E140: Henry Gill

Performance Max and Leveraging Uncertainty to Scale With Google Ads

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Podcast Overview

Are you constantly worried about your Google Ads spend? Scared you are burning money? If you answered yes, this podcast is for you.

Performance Max is the latest advancement to trickle out of Google’s interface. It seems too good to be true and guess what? It is. 

Poor management = poor return on investment. Don’t let this happen to you. Listen to our T-Shirt fanatic Henry Gill as he shares how you can make some juicy profit with this Advertising method. 

eCom@One Presents

Henry Gill

Henry Gill is the Head of PPC at eComOne, an eCommerce Growth Agency. He is a true expert in his field and has managed hundreds of Google Ads accounts. Henry has scaled six-figure+ eCommerce companies with optimised Search and Shopping Ads. 

In this episode, he discusses how the management of Google Ads has changed since he began years ago, budget shifts due to industrial uncertainty and where retailers are going wrong when it comes to accounting and how they can fix it. Find out what marketers can do if their products are disapproved and what steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Tune into this episode to learn about the detailed subject of Google Ad management and how your company can profit from bouncing off uncertainty. You can also hear Henry’s quick wins you can implement today to save money with Google Ads!

Topics Covered:

2:36 – Who Is Henry Gill And How He Joined eComOne

3:05- How Has Management Of Google Ads Shifted Over The Past 6 Years?

11:30 – Where Are Retailers Going Wrong When It Comes To Accounts?

14:25 – What Is Performance Max? Should Marketers Just Leave Google

To It?

15:55 – The Time It Takes For Performance Max To Truly Work

20:29 – Quick Wins Companies Can Implement Today To Save Money With Google Ads

24:27 – What Can Marketers Do If their Product Is Disapproved 

31:47 – Are People Changing Budgets Due To Industrial uncertainty?

37:27 – Henry’s Prediction About The future Of Google Ads

41:09 – Where Is The Agency Industry Going?

45:50 – Book Recommendation – Atomic Habits by James Clear

Hi, and welcome to another episode of eCom@One. Today's guest, Henry Gill, head of PPC at eCom@One. How are you doing?

Yeah, very well, thanks Richard. How are you?

I am very well, thanks. For those that don't know, Henry is head of the department of the PPC at the agency. And I've been trying to get Henry on for a while, but he's been that flipping busy with clients and new business and a lot of new initiatives in the agency. So it's been an absolute struggle to get you on, which is crazy because I see Henry nearly every day.
So thanks for coming on Henry, and I'm looking forward to running through everything. But I think before we get into all things Google and Performance Max, it'd be good for you to introduce yourself to our listeners.

Yeah, absolutely. I've been working with Richard at eCom@One for just coming up to six and a half years now. So as Richard said, to head up the PPC team, work very closely with few of colleagues on both the Google Ad side and the Facebook side as well. Meta as it's now known. My real area of interest and specialty, I suppose it's been on the Google Ads and Google shopping specifically, which is probably no surprise for everyone listening we're eCom@One focused.
So yeah, it's been a very interesting journey with loads and loads of changes as I'm sure we'll get into from what we used to be doing, which was very much controlling every single aspect of the ads from device management to remarketing. Absolutely everything you can think of, and now, the AI is now a kind of new element which we're focusing on.

Well that's great. I think let's get straight into it then. So obviously six and a half years, well, it's a very, very different landscape to six and a half years ago when you started managing ads to where we are now. But how would you say the management of Google Ads has shifted over the last few years?

Yeah, I think for me, I think as you say, the fundamental change has been this rise of automation, which has brought with us and from big fundamental changes in the way that we manage things. I think probably two, well probably three areas in particular. I think the first thing is just the quality of the inputs in which your feeding machine has become increasingly important as something which is we're focusing on now more than ever.
I think the second bit we'll go into is the moving from a very granular approach to management to really focusing on the groupings and setting the right sort of targets and making sure the right products are included in the certain group.
And then I think that the third thing is really, which we're much more focused on now, is actually providing actionable insights which our clients can use and implement outside of Google Ads and outside Merchant Central as well. So yeah, some really big changes there.
So yes, the first one of those, the quality of the inputs, I think, Frederick Vallaeys, who's been on podcast and said before, one of the big changes with the move to smart bidding is that in some respects the fields being levels and then what we want to do is Unlevel the Playing Field as the name of his book. And I think with that it's just making sure that the quality of inputs, which is things like make sure the feed is absolutely optimized as far as it possibly can be, that all the information's available, the basic information, all the right kind of basics, make sure the prioritize is good, the description's good. But then I think the really important thing is focusing on the profitability, which can add into the feed as a custom label.
And then putting things like compelling images, which you're using both for the image ad itself for the shopping products, but then also with the new type of campaign which we'll get onto, which is Performance Max, where you can also include lifestyle images and images which can be used in remarketing as well. So getting the, first of all, feeding the machine the right information.

Yeah. I think obviously we see this most days, definitely most weeks, we look at maybe a couple of new potential accounts and new potential companies that want us to look at things. And if you think about it, listeners, you've probably created a feed, if you're running shopping, we assume, well, we know a lot of our listeners are. And if you're not, then you flipping should be, ultimately if you're an e-com store.
Taking that feed, but if you're taking just a base feed from Shopify, Magento, , whatever it may be, you're taking that base feed and it's just got the basic sort of categorization, you might have put your products on your site a year or two ago. And the reality is that there's a lot of other variables in there that Henry mentioned there, and if you haven't got those variables in in the first place, but even more so optimized, you talked about profitability, having the potential cost of goods or different, whether it's high margin, low margin, et cetera, medium margin based on profit. Because ultimately that's what we're all here for, isn't it? It's no good selling millions of pounds worth of stuff, if there's no margin there, which we see time and time again.
So feed, and it's one that I think most people get a bit stuck with. What would you say? It seems to be one that is surprising that clients, potential, well, clients of ours that come to us initially, they're spending tens of thousands a month on ads, but then their feed maybe hasn't been in touched for a year?

Yeah, I think that's absolutely right. I think the common thing with the feed is that seems a bit of an obstacle to get in the account up and running. So it's often people just put a basic feed together and then spend a lot of time, well, ideally spend a lot of time working on the account, I don't always do that either. But get just the minimum necessary requirements to get running. But actually the feed is absolutely fundamental to the performance of the account now.
Especially now as you've come onto, which is with smart bidding, working and giving Google a specific target to hit in terms of that could be a profitability target, unless you know what the profitability is for your individual products, which can add with COGS or the cost of good data, they are not going to be aiming the machine in the right direction.
So yeah, I think this other big move has been towards POAS profit on ads spend as opposed to ROAS, which was the key buzzword, which we never stopped talking about that five years ago, is now's is really kind focusing on the profitabilities. As you said you could have a very high turnover and actually you can have a quite well return on ad spend, but if you're not getting into the profitability, then it's often a waste of time. And you can control that by adding that information into the feed.

Yeah, yeah. So how many of you have got profit built into your feed, whether that's actual cost of goods or a custom label that is simply hiding high, medium and low and you're bidding based on high, medium and low? Obviously if you've got high margin, you can afford to spend more is what we're saying. And you've got more profit in the product, you can afford to be a more, and obviously the other end you've got to be very, very careful.
But POAS, yes, it's not something that gets spoken about a lot, but ultimately profit, as we say, a million pounds turnover is just that if you're only putting a couple of grand in the bank, it's very challenging. It doesn't take much to top all that deck of cards if you've only got a very small percentage. But a lot of you will have. But obviously if you're focused on profit. We've got clients of ours that have been with us many, many, many years and the ones that there seems to be a definite trend. The ones that are doing very, very well are the ones that seem to have that cost of goods in the feed.
And the bigger clients that are doing the 50 grand spend a month type and the millions a month in turnover, et cetera, seem to have that profit there. Because ultimately, if you know what you're making actually net profit or gross profit in this instance, sorry, then you can move the levers and you can afford to invest a lot more confidently, can't you? Yeah.

Yeah, absolutely right. I think one of the things we've moved to or are going through as well is making sure that you've got the cost of goods there, but then you've also applying a custom label, which is based on a profit bucket if you like. So what we used to do, I can remember this being a conversation in our last podcast, which is probably what, three or four years ago, we used to have a custom label which was based on the price breaks, that's a 10 pound, 20 pound product. Whereas now we could do that, a profitability break as well as say, depending what the margin is, that could be a 10 to 20% margin or 10, 15%, 20%, et cetera.
Again, putting lumping products into the right groups and then saying, okay, well if you've got a 10% margin, then we know that you have to have a certain return on spend, which is 10 X or greater, so 10 X breaking even, so you'd probably want to have 15, 20 X for product grouping.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Very clear on those groupings and your profits. So groupings and insights, I think we'll come back to that. So obviously you look at a lot of ad accounts, a lot of e-commerce store, Google Ad accounts specifically. Where are a lot of retailers going wrong in their accounts would you say at the moment?

I think so, yes, there are a few things. I think what can happen is having everything lumped together into one P Max campaign, which often isn't the best strategy. So it does depend on the amount of data which is running through your account, I'd say is the first thing. So if you've got a very small account by which we mean less than 30 conversions per month, then in that case you probably want to have a couple of campaigns. But if you've got thousands of products and they're all lumped into one P Max campaign, that is usually not the right strategy. You'll separate things out and bid on them separately.


One thing that we commonly see as well is that people just set up the campaign and just leave it running. And that is often also not the best strategy either. To be fair to Google, there is a little bit of an auto-correct strategy which takes place. But what we often see if you go into accounts, load up and then you have a look at the performance of individual products within a specific campaign, you often have the 80/20 piece still applies where you've got a few products which are extremely expensive, costing maybe 20, 30% of the account spend, but they're not generating great ROAS. So you want to make sure those are switched off and that's something which often missed.
And then just thinking about the performance of Google Ads more broadly, I think about where retailers are going wrong, I think Google Ads by itself won't necessarily fix everything. You want to make sure you've got the right pricing strategy, for instance, if you're expensive and competitive it's not going to work. And I think again you need to be setting the right sort of targets in the account as well. And you may want to make sure that certain products are pushed at certain times of year using the insights that you would know as a retailer and then applying them to Google Ads.

Yeah, no that's great. I think that's given our listeners a lot to think about. Pricing is one we've done a lot of work with our pricing partner recently, Pricing Inc, who are actually the sponsor of the podcast right now. I'm sure you'll hear a message anytime about now regarding pricing, but ultimately you're going to get your products live. And obviously you want the detail in the feed, et cetera, but if you're 20%, 10% more expensive than everybody else, that is a factor.
And there's a lot of strategies around price. We did a very good episode about three episodes ago on pricing. So I think that's... But Performance Max, I think there's still going to be quite a lot of listeners that aren't using it that are maybe a bit weary of the machines. But for those uninitiated, what is Performance Max in its simplest terms? And should marketers just leave Google to it or should they have a routine there or other things?

Yeah, so Performance Max is a new Google campaign type, it's essentially the successor to Smart Shopping. So very much AI driven, but where it differs from Google Shopping is that the idea is it can appear across all of Google's inventory. So one of the intros into the marketing world, is inventory Max because Google wants to use up all of its inventory, which means appearing on images, on Gmail, on Discover, as well as obviously the Google shopping tab, Google search itself.
And what's interesting is that, rather than just being shopping campaigns, although that's where we'd recommend the majority of our shopping spend goes is with P Max, lots of different campaign formats are eligible to appear in P Max. So you can have video appearing, you can have video ads appearing from there. You can have search ads appearing from there. And then also shopping and remarketing is also a very big part of it across display.
So it's like an all in one appears across appears with multiple different kinds of formats all run from a specific campaign type and lots of different formats and appears all across Google's different properties as well. I think it also appears on things like Yahoo as well or email.

So across their inventory. Yeah. And so obviously you take your feed, just like a normal shopping campaign, and obviously we touched on that so we don't very much need to spend time on that. And also regular routine on your feed, making sure that things are getting looked after, but then obviously we're up and running. How long does it take Performance Max to be dialed in and to be at its best?

Yeah, so Google's own recommendation is that would take a minimum of two weeks, but we find it takes quite a lot longer than that as well. And it also depends on the kind of setup that you want to do on Performance Max. So what's quite interesting, as I said, you can do exactly what can Google suggests and what Google recommends is the best practice, you'd be filling out all of the what are called the text assets, adding images, adding video as well.
What I would actually recommend doing is something slightly different, which is making the Performance Max campaign act more like a shopping campaign. Because we find shopping actually has the best ROAS, usually highest profitability, highest conversion rates. So what I actually recommend, this affects the learning time as well is setting up... Well actually to begin with as few assets as possible to try and make the P Max campaign appear like a shopping campaign.
And in that time it can, as I say, Google estimates a minimum of two weeks. It really depends on the number of clicks I would say. So if you've got say, a 2% conversion range, which is pretty common, 2 to 4% conversion rates throughout your account, really before you can understand how well an account's going to perform, you want to have a certain number of clicks per product. So if you've got a, as I said, a 2% conversion rate, you want to have 50 clicks per product before you've got any idea really if it's going to be performing at a reasonable level.
So I think Google says it's two weeks, I think I would say absolute minimum of 30 days before you can want to assess the form and see if it's going well. I think really just dial it in, you need about three months worth of data and then you can see a pretty reasonable ad spend. So I think if you are spending less than about 2, 3000 pounds a month, it'll probably take you longer than that three months.
So it does take a reasonable amount of time, I would say to have all the right data in there. But at the same time, if you set decent in beginning, if you set the ROAS targets, which are reasonable, not outrageously high, but certainly very profitable, Google won't generally overspend. So you've got a bit of a section out there, you're not going to be spending lots and lots and lots and not going to integrate ROAS generally.

So 2 or 3 grand a month minimum, 30 days minimum really, even though Google says a couple of weeks. And then not to really, how can we put it, optimize or put too much emphasis on anything other than the Google shopping campaign?

To start with. I'd say that's right. What happens quite a lot is that the campaigns perform exceptionally well and in that case you obviously want to scale. So you can control that mechanism in a few ways. So you can ramp up the budgets, which is so again, the best way, if a campaigns, performing amazingly well, getting a fantastic return, a great conversion value, the quickest, easiest thing to do is just put extra budget into it.

Yeah. Yeah.

Then also another mechanism is to reduce the ROAS target. So even if you've got a ROAS target of say 10, Google might be getting a 20 and actually we find if you decrease the ROAS target out of an eight, it can maybe you get a 15 ROAS for us to have a 20, but you might get three times the amount of conversion value, which is quite interesting. So Google doesn't actually always hit the targets and that's what I'd be very aware of as well.
But then as going back to your point, a really good way to scale is then to add in the assets and do more of this, I suppose broaden it out, essentially putting more emphasis on that remarketing and prospecting as well through search, through adding in the additional assets.

Yeah. So there'll be a few people still with us I'm sure listening right now. And if they were about to pause after your next sentence or three, and if you were going to tell them, "Right, these are some quick wins that they can go to their campaigns now in the next couple of minutes, pause the episode, go into their campaigns and get some quick wins in their ads right now," what would they be?

Yeah, so I think one of the really key things, going back to my favorite themes, which is the 80/20 piece, is looking at the performance of your campaign. So the first thing I would do, assuming you've got multiple campaigns running in accounts, is to add a filter. And then put that filter in and whatever's under your time out of spend targets. Let's say you've got five times return ad spend, which is kind of okay, breakeven and then that a four is pretty poor and not that great, but a three is definitely dreadful. So if you then put anything which is under a three and then you sort by cost, you can immediately see what is underperforming in your campaign.
So a quick win would be to go in and either reduce budgets on those campaigns, set higher targets, cut bids, all of those things to try and save money very quickly. You can do that very, very speedily. And then exactly the same process, but doing that for your products as well. So as I said, there's often a few products which can end up soaking up a lot of cost, they're just not performing very well at all. So making sure that those are in some instances paused, although usually that's not necessary.
And then what we sometimes do as well is you've got a product which actually converts pretty well, but you've got a dreadful return on spend, potentially putting that into its own campaign. Or you may even want to set up a manual campaign, and very closely patrol the bids on that. So I think, that's the first thing, applying those filters, seeing what's not forming well at all and making sure you-

Yeah, the old 80/20, hey.

The old 80/20.

It works though, doesn't it? At the end of the day you're running a store, you might have thousands, it's very common, isn't it? 1000, 10,000, 5,000 skews. There's going to be a percentage of those skews that are performing well, and a percentage that aren't or groups. So deal with those.
So if you've got 20% or even 5% of your business is literally a handful of 5% of your products is 80% percent of your sales, that's a huge win. But just by tuning that end of the products, and then the other end, the ones that are winning really well, the ones that are not winning, it's either really, really good ROAS or really, really bad ROAS or POAS and then tweaking those to maybe move the needle 10, 20, 30%. As opposed to the old days where you might just get a little tweak just by a little movement over here. Yeah, no, absolutely. So looking at the filters, looking at...
This is assuming also that you've got multiple P Max campaigns. So are you logging in and seeing one campaign, then you need to sort that out. You probably need to have a little call with Henry to have a little look, but if you've got one campaign that is problematic because ultimately everything is in one campaign, everything is getting treated the same as opposed to pulling out different product groupings into different P Max campaigns.
So we touched on feeds a few times, but I think one of the things we spend a lot of work doing, a lot of time is disapprovals. What can store owners, marketers do to either reduce disapprovals or to deal with them when they do happen?

Yeah, this is absolutely a crucial thing to keep on top of. We actually have every Monday morning the first thing that we do, we've got a recurring calendar invite task where yeah, every Monday morning first thing, usually it takes about an hour to go through the accounts, is just look at how many products have been disproved in the account and the reasons for them, as well as checking the accounts on track. So that's something which we need to look into in Merchant Center or you can actually see if you're on the Google Ad side as well.
So then what's recently been added, if you click into the products view is you can bring in a column called insights, which gives you a reason why that is disapproved. So it really depends. So often Google will incorrectly disapprove a product, so it often happens for strange reasons. So it can be the color of products, or other products for instance, described as nude, versus a color of pale, pinkish color, then it can be excluded, Googles automatically flag it.
And so there's often grounds to appeal. So that's one thing to have a look at and focus on straight away, so if that's the case, the first thing to do would be a manual review. So just click it and then you request it's reviewed.
I think the second thing, if it's a bit more of a thorny, tricky issue, one of the things you can do is speak to an account rep and open a ticket. So that can happen as well. So reviewing, I've had a look at the Google policies.
So for instance, we had a client who sold fireworks. And then unfortunately the Google policies changed, all of that was a lot of their products were disapproved but they were still able to sell sparklers on that side. So that was one of the areas which we ended up really pushing on to get around these other disapprovals.
So speak to a Google rep, double check if the product actually should be disproved or not. And then you can also take steps to make sure that your products comply. So that often is a few different forms which you can fill in. I've got one client who sells products online. And that's a really big part of their business. And then what they've done is filling out, put out a form about getting a pharmacy license for that, so you can get around the disapprovals by filling out additional documentation and your company manager can guide you through that.
And then one other thing which I've found is that, interesting enough, it seems that P Max can sometimes be more strict than the other campaign types as well. So particularly when you're adding these kind of image assets or giving the landing page to appear on search, that can actually sometimes be stricter.
So we've got a client who sells products which are used for outdoor equipment and survival, some of their products were flagged as weapons, they actually found that they were able to get that aspect live again through running standard shopping campaigns as opposed to P Max. So that creative piece was often putting images from the website and flagging-


Yeah, hunting products. Yeah.

Yeah, as we know some industries are prone they're maybe seen on the border of, like you say hunting, we're selling, I know we've got obviously a few clients in the outdoor space. Well the outdoors is selling shoes, it's selling walking boots, it's selling 500 pound rain jackets, it's selling flat caps. But on the extreme end it's hunting. Now we don't sign anything to do with shooting and hunting sort of thing, but there's areas that are in the middle that can then ultimately flag a whole account, can't they, which can be challenging?

Yeah, that's right. That's certainly kind of gray areas where you've got things like a rifle scope for instance, that's not hunting in itself, but then you get as modifying and proving a weapon which they disapproved but then you can't sell monoculars, which are basically do a very similar thing, you just attach them to a gun. So it's interesting, and it can be quite frustrating as well.
I think one of the difficult things to get your head around with Google is the way that they flag disapprovals does appear to be quite random. It's not like a person who's going there and ticking things off. A lot of it's done by machine. So yeah, they can often flag things up. And at some point it's just come completely widely wrong and you're given a disprove of something and it's nothing to do with the product whatsoever. But in that instance you can request that for review.

I was going to say it's literally a permanent thing, isn't it, at the agency most days we have some sort of disapproval, probably 10 plus a month at least 10, 15 every other day probably there's some disapproval. And we always get them through don't we unless they're clearly, I know we've had a client selling fireworks a couple of years ago, which is very challenging as an explosive and things like that is, although we did have them running for quite a while didn't we?
But it is quite common guys. So if you do get disapproved, disapprovals on particular products, it's going through that process. Yes, it can be a bit timely at times, and obviously you're busy running your businesses but ultimately you want to keep on top of those disapprovals. If they're not dealt with, your products will go down and then all of a sudden you'll wonder why the business has dropped off. Quite often you get quite a warning, quite a, it's usually 30 days isn't it Henry, a lot of the time?

It is. Yeah. I think they've also brought in a three strike policy as well. So it makes it really important because you can get your whole account suspended. So it used to be the case if a product was disapproved for policy violation, it would just be that product which wouldn't show, which is obviously can be a big issue particularly as a bestseller, but now they're a repeated policy violations and of it's violating one of the key policies, then the whole account can be suspended. So yeah, it's an important thing to keep on top to ignore the warnings.

Or if in doubt, speak to Andy, that's our resident feed genius who spends probably 60% of his life in feeds, doesn't he, building feeds but obviously making sure all the cogs are in there, all the variables, all the product types, custom labels, et cetera.

Custom labels.

And then back and forth with Google on any disapprovals, where necessary sort of thing. Tickets left, right and center. Yeah, so that's brilliant. Hopefully that's given our listeners a lot to think about. But I think something I'm interested for you to let our listeners have a think about, obviously uncertainty at the moment seems to be the, if you like a bit of a buzzword, a little bit, it depends what TV station you listen to I think, and what newspaper you read. But ultimately, it's more challenging out there. So now what have you found about companies and what have you seen around budgets recently, are people adjusting budgets based on the uncertainty and the economy at the moment?

Yeah, to be honest it is, there's a kind of mixed picture in a variety of different approaches you can take. So sometimes it can actually be a big positive in some respects where there's uncertainty in the industry or in various industries. And what happens is competitors can ease off on the gas and become more constrained with their budgets. It can actually be a big opportunity for expansion.
I think particularly if you've got a lot of the elements which are correct, and you've got a decent site, so all the basics. And again, going back to that kind of pricing thing, making sure that's competitive. And for a number of clients we're actually 40, 50% up year-on-year in terms of ad spend where people are really pushing and that a lot of that again, but the whole way that Google Ads works is that you pay one P more than your next competitor. So if your next competitor's scaling back and not appearing as much, and if you're paying less in terms of cost per click and so on, then it can be a really good opportunity to scale.
So we have seen that where we've had a lot of our clients have become much more dominant and appearing much more often and have actually, although their budgets have massively increased, they're getting a much higher return on spend and their cost by click is less.

Would you say that's because some people have abandoned and there's less competition?

Yeah, I think so. They've abandoned or probably scaled down I would say. It's not the case in every industry, in other words we've got other people who've probably got the same mindset as us and are pushing again. I'd actually probably say about 60 to 70% of our clients are actually spending more year-on-year. So they're actually ramping up their budget in some cases.
I think again, I'm harping on about pricing, I think one client who's very competitive in their pricing, they've made that a huge focus over the last year. And that's really enabled them to be very confident in really pushing with their ads. So they're very, very dominant in showing all over, the Google Ads results and such. But just because they know, well they're closest competitors, they're matching them on price or better.

Yeah. That's where this leveling the playing field comes in, isn't it? Because ultimately if everyone's doing the same thing, margins are getting squeezed for other reasons, economy, cost of goods, et cetera, going up, haulage potentially less so now, but ultimately then there isn't a margin of potentially in the product. And if you're doing the same as everybody else on their ads, this is where the things we've talked about really come into play.
You can't just set up a P Max campaign, leave it, have one campaign, two campaigns and expect to outperform in a semi competitive industry. You're just not going to do it. But whereas what Henry's saying is ultimately people that are probably doing that are struggling. And therefore maybe when they were the first to do P Max back here a year or so ago, they were like, "Oh that's actually really great, we haven't got to pay an agency now."
Whereas now ultimately everyone is using P Max ish, most of you I'm sure are, but ultimately it's where you get an extra 20% that leverage of changing the 80/20 or the 80/20 of the 80/20, that 4% where you're looking at your key products, you're looking at your feed and squeezing that little bit extra out which will mean when that runs for them, that some people may well and in many instances that we are seeing are abandoning or really cutting back on costs, that then creates an opportunity. Yeah, an interesting one.

Sorry, just to very quick add on that as well. I think one another kind of reason that we've been able to scale cost in a lot of instances is just to focus on the search. So we have a question at the beginning how things have changed. One of the interesting areas has been this blurring of the campaign types where shopping is now P Max and P Max is everything essentially. But then also search we found has become a really good kind of way to scale eCom@One. And it's often a little bit overlooked I would say for e-commerce. And one of the things there is you can include image extensions on your products. So it can be reasonably time-consuming, you can have a dynamically appearing image but it would actually often get better results if you have an image that is very, very specific to the keyword.
We also often have keywords which we'll do with specific products as well. And having a specific product, and you probably want to start off just by doing a bestsellers list, maybe top 50 of the bestsellers, but having that really appropriate nice image for a specific ad which is all around a specific product. And the ad then goes to the landing page, that can really pay off. And that focusing on the search ads, which now because they've got that image in them and they often have a price extension as well in them, the way that we run them, those two things have enabled to take on additional real estate on Google and enable a lot more profitable spend going through that as well. That's enabled quite a bit of scaling I would say for the account as a whole.

That's a great point, a very great point. Because ultimately they are looking a little bit more like shopping ads now aren't they, not quite, but they've got some similar, you've obviously got the image like you're saying there, price coming through. So how many of you are running those type of ads as well in conjunction with your shopping?
So next 12 months, Henry, what are your predictions? What do you expect to see with Google Ads?

Yes, it is an interesting question. I think Google are going to probably stick on P Max. I'd be quite surprised if there's an initial kind of campaign type coming up, but I suppose you never really know. So I think what's been encouraging in the last few months is they're been extra elements which been added into the P Max. So one of the really key things has been added some extra levels of control. So I think when P Max first came out people were quite worried because you didn't have access to things like the search term reports, which you still can't see, but now there are extra elements been added in so you can see the place where your ads appearing.
And then one really important change has been brand, sorry, not brand, sorry, has been that you can add negative keywords into your P Max campaign. And one way in which you can use that, although it does need some thought depending on your setup and your competitors, but you can add negative keywords in for brand. So that's one really big thing.
So I think there are going to be extra levers, extra bits which you can control within the P Max campaign. Probably more insights, more data, but I think the big picture is people are going to continue to want to leverage its AI and push more on those sorts of areas.
One of the big changes which it actually keeps on being pushed back, it's all about the cookie list and having modeled data as well. So this is, as performance driven obviously, and we like to be extremely transparent on reporting, but one of the big changes is that there's going to be, it's likely to be an increasing loss of actual data and conversion data, which you can actually measure and see come through your website. So Google's response to that is to have modeled conversions.
So that's going to be a very interesting change where Google is more estimating and guessing the amount of conversion value that's coming through, but potentially recording that as actual conversion value in your account, which is an interesting and very different kind of approach to running Google Ads. So I think getting our heads around that and improving the attribution and using multiple attribution sources, I think that's going to be a big change, which is coming as well in the next 12 months or so.

Well, we'll find out. We'll get you back on in 12 months and I think as Google gives you more levers as you've been able to add negatives now on P Max, it's those that explore those areas. It doesn't mean you go all in, but it means okay, we're spending 10 grand a month, right, well 5% of that budget we're going to explore X, Y, Z, whatever comes out. And that's very much our methodology in certain accounts. When things come out to try things. Because again, that's where you unlevel the playing field is by trying some of the newer things. It doesn't mean you go 100% of the budget on the new thing because not everything works or not everything is straightforward straight away when it launches.
I think there's a lot of people that shied away from a lot of the automation in Google Ads. And I know a lot of agencies including ourselves were very, very cautious many years ago. But I think those that explore, those that use an amount of budget to test stuff, that's where you get the wins.
So agencies then, we're going to have a lot of people listening that are using an agency or thinking of using an agency. Where do you see the future value of where do you see agencies heading with their ad management?

Yes, I think as you touched on the start, one of the changes has been that four or five years ago what we were doing is very much pulling 50 different levers to find exactly, or what we thought was exactly the right bid for a certain skew to a bit. I think what we're doing now is still very close designed campaigns, but changing with that group level, the overall kind of ROAS targets. You should do that very frequently and taking stuff out and putting it into different campaigns if it's not going well and changing creative and so on. But I think although agencies still do a lot of work within the interface itself, what I found increasingly is I think we can add value by using the insights from Google Ads.
So I think previously this was a much smaller part of my role to say, "Okay, these are the results. We can see this doing well at this time of day, for instance, it's doing particularly well on this device," but then using that information to tweak things within Google Ads.
So if we knew that weekends were dreadful, we would then go in and change the time of day adjustments. Or we knew that a particular segment, so for instance, people have come back to our website two or three times, were much more likely to convert than we would make a remarketing adjustment in the account. Or people on mobile phones for instance, were particularly likely to convert for a type of product, we'd then make that tweak.
So a lot of that we don't control as much anymore due to P Max and the increase of the automation, but we can still use those insights. So in a really basic example, we can say to our clients that, "Oh, okay, well we can see if they're on mobile, your conversion rate is significantly less than on computers." Rather than just making the adjustment in the account that we used to see, we can then point out what the next steps are to improve the mobile experience to make it easier to navigate on mobile, and stuff.
But then you can get much more specific than that. You can have look at kind of products which or product groups which are performing really well, or poorly at times of year, and recommend for instance that you do an email campaign and push these products which are maybe coming out of their season and make sure that's really pushed.
Or you can optimize certain products doing very well at the moment on Google Ads, making sure that there's digital PR content, pressure around that SEO content. So I think the way that an agency can provide value is this strategic piece writing holistic insights. And then let them know that, "Okay the weekends off quite a few, why don't you try on the email campaign with a 5% offer at this time?" Or even have a dynamic pricing strategy where you drop your prices by 5% just at the weekend and then push them back up.
All those sorts of things. So there's lots of data which you can pull out and then apply to marketing as a whole, which I think that's increasingly, I see the role of an agency becoming that broader advice piece as opposed to just making those kinds of mid tweaks in an account.

I love it. Yeah, I agree completely. Yeah. Fantastic. So using the results or lack of results, on your ads channel to inform decisions, resource in other areas, it's quite obvious, isn't it really? And I think if those things are disjointed, you've maybe got two people fighting for budget, but maybe in a business or an agency, whereas those teams and those people should be working together, ads can inform SEO, can inform digital PR, can inform email, and vice versa of course if you get-

Absolutely. That's one things we found is with our SEO team, they spend a lot of time doing keyword research, finding what the high volume keywords, high intent keywords are, and then that is absolutely crucial information which you can then use to dictate, I can prove your product title and product description, which are really fundamental pieces to make sure that the right products are appearing as often as possible. So you've got a bestseller, you want to make sure that you are pulling in those high volume keywords and making sure that your ads are appearing all the time for high volume terms.
So I think that's the real key. You can have very specific terms, but if you've got a really long tail keyword, that's not where you're going to get the volume, you're going to get it from the shortest tail keyword. So that's what you need to focus on and make sure is added into your product and titles and descriptions.

Brilliant. Henry, it's been an absolute blast. Absolute nugget after nugget. So I like to end, as all listeners will know, if you've been with us sometime, I like to end every episode with a book recommendation. Do you have a book that you'd recommend to our listeners?

I do, yes. This is a book I come back to year after year, I've got to make sure I read it often around January time. And that is Atomic Habit. So James Clear's also got a fantastic newsletter as well. I think probably one of my favorite nuggets from that book is what he calls habit stacking, which has been... Actually probably two things.
So one of the things is make sure that habits, you have a very specific time and place which you set for doing a particular habit. And then also stacking, which is as soon as you finish one habit, you potentially start another one and you link it to something.
So for instance, you could say put it in your calendar at 2:00 PM on a Saturday is my time to go for a run. And then habit stacking would be, after I do my run, recover or whatever, collapse in the corner, but then, I do my meal prep or it might have been something like that.

Yeah, have your shake or your protein or your whey or your... Yeah.

Exactly. I'm really huge fan of James Clear and love his content, but Atomic Happens is the one I recommend.

Brilliant. Well thank you for that. Thank you for that. For those that want to find out more about you, Henry, more about what you do, eCom@One.com, what's the best way to connect with you?

So through email. Henry@ecomone.com. Or probably LinkedIn will probably be the best approach. Find me there for the eCom@One company page on LinkedIn. So those probably are the best ways to reach out.

Thank you. Well thanks once again. It's been an absolute pleasure to get you back on after, well it's been about two and a half years I think, since you were last on. One of the first guests on back in the day when we launched. And I look forward to getting you back on again in 12 months and see how things are developed with the AdWords side of the business. Lovely. Well thanks very much Henry.

Brilliant. Thanks Richard.

See you. Bye-Bye.

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