Google’s recent announcement on their plans to convert Google™ Shopping from a free Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE) to a paid service has created concern and confusion for many merchants. While the initial reactions have been mixed, there is an opportunity to increase sales to your store by using Product Listing Ads.
In business, you often hear the phrase “You have to pay to play.” Basically, that’s what Google is saying. Every time your Product Listing Ad is clicked, you will have to pay a cost-per-click.
Product Listing Ads (shown below on the right) are expected to replace current results on Google Shopping by October, so don’t wait to get up-to-speed on what is in the works.
Here’s why Google Shopping as a Paid Product listing ad service is a good option for Merchants:
1. Many merchants may elect not to participate in these new changes.
Many of your competitors may choose to not participate in this change, giving you a chance to get ahead of your competitors.
2. Merchants will now have more control over where their products show up in the Google Shopping results.
Instead of relying on Google to decide where your products will be displayed, you will now have bidding power to control your products’ placement. Google will still base searches on relevancy in conjunction with bid optimizations. This means that merchants will have the ability to potentially show up in top spots where they may not have been before.
3. Promotional Text
Creating a promotion to include in your Product Listing Ads will motivate shoppers to click on your ad, drive sales and make your ad stand out. Say something such as “Free Shipping with Code: dad10” or “Made in America; Support Small Business!” to really engage shoppers. Merchants are now able to create their own promotional text. In the past, Google pulled the text from your data feed, which did not give you a chance to create your own promotion.
4. Select Best Performing Products
You can start as big or small as you’d like! You don’t have to target all your products on Google Shopping anymore. Now that it’s a paid model, you can select your best-performing products, brands or categories in the beginning to see which are the best performing in driving new sales.
5. Leverage Google’s Integration of PPC with Google Shopping
Use this change as an opportunity to dive into the Pay-per-click (PPC) realm. Maybe you’ve only advertised on Google Shopping before, but never actually showed targeted ads on Google’s search result pages. To use Google Product Listing Ads, Google needs you to open an AdWords account and begin using Product Listing Ads. There are a lot of eyes on PPC text and image ads on Google.com, Google’s Search Partners and the Google Display Network. Start using targeted keyword phrases and ads to capture qualified traffic in those places, too. You’ll likely find out there are a lot more customers who want your products, but never used Google Shopping before, and will now find your products easily.
6. An incentive to try it now!
Google is offering a discount to incent merchants to try out Product Listing Ads. The offer is 10% off clicks for the remainder of 2012. This is an awesome incentive since it will last through the holidays’ high volume season. But hurry, to obtain this offer, merchants must sign up by August 15, 2012.
Of course, if you have questions as you sort through the process, the Internet Marketing team at Solid Cactus is here to help, so don’t be shy.