crealytics' PPC Blog

The place to be for paid search and Google Shopping


The ultimate juggling act: how to set your PPC budgets for the year

In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move” – Henry Rollins

In the world of performance advertising, spring is the right time to ‘move’ in many regards: while winter keeps us busy with peak season, spring provides the opportunity to review previous strategies, spring clean our PPC campaigns and align on new priorities for the upcoming year.

One major key to success is properly setting your annual PPC budgets and bringing them in line with your performance targets. At first glance, this might seem like a very complex task – especially if you need to crunch these numbers for various devices and paid search segments. But it’s not rocket science, and you don’t need a crystal ball to predict the months ahead.

Here are 5 steps you should follow to successfully set up your PPC budgets for the year.

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Feed Title Changes: A Complete How-To Guide

Our goal: Maximize traffic by integrating high-potential search queries into your product feed titles.


Why change product titles?

In early tests, we saw that adding the correct term to your product title can lead to massive uplifts in traffic:

Which kind of queries actually work?

To find out more about the impact of title changes, we conducted a series of further tests consisting of 3 strategies:

1. Unrelated Terms: Terms with volume on Google, but no relation to the product – which therefore don’t show up in product titles

2. Existing Queries: High-traffic Shopping queries that aren’t included in titles

3. Under-represented Queries:

(a) “Low share of voice” Shopping queries that aren’t included in titles and could get more impressions according to market size

(b) Text Ads Queries: Terms that work well in Text Ads but don’t receive Shopping traffic

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How to Launch PPC Campaigns in a Foreign Language

Increasing the accuracy of your targeting is always a good way to improve your PPC campaign performance.

This adage holds true whether your optimization goal is sales, downloads, subscriptions, or anything else for that matter. And one excellent way to make your campaigns more targeted is to launch them in another language.

True, the most used language on AdWords is English, but, targeting a second language may greatly improve your account’s.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 72% of online buyers are more likely to buy products when these products were advertised in their own language. Moreover, 56% said that obtaining the information in their own language is more important than the price. And, 42% said they never buy products in another language other than their own.

Which means if you sell your products outside traditional English speaking countries, launching your ads in another language could give you a big leg-up on your competition.

But, before you jump head-first into Google Translate, here are a few things you need first:

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SEO vs SEA: Should you bid on your own Brand Keywords?

One of the age-old questions in PPC is undoubtedly: should I bid on my own brand keywords?

If you’re doing SEO right, it can seem like a waste of money to bid for your own brand’s terms. After all, that’s what organic search is for. Right? On the other hand, what kind of highly-relevant traffic are you losing by not bidding on your brand terms?

As the debate raged on with no end in sight, we decided to let the data do the talking. And so we set to work creating an experiment. From the 9th October – 4th December 2016 we tested how SEO and SEA are affected when we did not bid on the brand keyword of a major fashion retailer.

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Numbers aren’t everything: How to find the right Attribution Model for you

Accurately attributing sales to your marketing activities is one of the most important – and difficult – jobs of a Digital Marketer. There are so many paths a customer could take to reach your purchase page, and not all of them are easy to measure.

Even if you just focus on the digital channels (because they’re easy to measure), the raw numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to get to the truth.

Take one of our clients for example – a high-end, one-brand, designer furniture retailer.  As you might expect, their website isn’t selling products one buys on impulse. Instead, conversion paths are extremely long, with over half of all traffic coming from Paths with 6 steps or more.

Now, these guys had a pretty young account and it was growing rapidly. To make sure they invested their money in the right places, they needed us to assess the optimal spend for different channels. What we found, was that the performance reported on Non-Brand Text Ads (AKA “Generic Search”) seemed extremely poor at face value.

That seemed a bit strange to us, so we assessed the conversion paths and tested different attribution models in the Analytics Attribution Modelling tool.

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Why we prepare for Valentine’s Day and you should too

The day of love and romance is not just for those planning on giving a gift to that special someone. It’s also a big day for ecommerce in general. As Valentine’s Day’s reach grows, there’s a lot of money waiting to be earned. In America last year, 28% of all Valentine’s Day gifts were purchased online. If you’re in the retail business, you don’t want to miss out as people continue to spend more on Valentine’s Day every year!

While consumer spending on Halloween surpassed Valentine’s Day in 2016, it still holds a strong fourth position for highest spending day of the year. To be a bit more precise, people in the United States spent an average of $147 each on Valentine’s Day, with men’s spending being almost double that of women’s.

When it comes to search behavior, interest begins to really pick up at the start of February. We also see that sales peak on February 7th and 11th. So you want to make sure you have everything set up by then at the latest.

Unsurprisingly, the categories most affected by Valentine’s day are gifts, flowers, chocolate and jewelry. We gathered trends regarding traffic spikes, search volumes and conversion probability by analyzing our internal data pool from 2016, as well as Google’s keyword planner. If you’re advertising in one of these areas you should definitely check whether you’ve got everything covered.

We also analyzed the US, UK and German markets for differences in search behavior. Our goal was to help you figure out the unique cultural differences you need to take into account when dealing with different countries.

Here are our recommendations for making the most out of the Valentine’s Day uplift:

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10 Google Shopping best practices

10 Google Shopping best practices to start doing in 2017

A New Year means a new chance… to get the best performance out of your Google Shopping ads.

2016 was the year Google Shopping overtook traditional Text Ads in terms of ad spend. In 2017 you can expect Google to invest heavily in Google Shopping. That means bigger, more prominent Shopping Ads and the sunsetting of Standard Text Ads.

So, if you haven’t optimized your Shopping Campaigns yet, now is the time to start! Make 2017 the year you increase efficiency and start reaping the benefits of Google Shopping.

To help you, we collected the top 10 areas that have the biggest potential to boost your Google Shopping performance.

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Farewell standard Text ads!

As of the January 31st, standard Text Ads will be no more.

According to GoogleAfter this date, you’ll no longer be able to create new standard text ads. Existing standard text ads will continue serving alongside expanded text ads and responsive ads.

Instead, Google Text Ad users will have to choose between Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Ads.

What does this mean?

  • Ads are bigger, pushing organic results further down the page
  • Ads are more unified across devices (Mobile/Desktop) – Ads can’t be “mobile preferred” anymore
  • Ads are more dynamic – Google can now play around with the Headline order

It also means that if you are in a heavily regulated industry, you need to watch your character limits closely. Your ads can get cut off even if you are within the character limits.

Google stated that not going for more than 33 characters across H1 and H2 will stop truncation in basically all instances, that is a very tight limit. Truncation can be a serious problem in general for many retailers because the limit is a pixel width rather and a number of characters and the pixel width available depends on the platform/browser size. Hence, what might look fine in Preview or when you test yourself could get truncated in other situations.

Recommended: Expert predictions for 2017

Speak your customer's language with Feed Title Optimization

Speak your customer’s language with killer Product Titles

What’s in a name?

Well, unfortunately, when it comes to paid advertising a rose by any other name does not smell as sweet. Sorry, Shakespeare.

In the world of Google Shopping, the name you give your products in your product feed is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to ensure a good ROI. Not only do your Product Titles help Google decide whether or not your product is relevant to the search query, but they will also entice more shoppers to click on your product.

Providing all the required data in the right format according to Google’s product data specification is mandatory, of course. But, to really make the most of Google Shopping, you need to start speaking your customer’s language.

What do we mean by that? Well, we did some testing to see just how much Product Titles effected performance and what sort of language works best.

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Omnichannel Tracking

Track your Omnichannel sales with these simple solutions

Omnichannel has become one of the hot buzzwords in the retail sector for 2017. Shopping is supposed to be one seamless, immersive, interactive experience. One where the lines between digital and physical are blurred.

It sounds great. A shopping Utopia. But what does it mean in real terms?

Last December, we laid out some best practices for setting up your Omnichannel strategy. And today, we’re going to show you how to track your marketing campaign success across all those different channels.

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