Optimizing Google Shopping I: Structure

Optimizing Google Shopping I: Structure

Thomas Byskov Madsen & Lasse Rasmussen - November 3, 2017

For online retailers hoping to grab a major share of search clicks and sales, Google Shopping has become increasingly important, and as competition for those valuable clicks becomes ever stronger, knowing how to get the most out of your Google Shopping campaigns is crucial to succeeding in today’s eCommerce world. This white paper, the first in a series of three, will guide you through detailed optimization of Google Shopping performance, specifically in relation to structuring campaigns and ad groups for optimal impact. Parts two and three will take you through data-driven feed optimization and bid management respectively. This first part will offer solutions to the following key points:


Introduction to Google Shopping


Google Shopping is growing rapidly

Google Shopping is developing rapidly as a source of paid clicks for eCommerce retailers. This is the result of an expansion both in the breadth (places where shopping ads are displayed) and in the depth (search queries that triggers shopping ads), but also because advertisers are increasingly allocating more of their advertising spend towards Google Shopping. Data from Search Engine Land suggests that Google Shopping’s share of non-brand paid search clicks in the U.S. retail industry grew from around 45% of total clicks in Q4 2013 to 70% in Q1 2016 (+55%). We see a similar development in Europe and the Nordic region in particular.


PLA Share of Google Paid Seatch Clicks


Data from QuantAds’ own client portfolio, segmented on selected important industries, also shows a significant growth in Google Shopping’s share of total paid search clicks. Whereas Beauty & Health has always led this trend, presumably due to searches being very brand-centric and product-specific, most other industries have been catching up in 2016.


Click from Google Shopping Graph


Google Shopping vs. Standard Search Advertising

Google Shopping differs substantially from standard search advertising. The latter is about identifying keywords that will trigger on relevant search queries, matching these search queries with relevant ads, and then directing the people who click on the ads to relevant landing pages. In Google Shopping there are no keywords, no (directly) editable ads, and no landing pages to change. Instead there are products, product listing ads and individual product pages on your site. The lack of keywords means that the individual products (or product groups) are what you bid on when determining what a click is worth. Furthermore, matching search queries with product listing ads is done based on the content of the product feed.

A product feed is basically a list of all the products you are selling and contains various information on the products, such as titles, descriptions, prices, images, colours, sizes etc. And although Shopping ads are not directly editable in the same way text ads are, changing the information in the product feed will not only affect which search queries trigger your Shopping ads but also how these ads will appear.