When Google introduced the Product Listing Ad in 2009, it was a game changer. Retailers no longer needed to rely on text snippets to entice their customers. They could now create customized ads that showcased product images and prices in search results. As a result, an overwhelming number of online retailers have embraced the Product Listing Ad concept. The incredible success of Google’s product ads have since inspired other companies such as Amazon, eBay and even competing search engine Bing to follow suit.
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It’s not hard to see why people are more likely to click on photo advertisements over text-based ones. This means a higher rate of conversion for companies and better returns on their ad investments. The exponential rise of mobile phones and social media websites has also contributed to the success of product advertisements. Facebook, for example, prominently displays product ads in its sidebar. It’s easier for shoppers to compare the online and offline prices for a product to make buying decisions.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some things you can do to make sure your product advertisements conquer the competition.
Understand your audience.
Search engines and social media platforms now offer advertisers unique insights into the mind of their customer. When you create your ad campaigns, think carefully about your target audience – their age, income range, gender, marital status etc. Use these parameters to laser-target your product advertisements. Facebook, for example, offers advertisers a lot of flexibility in selecting the audience their ads will be displayed to.
When you are targeting your campaigns for search engines, you need to understand the intent of your user. For example, a user who searches for “best hair care product” is more likely to buy something than a user who searched for “hair care tips”. Choose your keywords carefully and tailor your ad campaign to target the ones with maximum buying intent.
Target mobile devices.
Mobile phone users are less likely to make product purchases than people who are searching on a desktop. However, the sheer volume of users on mobile devices means that you cannot ignore the mobile platform. Even if your mobile ads don’t directly result in sales, the visibility your brand gets is extremely valuable.
As mobile searches evolve and digital wallets become more common, the number of people who buy directly from their phones will increase dramatically. Allocate a part of your advertising budget to mobile ads.
Google isn’t the only platform you should target.
Sure, Google is the dominant search engine and gets a lion’s share of traffic. But when it comes to selling products, the only number that should matter to you is the conversion percentage. Diversifying your advertisement portfolio across several platforms gives you a higher chance of success. Amazon, Bing, eBay and Facebook get a lot of traffic. More importantly, the non-Google platforms have less competition.
Test your ads on different platforms to see which one is getting you the most benefits. After you see which ones are performing well, you can allocate more of your budget to the given platform.
In summation, if you are a retail business, you simply can’t afford to ignore product ads. Look at the ad formats available on different publishing platforms to decide which ones are suited to your business.