Are you in the e-commerce game? If so, you should know about Google Adwords. One area in particular is the Shopping Ads (formally known as Product Listing Ads). You’ve probably seen these before; they are powerful advertisement units which enable you to display a thumbnail image of your product(s) in the Google search results, which link to the image and product on your website, taking the user there if they click on this. The visual nature of these ads means they are clicked on far more frequently than your typical Pay-per-click text ads, meaning a better click-through rate (and I’ve found their conversion rates are better, too). As we are in October, we are coming up to the peak Christmas holiday season. Therefore, it is important you are listing your products using the Shopping Feed Ads and that they stand out from competitors, as you’re looking to land new customers.
An Example of Shopping Ads (PLA)
Lets look for some new PC speakers. Type “PC Speakers” into Google, and see what grabs your attention:-
In the red box, these are your Shopping Ads. As you can see, the likes of Farnell, PC World and Currys are competing with each other to display their product ads. I have also highlighted your regular PPC Text Ads in yellow to show you where they can appear in search results.
Shopping Ads work a little differently to Text Ads. Instead of bidding on keywords, Google scans your Merchant Centre Feed and matches your ads with search queries that it believes are relevant. These queries can be formed around the Product title, as well as the descriptions and product details. The drawbacks to this, however, are that you can often find your ads displaying for queries that are too generic, or completely irrelevant. This in-turn will yield higher pay-per-click costs, untargeted visitors and lower Return On Investment (ROI). It means optimising your Shopping ads over time will increase performance. Keeping an eye on keywords used to trigger your adverts is where we will be looking and how we can find out that information.
Although we cannot bid on keywords for Shopping Ads, we can add inappropriate searched terms as “Negative Keywords”. This basically works in the opposite way; if someone searches for something that you don’t want to appear for, set it as a negative keyword and you won’t appear for that term. Using the above example, if PC World added “PC Speakers” as a negative keyword, It would not appear in the Shopping ads for the term we just searched.
One of my clients, Asbury & Pell, sells clothing online. They sell numerous types of brands. After discussing budgets, progression and carrying out keyword research/competition research with them, I came to the conclusion that it was far better to target brand-specific keywords, rather than generic keywords. Therefore I needed to stop displaying ads for terms such as “Mens Jumpers”, which were costing ~£1.90 per click and full of competition. We could then use the money saved for brand-specific keywords, such as “Gabicci Jumpers”, which costs far less per click and is specific to an audience.
The problem I initially encountered with this, however, was finding out what people had been searching for to land on our Shopping Ads. I searched for a solution in many areas and surprisingly struggled to find an answer. Eventually, I came across it when digging into Adwords. It’s quite simple, actually.
Log in to your Adwords account. For best practice, your Adwords Campaigns should be separated. Go into the campaign that includes your Shopping Ads (mine is called Shopping). It’ll bring you onto the Ad Groups level of that campaign.
As you can see in the screenshot above, this is roughly what it will look like for you, once you navigate to this section. To protect the data of my client, I have blacked out the information relating to cost and conversions. Click on the keywords tab, which has been highlighted in red.
The Keywords page will show you a blank table. What you need to do is click on the “Details” Button, and under Search Terms, select “All” (as highlighted above). This will display all search terms people have used to trigger your ads. I tend to sort them by number of clicks as those are the ads getting the most response. I want to make sure they are not displaying unwanted terms. Note – you may need to change the date in the top right corner of Adwords to display last few days, or longer, to generate the keywords list. It doesn’t generate a list for short time frames.
If you find keywords that you want to add to your Negative list, check the boxes for each keyword, and at the top of the list you will see a button labeled “Add as Negative Keyword”. follow the on-screen instructions and those keywords should now have a red box next to them with the word “Excluded” inside.
Monitoring your Shopping Ads is a continuous process and something you should be doing in order to get good, quality traffic to your website. I am always using this method with my clients and it has worked wonders on saving money. It meant we could spend the budget in other areas such as Facebook marketing.
Managing your Adwords account is a service that Sherwood Studio offers. If you would like to find out more information on how we could help your business with Google Adwords, please contact us.