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Using Google Product Search to Optimize Paid CSE’s

Posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Feeds

Most Internet retailers know that Google Product Search (aka Google Base, aka Froogle) allows you to publish your products for free. And a lot of Internet retailers think that listing products on a CPC-based Comparison Shopping Engine (like Shopping.com or NexTag) is very expensive. But have you ever thought about using Google Product Search to control and optimize your paid comparison shopping campaigns?

Traditional Comparison Shopping management uses a weeding out approach. Products are submitted to CSE’s and monitored for their performance. Low or non-converting products are removed – which increases the performance over time. But do you have the money and time to find your performers this way?

If not, we suggest a build-up approach. And that is where Google Product Search comes into play. Here is how it works:

  1. Submit all your products to Google Product Search. Make sure that you track clicks and conversions on a product level.
  2. Sit and wait – gather click and conversion data from your Google Product Search listings for about a month.
  3. Analyze the data and find your top performers:
    • Pay attention to the product price: A product may have converted well but if it sells for $9.99 only it will be hard to make it profitable.
    • Pay attention to the number of clicks: A product might have generated good revenue but with a relatively high number of clicks. Check with the rate cards of the CSE’s to see if you could still make a profit out of that product.
    • Be careful with popular keywords. For example if you are selling accessories for iPod’s you might attract a lot of traffic which is not necessarily converting.
  4. Choose any number of products from your top performers to be submitted to CPC-based CSE’s. Don’t be afraid to just submit a handful of products to start with. Remember, we are trying to make money from day one on.
  5. Monitor closely the performance of the paid engines. Even though a small number of products reduces the risk of non-performers you might need to weed out some of the products. What works with one engine does not necessarily work with another.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 every two to four weeks in order to continuously increase your revenues and your profit.

About Thomas Seiler

Thomas Seiler leads the feed services practice at The Search Agency. He collaborates with a wide range of online retailers to implement Comparison Shopping campaigns and has worked extensively with all major Comparison Shopping Engines. Over the last 10 years he has worked on a variety of e-commerce projects and has managed applications for e-banking, electronic bill payment, extranets and CRM.

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