Google Shopping: The Ultimate Campaign Strategy for Your eCommerce Brand

Ruthie Careyby Ruthie Carey

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Online retail has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2020, retail eCommerce sales worldwide topped out at $4.28 trillion. That figure is expected to rise to $6.38 trillion by 2024.

Today, a considerable amount of eCommerce revenue is driven by Google’s $150 billion advertising business, particularly Google Shopping Ads.

Google launched Google Shopping (formerly known as Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle) back in 2002 as a means to help shoppers conveniently find and buy products online.

Similar to Amazon, eBay and other eCommerce marketplaces, Google Shopping Ads are part of the company’s search engine and enable sellers to gain premier visibility by targeting relevant buyers.

For those who are ready to up their Google Shopping campaign strategy, look no further. This guide to Google Shopping has everything necessary to formulate an effective Google Shopping strategy that generates eCommerce traffic and sales.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Google Shopping Campaign Strategy Structures

Speaking strictly to Google Shopping campaigns (meaning not integrating Smart Shopping campaigns in any way), there are two primary approaches that sellers can utilize to set up their Google Shopping campaign structure.

That is, merchants can set up one campaign and one ad group, or they can create multiple campaigns with a variety of ad groups and campaign priorities.

Let’s go ahead and take a closer look at these two options:

One Campaign, One Ad Group

The simplest and easiest structure for a Google Shopping campaign strategy is to run one campaign and one ad group.

When merchants initially establish a Shopping campaign, they will have one ad group with a single product group labeled “All products.” This will house a retailer’s entire inventory.

This Google Shopping campaign strategy is excellent for running straightforward efforts that require no complex optimization tactics.

That said, if sellers want to customize their bid based on the products that they are promoting, then it is wise to utilize the second campaign structure.

Various Campaigns with Different Campaign Priorities

As opposed to running a single campaign with only one ad group, retailers can also run multiple Google Shopping campaigns and prioritize them based on bidding strategies.

For instance, sellers can create a campaign targeting unbranded keywords by utilizing a negative keyword list that includes the company’s name. Retailers might opt to have this campaign assigned a low priority level since the searchers who are not using branded keywords are still at the very top of the funnel.

At the same time, merchants might also run a second campaign targeting brand keywords, assigning that campaign a high level of priority as those who are using such terms are familiar with the brand and are likely to convert.

By employing various ad groups with refined targeting via unique negative keyword lists, sellers will have a greater level of control over the search terms for which their products surface.

That said, it is important to note that advertisers cannot select the keywords for which an ad will surface. Therefore, it is imperative that retailers not only implement negative keywords and customized bidding tactics but that they also optimize Google Shopping product feeds to drive the most relevant traffic possible.

Alternatively, merchants can establish different campaigns for different product groups. Under this structure, sellers will once again assign varying priority levels for the campaigns based on which products are most likely to convert.

While this Google Shopping campaign strategy will provide retailers with even more control, there is a correlative increase in organizing and strategizing as well.

No matter how retailers opt to structure their Google Shopping campaign strategy, it is best to test out different tactics to see which works best for the brand.

With the structure of the campaign set, it is time to move on to strategies for increasing eCommerce sales via Google Shopping.

Google Shopping Campaign Strategies

The fact of the matter is that there are tons of different strategies merchants can utilize to optimize their Google Shopping campaigns and the results that they generate.

However, not all strategies are created equal or yield equal results.

That said, some of the top-performing Google Shopping campaign strategies include:

Work RLSA Campaigns into the Mix

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) have been around for a long while and have been widely used by eCommerce marketers for elevating campaign performance.

For those who are unfamiliar, RLSAs enable sellers to target consumers who have previously visited a merchant’s site, bought from the brand or those who have interacted with a company in some form.

Given that RLSAs target those who are already familiar with a brand in some way, these present a powerful opportunity for driving lower funnel conversions and follow-up purchases.

The fact is that conversion rates are significantly higher for those who have come into contact with a company in the past. Therefore, when a prospective buyer leaves a seller’s site, RLSAs can help to reach those folks a second time and pull them back onto the site to buy.

Retailers who are interested in leveraging this Google Shopping campaign strategy can add a remarketing list to their Shopping campaign in a similar way as they do with search campaigns.

Navigate to the Shopping group and select the “Audiences” tab and then hit the “+Remarketing” button. From there, retailers can manage their remarketing efforts.

Reach New Buyers Using Similar Audiences

Using Similar Audiences, retailers can attract new buyers to their site by targeting people who have similar search or browsing behaviors as those in their current remarketing lists.

Think of Similar Audiences as Google’s answer to Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences.

Similar Audiences is a fantastic tool for targeting consumers who are akin to a merchant’s VIP customers. By creating a retargeting list of top buyers and using that to create a Similar Audience, retailers can cut through the weeds to find those who are most likely to convert and to have the highest customer lifetime value.

One of the biggest perks to this Google Shopping campaign strategy is that Similar Audience targeting takes the guesswork out of finding new consumers by automatically targeting those who resemble the customers in a merchant’s retargeting list.

Moreover, using this tool, sellers can substantially boost the reach of their existing remarketing efforts and drive more qualified consumers to their site.

Best of all, even if consumers reached via Similar Audiences don’t immediately convert, sellers can then add them to their remarketing list and potentially get them to buy later down the road.

Employ Auction Insights

With an increasing number of retailers sinking more and more dollars into Google Shopping campaign strategies, it is critical to understand when impression shares are on the rise.

Fortunately, sellers can utilize Auction Insights to compare their performance with that of other advertisers who are also participating in the same auctions.

This information can be incredibly useful for making strategic bidding and budgeting decisions as such data can inform merchants as to where they are succeeding and where they are missing out on opportunities for improved PPC performance. Therefore, retailers who are in a highly competitive space should periodically check Auction Insights.

Auction Insights reports are critical to enhancing Google Shopping performance as they enable sellers to see the impression share of their competition, as well as the overlap rate. Moreover, merchants can also break out Auction Insights by campaign, branded versus non-branded impression share, device type, price and other essential factors.

Given all of the information provided by Auction Insights, retailers can use these reports to determine when competitors have started to increase bidding on Shopping ads, as they will see a spike in impression share.

From there, merchants can adjust their bidding strategies accordingly.

Utilize Customer Match Data

For those who have never used the feature, Customer Match enables sellers to upload their buyers’ phone numbers and email addresses into Google Ads. Using these email lists, merchants can build campaigns specifically created to use targeted adverts to reach their shoppers.

This feature is particularly useful for companies that have catalog-based businesses with scores of phone numbers and email addresses.

For merchants who have yet to use Customer Match, there are tons of benefits to the feature, including:

  • Encouraging repeat purchases
  • Elevated brand loyalty
  • Upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  • Ability to re-engage loyal customers
  • Recapture those who abandoned their cart on a previous visit

Moreover, when using Customer Match with Google Shopping ads, sellers can also utilize this tool to alter their bids and adapt their products and messaging for different customer segments.  

Customer Match is a perfect tool for enabling retailers to zero in on their highest-value shoppers using their Google Shopping campaign strategy.

Include Merchant Promotions

Believe it or not, merchant promotions can have a considerable impact on a seller’s Google Shopping campaign strategy performance. In fact, as Google notes on its Merchant Promotions page, this feature has been shown to result in an average of a 28 percent lift in conversions.

For those not in the know, Merchant Promotions (otherwise known as special offers) gives sellers the ability to highlight special offers such as sales, free shipping and the like via a Google Shopping annotation.

As a result of this little feature, retailers have a considerable opportunity to boost their campaign’s click-through rates and conversions at no extra cost, thereby making Merchant Promotions an absolute no-brainer.

Some of the best performing Promotions that sellers can utilize include:

  • Offers of free shipping
  • Lowering the free shipping threshold
  • BOGO deals or buy one, get one 50 percent off
  • Brand-specific rebates
  • Tiered percentage discounts

Any of these Merchant Promotions is sure to elevate the performance of a retailer’s Google Shopping campaign strategy and its outcomes.

Don’t Forget About Dayparting

To run a successful Google Shopping campaign strategy, it is essential for merchants to be not only fastidious with their bidding strategy, but they must also be flexible as well.

This is important given that the performance of Shopping ads can vary greatly depending on the hour of the day and the day of the week.

For instance, merchants might find that their ads perform remarkably well on Friday and Saturday afternoons but slump terribly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Knowing this, retailers will want to increase their bids during the days and times of high performance and decrease them when they are likely not to perform as well.

Therefore, it is best for merchants to utilize dayparting strategies as part of their Shopping campaign optimization techniques.

Final Thoughts

Putting together a robust and finely-tuned Google Shopping campaign strategy is critical in today’s hyper-competitive eCommerce marketplace. While there are more shoppers buying products online than ever before, there are also more sellers and stiffer competition than at any other point in time.

Therefore, implementing the right tactics and techniques is vital to succeeding with Google Shopping ads and generating a considerable amount of revenue for a brand.

However, not all merchants have the time, resources or skills necessary to consistently monitor, alter and optimize their Google Shopping campaign strategy to produce the most fruitful results possible.

If your brand wants to elevate its Google Shopping ads to the next level of effectiveness and profitability, reach out to Visiture’s Google Shopping management specialists.

Our dedicated team of eCommerce advertising pros can ensure that your company’s campaign structure, product feed, bidding strategies and the like are in line with the company’s target audience and optimized to drive clicks and conversions for your store.

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