The 3 Shopping Ads ranking factors

The shopping ads auction in Google is getting more and more crowded and competitive. How can you ensure that your product ads dominate? There are 3 main ingredients you can optimize to make your products appear more often: the 3 Shopping Ads Ranking factors.

You can compare it with the 3 well-known ranking factors of SEO (technique, content, authority). The ranking factors of Shopping Ads are: 1. Bid, 2. Relevance and 3. Market. In this article I will show the effect of the ranking factors with the help of 3 graphs.

The 3 Shopping Ads ranking factors: 1.Bid, 2.Relevance and 3. Market.

1. BID

Needless to say, your bid is one of the most determining factors in whether Google decides to show your ad. A number of things are important within this:

  1. Bid approach
    You can set manual Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bids, or use an automatic bidding algorithm from Google. More and more advertisers are using Google’s automatic bidding algorithms and the experiences are getting better. Read more about the different approaches you can choose in the article: What Google Shopping approach works best for you?
  1. Finding the right bid / ROAS target
    It can be very tricky to find the optimal point. If your manual CPC bid is too low (or your ROAS target too high), your volume will be low. On the other hand, if your manual CPC bid is too high (or your ROAS target too low), it will affect your profit or even make a loss.
Graph 1: Finding the optimal bid/ ROAS target
  1. Segmentation
    Do you use the same bid or ROAS target for all products? Or are you going to apply segmentations? For example, you can group products based on category, profit margin, sales, stock status, performance, etc. That way, not every product will get the same bid or ROAS target and instead you can push successful products or products with higher margin. And you can decrease your advertising spend on products that mainly cost you money but hardly generate any turnover. You can also do this for search terms (successful search terms, brand/non-brand search terms). For a guide on how to do this for search terms, read the article: The “waterfall principle”: shopping campaign structure.
  1. Advertise through a CSS partner
    When using a CSS partner (such as Producthero Premium CSS) you have 25% more bidding power compared to when you bid via Google Shopping. A quick win to make your bids more powerful is to switch to a CSS partner. 

    More info: https://producthero.com/google-css

2. RELEVANCE

Improving relevance is one of the most overlooked optimizations. For text ad campaigns you can easily increase the volume by adding extra keywords. Shopping campaigns, on the other hand, don’t work with keywords. Google looks at your product content to see if the product is relevant to display for a search term. What you can optimize include:

  • Product title
  • Product description
  • Product category
  • Product attributes (color, material, etc.)
  • Product image

To improve the findability of your products, optimization of the title is by far the most impactful optimisations you can do.

Read more about how Wehkamp doubled the volume of the optimized products in a test with Producthero Optimizer:

Graph 2: When NL top 5 retailer Wehkamp used title optimization in a test, they doubled the Shopping Ads volume for the optimized products.

2 basic rules apply to relevance optimization:

  1. Utilize the 150 available title characters as much as possible
  2. Find and use the language of your customers

For more best practices, read the article: Product Title Optimization for Shopping Ads: the ultimate guide

The tool that Producthero has developed to optimize relevance is Producthero Optimizer: https://producthero.com/optimizer

3. MARKET

The third ranking factor is the market position. The position of the seller in the market (like brand awareness, historical campaign and product results) plays an important role. But this is of course more a long term game.

A much more direct effect is the position of your products in the market. The pricing of your products is an important ranking factor.

An example of a study that shows the effect of price on volume is by agency Crealytics. The price of the advertiser has increased 5%. The result was a huge decrease (60%) in shopping ads volume.

Graph 3: A small change in price can sometimes have a big effect on volume

In our own experience, having the right price, or pushing products with the right price, is an important success factor. Small price differences can make a big difference in the visibility of products. To optimize for price compared to competitors, Producthero helps advertisers and agencies with making price benchmark data in the Google Merchant Center more actionable. For practical examples how to use price benchmark data we described some practical use cases in a blog post.

More information: https://producthero.com/price-benchmark

Optimizing the Shopping ranking factors

For every Shopping Ranking factor we have developed a solution that enables you to boost it. Find out more on https://producthero.com/solutions.

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