Google Shopping: Select the right consumer marketplaces to expand into

When it was released in 2002, Google Shopping was called Froogle. The service simply indexed product data based on certain search terms. In 2012, the service shifted to a paid advertising model where retailers had to pay to be featured in the Google Shopping search results.

From there, Google Shopping became a “branch” of Google AdWords — yet another way for retailers and e-commerce businesses to advertise their physical products on Google. But unlike text-based Google ads that show up based on keywords, Google uses product data uploaded by merchants to display Google Shopping ads.

Why use Google Shopping?

Why use Google Shopping? In short, it works.

Here are a few reasons to use Google Shopping:

  • Google Shopping adds a visual touch to an otherwise text-heavy searching and shopping experience.

  • Google Shopping allows you to show up multiple times in Google SERPs — as a website result, a text-only PPC result, and a Shopping result.

  • Google Shopping is proven to have 30% higher conversion rates than text ads.

Let’s talk about how to get your products listed on Google Shopping.

If you have a shopify website it's easy!

Shopify's Google channel automatically syncs your products and relevant information about your Shopify store with the Google Merchant Center. You can then update your Google product

listings directly from your Shopify admin. For eligible stores selling in the United States, products synced to Google Merchant Center using Shopify's Google channel can appear in relevant Google Shopping tab search listings for free.

The best way to get your products on the top of the list and in front of the right people is with Product Ads. So let's take a closer look at setting up ads with Google.

Create a Google Shopping campaign

When you search for a product on Google, the Google Shopping results you see are actually advertisements.

That’s right — in order to get your products on Google Shopping, you have to pay. While Google Merchant Center is how Google gets your product information, Google AdWords is how consumers see your products … through Shopping campaigns.

To get your products in front of shoppers via Google Shopping, you’ll have to link your Google AdWords account.

Once your Google AdWords account is linked, you’ll be able to create a Google Shopping campaign and advertise your products. There are a couple different ways to get started.

One way to create a Google Shopping campaign is through your Google Merchant Center account. After you link your Google AdWords account via the Account linking page, you should be able to access it from the same place. From there, you can simply click Create Shopping Campaign.

Next, insert the campaign name, country of sale, and daily budget. Once you click Create, you’ll be prompted to continue managing your campaign through Google AdWords.

The other way to create a Google Shopping campaign is through Google AdWords. Log into your Google AdWords account. Open the Campaigns tab on the left-hand side menu, click the blue “+” icon, and choose New campaign.

First, choose a campaign goal. A Shopping campaign can have a goal of Sales, Leads, or Website traffic. (You can see the Shopping designation if you hover over the goal.)

Sales campaigns drive sales online or in person. Leads campaigns gather leads and other conversions by encouraging shoppers to complete an action. Website traffic campaigns bring the right people to your website. Google tailors each campaign to align with your goal, so be sure to choose whichever one is best for your business.

After you choose a campaign goal, designate the campaign type as Shopping. Make sure your Google Merchant Center account is displayed (so Google AdWords knows where to pull your product data from) and indicate your country of sale.

Lastly, choose a campaign subtype. Note: Smart Shopping campaigns require conversion tracking so AdWords can track when your ads lead to sales on your website.

For explanatory purposes, let’s choose a Standard Shopping campaign.

The next screen contains all your Google Shopping campaign settings. First, enter a campaign name, and click Additional settings if you want to set an inventory filter, enable local inventory ads, or change your campaign URL options.

Place bids on your Shopping campaign

Next, under your Google Shopping settings, you’ll be asked to select your bidding strategy and set your campaign budget.

Bidding is how you pay for people to see, click on, and interact with your ads. According to Google, “a sufficient bid and high-quality product data will earn your ad a higher rank.”

(Tip: Google has a pretty cool Bid Simulator Tool that’ll show you how bid changes might affect your ad performance.)

First, select your bid strategy. Manual CPC (cost-per-click) means you set your own maximum CPC for your ads. You can also set an automated bid strategy. Target ROAS (return on ad spend) and Enhanced CPC both require conversion tracking as Google uses your ad’s conversion rates to set the most efficient bid for your products.

With "Maximize clicks", Google Ads automatically sets your bids to get as many clicks as possible within your budget. You can set a Maximum CPC bid limit to cap your spend on each ad.

Next, choose your campaign budget. This is the amount of money you want to spend on average each day … but the amount isn’t capped daily. Instead, Google manages your budget monthly: in a month, you won’t spend more than your daily budget times the number of days in each month.

For example, let’s say I set my campaign budget to $100 for the month of February. Google sees that I’m willing to spend $100 x 28 days = $2,800 in February. As it places bids on my ads, Google might spend over $100 in a day, but it’ll never spend more than $2,800 in the month.

You can also set a delivery method for your budget: Standard spends your budget evenly over time, and Accelerated spends it quicker.

Lastly, if you are running more than one campaign, you can set a campaign priority so Google knows which bid will be used.

Target and schedule your Shopping campaign

The last section of the Google Shopping campaign settings is all about targeting and scheduling your campaign. This part is important because it dictates who will see your product ads and when.

The first two settings — Networks and Devices — shouldn’t change. They’re basically just telling you where your product ads will show up.

Next, select the locations that your ad will target. Make sure you only choose locations where you’re located and/or can ship to. Under Location options, you can change the Target and Exclude settings, although we recommend Google’s default choices. These options ensure that you’re marketing to the very best people: those located in your target location and those who are searching for (a.k.a. interested in) those locations, too. (The same goes for your excluded locations.)

Finally, set the start and end dates of your Shopping campaign. Your ad will continue to run unless you set an end date, so don’t forget that section.

Build ad groups

After you complete your Google Shopping campaign settings, you’ll be prompted to build ad groups for your campaign. Ad groups determine what type of ads you’ll run and how you’ll organize bidding for those ads.

There are two types of ad groups you can run: Product Shopping ads and Showcase Shopping ads. Product Shopping ads promote a single product. Showcase Shopping ads are a new format and allow you to advertise multiple products as part of a product or lifestyle ad that represents your brand or business.

If you choose a Product Shopping ad group, enter your ad group name and set a maximum CPC bid.

This creates one big ad group for all your products. If you wish to filter your products further, you can create separate ad groups for different categories.

If you choose a Showcase Shopping ad group, enter your ad group name and set a maximum CPE (cost per engagement) bid. (Engagement occurs when someone expands your Showcase Shopping ad and clicks on spends at least 10 seconds within the ad.) Lastly, choose what products to advertise as part of the Showcase Shopping ad.

Once you click Save, your campaign is submitted. Congratulations on completing your first Google Shopping campaign! 🎉

Another way to set up a campaign is to go to your google app in Shopify Sales Channels and set up a campaign directly from your Shopify store. This will allow Google to do all the work as you see sales streaming in.

Learn More:

Here are some extra tricks to catch a few more shoppers:

  • While images might automatically catch shoppers’ attention, product titles also hold their own weight. Peak interest by putting the most important words first.

  • Apply negative keywords

Now you know how to get your product on google shopping so go get them up there and play around with some ads, see what happens and test different strategies out.

If you need more guidance feel free to reach out.

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