Google Shopping optimization is an instant challenge for any business. In this blog post, we’ll cover the essential tips on how to optimize your performance on Google Shopping—from getting the feeds and attributes sorted to improving bidding and campaign strategies, and firing up automated solutions.
Separate High- and Low-Performing Products
Loser products negatively affect your performance, so spot them ASAP. Here’s how you can do it.
- 🏆 Spot the winning and loser products on a regular basis by comparing their performance and costs. Trying separating the products by target ROAS.
- 🎰 Try lowering the bids for loser products and increasing the bids for winning products to see if it makes a positive impact.
- ❌ If one of your products has been underperforming for a long time, consider excluding its product ID. You can either stop pushing them to your Merchant Center or exclude the products from the product listings (Pmax) or Product groups (standard shopping) in Google Ads.
- 🙈 In some cases, consider hiding the products that are low in stock or out of stock. By doing this, you may secure that your budget is not spent on items that don’t bring profit.
- 📦 Be transparent with offerings. Ensure that the product attributes not evident in the image are conveyed to the potential buyer in the title. Also, make sure the title says all about the product, e.g. colour, size, etc.
- 🔖 Reprice carefully. Reprice your products based on solid justification, whether a seasonal one (sale, last items remaining, etc.) or global trends within your industry (luxury goods, home appliances, etc.).
- 💰 Segment your campaigns by price. This way you’ll be able to separate between cheaper and more expensive products because bidding the same amount of money on a $10 and a $100 product would not be reasonable.
Set up Audiences
Reaching the right audience is crucial in online advertising. Setting up and utilizing audiences in your Google advertising campaigns can greatly improve your campaign’s performance. Whether you use in-market audiences, audience signals, or existing customer data, here’s why setting up audiences is vital for optimizing your advertising efforts:
- 👥 In-market audiences. In-market audiences are a powerful tool for identifying and targeting potential customers who are actively researching products or services similar to what your store offers. These audiences are determined based on users’ search queries, browsing history, and online behavior. By targeting in-market audiences, you can reach users who are currently considering a purchase, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- 📢 Performance Max and Audience Signals. If you are using Performance Max (PMax) campaigns, creating audience signals is especially important. PMax aims to maximize performance across Google’s advertising networks and heavily relies on audience information. By providing comprehensive data about your audience, such as their interests, demographics, behaviors, and purchase intent, you enable PMax to deliver optimal results. Audience signals help PMax understand your potential customers and effectively target them.
- 🙌🏽 Utilize existing customer data. Your store’s existing customer data is a valuable source of information. By using this data to create audiences, you can attract more customers who share characteristics with your current customer base. You can build new audiences based on the attributes and behaviors of your existing customers. This approach is often more cost-effective because you’re targeting users who are likely to have a genuine interest in your products or services.
Setting up and effectively using audiences in your Google advertising campaigns allows you to precisely target the right users, deliver personalized messages, improve budget efficiency, and expand your customer base. Whether you’re using in-market audiences, creating audience signals for Performance Max, or leveraging your existing customer data, audience targeting can elevate your advertising efforts.
Use Negative Keywords
Use negative keywords to improve your campaign’s performance. By implementing negative keywords, you can achieve the following.
- ❌ Block unrelated, poor- and non-performing keywords. For example, exclude keywords that include colours of what product is not available in your store.
- 💰 Save the budget and use it for more relevant keywords to save funds and allocate them for further investment in keywords that bring clicks and sales.
- 🖱️ Increase CTR and conversions. By excluding unrelated and poor-performing keywords, your can push your product to customers who are more likely to purchase from you because they’ll be seeing offerings that are relevant to their interests and intent.
- 👍🏽 Improve the relevancy of ad groups. Negative keywords can help strengthen your ad groups’ relevance both by making them appear to a more relevant audience and by channelling a unified message to target audiences.
Define Your Bidding and Campaign Strategies
Chose Your Bidding Strategy
There are six types of bidding models in Google Shopping. You can choose one or combine them to make the most out of your efforts on Google Shopping.
It is important to think about which bidding model works best for your goals and available resources. You need to adapt and adjust to the changing needs of your campaign, while also utilizing the appropriate bidding strategy at the right moment.
How Bidbrain Can Help Optimize Your Bidding Strategy
Bidbrain offers a range of advantages that can greatly improve your bidding strategy and drive better results. With its transparent AI bidding approach, Bidbrain provides a unique solution that can enhance your shopping campaign optimization. By utilizing Bidbrain, you can benefit from improved bidding strategies and achieve more successful outcomes. Here are the main benefits of using Bidbrain for Google Shopping ads optimization.
- 👍 Bidbrain uses transparent AI bidding to reveal the data that belongs to you by visualising the bidding & keywords data on the product level.
- 💷 You can activate products without historical data with a special algorithm and unleash the potential of hidden high performers among your products.
- 📈 You can dig out insights unavailable in Performance Max and Smart Shopping, such as the transparency of the search terms contributing to conversions, the detailed performance of individual products and keywords, etc.
Ensure the Campaigns are Consistent
Consistency in your Google Shopping campaigns is not only about maintaining a unified brand image but also about optimizing the technical aspects of your campaigns for a smoother customer journey.
- 🗃️ Use ad groups and product segmentation. Segment products by product type in addition to detailed attributes, especially if you sell niche products. Use add groups to divide the ads with similar goals.
- 🌐 Optimize product landing pages. Inaccuracies in data (product price, shipping policy, product title, etc) and imagery between that of Google Shopping and a landing page can lead to poor customer experience—make sure they are fully synced.
- Set up your shopping campaign’s structure. The choice of the shopping campaign structure depends on many factors.
A Single Campaign with One Ad Group
The most basic approach is to create a single campaign and add one Ad Group, then categorize the product groups. This method is straightforward to set up and requires less time for management. However, there are limitations to this approach.
It becomes challenging to control search queries using negative keywords, and it is not feasible to increase bids on brand terms or high-intent terms without also increasing generic impressions and clicks.
Moreover, it is not possible to manage search queries at the product level, resulting in some products receiving limited exposure or clicks.
Additionally, it becomes more difficult to exclude or adjust bids for underperforming products unless they are completely removed from the Shopping feed.
Overall, this approach may work well for shops with fewer number of products and product categories.
Two or More Campaigns with Priorities
Using two campaigns allows for more control over search terms and bidding on higher intent terms. This is done through campaign priority settings and negative keyword lists. The process involves creating the first campaign and then copying it with changes to priority settings.
You can easily set up campaigns and change the priority settings. This allows for more control over bidding on higher intent terms, such as brand terms or specific search queries that are known to convert well, like bulk or multi-buy terms.
However, managing twice as many campaigns can be challenging and budget limitations should be considered to prevent irrelevant queries. Also, you will have limited over control search queries at the product SKU level, and dividing products into one Ad Group in each campaign will be difficult as well.
This may result in some products not receiving exposure or clicks. Poor-performing products are also harder to exclude or manage unless they are removed from the Shopping feed entirely.
How to Make Shopping Campaign Priorities Work
Again, you can make any of the above approaches to campaign strategy work provided you are able to adapt it to the specifics of your stock, market target audience, etc.
You should avoid setting different priorities for campaigns with different products and using the setting incorrectly as a result. Google’s support docs explain that campaign priority is only useful when advertising the same product in multiple Shopping campaigns for the same country. If different campaigns have different products, campaign priority won’t work. Here’s what you should bear in mind.
- With campaign priorities, it is important to have a shared budget. If a campaign exhausts its budget, Google will ignore it and display ads from a more expensive, lower-priority campaign. To prevent this, combine campaigns that are meant to work together on a shared budget. This will help avoid any issues and ensure that your ads are displayed according to your desired priorities.
- You can improve your bidding strategy by categorizing products based on profit margins. This way you will be able to focus your budget and efforts on high-intent terms that generate the best return. However, this approach can be challenging for businesses that sell a diverse set of products. They may need to create multiple sets of campaign priorities for each product category, which can be difficult to manage. It is also important to ensure that neither campaign becomes limited by budget.
- Also, it is a good practice to divide products into smaller groups for easier monitoring. Creating a subgroup, for example, specifically for sale items is beneficial, as you can assign a high priority to it and promote it towards relevant search terms. This allows for better management and prioritization of products, ensuring effective marketing strategies during these periods.
Performance Max Campaign for Shopping Ads
Performance Max is a campaign structure that is specifically designed to enhance performance across Google’s advertising networks. By utilizing machine learning and automation, it optimizes the delivery of your ads in real-time, making it highly effective for generating leads, driving traffic to your shop, and increasing online sales.
This campaign structure is user-friendly, making it accessible for marketers who are new to Google Ads, including Shopping ads. Performance Max campaigns heavily rely on the Shopping ad format to enhance the exposure of product listings across multiple touchpoints. By seamlessly integrating automation and reach, you can effortlessly connect with a broader audience, eliminating the complexities of manual ad management.
It is a convenient solution when you require a quick campaign setup. Performance Max takes advantage of Google’s vast reach and data to efficiently and effectively help you achieve your campaign objectives.
To ensure a successful Performance Max campaign, it is crucial to start testing promptly and assess the outcomes after 5 weeks. Testing PMax as a complementary approach to current shopping efforts can help capture new conversion opportunities.
Check these blog posts for more tips on Performance Max campaign optimization:
Optimize and Enrich Your Product Feeds
Tune Up Your Primary Feed
Even though the primary feed—Google Merchant Center primary feed—is usually not enough to showcase the products on Google Shopping the way they would make your products really pop and bring actual conversions, this feed type is the backbone for making your shopping campaigns effective.
Ensure the data in your primary Google Shopping feed is complete and correct. This is important because transparent and accurate shopping feed data would guarantee that you follow Google’s terms and policies. By this, you would avoid getting notifications, and alerts, and your Google accounts suspended.
Add More Feed Types
Now, that your primary feed is all neat and comprehensive, try out different shopping feed types.
- 📑 Google Merchant Center supplemental feed allows you to enrich your primary product feed with dozens of additional attributes.
- 📑 Dynamic remarketing feed. With this feed type, you can bring in potential shoppers who have already interacted with your products but have not purchased them yet.
- 📑 Local inventory feed. Go with this one if you have a physical store.
- 📑 Promotions feed is good for running campaigns that include discounts, free gifts, and shipping offerings.
- 📑 Use the Manufacturer feed if you are selling your own products to get more control over how they are presented on Google Shopping.
- 📑 Product rating feed. If you have 50 or more reviews on a product, you can choose to have them displayed alongside your Google shopping ads by adhering to the feed requirements.
How Bidbrain Can Help With Shopping Feed Optimization
Use these Bidnrain tools to make sure your feeds are flawless.
- 📝 Product title optimization automatically rewrites the product titles based on keywords that convert.
- 🗄️ Bidbrain feed manager can help you manage an unlimited number of feeds and keep them sorted.
- 🔎 Bidbrain feed checker will run hourly data feed checks and notify you if any issues are found before the products are uploaded to the Google Merchant Center.
Automate and Run Experiments
The process of Google Shopping optimization is not set in stone and is a recurring activity, so consider doing the following regularly.
This guide provides tips to improve your Google Shopping performance. To maximize ROI, separate high- and low-performing products. It’s important to maintain transparent product offerings and accurate data synchronization for a seamless shopping experience.