Google shopping is the greatest thing since… well online shopping. It was an inevitable next step for Google, and why not? Take a feed of the products from all of the online stores and just put it in their own UI while you’re still on their site, it’s genius, and lucky for us it’s actually a great way to reach the right audience with the exact product on a website they are already very familiar with. The ads are also pretty widespread throughout the site.
Shopping ads help you reach the right audience through Google Shopping, Google Search (next to search results), Google Search Partner Sites, The Google Display Network. They are a mixture of: product image, product name, price & store name.
Google also made it even easier by making the Shopping Ads simple a feed from your existing Merchant Center product data, so there are no keywords needed.
But in order to reap all of these benefits you have to play Google’s game, and there are some situations when your ads may not run due to various issues. Here’s a few common ones...
- A mismatch in price from the ad and price from landing page will cause your ad not to run. The cause of this could be something as simple as, If you have an automatic currency conversion installed on your website, you need to remove it, because the Google Merchant Center has its own automatic currency conversion, and they may interfere.
This is largely due to a policy that any visitors from anywhere in the world needs to see content in their language and currency. So they’ve got you covered.
- Image quality needs to be at least 250 pixels height and width, otherwise Google won’t show your shopping ads. And frankly, who could blame them, a 250 by 250 pixel image is already tinier than tiny, any smaller and it just wouldn’t be readable at all, and they’ve got UI standards to uphold.
- Your ads won’t show if you don’t follow the basic site requirements, such as:
- Have a clear and conspicuous return policy to users;
- Have accurate contact information;
- Secure checkout process (Payment and transaction processing, as well as collection of any sensitive and financial personal information from the user, must be conducted over a secure processing server (SSL-protected, with a valid SSL certificate - https://)
- Provide clear and conspicuous billing terms and conditions
- Ensure users are able to successfully add items to the cart and fully complete the checkout process.
Despite these pitfalls, Google Shopping campaigns are a great way of reaching the perfect user with the perfect product without even necessitating a visit to your website. These pitfalls are easy to avoid, and fairly simple to remedy if you’ve already made them. Plus, if you follow the rules and do everything right, you get the following benefits from Google Shopping campaigns:
- Provide you with better qualified leads
- Can show both with your own custom text ad
- Show ads based on attributes defined in merchant center, not based on keywords you choose
- Have powerful reporting system at any level of granularity you wish
Now get out there and take advantage of these opportunities!