Google Shopping

Google Shopping ads have been introduced to New Zealand market in early 2017. It is one of Google Ad types that lets you display your products in front of potential clients once they type a product name in Google. It is a great way for online retailers get more visibility, increase website traffic, and sales. 

What is it

Google Shopping ads are product listing ads that contain product image, price and title along with your store name and a direct link to your website where a potential client can purchase it.

Example of Google Shopping ads is below:


Google Shopping ads appear on search engine results page (SERP) along with other ads and organic listings whenever someone types in product related query. They usually are displayed at the top of the page (above text ads and organic listings), or under the shopping tab. It is a shopping search engine, where you can search for product offers directly (highlighted in the image above).

Benefits of Google Shopping 

What are the benefits of Google Shopping ads, and why would you want to choose it over search (text) ads? Well, it has been reported by Google that Shopping Campaigns’ Click Through Rates are often 200-300% higher than search ads (text ads). Also, Google Shopping ads have higher conversion rates and a lower cost per click than text ads.

Additionally, when it comes to search results, Google Shopping ads have a major point of difference : it contains a product image and a price. So it is a great way to capture the attention of relevant audience  with high purchase intent. 

How it works

It is required to use 2 platforms in order to set up Google Shopping Campaign: Google Merchant Centre and Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). 

First, you need to enter your products’ information to Google Merchant Centre. Once it is done, you can manage your campaign using Google Ads. Please note that unlike Google Search Ads, you can't choose keywords for your ads in Google Shopping. Your ad will show up when someone types in product-relevant search query (based on your product information). However, the good news is, you can eliminate irrelevant traffic by implementing negative keywords.

If you decided to start and manage Google Shopping Campaign yourself, please make sure that you understand Google shopping ads policy. It is very strict and you will need to comply with it, as repetitive policy violation can result in the account suspension :/

Google Shopping campaign optimisation

To begin with, you need to use high-quality images of your products in order to differentiate yourself from the competition and grab the attention of potential customers. You also need to make sure that your product title is descriptive and appealing to your target audience. Also, bear in mind that you compete with other online retailers, and product price is one of the main factors in customers’ decision-making process. Make sure you do price research in order to appeal to price-sensitive audience. 

Once the campaign is set up, constant monitoring and optimisation is required in order for it to deliver great results. That includes (but not limited to) developing a list of negative keywords, setting up bid adjustments, etc. 

Should you use Google Shopping Ads?

That all sounds great, but some information is a bit confusing, and you are still not sure if Google Shopping is the right solution for your business and if you should use it.

Well, let us ask you a question: are you a product-based business with an e-commerce website looking to boost your website traffic and sales? (Did you just say ‘yes’ or nod your head?) 

Then the answer is YES, Google Shopping is a great way to expand your business online.

Google has reported that return on investment with Google Shopping is better than any other PPC advertising, however, the setup is quite complex and often needs to be managed by an expert. 

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you increase your online presence and sales with Google Shopping campaigns.

How To Optimise Google Ads : 5 Tips To Get Better Results

You have got your Google ads campaign up and running (that’s exciting!). However, it has been some time and you still have not had any results from it. Sounds familiar? Then this post is for you ;).

While Google ads is a great way to expand your business, competing with other advertisers to get new customers online can be difficult and overwhelming.

We’ve put together a list of 5 optimisation tips you can follow that will help you get results from your campaign.

  1. Create similar themes keywords ad groups:

    You have come up with a total keyword list for your campaign. The next question is, “how many keywords should I have in 1 ad group, or how do I organise the ad groups better?”  Well, it is best to organise your keywords into smaller (20 keywords or less) ad groups based on services, products or other categories of your website. It will help you keep keywords and ads relevant to what people type into Google and it will give you more control over your campaign.

  2. Write compelling ad copy:

    As you are competing with a number of other businesses, it is important to make sure that your ad stands out from the crowd and is relevant and attractive to your potential customers. 

    There are some best practices to follow when it comes to writing ad copies: highlight any benefits or any unique features your business has, include at least one of your keywords to the ad copy. 

    Another great way to get people to interact with the ads is adding a call-to-action. Are you selling something? Tell people to view a range of your products. In case if you are offering a service, tell people how they can get in touch with you. You can also include information about any running promotions, discounts, etc.

    The bottom line is you need to show your potential clients how you can solve a problem they might have, and why they should choose you over your competitors.

  3. Use Ad Extensions:

    Provide your potential clients with more information about your products and services with ad extensions. These include additional links to your website, telephone numbers, service (product) catalogues, any unique selling points, location, etc.

    Using ad extensions will help you differentiate your ads from your competitors, add value by increasing visibility, as your ad will take up more space on a search engine result page (SERP). There are several types of ad extensions, click here to find out more. It is usually recommended to use ad extensions that align with your business goals (for example use call extensions, if you want to receive inquiries via phone calls).

  4. Use the Search Terms report to build a negative keyword list:

    Again, when it comes to Google ad campaigns, keeping your ads relevant to search queries is the key.

    Luckily, you can minimise the number of irrelevant clicks by adding negative keywords. 

    Negative keywords will prevent your ads from showing up if a search query contains that keyword. For instance, your business is a car dealership and you sell cars, but you do not rent them. You will need to add ‘rent’ as a negative keyword, so your ads will not show up for someone who wants to rent a car.

    Not sure what you can add as a negative keyword? Check the “search terms” report, it contains all search queries (phrases people typed into Google) that triggered your ads to appear. You can also use it to get new keyword ideas.

  5. Track the conversions (purchases, leads, phone calls, etc.) from your campaign:

    And lastly, once your campaign is set up, you want to make sure that you track the results you are getting from it. You need to understand what actions you would like people to take on your website and define it as a conversion. Conversions usually include purchases, inquiries, phone calls, app installs (if applicable), etc. 

    Conversion tracking will help you understand the return on investment, and you will be able to analyse which ad, ad group or keyword delivers most of the results.

Overall, there are many ways to optimise Google Ads, we have just outlined some of them that will help you get on the right track with your campaign.

Are you still finding it hard/confusing to manage Google Ads campaign and struggling to get the leads with it? Or perhaps would like to try Google Ads for your business? Get in touch with us today and learn more about how we can help you grow your business online.

Google Analytics & Tag Manager RegEx Guide

RegEx or Regular Expression are a string describing a specific text pattern. They are helpful when defining goals and filters in Google Analytics or Triggers in Google Tag Manager.

The below table outlines the RegEx characters commonly used in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

|ora|b – matches a or b
.any single charactera.c – matches abc, acc, adc, …
?zero or one previous charactergoo?gle – matches gogle and google, but not gooogle
*zero or more previous charactersgoo*gle – matches gogle, google, gooogle
+one or more previous charactersgoo+gle – matches google, gooogle, but not gogle
^start of the string^apple – matches apple juice, but not pineapple
$end of the stingapple$ – matches pineapple, but not apple juice
[]list of items to match to[a-z] – matches any lowercase letter from a to z
b2[cb] – matches b2c, b2b
()group elementsJan(uary)? – matches Jan, January
January?  – matches Januar, January
{}define character count , – matches any two number string  from 01 to 99
[0-9] – matches any number string from 1-999
 \treat RegEx characters like normal characters\? – matches a question mark, not zero or one character

Why you should migrate to https

We've been recommending to our clients to move to https for some time now as Google in 2016 made announced that beginning in January 2017, they are going to mark all the non-secure websites in their Chrome browser.

What that meant was Google implemented a feature in Chrome where a warning would display on http sites where there was an entry field of any kind on the page.

The final step is that Google will make that message much more noticeable and will send a clear signal to the user: you risk exposing your personal data on this site, use at your own risk.

The likely effect of this will be negative and turn potential customer away.

Apparently Google is not stopping there, in the several locations in the US they have been testing a way to mark non-secure website in the Google Search results page. This will have a much bigger impact as the likely effort will be potential customers won't even visit your site!

So take action now to migrate your site to https. 

Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads became available for New Zealand business early 2017.

When a potential customer searches for your product a photo of your product, plus a title, price, your store name, and more is displayed.


You can use Google Shopping Ads to promote your online store and the products you sell through it.

Similarly, to other types of Google Search Ads, advertisers place bids for a limited number of available Ad slots that lead back to the advertisers online store.

If you are interested in using Google Shopping have a chat with us today

What traits does a good website have?

I was writing a presentation for a client the other day and one of the question they wanted answered was what makes a good website.

I think a good website has 4 key attributes:

  1. Easy to use, navigate and understand - this is achieved by considering the information architecture of the site, the way pages are laid out, in regards to the grouping and chunking of information.

  2. Provides direct, actionable information relevant to the users intent - Each page on the site should serve a purpose and have a place on the customer journey.

  3. Is professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers and devices - It needs to be professional and convey your brand, just as a physical store would. With 90% of NZers owning a smartphone and 50% of searches now conducted on mobile, it must be build with mobile in mind and the simplest way to do this is by building a responsive site.

  4. Delivers high quality, credible content - Content is king, after all it is what your clients are seeking out in the different moments (I want to KNOW, I Want to DO, I Want to GO, I Want to BUY).  A site should ideally be designed around the content with an Information architecture that structures the content into logical groupings that are flexible and allows for change. After all, we tell our clients that they should never consider their site, done. It is a living, breathing, thing that needs to be tended to, just as you switch out promotions and stock in a physical store the same consideration needs to be given in keeping your website fresh.

If you're interesting in refreshing your website or getting one for your business, talk to us today.

Why Use AdWords? Here Are 10 Reasons

I was reading WordStream the other day and came across this article about Why Use Adwords? Here Are 10 Reason which was published back in 2012 (updated 21/2/17), it is still very relevant in today's world.
So you don't have to read the whole thing (unless you want to ;-) I've summarised it below:

If you’ve never used Google AdWords before, and you’re wondering whether or not it’s worthwhile, this post is for you. Here are 10 reasons to use AdWords.

1. AdWords Is Scalable

One of the trickiest challenges for any marketer is finding lead sources that scale – meaning, it doesn’t require five times the effort to get five times the leads. Google AdWords is highly scalable, which is why some business spend millions of dollars a year on AdWords advertising. If you create an AdWords campaign that is converting at a profitable rate, there is no reason to arbitrarily cap spend on that campaign. You can increase your PPC budget and your leads and profits will increase accordingly. This makes AdWords highly effective for businesses that need a lot of leads but are short on time and heads.

2. AdWords Is Measurable

Compared to traditional marketing channels like TV and magazine advertising, online marketing is highly measureable, and AdWords PPC is one of the most measurable of online channels

3. AdWords Is Flexible

AdWords provides tons of options so you can customize your campaigns and ads to your particular needs, hyper-targeting the audiences you most want to reach

4. AdWords Is Faster than SEO

For new businesses and websites, it can take months to see results from SEO. AdWords is a great workaround for new businesses because you don’t have to wait around so long to see results. While working on your site’s SEO, you can put resources into an AdWords campaign and start getting impressions and clicks immediately.

5. AdWords Is (Usually) Easier than SEO

Once PPC campaigns are built and in place, we find they require much less effort to maintain than our SEO efforts. Not only is our enormous beast of a website very difficult to keep up to date (which plagues me), but in order to increase organic traffic, it takes a team of 3-5 constantly churning out SEO content, working on optimization and building links.

6. AdWords Is Taking Over the SERPs

AdWords is Google’s baby (it should be – it accounts for about 97% of their revenues), and over time the SERP has changed so that more and more above-the-fold real estate is given to ads rather than organic results. 


7. AdWords Formats Can Be More Engaging than Organic Results

Google has rolled out lots of new ad formats in the past couple of years, such as product listing ads and in-video ads on YouTube. Google is motivated to do this because shinier, more engaging ads get more clicks and that means more revenue for Google. But higher clicks are good for the advertiser too, so take advantage of these new ad formats and extensions. Organic listings look pretty boring in comparison.

8. AdWords Traffic Might Convert Better than Organic Traffic

Hey, organic traffic is great, we don’t knock it! But there’s some evidence that paid search traffic converts better than organic traffic – with conversion rates up to two times higher. (Conversion rates vary by industry, and as always, this may not be true for your particular business, but you won’t know until you try.) This is probably due to the fact that paid search traffic is more targeted and qualified (due to those targeting options we talked about above), and that queries that result in ad clicks are much more likely to be commercial in nature, rather than informational.

9. AdWords Complements Your Other Marketing Channels

AdWords is complementary to your other marketing efforts. Remarketing is an especially powerful way to use AdWords to target people who have shown an interest in your business. With AdWords remarketing, you can track past visitors to your website with a cookie (these people may have found you through social media, your blog, a click on a product page from a forwarded email, etc.). Your display ads will then “follow” them around the Internet, so your brand stays top of mind. For example, the Land’s End and Priceline ads below are both retargeted – I visited those websites in the past 30 days.


10. Your Competitors Are Using AdWords

Finally, there’s peer pressure: The old “Everyone else is doing it, so why not you?” argument. Your competitors are likely there in the sponsored results at the top of the SERP. Can you afford not to be?

iDigital are Google Certified Partners – Talk to one of our experts today.

Is it time to refresh your website?

We live in a world of rapid change and the internet is definitely no exception to this. 

A website that was designed a number of years ago may now be out of date and holding your business back from achieving is goals online. 

But how can you tell?

1. Is it mobile friendly?

Smartphones and devices are now part of our everyday lives and we are using them to do many of the things we use to do on a computer. In fact, more websites are now loaded on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers. Making sure your website can be easily viewed and used on a smartphone is now a must have. 

An easy way to check is to visit your site from your mobile:

  • Is it slow to load when using mobile data?
  • Is it hard to read and use?
  • Do you have to zoom in and out and move the page around to read it?
  • Are there bits missing or things that don't work? 

If you answered yes to any of these question your site is not mobile friendly. 


2. Do you have an outdated design?

An outdated design can give the impression that your website and business is no longer active. This will put customers off from continuing further such as calling for service or purchasing a product.  

A fresh, clean, modern site tells your customers that you're open for business and professional to deal with. 


3. Poor user experience 

A site that is hard to use, navigate and understand will put customers off. 

A way to tell if you site is not working as it should is checking Google Analytics and assessing your bounce rate and session duration. If the bounce rate is high and session duration low this could be a sign your potential customers can't find what they are looking for and are leave straight away. 

Review your site:

  • does it have a clear customer journey to follow?
  • does each page have a strong call to action?


4. Poor content 

Content is really important for a number of reasons:

It informs your customers about your business and the products and services you offer, it persuades them to buy what you are selling. 

It assists with your ranking on Google search. Well structured and well written content helps Google understand your business and what you are selling so your site can appear in search results when people are searching for what you are offering. 

If you are running Adwords it can also effect the amount you pay for your ad clicks, this is because Google has a quality score multiplier as part of its bidding system and poor content will lead to a lower quality score. Most of the other issues mentioned will also lower your quality score too.


5. Functional Errors 

If your site has errors, such as missing pages, pages with no content or links and buttons that don't work these need to be fixed, a site with functional errors makes it extremely hard for customers to try and enquire about your services or try and buy your products, but that is only for very persistent customers, most will abandon your site and try your competitors instead. 

Any one of these factors are red flags that it is time to refresh your site, if you have a number of factors you are probably missing out on sales and leads.  

If it time to refresh your site, then give us a call so we can help get your website back on track to meeting your online goals for your business.

BigCommerce vs Shopify

We love BigCommerce, so much it is the only platform we build ecommerce sites on.

Beside a number of reasons we've outline on our site, I came across this really great article that compares BigCommerce and Shopify.

It compares a number of key features and summaries that "BigCommerce offers a much more enriched and fortified ecommerce solution for growing businesses and established companies alike.  The range of native features, available options, and freedom to modify allows you to custom-tailor your website to best suit your specific needs in creating an efficient and effective online retail experience."

If you are thinking about moving to BigCommerce then give us a call, we're a BigCommerce Partner and have build a number of ecommerce site on this platform.