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5 Best Practises for Google Shopping

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If you’re looking to increase your online sales, Google Shopping could be the tool for you! Shopping Ads quite literally place your products in the shop window, matching your product up with your customer’s search term and search intent at the time that they’re looking to make a purchase.

Google Shopping isn’t just a great tool for customers but also benefits the retailer, sending customers directly to your e-commerce store rather than an online marketplace such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy. Giving you full control over the customer journey and removing the nasty fees and hits to your profit margin that is so prevalent throughout online marketplaces.

If you’re not advertising on Google Shopping, you’re missing out! However, running a successful campaign of shopping ads demands more than setting up a Google Ads account and pressing go. That’s why we’ve set up this handy guide to point you in the right direction.

Or you can get in touch with us for a Free 39-point Google Shopping Audit to give you actionable insights to help improve the performance of your account in the short, medium and long term.

Find out more about our Google Shopping Management Services.

1. Automate Your Google Merchant Centre Product Feed

Optimising your Google Merchant Centre product feed is essential for success in a competitive product auction. Set up an automated product feed which is uploaded from your website daily to ensure that your product information is accurate, prices are up to date and any changes in inventory are reflected.

It is best practice to separate your feeds, rather than utilising one main product feed. This helps to minimise the impact of any upload failures or system errors.

2. Optimise Your Images For Google Shopping Campaigns

Images are crucial for success in Google shopping, they’re the first thing a customer will see. Products with strong imagery are much more likely to appear for relevant search queries and will capture your customer’s attention, boosting your click-through rate. Some key points to remember include:

  • Provide the highest resolution images possible – Google recommends using a square image of at least 1500 x 1500 pixels!
  • Use a solid-coloured, light background, grey and white work best.
  • Don’t over-edit your images, avoid pixelation, shadows and text overlays, it only detracts from the product you’re trying to sell.
  • Frame your product in the image, the product should take up between 75-90% of the pixels

3. Optimise Your Product Listings

In a competitive product auction, it’s important to stand out, this is why it’s extremely important to optimise the product data that you’re sending to Google, there are several ways to do this:

  • Product Titles: Google allows product titles of up to 150 characters, giving you plenty of opportunity to match up your to your customer’s search intent. It is also very important to remember that users will usually see only the first 70 or fewer characters, depending on their screen size. Front-load your titles with your most important keywords, the product name and the brand for the best click-through rates.
  • Reviews: Collecting product and service reviews helps you to stand out from the crowd, improving customer buying confidence on your website and boosting both the click-through and conversion rates.
  • Service Information: Filling out delivery and returns information can set you apart from other listings. Showcase your good service with transparency around delivery options, threshold for free delivery and returns policy.

4. Maintain A Clear Campaign Structure

Campaign structure is one of the clearest ways that you can maximise the performance of your Google Shopping Campaigns. In its simplest form this could be 1 x Campaign, 1 x Ad Group, 1 x Product Group.

Whilst a single campaign can work well for accounts, there are some severe limitations to optimisation. Using a single campaign only allows for one budget to be set within the account. This can lead to more popular products with a higher Average CPC (Cost Per Click) dominating the budget allocation, severely limiting the performance of other products across the account.

There are a range of strategies to counteract this, one of the most popular being a campaign structure which follows the category structure of your e-commerce website. Campaigns will match to top level navigation categories of your website, with ad groups representing the subcategories and product category pages, product groups may then be added at brand, range or SKU level. This same principle can be applied to division by Product Categories, Product popularity, Profit Margin or Brand.

5. Use Negative Keywords

Google Shopping is a fantastic tool for showing your products across a wide range of search terms and placing your Ad in front of prospective buyers. However Google’s machine learning systems need some direction to make sure that your products are being served to the right customers, for relevant search terms. This is where Negative Keywords come in, Negative Keywords are words and phrases that you can block Google from serving your products on. Negative Keywords are a vital tool in improving account ROAS (Return on ad spend) and maintaining a profitable, efficient Google Ads Account.

Negative Keywords can be added at either [exact match], “phrase match” or broad match levels and fall within the following categories:

  • Irrelevant search terms: Queries which do not match your products or services
  • Generic Search Terms: Vague queries for which a product is extremely unlikely to convert regularly, for example, a bookshop would not want their shopping ads to appear for the search term “book” as the cost per click will be extremely high whilst the conversion rate will be extremely low
  • Competitor Terms: Queries which contain the name of your competitors, online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay

Final Word – Google Shopping services by Imaginaire

We hope this short guide provides you with some actionable insights into optimising your Google Shopping Campaigns and gives your sales a boost! We are however only scratching the surface of how to optimise your shopping campaigns.

If you’d like some more actionable insights and support with your account, we’ve developed a 39-point Google Shopping Audit which is available to you free-of-charge.

Simply tell us a little bit about yourself using our contact form or give us a call on 0115 971 8908 and we’ll be in touch!

Adam is Imaginaire's PPC Executive and covers topics including Google Ads strategies and all things pay per click. Offering advice and tips to anyone who wants to learn more!

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