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Google Shopping Ads are product-based ads that show up for product searches across Google and Google Shopping. Learn how to refine your Shopping campaigns.
The best strategies to supercharge your sales and revenue with an easy to run an ad campaign
Forget everything that you knew about Google Adwords if you are running an eCommerce store. Sure, you can still promote your site through Google ads if you’re having a sale or something like that. But, when it comes to drumming up more sales, Google Shopping Ads are the way to go.
In case you haven’t noticed, do a quick search of a random product and on the top of the first page you will see the actuarial listings of that product for sale. Not the page that you have the product on.
This is a huge deal for those selling products on their own site as you have a direct way for the person interested in making a purchase with as little friction as possible.
To get started, we put together this guide with some of the basics to understand Google’s Shopping Ads.
1. What Are Google Smart Shopping Ads?
If you are familiar with Adwords, then you no doubt are familiar with buyer intent keywords. These keywords are what you’ll usually want to compete for to get those top listings for your advertising campaign. Those keywords are important because they show that a shopper is interested in paying for a solution to their problem.
Even better than buyer intent keywords are shopper specific keywords. These are the search phrases that a customer would use when they are looking for a very specific product and will likely be ready to purchase as soon as they find it.
What Shopping ads do is to give retailers a platform that makes it easy to go for those shopper specific inquiries and increase sales by removing steps from the shopping experience. If you have ever read any of the articles on conversioncode, then you know how important UX or user experience is when you have an eCommerce store. And part of that is for customers to make purchases as easy as possible.
These search queries attract more qualified leads to your product or offer. Of course, it takes some time and the right strategies to increase your sales through these ads.
Pros and Cons of Google Smart Shopping Ads
One of the biggest differences between Smart Shopping ads campaigns and Adwords is that they are automated. This is good news in some ways but bad news in others. Let’s take a look at what the advantages and disadvantages are.
These ads use Google’s AI to determine what keywords within your listing are going to work best to attract the right lead. This is great for those that want a hands-off approach to their ad campaigns. There is a lot of testing that is necessary to run a typical successful ad campaign. That testing requires time, money, and lots of human resources. Taking it out of the hands of your team and letting Google do the heavy lifting is a relief.
Keywords can be tricky and if you don’t have the right testing in place, you can leave a lot of great keywords on the table. By having it automated and using different keywords, the AI is able to do much better prospecting. This increases your reach and brings more traffic to your listing.
Visuals work better
When a potential customer can see the listing in the search results then this helps it stand out and get clicked. A text-based result is less likely to attract the right searcher since many people tend to scan the results. If your headline is not on point your click-through rate suffers. An image is a perfect solution.
While a hands-off system sounds really nice, it does have limitations. Since you don’t have much control over the process there is the possibility that your ads don’t do as well as expected. And without much power to do anything about it since they are automated. This can be a turn-off for those that like to dive in and rework campaigns themselves.
The data nerds that love to dive into the numbers and see what’s working get disappointed that Google keeps their cards close to their chest. There is not much information about which placement or search query is doing best or not doing well at all. Likewise, there is a limited amount of customer data available to the webmaster.
No ability to add negative keywords
The AI doesn’t always get things right. Sometimes they use keywords that aren’t as optimized as others. Without the ability to add negative keywords, you could see your ad budget get off-kilter with a lower ROI.
4. Product Shopping Ads vs. Showcase Shopping Ads
To clear things up a bit and add some context, the ads we have been discussing so far in this article refer to the Product Shopping Ads. These are the ones with the images and product boxes that come up for specific product queries.
For instance, if you are selling Nike shoes, then they will appear at the top of the results for Nike Air Max 270. This is what you want as there are more chances of converting with an optimized listing.
Showcase Shopping Ads cast a wider net. In this case, if somebody were to search for just Nike Sneakers, then these are the ads that show up. These ads will show your site and main image with results of the various Nike sneakers that are for sale on your site.
Another important distinction is that Showcase Ads are only shown on mobile searches.
5. Google Shopping Ads Best Practices
Although these ads are mainly automated, there are still things you can and should be doing to optimize your listing for better results. By taking charge of your listing you can increase the click-through rate and conversion rate once people land on your listing.
To get the most bang for your buck here are some of the things to keep in mind when creating your campaign:
Optimize product titles
The trick to creating a perfectly optimized product title is to get as much relevant information as possible in the limits imposed by Google. You want the searcher to be able to see at a glance the important characteristics that will influence their decision to buy.
The less time it takes for somebody to understand what the product is about the more likely a conversion is to take place. The first step is to make sure to include the most popular search query right in the title. This may not be the query that Google picked out of your listing, but it is very likely to be the query the person used.
Optimize the price
Pricing is very tricky when it comes to any eCommerce site even if you aren’t using any Smart Shopping Ads. But, when people can compare at a glance as the very first step after they’ve searched, it becomes even more important.
The key to remember is that if you have multiple sites with the exact same product listed side by side then it stands to reason that people will click on the lowest price.
This is not to say that you should drop all of your prices as that would be counterproductive to making a good profit margin. But, you can look at the underperforming products and see if the price might be the issue there. If you can’t afford to lower your price to match the competition then make sure to adjust your CPC so you don’t end up spending a lot of money for a campaign that doesn’t produce conversions.
Optimize the image
The image is going to be the first thing that people notice even before the price. Since people make a decision to click within fractions of a second it’s important to get the image right.
The best way to settle on the perfect image is to do testing. Take a variety of pictures of the product and run different campaigns with the images changing between them. Then just use the one that performed best and you should have a winning campaign.
You should also try to research what people are most looking at when it comes to the product. If it is a shoe and many people are saying in the reviews that they want to know what the sole looks like then make sure that is in the image. Understanding what people are looking for is a sure way to put the best image out there.
You can checkout this amazing guide for google shopping ads for e-commerce.
If you have the time and an advertising budget then the above tips will be sure to get you on your way to success with Smart Shopping Ads.
Many retailers have been calling these ads a game-changer so expect to see some great results from your campaigns.
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