Additional Exposure In Google at Very Little Cost


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r many online marketers, conquering Google is the holy grail. Google accounts for around 80% of the
UK search market and making sure your brand has visibility at the top of the first page of search results is
a big step towards online success.

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Additional Exposure In Google at Very Little Cost

  1. 1. Additional Exposure in Google at Very Little CostFor many online marketers, conquering Google is the holy grail. Google accounts for around 80% of the UK searchmarket and making sure your brand has visibility at the top of the first page of search results is a big step towardsonline success.However, 2 little things called budget and ROI are quite often the shackles round the online marketer’s feet. It’sextremely easy to get the first position of any page of search results by throwing money into your Google Adwordscampaign. Making a return on that investment however can be a little more challenging. Equally, working to getyour site first in the organic listings can be both a long and expensive journey, with the very difficult task ofestablishing the exact return on your investment.Then there’s Google Base. It can get you listed within the top 3 organic search results and it’s free! A marketer’sdream?What is Google Base?Google Base (or Google Shopping or Google Product Search as it’s also known) is the product database that Googleuses to match products to a users search term. When you search in Google’s main search box, you’ll often see 3product results that appear near the top of the organic listings – sometimes the first results on the page. These areproducts from Google Base.Being listed in Google’s Product Search is free. The only cost is the production of a product feed of your products -though this can be as basic as a spreadsheet.© indium online 101865 980
  2. 2. The PlanAs the only costs involved with Google Base is the initial feed setup, the intention was to establish if the upfrontcosts of setting up a product feed are worth the return.Depending on the backend systems you have in place it can be difficult to establish the ROI of a Google Base feed.Google Base itself has minimal tracking (impressions and clicks) and therefore you need to put a different processin place to establish the effectiveness of the feed. For some clients, we have been able to implement full ROItracking through their back end system. For others, we’ve had to use more general tracking via Google Analytics.Building the feedGetting a very basic feed live on Google Base can be very simple. Extract your database into excel, deleteeverything except the 6 mandatory fields, rename the field headers, manually upload into Google Base. This is avery quick way to get yourself visible in Google Product Search. However, in addition to having a presence, youneed to make sure you’re getting as much visibility as possible by providing as much searchable information aspossible. A manual upload is also both time consuming and can mean new products and product amends go livelater than they ideally would.Whether building a feed from scratch or optimising the feed, our plan was the same. We took a sample extractfrom the clients’ product database and established how to optimise the data available for Google Base. Therequired fields within Google Base are minimal but adding as much (useful) information as possible into the feedcan help improve your visibility within the Google Base results pages. We looked at all the product informationavailable and matched as much important information as possible to the field list from Google Base. Anyinformation that didn’t fit within the set fields was added to the feed with custom attributes, thereby ensuring allinformation available was searchable within Google Base.During the feed build we planned to ensure the maximum level of tracking was included within the feed whetherthat be via Google Analytics, the clients’ own tracking system or a combination of both. This allows tracking of thetraffic coming in via Google Base and can give some idea of the value of these customers via the clients’ system orvia Google Analytics’ ecommerce tracking.Feed setup in Google BaseOnce the feed was setup, tested and signed off, our plan was to set up the Google Base account with as muchclient information as possible as well as set the feed to automatically update daily after the clients’ database dailyupdate ensuring the latest product information was always live on Google Base.© indium online 201865 980
  3. 3. ResultsDepending on the tracking in place we analysed the activity and sales via Google Base.Full ROI TrackingFor those with full ROI tracking in place, we extracted all the order numbers for Google Base sales at the end ofeach season (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter) and matched them against our file of previous customers. Thiswould enable us to establish the number of new customers acquired via this channel and their sales value.Results showed that 78% of the orders coming in via Google Base were unmatched – essentially customers wemay not have obtained through other methods. Total unmatched online orders for that season were 45% showingGoogle Base was clearly above average at customer acquisition. Profit from the 78% of new customers easilyoffset the cost of producing the new feed.Subsequent seasons have no cost attached to the Google Base feed and therefore the channel cannot fail to havepositive ROI.Google Analytics TrackingFor clients where we have optimised the feed, we have looked at the results for the month prior and the monthpost the new feed going live to see the impact of the optimised feed.Google Base’s own tracking showed, on average, impressions were up 139%, clicks were up 56% - a positiveresult. Furthermore, it is likely that as clicks increase, Google will class the feed as more relevant and thereforeimpressions (and as a result, clicks) will increase further.As Google Analytics tracking is only established during the optimisation project there is no basis for comparison,however, the results look positive. On average, 89.8% of visitors to the clients’ site via Google Analytics are new tothe site, 8.55pp above the sites’ average - another sign that Google Base is a good customer acquisition tool.Without being able to attribute direct sales to the Google Base traffic it is not possible to give an accurate ROI forthe optimisation project. However, feedback from the clients after month 1 has been that they are certain theprojects were worthwhile.ConclusionThe results clearly show the upfront costs of producing a feed are worthwhile whether you are creating acompletely new feed for Google Base, or optimising a current one. A relatively small project can bring you verypositive results.To establish the ongoing ROI of this channel, you could follow the lifetime value of these Google Base customers ifyou have full ROI tracking, however, as Google Base is free and as you are very unlikely to need to amend yourfeed once it is set up and optimised, your time is probably much better spent on improving other areas of youronline ROI.If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you establish and/or optimise your presence on Google Base justget in contact today.© indium online 301865 980