You may recognise Tristan Broughton as the same guy with a legit, thick Aussie accent who founded Ecom Ladder and is also the creator of the Product Winner Blueprint, a course which revolves around using Facebook advertising to actively test products until you find a winner, and scaling that winner to the moon.
Some of the biggest setbacks to running Facebook ads, however, is that the typical prospect browsing on Facebook doesn’t use it for shopping, and thus attempting to attract immediate sales from cold Facebook traffic is anything but a walk in the park. The increasing costs of Facebook advertising as time goes on aren’t helping matters either; the CPMs can become disproportionately high!
Enter Google Ads Ecom Academy (first revealed and released early October 2018), Tristan Broughton’s latest formula and alternative for finding winning products using the Google Ads platform.
Google Ads Ecom Academy is currently only available to those in the know, or anyone who actively follows his YouTube channel or has subscribed to his email list or Facebook notifications.
At a price point of $397 USD, it’s not the cheapest course in the world, but we’ll see whether or not it offers a lot of value for what it’s worth. The price may go up at any time, so you’ll want to dive in now rather than later if you’re thinking of getting started.
(If you buy the Product Winner Blueprint + Google Ads Ecom Academy bundle, you will pay $497 USD, a $197 USD saving compared to if you purchased each course separately. There are no other discounts available for this course.)
Hosted on ecomladder.com, the checkout page uses Thrivecart, and you have the option to pay directly with your credit/debit card details, or PayPal. There are no hidden fees, no upsells, and no ongoing costs. The checkout page mentions that you get access to the following:
- 7 modules with 45+ videos
- Mentorship from the course creator himself in the private Facebook group
- Lifetime access
- Plus three bonuses:
- Direct access to his supplier
- His list of negative keywords from the past three years
- His list of top drop shipping stores running Google Ads
The checkout process was a smooth one, and I fortunately received my login details almost immediately after making a successful payment. Here’s what the landing page looks like upon logging in:
With all that out of the way, let’s get into the actual review. The course contains the following modules (spanning a total of 40+ videos):
- Product Research
- Product Uploads
- Google Ads Mastery
- Shopping Campaign Creation
- Campaign Optimization
- Campaign Scaling
- Search Campaign Expansion
#1 – Setup
This module focuses on setting up your store, ready to start advertising product listing ads (PLAs) on Google Shopping. This includes the boring (but necessary) legal stuff you need to have visibly displayed on your store so that you don’t risk getting your Google Merchant account suspended, and setting up your Google Ads and Merchant Center account to get it ready for product testing.
If you don’t have a store yet, Tristan recommends starting off with a general store. You only need one store for all your products.
Expect it to take as many as 7 business days before your Google Merchant account is approved and your store’s products are approved in the Merchant Center, ready for advertising, so there’s not much you can do in the meantime except to be patient. If it does take longer than expected, I’d advise contacting Google directly.
#2 – Product Research
Okay, now we’re done with the boring stuff. With a good eight videos, this module goes through how to evaluate whether or not a product is worth testing based on search and trending metrics, what not to sell, and how to do your product research.
The module takes you through how to spy on other drop shipping stores which are also actively running Google Ads, and which platforms to do your product research in, including Amazon and Facebook (where they’re saturated in social media, they can be a gold mine for stores running PLAs).
Tristan advises that you should try to get at least five products launched per day (ideally 10-15). You can outsource product uploading to a virtual assistant to ease the workload for you.
#3 – Product Uploads
Next up is pushing your products to your Shopify store via Oberlo, how to competitively price your products while still allowing yourself a decent profit margin, and product page optimisation.
Tristan personally recommends using $5 pricing tiers which end in $0.99, e.g. $14.99, $19.99, $24.99, $29.99, and so on. If you’re in doubt about how to price your items, I’d advise following suit.
You’re then shown how to optimise your individual product pages such that they increase conversion rates; these include adding a video, images, shipping information, and customer promises to the product description.
If basic coding is something you’re comfortable doing, I suggest hard coding the shipping details and customer promises into your store theme’s product template, so you don’t have to add the same thing manually into the product description every time you create a new product.
You’re also shown how to stuff keyword search queries into the product’s tags based on the results related to your product that Google Keyword Planner generates.
The module includes a bonus video thrown at the end, which introduces you to CJDropShipping, a sourcing agent with fulfillment centers based in both China and USA – they ship out orders within 48 hours. You’ll definitely want to consider signing up with them once you have a product that’s selling consistently, so you don’t have to deal with major customer service and AliExpress supplier headaches.
(January 2019 update: It’s come to my attention that CJ has come under fire since Q4 2018 from complaints by other drop shippers due to failure to process and ship out orders within a given time frame, posting invalid tracking numbers before properly shipping out orders, etc.
Make of this what you will; it’s entirely up to you if you wish to take the risk anyway, or move on and search for a different sourcing agent instead.)
#4 – Google Ads Mastery
A quick overview of what your Merchant Center account should look like after it’s been approved and ready for product testing, a runover of diagnostics including any issues with your items, feed, or account, and a look at the products tab so you can see all of the items which are in your feed. You’re also told how to get your Merchant Center account unsuspended if it does get suspended for whatever reason.
Next, a brief overview of the Google Ads platform and which columns you should enable on both the campaign and product group levels.
Finally, and most important of all, an in-depth bidding strategy that you should implement for maximum profitability, and the ideal daily budget you should set for your test campaign to get the most data over a span of 30 days. You should be mentally prepared for the possibility that the first 30-40 days of your test campaign won’t be profitable, so don’t quickly throw in the towel if you’re not getting a significant number of conversions (if any at all) within that timespan!
#5 – Shopping Campaign Creation
Eight videos here which focus on your first shopping campaign. Before we get to creating our test campaign though, Tristan quickly touches on currencies in the Google Ads platform; this video is important for anyone who doesn’t reside in the US and/or uses a currency that isn’t USD.
As Tristan resides in Australia, he uses AUD for his campaigns. So if he uses a 0.70 AUD bid, for example, that equates to about 0.50 USD.
Now onto the fun part: we finally get around to creating the campaign, where we’ll be testing every product (and their variants where applicable) in our store all within one campaign.
You’re shown which settings to use for your campaign, how to drill down your products on the item ID level so you can adjust bids individually, exclude non-converting search terms on the campaign level by uploading a list of such terms, and adding individual states to allow for later individual bid adjustments on the state level.
Next, a quick overview of what your campaign should look like after allowing it to run for a few days, and what you can do to fast-track data building, assuming you’re not budget conservative.
You’re also shown how to drill new products which are uploaded into your Merchant Center feed on the item ID level, and how to taper down all of your product’s max CPCs when your campaign budget is maxed out.
Finally, a short video on Enhanced CPC and the criteria for enabling them on both the test bucket campaign and SPCs.
#6 – Campaign Optimization
By now, your test campaign should’ve run for long enough to have built up enough clicks so you can evaluate which products you should exclude from your campaign because they’re unprofitable. Tristan points out that it’s typical for a test campaign to not attract any sales within the first few days or week, and advises not to get too caught up over not making any sales, but to instead let the clicks build up so you know which products to exclude.
Next, you’re shown how to exclude search terms which are irrelevant to any of the items involved in your test campaign, and any search terms which have exceeded the product’s profit margin with zero conversions.
And finally, adjusting bids on a device level, reducing bids for unprofitable products in your test campaign, and location bid adjustments.
#7 – Campaign Scaling
Next up is attempting to scale that one winning product with a single product shopping campaign, which you can then expand to run in other countries (after you set up your Merchant Center to serve countries outside of the US) after it’s proven to be a winner.
Before you set up international geo campaigns though, make sure you have a currency converter in your store. You can either get a currency converter app, or you can purchase a theme like Shoptimized, Booster, or eCom Turbo which all already come with an in-built currency converter; these themes also effectively save you hundreds of total annual fees worth of other third-party apps.
Finally, adjusting your bidding strategy for single product campaigns which don’t perform, and scaling single product campaigns by using a targeted return on adspend (TROAS) bid strategy after a certain amount of conversions within the past 30 days.
#8 – Search Campaign Expansion
This module focuses on expanding to search ads when you have a certain search term that is converting, and creating a search ad for brandability purposes (which includes a “limited” offer to entice prospects to take advantage of). It’s a super short section with only two videos overall, but they’re valuable nevertheless.
I find that niche-specific stores have a better chance of performing well with branding-type search ads; I’d say it’s up to you if you wish to set one up for a general store.
#9 – Remarketing
A December 2018 update to the course throws in a module on setting up remarketing, using ROI Hunter Easy Retargeting. In three videos, you’re walked through on the entire process of properly setting up your campaigns to target prospects who have previously visited your store, but did not purchase.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Google Ads Ecom Academy comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, which is more than enough time for you to put everything laid out in the course into practice. If you make an effort to utilise his methods, and don’t see the results you’re hoping for, you can contact Tristan directly and ask for a full refund; no questions asked.
You do, however, need to show that you put his teachings into practice; you can’t just join and request a refund for any reason you feel like.
After watching every video in this course, I am happy to say I’m more than impressed with what the course offers, and definitely delivers more value than it’s worth.
Compared to Tristan’s other course, I found this one overall much easier to follow. Unlike Facebook ads, Google Shopping performs much better for immediate sales since you’re already targetting people with serious purchasing intent, and requires nowhere near as much monitoring. Plus, no wasting time creating enticing video ads, constantly monitoring individual campaigns, and so on.
This is a course from a well-respected individual who doesn’t overhype his YouTube channel with luxury items just to promote his courses, unlike the other “gurus” who rely on clickbait titles which go something along the lines of “how I made five figures in a month drop shipping” without detailing how much of it is actually net profit.
Whether you’ve yet to start a store, are looking to diversify your sources of traffic for your already existing store, or want a less stressful alternative to Facebook ads, Tristan Broughton’s Google Ads Ecom Academy is definitely worth every buck you spend on it. Considering the heavy focus on Facebook ads in the drop shipping space, this makes Google Ads relatively untapped (for now); you’ll probably want to jump in now rather than later if you’re on the fence.
Of course, it’s no magic bullet for overnight profitability (nor is it as simple as setting up a bunch of campaigns, letting them run and hoping for the best). What I can, at the very least, promise you is that you’ll find it easy to follow and put everything covered in this course into practice once you get started!