The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time for retailers to start preparing for the biggest shopping season of the year. If you aren’t using a Google shopping campaign to advertise your products this holiday shopping season, you may be missing out on a powerful opportunity to reach potential customers. In fact, 52% of customers who search for products online will click through Google Shopping results.
Below, we’ll discuss how you can optimize your Google Shopping campaigns to get the most out of your holiday marketing.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #1 for the Holidays - Optimize your shopping feeds.
Your product feed is one of the most important parts of your Google shopping campaign. This is the feed that contains all your product data that you’ve submitted to Google Merchant Center. The more optimized your feed is, based on Google’s specifications, the more likely your products are to show up in the Google search results. Working to optimize your feed will help you avoid paying more for clicks or struggling to attract the right kind of impressions.
Here are a few aspects of your Google shopping feeds that you can start working on now before the holidays arrive:
Titles and Descriptions
Though you can’t pick the keywords for which your products show up in your shopping campaigns, you can influence these keywords by optimizing the titles and descriptions in your shopping feeds. You’ll want to optimize your shopping feed information for both short- and long-tail keywords. Start by placing the most important keywords toward the front of your titles and descriptions. Be descriptive in both the title and description, but avoid stuffing keywords.
You will need to be conscious of product disapprovals, which can happen for many different reasons. For instance, if something goes out of stock, but your feed fails to update properly, this can cause a product disapproval. Product disapprovals can have a significant negative impact on the visibility of your shopping feeds, so it’s important that you keep an eye on these and work to get them approved once again.
Go to Google Merchant Center and click on your feeds. Then, check the diagnostics tab to see which products are disapproved and why they have been flagged. Once you know why the product has been disapproved, you can work to fix it. For instance, if the issue says, “temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices,” then you know that you will need to revise the pricing to get the products approved and visible once again.
During the holiday shopping season, it’s important that you stay up-to-date with any issues or errors in your product feed. You can set up email alerts for any problems in the Google Merchant Center. This will allow you to stay on top of any issues and fix disapprovals quickly before they start to impact your visibility during the holidays.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #2 for the Holidays - Work on finding the right bidding strategy.
Though your brand will almost certainly have to face competition on Google this holiday shopping season, your company can remain competitive by optimizing your shopping feeds and finding the right bidding strategy. In fact, bidding is often what sets apart the average Google shopping campaign from the exceptional campaign.
As you are working to find the perfect bidding strategy, keep the following tips in mind:
- Bid separately at the SKU level. Rather than lumping all your products together with the same bids, you should track each product separately. This allows you to see which products are top performers and which are not performing. Then, you can place unique bids based on each product’s performance metrics.
- Determine your Return on Ad Spend (ROA). Your return on ad spend, or ROA, is an important metric that you will want to be conscious of when finding the right bid. You can calculate ROA by dividing your revenue by the cost of the ads. Decide early on what your target ROAs are based on your margins.
- Discover your search impression share. Your search impression share is another helpful metric to use when determining your bid. With this metric, you can see how frequently each of your products is visible for relevant keywords. The higher this metric, the more visible your products are on Google.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #3 for the Holidays - Utilize promotions to get more clicks.
Every holiday shopper is looking for a good deal, and special promotions are one of the most effective ways to get your audience’s attention and entice them to click on your ads. In Google Merchant Center, promotions are based on a coupon code that you have to setup with Google. Though promotions do require review and approval from Google, they are worthwhile in the long run as they boost your holiday marketing results by helping you drive more clicks and conversions.
Once you’ve set up a promotion, a little ticket icon will appear underneath your Google shopping ad with the words “special offer.” Then, the customer can click on the link to reveal your promotion and the coupon code. The small box that pops up with this information will also have a convenient “Shop” button that takes the consumer right to the product to make a purchase. This can help your brand get quicker conversions on the products for which you are offering special deals.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #4 for the Holidays - Set up any holiday sales prices and dates in advance.
If you don’t really want to offer coupon codes but you’d still like to give shoppers a deal, you can lower your prices online when you’re running special sales.
When it comes to PLAs, the price is one of the first things that the consumer looks at besides the image. If they like what they see, they will be more inclined to click and consider making a purchase.
To save yourself some time and hassle, you can start setting up holiday sales prices now, well before Black Friday and other popular shopping times arrive. Change the sales price field in your feed and enter the dates that these sales prices are effective. Then, when your sale dates arrive, Google will automatically lower the price in your product listing ads. When the sale is over, the prices will go back to what they were before the sale. This feature helps ensure that your sales prices are properly reflected on your PLAs, which allows your brand to take advantage of the excitement surrounding holiday sales.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #5 for the Holidays 5 - Give your top products their own campaign.
It’s important to keep an eye on search impression share, bids, and search terms to see which of your products are performing the best. Then, once the holidays arrive, try giving your top products their own Google Shopping campaign. This allows your top performers to have their own time in the spot light. Watch performance on these PLAs and adjust your bid appropriately to get the most value out of your ads.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #6 for the Holidays - Boost conversions with RLSAs and Customer Match.
Just because a consumer has heard of your brand or even shopped on your site before, this does not mean that they will automatically think of your company when they want to purchase the types of products you sell. For instance, a previous customer may have purchased one item from your brand and is searching for a different item that they don’t even realize you sell. That’s why it’s important to reach back out to these customers and let them know that you have the products they are looking for this holiday season.
Google provides two options for helping you identify previous site visitors and customers who are looking for products on Google – remarketing lists for search ads (or RLSAs) and Customer Match. With RSLAs, you can use your remarketing lists to retarget consumers with your Google Shopping campaigns, placing unique bids for different searchers on your list. While Customer Match allows you to upload your email list to Google and bid on different people on this list. These tools can help you improve your holiday marketing results and boost ROA as you are able to bid more on those previous customers who are most likely to convert.
Google Shopping Campaigns Hack #7 for the Holidays - Use dynamic retargeting to reach back out.
Though conversion rates for ecommerce sites tend to go up during the holidays, there is still only a small fraction of consumers who convert on the first visit to your site. How can you reengage some of these visitors who clicked on your product listing ads but did not convert? You can use dynamic remarketing to deliver new ad content to these previous visitors showing them exactly what they left behind.
Google knows exactly what pages users visit and they also know the products in your feed. Using this data, Google can show ads to consumers who have visited your site that contain the exact products that they viewed previously. By reengaging these visitors, you increase the chances of influencing a conversion the next time around.
Though Google Shopping can be a great strategy to use year-round, it really is a must for brands that want to boost their holiday marketing results. If you want to improve reach and maximize conversions, use the tips above to get the most out of your Google Shopping campaign. There’s no better time to start then now, just before the holiday shopping season is in full swing! So what are you waiting for? Start preparing your Google Shopping campaigns today.