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When to Exclude Underperforming Products

Jun 13, 2024

One of the most effective ways to optimize and enhance the performance of your Google Shopping and Performance Max campaigns is to exclude underperforming products from your product feed. This strategy can significantly cut costs, especially for products that are draining your budget without yielding conversions. However, caution is crucial in this process, as many advertisers make the mistake of excluding products too hastily.

In this blog post, I will guide you through the detailed process I use for evaluating product performance and the specific metrics I consider before excluding any product from the shopping feed.

The Importance of Careful Exclusion

While it may seem straightforward to remove products that aren't converting, doing so prematurely can lead to missed opportunities and an incomplete understanding of your campaign's performance. Therefore, it's essential to use a methodical approach and consider several key data points before making any decisions.

 

Metrics to Review Before Excluding Products

Before deciding to exclude a product due to poor performance, I scrutinize the following data metrics:

  1. Top 10 Spending Products

    • Evaluate if the product is among the top 10 spending products over the past 30, 60, and 90 days. High spending without conversions can indicate an issue, but consistency in spending is also a factor.
  2. Trend in Spend

    • Analyze whether there has been a reduction in spend from the past 90 days to the past 30 days. A decreasing trend might suggest that the product is already being phased out or that recent optimizations are taking effect.
  3. Long-term Conversion Metrics

    • Look at conversion data over the long term (six months or more). Sometimes, products have cyclical performance patterns, and long-term data can reveal trends that shorter time frames cannot.
  4. Competitive Metrics

    • Investigate any competitive metrics that might have caused a change in performance. This includes changes in the competitive landscape, such as new competitors entering the market or existing competitors adjusting their bids and strategies.

Implementing the Review Process

By following these steps, you can make more informed decisions about which products to exclude from your campaigns. Here's a quick rundown of the process:

  1. Regular Monitoring

    • Set up regular intervals for reviewing product performance data—monthly reviews work well for many businesses.
  2. Data Analysis

    • Use Google Ads and Google Analytics to gather detailed performance data. Pay close attention to the metrics mentioned above.
  3. Informed Decisions

    • Make exclusion decisions based on comprehensive data analysis rather than on impulse or short-term performance dips.
  4. Iterative Testing

    • Continue to test and re-evaluate products periodically. Sometimes a product might perform poorly in one period but improve in another due to seasonality or market changes.

Conclusion

Optimizing your Google Shopping and Performance Max campaigns requires a delicate balance between cutting costs and seizing opportunities. By carefully analyzing key performance metrics and avoiding premature exclusions, you can enhance your campaign's overall efficiency and effectiveness.

By following these guidelines, you'll be well-equipped to make data-driven decisions that enhance the performance of your Google Ads campaigns, ensuring that your budget is spent wisely and effectively.