The eCommerce Industry is significantly dependent on traffic from Google Shopping and has been for over 10 years now. Google Shopping, earlier known as Google Base, is all about submitting accurate shopping data along with product inventory, pricing, and image links, so that Google can send traffic to your eCommerce website. However, since Q3 2012, Google Shopping is now a paid shopping feed. This development sent shockwaves and panic through the eCommerce industry.
Though Google made advance notices available and make this decision known prior to the implementation, many ecommerce merchants were caught unawares. However, there has been a nine month gestation period, during which the change will be delivered. This is perhaps the right time to understand how to get the most out of Google’s paid shopping feed.
To understand how to get started with Google shopping product listing ads (PLA). You need to comprehend the fact that Google has now changed from a free shopping portal to a paid comparison shopping engine. Google mentions that it was the one of the last shopping engines to embrace this model. Google made the final cut off from free traffic until 2012. Albeit, Google had been slowly adding more and more paid listing categories and benefits during the first part of 2012.
Currently, Google Shopping is completely paid search. There are no more freebies. According to Google, the paid route will introduce more accountability on part of the shopping portal. Since many years, Google has had to deal with grossly inaccurate or even misleading product listings. The Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are now displayed in traditional PPC spots (which are above organic listings and to the right side). Rather than being displayed as part of the organic listings, the current listings prove to be a boon for your products as they are spared from being intermingled with the organic results.
The Google Search engine now manages shopping feeds both through the merchant center as well as Google Adwords. eCommerce store owners feed their product details to the Merchant Center account, however, the real task is done inside Adwords. Here, the eCommerce client controls their bids, promotional text, as well as ad groups.
Since many of the merchants have not yet leveraged Google shopping to generate traffic before, many of the Google Paid Shopping pundits advocate that this is the right time to do so, since the platform is still in its infancy. Thus, eCommerce merchants can take maximum benefit from the relatively low rates and also take advantage of the higher return on investment.
Compared to traditional PPC advertisements, the folks at Google have discovered that Google PLA advertisements are much cheaper than the average costs of PPC ads. Many merchants as well as system integrators have confided with Google that traditional PPC ads are much cheaper than the average costs of PPC ads. There is reason to smile as metrics from Google Shopping trickle out. According to recent estimates, product listing ads currently average just $0.31 a click while PPC rates averaged $1.04 in 2011. Additionally, these ads are also cheaper, and they have even a greater Click-Thru Rate (CTR), This is nearly 73% higher than standard text PPC ads.
Yet another advantage is that conversion rates for PLA ads are higher by 35%. This means that prospects can find the right product sooner. Hence you waste less money on clicks that are made by mistake. Also, during Q4, Google shopping was instrumental in driving 96.08% more traffic while being cheaper than Amazon product ads by an average of 32.5%. Additionally, Google Shopping absolutely dominated Pricegrabber, which is one of the largest traffic-generating shopping portals. At this juncture, it is worthwhile to mention here that most product comparison engines increased their rates, which gives Google Shopping an even bigger standout success.
However, it seems that the good times associated with low cost, high ROI product listing ads, will not last forever. This assumption is supported by the fact that that several agencies reported increased competition as well as higher prices for the PLAs at the 2013 Magento Imagine Conference at Las Vegas.
In case you have a Magento Enterprise store and want to make the most of Google Shopping, you need to set up your Google merchant account and connect it to your Magento Enterprise store. Once the basics are set up and the first feed is established, clients can utilize several ways of exploring how to optimize their Google Shopping strategy utilizing Magento.
To begin with, clients need to ensure that their data is accurate. This is precisely the reason why Google has moved to paid listings to ensure better standards for Google Paid Shopping so that it can filter out spam listings and ensuring outstanding data quality. Additionally, clients are required to ensure that their product identifiers, brands, as well as conditions are correct. This is because Google uses its attributes to ensure product matching in Google shopping. Ultimately, this can have a significant impact on the clients cost-per-click (CPC) budget.
Sometimes, it may happen that a required attribute does not exist. In this case, it is necessary to create it and fill it out in your products, so that the attribute can be mapped to Google shopping. The danger of not providing Google Shopping with clean data could mean that the average bid rate could be higher. Additionally, the client’s account could be suspended and eventually lead to closure.
Google shopping requires putting the products into the proper shopping category. Google strongly suggests that this be done at the initial stages, and refraining from even starting with the eCommerce store until this is sorted out. The risks associated with this attempt include spending yourself out of business or even getting the account shutdown for bad data.
The best way to begin is to make the ads stand out by using alternative as well as non-supplier images. This method will help you to get your CTR average up to a higher mark. Finally, PLAs can use the promotion feature of Google Adwords to highlight special offers from the client such as free shipping or coupon codes.
Customers can rest assured that the steps mentioned above will help them to employ Google Shopping for the ultimate benefit of their Magento Enterprise website. The rest certainly depends upon the professional ability of the client to turn his business into a successful enterprise.