Note: Smart Shopping campaigns have been upgraded to Performance Max in September 2022. We suggest you refer to these links below to know more about Performance Max.
Earlier this year, Google made an announcement that changed the way advertisers perceived Shopping campaigns. By making Google Shopping listings free, the world’s largest advertising network forced everyone selling tangible products to rethink their PPC strategies.
Suddenly, this component of the Google advertising network became much more attractive.
At first, brands and PPC marketers were captivated by the prospect of free ad space. Once the initial hype faded, it became clear that only a portion of Google Shopping listings would be made free and that certain conditions had to be met.
To take advantage of these free listings, advertisers need to have active Google Merchant Center accounts and enable their products to show on all surfaces including Google Images, the Google Shopping tab, Google Lens, and Google Search.
As of late May, our conversations with experts like Kirk Williams of Zato Marketing revealed that an average of 5-6% of Google Shopping listings were made complementary.
But that’s not the only reason it makes sense to give your products Google Shopping visibility.
If like many other brands, your business or client are just starting to get involved in building Google Shopping campaigns, this article will help you figure out how to sell on Google Shopping.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- How to take advantage of Google Shopping listings
- Why Google Shopping is a proven channel for product visibility
- How to sell on Google Shopping the easy way
How to take advantage of Google Shopping listings
Google Shopping allows advertisers to promote physical, shippable products with a greater amount of visual appeal. Consumers searching for ‘blue shoes’ or ‘leather couch’ can view and explore a range of product listings that match closely with what they’re looking for.
Google Shopping campaigns come in two varieties: Standard and Smart.
Standard campaigns are built manually to deliver on highly strategic goals. These require some understanding of product groups, campaign structures, and other campaign components in order to achieve a specific goal, such as a target ROAS.
Smart campaigns on Google Shopping reduce the entry barrier by using machine learning and automation to speed up the process. This makes them ideal for small businesses with limited budgets, or advertisers who don’t have the time to build out Standard campaigns.
While Standard campaigns afford greater control over location targeting, negative keywords, custom scheduling, and network placement; Smart campaigns require historical data but will determine placement and other parameters for you based on past performance of other campaigns.
Google Shopping: A proven channel for product visibility
Google Shopping campaigns have always been considered a core part of the PPC marketer’s toolbox. They carry a visual component, which has proven to be more attractive than plain text when products are involved.
Here are four more reasons why Google Shopping is a proven way to give your products the visibility they need, especially with the current economic landscape in mind.
- The effects of COVID-19 have made e-commerce more viable and attractive than ever. Even if customers can’t visit your store, you can still sell and ship your products to people who might need (or simply want) them.
- Google Shopping campaigns (and e-commerce in general) enable you to widen your catchment area. A brick and mortar store can only serve a specific geography; selling online lets you grow your audience, market, and business.
- Including images of your products in Google Shopping campaigns lets consumers see what they’d be getting if they made a purchase. Just be sure to use accurate imagery to align expectations with reality.
- Free Google Shopping listings are a valuable bonus. While a 5% boost won’t change your bottom line, many businesses need all the help they can get.
How to sell on Google Shopping the easy way
Google Shopping campaigns can be highly valuable if your business calls for them. But it can be confusing and tricky to build them out if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Moreover, creating splits (e.g. by brand or category) takes a significant amount of time when done manually — and leaves you prone to human error.
Optmyzr’s tools for Google Shopping cover the full life cycle, allowing you to create campaigns and set structures from scratch. Use us to do the heavy lifting and help you create the campaign structures you want, quickly and without error.
With Optmytzr guiding you step by step, you can create both Standard and Smart Google Shopping campaigns and ad groups in just a few clicks.
Campaign Builder 2.0
Campaign Builder 2.0 is Optmyzr’s tool to build Standard and Smart Google Shopping campaigns from scratch. Anyone can link a spreadsheet or Google Merchant Center feed to get started in minutes.
Product Group Refresher 2.0
Product Group Refresher 2.0 optimizes existing Google Shopping campaigns by adding new products and product groups based on existing campaign structures. It looks at your current campaign structures and syncs with the feed to accurately reflect your inventory.
Machine learning provides suggestions, and you can even automate the entire process. For example, when new products are added to the inventory feed, Optmyzr can automatically create new product groups for them.
Manage Shopping Bids
This optimization identifies high-performing product groups, allowing you to raise bids for product groups that are driving results. It also shows which product groups are underperforming or failing, letting you lower bids for them.
By nature, this tool only supports Standard Google Shopping campaigns.
One of our most popular Insight tools, Shopping Analysis helps Optmyzr users understand how their products are performing irrespective of structure. Use it to aggregate data and determine performance based on a number of different attributes.
- Performance Metrics, such as ROAS or CPC
- Standard Attributes enabled by Google, such as brand or product type
- Feed Attributes based on your inventory, such as color or size
Aggregate data by price to see the performance and ROAS that products at different price points drive. Or if you’re selling shoes, easily see which sizes are more popular and sell more, or which ones aren’t in demand so you can fine-tune procurement.
Shopping Analysis works with both Standard and Smart Google Shopping campaigns. With the former, you can use this aggregate data to change bids using the Attribute Bidder. For Smart Shopping, you can see which products are selling better — an insight that’s not easy to obtain in Google Ads.
While it’s admirable that Google is thinking of advertisers and supporting them with some complementary Shopping listings, there’s greater value to be experienced than just a couple of freebies.
Unlike services, products have shape and form — and people love to see what they’re buying before they make a purchase. Google Shopping campaigns enable you to do this while expanding your reach, allowing small businesses to flourish and hobbyists to turn passion into profession.