Following Google’s axing of its free ad service – as of today, many advertisers may well be in a flap about the change.
However, according to an industry figure at a leading American digital marketing technology company, who has ‘been there done that’, the shift from free to paid ads will bring about huge improvements for UK users.
As detailed yesterday in an A4u opinion piece by Lengow's Jérémie Peiro, the free price comparison Google Shopping feature is no more, and as of today new product listing ads and paid for results will appear in shopping searches.
Embrace the Change
Chief marketing officer Aaron Goldman, from global digital marketing technology company Kenshoo, which has campaigns in nearly 200 countries and creates more than $25 billion in annual client sales revenue, said the shift should be fully embraced.
As the changes have been effective in the USA since October last year, Goldman said he has witnessed the benefits and is urging users to get onboard with the new offering earlier, to benefit from lower competition.
“While online retailers might question why Google is making them pay for what was previously a free offering, the thinking is that making companies pay will bring about an improvement in the quality, accuracy and reliability of information that appears in Google Shopping searches – winning greater trust from online shoppers to help drive more purchases through this channel,” Goldman said.
Higher Click Through Rate
In November Kenshoo released key performance metrics based on an analysis of more than 270 million global impressions and clicks aggregated from merchants managing Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
Data from Kenshoo indicated that Google PLAs outperformed text search ads in many ways. The click-through rate (CTR) was 73% higher, the conversion rate was 35% higher, the return on ad spend was up 46% and the average cost-per-click was 36% lower.
Goldman said the PLAs incorporate richer product information, including product images, prices, and retailer names, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Whenever a shopper enters a product related search query, Google will now automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name (see image above).
“As PLAs include images, they stand out on the search page and attract attention,” Goldman added.
Refer to Past Data
In a bid to help online retailers maximise benefits from paid Google Shopping and PLAs, Kenshoo is now advising retailers to use data from existing pay-per-click advertising to help schedule PLAs according to the time of day, week and when they see high CTRs and conversions.
Also according to Kenshoo, by including negative keywords in PLA campaigns, this prevents irrelevant clicks, reduces costs and also improves quality scores.
Although the PLAs have been available for a while, it is only now that they are going to be compulsory for companies to get their merchandise into Google’s product related searches.