Learn how to enhance Google Shopping on your Shopify store
What is Google Shopping
You may know it as Product Listing Ads, or you might not be familiar with the concept at all. Either way, you’re most likely missing out on a lot of useful information, especially if you’re an ecommerce owner. In this post, I hope to fill the gaps of information that you may be missing out on.
Google Shopping campaigns are ads that appear on Google search results after they have been triggered by specific keywords and contain detailed product information. This could include an image, price, product or description. As you can imagine, it’s a powerful tool for retailers. It allows them to showcase and display their products right when the potential customers are looking for them. This is important because many times the picture of your product can match the picture they had in their head of what they wanted. Which will then most likely result in a conversion.
Check one example below. When I look for “yellow sandals” on Google, I see images of products right under the Google search bar and if I click on the tab “Shopping” I can see even more results based on my search. Shoes aren’t the only product in which this would be useful either. One can imagine why a store that sells something like hats would also find Google Shopping Ads useful.
Pretty cool right? As you can see, advertising is much more efficient in today’s day and age. However, it’s still important to make sure you do it the right way so you’re not wasting any precious resources. Also, bear in mind that to be able to create Google Shopping Ads you will need to have a Google Ads account as well as a Google Merchant Center.
So what’s a Google Merchant Center?
|To help explain this concept, I’ll let Google say a bit about it, “Google Merchant Center is a tool that helps you upload your store and product data to Google and make it available for Shopping ads and other Google services.” (Source: Google support). Seems straight forward, and it is. Once this step is completed you are that much closer to having buyers at your figurative and virtual doorstep ready to buy your product. |
In order to upload data pertaining to your specific product, you will need to create a product data feed. A product data feed is essentially a list of all the products you sell. This list needs to be in a specific format which is the one that Google requires. For Google Shopping ads you won’t need to create text ads like you have been doing for search campaigns. Google will automatically create your Google Shopping ads after taking information from your data feed. Some of the attributes of your products are the title (name of the product), product category (you will have to choose one of Google’s predefined categories), price, availability status, etc.
Why Google Shopping is a must for retailers
If you’re not convinced by now, allow me to reiterate just how important Google Shopping is. The obvious is that it will help you reach more potential buyers. The philosophy behind this is that your product will appear when shoppers are already searching on Google to buy something. Along with this, you’ll have direct control on the information associated with your product. This will allow you to maintain accuracy and a sense of freshness for your product. Ultimately making it so your customers will find relevant and up-to-date items.
Once you have linked your Google Ads and Merchant Center accounts, the rest of the process is made easy and customers will see your product. Customers from over 40 different countries will be able to see your product, might I add.
There are many other features to accompany Google Shopping as well. For one, your product can be displayed at the very top of the page even before organic listings for some keywords. Visuals will also be included for your product, which is the preference of receiving information for most people. You will also be able to include additional information to help boost engagement. This could include prices, reviews, and even special promotions. This can also support upper-funnel awareness initiatives all while driving lower funnel conversions.
Also, be sure to read the 5 reasons why your Shopify ecommerce should be on Google Shopping.
Google Shopping in numbers/ Statistics
Here’s a more clear and in-depth look at some real-life statistics:
- In the early part of 2018, Google Shopping ads were driving 76% of retail search ad spend in the US, and 82% of retail search ad spend in the UK. Clearly, this is a very large majority for each of the countries.
- For the US, this 76% of search spend was responsible for 85% of all clicks on Google Ads or Google Shopping ads between January and February 2018.
- In the UK, 82% of retail search ad spend invested in Google Shopping ads was responsible for 88% of clicks.
- Advertisers in the fashion and apparel (US) category were the most dedicated users of Google Shopping ads, with ad spend fueling 85% of all ads in the category, and winning 90% of clicks.
- Just 14% of ad spend in consumer electronics is now being spent on text ads in the US, with the equivalent figure being 22% in the UK.
- Mobile shopping ads now make up 39% of retailer’s total search ad spend, with these campaigns receiving 42% of the share of clicks across all search (US).
- Google shopping ads on mobile fuel 79% of device ad spend and win 87% of clicks (US).
- Clicks on shopping ads are being driven by non-brand search terms. In the US, branded search terms fuel 34% of Google Shopping ad spend, as opposed to the 76% figure across all search.
(Source: “The rise of Google Shopping” Adthena Search Advertising Report)
After taking a look at the results of the search advertising report made by Adthena, there is no doubt that Google Shopping has a bright future and is full of potential. As a Shopify store owner, you should not look past this data without doing something about it. If you want to achieve maximum exposure for your products, then you should make sure that you are on Google Shopping and that your product listings are fully optimized in order to not lose opportunities.
Google Shopping Tips/ Best practices
This post would not be complete if we did not tell you how to perform well on the platform itself. We gathered useful tips for you in order for you to be able to apply to your Shopping advertising strategy and ensure that your Shopify store thrives!
- Make sure your product listing is complying with Google’s requirements in order to avoid disapproval. Check here for Google’s Product data specification. You will want to avoid any disapproval of your products so you don’t miss any opportunities with the shoppers who will be looking for your products.
- For Google Shopping ads you won’t be using keywords for the relevancy of your ads. For that reason, you will need to make sure that your product titles and descriptions contain the right keywords and at the same time are appealing to the shoppers who are seeing the ads.
- Make always sure that your product prices are updated. This accuracy helps to no differ too much from similar products listed on Google Shopping. Your product price compared to your competitors’ ones are crucial to your ads’ performance. Also, if you sell in different countries, take care of the international currencies so that your product prices are correct. Google will not be showing your ads if you have this information wrong.
- It goes without saying that your product images should be well-curated on your Shopping ads. Due to the format of these ads, image plays an important role. It’s usually the first thing that potential buyers will be paying attention to before clicking to your products. Your product images should be defectless and appealing and high quality!
- Regularly check your URLs in order to make sure that they don’t lead to 404 pages. Google will not be displaying your products if they lead to broken links!
- In case you are selling your product to different countries, you will need to create a product feed for each one. Google Shopping campaigns are country-specific so each of the campaigns you create will need to be for the respective country.
- Add negative keywords in order to avoid your products appearing in irrelevant queries.
Please note that a combination of well-curated PPC ads and SEO optimization is the key to success. Never neglect the importance of SEO if you don’t want your brand to get lost in Google results. Read here the ultimate SEO guide for your Shopify store.
To sum it up, Google Shopping ads are both effective and worthwhile. By looking at the statements made accompanied by the statistics, it’s fair to say that if you plan to advertise an ecommerce business, this is one of the best ways to do so.
When’s the last time you’ve searched for something you wanted to buy online? Most likely within the last week or month, or for some, the last hour. The point is that even though you may not have noticed it, there was probably an ad made with Google Shopping that was associated with the product you searched for. Also quite possibly, that advertisement made you engage with the said product. This alone illustrates their importance, and why you should consider using them for the product you sell.
If you need extra help with setting up your merchant center and creating your Google Shopping ads for your Shopify store, you can always install the Shopify app Clever Google Ads and just leave it to the Google AdWords experts!