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February 9, 2018

6 Tips for Creating Shopping Ads that Convert

Image courtesy of ( David Castillo Dominici) /

“People are always going to go shopping. A lot of our effort is just: ‘How do we make the retail experience a great one?’” – Sir Philip Green, British businessman and chairman of the Arcadia Group

Digital retailers ask themselves how to create an inspirational shopping experience on a regular basis. Often, the answer starts with creating a great shopping ad.

The value that Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLA) provide to merchants and retailers the web over is quantifiable. Among the many changes to PPC in the past several years, a 2016 report from Crealytics highlighted that Google’s shopping ads have widely outpaced text-based adverts.

As detailed by Search Engine Land, Google’s Product Listing Ads are now responsible for, “. . . 43 percent of all retailers’ Google search ad clicks and 70 percent of non-brand clicks.”

With the massive advantage these ads hold over more traditional ad formats, it is critical for retailers to understand how to effectively optimize shopping promotions for maximum conversions; especially with holiday shopping in full effect.

If your brand is ready to up its PLA acumen, check out these 6 tips for increasing your shopping conversions.

1. Include the Right Keywords

Since Google’s Product Listing Ads don’t rely on keywords the same way that most AdWords formats do, you have limited control over when and where your adverts will pop up.

This, however, does not mean that you can ignore keywords.

To craft more effective ads, you will need to include relevant keywords in the product’s title to create a more convenient experience for the consumer. You will also want to ensure you list the product’s brand name, style, size, color, and any other pertinent details they may be looking for.

This will help shoppers to immediately recognize if you are advertising the very thing they are searching for.

While we’re talking about keywords. . .

2. Leverage Appropriate Negative Keywords

Negative keywords, which are those you want to exclude from your ad’s search criteria, are an essential element for optimizing your brand’s shopping ads.

While you cannot select the words you want your PLAs to display for, it is vital that you include the proper keywords that result in your ad not displaying. This will help to keep your promotion’s relevance score high and cost low.

For example, if your brand is selling only women’s boots, you will want to include words like [-kids], [-shoes], [-male], [-men], and so forth on your negative keyword list.

This will ensure that queries containing these words or phrases will be disqualified from seeing your advert.

You can leverage negative keywords for certain ad groups or at the campaign level, depending on your brand’s needs.

3. Utilize an Intriguing Image

As an online retailer, you should be aware of how powerful great images can be in driving sales. This is one of the main reasons why Google shopping ads hold such a competitive edge over text-based ads; visual appeal.

Products that leverage optimized images possess an added motivational layer that drives clicks and sales. Consumers find images convenient as they allow them to quickly assess features and appearances right from the SERPs.

For these reasons, it is critical for your brand to use high-resolution photos that differentiate your product and help to optimize your advert.

Furthermore, it’s important to ensure the image is the correct size to draw consumer’s attention. Google recommends 1080 × 566 pixels for ad images.

4. Ensure Your Merchant Feed is Always Up to Date

Your ad’s data feed is its lifeblood. This means that it should be updated daily to ensure accuracy.

Up to date product feeds not only reduce the Google error notifications that you’ll receive, but it also ensures that customers are getting the most current information on your products.

This is vital as it can lead to higher conversion rates, better ad placement, and a great customer experience.

Additionally, it is critical that you submit a valid GTIN, brand, and list the condition as new for all products. If you fail to do so, Google will likely reject your ad.

5. Employ Automated Extensions

Automated extensions for shopping ads were implemented back in 2015, and they can be the differentiating factor for your adverts.

These extensions utilize the information from your feed to automatically highlight certain aspects or special promotions such as free shipping. Some of the extensions that you can leverage in your PLAs include merchant promotions (which shares discounts or promo codes) and product ratings.

Product ratings are highly important as these provide a consumer rating at the bottom of the ad; a vital component in a shopper’s decision-making processes.

To become eligible for the product rating extension, you will first need to amass 50 or more product reviews in total, with at least three on any individual product you promote.

Once this criteria has been met, you can fill out the product rating request form and await Google’s response.

If you are having trouble accumulating this many critiques, consider utilizing some incentive techniques for gaining reviews.

Google’s Product Listing Ads have quickly become a boon for online retailers. While the ad format has proven to be a success among merchants and consumers, your brand can still rake in conversions by properly optimizing adverts.

Be sure to utilize these tactics along with other PLA best practices to maximize your sales during the holiday season, and beyond.

Has your brand leveraged Product Listing Ads in the past? If so, how have they performed in comparison to more traditional AdWords formats?


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

6 Responses to “6 Tips for Creating Shopping Ads that Convert

    Nice shopping marketing tips.

    avatar tai says:

    this article very good thank you so much

    avatar Sajid Bashir says:

    Nice tips for creating these killer ads…i will try to implement these

    avatar Rob Fermin says:

    Great tips for online marketing indeed!

    avatar says:

    Great Post of marketing. thanks to sharing

    this is great post. I was looking for how to do social media or adword retargetting for my business

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