With Google Shopping ads now accounting for 76.4% of retail search spend and 85% of all clicks on Google Ads, it’s no wonder store owners are fighting to secure their presence on this part of Google’s advertising platform.
The only problem is, things are getting competitive very quickly as the number of retailers jumping on the Google Ads wagon rapidly increases. To make the most of those incredible stats, it’s going to take some advanced strategies to keep the competition off your tail. Here are some you can use:
#1: Segment campaigns with priorities and negative keywords
With Google Shopping ads, you’re not bidding on keywords as you do with search campaigns in Google Ads. This means the usual approach of targeting consumers at different stages of the consumer journey – based on how their queries change along the way – doesn’t work.
However, you can combine campaign priorities and negative keywords to target users at different stages of the buying process.
Campaign priorities allow you to list the same product multiple times while controlling which listing enters the auction first. You can then use negative keywords to override these priorities when certain search terms are present – and this is what gives you control over which listing users see at different stages of the consumer journey.
- Low-intent, non-branded searches: These are normally non-branded (eg. women’s running shoes) so set campaign priority to low and then add all branded terms to your list of negative keywords.
- Medium-intent, branded searches:These are branded searches like “Nike women’s running shoes” that show users are interested in a brand but haven’t decided on a specific product. Set campaign priority to medium and then add product names, models and other variations as negative keywords.
- High-intent product searches:These are searches for specific products that demonstrate a high purchase intent. Set campaign priority to high and only add irrelevant terms and poor-performing keywords as negatives.
By segmenting your campaigns in this way, you’re able to target users at three crucial stages of the consumer journey with the same listing and prioritise your bids as user intent changes.
#2: Google Showcase Shopping Ads for generic searches
Low-intent, generic searches aren’t instantly valuable but this is how the vast majority of consumer journeys start (40% of all shopping searches are for broad-match terms). Showcase Shopping Ads are designed to help you get your brand seen for these searches and encourage users to take a closer look at your range of products.
This makes them an ideal format for your generic, non-branded campaigns. The trick is getting users to click on your listing which will bring them through to a product feed showing the rest of your products in the same ad group.
Lead with your strongest product (you’ll need to test this specifically for showcase ads) and get people to click through so they can view a broader range of your products.
#3: Use RLSAs to keep consumers engaged
Users rarely buy from you during their first visit – especially those low-intent leads – and keeping shoppers engaged until the time comes to buy is crucial. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) allow you to target previous visitors with search ads in Google Search as they continue to browse the web.
RLSAs also allow you to target users at more specific stages of the consumer journey. You can create lists for people who visit product category pages, specific product pages and users who abandon their cart before completing the purchase.
This gives you a lot more power to target users at every stage of the buying process and adapt your messages to meet their needs as they change.
#4: Drive in-store visits with Local Inventory Ads
Online shopping may seem synonymous with today’s lifestyle but studies show an incredible 74% of UK millennials still prefer buying products in-store. The majority of consumer journeys may start online these days but the biggest challenge for modern retailers is bridging the online/offline divide.
This is precisely what local inventory ads are designed to do. This ad format tells people in your local area that you have the specific product they’re looking for, that you have it in stock and a quick visit is all it takes for them to get their hands on it.
Local inventory ads are all about capturing high-intent leads from people who are looking to buy now. You can use this to your advantage when purchase intent is at its highest – for example, at Christmas when people need to buy before Santa comes, times when your products are in short supply or when external factors affect how in-demand your items are (eg: sunny weather and barbeques).
Up your bids when demand is at its highest and local inventory ads will have the customers queueing up.
If you’d like help setting up or managing your Google Shopping campaigns, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Faulkner is the head of PPC at Vertical Leap.