September 9th, 2011

Google Adds Shopping Click Metrics

Online Media Daily

Google added a feature that allows marketers to see the number of clicks products generate on Google Shopping within a specific time period. Advertisers and marketers can gain the data through the Google Content API for Shopping, which is used to upload product data.

Marketers can grab the data by adding URL parameters to product retrieval requests, specifying the start and end dates when performance data is required. The returned product data contains new elements with the number of clicks per day for each product, explains Thomas Kotzmann, the Content API for Shopping technical lead.

DataPop head of client services Dave Schwartz has been working with several customers to support shopping feeds program through Merchant Center. “They love the program and have been seeing strong ROI through integrating their shopping feeds into Google’s engine,” he said. “The struggle has been around transparency because until now Google did not provide a way for marketers to distinguish between the performance of their paid efforts such as Product Listing Ads, and organic search ads.”

The new feature gives marketers a view into transactions, allowing them to understand how their feeds drive results across campaigns on Google.

Schwartz suggests that marketers should keep in mind these programs are triggered by a search, and Google needs to understand the product data in the context of how people search. Retailers need to ensure their feeds are optimized for search queries, similar to Web site pages for search engine optimization. Otherwise, consumers will pass over the product photos and descriptions for others whose marketers do a better job of normalizing their feeds to align with the way people search.

Retailers and marketers should expect more consumers to rely on Internet search more often on computers, smartphones and tablets to find goods and services this holiday season. Already, the industry began to see an uptick through back-to-school searches and sales. And Google predicts consumers will conduct 15% of Black Friday Web searches on mobile devices this year.

PM Digital’s August 2011 Rewind Index, which measures monthly U.S. paid-search performance for online retail clients, shows revenue from paid-search campaigns rose 24%, compared with the prior year, with a 17% increase in spend.

Rising sales during the month’s end, especially midweek, provide a good sign heading into fall and winter promotions. The Rewind Index reveals that paid-search clicks for August rose 11%, after several months of flat and even slightly negative growth.

The increase suggests consumers are researching purchases. Conversion rates improved 23%, the eighth consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year growth. The combination of significant growth in both conversion and clicks, on top of 6% growth in average orders, is a great sign for end-of-year, according to PM Digital’s Rewind Index.

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