Key to any ecommerce marketing plan is the use of Google Shopping ads to promote products online. Learn how businesses can optimize Google Shopping Ads using campaign structure optimizations.
For ecommerce retailers of all sizes, Google Shopping Ads is a paid media tactic that must be considered. These days, shopping ads make up the vast majority of spend on Google's platform - up to 76% (source).
The reason for this is that shopping ads generate far more clicks than typical text ads. Users engage with shopping ads more frequently than other ad types, to the point that 85% of overall clicks on Google's ad platforms are attributed to shopping ads.
If you own a company that sells products online or is considering launching an ecommerce channel, it is important to understand how to best set up Google Shopping campaigns for success. Managing these ads requires a different approach than the traditional Google Ads model in which companies enter specific keywords for which their ads should appear; the reason for this is that shopping campaigns are built off of what is called a product feed. With shopping ads, Google determines a match between a product search and your feed.
For example, if you have a product called "Black Leather Wallet" in your feed, Google may determine this matches to someone searching for "Black Bifold Wallet", and show your ad for that query.
There are three main ways to optimize Google Shopping campaigns:
- Campaign Structure: How campaigns are set up in relation to each other.
- Feed-Side Changes: Edits to the products in your feed, such as changes to titles & descriptions
- Bid & budget management: Day-to-day optimization of product bids
Without a strong approach to each of these components, companies are at risk of wasting time and money on campaigns that do not drive the meaningful results they are looking for.
Our focus here is on Campaign Structure, which is essentially making sure that campaigns are set up in a way that drive a user's search query to the right product for the right search.
One of Adept's clients is a luxury leather goods retailer. For this client, our team analyzed query data from past campaigns and found that a small percentage – just 9% of user queries – were driving 56% of overall transactions. The team recognized that they could isolate these specific queries and try to drive as much traffic to them as possible.
With a campaign structure that doesn't allow for positive keyword targeting (i.e., targeting specific keywords), this is more difficult than it sounds. What we had to do for this client was set up two campaigns: instead of using positive keyword targeting, we had to use negative keywords - terms that Google should not show a particular ad for.
We arranged the campaigns and their negative keywords in such a way that would send user search queries to one campaign or the other. For branded queries, we pushed as much budget as we could to the user that was most likely to take an action once on the website. The rest of the budget was allocated to the campaign with the goal of new customer acquisition, setting the foundation for long-term health of the program.
After launching these campaigns, we saw immediate successes on site:
- 39% improvement in bounce rate
- 26% increase in conversion rate
- 20% increase in pages per session
- 56% increase in length of time on-site
The most important result aligns with the core KPI for this campaign, which was to increase revenue. We achieved this by increasing revenue 18% year over year, while increasing spend on marketing only 1%.
Of course, it is important to note that just because a company has found success with one campaign segmentation type doesn’t mean that this is going to be the solution forever. User habits change very frequently—take mobile as an example. Five years ago, brands struggled to encourage users to convert on mobile devices. Now, more than 40% of online transactions are made on a mobile device (source).
On top of that, new products by new competitors may enter the market at any time; this may increase click costs because if competitors are bidding on products similar to yours. And it's not just competitors that influence changes in strategy: Google moves the goalpost all the time, releasing new ad formats and changing the way that their current products work.
The key to maximizing the return on investment for Google Shopping campaigns is ultimately to maintain strong industry knowledge and review your customer data regularly. Using these insights to make decisions will help ensure that your business serves the right products to the right people, at the right time.