What are Shopping Ads?

Shopping ads are a great way to increase exposure for an ecommerce site and get your products listed out there along with your competition. By putting together a product feed file and submitting it to a search engine like Google, an advertiser is empowered to advertise on one of the fastest growing advertising platforms available. And because you’re submitting your product information directly to Google, there’s also a great level of transparency not normally seen in online advertising, as these ads will display your product’s image, name, and price right up front and center. Because of this, users have a pretty good sense of what you’re offering, and this translates into generally lower click costs and higher click through and conversion rates than a comparable text ad. “But what can we do to maximize our chances to get our products shown in the sea of other websites out there” you’re probably asking. Well, an excellent place to start is with your product titles and descriptions.

Product Titles and Descriptions are Important

Shopping ads share a lot of similarities with text ads, but there’s one huge difference that sets them apart – they do not utilize keywords. With a text ad, we’re able to bid on  both broad and specific search terms in order to tell Google how we want our ads to appear. For shopping ads, however, we’re bidding on the product itself, not a search term. Because of this, the way Google’s algorithm calculates relevance is a bit different. Google will crawl your product pages and index on page content such as your product’s title, description, image and price. It then uses this information to pair your items with relevant search terms, taking your product bid into account as well. For this reason, it becomes pretty important to have product titles and descriptions that are rich with information and provide as much utility to Google and end users alike.

Front Load Relevant Information

A shopping ad will display an image of your product, as well as its title and price. For the search engine’s benefit, it’s important to have as much information as reasonably possible, but from a user experience standpoint, these ads have a character limit when being displayed, and people won’t be able to read all one thousand characters of your beautifully verbose product title. Put the most important information that you want people to see first, as that’s going to be what they’re actually able to read. Google also values front loaded content, as it’s pretty natural to have critical information listed first. Good examples of information to front load would be brand, size, or color information, or if the item is part of a bundle or sold in bulk.

Learn to Talk to Robots

In order to best set ourselves up for success, it’s important to understand the differences in how search engines and humans process information on product pages. A human being has the benefit of things like common sense and understanding context. When presented with an item that has a fairly vague name, such as a handbag that’s simply named “Chelsea” (a real life example of a site I saw once), a person is able to see the product image, understand that it’s a handbag, probably get a decent idea of what it’s made out of and maybe even its dimensions, and come away with a much better idea of what that product is all about. A search engine like Google simply wouldn’t know what to do with this product, however. When writing your product titles and descriptions, assume that you’re talking to a robot, toddler, or alien that only understands and has knowledge of the information you physically write out. Identifying things like color, materials, and dimensions will go a long way in arming search engines with the power to match your items with relevant search results. The more information you’re able to give, the better!