How to optimise Shopping campaigns: Product descriptions

Shopping campaigns are an effective way for retailers to showcase visual representations of their products on SERPs, with key information such as prices, styles and even promotions visible to prospective shoppers. With Shopping ads, consumers are able to quickly scan results and click through ads straight to purchase.

Shopping ads, unlike search ads, run through a feed – so there are no keywords involved. Google cross-references your data feed with search queries, which allows it to collect information about your products; the more detailed you are, the better the performance. To filter irrelevant traffic, where you see search terms totally unrelated to your product feed – or even irrelevant enough to be unlikely to lead to a conversion – negative terms are added to the campaign. The hope here is that over time more relevant traffic is attracted to each product within a feed, and therefore costs are minimised to relevant clicks only, in turn reducing cost per order or acquisition.

Though there are many ways to optimise your Shopping campaigns further, as discussed in a previous Croud blog post, here we’ve tested altering product descriptions to better reflect search terms. Though there is no equivalent of ad copy to tailor and optimise through Shopping ads, we can alter the feed to better suit our target audience’s need.

Optimising through product name

One of our clients has seen great AdWords Shopping results recently, with record order volumes coming through. Click-through rate (CTR), however, is still much lower than in generic search campaigns. In order to try to increase CTR, we tested adding text within the product description  which is similar to popular, high-converting search terms within the campaign, to make our ads more relevant. In turn, this would theoretically lead to a higher volume of conversions.

We hypothesised that we would see increased impressions, due to more relevancy within SERPs, allowing us to show for more searches – with the logic that Google may deem our results more relevant to searches if the product description matches the search more closely. Secondly, we expected to see increased CTR due to higher relevancy to the user – if the product description contains your search term, chances are you’d be more likely to click through, deeming the ad relevant to your needs.

A significant uplift in impressions and CTR

We saw a 39% uplift in impression data across the products tested in the feed. This was also coupled with an impactful change in CTR – with a 24.8% increase in this metric after optimising the product description. Overall, clicks rose by almost 75% in just two weeks. This, along with a marginal increase in conversion rate, led to 76% more conversions in the two weeks following the change.

Optimise your feed

Product descriptions can be time-intensive to change, especially if the feed is scraped directly from the site, but this has been proven to be a really effective way of optimising your campaigns. Even if the top-10 products in your feed are optimised, this could go a long way in making your campaign perform up to 76% better than before.

Look at what your top search terms are in regards to impressions, clicks and conversions. Are there any that you can incorporate into a product name? For example, if Croud had a Shopping feed, we could add ‘PPC Account Management’ to our Shopping product description. If there are terms that have strong click-through rates, consider incorporating these into products which have not been performing as well as others in your feed. You could also try adding them to stronger converting products which have a lower CTR, to help boost traffic to site through these products.

By optimising your feed through product descriptions, you can enhance CTR to ensure that your Shopping feed is working as hard as it possibly can. Croud prides itself on its creative way of continually improving performance for clients. If you’re looking for some support or advice on how to tackle these kinds of issues or simply to improve the performance of your advertising, then please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

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