Maximising ROI with Google Shopping
Google Shopping is a Google advertising service that generally offers an excellent return on investment.
It can help businesses with Shopify stores to get their products in front of an audience with high buying intent without having to entice them onto their website first. Instead, they use their Shopify product data to create product ads for Google to display on Google Shopping. Allowing businesses to show off their products within Google’s search results pages.
To get the most out of Google Shopping, businesses must ensure that their Shopify products are optimised for Google Shopping.
In this article, we’ll explain more about how Google Shopping works, how to optimise Shopify products for Google Shopping, and best practices for Google Shopping optimisation.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a Google service that allows users to use Google’s search engine to search for a product and then compare results from many different merchants.
For a business’s products to appear in Google Shopping, the merchant must sign up for the service and then pay-per-click to advertise their products.
Users can discover Google Shopping product ads in several different places. Primarily, they appear in the normal Google search results, usually at the top of the page in a shopping carousel. In addition, users can explore them on the Google Shopping website or by selecting the ‘shopping’ tab in Google search results.
Google Shopping ads offer businesses excellent product visibility, helping them reach a broader audience and achieve an excellent ROI.
How does Google Shopping work?
Ok, so you know what Google Shopping does, but how does it work? Let’s quickly run through the basics.
Google Shopping is a pay-per-click (PPC) products-based advertising service that operates through Google Merchant Centre and Google Ads.
To use Google Shopping, you need to set up a product feed by uploading your Shopify product data to Google Merchant Centre.
Google uses the information from your product feed to determine which Google searches are relevant to your products and when to display them in search results.
Your product shopping ads are then charged on a cost-per-click basis, meaning you don’t pay anything until someone clicks on the ad. Then, the price you pay is determined in an ad auction. When setting up your account, you set a maximum bid per click. When someone clicks on your product shopping ad, Google charges the minimum amount needed to rank above the ad below yours.
How to set up Google Shopping?
Once you know how Google Shopping works, it’s time to get set up.
There are several ways to set up your Shopify product feed in Google Shopping; the most popular options are manual setup or by using a Shopify app.
The manual process can be roughly divided into seven steps.
Step 1: Sign up with Google Merchant Centre
Google Merchant Centre is a central dashboard where businesses can manage their presence across various Google advertising services.
Step 2: Sign up with Google Ads
Google Ads is Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform that allows businesses to increase their visibility by creating and managing ads on its search engine and partner sites.
Step 3: Link Shopify to Google Shopping
When you link Shopify to Google Shopping, it allows Google to see and access your products. Within Shopify, navigate to settings > apps and sales channels > customise your store. Then click connect Google account and select your Google account. Next, connect your Google Merchant Centre account and complete the verification process.
Step 4: Optimise your Shopify products for Google Shopping
Step 5: Upload your Shopify product feed to Google Merchant Centre
You can get your product feed from Shopify to Google Merchant Centre using several methods, including Google Sheets, scheduled fetch, upload, and content API. The most used method is a manual file upload. To use this method, you must first export your product feed from Shopify. You can do this by selecting products from your Shopify admin panel and selecting all products. Select the products you want to feature in your Google Shopping ads and click export to export the file as either .XML or .TXT. Finally, upload the file to Google Merchant Centre.
Step 6: Link your Google Merchant Centre account with your Google Ads account
In Google Merchant Centre, go to settings, select linked accounts, and click Google Ads. Select your Google Ads account, enter your customer ID, and click link.
Step 7: Create a new Google Shopping campaign
Now you’re ready to create your first Google Shopping campaign.
Shopify apps for Google Shopping
Alternatively, a Shopify app can be used to create and update your product data feed. Using an app can save you time and improve your campaign’s performance by ensuring that product data is kept up-to-date to accurately reflect any changes you have made to the product listing and its availability.
The most popular Google Shopping app for Shopify is Simprosys Google Shopping Feed. The Simprosys app offers a 21-day free trial, after which time plans start at $4.99/month.
Why is it important to optimise Shopify products for Google Shopping?
While setting up a Google Shopping campaign may be relatively simple. Creating a high-performance campaign requires more thought and skill.
You can create far superior results by investing time in Google Shopping optimisation to improve your campaign’s return on investment and conversion rates.
Here are just a few key reasons why it’s worth taking the time to optimise your Shopify products for Google Shopping.
- Maximise product visibility – Optimising your Shopify product listings makes it more likely that your product ads will appear on Google for relevant search terms and attract clicks.
- Boost conversion rates – Optimised product ads provide accurate and detailed information about your products. High-quality product information is more likely to attract relevant traffic and clicks from users with high buying intent. These users are more likely to convert into paying customers.
- Improve campaign ROI – The more targeted and relevant your product ads are, the more cost-effective your campaigns will be and the better the ROI.
What are the key factors to consider when optimising Shopify product data for Google Shopping?
Optimising your Shopify products for Google Shopping is undoubtedly the most time-consuming part of getting set up and ready to run your first Google Shopping campaign.
Your product data feed provides Google with information about your products’ attributes. Key elements of your product feed to consider during Google Shopping optimisation include the following:
- Product category
Spending time optimising these attributes can significantly improve the results you achieve with your campaigns!
Optimising Shopify products for Google Shopping
The information in your Shopify product listings is exported to your Google Shopping feed, so optimising for Google Shopping within Shopify is very important.
In this section, we’ll provide you with useful tips and advice to help you optimise your Shopify products for Google Shopping and improve the performance of your product ad campaigns.
Optimise product titles
When advertising on Google Shopping, the product title is one of the very few pieces of information displayed in the SERPs. Your product title should tell users clearly and concisely exactly what you are selling. Ensuring your product title contains all the key information can entice more clicks from relevant traffic and significantly boost conversion rates.
The following tips can help you to optimise your product titles.
- Always include the brand name.
- Include product details like colour, size, material, model number, and pattern.
- Put important keywords at the start of the title.
Optimise product images
Your product imagery is your most powerful tool for attracting attention and promoting your product.
Your primary product image should:
- Be a high-quality, high-resolution professional photograph.
- Have a solid white, transparent, or light-coloured background.
- Be bright and well-lit.
- Show the product in full.
You should also include additional images for each photograph that show close-ups, the product from different angles, and lifestyle shots.
Optimise product descriptions
Google uses the information within your product descriptions to decide which search queries to display your products for. Therefore, your product description plays a key part in attracting high-quality, relevant traffic and boosting the ROI of your product ad campaign.
Whileit is possible to use the same product descriptions from your Shopify store on your Google Shopping feed, it is not advisable. The product descriptions on your website and those on Google Shopping serve two different purposes. Those on your website can be longer and more detailed, as they are written with customers in mind. In comparison, the description on your Google product feed will compete against lots of other ads and search results, so it should deliver key information in a short, concise, and optimised description.
The simplest way to add optimised product descriptions in Google Shopping is to create a supplemental feed that overrides the product descriptions in the primary feed. Google provides instructions for creating a supplemental feed in its support centre.
The following tips can help you to optimise your product descriptions.
- Fit key information into the first 145-180 characters.
- Lead with brand, product type, and who it’s for.
- Next, include key product information and features like size, shape, pattern, material, special features, and technical specifications.
Provide detailed Google product categories
The product category attribute within your product feed helps Google decide when it is relevant to show the product in its search results.
When you import your product data from Shopify, Google automatically assigns categories based on their titles, product descriptions, and GTINs. This sounds handy, but Google doesn’t always get it right, and the more specific your product categories are, the better your campaign will perform.
To optimise product categories, you can categorise your products manually. To do so, you’ll need to download Google’s product taxonomy to find the correct taxonomy for your product. Next, you can swap out the incorrect category for the correct one in your product data feed.
Add the GTIN
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number; that’s its barcode to you and me. Adding your product’s GTIN helps Google understand what you are selling, allowing it to display your ad for relevant searches.
If you have your GTINs – great! Get them added to your product listings in Shopify. If your product has a GTIN, but you don’t have it, you can ask your supplier to provide it.
Keep availability up-to-date
If product availability is not up to date in your product feed, it can result in frustrated customers and wasted advertising spend as you pay for clicks on products that are out of stock. However, manually exporting and importing product feed data from Shopify to Google Merchant Centre regularly is not efficient or practical. The solution? Use a content API.
An API (application programming interface) can facilitate communication between Shopify and Google Merchant Centre to automate the process of refreshing the product data feed and updating any changed data (including availability). This automation reduces the risk of errors and saves significant time and resources.
You can learn more about how to get started with Google’s Content API for Shopping in the Google Support Centre.
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