Google Shopping Ads – Gain an advantage with Conversion Annotations

Ever feel your Google Shopping Ads get lost in a sea of similar products? Here’s a secret weapon you might not be aware of: conversion annotations. These are little badges of trust that can significantly boost your click-through rates and sales.

What are Conversion Annotations?

Conversion annotations are social proof badges displayed directly on your Google Shopping or Performance Max Ads. They highlight a product’s popularity by showcasing things like “best-selling” or “100+ shopped in the past month.” This social proof builds trust with potential customers, encouraging them to choose your product over competitors who lack those badges.

For example, if you have 100+ sales in last month for a product then an annotation ‘100+ shopped in past month’ could be displayed in your ad.

Note that conversion annotation is a beta feature and still being tested so may not be currently available in all accounts in all countries.

Why Use Conversion Annotations?

Increased Click-Through Rates: Shoppers are more likely to click on an ad that boasts social proof. Imagine you’re looking for a new pair of trainers. Two similar options appear, but one has a “100+ shopped in past month” badge. It is highly likely that you would click on the one with the badge.

Enhanced Brand Trust: Conversion annotations act as a form of customer endorsement. Seeing that others have purchased the product builds trust and reassures potential buyers they’re making a good choice. This is especially valuable for new or unfamiliar brands.

Stand Out from the Competition: In a crowded marketplace, anything that makes your product stand out is a plus. Conversion annotations are a great way to grab attention and differentiate yourself from competitors, particularly when your products boast strong sales figures.

How to Enable Conversion Annotations

Make sure you have conversion tracking set up in your Google Merchant Center. See below steps to do this if it hasn’t been done already.

  1. Log in to your Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Click on the “Settings and tools” icon.
  3. Select “Conversion settings.”
  4. Toggle ‘Auto-tagging’ to ON.
  5. Click ‘Add conversion source’. You can either select Google analytics or use Google tag to send conversion data merchant center.
  6. Toggle ‘Show numeric annotation’ to ON. Note that the conversion annotation won’t show any data until the conversion source has been set up and merchant center is receiving conversion data from the conversion source.

Important Considerations

While conversion annotations are a great tool, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Data Privacy: Enabling conversion annotations means sharing your sales data with Google. While the data is anonymised, be comfortable with this level of transparency before activating the feature.

Limited Control: Google decides which annotations are displayed and when. You can’t choose the specific badge you want to show. This can be frustrating if you have a new product that’s gaining traction but wouldn’t qualify for a “best-seller” badge just yet.

New or Niche Products: Conversion annotations rely on sales volume. If your product is brand new or caters to a niche market, it might not generate enough sales to trigger badges. In this case, conversion annotations might not provide much benefit.

Focus on Unique Selling Points: For some products, social proof might not be the most important factor influencing purchase decisions. If your product has unique technical specifications or caters to a specific need, highlighting those features directly in your ad copy might be more effective than relying on conversion annotations.

Fear of revealing best sellers: Some merchants may not want to show historical conversion data as it may help competitors find winning products. So conversion annotations may not be suitable for them especially for smaller brands and those operating in highly competitive areas.

Conversion annotations are a powerful tool, but they should be used strategically. Consider your product category, sales volume, target audience, and brand value before enabling them. For established brands with popular products, conversion annotations are a no-brainer. However, for new or niche products, focusing on unique selling points through compelling ad copy might be a higher priority.

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