April 17, 2017
If you’re looking to increase the discoverability of your products, drive qualified traffic to your eCommerce site and improve your overall revenue, you should strongly consider implementing Google Shopping ad campaigns.
As with any form of PPC advertising, there are numerous nuances to learn and pitfalls to avoid. If you’re not careful, you can pour substantial amounts of money into Google Shopping without getting an adequate ROI.
Adapting to a feed-driven ad model can be a bit of a learning curve, particularly if you’ve spent a long time mastering text ads. However, if you correctly follow these tips, you’ll dramatically improve the ROI of your Google Shopping ad campaigns.
Data Feed Optimization
Once you’ve submitted a feed and launched a PLA campaign, your next priority is to carefully optimize your feed for maximum impact. An optimized feed enables Google to place your ads appropriately, which in turn boosts your ROI.
It’s important to remember that titles play a more significant role in capturing traffic than descriptions. Take the time to get them right.
Try to be as descriptive as you can about the product in your titles, using terms that your key buyers would enter to find a product. In a study by Search Engine Land, products with optimized keyword-rich titles saw a CTR uplift of 18 percent.
Use your high volume search queries (found in your search query report) as part of your titles, but work your keywords in organically — blatant repetition and spammy practices (such as using block capitals) will not get you anywhere.
The words at the start of your title are the most significant, so consider which attributes of your product are the most important to your buyer. In the clothing niche, for example, brand is very important and you’d want to consider mentioning this early on.
If you want your full product title to show up in Google, ensure that it’s less than 70 characters.
The optimal count for full-length product descriptions is between 500 to 1,000 characters; however, consumers will only see the first 145-180 characters in their search results. As with formulating titles, it’s important to place the most emphasis on the words at the beginning of your product descriptions.
- Include: Brand information, sizing, colors, materials and intended age range.
- Avoid: Block capitals, promotional text, comparisons to other products and links to your store.
For more information about best practices regarding product descriptions, check out this article by Bryan Falla.
If many merchants are selling similar products in your niche, a unique photo can help to differentiate your product from the competition.
If all of your competitors have traditional ecommerce shots of their products with white backgrounds, for instance, consider using a textured background or an organic shot of the product in use.
You may also want to split test whether lifestyle or traditional product photography performs better for your specific niche.
Finally, ensure that the images are correct for your product variants. If you have multiple colors, sizes and materials for each product, ensure this is conveyed appropriately through your product shots.
Implement Negative Keywords
If you’re not careful, playing around with negative keywords can cause more harm than good. If you’re not experienced, enlist the help of someone who is before you make any alterations.
However, if you implement negative keywords correctly, you’ll make your campaigns infinitely more effective.
For instance, if you’re selling men’s watches and have no plans to open a product line for women, you might want to add terms like [-womens] and [-female] to your negative keyword list. You might also wish to add [-free shipping] if this is something you’ll never offer.
Implement Geotargeting and Dayparting
Geotargeting and dayparting are often underutilized for Google Shopping campaigns, but they can be highly effective — particularly if you have a large amount of buyer data to base your decisions on.
With geographic bid modifiers, you can bid up in high performing regions and bid down in low performing regions.
Likewise, certain products will resonate with certain audiences at different times (or on different days). Analyzing your search keyword volume will help you to determine the ideal time periods for promoting particular products – so set your time modifiers accordingly.
You may find that at certain times of the day (or night), your cost per conversion inflates, so consider tweaking your campaign and split test the results.
Promote High Performing Products
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, it’s easy to get emotionally attached to specific products and to want them to do well — especially if you’ve played a major role in the sourcing or production process.
It’s more lucrative, however, to base your decisions on data. Consult with your analytics and see which products are crushing it (and which ones aren’t).
Next, add your high performing products to a specific ad group and increase the bids so that they get more exposure. Conversely, you may wish to place your stagnant products in an ad group with a lower bid — or exclude them completely.
Data Watch Feed states that most merchants only make money on 20 percent of their profits — meaning that 80 percent of the products are costing them money.
If you want to improve your Google Shopping ROI, prioritize your audience’s favorite products, not your own.
When you’re advertising a special deal or discount, this often leads to a higher CTR for your ad. Merchant Promotions allows you to include special offers directly below your Google Shopping ad with an overt “special offer” tag.
Go to the page menu, click Promotions, then enter your details. You can enter a voucher code, determine the percentage of the discount, apply it to your chosen ad set then activate it for your designated time period.
Landing Page Optimization
Finally, it’s important to remember that executing an effective Google Shopping campaign isn’t only about what you do AdWords.
If you’re receiving a high volume of traffic to your website but the conversions are underwhelming, then you need to focus on site design and landing page optimization.
Some of the following factors may be negatively influencing your product page conversions (split test to make sure):
- A lack of verified customer reviews (or other forms of social proof);
- Unprofessional design and low resolution product images;
- Poor site navigability;
- Inappropriate add to cart button color or placement;
- A lack of payment options (especially Paypal);
- Unexpected shipping charges at checkout;
- Insufficient FAQ or product descriptions;
- No urgency or scarcity elements.
I hope you’re able to use these tips to supercharge your Google Shopping campaigns.
Can you think of any other ways to improve your ROI with Google Shopping? Please let me know in the comments below.
Aaron Agius, CEO of worldwide digital agency Louder Online is, according to Forbes, among the world's leading digital marketers. Working with clients such as Salesforce, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, and scores of stellar brands, Aaron is a growth marketer - a fusion between search, content, social, and PR. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on the Louder Online blog.