If you would like potential customers to see your products when they search in Google, you can’t ignore Google Shopping Ads any longer. With a record-breaking holiday season in Q4 2017 that saw traffic jump by 43% and earnings by 30 percent, a Google Shopping marketing strategy is an absolute must for eCommerce retailers who need capitalize on the upcoming shopping season.
The product photo, title, and price allow potential customers to receive all the important info at a meer glance.
What is Google Shopping?
An advertising campaign kind within Google Ads, Google Shopping is exclusive to merchants who sell tangible goods or even digital media or downloadable products online. Google Shopping ads don’t run off keywords and instead utilize your true product data from your shop to power their ability to appear when shoppers search on Google.
If you were to type in a search for “running shoes” in Google, product advertisements that match or closely match that question based on such things as the key phrases found within product titles and descriptions.
Here are a few tips you can use to make the most of your Google Shopping Campaigns:
Maintaining Your Product Feed
You can’t even consider setting up a Shopping Campaign in AdWords before you get your product data feed defined and have a procedure in place to upgrade its product info, availability, and pricing changes. This is super important because if your data feed doesn’t match your site, Google will not reveal your product ads.
Using a Google spreadsheet certainly gives you the most control, but might not be realistic to manage when you’ve got thousands of products. A few super-important things to bear in mind: Shopping campaigns do not use keywords to determine relevancy, so ensure that your product titles and descriptions are keyword-rich but also attractive to a potential buyer who is seeing your ad; Google uses this data to find out whether your products are related to a search query.
With Shopping Campaigns, you can still add negative keywords to reduce unwanted traffic, but you should be cautious in doing this; you do not want to accidentally cut all your traffic! Ensure costs are 100% accurate, especially if dealing in foreign monies – Google won’t reveal your products if this info is not accurate. If you are advertising to numerous countries, you will need a product data feed each country.
Product images can make or break your ads – make sure that your images are high-quality. Include no edited or watermarked product images – the images should be of just the product that you are selling.
Google Shopping Campaigns Tips
Make sure all destination URLs are to live pages and not 404s/dead pages – Google won’t reveal your goods with dead links! Think about starting with a product data feed with a few products if you are a Shopping Campaign first-timer.
This is an excellent way to get used to how it works!
Creating Shopping Campaigns
Assuming that you have gotten your product data feed in tip-top shape and you’ve linked your AdWords account to your Merchant Center, you’re all set to create Shopping Campaigns.
Creating Shopping Campaigns in AdWords is pretty easy – the biggest difference is that you will have to opt for a Merchant Center product feed and a revenue country. Ad Groups in shopping campaigns are really for organizational purposes only: Businesses with very small product data feeds typically create only 1 ad group.
Companies with product information feeds occasionally split ad groups by brand or category.
Shopping Campaign Bidding Revealed
Once you have organized your ad groups, you’re ready to begin thinking about bidding on product advertisements. Bear in mind, product advertisements are created by your feed data so you do not need to write any ads directly.
There are no keywords in Shopping Campaigns! So, what can you bid on? Shopping campaigns are really cool because you can set the bid on the actual products that you’re selling – this gives you an enormous amount of control.
You can either set the bid on individual products or you can set the bid on groups of products – either way, what you set the bidding on is known as a “Product Group.” You can set a bid on this product group and ads for many products in that bin would find the identical bid. Google allows you to take all the products in that giant bin and then split them into smaller bins so you can set bids on those smaller bins. To make these bins, you use the attributes you put in your product feed to segment products. Google does this automatically for you as a catch-all for the products that don’t fit in the bins you define.
How to Organize Your Product Groups
Now that we have that notion down, we’ve got a few tips for how to best arrange your merchandise groups.
The important thing is ROI! How much can you afford to spend on an ad for a particular product? For those who have a small data feed, it’s ideal to get down to the product ID so that you can really set bids on a product by product level.
Try first segmenting by category or brand section by product ID. Use the navigation to dictate your first level of segmentation of your website.
You already have your products organized in some way – replicate that organization in your product groups. If you have a large data feed where handling forecasts at a product level is unrealistic, section by similar goods where the profit margins are comparable – this could be by brand, category, product type or some other attribute that makes sense to your organization.
How you organize your product groups has ZERO bearing on whether or not Google considers your product related to a search query.
As your shopping effort evolves, consider separating your”Best Sellers” into their own campaigns or ad groups – this can help you keep a closer eye on the products which are making you the most money! Extra Product Group Bidding Tips Once you have your product groups organized, you’re ready to put bids on these groups.
Set bids on your “Everything Else” product groups lower than the specific named groups – that will help ensure all traffic and data for products in the feed are sent to that specific product rather than the catch-all pieces.
The Search Impression Share metric gives great insight into just how much growth potential you’ve got for a specific product group.
Always keep an eye on this to see how you are doing compared to everyone else promoting comparable products! The Shopping Campaign benchmarks are good starting points and/or estimates, but shouldn’t be viewed as the be-all end-all metric to optimize to – Cost per Conversion is generally the best metric to optimize toward.
The final bit of information we have for you is about special promotions you are running – Google has this cool thing where you can tack on promotional text to your shopping ad. Your promotions could be something such as “Free Shipping” or “5% off” or seasonally based like “Winter Blowout Sale! 25% Off!” Google Shopping Special Promotions ensure these promotions are applicable and fit your website, otherwise, Google will not display your ads. You are now prepared to begin your first Shopping Campaign.