Imagine: an office worker in a condo building in the center of Bangkok.

It’s 21 o’clock in the evening on a dark September Saturday. 

After dinner, she is relaxing on her couch in a fully lit living room. 

Tired of watching the television, she decides to finally read the book she bought a couple of weeks ago.

When she opens the book, reading the book is uncomfortable to her eyes because of the bad lighting.

She directly thinks of a solution to his problem so she will be able to read more comfortably: a reading lamp!

So she goes to Google and searches: “buy reading lamp”

I can finally read my new book! 😌📙📖#relaxing #newreadinglamp
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You have an ecommerce shop that specializes in reading lamps. Your shop has the biggest assortment of reading lamps, from high quality to low prices.

But when he searches for “buy reading lamp” on Google, he doesn’t see your assortment in the Google Shopping search results.

Why is that? Because you haven’t started running Google Shopping ads yet. You don't have the time to learn how to set this up, so you only set up some general text ads. 

Because you didn't show up at the top of the SERP, you just lost a potential customer.

You don’t want that to happen. That’s why we’ve put together this Google Shopping Ads guide for your ecommerce shop—so you can learn the fundamentals of Google Shopping. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have learned:

Let’s get into it.

Introduction to Google Shopping

When Google users search for any product, they're served Shopping ads. Shopping ads are shown in a carousel format on top of the SERP.

Google Shopping Ads Example: "Buy reading lamp"

Throughout our clients, Shopping ads account for roughly 80% of clicks from non-branded product searches. All queries considered—branded and non-branded—Shopping ads drive around more than half of ecommerce advertisers’ total clicks.

Conclusion: Google Shopping is vital to ecommerce digital marketing.

For an in-depth explanation of what it takes to build a profitable Google Shopping campaign, get in touch with us today!

How does Google Shopping work?

Short answer: a very different process compared to the rest of Google Ads.

In order to run Google Shopping Ads, you have to link your Google Ads account to Google Merchant Center. Don’t worry—it’s a fairly simple process. You can do that over here.

Once that’s settled, it’s time to upload your product feed to Google Merchant Center. A product feed is a spreadsheet that describes and organizes every product in your assortment in such a way that Google can easily categorize and index the product information.

Here is a more detailed explanation to set up your product feed for Google Merchant Center.

Want us to set up your Google Shopping campaign?Yes, please

Shop owners with a small product assortment can create their own feeds through the use of Google Sheets. Larger advertisers (those who sell hundreds or thousands of products) will need to leverage an automated feed solution.

When creating your product feed, you’ll have to include the following information for each product in your assortment:

There’s a good reason Google wants you to include so much information: You do not create the Shopping Ads. Instead, Google indexes the product data you put in the product feed,  and then it creates a digital inventory for the product in your store. 

This way, when somebody searches for a product, Google has all the information it needs to automatically serve the most relevant product through Shopping ads.

Shopping advertisers don’t bid on keywords, either. 

Shopping Ads uses the product information you uploaded to Google Merchant Center to target queries on Google. Such as is the case with SEO, the target keywords are automatically gathered through your product titles and product descriptions.

This way, and by uploading other required pieces of information, like the Google Product Category and GTIN—you make Google aware of the information it needs to show your assortment in the search results.

Product search query: “Buy reading lamp”

How to Structure Google Shopping Campaigns

Now, it’s time to return to Google Ads Dashboard, and create some Shopping campaigns.

When you create a new Shopping campaign, Google will put all of your products into a single product group that is named: All Products. From there, you can break down that general product group into as many product groups as you see fit.

Make sure to think this through. The bids for Shopping Ads are set on product groups.

Across your assortment, products have different prices, different margins, and different conversion rates. If you put these products that vary widely across those three dimensions in the same product group, they’ll all be given the same maximum CPC bid. You don’t want that.

Here is a calculation to help you decide what to bid on a product.

To calculate available profit:

((selling price/tax percentage) * 100) - (purchase price) = available profit

To calculate Max CPC

(available profit*conversion rate percentage) = Max CPC

To calculate Initial CPC

(Max CPC/desired margin percentage) = initial CPC

In summary, the purchase cost, available margin, and conversion rate of a product, dictates the bid you can place on a product.

Want us to set up your Google Shopping campaign?Yes, please

The only way to remove all variations between products within a single product group is to subdivide each individual product into its own product group. 

In fact, we recommend this strategy for ecommerce advertisers with a small product assortment. However, if you have an assortment of hundreds or more products, this will not be possible.

Subdivide your product feed in relevant categories based on brand/ product type/ margin/ season/ etc.

You should subdivide the product groups in order to contain as little variation as possible. For any business, this is going to result in considerably different campaign structures.

Let’s say you’re a reseller who advertises products in the Lamp category. To begin with, you subdivide your All Products group into four separate product groups according to room type.Then you can subdivide these product groups according to margin: low and high margin. 

Each room group is subdivided into bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Each bottom group breaks into high and low margins.

So, that leaves you with 8 distinct product groups. Here are a few examples:

These are the product groups to which you allocate the according CPC bids. Bid higher on “High Margin” product groups, bid lower on “Low Margin” product groups

Now that you’ve created the different product groups and allocated each of them with a corresponding bid, Google now knows how much you’re willing to pay per single click on each individual product ad.

As with every auction of Google Search, your Shopping ad lands in the sponsored search results for a given query partially depending on how much you’re bidding per click. The higher your click, the higher the ad will rank.

Another factor is Quality Score. Each time Google serves an ad for one of your products, it assigns the ad with a Quality Score. 

Here are a few things you can do to improve Quality Score:

One of the most important aspects of hotel marketing is to make sure that your guests get the best experience possible. A hotel should be the place where guests feel comfortable and safe. You should make sure to offer a variety of services and amenities to keep guests happy and coming back for more.

As you can imagine, travel can be expensive. While some hotels offer discounts for booking online, many offer travel incentives that attract guests to book via the hotel's website. That being said, if you are a hotelier, how can you improve your online bookings?

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Be Easy to Find

Technology has taken over. Today, travelers are empowered to do their own research without leaving the comfort of their beds. That's why you need to be EVERYWHERE online for potential bookings. Your hotel needs to be easy to find, so that people can find it when they need a place to stay.

But wait! There's more to organic optimization than just being organic. The SERP for "hotel-related searches" is heavy with monetization. This means that people will see ads first, as shown in the screenshot below. You'll need to bid aggressively on Google's Search and Display Networks (don't forget hotel ads!), Bing, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Get your business above the fold 🤔 #ads

Don't limit yourself to just one social platform, search engine, or travel website. It might not be necessary to have a strong presence on every website imaginable, but take the time to find out where people are booking from and create an engaging and competitive presence on those platforms.

Want Us to Get Your Hotel Above the Fold?Yes, please

Remarketing is King

The abandonment rate of booking hotels online is about 70% industry-wide. This means that 7 out of 10 people visit the booking engine, fill in the information but get distracted and abandon the process. 

It could be any reason, they got a phone call and forgot what they were doing before the call. Or they were interrupted in some other way. Whatever the reason is, this means you should be reminding these people of your hotel through remarketing ads (see example of a remarketing banner ad below).

Remarketing ad with a 30% discount 💰#everybodylovesadiscount

Through remarketing, you can decrease your abandonment rate and increase your direct bookings by targeting these people with persuasive ads to the people who visited your booking engine. This should remind them of your hotel and the offer.

A remarketing ad should give the website or booking engine visitor a reason to come back and complete the booking.
One way to do this, is to give them a little extra incentive to book with your hotel instead of your competitors. You should also remove all possible frictions in the booking process.

Want us to create the remarketing banner for your hotel?Yes, please

Revise your Targeting Audience

You're not just marketing a hotel. You're marketing a destination and an experience. The experience you offer will be different based on your location, and we can help you make sure you're targeting the right people to maximize your profits and conversions!

There are so many different hotel customers, from the ones paying for expensive presidential suites to the ones looking for a deal. The marketing campaigns need to account for all of these things!

Nowadays, you can run separate campaigns for different audiences with tools like Facebook's targeting options. Just remember to define your audiences so that you can send the right message to the right person at the right time!

Who are your visitors? 🤔 #families #honeymooners #businesstraveller

Flexible Ad Budgets

Depending on the location of your hotel, you should be aware of the peak season that has an impact on your bookings.

You probably already know when the peak season of bookings is, but you may be forgetting an essential step when it comes to calculating your ad budget. It makes sense to spend more of your annual budget into your busy season instead of your “down” season.

Find out which months are busy, steady or slow and then adjust the ad budget accordingly. 

When is high season for your hotel? ✈️🏖️ #whenyouknowyougrow

Provide Promotions

Why should a potential guest stay at your hotel compared to your local competitor? One that has better prices or better location?

Your hotel should have a reason for guests to book a night at your hotel. If there are no obvious reasons, like having the lowest prices or most 5-star reviews. You could come up with some other unique incentives or offers to provide to your potential guests.

Examples of this could be:

Who doesn't like free breakfast?? 😍🥐🍹 #breakfasttime

Build Local Partnerships

Most probably you are surrounded by other businesses that are also trying to attract visitors. This could be the local famous restaurant, fitness gyms, attractions or the massage place around the corner. 

If you work together and promote each other, you can create promotions such as a discount for your guests when they go to the restaurant. 

It is a win-win for both you and the restaurant owner, you can give your guests a discount on a night out. The restaurant owner does not have to spend a marketing budget attracting clients. By highlighting this promotion on the website, conversion rates should increase.

Local co-promotion partnerships 🔥 #everybodywins

Sell the Destination, Fill the Hotel

If you own, manage or operate a “vacation” style hotel, most potential visitors still don’t know where they will be going on holiday in the beginning of the year. 

This is a great opportunity to sell the physical location of your hotel, the bustling city or the peaceful village with local breathtaking views. 

Don’t just focus on your hotels’ amenities when reaching out to these people. If you are the first point of contact when learning about your destination, this gives you a definite competitive edge in the booking process.

Sell the Sights, Fill the Hotel 😍🌄 #sightseeing #vacationvibes

User-Friendly Website that Captures Visitors

A functional, nicely designed website, this might seem like a non-brainer to everybody. We thought so too, until we were onboarding new clients. Before we run any ads, we go through the website and check the functionality, email newsletter, booking process, etc. It is here where we come back to the client and tell them what needs fixing. It’s mostly small stuff, but when you remove friction for the web visitor, the web visitor can easily find what they are looking for and therefore, conversion rate increases.

Examples of this could be:

Both beautiful and functional ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #success
Want us to take a look at your website?Yes, please

Extraordinary Customer Service

Customer service and marketing in the hospitality industry go hand in hand. If you let the customer feel that he/ she has the holiday of a lifetime, they are very likely to become ambassadors of your hotel. They will boast that they stayed at your hotel and will recommend your hotel to all their friends and on social media.

How can you accomplish this? The primary step is to employ and train staff with a customer-first mentality. Although this can be challenging in some cases, putting the customer first is crucial. 

Employee Goals 😉🤗 #customerfirst