Google Shopping Ads – A Complete Guide
As a retailer looking to engage shoppers through advertisements, you must list your product on Google Shopping Ads. Why is that? Here are a few reasons:
- 76% of all retail ad spend is driven by Shopping ads – and generates 85% of user clicks on Google Shopping Ads.
- Google Search accounts for 36% of all product-related searches.
- The average ROAS (or Return on Ad Spend) for Google Ads is 200% – meaning $2 earned for every $1 in spending.
Want to know more about Google Shopping Ads and how they work? Here is the ultimate guide to Google Shopping Ads.
What are Google Shopping Ads?
Google Shopping Ads is, in essence, an online Google service that provides a platform for retailers or advertisers to advertise their products (or services) to online users.
In other words, if you are searching for any product on Google search, matching products will be displayed – along with added information like the product image, title, price, or even the retailer’s name – on the Google search results.
The list of matching products is also called Product Listing Ads (or PLAs). Any interested user can purchase by clicking the desired product on the PLA – that takes them to the retailer’s website.
What are the Different Types of Google Shopping Ads?
As a retailer, you can choose any of the following five types of Google Shopping Ads to advertise your product:
Product Shopping Ads
Product shopping ads are a standard mode of displaying product ads created using the Google Merchant Center (or GMC) tool. For each product, you can include the product image, title, price, along with the name of your retail store – which will be displayed on the ad in a standard format.
Showcase Shopping Ads
Showcase shopping ads are used for advertising related products on Google Shopping. For example, Men’s swimming wear. This type of ad is useful when shoppers search for a generic product instead of a specific product.
Local Catalog Ads (LCA)
Also referred to as Local Inventory Ads, LCAs allow you to advertise your products or services to local (or nearby) shoppers searching on Google.
When a shopper clicks on your ad, they are directed to your local store that is closest to the shopper’s location. Besides the product information, shoppers can also view store locations, inventory status, store hours, and even directions on this type of ad.
TrueView for Shopping Ads (YouTube)
TrueView for Shopping Ads is a video-based and interacting type of Google Shopping Ad – that can engage your customers and increase sales. With more online users spending hours on YouTube, this medium is being used to target potential clients.
As a retailer, you can select specific products from your Google Merchant Center – to be showcased as video ads.
Smart Shopping Campaigns
This type of Google Shopping Ads is ideal for an online marketing campaign to maximize your sales and conversions and promote your products across multiple Google networks.
This includes Google search networks, YouTube, Gmail, and Google Displays. Google deploys its machine learning capability to use your product feed and create multiple ads across all networks for smart shopping.
Next, let us see how Google Shopping works – and how you can create a Google Shopping Ad that works for your retail.
How does Google Shopping Work?
Google Shopping does not sell its advertised products themselves; instead, they enable retailers and advertisers to showcase their products on their platform. This is done by submitting all product feeds (or information) to the Google Shopping platform.
The Google algorithms then process this product feed and display the products that match online users’ search queries.
Google Shopping Ads work in tandem with the following Google platforms:
- Google Ads – where advertisers can bid on common keywords by which they can secure a higher ranking on the Google search results.
- Google Merchant Center is an online Google tool used to create and upload the product feed (or product information).
How to Create a Profitable Google Shopping Ad?
Listed below are seven ways of creating a profitable Google Shopping Ad:
Ensure that all your product listings and photos are looking good
Your product listing (or product feed) is an essential success factor for Google Shopping Ads. Ensure that every product feed includes the:
- Product title
- Product description
- Product image
- Retailer information like the website or landing page
Check if your product title includes information like the brand name, type of product, color, and other relevant information. All product images must be original and of the best quality – and include product images taken from different angles.
Make sure that your online store complies with all the Google Shopping policies
Next, you must ensure that your online retail store complies with all of Google Shopping regulations and policies. As a policy, Google Shopping disallows the sale of the following prohibited products:
- Counterfeit or fake products that look like the original branded product but are advertised as genuine products.
- Dangerous products that are hazardous to human health or safety. This includes products like firearms, fireworks, harmful chemicals, or non-prescribed drugs.
- Products that promote dishonesty among users. This can include products like hacking software or tools, fake guides, or those promoting academic cheating.
- Inappropriate ad content that promotes hatred, violence, bullying, animal cruelty, or threats to endangered animals.
Create and configure your Google Merchant Center (GMC) account
As mentioned earlier, GMC is the Google platform where you can create your product feed and make it available on Google Shopping. If you do not have a Google account for your business, you need to create one on this Google page. If you already have one, sign into the GMC account on this page.
To configure your GMC account, perform the following steps:
- Sign in to your GMC account and configure your contact details and business information.
- Upload your product details in the form of a product feed.
- Showcase your added products across the Google platform by selecting the type of Google Shopping Ads.
Create your product feed on GMC
An optimized product feed can improve your ROAS by up to 300%. Here are a few ways in which you can optimize your product feed:
- Highlight important product attributes like brand name, product title, product category, and specific attributes like color, size, weight, gender, and technical specifications.
- Include all your product variants in your feed, including products with different colors, sizes, and weights.
- Always include the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) of the product in your feed.
Link your GMC account to Google Ads
After creating and optimizing your product feed using GMC, the next step is to link your GMC account to Google Ads that will enable you to leverage all Google services. From your GMC account, search and link to your Google Ads (including other Google Ad accounts).
To complete the linking, you also need to verify your GMC account’s details and approve the linking.
Configure the campaign settings on Google Shopping
For maximum leverage of your Google Shopping ads, you need to configure the following campaign settings:
- Country of sale – or the location from where you are selling your products.
- Inventory filters – using which you can exclude your low-selling products from the product feed.
- Bidding – that helps you to determine how much to pay for each click.
- Daily budget – or the budget you are willing to spend on Google ads.
- Campaign priority – that lets you prioritize your campaigns as low, medium, or high, provided you are running multiple shopping campaigns.
- Networks and devices – that enables you to display your ads on the Google Search Network and devices including smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
- Locations and Local Inventory Ads – that allows you to optimize your ads to be displayed only in specific locations (or excluding them from poor performance areas).
Set up your Google Shopping ads to go live
After completing all the previous steps, you are now ready to go live with your Google Shopping Ad. All you need is to configure your delivery settings to either Standard or Accelerated – and specify your campaign URLs.
9 Additional Strategies to Get More Sales from Your Google Shopping Ads
Here are nine bonus strategies that can help you maximize sales from your Google Shopping Ad:
Check if all your product titles are highly optimized
Product titles in your feeds are not just about search keywords. Ensure that each title is highly optimized with the right mix of words – such that Google Shopping displays your product when the user searches for a product.
With regards to keywords, make sure they appear in the product title, description, page title, and meta description.
Optimize product descriptions and categories in your product feed
Based on the correct information in the product feed, Google can determine when your product should be shown in search results. Optimize your product descriptions to include specific details of the product for product categories, including the most relevant category – including subcategories or even sub-subcategories – that can improve your conversion rate.
Check if all your product images are of high quality
Include only high-resolution images in your product feed – such that potential customers can learn the most of your product just by looking at it. For product variants, for example, women’s tops – include images of all variants showing the product from different angles.
Utilize all extensions offered by Google Shopping Ads
To maximize sales, Google Shopping Ads provides several extensions that you should utilize to leverage the Google platform. This includes various types of extensions, including merchant promotions, price cuts, and product ratings.
For instance, if you are running a promotional campaign, use the “Merchant promotions” extension to increase the campaigns’ overall reach.
Make use of product ratings and reviews
Products ratings and reviews are a “golden goose’ when it comes to selecting a product. Over 90% of consumers purchase a product after reading online reviews. You can use product reviews and ratings to engage directly with potential buyers.
As a strategy, include product ratings (using 4- or 5-stars or numbers) and word-of-mouth reviews in your Google Shopping ads and campaigns.
Include negative keywords in your strategy
Negative keywords are an efficient mode of increasing incoming traffic on high-volume search keywords. If you are running multiple Google Shopping campaigns, assign the priority settings – high, medium, or low – to each campaign.
Then, you need to assign the maximum cost-per-click (or CPC) to the low-priority campaigns and minimum CPC to the high-priority campaigns.
Finally, create a list of negative keywords – high, medium, and low search – and assign all these keywords to the high-priority campaigns (while assigning only low search keywords to the low-priority campaigns).
Adjust your bids according to device performance and location
While some products are searched mainly via smartphones, others are searched on devices like laptops and tablets. Adjust your bidding based on the devices from which you get the most searches. This will allow you to reduce costs while increasing sales.
Another parameter to be considered is the geolocation from where you get the most traffic. For instance, you can avoid advertising in a location where your products are not being sold.
Increase your bidding for high-selling products
The products that earn you the most revenues deserve more attention. High-selling products can increase your ROAS, so it makes business sense to bid more for them on Google Ads.
Use remarketing to retarget repeat visitors
Remarketing can be used in Google Shopping Ads to retarget online users who have previously visited your online store. This includes users such as repeat visitors or even those who have abandoned shopping carts. You can also use remarketing lists to segment your user base based on previous engagement.
Remarketing ads on Google Shopping effectively increase conversions among users who have previously engaged with your product brand.
This comprehensive Google Shopping Ads guide outlines some of the strategies you can use to leverage the capabilities of the Google Shopping platform. We hope this guide has been useful and has answered some of your common queries. For the best results, get started on Google Shopping today.
Guest Post Contribution from AdNabu
Creating an approved Google Shopping Feed & running profitable Google Ads is a multi-step process. AdNabu’s app helps you to easily create a Google Shopping feed & run profitable Google shopping Ads. All changes from your Shopify store are fetched and updated automatically in the feed.