Google shopping ads or Products listing ads(PLAs) appear on top of SERPs before the organic results.
It allows website owners to set their desired cost per click on their products which are displayed above the fold and before any google text ads.
According to a study, Google shopping ads are better at converting a customer than regular text ads.
For example, when we search for Nike sneakers, shopping ads pop up on top of SERP before the organic results. People are more likely to click on one of these shopping ads than to scroll down and visit a website to find what they are looking for.
Main Components of Google shopping ads
- Product Image
- Promotional offers
- Shipping information
Why should you start google shopping ads right now?
As we all know because of the COVID-19 all businesses got affected, no matter big or small. But there are plenty of opportunities out there.
People are sitting in their homes and searching on google for products. If you have not listed your products on google then you are missing out big time.
Other than that, Google shopping ads tend to convert more customers than regular text ads.
So if you are a retailer and want to increase your sales, we suggest you start right now to throw a net in the pool to catch those fishes(Customers).
Where do shopping ads appear?
Whenever a person searches for any product on Google, they get results with google shopping ads on the top of SERPs.
Google shopping ads appear on image searches, google shopping tab and it also appears across other Google platforms such as
- Google search partner sites
Now you have an understanding of what google shopping ads are and why it’s a good time to start right now. But it’s also important to know how they work.
How do google ads work?
Google shopping campaigns can help you catch the attention of the potential audience by optimizing your ad campaigns.
This involves putting up an attractive product image and relevant description that appropriately describes and sells your product to the customer.
Even if your price is a bit higher Google shopping campaigns target Shoppers and grab their attention by offering them products of high quality and at great offers.
This is a great tool that the business owner & marketers use these days to convert and bring in more new customers and expand their business.
Why are google shopping campaigns a must for an eCommerce store?
Google shopping ads have made it possible for local businesses to expand their visibility on a global scale online.
When you search for something on Google search engines you are presented with a list of offers related to your search.
These all are the shopping ads that the businesses use to increase website traffic and get more visibility.
These results show you the product title, the image with the price tag. Google shopping ads have made it easy to find products that one needs according to its specifications and budget.
Why should you use shopping campaigns?
Shopping campaigns have helped businesses to increase the return of investment with a lower cost per click.
Shopping campaigns have made it possible to sell your products and services to customers beyond geographical boundaries and with varying customer behavior years.
Even if the customer is price sensitive shopping campaigns are effective in selling the products with attractive images and product information.
It has made it possible to target potential customers and improve conversion rates. They are effective and strategic tools to target audiences at the lowest cost.
Types of Google Shopping Campaigns
There are 2 types of Google shopping campaigns we get to choose from in Google ads:
1.Standard Shopping Campaigns
2. Smart Shopping Campaigns
Standard Shopping Campaigns VS Smart Shopping Campaigns
In May 2018 Google introduced the new solution for Google shopping campaigns which was known as Smart Shopping. From today’s blog we will learn what smart shopping campaigns are and how they differ
from the standard shopping campaigns..
What is Google Smart Shopping?
Smart Shopping is one of the relatively new features in Google’s portfolio. It uses Google’s AI
With Smart Shopping two things a user has to choose are the target of the campaign and give a
budget. The rest of the process is taken care of by AI. And what does AI do?
Smart Shopping automatically bids for us and displays the ads in several Google networks, which include Google Search Network, Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail. It also covers various
types of ads like display ads, local inventory ads, and product shopping ads.
So without further ado let’s get into the process of creating shopping ads.
You mainly need to set up 2 things for that.
- Merchant center
- Google ads account
Make sure you use the same google account for both so that you can link your merchant center to your google ads account.
Quick Start Guide
- Create a merchant center account.
- Set up the product feed in the merchant center.
- Create a google ads account.
- Link your merchant center account to your google ads account.
- Set up Shopping ads campaigns in your google ads account.
You can use this link to see a step by step guide with images on how to set up a merchant center account.
So, what exactly is Google Merchant Center?
Google merchant center is a tool of Google through which you can upload your store and product data feed and make it available for shopping ads and other Google services.
A product data feed is a list of all the products that you sell online. This list contains a special format and tons of attributes. Below are some key attributes of your product data feed:
- Product Title: Title is contained with the name of your products and title text shows with your ads serve.
- Product Description: This text describes your products and shows when your ads clicked by users.
- Product Category: This category defines your product type.
- Product ID: Product ID is the unique identity of your products
- Product Type: It is defined by the product owner
- Product Image: Google defines image size basis on product category
- Destination URL: Your destination URL should be working, so the user is able to see products after clicking on the ads.
- Availability Status: (In stock or out of stock)
- Price: Each product should have an original price
- GTIN: The GTIN is a globally unique 14-digit number for each product.
In the shopping campaign, you don’t need to write ads as you do in a search campaign because shopping ads automatically are generated using Google data feed.
Rules for uploading product feed
Now here are some rules that you must follow to upload your feed to the google merchant center. These feed rules allow you to fast in the process of the product feed creation and updating.
Go to the products menu and select fields. Under the activity feed, you will find the rules.
You can derive the constants, assign existing attributes, and include attributes from an additional feed through these feed rules. Let us now know how we can apply these feed rules to the shopping campaigns and get amazing results.
- The most basic way to apply these feed rules is to fill in the missing data in a product feed.
- For example, if you don’t have an attribute called brand name then you can go to create a rule and set the static value for your product.
- You can also use these to create custom data columns for campaign segmentation.
- This could also be used for adding the promotion ID field with the static value.
After setting up your merchant center account and giving the product feed. It’s time to set up a google ads account.
- Go to this link to sign up for a google ads account (Skip this step if you already a google ads account)
- If you already have a google ads account then it’s time to link it to your merchant center account which you have created earlier.
- After linking your google merchant center account with your google ads account, you have to create shopping campaigns.
Google Shopping Campaigns
Google shopping campaigns are extensively used to market products online and increase traffic to your website.
Google shopping ads have made it possible to boost traffic at both local and digital platforms. These have made it possible to reach customers with product data including the product image, title, product price, product description, and reviews.
It is easy to attract quality leads with appropriate product data stored in your Google merchant account. This way you are no more bound by the keywords to get into the search results of the search engine.
This flexible approach in the context of digital marketing has made it convenient for businesses to reach customers beyond hindrances. Here are some benefits of google shopping campaigns.
Benefits of using google shopping campaigns
- Better quality traffic
Google shopping ads help to increase the quality of the leads i.e. increase the conversion chances by providing entire product information on the ads themselves. This helps the customer to make a decision with the information available and make a purchase.
- Easy retail-centric campaign management
Shopping ads are linked to your Merchant Center data feed. This helps to show your product attributes when someone searches for something related to your products. This makes it easier for customers to find your product among thousands of other products online.
- Broader presence
You can put more than one Shopping ad. This increases your visibility to the viewers and ultimately the chances to increase sales. When you appear in a user search your reach with customers for a single search can increase multiple times.
- Powerful reporting and competitive data
You can assess the performance of your products at any level. This helps to decide the effectiveness of your shopping campaign and whether you should continue it or not.
It provides you analytics and tools that help to optimize the ads from time to time to improve the overall performance and return on investment.
Now that you know what google shopping campaigns are and their benefits. It’s time to learn how to set up a shopping campaign.
How to set up Google Shopping campaigns
Google shopping campaigns help you to promote your products by giving users detailed information about what you’re selling before they even click your ad.
With the use of retail-centric reporting tools, you will be able to track the performance of your products over time.
Once you get approval on your products in Google merchant center, the next step is to set-up the Google Shopping campaign in Google Ads.
In the Google ads dashboard, click on the plus button to create a shopping campaign, and on the next screen select shopping campaign.
Before you select a smart or standard shopping campaign, let’s get more clear about the difference between both smart and standard.
If you choose a smart shopping campaign it shows ads also on the display network, your ads can appear as banner ads on other network sites or even on YouTube. Smart campaigns are totally automatic and Google gives more exposure to your ads.
On the other hand, in Standard Shopping campaigns, you are eligible to set CPC for each product and you can make it up and down according to your product performance. But with Smart Shopping, all of that is automated.
We are going to focus on Standard Campaigns here so let’s continue with that.
The next step is to select your merchant center account and select the country where you want to target the potential customers.
We have already discussed the difference between standard and smart shopping campaigns so choose whichever you prefer according to your needs.
Then Pick a name for your campaign.
Select your Bid strategy, automatic or manual. We advise you to choose manual CPC and your budget. However, you can go for an automatic bidding strategy too.
Then set your Campaign Priority. If you are running more than 1 campaign then you can change priority otherwise keep it low for now.
Make network selections, device preferences, and location targeting.
After that, Choose your ad group type according to your products. We suggest you go with Product Shopping.
But you can also use Showcase shopping if you want to Create Multiple Product Ads at once.
Then Name your ad group and enter how much you want to spend per click.
Pro tip – If you are a complete beginner and you want to have a basic idea on how much you should bid, then go for 1% of your product price.
For example, if your product costs $40 then you can go for a $0.4 bid and check it for 2 days, if you are not getting impressions then increase the bid by 30% to 40% and set the bid as the benchmark CPC suggested by Google.
Here we can do product selection. You can choose from different products on which you want to run shopping ads.
Optimizing your shopping ads
You can easily improve the effectiveness of your campaign by using some techniques. This includes uploading attractive product images, giving appealing titles to your products, etc.
You should be ready with a website that runs across platforms including mobile devices, and laptops.
Using your customer reviews on products can help you get new leads. These qualified reviews can prove to be a wonderful way to make money through google ads.
Shopping Campaigns Optimisation strategies
Let us now have a look at the Optimisation Strategies for the product feed to make them even more effective and workable.
So here we are going to talk about the top 5 optimization strategies.
- Add Negative Keywords
Unlike google text ads, you can’t tell the keywords to google for which your product lists. But you can add negative keywords to tell Google to stop showing your products for keywords you want to exclude.
- Evaluate your winners & losers
Some of your products are going to perform better than others. You have to identify the products which are not performing well and make adjustments to improve them.
Always keep in mind that a product that is not converting well is not the only loser, if your CPC is higher than your profit margin then you are losing money on those products too.
- Boost individual products
After evaluating your winners and losers, now you know which of your products are doing really well. Now you know which products you have to bid higher in order to maximize your profits through the conversion of those products.
- Exclude Underperforming Products
There might be several reasons because of which your product is not performing well. Instead of wasting your effort & money on them, just simply exclude them and focus more on your winners.
You can also exclude products when they are out of stock or you know they are not going be popular in upcoming times for example if you sell warm coats, you know people are not gonna buy those in summer.
5. Use Specific Extensions
Using specific extensions in shopping campaigns could be the difference between a conversion and a wasted opportunity.
There are two types of extensions i.e Automated and Merchant Center Program. Automated extensions show only Shipping and tax-related information. Its merchant center program, where we are going to benefit from.
We can use them to show promotional offers like price drop and customer reviews.
Google shopping ads campaigns have changed the way we advertise today. The google merchant center is giving the businesses their visibility online through their product data.
This new approach to reach the target audience is proving to be effective and reliable.
Google has put forward numerous tools that help to automate the process and track the performance from time to time.
This great and improved technique of marketing on digital platforms is both cost friendly and market-friendly.
Having a good knowledge about this and implementing it in the right way could be certainly beneficial for the business.