Depending on your search habits, you may have noticed something new in the results.
Google Shopping ads.
Now, when you search for purchase-oriented terms, Google displays a different kind of ad that provides more information than simple text ads – information that’s especially helpful when you’re looking to make a purchase decision.
They can be found on the right-hand side:
...or in the designated Shopping tab:
If you’re in the e-commerce business, your eyes probably just lit up. Google Shopping ads are a huge opportunity for online merchants to use search ads in a way that’s more conducive to online shopping. Here’s how you can take advantage.
Find the Right Keywords
Any time we’re talking about search engines or pay-per-click ads, the first step is always to identify the right keywords for you to target. We’ve written a lot on finding your business’ keywords and you may already have a good list, so we’ll keep this brief.
To get started, brainstorm keywords that are related to your business and what you have to offer. Once you have this, look at a few tools to expand your list, find related long-tail terms, and determine which keywords you can reasonably compete for.
Autocomplete & Related Searches. To find related and long-tail terms, plug your keywords into Google and look at the autocomplete options. Then search and scroll down to the related searches list.
Keyword Planner. Do some research in Google’s Keyword Planner to determine competition, average cost-per-click, and more info about your potential keyword targets.
Once you have a well-vetted list of keywords, we’re ready to move on.
Craft a Compelling Feed
Unlike with text-based paid search, you won’t actually be designing ads. What you will do is create a feed of products and details about them, in a format that’s easy for Google to understand and pull info from.
Step 1. Choose Products to Include
Like any marketing channel, Google Shopping ads will be more successful for certain types of products – and you’ll get the most ROI by being strategic about which products you add to your feed.
Here’s what to consider:
Will it foster repeat purchases? Is it a consumable product that customers will have to buy again and again (e.g. dog food)?
Is it a ‘gateway’ to more of your products? Is there a product you offer that makes a good foot in the door for your business – something that allows you to easily upsell?
How price-sensitive are the buyers? Google Shopping lists your products right next to your competitors, so if price sensitivity is high (and you’re not the lowest priced), it’s not a fit.
Generally, products that are unique, simple, and/or consumable are the best options to invest your Google Shopping ad dollars.
Step 2. Fill in the Relevant Information
The information you include in your feed serves a dual purpose:
It tells Google which search queries you should show up for and
Compels buyers to click on your ad.
Shopping ads diverge from the usual paid search platform in that you don’t explicitly tell Google which keywords you’re targeting. It works in a way more similar to on-page SEO – Google determines which queries your ads will show up for based on the information you provide in your feed.
That means everything from your product title and description to pricing and brand information needs to include the keywords you’re targeting.
Pro tip: Give free shipping some serious consideration. Data on Rejoiner shows that shipping costs were the number two reason shoppers gave for not making a purchase online (with 36% citing it.)
Set a Competitive Bid
Just like with other types of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you’ll set a maximum bid per item – telling Google how much you’re willing to pay for that product to show up in search results. There are a lot of ways to approach bid-setting based on the type of product, it’s price and profit margin, and competition.
Shopify came up with this safe formula for CPC bids:
Other things to keep in mind:
There’s typically less competition as queries get longer. That means you can bid a little less on long-tail terms.
Seasonality. You may need to up bids for seasonal products when peak season rolls around. For example, you’ll have to bid more for "blue bandeau bikini" in June than in December.
You’ll likely need to tweak bids a good amount during the early days of your campaign. As your ads mature and Google gets a feel for them, you can update bids less often (but always stay on top of them).
Take Advantage of Google Shopping
For online retailers, Google Shopping is one of the best advertising opportunities to come of late. By taking full advantage of Shopping campaigns, you can see more conversions and higher returns for your PPC investment.
Have you run a Google Shopping campaign? We want to hear about your results – share in the comments below!