Google Shopping Ads are ads for a product listing that you see appearing on Google Search and shopping results. Unlike pure text-based ads that do not contain pictures, these ads feature detailed information and visuals about products, thus, fostering more engagement. Google Shopping ads are better at converting leads into loyal customers over traditional ads.
Still don’t get it?
Here’s what Google Shopping Ads look like in your web browser when you search for “buy Jordan sneakers.”
What Are Google Shopping Ads?
According to a study done by SmartInsights, Google Shopping Ads now accounts for over 76.4% of ad spend on retail searches within the United States alone. Merchants are investing more in Search Engine Advertising (SEA) which helps ads appear above Google’s organic search engine results besides SEO optimization. The higher the ranking on Google’s search engine, the greater the likelihood of acquiring more leads and sales.
Google Shopping Ads gives merchants a platform to connect with a global audience and make greater sales turnovers, thus, letting them make the most of their investments.
The best part about Google Shopping Ads is that all merchants have to do is set up their inventory and product catalogs right on Google Merchant Center.
The platform pulls data from the product feed and automatically creates the ads with visuals. In the long run, it saves a lot of time and effort, thus, letting marketers focus more on the content and product quality overselling and getting the word out. You don’t have to worry about keywords either.
Google Shopping Ads Advantages
Google Shopping Ads isn’t a new trend. Businesses are banking in on creating optimized shopping ads and growing their online client-base these days. When you use Google shopping ads properly, here is a list of the benefits you enjoy.
1. Can Get Highly-Targeted Traffic
Google Shopping Ads target shoppers with a clear intent for product searches. Most of the leads who are shown these ads have done their research and know what they’re looking for.
Google shopping ads link them to relevant ads, thus, letting merchants acquire highly-targeted traffic. The problem with digital advertising is that sometimes, customers can get the wrong buyers or audience but Google Shopping takes that out of the equation.
By acquiring a customer base that’s tied to your niche, you make better sales and can foster customer loyalty.
2. High Potential Customer Reach
The saying goes ‘a picture is worth far more than a thousand words’, and that saying rings true even today. The visuals shown along with Google Shopping ads immediately grab customers’ attention.
People who search for products on the platform are more likely to click on ads with images than on those with zero visuals. This also increases the likelihood of a purchase.
3. High Return on Ad Spend
Google Shopping Ads have a 26% higher conversion rate over text ads and this ensures higher returns on ad-spend. Ultimately, the Cost Per Click (CPC) costs on campaigns are reduced, plus bringing in more eCommerce traffic and boosting ROI as a bonus.
4. Can Be Managed and Optimized Easily
Google Shopping Ads doesn’t make use of any keywords. Instead, it pulls data from your product feed and inventory. The attributes and details specified for every product are taken into consideration and whenever someone searches for relevant terms, Google will trigger those product ads and display it to them.
All this is done automatically once you’ve got your Google Merchant Store set up. Multiple shopping ads can be displayed side-by-side as well when customers look for products, thus, making it easier to get a broader reach.
As for the management part, all merchants have to do is optimize their shopping feeds and make sure that their inventory stays up-to-date.
5. Better Data and Reporting
Google Merchant Center provides sellers with various benchmarking and insight tools that give them an idea of how their products are performing. Analytics can be run on a granular level and products can be compared. You can also use the benchmarking figures to see how your competitors are doing and how products are faring against them.
How to Create a Well-Optimized Google Shopping Ad?
If you’re trying to learn how to increase online sales using Google Shopping ads, start by beginning with the basics – that is, optimizing them. It’s not just the ads that will get your results, it is how you set them up.e You also have to pay attention to the way you present your products visually and write the content.
1. Make Product Photos and Listings to Stand Out
Your product photos are what get your ads noticed online. Users are more likely to refer them to your friends and share if they’re high-quality and visually appealing. A professional photographer may be hired to click your pictures if needed and capture multiple angles.
The different viewpoints should give your viewers a clear idea of how the product works and you should also consider adding a product demo or trailer on your website. Make sure your photos meet Google’s standards and quality requirements before uploading them to the Merchant Centre.
This also applies to your PLAs (Product Listing Ads) which have to be SEO-optimized and written clean without any fluff, keyword stuffing, or unnecessary jargon.
2. Make Sure Your Store Complies All Requirements & Policies for Google Shopping Ads
Are you allowed to sell certain items to different countries or are they banned? Is your inventory completely legal and approved for imports and exports?
Make sure you run through the laws and legislations of various regions around the world if you’re planning to make your online brand go international.
Google has stringent policies about running merchant stores on its platform and sellers are recommended to go through their guidelines.
3. Set up Your Google Merchant Center Account
To create a Google Merchant Center Account, make sure you are already registered on Google first. Visit the sign-up page and follow the instructions outlined there to set it up. After you finish setting up your Merchant Center Account and are approved as a seller, you want to link your Google Ads account to your Google Merchant Center. This way, you can make full use of the campaign settings, tools, insights, and help you get started building your brand’s presence on the web.
4. Create your Product Feeds
AdNabu has written a step-by-step guide on how to create and upload a product feed. We suggest giving it a read.
There are options for setting up local inventory feeds and advertising them on the platform. Local inventory feeds are region-specific and merchants have to check if their countries are eligible to use this feature.
European countries are required to verify their About Me page when they are signing up for the Google Local Inventory Ads program. Google uses a spreadsheet format for reviewing Product Data Feeds and the details are needed in a specific format.
Key attributes to pay attention to in your Product Feeds are:
- ID – This is used for identifying your products and must be unique.
- Title – The text that is displayed with your ad and the name of your product.
- Description – The content copy of your product, this has to be plagiarism-free and written naturally.
- Product category and type – pretty self-explanatory but Google has predefined listings for these.
- Availability status – Specifying if the items in your inventory are in stock or not.
5. Link Merchant Center Account to Google Ads
We’ve mentioned this before but linking your Merchant Center Account to Google Ads is fairly straightforward. Just refer to this guide.
6. Google Shopping Campaign Settings
We give you a rapid rundown of the Google Shopping Campaign settings. There are plenty of guides written on the subject but here are a few key points worth noting. Optimizing your campaign settings can quickly create an impact on your search impressions, engagement, and clicks.
a. Country of Sale
This indicates which country your store is based on. The country of sale has to be specified before launching a new campaign.
b. Inventory Filter
Inventory filters group your products into different categories. Google displays only the groups you specific on the platform and these filters are optional, being set at the campaign level.
Bidding is how much you’re willing to pay per click for every ad. Google Ads account has settings for adjusting your bids. You can also access this through your Shopping Campaign settings once both of them are linked.
d. Daily Budget
Start small with your daily budget and don’t go high. Adjust it according to your bids and device performance. Budgets are different for every campaign and you can edit them in your campaign settings.
e. Campaign Priority
If you’re running numerous campaigns at the same time, you can tell Google which ones to prioritize first. High-priority campaigns will be displayed and put out more in the search engine’s marketplace while the lower priority ones will be paid attention to later.
f. Networks and Devices
Networks and Devices in campaign settings let you optimize your ads to be displayed across various devices. If you find your ads doing well on tablets, you can adjust the remaining campaigns to match the performance. Under Networks, you can let Google decide whether to display your ads on only the Google Search Network or both Google Search and Display Networks.
g. Locations & Local Inventory Ads
You can decide if you’d like to include products sold in local outlets on your Google Merchant Store. Local inventory ads let you advertise these products but you have to sign up for Google’s program to use it. The locations setting lets you decide where to display your ads and which regions to restrict access to.
h. Success your Google shopping ads are live now
Once you have uploaded your Product Data Feed, photos and optimized your SEO, it’ll be time to submit your store’s application for a review. If you’ve met Google’s guidelines so far, you will be good.
Top 10 Strategies to Improve Your Online Sales
There are various Google Shopping Ads strategies that you can use to increase your online sales. Here are our top ten favorites.
1. Optimize Your Product Titles
Think like your customers when you’re optimizing your product titles. Add relevant keywords in and focus on matching your CTA with what your leads are searching for. The Google algorithm is more likely to display your products in the search engine if it matches the search intent of online users.
An excellent example is that of Zoobgear, a brand that saw a substantial increase in clicks by up to 250% after they optimized their product titles. Be sure to go through Google’s requirements before working on your product titles.
2. Optimize Your Product Feed Descriptions & Categories
Your product feed description is your content copy. If it’s not engaging, your readers won’t bother reading it. It’s vital to start with a good introduction and list the key features briefly. Keep it short and simple and avoid writing walls of text.
The first 145-180 characters are what Google will show on the ads so make sure you include the key information within those 180 characters. Avoid keyword stuffing and try to fit in at least one of the following attributes for your product:
- Age group
- Technical specifications
Avoid promoting your brand, listing any hyperlinks, or adding comparisons with other products. These are red flags and you could risk getting your Google AdWords account banned if you’re not careful. No block capitals also. Read this guide if you’re looking for tips on how to write compelling Google Shopping ad product descriptions.
When it comes to optimizing your product inventory, split them up into different categories. Let’s say you have digital cameras and various accessories under technology, then it’s a good idea to sell the electronic equipment under camera accessories
3. Optimizing Your Product Images
Google has very strict rules about product images being optimized. You can test out what images work best by using the A/B split testing strategy for your campaigns. Stock photos and photos with models are allowed.
The images should be clear, well-lit, and have no text or clutter in the background. You can look at other product ads being shown on Google as a reference since they’ve been approved by the platform.
4. Use Google Shopping Ad Extensions
Google Shopping Ad extensions can expand your reach and connect to a wider customer base. There are billions of Google Shopping Ad extensions out there and you can take your time exploring them.
Our favorite ones are the product ratings, contact details and address, discount and price drops, and the Buy Now button.
5. Use Products Rating & Review
What your customers say about your products speaks volumes about your brand. And if you’re getting good ratings and reviews, it makes sense to put them up on your website. Take full advantage of this because user-generated content is powerful.
It serves as social proof that what you’re doing works and is making a difference. You can either add these reviews via Google Shopping Ad Extensions and display them with your PLAs or embed them onto your website. Usually, your leads are redirected to your landing pages when they click on your ads, so doing the latter is the ideal scenario.
6. Implement a Negative Keywords strategy
Negative keywords prevent the wrong keywords from triggering your product ads. Let’s say you’re selling kids’ shoes and someone is looking for women’s shoes. You don’t want such people to click on your ads when they make a search query or let the Search engine trigger your results.
By implementing a negative keywords strategy, you make sure your ads don’t show up for those wrong keywords. It also helps in saving money on your Ad spending budget.
7. Adjust Bids By Device Performance
Adjusting your bids based on device performance will help you narrow down which campaigns are doing best and where. For example, if you are selling three products – shoes, watches, and cameras.
And cameras seem to be getting more sales and conversions on tablet devices over desktop and mobile, you should invest more into ads to be displayed on tablets. Likewise, you’ll be reducing the bids for desktop and mobile since they don’t seem to be doing well.
8. Optimize by Geo Location
Open up the Geographic view for your campaigns and see how each of them is performing based on country and region. After running an analysis, you can optimize your ads by using geo-location bid modifiers.
9. Increase bids For High-Performance Products
If a product or campaign isn’t performing too well, it makes sense to lower the bids for that and spend more on the campaigns that are. Look at the reports tab to see at what times of the day, week, or month your ads seem to be doing really well. That will give you more insight into adjusting bids for high-performance products.
10. Create Remarketing Lists for Shopping Ads
Remarketing lists involve triggering ads or products to visitors who have already visited your website before, on various social media platforms. It could be a Facebook post that’s shown on their feed or a similar product ad displayed on the search engine when they type in relevant terms.
Now that you’re aware of the basics of using Google Shopping Ads for boosting your sales, it’s time to get working. Make sure you promote your website on various social media handles and create a YouTube account for your business too. It’s not just the Google Shopping Ads that will grow your brand but what you do as a whole. However, they are integral to turning over more sales and getting you increased performance, in terms of revenue.
This guest post was written by AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for Shopify stores. If you are running the google search, google shopping, or display campaigns in Google Ads, Their apps help to increase your sales.