Digital marketing

Google Shopping: How to get the most ROI.


Over the last 5 years since moving to a paid platform, Google Shopping advertising, (or Product Listing Ads as they were previously referred to) has become an integral part of e-commerce marketing. Most medium to large online businesses now have visibility in Google Shopping and are seeing tremendous growth from the platform.

Here at The Bigger Boat, we manage several e-commerce accounts in Google Shopping to help our clients maximise revenue and profit from their websites. Due to the amount of data and number crunching undertaken daily, we have become accustomed to bidding strategies and how to use these to get the most out of ROI.

We’ve recently conducted some data analysis across multiple industries to gain a deeper understanding of how broad and more specific keywords perform in Google Shopping campaigns. A broad keyword is defined as a generic reference to a subject area or set of products – e.g. ‘mattresses’, or ‘Adidas trainers’, and is normally a user researching around a particular set of products, usually using 1 or 2 words.

A more specific or ‘longer tail’ search term is more targeted to a specific product, whether it be coupled with size, colour or even a unique product number. The longer the number of words, the more specific the search query.

What we found was quite interesting. Across the 4 industries there was a very low percentage of direct sales from 1 or 2 word keyword phrases.

More generic keywords do not always provide a healthy ROI – however, there is an assisted value to factor into this. In fact, our data shows that, approximately, only 1 in 5 sales from the Shopping Feed come from using broad terms.

On the other hand, more specific product searches seem to drive better ROI – and in some cases may be cheaper to advertise on due to their less competitive nature. One thing to remember here is that more specific searches have lower search volume compared to a broader query, so this has to be weighed up.

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Written by Mark Jenkins
Search specialist and analytical thinker Mark looks after our paid search and SEO services.