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Google Shopping Ads Guide: How To Get Started With Shopping Campaigns

If you’re an online retailer and running Google Ads, you probably want to use Google Shopping campaigns. Here’s a Google Shopping Ads guide for getting you started.


What is it?


Google Shopping campaigns are a better and more affordable way to show your ads across the Google search and display networks.

It works together with the Google Merchant Center, which can host all of your product data. Based on this product data, Google will show ads across the advertising network.


Screenshot of shopping ads on Google.

Unlike search campaigns, Google shopping ads are not keyword-based. It will match your product data automatically with search terms that people type into Google. 



Benefits


For online retailers, there are some massive advantages of using Shopping ads compared to the standard Google ad formats.


  • Images. Unlike the standard Google text ads, an image of the product will show with the ad. This will give the potential customer a better idea of the product that you’re trying to sell before clicking on the ad.

  • Lower cost. As Google shopping ads are smaller, they often have a lower cost-per-click than normal text ads. This can make your campaigns significantly more profitable and improve your ROI.

  • Broader targeting. The Google shopping ads will be shown across the entire Google network, so including the display network.



Step 1: Set up a Merchant Center account


As Google shopping ads are using data from the Google Merchant Center account, the first step is to create a Merchant Center account.


A Merchant Center account is free and it’s pretty straight forward to get started. You do need a Google account first before you can get started.


Screenshot of the Google Merchant Center.


Step 2: Upload a product feed to Google Merchant Center


Once you created a Merchant Center account you can upload your product feed.

To do this, go to Products > Feeds once you’re logged in.

Again, it’s pretty straight forward to upload a product feed. Press the “+” button and follow the steps.

There are a few different options to set up your feed and connect the data to the Merchant Center. If there are regular updates to your product inventory you want to consider a scheduled fetch or the API option. You can also use the Google Sheets option and regularly update this data.


Uploading a product feed to the Google Merchant Center.


Step 3: Link the Merchant Center with Google Ads


As a next step, you will need to link the Merchant Center to Google Ads. 

To do this, log in to your Google Ads account and go to Tools & Settings > Setup > Linked accounts. Select Google Merchant Center and link with the account that you just created.



Step 4: Create a shopping ads campaign


Within Google Ads, you can now create a campaign using the “Shopping Ads” campaign type. 

You can create product groups based on URLs to split out your products in different ad groups and campaigns. That way, you can set different goals for each of these product groups and optimise them individually.



Conclusion of the Google Shopping Ads Guide


Retailers can use Shopping campaigns to promote their products.

This Google Ads shopping guide explains how to get started step-by-step. By linking the Google Merchant Centre with Google Ads, you can create Shopping ads which show a photo of your product in the Google search engine.

These ads give users a strong sense of the product you are selling so that they’re more likely to click your ad and buy your products.

Google Shopping ads are a bit different then the normal Google Ads. By linking the product data within the Google Merchant Centre with your Google Ads account, Google will create ads that you can promote on Google.

These ads are a bit different than a normal text ad. They contain a photo of your product, a title, price store name etc. All of this data is taken directly from your Merchant Centre account. 

The idea behind these type of ads is that it will give Google users a better sense of the product you’re selling and therefore improve the CTR and CVR of your ads. Eventually, this will lead to better leads and a higher ROI for your advertising campaigns.


Google Ads Shopping FAQ

What are Google Shopping ads?

Google Shopping campaigns are a better and more affordable way to show your ads across the Google search and display networks.

How do I use Google Shopping ads?

It works together with the Google Merchant Center, which can host all of your product data. Based on this product data, Google will show ads across the advertising network.

What are some of the benefits of using Google Shopping Ads?

Lower CPC's, broader targeting, easier campaign management and use of images within the ad.

As a retailer, should I use Google Shopping ads?

Yes. If you're able to upload your products to the Google Merchant Center you should definitely be running Google Shopping ads.


Extra: Video of Google Shopping Ads explained


Author


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Jeroen Minks

With over 10 years experience in digital marketing, Jeroen helps businesses to get more results out of their online advertising budgets.