Beginners guide to Google Shopping Optimization
The world today is, for all purposes and intents, a digital one. It’s also an incredibly exciting moment for eCommerce business owners. Shopping, news, entertainment, and so much more are now but a mouse click, finger swipe, or a keystroke away.
In fact, you can easily talk to your smart home device or smartphone and it will help you find exactly what you are looking for in seconds. You can use the internet to find pretty much anything, from gifts to map directions and so much more. What does this all mean for anyone with an eCommerce online store?
Well, it is very essential to capture and entice the vast consumer base more so than ever before. Collectively, advertisers and marketers commonly refer to this effort as “omnichannel marketing”. Omnichannel marketing is the practice by which online eCommerce stores and businesses find and attract customers by leveraging each and every network at their disposal.
This includes advertising and marketing on prime digital channels such as:
Social media networks.
Primarily, this is all about paid search advertising through the most powerful and largest search network: Google.
Google Shopping absolutely delivers great results and has become an integral part of many advertisers. However, a majority of these advertisers have not yet found ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Hopefully, the insights in this article will assist you to tackle the challenges involved in optimizing your Google shopping feed.
What is Google Shopping Campaign?
A Google Shopping Campaign is a campaign programmed in Google Ads in order to display ads that are related to the search query. Having been around a little while now, Google Shopping Campaigns are the driving force behind almost every online eCommerce business. For instance, when a user searches for a particular product using a related search term like “Jogging shoes”, the product title, image, and the price will show on the search results page above or next to the normal text-based results.
As you can imagine, most searches that trigger these ads have quite a high purchase intent. This is among the primary reasons why advertisers get great results from google merchant center.
Why do you need to Optimize Your Google Shopping Campaign?
Would you like to never miss out on sales? Take advantage of Google Ads for eCommerce. Other reasons as to why you need to optimize your Google shopping campaign include:
Google Shopping Campaign optimization adds a visual touch to a text-heavy search and shopping experience.
It also increases the number of times you show up in Google SERPs — a Shopping result, as a website result, and as a text-only PPC result as well.
Google Shopping Campaign optimization has been proven to boost conversion rate to 30% higher than text ads.
Do you want to know where to start with these? Here’s a good place to start.
How to Optimize Your Google Shopping Campaign?
In most cases, shoppers and would-be shoppers come to the search box with a different level of commercial intent. You, therefore, need to optimize your Google shopping campaigns for users at these different levels of the purchase path. How is this done?
Implementing diverse bids for various user intents can assist you to reap the most out of your paid google shopping campaigns. When you combine multiple google shopping campaigns with negative keyword lists that have been strategically placed, you will definitely separate out the worst, average, and best traffic to significantly boost sales without compromising on profitability.
The purchase path: Diverse levels of intent
It could take months, days, hours or just a few minutes, but every consumer follows a particular purchase path. It begins by being aware of a product and ultimately purchasing it.
As a client progresses along the purchase path, the chances that they will finalize the purchase increases at each step. The steps may involve the following:
Awareness –product discovery– Isn’t likely to buy.
Interest – Exploring the product’s details – Quite likely to buy.
Intent – Making the decision of purchasing the product – Likely to buy.
Consideration – Searching where to purchase the product – Very likely to buy.
Purchase – This is the final stage of the process where the consumer has already purchased the product.
A majority of people may fall off the purchase path for some reasons. They either don’t end up purchasing the product or, unfortunately, due to the presence of many merchant promotions, they end up buying the product from a competitor. Generally, in regard to online advertising, your product listing ad becomes more prominent as you bid more. You are most likely willing to bid higher for potential clients that are further down the purchase path since they are more likely to buy.
If a potential customer is five times more likely to purchase a product than another customer, it is justifiable to spend five times more on advertising to them, as you are likely to achieve an overall equal return-on-investment. For you to reap maximumly from paid advertising, potential clients at all stages should be considered significant. You will ultimately increase the chances of getting the highest possible number of clients, sales, and profit as well.
Additionally, potential customers at the awareness stage may have value because they could discover a product on the website and return to buy it later. They may even purchase the product in the same session, finalizing all stages of the path in a single fell swoop. The odds of this happening are lower than if they would have started further down the path.
Identifying Different Levels of Intent on Google Shopping Platforms
Shopping platforms such as Google Shopping currently work on a search term basis. Product titles and descriptions ducts will only appear if they are actively searched using keywords.
It’s not always quite clear what the user’s intent is behind each search term. Separating different levels of intent results can be done in the following important keyword groupings which also include examples:
Very Low Intent Search Terms
Generic product names: [Bikes], [bbqs], [Biscuits]
Low Intent Search Terms
More specific categories of generic products: [Mountain Bikes], [Gas bbqs], [Chocolate Biscuits]
Medium Intent Search Terms
Particular product categories: [21 Speed Mountain Bike], [Chrome Gas Bbq], [Triple Chocolate Biscuits]
High Intent Search Terms
Particular product types: [21 Speed Mountain Bike with Dual Suspension], [Chrome Gas bbq With Six Burners], [Triple Chocolate Fairtrade Biscuits]
Categories with branded products: [Raleigh Mountain Bikes], [Weber Gas Bbqs], [Mcvities Chocolate Biscuits]
Very High Intent Search Terms
Exact names of products: [Raleigh Helion 2.0 2017], [Weber Genesis E-330], [Traidcraft Fairtrade Chocolate Chunk Cookies]
Product identifiers or SKUs: [r-hel2017], [wb-e330], [tcftcc360]
Priority Setting for Google Shopping Campaign
Setting up your priorities for Google shopping campaign can enhance another level of optimization that your competition may fail to consider. Most existing campaigns already have a “Low” priority. This priority can be changed to “Medium” or “High”, which will determine the bid for any shared product by the campaigns.
This advanced strategy offers businesses more control over the keywords that their optimized products show up for. In addition, it allows them to isolate and dedicate budgets to search queries that convert well.
Significance of Priorities in Google Shopping Campaigns
Priorities do not influence the search relevance or affect how your product id shows for any specific query.
Rather, priorities set the Google product categories and their corresponding bids that are most significant to you, so as to favor particular products. Using Google Shopping campaigns is a very powerful way to place your products in front of your motivated prospects. It depends on the look-up query your audience uses.
Yes, 1 out of 3 searches begins with a Google search, yet not everyone comes to Google with the same buying intent or interest. This is why your Google Shopping campaign will benefit if you optimize it for buyers at different buying stages, starting from awareness to buying.
How Google Shopping Campaign Priority Setting is Used
Different shopping campaign priorities ought to be used in order to separate out user intent.
For instance, consider 2 campaigns sharing a similar product. One campaign has a Medium priority, while the other has a high priority. Google will first use the bid from the High priority campaign, even if the Medium priority campaign bid has been set to a larger amount.
If the campaign with the highest priority runs out of budget, then Google pulls from the bid with a lower priority campaign, meaning the bid will be placed by the next lower priority campaign. It is also easy to determine which campaign to participate in if there is a similar product with multiple Shopping campaigns.
Method #1: The Default Way- Step by Step Process
Step 1: Build well-named Ad groups
Spend as much time in creating a merchant center account and building out a well-named, and organized account that will assist you in optimizing your Google shopping campaign. Your well-named Ad Groups will display the context of what is there.
The key to optimizing your Google shopping ads is having a granular structure. This controls the queries and refines bids in a better way, which trigger your product ads as well as enhance the bidding strategy.
Step 2: Group your products smartly
Google uses the products themselves, as Shopping Campaigns don’t have keywords for one to bid on. By choosing your bid per product, you have control over your ad spend.
Grouping all products together don’t make much sense, since each product type has a different profit margin. Google allows you to divide your products’ feed into groups according to their attributes. Each group is then segmented into further groups. When a rule is placed on a smaller group, it often overrides the rule placed on the parent.
In case you have a small data feed, drill your item id down to each product. This gives you perfect control over your bidding. If you have many products, create groups based on the profit margin.
Always remember that a product group can only be used for purposes of bidding. They do not have any relevance in what order Google displays your product listing.
Step3: Segment your campaign to a granular account
Ways of segmenting shopping campaigns online include:
By Custom Labels
By Google Product Category
If you’re short on time and just want a basic setup, use the specified methods above. Rather than lumping all your inventory into a single group, you will ultimately gain more control over your ads.
The level of granularity is determined by your ad group strategy. The use of performance and traffic data helps you to group your products by how likely they will perform similarly to reach specific targets. The more traffic data in each group, the better it will be. Avoid products with a small number of clicks.
Method # 2: The Adnabu Way
When advertisers are working with AdNabu, they typically see performance increase by 30% in their Google Shopping Campaigns. Adnabu uses the best practices, bid optimization and effective strategy to create profitable and high performing Shopping Campaigns for you.
Google Search Ads provide among the largest networks of potential clients, and search ads can assist in driving more traffic to your merchant center. Google Search Ads are easier to set up, as they offer a lot of control over audiences and how to target them as well. However, the best and the worst part of search ads are the keywords.
Keywords are typically the building blocks of search ads, and they should, therefore, be selected carefully. When deciding on keywords and their initial bids, ensure to consider different data points such as conversion rates and click-through rates. It can really take a waiting game to gather enough data and make an informed decision. But you shouldn’t worry, as you can leverage your Google Ads’ search terms data to build a highly targeted search campaign.
AdNabu assists by improving sales in Google Ads. If you are running a search, display campaigns or shopping in Google Ads, the AdNabu software will enhance your sales to increase. Sign up today to enjoy the benefits!
Best Practices of google shopping campaign optimization
There are two crucial goals with your product title: clicks and rankings.
First, you want Google to crawl through your product titles and get you relevant top buyer keywords. Then potential buyers to click on your ad listing over all your competitors. Product titles are arguably the most significant factors in determining the keywords, for your long-term clicks and impressions.
Clicks are heavily influenced by the price and image. The first few words of your title also do make a difference as they are visible.
Work the keywords naturally to the product title. First and foremost, remember your title needs to be descriptive and accurate. Repeating keywords or offering variations of the same is not advisable.
Words at the front part of the title usually carry the most significance. What is more important to a buyer? color size? Brand? If the brand is important, as it is in automotive, apparel, and many other categories, consider starting with the brand name.
Think Key Attributes
Think about attributes that are most important for your product. Is it size, pattern, compatibility, materials used, application, or country of origin? It varies from product to product as well as category to category. Always include your most crucial attributes in the title.
Things to Consider While Optimizing Your Google Shopping Campaigns
A good data feed is a huge factor in the success of your Google Shopping Optimization. Here are a few super-important things to always keep in mind:
Shopping campaigns don't use keywords to determine relevance, Ensure your product titles and product descriptions are keyword-rich and appealing to a potential customer who is viewing your ad, as Google uses this type of data to check the relevancy of your products to a search query.
Be careful when adding negative keywords to cut unwanted traffic, to avoid accidentally cutting off all your traffic.
Ensure prices are 100% accurate, more so if you’re dealing with international currencies, as your products will not be shown by Google if this information is not accurate.
If you are marketing to multiple countries, you need a product data feed for each country. Google Shopping Campaigns in AdWords are usually country-specific. You will, therefore, have to set up a new campaign per country.
A product image can make or break your ads. Just ensure your images are high-quality and are not watermarked or edited. They should only consist of the products you are selling. Endeavor to use “Family-friendly” images because they are least likely to get suspended.
All destination URLs should be directed to live pages and not dead pages/404s pages - products with dead links are never shown by Google.
Last but definitely not least, if you're a Google Shopping Campaign first-timer, start with a small product data feed of high-margin products. It will assist you to get used to how it works!
Just like with most digital marketing, remember that with Google Shopping success is also a matter of stacking a lot of things together and in the right way. If you get bogged down in the details, the potential payoff should motivate you more. Understand that by working on your data, your bids and your campaign structure is really all about giving you control and getting your products to the right prospects. There are just a few ad platforms that can consistently generate 1 to 6 returns. Therefore, any time spent with Google Shopping Campaign is time spent wisely.