Shopping campaigns differ fundamentally from Keyword campaigns in that they do not give us the opportunity to simply add more keywords in order to gain extra traffic. Nor can we (directly) rewrite our ads to get a better CTR. Instead, increasing traffic volume to Google Shopping campaigns from a stable amount of products is done by qualitatively optimizing the product feed. In a product feed that could easily contain several thousand products, however, we need to focus our efforts on areas where we can make a significant difference. And locating these areas is a quantitative process.
Data Driven Identification of Feed Optimization Opportunities
QuantAds uses a comparative analysis method that compares the search terms of the standard keyword campaigns and the search terms of the Shopping campaigns. This enables us to locate specific and actionable optimization opportunities. We do this by looking at search terms in the Shopping campaigns that perform relatively poorly (typically based on impressions) and comparing them to the same search terms in the Keyword campaigns. It is important to note the term ‘relative’ here, as you cannot always expect search terms to perform equally well – from an absolute point of view – across both campaign types.
Let’s assume a scenario where the largest search term measured on impressions in the standard Keyword campaigns represents 2% of total impressions from keywords. However, the same search term only represents 0.5% of the impressions in the Shopping campaigns. The reasons for this can be many, but it is worth trying to identify them. Perhaps we are not bidding enough on the products that are triggered by this search term. Or perhaps the semantic nature of the search term means that Google shows it less often in Shopping results compared to text ads results. But it may also be due to the information that has been entered into the product feed.
Enriching the Product Feed by Adding Key Search Terms
To determine if anything can be optimized within the feed, the first thing to look for is whether or not the given search term is included in the product titles of the relevant products. This is the single most important product feed attribute when it comes to how Google matches search queries with Shopping ads. Therefore, this is where you should focus the majority of your efforts when working with feed optimization.
A good thing to keep in mind when you start working with feed optimization is synonyms. Typically, the title of a product will be generated based on what the manufacturer or retailer has chosen to name the product, but this might not be the only term people use to search for the product. This means that if the underperforming search term is a synonym for any of your products’ names, the synonym can be added to the search term with, for example, a slash separating the two.