Google Ads Shopping Campaigns: Do’s and Dont’s
Google recently launched a re-branding of their advertisement platform, and it came with some exciting new features for shopping campaigns.
The changes came about because more people are shopping across devices than ever before, which means it is important for retailers to be present at the time of searching. Google is expanding the space in a search engine results page for commercial intent, so all e-commerce retailers should take note!
Since e-commerce merchants usually run ad campaigns on a shoestring budget, showing positive returns is at once extremely challenging and vital to success. Why spend more money on a sales channel if it is not paying for itself?
As we run campaigns every day for small and medium-sized e-commerce retailers, we have had the chance to explore the new Google Ads features. We have seen what definitely works AND what does not bring desired returns in a Google Ads Shopping campaign.
If you follow through with this list of do’s and dont’s, you will be up-to-date on best practices for structuring an effective Google Ads shopping campaigns.
· Define Goals from the Beginning. If there is any shadow of a doubt why you are promoting a product, then come up with a substantive reason. Are you looking to increase sales of a product? What does a successful campaign look like to you? What are your tactics for achieving your goals? Without goals and tactics, you lack a roadmap, and your advertising efforts will be messy – like starting to cook a meal without knowing what you want to make.
· Use Smart Bidding. One of the innovations to Google Ads shopping campaigns is the Smart Bidding feature. It offers an alternative to automated pay-per-click spending by allocating ad spend to reach conversion goals prioritized by the retailer. For example, let’s say you want to maximize revenue for your most popular product. With Smart Bidding, the algorithm will allocate more of your budget to achieve this goal. Think of it like a more flexible version of PPC.
· Use Remarketing. The most effective shopping campaigns are ones that convert returning visitors into customers. We know it is much cheaper to retain a customer than it is to find a new one, and remarketing helps you follow-up with previous customers to keep you top of mind. The trick is targeting with precision to lower your cost per click – but that’s a topic for another day.
· Neglect key metrics. Once you have selected a goal, you need to track performance and adjust your strategy relative to the goal. If your click-through-rate is lower than expected, it is probably because shoppers are not resonating with your ad copy. So change it, run some A/B testing, and optimize based on results. The other important metrics to watch closely are benchmark CPC and cost of customer acquisition.
· Ignore local inventory ads. Did you know that Google lets you specify which products are available in local stock? Getting set-up with local inventory ads is a powerful boost to your Shopping campaign. It alerts people in your vicinity that you have what they are looking for in stock by showing your business in Google Maps. Getting this kind of immediacy out of local advertisement is a new feature in Google – but it is expected to become more commonplace as the search giants integrate Google Maps further into their ad network.
As an e-commerce merchant, Google Shopping is one of the most lucrative sales channels at your disposal. By following through with the recommendations above, you should start to see a boost in traffic and a lower cost of customer acquisition.