Having trouble maximizing product listing ads on Google? Here are three tips to get the most out of the development that will eventually power Google Shopping:
1. Use Negative Keywords
So you’ve added a new product listing campaign and specified targeted products, are you sure you’re not showing irrelevant products to some user queries and therefore losing clicks?
Google’s guidelines and tutorials merely mention that while you cannot target specific keywords in your product listing ads, you can use negative keywords to filter which ones should NOT show for which particular keyword sets. It may seem to be a trivial convenience, but in fact, it’s an efficient filtering method that refines your product listings for better click-through rates and more efficient conversion.
Imagine if you were an online merchant for personalize key chains and some of your designs included Jet Ski key chains, football key chains, puppy key chains, and everything in between. If you don’t carefully use negative keywords to filter out your product listing displays, your key chains can potentially appear in searches where the keywords “jet ski,” “football,” and “puppy” are used.
2. Update Your Merchant Center Feeds
Google’s guidelines and best practices list highlight the need for keeping your Merchant Center feeds up to date, but unfortunately this is one of those things that can be hard to adhere to. It isn’t about lack of want, but lack of time — sometimes merchants and marketers don’t have time to micro-manage their campaigns and fail to update their product feeds and data.
This is an absolute must, however, if you plan on investing time, money, and effort into product listing ads and any other program that pulls data from your Merchant Center account. Because product listing ads use information in your AdWords campaigns specifications and your Merchant Center feeds, you need to ensure that both of them are up-to-date. In the same way negative keyword use can help avoid lost clicks and low conversion rates, updated information in your Merchant Center account ensures that the most relevant products displayed in your ads since these details are used instead of keyword targets to decide which product images and details should go with which campaigns.
3. Use Them along with Ad Extensions
Using product listing ads will not prevent you from using ad extensions, so feel free to use them both at the same time. What you’ll then have is a comprehensive ad that opens up to two options: one that introduces your business and offerings and one that goes straight to the relevant product clicked via product listing ads.
Google puts this contrast between product extensions and product listings quite efficiently, where product extensions are business-focused introductions to who you are and what you can offer in the context of a user’s search, product listings go straight to the front-end page where the product (and others similar to it from other places) can be perused and purchased. If you can use both the extensions and the listings to your benefit, it is strongly recommended you do so, unless special considerations would make one more preferable over the other, in which case you can choose to use the just one.