Why Shopping Campaigns Are More Important Than You Think

April 4th, 2018 in Performance Marketing 2 minute read

The development of shopping ads and their supposed limitations

When the ads on the right side of the search results pages were removed by Google in 2016, it was clear things were changing in the world of PPC. Shopping campaigns were given much more visibility and became just as important as search campaigns (and even more important for many advertisers).

Google continued to expand the opportunities for shopping campaigns by introducing new tools, functions and layouts. For example, the knowledge panel style shopping ads and the showcase ads (only available on mobile) below:

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It is clear that shopping ads are growing in importance for PPC advertising, but you’ll be surprised how powerful these campaigns can be – IF used in the correct way.

One of the key differences in shopping campaigns compared to search is that you set your bids at product level, not keyword level.

This means you are letting Google decide what search terms to show for, and how often, by providing as much information in the feed as possible and setting your product bids.

However, say you wanted to advertise a designer handbag. You set your bid at product level, but you are now bidding the same for a user searching ‘handbags’ and ‘designer handbags’. This is not ideal since ‘designer handbag’ is a much stronger search term that you would want to bid higher for.

The answer to your shopping problems

This is where the mysterious ‘campaign priority’ setting comes in; the most misused, powerful setting in Google Shopping. Quite simply, you set your campaigns to high, medium or low and Google will prioritise accordingly. Many advertisers use this to have a ‘best sellers’ campaign so that their top products get more visibility, but it can be used in a much more effective way…

Through tactical priority settings, and careful use of negative keywords, you can structure your shopping campaigns in a way that allows bidding by product AND by search term. You can have a campaign for the generic search terms, a campaign for those more important terms and a campaign for brand traffic.

This not only allows you to bid higher for stronger search terms, but also gives you more control of the budget – ensuring your most valuable search terms get the budget they require, and the spend isn’t dominated by high volume, lower quality search terms. Don’t worry – you can still bid higher for your best-selling products meaning they’ll get more visibility!

The results we’ve seen

We restructured one of our client’s shopping campaigns using campaign priority in a tactical way and the results speak for themselves! Their best-selling products are riser recliner chairs for the elderly, but the majority of the budget was being spent on terms around just ‘recliner chairs’ since Google saw it as relevant.

After the re-structure, click-through rate increased by 27% because the products were shown for much more relevant terms.

This meant we were driving much higher quality traffic to the site leading to recliner conversion rate increasing by 111% and return on ad spend increasing by 203%.

Want to know more about how Zeal can transform your shopping campaigns to ensure your budget is spent as effectively as possible? Get in touch today!

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