Google Shopping Ads – Essential Optimization Tips

It is possible to create a website and to set up a Google Shopping ads campaign in a day or less. Add drop-shipping into the mix and you can have a fully functioning eCommerce store within a few hours.

However, as with many things, it is the attention to detail and the extra effort that often makes the difference between a non-profitable store and a profitable eCommerce site.

For example, Google Shopping Ads are highly effective when it comes to driving product-sales, but they can also be expensive and it’s easy to waste a lot of money. With this in mind, it is best to put in the extra effort and optimize your ads and your feed as much as possible.

We look at the most influential factors when it comes to Google Ads optimization…

Optimize Your Product Feed

Google runs your shopping ads by analysing and parsing the product feed. All elements of the feed must be optimized so that users can feel confident that they will be clicking through to a trusted website and that the specific product they are looking for can be found there.

Make sure that you add the products’ Google Shopping Category to your feed too. This is often overlooked. Google has a code for each product category, adding it to the feed is optional but it takes a small amount of effort to add it to your feed. You can find more information on the Google categories on the official website – support.Google.com.

Choose High-Quality Images Only

Google Shopping can be described as a very visual experience. Images can dramatically influence a user’s intent to buy from you. To start with, familiarise yourself with the image specifications for Google Shopping, the dimensions and the formats. Avoid using text on the image, watermarks and make sure the image is specific, not generic in any way.

To start with, do some searches on Google and check out what imagery the competition is using. Can you use a different background colour, or a different angle to make your image stand out?

For example, looking at the above screen capture from a Google Shopping search for tennis rackets, the bottom result, in terms of imagery, definitely stands out against the competition thanks to the green background of the tennis court.

Finally, make sure that the images are full HD – blurry images look terrible and shout out lack of professionalism (not literally). You can test image performance, but only manually at the time of writing. Try one image for a product for a set amount of time and then change to another image for the same amount of time. Then compare click-through rate and performance.

Optimize Your Titles

Google places a lot of value on titles. Google uses them to work out what your products are. Give your titles a set structure and try and add in phrases and details that people search for. For example, people may search for specific colours, sizes and/or brands of products.

Optimize Your Descriptions

Descriptions are not as important as titles because they are not seen as often. Users will need to click the shopping tab after searching, to see the actual description – unlike the tile, the price, the image and the reviews which are usually displayed on the ad.

Google, however, does see the description and the users that click on the ad – are much more likely to convert than someone who doesn’t interact with an ad. If somebody sees your ad, clicks it and sees a vague, short description – you may have just lost a customer!

Google looks at the description for information in terms of relevancy too, so make sure you fill out the descriptions!

The best place to start is to improve the description is on your website. Make sure this is comprehensive and explains the strong & unique selling points of your product or company. If you use an automated feed for your ads, that crawls your website – you can use the descriptions on your site to populate them in the feed too.

Add Product Videos to the Descriptions

Images of your products in use can perform well, both on your website and your ads. Even if you just shoot the videos using your phone, they can perform better than professionally done videos, which can lack authenticity. On your product pages or customer service emails, you can also incentivise customers to take videos of the products themselves. These can be added to your product page specifically as ‘customer videos’ so that they don’t have to look too polished.

Use Google Shopping Ad Extensions

To expand your ads and show different incentives and reasons to click, you will need to go to your Google Ads account, then to “Ads and Extensions”, then the “Extensions” tab, then click the blue circle with an addition “+” sign in the middle.

Next, choose the type of ad extension that you want to add. For example, a “site link extension” will display some text, that links to a specific URL.

You can also use callout extensions if you want to generate phone calls to drive sales. I

Check Your Merchant Account Regularly

It is important to check your Merchant Account regularly, to ensure that all of your products are approved. People forget to check their Merchant Account and have popular products, not appearing in the Google search results just because they don’t realise they’ve been disapproved.

Bidding Strategy

The best bidding strategy can be quite specific to the niche that the products are in and your location. However, many Google Ads experts recommend that you start with Manual CPC, then review and potentially switch to a new bidding strategy after 50-100 sales.

Make Sure the Product Landing Pages are Optimized Too!

If you are putting in the effort, making sure that your feed is optimized, then, of course, you will need to optimize the product landing page and checkout process as well. Landing page optimization is a whole new article, but some quick tips include:

  • Include trust metrics & social proofing like reviews
  • Make sure the page loads as fast as possible
  • Choose the right colours
  • Include a clear CTA
  • Make sure the page looks professional
  • Minimize choice – beware of the “paradox of choice”

There are lots of things to think about and test when it comes to a good landing page. If you are running an eCommerce business from home, consider a virtual office service and a virtual receptionist service as this gives an added sense of professionalism, transparency and trust.

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