Introduction

The convenience of online shopping has saved us all time, but what else has it saved? Companies – by creating an impactful marketing channel that quickly brings products to the attention of customers.

The latest online channel to grab customer attention is Google Shopping – now the leading ad spend for a majority of US and UK retail companies. Google Shopping has enabled brands like Puma to achieve a yearly 500% increase in revenue, showing how even the most established brands can continue to grow using the ad platform. With this ability to impact sales of any sized company, Google Shopping is becoming an essential part of successful marketing strategies. 

 This is why this article will discuss Google Shopping in detail, showing you how to set up your first campaign and potentially attract billions of customers. 

Chapters:

What is Google Shopping?
Why should your company use Google Shopping?
How to set up Google Shopping campaigns?
Final Thoughts

What is Google Shopping? 

Google Shopping enables customers to look up, evaluate, and purchase actual goods from a variety of companies who’ve paid to advertise their products. Another name for this is a comparison shopping engine (CSE) – where the retailer and price of each item are displayed alongside the images.

Initially, when Google Shopping first launched, the service produced information based on specific search criteria. However, the site switched to a paid advertising model in 2012, meaning companies have to pay to be featured. Advertisements are displayed using product data that has been provided by the companies, as opposed to text-based Google ads that appear based on keywords.

Google Shopping Ads are displayed at the top of a search engine in a row of related products. Customers may quickly and conveniently click through to view a variety of products and make a purchase. They are simple ads with small descriptions. There is an image, a link, a price, a line of text identifying the company or website, and one more row that ordinarily displays a summary of the product and any advantages, for instance, “free delivery“.

Google shopping SERP

Why should your company use Google Shopping?

Many companies use Google Shopping for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at the most important ones:

Add quality visual elements to your advertising 

  • Avoid text-heavy search ads 
  • Images persuade customers to buy
  • If you’re a top seller, your star rating is shown 

Improve your click-through rates

Increase your customer reach

  • Appear across different platforms; youtube, Gmail, & Google Images
  • Visual ads are likely to attract more customers than a specific keyword text ad

Make life easier for your customers 

  • Shopping becomes much easier for customers
  • Increase loyalty and satisfaction of user experience
  • Opens up a new proven marketing channel 

Google PLA vs Non-brand text ads

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How to set your Google Shopping campaign  

We’ll go over how to manually set up your Google Shopping account in the sections below. For those with a large number of products, a Google Shopping data feed tool may make this process simpler. 

Step 1: Create a Google Merchant account 

Just follow this link to set up an account on Google Merchant Centre. The process is relatively easy, and Google provides a great deal of information to help set up your account. This will essentially be your home to find all your products and connected product info. 

Step 2: Have great imagery 

Google will sometimes ban companies if they use low-resolution images. This is because it affects the customer experience, and in turn, damages Google’s reputation. Follow this easy how-to-guide by Google to make sure your images are best positioned to sell your products. 

Step 3: Upload your product feed 

Your product feed keeps Google informed about all your products. This information is crucial because it enables Google to discover and show your products when users enter specific product terms. But remember, you don’t need to upload your product feed if the Merchant Center is connected to your store using its API.

If it isn’t, follow these easy steps:

  • Go to your Google Merchant Center profile. After selecting Products > Feeds, click the blue “+” button.

google shopping upload product feed

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  • Then enter your country and language.
  • Decide the name of your product feed and choose how you’ll input information.

google shopping product feed

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  • To input your product information, you can use a template provided by Google Merchant Center or upload your own spreadsheet. If you decide to use the Google Merchant Center template, the spreadsheet already has the product attributes listed as column headers.
  • Whereas if you decide to make your own spreadsheet, you’ll have to make the column headings for your product qualities. Once you’ve filled in the information, upload the file to Google Merchant Center. 
  • To access your completed product feed go to Products > Feeds > Primary feeds.

Step 4: Link Google Adwords 

  • You must link your Google AdWords account in order to advertise your products on Google Shopping.
  • Log into Google Merchant Center and click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner. After, select Account linking.

google shopping link google ads

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  • You can create a Google AdWords account from this screen if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, click Link account, and you’re all done. 

Step 5: Create your Google Shopping campaign 

  • Create a Google Shopping Campaign from your Google Ads account

google shopping create campaign

google shopping campaign

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  • Name your campaign name, country of sale, and daily budget.

google shopping campaign daily budget

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Step 6: Set your bidding strategy 

Choose your bidding strategy and establish your campaign budget under Google Shopping settings. This is how you pay for potential customers to see and click on your ads.

There are two main ways to set a bidding strategy:

Manual Cost Per Click

  • Set your own maximum ad spend 
  • Target return on ad spend 

Maximise Clicks 

  • Google Ads automatically sets your bids
  • Limit cap spends on each ad. 

The final step is your campaign budget. Here, you’ll need to set the amount of money your company is willing to spend every day. The amount isn’t capped daily, but Google uses this to calculate a monthly budget for which it will never go over. 

For instance, if your daily campaign budget is $200 (200×30 = 6000)
Google might spend over $200 in one day, but never more than $6000 in a month. 

Step 7: Choose your location & set your schedule 

google shopping locations

  • Select the location of your ad
  • Under ‘Location options’ you can change the Target & Exclude settings 
  • Set the start and end dates of your Shopping campaign 

Step 8: Build your Ad groups 

There are two forms of ads you can run on Google Shopping:

google shopping ads

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Product Shopping ads

  • Promote a single product 
  • Enter your ad group name 
  • Set maximum CPC bid
  • One ad group for all your products

Showcase Shopping Ads

  • Enter your ad group name
  • Set maximum cost per engagement 
  • Engagement when someone spends at least 10 seconds on the ad
  • Choose your desired products to advertise 

 

Final Thoughts

Google Shopping is a safe marketing investment that has a far-reaching impact due to the traffic Google generates. When part of your marketing strategy, Google Shopping will strengthen your company’s ability to discover, attract and retain new customers. 

With the e-commerce market expected to grow, digital marketing channels like Google Shopping are becoming even more essential and provide a new alternative way to reach customers away from text-heavy ads.