Google is often the start of the buying journey for consumers. This makes it an integral part of an eCommerce strategy. Think about it: if a shopper is looking for a red pair of shoes, chances are they’ll head to Google and type in “red shoes”.
As a merchant, you’ll want to make sure that your products are the first to appear in relevant search queries. You can create keyword-rich product pages to rank towards the top of search results organically, however, paid ads will always be displayed first.
Google offers a variety of different ad services that help merchants get their products in front of high purchase intent shoppers, but the most compelling opportunity lies with Google Shopping Product Listing Ads.
What Are Google Shopping PLAs?
Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLAs) let merchants pay to get their products in front of shoppers searching for relevant keywords on Google. They display your product alongside its price and photo, but you can also add reviews and other elements such as special offers to make it more engaging and increase click-throughs.
Google Shopping PLAs are set up through the Google Merchant Center, where merchants can enter product information and set the budget and timelines of their ads. Sellers can promote their online inventory through their Google dashboard through a Cost Per Click approach that targets chosen keywords.
The best part is Google PLAs show up before organic and paid search listings. This, along with the detailed product information provided on each ad, improves metrics such as click-through rates and conversions.
The Benefits of Google Shopping PLAs
There are many reasons why Google Shopping PLAs are valuable for merchants:
- Highly qualified traffic: the people clicking on your ads have purchase intent
- Better user experience: providing all relevant information upfront makes it easier for shoppers to convert
- Increase product visibility: get your products shown at the top of relevant search results
- Get better ad results: studies show Google Shopping Ads generate 26% higher conversion rates and have a 23% lower cost-per-click than text ads
- Beat the competition: when you create in-depth, relevant Google Shopping Ads, your products stand out from the competition
- Great for mobile: the real estate that PLAs take up on mobile is proportionately a lot bigger than on desktop, leading to higher click-through rates
The Importance of Product Ratings and Reviews for Google Shopping PLAs
While Google Shopping PLAs mean you can dominate the search results, your products will still be shown alongside those of your competitors. So it’s important to follow Google Shopping best practices and optimize your ads with information that will drive click-throughs.
One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate product reviews and ratings into your ads.
Take the example below. The ad on the right with the star rating draws more attention than the others, even though it’s not in first, second, third, or even fourth position.
In one study, PLAs with detailed seller ratings saw an average 24% higher click-through rate and a 26% higher conversion rate than those without.
This is because they:
- Provide social proof
- Stand out amongst other listings
- Instill buyer confidence
As 93% of shoppers actively seek out reviews before they buy, adding them front and center to your PLAs takes multiple steps out of the buying journey.
Women’s shoe brand, The Office of Angela Scott, experienced this firsthand. When they used Okendo’s integration with Google Shopping to add reviews to their ads, they saw an 81% increase in conversion rates and a 91% increase in ROAS.
How to Get Started With Google Shopping
Google Shopping Ads let you quickly promote your products to those much-coveted top spots in relevant search results.
To start, you must sign up for Google’s Merchant Center, where you’ll enter your business name and address. You’ll need a Google account to sign up — if you don’t have one you can create one here. Then, you’ll be asked to choose where customers will check out once they decide to buy a product. That can be via your website, Google, or in your local shop.
Google Shopping Ads are easy to set up and far easier to monitor than regular text ads. To get started, all you have to do is:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account
- Create a new campaign
- Click “Shopping” when selecting your campaign type
- Choose your advertising preferences like daily budget, the networks you want to promote on, and where you want your campaigns to be shown
- Choose what kind of ad group you want to create, whether that’s a Product Shopping Ad or a Showcase Shopping Ad
- Create your first ad group
- Save and publish
How to Collect Reviews and Automatically Display them on Google Product Listing Ads
To make your ads stand out, reviews and ratings are crucial. Okendo is a customer marketing platform that offers a suite of tools for collecting and showcasing reviews onsite and across marketing channels, enabling merchants to build trust, drive conversions and maximize CLTV.
And as a trusted Google Shopping Reviews partner, Okendo’s integration with Google Shopping can easily help you infuse your Product Listing Ads with compelling social proof to drive traffic and sales for your brand.
Learn more about how Okendo can help. Book a demo here.