Jan 29

Getting Started with GSM

Your new GSM Google Shopping campaign is active and has started receiving impressions and clicks. The campaign is accumulating statistics which can be analyzed in the future with GSM to fine tune your bidding and maximize ROI. What now? We've outlined some tools and tips below on getting started with GSM...

Bid Management and Product Grouping

With GSM, bids are set at the ad group level and these groups will correlate directly with AdWords ad groups. GSM begins with all of your products contained in the "default" ad group with a default bid. From there, unlimited ad groups can be defined by one or more rules per group. Any products not matched by one of the group's rules will fall into the "default" group. Another reason to group your products is for analysis purposes (GSM Performance Reports discussed in more depth below).

Two concepts on grouping products:

  • Group by product attribute (brand, category, price, etc.)
  • Group by bid amount (bid tiers, winner/losers, etc.)
Both methods are often employed interchangeably, over time. For instance, you may find it useful early on to segment your products by attribute, then over time start migrating them into various "winner" and "loser" sub-groups defined by performance-based bids.

When using performance metrics to adjust bids, it is advised to let the GSM campaign run untouched for a few weeks to accumulate a good buffer of data to analyze. The more data there is, the more confident you can be in bid decision making (see Statistical Relevance below).

GSM Performance Reports

Once you are ready to start looking at your campaign performance, the GSM reporting area offers robust ways to analyze your Google Shopping statistics. In a nutshell, the GSM performance reports are a mashup of AdWords, Analytics, and Merchant Center statistics. Use the top tabs to select the dimension of data you want to analyze, use the report header links for sorting, and use the filters to drill down on high and low performing products and groups.

See Knowledge Base for GSM & Google Shopping screencasts

Report Filters

Use the Filters area under the GSM Report navigation tabs to zoom in on your performance based on item attribute or performance metrics. For instance, you can identify SKUs that over or under performing by combining metrics like: Clicks > 100 AND Margin < 60%.

Statistical Relevance

Ensure the SKUs that you want to adjust bids for have enough clicks before judging them as successful or failure. In other words, ensure each item has enough data to be statistically relevant. For example, if an item only has a handful of clicks, this is not enough data to conclude that 0 transactions is bad.

Deployment Cycle

The bidding rules are pushed to AdWords on the same schedule as the data extraction and feed uploads, so the max time it should take for the bids to change in AdWords is about 48 hours.

IMPORTANT: Editing in AdWords

Do NOT make bid adjustments directly in AdWords to the VersaFeed_GSM campaign's ad groups and auto targets. This can cause severe disconnects with our GSM/AdWords syncing. Ad group and auto target bid adjustments should only be made using GSM in your VF client account. The only area you CAN edit in AdWords is the campaign settings; things like daily budget, location, and scheduling can be adjusted. Also, please do not change the campaign name.

Best Practices Google Shopping Client Account