According to our recent research, one third of people didn’t realise that shopping results that appear in Google Search results are paid adverts.
When users search for products online, such as shoes, Google has always displayed regular search results and product listings. In 2012, Google announced a change in the way products are shown and developed a paid model, allowing businesses to pay for their products to be shown to consumers. This allows businesses to add their products to their Google for Retail page and pay to have them appear in searches.
We were surprised to discover that around 30% of the 1,024 who took part in our survey were unaware that the shopping results displayed to them were paid ads.
Most results for product-based queries will display a selection of paid adverts, which are displayed in a row of white boxes with ‘Sponsored’ above them to the right, highlighting that these results are different to organic listings.
In comparison, just over half of respondents said they know the difference between paid ads and organic listings but chose not to click on them whilst there are 14.7% of people that DO click on them.
What does this mean for businesses investing in PPC advertising?
What is clear, is that whilst many consumers are becoming more aware of paid advertising on search engines, there is still a substantial portion of people who either have no idea of the difference or who are willing to click on the result regardless.
As more people look online to do their shopping, the market is becoming increasingly competitive. For those who want to invest in paid advertising, having a solid and well thought out campaign is essential to keep on top of the competition and drive sales.
Whilst the statistics seem disheartening at first, it has solidified a few key points:
Shopping ads are still worth investing in as part of a comprehensive paid search campaign
If used as part of a solid paid search campaign, Google Shopping ads can be an effective way of gaining extra revenue.
Having your products displayed above the fold gives your brand a sense of authority in the search results and can lead to consumers identifying your brand with specific products or services.
Whilst paid search ads on Google are great for ranking for specific keywords, it’s important to remember that Google Shopping ads have their own advantages.
Firstly, they show everything that a customer needs to know straight away. This includes an image, description, price and in some cases a star rating.
Secondly, Google Shopping doesn’t allow you to bid on a position for specific keywords. You can tell Google how much you would be willing to pay for a keyword/phrase, but Google will predominantly pull certain results based on how the description and title match what people are searching for. This gives businesses a better chance when trying to get products displayed.
Relevant products and competitive prices are key
To ensure that their products gain clicks and that they are getting a good ROI, advertisers are going to have to start really considering the products that they are putting on search engines.
Putting up loosely related products for product searches just won’t work. The user needs to feel that the product really is what they are looking for and that it is being offered at a price that benefits them as a customer.
When searching for ‘good quality white wine’ users don’t want to discover a bottle of red wine or a super cheap bottle that isn’t good quality at all. It’s important to make sure that your products match the keywords or phrases that you want them to show for, so that they have a higher chance of being clicked on.
It is worth evaluating whether you can make the price of your product any more competitive. If a user can see that an item is value for money, then they will be more inclined to choose that option.
With Google Shopping, good quality products will almost always succeed. Consumers compare items based on price, reviews, delivery times and whether there are any special offers, if an item gives them everything they want then they will look in to purchasing it regardless of its placement.
Ultimately, Google want to offer people the best results for their searches and match consumers and businesses effectively. As with all their platforms, it is likely that Google Shopping will continue to evolve to achieve this goal.
For further advice on getting the most out of your paid search campaigns, get in contact with the experts at AdPilot today.