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The combination of a low average CTR and a fierce degree of competition makes for a high average CPC in the office & business needs industry.
Looking at this chart as a whole, it makes a compelling case for running Google Shopping campaigns.Average Shopping Conversion Rate (CVR) by Industry
Typically, when a consumer needs something urgently, they’re going to convert more quickly than someone who’s casually poking around.
For example, whereas a New Yorker who’s suffering in the July heat is inclined to buy that air conditioner unit right now, a man who’s browsing ferns during his lunch break probably isn’t going to make a purchase just yet.
At the same time, though, businesses that sell clothes and beauty products are doing relatively well, too. That’s likely the result of affordable prices and familiarity – a cocktail that makes for low-risk purchases.
Remember when we mentioned the prevalence of Microsoft computers (and Bing users) in corporate offices?
People tend to shop for office supplies while they’re at work, and those transactions tend to take place through Bing.
The average shopping conversion rate (CVR) across all industries is 1.91% for Google Ads and 1.74% for Bing Ads.Average Shopping Cost per Action (CPA) by Industry
Generally speaking, there’s a positive correlation between the price of your product or service and the amount of money you’re willing to pay to win a conversion.
To be more precise, there’s a strong positive correlation between your profit margins and the amount of money you’re willing to pay to win a conversion.
At the other end of the spectrum, sweaters, CDs, and packages of dog food aren’t the most expensive products in the world – hence the CPAs for clothing, arts & music, and pet care living well under $30.
The average shopping cost per action (CPA) across all industries is $38.87 for Google Ads and $23.05 for Bing Ads.Average Monthly Shopping Budget by Industry
If your business is just getting started with shopping campaigns, or if you’ve recently inherited a couple of SEM accounts, knowing how much your competition is spending is incredibly helpful.
Use the average monthly budget within your industry to give yourself a logical starting point.
In fact, due to relatively low CPCs (compared to standard search), you may be able to drive strong results with as little as a couple hundred bucks a month!
In other words, failing to complement your Google Shopping presence with a couple Bing campaigns is a surefire way to miss out on valuable, inexpensive conversions.
The average shopping monthly budget across all industries is $770.41 for Google Ads and $392.53 for Bing Ads.What Does It All Mean?
If you’re unhappy with the way you stack up against the figures in this report, don’t sweat it. Paid search is particularly tricky for ecommerce businesses.
Between keeping your product data feed clean and up-to-date, managing your shopping campaign structures, and optimizing your on-site experience to maximize conversions, you have a lot of moving parts to keep track of.
If you don’t have the time, resources, or bandwidth to take all of that on, we’re here to help.
At the beginning of the month, we launched our brand new shopping software solution – WordStream Advisor for Ecommerce.
With this tool, we’ll help you optimize everything from your data feed to your campaigns to your landing pages.
You can start your free trial here!Data Sources
You're reading Google Shopping Ads Benchmarks For Your Industry
It depends on what industry you’re in, who your competitors are, the time of year, the time of day, how you target your audience, your ad content… and so on.
First, a short refresher: Facebook offers various bid strategies, but the most common type is an auction-style format. You specify a budget and Facebook automatically bids on each ad placement, attempting to get you the best results within that budget.
Overall account spend
Ad spend per campaign
Daily budget (if using this method)
Cost per action or conversion
Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Average bid per ad
What affects Facebook ad cost? So, so many things. Let’s run it down:1. Your audience targeting
On Facebook, it’s simple to create a custom audience for this:
Changing the location to wherever you are (or, a region or country/countries if you sell online).
Editing the age range and other demographic targeting.
Did you know Facebook keeps a list of every user’s interests specifically for ad targeting? If not, you’re not alone — 74% of Facebook users also don’t know this.
Almost a third of users say their list doesn’t accurately reflect them, but after checking mine, it’s hard to argue with data science like this:
Although, even supercomputers make mistakes:2. Your industry
For example, financial services are a lot more competitive than t-shirt businesses. Here are a few examples from retail to illustrate how much costs can change even within the same sector.
Source: MarketingCharts3. Your competition
How’s your $50 a day Facebook ad budget lookin’ now?4. Time of year and holidays
Okay, not actual data, but you get the idea. Timing is everything. Costs can fluctuate wildly through different seasons, holidays, or around special industry-only events.5. Time of day
Bids tend to be lower from midnight to 6am, since there is usually less competition at these times, but not always.6. Your location
Average costs per country range widely, from $3.85 in South Korea to 10 cents in India.
Source: Statista7. Your bidding strategy
Facebook has 3 different types of bidding strategies to choose from. Choosing the right one for your campaign will lower your costs significantly.
For all of them, you’ll still need to set your overall campaign budget, which can be either daily, or a total lifetime budget.
Source: FacebookBudget-based bidding
These strategies use your budget as the deciding factor. Choose between:
Lowest cost: Get the most conversions possible within your budget, at the lowest cost per conversion (or cost per result).Goal-based bidding
These get the most results from your ad spend.
Cost cap: Get you the most number of conversions or actions while keeping your costs relatively steady month-to-month. This gives you predictable profitability, though costs can still vary.
Minimum return on ad spend (ROAS): The most aggressive goal strategy. Set your desired return percentage, for example a 120% ROI, and Ads Manager will optimize your bids to attempt to reach it.Manual bidding
Just what it sounds like, manual bidding allows you to set a maximum bid for all ad auctions in your campaign, and Facebook will pay the amount needed to win the placement, up to your cap. You can achieve low costs and great results this way, if you have the necessary Facebook Ads experience and your own analytics to set the correct amounts.8. Your ad formats
One ad format—video, image, carousel, etc— doesn’t necessarily cost more than the other, but it will cost you more than it needs to if it’s not the best fit for your campaign objective.
What works for you will take experimentation to find out. Either way, your ad format can have a huge positive or negative impact on your Facebook ad costs.9. Your campaign objective
When you set up your campaign, this is what that looks like:10. Your quality, engagement, and conversion rankings
Conversion rate ranking: How your ad is expected to convert compared to others competing for the same audience and goal.
High quality rankings give you a more competitive bid, which can be the difference between you winning an ad auction or not.
Above average (woo!)
Below average: bottom 20%
“I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” (It will actually still say “Below average,” and this is the bottom 10%.)11. Disconnect between your paid and organic campaign performance
One of the best ways to lower Facebook ad costs is to regularly monitor and optimize your campaigns. Easier said than done when you don’t have the right data. Hootsuite Social Advertising lets you plan, manage, edit, and analyze the results of all your paid and organic content together—across all channels.
See how all your social marketing is working together and snap up optimization opportunities before they pass by with quick, actionable insights. Plus, save a ton of time planning and scheduling your paid and organic content in one space.
Standard disclaimer: These are benchmarks, and while we think they’re pretty dang accurate, your results may differ. If your results are off, it doesn’t mean your campaigns are off the rails. Use this data as a guide, but take it with a grain of salt.
The beginning of 2023 started off with low CPCs and ramped up the rest of the year. This is a typical trend every year, except for 2023 which was the opposite, though also an anomaly with the COVID-19 beginning in Q2.
Here’s the data for 2023:
And for 2023:
In 2023, the average CPC didn’t drop too much overnight.
2024 saw consistently lower CPCs in the wee hours, potentially since many brands schedule their campaigns to run only during the day, so there is more ad space available.
Now this is a biggie. CPC varies widely depending on your campaign objective, and 2023 and 2023 showed generally the same patterns, with one exception: Impressions.
With the exception of Q3, getting ad views cost a lot more in 2023 than it did in 2023.
Always consider your goal in the context of the time of year: They work together. Costs are higher in Q4 for all goals thanks to increased competition, so instead of planning on spending $1,000 every month, consider spending $500 in the first half of the year and $1,500 in the latter (or vice versa, depending on your audience).
Facebook is really good at optimizing your campaign for the goal you set. Let it do its work.
However, for sales or more complex lead gen, conversion campaigns are good at optimizing for intent. Meaning, the people who see your ad are more likely to buy something, or complete another high-intent action.Cost per like Facebook ad cost metrics
Like campaigns grow your Facebook Page audience. This can fast-track your social media growth as long as you’re targeting the right people who will stick around long-term.Cost per like, by month
This theory is supported by the drop in December 2023 where CPL was almost even with April 2023’s ultra-low $0.11, although end-of-year budgets could have been used up by then, too.
In 2023, CPL reached new heights with no sign of that trend slowing down in 2023. Now, the average CPL is $0.38—including a high of $0.52 in May 2023!—which is higher than some average CPCs for conversion campaigns. At this point, it’s a better use of your budget to run CPC campaigns instead.
Cost per like, by day
Compared to CPC campaigns, day of the week matters a lot more when it comes to cost per like. In 2023, Tuesday and Wednesday were the cheapest days. Monday, too, except for Q1.
Big changes happened in 2023: Likes were much cheaper on the weekends, though still much pricier than 2023, but the weekdays? Oy. Costs were all over the map each quarter, with some hitting highs of $1.20 per Like.
$1.20?! There are a lot of other marketing activities you can do for a better use of $1.20.
Just because Tuesdays are cheaper one quarter doesn’t mean they will be next quarter, too. Lesson learned? Use automatic bidding and let Facebook optimize ad delivery.Cost per like, by time of day
Similar to CPC campaigns, cost per like decreases at night, specifically between midnight and 6am. However, 2023’s data was completely opposite, with CPL being its highest in Q1 from midnight until about 4am. (Was everyone off work watching Netflix and scrollin’ their phone or what?)
In 2023, those figures returned to the average pattern we’ve seen for years now:
As with CPC scheduling, don’t worry about micromanaging CPL ad scheduling. Let Facebook show off its fancy algorithm and do cost optimization for you.
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It’s that time of year again.
As Black Friday and the biggest retail quarter of the year approaches, digital marketers are scrambling to capitalize on the spoils of the coming season.
According to a recent report by eMarketer, paid search is the fastest growing digital channel amongst retailers. In the U.S. alone, they estimate that ad spend on retail search will jump to $13.12 billion in 2023 – a 22.5% increase year-on-year.
Despite increasing competition, however, Google’s offering still reigns supreme with Google Shopping, especially, on the up.
A recent Adthena report found that over 75% of the increasing U.S. retail search spend is being pooled into Shopping campaigns. In the U.K., they report a mammoth 82% share.
Now is not the time for retailers and agencies to be neglecting Google Shopping.
To make sure your accounts are up to scratch, here’s a list of tips, tricks, and best practices to consider when running Google Shopping.
With Black Friday and the holiday season looming, it’s more important than ever to make sure the foundations of your account are the best they can be.1. Use Google’s Automation… but Only If It’s Better!
Google introduced Smart Shopping last year. As with Smart Bidding in search, Smart Shopping uses a machine learning algorithm to optimize your campaigns.
This can save you hours required to analyze historical data, re-strategize, and manually change your bids.
Our results have varied, however. While Smart Shopping usually comes out on top, it’s not a guaranteed winner.
If you have the time for manual bidding and are torn between the two, I’d recommend duplicating your campaigns and running one set on Smart Shopping.
Then you can test the machine against your own optimisations to decide whether to implement automated bidding on your account.
If you’re erring towards Smart Shopping, get this testing done as soon as possible. When Black Friday comes around, it will be too late – the algorithm needs to train for at least a couple of weeks before it runs effectively.
Also, keep an eye out in the near future for Google likely releasing the seasonality adjustments feature for Smart Shopping campaigns.
As a result, it learns to respond to sharp changes, making Smart Shopping an even more attractive solution for managing sale periods.2. Structure Is Key
As the algorithm will optimize towards maximum conversion value when running Smart Shopping, structure is only important for reporting purposes.
If you’re optimizing manually, however, your shopping structure can make a considerable difference to overall performance.
What you need to do is split your campaigns out horizontally by whichever segmentation makes the most sense to your business – do you first split out the different brands you sell, or by product type? There is no right or wrong answer here.
We then build our accounts with ‘Single Product Ad Group’ structure: every product ID sits within its own product group, which sits within its own ad group.
This level of granularity gives the most precise and useful reporting possible, but can be difficult to accomplish without automated tech. You may find it easier to group products with similar attributes or historical performance.
Setting up a robust structure is also important for funneling your traffic. As Google Shopping lacks a keyword system to enable easy query-matching, it is much more difficult to funnel searches to the appropriate bid.
The way we mitigate this is by creating three copies of our campaigns comprised of identical products, and assigning them different priority settings.
In its most basic iteration:
Low-performing search terms get a low bid and sit in your high priority campaign.
Medium-performing terms are given a moderate bid and medium priority.
High-performing terms are low priority, high bid.
This system works only when you add negative keywords to your high- and medium-priority campaigns.
Negatives effectively funnel more valuable searches down towards your low priority campaign where you are willing to pay more for higher-intent searches.
You won’t over-bid for lower-value searches because priority takes precedence over bid.
This might sound confusing, but it’s great for increasing your efficiency of spend. Below is how it works in practice:
Note that the Brand Specific query ‘Nike roshe run pink trainers’ will be excluded from the top two campaigns due to their negative keywords.
This means the high-value search term will match with products in the campaign with the most competitive bid.3. Feed Optimization
Instead of positive keyword targeting, all query matching is done against your feed – the bumper list of products you sell along with their attributes.
So your next step to becoming a Shopping superhero is making sure your feed is accurate, up-to-date and optimized for performance.
Your feed fields are weighted left to right, so make sure you are placing your most important information at the beginning of your title and descriptions. Take a look at your search queries for inspiration.
You can test these modifications – perhaps brand is the most important attribute for one product and for others, it might be color or material. You can also test images to see which drive better performance.
Another step is populating missing fields. Gaps are likely to lead to disapprovals.4. Think Carefully About Your KPIs (& Don’t Panic If CTR Looks Off)
When optimizing your account, and when testing your feed, in particular, you might be tempted to look at engagement metrics.
While that sounds sensible, be aware that one is likely to be misleading: CTR.
The good news is that it’ll probably look worse than it actually is.
In Shopping, however, it is possible to show more than one ad for a search, meaning that you receive multiple impressions.
This is especially true when you are bidding aggressively, as you are likely to be doing during times of high seasonality.
(Note: if you have a ‘Single Product Ad Group’ structure to your account, your granular ad group level CTR will be accurate in your reports.)
While this is a bonus in terms of increased reach, the display network is typically less effective for acquisition. Expect your conversion rates to be slightly lower.5. Budget Accordingly
In the next holiday season, you’re going to be spending significantly more as you bid up in response to competition and intent – remember to account for that.
Last November, our retail client portfolio pooled a mean average of 22.8% of their entire month’s budget into the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Make sure you don’t neglect the research phase that precedes the shopping spree. Customers will be browsing deals well ahead of time, and you need to be visible from the get-go.
If you don’t allocate enough budget for this awareness period, your performance across the season will suffer.
Bring spending back down as sales periods end. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people forget.
Along with your across-the-board upweighting, you’ve likely raised your RLSA modifiers hugely to bid especially high on recent visitors or basket abandoners.
As Cyber Monday passes or Christmas morning arrives, these should be adjusted way down – your site visitors either already bought what they wanted, or they weren’t interested in the first place.
Finally – all your decisions should be leveraging last year’s data. Comb through performance, decide whether you spent too much or not enough, and strategize accordingly.There’s No Such Thing as Overpreparation
That’s not the end of it.
You’ll definitely need to keep an eye on your account to manage budgets or keep your feed up to date as the quarter progresses. This is true even if you’re running Smart Shopping.
However, following the steps above now to set up a robust account will make things much much easier when the time comes.
Being ready to leverage as many historical insights as you can and remaining responsive to incoming data will put you well on your way to Shopping success this season!
Featured & In-Post Image: Created by author, September 2023
Google announced today what is potentially a large change for certain paid search managers: the broad match modified version of keywords will be going away.
This change will start rolling out in two weeks.What’s Happening to Broad Match Modified?
Phrase match will now expand to cover broad match modified instances. Google notes it will “continue to respect word order when it’s important to meaning.”
Advertisers will not have to take any specific action. Performance data will stay where it is, but the new matching behavior will start to take place.
Broad match modified keywords can continue to be added until July. At that point, it’s anticipated the full roll-out will be completed and no new ones will be added. Existing broad match modified keywords will continue to serve, but will be matched based on this update.
Google notes this streamlining helps save account management time so brands are spending less time managing specific keywords.How Does this New Matching Mechanism Work?
Currently, broad match modifier tells Google “these terms must all be present in the search query.” It’s expressed by putting a plus sign in front of the keywords required in the search.
Phrase match traditionally tells Google “the words must appear in this order.”
While Google isn’t specific, they note that Phrase Match will now cover both of these needs, while considering whether word order is important.
The example they use is if a moving company wants to help people move from New York to Boston, but NOT from Boston to New York.
Here’s how the keywords for “moving services nyc to Boston” (phrase match) or +moving +services +NYC +to +Boston (modified broad match) would be treated in this new era:
In other words, it can distinguish intent.
Additional examples of before and after include:How Should Advertisers Prepare?
This will likely also affect budges, especially for accounts that allocate budget by match types or divide match types by Campaign or Ad Group.What Does This Mean?
On the face of it, consolidation of platform complexity.
In the past, Google’s automation features were lacking. It was hard to justify taking your hands off those controls.
Brands have wondered for years if Google will achieve a “no keyword needed” environment. While that is still up for debate, they are certainly trying to consolidate and streamline that part of their platform.
Google’s announcement can be read here.
Looking to maximize your return on ad spend and boost conversions for your business?
Want to start seeing significant increases in your Google Ads profits?
Sometimes minor improvements can make a big difference.
Learn how to tweak your strategy and get the most gains from your Google Ads campaigns in three simple steps.
On April 26, I moderated a webinar with Corey Zieman, CEO/Senior Strategist at Guaranteed PPC. Zieman shared three powerful changes that you can incorporate immediately.
Here’s a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.Ecommerce PPC Tweaks
80% of the performance of your shopping campaigns will be down to your image and the price that’s showing on that product.
By following these tweaks, you can triple profit or lower expenses.Tweak 1: Test Product Images In Google Shopping
Go to Google Shopping and search for how other products you’re competing against appear for your keywords.
Then, figure out how to make your product images stand out without taking any new photography.
[See examples] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Tweak 2: Test Price In Your Feed
You’ll end up making 3x more money by:
Increasing visibility by double.Tweak 3: Change Your Price’s Ending Digits
Why? Because consumers are psychologically trained to be drawn to figures that end with odd numbers, precisely the number 7.
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You can apply these tweaks to sales training or product design firms that are operating nationally.Tweak 1: Use Buyer’s Keywords
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These tweaks apply to local brick-and-mortar stores.
85% of your results on Google Ads will be based on your keyword selection and the landing page you design.Tweak 1: Use Product Keywords To Scale Results
85% of customers come from one keyword type.
So, your opportunity to own more market share in your local area exists within your ability to pick up new long-term buyers as they search for individual items you sell.
[Learn more] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Tweak 2: Use Location In Your Ads
As people are searching for items online, you can drive customers into your store by being able to get your product now or much sooner.
[See an example] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Tweak 3: Create A Hybrid Landing Page Strategy
Just as before, you want to illustrate the immediate nature of shopping in person, rather than waiting online.
In this case, you’ll want to include local hints on your landing page.
Here’s an example:
[See conversion stats] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Local Service PPC Tweaks
Doctors’ offices, massage clinics, tattoo removal clinics, and other service businesses can use these PPC tweaks.
75% of your performance will be due to your keyword usage and landing page design.Tweak 1: Put Keywords In Ads
[Find out how many keywords you need] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Tweak 2: Put Location In Ads Tweak 3: Optimize Landing Page Layout
Prospects want to know three basic things when they search:
Can your business fulfill its needs?
Do you cover their area?
Can they trust you?
Be sure these answers are included on your landing page.
[See the anatomy of a good landing page] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →Local Home Service PPC Tweaks
For these types of businesses, 90% of the performance of your Google Ads will be down to the ad copy and the landing page design you’re using.Tweak 1: Put Keywords In Ads To Double ROI Tweak 2: Put Location In Ads Tweak 3: Optimize Your Landing Page
A proper landing page will convey the three things the user needs to know to reply in 5 seconds or less.How Much Are You Leaving On The Table?
The company that’s big on Google Ads started small and reinvested its profits into the algorithm to get more returns over the years.
If your competitors can do it, you can do it, too.
Start small if necessary.
[Instantly boost sales with these Google Ad tweaks] Instantly access the on-demand webinar →[Slides] 3 Simple Google Ads Tweaks That Immediately Boost Sales
Here’s the presentation:Join Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
In this way, both physical and website traffic is bound to increase at your storefront, but only if you take note of these updates and make the necessary strides to get involved with the updates ASAP.#1 Utilize Promoted Pins to Advertise Location & Rank First
Promoted pins utilize a company’s logo to mark it on the map. The company’s logo will only occur if the business decides to buy ad space, but will occur on the physical location as soon as the user does a search. These promoted pins are meant to blend well with the existing regular pins and be streamlined with the existing platform (Google doesn’t want them to be an eyesore).
Another bonus of promoted pins is they are marked by a purple pin, instead of a red pin. They will also be the first spot in the organic search results on the app.
You might be wondering what happens if there is a lot of competition for this spot, but Google has made it so that only two can actually rank in this position in a local search. This means it will not only be a highly prized position, but it will also gain more user attention.
To get started with Promoted Pins, you have to be eligible and you can check to make sure you meet Google criteria by doing the following:
Enable location extensions for AdWords
Update your Google My Business listing
Target a location / address and increase bids for locations near your business
Target keywords that relate to your location and what people look up in your area
Once you meet Google’s eligibility criteria, you can start thinking about ad payment.
Payment is ultimately the same principle behind standard AdWords PPC. If someone interacts with your ad, you pay for it.#2 Create a Business Page to Show What You Have to Offer
Learn more about business page optimization here.#3 Local Search Ads for the Win The Takeaway
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