Why Google Shopping ads should be part of the mix
In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, Shopping ads have stood the test of time. Often appearing at the very top of Google Search results, their front-and-centre placement is just one feature that makes them so effective. They’re a core foundation of any ecommerce campaign so learning how best to implement them is the key to success.
So, let’s break it down; the benefits, the pitfalls, and some tips on how to make the most of your next campaign.
- What are Shopping ads?
- What do Shopping ads include?
- How do Shopping ads work?
- How best to use Shopping ads
- The cons of Shopping ads
- How to optimise your Shopping campaigns
- Shopping ads vs. other ad types
Shopping ads are PPC ads that showcase individual products from an ecommerce store. Whenever a user searches for a product on Google, tiles of Google Shopping ads appear before any Search results, at the very top of the first page of results.
Each ad features a product name, image, title, and a link to the checkout page for each item. This means that with just one click, users are connected to the specific landing page to make a purchase.
Unlike conventional paid ads, Shopping ads don't require keywords. Instead, ads are automatically generated en masse, based on a product feed stored in Google Merchant Center, connected to your Google Ads account. To be clear, you control the feed, so you control the ads.
1. Visual impact
One element that continues to make Shopping ads so effective is their highly engaging visual impact. The majority of the ad draws the users' attention to the product image. If you work with a high-quality feed of images in Google Merchant Center, your ads will stand out and already look top quality.
Another benefit of Shopping ads is their specificity to each product. Because each ad is uniquely generated for every single product you sell, the copy, title, and image are always hyper-specific.
3. Broad reach
Finally, one of the best features of Shopping campaigns is their uniquely broad reach; appearing in Google Search, Google Images, and Google Shopping tabs. This maximises your opportunity for engagement and staying in users' minds throughout multiple touchpoints.
The most important step in creating your Shopping Ads campaign is to choose your most relevant shopping ad campaign type. Here are the three to choose from.
1. Performance Max
This is a smart campaign mode, using Google Automation to reach potential customers across multiple platforms. It’s best used if you have a specific conversion goal in mind and want one campaign to focus on. Performance Max campaigns use Smart Bidding for real-time optimisation, so it takes some of the time consuming work out of your hands.
2. Standard Shopping Ads
The classic, original campaign type, that’s maintained its popularity for good reason. Although it lacks enhanced optimisation or automation of Performance Max campaigns, we believe it’s brilliant for your first campaign. With a Standard Shopping campaign, you retain a lot of control, which is vital when first working with such a broad campaign. You can customise campaign priorities, create ad group names to organise your data feed, setting network and device settings as you go.
3. Local Inventory Ads (LIAs)
This slightly more niche campaign type is best for local, in-person shops. It encourages local shoppers to actually visit in person, taking digital traffic and converting it to in-person engagement and purchases. This takes the benefits of digital commerce and transitions its benefits to the real world.
Let’s take a minute to consider some of the negatives of Shopping campaigns. These aren’t barriers to entry but are worth keeping in mind so you can strategise around them, ensuring your campaigns don’t miss out on conversions.
- Costly: The CPCs in Shopping campaigns can be high, so be sure to be strict with your keyword types and bidding strategy.
- Limited control over placement: Because these ads are placed in a huge variety of online locations, it can be tricky to keep on top of where your ads will appear. This is where negative keywords, blocked URLs and regular account check-ups come in handy.
- Highly competitive: It’s challenging to stand out in a very homogenised feed, and because Shopping ads are so popular, you are guaranteed to have tough competition. Stand out from the crowd with high quality product images and accurate product descriptions and titles.
Here are a few tips we’d recommend to make the most of your Shopping campaigns:
- Consider the amount of automation you use. Remember, you can choose between Performance Max campaigns or Standard Shopping Ads. If it’s your first campaign, we’d recommend a Standard campaign so you can keep control and learn as you go. Delve into Performance Max once you’ve mastered this form of ad campaign.
- Be mindful of your data feed and keep things organised. A disorganised data feed can waste your budget and derail even the most detailed Shopping campaigns. So be aware of what’s actually going into your data feed, and don’t get lost in the mass of items being showcased. Keep things tidy and spend some time working on categorising your products to avoid any complications.
- Use negative keywords with all of your Shopping campaigns. This is vital to prevent your ads showing up in low-quality traffic, wasting budget and clicks. You don’t want your brand associated with any negative parts of the Internet, so retain control and put those negative keywords to use.
- If you sell a large number of products (e.g. as part of a national brand) or have products that are highly similar (e.g. TV brackets that are specific measurements for specific fittings), Google Shopping ads are a must.
- This ad type generates thousands of ads required to specifically showcase the unique and individual features of your brand.
- If your service or product has great visuals, lean in to the engaging nature of Shopping Ads, which rely heavily on visuals, rather than text.
- Shopping ads have fantastic placement! They sit right at the top of Search results and Image searches. So, you can cut above other ad types and be front and centre when users are searching for products similar to your brand.
Read more on other Google ad types
To sum things up, if you have a visual product and you’re not using Shopping ads, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Offering a one-click connection to the product’s landing page, the generated ads make the most of visual products, with specific product details being pulled in from your data feed.
If you have a large product inventory, or visually appealing products or services that you want users to discover, Shopping Ads will place you at the top of Search results and could level up your conversion rate through careful management.
Now all that’s left to do is start building your first campaign. And if you need help with that, get in touch.
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