If you’re a retailer and haven’t heard of Google’s online sales tool, Google® Shopping, you may want to tune in. Google Shopping campaigns are driving close to 25 percent of business for some retailers. These visually stimulating, small-image ads (known as product listing ads or PLAs) drive high-quality traffic and appeal to shoppers who are ready to buy.
Why are these ads so successful? According to Google, it’s in part due to placing product images and their prices in front of buyers at the precise moment they’re ready to buy. Shoppers value these ads because they allow them to easily price shop, compare product features and view multiple offerings without having to visit multiple sites. Retailers are happy because the ads often generate more clicks at a lower cost-per-click (CPC) than traditional text ads and more qualified leads.
Google Shopping: A quick overview
Let’s start with the basics. Google Shopping ads display product images, pricing and ratings on the right-hand side of the search results page after a product search is performed. Google Shopping campaigns are fairly simple to set up. You’ll need an AdWords® account (if you don’t already have one), and then there are essentially three easy steps to get started:
- Set up your product data feed: The Google Shopping ad information displayed comes from data you send to Google. There is required data you must provide, but you can also include additional information, including sale price, brand, color, size, shipping and more.
- Develop your shopping campaign: There are numerous settings to choose from when setting up campaigns. You can target shoppers by location, ad networks, mobile device and more. Google Shopping ads can also drive customers to make in-store purchases by providing a separate in-store feed. Incentivize shoppers to visit you in person by offering promotional items in your ads. Ideas may include: a free reusable shopping tote or sports pack with purchase that, when reused, gives shoppers future discounts; or a free gift with purchase, such as a Shoe Shiner, luggage tag or Folding Lint Roller.
- Group your products: Lastly, you’ll determine whether or not you want to set a default bid for all products or categorize products into groups, such as brand, product type, seasonality or best sellers.
Google Shopping also offers tools to help you manage and measure your campaigns. Here are a few that may be helpful:
- Search term report: Use this report to identify the terms shoppers have used to trigger your ad to appear. See what’s working, but also confirm words that aren’t; add these undesirables to a negative keywords list.
- Benchmark click-through rate (CTR): Check this dashboard to see how often your ads are being clicked. You can then compare your results with industry averages for similar shopping campaigns.
- Impression share: View impression share to see how often your ads appear compared with how often they could be if you were bidding more. If ads are underperforming, you may want to raise your bid.
There are numerous other reports that can help you manage your campaigns, all of which can be found in AdWords. For more information on Google Shopping and all it has to offer, check out our Blue Paper.