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SASCon Day 1: 11 Google Shopping Tips for Dummies

by Gemma Tomlinson


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In preparation for SASCon I used the typical script; print out the seminar tracks and read up on the snippet description and speakers in advance so that I could get the best out of the day. One of my most anticipated seminars was titled ’50 shades of Google Shopping’, a workshop on PLAs. With the trend towards Google Shopping for eCommerce brands on the rise, and with our eCommerce client portfolio increasingly focusing on this channel, I was keen to brush up and fill in a few gaps in my knowledge.

According to the speaker, Elizabeth Clark, there are 6 levers for successful Shopping Campaigns.

successful shopping campaigns
6 levers of successful Google shopping campaigns

Here are the 11 top tips I took away from the session:

1) Forget everything you know about paid search and text ads – you’ll need to take an entirely different approach to be successful with Google Shopping

2) SEO of feed data
Ensure the product landing page is well optimised along with the feed titles and descriptions that should be rich, relevant and well SEO’d.

3) Google Merchant Centre
Live in it! You’ll need to keep a close eye to ensure products are in stock and showing. If products are out of stock the ad will still display, get clicked and cost you money

4) Use Adwords features – Google Certified Shop:
– Add the review extension to increase the CTR
– Qualify for a seller rating to build trust
– Include the Google Certified Shops badge in your shopping ads
– Display offers in your ads but be aware that they have to be exclusive!

5) Use custom labels
Make your ads granular by including custom labels to identify best sellers, high margin products, seasonal lines and so on by calling upon the product ID level above categories

6) Don’t bid by brand!

7) Add gender and colours to the title
However, be aware that Google doesn’t recognise some colours so you’ll need to re-categorise them

8) Some companies have seen 30% uplift by turning OFF mobile – yes OFF!
Test this for yourself as one size doesn’t fit all

9) Clean up the feed
It may look ok on the front end of the website but it may produce an ugly feed. Spend time tidying up the descriptions

10) Make negatives your top priority
Managing negatives in your campaigns is the best way to make the most of your spend. Keep costs low by regularly maintaining negatives to ensure your ads are working as hard as possible to gain relevant clicks

11) Monitor your campaigns
Take the time to check your positions and continually conduct price comparisons at a PLA level for the best performance and to check that you’re competitive. You may find new competitors that you hadn’t previously known were a threat.

Google Shopping is a no-brainer for eCommerce stores. We know that consumers respond to visuals and Google Shopping is the prime example, providing an image to make the product instantly recognisable, qualify to the user that the product is the one they were looking for and as a result significantly increase the CTR. The most appealing benefit of Google Shopping campaigns is the higher conversion rate for a lower level of spend than text ads.

The downside of Google Shopping is the Google Merchant Centre. Although Shopping Campaigns are run in Adwords, the feed has to be set-up in the Merchant Centre. Not only do we now have an additional platform to manage on top of Adwords and Analytics, the Merchant Centre is also a minefield. Going back to tip 3, if you don’t live in the Merchant Centre you’ll struggle to manage your campaigns effectively.

by Gemma Tomlinson on 16/06/2015

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