When it comes to eCommerce, or, really, anything related to web visibility, public promotion, and search traffic, it’s no secret that Google plays a major role. If you want to make it on Google as an online retailer, you need PLAs.
If you want to make it on Google as a successful online retailer, you will need to know how to optimize your Google Shopping Campaign performance.
Holding well over 67% of all search engine traffic, Google’s eCommerce tools—particularly, platforms such as Google Shopping—are critical components of virtually every major online enterprise today.
That being said, just as simply building a website doesn’t automatically guarantee search engine visibility, neither does listing your business or products through Google Shopping automatically create a boost for your revenue.
Optimization, in all things, is a core component of a successful enterprise. With that in mind, here are four suggestions you can use to improve your Google Shopping Campaign and augment your revenue.
Strategy No. 1: Choose Your Winners Wisely
Using your analytics such as Google Data Studio, it’s possible to observe which of the products you are selling are A.) receiving the best attention from customers, and B.) leading to the highest number of conversions. Bidding is unavoidable when it comes to Google Shopping, which is why this method of analysis helps ensure that your money is well spent on products that will likely lead to a conversion.
In a sense, managing your Shopping campaign just as you would your own PPC strategies is likely the best move forward. Given the fact that revenue from Google Shopping grew a massive 52% year over year in Q1 2016, alone, tactical investments based upon data-driven assessments could create a lucrative windfall.
Strategy No. 2: Know When to Cut Your Losses
Just as it is incredibly important to identify the primary movers in your Shopping campaign, it is also critical to single out the poorest performers and ensure that they are not consuming precious resources for little or no return.
Although you may not wish to cut your bids entirely, on these items, you may consider fashioning a pool of your least favorable items for which you reserve your lowest bids. Something is, obviously, better than nothing, but it’s also critical to realize that throwing money at a losing prospect won’t necessarily make it any more successful.
Strategy No. 3: Add Some Variety to Your Product Ads
When a user searches for a particular product on Google, chances are, some of the time, they have an exact idea of what they want. For example, if a user searches for a “Blue Columbia Fleece Jacket,” they are more likely to disregard every ad that pops up that isn’t a blue Columbia Fleece Jacket. You may have that exact product in stock, but if your product ad uses a default white fleece jacket and the user doesn’t click it, you’re not going to make the sale.
When creating product ads for a product with different options, you would see a higher click rate if you created multiple variations. Search engine optimization for customer interaction is all about creating a convenience that eliminates the amount of time and effort it takes them to find something.
This also gives you the ability to find which variations of your products are selling well, and which aren’t doing so hot. Any patterns that arise can be used to adjust ad targeting strategy and marketing efforts. For example, you might uncover that your Yankee Candles are extremely seasonal, and the warm, tropical scents sell more during summer. If you detect seasonality, you would be better off to allocate ad spend on better selling versions of the product.
Strategy No. 4: Invest in High-Quality Product Pictures
Merchants tend to put long hours optimizing their product information and descriptions to target keywords, yet just use a stock photo they found on Google Images. Not only are your competitors likely using the same exact picture, they are also likely pricing them within the same range.
Even if you price your product modestly, a user is likely to click on an identical alternative at a cheaper price, even if only at a discount of a few pennies. When you commoditized your products, you are instantly entering a pricing race to the bottom with your competition.
Product differentiation is what sets you apart from ultimately thousands of other merchants on the internet. Even if you are the only seller with your type of product, they are still likely a handful of alternatives waiting to take your lunch.
Humans are visual creatures, and merchants can capitalize on this opportunity by appealing to their visual senses with high-quality images. Investing a professional photographer to take pictures of your products is a great way to outmaneuver the competition, but, if your budget doesn’t allow for one, there are other alternatives, such as using your phone.
Strategy No. 5: Identifying Top Brands
Similar to how you can see which individual products are performing, whether doing well or badly, you can see how the brands you are carrying are performing.
For example, if you are selling ties, and your Brooks Brothers ties are earning you the lowest profit margins and Armani ties are earning you higher profit margins, you would be better off allocating ad money to sell more Armani ties. Unless you have substantial inventory holding costs, there is no need to be spending a significant portion of your ad budget selling brands that aren’t selling as well.
You can find the performance by brand by going to the “Dimensions” tab, and then going to the “Brand Report.” Using the above example, you could exclude everything that isn’t “Armani,” and any “Men’s tie”-related search would bring up a product listing ad of only Armani products.
With 35% of all shopping search traffic starting with Google, and the recent explosive growth, it doesn’t seem like Google Shopping is going away anytime soon.
If only any eCommerce strategies could be nailed down to perfection on the first try. Optimizing your Google Shopping Campaigns is going to take time and multiple iterations, but, by using these five strategies, you will be in a much better place. Pair your Google Shopping Campaigns to gratify consumer shopping trends, and you will surely start seeing results.