Shopping ads consists of a title, price, store name and, most crucially, an image. They consequently differ to search ads as they do not require the creation of any ad copy. Google creates shopping ads automatically, using information provided by the advertisers in a Merchant Feed. It is therefore important to optimise the feed itself, as this effectively takes the place of the Ad Copy, by implementing a Shopping Strategy.
As part of our service, we review all product names and descriptions and improve them by including as many relevant descriptive keywords as possible. Conducting this process increases the chances of the Ad being shown, and therefore provides more opportunities to convert prospective purchasers.
The Product Type and Google Product Category attributes should also be broken down into as much detail as possible. This helps Google identify what your products are, and thus when to show it.
Another difference with shopping ads is with how bidding works. In paid search, bids are placed at keyword level. However, in Shopping Ads, bids are set by product. This is not ideal as different search queries have different intents of purchasing. For example, a user searching ‘buy pink umbrella’ has a higher intent to purchase than a search of ‘umbrella’. This causes a problem because we would happily pay more for ‘buy pink umbrella’, but we are unable to distinguish between the searches, as we are forced to bid at product level.
The way around this problem is to utilise the priority setting for each Shopping campaign. Each campaign’s priority can be set to ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’. By creating multiple campaigns with differing priority levels, we can control our bids by funnelling search terms into different campaigns based on intent.
Using this system, a search of ‘umbrella’ would be sent to the ‘high’ priority campaign, which would contain a low bid as it contains low intent search terms. Any high intent searches would be set as negative keywords in the high priority campaigns, and these searches would be funnelled into a lower priority campaign. These campaigns would then have a higher bid, as we are happier to pay more for a user who is more likely to convert.
This system allows a much greater amount of control over our bids. Ben, our Account Director, explained this further in a presentation he made for our ‘Evening of Ecommerce’ event, which you can find here.