Everything You Need To Know About Google Shopping And Google Advertising


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Ecommerce businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase their customer acquisition. No matter how new or experienced you are with e-commerce, you know the power of Google. It can either make or break your business. Google Shopping ads, also known as product listing ads (PLAs), are one of the fastest ways for a new ecommerce business to start driving sales. This guide will explain the basics of each type of Google Shopping campaign, how to set them all up, and how to optimize them.

What are Google Shopping Ads? How do they differ from Search (Keyword Ads)

Google Shopping Ads are product ads that appear at the top of Google Search result page pages. These ads can be viewed directly on search pages. However, you can also navigate to the Shopping Tab, search partner websites, and price comparison Shopping apps.

Advertisers have increased their chances of reaching primed audience members by placing shopping ads.

Google Ads and Google Merchant Center are the engines behind shopping ads. You can set budgets, and bids and optimize your campaigns within Google Ads. You can upload your product feed to the Google Merchant Center and update shipping and sales tax information.

Shopping ads work differently from traditional text search ads. When creating a search ad you first select the campaigns, ad group, and ads and then select the keywords that best suit your campaign. Google searches your website and feeds to determine which keywords will cause your Shopping ads to appear. This information indicates that you need a well-optimized and up-to-date product feed.

Google Shopping Ads: Why should you use them?

Google Shopping Ads are extremely effective.

Google’s complicated algorithms will automatically pull product information from your store. They will then create a visual shopping advert for your product, match relevant search queries and display your products. Although it might take longer initially to set up your shopping ads properly, Google will continue to do most of the work over time.

Many marketers recommend that organizations use Google Shopping ads instead of Search ads. This is because it is easier to make mistakes and you are less likely to spend your budget on ineffective clicks. This is something we strongly believe in.

We will discuss the additional benefits of Google Shopping Ads below.

Ranks at the Top of Google Search Results

Shopping ads are shown above search results.

Your product will be visible immediately on this valuable space, while search ads are displayed further down the page. It is easy to see why Shopping ads get more clicks with their visual format.

Recent research shows that ad spending on Google Shopping increased by 38% while it decreased by around 12% for Search Ads during the same period. Google Shopping is responsible for 65% of all Google Ads clicks, and 89% for all non-branded Google Search Ad clicks.

Visual Real Estate

Before they buy, consumers turn to Google to see the product they are interested in. Consider this: Would you prefer to click on the description of a sofa or a picture of the sectional you are looking for?

Visual ads let the customer see exactly what they want before they click on your website. Google allows users to see different product types, models, and colors in one place.

Positive Search Experience

Advertising is often called an interruption. This notion was challenged by intent-based shopping ads.

It is great for retailers to have a Shopping Ad that highlights the exact product I was looking for when I search for “NorthFace Jacket”.

How can you get your products into Google Shopping Results?

These are the elements you need to advertise on Google Shopping.

  1. Your Store and Products
  2. Your Product Feed
  3. Google Merchant Center Account
  4. Google Ads Account

These elements can be combined to make your Shopping Ads more effective.

How to create your product feed

Google requires product feeds to follow a certain format. It can be difficult to create a feed that is approved. You have two options to create your Google Shopping Ads product feed: manually or with an app.

Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento ecommerce stores can download an app to help set up their product feeds.

Shopify Your business can download the Google Shopping app.

WooCommerce Your business can download the WooCommerce Google Feed Manager.

Magento – Your business can download the Google Shopping App.

BigCommerce Your business can download the GoDataFeed app.

Google has a guideline for editing product feeds that are not in good condition.

Smart Shopping Campaign vs. Standard: The Biggest Differences

Smart Shopping campaigns can be automated, which is a stark distinction between standard and smart shopping campaigns. They can take existing shopping campaigns and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize them to deliver ads to strategic audiences.

Here are the differences between smart and standard shopping campaigns.

What is a Smart Shopping Campaign?

Google Smart Shopping campaigns automate bidding, targeting, and placement. Your organization can create a campaign with almost no maintenance.

Artificial intelligence automatically tests different images and texts to determine the best combinations for optimal performance. Your ads will be continuously monitored for relevancy and effectiveness.

Google Smart Shopping campaigns have one downside: you can only use one landing page per campaign. You also have limited control over the promotion and changes that can be made by automation.

What is a Standard Shopping Campaign?

Google Shopping allows end-users to search, compare, and shop with variety retailers that pay Google to advertise their products online.

Let’s suppose you want to buy a black dress. You can shop online by simply typing “black dress” into Google. This will take you to a list of hundreds of retailers offering black dresses. These listings let the customer instantly compare prices, design, and brand names, without needing to visit each site.

Standard shopping campaigns allow you to promote your product and keep control over placements and bid strategies.

How to Setup a Standard Shopping Ad Campaign

Once you have connected your Google AdWords Account with your Google Merchant Center Account you can create Standard Shopping Campaigns that will advertise your products.

Two easy ways to create a Google Shopping Campaign are available. The first is to directly build campaigns in the Google Merchant Center.

Click “Create Shopping campaign” to create your campaign. You can name it, select the country where you want to sell it, and then set a daily budget. Once you’ve made your selections, you can save the campaign. You will then be able to monitor the campaign in your Google Ad Account.

You can also set up a Shopping Campaign by directly building the campaign in Google AdWords. Log in to your account and open the Campaigns tab. Click the blue plus icon to select New Campaign.

Once you have selected “New Campaign”, you will be asked to choose between leads, sales, or website traffic. Once you have made your goal selection, you can designate the campaign type to Shopping. This will ensure that your Google Merchant Center account will be displayed. It will also indicate the country of sale.

How to Setup a Smart Shopping Campaign

You will need to navigate to the Campaigns tab within your Google AdWords account to set up a Google Smart Shopping Campaign. To create a new campaign, click on the blue plus icon. The next step is to choose a campaign goal, such as leads, sales, or website traffic. Once you have made your selection, you will be prompted to indicate that this is a Shopping Campaign.

Conversion tracking is required for Smart Shopping campaigns. AdWords can track when ads lead to sales, allowing them to optimize their ad placements.

How to Setup a Smart Shopping Campaign in Shopify

Shopify is the most popular platform used by our clients, so I thought I would add a bonus section about how to set up a campaign within Shopify. It’s quite simple…

After logging into Shopify, navigate to the sales channel section of Shopify and click on Google.

Next, click on the marketing section and then click Create Campaign. Fill out the campaign name and daily budget. This is it.

How to Optimize Your Product Listing Feed for Maximum Visibility

We will discuss below specific ways to optimize product listing feeds for maximum visibility in your Google Shopping ads.

Optimize Product Titles

Your Google product feed should contain more relevant information to increase CTR and ad relevance.

This can be done by simply including popular product-related search terms directly in your product titles. A recent study found that marketers can increase their impressions by 147% and clicks through by optimizing product titles with relevant keywords.

Optimize Product Pricing

Low click-through rates could be a sign that your product isn’t competitive. Your products will be displayed next to those of your competitors so offering a lower price could attract customers to your shop. In reverse, if you sell a similar product at a lower price, end-users are more likely to buy from the reseller who is cheaper.

Here are some things you should consider to make the most of product pricing.

  • Look for products that have a low CTR to determine if you can price your product competitively.
  • To see if there is a significant price difference, compare the prices of your direct competitors.
  • Are you able to make up for the difference if there is a substantial gap?
  • To avoid paying clicks that don’t convert, lower your cost per click if you can’t match the price.

Optimize Product Images

To stand out from the crowd, stores will often use different product images. This helps ecommerce sites stand out and increase clicks, hopefully.

Updates to product images can be costly depending on how large your product catalog is. However, investing in product photography that is just a bit different from everything else can increase traffic and conversions, which can lead to more revenue dollars.

How to organize your products

You should organize your ad groups down to the product level if you have a very small data feed. Segmenting may be done by the brand, then a category, then product ID.

Segmenting a large data set can prove difficult. Optimization can be done to reduce the number of products with similar profit margins.

It is important to understand that the way you set up ad groups does not directly affect whether or not Google will display ads. Product groups help you set bids.

Bidding Tips

  • Start your first shopping campaign by setting your bids at $0.50 to $1.00. You can monitor performance and adjust as you collect more data.
  • It is better to bid lower for uncategorized products than those specifically designated groups. This will guide traffic to your most popular items.
  • To bid strategically in high-value areas and to bid down in low-value regions, you can include geographic bid modifiers

How to set up your conversion tracking

To create campaigns that deliver a return on investment, conversion data is essential. Smart Bidding and Smart Campaigns won’t work if conversion tracking isn’t properly implemented.

Instead of using third-party conversion data imports, it is better to use the Google Ads conversion codes as your sole source of data. Google Analytics is one example of how to import conversions. This source can lead to under-reporting as your Google Ads might default to the last-click attribute.

Google will use your most current information to optimize its algorithm for conversions to help you create smart campaigns. 

This resource contains more information on Google Ads conversion tracking to Shopify.

How to Target Similar Audiences

Effective ads are dependent on the people you target. Google Shopping offers advertisers the ability to use Similar Audiences to bring new visitors to their sites. This is done by applying artificial intelligence to match people who have similar browsing and search habits to your existing remarketing list.

Google Shopping: Benefits of using similar audiences

Simple Audience Targeting– Similar Audiences make it easy to create new audiences that are both relevant and efficient. Matching data from your existing remarketing list will eliminate the guesswork about whether the new audience qualifies.

Potential Customers Similar Audiences can be used to expand the reach of existing remarketing campaigns. This creates qualified customer profiles that drive new prospects to your website. This will increase the likelihood that these prospects visit your site and purchase from you.

How to add rich content (Product reviews & promotions)

These pages highlight the features and benefits of your product, as well as product reviews. Rich product data can be uploaded via the Content API to create product description pages.

Uploading rich data has many benefits

  • Providing more detailed product descriptions will improve the end-user experience.
  • Increase customer trust by sharing more information about products
  • Simple product benefit displays can increase conversions.

Learn more about adding rich data to your Content API by reviewing Google’s Rich Products Data Guide.

How to Use Your Product Feed for Dynamic Remarketing Ads

To set up dynamic remarketing campaigns with Shopping ads, navigate to Google Ads and click the new campaign button. Select sales from the goal selection and indicate whether you want to run a standard or smart shopping campaign.

You can then navigate to the budget section and click on additional settings to enable dynamic ads. Select the feed you wish to use by clicking on the box.

Scroll down until Audiences appear. Select how they interacted with your company. Next, visit the Ad Creation section to select responsive ads and complete ad creation.

You can advertise once you have saved.

Wrapping up

Google Shopping is an excellent advertising tool that allows you to reach audiences with a visual shopping experience. Shoppers can search for what they want and see all the brands, products, and styling on one screen.

You might be hesitant about advertising with Google Shopping. This tool will allow you to generate qualified traffic, leads, and sales that you might not have otherwise. This guide will help you create your shopping ads correctly so that your eCommerce sales can increase.

Are you looking for help with shopping ads and paid searches? Book a consultation today to see how we can help your business. If you are not ready, but still curious about what makes a Kobe Digital client a good one, take a look at our ideal customer description.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.