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Google Shopping ads: Can they really boost your ecommerce store?


Google Shopping ads provide a powerful advertising platform for anyone running an eCommerce store. With the ability to put your ads in front of people actively searching for your products, they provide a direct way to target your ideal customer audience.

The Google shopping ads also really stand out with imagery and have a high click-through rate (CTR) compared to text ads. Like text ads, however, it is very easy to waste a lot of money using the ads.

How to leverage Google Shopping ads

Read our Google Shopping ads optimization tips to ensure that you have the best chance of generating a great return on your ad spend.

Merchant Center Feed Optimization

One of the more complicated elements of setting up a Google Shopping Ads campaign is getting the shopping feed set up correctly. However, Google has made this much easier recently, with the option to crawl your website to produce it. Some tips and tricks for getting the most from your feed include:

Including your GTIN – the Global Trade Item Number: The manufacturer will usually supply this. Google uses the GTIN to place your ad in front of people searching for relevant products.

Optimize Product Titles: Arguably the most important thing you can do. Google will read your title to determine what the product is and if it matches a user’s search term. The more accurate and targeted your product title is, the better. Optimize for relevancy and also for click-through rate. Make sure it is written in good English that is easy to skim read.

Fix Merchant Center Errors Quickly: When you log into Google Merchant Center, if you go to Products>Diagnostics, you should find all of your products that have been submitted. Any red or yellow, instead of green, have issues. Fix those as soon as you can.

Make sure you are compliant with Google’s Policies and title guidelines.

Ad Copy Optimization

Optimizing your ad titles and text is vital. Use keyword research and the search terms report in Google Shopping Ads to identify variations around product names that people use to find your product. Optimize your ads specifically to these terms.

Ensure that ads are written in a formal tone but in a way that represents how people communicate. Don’t, for example, stuff a load of keywords into your ads; this will not resonate with shoppers and will damage trust. Having said that, it usually helps to put keywords at the start of the ad’s title. This can help it stand out to searches and make the ad appear more relevant in the eyes of Google.

Ad titles should highlight the propositions related to the product and its relevant attributes. Users want to skim-read your ads to quickly evaluate whether or not they should click on your ad. Countless case studies show that ad titles have a direct and fast impact on your Shopping Ads performance. Ideally, you should have an ad specific to each variation of a product, especially if you sell clothing. For example, you will want an ad for a specific size and color. In the ad title, distinguish between the variations by including the relevant terms in the title. have created a helpful infographic that sets out a basic template for creating relevant ad titles. You can see it by clicking here.

High Quality & Relevant Imagery

Images are touted as the most important element of a Google Shopping ad. Make sure that your images match all the attributes of your ads, such as color and design. Don’t put any text over the picture. You should also look to test product images against lifestyle images – i.e. images showing the product in use.

As well as using a high quality images, using one that is different to the rest of your competitors can also help your ad to stand out. In turn this should increase click through rate. If you can use your own custom images, then you will tend to stand out, as most competitors will tend to use the images supplied by the manufactuer. A quick way to make your images stand out, could be to change the background color.

If all of your competitors are using white backgrounds for example, then create an image with a grey background. You could also flip the image horizontally or vertically to make it different to the other ad images shown alongside your own. Whatever image you use, make sure that the product itself is front and center.

Highlight Sales & Promotions

Using sales promotions can be a great way to drive more sales and a higher click through rate. Prootions are a way for you to tell Google and searchers that you have a certain sale running. Your Google Shopping Ads will display the text “Special offer” – which a searcher can click on to get more information. You can create product specific offers, or site-wide offers – for example – 20% off everything in stock. You can also include a special code in the ad, that searchers can use during the checkout process.

To access promotions, you need to go to Google Merchant Center, click on “Growth” and then “Manage Programs”. You should then see an option to select “Promotions”. Unfortunately, promotions can’t be used in certain European countries.

Use Negative Keywords

By using negative keywords, you are telling Google not to show your ads when particular words are including in the phrases searches are using to find products. Make sure that you check your search terms report. When you see search terms that are irrelevant or vague, you can add these as negative keywords as they will likely result in wasted ad spend. For vague search terms such as “Men’s T-shirt”, you can look to create a separate campaign, with lower bids.

Optimize Your Landing Pages

Include trust signals and social proof. Social proof includes things such as reviews and testimonials. Other trust signals include images that represent industry awards, logos of associations that you are a member of and imagery that emphasis security and data protection.

Consider using a managed live chat service. With some products, a managed live chat service can dramatically increase your conversion rate. From a customer’s perspective, the great thing about a managed live chat service, is that you can get your questions answered instantly. With email or phone inquiries, you have to wait, minutes, hours or even days for a response; it’s much quicker to go to a competitor’s website instead. You should also clearly state the time and cost of postage and packaging. Keeping the landing page as specific as possible to the ad is also a great idea.

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