3 Pillars Of An Optimised Google Shopping Campaign
You have products to sell.
You know Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day.
You also know that Google has made recent changes to their shopping platform, changes that you may not have caught up with and optimized for.
So you are thinking:
“If I can get just a slim fraction of these searchers to find my products, I will be good. All I need to do is re-focus my ad efforts and optimize for highly targeted search terms.”
You are right about the approach – but it’s easier said than done.
Google has changed the advertising landscape quite dramatically in recent months, which means your tried and true methods may no longer work as well. You need to adapt your advertising strategy or face the reality of diminishing returns.
In order to get your products in front of as many Google shoppers as possible, you need to optimize your campaigns in the following ways:
Optimize your Bid Strategy
Bid optimization is the area of your ad campaign where you decide how to allocate your budget. As you can imagine, your bid strategy directly influences your visibility because it determines the type of audience your ads will display.
You have the option to go with Automated (including Smart bidding), and Manual bidding.
On the one hand, you have automated bidding. Automated bidding is an excellent place to start with a new campaign because it brings in results and gives you plenty of data to chew on. However, it is limited in scope because you cannot drill down on target keywords and optimize your cost per acquisition as well as you might like. That is to say, it can get quite expensive!
This is where Smart Bidding comes into play. Smart bidding is actually a new variant of automated bidding and it is far more flexible. It lets you prioritize a conversion goal and then watch as the algorithm adjust bids on strategic ad groupings to drive results for your prioritized keywords.
On the other hand, you have manual bidding. Manual bidding lets you get specific with each keyword and ad group, giving you the option to set a max cost per click that makes sense for your budget and conversion goals for the keywords. However, it is more laborious and pains-staking than Smart Bidding and should be executed with caution if you are just starting out.
So how do you set up the most effective bid strategy? By using both approaches, with modifiers specific to each campaign.
For example, let’s say you wanted to drive mobile traffic with a shopping campaign. You would go in and increase the mobile bid adjustment yourself, but then, thanks to the machine learning capabilities of Smart Bidding, the algorithm automatically optimizes for device and location targeting for you.
Feed optimization includes all the text and visual elements of your ad itself. It is what searchers see when your ad appears, so ad titles, product descriptions, product category listings – these are all part of your feed optimization.
Here are get into the analytics of keyword optimization. This is a huge topic in e-commerce because research shows that the more targeted your titles are, the more clicks they draw in. A recent study found that having product search terms in the product title boosted CTR as much as 88% for certain keywords.
There is no secret sauce to getting your feed optimization just right all the time. You need to analyze keyword performance data, learn what your customers like, understand how the Google algorithm ranks words (and the ordering of words), and do plenty of A/B testing.
Structuring your campaigns
Finally, your campaigns need to have optimal structure in order to get the best results. Campaign structure refers to the way in which you group items within a product category AND your strategy for prioritizing campaigns.
You do not want to democratically allocate the same budget across all your campaigns. Nor do you want to set the same max bid amount for all the product categories in your catalogue.
For example, let’s say you are an apparel merchant and you have items to sell across various product categories. Good stuff! What you want to do is group the products in the right places within your ad campaign structure. This means setting up individual product groups for t-shirts, pants, shoes, etc and matching them with relevant keywords.
Then you want to run these ads and gauge performance. Once you know which ad groups are performing the best, you can begin to prioritize the best sellers and test ways to improve your lower traffic groups.
Without a clearly defined architecture to your ad groupings, it will be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff and drive your return on advertising spend in key areas.
Getting a fraction of daily searchers to click through your advertisements is hard. It is only doable if you stay abreast of Google’s changes and adapt accordingly. If you implement these optimization features into your shopping campaigns and vigilantly track customer behavior metrics, you are putting yourself in the best position to see a positive return on your advertisement investment.