your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant Account. Let’s move on to Step 2. Step 2: Use the right tag & add the Google remarketing pixel to your Shopify store Go to ‘Shared Library’ in Ads, and select ‘Audiences’. Select website visitors and click on ‘Set up remarketing’. Check the “use dynamic search ads” box and select the type of business from the dropdown. Click on 'Set up remarketing'. Select ‘View Ads tag for websites’ and then add the code to have the remarketing pixel on your website. For Google to build the lists, you'll need to first identify your category pages, home page, checkout pages and product pages. Step 3: Create your dynamic remarketing ads Now that your Ads account is linked and you've added the Google remarketing pixel, the next step for you is to create your Dynamic Remarketing Ads: Use the Google Display Network to create a new campaign. Select the option that says ‘Take action on your website’. Name your campaign and fill the settings as you would do for a search campaign. Tick the box next to ‘Use dynamic ads’ to confirm that you want to use dynamic ads. Select the business area and the merchant feed you choose for your dynamic ads. Save the campaign, and create your first ad and relevant ad groups. How to create Google dynamic remarketing campaigns with AdNabu AdNabu dynamic remarketing app is a convenient app that helps Shopify merchants simplify process of creating customized and targeted remarketing ads. It takes out all the guesswork and offers full customer support while merchants install and run their ad campaigns. AdNabu automatically creates the remarketing tag on its own, saving you the effort of doing it yourself. It applies this tag to all of your site pages, scans each relevant visitor profile for matching campaigns and ensures audiences are properly created in Google Ads. Here is how to easily install the AdNabu dynamic remarketing app: Login in to the Shopify app store Use the search bar to find AdNabu Dynamic remarketing App Select the Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing App Select Add App Link your Google Ads account Login with your Gmail address linked with your Google Ads account Read the terms & conditions and allow permission Your Shopify store will show a success page. Google Dynamic Remarketing app is now live! Google Ads conversion tracking for Shopify success Remarketing ads are a great strategy for stores of all sizes. But if you can't track how ther ads are performing or converting, what's the point? Linking Google Ads with Google Analytics is the easiest and best way to track your campaigns to make adjustments and improvements over time. But only one tool connects them with 100% data accuracy. Littledata's smart connection for Google Ads automatically pulls your Shopify data into your Google Ads account, so you can retarget ecommerce segments and track your sales easily. To name a few, the connection: Increases your Google Ads ROI with Shopify data for smarter retargeting Get back visitors who abandoned cart Retarget your users who viewed product details but didn't buy Prevents you from wasting money acquiring visitors who have previously purchased Get consistent data across both platforms View Google Ads costs in Google Analytics Connect Littledata's Shopify app for accurate tracking of checkout steps [note]You can try Littledata free for 2 weeks and test out the connection for yourself![/note] Wrapping up Google dynamic remarketing campaigns have proven to be a cost-effective, sales-boosting marketing move. One of the biggest advantages of using these campaigns is the ability to capture returning shoppers. Without a loyal customer base, your store can't survive in a market where merchants live and die by churn. Capturing the attention of shoppers is vital tom Shopify success, and Google dynamic remarketing does just that! This is a guest post by AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for ecommerce companies. If you are running search, shopping or display campaigns in Google Ads, their software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial.
Can you trust Smart Goals in Google Analytics?
Recently, Smart Goals in Google Analytics have resurfaced as a helpful feature for ecommerce merchants, but particularly Shopify merchants. In a previous post, we outline what Smart Goals are and why some ecommerce businesses use them. However, a lack of trust (and lack of endorsement) with the Google Analytics feature has turned away ecommerce merchants, particularly Shopify merchants. Like we discussed in the previous post, Smart Goals is a goal-setting users can enable in Google Analytics. Unlike other goals, Smart Goals uses both behavioral data and contextual (shared) data to predict which of your web sessions will result in a conversion. The pitfall here is that the data is not your data, which would naturally be the best predictor of future conversions. Instead, Google's algorithm seeks highly-engaged visitors and then uses that data to conclude the likelihood a given web session ends with a conversion. Google puts it this way: To generate Smart Goals, we apply machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data. From this information, we can distill dozens of key factors that correlate with likelihood to convert: things like session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser. We can then apply these key factors to any website. The easiest way to think about Smart Goals is that they reflect your website visits that our model indicates are most likely to lead to conversions. Are Smart Goals a good idea? There's a big hitch in the original concept. Smart Goals was designed for merchants using Google Ads who don’t use conversion tracking. Smart Goals was to help optimise their Ads campaigns by collecting important metrics of user engagement. In theory, it sounds brilliant and helpful for ecommerce merchants and business owners of all scales. But here's how it breaks down in real life: Advertise, measure, repeat As a rule of thumb, ecommerce merchants with stores of all sizes should be measuring their advertising performance. Even if you're creating a "set it and forget it" Google Ads campaign, it's still crucial to track product views, page views, user engagements, cost per click, etc. If you're advertising your products without measuring, you're likely wasting your time and your budget. So how do you ensure you're making good use of ad dollars? Properly set up conversion tracking. Littledata's Google Ads connection is a great place to start. With the connection, you can be confident in your data reporting and that you're tracking the metrics that matter. [subscribe heading="Get Littledata's connection for Google Ads" background_color="grey" button_text="Get the connection" button_link=https://blog.littledata.io/2019/02/28/link-analytics-to-adwords-with-our-new-google-ads-connection/] With conversion tracking, you can follow a shopper's journey and see how many ad clicks lead to purchases, contacts, downloads, signups and more. This data will help you better optimise your campaigns and adjust the ad copy, visuals and calls-to-action to what performs best. Unfortunately, there are thousands of ecommerce merchants who advertise their products without proper conversion tracking. This sets them up for underperforming campaigns and stalls their online store from scaling. Can you really trust anonymous data? The short answer is a resounding no, and for a few reasons: Using other people's data to make crucial product and marketing decisions around your campaigns, your website and your customers isn't a good idea. Only your own customer behavior trends will guarantee you're making optimal business decisions for your product marketing campaigns and your online store. How does Google's algorithm determine likely conversions? If conversions aren't defined and conversion tracking isn't properly set up, how can likely conversions be determined? Google basically assigns each web session a score, with the top sessions made into Smart Goals. That begs the question, "what defines top sessions?" Google scans anonymous data (such as session duration, pages per session, location, device, and browser) to select the users that are "most engaged" in your online store. For example, let's say Shawna the Shopify merchant uses Google Analytics to track her product sales and other data. However, Shawna has never set up goals in GA. For someone like Shawna, Google would use engagement metrics in place of conversion metrics, since Shawna has no conversion tracking for her Shopify store. This isn't necessarily problematic. What is problematic is that other important metrics are left untracked. This includes: Average order value (AOV) Customer lifetime value (LTV) Cost of engaged users Sales increases Google Ads campaign optimzation If conversion tracking was set up (rather than Smart Goals), Shawna would easily be able to trace the online journeys and user engagements on her Shopify store. Littledata's Shopify connection with Google Analytics would also provide Shawna with curated reports and analytics to help make sense of her GA data stream. What's the verdict? While Google advocates for conversion tracking, there is a better way to track the metrics that support better decisions for your ecommerce business. When advertising, especially with Google Ads, it’s incredibly important to use your own data to make decisions for the positive growth of your campaigns. And to own your data, you need to trust it. Try Littledata's Google Analytics app free and see for yourself how even a few weeks of accurate data can enhance your decision-making (and boost your results) for ecommerce marketing and sales.
What are Smart Goals in Google Analytics?
In a nutshell, Smart Goals measure the most engaged visits to your website and automatically turn those visits into Goals, even if you don't have conversion tracking or ecommerce tracking. Those Goals are then used to improve your Google Ads bidding. Not only are Smart Goals one of our favorite features of Google Analytics, but also a helpful resource for ecommerce merchants of all sizes. [note]*updated* Can you even trust Smart Goals in Google Analytics?[/note] How do Smart Goals work? The Smart Goals feature in Google Analytics is the result of machine learning algorithms and configured at the view level. These algorithms scan dozens of signals within your website sessions to determine which signals are most likely to result in a conversion. Each session is assigned a score, with the "best" sessions being translated into Smart Goals. So what are these "signals"? Session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser type are among the most popular. To determine the best sessions, Smart Goals establishes a threshold by selecting approximately the top 5% of the traffic to your site coming from AdWords. Once that threshold is set, Smart Goals applies it to all your website sessions, including traffic from channels other than AdWords. After enabling Smart Goals in Analytics, they can be imported into AdWords. [tip]Try Littledata's Google Analytics app for free, where you can see your shopper behavior data directly in Google Ads.[/tip] What do I need before setting up Smart Goals? If you're an online store owner interested in using Smart Goals, you'll need to have an existing Google Ads account linked to Google Analytics. You'll also need edit permissions at the view level in order to complete the setup. [note]*updated* Can you even trust Smart Goals in Google Analytics?[/note] Before setting up Smart Goals, your linked Google Ads account must also have sent at least 500 clicks to the selected Analytics view over the past 30 days (if the linked account falls below 250 clicks over the past 30 days for the selected view, Smart Goals will be deactivated until the clicks rise again to 500 or more). Google Analytics recommends that Smart Goals be used when you aren't measuring conversions. In other words, they're an easy way to use your best sessions as conversions. You can then use Smart Goals to optimise your Google Ads performance based on the best sessions pattern. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 14 days" button_text="Start your free trial" button_link="https://littledata.io/app/get-free-trial"] How to set up Smart Goals If your user permissions are eligible, you can enable Smart Goals by selecting the goal type when following the regular goal setup flow: Sign in to Google Analytics. Click Admin, and navigate to the desired view. In the view column, click Goals. Click + New Goal. Select Smart Goal (if available). Give your Smart Goal a name and click Save. No additional configuration or customization is required (they're called "Smart" for a reason!) How to import Smart Goals into Google Ads After you've activated Smart Goals in Google Analytics, sign in to your Google Ads account, click the Tools tab, and select Conversions. Click Analytics in the left-hand menu. Check the boxes next to the goals or transactions you want to import. Click Continue. On the next page, you'll see settings that will apply to all of the goals or transactions you selected. Make your choices, then click Import goals. Click Close, or to import more goals, click Import more. Google Ads will begin importing the data from your Analytics account. Historical data prior to your import will not be included. Your Smart Goals report To see exactly how Smart Goals perform, use the Conversions > Goals > Smart Goals report. This report shows how Smart Goals traffic differs from other traffic to your website. You can also include the Smart Goals Completed dimension in custom reports. The Smart Goals report also shows how Smart Goals would perform even before enabling them in your view. This helps you determine if Smart Goals will be a useful feature for your ecommerce business. Interested in getting help with any of these features? Littledata's enterprise plans include complete support, a dedicated account manager, data analytics experts and ecommerce Google Analytics consulting. We covered what Smart Goals are, but are they actually beneficial? Next, we cover the why (or why not) behind Smart Goals.
Link Analytics to AdWords with our new Google Ads connection
To target -- and retarget -- the right shoppers, ecommerce sites need to connect customer behaviour and ecommerce data from Google Analytics with their Google Ads (AdWords) accounts. But until now that was a complicated process, to say the least. Marketers have spent years going through detailed setup steps to connect the platforms, or wading through spreadsheets with manual imports and exports, building custom audiences and segments. It was an ongoing headache, but they did it because connecting shopping behaviour data with AdWords campaigns gets big results. Now there's a better way. Littledata's new Google Ads connection makes it easy to link Analytics to AdWords. Ecommerce sites are using the connection for smarter targeting that increases online sales and customer LTV. Why should you link Analytics to AdWords? In past posts we've highlighted the benefits of linking Analytics with AdWords for a mutually beneficial relationship. Littledata's new connection automates the process to ensure accurate tracking and more targeted campaigns. Benefits include: Online sales data in AdWords reports, and visa versa. Add sales columns to reports in Google Ads and view Google Ads costs in Google Analytics. Abandoned cart campaigns. Get higher ROI with targeted PPC campaigns based on shopping cart activity. Ecommerce hyper-segmentation, especially for Shopify stores and enterprise clients. Since Littledata fixes ecommerce tracking across the checkout flow, the Google Ads connection is especially powerful for marketers looking to retarget with granular user behaviour data, such as product list views, product detail pages and adds-to-cart. Multiple accounts. Multiple views. Our Google Ads connections lets you link multiple AdWords accounts to multiple Google Analytics views. It's that simple. Wait, do you mean Ads or AdWords? Have you heard the news? Google AdWords is now Google Ads. Google pitched the switch to Ads as a large-scale rebrand for simplicity, but it's clearly targeted in part at bumping up competition against other 'ads' in common parlance: Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Twitter Ads, with Reddit Ads quickly gaining pace among SaaS companies in particular. We still talk about AdWords a bit on the blog (as does the rest of the internet, such as Search Engine Land), but soon we'll all have to adapt to the change. So we're calling this new connection a Google Ads connection, but we don't expect marketers to stop chatting about AdWords any time soon. How does it work? After you sign up for Littledata, you can connect Analytics to AdWords from the Connections tab in the Littledata app. Just follow a couple of setup steps and the app makes the connection for you. No more manual connections. Plus, we audit your analytics setup continually to ensure consistent ecommerce tracking, campaign tagging and UTM parameters. So what are you waiting for? Those products aren't going to retarget themselves... And don't forget to try our Facebook Ads connection to complete your marketing analytics stack. It's an easy way to link Facebook Ads to Google Analytics. All paid plans in the Littledata app include a variety of Google Analytics connections for Shopify, Shopify Plus, ReCharge, Refersion, CartHook and more. PS. The next iteration of our Google Ads connection will provide automation for retargeting using ecommerce segments. Sign up for Littledata today so you're first in line!
Why you should link Google Ads to Google Analytics
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) and Google Analytics have constantly proved their worth as valuable tools for ecommerce marketers to get insights and detailed reporting on advertising ROI. But why should you link Google Ads and Google Analytics together? What does it mean to connect them? Our enterprise ecommerce customers in particular have seen a major benefit of linking Analytics with Ads. Those who linked these two platforms have seen a significant improvement in reporting and it made it much easier to retarget ads to clients that have forgotten or abandoned their services but shown intent to purchase a particular product or type of product. Why connect Google Ads to Google Analytics? Is it really necessary to connect Google Ads linked with Analytics? Let's get down to basics. In the Ads platform you can’t see what your users do after they click on your ads or if said ads led to a sale, you can’t see their path on your website, so you are basically losing the big picture of your customer’s behaviour after they see the ad. In short, without connecting the two technologies together, your shopping funnel is incomplete. You can't see Google Ads performance compared with other marketing channels, or how those Ads actually contribute to revenue. Both Google tools have their individual strengths but you can see their real power once you have linked both of them. If you are already using both Analytics and Google Ads but haven’t linked them yet, then you are missing a lot of valuable information about how to connect marketing with revenue -- and where to optimise. [subscribe button_text="Free Google Analytics Connection"] With the two platforms tied together, they will be able to communicate much more efficiently and provide more granular data in your reporting. Google Analytics has a dedicated section within the Acquisition reports solely detailing Google Ads performance which you cannot obtain unless you have linked your Google Ads and Analytics accounts and are using auto-tagging in Google Ads. These reports share some common information with the types of data that can be found in Google Ads, but here you are able to combine and link the Google Ads data with all the data available in Analytics to find more meaningful insights and potentially make better decisions. Moreover, you can leverage these insights into a number of different goals that you wouldn’t be able to easily see in Google Ads. Surprisingly though, a full connection doesn’t happen automatically. Yes, they are both Google products, but you need to do some work to connect the platforms and then take action based on that data. Google's thoughts on connecting Google Ads with Google Analytics This quick video highlights the benefits of linking the two platforms together (whether you call them Ads or AdWords is up to you...marketers are still a bit confused by Google's rebrand). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EmXFM1_xEo Top four benefits of linking Google Ads with Google Analytics for ecommerce 1. Retarget based on checkout steps in ecommerce The most effective way to grab these customers is to target them based on where they dropped off. Luckily, Google lets you do exactly that: with the right analytics, you can set up retargeting campaigns based on checkout behaviour. We highlighted this in a more comprehensive blog post on how you can improve Google Ads retargeting by analyzing the customer behavior during checkout. Our customers have been applying those tips and seeing results in less than a week. Learn more about how to improve AdWords retargeting using ecommerce checkout steps. 2. Retarget based on users who reach a Google Analytics goal You can set up a simple or complex goal and then target that audience with the right messaging. For example, even a newsletter subscription can lead to a goal completion. That user showed interest in your product and with a bit of persuasion and smart ad targeting, you’ll most likely succeed in transforming that lead into a buying customer. PRO TIP: Watch our video on troubleshooting your Google Analytics goals setup if you're having issues with goals. 3. Block advertising to people who have previously purchased An effective retargeting audience setting is crucial. There is no need to spend money on retargeting ads for people who will not be convinced to buy by them. If someone has already purchased a product from your online store, then the chance of them buying the same product in the next few days is very low. If you don’t set an effective retargeting audience, you are more likely to spend way more money for with no result. The solution is to exclude people who recently bought your products from retargeting for a certain period, and you’ll be able to retarget them again after a certain time frame. That means that if John from California just bought a shirt from my website, I will not retarget him for the next month; he will not see any ads of the shirt appearing on his browser for that period. [subscribe "button_text="Free Google Analytics Connection"] If you want to see the best result of with your retargeting campaign then keep this in the back of your mind when making campaign planning. You will be left with more budget to spend on retargeting ads that are actually effective and most important of all, a happier audience. 4. Send different adverts to different segments of customer lifetime value (LTV) Our biggest customer segment right now is automated analytics for ecommerce subscription businesses. It should come as no surprise that subscription ecommerce merchants get a special benefit from linking Ads with Analytics. Littledata's ReCharge connection enables you to see customer lifetime value and create different audiences based on a customer’s last purchase or the number of orders placed. By this segmentation of audience you can customise your PPC ads and reach the right people who are already loyal to your brand and know your products. Your ROAS will be amazing and you won’t have to make huge efforts to get major results. Questions? The benefits above speak for themselves, so what are you waiting for? Especially if you run an ecommerce site, the time to connect is now :) If you’re trying to connect Google Analytics with Google Ads for an ecommerce site, it should go smoothly. But sometimes an account manager can help with custom setup and reporting, or simply check to make sure you’re tracking things correctly. Littledata’s pricing options include various levels of support to fit every business size and goals for growth. Check out our free guide on how to connect your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts.
How to improve Google Ads retargeting using ecommerce checkout steps
In the ecommerce world, one of the smartest ways to improve ROI for marketing campaigns is to retarget customers who visited your website in the first place. These visitors are already in the market for the types of products that you sell, but how do you pull them back if they've dropped out of the checkout process? The most effective way to grab these customers is to target them based on where they dropped off. Luckily, Google lets you do exactly that: with the right analytics, you can set up retargeting campaigns based on checkout behaviour. At Littledata, we've helped online stores in over 50 countries improve marketing ROI using ecommerce tracking. In this post, let's look at three simple steps you can take to improve your AdWords retargeting (now Google Ads retargeting) based on ecommerce checkout behaviour. 1. Set up accurate product tracking for your store Enhance Ecommerce tracking has been available from Google Analytics for a few years now. If you're already using this Google Analytics feature, good for you! Having product data means you can take advantage of this and create Audiences that then can be shared with Google Ads (and other platforms). In order to improve Google Ads retargeting using checkout steps, you must have checkout tracking and Enhanced Ecommerce enabled in Google Analytics. Once it's enabled, you can follow this checklist to set up accurate product tracking to be used for Audiences in Google Ads: Check out this resource (or share it with your lead developer): Google's Guide to Measuring a Checkout. Repeat after me: "the fields must by dynamically populated!" This is important! Clarify where the checkout process starts and ends on your website (and again, if your developer is handling the setup make sure they're clear about each stage in your checkout funnel, including where the process starts and stops). Set up checkout tracking based on that process. Now, add account to Google Analytics. Once this data is successfully coming into GA, you're ready to create Audiences. Next, you can track the audience from AdWords and share each audience accordingly within Google Ads. At this point, it's important to mention that there are a lot of elements to Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and each part needs to be set up separately. For example, you will not automatically track product categories, listings and details. If you're not sure how to implement the full extent of Enhanced Ecommerce, we're here to help. If you're using the Shopify platform, you're in luck — our Shopify reporting app's audit feature checks for accurate product and checkout-step tracking, and automatically assists with setting these up for you. The app works directly with the Google Analytics setup for your Shopify store, so you don't have to deal with Shopify's native reporting (which doesn't let you see how users are progressing through the checkout process). 2. Analyse customer behaviour, including checkout steps Shopping cart abandonment is the most frequent complaint we hear from ecommerce marketers. Why does someone add products to their shopping cart and then just abandon it completely? This isn't common in brick-and-mortar stores, so why does it happen so often online? Remember that online shoppers don't want to leave those things behind. They were attracted to those products and have expressed the desire to buy. But with a bad checkout flow, too much information or too little, they'll fly away and leave behind only unloved products with high shipping costs or under-promoted benefits. One of the best Enhanced Ecommerce use cases is the Checkout Behaviour report. This is essentially a Shopping Cart Abandonment report, showing weaknesses in your checkout process and where to invest your time and money to convince users that have added-to-cart to go ahead and complete a purchase. Why is this important and relevant to Google Ads? Well, everything in marketing is about perspective. The above report doesn't only show you where you could improve your checkout flow, but also where you've lost customers. 'Lost' is the keyword here. If you're losing a significant percentage of customers at the shipping stage of your checkout process, this is an opportunity to improve — and to market those improvements using Google Ads. For example, you might look at that report and ask yourself: Are you charging customers too much for shipping? You can't really change that cost for all carts (we know that shipping costs are significant), but you could, for example, offer free shipping to shoppers with items in their cart over some profitability margin. Retargeting those users in Google Ads is an effective way to show them that you're ready to reward them for making large purchases from your online store. Are you limiting yourself to too few territories? Put your analysts to work to find out where customers that leave the purchase flow want their goods to be delivered. Can you extend your logistical capabilities, or do you have a brick-and-mortar store nearby where you can direct these shoppers? Use Google Ads retargeting to let them know. Of course, Google Analytics' native reports aren't for everyone. If you find them confusing or haven't worked extensively with Enhanced Ecommerce data, check out Littledata's report packs. These automated reports are an easy but comprehensive way to read and interpret ecommerce data without any hassle. For the purposes of tracking checkout steps to improve retargeting, I'd recommend our Ecommerce behaviour pack, which includes reports on shopping behaviour by marketing channel and checkout steps. [subscribe] 3. Set up retargeting campaigns based on that data How do you retarget users in Google Ads based on Google Analytics data? Fear not, brave colleagues! If you've made it to this step, you shouldn't have any trouble creating powerful retargeting campaigns. First, you'll need to create a new Audience. In your Google Analytics Admin, find Audience Definitions in the middle of the screen near the bottom. Click on New Audience. Click on Create New and on this screen go to Conditions and Filter Users to Include the steps you want to target with this Audience. Set the Shopping Stage to contain (equal) 'Checkout_Abandonment' or 'Checkout_1', 'Checkout_2', etc. - wherever your customers have been falling off and leaving a basket full of goodies without completing the purchase. (Note that this field is auto-completed, so give GA a second after you start typing to show the options here.) You'll then need to set a time period. Think about your specific business and how far back you want to go with the search. Once you're happy with your selection, pick which Google Ads account you'll want to link to this new Audience. That's it! You're now ready to run PPC promotions to a buy-ready audience that would otherwise have disappeared. I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide. Please drop me a line below and let me know how you use checkout steps in relation to Google Ads. I always love to hear how other specialists in the field combine platforms to create perfect marketing. PRO TIP: If you're in a country with Google Merchant available, you can benefit from dynamic remarketing. This does take some extra setup on the product level, so let us know if you have specific questions. (And stay tuned - we're planning some Google Merchant Center-related posts for the near future.)
Our top 5 posts from 2018
Happy new year! With a lot of big things on the way for Littledata this year, including new Connections to automate analytics for an even wider range of popular ecommerce apps and platforms, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the posts you found most useful with our current feature set. Last year we reviewed our top posts from 2017 and found that the focus -- not surprisingly -- was on Shopify and Google Analytics. This time around, our most-read and most-shared posts have really honed in on individual features and connections, especially for larger stores using one of our enterprise plans for full account management and unlimited automation. Interestingly, 4 out of the 5 top posts have a title in the form of a question. Perhaps a sign of 'plugged-in' (ie distracted) readers looking for a sense of engagement? 1. What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads? For the past decade Facebook’s revenue growth has been relentless, driven by a switch from TV advertising and online banners to a platform seen as more targetable and measurable. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? 2. Why don't my transactions in Google Analytics match those in Shopify? If we had a nickel for every time we hear this question! In this popular post, our partner manager breaks down common reasons for ecommerce data inaccuracy between Shopify and GA, and takes a look at how to fix those issues automatically. Find out the top 6 reasons for inaccuracy, including some orders never being recorded in Google Analytics! 3. New help center articles on Shopify tracking and ReCharge integration With detailed new articles on Shopify tracking and how our ReCharge integration works, the new Littledata Help Center quickly became a go-to resource for current customers and ecommerce managers this past year. Even before they become customers, many ecommerce industry folks are using the help center to get a clearer view of how to use Google Analytics effectively. We're happy to help! 4. Are you looking at the wrong Black Friday metrics? Paying attention to the right ecommerce metrics can help you establish the best customer base and shopping experience for long-term growth. But many retailers still focus only on the most popular metrics — especially during the online shopping craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (#BFCM). Over the next few weeks ecommerce managers will be obsessing over data, but which stats are the most important? Two popular metrics — ecommerce conversion rate and average time on site — may be misleading, so in this post our CEO recommends looking instead at longer-term benchmarks. 5. Average order value benchmarks 2018: how do you compare? Increasing average order value usually has a dramatic impact on profits and ROI from marketing spend. It is also a gift that keeps on giving, as optimisation in this area is something that can deliver ongoing results over the long term. The holiday shopping period in 2018 had us obsessed with one of our favourite ecommerce metrics: average order value (AOV). How does your site compare? This popular post includes a new infographic that breaks down the stats, using our set of private benchmark data about the ecommerce industry.
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