Note from Melissa: I’m so pleased to bring you the first guest post on my blog, written by none other than Matt Umbro, founder of PPCChat! And it’s a good one, so read on…
As someone who primarily works with ecommerce PPC accounts, I’ve found Google Shopping to be the best feature AdWords has ever created. This statement may sound over the top, but time and again I’ve seen Shopping produce case study worthy results. I’ve even gone on record saying that Shopping campaigns need to be the number one priority in ecommerce accounts.
As Google Shopping campaigns have evolved, so have the options available to advertisers. Today I’m going to cover three areas that advertisers should consider in order to further boost performance. These areas include:
• Google Trusted Stores
• Merchant Promotions
• Product Ratings
All of these options take time to implement, but will help to improve merchant credibility and ad click-thru-rate (CTR).
Google Trusted Stores
Google recently ended the policy requiring merchants to submit shipping and order cancellation feeds as part of the Trusted Stores program. This program gives a “Google approved” endorsement in the form of a site badge to merchants who meet quality thresholds. This badge tells users that the website can be trusted to provide a quality shopping experience from browsing to product purchase confirmation.
Along with the onsite badge, a Trusted Stores checkmark shows in the ads.
Of the eight ads above, two have the Trusted Stores checkmark. Shopping ads are generally more eye catching than standard text ads anyway, but the checkmark further allows these two merchants to stand out.
Shopping ads allow for promotional text, but it’s rarely seen. Only when the searcher hovers over the ad unit does it appear (if the advertiser has included this text at all).
Even when the promotion shows, it isn’t emphasized as it looks like another line of text.
Over the last year Google has refined feature called Merchant Promotions that includes a “Special Offer” link directly in the ad. When clicked, this link shows the searcher the offer as well as the rebate code and when the promotion ends.
In the image above, CafePress.com stands out from the four other advertisers by utilizing the special offer. The “Free Shipping with $49 Purchase” messaging is highlighted with a “Shop” button right there. Additionally, this message doesn’t appear to be time sensitive (saying that it expires in 132 days) and is most likely a site wide promotion. Even if the offer isn’t great or unique, it still helps to emphasize value adds against the competition.
Promotions can be setup and scheduled directly in Google Merchant Center. Along with the actual promotion and rebate code, you’ll need to provide the dates for when the offer will run.
When I’m shopping and see products with four or more stars I tend to look at these first. Not only do the stars stand out, but also they tell me that consumers have positively reviewed the product. Text ads utilize these stars via the Seller Ratings extension.
Now, advertisers have the ability to add product ratings to their Shopping ads and show review stars. In order to setup product ratings, these requirements must be met:
Here’s an example of product ratings in Shopping ads.
Six of the eight ads utilize the product ratings. Similar to the Seller Ratings extension, more merchants are utilizing these stars. One might argue that not having the product ratings is a detriment to advertisers.
Shopping campaigns have come a long way in a short time and continue to evolve. Make sure you are utilizing the newest options in order to continue showing success from this great channel.
Matt Umbro is a Senior Account Manager in charge of Community at Hanapin Marketing. He specializes in eCommerce PPC and client relations, while also overseeing content production for PPC Hero. He is also the founder of PPCChat, a weekly Twitter chat where industry specialists discuss, analyze and debate various PPC topics using the hashtag #PPCChat.