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Kirk Williams
Performance Max

Presentation Release: Level Up Your Google PMax Campaigns in 70 Minutes - Google Ads Training Video

Presentation Release: Level Up Your Google PMax Campaigns in 70 Minutes - Google Ads Training Video

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

In this video, you'll see Kirk discuss:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:17 What is Google Shopping? (Brief Recap)
  • 6:19 What is Performance Max?
  • 17:35 How does PMax work with Search and Shopping Campaigns?
  • 24:58 How Should You Segment Your PMax Campaigns?
  • 38:35 General PMax Tips That Are Helpful to Know
  • 48:03 Practical Shopping Feed Tips
  • 56:07 Optimizing Product Titles & Descriptions
  • 59:18 Optimizing Product Types
  • 1:01:16 Using (and Troubleshooting) Sale Prices in your Shopping Feed
  • 1:05:11 Conversion Code Issues to Avoid
  • 1:08:37 Using Data Exclusions to Remove Bad Data from Google Algorithms
  • 1:09:26 Conclusion

I'm excited to share with you a detailed session I gave recently in Salt Lake City for the EcommerceFuel online community (if you haven't heard of them, it's an amazing community of 7-9 figure brand operators. If that's you, I'd definitely check them out! Lots of valuable advice shared in the forums).

I wanted to share it with the broader world as well, so you could enjoy seeing some of the things we've spent the last few years learning about Google PMax campaigns here at ZATO. As usual, please let me know if you have any questions on Twitter or LinkedIn. Make sure to stay subscribed so you can get more helpful content like this on all things Google Ads!

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Video Transcript:

All right, I'm excited to share this presentation with you. So we're gonna talk about leveling up your Google PMax campaigns in 60 Minutes today. So I originally had actually mastering PMax and I thought, well, I don't think it's fair to promise that you can master anything in 60 minutes, but I do think we can certainly learn a bunch about PMax, Performance Max and Google Ads as well as the shopping feed so that we can actually really help level up your accounts a bit. I will warn you, this is gonna be a fairly, I almost will use the term random tidbits of information about shopping ads, PMax, as well as the feed. And it's going to be a ton, it's gonna be a lot of stuff thrown at you in 60 minutes, but hey, it's recorded, so that's real nice because you can actually go back and listen to some of those parts and think through that.

Also just as a note, so I'm, I'm PPCKirk really on all the places except TikTok. I tried that for a little bit, just couldn't keep up with it. But hey, I'm on Twitter a lot. And then LinkedIn as well. If you ever have any questions about this talk or other things too, definitely reach out and, you know, I can hopefully hop in and help think through some things with you. Let's start with a recap. I think that's a great place to start in this sort of thing because in order to know how to do something like PMax better, we actually need to know the foundations of where it came from because that's gonna set us up to make better changes.

So we won't spend a lot of time on this 'cause like, history's boring for a lot of people, right? It doesn't always have to be boring. If you've had a good history teacher, like, you know, it's actually kind of interesting, but brief history and then let's move into some of those practical tips. But, remember Google Shopping, like what is Google Shopping? 'Cause PMax is based primarily around Google Shopping with other things layered in as well. Shopping ads Google Shopping is really this phenomenal ad type and that's because it gives information that you are interested in seeing more than just text information. It gives visual information, it gives the price. It's kind of like the information that a consumer would need in order to make a good purchase decision that's in a shopping ad. So that's one of the reasons why they've really kind of exploded in popularity, at least over the time that I've been managing Google Ads.

And that's because like they actually give you important information. Now, shopping ads primarily has been different than search ads within Google Ads because targeting is not based on like keyword or even primarily audiences, although you can layer in audiences, but primarily targeting in shopping ads is feed-based and that's how PMax is as well. And it's very important in PMax because with Performance Max you actually have fewer things, fewer things that you the human can actually adjust in order to help optimize the machine learning, right? The feed is one of those things.

So if you think of a product feed, just think it like a big spreadsheet and it's just each row is a unique product. And then the column are the different attributes, the different columns. And all you're doing is you're giving Google as much information as Google needs for that product in order for Google to tie that specific product up to the right people searching or the right audience is. And so that's where the feed is incredibly important. Shopping ads is based around the feed. Now standard shopping is kind of where all this began. Standard shopping. And I will note since we are in a bit of a new phase of Google Ads with PMax dominating really. Standard shopping can still work. So I still think it's, it's good to be aware of how those standard shopping campaigns work. Remember that standard shopping, unlike PMax, is primarily just focused on shopping ads within search engine result pages. And that's where some people, especially when they have real specific targeted products or people that they're trying to get searches, they actually do want to try limiting to standard shopping because they can make sure that they're going after people searching for their product and just not just a bunch of random placements out there. Display network and YouTube and all that stuff.

There can be a positive to that as well. But one thing I'll note on the standard shopping side that we won't spend a lot of time talking about, since this talk is primarily about PMax, but as you can see illustrated here, we do have a query filtering strategy with standard shopping that does still work. And I think is is a helpful way of thinking through an advertising your products. And the idea being that all you're doing is, since you can't target specific keywords with standard shopping, what you're doing is you're trying to like group queries into certain campaigns based upon where those queries are in the purchase funnel.

And you know, I get it right, people don't always follow an exact purchase funnel in the consumer buying journey, but there still is, there still really is these, these segments of upper funnel, bottom funnel and mid funnel and that often informs how we bid on them. And so with a standard shopping query filtering, which here's a QR code, you can get a link to it. I actually walk you through in this blog post, a very detailed, very long here's exactly how to set that up if you are interested in that idea, but basically would allow you to more specifically target, this is the core search terms that like if someone is searching for our product, the widget we're selling, this is what they're typing in, this makes sure that you can push more of your budget and appear higher in SERPs just because you're actually focused on those queries. And so that can be really helpful.

But that was so standard shopping is where it all started. And then smart shopping was introduced by Google around 2018 and smart shopping was kind of this new automated thing that was still primarily shopping based but now would show shopping ads. So it was still the product ads, the image and that sort of thing, but now it would show those on YouTube and Gmail and the display network. So it's kind of expanding where, what and where shopping ads would be shown, right? And so, you know, it's kinda like wow, Google is definitely going more automated with shopping ads and smart shopping's here to stay. I like made a course about smart shopping ads, like I was all, and we were focused on smart shopping ads and then Google completely kills smart shopping ads for Performance Max, for PMax.

This is why I just like, I'm particularly proud of this slide, I'll just admit it because to me it's kind of a similar like explosion of everything changing within the Google Ads system as as Oppenheimer, right? And so what you, excuse me, what you have was smart shopping and that was focused primarily on product ads and all of a sudden Google comes in, they're like, no, actually we wanna layer in dynamic search ads as well. So now with PMax you have this layer of search as well and I think they've actually also just expanded what they'll show in terms of the assets you upload and stuff in terms of like static assets as well on display and YouTube and these other things. So it's just not primarily product ads like smart shopping was, especially that search element.

Now while I was pausing to get a drink, you hopefully were reviewing this slide, some statistics from the Cleveland Research Company that were gracious enough to allow me to include them here. This is early 2023 data. So probably some of this information is now outdated. There's probably, I would guess there's a little bit more adoption in terms of spend and that sort of thing. But it does give you just some initial feedback of how at least their customer base, their, like who they have in their consulting wing view PMax and overall overall people within retail and e-comm primarily in for a Cleveland Research Company have seen positive usage of PMax. Definitely services and then local are still gonna struggle, especially services service-based. So Google hasn't quite figured out the PMax for services thing.

Probably we all know that that doesn't matter 'cause we're talking e-comm today. Anyways, I'll just note like my goal today isn't to necessarily tell you you absolutely need to use PMax or you absolutely shouldn't. I've actually been aware of like this increasing subset of PPC marketers who are actually almost like anti PMax, like they're getting away from it. I'm not quite there just because I do think, and with some of the strategies that I'll share in this talk, I do think that you as a marketer or maybe you as a brand owner and operator, like at some point you are gonna have to like move along with the changes that Google and Microsoft and Meta and all these incorporate into the system that's more automated even if you don't necessarily love it, right? We still kinda need to know how to work the system. So I guess I take a little bit of a practical approach there.

Although what I will note is if you are testing PMax, I just think it's really important to require a clear win of PMax and that's where I like, I would encourage you if you are running your, you know, you have maybe a little ads account set up, you have a few search campaigns, few, you know, standard shopping maybe and things are running fairly well for you. You have 20 products, you have TROAS ads bidding on your standard shopping and like it's doing the thing. You decide, hey, I want to test PMax just to see like what all the buzz is about. I saw Kirk's 60 minute mastering, we're not mastering like leveling up PMax thing, I'd like to try it.

What I would say is require a winner like require PMax to win because you are losing, you are losing PMax data, you're losing some of the data that PMax gives back to you in terms of what's happening. They've been starting to give some of more of that back. We're gonna talk about that in terms of search trends and search insights and that sort of thing. But you are losing control and data. So in my opinion, if you don't, and here's here's where like I part of that of like being able to tell there has been a clear win is keeping an eye on your incremental sales and your bottom of funnel sources like traffic sources, like what's happening with Google Organic, like when you, when you turn PMax on and you have that annotated in your notes and all that and you've, you know, figured out that it's just steaming pile of mess that is GA4 so that you at least know somewhat of how to track things in there. Low blow. I think that all you brand operators will appreciate that cheap shot because like, I hate GA4, but also we gotta figure that out. But, so GA4, you're looking in this, trying to figure this out.

You definitely do need to keep an eye on like just what's happening with bottom funnel stuff. Like how is this impacting your brand search campaigns with PPC, how's this impacting shopping? How's this impacting direct sales? How's this impacting email and your remarketing and that sort of thing? Because if all PMax is doing is just kind of stealing from some of those other bottom funnel sources, then what you're doing is you're simply moving the attribution of sales over to PMax at the loss of data and like that's not good. And so some of that, like you can vote with budgets in terms of Google Ads, right? If Google Ads is aware that people are testing PMax and rolling it back because they're not as happy and they're, you know, upset about losing data, it does impact, it does help Google start to release more data to us in that sort of thing. So I would just say vote with your budget in that way, require a clear win.

A couple ways also that you can do some testing. PMax does have an incrementality testing option that they released within the UI. I like, I'm just gonna admit, I've not played around with it a ton, all right? But like part of that is because I'm just not impressed because there's like two ways to test it. There's the, you can test the uplift from PMax, but it doesn't include PMax shopping ads within it, which is a significant part of PMax. So that's kind of weird to me. Or you can test it versus a shopping campaign. But again, that's only like part of it, that's only the shopping side of things. I don't know, I'm not, and then like that incrementality test, like you're trying to determine, hey, does Google PMax work for me? And like you're testing that within Google's system and I know that's a little tinfoily hat of me, but like come on, right? You're like asking the person, like you're like asking the salesperson like at the used car shop, like so does this used car like run okay and the salesperson's like absolutely, right? You should maybe take that with a grain of salt. That's kind of how I view the PMax incrementality test. Again, that might not be totally fair. You can, if let's say you have a, maybe you're a little bit of a bigger shop and you have dev team and all these resources, you can actually run a very complex geo test.

With this specifically, you can run a time-based regression match markets approach for designing geo experiments. Get your dev team to help with that. I don't know how to set that up for you, but the idea being, it's actually doing that testing of different like geographical locations to actually test incremental traffic and sales to see like is this testing working? I'd imagine you have to have an a bit of budget for that as as a warning. So probably not what's gonna work for smaller accounts.

What ad formats are there within Performance Max? Well we have obviously, so the search ads within the SERPs and then shopping ads within the, again, the search engine result page that's like someone searches, that's a serp, right? Then you have static asset ads. So that's the different assets that you can, those are the different assets that you can upload to into your PMax account and then Google will pick those. And actually just be aware of this, it actually will at times pull assets from your product feed or even from your landing page. So just be aware of that. And then show just like a static asset ad or, and this is where I wanna park on just for a second. There are dynamic product ads that show in the GDN, the YouTube and Discovery, and I think it's really important to know about this just 'cause it can be a little, little confusing. Again, knowledge is power.

Within dynamic product ads you have two different aspects of that. You have dynamic remarketing and then dynamic prospect prospecting. Dynamic remarketing, you might be more familiar with this, but just the idea of like you are, it's kind of cool, right? Also kinda creepy. You are showing the specific products that someone has come and visited on your website and showing those in an ad to them as they're going about their business on the worldwide web, right? And so that's dynamic remarketing. It shows those specific products. Keep in mind if you're gonna do that well you have to match your PDP item ID to the feed. Those two things have to match for dynamic remarketing to work, okay? That's how Google tells this is the product they actually saw and shows the correct one from your feed. That's how it ties together. It's using the item ID on your product page, your PDP. Then there's dynamic prospecting and just helpful to know. So sometimes you might see dynamic ads, which look, you know, those are ads, maybe there's six or eight different little images on it and that of specific products.

Sometimes you see those dynamic ads and you might think they're remarketing, they're actually not. They could be dynamic prospecting ads. And this is one of those like AI is really cool, right? Machine learning, you know, ML, that's, we technically don't have AI, but right, it's machine learning. It's very cool because what it's doing is it's identifying different aspects of your target audience and looking at like their search history and other products on other websites they looked at and all this stuff. And then it's seeing your feed and it's saying, hey, based on this user, once we have enough information about them, we think they're gonna like these six specific product IDs and then they show them to them in that ad. So again, that to me that's like really cool. Be aware of that. You can actually, and here's here's also why it's kind of important to know that. So those dynamic product ads, those show on other channels like the GDN Google Display Network on YouTube, I think on Gmail as well, Discover. So those product ads, those dynamic product ads show in those channels, which are not the same intent as search, which is okay, they're just different. But when those are clicked on, it actually is reported within Google Ads as a shopping ad click, which is really important. You might have seen some different ways of reporting. You can report in Google Ads or here here's a script from one of my Paid Search friends online Mike Rhodes, he wrote the script. It's super, super cool, super helpful. It gives you a lot of kind of like other information about your product ads.

One of the things that it does is as I showed you in that previous one is it can actually show you, hey, how much of my product ads are, how much of my click cost in PMax is from video and from shopping. Again, just a note, just be aware of the fact that just because you're shopping cost is really high in this report doesn't actually mean you're only showing on search. Okay, that's really important. It actually could be that you're getting tons of clicks from like Gmail dynamic product ads, which are not high intent, but it'll come through still a shopping cost. So just kind of helpful to know it's still a really helpful script and that information is helpful. I just think it's good to know that otherwise you're gonna think that your PMax campaigns are primarily on as a whole. And like they could actually be on all of these other, these other channels as well.

Let's look at the relationship between PMax and then shopping and search. Like how do they play together? Well, not very nicely, right? PMax is kind of a bully. So when it comes to search campaigns, what happens with search and PMax is with search campaigns, if you have exactly matching search keywords that you have explicitly pulled into campaign and are targeting, those will technically, technically be given priority over PMax. So they'll be given kind of a first run at it over PMax. If the search query that a person types in, I want to buy this widget in Austin, Texas. And if that matches the exact keyword that you have, and it could be any match type, it's just the exact keyword, if that matches it, then Google's gonna show that search, that search ad, that search keyword over a PMax campaign, right? All hunky dory, right? Okay, well hold on.

And here's where like, I don't know sometimes like the stuff Google does, you're a little bit like, okay, is that actually helpful or is that kind of shady? Have you ever seen like a ton of search keywords that you are specifically targeting in your search campaigns? Like you might see those as within your search insights, your query insights within PMax. So like, hold on, if I'm targeting them and I have lots of budget and like I'm bidding high, right? Trying to get as much search impression share. Why are they still showing up in PMax? Well first of all, they could be showing up as shopping, as shopping ads, right? As shopping queries. But it is possible that your PMax is targeting those terms even if you're pulling those out. And I think that has to do with ad rank eligibility. All right, so like what in the world am I talking about at ad rank? Look, this is actually not that important, so I'll just kind of hit it briefly and we can go on.

One of the reasons I like to call it out though is just so you kind of have a little bit of an idea of how complex this stuff really gets and sometimes why things don't quite seem to line up with what we're told. Ad rank is basically ad rank eligibility is just like in order for your ad to show in an auction, there are certain eligibility requirements that you need to meet in order to be shown, right? And there's, there's different ones with those. One of those is something like, let's say the the bid floor, right? And so just as an overly simple example, it's possible for a certain auction if your search campaign is targeting that, but let's say your bid isn't high enough to get over that bid floor, that ad is actually ineligible for auction. But oh, look over here you have this PMax campaign targeting this stuff and like you're not setting, you know, specific bids. It's, you know, TROAS or not TROAS, maybe you're maximizing conversions, Google may show that over here just because of that, because of the ad rank eligibility. If you do have an interest in digging into that further, I'd use this, you know, check this QR code out. I wrote an article about that.

The idea again is just to help get us thinking about how is this stuff actually working? How is the action working? It's not actually that important for you though. But oh, and then one other thing just on this idea of search keywords and that, there may be times where what you want to do is not simply target specific keywords. Maybe you actually want to totally exclude them from a PMax campaign. Sometimes people like to do that with brand keywords. I don't think you always need to do that with brand keywords. I'll note that. I think that you should probably think long and hard about whether removing an entire segment of your buyers who are actually purchasing in the bottom funnel, removing all of that from that campaign data. I don't know if that's actually helpful in terms of giving like the machine learning the full picture of who's purchasing from them. But some people are like, instead just like adjust how you're, you're giving the blended ROAS target, right? However, however, sometimes there is a case we've tested that some of my team, like sometimes people on my team have like different agreement, like different ways that we like to think this or maybe there's certain accounts where we try it and where we don't try it.

And so, sometimes they'll really like to actually exclude brand from PMax. In the past you had to get a rep to do it. There's actually a PMax campaign exclusion form where you can exclude placements with this easily and you can exclude a bunch of things. So especially like keywords. So this is, that's just like an extra bonus tip if you are interested in doing that. Now there's kind of the easy button you can just do that right through this exclusion form. How does PMax and shopping, like how do shopping and PMax play together? Well, here's where PMax just kind of completely dominates standard shopping.

So PMax will win every time. PMax cannibalizes from standard shopping. We still put in standard shopping campaigns, even if we have an account where we have a few PMax things where we're trying, and primarily PMax, we actually still do standard shopping campaigns. And here's why, and I think you should consider it, is remember that PMax does have limitations. You have one Performance Max campaign that, like you're giving it these limitations. Here's a ROAS target we want to hit. That means there's gonna be some things that it's not going after. Here are the maybe the audiences that we'd like you to aim at or even even within Google's machine learning there, it's focused on what audiences will best drive the performance that you want them to drive, right? The daily budget. All of that does limit PMax at some level. And so what we've found is that as PMax chases after doing what it does best, which is how can we efficiently get as much dollars as possible based on this, you know, this person's limitations that they've assigned to us. TROAS has daily budget, all that.

What happens is that it might push all of that budget after who it thinks is best and you might still have some like really great core keywords that maybe don't always show that they're like, they don't always lead to purchases, right? And kind of that the way that attribution is can be tricky and yet they could be really valuable for your business. We've had this happen before where we know that there are certain core terms that we just need to go after, even if we don't hit a great ROAS because we know that that's the start of the funnel for a lot of people. And they'll get into things, right? They'll purchase eventually. That's where having standard shopping to kind of like back cleanup can actually really help your account. So it oftentimes won't be a lot of traffic, but definitely if you're only running PMax, I think it's worth at the very least base level, throwing a standard shopping campaign in there with a TROAS budget.

If you really wanna get technical, do the query filtering on top of that as well. You can also just target completely different products. Like maybe you want to focus PMax on your higher converting products. I was talking to one guy, I, it might have been at, it might have been at ECF Live last year in San Diego, but I was talking to someone and he noted, yeah, we do, like we found that we have this, this core product that does a fantastic job, it gets a ton of traffic in sales, so there's a lot of data and like we actually have a PEX campaign literally devoted to that one product and it just making a killing out there.

So maybe there are some core products that you want PMax to just spread the good news far and wide about those products and then have everything else. Maybe you have 25,000 other products, have those in the standard shopping query, filter and strategy. So then they are playing nicely with each other, right? There are different ways that you can do that. Now that we're talking campaign segmentation, let's like what are some ways you do that with PMax? Well, let's first talk conversion data. So as you're trying to determine should I segment out my PMax campaigns or even like, should I try a PMax campaign test?

I think it is worth pausing and considering like how many conversions are you actually getting because Mike Ryan, I'll reference him a couple times, I love this guy. He's also just a great guy. A definite follow online. So Mike works at smec, it's smarter e-commerce company, I think. Smec over in somewhere in Europe. And super smart dude. And he loves to take their client information and just like, just like go on hunts with PMax and try to, you know, find different facts and things like that. And one of the things that, that he's looked into is like, what is the ideal number of conversions in a monthly period? And what he found is if you have anything lower than 60 conversions a month, you can still be profitable, but like the odds of you not being profitable and the odds of PMax struggling are starting to get higher, right? But once you get over a hundred, you're probably gonna have a like a decent chance of that PMax campaign doing well. And then once you're at about 150 conversions a month in that PMax campaign, like that's when it's ideal that has the most likelihood of PMax doing what it's supposed to, finding the right people with enough learning period and all that.

So just to give you some insight, you do wanna be careful about not over segmenting PMax. So you're just like pulling all of these different, you know, campaigns out like make sure you're giving enough conversion data. As we think through PMax segmentation, here are just seven ways. There's probably more, here's seven ways that we like to think about PMax segmentation and what I would say as you're thinking through this is it is one of those things where it depends on your account and a lot of different things that factors that work into this. Like what kind of products? So for instance, if you have 20 products you're selling and they're all a very, very finely focused product. Like I don't know let's say you only sell like 20 watches, right? Like you just sell men's watches and they're a very specific, like it's marketed to the same audience. Like in everything.

You've just really niched out there. Niche, niche, niche, however you say it. You've really niched out there. That's probably not a time where you're gonna be interested in segmenting by product type, right? That doesn't make sense. You just have one product type. So one example of just where like you do need to kind of do some thinking about what is gonna work best for your account. But let's look at a few of these ways of segmenting to hopefully give you some insight. Product type is one of the ways I like to segment out either campaigns or sometimes I like to segment product type or by more of the asset groups where then you can match different assets according to what that product type is. And my thinking there is product type, actually already has a bit of a natural audience segmentation to it if you think about it, right? This is kind of a goofy example, but like a person who's actively right now looking to purchase like some like super, I don't even know what that is, it's like a sleeping bag coat thing. That's gonna be very different than someone actively right now searching for, let's just say this swimwear, right? Different, different audiences. They're in different in-market buying interests, right?

So that's an example of like helping the machines say, hey, these are different groupings of people we want to target where you can even like give different audience signals and that sort of thing. So I think that's an argument for having at least thinking about there might be times where you actually want to segment out. You actually want to have your product types done correctly. We'll talk about that soon. As well as then work those into different asset groups. That's kind of important. Historical performance is another way and this is one that I like doing on the campaign level 'cause then you can better control budgets and ROAS bids, ROAS targets as well. And this Miles McNair cool guy out there, cool PPCer. We chatted about this on our podcast.

So here's, you know, here's just a link to that if you're interested to hear a little bit about him. But basically think of this in terms of how did my products, and you do need some, you do need some data, you need some historical performance on this one. So this is not an account typically where this is not a segmentation where you're starting this, like your Google Ads account didn't start yesterday and you're gonna try the strategy is what I'm trying to say. But you basically have like, you're looking at historical performance and he likes to segment these into at least four categories. You have heroes, these products are doing awesome. You have sidekicks like these products are not necessarily your top products, but like they do, they they hit your TROAS. Then you have villains. Those products do a just terrible job. They soak up cost and spin and like they're not efficient.

Get those into their own campaign and either bid them down or just remove them from the feed, right? Then you have zombies. Zombies are just, zombies are, so before I'd heard this specific segmentation style we used to call these ghosts like just ghost products. Like they basically have like Google has never, never given them the light of day. And so one of the things I like about historical performance again is that you're able to focus PMax in on, sorry, you're segmenting PMax around how your products are actually performing to like give more gas to what's actually working in that. If you think about this, this is where sometimes PMax can struggle to scale. And so I'm gonna reference Mike again. He just notes and we've found this over and over again. PMax really does its job well with best sellers. So when, when like PMax loves to say this, these products are working, so let's give as much gas as possible to these products. But what that means, again, remember the limitations is like you might only have a certain amount of budget, a certain like, like there just might be some limitations to this PMax campaign. And so what happens, especially if you have a lot of skews, is you just have a bunch of skews that, that aren't, aren't found at all. And so one of the ways you can think about scaling is leaving those best sellers alone, maybe like having those in their own campaign.

And then what you might want to think through is pulling go those ghosts or zombie products into a a separate, into a new campaign. Here's an example of an account that we took over. An account we took over. There were 350,000 skews in one PMax campaign. And when we started looking into that, only 50 of them had a sale on them. I think it was like on in the last 90 days, it might've been of all time, but I don't, I don't remember exactly, but it was still, there was, there was a pretty significant amount of time and only 50 products out of 350,000 had had a sale and only like 1200 had even had a click at all. So there were like 345,000 products that had zero clicks. So and the reason why that's a big deal is like they're not even given the chance to determine whether or not people wanna buy those because like they're not even exposed in the algorithm, right? And so here's an example of where what you wanna do is like, you wanna pull those products. And so I walked through this here, you wanna pull, I think, let me look, I can't remember, no I don't, I don't think I did write a blog post on that or I didn't share the QR code. So maybe that's what I should write on next just a detailed walkthrough of that.

But basically the idea is you, you find those SKUs that have zero clicks, you can find those very easily in Google Ads reports you just find in this specific PMax campaign, anything with zero clicks of all time, pull those into a dedicated spreadsheet. Put a custom label on it, you know, I call 'em ghostbuster, you know, whatever, however you wanna say it. And then use that like upload that as a supplemental feed. Once you've done that, once you've done that, then you actually create the campaign. So you upload those products as a supplemental feed, then you actually create the campaign. So it's a new campaign so you're leaving the old one alone and all you're doing is like, hey, hey, I'll use zero click products, come over here into this campaign and then you push them over here. Even 350,000 by the way is so much that like, like our recommendation in that consulting call was actually start maybe consider breaking those into even like additional campaigns focus on like product type or things like that. But you might just wanna pull those in a new campaign, turn PMax on and see what happens and you might be a little surprised how well it does and it can actually add in some sales there. Feed-only PMax is maybe one you've heard of. Feed-only PMax.

Here is a link to a walkthrough of how to set this up. But feed only is a little bit of a nod back to smart shopping days. And so this is removing dynamic search ads and removing assets. So you don't have static assets, it is just product ads. And some accounts we've had it where someone says, man, smart shopping used to work so well for me and I turned PMax on and now it's really struggling. One of the first things we say is, hey, let's test a feed only campaign so that that can also work if you have just no good assets. One thing to consider though is just whether, you know, is this a case to actually just try standard shopping instead. You know, standard shopping might have super high CPCs and then it might not work. So I don't know, that that's your call, but that's one thought. Or, and then one other just kind of PSA about this feed only campaign too is like Google does actually create assets now from your product feed.

So just be aware of the fact that your feed only campaign might not actually be like a strict feed only campaign. Just be aware of that so. But I think it still works as we've looked into it, it seems primarily like those, those auto-generated assets aren't a huge segment so far of feed only. So I I think it's still worth a test. Let's talk new customer acquisition. So one of the things I think definitions are important. Let's just make sure we're thinking correctly about this. You have new customers and you have new, we'll call 'em visitors. It's just important to see those two things as separate entities and just be aware of how when Google talks about new customers, what they're not talking about. So new customers, just to remember new customers for Google when you, like Google talks about new customers, you can set up new customer segments and all that. That is talking about anyone who has not purchased according to their data.

So if they remove cookies and stuff, they absolutely could have, but you get the idea there. Anyone who's not purchased from their data, but that it could include someone who has never, ever heard of your brand at all, a completely cold audience member to someone who's like clicked on your ads like 175 times in the last two days, right? And so that's my only struggle sometimes with like, just strict new customer. Just be aware that like the actual cold audience is only a subset, is as actually a segment of new customers. And just be aware of that as you're trying to think through how can you actually target PMax after more of like a colder audience. 'Cause PMax does love to dig back into brand and remarketing and things like that. So one of the things that you can do as a test is you can actually create this new customer's campaign within PMax. You go into the settings and set only bid for new customers and then you actually go into your customer acquisition setup that's on the conversions tab. I never actually understood why they put that in that tab, but that's where it is. It's actually within the, it's in the new, the conversions tab start your customer acquisition and what start your customer list because that's what Google is going to exclude from your PMax campaign that you just created the new customer acquisition. So they're gonna exclude these people.

And then here's just my suggestion is I think you should test it as an actual like more like cold audience PMax campaign. And so what I would say is actually upload your list of customers, your email list, which by the way, please make sure you keep that updated. We see that all the time on accounts that we audit. It's one customer list that was uploaded like two years ago, right? Keep it updated according to all of the customers that you've received. Like may maybe set a recurring task for someone to go in and like upload it every month or something like that. All that to say add that all customer's list, add an all visits remarketing list. So you're actually starting to exclude remarketing people as well and then exclude brand terms from this campaign as well. So that's my suggestion to test. I'm not saying it's the golden be the golden goose that lays the golden egg, right? But like it is an option to actually say, no PMax, I really want you to find some new people out there and let's see what you got from me. Make sure you do have a lower ROAS target or even my suggestion when you first turn it on, don't have a ROAS target at all. Just push it after max conversions value and let that run for a couple of weeks. It just seems that Google ramps that up a little better and then maybe hop in there and, and give it a 1.5 ROAS or whatever, like an actual, you know, new customer thing would be. And just keep an eye on that and see how that's doing.

So there's some others as well, but that gives you some idea of just different ways to segment your PMX campaigns that yeah, and I did write an article on that as well. So you can find that on my, on ZATO and I talk a little bit about every single one of those with some pros and cons and how we set them up. And so it's a little bit of a walkthrough that I would point you to as well. Let's turn to just talking some general PMax tips that I think are just helpful to know so that you can manage PMax better. Then we're gonna talk about the shopping feed. Few things to do with the feed, then we're gonna be done. Okay, so when and how should you adjust ROAS? I'm going to my friend Mike again. Now, like I said, Mike does a good job of finding con you know, finding data and consolidating and getting some actual like really helpful tips from it. So Mike checked out just all, you know, all their accounts and what happened when they would decrease or increase their ROAS targets as well as like what level of ROAS target adjustment they did. So that being like comparing, okay, if someone took their ROAS target and cut it in half or maybe doubled, right? How did that do with someone who dropped it 10% this week and then 10% next week and then 10% next week, right?

So looking at those. Some of the tips, I mean this, it's always fun when someone releases kind of a big report and you're like, oh phew, that's kind of how we are doing things anyways. But some of the tips are probably ways that wouldn't be surprising to anyone who pays attention to machine learning, but it's still really helpful to see, yeah, this is, this is important. Again, we see our, our monthly conversions there. It's just gonna be any change in ROAS target is gonna be vol more volatile when you don't have as many conversions. Again, that's just the way PMax works. The more data you have, the better it's gonna do. But this is kind of interesting to me. TROAS handles ROAS decreases better than increases. Super interesting to me. It's not quite as volatile and then changes greater than 30% not recommended. So I think that's a really helpful information. So if you really do want to really scale up on your ROAS targets or I'm sorry if you last, I was saying, I was thinking if you really don't wanna scale up your account, which would actually mean decrease in your ROAS target, right?

The suggestion is to do that in smaller increments over time. 'Cause Google, the PMax is gonna actually react better to that than just like, yeah, let you know, let's cut this ROAS target in half and see how it does. It's almost like the machine gets this flood of information and then it's gonna struggle more with that than just these little guidances. And then during like peak seasons, we just got outta Black Friday and Cyber Monday during those, definitely starting those adjustments early enough or even then just handled with something called seasonality adjustments that are in there as well where you set an adjustment based on, you know, look at last year and see where was our conversion rate. And then you can tell Google conversion rate or budgets and you can put that in as seasonality or if you'd want to manually adjust your ROAS targets, just make sure you're giving some time for the system to kind of like process what it's doing before you actually get to that day. Search term insights, search term insights. Here's another tip here. We have increasingly, increasingly we have additional data more and more that we're being given by Google, which I love. Please, please Google keep doing that. But we now have additional information. We don't have cost data in search terms insights, which drives me nuts. But at least with search terms insights you can increasingly see in your PMax account and your PMax campaigns, like which search terms are driving clicks. And now we do have sales information and you can download this into CSV and it's really awesome.

And here's one way that we've actually recently used this. We went into a new account and we, you know, we had, as we typically do, we get a new account and we talk with the brand operator, like who's your target audience? We just try to get information about them. And then what we did is we took a bunch of their key terms and made sure we got those into their titles as well as into their descriptions. Used Chachi BT to help us rewrite descriptions and did that, what we saw was a pretty, pretty remarkable increase. It's not always gonna be like this, but in the terms we were targeting, we saw like thousands of percentages of increase in impressions, which I just love to see. Which was not just because we increased spend, we did not increase spend by a thousand percent, right? So but part of why I say this is you can actually see that increasingly now by seeing what happens, by comparing before and after ranges within your search terms, insights and within PMax, which is awesome. Again, thank you Google for that. By the way, just a random additional piece of information here, you know, so in this specific situation we did that we increased exposure, like here are the core terms, like this product was targeting hard after this exact audience with these core terms. So if anyone was gonna purchase from this account, it was gonna be these people that we are now targeting.

And what was really interesting is we didn't yet see sales follow that in any way, shape and form. And so, and here's to me, this is more of a business note that's just really helpful and interesting and and important to know. And that is that if your marketing, this isn't just Google Ads as any, if your marketing is successfully targeting who you are aimed at, these are the people, these are your customers, these are who you should be buying from. And if you increase that and you do not see sales grow with that, then it is important to not focus on marketing as the issue, but to determine what is the issue. Like why are the people not purchasing? What is like, should the offer be changed? Like is the messaging misaligned from the ad to, you know, to the landing page. In this instance it wasn't because it was just a shopping ad, it was just the product information, right? I think it's important to know that. It's easier to do that once you actually invest in that marketing and do correctly target who you're aimed at. And then if conversions don't follow, then it's almost like you move into phase two of analysis.

Okay, now why didn't they follow, like let's start looking at the PDP, let's look at the offer, let's look at those things, right? Just a good example of, I think it's actually a really great example of that sort of thing that can happen in analysis and when your advertising is actually working to help you get insight into, okay, now maybe the problem is somewhere else. There's also audience signal insights that are kind of interesting where basically Google gives you information about what audiences maybe you should be targeting, which I like. 'Cause you could, you could use this to add this into your other campaigns, especially by the conversion index. It just tells you like, hey, just so you know, like in this account, just so you know, people who are, let's see are in the Mother's Day dining audience. Like they're almost 3% more likely or three times, sorry, three, three times, not 3%. They're like three times more likely to purchase than all than the base level of all of your other audiences. It's like, whoa, that's, that's a big deal. Like let's think about that. How, yeah, I mean do do your marketing thing with that information. It's just kind of cool insights that I really like. There are brand lists in PMax. So let's say you do want to exclude brand like we talked about, you can use a specific campaign exclusion, which yep is right there. The PMax campaign exclusion form we discuss or there's actually brand lists in PMax as well.

And the thing to note about this, you actually can create your brand, upload that into Google, just a couple of things. So we don't actually know what Google is including in those brand lists like as terms, so that's kind of interesting. I have no idea. I don't know if it's like bringing in, I doubt it, it's bringing in all of your like skew searches and things like that. So just be aware of the fact that it's probably not quite as exhaustive as manually doing it. And then just the fact that like once you do have your brand list uploaded, like other advertisers, other accounts can use that too. So I don't, a PSA, I guess. We looked at that. Page feeds, I'm not even gonna spend much time on this 'cause this is a little bit maybe more of an advanced thing, but just be aware of the fact that page feeds do allow you on the search DSA side of PMax to actually exclude certain pages. And one of the things you know, that you might wanna do is look into your reporting and just see, hey, what pages are costly to us that PMax keeps sending people to. What landing pages are costly that aren't converting?

You can upload those in your page feeds as an exclusion. So Google just stops sending people. And just to be clear, sorry, page feeds is for the dynamic search ads side, which is different from like your product pages that are uploaded within your shopping feed. These are just like random queries that Google will take with, you know, random products or pages and it could be anything. You also might want to exclude things like your blog pages and stuff like that. You can do that within the PMax settings itself or you can upload and now a page feed. And again, here's the QR code. If you're super interested, you can really look into that. The one thing I'll note is that there's some interesting, for more complex advertisers with bigger accounts, there may be certain things that you want to organize your asset groups and have them, have Google lining up your DSA selected landing pages. I realize if you're newer to this, this is probably like super complex and that's fine. You can, you can ignore this part, but you, you actually could say, hey, I want just these 15 category pages to be included in the DSA side for this, let's say this shoe asset group, which is kind of cool if you really want to get more complex with it. So that's page feeds.

Let's talk, let's talk feeds, let's talk feeds and then we'll be done. So with the feeds, let's talk feed sources. Remember quick overview, your product feed is how you get the information of your shopping ads products to Google. Typically upload that into Google Merchant Center that gets processed and matched within Google Ads and turned into an ad. So as you think about the actual feed sources, like how you serve your feed, maybe just a few notes that I just want you to think through, especially as a brand operator. As much as possible, edit the original source feed. There are so many times we just had an instance where we took over someone and there were so many different changes happening. There was like supplemental feeds and feed rules and feed rules assigned to certain feeds and I think there were multiple feeds if I remember correctly. And so Google takes all of that and just like squishes it all into one finalized feed.

So that's part of it is Google's only like, you can upload as many feeds as you want, but if they're all tying to the same item ID Google is kind of mashing all of those into just the finalized feed. And so as much as possible, like clean data, clean data is happy data. All right, so as much as possible up edit the original feed and only use things like supplemental feeds in that if you absolutely have to. We'll typically use supplemental feeds a little more as the agency just because sometimes, especially if we're working with a dev team or that it's just a lot quicker for us to be able to upload bulk edits. But even then it, we try to keep it like it's the main feed and it's the supplemental feed. Otherwise, if you need, like, if you wanna change titles, whatever it might be, do it in your main, do it in your main feed. That being said, be very, very slow to change your feed containers or your item IDs because Google has has said it very directly and explicitly when I asked them to on Twitter, I have the tweet somewhere, Google ties, like it's almost this like backend quality score, like product history thing in Google Merchant Center that we can't see, but it is there and they tie that to your item ID as well as a feed container. And so just be very slow in changing those things. I just think you need to think through that. Be very, very cautious. But if you do have to. We have a situation where someone is utilizing a feed provider for their small, for, you know, they have a very small brand and they're paying like hundreds of dollars for this feed provider. And as we've looked back at the history and that sort of thing, it kind of doesn't make sense. So we're gonna, we're gonna start like working with them to help shift them over to the Simprosys app, which is about $5 a month. And still allows us to do a lot of editing and that sort of thing. But we're gonna do it in a very, very, very like careful and measured way.

And one of the things, if you have to change feed containers, one of the things is just as much as possible, make sure your attributes are just one-to-one. They're between your old feed and your new feed. Especially those IDs make sure if you're using like the global format, like Shopify underscore us underscore, and then you have, you know, the product, the product number and that sort of thing, make sure you stick to that as your ID. Make sure they match, use the existing feed container if possible. So like if the content ABI feed container's already there, you know, it should, at least from our experience, it's less of an issue to change out a Shopify app. Just use that same content API feed container, don't delete that container and start a new one. I think there are some ways that you can do that successfully, but at the very least what I wanna do is just communicate like you shouldn't do it just willy-nilly at a whim because that actually can mess up your product performance. Just be aware of them. What products should you send in your feed? Man, send them all, all right? And here's why is because you can get those free product listing, even if you don't want to advertise all of your products.

You can get free product listings for all of them. But then what we suggest is filtering what products you're advertising and you can do this within campaign settings or product groups where you can just say, yeah, we just want to advertise these products. I should have said before, send all in-stock products, right? It's just never typically great to send out of stock products even for free product listings. And I'm trying to remember at this time, I think Google might not even show free product listings that are outta stock, but they, they might. I apologize. I don't remember that off the top of my head. That might be one to think about. Otherwise sending all of them still stays or you can utilize the excluded destination.

And this is a favorite of mine. If you have products that you don't actually want to be advertised, still send them to free product listings 'cause it's free clicks and sales. But then just upload, like utilize this feed attribute and that'll prevent them from send, you know, being sent to Google Shopping and dynamic remarketing ads. What about, here's another aspect as you're kind of thinking through, okay, let's say you do want to think through switching feed containers or you know, okay, so I just told you send all of your products and you're like, oh no, we only send like parent products. We don't send all of the child variants as well. Here's just a few things to think through. I'm not saying you should immediately go and turn like we, we've worked with, man, some of those in like like art, like wall art and stuff like that. You can have like one parent product that expands into like 150 child variance just because there's so many different sizes and shapes and all that stuff. And so just be careful about saying, oh well we're sending 200 products, Kirk said to turn this on, now we're gonna send 40,000, right? That also can mess with your campaigns and your performance. So you do wanna think that through and maybe even there's a way that you can test that and send some, you know, IDs and that sort of thing. Just be cautious on that. If you're starting from the ground up, I do think you should send all of the variants as the ideal. And that is because if you remember the dynamic remarketing note especially, that's because of that.

So then Google can directly tie your PDP for this specific ID. I'm a road biker and so like in when this picture, you know, I'm like as a road biker, I actually really do care about this is the specific. Like I ride 54 frames, I ride 54 centimeter frames and this is the exact, you know, this model, I want this color. That's the one I wanna see in an ad, not just some generic one, right? And so that's an example where when you're first starting, you probably do wanna send all child variants especially then it'll be tied with dynamic remarketing. Google Merchant Center Next. Google Merchant Center Next is a complete overhaul of the UI. So just if you have gotten familiar with Google, Merchant Center, it's all changing, right? It's all changing. But I have, I like, have I got a deal for you for the low low cost of free. You can go and watch my walkthrough of Google Merchant Center Next, right? I hit all of the things and walk you through like where all this stuff is. I'm, you know, actually it's a little bit of a, this is what I'm learning as well. And so you'll just see like my reaction even as I'm trying to find like settings and things like that. And so you can, you can go check that out. I think it'll actually help you if you are utilizing Google Merchant Center Next, the new UI.

As a note there it still does not have all the options available for you. And so Ginny Marvin ads liaison at Google. So she actually recently confirmed with us though that Google Merchant Center Next is getting supplemental feeds and feed rules, which is a huge win because Next currently does not have supplemental feeds. So if you don't have supplemental, if you do use supplemental feeds, you can't even use Next, all right? You don't want to use Next 'cause they won't work for you. If you have GMC Next and you're not ready yet to utilize it, you can actually, you actually click on the help section at the top right of your screen and go back to use classic Merchant Center. And then you can go back into the happy world of familiarity and then you can see that. Let's talk some feed attributes, let's talk some feed attributes product titles. We'll start with product titles. So as you think about product titles, I think it's really helpful to think about product titles. You're trying to do two things. You are trying to get clicks from people, from real people. You're also trying to communicate to the algorithm what you value and what's really important for what your users are searching for. So those two things sometimes are in conflict, not always.

So what we suggest is rather than having a specific like designation of this is always what it should be, you kind of need to think through your specific industry, how people search and how you know, how they're like, what they're actually doing, what they actually care about. And then matching your titles according to actually how your people search. So again, back to road bikes, like people really do care about the specific model of road bike. Like I know exactly what model I want. Like I ride Trek and Specialized and I know those, I know those models or I know the model I'm looking at. Then you know, maybe I want the new Domane or whatever it might be. So I'm typing that typically in. And then you might want to get some key terms and then specific attributes as well in there. Like I want the, the red Domane SL 5 DISC bike, right? Yeah so match that up as much as possible. When it comes to actually running title tests, this is where you can, you might want to take, you can actually check your search terms and find converting keywords. If you're looking for ideas, check your search term information, your search in your search term insights and all that. And just find like how are people actually searching who actually purchase from us? And grab those keywords and test them at the top of your titles at the front of your titles and or even at the end if you get 'em in. And you might be surprised how well that can do.

And here's where I probably, you know, I wouldn't necessarily suggest doing that on all your products where you could actually pick a specific product type or brand, use that, throw that at the top, and then measure the change in your test, your control groups over the time. 'Cause you can't actually unfortunately do super easy AB tests. So that's like how we think about running a title test. Descriptions are as important but are are important but not as important as titles. And so what I like to do with descriptions is all the extra important keywords that I couldn't get into my title. I love dumping those into my descriptions and I really, you do have way more characters as well, but I really like utilizing chat GPT to write descriptions because a lot of times what you just pull, like let's say from Shopify is just not really always great information that should be in the description. So what you can do is you can take what is in Shopify, throw that in a chat GPT and just just add in some additional, you know, points in your prompt. Like hey this rewrite this product description and here's our target audience, we wealthy outdoor enthusiasts from the Midwest. And and you could, you could say include a fun illustration or story if you want or whatever. You could say, include the top 10 key competitors for this term or something for this brand as well. You know, you can get those things in and then and work that in and it'll spit that out for you. Just check it and make sure it is chat GPT. So like check your work. Yeah, sometimes it's gonna have a struggle there so.

Product types. Product types is probably the single most important attribute that I often see completely missing, completely gone in feed still. And so just be aware that Google has explicitly stated that product types informs the algorithm on the backend. So it's really, really important to get your product types actually in. Kind of key things to know about that, you do use descriptive like text, descriptive keywords. Like this is like, like don't just don't just say backpack. You might wanna say like best traveling backpack. Use that in like, keyword stuff of your product types a little bit is what I'm trying to say. And then you want at least three tiers because what you're telling Google is how your products relate with, you know, other products in your industry and in your catalog. And then, and here's the only thing is you do have to keep these dynamics. So just keep in mind if you are building your own static product types, like you're building those with descriptive keywords and stuff, which is good, you're gonna have to keep up with those. So as you add new products in that just remember that you need to keep that dynamic.

One of the things I'll say, it's kind of one of those like sometimes you do need to give a little, like if you have a massive catalog, I mean words, you know, if you have 150,000 products and like thousands of product types, then it actually might be more in your favor and a better option for you to just con actually utilize the native Shopify product types that get incorporated even if you don't build out all the categories and stuff like that. Because it's actually more important to make sure that your products are actually being assigned product types and that sort of thing. So that's the only caveat I'll note in there. One guy Alfred Simon actually tested using chat GPT to build product types based on like a product title, which I thought was kind of interesting. I'm not sure how easy and practical would be to do that long term, but just another example of using AI to help with that.

And then let's talk sale price. Let's talk sale price. So this can, I've seen this trip up a lot of brands and I wanted to call this out. So if you have, if you have a discount that you're running, there are two ways you can do this with for PMax. Within your Google Merchant Center, you can use promotions or the sale price feed attribute. Now you know which one to use? Well one easy way to know if you're discounting a price and you have the discounted price, like it's crossed out and here's the price and that's already on your PDP as the change, you can't use a promotion for that. Promotions are more for like coupons and changes in the cart and things like that. So that's just helpful to know. Otherwise you're gonna have to use a sale price. And again an you know, an easy way to bulk, easy kind of not really easy but at least you can bulk upload is by using a supplemental feed where you could put in, here are the product IDs, here's what the actual sale price is gonna be and then the sale price effective date, which I'll say it's very important to make sure your effective date is correct. You can actually have your pricing disapproved by your sale price effective date not being correct. Or I love Shopify. Such a huge Shopify fan because they make all of our lives easier. Shopify actually along with that app I told you, the feed app we like Simprosys. they actually have kind of an easy button for sale prices.

If within Simprosys if you're using that and you select the enable sale price for Google Shopping, then it's going to utilize the Shopify price that you're selling as the sale price feed attribute within Google automatically. And then it'll use the Shopify compare at price as the original price. So you'll still get that discount and check that enable sale price box. So just a note there. And I think the default effective date would be 30 days. So you'd need to upload an effective date I think as well if it's longer than 30 days, but I'd have to check on that. Otherwise as long as you're using Shopify like sale or the Shopify price and the convey price as you should be with Simprosys, all of that's taken care of for you. You don't even have to do anything for the sale price and it's helpful. The one thing like this, this is where brands get in a lot of trouble, where you start to get disapprovals is you have to make sure that these three things match. What is on, what is in your PDP and the structured markup? As well as what you send in the feed. As well as what actually is stated on your PDP. So the backend that Google crawls as well as the front end and then your feed, what you actually have in Google Merchant Center, all those need to match.

Otherwise you are going to get a price suspension warning and then you're gonna have to kind of like look to see like they, thankfully they give some examples and then you know, basically just like start reverse engineering that and seeing like, okay, the example they gave, like what's off and how, and you can usually, you can usually figure something out. Sometimes that does mean testing your structured data just to see, hey, is our old price still within the structured data markup on that page? That could be it. One thing just a helpful tip to give you that we've seen we're like as an issue before is we've actually seen that sometimes like the schema doesn't work. Sometimes like Google crawls weird things like we've seen it actually upload, this is rare but we've seen it before, we've seen it upload like the Affirm or the like the payment installment plans before. So just be aware that that's within, there could actually be underlying code issues that are the case for that. And I think it was Andrew Lock of SavvyRevenue, helped me dig out that. So thank you Andrew.

But that there can actually be more of an underlying code issue even if your structured markup is correct. So just be aware of the fact that sometimes Google crawlers do some weird things and you just really have to get creative. We are on the home stretch, we are almost done. Let's quick talk conversion tracking. Some of this stuff might be super basic but we really need to make sure we hit it 'cause conversion tracking is so essential to make sure it's working with Google automation and it is not uncommon for us to audit an account similar to this when we look into it and we see if you have multiple conversion actions that are set as primary and are all sending conversions and conversion value, you are duplicating your data in there and that is not good. So in this example we see that actually.

They are, they're only getting, you know, and there's always gonna be some variance by the way between the different ways that your code is tracking and unfortunately Shopify is gonna track things a little differently than GA4 and your Google tag and all that stuff. There's always gonna be a little variance, but in this case you're actually doubling the amount of conversions you're telling Google, which is really an issue. Then you're gonna have to walk that back and figure out how to like lower TROAS targets as you remove that. But fix that. But you know, oh sorry, fix that. One of the ways is just by setting the transaction data, the transaction conversion action, set it to secondary rather than primary and then it'll only be going after one.

But once you do that, then you're actually gonna really need to make sure on the campaign side that you like reset your targets and budgets and all that 'cause you're now, you're now basically telling Google, hey the conversion data you had is cut in half and you need to, you need to adjust for that. Just so you like the conversion tag. What I will say is don't just rely on Google Ads annotations with the conversion tag. What we found is you still do need to run actual tests, actual conversion tests where you actually have a developer running some tests with actual products, actual sales, seeing what tags are firing. 'Cause we have caught some issues even when things seem like they were going well. And then just, I'll note, this is actually one of our conversion code guys we use. Great guy. He said, I could have permission to share this but here's a picture with him with two products that he actually received because even though he told them, hey this is just a test for conversions like their, you know, their warehouse still sent him the products for free. So then we had to figure out how to get those back.

All I'm saying is as a quick note, if you do run to conversion tests, brand operators, just please don't send those actual products. Make sure you set up enhanced conversions 'cause enhanced conversions are your now your increasingly your first party data, which is so important. It's saying hey, in this conversion some of the first party signals like email and phone number and that sort of thing, we're gonna tie those to this person and it's gonna give them a better idea of actual first party data as third party cookies continue to be erased. And you know, we've, we figure it out from there. What I will note again, shout out to Simprosys just 'cause like it's an awesome app is with Simprosys within Google Ads or even Microsoft Ads, it is literally like a push button option. Microsoft Ads, the Simprosys connection in Microsoft Ads is phenomenal. You can create a merchant center with a push button in Simprosys and get all of your UET tag stuff set up because Microsoft UET tag is a major pain hassle for our conversion code guys. And so you can do that with a push of a button in Simprosys and it typically works really well. So again, just a shout out to that app. And then what do you do if you do have bad data? What if you had conversion issues, that sort of thing. You can, we had actually had this happen one time where someone, you know, removed the conversion tag right before you know, a weekend, right?

And all of a sudden you have three days out of 30 that's 10% of your conversion data for a month is gone, right? You can actually remove that data from the algorithm. So at least Google's not utilizing that and it's bidding algorithms, which is really important. That's in bid strategies and you just add that as a data exclusion and I just think it's really helpful. You can do that within campaigns or that sort of thing. And if you do have a conversion issue that happens, I think it's really helpful to know that you can actually exclude that from the algorithms and get those Google machine learning algorithms focused on the right stuff.

That's all I have for you. I'll have to check. I think maybe I went, yeah I did go a little over so maybe it's not quite 60 minutes, but close enough. It was a ton of information. I did warn you that it'd be a fire hose of information. But I hope that was really helpful because I think as you master that stuff, if you look into that and see that, I really do think you'll level up your understanding of Google PMax and using that in your Google Ads account. So thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

And yeah, see you around.

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Kirk Williams
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter or Linkedin.

In 2023, Kirk had the privilege of speaking at the TEDx Billings on one of his many passions, Stop the Scale: Redefining Business Success.

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