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2 AdWords Segmentation Tactics Every Retailer Needs to Know For Google Shopping

By Anthony Capetola on June, 13 2017

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Anthony Capetola

Tony is the Marketing Manager at Sales & Orders heading up our inbound marketing and advertising team. His latest adventure, though? Being a dad!

Retailers and marketers to take full advantage of segmentation and, over the years, we have seen the monumental impact that proper segmentation can have on Google Shopping performance and subsequent remarketing efforts through Dynamic Remarketing and RLSA.

To achieve greater success in not only Google Shopping and Remarketing but in AdWords in general, retailers must adopt and optimize key segmentation tactics, much of which can be handled directly in the AdWords interface itself.

We’re going over our choices for the top Segmentation tactics which every marketer must use and every retailer needs to know (and should be using) when working in AdWords.

First, what is Segmentation?

Segmentation is the process of separating one’s customer base into groups (known as segments) based on the unique traits they share such as purchase behavior or demographics. Customers in each segment share similar qualities and may be more receptive to certain marketing messages versus others.

Segmented marketing can be applied to just about any campaign or ad type within AdWords including Search, Display, Shopping and Remarketing.

Second, why do I need Segmentation?

Segmentation, especially in AdWords, goes far beyond the basics of “building more unique or targeted marketing messages” for your customers.

It adds to the overall control factor you may have over your advertising costs and can greatly impact your analyses of both ongoing and comparison growth.

For example:

  • RLSA Segmentation: Since not necessarily bound by GDN (Google Display Network) targeting, RLSA opens up a world of opportunity for building unique segments. This goes especially for online retailers already using Google Shopping. Using RLSA one can differentiate bidding tactics for “Cart Abandoners” and “All Visitors.” Additionally, RLSA’s connection to Google Analytics allows one to build more unique segments versus when solely relying on AdWords-built remarketing audiences.

In this case (with RLSA) you can control advertising costs based on the estimated intent of certain consumer segments. Additionally, you can analyze which segments perform better based on how much higher or lower you adjust bids utilizing bid modifiers.

Remarketing, however, can be a more unique case for online retailers. Tailoring your messaging goes out with window in AdWords because retargeted Shopping ads are simply based on what the visitor had previously viewed (or purchased) on one’s E-Commerce website.

With that being said: RLSA is the first stop in our “countdown.

RLSA – Some Key Audiences

Wait! What did we say? “2 Segmentation Tactics?”

Well, we are throwing you some freebies with a list of some of the best RLSA audiences you should be using as a retailer and especially if you are managing your own Google Shopping campaigns.

Note that you can add RLSA to either Campaigns or Ad Groups. For a broad, “cast a wide net” approach stick to adding audience segments at the campaign level. It’s a lot easier to manage campaign audience segments especially for do-it-yourselfers.

If you’d like to get a bit more granular then consider Ad Group audiences. It is imperative that you know what’s going on in those ad groups though such as which products live within them. Ad Group audience segments are best utilized in situations where ad groups are custom-built per certain criteria.

As of this year you can also tap into Similar Audiences for Google Shopping. Based on whatever pre-existing Remarketing audiences that exist in your account, AdWords will automatically build “like audience segments.” It can be a great way to extend your RLSA reach to additional consumers which may exist outside of the cookies collected by installed remarketing tags.

This can include ad groups built on specific feed attributes such as Product Type or Custom Labels 0-4.

rlsa-audiences-google-shopping-1.png

  • All Visitors: Virtually a no brainer and one of the easiest to set up. The ‘All Visitors’ Remarketing segment is built by AdWords based on user browser cookies captured by an implemented Remarketing Code. We would recommend a nominal increase bid modifier for a campaign level ‘All Visitors’ audience such as 50%.
  • High Bounce: Typically, E-Commerce bounce rates tend to be a bit higher than in the service-based industry, but that is simply due to the nature of E-Commerce. Visitors bounce faster because they arrive, purchase, and leave. The ‘High Bounce’ audience can only be built using Google Analytics. Our team generally sets this to a Bounce Rate > (Greater Than) 80. The ‘High Bounce’ segment can be considered a group with lower purchase intent. Due to that, it is recommended that you set a higher base decrease bid modification such as -80% or -90%.
  • View Cart: Another Analytics-based audience, this segment is built by setting a custom value for users who visited the “My Cart” page (the naming is just an example). Not to be mistaken with Abandoned Cart, View Cart generally means they visited the cart page but not the checkout page. Among those with the probability for “high purchase intent” you should consider adding higher increase bid modifier. Due to the already-low general average CPC for Shopping ads and RLSA audiences, you can go big here with over 200%.
  • Abandoned Cart: Once again, you’ll need Google Analytics for this. Oddly enough this often has little to do with the Cart itself. Cart Abandoners usually hit the Checkout page but don’t finish an order so you would set that as the criteria for this audience. As part of the higher intent audience segments you should set an increase bid modification very similar to the ‘View Cart’ audience.

RLSA is a crucial part of any Google Shopping strategy. When done properly it can have an incredible impact on conversions and drastically improve customer acquisition costs.

In a recent study we discovered that click through rates for RLSA audiences alone were 5 times greater than the industry average for most other campaign types in AdWords.

Google Shopping – Custom Ad Scheduling with Segments

Literal AdWords ‘Segments’ are accessible right from the interface and make for an excellent resource in determining and configuring custom ad scheduling (also known as “day-parting”) for one’s Google Shopping campaigns.

Additionally, Time Segments can be extremely helpful when analyzing benchmark comparisons for month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, and even year-over-year.

Simply add the header columns for data points and KPIs most important to your analyses, apply date range comparisons in the upper right corner of the interface, and sort your columns as you see fit to compare/contrast.

segments-adwords-time.png

When it comes to working towards reducing costly, wasted ad spend (and when you feel you may have exhausted all other efforts to do so for your Shopping campaigns) then consider learning about your prime times for conversions and ad activity.

By adding segmented rows in AdWords for ‘Hour of day’ it can be a lot easier to spot trends in performance for when shoppers are and are not actually converting

Bid modifications can be appended to any form of day-parting whether it be by actual day or actual hour.

This can be especially helpful for the SMB space where businesses close for the weekends. Turning off or drastically bidding down at those times can reduce ad spend when orders cannot be fulfilled anyway.

Once you’ve collected the insight you need from Time Segments:

  • Click into the ‘Settings’ for any Campaign (or Ad Group as well)
  • Click on ‘Ad schedule’
  • Click on the red ‘+AD SCHEDULE’ button
  • Utilize the data you have just unearthed to customize when your Shopping ads do and don’t display to searchers

ad-schedule-adwords.png

Of the many ways to optimize Google Shopping campaigns, custom ad scheduling is one of more often overlooked options, especially for those just starting out or less familiar with AdWords best practices.

The key is to tip the scales in your favor and eliminate as much waste so that you can reallocate vital advertising dollars towards other efforts such as Dynamic Remarketing, RLSA, or reinvest that “extra cash” right back in your Shopping campaigns.

Final Words

Segmenting one’s audience/customers should be an absolute no-brainer for retailers in this day of “digital-first” marketing.

More importantly, however, you cannot be closed-minded about segmentation. It’s not all about optimizing AdWords campaigns like Google Shopping.

Segmentation can be applied to just about any digital effort, including Email Marketing and Social Outreach.

Although we have covered some of the basics here, there is still so much left to apply Segmentation to such as in the Google Display Network or even YouTube advertising via TrueView and TrueView for Shopping.

Through the use of proper Segmentation, you can build more refined targeting and deliver even more personalized messaging in your advertising.

Even more so, segmentation can help to improve a number of your ad metrics including conversions while also being able to contribute to both lower click costs and overall wasted ad spend reduction.

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