Though there are many ways to generate sales for an e-commerce store, one method which is often overlooked is Google Shopping Ads. Also, Google Shopping is mixed or altered with other e-commerce promotion by Google is Google Ads.
Merchants are often confused between Google Shopping Ads (formerly Google Product Listing Ads or PLAs) and Google Ads (formerly AdWords). We have come up with the key differentiators between both to help you understand which one is perfect for your online store.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping allows merchants to set their desired cost per click for displaying their product listing ads at the top of Google search results. Google Shopping Ads moderate your bids for product groups, categories, individual products, and daily budget.
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads allow merchants to bid on specific keywords for displaying their ads at the top of Google search results. Google Ads are more commonly used for both e-commerce sites and brick and mortar businesses.
Google Shopping vs Google Ads
How They Work
With Google text ads, you can advertise your products as well as services. Though these ads are without images they offer additional ad extensions. The extensions allow the advertiser to show more content and offer more chances for potential promotions and unique sales points.
Google Shopping ads are the ones with images. They have a dedicated tab and appear most commonly at the top of the search engine results. Though you won’t be able to bid on specific keywords with Google Shopping Ads you can submit an optimized feed with detailed and accurate titles descriptions. Also, you can specify a list of negative keywords to better influence your set of the target audience.
The Ad Set-up
Google Shopping Ads take text from product titles and descriptions. However, Google AdWords allows you to personalize the text of the ad via a custom message.
In terms of visuals, Google Shopping ads are pretty straightforward – the product photo is everything. Google Ads can have multiple ad formats – static, animated, or dynamic banners.
When to Use Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads are perfect for sites with a large number of products. For example, if your e-commerce store sells 500 products and you want to have one ad for each product, go for Google Shopping Ads. Setting up the same in Google Ads is complicated, time-consuming, and difficult to manage. Google Shopping Ads have much higher click-through rates.
When to Use Google Ads
Google Ads are better for branding, messaging, and promotions. If you are selling services and not the physical products, Google Ads are a better option for you. Also, if your product images don’t comply with Google Image Policy, go for Google Ads.
When to Advertise with Both
- When your business needs greater exposure and visibility
- For sharing less space on the SERP with competitors
- For reinforcing your branding image and message
- When you have more text to use and more content to show
Pros and Cons of Google Shopping and Google Ads
Pros of Google Ads
- Prominent on the SERP
- Great visibility
- Ad extensions
- More text and content
- More chances to get a clickthrough
Cons of Google Ads
- Not suitable for products with long or complex names
- Complex to implement as compared to Google Shopping
- CPC might be more expensive
Pros of Google Shopping
- Easier to implement
- A cost-effective way of promotion for e-commerce stores with a high number of products
- No need for keywords, more chances to show your products
- Google Shopping ads are more engaging than search ads
- CPC can be relatively cheap compared to Google Ads
Cons of Google Shopping
- Only suitable for retail businesses
- Strict policies
- Limited content
- As all ads are of the same size, difficult to stand out from competitors
If you are new to Google Shopping or Google Ads, start simple, create campaigns, keep an eye on your analytics tools, and regularly update your strategies. Also, if needed, ask for help from a professional digital marketing agency to get your campaigns going and growing.