Google Shopping is a platform which allows customers to search for, view and compare products. Customers are served adverts, in this case product listings, when they search for a product for which vendors can fulfill via ecommerce.
The benefits of Google Shopping
Like PPC, the benefits of Google Shopping is that it offers instant visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Unlike PPC, Google Shopping is visual which is a massive benefit, particularly for retail products, as a result they tend to have a higher conversion rate via Google Shopping .vs PPC.
How does Google Shopping work?
Google Shopping operates between two platforms; Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and Google Merchant Center. The latter processes data being sent from your website (or other data source) and outputs this into a set format which is then fed into Google Ads. From this point the advertiser to set the campaigns, ad groups, budgeting and targeting parameters etc.
You may have thought Google Shopping was a ‘more visual’ PPC but it is very different both in setup and in operation. With text ads you are creating campaigns / ad groups focused around keywords of your choosing. With Google Shopping the feed from your website contains a preset product categorisation meaning Google can determined when your product is displayed and via what search terms. The end user has the ability to negatively exclude terms and phrases they do not want their products displaying.
How to setup Google Shopping?
The first place to start is your website, is it ecommerce enabled and if so what content management system (CMS) does it use? Most CMS’s (WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Craft) have plugins or apps that allow an XML feed to relay data into Merchant Center.
Tribe Digital typically recommend using an XML feed from a clients website as this means price changes and stock quantities change in close to real-time. The alternatively to this process can be achieved via an excel template file uploaded into Merchant Center in .XML or .TXT format – but it is not as smooth.
The next step is adding information to the XML feed to meet Google Merchant Center requirements. Some of these requirements are relatively obvious; price, product name and description etc. Others are less obvious GTIN, SKU’s and image link URLs.
Once the information passing from the website to Merchant Center is set up we are ready to start creating your campaigns.
Google’s business model revolves around users paying for clicks, be they relevant or irrelevant. Without proper oversight irrelevant clicks can impact the performance of your campaigns. This is where continuous optimisation comes into play, this can take many forms from location and device based bidding preferences to negative keyword exclusions to promotion and product rating feeds.
More about search marketing tools
When it comes to Google Shopping and search marketing in general, Google is the market leader with a 87% U.K market share. This dominance is supported by an ecosystem of products that enable advertisers to setup, tag, track, advertise, fix and improve their search marketing. To help you understand the products that we use for our clients we have put together some product guides.
Google Ads explained
Until recently, Google Ads was known as AdWords and is often mistakenly referred to as PPC. Google Ads is the central advertising platform that enables you to run key direct response advertising. This includes Pay Per Click (PPC), Google Shopping, GDN (Google Display Network) and YouTube Advertising.
Search Console explained
Until 2015 when it was referred to as Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console allows webmasters to track and manage a websites stats. GSC data differs from Google Analytics as it provides technicals features like speed testing, XML sitemaps preferences, schema formatting and minimising errors like 404’s.
Merchant Center explained
Merchant Center is part of the Google ecosystem and allows advertisers to manage and submit product data from their website to Google, before that data is displayed as adverts within Google Ads. Product data will vary depending on numerous factors and Merchant Center is the means by which Google standardised that data for ecommerce websites.
Tag Manager explained
Being able to relay results of digital marketing comes down to data. Regardless of platform, device or sector, being able to understand what users are doing on your site and the value it brings is essential to modern marketing. Google Analytics provides plenty of important insights but by using it in conjunction with Google Tag Manager we’re able to collect even more.
Google Shopping ads have a higher CTR than Amazon’s Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads. (source: Merkle)
What our clients say about us
Tribe Digital helped me set up a new website, which has been very successful for my company. Ollie was very efficient and helpful and assisted me throughout the process. Whenever I need to make further improvements they act swiftly and effectively.
The recipe box industry is a very competitive market space. We understood that in order to build exposure and stand out from the crowd we needed expert help. Emily and Ollie are both excellent at their jobs and continually keep us updated on campaigns and strategies so we know the best way to move forward. I would have no hesitation recommending Tribe to anyone else looking to improve their search and social media marketing.
You don’t know what you don’t know” & when it comes to digital marketing Emily & Ollie were able to explain what they could do for our business & how in a very easily understood manner. The follow up & reporting along the way have given us the confidence to continue with them. We have had amazing exposure & our business has really taken off.
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