How to Run Google Shopping Ads 2022: Full Guide

Introduction:

Google shopping ads are a fantastic tool to help drive traffic to your store and convert customers into sales.

Google shopping ads require some time and effort to set up, but once they are set up correctly Google automates a lot of the process of showing your shopping ads to the right customers.

In this updated 2022 guide I’m going to show you how to set up and optimise your google shopping ads and also share some handy tips on how to fine tune your campaigns.

What is Google Shopping?

Google shopping is a service allowing customers to search, shop and compare physical products from a variety of retailers who have ads running. Google shopping is known as a comparison-shopping engine (CSE)

Example of Google Shopping Ads

The above image displays product ads when a user searches ‘shower screens’ in Google’s search bar. As you can see each google shopping ad has an image, product title, price, retailer’s name, and sometimes other information on delivery costs, reviews or the nearest retailer.

Why Should You Use Google Shopping Ads to Advertise your Products?

Many online shopping consumers start their purchasing journey on Google. This means you will be amongst your potential customers if you use Google Shopping Ads to advertise your products.

Reason 1: Your Products are Displayed at the Top of Google Search Results

When you utilise Google Shopping your products are displayed at the top of the page as per the below Google search result screenshot:

Example of Google Search Results

Reason 2: Visually Appealing Ads

Google Shopping Ads display your products in a more visually appealing way in comparison to Google Search Ads. When you are looking for a product to buy there is a higher chance of you clicking on the ad which displays an image of the product as this provides you with a more real visual representation of what you are purchasing.

Reason 3: Higher Conversion Rate

Google Shopping Ads have a higher conversion rate than Google Search Ads. The main reason is because shopping ads provide customers with a more concise image of what they are purchasing as these ads include very relevant information you need to want to make a purchase; such as the price, product title and image. Overall, shopping ads are better built for e-commerce stores because of the information they are able to display in a clear & concise way.

Reason 4: Can Diversify Your Traffic

Rather than relying on one source of traffic, e.g. Facebook or Instagram ads, you are diversifying your traffic by incorporating Google Shopping Ads into your advertising strategy.

How Do Google Shopping Ads Work?

Google uses algorithms to process your product feed containing your store’s product data like descriptions, images, prices and titles. Google takes this data and uses it to match your products with the appropriate searches and create the ads.

Google’s shopping ads work through using a cost-per-click model (CPC), meaning each time someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website a ‘bid’ is paid.

Adding Your Products to Google Shopping

The first thing you have to do is to create shopping ads from the products in your store by following the steps below:

Step 1: Create Your Product Feed:

There are two ways to create your product feed for Google Shopping Ads, you can either produce the feed using an app or do it manually through a spreadsheet.

Step 2: Set up Your Google Merchant Centre:

Once you have finalised your product feed, you will be able to create a Google Merchant Centre Account.

You will have to claim and verify your store and prove you own your domain. This can be completed through a number of different way, but most commonly with Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager.

Uploading Product Feed to Your Google Merchant Centre:

You do not have to complete this step if your website is connected to the Google Merchant Centre through its API, however if it is not you will have to manually do this in your Google Merchant Centre.

Once you have uploaded your product feed you are able to run diagnostics to see the health of the feed and correct any errors which may pop up. The urgent errors (the red ones) should be rectified first to avoid your account from being suspended. 

Step 3: Create Your Google Shopping Campaign:

As soon as your products have been approved by Google, you can then start creating a Google Shopping Campaign in Google Ads.

To create a Google Shopping Campaign you have to go to your Google Ads dashboard and click on the blue plus sign in the Campaigns tabs.

You will then click on the campaign objective you would like to achieve. I normally recommend the ‘sales’ objective as we are in the e-commerce space and sales is the main objective we want to achieve.

You will then click on the type of campaign you want to create and in this example we will be creating a Google Shopping Campaign.

Now you will be prompted to select either a Standard or a Smart Shopping Campaign.

Let me provide you with a quick overview of the different features between Standard & Smart Shopping Campaigns:

Google Standard Shopping Google Smart Shopping
More control over your campaign Automated
Requires manual set up Quick and easy to set up
Negative keywords No negative keywords
Very time consuming Saves time
Can schedule ads Cannot Schedule ads
Control over location targeting Limited location targeting

Give your Campaign an appropriate name

Enter details below depending on what your bidding and budget strategy is.

You will then have the ability to advertise ‘All Products’ or you can choose to advertise specific products as per the illustrative screenshot below:

You will then need to include a relevant image to represent your store’s brand.

The next step is optional, however it is recommended you do add a video from your YouTube link in order to market and be shown across multiple channels on Google

Now to finalise your campaign you have to add a short & long headline, description and final URL.

Congratulations! Your Google Shopping Ad Campaign is now live. You can expect the first week to be slow and you potentially may not spend your full budget. However, I recommend you give the campaign a full 2-4 weeks to see the performance before making any significant changes. Google Shopping ads are a game of patience, so don’t rush this.

Google Performance Max Campaigns:

Because we have touched on the differences between Standard and Smart Shopping. We also need to talk about the new campaign type called Performance Max Campaigns.

Performance Max Campaigns are goal-based campaign types allowing advertisers to reach their customers across the following 6 platforms in one single campaign:

  • YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail & Maps

Performance Max has been created to help complement keyword-based search campaigns and help convert more customers across all of the platforms listed above.

Google Shopping Ad Campaign Optimisation:

Now you know how to set up your Google Shopping Ad Campaign, I am going to go through how to optimise your Campaign to achieve the best results and increase sales.

1. Optimise your Product Feed

The most effective way to optimise your campaign is to optimise your product feed. The simpler it is for Google to analyse the information about your products, the more likely it is that your ads will be shown to the right customers.

Images:

Images are very important for your product feed optimisation. You should test lifestyle and stock standard images to see what is performing better for your campaign.

Product Titles:

Another important factor for your product feed optimisation is your product titles. You should try to put the most important words first to stimulate interest for potential customers.

2. Split your Products into Ad Groups

A way to control the bidding on your ads and hence optimise your ads is to divide your products into ad groups.

3. Identify Winning & Losing Products

It is super important to identify which products are performing well and which products are performing poorly in your ads. This is valuable information because you are able to adjust your ads based on the information in the product ads which are performing well. You can also choose to eliminate the products from your campaign which aren’t performing well.

4. Don’t make huge changes

Like I mentioned earlier it is important to try and wait at least 2-4 weeks before adjusting/tweaking your campaigns. It is also important to not make any drastic changes, except for eliminating losing products, because Google Shopping Campaigns are quite sensitive and making large changes can throw the campaign out of whack & negatively affect performance.

To summarise:

I hope this article has provided you with knowledge on how to set up your Google Shopping Ads and also how to optimise them for your particular ecommerce business.

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