5 easy ways to optimise your Google Shopping ads

Add People
Digital marketing for SMEs
20 February 2021
5 minute read

If you’re looking to sell products to a wide online audience, Google Shopping should be your first port of call. We’ve employed the expertise of our partner, digital marketing agency Add People, to bring you some top tips to get started!

What are Google Shopping ads?

While general Google search results are for all websites, Google Shopping ads are specifically for retailers. It allows you to promote your online and local inventory in a visual format (photos, pricing details etc.), getting leads who you can guarantee are actually looking to shop.

How to make Google Shopping ads work for you

Capturing your target audience’s attention on Google is difficult when there’s an endless amount of products to browse, companies to discover, and businesses with bigger budgets than you! Doing Google Ads well though will give you the chance to cut through the noise.

You need to stand out from the crowd, fine-tune your methods and get your product to show to the right person, at the right time to ensure – or at least greatly increase – the chance of a sale. Even when you have an offer or product that your target audience wants, you need to present it in a compelling way.

Stellar copy, attention-grabbing visuals, and a clear value proposition are essential. To seal the deal, you’ll need a strong call-to-action (CTA) that entices them to click. But the toolbox isn’t empty yet.

The businesses that make a true success of selling products online know the tricks of the trade. In this article, we’ll show you five common mistakes they aren’t making with their Google Shopping Ads.

Add People's five top tips

1. Budget appropriately

Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.

This is the most frequent issue we come across when we partner with a new small business looking to grow: not knowing when, where, and how to use their budget.

Assigning a budget is an essential factor in any marketing activity. However, the placement of your marketing budget can help improve your volume of sales. Spreading your budget too thinly over many campaigns, products, or keywords may not be the best strategy if your campaigns are limited by budget.

For example, if all your purchases come in the evening, but you’re burning through your budget by mid-afternoon because of larger competitors bidding on your keywords, why not throttle your budget by the time of day? This is called Day Parting and will use your budget at the optimum hours in the day.

Little things like this can make a big difference.

2. Review your whole online experience

Your website or landing page is your number #1 employee: how’s their performance?

Irrespective of your campaigns working well or not, if your website or landing page is poor, there’s no way you are optimising your budget. And, you’re arguably just wasting money.

Improving your website’s performance is a very difficult task that requires ongoing optimization and costly development work, but there are some easier changes you can make to improve its performance such as improving the content and including images.

Here is a checklist of just some of the issues that could be causing your website to perform poorly and costing you money:

  • Is it mobile friendly?
  • Do you have Google Analytics installed?
  • Do you have a high bounce rate?
  • Do you have pages indexed in Google?
  • Do you have images on your website?
  • ... And are they optimized for the web?
  • Does your website have an SSL certificate?
  • Do you know your website uptime for the last 30 days?
  • Are there 404 errors?
  • How quickly does your website load?

Google Lighthouse is a great free tool you can use to review your website’s technical performance. It takes only a few minutes to scan and generates a report and technical recommendations to consider when approaching site performance.

3. Monitor and track ad performance

Without revenue tracking, you may as well flush your budget down the toilet!

Setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within your Google Shopping Ad campaign(s) is essential in monitoring success.

Without revenue tracking, you cannot effectively optimise campaigns to get more of them, and ultimately, you will spend your money inefficiently.

If you don’t know where your sales are coming from, how do you know which bids to optimise? Where are you wasting your budget? What keywords are you losing out on to a competitor or a massive company with a huge budget?

If you haven’t already, you need to set up revenue tracking on your content management system without delay.

4. Give it time

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Leo Tolstoy

A frequent mistake many people make when using the Google Ads platform is not letting the campaign run after making changes within the account.

If performance is down and you are making too many strategic changes you can HARM the progress or improvement within the account.

Strategic changes to bidding strategies, for example, can take time for Google’s algorithm to learn and adjust to. Therefore, if you are making frequent changes it will revert into “learning periods” and halt any potential gains your last change may have made, stymying development and potential improvements in performance.

Patience is a virtue.

5. Use all the tools at your disposal

Artificial Intelligence isn’t just for Steven Spielberg movies.

Google’s advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning have allowed for campaigns to be optimised on a second-by-second basis.

You select your bid, and your existing product feed (if you have one) and assets are combined with Google’s artificial intelligence. This will pull all the information it needs on your products and constantly test different combinations of image/text and show your ads across the most relevant Google networks (GSN, GDN, YouTube, Gmail).

Whilst this requires the semi-complicated implementation of features, such as revenue tracking and dynamic remarketing, it will substantially improve your return on investment by targeting users with higher likelihood to purchase.

Google, as you would expect, gives excellent advice on how to set up Smart Shopping campaigns in their support centre.

About Add People

As one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the UK, that focuses specifically on small, to medium-sized businesses, Add People is ideally suited to work with you on finding the missing tools to achieve the goals of your business.

We came from humble beginnings, working from a small office above a travel company in Hale, Greater Manchester. But now we’ve got over 150 staff, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses grow and we’ve got a coveted Google Premier Partnership.

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