Interpreting Google Shopping Campaigns’ Competitive Benchmark Stats

Competitive Benchmark Data is an exciting facet of Google Shopping Campaigns. The new metrics will help retailers identify potential growth areas and become more competitive where margins and/or return are favorable.

Google has provided some guidance on how to monitor and optimize your Shopping campaigns. However, we are finding the need to clarify exactly what these metrics are, what they are not, and how to best make use of them. Benchmark data is not available at the SKU level or for product groups based on the SKU-level Item ID identifier. And, for all metrics, keep in mind that Google is comparing your performance to similar products on other advertisers, rather than making a direct side-by-side comparison of the exact same products.

Here are some other things to keep in mind with respect to the new tools:

Impression Share

Impression share indicates the percentage of impressions you received out of the total impressions Google determined you would be eligible to receive. It does not mean that the same products appeared from other sellers in the “missed” auctions. It does show where you have the potential to spend more money, but does not necessarily relate to where there is more potential to drive revenue. Google’s recommendation is usually to raise your bid in all cases where your impression share is low. Since impression share and benchmark metrics are not limited to the queries you’re already appearing on, bid increases will often lead to showing on broader, more expensive queries.

In other words, don’t assume that low impression share is a sure-fire opportunity for efficient revenue growth. If you decide to increase a bid based on impression share or benchmarks, remember to treat it as a test and monitor closely after any changes.

What Impression Share is

What Impression Share is Not

Benchmark Max CPC

Benchmark max CPC helps you gauge how much other advertisers are bidding on products similar to those in your product group. This can help you determine if your bids are competitive on those products.

What Benchmark Max CPC is

What Benchmark Max CPC is Not

Benchmark CTR

Benchmark CTR allows you to compare your click through rate to that of other advertisers’ product listing ads for similar products. It can help you identify where your product data might need improvement as well as where your bids might not be competitive. If your CTR is low compared to the benchmark, it might also be a clue that you’re appearing on the wrong types of queries.

What Benchmark CTR is

What Benchmark CTR is Not

Benchmarking data should prove to be a valuable set of tools for retailers. However, be sure to use them intelligently. Monitor performance closely after action is taken, and always be guided foremost by your return, profitability, and merchandising goals.