Everything E-Commerce Retailers Need to Know about Google Shopping

Google shopping
Customers are everywhere, and Google Shopping helps you find them.

Google Shopping, also known as Google product listing ads, or PLAs, is a tool small businesses need to know about. If you’ve ever searched for a product on Google, and noticed products in the right hand column, then you’ve seen Google Shopping at work. So how do you get the most out of it, and how does it work?

Understanding Google Shopping

Google Shopping is divided into two key types of campaigns: Local Inventory Ads and Shopping Campaigns. As you may have guessed from the names, Local Inventory is aimed at shoppers near you searching for your products. These are also known as “geotargeted” ads. Shopping Campaigns are aimed at a broader range of online shoppers.

Once you buy a campaign, your ads populate next to the appropriate search results. However, you’ll need to bid to get the best spots. The way Google functions, you’ll only have to pay if there’s a clickthrough on your ad. If that sounds familiar, you’ve likely been using AdWords, as the two platforms share quite a few similarities. That said, don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’re the same: Google Merchant Center, your hub for Google Shopping, has more tools and information to run your campaign.

Which To Choose?

If you’re running a store-front, bricks and mortar business, focus on Local Inventory Ads. They’re designed to bring in local area customers and will keep the ads on your general area. If you’re running an e-commerce business, Shopping Campaigns will make more sense. If your business is working both ends of the retail market, then you should analyze which products sell better to which markets and consider your goals. If you’re seeing real growth in one sector, do what you can to encourage it.

Google shopping
Draw customers to your store with Google.

How To Get The Most Out Of Google Shopping

You need excellent SEO discipline to get the best results from Google Shopping; before starting any campaign, think carefully about who your audience is and why they’re buying a product. What are the uses of your product? What’s the appeal to your customer base? And don’t forget negative keywords, especially when geotargeting or aiming a product at a very specific audience. Removing certain search terms will make your ads much more effective. You can even use negative keywords to target multiple consumer bases with the same product.

This is especially important because just like their search results, Google assigns a Quality Score to their PLAs. Just what it entails is a closely-guarded secret, but it’s safe to say that “white-hat” SEO ranks you higher in the long run.

Another fundamental key is organizing. Don’t lump everything under “All Products,” for example, and when giving a product an idea, use your in-house nomenclature or the SKU. Sort your products by both Ad Group and Product Group. Remember, the key to good exposure is being easy to find, so ask yourself how customers, and Google, would find your product without the search engine. What would they ask one of your employees?

You can dig into the more complex aspects of SEO and Google all day, of course, and how you optimize and target will depend heavily on your industry. But if you stay organized and think like the customers you want to have, Google Shopping will deliver some top results. If you’re ready to see what digital marketing can do for you, contact our Business Development Manager, Amanda Sparks.

Response Mine Interactive