Now that you’ve got your ecommerce tracking installed and goals setup it’s time to start getting quality paid traffic to your online store. But where do you start: Google AdWords Search, Display, or with Google Shopping?
If you’re running a store with a catalogue of products then most times you want to begin with Google Shopping. There are exceptions but if you’re selling is done on a product page for a shopping cart platform then give Google Shopping a go first.
What’s Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is broken down in two sections. First the Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are the ads that stick out like a sore thumb when you search for a product:
While Google Shopping is what you see if you click on Shopping underneath the search textbox, click on the “Shop for product” or the more products arrow in the PLA block.
As you can see, these ads are visual, informative and easy for the user to browse, and if they’re good for the user then they’re good for the seller too.
Why Start With Google Shopping?
A lot of businesses have a history of being burnt when it comes to advertising so I think it’s important when retrying a channel or starting from scratch that they are cautious with the traffic they pay for. Google Shopping removes a lot of the risk involved with pay-per click advertising: the potential customer can look at the product, the brand, the pricing, and even reviews before clicking the ad and it costing the store money. It’s a way to filter out people who are after something different to what they think your text ad offers. There’s no point paying to send a user to your site who has a budget of $50 when the product you sell is going for $200. Less traffic, but higher quality.
PLAs also get a high click through rate due to their size and the photo. If your image is what the user is after then it will really grab their attention.
The other benefit is that the cost per click is usually lower for a PLA or Google Shopping click than the Search Network because your ad ranking is not as critical when the user is filtering through the products. This allows you to punch above your weight when the Search Network is dominated by large budgets.
Google Shopping Doesn’t Use Keywords, Sort Of…
One of the most difficult yet critical parts of setting up a Search Network Campaign is trying to work out what keywords to target and how to target them. Getting this wrong can lead to a lot of wasted clicks.
Google Shopping works differently in that you don’t have to target specific keywords, instead you create a data feed of products and Google determines what products to show for different searches based on the product’s name, brand, description, and the category you assign it. If someone searches for “men’s blue jeans” and you sell men’s blue jeans then there is a good chance Google will show your product in the shopping results.
If you want to target specific keywords then you have to give Google every chance possible to return your product. This means making sure you name your products descriptively rather than trying to be cute or fancy. Have a think about how a person would find your product and use that as best as you can in the products name.
I’ll create a post about this in the coming weeks to give you some specifics on naming conventions but always try and write your products to help the buyer find your product.
Use Google Shopping to Build Your Search Network Campaign
With the shopping campaign in place you’ll be able to collect data to see what products are selling and how users are searching for that product.
This data can then be used to target high performers using a Search Network campaign. In the screenshot above you can see that “google mouse” is converting at 26% while “youtube shirt” is only at 2%. An ad could be created in a Search Network campaign to target this “google mouse” keyword to capitalise on its demand and high conversion rate while going after “youtube shirt” probably isn’t worth it.
Where to From Here?
This was just a quick introduction to Google Shopping and why I think it’s an important place to start for online stores selling a catalogue of products. Getting started from here isn’t difficult but I recommend waiting for my next few posts before jumping in. You want to make sure you plan everything out properly as it’s much easier to get it right from the beginning than restructuring with traffic coming in.
If you are keen to get started then feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll do my best to help you get up and running.