We would like to thank Redcurrent for allowing us the use of their metrics for this lesson.
Redcurrent is New Zealand owned and operated and has 12 stores along with a website which projects the Redcurrent philosophy of making everyday life beautiful. They provide a wide range of Redcurrent product as well as high-quality brands including Glasshouse Fragrances, Ecoya, MOR Modern Apothecary, Citta Design, Saben & Nature Baby.
You can visit www.redcurrent.co.nz for more information.
Purpose Of This Lesson
The purpose of this lesson is to highlight the benefits of a Shopping campaign, how effective it is to drive sales to your website and how it can bring your brand where your potential customers are.
What are Shopping Campaigns?
Shopping ads on Google use your merchant data to display ads. This is different from your Search or Display campaign which uses keywords and audience targeting to target the ads.
Google automatically matches the product details to the user’s search and ensures the ads are displayed for most relevant products. It is a simple and flexible way to promote your product inventory to potential buyers on Google.
There are three types of Shopping ads:
>> Product Shopping Ads: these are based on the products inventory you add in the merchant centre account
>> Showcase Shopping Ads: these ads are groups of your products and can highlight other related products at the same time.
>> Local Inventory Ads: these ads display ads on Google display network and focus to drive traffic to your physical store.
Where do Shopping Ads appear?
Google Shopping ads are currently available in 40 countries, including New Zealand. Shopping ads can appear in different places:
>> Under the Shopping tab on Google search
>> On top of Google search engine result page
>> On Google search partner websites
>> On Google Display Network, which includes YouTube, Gmail and Google Discover.
Showcase Shopping Ads
A showcase shopping ad is like a front window to your physical store but on Google search engine result page.
When a user makes a search for a product or product category that you sell online, a showcase of products along with more lifestyle images are displayed.
When a user clicks on the showcase shopping ad, it expands to reveal the products from your website that are most relevant to their search on Google.
Best Practices for Shopping Campaigns
Shopping campaigns have limited flexibility in comparison to Search or Display campaigns as we can’t add specific keywords to make our products relevant to the user’s search queries. It is important to ensure products follow best practices for better visibility on Google search results:
>> Creating Products Feed: It is vital to create clear products inventory feed in Google Merchant centre to link to Shopping campaign. Shopping plugins within different website CMS’s (Content Management Systems) are an excellent option to set up the inventory feed. You can also discuss custom options with your web developer if you have a custom build.
>> Updating Products Feed: Google bots often check the prices displayed on the website to those added in the inventory feed. It is essential to keep the Products feed in Merchant centre regularly updated with the latest prices to avoid policy violation from Google.
>> Selecting correct Google Product Category: The way Google’s algorithm understand what you are selling is by understanding your website, the product title and product category you have added for each product. Google has a vast range of product category that must align or are closely related to your products in the feed. It is crucial to select the correct Google product category for relevancy of your shopping ads.
>> Using Supplementary Feeds: In Google Merchant centre, you can add primary feed and supplementary feeds for products. The primary feed should not be changed regularly and should be directly linked to the inventory from your website for regular updates. With supplementary feeds, you can adjust the product fields which are not automatically added to products via primary feeds. It can play a vital role in adjusting the relevancy of your product for better performance on Google search results.
>> Product grouping: An easy implementation is when you add all your products in the same campaign and let Google machine learning pick the most relevant and popular product and fetch the revenue. Though all products are not priced with margins and some products may have a competitive advantage in the industry. You would want to ensure these products don’t miss on Google visibility because some other products are more popular and eating up your daily budget. Splitting products into separate groups and allocating budgets will help you get most out of your ad spend.
>>Selecting the correct bidding strategy: Google’s machine learning bidding strategies play a great role in generating the highest return on ad spend for your business. In a competitive market, you should prefer Google’s machine learning to get your products the highest visibility possible for your daily budget.
Why my shopping ads are not performing or generating revenue?
We would suggest to review your set up compared to the best practices listed above. Review if all your products are not performing or any particular product category?
Check the price competitive report in Google Merchant centre if you are losing to other companies because of the price difference.
We can help with a complete review for your account if there are any other aspects on the website which are limiting your potential customers to make purchases online.
What changes can you make using supplementary feeds?
It is a best practice to make custom changes to your product inventory feed using supplementary feed and leave the primary feed as is. With supplementary feed, you can add a prefix or suffix to your product title, adjust the description or add additional images for your products, highlight a sale or a showcase a discount percentage etc.
What is the best bidding strategy for Shopping campaign?
There is no one answer for the bidding strategy approach in Google ads and this is valid for Shopping ads too. Though using the automated bidding options such as Maximise conversion value & Targeted ROAS will reduce the manual bidding efforts in the market where most of the competitors are using machine learning for a competitive edge.
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