How Google Product Listing Ads can help boost your sales

Cheryl Luzet - 9 January 2016

Want your products to stand out in a Google search?  If you’re selling items online, Google Product Listing Ads let you display eyecatching images that showcase your products, positioned above the text based search results. This means that you could even appear twice on the same search result page, marking your territory with images in the Shopping results and text in organic search. And what’s more, the cost per click for shopping campaigns is usually relatively low.

Are Product Listing Ads right for you?

All our Adwords clients are different, and we’ve found that what works best for one isn’t necessarily right for another. Text based search is the perfect medium for lawyers or locksmiths, where people already have a good idea of what they’re looking for. But sometimes with a very visual product it’s better to get an image out there to show people what you’ve got – a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s where Product Listing ads come into their own.

(It’s worth noting though that certain products fall foul of Google’s Shopping Policies – so if you sell concert tickets, for example, you won’t be able to use this advertising medium because of their time sensitive nature. See the full list of policies here.)

How do you set them up?

The setup process can seem daunting, but taken stage by stage it’s really quite simple. First of all, you’ll need a Google Merchant Centre account. This is a fantastic resource for online sellers, allowing you to maintain an online product inventory that can be shared with customers across the globe. You’ll also need an Adwords account for your company, and you’ll need to link the two together. (Instructions for this can be found here).

After verifying your site and ensuring that it meets some basic requirements, you’ll need to create a file with information about all the products you wish to include. This is a Products Feed Specification, which provides Google with all the information it needs in order to be able to display your shopping ads. Adding all the data can be a laborious process and we found it took a few attempts to get it uploaded error free! But once it’s up there, you’re all set to create your shopping ads within your Adwords account. Google asks for an image URL for each product you sell, so we’d recommend you pay particular attention to this to ensure your wares are displayed at their best.

Finally, log in to your Adwords account and take a few simple steps to set up your first Shopping campaign.

Monitoring your success

Google’s Shopping campaigns differ slightly from other search based ads. You don’t get to specify which keywords you want your products to appear under, as Google determines this from the information you’ve provided in your Products Feed Specification. So getting information about what’s working and what’s not is a little different.

The great thing about your product feed is that it can include really specific tracking information – so you can add custom parameters for each individual product, which can then be set up to be viewed in Google Analytics.

Tempt interested customers back with dynamic remarketing

Google has started to promote this relatively new form of display advertising to its Adwords clients, and if you have a Merchant Center account with a product inventory list already up and running, getting dynamic remarketing ads set up should be a relatively simple step. Then, instead of appearing as shopping results in a search, your product listing ads will appear to people who have previously viewed these products on your site. And here’s the dynamic part – Google says it will use its “product recommendation engine” to tailor its ads to the individual customers, deciding which product and ad layout will provide the best results for each person. All you need to do is provide the product feed specification and create dynamic ads in the Adwords ad gallery.

Find out more about Wagada’s Google Adwords service.