This article was originally posted as a video where I show you how I dive deep into a Google Ads account of a dropshipping store. Watch the video above to learn more about it.
What’s a Google Ads Audit and Why Do You Need it
Performing a Google Ads audit on your general dropshipping store will accomplish a few things that will be necessary for the ongoing success of your Ecommerce business. It's essential to know how your store is currently performing so you can address any situations which require tweaking, and improve your overall process.
When you're conducting a PPC audit, it will tell you how your Google Shopping campaigns are performing, and whether or not you need to make changes in how you're advertising.
Without doing an ad account audit, you'd really have no way of knowing how well your campaigns are doing against the competition. You might be wasting valuable ad spend on campaigns that aren't achieving much of anything, while your competitors are siphoning away the lion's share of the market.
A Google Ads audit will provide you with some concrete information about what should be left alone, and what needs to be changed in order to achieve optimal reach with your target audience, and to get your message across.
About this General Dropshipping Store
This general dropshipping account that I audited is a store that sells a variety of different goods, as opposed to concentrating on one or two product lines. Those stores which tend to specialize in certain areas are considered niche stores, while those which deal with more of a variety of products are thought of as general stores. The dropshipping nature of the store simply means that no goods are actually situated on the premises of the seller, and they are instead withdrawn from a warehouse when sales are made.
While I don’t always recommend building a general store, there are few advantages to it when done right. One advantage of operating a general dropshipping store is that you'll have a much wider audience to appeal to, since there are more products for that audience to want and need.
While this type of store may not be outrageously profitable, it is generally a very stable store. And since it has more to offer customers, it's more likely that any given customer will make a purchase when visiting. A typical general dropshipping store might offer a number of different product lines to customers, for instance computers and electronic devices, clothing, and items for homes and gardens.
Agency-level Strategies and Recommendations
It was really interesting performing a deep PPC audit in this general store’s Google Ads account. Nonetheless, I found some low-hanging fruits and pointed out areas that they can improve on to improve their campaigns and get better results.
Below are my recommendations on this general dropshipping store and some great strategies that reveal opportunities that you can also apply on your Google Ads account to scale your Ecommerce store.
Install Conversion Tracking
The most important aspect of conversion tracking is that it allows you to identify what customers do after they interact with your ads. This could be making a purchase, downloading your app, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your business. In all cases, you'll want to know how often they performed one of these actions as a result of some directive in your ad. So make sure to install Google Analytics in your account to track all these activities to get all the juicy data from your account.
Change Attribution Model to Position-based
The attribution model determines how credit will be assigned for sales and conversions to specific touchpoints on the sales journey. Many Ecommerce stores choose to use the “Last Click model”, because it assigns all credit for a conversion to the ad which was clicked last, but this does not always provide an accurate picture of what's happening. A “position-based model” will assign 40% of the credit to the first ad, 40% to the last ad, and the other 20% to ads in between.
Review the Performance of the Google Ads Campaigns
Ad performance on Google is generally evaluated by assessing the click-through-rate of a keyword and its ad, the relevance of any given keyword to the search query, and the quality of your landing page. It’s not enough to just run a campaign. You need to make sure that you’re targeting the right audience by using the right search terms in your ads and directing them to a product page that has all the information they need to make a purchase.
I have a free Product Page Mastery course where I teach you all the strategies to create a product page that converts up to 5-10%. Sign up for the free course here.
Change Bidding Strategy from Maximize Clicks to Manual CPC
If you’ve set your Google Shopping bidding strategy to “Maximize Click,” I suggest you change it now to “Manual CPC”. While Maximize Clicks may be a strategy which nets you a lot of clicks, it won't necessarily result in a high volume of sales. On the other hand, Manual CPC doesn't really encourage a lot of clicks, but you can expect to generate more actual sales as a result.
Turn off Search Networks
By turning off Search Networks, you'll lose access to those hundreds of non-Google sites which are Google partners, and you'll be limiting the scope of your campaigns. As an auditing measure, this will have the effect of pointing up your ads' impact on a smaller sample of potential customer sites.
Review the Performance of the Ad Groups
There are four metrics that will allow you to measure your ad performance. These include your cost per thousand impressions (CPM), click-through rate (CTR), revenue per thousand impressions (RPM), and revenue per click (RPC). Each one of these will shed some light on how your advertising strategies are working out, and they'll show you where you might need some tweaking to improve performance.
Be Mindful of your Negative Keywords
Avoid using Exact Match with negative keywords or you'll end up having to do 10 times as much work to eliminate all those terms you don't want to search for. You should also avoid the mistake of only adding Google Shopping ads negative keywords on the Ad Group level. In fact, you really need to be careful how you use keywords, so you don't encounter some unexpected results.
Optimize Your Bids
You may need to consider using flexible bid strategies, or making other bidding adjustments, so you don't adopt the same strategy for all cases. Expect to pay significantly more for some keywords, and make sure your return justifies the additional cost.
Set Up Dynamic Remarketing Campaigns
These can be highly effective, given the fact that they display ads which a user has already expressed some kind of interest in. That means they should be incorporated into your overall strategy to maximize sales.
Set Up Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA)
Remarketing List for Search Ads or RLSA campaigns are an incredibly effective Google Ads strategy that generates a lot of profits for your Ecommerce store. These are ads that you only show if someone has already visited your website. You can do this by creating a remarketing list and then inserting a snippet of code from Google Ads to your website. That code will tell Google to add every visitor at your site to your remarketing list.
Give your shopping campaigns some time
It’s almost impossible to see a Google shopping campaign generate conversions overnight. So it’s very important to be patient and give your new campaign some time for it to really take hold, reach your target audience, and generate conversions. Google needs time and enough data to figure out what your product really is and who it should show your ads to. When it does, you should begin to see positive results.
Create a PPC audit checklist
Your PPC audit checklist should include setting up a date range of 30 days, identifying the KPI's you want to evaluate, checking your Google Ads settings, and then evaluating keywords, ads, ad groups, campaigns, analytics, conversions, and remarketing performance.
Conducting a Google Ads audit can be a very instructive exercise for your general dropshipping business. It can allow you to find out what is working fairly well, and which strategies you should either modify or drop altogether.
When you fine-tune your business approach following a PPC audit, you should find that you're focusing more on the successful tactics and minimizing those which have not achieved success. As such, an ad account audit can be an invaluable tool for your Ecommerce store.