Building on our SEO vs PPC blog post last month, we’ve decided to continue the theme by comparing and contrasting the merits of Google Shopping ad campaigns and Google Search ad campaigns.
But before we do that, it’s worth briefly running over what they are and how they work before delving into their respective pros and cons.
Let’s make a start with Google Search ads.
What are Google Search Ads?
Google Search ads are text-based adverts that form one half of the Google PPC advertising offering (AdWords). These ads are displayed at the top of search results when would-be customers enter the keywords relevant to your business into Google.
You can use the excellent Google Keyword Planner Tool to help find the best keywords for your business.
To give you an example of how you might target a keyword, let’s say you’re a brick and mortar coffee house in Gloucester that sells your own coffee roasts. In that case, you might want to target the keyword “coffee roasters Gloucester.”
At the moment, the character limit for Google Search ads is currently 30 for Headlines (of which you have the option to use 3 or more if using ‘Dynamic Ads’), 90 for Description Lines (of which you have 2), and 15 for your Ad Path (of which you can use 2).
In total, you have the option of using up to 300 characters, which isn’t a huge amount given that includes spaces. Thus, you need to ensure you make each one count!
Who should use Google Search Ads?
In short, anyone can set up a Google Search text ad campaign. Since they are text-based, they can be useful to websites based in almost any industry.
How can you get the best results?
Successful AdWords campaigns rely upon continuous testing and measuring. To figure out the best conversion rates on your Google Search ads, you’ll need to constantly tweak your ad copy, alter your call to actions (CTAs), and mix up the keywords you are targeting.
Your specific choices will come down to the type of business you are. For example, if you run an eCommerce website, then you might want to include key phrases such as “free shipping.”
You can also set geographical limits to ensure your local brick-and-mortar business only targets people local to your physical retail premises.
So that’s Google Search ads out of the way. Let’s now focus on Google Shopping ads and how they differ.
What are Google Shopping Ads?
A useful way to think about Google Shopping ad campaigns is that they focus on products and images as opposed to keywords and text. Shopping ads show your product’s image at the top of search results accompanied by vital information such as product name, price, and reviews.
Instead of bidding on keywords, you bid on product names (for example, “puppy toy”). If you manage to win a click for your advert, Google will take the customer directly to your product page.
Apart from obviously requiring images for these types of ‘Pay Per Click’ adverts, you will have to keep product information up to date in the Google Merchant Centre to ensure the product is available (in stock) and that pricing information is correct.
Who should use Google Shopping Ads?
It may come as no surprise that Google Shopping ads are well-suited to, well, online shops. eCommerce websites (such as Shopify stores) will benefit the most from these eye-catching image-based adverts.
How can you succeed with Google Shopping Ads?
In terms of getting the best results, there’s actually a lot less to do in terms of tweaking when compared to AdWords campaigns since you’re letting your imagery do the talking. The work you will need to carry out is in the back-end of your Merchant Centre account.
Since Google Shopping adverts rely upon the product feed in your Google Merchant Centre account, you will spend your time ensuring all of the information is correct and up-to-date as well as descriptive as possible. You’ve also got to switch on “automatic item updates” to ensure your product feed always has accurate information.
Why is this important, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, Google will suspend or disapprove your account if there are too many mismatches between prices and product availability. So forget to update your product feeds at your peril!
Google Shopping Ads Vs. Google Search Ads in conclusion.
That concludes our brief look at these two popular pay per click advertising methods on the world’s biggest online advertising platform. With over 3.5 billion searches made on Google per day, you’ll undoubtedly want to capture a small slice of that traffic and divert their attention to your products and services.
However, getting results in this increasingly competitive field requires expertise. Get it wrong, and you could find yourself quickly burning through cash without much to show for it in return.
Whether you need help with Google Shopping or AdWords campaigns, our team has developed an impressive track record over the years, and we can’t wait to show you what we can deliver for your business.
This blog article was also published on our main website, Nous Digital.