On the show with me today is Google advertising pro, Mike Rhodes. Mike has been running Google paid traffic campaigns for over a decade for his clients and has generated some impressive results along the way.
In today’s interview, I asked Mike to share with me some of the best practices and advanced tactics for getting the highest ROI possible from Google shopping. If you’re an eCommerce store owner looking for proven methods to increase traffic, you’re going to love this interview.
Click here to read transcript
Trent: Hello everyone on the show with me today is Mike Rhodes, owner of WebSavvy. Mike is now in his 14th year of building and running Google ad campaigns for businesses and brands all over the globe. He’s the coauthor of the world’s bestselling book on ad-words, the ultimate guide to Google AdWords. Mike’s married to the amazing Gabby lives in Melbourne, Australia. And when he’s not playing in the Google machine, you will find him in the forest on a mountain bike or elbow deep in Plato with his two gorgeous daughters. Mike, are you ready to share some bright ideas?
Mike: Born ready. Nice. That’s go.
Trent: All right. Well let us dive into it. So in your own words, um, I guess I kind of covered who you are and what you did, but why did you choose this?
Mike: Why is the question right? So because we believe that businesses deserve a digital partner they can trust so that they can get on with the business of running their business and have the freedom and the time to do that. There was just too many sharks in this industry that are working businesses off blind and forcing them into 24 month contracts. And I saw all this rubbish going on and before I got into AdWords, I was helping small businesses and when I would walk into these businesses and say like, I can help you with the other stuff, I wasn’t Demas consultant for awhile. I paid Michael Gerber lots of money to use that name. And I’d walk in and they’d say, mate, we just, we just need business. We just need a few more covers in the restaurant at night or a few more patients in the clinic or a few more leads the business.
Mike: We’ll get to that. That’s once your five well, uh, can you just tell me what your five no, no, it’s, it’s a system, the seven modules and we get to that. Or when do we get to module five is that day five week five are usually around month 10 for most get out. Huh? Just tell me module five we’re going out. And then when I sold Google I to was like, this is what they want and need the ability to only show ads to people that are searching for what you’ve got and only pay money if they click through to your website. That was revolutionary when I saw this in 2004 that’s it. That’s what they all need. Instead of doing letterbox drops and yellow pages and radio ads that annoy people or the wrong people here, this is the thing. So that’s when the agency was born.
Trent: And you know, the irony of that is that I’m a big Michael Cooper fan, buggy myths fan and they need all that stuff. But the irony is is they think they only think that they need new customers. So that’s a, that’s important. But it’s not the whole battle.
Mike: That’s right. Which is why the, all those other modules around mindset and team and everything that came first was the right way to do it. It’s just that they didn’t believe it. I just wanted to dive in and just 10% more leads and you know, she wouldn’t be leaving me. The dog wouldn’t have died, the car wouldn’t have been repossessed. Like there was every excuse under the sun. Why? But that was the magic thing that was going to save the business apparently. Yep, absolutely.
Trent: All right. Well most store owners that I talked to in my travels and in my circles, the conferences that I go to and so forth, everyone, their dog, everyone and their dog I should say, is running Facebook ads. And as my good friend Andrew, you, Darian from eCommerce fuel pointed out in his last state of the merchants report, Google ads, our Facebook ads of all the ways to advertise for like the fifth most expensive, most effective and first most expensive. In other words, most people are spending money on the thing that’s not even the most, uh, most effective. So why, I mean, I guess I kind of answered the question a little bit in the question, but why do you think that focusing so much on Facebook is maybe not the best strategy
Mike: One it’s, it’s where your customers are. So if you go to shop, if you go to buy a physical thing, depending on what thing it is, you’re either going to get to Amazon or Google. You don’t go to Facebook to buy. You go there to show off and escape sexually attraction. Now a lot of ads on Facebook are going to be remarketing it, so they’re going to show you ads after you’ve been to a website or after you’ve liked that particular page. But Google shopping is just, it is such a good tool for an online retailer, something like seventies depending on which report you read, 70 75 80% of paid clicks. Now non-branded paid clicks are on shopping ads and they are not the most expensive part of Google. So when people think Google ads, they just think of the little search ads that show on the first page of Google.
Mike: But Google is far, far bigger than that. You’ve got the search ads, you’ve got shopping, you’ve got display, YouTube, Gmail, and a bunch of other bits and pieces. So overruled and non-brand. The search ads, that little text ads you see on the front page of Google, they are getting quite expensive because it’s a competitive auction. If everybody is bidding, then you’re gonna reach a point fairly quickly where the best businesses can afford it doesn’t mean it’s sensible for everybody. Shopping is still uncharted territory though. There are still so few retailers on Google shopping and yet that’s where a lot of the shoppers are and I’m excited to sign. When I traveled, particularly in the States, we find that a lot of retailers are only on Facebook. Some of them might be on Amazon as well. A few are only on Amazon, but very few have really dialed in all three platforms and the vast majority have never tried Google shopping or maybe they sort of dipped their toe in once and then ran away screaming because it is way more complicated to set up than Facebook.
Trent: That was my next question. Why aren’t people using it? Because the interface is just very poorly designed and it’s complicated as hell.
Mike: It’s because, yeah, they put bandaids on bandaids, on bandaids over the years and every five years or so. They redesigned the interface and try and it, but there is so much more that you can do in there. It is more complicated and we were chatting about this last week and it mate, that Facebook is also much easier to teach and so everyone in their granny is a Facebook expert, you know that they went to the workshop two weeks ago and now they’re teaching the workshop cause it’s easy to get people a win. But with Google, like there’s a big event that the bands, some guys talk out with about maybe say 80, 90 speakers there or three of us out of 80 talking about Google, which is to me odd because that’s where so many businesses can get a win, but it is more complicated.
Mike: And so businesses shy away from it. And particularly the beginning, you want to just dip your toe in and you want to spend 1000 bucks and see is this going to work for me or not finding a decent agency that’s going to do all the setup for you. Um, does it, does present a problem.
Trent: So speaking of wins, uh, let’s go there. Tell me about a win that you’ve achieved for your client and then let’s for for one of your clients I should say, and then let’s just kind of unpack it through the rest of our conversation. And hopefully people who are listening are going to be able to learn what they, how they could go about trying to replicate that.
Mike: So, um, I might be, to give you two quick examples. One was a, a recent client, relatively small spend. And I realize for some people listening to this, you know, I’m gonna start talking thousands, I think that’s not small, that’s my yearly budget, but a relatively small spend.
Mike: They were spending around about a thousand, maybe 1500 bucks a month and now spending I think about five or 6,000 a month and we’re about two or three months in because the results have been stellar because they weren’t doing Google shopping. All they were doing is running ads on their brand name, their retailer here in Australia, they have physical stores here in Australia and we got them up to Google shopping and I believe now the team told me this just before I went away. Um, I think Google is running at around about nine and a half X return. So for every dollar you tip in, you get nine and a half dollars back. And I think Facebook’s running at about eight and a half. That’s pretty good. Out of the gate. Brand new campaign in tip a dollar when you get nine and a half back.
Mike: That’s the power of Google shopping because again, that’s where people are going for those physical things. You want to buy something, you go to a search or if you’re a prime member, particularly you jump on Amazon. And then a another example that Springs to mind, which is a much longer term client. They were actually my second client 12 years ago when I started the agency proper and they’re still a client today. Again, physical stores in Australia, smaller business econ was zero at the time. It’s just grown and grown and grown and grown where e-comm is now the largest store for them, which is a massive way and income taped over that largest store. Um, so good for the econ manager in that business who know was years ago because that doesn’t matter. Yeah, that’ll, that’ll keep them busy. Um, so yeah, we can, we can dig into either of those.
Trent: Okay. Let’s dig in. Which one has more meat on the bone for us to talk about?
Mike: I guess the recent one is probably more top of mind because that, that 12 year one of, there are obviously so many things that we’ve done. I can’t attribute that growth to any one particular phase where it’s that recent one. It is much more about turning on Google shopping, getting Google shopping, working well, um, has led to that growth.
Trent: Okay. So the recent one, what do they sell?
Mike: Um, so I mentioned the brand name, but they, uh, sell clothes for pregnant women.
Trent: Okay. So maternity clothing. Great. Hmm. So they came to you, they said, we’re, we want more sales, we want more customers. Um, and you said, Hey, let’s, let’s do like what did that conversation look like? How did you figure out, you know, where to start and, cause I’m assuming there’s all sorts of options on what you could be doing, what you could advertise. Even within the Google sphere, there’s probably all sorts of tick boxes to be text and things to be done. And it’s all confusing to the people that don’t know how to do it.
Mike: Well, this one became simpler because Google’s have a very odd policy, uh, anything of a sensitive nature. They don’t allow remarketing. So that takes out all of the display ads, the YouTube videos that we would have shown to people that have already been to the site. Google for some reason thinks that a pregnancy is a, an issue and some white. And so we were not allowed to remark it. Uh, so that made life easier. They were already running search ads on their own brand name and every business I believe should be doing this. We can dig more into that and the pros and cons of that if you want. So the main thing that we did for this client, which I think tripled their spend pretty much straight away was to stop running Google shopping ads because women are jumping on Google and searching for maternity taught, maternity bra, maternity leggings, whatever it might be.
Mike: And those little square ads with the image and the price at about 20 odd characters of the name of the product. Because people are seeing the product and the price before they click. The conversion rates are much higher on those little ads compared to the text stats. Lots of people are clicking those Google notice and Google are trying to balance three things just to wander off into a quick sidebar here. They want a good experience for the user, the person clicking. They want that person to find what they’re looking for. They want it to be good for the advertiser and they want it to be good for Google’s shareholders. It needs to make money for Google. These dental shopping ads now make up something, like I said before, 70 80% of those non branded search clicks. So Google notice these things are good. They know they work, they know the user in particular is finding what they wanted and so they’re starting to show these. They said the lads on more and more places starting with their own YouTube Gmail. You can see shopping ads now on YouTube and on more and more searches across search. So if you’re searching for anything kind of vaguely related to a product, you’re likely to see these little shopping ads because Google know they work. So that’s what we run for clients is get better shopping ads up as quickly as possible for the right products. There’s a bit of work. Maybe we’ll dig into that about how you get those ads to show for the right person.
Trent: Now, let me interrupt you if I may, are we, I mean are we logging into Google AdWords to start this or where does somebody go to create this?
Mike: Three main steps. You’ve got a store, let’s stick with Shopify because the vast majority of people listening are probably Shopify store on Shopify and then you’ve got the other end, you’ve got your Google ads account, you need a campaign with some ads in in order to show ads, and then there’s a step in the middle and that’s called Google merchant center, which is kind of like a halfway house for your data. So the data comes out of Shopify. That’s your product feed or your database of products that goes into Google merchant center and that does all the work of triple checking that everything in your feed matches what’s on your site. Hey, you’ve got this product, you say it’s 20 bucks, but on your site it says 30 bucks. Now you can’t run that product and something is off. But if everything matches up, then the remaining data gets passed on to Google ads. And then you set up a campaign in Google ads and that’s what’s caused what causes your ads to show. So already it’s more complicated than Facebook right now I’ve got to deal with product feeds and I’ve got this other thing sitting in the middle and hang on to you have link to all of that. What my ads showing. Oh well you got to go set up a campaign and you’ve got gotta do stuff in the campaign to make that work. So there are more steps and um, yeah, more hoops to jump through for sure.
Trent: Okay. So do your bed without screen-sharing. Do your best to walk us through it. What are in, in the early phases when you’re setting things up? Cause I know from interviewing some other Google ad experts, there’s a certain number of gotchas that Google will put tick boxes that are ticked by default and so forth, which are good for Google shareholders but maybe not as good for the advertisers. So are there a few things that are the standouts that you want to pay attention to?
Mike: Yeah. Um, when you go to set up a new list, start at the, at the Google end with the campaign. So if you’ve been watching over the past year or two, you’ll notice that Google and putting the word smart in front of knee everything, they have smart buildings, smart display, smart campaigns. They have something called smart shopping. This is their attempt to make life as easy as it is for Facebook advertisers where you can very quickly set up a new campaign and you’re offering money. The downside of that is that Google is an in control of everything it says. I’ll figure out who to show your products to, how much you should pay, what we’ll go into those ads. Just, just leave the whole thing to me. Give me a credit card. Oh, and if you’d like, there’s an optional extra there. You can tell me what your target is, your target return on ad spend or ROAS ROIs.
Mike: You can say, okay, I need a 400% return. In other words, tip a dollar in, get $4 back, and that is optional. Uh, that’s one of those little gotcha optional tick boxes. Yes, you want to set a target and you want to say, look, I need to get at least to break even. So if your cost of goods is 30% then you’re going to have a target return on ad spend. A 300% it’s going to cost of goods is 25% to begin with. Your Target’s going to be 400% I need to make some money here, but stop with breakeven. That’s all we’re aiming for at the beginning. Just to see if this thing’s got promise. So you might want to set up a smart campaign. You’re going to be steered that way. We suggest that you don’t do that at the beginning. I’m a huge believer in learning the fundamentals before you automate because if you automate stuff that you don’t understand, got really no way of understanding what the machine is doing and if that’s a good or a bad thing, I think you’re going to start with a bit of education and you learn the fundamentals and then you set this up the old school way, the manual way where you build a campaign.
Mike: There are definitely more steps than I can probably cover. Um, with that to do that the right way, we honestly, internally we have checklists and we’ve done it a fair few times and improve those checklists. Uh, every time we create a new campaign and every time Google comes out and uh, and changes things. But essentially you’re going to create a campaign that is going to contain a number of groups and you’re going to tell Google this is how much I want to bid because I know this is how much money I’m going to make. Roughly how the other end. Does that make sense?
Trent: It does. Let’s talk about campaign structure. Cause I know there’s a lot of ways to poorly organize your campaigns, which will result in you not really knowing what’s working or what have you. Um, so let’s, I’ll give you a scenario. Let’s say that I have three products that I want to advertise. Should I have one campaign with three ad groups and or should I have three campaigns and then how am I gonna accomplish split testing? Cause in the beginning, I’m, my mindset is I’m just out there buying data. I want to buy some data so I can make some more informed decisions on how to refine my campaigns. But if I don’t structure them properly to begin with, it makes refining and optimizing a whole lot more difficult.
Mike: Right? So yes, it’s going to depend on the number of skews, the number of products that you sell. If you sell a relatively small number, let’s say under a hundred, then you’re probably going to have an ad group for each product because that’s going to give you the most granular data. Now there’s pros and cons to this, but that’s gonna give you the most granular data where you can bid differently for each product. This is particularly important if you’ve got a wide range. We had a, a retailer many years ago had sold everything from $20 lamps to $6,000 dining room tables. So you can’t be deciding on all of those. You don’t want to pay 50 cents a click for all of those different products and under thousands in between. Right? Just make sense. So we want to base our bid based on profit margin, the expected return that we’re going to get.
Mike: So sales price, less cost. And so, um, if you have lots and lots of products, then you’re going to start to group those together because you know that let’s say all of your dresses have roughly the same product margin and therefore you want to bid roughly the same on all of those compared to the shoes compared to the tops compared to the prams or whatever else that is that you sell. So you’re going to think about how you structure it. And that can often be sort of very close to how you might physically merchandise that in store. If you’ve got all the primes over here and the dresses over here and the swimmer over here, then you could set up your campaigns the same way, relatively low number of products. You can stick with just the one campaign, but you’re going to have a big group for each product, possibly a group for each group of products.
Mike: When things start getting a bit more complicated, we’ve got a client that sells over a hundred different brands of clothing, then we might have a campaign for each brand. It really it’s that trade off the balancing act between squeezing the most out of an account and getting the absolute best result versus the resources needed to set up and manage that. Everything’s always a trade off.
Trent: Yeah. Such as it is. Um, so let’s go back to the three products scenario. I’m in the buying date X phase. I’ve got my campaign, I’ve got my three ad groups and now I’ve got ads and I want to, I want to split tests. So how does that get set up?
Mike: Well with shopping, you’d actually get to write the ad. So the ad itself is using data that’s pulled from your shopping fee. Now if you only have three or five or maybe up to sort of 20 products, instead of doing this whole complicated data feed thing, you can actually just have a spreadsheet.
Mike: So you can set up a Google sheet that lists your products, assuming that you have a Shopify site, that all of that is done for you. But if for some reason you have your own custom site and it’s difficult to get the data out, then at least know that’s an option. You can have a spreadsheet of all your products, but obviously it has to be kept up to date. So it’s an easier just to use that automatic feed out of Shopify. So let’s say you got a Shopify site, three products, they’re coming across the, the ad itself uses the data from that feed. And the most important thing in your feet is the title of the products in Shopify. Each of your products has a title. The way that Google chooses when to show your ad is by looking at what the title for your product is and looking at what people search for.
Mike: And if there’s a close enough match between those two things and it’s going to say [inaudible] this product is what they’re after. Here we go. I’ll show that. If they were.
Trent: Still having, having SEO optimized titles, if I wasn’t advertising, having SEO optimized titles is smart. And what I’m hearing from you is it also serves the purpose of my ads because somebody are, or am I going down the wrong road? Does it.
Mike: I’ve never used the term SEO optimized, but yes, absolutely. It’s, it’s, it’s matching how people are searching. Um, and so yeah, federal express for years with federal express that you’ve FedEx with federal express, you’ve had it. Oh, okay. We’re FedEx. That’s how people called them. So the better you can understand how your market talks, what do they call the thing that you’re selling and you use that? What’s the, there’s a classic one from airlines yet they always called them these camp Fs.
Mike: We don’t search for airfares. We’ve searched for flights and prices for flights. We don’t use the same language. So you can split test in a way. It’s actually very, very difficult to do to get decent data. But you would change the title of your product and then see what happens over in Google shopping. Do I start to show more ads for this product? Less. But the way I see it is that’s hard today.
Trent: because in Facebook you’re able to set up all sorts of ads and split test images and split test copy and split test description and all that. So you already do it like that on you.
Mike: And you can in Google but not for shopping. So Google search, Google display, YouTube works exactly the same way. Let’s have a few ads in there. Let’s throw them into the machine and see which one works. But with shopping, because it’s taking the data in the feed in order to build that ad for you. So the first thing you want to understand is, well, how do people search for what I’m selling? And this is another reason not to use the smart shopping campaigns because they don’t give you the list of search terms that which is that the things that you would make type into Google in order to see the ads. That’s called a search term. There’s a subtle but important distinction here between stemming keyword.
Trent: When Tim Ferriss was trying to figure out the title for his book, the four hour work week, he ran ads for iterations of his titles and then he picked the one that got clicked the most. When you’re titling your products, is there a, is there a similar approach that you could follow using the Google ad machine shopping network? What do you want? Whatever you want to call it.
Mike: To start with you. So you’re going to start running ads and then you’re going to look at the data. Let’s say you’re buying data at the stage, you’re gonna look at the data that is out of that shopping campaign. So it’s called a search query. So with a Regulus backup a second cause it’s a really important distinction I think with a regular campaign, a search campaign, you have what are called keywords that live in your account and then people search for things and that’s called a search term. And if the two are close enough, then your ad is going to show the keyword is what you control. With Google shopping, there are no keywords. You don’t get to put in a bunch of keywords and say, if people search for this, then show my ads please.
Mike: That’s not how it works. It’s people are searching for this and Google is deciding, does this search term match? Okay? The product [inaudible] which comes from your fate. So getting the right titles. Now that’s something that you can change over time as you learn more and more about how people search as a starting point. Let’s just get a quick example. Um, maybe that product right now is called a gray coat. And actually how people search is a number of different ways that can look for women’s coats. They’re going to look for a women’s woolen coat. They look for gray coat or size 10 winter coat. So the attributes that you can fit into that product title by talking about the material, the size, the gender that it’s full, and then adding a brand name in there. Particularly if Australian client, people know your brand name, putting the brand name either at the start or the end of that title, making sure it’s in there. At least that’s all gonna help. And then you get some data and then you look through all of those search queries, fat’s the why people are looking, that’s how they’re searching. And you go back to your data feed, you make some changes. This isn’t a daily thing. This might be a, yeah, a once a month thing.
Trent: Yeah. Well, depending on how much you’re spending.
Mike: And depending on the volume that you’ve gotten, how much data that you’re actually buying, and you’re just constantly tweaking that to better match how people search and show ads more and more.
Trent: Okay. So when you’re like I wanna I wanna dive a little bit more into how much of this can be systematized versus how much of this is just the byproduct of experience. Is that even a good question you can answer.
Mike: I think it is. It is a, it is a curious mix of art and science. So getting the set up right is crucial because if you’ve got the setup wrong, if you’re still learning and pushing your way through this at the setup stage, managing it is going to be next to impossible. It’s to set up and.
Trent: The set up to be done by following a checklist?
Mike: Most of it, we haven’t talked about things like dynamic remarketing yet I met remarketing where you see ads that show the exact product that you’ve just been looking at. Setting that up full Google with Shopify is, it’s about full pages of code that’s on our checklist. I wouldn’t know how to do it. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Our dev team are incredible and cause it’s slightly different every time. If we’re using Shopify and Shopify plus if you use tag manager or not, we’ve checklisted most of that, but there’s always something.
Mike: It’s because the client was using this particular app in Shopify that caused this part not to work and so we had to do this thing and work around most of it. Most of the set up can be, we’ve just, I’m in the process of actually recording some videos to give all of that away and say these are the exact steps and here’s the full pages of code that you need with the 33 or 39 steps that our dev team go through, but we’re also going to offer that as a service and just say, look, if he can’t be bothered doing this yourself for, it’s probably worth three grand for 1000 bucks to set everything up for you because now you’re off and running and you don’t need to worry about that. You can run the campaigns from here on end with a small spend just to get going to make sure this is going to be useful for you, but we’ll do the setup.
Trent: Yup. Yup.
Mike: Sorry, what was the question?
Trent: Trying trying to figure out how much can be systematized so that because in every, in every undertaking be it advertising or building a house or you know, whatever, there’s stuff that needs to get done one time and then there’s stuff that needs to get done over and over and over and over again. Yeah. And I’m a big proponent. Anyone has been listened to me for a while, knows I love me a good system, especially if it’s documented as and especially for things that are getting done over and over and over again.
Trent: Um, so I’m trying to wrap my mind around where’s the delineation in creating these campaigns because, uh, you know, what portion can be systematized, can, can any, like if someone’s founded as German to do this themselves, they’re not going to hire an agency for whatever reason that they want to learn it because they, that’s a skill they want to have for whatever reason. Sure. Are there pieces that if they had good systems, here’s a better way to ask my question. Okay. Are there pieces that if they had good systems that would be good to be able to delegate to virtual assistants?
Mike: Yes, there are pieces. I think with anything, I wrote a blog post about this about six years ago about you know, what level of work should you be doing, what level of books for the next person down be doing down, down and at the bottom is a computer and the computers are coming up so they’re starting to do more and more. The thing with advertising is there’s so much nuance in language book, Mike Rhodes, microbes book, same three words, totally different meaning so stuff around language. We do everything here in Melbourne. We don’t send that off to a VA in the Philippines and say, Oh, you just run this accountant and we’ll charge the client over here because there’s too much do you wants. Now there is some things, the stuff based on data that absolutely can be systemized and I firmly believe if you can write it down and the checklist and it’s objective, not subjective, then you can probably turn that into code because a checklist is essentially pseudo-code right.
Mike: To an engineering background, at least there is some things can be done. So let’s say back to the search terms. For instance, we see these search terms coming into our shopping campaigns and it leads to all of these sales over here that are profitable sales, where we can take that search term to plug that into a shopping campaign or search campaign over here and start running tech stats for that. So that process can be automated. If this, then that, if this, then that, if you can turn it into a, if this, then that role, great. That’s the difference with machine learning. We don’t use if this then that anymore, that’s a whole different conversation. That’s not good down there. Um, but certainly in terms of if you’re gonna run this manually, then you can have rules around how much money you must spend. So if the return on ad spend is less than two, then I want to decrease my bid, cause I’m losing money every time I run in that.
Mike: If my return on ad spend is more than six, I’m making lots of money, then I’d want to increase my bid. I want to show Google, Hey, show these ads more often. Every time I run this ad I make money. Let’s do more of this please. If I’m bumping up against my budget and the campaign is profitable, then I probably want to increase my budget. So there’s lots of bits of this that can be checklisted or can be delegated. Um, but anything to do with the nuance side of it, like thinking about the search queries and changing the title, that probably is going to request someone that, you know, that doesn’t have English as a second language. No offense, 20 VA’s. Anyway.
Trent: All right. Um, let’s talk about rookie mistakes that you see. Uh, awesome cause I would imagine people come to you, they’ve been trying this on their own maybe they’re not succeeding. You get a look into their accounts and you’re kind of like, Oh.
Mike: Yeah. Um, we were chatting the other that I think it was book probably seen three that have been set up properly and all the time that we’ve been doing this rookie mistakes in Shopify, there is a, an app called the Google shopping app. So you would think if you want to do good, you’re shopping. That’s the app to use. It’s not for a whole bunch of detailed reasons that we do not need to get into, but it is not the app that you want to use. You want to use an app that looks after your data better, that that gives you a little bit more control and allows you to do more powerful things like being able to change a whole bunch of products at once instead of one at a time.
Mike: Now if you’ve got three products, it doesn’t matter, but if you’ve got more than 20, that starts to, it become a real pain really quickly. We prefer a paid up short. It’s going to cost you 30 bucks a month. But if you’re serious about your econ business and 30 bucks a month, there’s nothing. Um, so something like data feed watch is a really good app. There are many, many, many to choose from, but data feed watch is a really, really good starting point. If you’re spending tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands per month, and then there are other options, but that’s probably a small percentage of the audience, so we don’t need to go there right now. A rookie mistakes. We’re also that, so I can put it in the show notes, a data feed data feed, watch.com. Okay. And you can just search for that in the Shopify app store.
Mike: Um, Google mentioned center. I think most people by the time they get up and running, they will have set that up and it’ll be okay. So let’s park that in Google ads, they are probably going to have, um, one campaign with one ad group and all of their products lumped into this one ad group and one bid for the whole lot. Again, if everything you sell in this 59 bucks, but that’s not going to be too big of a problem. But if there’s any kind of range there, that’s going to be a problem fairly greatly.
Mike: Um, the biggest thing would be just that extra steps. Thinking about how are people searching and matching your product titles, keywords. I mentioned that there are no keywords in shopping, which isn’t quite true. There are no positive keywords, but you can have negative keywords. So negative keywords, these things that block you saying. So if you only show new things and having negative keywords like vintage and secondhand and used and pre love, that will stop showing ads to people searching for that sort of stuff. And that was idea ton of money. I’m not running remarketing. Remarketing is just picking money up off the table. Assuming that you’re in an industry where you actually allowed to run remarketing ads, you want to be running remarketing ads and you want to run those remarketing ads every way you can. So not just Google, but Facebook, YouTube, if you can, g-mail, remarketing ads up. Fantastic.
Trent: So you want to make sure you have everybody’s pixel on your site.
Mike: Yeah, well suddenly Google and Facebook really that matter. You don’t need to go and do a Snapchat pixel and Twitter pixel and all that stuff, but we’ve just, by having that Google pixel, you can now show remarketing ads across a variety of channels. YouTube, Google display, Gmail, and you can even start to to merge remarketing with search and shopping now. So in other words, I can say anyone that’s searching for these products, anyone that seeing my shopping ads, let’s pay a dollar. But if they’ve recently been to my website, I want to pay a buck 50 and if they’ve recently been all the way through to the checkout page of my website, but they haven’t bought yet, then I wanna spend two bucks because those are the people most likely to buy from me in the near future. And they stay coming back again and searching again for those things. But they haven’t bought from me yet. I want to get in front of those people that are very, very lucky to buy.
Trent: All right, let’s wrap up with this one. I’m enlisting to you. I think to myself, there is no way on earth I would ever want to do this. You know, like it, it would take me forever. I got other things I should do, so I’m going to need to find an agency, right? You have an agency obviously, so if someone wants to reach out to you, they’re going to be able to do that. So what, what, how does, because there’s a lot of crappy agencies out there, I’m sure. How does someone make the determination, like you, you’ve been doing this a long time now, so if you were going to hire an agency, walk me through the process that you would, let’s say you got three on your short list, how would you figure out which one was the best?
Mike: I think a lot of it is, is pure just do I like this person? Are they asking me questions about my business? Do they, do they really look like they want to help or am I being treated by a number? I think that would be the first thing for me. A question that I would always ask is how did you learn? How, how did the principal of this agency at least learn? Like what’s the backstory I learned by spending my own money, um, tens and tens of thousands of dollars of my own money, figuring out how Google ads worked. And that’s when I really fell in love with it and went, Oh my God, this thing works. But it is a totally different feeling, spending your own money to spending someone else’s. And so that is infused in everything that we do.
Mike: Um, how big is the team? There is a large agency that shall remain nameless here in Australia, at least when I last looked into them, they were about a hundred person agency, 80th and we’re salespeople, four of them with technicians. To me that is completely the wrong way around. And if it’s an agency like that, you know, you’re getting sold at the other end of the scale if it’s a single person agency and yeah, that’s how I started sitting at the kitchen table. Um, but what are you really getting and what happens when that person goes on holiday or get sick or, and there’s a lot of different skills involved and all of those skills don’t live in the, the same Brian, you’ve got copywriting skills, graphic skills, coding skills, the ability to understand the machine. And then if you’re an agency, the ability to deal with customers.
Mike: I think we’re really happy with the sort of size team we have now about 20 people because we have, that’s really what I’ve been building all these years. It’s that Dan Sullivan from strategic coach calls it a unique ability teamwork. So you have all of these amazing unique ability stuffs that people love to do and they’re really, really good at, but they just get to do that bit. And your graphic designer isn’t trying to write copy and your copywriter isn’t trying to do code because that is the person that’s writing your ads shouldn’t be the person playing with pivot tables as a rule. They have different skills. So you want to arrange a skills and yet have it not be a bloody sales organization. That’s
Trent: Yeah, you would think if they have that many salespeople, they’re not getting referrals and if they’re not getting referrals, they’re probably not doing very good work.
Mike: I and the salespeople in that particular place, we’re not taught the same level of tech that the technicians had. They were actually shielded away from really understanding what was going on. And I noticed because I’ve spoken to one of their X technicians that was finding, yeah, they’re out there. Someone flying toasters is the expression. All right, so in the event that someone would like to get ahold of you, what’s your website URL? A web savvy.com. Dot. AAU. Don’t forget the AAU or all the way down here in Australia. Web savvy is w E B. S a V. V Y or it just hit me up on Facebook and he found me on Facebook and search for Mike Rhodes. Send me a question, ask me questions. I love helping businesses grow, so just find me.
Trent: And I’ll put a link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes as well. Cause if someone messages you on LinkedIn, they’re, you’re going to get messages, right?
Mike: Am yup. Yup.
Trent: Right. Wonderful. Mike, thank you so much for making some time to be on the show.
Mike: My absolute pleasure, Mike. Thanks for having me.
Questions Asked During the Interview
- Who are you and what do you do?
- Most store owners are running Facebook ads and ignoring Google. Do you think this is a mistake and why?
- Tell me about an incredible result that your expertise played a role in achieving.
- What are the steps and best practices for trying to replicate this result?
- Tell me about campaign structure.
- Tell me about the systems you have developed to make this a repeatable process.
- Can you tell me about some of the biggest mistakes/lessons learned along the way?
- What advice would you give when it comes to hiring an agency?
- Tell me about the future of Machine learning and how it is going to affect advertisers.
Mike’s approaching veteran status in the Digital Marketing world. He’s in his 14th year of building & running Google Ad campaigns for businesses & brands all over the globe.
He’s also the co-author of the world’s best selling book on Adwords ‘The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords’. As well as being in the trenches with his team & doing the work for clients, he also teaches a few hundred competitor agencies how to improve what they do… both the technical ‘how to do Google Ads better’ side, and how to scale their businesses.
Mike’s married to the amazing Gabbi & lives in Melbourne, Australia. When he’s not playing in the Google machine you’ll find him in a forest on a mountain bike, or elbow-deep in Play-Doh with his two gorgeous daughters.