To advertise successfully online, there’s only one option: Google. In fact, for every $1 a business invests in Google Ads, they earn $8 in profit through Google Search. It’s just these days, there isn’t just one option with Google. There’s two: Google Shopping ads and search ads.
Deciding between the two is tough. How do you know which is better? After all, using the wrong ad format can squander critical ad spending. Or is there a way to maximize your return from both search and shopping?
Below we’ll discuss the difference between Google’s search and shopping ads. We’ll weigh up their pros and cons and decide which is best and when. And we’ll explain how Google Shopping ads work.
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Google Shopping Ads vs Google Search Ads
What are Google Shopping Ads?
Gone are the days of Google searches only returning web page links. Nowadays, products on Google Shopping from eCommerce also appear alongside the results in a box at the top of the page. There’s also a dedicated web tab to browse a seemingly endless array of relevant products.
Like regular Google search, you can search any keywords to find a product through Google Shopping. But vendors can’t optimize their products to certain keywords. Instead, all of the product info is provided via detailed and accurate descriptions.
That’s how Google Shopping ads work. Don’t think they’re just a Google add-on nobody uses.
Merkle conducted a study in 2018, discovering Shopping ads triggered 60 percent of all clicks for the whole of Google’s paid advertising platform. Google Shopping ads are big news – they’re a simple but effective way to get your product seen.
What are Google Search Ads?
In contrast, Google search ads are one of the most popular methods of pay per click (PPC) advertising on Google. Here, you bid for keywords, appearing at the top of the search results for the keyword. It’s a way to build customers and visitors through searches organically.
There’s no picture or product description. Rather, a search ad includes a headline, display URL, and description text. There is the option through ad extensions to include extra information. To get noticed through Google search ads is all about crafting your ad’s copy, analyzing the cost per click, and working on its ranking.
Shopping ads vs search ads: What’s the difference?
In short: Google Shopping ads are image-based, Google search ads are text-based. That means their metrics also differ significantly.
The average conversion rate (CVR), for instance, is a measure of the number of customers who clicked on your ad who also bought your product. But there are numerous metrics and factors to consider when choosing between shopping ads and search ads:
- Awareness and demand for products
- Average CPC per item
- Product competitiveness
- Product profit margin
For example, in a study by Clutch, 49 percent of people polled reported being more likely to click on text. On the other hand, 31 percent would rather click a Shopping ad. But those results may be industry dependent. People shop for hobbies and leisure equipment through Google Shopping but may prefer to go to the brand’s website for clothing and apparel.
Nevertheless, according to a Google Shopping study, average merchant costs towards Google Shopping campaigns were around $11.30 for every $100 in sales. It’s a remarkably effective strategy.
When to use Google Search Ads VS Google Shopping Ads
Neither Google Shopping ads nor search ads are better than the other. Both are useful under certain circumstances. Making the most of Google advertising means knowing when to use which one (or even to use both).
After all, it isn’t just about finding the biggest audience; you want to find the shoppers most likely to purchase your product or services. That’s just how Google Shopping ads work.
You’ll want to use Google search ads:
1. To funnel shoppers to your site
You don’t need to rely exclusively on SEO to attract organic traffic to your site. Using search ads will push you to the top of the results page, building your organic online presence.
But it also lets you use keywords to filter through to customers actually interested in your product and services. As you’re paying for every click, you want to capture high-quality leads. You can even use negative keywords, so your ad won’t appear for specific searches.
2. Your business is local
Not every business needs to broadcast its message to the globe. Most companies are locally-based. That means you’ll only want to show your ad to local people. Through Google search ads, you can restrict your ad to only show to locals.
And you can even restrict the time of day your ad shows. So, if you cater to a certain time of day, your ad will only show then. However, sometimes Google shopping ads work better.
You’ll want to use Google Shopping Ads:
1. Customers want to see the product
Comparing different products and models is critical when customers are buying appliances. They’ll want to know if it’s up to the job. And they also want to readily compare and contrast prices and functioning.
In contrast, clothes shopping is less about price and more about style. For the former, use a shopping ad; for the latter, a search ad would work better.
2. To maintain a long-term presence
Setting up a Google Shopping ad is a long-term investment. It’s a passive ad to funnel people to your product when they need it. If search ads help create a need for your product, shopping ads answer that need when people are looking.
Search Ads VS Shopping Ads Conclusion
Hopefully, you now understand how Google Shopping ads work.
Of course, you don’t need to settle for either-or. Showcasing your product through both search and shopping ads is often the best course of action. In fact, Google even conducted some research – retailers who ran both types of ads made shoppers 90 percent more likely to go to the retailer’s website. So, you’re getting more exposure AND sales. What’s not to like?
Need a data-driven PPC Agency to get better results from your Google Search Ads or Google Shopping Ads campaign? Contact Clicta Digital today for a free consultation!