Google Showcase Shopping Ads: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

June 5, 2018 Mark Adams

Google is always looking for new ways to improve the search engine user’s experience, and that includes providing more relevant ad content. Recently, Google introduced the Showcase Shopping Ad, a new type of ad format that allows brands to highlight relevant product groups in the Shopping section of the search engine results page. Below, we’ll talk more about why these ads are important for your business and what you need to know to get started.

What are Google Showcase Shopping Ads?

Your business may already be using Google Shopping campaigns to reach your target audience. Showcase Shopping ads are a new ad format that can take your Google Shopping campaigns to the next level. These types of ads allow you to highlight a group of related products by showing them together in the Google search engine results.

What are Google Showcase Shopping Ads?

This is what Google Showcase Shopping ads look like for desktop users.

These ads appear in the Google Shopping tab on the search engine results page. When the search engine user clicks on your ad, it will expand. In the expanded view, the user can view the images and read more about your brand or products.

Google Shopping Ads - Showcase Brand

Here is the mobile search engine user’s view of the Showcase Shopping Ads.

What’s great about Showcase Shopping Ads is that they were created with the search engine user in mind. These ads give searchers information about their different product options when they’re looking for non-specific keywords and phrases. These types of ads help improve your brand’s visibility online, connecting you with qualified, relevant buyers.

How Can Google Showcase Shopping Ads Help Your Business

So what’s so great about Showcase Shopping ads? Here are just a few reasons you should use these types of ads as part of your Google Shopping Ad strategy:

Showcase shopping ads help improve visibility for broad keywords.

Showcase ads provide advertisers with the best opportunity to target broad, general keywords and search terms. When consumers are looking for products online, they don’t always search for branded or specific keywords. For instance, a person shopping for watches might type “men’s watches” into the Google search bar instead of a specific brand or type of watch. The Showcase Shopping Ad allows brands to engage those who are searching for broad terms like these and show them relevant product options.

Showcase shopping ads improve brand recognition.

Showcase Shopping ads can also help your business improve brand recognition online. Whenever consumers search for products like those that your brand sells, they will be exposed to your ad content. Your ads will present a range of the products that you have available as well as show other information about your brand. This helps you reach new consumers and help them become more familiar with your brand and product offering.

Showcase shopping ads allow you to be in control of the content.

Another important benefit of Google Showcase ads is that your brand is in charge of the products that are highlighted in the ad content. You select which products appear in your ads and you also create the additional written content that accompany your product images. This means that you can strategically choose the product images and brand messaging that will resonate best with your target audience.

Google offers optimization tools for Showcase Shopping ads.

Google gives you the tools you need to get the most out of these types of ads. With Showcase Shopping Ads, you get a full range of analytics that will allow you to monitor performance and find areas for improvement. Based on this information, you can conduct different ad testing and find which images and descriptions help you get the best performance. This enables your business to optimize your campaigns and get the most out of your ad budget, which is especially important for small businesses with limited budgets.

To learn more about how these ads impact your strategy, check out our post – How Showcase Shopping Ads Will Transform Google Shopping Campaigns.

What You Need to Know About Google Showcase Shopping Ads

There are a few things you should know about Showcase Shopping Ads before you get started creating your campaign. The more informed you are about how this ad format works, the more empowered you will be to optimize your ad campaigns and maximize your budget.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is how bidding works. With this type of ad format, bidding is based on cost-per-engagement (CPE). This means that you pay each time someone expands your Showcase Shopping ad for 10 seconds or more or when a user clicks on your ad link. This means that you aren’t charged just for a click. Users will have to significantly engage with your ad content for you to be charged.

Another important consideration is how vital images are to your Showcase Shopping ad success. Search engine users who see your Showcase Ads are at the beginning of their buyer’s journey. If you want to capture their attention and encourage them to click, you’ll need to use quality images that are relevant and compelling.

Additionally, there are a few important requirements you’ll need to be aware of before you get started. First, you need to have the new AdWords experience to take advantage of this ad format. Showcase Shopping ads are currently only available in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States.

You will also need to make sure that your Showcase Shopping campaigns adhere to Google Shopping’s policies. These policies describe which practices and types of content are prohibited as well as which restrictions exist for different types of advertisers. You can review those policies here.

How to Get Started Creating Google Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns

Now that you know what a Showcase Shopping Ad is and how it can help your business, let’s talk about how to set up your first campaign.

Creating Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns Step 1 - Log into AdWords and create a shopping campaign.

First, you’ll need to log into the new AdWords interface and create a new Shopping campaign. Then, when you reach the dashboard options below, choose the “Showcase Shopping” option:

Creating Google Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns

You can get started with your Showcase Shopping campaign in just one click!

Creating Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns Step 2 - Set your bid, and choose product groups.

After you’ve chosen the right format, it’s time to set your bid. This will be the maximum cost-per-engagement that you’re willing to pay for the ad group. It’s important to remember that you are setting bids at the ad group level, not for individual product groups.

Once you set your bid, you are still able to come back and change it.

You’ll also need to choose which products you plan to promote in your ad. For best results, arrange your ad groups based on product similarity. For example, a jewelry retailer might put women’s rings in one ad group and men’s watches in another.

Creating Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns Step 4- Choose ad images.

Now it’s time to create your ad using the Showcase Shopping Ad dashboard. The first thing you’ll want to do is add a header image. Avoid using promotional copy in your header image. Instead choose a high-quality image that features at least one of your products.

Google Showcase Shopping Ad dashboard

 

The header image is important because it’s what draws users to your ad.

After you’ve chosen a header image, you’ll need to pick an image for the non-expanded version of the ad. This is what the user sees before they click on the ad to expand it, so it’s important that you choose product-focused images that reflect the quality and features of your brand.

Creating Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns Step 4 - Create a headline and description.

Both the headline and description are optional. However, when coupled with your compelling product images, they may just be the deciding factor on whether or not a user chooses to engage with your ad.

For your headline, choose something that will grab the audience’s attention. This can be up to 24 characters long.

The description appears in an expanded version of your ad. Use this to provide any additional information about the products in your ad. This can be between 70 to 120 characters.

Creating Showcase Shopping Ad Campaigns Step 5. Enter landing page and display URLs.

One last step before you’re done – you’ll need to enter the final URL and display URL. The final URL is the landing page URL where you will drive traffic from your ad. The display URL is the site address that appears in your ad. Double-check to make sure that you’re driving users back to the right targeted landing page before you finalize your ad.

Once this is done, you have the option to preview your ad and save it. And voila! You’ve created your first Google Showcase Shopping Ad Campaign.

Need help getting a jumpstart on your Google Showcase Shopping Ads? We’d love to help. Our team of digital marketing experts has experience helping businesses reach their customers and increase conversions through Google Shopping ad campaigns.

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