If you’re a Small Business Online Retailer, you may be under the impression that Digital Marketing only works for the Retail Heavy Weights. Or maybe you think that it’s pointless to do your own Marketing, as you’ll never be able to compete against these multinational Organisations. After all, how could you ever compete with the major players who have far more money, products and people than you do?
Well, while it might sound impossible, Google Shopping is a Marketing Strategy that offers an even playing field for all Businesses spruiking their wares in the Online World. By giving everyone the chance to grab that top “prime position” advertising space at the top of Google’s Search Result Pages, all Businesses great and small have a chance to reach their target audience. And better yet, if done right, Google Shopping can actually be the most effective Digital Advertising Platform in terms of Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), so even as a Small Business Owner you can be making an incredible investment!
If you’re a Small Business Owner hesitant to adopt Google Shopping as a strategy, here are the top 5 Google Shopping strategies that you can implement as a small to medium-sized retailer to help put you in the same league as the retail big guns.
1. Focus on your niche
As a Small Online Retailer, chances are you won’t be selling hundreds of different varieties of products. While you may think this makes you less favourable with regards to Online Advertising, it could actually see you gaining an advantage over larger Companies.
Whether your products are your own personal Brand or from independent designers, this stock is exclusivity yours. Selling products that aren’t sold by Amazon or a hundred other retailers means there’s less competition to appear in Google Shopping for relevant searches. When someone wants a more boutique or niche item, such as the products you’re selling, then you’ll likely gain the lion’s share of the ad space, as less products from larger retailers will be relevant to the user’s search.
Even better, if you create and sell your own label, you won’t have any direct competition in terms of Brand queries. Private labels have the added benefit of commanding higher margins, making them a smart investment for any Business. For this reason, it pays to focus your Campaigns on more niche, new or boutique Brands, and try to get these products exclusively.
2. Use Geotargeting
Another way to make sure your ads are reaching those shoppers most likely to purchase your products is through Geotargeting. This is a great targeting option offered by Google Shopping that allows you to display your ads only to people within the regional areas where you deliver your products or where your shop is located.
Geotargeting means that you won’t be wasting your budget on people who may click your ad but won’t actually purchase your product because you don’t ship to their home country. This feature helps you narrow down and hone in on your target audience meaning you won’t have to fight as hard against your competition for a much larger audience.
Furthermore, you can also use Geotargeting in a more granular way by bidding higher for your ads to show in very specific areas. For example, if you are a high-end Online fashion retailer, you may want to bid more for ads shown in high-income areas where the people searching are more likely to be able to afford your products.
3. Write 150 Character Product Titles
When first establishing your Campaign, it might be tempting to simply carry across product titles from your website to Google Shopping, but this could be a big mistake for the success of your campaign.
Most Ecommerce product titles are only 40 characters, meaning that most retailers are not making effective use of the other 110 characters allowed within Google Shopping. And trust us, this is a HUGE missed opportunity! While not all the 150 characters of a product title will initially be shown on the thumbnail, when an interested searcher scrolls over your product with their mouse these titles become expanded and shown in full.
Products that make the most of the allocated product title character count have been shown to outperform their shorter counterparts, seeing them have an overall increase in impressions and a higher Click-Through-Rate. This will give you an advantage over the larger retailers, that will likely not have the time to create longer Product Titles for their enormous inventory.
4. Optimise Your Landing Pages
This one might seem obvious, but you might be surprised at how many Businesses have sub-par landing pages, including many larger Online retailers.
While having an effective ad is all well and good, if you’re sending users to a landing page that is hard to navigate, confusing or not even displaying what they originally clicked on then you’ll likely be losing customers by the bucket-load.
When a potential buyer clicks your Google Shopping ad they should be taken to a page that is highly relevant to what they just clicked. If they click an ad for a specific piece of furniture then they should be directed straight to that product page. If a user clicks an ad extension promoting your “Summer Dress Sale”, then they should be directed to this page on your Site. This will reduce your bounce rate, allowing Google to identify your product as highly relevant to its users, helping to boost your ad above your competition.
You must also ensure that once your potential customer arrives at the landing page in question, they have an optimal experience. Make sure all the buttons on the page are working correctly, any product descriptions are well written and the image is of a high quality.
5. Decrease your prices
If you do sell some of the same products or Brands as your competitors, you’ll often get more out of Google Shopping by decreasing your prices than by just increasing your bids.
This may sound counterintuitive, but it has to do with Google’s algorithm for selecting which products to show. While not specifically stated by Google, the platform seems to show the cheaper of two products, even if the more expensive product has a higher bid. In fact, if your products are too expensive, Google may refuse to show them at all.
According to Google, its algorithm doesn’t prefer cheaper products, however it does react to what users like or dislike. In this case, users apparently dislike high prices, and therefore, the algorithm chooses lower-priced products which are, understandably, more popular. Either way, by making your prices lower you might have a greater chance of your ad previewing over that of your more pricey competitors.
The other added benefit of lowering your prices slightly, is the way in which Google Shopping ads are displayed. As the ads are shown side by side, this allows for easy comparison by Shoppers. In a quick glance they can see two of exactly the same product, except yours is cheaper than your competitor’s. Which would you buy?
As you can see, Google Shopping doesn’t favour larger Retail Giants in any way. In Fact, as a Small Business selling Online, you have many advantages and clever strategies you can utilise to help put you ahead of these Retail Heavy Weights.