A Guide To Segmenting Brand and Non-Brand On Shopping

In Paid Searchby Harrison Douglas- Smith

Shopping Segmentation. Tedious or Tactful?

Any Paid Search marketeer worth their salt will tell you how important it is to segment brand and non-brand traffic for AdWords Search activity. This is because clients often have different budgets, objectives and KPI’s for branded and non-branded activity. So why is Shopping segmentation so often overlooked? Perhaps it’s because said marketeers are tired of constantly attending and amending negative keyword lists…

Creating a non-brand campaign is easy, you just add a phrase match negative keyword on your brand term – “brand” and apply this to your campaign. Easy. What’s not easy is stopping non-brand traffic coming through on your brand campaigns. You can’t add phrase match negatives for non-brand queries as this will stop your shopping results serving for brand versions of those terms.

Of course, you can add generic keywords as negatives on exact match but no matter how many you add there will always be more and there will always be slight variations or misspells of each word triggering your ads.

Take A Moment To Check…

Have a look at the search queries coming through on your “brand” shopping campaigns. Add a filter to remove those containing your brand term and I’ll bet my left arm that you’re serving thousands upon thousands of non-brand impressions through your brand campaigns despite your best negative keyword efforts.

But Why Is This Important?

Essentially this phenomenon is hurting you for two reasons:

  • You’re not getting a true understanding of brand and non-brand performance (misreporting)

but most importantly,

  • You cannot maximise higher converting brand traffic.

Let’s say you’re achieving 20% impression share in your “brand” shopping campaign, intuitively you know that brand converts better than non-brand and at only 20% impression share you’re missing a lot of opportunity. Instinctively you increase bids on the product groups in your brand campaign, but let’s think about what you’re really doing here.

Essentially, you’re giving Google permission to show your results and charge you more per click on any term (outside of your negative keyword list) that it deems to be relevant to one or more of your products.

With such a diverse product set, product title’s and descriptions, Google will stretch its imagination and begin serving your results against ever less relevant, non-brand terms! Any why wouldn’t they when they stand to gain so much?

Example: A product group containing only products from the “short necklaces” category, in a “brand” campaign pulled through the below queries in just one day:

18ct gold chain

black signet ring large

tight choker for women

Not only are these search queries not branded, but they’re also not completely relevant to the product set. High CPC’s are associated with short-tail generics such as these which means we’d be spending a significant amount of precious budget against irrelevant terms if left unchecked (without capitalising on brand opportunity).

Here at MediaVision we’ve been experimenting with the various approaches that can be taken to ensure brand and non-brand traffic are filtering into the correct product groups. After many weeks of testing we’ve found a solution and the results speak for themselves…

As you can see, we’ve increased our impression share within our brand campaign from an average of 13% in the first 7 days to 46% in the latter half of the period.

Over the same period, we’ve

Increased revenue by 62%

Increased ROI by a huge 289%

Most valuably of all though, we now have a structure in place that allows us to capitalise on as much brand opportunity as our budget will allow.

If you’re shopping campaigns could use a revenue and ROI boost, feel free to get into contact with one of us here and we’ll be happy to look. Say goodbye to pesky negative keyword lists!

About the Author

Harrison Douglas- Smith

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