Generating more sales and growing your company’s revenue is the ultimate dream of every business that sells online. If you’re a retailer, you can use Google’s Shopping Campaigns to boost traffic and sales from your eCommerce website. Google Shopping Campaigns is a stellar and yet mostly overlooked method of bridging the gap between customer’s needs and your products.
What are Google Shopping Campaigns and Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads appear at the top of, and sometimes to the right side of the organic Google search results page. These ads are triggered when a search matches results from Google’s Merchant Center (Products) database. To put that in easier terms, if your customers are looking for a product and Google has those products (through you; the merchant), the customer will see these ads. These ads display a product picture, pricing information and a store’s brand that you can see on Google’s search engine (i.e. google.com, google.co.uk, etc..).
Here is a typical product search that generates Google Shopping Ads results on top of organic results.
These Google Product ads are very effective, because they showcase an image on the product listing. They also show the price of the product that is being displayed. These product ads appear at the top of the search engine listings making them highly visible. Your product ads are going to appear where people will be looking first.
Benefits of Google Shopping Campaigns and Google Shopping Ads
Targeted Traffic and Qualified Leads
As a merchant, you are featuring your product information directly into your ads which helps your customers make informed purchasing decisions. For example, a searcher searching for “rocking chairs”, sees the pictures of your rocking chairs and can decide which chair fits their budget and taste. This also means that the site visitors are pre-qualified not by keywords but by the product and its picture. This technique communicates the design, style and benefits of your product.
Better Click-thru-Rates than keyword ads
While Google Adwords relies on the keyword matching, Google Shopping Campaigns work using the product description and attributes. This makes the offer much more relevant and targeted to the users and their needs. The CTR for Shopping Campaigns is much higher than keyword ads on Google Adwords. CTR refers to the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions that your ad receives on Google.
You receive a broader presence and more visibility on Google Adwords
Based on search relevancy, more than one product can show on the Shopping Ads. You may even get a keyword ad showing up for keyword searches (if you’re running both). This means more visibility in front of the searchers.
Great Reporting Tools
You can see the performance of your ads at product and SKU levels. Google Adwords provides competitive benchmarking and bid simulator tools. These tools help you determine how your competitors are doing and the growth prospects of your campaigns.
How to Start (Set up) a Google Shopping Campaign
Google displays product data in its ads through the Product Feeds and Inventory feeds that are set up in the Google Merchant Center. If you do not know what the Google Merchant Center is, learn more about it here:
You can sign up for the Google Merchant Center at:
Once you’re signed up with Merchant Center, you can set up your Product feed and the Product inventory feed. The product feed refers to the Google’s data feed structure that is needed to add your products to the Merchant Center. You can select a name and country for your products and specify whether you want to upload an excel sheet, a tab delimited file, or a Google sheet. The Google sheet has reference to all the column headers and it is advisable not to change the headers. Category data according to Google product categories can be found here:
Use only one category per product. This should be the most specific category.
Once you’ve set up the Google Merchant Center and the feed, Google Shopping Campaigns can be set through the Merchant Center interface. Go to Google merchant center > Log in > Go to Settings > Click on Adwords > Enter Adwords Customer id and click Add. You will now access all the product extensions in Adwords.
You can now set up Shopping campaigns either through Merchant Center or through Google Adwords. However, it is better to set up a campaign through Google AdWords.
Visit this webpage and Google will walk you through the process of setting up a ‘Shopping Campaign.’ However, there are some tips and tricks that are important for you to make the most out of your Google Shopping Ads.
Important Tips and Tricks to be Successful with Google’s Shopping Campaigns (Product Listing Ads)
- While there is no keyword matching in Google Shopping Campaigns, you can still add negative keywords to your campaign and your product ads will not show up for those keywords. For example, if you sell fidget spinners but you do not sell fidget cubes, you can specify “cubes” as an exclusion to tell Google not to show your ad when someone searches for cubes.
- Similarly, you can weed out keywords that are informational rather than transactional or do not have a purchase intent. For example, keywords that do not have product names, make, year, model numbers, brand, or the keywords such as “buy online” or “prices”. Presence of these modifiers in the search is a proof of high buying intent.
- Placing Local Inventory Ads – If you’re a local store, you can use Google Local Inventory ads without the need of having an eCommerce store. Yes this can be done! Read our post on local inventory ads. The setup is similar, but the users get directions to your store rather than buying online. It is useful for stores who do not sell online and want the users to get personalized instore service and hands on experience of the products.
- Custom Filters – You can set up inventory filters based on your product feeds. For example, you can tell Google to only advertise a specific brand, product or SKU (ItemID). You can also create your own custom labels.
- Campaign Priority – By default, the priority for all campaigns is set to “Low”. What this means is when you have multiple campaigns which contain common products, then the campaign that has a higher priority will be selected for product listing ads. This is despite a higher bid set at the product level. So, if you sell Fish Oil 20 mg capsules in two campaigns, and one campaign has a higher bid, but a lower priority, the product will be shown from the higher priority campaign.
- Remember that the title and image of the product matter a lot in the conversion cycle. If your image is low quality, you will have to change it and update your product feed with the new image. Similarly, your product title, description and any relevant offer you publish will make the difference between success and failure.
- Retargeting people who have already landed on your website (and remember this applies to channels other than Shopping Campaigns too), is a great way to utilize your ad budget effectively. How? Well, if someone sees your ads and does not complete the purchase for whatever reason, you can show them the same ads on other websites they visit or in their Facebook feed. We all know life happens and research has proven that buyers should see your offer multiple times before the trust barrier is broken and they decide to buy. With retargeting, you have multiple shots at these buyers.
In conclusion, if you’re an eCommerce store, you should invest some time learning about Google Shopping Campaigns. Highly targeted and focused/matched ads can be created and shown at spots where searchers see them the most. If you need any help with Shopping campaigns, CIBIRIX has a team of specialized, AdWords certified professionals ready to create, manage, and bring you more sales to your store. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
To receive even more tips, Join our members only weekly newsletter.