How do product feed-driven text ads assist your ecommerce campaigns?
When running ecommerce campaigns you can opt to go with Google Shopping Ads or with Google Text Ads.
Both systems have their pros and cons, and in this blog post we will go through which system you should rely on based on the specifities of the products you are selling and your store.
At the end of the day, it isn't an 'either or' debate. Ecommerce advertisers can confidently use both ad formats to maximize results.
Shopping Ads vs Text Ads: What's the difference?
Whenever you do a search on Google for a product, you will likely be shown both a shopping ad and a text ad. But there are important difference between the two.
What does a Google Text Ad look like?
Google text ads are Google's standard ads used by both ecommerce advertisers and those outside of ecommerce. You can advertise both products using them or services.
Unlike Shopping Ads, Text Ads have no images, but there are additional extensions you can add to liven up the look of the ad, including call-only extensions. Extensions will allow advertisers to display more content and increase click-through rates.
Location extensions for text ads can give searchers information that is not available with Shopping ads. These include store locations as well as operating hours.
Another important difference between text ads and shopping ads is that text ads offer more control over when your ad will be shown to searchers based on the keywords you bid on.
Advertisers can choose keywords that target either the higher end of the funnel or the lower end of the funnel and thereby target shoppers at different stages of the purchasing journey.
Text ads will appear either at the top or the bottom of organic results, and text ads will compete with other advertisers who bid on the same keyword.
As such, your ad may be clustered together with three or four other search ads.
What do Shopping Ads look like?
Google Shopping Ads are visual in nature and will always have images of the products being shown.
Shopping Ads will almost always appear at the top of SERP results with a dedicated tab and sometimes a carousel.
An important difference between Shopping Ads and Text Ads is that you are unable to bid on specific keywords and search terms when using Google Shopping Ads.
Instead, advertisers are required to submit an optimized product feed with accurate title descriptions and attributes that describe the products which are being sold.
Google Shopping Ads can be more difficult to set up, because Google has strict rules for how a product feed needs to be formatted.
While both Text Ads and Shopping Ads use negative keywords, the negative keyword list for your Shopping Ads is arguably more important, because it is solely through the negative keyword list that you can influence who doesn't see your ads.
Up to 30 Shopping Ads can be shown on desktop and up to 15 on mobile. This gives Shopping Ads the slight edge for ecommerce stores if they want to display multiple products. With Text Ads, only one search ad will be shown when someone makes a search.
Are Shopping Ads better than Text Ads?
Google has developed Shopping Ads specifically to target ecommerce advertisers, so it would make sense that Shopping Ads perform better than Text Ads.
However, studies performed by different industry advertisers have shown mixed results. As such, advertisers shouldn't draw the conclusion that Shopping Ads are inherently better for ecommerce advertisers compared to text ads just because Google developed them for ecommerce.
Most advertisers know this and elect to use both ad formats in their advertising campaigns. If done correctly, a store will be able to have their text ads and their shopping ads appear on the SERP at the same time.
One of the main reasons why you would want to incorporate text ads into your ecommerce campaigns is by creating feed-driven text ads.
Feed-driven text ads automatically create text ads based on information in your product feed.
The reason feed-driven text ads have such high conversion rates is because the product specifications are super specific and right there in the ad.
Shopping Ads don't allow marketers to bid on specific keywords and search terms. But text ads created using information from your product feed create a perfect match between the product and the searcher.
When to not use Shopping Ads and Text Ads
There are certain circumstances when you shouldn't use a Shopping Ad or a Text Ad. When it comes to text ads, these should be favored whenever you are advertising something other than just products, such as services.
There are a few exceptions with Google Shopping usch as when you advertise mobile contracts or software services, but overall, Google Shopping should only be used for products and not services. Services that you wouldn't be able to advertise with Shopping Ads but could with Text Ads include bike repair or lawncare services.
In addition, flights and hotels cannot be advertised using Google Shopping Ads. Instead these should be used for Google Hotel Ads.
Google Shopping Ads also require that images be used, which is essential since it is products that you are selling. These images have to comply with Google's strict policies. If the product you sell doesn't comply with Google's image polices, than perhaps a text ad is better suited where there is no image.
Text ads will also benefit you if most of your business is run through a physical shop. You’ll be able to advertise your phone number, opening hours, and even stop your text ads from showing at times when you’re closed. That way you won’t be wasting any of your budget on unnecessary clicks.
Pros of product-feed text ads
Prominent on the search engine result page
More text and more content
Your ad might be bigger than your competitor's if you use all the lines and ad extensions
Give more chances to get a clickthrough
Cons of product-feed text ads
Not suitable for products with long and complex names
More complex to implement than Google Shopping
CPC might be more expensive than Shopping
Pros of Google Shopping
Easier to implement for a high number of products
No need for keywords, potentially more chances to show your products
Usually, Shopping ads are more engaging than search ads as they show an image as well
CPC can be relatively cheap compared to search
Cons of Google Shopping
Only suitable for online retail businesses
Strict policies around image content
Ads show limited content
All ads are of the same size. Hard to stand out from competitors
Both Google Shopping and Feed-Driven Text Ads have their pros and cons. The first step for you to master these two ad types is to be aware of their benefits and limitations.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing our own very own tool that creates product feed-driven text ads for ecommerce campaigns. Stay tuned to give it a try.