Google Shopping is one of the best places online to list your products, and it’s only getting better. The eCommerce platform has come a long way since its launch in 2002. Nowadays, it’s the centerpiece of paid search listings.
Google Shopping accounted for more than 76% of all retail search ad spend in the US back in 2018, and the company remains dominant in the space to this day.
What is Google Shopping?
In a nutshell, Google Shopping allows you to create product listings that will appear when users make Google searches. If I search for ‘blue winter sweater’ then I’ll see several Google Shopping results at the top of my search. Try it now.
A staggering 85% of all product searches start on Google or Amazon. You’re missing out big time if you’re not listing your products on Google Shopping.
In fact, 70% of all internet searches take place on the search engine - more than 1 trillion unique searches every year. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t be missing out on the world’s largest search marketplace.
Here are some excellent reasons - other than the huge marketplace - that you should sell on Google Shopping in 2021.
Google Shopping gives you qualified leads
Unlike social media and other platforms, Google Shopping listings generate qualified leads. In other words, people find your products on Google Shopping because they’re already searching for that specific product.
This gives you a massive advantage and hugely increases the chances your impressions will convert into sales.
Think of it in terms of the below marketing funnel.
Customers looking at your products on Google Shopping are way past the Awareness stage and their search alone counts for Interest. This means you’ve already knocked out the two most difficult steps of acquiring new customers.
What’s left is Decision - whether they choose your product or someone else’s - and Action, which is as simple as pressing buy now.
Get better leads with Google Shopping ads
Google Shopping ad campaigns will give you even more qualified leads. You give your product data to Google when setting up a shopping campaign, which allows the search engine to hyper-target your product listings to people who are most likely to buy them.
Here are some tips to convert more with shopping campaigns:
- Use high-quality images
- Give at least three product type attributes (Home & Decor > Furnishings > Bedroom > Bed > Cat Bed)
- Have a descriptive product title
- Optimize the feed attributes as much as possible
- Keep it all up to date
Don't forget to check out our 10 easiest ways to optimize product feeds on Google Shopping and Facebook.
All merchants should list their products on Google Shopping to take advantage of the insanely qualified leads that come with it.
You can list the products you want to sell on Google Shopping without even making an ad campaign.
You can now list your products for free
Just starting out in eCommerce and worried about stretching your budget? Just list your products on Google Shopping for free.
- Go to Google Merchant Center
- Create an account if you don’t already have one
- Opt into Surfaces Across Google when onboarding
- Start creating your product feed
- Await approval
Note that merchants who already have an account with Merchant Center and use Shopping ads, and you already opt into the surfaces across Google program, then you’re probably already able to list products on Google for free.
Shopify recently partnered with Google to give Shopify merchants free listings on Google Shopping. To easily set up free listings via Shopify, simply:
- Go to the Google sales channel in Shopify
- Make sure your store meets the requirements to list on Google Shopping
- Import your Shopify products to the Google Merchant Center
- Wait for approval
- Your products are now listed
Use the Socialshop app to sync products to your Google feed
You can also set up the Socialshop - one of the best Shopify apps to keep your Shopify products synced regularly to Google Merchant Center. This app allows you to manage your products easily and saves you loads of time by making sure everything is up-to-date automatically. You can also optimize your product feeds for better discoverability on Google searching results.
Socialshop is easy to use and only takes a couple of minutes to install. You can also use the app to set up a Facebook Shop in just a few clicks, making it a go-to for boosting your product discoverability across various platforms. To sync products from Shopify stores to Google Shopping, check out this guideline.
How do free listings on Google Shopping appear?
Free listings appear alongside paid ones in much the same way that organic search results appear alongside paid ads. Of course, paid listings will receive more impressions and, in most cases, more clicks.
Small businesses with limited budgets can make great use of free listings on Google Shopping.
Merchants with Google Shopping campaigns can also use free listings to supplement their paid ads and drive even more traffic to the checkout page.
Google Shopping ads convert well… very well
One in three clicks on paid Google listings go-to shopping ads. Furthermore, Google Shopping ads have an average conversion rate across industries of 1.91%. This might not sound like much, but it means a lot.
Say you list a product that you can make a $20 profit on. You set your ad budget for $1,200 and this allows you to reach 10,000 people.
- 1.91% of 10,000 people is 191
- 191 people buying your product ($20 profit) = $3,820
- $3,820 minus the initial $1,200 ad budget leaves you with $2,620 overall profit
Google Shopping ads are easy money. All you need is the initial investment, a good product, and the right optimization of your listings.
Why do Google Shopping ads convert so well?
Google Shopping and search ads appear at the very top of the search results page. They’re the first thing people see, which makes them much more likely to be clicked on.
They also show you the product and the price straight away. This makes people much more likely to just click on them rather than start trawling through the search results to find a website that might have that exact product.
Google knows what it’s doing. It knows how to grab attention and how to make merchants and customers happy. They’re a good player to have on your side.
Google Shopping is optimized for mobile
Google Shopping puts mobile-first because the google ol’ folks in Silicon Valley know that mobile is the future. A whopping 54% of eCommerce sales are expected to take place on mobile by 2021.
This is up from just 34.5% in 2017. In three years, mobile has gone from being a third of the eCommerce market to taking up more than half.
Shopping ads are perfectly suited to handheld devices thanks to their mobile-friendly interface and visual focus. People are less patient on mobile and usually on the move, so being able to see pictures, prices, and essential information in an instant is essential.
Don’t overlook mobile - ever!
More than 81% of Americans owned a smartphone in 2019. That number was just 35% in 2011, making smartphones was one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in history.
Most merchants design their websites - and their Shopping campaigns - on a laptop, which leads them to prioritize this format over mobile. In reality, they should put mobile-first.
Fortunately, Google Shopping already does, which gives you a higher conversion rate. Thanks, Google, your next round is on us.
You have control of how much you spend
Amazon and other marketplaces charge you a fee for each sale on top of everything else. Google Shopping is one of the few platforms that lets you control how much money you spend.
Google does this through its bidding system. You can place a bid on a product ad to get it seen more, but you can max out your bid and you don’t have to pay anything if no one ever clicks on it.
You have much more control over your budget when you sell on Google Shopping. It’s fair, in a word.
Lots of people don’t realize the effect of listing products to sell on Google Shopping can have on your site’s SEO performance.
First of all, Google product data specifications require your listings and landing pages to be to a certain standard. They require information that will boost your product pages organically as well as in their listings.
Furthermore, Google requires your website to be designed professionally, including having a clear returns policy, not spamming on product landing pages, and so on. This has the added benefit of ironing out some common creases in your eCommerce store.
Shopping ad data can be used elsewhere
The data you gather from your Google Shopping campaigns can be used later to optimize your website and marketing content. You can use geolocation data, average order value, conversion rates, mobile devices, and more to determine which customers you should target and how you should grab their attention.
A lot of this data can be found on Google Analytics, as well, but with Google Shopping, you get to see what happens when you hyper-target your listings to leads that are already warm.
You can use this data to optimize future listings, target customers in specific regions, or even localize your ads to bring more foot traffic into your brick and mortar stores.
Some countries prefer brick and mortar stores over eCommerce due to a lack of local protections and high rates of scamming when shopping online
You can learn a lot of unexpected lessons through data.
Final thoughts: Google Shopping is the king of search listings
If you want people to find your products online, you need to list them on Google Shopping. There isn’t any excuse not to do this now that free listings are available.
Even with free listings, merchants who are serious about scaling their business must pay for Shopping campaigns to reach as many people as possible.
Becoming an expert at Google Shopping listings isn’t a walk in the park - there’s a reason people make a living telling other people how to do it correctly. Still, this is a learning curve worth overcoming, and the best way to approach it is with a combination of theory and practice.
In other words, get reading, watch YouTube videos on the subject, and start listing products on the world’s largest online search marketplace.