This episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast features a conversation with Andy Janaitis, founder and chief strategist of ppcpitbulls.com and we discuss his favorite (simple) setup for Google and FB/Insta ads for small to medium brands.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- The influence of Google Ads on small-to-medium businesses
- Steps to easily enter the world of paid advertising
- The various options offered by Google to target the right audience
- The timeline for algorithm optimization and results-based testing
- The relative strength of Google in comparison to other advertising platforms
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guests: Andy Janaitis
Andy Janaitis, founder of PPC Pitbulls, helps build authentic customer relationships and increase sales through ecommerce marketing. He uses data-driven strategies in Google Ads to drive results. With a focus on understanding clients' businesses, Andy believes in keeping marketing simple, making decisions with data, and pivoting to success. Get started on your digital marketing journey with a free strategy session at ppcpitbulls.com.
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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break. Today we wanna talk about Google Ads and what kind of impact Google Ads can have on small to medium brands. Specifically wanna find out from an expert , how a simple but effective setup can look like when you talk about Google Ads, and then going into analytics and all of these things.
So therefore, I have Andy Janaitis with me. He's the founder and chief strategist of PPP C Pit. Big dog person, as we can see from here already. and he works with a passionate product, people to build authentic customer relationships to get more sales online, and he focuses on demystifying e-commerce marketing and driving measurable results through Google Ads, in-depth data analytics, and custom business specific digital marketing strategy.
So let's welcome Andy to the show. Hi Andy. How are you?
Andy Janaitis: Great. How are you doing, Klaus? Thanks for having me.
Claus Lauter: You're welcome. Google Analytics, [00:02:00] Google ads, everything that comes from there. Might for a small business that's in eCommerce that is scaling a bit of a mystery, a bit of a secret to get in there.
These tools are around for a very long time. They have 1,000,001 different features. So we wanna talk about, , how you can simplify. Getting into this world of paid advertising, give me a bit of a background what you see from your clients where they struggle the most with. ,
Andy Janaitis: I think a lot of that , concern about Google ads , as you reference, comes from the history of the product.
In the past there was a lot of, you know, massive keyword research. Let's get a million long tail keywords. And we run a lot of audits for new clients that come in. , and it's amazing sometimes when we inherit these Google Ads accounts. , we'll see just the complexity of the setup. 20 to 30 different campaigns and ad groups and then, literally thousands of keywords oftentimes of these like exact match keywords of, , shopping for dog food in this city.
, and the reality is you just don't need to do that anymore. , and Google, they've rolled out a lot of products [00:03:00] that simplify that quite a bit and really rely on automation. The good news is there's a much simpler, , and really more manageable account structure that exists now utilizing a lot of these new tools , that Google has available.
, there's some complexity there. The trade off is you don't see as much of the detail. It's a lot of it's abstracted away from you. , so you kind of have to know what you're doing and make some good, reasonable rule of thumb, adjustments. , as needed. If you're scared that, hey, we can't get into this because, , we're not willing to hire an agency for, , thousands of dollars at this lower ad spend that we're gonna have, , to get in and do all this different keyword research and all the different things we need to do for it.
, the good news is actually there's a kind of a simpler way these days. And, , the setup doesn't have to be quite that.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Yeah, I'm doing Google Edwards for, I think since that came out, early two thousands for a long time. And you mentioned there were certain things that you had to do, like coming up with keywords.
Very painful. Yes. And things are getting actually easier there on that side. Now obviously [00:04:00] e-commerce merchants, their main focus, their main time is not focused on maintaining. So GI give me a bit of an idea of what different options Google has now in their portfolio that makes it easier for merchants to get the ads in front of the right person.
Andy Janaitis: Before I get real deep into, some of the very specific campaign types, I think the, key principles that I always like to tell people, like, as you're getting started, as you're thinking about, well what should I be doing in Google ads? What should I be running?
The big thing, you really gotta make sure you're measuring things. So make sure that your website is set up to track conversions. That's a, a big mistake that we see oftentimes. People say, oh, you know, I'm getting a bunch of clicks coming in, you know, my cost per click is X. And it's like, well, really, do you know what people are doing when they get to your site?
Like, do you know, did they put items in their cart? Did they, ultimately execute the checkout? Are you getting revenue from it? , if you can't answer some of those questions, that's. Space problem. And you're never gonna be successful in Google Ads until you get that set up. , and then once you're feeding that data back into Google One, it's gonna help you understand how things are [00:05:00] going.
But the more important thing is nowadays everything is automated on Google side. So you're feeding that data back in so that Google can start to learn and improve your campaign performance based on, you know, hey, this is the ad copy that I showed to these specific people and it worked. So let's go out there and find more people who Look, or similar demographically to those people and, and get similar ad copy in front of them. , so to answer your question, kind of more specifically, once you have those principles in place and you're understanding, Hey, I wanna measure what's happening, I want to use Google's automated tools. The first place to start with that is Performance Max.
That's Google's, , newest people are searching for keywords and you're gonna show up an ad based on, you know, headlines and descriptions, all text based, typical Google search. , but I think more importantly for e-commerce, it includes chopping as well.
So that's gonna be the carousel of products that you see across the top of your. , and what's great about that is it's pulling that data, your shopping data directly from your website. , so taking your product headlines, product descriptions, , and then automatically [00:06:00] reaching out and kind of putting those products in front of customers based on what they're searching for.
And then also information about the customers themselves. getting that Performance Max campaign set up first , is definitely, the key , to the whole. .
Claus Lauter: Okay. You mentioned that you do a lot of assessments for clients that are coming over from agencies or that have done it in, the past themselves.
Now you have a lot of different tools. Some of them you mentioned, , Google Shopping obviously as Google Analytics, which that comes Google Tech Manager and so on, so forth. What's your first step from your side to sort of clean up whatever. Present it .
Andy Janaitis: Well, so I love working with e-commerce because more, more and more people are on Shopify, which is great.
So, , Shopify Outta the Box is gonna give you the older version of Google Analytics, that's universal analytics. , so you just gotta make sure that you have that configured properly. And as long as that's configured properly, you should have some pretty good e-commerce data flowing through. probably another conversation for another day that's about to change in, , mid-July here, they're gonna be shifting over to a new version.[00:07:00]
And unfortunately, Shopify hasn't rolled out their, , support for that yet. So you have to have something kind of homegrown home-built. , that's something that we help a lot of people out with as well. , but getting that GA four data all set up in your account, but that's the first step, whether it's, you know, universal analytics, GA four, make sure that you've got your Google Ads data or your Google data.
Your site-wide data coming into one of these free analytic products. , and Google Analytics does just a great job. It's free, it's easy to see. You can see all your data, whether it's coming from Google ads, Facebook ads, organic traffic, so that's great setup. And then once we turn to your Google account, , similarly, you're gonna wanna make sure that you have your, , conversion tracking set up there.
So you're making sure that you're tracking when people are executing these various behavioral events. You wanna make sure you're sending over your customer data. There's a number of different ways to do this. We recently have been using Clavio a lot as. , kind of the, the piping for that. If you already have email lists set up in Clavio, , it's pretty easy to pipe that data right over to Google Ads.
And now you [00:08:00] have, a customer set up or a customer list set up in Google ads, , that you can later use for targeting. , and then one of the last things, or, the other thing you need there is just some general. Information about, your value proposition, who you're selling to.
, you're gonna have to provide some headlines and descriptions. I mentioned all that shopping data is kind of pulled straight from your site. , so you don't have to worry too much about that. You may want to edit it later , to optimize and, improve it, but, the big thing you're gonna have to put in is some headlines, some descriptions, , hopefully some images, if you have some.
And video works really well these days as well. , so some of that great content. , but the core of all of that is obviously understanding who your customer is and what your goals are, to be able to, create that content. Yeah, so
Claus Lauter: you mentioned Performance Max, which I love a lot, makes things so much easier.
And then you also mentioned that you need to have a certain assets, I think they call it, , to get started. Gimme a bit of tips on how these assets that can be taxed and whatsoever, how that should work. [00:09:00] In a perfect world, what sort of homework merchant needs to do to get this going?
Andy Janaitis: Definitely. So what's great is, again, they're making it easier and easier.
It's work that you probably already should have done on your site In general, just information. I mean, , the core of all of this is, Understanding your customer, understanding your, value proposition, understanding why somebody would, buy the product. , but then you're gonna get to provide, , headlines that's, , 25 to 30 character, text.
Descriptions, which are either 60 or 90 characters, and those you're gonna want to go back to, you know, the same things that you would use as headers on your website. things that are attention grabbing. Explain the value props of the, product. Sell yourself to the customer.
And what's really cool about those is you're gonna specify 15 headlines and, , between long headlines and descriptions, I think you get ultimately about 10 of those. , and then once you run your ads for a little while, you're gonna get some data back and Google's gonna tell you which ones are performing best.
Good and poor. And [00:10:00] then from there, it's really just , a matter of kind of ab testing and switching out the ones that aren't performing as well and switching in better ones that kind of match , or have some similar themes to the ones that are performing well. , so that is what I would do for your text creative.
, really image-based is kind of similar. You can provide square images or landscape images. , there's very specific kind of dimensions and, requirements there, but essentially you're just providing a bunch of images and then Google's gonna mix and match those and set those with different text-based, assets that you have already provide.
, and hopefully kind of put those combinations in front of the people that they're gonna be most likely to work with. So you can take out the lower performing ones and add in, higher performing ones, , as you would with the text-based assets.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Now with Performance Max, a lot of, , artificial intelligence working in the background, you need some data.
So how long would you recommend, or how long does it take before the algorithm really kicks in and you get a feedback that you can basically then start with the AP testing?
Andy Janaitis: So it's a little bit about time. I would say , you're certainly gonna need at least a week to two weeks. You know, oftentimes a month or two.
, but more important than [00:12:00] that, it's the amount of data that you're getting back. So, , they say 50 purchases. So you really want kind of 50 purchases for a single performance max campaign, 50 purchases over the course of a month. , and the reason why that number is important, to think about is that kind of gets back to where you're setting your budget at, If we're really doing a great job for you , and you're getting some great results, you may see like a three x return. That's kind of a, starting point if we don't know any other information about a, business kind of where , my prior would be. , so that means for every dollar , in ad spend, you're getting back $3 in revenue.
Use those numbers, you can start to back out, okay, well how many dollars in ad spend do I need to put up at my average order value to get 50 purchases over the course of that first month? , to a degree, you can actually compress the learning phase.
If you're spending a little bit more and getting a little bit more data in, I definitely would not recommend like, Hey, let's go throw, you know, $5,000 a day at this thing and we're gonna be up and running in one day. Don't worry about it. We're gonna get plenty of data in. Like, you definitely want to take it slow , and start to see some of the data going in , making [00:13:00] manual adjustments as necessary too.
, but just recognize that, that if I tell you that. Within, two to six weeks, you should have a pretty good, assessment of whether or not Performance Max is going to work for you. , if you're really limiting your budget, you may not be able to get that, that assessment done that quickly, because you're gonna be limiting the amount of data coming back in.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Yeah, absolutely. , makes sense to have enough data to make a, , educated decision there. Now your team at PPP C Bit Pools, you said you're working also with Clavio and obviously coming from the Shopify side of things. , how do you work on customer lifetime value? So basically retarding, remarketing, is that something that you can do with these new tools of Google as well, or is that a separate strategy?
Andy Janaitis: So what's nice about Performance Max, again, is that comes right out of the box. So as long as you set up that first step, you have your measurement done, and when people hit your website, , you're sending back that cookie data to Google. And on top of that, you're using Clavio or some other solution to send , your email customer list back to Google.
Google knows who's been on your site and who's been, , long-term [00:14:00] customers, and if you're using Clavio, even more segmented information about them as well. , and as we're sending that data back into Google, In performance, max will automatically do some retargeting. So they'll show different ads to different people along the lifecycle journey, whether it be, you know, hey, we show them a shopping ad first, and then once they've clicked through and gotten to the website, then we later hit them with display ads and YouTube ads to make sure we ultimately close the sale.
Those types of things. , that would be my suggestion at first, if you're getting started. If you have much bigger budgets and , it's down the line and you're starting to grow up and you've, maxed out what you can do with Performance Max. There's some really cool things we can do, you know, in some of the very specific campaign types too, whether it be, YouTube remarketing, display, remarketing.
, even certain approaches inside of search itself. , but to get started really just throw it all into performance Max and like Google kind of handle that for you. , especially at lower budgets. I think that's probably your best chance of success. Okay,
Claus Lauter: you as an expert question. You have [00:15:00] done Facebook for a long time, as we all have.
, there's Google, I think it's shifting a little bit right now because Facebook is sort of not as predictable as it was in the past. , what's your prediction going forward maybe for this year is how much, power will Google regain, put it that way, compared to other ad platforms?
Andy Janaitis: Yeah. You know, I like Google a lot.
That's where a lot of our background has been. It's very intent based. So, when somebody comes in to Google, they're already searching for a product similar to yours. You have that , search information already. , so I think especially for smaller businesses, Google is super, super powerful.
, I think the challenge is when you get into, , really trying to scale very far. You know, if you're trying to say, Hey, I wanna spend a hundred thousand dollars a month in ad spend, you're probably not gonna get that done at Google on Google, at least at first. That's where you've gotta layer in some of these other approaches and use things like, , Facebook.
But with things like TikTok coming up, , people are really focusing in on, , email marketing as well. You're gonna see probably more [00:16:00] dispersion in the ad market. , I hear stories too about a lot of kind of like digital ads on some of the, , streaming services and different things like that.
So it is gonna be. , a lot of different places to put ad dollars. I would say probably all of the platforms in, in the past it's been, you know, Facebook and Google kind of take up 99% of those digital marketing dollars. I think we're gonna see that disperse in general. , for us personally, especially with smaller medium brands, we're pulling back on Facebook a little bit.
We're just not seeing the effectiveness there. , I definitely work with some partners as well , that do, see a lot of success on, Facebook as well. I don't know that there's a right answer between those two. It's more what's right for your brand and ultimately what's working , when you're measuring it , and taking a look at, , what results you're getting.
But I'd say in general, you're probably gonna see more. , and then also more of a focus on, , rather than these platforms, kind of direct response marketing, really focusing in on your email marketing and making sure that for the data that you have, for the customer information that you have, once somebody's made a purchase, once they've visited your site, make sure you're nurturing those leads [00:17:00] cuz you're gonna need to use Google Ads, Facebook ads at some point to grow your list.
But ultimately, that email marketing is gonna be your, most profitable source. to the extent , that you have it.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, no, I agree with you. I think a omnichannel approach is the best you can do. , just spread your marketing budget over all channels, and then also do remarketing on every channel.
Quite often it happens that people see you on one channel and still come back to Google and buy from there, so they will get the, conversion at the end of the day. Exactly. If a business, a small business comes to you, , what kind of, , packages do you offer? , what's the process there?
Andy Janaitis: How does that work?
, we typically like to start, , we call it our 90 day e-commerce Digital Marketing Success roadmap. We're still working on , the naming there, but, , essentially, , we'll do an audit and look at, what you're currently doing. If you're on any of these channels, look at how you're measuring your results.
Look at some of your main competitors, how are they participating on a lot of these different channels? , and kind of just figure out for your company specifically for your brand specifically, what's the best way to achieve your [00:18:00] goals? And that's gonna be, you know, it's really different for every brand, you know, based on what your budgets are.
What your goals are. Is it specific product lines, specific geographies, are certain features of your product might make them more liable to sell on Facebook versus Google, whatever it is. , we really kind of get to know you and your business and then ultimately create a really clear 90 day step-by-step.
This is what you need to get done to have success in , your e-commerce marketing that's one of our, big things we like to kind of get started with. Really. It's a good way for us to get to know, new clients and then ultimately you've got a valuable item there that you can take whether you decide to continue working with us to go ahead and implement some of the steps of that plan, or if you want to.
Implement an in-house or go ahead and, , work with someone else to get those steps done. But that's always the first step. I always tell people if they come in and say, Hey, you know, this is my budget. This is what I wanna spend on Google Ads. Let's get started. Let's knock it out. It's important to take that step back first.
Say, okay, well what are your goals? What are you actually trying to get done with that budget? Let's not just throw a bunch of money at the wall. , let's figure out what your [00:19:00] goals are and how we can best meet.
Claus Lauter: Hundred percent. Yeah. Are there specific industries or verticals that, you work with, or do you work all over the
Andy Janaitis: place?
We work with a lot of different industries. We try to focus, , we call 'em craft brands, so that's, great people making great products is my tagline for that. But, it's higher quality food, fashion, housewares, things that people kind of have a mission behind , or just really passionate people who are building products the right way , and delivering these products.
Personally for me, just I find more fun to work with those types of businesses. So that's, why I like to partner with them. We find typically those are a little bit higher value products and it's not just a race to the bottom of who can sell it cheapest.
You can take some time to explain the benefits of the product and what makes it so special. , that makes it a little bit easier to succeed, I think on, some of these, , paid marketing channels.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, who can pay the most gets the sale basically. And exactly. It was cheap Chinese, , drop shippers, , probably is not much fun.
Yeah. Tell me a little bit about the pricing structure. , what can I expect there?
Andy Janaitis: , so we do [00:20:00] everything kind of flat rate. So our, , base package for that, , initial audit plan, , that's a $1,200, , audit. , once we go through that, we have everything kind of set up. , it's roughly keyed to how much you're spending, but we don't want to be one of these agencies, , that manages your ads based exactly to the t.
If you spend this many dollars in ad spend, then that's, the percentage that we get paid. , because that's just incentivized. It's not a good incentive that all we're trying to do is spend your money at that point. So, , we roughly have different tiered packages, really just to kind of help us figure out how much support you need.
, but it's all flat rate and it's month to month. You kind of come in. We'll give you that audit, figure out exactly what services you might need. If you decide to continue working with us, , you'll know exactly what you're gonna pay every single month. No contract. You can cancel at any time. , and we will, help you meet your goals.
That's , our primary objective.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, I love that approach. Makes it much easier in budgeting, which is important if you are a cash flow business in a beginning, as a startup, as a small business, , so much more [00:21:00] easier and doesn't give you sleepless nights, , end of the month. Definitely. Yeah. Andy, where can people find out more about you guys?
Andy Janaitis: Come find us on, , ppc pit bulls.com. Hopefully we'll have that link in , the show notes here. You can, , come in, learn a little bit about us. We have , a biweekly show that we put up a YouTube show that you can come check out. feel free to book a call with me. I offer free strategy sessions, so we'll sit down, kind of get to know you, get to know your business, ultimately you'll leave with some valuable insights that you should be able to apply on day one.
Claus Lauter: Cool. I will put the links in the show notes and here just one click away. , my experience with my coaching clients is that at some point they are super happy to work with the right agency because it can be just overwhelming and working with Google is chasing a moving target because there's always so much new stuff in there.
So it's better to leave it at to the experts. Eddie, thanks so much for your time. A lot of gold nuggets in there, and
Andy Janaitis: have a great day. All right. Thank you for having me.
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