<![CDATA[You may be wasting money. It isn’t intentional. In fact, it’s an issue many businesses now unknowingly face. When you put some of your valuable ad dollars into a Google Shopping campaign, you trust that you’ll get that investment back in the form of new customers. But as many marketers have learned, turning your advertising dollars into sales can be an ongoing challenge.
Google Shopping has become a popular way to reach customers. In fact, one report revealed that these ads represented 60 percent of all Google search ad clicks in the first quarter of 2018 – a 5 percent increase over Q4 in 2017. But as valuable as clicks are, they do nothing for your bottom line if the customer doesn’t eventually make a purchase. In fact, you’re actually wasting money, since you’re paying for each click. As a new year begins, it’s time to start thinking about how you can tighten up your ad spend so that you get more of a return on your investment. Here are five tips that can help.
Constantly Check Your Product Pages
Before you dig too deeply into the ways you can improve your ads, you should first take a long, hard look at your product pages. If customers are clicking over, only to find your descriptions and photos lacking, the transaction will end there. Invest in processes that will improve your product pages to ensure that once you lure customers over, they see a reason to make a purchase.
Another reason to do a deep dive into your own product pages is that issues with your product pages can hurt your chances of being seen in the first place. If the information is incomplete or inaccurate, your ads will display in the wrong searches, which will counteract the hard work you’re doing to get sales.
Don’t Group Too Many Products Together
We all want to get as many items in front of potential customers as possible. But throwing all of your products into one product category means you are bidding the same for a wide variety of items, regardless of their price and conversion rate. The best way to optimize Google’s product groups feature is to choose a handful of items and group them in a way that makes sense.
If you’re a retailer who sells clothing, for instance, you’ll want to upload your data feed in a way that each article of clothing is easily broken out of the main inventory group so you can track the performance of each product. Breaking these products out could be done by item IDs or even custom labels. So if you’re selling sweaters, you’ll upload all of your sweaters into one ad group, but have each sweater be their own product grouping within that ad group.
The most productive way to control your ad spend is to know exactly which products are converting and take measures to figure out what’s going on. You can use filters while viewing your inventory feed and filter for low-converting percentages. If you see a product category that is only converting at 1 or 2 percent, you can investigate why. Is it something with your own product pages, or could it be that the product category simply isn’t popular at this time?
When you do see a low-converting product category, you have an important decision to make. You can back off on spending in that category and shift your dollars to a more lucrative category or increase your spend in the hopes that more impressions will help. But you may also find that the particular category isn’t a top seller anyway, at which point you can investigate whether to eliminate or update those products in your inventory.
Desktop and Mobile
If your campaigns are geared toward desktop shoppers, you’re missing a significant chunk of the buying audience. Approximately one-third of consumers were expected to use a smartphone for at least some part of the buying process in 2018. Consumers are at least researching products on their phones, so you should make sure they’re seeing your ads, as well.
However, when you’re deploying your campaigns across multiple devices, it can be easy to overspend. Using Google AdWords, you can monitor your Google Shopping spend across all devices or by individual device. When you notice one is performing better versus the other, you can adjust your spend accordingly.
Utilize Audience Lists
If you haven’t already, look into how remarketing lists for search ads (RSLA) can help you with your Shopping campaigns. This feature lets you target your ads specifically to those who have shown an interest in your brand before. You can then “remarket” to them through your ads.
By using this feature, you can specifically reach out to customers after they’ve left your site. You can deliver ads based on URLs they’ve visited, allowing you to deliver an ad based on previous interest someone has shown, increasing your chances of making a sale.
When used properly, Google Shopping ads can turn interested shoppers into buyers. But chances are, you won’t hone your strategy overnight. Tweak your ad spend and monitor results and, over time, you’ll find that you’re getting results.
Many advertisers forget to add negative keywords into their targeting, which is a shame because that can contribute a huge number of clicks to your site! Basically, you’re narrowing down what specific keywords and ideas are relevant to your products, so similar (yet unrelated) searches aren’t showing your products and wasting your advertising efforts. Without including these negative keywords, you might be spending too much money on keywords that just aren’t doing anything for your traffic or your revenue.
Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.