Google is the top online shopping platform, with more than half of consumers using the search engine to research products they want to buy online and in-store.
But what’s really interesting for online brands is that 64.6% of these consumers click on Google Ads when conducting their research — making Google Product Listings one of your hottest acquisition tools.
What are Product Listing Ads?
Product Listing Ads (also known as Google Shopping Ads) are image-based ads on Google that display more detailed information about a product than a standard text-based ad. This information is pulled from your product data feed and includes the product title, photograph, brand, price, and customer rating.
Product Listing Ads work similarly to text-based Google Ads — matching products with user search terms to display relevant listings and websites. These appear in three places:
- Above (or to the right of) the organic search results and text-based ads
- On the Google Images tab
- On the Google Shopping tab — a filterable page full of relevant products from across the internet
Unlike Google Search ads, you bid on product groups rather than keywords and Google populates your ad contents for you.
The Benefits of Product Listing Ads
1. More traffic
Product Listing Ads target your products’ visibility towards shoppers with strong purchase intent — they’re actively searching for products to buy. PLAs’ positioning in search results means higher visibility for shoppers. This makes them more likely to click through, driving traffic to your store.
Google also displays multiple products’ ads simultaneously, increasing the chances of your ad being shown and giving you more opportunities to compete against other listings.
2. More qualified leads
Product Listing Ads have a visual appeal that gives customers a snapshot of your product’s vital information, resulting in 30% higher conversion rates.
Google Product listings showcase key information relating to your product (such as title, price, image, and customer reviews). This information helps the customer ensure the product is likely to meet their needs before they click onto your website, qualifying them and pushing them further along the sales funnel.
3. Better campaign management
Google Shopping Ads have powerful reporting features, allowing you to analyze product performance at a granular level by filtering campaign metrics down to title, channel, brand, price, condition, labels, and other attributes. You also have access to benchmarking data so you can assess the competitive landscape and identify growth opportunities.
Product Listing Ads Best Practice: Ratings & Reviews
Product reviews are important for driving consumer decision making, with over 93% of consumers saying reviews impact their decision to purchase.
Reviews demonstrate social proof that builds credibility with shoppers and removes barriers to purchase, such as concerns about how the product fits or works in real-life. They also please the Google algorithm by demonstrating fresh, relevant, and trustworthy content to crawlers indexing your listings while helping your Product Listing Ads visually stand out among competitor ads.
As a result, enhancing Google Shopping product listing ads with ratings and reviews help you increase click-through-rates, decrease ad costs and drive more qualified shoppers to your store.
The Office of Angela Scott is a great example.The women’s shoe brand experienced an 81% increase in conversion rates simply by adding customer reviews to its Google Shopping ads.
You can add product reviews to your Google Product Listings, using Google’s Product Ratings program to connect your reviews feed to Google Merchant Center. As an official Google Review Partner, Okendo has a 100% success rate of connecting review feeds to Google Shopping, so you can feel reassured that any challenges you face setting up along the way will be successfully taken care of by the Okendo team.
How to Set Up Product Listing Ads
Setting up Product Listing Ads is easy and can be done directly in your Google Ads account or by integrating your Shopify store using the Google Channel app. Here are our top tips for getting started:
1. Conduct keyword research
Understand the keywords your customers use to find the products you sell and analyze them for popularity, competition, and specificity.
Tip: Use negative keywords to prevent ads from appearing in irrelevant queries. For example when listing sunglasses, exclude prescription glasses (or wine glasses!).
2. Perfect product data
Make product listings informative and clear and include the brand, product category, and any custom labels. Don’t forget to match the product title to the one on your website to avoid confusing or misleading shoppers.
Tip: Experiment with titles and descriptions to see which tactics generate the best CTR.
3. Highlight special offers
Activate promotions in the Google Merchant Center to replicate offers on your website such as discounts, gifts, and free shipping.
Tip: Google only accepts offers applicable to all audiences (so promotions for new customers only won’t be displayed).
Google Product Listings are a crucial part of a successful eCommerce customer acquisition strategy. Adding product reviews and ratings to your ads using Okendo’s integration with Google Shopping will help you increase consumer trust, make your ads stand out, and win over Google’s ad algorithm to help you skyrocket sales.
Google requires that you have at least 50 product reviews on your site before you can start including them in your Google Shopping PLAs, so if you’re looking for a reviews program that will help get you the results you need to start reaping the benefits of Google Shopping, Okendo can help.