Where do people turn when they’re researching products? You guessed it. Amazon and Google.
And while Amazon is currently the leading product discovery platform racking in 49% of searches, Google is a close second at 36%.
Because Google is the world’s leading search engine, most popular website, and most used ad platform, we’ll focus on how to optimize Google Shopping ads.
Unlike other PPC campaigns, Google Shopping campaigns’ ads are automatically generated and shown using your product’s data feed.
In this article, we’ll give a brief explanation of Google’s Shopping tab, and tips on how to optimize your Google Shopping campaign so you can generate more sales and convert more customers.
What is a Google Shopping Campaign?
If you’ve ever Googled a product before, then you’re likely aware of Google’s Shopping search tab.
Google’s Shopping tab is a streamlined way for companies to put their products in front of active searchers looking to purchase items online.
To get your products on Google’s Shopping tab, first, you must create a Google Ads account, and then create a new Merchant Center account.
Then, inside your Google Ads account, click on “New campaign” and select “Shopping” as the campaign type.
Once you set up your campaign, you can select the country of sale for your products so you’re only advertising in those countries.
You can then adjust your inventory filter to set the limit of products that you want to advertise during your campaign.
Even though ads are automatically generated based on the product’s feed information, you’ll still need to create an ad group name and bid on the ad group.
Unlike search ads, Shopping ads work on a cost-per-click (CPC) model. This means that only ads that get clicked on will be charged.
Additionally, there are more targeting capabilities to allow you to show ads based on devices used, such as mobile phones or desktop computers. Geo-location can also be set up so ads only show to specific locations selected.
What is the Google Shopping Feed?
Your Google Shopping store’s inventory is based on your Google Shopping Feed.
In the Merchant account, you will be able to upload a feed that contains all of the products that you want to advertise through the Merchant Center.
The feed is simply a file or document that contains all of your product information. Feeds can be uploaded either as XLS Excel spreadsheets or TXT files.
Unlike search ads, Google Shopping ads cannot be custom-created. They are automatically generated by Google to show in the Google Shopping tab based on your bid strategy, geo-location, and the keywords searched for.
Google Shopping Optimization and Best Practices
Once you set everything up, you’ll want to optimize Google shopping campaigns.
Unlike search ads, you can’t write a winning headline that will steal your audience away from your competitors.
However, your products’ information, descriptions, and photos that you upload into your product feed can be optimized to generate more impressions and sales for your company.
Follow these tips on how to optimize your Shopping campaign.
Use Automation to Update Product Lists
Every time you want to update a product listing’s price, inventory, or specials, you’ll need to manually upload a new XLS or TXT file.
This can be cumbersome, especially for seasonal promotions, or when a certain product is flying off the shelves.
Luckily, Google offers a few different automated techniques to make updating the Feed simpler, which includes:
- Submitting Feeds through Scheduled Fetches
- Setting up Google API client libraries
- Structured data markup
Bid adjustments allow you to change the price of your bids so you can show your ads to fewer or more people.
If you find that your ads are underperforming or aren’t being shown to enough of your target audience, you may consider manually increasing your bid amount to reach more people.
For Shopping campaigns, your manual bid adjustment can be used to alter which devices you’re targeting, control your ad scheduling, or to reach more people on your remarketing lists.
Unlike search and display campaigns, which allow for demographic bid adjustments, Shopping campaigns do not allow for demographic bid adjustments.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t adjust bids by more than 20%, either by increasing or decreasing your bid.
Use Negative Keywords
Adding negative keywords stop you from showing your products to people who search for items or products you don’t sell, thereby saving you money and improving your conversion rate.
For instance, if you’re selling adult bicycles, you could add a negative keyword to exclude your products from showing to people searching for “children’s bicycles.”
Use Images of People Using and Wearing Your Products
Google Shopping uses images as the primary motivator, as opposed to their text-based search ads.
Because of this, Google created guidelines that Merchant Center users must follow when uploading product images.
For apparel products, an image must be at least 250 x 250 pixels, and no larger than 64 megapixels.
For all other products, images must be at least 100 x 100 pixels, and also no larger than 64 megapixels.
Because customers are so reliant on product images to make their purchase, many marketers find greater success when uploading images of people using or wearing their products, as opposed to just uploading the product by itself.
Add Seller Reviews and Ratings to Improve CTR
Have you ever Googled a product and noticed some products have reviews, while others don’t?
Google’s Merchant Center account allows marketers to display aggregated reviews for their products. These ratings appear as a 1 to a 5-star rating that has been generated by merchant sites, review aggregators, review sites, and Google users.
Adding product ratings is optional, but is encouraged to help customers research their purchase decisions. Adding ratings also improve the click-through rate of Google Shopping ads.
To be eligible to add product ratings, a Merchant Center account must have generated at least 50 reviews for their products.
Remove Unsellable Products
You can further optimize your Google Shopping campaign by simply eliminating products that are underperforming.
Underperforming products cost you money every time they are clicked and not sold. They also take up valuable space when better-performing products could be converting more customers.
If you have seasonal items that are out of season, eliminate those from showing so you can focus on in-season products.
Hire Denver PPC to Optimize Your Google Shopping Ads
Denver PPC is a team of Colorado-based pay-per-click professionals.
We combine data and marketing expertise to deliver guaranteed PPC results to our clients. We are among the prestigious few companies to be certified as a Google Partner company.
Our company serves clients in various industries all across the United States, including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Denver, and Boulder.
Are you ready to start getting PPC results? Contact us today to review your free 10-Point PPC Analysis. We’ll review your existing ads account, whether it’s Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Microsoft (Bing) Ads.
Have more questions on PPC? Call Troy or Tony at 303-975-2810.