How To Sell Online Using Google Shopping Product Listing Ads
Are you the owner of a small business ecommerce website?
Are you struggling to compete against major UK brands who also sell online?
Do you think your small business ecommerce website is performing OK?
So, you have read the questions and maybe even answered them in this order YES | NO | YES, and if so, you won't need to read any further.
What are Google Shopping Product Listing Ads?
OK, so you are being honest with yourself and have continued reading, and you are either someone who has an ecommerce website and never done any form of paid advertising, or you have dived into doing a little bit of AdWords but stopped because it hurt your bank balance. Or your simply curious about having seen images turning up as Ads In Google Search Results when searching and wondered how you can be there too?
More and more of our clients have switched to doing what was commonly referred to for some time as PLAs (Product Listing Ads) which are paid display ads within Google. But the real buzz word you want to know more about is Google Shopping.
Google Shopping is a comparison shopping site within the Google Network and your PLAs are the display ads that turn up on the Google Shopping channel. So, the following terms Google Shopping, PLA and Product Listing Ads are terms which are often interchangeable in conversion when talking about image advertising online.
However, Google Shopping Campaigns is the official title for the PLA structure and it used to be FREE to online retailers prior to July 2012.
But, it has not gone unnoticed that the Small Business Website Operator in Scotland, has taken a little longer, until 2014 actually, before some of the small 'ETAILER' community began finding out more about how to set up a Google Shopping Campaign. Let's briefly outline without going into too much detail what you need to know.
Your Google Shopping Data Feed File Type
Google currently supports data feeds in the following formats
image Courtesy of Google Partners
You have to ensure that the feed URL address directly points to your feed file.
You can find out more about supported file formats HERE
Your Data for Google Shopping - Where is it?
You are probably going to need the help of your website developer if you have a very large inventory of product. A web agency that built your ecommerce website can have the platform generate a Product Data Feed that will be automatically updated, usually during the night. If you have only a small number of products you can create a spreadsheet and enter your products manually and then upload your spreadsheet into your Google Merchant Account.
Image courtesy of Google Partners
Yes, you are also going to need a Google Merchant Account. This is free to set up but it is amazing how many 'DIY' website owners get the configuration totally wrong. So, you might want to hire a marketing practitioner with experience in this field.
You are also going to need a Google AdWords Account as this is the program that will manager your Product Listing Ads. This will involve configuring AdWords to communicate with your Google Merchant Account.
Google Shopping - Ensure You Implement Best Practice
There are a number of takeaways and recommendations you should be aware that will help you make the most of Google Shopping Campaigns which are considered as best practice.
- Always ensure your product data is complete, fresh and accurate
- Upload your date regularly. You have to do this at least every 30 days even if nothing has changed
- Keep your titles, descriptions and images user friendly
- Use high quality images and relevancy can improve your click through rate
- No keyword stuffing on your product pages
- Keep your product type and custom labels in good shape
- Organise your inventory by product type for easy management of your shopping campaigns.
Getting the Best Out Of Your Shopping Campaign
On the run up to Christmas in 2014 will have witnessed news items talking about £810M being spent on Black Friday and when Cyber Monday came around another £650M was spent by the consumers you would no doubt like to have arrive at your online shop. So be prepared for next time and all the other peak shopping moments that come around online each year. Below is video from a great internet marketing resource crew in our industry - CPC STRATEGY - that can help you get ready to acquire more customers from the Google Shopping Channel right into your product pages.