Google Shopping uses the search engine format to show products from online shopping websites instead of text or image results, and recent data shows that these Google Shopping ads drove 76.4% of retail search ad spend in the first quarter of 2018, beating text ads in markets around the world.
Google Shopping ads, or Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are growing in popularity – so how do brands maximise their return on investment?
Competitive search intelligence may be the answer. Instead of requiring a bigger ad budget, it will help to discover hidden opportunities that are more cost-effective.
Identifying where ad spend will have the most impact and where your competition’s weaknesses lie, and therefore where your own strengths lie, is vital to getting the most out of Google Shopping.
Comprehensive competitive analysis looks at data across categories, devices and ad types so that search marketers understand their share of clicks versus competition across the search market – including PLA. This analysis will make it clear where the most lucrative opportunities are, as well as showing what the competition is doing.
Finding a niche opportunity can result in a better click-through rate (CTR), which will have a positive effect on revenue – as can mitigating the impact of an encroaching competitor.
We take a look at six ways that retailers can optimise their PLA spend…
Using AI and machine learning makes it possible to deal with the huge volume of data involved in finding keywords. Using machine learning for categorisation can make a large-scale project a more speedy task, making it possible to spot trends in real time.
Real Time Analysis
By monitoring PLA for insights in real time, it simultaneously acts as an advanced warning if a new competitor emerges, making a move on your PLA territory. This early warning will enable you to rethink your strategy in order to defend your place.
Understand the seasonality of some searches by researching last year’s seasonal trend data. Use this information to identify gaps and to invest in the most popular PLA, beating your competition.
The tactics that different companies use for comparable products vary greatly, but by looking at your competitor’s ads and performance it is possible to discover the characteristics that can be emphasised, ignored or reduced in your own.
Competitive analysis will make it clearer where you should spend your budget. You may be able to cut the budget for certain terms that are dominated by a big competitor, and in other areas you may simply be displaying the wrong product for a certain type of search.
Use the data to find the areas in which you can dominate. Concentrate less on trying to get into the best position for products that are crowded, and instead focus on finding niche areas and gaps where your product can rank at the top, as this is more likely to result in a click-through and a potential sale.