Social media is useful for keeping in touch with distant relatives and old colleagues, generating awareness for good causes, sharing news, and, of course, marketing. Of course, we’re focusing on the latter in this guide because we want to help marketers with Google Shopping. Should you pay attention to this platform?
In case you haven’t already seen, Google Shopping is the ultimate shopping tool for consumers. Not only can they search for a specific item, but also compare prices between different outlets and shop the many different retailers that offer it (as long as the retailer has paid to have their products advertised). Sometimes referred to as the CSE (Comparison Shopping Engine), those who pay for advertising will have images of their products displayed in the results.
As a marketer, your attention is often pulled in a million different directions, and it can be hard to know when and where to spend your money. If you’re looking for a reason to prioritize Google Shopping, perhaps the most important is that it actually works. When you appear at the top of the SERP, you are showing your products to those who have done the majority of their research and are now ready to spend money.
PLAs (Product Listing Ads) help brands and eCommerce services get the attention of those interested in what they’re offering. Especially since the results have images attached, many buyers will take an interest and hopefully click through to the landing page.
In terms of quality of leads, remember they’ve already gone through the early stages of the funnel and understand the product, which means there is potential to boost conversion rates and ROI. With Google Shopping ads, some have conversion rates 25% higher compared to standard text-only ads. What’s more, cost per conversion and cost per click both decrease.
Over time, the traffic you get to your landing page and website overall is more relevant. As long as the content on your website has been optimized for your audience, this is great news. Higher quality leads enter your website, they see content designed for them, and you reap the rewards of Google Shopping.
Even after all these benefits, we should consider the fact that PLAs are simple to manage. You don’t need to worry about keywords because Google assesses product data in order to show your products to the right people and searches. Although it’s easier, don’t mistake this for a lack of control because it’s still possible to adjust your own product data (what Google reads) to optimize category, product title and descriptions.
Google explains exactly how to set up a shopping campaign. If you have a Google Ads account, head over to the left-hand menu and click on Campaigns. Hit the plus button and you should see an option for New Campaign. Then, choose Shopping in the Campaign Type.
After clicking Next, the first decision you need to make pertains to the advertising preferences. We’ve broken down the different fields below:
Choose the Merchant Center account, which contains the correct products. If there are no accounts visible, the first thing you need to do is link your Merchant Center account to the Google Ads account. Once the campaign is up and running, it’s impossible to change merchant so be careful with this step.
This isn’t too important, but it will help you to identify the campaign whenever you come back - unlike the merchant, you can change names in the future.
Where do you sell and to where are you happy to ship? There’s no point advertising in countries where you’re not available, so Google allows you to select your markets. Additionally, make sure all product data is available for the country/countries you choose for your ads. Without product data, the items won’t be available for different countries, and it’s impossible to change this setting once the campaign has started.
Which type of bidding do you want to use? We could offer a whole guide about bidding, but it all comes down to your strategy and budget. You also have a chance to choose a daily budget, but more on bidding at the end.
Assuming you don’t want to limit the products used in a single campaign, you don’t need to play with this setting at all. Alternatively, set certain criteria and all products that don’t meet the criteria will not be advertised. This setting is adjustable even after the campaign has been created.
Google has set campaigns to work on all devices, but you can change this setting. Let’s say you only want to appear on mobile devices; make sure you define this in the setup stage.
This setting won’t apply to all campaigns, because it’s only used when the same product is used in different campaigns in the same country. When you have this setup, there’s going to be an overlap, and this setting helps you to choose which budget is used in this event.
By default, the campaign will help to build traffic and boost conversions. However, you have an opportunity to uncheck boxes and choose exactly where you want your products to show. The potential list includes:
Finally, if you want the campaign to include products found in local stores, choose this option. Using the Merchant Center, you should submit local product data before starting with this in your campaign.
After optimizing all these settings for your campaign, save and continue. Choose between a showcase shopping ad and a product shopping ad, and then create your first ad group. From here, you’re ready to go!
To get started with Google Shopping, it’s important to note that the bidding process is different than what you might expect. With shopping campaigns, it’s possible to set bids for individual products you sell, and this is fantastic in terms of control. While some choose to set bids for a group of products, others micromanage and set bids for every product.
By setting bids per group, all your products fall under this umbrella and the same bidding parameters are used for each. Considering each product has a different price and profit margin, it might make more sense to manage each product individually.
If you are going to set bidding for product groups, here’s some advice:
To do well and get a good ROI with Google Shopping, always start with high-quality images. With the right images, you’ll stand out from the crowd; this includes having good lighting, background and retouching wherever necessary. After this, make sure your products have ratings and reviews by employing the best SEO practices possible.
Once the campaign is up and running, keep tabs on the analytics, focus on the best-performing products, and be on a mission to continually improve. The more data you have and the more effort you’re willing to put in, the more you will get from Google Shopping.
Here are some parting tips:
Now’s the chance to try Google Shopping for yourself.
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