The Complete Guide for Google Shopping CampaignsTsvik
Let’s see how Google Shopping ads or PLA work for you. These two terms can be used when speaking about listing your products via Google Merchant Center. Recently, they have become available in Israel! Now, most e-commerce stores can try this fantastic way of advertising to generate more conversions.
What are Google Shopping Ads?
These are high-quality image Ads that appear at the very top of Google page with the price of the product in question. This location has 130% more potential and conversion rate than any other location on the page. Google PLA look very appealing and they are located in a favorable way to get converted users.
Advantages of Google Shopping Ads
- Worldwide domination: It is one of the most active traffic and revenue generating channels. It is expanding: in 2018, retailers are spending more on PLA then they used to do in 2017.
- The relevance of users and high conversion: The images and prices are displayed straight away when you add products to Google Shopping. It makes it easy for the user to evaluate the product and to take the decision. That is why the clicks coming from the PLA campaign are highly relevant and motivated.
- Similar to Google search results: Google Shopping search ads are shown right above the organic search results. But the algorithm of Google ads for e-commerce is very similar to organic ranking. It is based on keywords searched by users. Google tries to show your Ads to the most relevant customers typing the most related queries. They are based on your Google Shopping Feed and website information.
- Dragging competitors’ traffic. Google will rely on search phrases when showing your Ads to users. Quite often these queries will include brand names of your competitors or any other specific information related to your competitors. That is how you are about to “steal” some of their traffic by building a smart Google Shopping campaign.
- Organic traffic increase: When you run the Google Shopping campaign, it will naturally increase your organic traffic. First, people see your website at the top of the page or on the right side. They keep scrolling down and encounter the brand name again, among search results. As they already know you, they are more likely to click on it. That is how you get not only PLA clicks but also organic clicks.
When do you list your products on Google Shopping?
- You have at least 500 products. Otherwise, you will have a hard time to get your products listed on Google Shopping.
- You sell products within a not very competitive niche. It can be an automotive, tools or furniture. Otherwise, if your products are really highly competitive like Apparel products, it will be tough to squeeze your product listing ads into a profitable area.
- You can spend more than $1000 for your PLA campaigns. You don’t have budget margins or limitations. You should be pretty flexible with your budget if you’d like to succeed with Google Shopping Ads.
- Your website is SEO-optimized and well-performing. You don’t have issues with duplicate content and any Google policy violations. Google Shopping works within the principles of Google organic search. The information found on the website plays a very important role in the position of your Ads and the definition of your website as a brand.
How to set up a Google Shopping campaign?
These ads are completely different from general text ads, video advertising or any other ads on Google. You don’t have a familiar structure with campaigns, ad groups and ads.
You will set bids and optimize your campaign strategy in Google AdWords. But all major information will be stored in Google Merchant Center. It is where you upload your Product Feed and allow Google to use it for building the ads.
Moreover, you will need to interlink Google Merchant Center, Google Analytics, and Google AdWords accounts to make the system work together to your benefit.
Here are the basic steps to proceed with the Google Shopping campaign.
1. Set up a Google Merchant Center account
To GET STARTED, go to Google Merchant Center. If you never signed up before, complete all the necessary fields and claim your website URL.
2. Create your Google Product Feed
It is the most important part of the installation process. Google uses the information in the Feed, to choose the location of your future ads.
First of all, go to Products -> Feeds -> +
All you need to do is to fill in the special spreadsheet provided by Google. Make sure to comply with Google Shopping data feed specifications before to upload the Product Feed.
Here’s what you generally need to provide:
- Product ID – a specific identifier of every product you include into the Feed;
- Product title and description – the name of your product and a few words about it;
- Product link and image link – the landing page and the URL of the main product image;
- Availability and price;
- Shipping costs and taxes (if applicable);
- Product condition (new, used);
- Adult – specify if your product includes sexual content.
For certain items you will have to specify additional information, for example, clothing requires gender, size etc.
1. Link your Google AdWords account to your Google Merchant Center Account
When your Product Feed is ready, you may now link both accounts to make it all work correctly.
Go to the Settings section in the Merchant Center top panel and click on Account Linking in the drop-down menu.
As you click on the button ‘Link Account’ – you will be able to create your first Google Shopping Campaign. The option will automatically show up within Google Merchant Center interface.
If you don’t have an AdWords account, you will need to create one. It can be easily done in Google Merchant Center straight away.
It is easier to create a PLA campaign in Google AdWords account directly. To learn more about it, check the next part of this Google Shopping tutorial.
1. Create your Google Shopping campaign
When you are in Google AdWords account, click on ‘+Campaign’ button.
Then choose the goal of your campaign and navigate to ‘Shopping’.
After that, you will add some general information about your future campaigns, such as maximal CPC, bid strategy and budgets.
Important things to remember before to launch the PLA campaign:
- Make sure that you target the same country as used in your Google Shopping Product Feed;
- Set the initial bid quite low in order to test your ads first;
- You can’t use keywords on PLA – Google will decide where to show your ads based on the specified Product Feed you provided and his own algorithm. However, you may exclude some Google Shopping keywords if you think they do not show the buyer intent.
Learn more about adding negative keywords to the Shopping campaign in Google guidelines.
Once it is done – you’re ready to promote your goods and increase sales on Google Shopping platform!
1. Optimize your Google Shopping campaign
You will need to modify Google default settings to get the most from your campaigns. The initial results usually become significant after a few days of running PLA. The best thing to do for Google Shopping optimization is to adjust your campaign at the very beginning:
- Showcase a specific feature of every product in the ad. For example, if Free Shipping is available – you should definitely mention it. If you have any promotions or discounts – add this information too. If your product has characteristics that might interest your user and if it is distinctive from the competitors – try to use them in Google Shopping ads!
- Adjust the CPC according to the profitability of your products. By default, Google shows the same CPC value for every product. What you need to do is it logically break your goods into groups It means that expensive products can probably be listed at a higher rate compared to the cheaper ones. Segment all your products and analyze the traffic coming from each segment. If you get more profit from certain products – there’s a reason to invest more budget into this segment.
- Get back to your Google Shopping account on a daily basis. That is how you can test the impact of any changes you introduce. If something goes wrong – you will react quickly and fix it.
- Take a look at your competitors. Every day, try to make your Google ads look and perform better than it was before. The core indicator of your success lies in conversion rates. Try to increase it even by a very tiny percentage daily. You should have a clear idea of the benchmark data within the industry. That is how you realize whether you should speed up or keep up at a low pace.
- Define the campaign priority. It is a useful feature when you advertise the same products in different campaigns. Google sets every campaign as a “Low Priority” one. Your task is to modify the setting by showcasing the campaign with a higher priority. If they are multiple, Google will take the bid level as a priority.
If your ads are still not generating enough clicks, try the following:
- Raise the bid: Google showcases companies that are ready to pay more. Play with your budget to get an ideal positioning on Google.
- Change the ad picture: it may happen your images don’t attract your potential customer. In this case, you will probably want to analyze your competitors. Check the most visible Google ads to define what makes them reach the top. Try to refurbish your own ads in the same way.
- Change the product description: study your customers precisely. The descriptions can be crucial when people are making their decisions. Sometimes, 1 or 2 words can become a key factor that will motivate users to click. Restructure, modify the wording – underline what value you can provide to the audience.
2. Add remarketing to your Google Shopping Ads
Remarketing is becoming one of the most powerful Google Shopping trends. You can get more than 70% conversions of the total amount of retargeted clicks. These tactics have a constantly growing potential.
This smart technology allows you showing relevant ads to your customers on other platforms such as Facebook and Youtube. When tracking your customers with a pixel, you will be able to adjust which advertising is likely to convert with any specific customer.
If someone clicked on your bikini ad from Google, you can keep showing the same ad to this person, within Google partner network.
You can find more about Remarketing lists for Google Shopping in Google guidelines.
You can also check our guide on all remarketing options in 2019 throughout Social Media Ads and Google Ads.
Google Shopping campaign is something you should definitely try when trying to promote your online store. It is a really profitable, appealing and logical way of advertising.
At the very beginning, you will find it difficult to get used to Google Shopping methods and to revise your ads quickly.
As you dive into the PLA knowledge base, you will see the outcome very soon. Later on, you will be able to use more advanced techniques and get more opportunities for your e-commerce shop.