Google Shopping Ads, also known as Product Listing Search Ads (PSLA’s), are one of the newer ad formats that Google have made available in recent years. Unlike Search Ads, they are not driven by keyword lists and are not made up of ad copy and ad extensions.
From the searchers point of view, Shopping Ads allow a person to quickly and easily compare features and prices of products without ever having to even click on an ad. From the point of view of the advertiser, this is a game changer. If done correctly, Shopping Ads can result in greater Click Through Rates (CTR’s) and higher quality potential customers landing on their ecommerce site.
Not only that, but Shopping Ads also offer the potential for advertisers to gain a lot more visibility. If you are also running Search Ads, both of your ad formats have the potential to show up at the same time when a person conducts a search, thereby giving your product more real estate in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Shopping Ads also tend to appear at the top of the SERP, above all other ads, so users are more likely to see your ads first.
However, with Shopping Ads proving to be a hugely successful platform for ecommerce websites, the competition can be quite fierce. Once you have your Shopping Campaign up and running, there are many steps that you need to take to optimise the ads and help ensure that you are giving your products the best opportunity that is possible.
Here are some of our top tips for optimising your ads:
1. Product Descriptions and Titles
In the example above, you can see the Shopping Ads that appear when a user searches for “Calvin Klein Euphoria”. The ads comprise of an image, product title, product description, price, company name and, in some cases, star ratings. But how do you optimise your products so that they a) show up in the results above other competitors and b) they compel the user to click on them?
In some ways, optimising your Shopping Ads is quite similar to certain SEO practices. Keywords play a big part. Even though you are not using keyword lists in the same way that you would for SEO, keywords will play a part in your product optimisation. Do your keyword research in the same way that you would for Search Ads. Look at Search Term Reports and use tools like Google Keyword Planner. Once you have established the keywords you want to optimise your products for, make sure that your product titles and descriptions utilise those keywords effectively.
Once you have done that, the next step is to ensure that your product ads are compelling. As you can see in the example, a lot of information about the product is instantly available to the user. So you need to tell them why they should click on your ad above those of your competitors. Make sure that your product titles are relevant to what the person will have searched for and are concise and to-the-point. The searcher needs to be able to tell instantly what you are offering them.
2. Competitive Edge
What do you think will be the main factor that a searcher takes into consideration before deciding which Shopping Ad to click on? The main answer is Price Point.
If two competitors are offering the same product but one at a lower price than the other, then the cheaper offering is more likely to win the click. So be sure to do your competitor research. See what else is out there and at what price. And keep on top of this! Competitors may change their prices, especially if they see that you or someone else is offering more competitive pricing. So ongoing research on this is crucial.
Also be sure to showcase the key features of your product. If you have a promotion or a sale going on, capture their attention by using it!
3. Landing Pages
Optimising your ads to get people to click on them is not enough. The page that they land on has to also tick all the boxes if you want them to complete a purchase. This strategy is similar to Search Ads, in that you need to design your landing pages (which will be the product page) wisely and ensure that conversion optimisation practices are in place.
The importance of making sure that your landing page is relevant to the users search query is obvious. Also think about things such as your Shopping Basket. How easy is it for the user to add stuff to the cart?
4. Bidding Strategies
Don’t make the mistake that a lot of retailers make of setting your entire product catalogue at the same bidding strategy. Something that is retailing at a price of €5.99 should not be under the same bids as a product that retails at €39.99 for example. Come up with a bidding strategy that is based on product tiers. And don’t just think about the price you are selling them at. Also think about things like the popularity of the products. Look at your ecommerce conversion rates for your products and this should give you a lot of the information you need.
Another thing to consider when setting up bidding strategies is consumer habits. Do your consumer research and find out when your customers are most likely to make a purchase. For example, you may want to increase your bids at certain times of the day or on particular days of the week. Perhaps it’s unlikely that people will be searching for your products at 10am on a Monday morning when they are in work, therefore you can lower your bids at this time.
5. Monitoring and Optimisation
As is the case with your Search Ads, for a Shopping Campaign to be successful it requires ongoing monitoring and optimisation. For example, if you find that you have a low CTR, test different product images. We recommend you start out with higher bids in order to get your ads out there and get impressions. Once Google sees that your ads are being seen and getting clicks, you should be able to lower your bids and still get impressions.