What is Google Smart Shopping?
Google Smart Shopping is a new campaign on Google ADS that makes it easier to advertise products through artificial intelligence and automation. A Smart Shopping campaign creates ads in both Shopping and Display formats, which will be automatically distributed across the Search Network, Display Network, YouTube and Gmail.
Google Smart Shopping ads are straightforward to set up, making them perfect for all those who don’t have enough time, budget or skills to create more advanced ads. It will be Google itself that will test different combinations of text and images for your ad and then automatically show the best performing results.
Another advantage of Smart Shopping campaigns is that Google manages the ad placements and bidding for each ad in complete autonomy, helping you optimize your budget and conversions.
Google Smart Shopping campaigns can be activated by anyone with a Merchant Center Feed, limiting 100 campaigns per Google Ads account. They can also be easily integrated into third-party apps (such as the Shopify platform) to make ad creation and results tracking even more accessible.
How does Google Smart Shopping work?
By combining your product feed with Google’s machine learning capabilities, Google Smart Shopping campaigns can create and display multiple ads across the search engine’s many networks. Basically, the system extracts information from your product feed, generates different combinations with the text and images you provide, and then shows the most relevant ads on the various networks.
For geo-localized campaigns in Europe, you can also have the ads appear on any Comparative Shopping Service (SSC). In this case, your ads will be displayed in Google networks and the results pages and specific placements made available by these services.
Finally, as we’ve already mentioned, Google Smart Shopping automates the distribution of placements and manages your budget so that you get maximum conversion value.
One last tip. Although each Google Ads account can trigger up to 100 such campaigns, Google suggests (where possible) that you merge them into a single campaign – this is because, quite simply, machine learning works best when it can tap into an extensive database.
Of course, it’s also true that profit margins can be very different when we’re talking about different product categories. Instead, it will be appropriate to opt for several campaigns in cases like this, each with a bidding strategy linked to a different target ROAS (Return on Advertising Investment).
The advantages of Google Smart Shopping campaigns
The most significant advantage of Google Smart Shopping campaigns can count on the power of Google’s machine learning.
Activate a campaign of this type. The platform will create the ads based on your product feed, show them in various formats across different networks, test the most performing combinations and calibrate the entire campaign to promote maximum conversion value.
In summary, we can define 3 strengths of this new format:
1) Effortless optimization
Smart Shopping campaigns create ads from your product feed. Google then uses powerful tools to test the various ads and show the ones that perform best.
2) Automatic bidding
Bidding and ad placements are automated, aiming for maximum conversion value within your defined budget.
3) Simple integration
You can create and manage Smart Shopping campaigns through third-party platforms (e.g. Spotify or Woocommerce) to optimize your marketing and tracking activities.
Why should you use Google Smart Shopping?
Google Smart Shopping campaigns are the ideal solution if:
- You want to simplify the management of your ads campaigns. You can create ads quickly, and the ads require minimal management and maintenance.
- You want to improve the results of your already active Google Shopping campaigns. Machine learning can help you to intercept the right audience and achieve your goals.
- You have little time or experience in managing Google Shopping campaigns.
What are the differences between Google Shopping campaigns and Google Smart Shopping campaigns?
With Google Smart Shopping, you can use artificial intelligence to improve your existing Google Shopping campaigns. In the table below, we show you the main differences between a “classic” Shopping campaign and a Smart Shopping campaign:
Remember, however, that in Google Smart Shopping campaigns, you can use only one landing page for each campaign (while in standard campaigns, you can correlate several landing pages to different ads). You will be forced to select a catalogue page as the landing page.
How to set up and optimize a Google Smart Shopping campaign
- Use remarketing lists in your Google Smart Shopping campaign (and continually add new users to the lists). To ensure the best coverage for your ads, it’s essential to have accumulated at least 100 active users in the last 30 days.
- Set up conversion tracking with specific transaction values and make sure you have at least 20 transactions in the last 45 days.
- Add a global site tag to your website to build your remarketing list. You can also connect your Google Analytics account and manage the tags directly from there.
- Want to go step-by-step? Leave your existing campaigns active (Shopping or Display Remarketing type) and try setting up the campaign on a specific product group. After 15 days – the time it takes to maximize conversions – compare the results of the different campaigns.
- Consider using bidding based on target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) to reach your minimum daily goals.
- If you want to increase the volume of conversions, try lowering the conversion value you set as the target ROAS-based offer.
- Optimize your feed’s titles, descriptions, and images based on relevance and work by the requirements and specifications provided by Google.
How WordLift can improve your Google Smart Shopping campaigns
When you set up a Smart Shopping campaign, the product feed is central. And that’s why structured data becomes essential: the accuracy of the markup determines how your products will appear.
Without structured data, the appearance of your products in ads will be decidedly poor. Conversely, adding structured data will allow you to communicate information such as product features, the category it belongs to, reviews, and availability.
In this way, you will create a rich snippet with which your product will be more visible (and attractive) on the crowded Google Shopping page, making it even more suitable for your campaign!
WordLift inserts structured data and extended product markup that allow your products to gain more visibility in the Google retailer directory.
In addition to all this, E-Commerce SEO by WordLift (our plugin dedicated to online shops) allows you to access Google Shopping even without having created a custom product feed: the structured data of your product pages and category pages will allow you to appear in Google’s product listings ☺