09 Jan An Introduction To Shopping Campaigns For Google Ads
Is your Adwords campaign not driving enough sales for your ecommerce website?
Seeing those costs add up without any conversions is stressful, isn’t it?
Fortunately, there’s a way to get more clicks on your Adwords ads from Google users who have high intent to make a purchase. In this blog post I’ll introduce you to Google Shopping, the best resource for ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to drive sales from their Google Adwords campaigns.
In the following post I’ll discuss:
- What Google Shopping is
- Why you should use Google Shopping
- How you can get started with Google Shopping
- Tips for running a successful Google Shopping Campaign
Read on to learn how to get your first Google Shopping campaign up and running and how you can use it to grow your ecommerce business.
What Is Google Shopping?
Before I jump into explaining the benefits of running a Google Shopping campaign I should take a moment to explain what Google Shopping is.
Google Shopping is an Adwords product that will display your ads in a different format in the search results than typical text formatted ads.
Here’s an example of some Google Shopping ads that display when you search for “package free dental floss.”
Just like regular text based ads, the Google Shopping ads display above or beside the organic results. However you’ll noticed that a picture of the product, the price, and customer review ratings display as well.
Why Use Google Shopping?
If you’ve ever tried to set up and manage an Adwords campaign, you know how complex it can be. In addition, it can take quite a bit of time before the campaign starts producing a positive return on investment.
Fortunately, if you sell products on your website, Google Shopping can help with one of the biggest challenges of any Adwords campaign, improving your click through rate (also known as CTR.)
Since Google Shopping ads have rich content, like images, reviews, and price they are more likely to see higher click through rates when compared to text based ads.
In fact, there are many case studies on Google Shopping campaigns which have shown higher conversion rates and lower customer acquisition costs when compared to traditional search campaigns.
So the main argument for running a Google Shopping campaign, if you sell products on your website, is it can help get your campaign to profitability faster which means more sales for your ecommerce business.
How Do I Get Started?
If you’re already signed up for Adwords then you’re halfway there.
To get started running a Google Shopping campaign you just need to create a Google Merchant Center account and connect it to your Google Adwords account.
Here’s a high level overview of how to complete each of those steps.
GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER
Head over to Google Merchant Center and create a free account using your gmail address.
Next you’ll want to link your Merchant Center account with your Adwords account. To do this click on the 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner within your account and select “Account Linking” from the menu.
The Adwords account associated with the Gmail address you’re logged in with will appear below. Just click on “Link” to connect your Merchant Center and Adwords’ accounts together.
Before sharing your products and inventory with Google you’ll want to do some basic housekeeping.
First, configure your tax settings. In this example, I’ve set my account to only charge tax for shipments to Hawaii, where my business is located.
Second, you’ll set up your shipping services. Here you’ll be able to set delivery times, shipping rates, and more.
In this example, I have a single shipping service for free ground shipping.
Finally, you’ll upload your products to Merchant Center. You can either do this manually or automatically using an integration with your shopping cart software.
If you want to automatically sync your products with Google here are some tools you can choose from on the most popular shopping cart platforms:
- Google Shopping for Shopify. Price: Free
- Google Shopping by Sales & Orders for BigCommerce. Price: Free
- Google Product Feed for WooCommerce. Price: $79.00
If you have a few products and you’re familiar with Google Sheets then it’s as simple as adding your products to a Google Sheet in order to sync them with Merchant Center. In the example below I used their manual feed option with a Google Sheet.
Finally, it’s time to set up your Google Shopping campaign with Adwords.
To do this, you would set up a campaign as you normally would except for a couple of differences.
When you click to create a new campaign you’ll select the “Shopping” option as seen in the screenshot below.
Next you’ll select “Sales” as the campaign goal.
Once that’s completed you would continue setting up your campaign just as you would any other Google Adwords campaign.
Tips For Running A Successful Google Shopping Campaign
In the previous paragraphs I breezed through the details of setting up your Google Shopping campaign, now I’d like to focus on how to make your campaign a success.
In the following paragraphs I’ll focus on how to increase clicks on your Google Shopping ads then increase conversions once you’ve already built awareness for your brand.
OPTIMIZE YOUR DATA FEED
To run a successful Google Shopping campaign the first thing you’ll want to do is focus on how to increase the click through rate of your ads. To do this you’ll want to optimize your data feed.
When optimizing your data feed I recommend focusing your effort on product titles, as one case study found that they accounted for the biggest increase in impressions and clicks in an A/B test against the control ads.
To optimize your product titles you’ll want to write them so they are as relevant as possible, no matter what the search term they’re appearing for is.
This can be challenging since search terms can vary wildly and you’ll want your product titles to appeal to humans and not just Google’s algorithm.
To do this I recommend creating a framework for your product titles and sticking with it for all of your products. An example of a good framework for your product titles is:
[Brand] [Product Type] [Gender] [Color]
So if your store sells multiple shoe brands your product title might end up being something like:
Nike Air Max 2018 Men’s Black/Yellow
While this framework may not apply to the products in your store keep in mind that it’s a good practice to create product titles that are as granular as possible while still making them readable for humans.
OPTIMIZE YOUR ADS
A good rule of thumb when running a Google Shopping campaign, or any ad campaign for that matter, is to not set it and forget it.
With an Adwords campaign you should always be optimizing by A/B testing your ads, adjusting your bids, adding and removing keywords, etc.
A Google Shopping campaign is no different.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your ads to improve performance.
Merchant Promotions give you the ability to display special sales and promotions right on your Shopping Ads which can help increase clicks thanks to the sense of urgency a promotion creates.
When you set up a merchant promotion the text “Special Offer” will display beneath your product and more information about the promotion will display when you mouse over the text like so:
Setting up a merchant promotion is a multi-step process so I won’t go into too much detail here but if you want to give it a try, here’s a nice guide for setting up merchant promotions for Google Shopping.
Google Shopping’s Product Ratings feature will show ratings your customers have left regarding your product and service and display them in the form a star system. Here’s how it looks in the search results:
Product Ratings can really help improve the performance of your campaign for a couple of reasons. Here’s why…
First, the star ratings attract a user’s eyes which will help your ad stand out from the competition. And while it’s not apples to apples, there have been many case studies which show that seller ratings (overall ratings for your brand) improve the click through rate of ads. In fact, Google claims that seller ratings can boost your ad’s click through rate by up to 10%.
While there isn’t much data on the effect that product ratings have on an ad’s click through rate but it’s safe to assume that it is similar to seller ratings.
Secondly, reviews in the form of star ratings like the Google’s Product Rating feature have been known to increase conversions thanks to a phenomenon known as social proof.
Social proof acts as an indicator to consumers that your product is a high quality product because other consumers have given it favorable reviews. In fact, numerous case studies have shown that social proof improves conversion rates.
Google will automatically show product ratings within your Shopping ads but first you have to start collecting reviews. Here’s some information about how to get started collecting reviews and enabling this feature for your campaign.
High Quality Images
As case studies have shown, high quality product images can improve the conversion rate on your ecommerce website so don’t underestimate the effect they can have on your Shopping ads too.
Keep in mind that just because your product images look good on your website it doesn’t mean they are suitable for a Google Shopping ad. If that’s the case, use a service like Pixc to create great looking product images for your campaign.
After you’ve updated your campaign’s product images look at your click through rate to determine the impact the new images had on your campaign.
RUN A RETARGETING CAMPAIGN
Finally, you’ll want to maximize conversions by keeping your brand front and center for visitors who didn’t convert after clicking on your Google Shopping ads.
To do this, use a retargeting network like Adroll or Perfect Audience to show banner ads to website visitors who visited your product page but didn’t visit your thank you page.
For even better results include a discount code in the banner ad to encourage conversions.
You’ll likely find that a retargeting campaign will convert well because the audience is already aware of your brand and has shown interest in it thanks to your Google Shopping campaign.
There you have it. In this post I’ve introduced you to what Google Shopping is, how it can benefit your ecommerce business, how to get started, and tips for making it successful.
In my opinion, a Google Shopping campaign is a natural extension of any Adwords campaign if you’re selling products online. And since I’ve showed you how to set up your first campaign, why not try it out for yourself?
OVER TO YOU
- Do you think a Google Shopping campaign would benefit your ecommerce business?
- I’d love to hear your thoughts! Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think.