6 Tips for Creating Profitable Google Shopping Campaigns
by Ron Dod
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Getting your ads shown in “position zero” of relevant search results can vastly increase click-through-rate (CTR) and drive more traffic to your website.
One of the best ways to get found by shoppers looking for the exact products you’re selling is to use Google Shopping campaigns, which are featured at the top of SERPs and contain information that entices shoppers to click to the site.
However, as more merchants are using this ad format, it has become harder to rank high, capture searchers’ attention, and improve ROAS.
In this article, you’ll discover the top six strategies for creating profitable Google Shopping campaigns to maximize your profits.
What are Google Shopping Campaigns?
Google Shopping is a pay-per-click campaign type designed to help online merchants drive targeted traffic with high purchase intent to their websites.
A Google Shopping ad helps you increase exposure by appearing on the general search results, the images tab, and the shopping tab.
On general search result, the ad contains information including product image, price, product title, and merchant name while on the shopping tab, users can view product details, filter results, and compare prices.
Google Shopping campaigns are very effective in showcasing products and attracting high-quality prospect. In fact, we have achieved significant results for Arcadia Publishing, including a 458% increase in ROAS, a 102% increase in sales, and a 141% increase in conversions.
6 Ways to Create Profitable Google Shopping Campaigns
Google Shopping ads are set up differently than Google text ads. It’s important to understand how Google Shopping works so you can leverage its unique features to optimize your ROAS.
1. Optimize Your Product Feed
Google Shopping campaigns are different from typical text ads. Instead of keywords, the platform uses product data (e.g., product titles and descriptions) to determine which ads to show.
Optimizing your product feed is the most effective strategy to improve your ranking in both organic and paid search results. Here’s how:
Product title: this is the most important attribute that will impact your ranking. Your product title should contain the relevant keyword(s), be descriptive, and reflect the language that consumers use in their searches. Put the most relevant terms toward the front and include pertinent information such as color, size, and gender.
Product descriptions: similar to product title, descriptions should include relevant product attributes. Placing key terms within the first 150 characters is often a good strategy for capturing the attention of shoppers.
Link: this is the landing page to which the ad will send shoppers (most likely the product page’s URL) so make sure it contains accurate information.
Image link: product image is a key component to help drive traffic. Use high-quality product photos and remove overlays such as logos or watermarks, which could cause Google to reject your ad.
In addition, fill in as much product data as possible, such as price, category, availability, unique identifier, condition, and gender/age/color/size. You can also use custom labels to organize your campaigns – e.g., for more effective targeting.
2. Fine-Tune Your Bids
After running your ads for a few weeks, you’d likely have gathered enough data to adjust the bidding strategy and fine-tune your campaigns.
Use Google Ads Filters to set up custom product segments based on ad metrics so you can manage bids with a performance-driven strategy. You can also save the filters, such as zero impressions, low CTR, products with conversions (e.g., top sellers,) and wasteful spending, which you can reuse to increase efficiency.
After you have created the filters, you can then adjust the maximum CPC bid more efficiently at a granular level. You can also set bid modifiers for specific segments, e.g., based on device or location.
Last but not least, make sure to use negative keywords so you aren’t paying for search terms that get clicks but don’t convert.
3. Create Showcase Shopping Ads
This new ad format allows you to create ads that feature a collection of related products and are triggered by broader search terms (i.e., without specifying size, color, or brand.) They are designed to build brand awareness and help consumers decide which merchant to choose for purchase.
Showcase shopping ads are effective for introducing your brand to consumers. You can control the specific products shown in your ads and track conversion in real time.
Select a header image that speaks to your audience and is relevant to all the products in the ad. Lifestyle images often work well for this purpose.
Use high-quality and colorful product images.
Group products into relevant showcase shopping ads by using multiple ad groups.
Focus your showcase ads on top-of-the-funnel audiences by introducing your brand, educating searchers about your products, and prequalifying leads.
Segment campaigns by creating multiple ad groups at the category or sub-category levels and set your bids accordingly.
4. Participate in Google Shopping Programs
Google offers special programs for advertisers to help increase the effectiveness of their ads. Many of these features capture the attention of shoppers so you can drive more high-quality traffic and increase your ROI.
Besides using the “tried-and-true” programs (e.g., product ratings and merchant promotions,) stay current with Google’s offering so you can leverage the latest features.
Product ratings: they appear as a 1-5 star rating system and a count of total reviews on Shopping ads. Since most consumers refer to online ratings and recommendations before making a purchase, having star ratings displayed on your listing can help drive traffic, boost credibility, and increase conversion rates.
Merchant Promotions: a free feature that allows you to add promotions to product listings, which appear as “special offer” callouts on the ads (e.g., discount, free gift, free shipping.) They help grab searchers’ attention, increase CTR, and boost conversions.
Shopping Actions: a program that creates a frictionless shopping experience by surfacing product listings on different Google platforms (i.e., desktop, mobile, and voice search devices.) Features include shareable list, universal shopping cart, and instant checkout using saved payment credentials to easily turn browsing into purchasing.
5. Place Audience-Based Remarketing (RLSA) Ads
This type of remarketing ads allows you to allocate more of your ad spend (i.e., by increasing bid) on audiences that have already shown interest in your brand or products.
Unlike dynamic retargeting ads, setting up and managing RLSA is rather straightforward. Simply create audiences in Google Analytics, target your ads, and set your bid modifiers to allocate more resources to these segments.
Though it’s possible to establish very granular targeting, you can start with more general segments, such as all visitors, abandon cart, and abandon checkout.
You can also create a segment for bounced visitors who aren’t interested in your brand or products and set a negative bid modifier, so your ad is less likely to show up on their search results. This will reduce your ad spend on non-converting traffic.
6. Separate Device Targeting
As more consumers are shopping on smartphones, it’s increasingly likely that a majority of your budget will be allocated to mobile.
This could cause the campaign budget to run out early, and you could lose out on sales not only from mobile users but also on other devices such as desktop and tablets.
Not to mention, shoppers’ behaviors and intent vary when they’re on different devices. E.g., they tend to use desktop for in-depth research and prone to making impulse buys on smartphones.
To optimize your budget, create separate campaigns with each targeting one type of device. You can then set an individual budget, content, and bidding strategy for each campaign based on preferences, intent, and behaviors specific to each device so you can have more control over your budget and maximize your ROI.
Google Shopping is an effective PPC ad format that helps you reach a targeted audience with high purchase intent.
There are many tactics you can use to increase the profitability of your campaigns by driving high-quality traffic so you can improve conversion rates while eliminating wasted ad spend.
The best way to fine-tune your Google Shopping campaigns and maximizing their ROI is to collect and analyze the right metrics, which can help you understand what works and what doesn’t for your particular product category and audience segments.
That’s why our team of experts adopts a data-driven approach to Google Shopping management to help our clients optimize data feed, bidding strategies, and audience targeting so they can get the most out of their ad dollars.
Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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