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Why E-Commerce Sites Need To Use Google Shopping Campaigns
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Why E-Commerce Sites Need To Use Google Shopping Campaigns

by Philip Armstrong25th November 2014

What Are Shopping Campaigns?

The Shopping Network and Product Listings are a relatively new way to advertise physical products on Google search. Product Listings are different from both regular Adwords text Ads and organic search results in that they display a picture of the product being advertised.

Using the surgical instruments niche as an example – let’s look at what the search results look like for a typical product keyword:

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Advantages of the Google Shopping Network

  1. Shopping results and product listing Ads often appear above organic search results and text Ads and because of their aesthetics can generate a higher click-through-rate.
  1. Product Listings allows us to market a whole range of products very quickly and without having to invest a lot of capital. Remember, we only pay for click-throughs to our website – so if our product listings don’t generate any clicks, we don’t have to pay for those listings.
  1. Product Listings are often cheaper than Adwords text Ads, although many merchants are currently advertising using Adwords, many have not expanded into the Shopping Network, meaning that there is less competition and lower cost-per-clicks.
  1. Product Listings can have a higher conversion/ sale rate from the traffic generated – as customers have already seen the product picture, and the price, so are better able to make an informed decision about buying before even landing on our website.

Should Product Listing Ads Be Used Alone Or Alongside Text Ads?

Product listing Ads can work well on their own, but they work best when used in conjunction with regular Adwords text Ads and a place in the organic search results using SEO. By appearing in each of these three positions on the results page, it enables us to grab the larger share of the market.

How Much Does A Click Through To My Sales Page Cost?

Using the surgical instruments niche as an example again, let’s look at some CPC stats from SEMRush for Google Adwords in the UK. These stats are a rough guide, but are generally accurate. CPCs can vary day-to-day based on competition levels.

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We can see that the highest CPC in the list is $0.94 (which at the time of writing is equal to £0.60). Looking at the last column we can see that the competition levels range from 0.22 to 0.77 (with 0.00 being the lowest amount of competition possible) – showing that these keywords are generally not very competitive for paid search.

Using these stats for Google text Ads as a guide, we can predict that Product Listing Ads will have an equal or lower competition and CPC.

The best way however to discover how much CPCs and traffic will cost is to run a campaign first hand. As long as our website converts customers into sales as we expect it to, then we will see a positive return on our investment.

Measuring Performance and Making Adjustments to Maximise Profit

Continually observing which product listings are performing best and making necessary optimisations based on all the dimensions available:

Time of day – Ads perform differently throughout the day, and thus our bidding should reflect this

Location – Some locations may generate a higher conversion/ sales rate that others

Optimising and updating Product Data information to maximise sales – Google shows the Ads with the most accurate and comprehensive information

View Keywords which are affecting your Ads and add negative keywords to block non-relevant keywords which are activating our Ads

Landing Page Performance – some sales pages/ landing pages will convert users into customers better than others. By using Google Analytics to monitor user behaviour and by split-testing different versions of each landing page we can increase conversion rates to maximise profit.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that Google wants online merchants to use the Shopping Network as the platform by which they advertise their products to web users – as they place product listing Ads at the top of the search results, and thus to compete as an online retailer and retain a decent market share, it is crucial for merchants to move into this space.

  • Product Listing Ads generally appear above everything else on the results page
  • CPCs can be cheaper than text Ads – making the cost of acquiring customers cheaper
  • Campaigns can be setup quickly, advertising a large range of different products, even as many as 6000, in a relatively short space of time
  • Costs are only accrued when a user clicks through an Ad onto the sales page – listings which do not generate traffic, do not generate cost
  • Campaigns need to be continually optimised to increase performance, but this gives the opportunity to gain a larger market share than competitors who do not possess the expertise to manage their campaigns effectively

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About The Author
Philip Armstrong
Philip Armstrong is a content writer for the Just SEO newsroom. Having served as an Adword's manager for a number of paid search campaigns, he is an expert in spending money to make money, and regularly contributes in-depth articles on the latest news and updates on pay-per-click (PPC) matters.

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