Using Shopping Ads Insights For Other Marketing Channels Or: How To Let The Market Do Your Keyword Research For You

What do keywords have to do with Google Shopping? Admittedly, at first sight, not a whole lot, although according to Kirk Williams’ (@PPCKirk) 2015 wishlist, keyword targeting should be introduced to Google Shopping as well. I’m sure he isn’t the only one wishing for that option. Keywords are a crucial part of AdWords text ads, however. PPC strategists spend a good deal of their time on keyword research, adding new possible keywords and keyword combinations, trying to find out which ones work best, filtering out the ones that don’t work (“work” in this case means generating clicks, conversions, …) – testing, evaluating, etc.

Good news, everyone! You can actually let the market – that is, the online shoppers, your clients – do a lot of the hard keyword research for you. By tapping your Google Shopping search terms report you can have those keywords that have generated conversions delivered to you on a platter. These keywords can be used to enhance your  already existing text ads (or a number of other marketing activities if you so wish – see also secret #2 in our last blog post).


How can I use Google Shopping search queries as keywords for my text ad campaigns?


In order to “harvest” your Shopping search queries and use them as keywords for text ads, you have to meet some basic requirements and follow a few steps:

1. Campaign structure: PPC experts are playing around a lot with different possible ways to structure their Shopping campaigns to get the most control over their performance (more on this topic in future posts 🙂 ). For a lot of purposes, we recommend a campaign structure based on product IDs. This structure gives you more options when it comes to bidding, among other things, but it is also precisely this structure that enables the actually posed search queries to be matched with the respective product ID. As a result, the creation of a search query report for each product is possible.

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Example of a product-centric campaign structure.


2. Search query report creation: In the AdWords Interface, you can filter by Shopping Ads, then go to the Dimensions Tab and View: search terms to see all the search queries that have led to clicks, conversions, etc.:

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This is a nice start, but it comes with a catch: you will not be able to see the actual products behind the search queries. By using Scripts or the AdWords API you can create a report that shows you which search queries belong to which product:


This is an excerpt from a report that we generated via the AdWords API. You can immediately see which search queries have led to conversions and how much revenue they generated for each product in your inventory.


3. Filter your Google Shopping search queries by KPIs: you probably want to make sure to use search queries that match a couple of prerequisites, e.g. “must have generated at least x conversions”, or “ROAS must be bigger than x”. The remaining list of possible keywords will be significantly smaller after filtering out all the search queries that are irrelevant for your purpose. In the case of the laser printer from the above report example, if you were to filter by “conversions 1” it becomes apparent that the search queries “hl l8250cdn”, “brother hl l8250cdn” and “hl l8250cdn a4 color” have generated conversions.


4. Add the remaining search queries as keywords to your text ad campaigns. You should check whether these search queries are already contained in the text ad campaigns as keywords. If not already existent, you can construct a new text ad that is perfectly tailored to the product and add the search queries as exact match keywords.

For smaller accounts, this could be done manually, we usually do it via API.


Product specific sample ad created for “brother hl l8250cdn”.

This demand-oriented analysis of the search query reports is a highly efficient way to obtain new keywords and to create a selective, profitable text ad presence.