Google Shopping Ads Guide For Ecommerce.

Get more results out of your Google Shopping campaigns. Follow these tips and tricks to get a head start on your competitors!

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If you’re an online retailer and running Google Ads, you definitely want to use Google Shopping campaigns.

Google Shopping campaigns can help you to get more results out of your advertising for your e-commerce business.

If you are just getting started with Google Ads, I would recommend also having a look at our Google Ads checklist. This will give you a more generic overview of the Google Ads platform.

About this guide

This Google Shopping guide will cover all the parts to set up your Shopping campaigns. From setting up the Google Merchant Center account to structuring and optimising your Google Shopping campaigns.

About me: I am an experienced PPC specialist. Running Google Ads campaigns for my clients is what I do for a living. In this article, I will describe the steps that I typically follow to set up high-converting Google Shopping campaigns for my clients.

Now, let’s get started with the first part: how to set up your Google shopping campaigns.

Introduction to Google Shopping Ads campaigns

First, let’s start with a quick introduction of Google shopping Ads. If you’re already familiar with this campaign type you can skip this and go straight to the section that will help you to set up and optimise your campaigns.

Google Shopping campaigns are a better and more affordable way to show your ads across 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 of Google Shopping

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.

PART 1

Getting Started With The Google Merchant Center

  • Set up a Google Merchant Center account
  • Upload a product feed to Google Merchant Center
  • Link the Merchant Center with Google Ads
  • Create a Google Shopping campaign

Step 1: Set up a Google Merchant Center account

First, we will have to create a Google Merchant Center account.

A Merchant Center account is free and it’s pretty straightforward to get started. You do need a Google account first before you can get started (but if you’re already running Google Ads this is already the case).

Visit merchants.google.com and follow the steps.

Screenshot of the Google Merchant Center.

Step 2: Add your products to the Google Merchant Center

Next, we will need to add some products to the Google Merchant Center. You will have 2 options to add your products.

Option 1: Add your products manually

This might be a good option if you only have a few products and aren’t limited by your stock levels. It’s the easiest way to add your products. With the Merchant Center, go to Products > All Products. You will need to follow these steps for each of your products individually.

If you have stock levels for your products do not add your products manually. Instead, you want to use option 2 below.

Option 2: Create a product feed

Creating a product feed is the better option if you have a lot of products and have to worry about the individual stock levels.

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

Uploading a product feed to the Google Merchant Center.

Now, 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 the data in the sheet.

It will depend on your website which option is best for you. Ecommerce websites that are using platforms like Woocommerce or Shopify will have built-in integrations to make it easier for you. For Woocommerce I recommend the plugin Product Feed PRO for WooCommerce.

Step 3: Link the Merchant Center with Google Ads

Then, 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 into different ad groups and campaigns. That way, you can set different goals for each of these product groups and optimise them individually.

Now, there’s an option to create Smart Shopping campaigns where Google will automatically show your ad across the Search and Display networks. This campaign type is a bit of a black box and will make it harder to optimise your campaigns going forward. Therefore, I would recommend to build out campaigns as described in part 2 of this guide.

PART 2

Setting Up Your Google Shopping Campaigns

  • Think about your campaign structure
  • Choose which products you want to promote
  • Use the campaign priority settings
  • Use negative keyword lists

Think about your campaign structure

There’s no right or wrong in terms of a Google Ads campaign structure. This counts especially for Google Shopping campaigns as the targeting is more automatic and based on the product feed that is uploaded to the Google Merchant Center.

However, a Shopping account structure should help you to optimize the campaigns going forward to reduce any irrelevant spend in the Shopping campaigns. I’m happy to give an explanation of the structure that I normally use for this.

Choose which products you want to promote

Rather than using all your products in your campaigns, focus on a few that are most likely to perform the best (eg. the ones that are your core product and give you a competitive advantage).

Just because all of the products are in the Merchant Center doesn’t mean that you will have to advertise for all of them.

Use the campaign priority settings

Because of the fact that you can set a priority for Shopping campaigns on a campaign level (High, Medium, Low) I typically run (at least) 3 shopping campaigns. This allows for setting higher bids for keywords that would be more relevant, as well as targeting branded keywords in a separate campaign.

For the Shopping campaigns that I run, I use at least the following 3 campaigns:

  • Shopping: 01. Catch All (Top Funnel)

This campaign will have the priority level set to High. It is targeting “top level” search terms, meaning that it will show up for search queries that aren’t targeted by the following 2 campaigns.

  • Shopping: 02. Core+Converted (Mid Funnel)

The Mid Funnel campaign targets all the core keywords which are the most important (non-branded) search terms. If you already run Search campaigns, then the keywords that you’re (actively) targeting within these campaigns are good guidance.

  • Shopping: 03. Brands (Bottom Funnel)

The Bottom Funnel is targeting all brand names. This might include your own brand name, but could also include names of any brands that you sell. They’re are often the best search terms to target as they will have the best ROI.

Use negative keyword lists

By using a negative keyword list you can ensure the right campaigns are being triggered, in combination with setting the priority on a campaign level.

Now, let’s go back to the campaign structure that we create in the previous step.

  • Shopping: 01. Catch All (Top Funnel)

As we’re targeting top-of-the-funnel search terms with this campaign we will be excluding any core search terms as well as branded terms. So you will need to create 2 negative keyword lists: 1 with the core search terms and 1 with the branded search terms.

  • Shopping: 02. Core+Converted (Mid Funnel)

The negative keyword list we created for the branded search terms will be attached to this campaign also.

  • Shopping: 03. Brands (Bottom Funnel)

This campaign won’t have any negative keywords attached to it (yet).

Conclusion

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 that 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 from 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 from 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 types of ads is that they 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.

If you need any help with optimising your Google Ads campaigns, feel free to get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.