Maximizing your return on ad spend on a Google Shopping campaign is imperative if you don’t want to throw away your cash. These ads can be particularly effective: They’re in a premium spot on search engine results; they’re an ideal way to draw interest in your products; and they can target relevant shoppers with high purchase intent.
However, an improperly executed Google Shopping campaign can drain your advertising budget. If you’re not familiar with PPC best practices, or you aren’t sure how to best maximize your ROI on a Google Shopping campaign, consider these four tips.
Organize Campaigns Using SPAGs
Single Product Ad Groups (SPAGs) are the best way to organize a Google Shopping campaign. They’re also a good way to turn mass campaigns into finely tuned revenue generators. Even though the name is a bit inelegant, SPAGs are actually gorgeous tools that help you understand which products and campaigns are getting the best traffic, giving you control over an automated product listing process.
Just like the name implies, a SPAG is an ad group that contains just one product. Segmenting by product ID makes sense because each item has a different margin and cost. SPAGs let you mine some very precise data by search terms, searched products, clicks, and, of course, sales.
SPAGs can help you maximize your Google Shopping campaign by:
- Targeting your bidding. SPAGs can help you understand if you’re bidding more than what the product is really worth. It’s a scalable process that gives you the data you need to maximize clicks and return on ad spend (ROAS).
- Leveraging negative keywords. Since Google Shopping isn’t keyword targeted, you can take back control of your campaign with this approach. If you only want one product to show up on a search engine keyword search, you can add negative keywords to give the product stronger positioning.
- Increasing brand awareness. Putting an individual product in front of a customer gives you more – and more controlled – exposure to your target audience. You can show prospective customers products they’re much more likely to be interested in. This is particularly effective if you use SPAGs for multiple products, especially for related items. Over time, this repeated exposure could move prospects into the buyer category.
- Controlling your PPC. One best practice for PPC is to automate your bidding for SPAGs. This can and should tie to SPAG performance and help you manage SPAGs when you have hundreds of products to manage.
Using SPAGs ensures that your campaigns only focus on the products that truly make you money. They’re a performance enhancer for any Google Shopping campaign.
Optimize Product Feed
Google Shopping campaigns do not function in the same way as a Google search ad. That’s because Google crawls your site to select the brands that fit the search query. While SPAGs help you regain some level of control of this process, you can also optimize your product feed to improve the campaign. Each product listing should include:
- Product title
- Product type
- Product category
- Global trade item number (GTIN)
Your SPAG can help inform some of the keywords you use in each product title and listing, which should be as informative as possible and include your brand name. Specify additional product details whenever possible, such as the age range, gender, color, size, material, and more. It is highly recommended that you manually write each ad. This may seem daunting, but if you have hundreds of products or more, the time you spend putting in this human touch will pay off. Other tricks to optimize your product feed include:
- Choosing high quality product images with dynamic product views whenever possible. For clothing, add a zoom feature and 360-degree rotating views.
- Selecting your product categories carefully, which may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often campaigns are aimed at the wrong target audience.
- Using customizable spreadsheets with simple product naming conventions to help organize your product data feed.
- Tracking your campaigns and products at the granular level. There are dozens of product feed management software tools that can help with this.
- Using hierarchies and subcategories to organize your product feed, which will pay off in better ROI from Google. Its search engine is an organized, methodical big brain, and it loves this level of optimization.
Optimizing your product feed requires an obsessive level of detail that will pay you back in cash-filled clicks and brand recognition. Your goal is to provide Google with every product detail organized cleanly so that crawlers can better pick the right product for the customer search term.
Use the Gold Pan Technique
As the wizened prospector once said, there is gold in Google Shopping hills, but only if you know the right technique for mining it. That’s where the gold pan technique comes into play. The gold pan technique lets you pan through and discard less-profitable search terms to find the profitable nuggets of high-intent searches geared specifically to your products. This technique lets you segment traffic by product-specific, branded searches. This is something normally missing from Shopping campaigns.
The gold pan technique requires budget flexibility to test the investment in advertising certain branded (not generic) products. The goal is to test search results against sales metrics until they yield the best ROAS.
The technique works best with two or three Google Shopping campaigns at a time. Use your SPAGs to segment the traffic into three categories: generic, branded, and product-specific searches. This allows you to develop a negative keyword list along with other parameters to discern which ads aren’t yielding top ROAS. The goal is to determine if your customers are searching for a model number, SKU, or the name brand — or something else.
Remarket Using Dynamic Retargeting
What if you could re-engage those potential customers who looked but didn’t buy? That’s the idea behind retargeting for Facebook advertising and Google AdWords. On both, you can choose the retargeting parameters that keep your products in front of customers, making them more likely to make the purchase. Funneling the front-end traffic coming from Google into a retargeted Facebook ad is simple: Add the tracking pixel to your product pages. But to use this properly, make sure you create ads for specific products that use the same level of granularity and attention to detail outlined throughout this post.
Go Forth and Google Shop with Higher ROI
Investing in digital advertising with Google Shopping can yield some serious ROI. However, without the right controls in place, your campaigns will quickly eat up the bulk of your budget on products that aren’t selling. Optimizing your efforts with the four techniques described here will help you maximize your ad spend and get the best bang for your buck.
By Andy Beohar