Google Shopping is one of the first items you see when searching for just about any type of product through the popular search engine.
It's consolidated, clean and useful for people who would like to find deals from all over the internet on a single product.
Well, guess what? Anyone with an ecommerce website can sell their products on Google Shopping as well!
It's taken awhile for Google Shopping to find its place in the market, but slowly it has become a staple in the online shopping world, partly due to the fact that Google promotes the listings high on its search engine, but more so because of how easy it is for businesses to connect with customers.
As an online business owner, there's no reason you shouldn't be looking hard into the prospects of Google Shopping. Not only does it take a few minutes to setup, but the growth of Google Shopping has proven that all companies can benefit from the exposure.
Keep reading to check out our ultimate guide to Google Shopping, and read through to understand the benefits, tactics and outlook of the shopping engine in the future.
An Alternative View of Online Shopping
Why do customers come to your online store? Do they wake up in the morning with a hankering to browse through your catalog? Absolutely not! In fact, it's reasonable to assume that no consumer has ever thought much about the channel in which they go shopping through. Whether it's your website, Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping or one of the many other outlets, consumers are guided by information presented to them, and most of that information comes from an online search.
This means that you must begin making your company visible on multiple platforms, because the internet is a beautiful world filled with endless opportunities for the consumer. They may start with a shopping site in mind, but then end up somewhere completely different.
How Google Shopping Has Grown (And What This Means For You)
Since paid search is still the preferred method of advertising online, it's wise to focus the majority of your marketing strategy on this. Around 54.5% of all search engine marketing is done through Google. This dominates places like Yahoo and Bing, so it's only natural that Google Shopping has seen similar growth as well. Therefore, spending on ads for shopping has seen a significant increase, and companies are realizing that Google Shopping is one of the top places to bring in new customers. In fact, in 2014 retailers spent 47% of their advertising dollars on Google Shopping, while text ads slowly declined.
What do experts primarily credit this growth to? The introduction of AdWords in 2000.
Working with AdWords and Google Shopping
Why is it that Google Shopping has expanded due to AdWords? It's mainly because companies that use Google Shopping are seeing much better results when they leverage AdWords to push traffic to those particular Google Shopping listings.
So, you have a choice. Use AdWords separately, Google Shopping separately or both together. The last option seems like the most logical, considering Google Shopping ads are more visual in nature, offering images, pricing, product descriptions and more. Whereas AdWords ads are often stuck in text form.
How to Make Google Shopping Work Best For You
As with all ecommerce store owners you're interested most in the best practices to boost your store to the next level. Google Shopping has an easy to use interface, but what are some tricks that you can write down for implementation in the future?
- Maintain your product feed so that all products are up to date and in your inventory.
- Ensure all details are accurate. From pricing to product details, Google is not going to list your items unless everything is correct.
- Make keywords useful. For example, adjectives and descriptive words are useless, so focus on keywords that tell more about the product, style, color and size.
- Minimize the description word count to under 70 words. This is all that will show up.
- Keep your photos professional, without any watermarks or blurring.
- Run promotions to make your products stand out.
- Set campaign priorities for high traffic seasonal items. Generate a campaign for all products and set it to low, then create higher ranked campaigns for the individual items you really want to promote.
- Make your site mobile friendly and minimize the amount of clicks someone has to make when on a mobile device.
- Use geographic bid modifiers to hone in on the areas you only sell to.
What to Expect from Google Shopping in the Future
The goal of working with Google Shopping in the future is to embrace trends. Otherwise your company is going to fall behind. Since Google is constantly updating its algorithms and tools, it's required for you to keep a thoughtful eye on the things that change. If you don't realize that a particular feature has been released for Google Shopping, your competitors are going to swoop in and take advantage of it.
What are some of the trends to keep an eye on for the future of Google Shopping?
- Enhanced Ecommerce offers several tools for analyzing information about your audience and taking that information to understand consumer behavior. Review data on product impressions, transactions, the checkout process, refunds, product clicks and more.
- Amazon product ads are no longer offering images, so it's reasonable to assume that most online retailers will stray away from the text-based ads. Rather, the wise business owners will locate other outlets for marketing.
- Local inventory ads are a new part of Google Shopping, but if you run a brick and mortar store as well, this can help reveal when products are available.
- A Buy Now button is being implemented on Google Shopping, cutting out the need for people to visit your online store. This is technically good for the consumer, since they don't have to make as many clicks, but it may water down the detailed shopping experience and put more of a focus on your search engine marketing.
The time is now to get your hands dirty with Google Shopping. This guide to Google Shopping is a great start, but it's prudent to continue your research and follow blogs that update you with information on how the growing marketplace is evolving. If you have any questions about Google Shopping, leave us a comment in the section below.