As September ends, it is important for e-commerce sites to start thinking about the holiday season. Do you think it’s still too early? Think again! According to Google, 40% of consumers say they start shopping for the holidays before Halloween (October 31)!
So if you want generate even more sales for your online store, we recommend running a Google Shopping campaign. A Shopping campaign is a great way to showcase your products on Google to consumers who search for products similar to yours.
For example, if a user searches for a laptop on Google, Google Shopping ads relating to laptops can appear on the first page of the search engine.
With 2 billion deals available on Google Shopping, it’s important to effectively run your ad campaign. This is why we’ve compiled the four key steps to run a Google Shopping campaign so you can be present for all the micro-moments.
Create your “merchant center” account
The first step in creating a Google Shopping campaign is to register for an account on the Merchant Center.
Registering for the Google Merchant Center allows you to import the data of products offered by your online store. If this data import is not carried out via Merchant Center, a Google Shopping campaign cannot be run.
Submit a data feed for your products
The most important element when creating your Shopping campaign is clearly the data feed. The feed must gather a number of features about your products and must be sent to Google through your Merchant Center account. The data feed can be transmitted as text files (.txt) or XML (.xml).
Since it is not possible to focus on specific keywords on Google Shopping, as is the case on the search engine, it is important to correctly complete your data feed.
Indeed, the data feed is actually a list of products categorized by attributes groups such as “condition”, “availability”, “id” and “title”.
It is essential to carefully fill in each attribute to ensure that your Google Shopping ads are clear and precise for users. These ads are automatically created by Google based on the data feed.
Here is a list of information to remember for your data feed:
- Product id (e.g. block notes01)
- Product title (e.g. Notepad My Little Big Web)
- Product description (example: Discover My Little Big Web notebook to assist you at work!)
- Product Category (e.g. “General office supplies / Paper Products”)
- Link to the product page
- Link an image section
- Availability of the item (example: in stock)
- Item price (e.g. $5.99)
If you have a large inventory, we recommend that you select between about 20 to 50 products for your first data feed. Indeed, many mistakes can be made if you start adding hundreds of items manually.
The products feed can then be updated, depending on the performance of the Shopping campaign to run.
After creating your product feed by following Google’s specifications, you can directly import it to your Merchant Center account.
Create your Google Shopping campaign on AdWords
After creating your Merchant Center account and importing your data, a Shopping campaign should now be run on the Google AdWords platform. However, don’t forget to link your Merchant Center account with Google AdWords before proceeding.
To run a shopping campaign, simply click on the + campaign on your Google AdWords account and select “Shopping”.
A basic Shopping campaign will then be created giving you access to various parameters much like the set up of a Google AdWords campaign on the search network.
Segment the inventory of your Google Shopping campaign
When a new Google Shopping campaign is running, a group of products “All products” appears on the account, with all the articles on your data feed. It is therefore important to segment your inventory into different product groups in order to track the campaign performance more easily
For example, if your online store sells notepads and mugs it is important to fill out different product groups, as your bid will certainly not be the same for these two items. Create product groups will make your job easier when determining group by bidding and not by individual products.
Several bidding strategies can be adopted. Would you bet according to your product categories? Would you bet based on the best selling products? Or would you bet according to your catalog and your results?
It’s thus up to you to decide how you want to organize your auctions on your Shopping campaign.
Google Shopping has many benefits and can also create dynamic remarketing campaigns based on products that other visitors have searched for. These campaigns can generate significant sales for an online store.
Finally, running a Shopping campaign involves several stages and it’s important to respect the step order to have a campaign that will be simple to optimize and track.