The prevalence of online shopping has made it possible for us to be able to buy almost anything with the touch of a button and without leaving our homes. Whether we’re talking about groceries, gadgets, or fashion items, online stores are offering consumers an endless list of products and services that they can spend their money on.
But, with so many retailers out there, online shops are focusing not only on the diversity and quality of the products they are offering but also on user experience.
Making it easy for the customer to buy something has been a goal for many online giants, from Facebook to Shopify.
Google is jumping on the bandwagon too with its Google Shopping service.
Google Shopping is the result of an almost 20-year-long project at Google, which started with a price comparison shopping service called Froogle, launched in 2002. Now, Google Shopping has become a way of instantly browsing the products you are interested in, comparing them, and even ordering them directly from the search result page.
Let’s go through the basics of Google Shopping and get you to better understand how it can work for your business.
Google Shopping Ads
Formerly known as Product Listing Ads, Google Shopping Ads is an ad service that shows products on the Google search result page when someone searches for a type of product. They are shown on Google, but also on Google’s Shopping tab.
When you look for a product to buy and type in your search query, Google will retrieve a list of products that it will display above the organic search results.
The products will appear in small boxes containing clear product images, the price it has on that particular website, the source website URL, and the Google rating of the product. This concise style of browsing is crucial for potential customers, as it lets them compare prices, ratings, the appearance of products in the same category without opening multiple tabs in the browser and switching from one to another.
Compared to organic search results, you have limited options to optimise your content for Google Shopping Ads, as Google retrieves information from your website automatically, instead of you inputting it. But there are ways to improve your chances of appearing in the Google Shopping Ads section, as we will show further in the article.
Google Smart Shopping Campaigns
Smart Shopping campaigns are meant to give Google the power to automate the creation and display of ads, based on a machine-learning process. Smart Shopping campaigns include Shopping Ads, but also display ads, which will appear in the Google Display Network, YouTube, Gmail, and so on.
Automated workflows like automated bidding save a lot of time on the merchant’s side. The downside to letting Google decide on the details is that you won’t have full control over how your ads are shown. Smart bidding is also part of a smart campaign, which is why you should pay attention to your target CPA (cost-per-acquisition) or target ROAS (return on ad spend).
The fascinating part is that the more smart campaigns you create and run through Google, the more it will learn about what you’re expecting it to do. In the beginning, you will have to deal with a learning curve, but it gets easier and easier from one campaign to another.
How to Create a Google Shopping Ad?
If you want your products to appear in the Google Shopping section, you will first have to set up a Google Merchants account through your Google account. This will allow you to showcase your products on Shopping Ads and Google’s extended network.
Enter your business’s information in the Google Merchants Center and list the products you would like to promote via Shopping Ads. Here you will enter information about the product types you have, prices, images, store name, product groups, etc. To run ads for the information you have provided, you also have to create a Google Ads account, if you don’t have one already.
There are three types of Shopping Ads you can use:
- Product Shopping Ads – they use the product information that you enter in the Merchant Center
- Showcase Shopping Ads – you can create ad groups of your similar products, so people can compare and choose from them
- Local Inventory Ads – a fantastic local marketing tool, this enables you to appear in searches by local users. If they click your ad, they are redirected to a Google-hosted storefront that shows them what you have in your inventory, when you are open.
Taking your time to properly set up your Google Shopping campaigns, in the beginning, will save you a lot of time in the long-run. Google is going to do the rest for you, as long as you provide it the right material.
Why Should You Be Interested in Google Shopping Ads as a Merchant?
It’s very simple: you want your products to be as visible as possible to your audience. Above the organic search result, you will see search ads. But shopping ads are shown even before the search ads, and they will literally be the first things the reader sees. Google will showcase shopping ads in a slot at the top of the SERP, the Shopping tab of the Google website, or even other places, through Smart Shopping.
Another great advantage of Shopping ads, compared to other Google ads, is that your potential customers have already shown their intention of buying your product by searching it on Google. Competing for conversions is more about what price, ratings, shopping options you offer, and they are all visible on one page.
How to Optimise Your Products for Shopping Ads?
There are several tips for optimising your shopping data for Google Shopping Ads. To get a higher chance of being showcased in as many SERPs as possible, make sure your product titles and descriptions are search engine friendly, that you have included keywords in your content, and used high-quality images for your products.
Adding negative words to Google’s Ads is also important to keep your content relevant. Avoiding being shown for the wrong keywords can increase your conversion rates and give you a better experience with Shopping Ads.
Google Shopping Actions
Google’s Shopping Actions is more than advertising. It’s basically a marketplace where potential customers are shown products with similar characteristics. They can then proceed to checkout, using a universal shopping cart and a unique payment gateway, all powered by Google. This way, they can shop for items from several stores in one go, without having to deal with each store individually.
Google Shopping Actions is currently available only in the USA, and it goes through the strenuous process of being a new feature with lots of details to test and put into place. It’s good to know about it, as many eCommerce platforms are shifting towards this concept.
Need Help? Contact Us!
We at Australian Internet Advertising have been using the tools in the Google suite since the very beginning, mastering them along the way. We would love to assist you along the way when creating shopping campaigns for your brand, so go ahead and chat with our Google Ads Experts. Our contact info can be found here, and you can browse our services here.