How to Set Up a Google Shopping Campaign for Success in 2021

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How to Set Up a Google Shopping Campaign

With 2021 approaching soon, brands are jumping on the digital marketing trail like never before. Having an eCommerce store without a marketing strategy can be detrimental and similar to cleaning without a broom’s help – you can manage with other equipment. However, it will still feel like you’re missing the critical element.

To understand why this is so, you need to have a Google Shopping campaign purely because of the growth that it’s been exhibiting over the last few years. These campaigns can help attract shoppers who have a higher intent of purchasing from your brand to the online store. They will look only for the products you’re selling that are important, and it’s time for you also to attract that audience.

You need to display all the necessary products to your shoppers interested in Display, Search, YouTube, Google Shopping, and partner sites to have a good effect on the conversion rates.  

What are Google Shopping Ads?

With Google Shopping ads, you can harness the Merchant Center and product feeds together with the Google Ads and create compelling retail-centric campaigns. The product feed can be defined as that collection of data designed in a format that is easily preventable by Google and preferred by them. With these Google Ads, you can manage, optimize, and create various campaigns for Shopping.

These ads are also responsible for using all of the product data and not the exact keywords to map the brand to a shopper who’s potentially searching for products that you’re selling. With these campaigns, Google goes on to take the feed, bids, and site as required when determining the products that need to be displayed for a particular search query. 

Most Google ads are generally displayed on –

  • Google Search’s Shopping Tab
  • Partner websites
  • Google Search result pages
  • The Display Network

Benefits of Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping is one way to drive traffic to your site, and whether you’re a new seller on eCommerce, an established brand, or an aspiring seller, you can know all you have to and how it can be used to harness more sales to your company. Here are a few benefits of the same 

1. Increased Traffic that’s highly-targeted 

Since it was created to target those looking for the products you’re selling, potential shoppers generally come with a purpose – to purchase. After pairing it with visual images of the product and rich ads with information, customers can then make informed decisions, and you can increase all of your chances to purchase at the same time. You can have some extremely interested buyers heading to your store, and all you need to do is find the right balance. 

2. Broader Customer Reach potential

Brand reach for a single search can double with Google Shopping Ads. This is because apart from other campaigns, Google shows you more than one type of Shopping ad, in addition to the search ads themselves – within a single search query. This means your brand can enjoy a broader presence for a similar spend. 

3. Better ROAS 

Based on multiple case studies and also working with more than 200K merchants on Google Shopping, it’s generally agreed that Shopping performs much better than Search ads. Most optimized campaigns result in lower CPCs, and once you couple them with a broader reach, you can have higher conversion advantages, resulting in optimal ROAS.

4. Easier Optimization and Management

Locating the right keywords on campaigns is a full-time job that requires a big team. With the help of Shopping Ads, Google can go forth and use a product data feed that can then decide the products that need to be shown, rather than keywords. 

Most Shopping campaigns use the product attributes instead of the keywords to match ads to optimization, searching shoppers and management and make it easier to maintain other Google campaign types in the process as well. 

5. Better reporting of data 

With Google Shopping’s competitive data offering critical insights into products’ performance, it becomes easier to understand factors such as the clicks on a product and more. 

This can be done with factors such as the number of clicks a brand gets by using the impression share data, filtering the product views, using bid simulator tools, and ultimately spotting growth opportunities to assess the overall landscape.

The key to being successful on Google Shopping boils down to four things mainly –

  • Product optimization and feed creation
  • Creativity with the Google Shopping campaign structures
  • A data-driven, expert approach to bidding strategies
  • Continuous management, monitoring, and optimization of campaigns

With the Google Shopping guide, we will help you explore and discover everything required to create a strong eCommerce Shopping campaign. With our steps, you’ll be able to upgrade yourself from novice to expert in no time! 

We’ll also tell you everything you need to know about the various tools to create winning campaigns from start to finish, with optimization must-dos that will help you get the most out of Google Shopping. 

Google Shopping Ad Types 

Before delving into the Shopping guide, you need to understand the various types of available shopping ads, their specifications, costs, and placements. There are mainly five subtypes of ads 

1. Product Shopping Ads 

These ads can be created on Google ads and populated by the data that is uploaded on the Merchant Center account. It can also easily enhance the product ads on Google Shopping with extra elements, which include –

  • Adding more trust for products in the Shopping ads with the ratings. This can help by working on a 5-star system and counts the overall reviews. Your product needs to have at least three reviews to be eligible.
  • You can use Google’s Customer Reviews service and collect the most valuable feedback in the form of a page survey that appears post-checkout. This data, collected from shoppers who are converted, can be used towards the Rating eligibility and overall ratings. 
  • Nations like France, India, Australia, Germany, the USA, and the UK can work with these. The Merchant Promotions are available in the Shopping ads. This makes it easier to use a promotion data feed and incorporate all online promos into Shopping ads.

As with PPC options, Product ads are generally charged under CPC. To use these campaigns, you’ll need to set up the necessary Merchant Center and a Google Ads account and link them. You’ll also have to make sure the ads follow the required policies, which vary from the other approach, and ensure that it’s updated every 30 days.  

2. Showcase Shopping Ads 

Showcase Shopping Ads are another type that can be created. These ads display related products, and customers can choose from them before clicking on the one they like. 

If there’s a specific term, like say, “swim shorts,” the Showcase Shopping can show relevant products bunched together with a lifestyle image. Users can also move back and forth to quickly expand these ads to view the product listings. After this, advertisers can also focus on a few products within that ad. 

3. Local Catalog Ads (LCAs) 

This is another type of Shopping ad, and they’re best suited for selling online and offline, with a physical shop. LCAs use the product data to highlight store-specific products, with information and prices that can be used to drive back traffic to your physical store in the city or town. 

Local catalog ads are generally designed to be visual and are located on the Google Display Network. Most LCAs are also available in countries where the inventory ads are active too. Similar to Showcase Shopping ads, these are charged with the CPE, and the engagement factor is counted based on tapping, browser scrolling, or the total clicks on your ad.

4. TrueView for Shopping (YouTube) 

Designed to ensure video ads are a lot more interactive, TrueView campaigns use product data to generate up to six Shopping cards, which can then appear on the video ad. 

These are created within Google Ads and can be done by selecting the “Product and brand consideration” goal and “video” campaign type, after which you can choose the “Shopping” campaign subtype.

5. Smart Shopping Campaigns 

Smart Shopping campaigns combine product shopping and display remarketing campaigns with automated bidding and ad placements. This simplifies the entire campaign management and expands your reach with regards to maximizing the overall conversions. 

With Google’s machine learning product and the feed, Smart Shopping ads can showcase various ads across the network, including Display, Search, Gmail, and YouTube, among others. Google also tests text and image variations to find the best-performing ad to display to potential shoppers, including LCAs, Product Shopping, dynamic remarketing, display, and more.

 To use Smart Shopping campaigns, you’ll need to set up –

  • A global site tag on the website
  • Conversion tracking with specific transaction values
  • Remarketing lists with at least 100 users
  • Links to the Google Analytics account 

With Product Shopping campaigns that are standard, you’ll also need to meet the campaign requirements and ensure the Shopping ads policies are followed. 

It’s also crucial to note that when there’s a specific product being advertised and various campaign subtypes present for the same account, the Smart Shopping campaign tends to prioritize Product Shipping and display campaigns for remarketing. The other two factors to consider for Google Smart Shopping campaigns include –

  • Conversion values get automatically maximized for a set budget
  • You’ll need to wait for the machine learning algorithm to optimize your strategy, which generally happens after 15 days, as recommended by Google. 

Step by Step Process of Setting up a Google Shopping Campaign 

1. Make product images and listings up to the mark 

Before creating an account, you can upload your product feeds to build Shopping campaigns. You’ll still need to review your product info and photographs. This is because Google draws its product feed from the same, and they have specific guidelines regarding the same.

Product photos must not have –

  • Borders
  • Watermarks, text overlays, and logos
  • More than one product type featured in the image
  • Patterned, multicolored, or dark backgrounds

The products must –

  • Show the product that’s being sold clearly, in the right scale, and must take up 75 to 90% of the image space
  • Be well-lit and clear
  • Have a gray, solid white, or light-colored background
  • Have good quality – free from noise, blur, fading, or pixelation

2. Make sure the store complies with all policies and requirements for Google Shopping ads

All of the products and services being sold must comply with the standards that are set by Google. You can check the policies out on the seller page and make the necessary changes for the same.

3. Create and Set Up Your Google Merchant Center Account 

The next thing to do is set up your Google Merchant Center account with well-optimized feeds. This is vital to the success of the Google Shopping campaign.

You can head over to the Google Merchant Center and set up your account. The process is simple and easy to navigate, and the account can be set up fairly quickly.

During the setup, you’ll be asked where the business is located and what your objectives are. You can choose the ones that suit your requirements and move forth from there. 

4. Link Merchant Center Account to Google Ads

For Google to access your product feed to showcase Google Shopping campaigns, you will have to link the Merchant Center account to your own account on Google Ads. You can do that by clicking on the Merchant toolbox and clicking on the option that says “Linked Accounts.”

5. Create and update your product feeds 

Whether you’re creating Google Shopping campaigns for the first time or you’d like to improve your current stats, the product feed management and optimization steps are essential. 

You’ll need to do this before you optimize your campaigns and guarantee success, as the unoptimized feed can and end up hurting your spending.

6. Setting up Google Shopping campaign settings 

a. Country of sale 

The first thing you’ll need to do is select the countries where the products are shipped and sold to. It’s important to note that you cannot change the country of sale once the campaign is created.

If you’re new to Google Ads or eCommerce, you might not be aware of a country’s currency and language requirements so that you can check out the same. 

b. Inventory Filter

Segmentation is essential for success, and creating a campaign that includes all products won’t work effectively if you’re looking to get sales. You can use the inventory filter to define the eligible product grouping, as this helps Google know which product groups can be matched to.

c. Bidding 

You need to select the bidding type required at a campaign level. You can choose between –

  • Manual CPC bidding where you set your CPC max levels
  • Automatic Smart Bidding strategy, including target CPAs, target ROAS, maximize clicks, maximize conversion values, and enhanced cost per click (ECPC)

The campaign bidding strategy must be in line with the overall goals for your campaign.

d. Daily budget 

You need to tell Google how much you’re willing to spend on a campaign per day. Google will stop serving ads in Shopping campaigns whenever the budget is met. You can start small and work as you optimize the campaign to your liking. 

e. Campaign Priority 

This is another important consideration when it comes to creating Google Shopping campaigns. This is because it can help Google know which campaign needs to be prioritized when an overlap occurs in multiple campaigns. 

f. Networks and Devices 

The Google Shopping campaigns you work with are shown in the Search Network, Search Partners, Google Discovery, YouTube, and the Display Network. If you wish to limit these networks’ placement, you can uncheck the box that says “any networks,” which goes for all devices.

g. Locations and Local inventory ads 

The Google Shopping preferences you set at a campaign level are the local inventory ads and locations. The latter is where you limit where the ads are shown, and the former is necessary only if you’re selling offline too. 

Now that you’ve completed the necessary steps, you can take action back and relax as your ads are live now! Enjoy working on Google Shopping Campaigns and create a strong eCommerce business that can sustain itself for a long time!

Optimizing Your Google Shopping Ads 

Scenario 1: Products with High Clicks, Low Conversions 

This is good news as Google finds the product relevant to showcase to searchers, but the problem is that they’re not buying.

In case there’s a campaign for awareness and you can manage to bring the traffic via Google remarketing campaigns.

You can look at your competitors and analyze their product pages and compare them to yours. Also, include negative keywords. Once you add them, you can also ensure the conversion chances.

Scenario 2: Products with High impressions, low clicks 

The next scenario is when products get a decent level of impressions but no to a few clicks. It means Google thinks the products are relevant to search queries and users are seeing products but not clicking on listings.

Try understanding whether your competitors are selling the product for a lesser price, and see if you can match the same. Take a look at the product images too!

Scenario 3. No impressions 

The final scenario is when there are no impressions. If they’re not getting impressions but aren’t rejected, it means the bids are too low. You can raise them and see if the impressions improve.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve completed the necessary steps, you can take action back and relax as your ads are live now! Enjoy working on Google Shopping Campaigns and create a strong eCommerce business that can sustain itself for a long time!

About the author

Karthik Ramachandiran

Helps Shopify stores to easily set up their Google Merchant Center & Create Google Shopping Feed with a few clicks & without any errors & run Google Ads.