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Google Smart Shopping is ending in 2022

eCommerce companies take note. Google has officially decided to kill off their Smart Shopping Campaigns and migrate everything over to Performance Max. Sad news to most of us who have been consistently running 5x > 10x return on the greatest eCommerce ads available.

But fear not.

It’s being replaced with something potentially a whole lot better!

As a reminder, Performance Max is built on Smart Shopping Ad Tech, with DSA Ad Tech layered in and utilises all Google digital real estate where applicable.

The official migration timeline is as follows:

  • Performance Max to replace SSC (auto-upgrade is the language) from July-Sep 2022
  • 1-click migration tool available in April 2022 for SSC if you want to manually upgrade early.

The full Google announcement can be found here.

What should I do to prepare?

Well, the good news is the Merchant Centre and most of the Google Smart shopping set-up remains the same.

However, as Youtube will be a big feature of Performance Max, we highly recommend that you create several corporate/eCommerce content videos (hosted on Youtube) to show off your product range and brand.

That way, you will maximise the exposure Performance Max allows and will result in increased sales.

Contact us

If you own an eCommerce website and wish to know more about Performance Max ads and how it can increase your sales, simply email to find out more.

We have been running Google ads since 2004, and managing millions in ad spend, experience & expert analysis is always guaranteed with the League of Advertising Ltd.

Google releasing FREE Shopping listings (not ads)!

In an attempt to combat coronavirus as people can’t shop physically but go online instead, and companies pulling marketing spend Google have announced they are to allow their most successful e-commerce ad product – Google Shopping Ads or PLA’s to feature in a free listing.

Note: They aren’t allowing the ads to be free, rather they are offering a free listing within the shopping tab.

Big difference!

Now whilst this is great for e-commerce companies, I can’t help be suspicious (you know me when it comes to Google) that this is more to do with the massive growth in Amazon sales during this crisis, and our chums at Google see an opportunity to grab market-share.

From May, Google will allow e-commerce companies to show their products across Google Shopping tab (not the SERPS’s page) you need to be running Google Shopping ads for that.

But it’s a lovely opportunity for online retailers to feature their products when people search on Google.


Obviously you won’t feature unless you have a Google Merchant Centre account (GMC Account) and all the usual attributes needed still apply.

But it has to be a welcome development at this uncertain time for retailers.

If you already have a GMC account, please ensure you opt into “Surfaces across Google”. That way, you will feature on the free listings.

At the moment, this is only applicable to the USA, but Google will roll it out worldwide throughout 2020 so the time to set it up is now.

Shopping ads remain unaffected

Google Shopping Ads do take primacy on the organic search page as a premium placement.

So when someone searches for your product, you appear on the initial search results page as a paid shopping placement. (See below)


The free listing only appears if a user then selects the shopping tab at the top of their results page. So in terms of UX this is a further hurdle to get here but there will be shoppers who will go through the extra step.


If you need any Google Shopping advice or wish to know on scaling up sales through Google Shopping ads simply email to find out more.

Google Ads can now track offline store visits.

This. is. critical. if. you. own. retail. stores.

Finally, we can now measure effectiveness of our Google Ads and other PPC strategies that drive footfall to your physical bricks and mortar store.

Google generously wants to help you understand how AdWords paid search campaigns influence those physical store purchases.  They deliver that generosity for the lucky businesses that can see “Store Visit” conversions in their AdWords account.  This is generally going to be hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. It is released in beta format.

This is an amazing addition for businesses in Northern Ireland especially, where a high percentage of online activity leads to an actual in-store purchase.

Google store visit conversions are available to a limited number of AdWords advertisers. In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions you need to:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business.
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
  • Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click traffic and pass Google’s user privacy thresholds.

Store visit conversions are determined using data from users that have opted-in to share their mobile device location history and are signed into a Google account, and also from users that are like them based on a highly accurate algorithm, which extrapolates data for non-signed in users.

How it works

Store visit data is based on anonymous, aggregated statistics. Google Ads creates modeled numbers by using current and past data on the number of people who click or view your ads and later visit your store.

Store visit data can’t be tied to individual ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people. Google use industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.

Small numbers in store visit reports

Occasionally, store visit reports may show low numbers, even “1.” This can happen if you’re looking at data on more detailed level, such as segmenting by device. Because numbers are modeled and anonymized, “1” does not actually mean that that one person clicked or viewed an ad and then visited your store. Instead, it’s better to read this as a value close to one, or an average of one.

While this data can give you a sense of the breakdown of your campaign performance, store visit reports are more precise when the numbers are larger. So, to evaluate your campaign performance, we recommend using reporting levels with at least 100 store visits.

It’s also important to note that even when the reports present small numbers, our privacy techniques ensure that store visit data can’t be tied to individual people.

Get registering on-site store visits.

Want to get set up with this latest tracking conversion? Just email Marco at to find out more.

2019-20 will be huge for Google Shopping ads

Big news from Google Marketing live.

eCommerce companies need to take note.

Our friends at Google shopping have decided to shake things up in eCommerce with the announcement of 3 new ad formats in Google shopping.

In short they’ve taken a little piece of Instagram and Facebook and blended formats that drive long-tail engagements.

Google are introducing Discovery ads, Gallery ads and Carousel shopping ads this year and will stagger them out globally thoughout the next 12 months.

Exciting times, and not surprising seeing the uplift eCommerce companies have received from Instagram and Facebook where on mobile especially, the ad unit is much more effective and “shoppable.”

Discovery ads
Discovery ads are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments. Google’s VP of Product Management Brad Bender said at a press briefing yesterday that Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the ‘power of intent.’” Here, “power of intent” means signals Google derives from consumers’ past site visitation, app downloads, videos watched and map searches. These are essentially the same signals Google uses for In Market Audience targeting.

It mean advertisers will have to create brand new Discovery campaigns.

Gallery ads
Mobile-Only. Gallery ads are more visually compelling units that will appear at the top of mobile search results. They offer a scrollable gallery with between four and eight images and up to 70 characters available for each image. Advertisers pay for these on a CPC basis, either when a user clicks through to a landing page or swipes to the third image in the sequence. However, the cost for a click or a swipe (“paid swipe”) is the same.

Shopping Ads Showcase
Showcase Shopping ads were first released in 2016 in the U.S. intended to offer retailers the opportunity “showcase” a curated list products responsive to non-branded searches such as “summer dresses” or “outdoor furniture.” Google previously said that up to 40% of queries are for these broad product-category searches.

Google’s latest announcement extends Showcase Shopping ads to Google Images, the Discover feed, and YouTube feed. The latter will roll out in the near future.

The ads feature a main image and smaller images, but expand to offer multiple products selected by the retailer. The ads can also carry location information for those retailers that have nearby locations and offer the featured product(s) in-store.

So eCommerce retailers and digital ad agencies need to up their shopping game.

Shopping is by far the most effective Google Ad product for eCommerce and this looks like a win-win for online retailers in the search to drive more growth.

If you need any Google Shopping advice or wish to know more about the latest releases email to find out more.

BEWARE: Nicolas Cage causes drowning – Big Data Analytics

big data marketing
Ok, so the attention-grabbing headline is a bit spurious. But there’s a very important message that we need to follow as we move into the world of big data and marketing analytics. And for the folks reading this, I’m referring to big data (marketing) and not the other facets that are utilising data in this new world – security, data privacy, profiling etc.

The thing is with data, care must be taken at every step of a big insight project to ensure you don’t stumble into pitfalls which could lead to wasted time and money, and believe me the wrong directive or correlation from big data can be very expensive, business-ending even…

Think Gerald Ratner using code.

For the benefit of those who are interested in Nicolas Cage and the correlation of people drowning each time he releases a film, click below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 11.05.26

Gleaning insight to this spurious correlation would mean, either finding another actor (bad for business MK1) or use Nicholas but employ 1000’s of life-guards to patrol swimming pools each time he releases a movie – (bad for business MK2).

It’s all tongue in cheeck of course. As we base a lot of our marketing strategies on insight, the power of big data becomes more relevant. However, making assumptions is a very dangerous thing, as Nicholas Cage knows full well.
Making the wrong decision based on your analytical data is very easy in inexperienced hands.

Big Data bring’s big responsibility.

Handling big data and analytical insight is business-critical. You should be leveraging all digital channels to gain insight to start with. If you’re not on social media, you are missing a huge opportunity, and more… insights and opportunities to listen to your audience and what they are saying about you.

You should be using Google Analytics and other data tools to find out how people behave on your Website/app.

Lastly, you should be installing an experienced team and hiring the right type of digital smarts to oversee any digital strategy for your business.

I’m off to improve my swimming, as Mr. Cage has a movie coming out later this year. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

If you want to find out more about data-driven marketing contact the League of Extraordinary Advertising today & find out how we can deliver effective marketing for your business.