How To Optimize Smart Shopping Campaigns
To better understand the questions, we need to go way back to where it all began. Google Shopping was established back in 2002, and at the start, it was known as Froogle, or people used to call it Google Product Search. We talked about a period when the tab for shopping was first shown in Google search results.
It works just like a shopping engine and the retailers can advertise their products to users. Entering a keyword or query will show the list of results. They don’t look like the classic search results, though. They have images, prices, reviews, and links to the official website of the retailers if there are multiple.
Afterwards, retailers could bid to appear at the top of the search results within Google Shopping, which makes the engine a vast online marketplace. This started a snowball of evolution, and these ads began to appear at the top of the standard pages. This is what is now known as Google Shopping campaigns.
If you want to learn how to optimize Smart Shopping campaigns, we have the information; also, we’ll share some tips for optimizing smart shopping campaigns and other useful information. Stay with us!
What Is a Smart Shopping Campaign?
In this modern-day age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the easiest way to sell products is online. The advertiser can consider many strategies while marketing their product and targeting a compatible audience, but the most effective tactic is the usage of Google Smart Shopping campaigns.
These campaigns are a relatively new offering on the Google Ads platform, a known tech giant. They first appeared in 2018 and caught the eye of businesses worldwide. The question of how to use them best still stands since everyone is looking to better their marketing campaign. A smart shopping campaign provides search results similar to an ad about a product, but they can also appear as local inventory ads and display ads. With that in mind, it is a huge deal when they are on the Google Display Network and its partners like YouTube and Gmail.
This type of campaign can be described as a hybrid between standard shopping campaigns, responsive search, and display marketing campaigns. It may sound simple, but many things are happening behind the curtains. The campaign does most of the work for the advertisers and maximizes the number of conversions. They can be bidding, optimizing, and adjusting the budget.
How Does Google Smart Shopping Work?
Smart Shopping campaigns shine the most amongst small and medium businesses that, in a standard scenario, would not have the resources to manage a Google Ads campaign.
All it requires from you as an advertiser is to find the time to do the initial setup, figure out the campaign budget, and explain your goal in mind. Google does the rest of the work. Google uses an artificial intelligence algorithm with images and content, as the advertiser enters your products’ list feed.
According to Google, it can take around two weeks for the process of ad optimization and development to be complete. The 15-day mark is enough for the AI algorithm to collect enough data to maximize the return on the investment.
The machine learning system has data insights into the ads’ performance, and it can increase or decrease your keyword bids so you can earn more conversions with the same budget.
A recently done study has indicated that for the exact cost of a manually-run campaign, Google was able to boost a 20% higher conversion rate.
Automation in Smart Shopping campaigns
We mentioned the usage of the AI algorithm multiple times, but it is a crucial feature at Google for making intelligent shopping campaigns as efficient as possible. This algorithm is familiar with your existing product feed from the Google Merchant Center and the assets there, and it combines it with the machine learning system. This system pulls ads from your product feed afterwards and serves them on various ad networks. The AI algorithm constantly learns and tests ways that work best toward your goals.
One main goal in all marketing campaigns is to maximize conversion without any additional cost. The machine learning process will focus on the best images and text combinations for advertisement, as well as where to place the ad to capture a bigger audience.
Using a Google Ads account can provide a maximum of 100 intelligent shopping campaigns, and it doesn’t matter if they are enabled or paused.
As we mentioned, the initial learning process is done in the first 15 days of the campaign. After that period, the AI algorithm should collect enough data for optimizing the best smart shopping campaign. These campaigns are the future of shopping, and all the automation in them can save you a lot of time and give you more efficiency, all for the same price.
Basic requirements for Smart Shopping campaigns
Before using the Smart Shopping Campaigns, you need a couple of things, such as:
- Google Ads account
- Google Merchant Center account
- Uploading a data feed on your Merchant Center account from your product
- Have an existing audience of at least 100 customers
Tips for Optimizing Smart Shopping Campaigns
Smart Shopping campaigns offer the same benefits as standard shopping campaigns and more. In fact, they are the only way to rank at the top of the search results. Using this type of advertisement for your campaign can even push the performance of the search ads. When you consider that Google is automating your bidding and saving you time, you are bound to see better results.
The AI algorithm of Google can draw a more extensive scale of data that can go in the front of the ad and be shown to a targeted audience at the right time. Smart Shopping campaigns shine on the two most important fronts, visibility, and timing. The two aspects make a great team for providing more conversions.
Once you set everything up, you can get started, but don’t forget that the AI system can only improve the cause, and you should not leave everything to Google. Here are some tips to ensure that Google Smart Shopping delivers impressive results.
Be very mindful of data integrity. The success of intelligent shopping campaigns relies on the quality of data at hand. Google needs adequate data about the historical performance KPI. The more data is available, the more benefit you get. Needless to say, the data available should be accurate and complete without anomalies that can confuse the decision-making of the AI.
The number of retailers who are moving their budget to Google Shopping Ads is increasing and traditional search ads are considered old news. These ads’ visual elements can drastically improve click-through and conversion rates. We have decided to create this informative article about how to optimize Smart Shopping campaigns because they take things a step further than traditional shopping campaigns and bring a variety of ad types to the table.
Target all products
The enormous advantage of intelligent shopping campaigns is that you can target all your available products by using a single campaign. This can improve the performance and make the data comparison from one product to the next easily.
You can narrow down the product ad targeting to focus on more specific audiences by categorizing your product. This also helps Google Ads optimize which is the most relevant audience for your ad.
Keep tabs on targeting exclusions
Google Smart Shopping campaigns utilize several parameters for targeting to find the best combination that can appear within the right audience. If Google Ads discovers a low-performing targeted method, it will automatically stop spending on it and switch its focus to more effective methods. This can sound like great news for your budget, but it can be very problematic. This switch may cut the correct audience for your product. We recommend keeping a close watch on the Google exclusions that are created in your campaign and making sure that valuable areas are not excluded.
Google will generate the descriptions of your product based on your information from the existing list feed. For ensuring better-automated shopping ads, you need to optimize your titles, images, descriptions, and pricing.
Google uses a metric called Quality Score for ranking the ads. Google considers many factors like ad relevance, CTR, which stands for click-through rate, and user experience. If you want your ad to appear amongst the targeted audience, you should do everything in your power to improve these aspects.
Experiment with target ROAS
If, after a while, you are not hitting the goal and the learning phase ends, you can implement a target return on the ad as your bid strategy. This is a smart bidding strategy available for Smart Shopping campaigns. Targeting ROAS will help get more conversions or return on ad spend, as Google likes to call it.
For this to work, you will need a minimum of 20 conversions, and in the best-case scenario, you will need around 50. This should allow the algorithm at Google enough information to work with and optimize your ads.
Review customer journey
If you are struggling with poor conversions, but you have a solid click-through rate, the problem for sure is on the site. What this suggests is that you have placed the ad in the right place for the correct audience at the right price, but the experience after is weak. If this happens, it is worth reviewing your customer journey so you can figure out what the issue could be. The problem may be in the sale process if it is too long. You can fix this problem by reducing the number of digital touchpoints and simplifying your route to conversion. This should bounce the rate back up.
Stay on top of errors
Error pages can, unfortunately, happen at all times, and they are never good news. Shopping campaigns have a track record of showing errors and the bounce rate can take a dip. This especially happens for e-commerce sites where the products are often changed and updated. Needless to say, it becomes an issue. We recommend staying on track for any updates and changes on your product feed to avoid this issue.
- More beneficial than standard shopping campaigns
- Highly ranked
- Pushes the performance of the search ads
- Premium spot and visual format
- The automatization of your bidding is done by Google
- Time-saving and better results
- The AI algorithm of Google is used
- Scaled data shows up at the front and targets a larger audience at the right time
- Great timing and visibility
- More conversions
- More efficient than traditional search ads
- Visual elements that can improve the click-through rate
- A unique take on intent against the interruption debate
- Smart Shopping campaigns only appear for eligible types of queries
- Smart Shopping campaigns are not interruptive and intrusive
- No major cons
One thing that we can conclude from our article called “How to optimize smart shopping campaigns,” is that these campaigns are like a ‘flower.’ If you want it to grow, you need to invest a little time and effort each day and let it take care of itself. After applying water and the occasional trim, the seed will become strong and independent. Time and money are critical components for a smooth and successful smart shopping campaign.
Hopefully, after our article, you are more familiar with optimizing your Smart Shopping campaign, and you know about simplifying the whole managing process. Google is doing all the heavy lifting and only a few moments from your time are enough for getting the ad you want.
We did a lot of research and we provided a deep explanation of what these campaigns are, what exactly they do, and how you can improve the whole experience. We wish you pleasant work!