If you are a retailer and you are currently not advertising in Google Ads, You are doing something wrong. Google Shopping ads now account for more than 75% of ad spend in search, and I can only think of it growing in the years to come. One of the most significant advantages of Shopping ads is the user’s intent. He/She saw the product and its price and clicked on an ad. This user is much more likely to convert than anyone from another marketing channel.

Google Shopping Ads in Google SERP

From a marketing point of view, Google Shopping ads are a unique campaign in the search network. Like a regular search campaign, the ads are shown after a user searches in Google. But unlike a search campaign, you do not create an ad or a keyword. This is strange for most advertisers who grew up with keywords.

In Shopping Ads, Google decides when to show ads based on product data. Google gets product data from the product feed. Google reads through the title, description, and other valuable data in the feed and decides on the search queries. Once Google decides on the search query, it creates an ad automatically from the feed. A Shopping Ad consists of a title, price, description, etc., and all of this information is present in the feed.

Unlike a popular misconception, Google Shopping is unrelated to display campaigns. People have this misconception due to the images present in Shopping Ads. Generally, you will find pictures of in-display ads. But display ads generally lack intent.

You can target websites, pages, or even users. But, these users have not yet expressed an explicit interest in searching on Google. Google Shopping Ads, on the other hand, are much more intent-driven.

Google Shopping Ads – Key Components

 

Google Shopping Ads: Product Title

Google allows 150 characters in the product title. The product title should accurately describe your product and match the content on your landing page. You can always have a product title slightly different from the title on your landing page, but they should both describe the same product.

While creating Google Shopping ads, you will never define the product title as Google picks it up automatically from the feed-in Merchant Center. Changing product titles would be an excellent first step if you think you are not getting clicks or impressions. Google gives a lot of importance to the title while deciding on which searches to show ads. It is hence essential to have a good product title.

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Product Image 

An ideal product image in google shopping ads should be attractive and descriptive of the product. Although Google states a minimum resolution of 100×100 pixels for images (250×250 for apparel), submitting a higher resolution in the feed is prudent. Watermarks, promotional texts, or borders are not allowed and will result in product disapproval.

Google also accepts up to 10 additional image links where you can show the product in use. Our recommendation would be to use as many images as you possibly have.

Product Description

Along with product title, product description is crucial in helping Google decide when to show ads. Your product description can be 5000 words long at max. Use this space to include potential keywords where you want to display ads.

Product descriptions cannot be misleading and cannot contain any links to your store, sales information, other products, accessories, or competitors.

 

Product Price

Two of the biggest mistake advertisers can make is not updating product price & not thinking about the competition while deciding the price. You can fix the first mistake using Google shopping feed software that continuously updates the Merchant Center. The second one needs constant optimization while continually looking at your competitors.

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Price is an important factor for users before clicking on google shopping ads. Our recommendation would be to ensure that the price is always competitive compared to competitors. One crucial thing to note here is that having the lowest price does not mean you have the top spot in Google Shopping. The algorithms are much more complicated and include ad relevance, seller history, etc.

Seller Name

You cannot optimize much here. Your seller name is defined when you create your Merchant Center. Don’t overthink Seller Name optimization. You should instead spend time fixing titles and descriptions.

Product Condition

Not many people know that you can sell used and refurbished goods in Google Shopping ads. Product status or condition is present in the feed.

 The three available conditions are

  1. New
  2. Used
  3. Refurbished

Check out our article on Google Data Feed Here.

Product Ratings

The visual experience of seeing a highly-rated product is significant. Product ratings increase your expected CTR significantly because of this. If you are selling a product sold by multiple other merchants, your ad will have a product rating averaged out across sellers.

E.g., you are selling an iPhone X, and the product has a 4.9 rating in your store. Another seller also sells the same product and has a rating of 4.7. The final product rating shown in your ad will be an average rating from both stores.

Product ratings are not available by default. You first have to get approval from Google. You can signup for the program here.

There are three ways of sharing reviews with Google.

1. Uploading feed via Google Merchant Center

You can upload the reviews feed in your merchant center if Google approves you for product ratings. You can follow this article for more details.

2. Using a reviews aggregator

There are a bunch of Google-approved product rating aggregators. If you are already working with them, ask them to submit your reviews to Google.

3. Google Customer Reviews

Google customer reviews are, in my opinion, the easiest way to do product ratings. The idea is straightforward. You have to implement a javascript code on your checkout page. The javascript code will enable Google to contact your customers and collect feedback. Google can then use this data to show product ratings in your ads.

Note: This Google customer reviews app is not live as of November 2021. so use the top 2 methods to add your product ratings to google shopping ads.

Google shopping ads – Merchant Promotions

It is alarming how so few advertisers use Merchant promotions. Merchant promotions increase the click-through rate significantly for your ads. Most advertisers already have promotions running in their stores at any time. Failing to advertise these offers, in my mind, is a crime.

Unlike product ratings, you do not need approval from Google before starting a merchant promotion. You can create promotions once you have approved products in your merchant center. Three types of merchant promotions are available.

  1. Discounts: Percent off, cashback, buy one get one free, or buy one get 2nd at some percent off.
  2. Gifts: Free items or gift cards for a specified value.
  3. Shipping: Free or discounted shipping.

You cannot, however, have coupons or discounts only for some people. E.g., you cannot have discounts just for first-time users, repeat customers, women or men, etc.

Seller rating

Seller ratings are a score out of 100 given to sellers. Please note that seller ratings are provided for your website or domain, whereas product ratings are for a product. The easiest way to get seller ratings is via Google customer reviews.

With a simple code addition, Google will start collecting data from your users. Seller ratings can also show automatically from Google’s review partners as well. But it would be prudent to take matters into your hand than rely on a third party.

Google shopping ads with seller ratings

 

Google shopping Ads – Supported Countries

Google shopping ads are a particular type of search campaign. It needs an active Google merchant center to work. Due to rules and regulations across different countries, Google currently offers only a limited number of Google Shopping.

Supported Countries in Africa
  • South Africa

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Supported Countries in Asia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • the United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam
Supported Countries in Europe
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
Supported Countries in North America
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • the United States
Supported Countries in Oceania
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
Supported Countries in South America
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia

If you are a retailer who sells across many countries, You would need to set up a different google shopping feed for every one of them. There are a few extra things to consider once you have decided to target your shopping ads.

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Google shopping Ads – Supported Languages

More often than not, a country will support multiple languages. E.g., the United States supports ads in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. If you want to target all users, you must create a translated product feed with language-specific landing pages. You can always get away with creating just an English feed, but creating feeds for different languages is recommended.

CountryLanguage
ArgentinaSpanish; English
AustraliaEnglish; Simplified Chinese
AustriaGerman; English
BelgiumFrench; Dutch; English
BrazilPortuguese; English
CanadaEnglish; French; Simplified Chinese
ChileSpanish; English
ColombiaSpanish; English
CzechiaCzech; English
DenmarkDanish; English
FranceFrench; English
GermanyGerman; English
Hong KongTraditional Chinese; English
IndiaEnglish; Hindi
IndonesiaIndonesian; English
IrelandEnglish
IsraelHebrew; English
ItalyItalian; English
JapanJapanese; English
MalaysiaEnglish; Simplified Chinese
MexicoSpanish; English
NetherlandsDutch; English
New ZealandEnglish
NorwayNorwegian; English
PhilippinesEnglish
PolandPolish; English
PortugalPortuguese; English
RussiaRussian; English
Saudi ArabiaArabic; English
SingaporeEnglish; Simplified Chinese
South AfricaEnglish
South KoreaKorean; English
SpainSpanish; English
SwedenSwedish; English
SwitzerlandEnglish; German; French; Italian
TaiwanTraditional Chinese; English
ThailandThai; English
TurkeyTurkish; English
UkraineUkrainian; Russian
United Arab EmiratesArabic; English
United KingdomEnglish
United StatesEnglish; Spanish; Simplified Chinese
VietnamVietnamese; English

Google Shopping Ads- Supported Currencies

It is recommended to have a local currency feed while targeting a different country. Luckily Google has a built-in currency conversion algorithm if you do not have a local currency feed.

E.g., You are targeting India, where the local currency is INR (Indian Rupee). Your products and feed have USD as their currency. Google will auto-convert the prices to INR for you.

Country of saleSupported currencies
ArgentinaArgentinian Peso (ARS)
AustraliaAustralian Dollar (AUD)
AustriaEuro (EUR)
BelgiumEuro (EUR)
BrazilBrazilian Real (BRL)
CanadaCanadian Dollar (CAD)
ChileChilean Peso (CLP)
ColombiaColombian Peso (COP)
CzechiaCzechian Koruna (CZK)
DenmarkDanish Krone (DKK)
FranceEuro (EUR)
GermanyEuro (EUR)
Hong KongHong Kong Dollar (HKD)
IndiaIndian Rupee (INR)
IndonesiaIndonesian Rupiah (IDR)
IrelandEuro (EUR)
IsraelIsraeli New Shekel (ILS)
ItalyEuro (EUR)
JapanJapanese Yen (JPY)
MalaysiaMalaysia Ringgit (MYR)
MexicoMexican Peso (MXN)
NetherlandsEuro (EUR)
New ZealandNew Zealand Dollar (NZD)
NorwayNorwegian Krone (NOK)
PhilippinesPhilippine Peso (PHP)
PolandPoland Z_oty (PLN)
PortugalEuro (EUR)
RussiaRussian Ruble (RUB)
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Riyal (SAR)
SingaporeSingapore Dollar (SGD)
South AfricaSouth African Rand (ZAR)
South KoreaSouth Korean Won (KRW)
SpainEuro (EUR)
SwedenSwedish Krona (SEK)
SwitzerlandSwiss Franc (CHF)
TaiwanNew Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
ThailandThai Baht (THB)
TurkeyTurkish Lira (TRY)
UkraineUkrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
United KingdomBritish Pound (GBP)
United StatesUS Dollar (USD)
VietnamVietnamese Dong (VND)

Google Shopping Ads – Advantages

 1. Better ROAS than other campaign types,

Generally speaking, Google Shopping ads will outperform all other ad types in Google Ads in both returns on ad spending and conversion rate. There are exceptions, as always. Maybe your brand campaign will have a better conversion rate. We are, however, focusing on generic searches here.

There are multiple reasons for better performance. But the main reason is that the customer is well aware of the product details before the click. In a search campaign, the price or how the product looks might not be completely transparent. In Shopping ads, however, a user can see the product image and price before clicking the ad.

The clarity in price and product helps filter out irrelevant clicks. Users who click on the ads will be much more likely to convert.

Let us take an example. You can see clearly from the image above that the shopping ad conveys more clarity about what the user can expect compared to the search ad.

2. Better users

You would see a lot higher bounce rate or reduced interaction with the website in search campaigns compared to shopping campaigns. Google Shopping campaign users are not surprised by the price or the product’s appearance. They will instead spend their time comparing or moving further in the purchase funnel.

4. Google Shopping Ads are easier to create

One of the main reasons why Google started Google Shopping Ads was due to the difficulty retailers faced while creating search campaigns. In a traditional search campaign, one has to define keywords and ads. Imagine the horror faced by retailers who have 1000s of products. They needed a better solution.

Google Shopping completely avoids the need for keywords. A retailer can upload their inventory to Google Merchant Center to start Shopping Ads. Since the inventory in some form was always available to them, Uploading it to the Merchant Center was no difficult task.

One cannot, however, upload any data to the Merchant Center. Google has specified compulsory fields like price, image link, title, etc. However, uploading product data is much easier than creating ads and keywords for every product.Β 

5. Broader reach than other campaign types

Marketers are smart people. But not even the most intelligent marketer can guess all the relevant searches a user can make to find a product. Google, on the other hand, with its advanced algorithms and multiple experiments, can show relevant ads to these searches. This technological supremacy results in a much broader reach of shopping ads than a search ads.

E.g., I searched for the “best shirt for the wedding.” The ads I saw in Google Shopping do not have anything related to a wedding in their product titles. But the ad was relevant to me. There will be thousands of other searches where Google will automatically find relevant products from your inventory.

6. Lower CPC

As a rule of thumb, shopping campaigns will be cheaper than search campaigns. Why is it cheaper, though?. In an ideal world full of intelligent marketers, shopping ads should be expensive. Shopping ads convert better than search, and it would be prudent to increase their bids. The answer lies with ad relevance.

Google has an ad relevance cut-off for showing ads. You might have experienced this while advertising for a keyword showing no ads. Logic says that since you are the only advertiser, you should be able to show ads for pennies. But the truth is many advertisers are trying to display ads, but none cross the threshold Google has set for search campaigns. Crossing this threshold in shopping ads is relatively more comfortable. Hence, you get a lot of shopping ad clicks with relatively low CPCs while your search ads might not even appear at the same CPC.

Another reason is that most advertisers do not have similar targets for search and shopping ads. They are ready to spend a premium on search ads. The main reason is that once you attain excellent impressions shared in shopping ads, it is challenging to get more clicks. The clicks plateau even with ever-increasing CPCs. It is hence much more prudent to invest this extra budget in search campaigns instead of shopping campaigns.

7. Mobile friendly

I am not saying regular text ads are not mobile-friendly. Google has spent considerable time and effort making sure the ads look brilliant on all devices. But the fact remains that Shopping ads seem better on mobile devices. In an increasingly mobile-first world, Investing in Google Shopping ads should be your priority as a retailer.

8. Automatically updated

Imagine search ads being the only ad type in Google Ads. You create 1000s of ads for all your products. Then their prices change. You would have to change every single ad manually. Google Shopping Ads, on the other hand, automatically reflect any price change in your products.

The only condition is that you routinely update your feed in Merchant Center with the updated price. Price is not the only thing you would want to change regularly in the Merchant center, though. It is highly recommended to change the title and description to reflect any updates to the product.

Track Your Google Ads Conversions Quickly & Accurately with Our Conversion Tracking App, πŸ‘‰ Install Now

Disadvantages of Google Shopping Ads

 
1. Cannot target keywords

The most significant disadvantage of Google Shopping is, ironically, one of its advantages. Google shopping ads do not require keywords. The ads are run automatically based on what Google thinks will work best for a product based on its title, description, etc.

What if you want to show a shopping ad to a particular search query?

Google shopping does not give you the option to do so. Sure, you can add this search query in the product title or description and hope Google shows the ad. But there is no sure-shot way of displaying an ad for a search query.

2. Optimization is harder

When you have 1000s of products, optimization is always going to be a nightmare. Most advertisers are unaware of the potential optimization in their accounts due to the sheer size of Google shopping.

E.g., If you have a store with 500 products, Ideally, you need to have 500 product groups. Having a unique product group for each product will help you optimize campaigns at a product level. However, very few advertisers attempt single-product ad groups.

3. Managing google shopping ads campaigns is harder

If you attempt an excellent optimization in Google shopping, you will find that maintaining the campaigns is a nightmare. You would need to add new products to your shopping campaigns constantly. You have to pause or unpause products based on their availability. Change bids based on how each product is working, etc.

Google Shopping Ads: Prerequisites

 Since Google Shopping is a particular type of search campaign, Creating a campaign has some prerequisites.

Let us look at them one by one. 

Prerequisites for Google Shopping ads
 
#1. Create a google shopping Feed

A feed consists of multiple products and their information in a specified format. Google reads the product data from a feed. If you plan to target multiple countries, you will have to create a different feed for each one. The format required by Google includes price, title, brand, description, etc. Some fields are compulsory and some optional.

#2. Upload Feed to Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center is the place where Google stores all the information about a website. Think of Google Merchant Center as a database of all your products. Google’s data team verifies whether the feed uploaded by you satisfies the Shopping policies and either approves or disapproves of them.

Most of the verification is semi-automated, and you might sometimes find irregularities. You can solve these problems by talking to the Google Merchant Center Support team. We have written an article that explains how to create a merchant center.

#3. Google reviews the feed and approves products

Google has strict policies on the type of products allowed and the minimum data required. If you do not follow these policies, Google can disapprove of your products. There is an added danger that multiple policy violations can result in the Merchant Center itself might get banned.

Once you have linked Merchant Center and Google Ads, you can easily create a shopping campaign.

How to create a Google Shopping ad?

Β Once you have decided on bids, budget, and other parameters, it is time to create a google shopping ad. Let us look at how it is to create a campaign in Google Ads.

We will later explore better ways of creating a shopping campaign via AdNabu.

You can create a new campaign by clicking on the (+) button on the campaigns tab. The process for creating any campaign is the same and starts here. You might not see the campaigns tab if you are already inside a campaign. Ensure that you either click on all campaigns or any campaign types to exit this scenario.

 
Step 1: Select a goal

Google has predefined types of campaigns based on your business objective. E.g., for sales, Google recommends search, shopping, or display. You can either click on sales, leads, and website traffic or create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

I recommend clicking on the last option – create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

 
Step 2: Select a Shopping campaign

An obvious step. We are here to create a shopping campaign.

 
Step 3: Select your merchant center

If your merchant center is already connected, you can select that in this step. A merchant center can have feeds targeting multiple countries.

Here you choose your target country as well. Please note a shopping campaign can only have a single target country. You must create various campaigns if you have multiple countries to target.

 
Step 4: Select the Standard Shopping campaign

There are two types of shopping campaigns. Smart Shopping and Standard Shopping. Smart Shopping strips away many features but automatically targets audiences in Display, Youtube & Gmail.

We will discuss how to create an intelligent shopping campaign later. But here, let us focus on the standard campaign. We will also explain the difference between these two campaign types in detail.

 
Step 5: Campaign Name

Based on your choices earlier, Both the Merchant Center and target country will be automatically selected in this step. The campaign name need not have any specific meaning, but I recommend using the country of targeting in the name. You can also add Brand names if this shopping campaign only focuses on a particular brand. A few examples of proper campaign names

US Nike Shoes – This campaign only targets Nike shoes

US Puma Shoes – This campaign only targets puma shoes

 
Step 6: Bidding & Budget

There are three components in this step. First is the bidding strategy. For beginners, I would recommend manual CPC or maximizing clicks. The manual CPC setting allows checking the amount you pay per click. It is recommended to select the enhanced CPC option while running manual CPC. Maximizing clicks is better if you know you need to spend a specific budget but are unsure about the bid values.

Estimating the budget is harder for beginners. If you have no experience running shopping ads, you can start as small as $30 daily or a $1000 monthly budget. Please note the budget value you enter in Google Ads is always a daily value.

The default option for campaign priority is low, and the recommended setting.

 
Step 7: Targeting and Scheduling settings

Networks:

By default, search partners are included in the shopping campaign. Search partners are usually good sites that use Google Search on their sites and will convert more or less at the same rate as Google. My recommendation would be to select this option.

Devices:

If you do not have a solid reason to not show ads on individual devices, Select all devices for targeting. In an increasingly mobile-first world, ignoring mobile devices would do more harm than good. If you think your site is not mobile-friendly, fix that. If you think desktop customers would convert more, add a device level adjustment. But do target all devices.

Locations:

Even if you do not select any location in this field, your ad will still be limited to the target country of the campaign. Location is helpful if you want to target specific areas of a country. E.g., If you’re going to run shopping ads only in New York, you can select the state here. Please note that selecting a location outside the target country will not affect the campaigns. E.g., If you choose London as a location, but your target country is the US, you will not show any ads.

If you are a severe advertiser, start dates and end dates should not matter to you. You should be advertising all day, every day. If you want to schedule your campaigns, you can do so here.

Google shopping ads - Step7_Targeting and Scheduling settings
 
Step 8: Create an Ad Group

There are two options available for shopping ads. Product Shopping and Showcase shopping. Product shopping leads customers to a product-specific landing page, whereas Showcase shopping is more about a category. Select product shopping in this step.

Similar to the campaign name, you need to define an ad group name that conveys the products inside it. If the ad group targets a single product, write the id or the product name as the name. If the ad group targets a category, write that as a name. We at AdNabu create single-product ad groups and name our campaigns based on products.

Based on your keyword research, you can specify your bid amount. The bid is the last step of campaign creation. You might have wondered why Google did not ask you which products to target while creating the campaign. By default, all products are live in the campaign. If you wish to restrict the number of products, you can finish the campaign creation and change the product groups to restrict ad targeting.

 

Google Shopping Ads FAQ

How to create Google Shopping ads?

Here are step-by-step instructions for creating Google Shopping ads

  1. Go to your Google Ads account and sign in.
  2. Click Campaigns in the left-hand page menu.
  3. Click the plus button, then click New campaign.
  4. For ‘Campaign type,’ select Shopping and click Next.
  5. Choose your advertising preferences like – Campaign name, Merchant center name, Country of sale, Inventory filter, Bidding, Daily budget, Campaign priority, Networks, Devices, Locations, and Local inventory ads.
  6. Create your first ad group by entering a few pieces of information like the Ad group name, Bid.
  7. Click Save.

You’ve now built profitable Google Shopping Ads.

What is the difference between Google Ads and Google Shopping ads?

To run google ads, you need to input keywords manually, but Google Shopping ads do not require the advertiser to input keywords; instead, Google automatically pulls keywords from product titles and descriptions that are included in the Google shopping feed.

Are Google Shopping ads worth it?

Google Shopping ads are worth it for businesses who wish to get the most bang for their buck. Google Shopping’s tools provide comprehensive and granular reporting so that companies can see how their advertisements help them reach their primary KPIs and track sales and expenses.

How much do Google Shopping ads cost?

You are never charged for your goods to appear in a search. You only pay when a customer clicks the link on your ad, which will take them straight to the product page on your online store. As a result, you’re in the “Pay Per Click” category.

What are the benefits of Google Shopping ads?

The Key Benefits of Google Shopping ads are

1. A boost to your click-through rate

2. Customers can be reached at several stages of the purchase process.

3. Appear in the search engine multiple times.

4. Higher quality leads

5. Increase the number of people that visit your website

Quickly Create Remarketing Audiences in Google Ads with Our Google Ads Retargeting App, πŸ‘‰ Install Now

Conclusion on Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping ads now account for more than 75% of ad spend in searches. One of the most significant advantages of Shopping ads is the user’s intent. He/She saw the product and its price and clicked on an ad. This user is much more likely to convert than anyone from another marketing channel.

Be sure to Check our Other Google Shopping Ads-related Articles Listed Below:

1.  Google Ads Shopping Campaigns Guide.

2. Google Shopping Campaign For Apparel Industry.

3. Google Ads shopping campaign for Industry Tools.

4. Google Ads shopping campaign for Furniture Industry.

5. Google Ads Shopping Campaigns in 3 Simple Steps.

6.  Beginner’s Guide to Google Shopping Ads.

Author

CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing