Kurt Prosser of Easton Digital gives us a primer on the state of Google ads and what to expect from the platform in the coming year. What you want to see in an agency is that they are willing to attach their overall well being to the wellbeing of their clients, in tangible terms they use a % sharing system and offer some of the most up to date methods to stay on top of some of the most competitive markets out there.
Kurt Prosser is a former engineer and Ohio State MBA grad who turned analytic marketer. He owns multiple Amazon brands selling over seven figures annually, and currently is Managing Partner at Easton Digital. Easton Digital is a Premier Google Ads Agency and Shopify Expert Agency that changes the way small to midsize Shopify stores grow their sales and profits with Google Shopping and Bing Shopping. Easton Digital’s KTC Method™ and performance based fee structure have helped grow over 1,000 Shopify stores since 2013.
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Kurt Prosser: [00:00:00] But I think for most of the audience here, just looking at the click through rate, measurement of how many people see your ad versus how many people actually click, right? Because if everything's good in your image and your, and your price, everything's good, then they're going to want to click right. So if that sharply decreases, or if your conversion rate start sharply decreases, now look at your ad within your product, competitions or see what, what, what can you change there. Using that data, click through rate conversion rate to, uh, to your benefit is, is really, really important.
Joseph: [00:00:34] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind of insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable so let's go.
Kurt Prosser of Easton Digital, gives us a primer on the state of Google ads and what to expect from the platform in the coming year or years. What you want to see in an agency is that they are willing to attach their overall wellbeing to the wellbeing of the clients. In tangible terms, they use a percent sharing system and offer some of the most up-to-date methods to stay on top of some of the most competitive markets out there.
Kurt Prosser, it is good to have here on Ecomonics. Good to see you. I I'm loving the, uh, the background tiles you got there. Very intricate.
Kurt Prosser: [00:01:30] Thank you. Thank you.
Joseph: [00:01:31] Hey, how you doing? How you feeling today?
Kurt Prosser: [00:01:33] Good, good. Doing well. Thanks for having me. Really excited to be here. Really excited to speak to you and your audience and talk about Google shopping.
Joseph: [00:01:39] Terrific. Well, that is going to be question two, but question one is our Ecomonics tradition, uh, which is, uh, tell us who you are and what do you do, which actually, I guess you might end up saying that google shopping anyways but let's, let's go for it.
Kurt Prosser: [00:01:53] No. No. Thanks. Yeah. So, so my name is Kurt Prosser, so I, uh, specialize in helping small and mid-size e-commerce stores, Shopify stores grow with Google shopping.
So that's really my sort of core. Uh, we have an agency called Easton digital. We have, uh, 10 team members that work like I said specifically with small and midsize shopper stores. Uh, and, but I also have my own Amazon private label brands. So I've been doing that since 2015 and then growing those, uh, since then.
And so, so sort of, uh, almost tried to almost do an iTero dog food scenario, um, and sort of grow my own e-commerce stores, but ended up you know, Amazon private label brands just sort of took off and that's growing like crazy, really crazy. But, so, yeah, that's a little bit about me.
Joseph: [00:02:37] Perfect. Well, you know, I, I I've heard, and this is by the way, this is something that I'm doing myself as that at the very, very worst, we can set up these own projects for ourselves as a learning mechanism.
So a testing mechanism, something that we can use to then apply our knowledge to the people that we work with.
Kurt Prosser: [00:02:54] Right. And that actually has helped me quite a bit. I mean, really when I started, uh, Easton digital, it was really focused on like small to mid-size e-commerce store, but then I had a client reach out to me and say, hey, I like you to help me sort of launch our, our own e-commerce store, the led light bulbs.com. And so we launched it, grew it, um, I ended up leaving to do the, uh, the private label, Amazon product and focus exclusively on or focused on more on Easton digital. Uh, but it learned a lot, I mean, really diving into all aspects of e-commerce and all aspects of just trying to grow an e-commerce business really, uh, taught me personally a lot about this.
Some of the challenges that small, you know, Shopify store owners face, but also really, you know, how to focus on what's important to really help them grow. And, uh, you know, sort of rolled that into, uh, Easton digital. Uh, but then also rolled it into my own, uh, Amazon or e-commerce brand, which is why we focus exclusively on Amazon private label, because I just didn't want to do all the shipping and do all that stuff myself and wanted to let Amazon take care. Basically, Easton was my primary thing here.
So, um, it was a little bit easier to focus on what's the most important and then let the rest take care of itself.
Joseph: [00:04:05] Yeah, I'm finding that whether it's as Amazon private label or using one of the dropshipping services, I've talked to a bunch of them lately. I talked to yakkyofy who I'm leaning towards, uh, greatly so much so that I signed up and I'm already working with them.
So I don't know why I said leaning towards, uh, talk to, uh wiio and having those interim companies is personally, in my opinion, pretty pivotal to being able to compete ironically with Amazon. But at least it gives people a lot of that extra, a lot of energy that they can use focusing on the marketing and not have to worry so much about spending their energy on like even getting to the point where they're physically putting the inserts into their own packaging.
Kurt Prosser: [00:04:45] Right. Well, yeah. And that goes back to the challenge of small to mid-size shop owners. I mean, they're wearing so many hats, there's so many things to do in e-commerce business. There's just a, you know, there's a limited number of things you can do. So to really allow you to focus on the real important levers of your, of your business.
I mean, that's. That's, you know, if you really focus on those skills are what's most important, um, and, and sort of outsource or free up the rest. I mean, that's, that can allow you to grow so fast. Um, I mean, even for us, for our Amazon business, I mean, what we were really good at was finding a manufacturer in China and doing a little bit of product redevelopment to make it work for the private label market.
And, uh, but all the fulfillment, all logistics, customers, all that stuff is just like, we didn't want to try to grow that. And so, I mean, and it's scaled so quickly and it sorta, and it can scale up or down depending on inventory. So it's really worked out well, worked out very, very well. So I think there were this year. It will last, yeah, go ahead.
Joseph: [00:05:44] I was just going to say, I might, um, I might chamber it to, just to ask you to kind of like how you started up doing the Amazon private label, but we can get to that.
Kurt Prosser: [00:05:51] Yeah. Yeah, no. So, um, really, I mean, in terms of starting up, I mean, we, like I said, I had a client that came to me from, uh, that wanted to start led light bulbs.com.
And so we started led light bulbs.com and we were running that. And at the time, you know, there's a lot of competitive forces between GE and Phillips and Sylvania, but Chinese manufacturers started reaching out to us and saying, hey, look, we've got our own version of this light bulb. Would you be interested in selling this?
And so that's what we started doing. I said, okay, well, great. You've got this price of light bulb and, and the Chinese government, of course subsidized that quite a bit. So it was a very, very low compared to that GE and Phillips and Sylvania light bulbs. So some great, well, I'm just going to put her private label brand on it and throw it out there. And, uh, my business partner on the, uh, Amazon private label side, he he's trying to use. So he does all the, you know, manufacturing, negotiations, all the, you know, all the inventory and all the coordination back and forth them. So that's helped a lot, but that's, again, that's probably like 25 to 25% of my time.
Uh, but it's just, uh, again, it's just, I feel like it sorta helps me learn a little bit more about e-commerce helps me see all aspects of e-commerce. So it gives me that well-rounded, um, education of e-commerce. So it's helped out quite a bit.
Joseph: [00:07:07] Um, and, uh, there's there's people who have a punch card right now, where if I talk about how this show has helped me, uh, And more than eight times they get a coffee.
So there's a few people we're about to cash in on a coffee, which is like, just being able to do content. Like this has just been like the, the amount of information that I've absorbed, um, is there's there's stuff like six months ago that is just sinking in today. And it really just changes a view of, you know, what we're capable of and what we can do to change a lot of people's lives sometimes in a short amount of time.
Kurt Prosser: [00:07:36] Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree.
Joseph: [00:07:38] Um, we know we want to talk about the Google shopping today. And I, what I tend to do is just to make sure that I don't like retread familiar territory is, uh, I'll, I'll go through the backlog and just see, okay. Have I had this conversation before? For, forgive me a audience, but talking to a lot of people I'm doing best to retain everything is it's, it's, it's legitimate getting harder and harder as time goes on, but I do my best here.
And so we did talk to Marco Rodriguez. Um, so that would be a good episodes to check out as well for reference material as to, uh, some of what's going on, Google shopping. Um, so Kurt, the question I pose to you is more of a state of google shopping at as it is now. Maybe what are some of the major developments that have happened over the course of maybe the last six months? And what are the main, I guess, appeals to getting into Google shopping today?
Kurt Prosser: [00:08:26] Yeah, no, that, that's a great, great place to start because there has been a lot, a lot of changes in Google shopping and, um, you know, it's, especially for the small to mid-size, uh, e-commerce or Shopify store owner, because there's so many.
So many resources, so much information out there. So many different strategies that you can use for Google shopping. Um, but I think the th to get the, your sort of the root of your question there, I mean, what I think has really changed over the past six months is the smart campaigns and particularly how the smart campaigns perform with some of the more traditional keyword targeted manual campaigns. Okay. Um, now for those that maybe don't know much about Google shopping and Google shopping by default just uses your product titles and shows your ads for everything that's relevant. And it's, uh, you know, there's not a whole lot of keyword targeting that goes on in terms of old sort of text ads where you can target specific keywords and show an ad.
However, there are sort of more advanced strategies, um, where you can use those sort of keywords and like negative keywords and it's too technical to go in here, but there are some advanced strategies that you can use. But what we've seen though, again, back to your question, what we've seen as some of the smart campaigns have, um, I'd say, uh, started competing more aggressively with those, uh, keyword targeted advanced strategy campaigns. Okay. So, uh, not to get too technical, but I think it's, it's important. I think, you know, for the last six months, more and more agencies like us have started using multiple strategies in their Google shopping account.
So they'll have a data feed that's for like a smart campaign and then they'll have a duplicate data feed for a keyword targeted manual campaign. So, um, not to ramble on too much here, but I'll give you an example. So like, let's say you sell a vintage led light bulb. And you want to show for that, right?
Google uses your title and says, okay, well, I'm going to determine if this ad is relevant to what the person's searching for and that's fine. That's, that's a good, uh, but, uh, so your title could be vintage led, light bulb and you, and you target and, and you have a manual keyword targeted Google shopping campaign that, that shows your ad, your Google shopping ad for vintage led light bulb.
But let's say that same product you wanted to start showing for like, Like, I dunno, like retro, like lighting or vintage lighting ideas or vintage, uh, light bulbs or some other terms. What you can do now is take a duplicate of that product in your feed. Okay. You can just, you know, it's, you only have one product on your website.
You can create a duplicate in your feed, link back to the same product. And then now use some of those smart Cubans to go after more top of funnel, more, um, you know, top of funnel, mid funnel type keywords to get. More traffic up there that you otherwise wouldn't have. So it's sort of a two-pronged approach.
Joseph: [00:11:23] One thing I just wanted to clarify is when you say that it's linked to the different products, is that as linking to basically it would go to one product page, um.
Kurt Prosser: [00:11:31] Yeah. Yeah, one product page. So you can have one product your website, but the point is you can create multiple products in your data feed to go after different keywords, right.
That Google, because again, Google uses the product title in your data feed determines relevant. So you can create different products in your data feed and then use different campaign strategies for each one of those to go after different points in the funnel. So, again, I don't mean to get too technical, but the point is is if you are just running one smart campaign or you are just running one default sort of manual Google shopping campaign.
Yeah, I highly recommend checking out sort of duplicate product IDs and duplicate feeds to run multiple campaign strategies that that has, we've seen a lot, a lot of increase in traffic from those and the increase in sales, because you can now go after sort of different points in the funnel and, um, and use something like a smart campaign to cast a wide net and go after lots of traffic at very low cost per click, but then use something like a manual keyword targeted campaign to go after very expensive sort of bottom of funnel, very targeted keywords. So, um, you know, so, so hope that answers your question. So I think that's the biggest change is that, uh, you know, as Google has rolled out some of the campaign strategies more and more agents like us are testing multiple different campaign strategies at the same time to get to better target civic, uh, points in the funnel. So. Hopefully that helps.
Joseph: [00:13:06] It helps quite a bit. I'm certainly putting some pieces together. So based off some of my own understanding prior to is, uh, uh, a lot of marketing is, uh, centered around the top of funnel, because the idea is if I'm going to put out an advertisement, I need to cast as wide a net as possible in order to get the best ROI.
So then that way, then from there, they head over to my website and that's where they get closer to the funnel. And eventually they convert and then ideally reconverge and then we get into remarketing, uh, and that's all well and good, but that is what we learn. Uh, and this is especially because I'm talking a lot on Facebook marketing, is that we are spending money just to get the data so that we know who to target. So that first wave of, of advertising is actually just continued testing.
Kurt Prosser: [00:13:51] Yes. Yeah. That that's fair. That's a good, good point. So, yes. Um, especially with some of the smart campaigns. So especially as you think, you know, really over the last six months, like, like, how am I, how are you going to use Google shopping to drive profitable sales, your store?
And how are you going to use Google shopping to really grow longterm using that smart campaign and going after top of funnel? Yeah. You are sort of, you know, testing and trying to learn, what do you know what search terms and search queries actually work for you? And, and it like Google's algorithms sort of warm up and start finding those profit customers. But, but even before you do that, like, if you, if you're someone, if someone in your audience is just getting started Google shop and say, what's the right way to get started, how should I start? You can still use those keyword targeted campaigns to target bottom of fall term.
So let's say that you were using your sign, a Garrett metal detector like a Garrett model, something. You can set up in your data, feed, Garret model, whatever , and then you can create a manual keyword targeted campaign that just goes after and just focus your ad spend on Garrett metal, Garrett model, whatever metal detector.
So that's that. So you can start at that very specific. I mean, you can start five, 10, 20 bucks a day and just target those very specific terms. Let's say so you don't have to learn as now, add to your point as you start growing. And as you say, look, you want to start really ramping up and growing. Now you have to go up more towards the top of funnel, mid funnel, and try to get some of those people that may just be looking for like metal detector or may just be looking for like outdoor hobbies, right.
Or, or, or best metal detector for beginners. Right. You can sort of, you know, at that point, that stays in the funnel. They don't care about the gear metal detector. So you can have another product ID in your data feed that goes after like, you know, um, Best smell. I mean, I don't know if you, you know, your best metal detector for new beginners, you know, you can go after that top of funnel and then learn the D you know, see what the data is, learn the data, use your remarketing, use your Facebook retargeting to move them down the funnel.
Um, and you know, and hopefully get them to come back and buy.
Joseph: [00:16:00] Yeah, it's just, it's just funny. You bring up metal detectors. Cause um, some of my relatives, they had some precious jewelry and they hit it in a satchel, uh, underneath the tiles between the, the basement and the, and the main floor. And they can figure out where, where it is.
And so it was a, we, it was so we were looking like, into metal detectors to see if we can like scan our home, just to try to catch some of it. And the salesperson says, well, you realize that your house is like full of metal. Right. And it's just going to go off.
So you make it, you make a great point about using the, and you have to, excuse me if I kind of like stumble over some of the terminology, um, the. So we'll just say the keyword specific targeting. Um, what we're doing is we're trying to curate our advertising to reach what I would say, probably some of the more passionate customers, the people who would naturally have a better ROI, because these are people who are more enthusiastic about a product they're doing their research.
Um, if you convert these people, they, they become assets. The big part of your social proof net. So, so that's where if I'm going to put that kind of money into getting anybody, I would want to get the people who are going to be a better investment, uh, from that point and then start to build that base. And then we learn a little bit more about these people, which is listening.
I'm going to ask you about it just as soon as I'm done this, uh, uh, this diatribe here, which is what we learned from them is going to help us then target, uh, people on, uh, on the, on the higher parts of the funnel. So. If we can use a metal detector as an analogy I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm down for that, but what can we learn from some of the people that we, uh, target, uh, on, in the most specifics?
Kurt Prosser: [00:17:36] Yeah. Yeah. That's a good question. Um, I think the thing, yeah, that's a good question because that goes back to, you know, especially if you're just getting started with Google shopping, like you want to be able to learn and see what the data tells you and say, okay, well what's what, what can I then start expanding and growing?
So, um, I think there's a couple of different, there's probably two primary areas of learning that can occur. One is from the customer side of things and like what customer demographics is for type what their problems are and what they value. And, you know, that's a little bit harder to, to sort of put exact numbers around.
I mean, there's things like, you know, uh, engagement and, uh, even video screen, you know, video tracking that you can look at. Uh, but, but I think at least for me, the biggest learning that we can, that we look at is, well, what other search terms come up in that, in that sort of stage in the funnel. And what's related to those search terms in keyword planner.
Or what are some, uh, Google keyword planner. That is what other search terms are related to those search terms from SEM rush or what are some, you know, um, or maybe what competitors are showing up for those words and what con, what terms are those competitors? Actually advertising or what products are those advertising?
So, uh, so to answer your question, I think, you know, the, the customer side of it, that's a whole nother level of learning. That's a pretty powerful as well. But I think from the Google and everything's, there's a lot of learning, they'd just be done and looking at the data and saying, what else is up there in terms of ads?
What else are people advertising? What is my competitor doing? Um, Uh, you know, from their ads, from their, uh, targeting, how else can I position my ad? So we spend a lot, a lot of time on that element in terms of figuring out how and we call it. So on our end, we call it for scaling horizontally scaling vertically.
So we, in order to grow those Google shopping campaigns, we try to find those related keywords and terms and products and. Um, just give an example of that. Like, um, we have a client that sells a gift baskets and a liquor gift by specifically, and, and, uh, he, we started seeing all types of search terms related to many liquor airport bottles or are mini liquor bottles or mini liquor gift sets.
And went back to them to like, look, we're going to tell the certifier for this. We liked it. We see this demand here. You don't have a product for that. Can you create a product? And he did. And now it's one of the best sellers. So you can sort of use that data to try to, to create new products to go, to find new opportunities in terms of keywords or find new competitors that you may have not thought of were competitors.
But now you can start looking and seeing what they're doing and trying to find new products. So I, you know, using the data in Google ads, using the data in keyword planner or SEM rush, or, uh, or even a Google trends can be very, very helpful for product development and sort of expansion of your advertising.
Joseph: [00:20:39] You know, this might be the first time, um, that it's occurred to me that how much, uh, we understand the demand side of it because it Google. And I know you talk about being too, these are search engines and it's all demand-based people aren't. So, I don't know, you don't search for supply and it isn't near as much as you search for demand.
Uh, I do need to back up though, because me personally, I, I don't know exactly what a smart campaign is. My guess is that there is AI involved and that Google itself is naturally doing a lot of the, a lot of the legwork to figure out on my behalf. Let's just say how it was just so that I'm not like needlessly spending money and then I get discouraged and then I don't want to use the program at all.
Kurt Prosser: [00:21:20] Right. Yes. So yes, so, so that's a good place to start. So that's a good question. Um, the, the in Google ads, okay. Google ads named the platform within Google ads. There's a campaign type or channel called Google shopping. And that's, if you just go do a search and that's the images, prices show up top, but there's two campaign.
Uh, sort of settings for Google shopping. One is the smart campaign or the, or the second is standard or manual, uh, Google shopping campaigns, you know, prior to the smart, everything was done manually, everything was, you know, you set up and it showed your ad for whatever. But Google came out as has a smart campaign that says, look, we have a lot of indicators on what a customer is looking for, what they want to buy. So we'll just programmatically determine what you should spend per click in order to hopefully reach your return on ad spend goals. So you just say, look, I want to maximize the number of conversions at a specific ROS and they just go find the customers.
Um, the benefit is it's a lot less work. Right. It's uh, however, there's a lot, a lot of negative side effects, a lot of issues for small limits as advertisers because right. You, it D it's an AI software. So it requires you to spend a lot of money, requires you to have, you know, clearly if you're spending $50,000 a month and have 200,000 products, AI, without a question the best way. But like I said, if you're just selling that Garrett, Garrett, metal detector, and maybe five or 10 of those metal detectors, it's in your best interest to sort of look at the keywords, say, well, what are my best keywords? What are the terms that are most likely to get conversions?
And, you know, again, you don't have thousands thousand dollars just to throw it and let the AI take over. So, um, a standard or manual. Campaign can allow you to pinpoint those specific keywords. Um, and so, you know, that's, um, you know, there's debates in industry, of course, of which one, you know, everybody has their different opinion on the right strategy and the way to go.
But I would say, you know, back to your first question, I think the, the, the, hopefully, whatever we leaves with today is that. It is good. Now what we're seeing is to try to maybe even run both and see, okay. Depending on where you're at in your business, you can run a smart campaign use Google's AI to go after top of funnel and cast a wide net, or, or if you have lots of products, you can use that to try to find what product works, but then use a keyword targeting campaign.
Our, what we call KTC method or keyword targeted campaign method to target specific words that are most likely to convert, because that will give you a whole bunch of data and allow you to, to spend a lower amount per month or lower amount per you know, to try to pinpoint those specific customers that will drive profitable sales today.
So, yeah. Anyway, here's an example, like there's a, a client not to keep, uh, there's there's a client. Um, uh, no, no, no. I told you by all means go, examples are good because like, you know, she, she, so she said art and she's getting off the Google set up for ads and she had a whole bunch of, uh, traffic. I think she spent like a thousand or $1,200 per month, three months.
And she's she told me like, she's like my best customers are people that know the artist's name. And I said, look, I'm sorry to tell you this, but 90% of your ad spend over the last three to four months, we're on generic top of home terms like Walmart office, our desk, our, I said, I'd rather you spend three to four or $500 a month just on people that searched for the artist's name.
And, and get profitable, sell on that today. Then you can sort of build and scale up. She's like, Oh my gosh, like, it makes so much sense. I would save so much. I'm like, that's what, you know, that's, that's why you have to have the right strategy. That's why it's good to sort of look at both stages in the funnel and determine where you're at.
You know, if you're just getting started, maybe when it started that bottom bottom of funnel after the. And targeted the most profit traffic, or if you're in a real growth mode, maybe you want to try to really scale things up by going after more top of funnel with sort of smart campaigns. So, um, definitely it's important to have the right strategy with Google shopping.
Joseph: [00:25:18] And one thing that you you've, you've been sharing a lot here. Um, and this is like one of the core through lines that I explore on Ecomonics, which is how, uh, agencies and services such as yourself, uh, because you're working with a lot of people. You're getting a lot of data, both from the clients directly, but also from the work that you're doing on their behalf, which can then be disseminated and then shared with the, hey, this is something I learned from a client a that I can share it through clients, B and C.
So, um, usually the question that I ask is, you know, what have you learned in aggregate. Um, that you can share with these people, but you, some of this you've, you mentioned already just with your, uh, just with the wall hanger. So, uh, I'm sorry. The hanging wall art are, um, what I would like to do is modify this question a little bit, because what I'm wondering about is the.
I guess the decay rate of data where maybe trends are changing and consumer behavior, maybe, um, certain products. I know that you've, I've seen some very YouTube content for instance. And I know that there's like a variance between say, like what we do in the shipping realm, things that are really hot. And then all of a sudden they drop off.
And so clearly there is some change in and cause in consumer interest, uh, I know that strategically you tend to lean more towards you want customer or you want your clients to be able to consistently sell, have consistent growth. Um, so let's just go product specific. Let's just say something is really popular.
And then all of a sudden it's it just, it just fizzles out. And so all of your, you know, this, this isn't the at one point you could have told your clients about, but then all of a sudden now it stops. So what I'm wondering is how can you identify data? That's no longer relevant?
Kurt Prosser: [00:26:48] That's a good question. Uh, so instead of, instead of the data that's not relevant, I look at, um, back to the product example.
So if you have a product that is not performing well or stops performing well. Okay. There's um, what we, we think it's, that data is relevant. We think it's important to look at that because I think the question is why is not, is not performing as well. And in some cases it could be something very simple in some cases, a little more complex.
Um, but we, when we have products or campaigns that no longer work, um, it really comes back to a simple formula of return on ad spend and how the math works for return on ad spend. And so what we're typically looking at is what's the click-through rate, right? Then all of a sudden the click rates stop or people stop clicking on my ads.
All of a sudden, uh, and this happened used to happen quite a bit with AliExpress drop shipping, we'd have clients that would have a product from Ali express and it would just crush. It would perform really, really, and go shut up and all of a sudden stop and lo and behold, AliExpress third advertising on Google go shopping that that same product would be advertising, Google shopping.
So that would, you know, click through rate would plummet. So there's something going on that, uh, but sometimes we can see, um, a drop in conversion rate and the drop in conversion rate, um, you know, is, is the issue when something stops working. And so maybe there's a new competitor, lower price, or maybe there's something going on where they're have a different value proposition.
Like a golf client had a competitor that was offering like a free mini digital course with their golf product. And I was like, Ugh. Gosh, we sorta, yeah. If I was buying a golf product, I'd buy from a competitor. I'm sorry. Uh, you know, so there's a, there can be something like that, uh, that comes up. Uh, but, but also the click rate, so, Oh, I'm sorry.
Uh, cost per clicks. So if cost per clicks really sort of spike up or scale up, that can be a little more complex. Um, and you have to really sort of peel back some, the data on that. But I think for. Most of the audience here, just looking at the clicks through rate of measurement of how many people see your ad versus how many people actually click, right?
Because if everything's good and your image and your, and your price and everything looks good, then they're going to want to click. But so if that surplus decreases, or if your conversion rate start sharply decreases, you know, look at your ad, look at your product, look your competitions, or see what, what, what can you change there?
Um, Or, you know, or if you need to develop a new product to, you know, sometimes, you know, we we've even see that Amazon is like, look, we have a product that just sorta starts seeing a low click rate was because, uh, the industry has changed what they like. Maybe they liked that. Different wattage or different color better than what you expected or what used to sell?
Well, um, you know, just even making a slight change in your product, like it, for us on Amazon, it was changing our color temperature of our lights. We found out that people actually liked that little bit lighter, white and that's preferred, and it was surprised it's not, it wasn't expected. And, uh, but once we came out with that change in like in, in, um, And light color, our sales really just continue to take off and grow.
Um, people really liked that. So just using that data that clicks rate conversion rate to, uh, to your benefit is, is really, really important.
Joseph: [00:30:06] Uh, have you, uh, encountered examples where the low click through rate was actually the result of the marketing or maybe like the ad copy had gone on for too long or maybe the message was just not resonating the same way it had.
Maybe it's like change of seasons or maybe certain, certain holidays or anything along those lines. Like it has before having to go so far as having to change a product or develop a new product, which I suppose sellers should be excited about because that's why we're here at the end of the day. But, um, have you seen examples where just changing the marketing has been helpful?
Kurt Prosser: [00:30:35] Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, we're actually running through that way right now with a client where his click-through rate is very, very low and he sells car parts or car computers and things like that. And, uh, his price a little bit higher. And so we're in click rates very low. So we're trying to do. And his price is higher for a particular reason.
There's a certain value proposition in the offers. And so we're actually going in and changing some of the, the, the, the head, the text on the Google shopping headline to try to see if that can increase the click through rate. So we're also looking at changing his image to see if maybe the image can communicate something a little bit different.
Um, but yeah, I think looking at the image, the price and the title is your, is the biggest driver to the click through rate. And there's things like stars and like promos and you can add and Google shopping. Um, but you know, looking at that, looking to see, like, maybe there's just a mess, maybe your images isn't that great.
Or maybe your image isn't showing the product to the fullest or, or, um, another example back to the metal detector. If you were, if your product was actually a bundled product, but your image was just of that one metal detector. Well, and you show them go shopping. Well, yeah, your clicker is gonna be low because you're actually selling a whole bundle of items, which is real pop in the metal detector industry.
If you search for Garrett metal detector, you'll see a whole bunch of bundled items together. Um, and so, you know, you're making sure your, your ad is right. Your images, right. Your titles, right. Um, you know, and because really you want to convince the customer to click on your ad. Um, you know, in those cases.
Joseph: [00:32:15] I didn't realize that by the way, that there was like a metal detector, a Beachcomber starter kit, or if it comes with like fishermen hats or something like that, like a whole, like the whole metal detector lifestyle, I, I didn't try it.
So I can't knock it.
Kurt Prosser: [00:32:29] It's popular. I tell you what, there's so many of my metal detectors. It's crazy. I just can't believe it. But yeah, it's just, I mean, but think about it. Like if you were selling a Garrett metal detector and you're at mat pricing with five other people, and then you came out and said, look, I'm going to bundle these five other things that I can buy super cheap and just raise my price and get a couple bucks or 10 bucks or 20 bucks who, you know, if you were new into the industry, who are you going to click on?
Who are you going to buy? Right. You're going to click on that bundle deal because for 20 more bucks, I get all the stuff that I need anyways, including the fancy hat. You know, it's a, I mean, but that's, you know, that's all part of it and trying to figure out, okay, well, what, you know, what image, what, you know, what do I need to get that better click through rate and better conversion rate. That's that's, that's the key.
Joseph: [00:33:12] Something that I want to hone in on here, because when I, um, before we did the interview, I'm doing, uh, you know, my, my usual prep. And one of the things I just wanted to do was cause I hadn't done this in a while, which is go onto Google shopping and just see like, you know, what's the layout.
And I mean, I literally like what's, you know, what's on the right-hand side, what's on the what's in the middle and it strikes me as there are very few assets to use to really make a product stand out. Um, there are the images, there, there is a title. Um, so my first question is, you know, what am I, what am I missing?
And overall, you know, what is, um, what are the tools that we can use to make our product stand out? Um, and I just wanted to like add one more thing in there as like an asterisk, just to keep in mind is that, um, this is Google, this is search. So this is about an intent we get people are, I would say on average, further down the funnel because they have already have an interest in something maybe they've been marketed to in the past, on, on Facebook.
I haven't seen any metal detector as lately, but I'm also not keeping my eyes out for it. Uh, not until now, what strings or what edge can somebody get? Uh, you know, competing with you know, companies that are bigger and you're literally side-by-side with them.
Kurt Prosser: [00:34:20] Yeah. So, well, so there's a couple key points in there.
I think one is, um, the, what can you do from levers in terms of improving your Google shopping and to get the best performance, but then two, I think it really, in terms of competition and competing against big companies, that's a, that's a big conversation in, in ours, a big conversation here at Easton digital.
I mean, we're, we're, you know, our, our team here talks a lot about that. How can we beat this company? Because some of these big companies are tough because they can, they can lose money as an advertising. Um, and so, so, but I think the first part first, you know, in terms of. What levers you have the pole, it's really your image that shows up in Google shopping.
It's your title and your price. Those are the three main ones. Now there's other little things in your data feed, like description or like product attributes or size or colors, things like that. I'd say, you know, go ahead and you can sort of adjust those, but for most part, you know, 80, 20 role focus on those three, the price, title, and image.
Okay. Those are gonna be me. So. You know, really just looking and saying, okay, what terms are showing up for what terms are not showing up for? What do I need to change in my image or my price or my title to get better, to, to, to convince that customer, to click on my ad, to give it, to get a good clicks rate.
So that's really what you're almost want to try to sell people to click on your ad. Now, the second part that's related to that though is also using those three levers to help Google's algorithm show your product. Right? So it, you know, adjusting your title to include more keywords or, or adjusting your title for a different position in the funnel to, um, like, uh, if you're selling that, that liquid gift basket example, like maybe you want to go after wedding favor, so you just your title to like wedding favor, gift baskets, you know, things like that.
So you can adjust that to go after the different points in the funnel. So the second part of your question though, related to competing against big companies and that like, so that's a very important topic. Um, really what we look at is, okay, how can we sort of market? How can we help maneuver those big companies?
Some of us big companies, they're just getting their product, their cast, a wide net, they're spending a ton, uh, but you know, really for a small to mid-size shop a store. Sometimes the opportunity is in those long tail keywords, those long tail terms, you know, um, that it, with your Google shopping keyword targeted campaign method, you can pinpoint those specific words.
And so you can really put in the labor and time to find those long tail keywords. And then say, okay, maybe there's a little bit less competitive. Maybe there's a little bit lower CBC, or maybe I can adjust my image, adjust my ad, or just my title to better compete with that. Long-tail term. Give an example, like if you're selling like car, computer equipment or car equipment, and your title specifically says, you know, Jeep, 2006, Jeep Cherokee, whatever, whatever, or part number or whatever, whatever, whatever, you're more likely to get it.
Uh, clicks or a, or get a click than someone just saying car, computer equipment, right. Or, or, or some sort of generic term. So we look at the data feed and say, okay, well, what can we do to, to, um, put, you know, get that little, find that long tail term, put that in our title. To increase the click through rate and what can we do to pinpoint that specific keyword?
So it's, it's, it's more work it's certainly is more work for small to mid-size businesses, but the point is the think smart. Okay. Well, what can I do at this granular level to get, you know, to better serve the customer better work with Google's algorithm to get that click and, um, ultimately drive profitable sales.
So that's, that's what we try to focus on for the small to midsize market.
Joseph: [00:38:06] Yeah. I mean, everything has her place. Right. And one thing that I will say as a, you know, to the credit of larger companies is that at the very least they provide a safety net for the demand altogether. So if no one is selling the metal detectors and a company that can afford the losses will sell the metal detectors. So at the very least it gives, um, end of the day, like it does get, yeah, the, the customer is at least some siblings of, um, you know, my, my demands will be met. Um, but then we, we want to go past that and we say, well, we don't just want to meet your demands. And we want to encourage the lifestyle.
We want to provide additional value addition, you know, additional content, come to the website, join the community, you know, use this as a chance to elevate yourself as opposed to just buying the product, um, alone, which. Is the issue with the big companies, the other issue with big companies too. And you said this earlier is that, you know, they can just afford to, uh, to, to dump money, right.
They can afford to fail. And you, I, and I hear that. And I remember some of my earlier research on some companies where like, they're just spending the money so that they can gain control of the, of the market. Once again, control the market, then the price is all up to them. So that in and of itself, it can be discouraging.
But one thing that I take away from this is that it really conditions the seller to be sharp and to be adaptive and to be able to react to what's going on as quickly as possible. And. We'll make a person a far better seller so that when they do scale up, they have the lessons that they learned that will influence the company.
I know we talked about your, your keyword targeting strategy, but there is another one from your, uh, from your, uh, service, um, Easton digital, it's called Opta growth. Now, have you already characterized this, but he just didn't say opta growth and specific, or did you say it? And I already forgot. Cause if so, sorry, but can you just explain what, uh, what Opta growth is and you know, how you implement it?
Kurt Prosser: [00:39:59] Yeah. Did, did your research there? Congrats you. Awesome jobs. Uh, yeah, so yeah, so some of this stuff, there's a little bit behind the scenes of how we do things and like more advanced accounts. So what w we have internal tools that we use, we call it opta growth and, um, where with our internal tools, what we have is, you know, it's sort of automate some of the bid adjustments and changes and tweaks, and it's basically a rules-based AI that, that, uh, assist us in managing the accounts to get the best reports.
And it does things like. We'll take screenshots of the Google ad position to track that like, even that gear amounts example, like. Well, that's your home run term, but like, I want to show up for that term, like, you know, let's take screenshots of it daily and see, okay, well, where is my ad? Is my ads still showing up?
And then position one position to do. I have multiple ads showing. And so it's an internal tool that we use to help us manage some of the. Uh, advanced accounts, but, uh, but certainly if you're just getting started, you don't need those advanced tools. I think, you know, back to your, your, your point about demand side, Google shopping is, is very much a sort of demand side, you know, marketing channel where, you know, they're, your customers are going to Google and specifically looking for that product or using that specific keyword or search query or search term on Google to find it.
And then. So it's very simple. So, you know, unlike Facebook, there's no guesswork, you just use search for that yourself on Google and say, look, does it make sense for my ad to show up here? Like, if, if, if, uh, customer would, I want to click on my own ad and buy for me, if so, then great Google shopping can be a great source of traffic for you.
So a lot of people, you know, just to start out, spend a few hundred bucks a month in Google shopping, uh, just starting out, you can sort of do that, you know, using the keyword target campaign strategy and smart campaign strategy to. Uh, you know, really, really effectively. And so it's not until you start spending, you know, 5,000, 10,000, you know, some clients spending $75,000 a month, where now you really need those advanced tools to, to really sort of get the most out of Google shopping.
Joseph: [00:42:00] Yeah. And in fairness, as you say that you're a, that your company leans to, um, small and mid businesses and small is still. Some there is some, some element of operation to it. I mean, there's, there are terms that are small and a small, like there's like incubatory businesses, there's conceptual visits and there's, Oh, there's, there's loads of businesses that don't exist yet that we all have in our heads.
So there are levels to that, but I, you know, we, we come from a position of inspiration and we always want to encourage, uh, uh, you know, listeners to swing for the fences because there are only so many ways that we can become more free than we are now. And, and I really believe that, you know, e-commerce is, I mean, it's certainly the, one of the most fair, I think, you know, if you get big, it's there for you.
If you're small, there are still options. Um, so with, uh, with working with you, you know, what's point in, uh, in a potential client's journey, would they be at before reaching out to you would be, uh, on the, on the table.
Kurt Prosser: [00:42:59] Yeah. Yeah, no, absolutely. Um, so really for us, or really for any agency, I mean, just for an easy, see, you generally want to think of an agency is like, um, uh, as, as in two ways, either one to help you do something that you don't want to spend the time yourself you're doing, or you don't want to sort of help you, or you don't want to do it yourself or don't want to learn it yourself, whatever.
Okay. So now you can come and help you do that. Um, or like, Look, you're getting going now you need to really throw gasoline on the fire and really sort of accelerate growth. Um, that's sort of the second style you're going to use agency. So for us, yes, we have some clients that, um, will come to us and they're maybe they're spending, you know, a thousand or 500 or $700 a month.
And they're like, look, I just want, I want somebody to set up for me to just do it. Okay. So we have some packages for that. Uh, and then we have other clients that come to us and say like, look, I want, um, you know, to I'm spending enough, $2,000 a month or 5,000 or $20,000 a month. And I really want to scale things up.
Or in some cases, if, even if you're spending like $20,000 on Facebook and you want to sort of expand into Google, that can be a pretty quickly, you know, in terms of scale, uh, approach. But in that case, it's great. We have a, another sort of package available for that. Um, but in all cases, I think, you know, whether you're looking at an easy like us or look at, uh, you know, any other agency, you know, you want to sort of think of like, what's going to save me.
Um, you know, time and effort and, or what's the sort of fuel on the fire. Um, but, but in all cases you really have to think about the ROI. Okay. I see some agencies that want to charge thousands of dollars a month instead of fees and all types of stuff. It's crazy. And you're not going to see an ROI on that.
It's great. So that's why w you know, just as I know, I mean, we're, performance-based so. Our monthly management fee is, you know, starts at two 99 a month, plus a 2% of the sales that we drive. So, um, I think, you know, like I said, you want to think about, are you getting an ROI for the time, right? How much time would it require you to set it up and learn it or figure it out or, or make mistakes versus, you know, how much, you know, is that scale approach?
Are you able to, the, you know, justify the additional easy fee to really scale it up. So I think that's what's most important. So, um, yes, we have some clients that sort of we'll spend, like I said, between that 500,000 and then we have some clients that spend a lot, lot more than that, but I think it's, uh, it's all, uh, what's going to give you the ROI.
What's going to be the fastest path to the ROI. That's, what's important to focus on.
Joseph: [00:45:18] And, and I just wanted to say that, um, I do have a great respect for the, I guess the percent commission structure. I don't know the exact term for it, but the fact that, you know, your success is really tied to the, uh, to the, to the client success.
And it just reminds me of like, you know, when we're, when we, when we care about what we do, this is some of that's just inherent, right. When I, uh, for doing this and I was doing a lot of freelancing and I would edit content for people, right. I didn't have a commission structure. It was just flat rate, but I did everything I could think of to make the shows, uh, succeed because I wanted to get the job.
Like I, yeah. And I, and I didn't want to feel bad about taking client money, um, just so that they can flounder for a while and then feel kind of like burned on all of it. So, yeah, I just had a, I had a lot of respect for that.
Kurt Prosser: [00:46:01] Yeah, no, thanks that. And that's, that has a lot to do with the small and midsize shellfish is because that that's the feedback.
And when we used to charge like a thousand, 2,003,000 retainer fee each month, but, but there's a lot of small businesses just like it. Doesn't like, you know, they're not sure exactly where to start the, not sure the best path or, or what they can afford, what they can do. And it's like, well, they don't, it doesn't make sense for them to layout a thousand or $2,000 a month. They, you know, it makes sense to start small. Like we always say, dip your toes in the water, get some profitable sales today and then start building expanding on that. So, um, and so we like to see people take a nice, slow, steady approach and then build up. And, and that's why we had to come out with the two 99 plus 2%, because it just.
It's the right thing to do. I mean, you know, we don't make any money at two 99 for us. It's about part with them getting them on the right track. And then they can sort of, you know, grow and we've had some clients that just grow like crazy. And those are the that's the big wins. That's the, the beneficial story for us and for that, because when we grow them like that, they stick around for a long, long time.
Um, and so that's, you know, we're we just said like, look, we're gonna take some risk on we're going to do it ourselves.
Joseph: [00:47:06] I, I know we got to get you on out of here in a very short amount of time. So I've got one more question that I would like to know. This is a personal question just about you, which is, I know that you have a background in engineering.
Um, I don't know, specifically like bridge building, or like, um, uh, okay, so it's a two-parter. So what got you into e-commerce from that point? And then were there any core skills that you picked up in engineering that came with you into your e-commerce career?
Kurt Prosser: [00:47:34] Oh man. I could talk about this all day long.
So just, uh, but no, I run, so I am actually, I I'm a civil engineer, so my background, so engineering, I actually worked on, uh, like roadways and land development type projects, not bridges. Although I started my career in working on bridges, but I mostly worked on like land development projects. Uh, but what got me into e-commerce was I was in, uh, in the MBA program at Ohio state.
And, and just, you know, studying all things business and, uh, some big companies came in and they're like, look, we've got a big problem in the market in terms of marketing, we've got fluff markers or markers that know marketing concepts and principles. They don't know the technical side. And then we've got developers and sort of technical people that know the technical side.
But we don't know people that we don't have people that know the Google analytics or know a pivot tables that can run Excel reports from Google analytics, from Google ads data, and find those opportunities in the data. That's the big opportunity over the next, you know, 10 years. And, uh, you know, so they were sort of co you know, convincing a whole bunch of us marketing students to do that.
And I immediately, I fell in love. I'm like, I love data. I love numbers, love, Excel, pivot tables, all that stuff. And so where can I use that? And, uh, and that's sort of what led me to e-commerce. And so I did a, I took a job at a local agency that specialized in large, like fortune. 500 type retailers and very quickly it was like, okay.
The, the big gap in the market is a small to mid size. They don't have any reliable that they can trust, work with and provide good quality strategies at a reasonable price. And, and so that's, that's the market I like. Okay. Pretty quickly. I just, I said, I'm going to take on some of my own clients and started doing my own clients.
And this was back in 2013 and then. Just literally word of mouth just kept, I kept getting more and more and more clients and, uh, it's just, you know, it's just amazing. I think this e-commerce committee is great, just it's a small, tight knit community and, you know, um, I mean, I'm not a marketing person. I mean, we, you know, we just, uh, you know, we just, we just do good work and people to keep referring clients to us. And so that's how we've grown. We now a team of nine. And so, um, and 90% of what we do is Google shopping and Bing shopping. And that's for small and mid-size shop stores. That's what we do all day long. So that's our specialization. That's how I got into it.
So sort of by accident, but it's, it's, uh, I like it. It's definitely different than engineering.
Joseph: [00:49:55] So I always say it's good to have it here. And I, and I, and I, and I need it, you know, you're, you're doing a lot of good for a lot of people who, uh, you know, can definitely, uh, use some people that they can really trust.
So, uh, so for that, You know, congratulations on everything you've done so far. And, um, we're gonna get you on out of here. So the last thing to do and say is if you have any last words of wisdom, you're welcome to share it. Uh, and then let people know how they can find you.
Kurt Prosser: [00:50:23] Yeah. Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. I think the words of wisdom, I think just getting started, I think like, you know, do that dip of the toe of the water, just get started.
Like it's so important for people just to get started and get some data, get some, you know, because as you start going, you'll start figuring and learning things out more and more. And so. Um, I really recommend, you know, setting up a Google shopping campaign or, or any, any type of marketing, just getting started and, and doing something you can be amazed at how things can just start snowballing.
And we see all the times the Google shopping, we see, you know, a couple months in or three months in some product iterations or website changes or, or, um, Facebook retargeting campaigns get launched or SMS marketing, launched. And then all of a sudden things just start taking off. I mean, it's just, it's amazing.
Um, how any commerce things can just really start snowballing and working. And so I really recommend that. And then in terms of finding me, um, the easiest way to define me, I mean, of course, if anybody has any questions, they can email me just a firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit our website, uh, Easton digital.com, uh, EASTONdigital.com and happy to connect you. Check me out on YouTube. I've got lots of, lots of free content, lots of strategies and opinions and ideas that I have. I just upload to YouTube or, or a Facebook page. So you can check us out there as well.
Joseph: [00:51:43] Awesome. Uh, once again, uh, it's uh, it's been great to have you, this has been a lot of fun.
Definitely. I'm putting a lot of pieces together in my head. Uh, and so listeners, I certainly hope the same for you. And of all the other takeaways I learned that I actually have a pause button on Zencaster, so I probably could have utilized that today, but we're just gonna move on.
Kurt Prosser: [00:52:01] Hey, it's fun. It's good. It's thank you very much. Thanks for having me. Thanks. Love being part of this community. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Joseph: [00:52:08] Uh, same here. All right, listeners, take care. We'll check in soon.
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