With ads taking up more and more real estate on the SERP, it is of primary importance for advertisers to be present in both shopping and regular search results. This increases brand visibility and awareness, chances to get clicks, to generate traffic and ultimately sales. Also, don't forget that the more room your ads occupy on the Google search result page, the less your competitors' do.
Following on our newest feature launch, DataFeedWatch Product Text Ads, we wanted to get a bit deeper into the topic of feed-driven text ads on Google.
What Feed-Driven Text Ads Are
Feed-driven text ads, also known as feed-based text ads or inventory-aware text ads, are search ads that advertisers can dynamically create to show relevant product information like name, price and availability against product-specific search queries on Google.
These ads usually complement PLAs and increase chances for e-commerce businesses to show their products and maximise traffic and revenue. In fact, while Google Shopping is an essential part of every online retailer's advertising strategy, advertisers can also show search text ads alongside shopping results.
There is no trade-off between focusing on either shopping or search. Both PLAs and search text ads can be shown at the same time.
How Feed-Driven Text Ads Are Built and What They Are For
When looking for the book "Donal's Meals in Minutes", Easons.com comes up two times.
The book is advertised in Shopping results at the top of the page and as a regular search ad right below them. Blackwell's and eBay share the rest of the ad real estate.
Note that the search ad, like the shopping one, shows both the title and the price of the book.
Ads that show product title and price can be made manually, of course. But what if you want to advertise hundreds if not thousands of products? Obviously, you don't want to spend your days and nights manually updating thousands of text ads.
That is the reason why we talk about feed-driven text ads.
Search ads that dynamically show relevant product feed attributes like title and price, with no manual work. In the example below, the same advertiser also entered the name of the book's author in the ad, taken from his product feed.
Other popular uses of feed-based product text ads are:
#1 Call out promotions and discounts
If your feed includes both a product's original and sale price, you can decide to include them both in your text ads or to show the percentage off.
As you e-commerce marketer might have already found out, online shoppers are very sensitive to promotions.
Nothing generates high click-through rates better than highlighting a sale.
#2 Build social proof
You can get a bit more advanced including the sales performance in your feed.
This way you are able to insert the number of last week's sales into your ad so people become aware of the popularity of the product you are advertising.
#3 Build urgency
Adding inventory numbers in the ad generates urgency, which is another well-known online marketing tactic for securing click through and sales.
Feed-based text ads pros and cons
From what said before you might have already got what the main pros and cons are. Let's recap them:
- Increase your click share on the google search results page
As outlined above, text ads are getting bigger and bigger, especially after the latest 3-headline and responsive ads updates. If you couple product-specific text ads with Google Shopping you will be the king of the SERP and wipe out competitors.
- Be always found when users search for specific products and expand your keyword set
You want all your products to get the right ad coverage they deserve. Google Shopping, although we all know is great, doesn't guarantee that as there are no keywords to bid on. On the other hand, manually writing ads and keywords for thousands of products is not feasible. This is where feed-based text ads come in.
- Programmatically target long-tail, high-value keywords
Product-specific keywords are what marketers also call "long tail keywords". They usually count more than 2 words and might have a lower search volume than generic and broad keywords. However, they do have a way higher purchase intent.
This is what performance marketers look for. With feed-based text ads you can automatically target all those keywords and show super-relevant ads against them.
- Long-tail keywords might be flagged as "low search volume"
As said above, long tail keywords might have a low search volume. Unfortunately, Google Ads flags the least searched keywords as "low search volume" and prevents them show.
You have to be careful about that and always make sure your keywords are eligible to serve. The new DataFeedWatch feed-driven text ads feature smartly cuts too-long keywords and make them eligible to show.
- Keywords with high-purchase intent might be more expensive
The other side of the coin of long tail keywords is that, given their high-value, they might also be more expensive. This brings the average CPC to be higher than other generic keywords.
Although they generally convert better and therefore have a higher conversion rate than generic terms, the return on the ad investment might not be as good as you could have thought. This is why we would argue that feed-driven text ads are particularly recommended to merchants who sell high-value products.
- Beware text ads characters limit
Something that you must be aware of is the search text ads characters limit. As of October 2018, text ads are made of three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. Your product names and feed attributes might be longer than 30 characters and this might cause the ads to be disapproved.
You have to beware this issue and make sure you cut the text in a smart way. This is particularly relevant as Google Shopping ads allow for 70-character titles.
This means that, more often than not, you can't use the same title for both Shopping and feed-driven text ads. You would likely need two separate feeds or two different versions.
What you need to get started
To get started with feed-driven text ads you basically just need a product feed and a Google Ads account. Based on what said above, you might want to edit your feed specifically for this purpose. DataFeedWatch allows you to do just that through the creation of a bespoke data feed.
DataFeedWatch integrates with Google Ads through its APIs and creates new ads every time the attributes in them are updated. It doesn't use ad customizers and for this reason, you don't need any non-customized ad in the AdGroups. Also, you don't have to upload any feed into Google Ads, as well as create customised ads.
The system does everything automatically for you!