Setting up Google Shopping Ads

Thanks to Google’s new tool for creating advertising campaigns, product promotion has become easier and more accessible. Moreover, both sides benefit from the work of the Google Merchant Center tool:

  • The buyer, when searching for queries, immediately sees the product he is looking for, with a photo and price;
  • The seller receives the highest quality relevant traffic to the site at a price lower than contextual advertising.

Google Product Ads appear on the user’s screen before organic search results and regular contextual advertising. Their essence is to provide the potential buyer with comprehensive information about the product being sold even before he takes any action. The block contains the name of the product, its price and appearance. The purpose of such a block is for the user to go to the online store page and make a purchase.

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What do product ads look like in Google search?

What product campaign ads look like on PCs and smartphones:

What Google Shopping product ads look like on a PC

Google Merchant Center on smartphones

 

Cost of setting up trade advertising in Ukraine

The cost of setting up Google Shopping depends on the type of advertising campaign being created, of which there are only two:

  • Simple (per product category) – the cost of setting up such a campaign will be from $50;
  • Complex (for specific product items) – the cost of its creation is from $100 and above.

The difference in price is due to the large amount of work involved in launching product advertising, because specialists who were ordered to set up Google Merchant Center will need to exclude most of the general search queries that could potentially lead to a product category, rather than to a specific product page.

 

Main advantages of product advertising

  1. High conversion. Users clicking on product ads in Google search are already interested in purchasing and are ready to place an order on the site. Traffic conversion from the Google Shopping service is 2-3 times higher than from search contextual advertising.
  2. Precise targeting. Ads are shown only to interested users based on their search queries. This allows you to reach your target audience in the most relevant way.
  3. Automatic creation and updating of advertisements. There is no need to manually create thousands of ads – just set up automatic uploading of assortment through a data feed.
  4. Easy scaling. As your assortment and sales volumes grow, you do not need to take any action to add new items to your advertising. It is enough to maintain the relevance and quality of the data feed.
  5. Favourable cost per click. CPC in shopping campaigns is 20-50% lower than for similar requests in classical contextual advertising. By saving your marketing budget, you can significantly increase your audience reach.
  6. Synergy with other advertising channels. Shopping ads effectively complement SEO and contextual advertising. The user sees the product in organic search results, and then encounters it again in the “Shopping” block. This increases brand awareness and conversion.
  7. Widest audience coverage. Ads can be displayed on search, YouTube, Gmail and on sites from the Display Network, which provides multiple touchpoints with your brand for a potential client.
  8. Traffic for low-frequency queries. Using Google Shopping, you can handle verbose search queries with low search volume. Due to low competition, the cost of a click on them will be minimal.
  9. Detailed analytics. The service provides ample opportunities to analyze efficiency, conversion and ROI for each product, keyword and site for subsequent optimization of campaigns.

What you need to know before you order setting up shopping ads

  • Weakly suitable for all other product categories (non-model and non-brand keys). Requires analysis and support in the context of different groups of keywords or product groups. It is necessary to test in each specific area. Cannot be used for cars, motorcycles, real estate;
  • The site must comply with Google requirements (described below);
  • Requires scrupulous support to obtain a favorable cost per conversion for a specific group. (Example 1 it’s one thing to sell a fireplace insert for $1000, another thing to sell a pipe to the fireplace for $20, the price for the sale should be different and such groups should be accompanied differently);
  • The tool is shown based on search queries in Google; it is important to understand and take into account the promotion strategy: what keywords will the Search Engine work for, what keywords should the Merchant Center work for, etc. (Example 2 the cost of conversion in Google Shopping for general queries “buy a fireplace” is one thing; conversions by brand and model are another matter).

How to prepare a website before launching product campaigns?

In order for an online store to display shopping ads, it must initially meet the requirements of the Merchant Center, otherwise moderation will not allow it. To do this you need:

  1. Get an SSL certificate. The site must open using the secure HTTPS protocol.
  2. Add the ability to pay for purchases online. For Ukrainian online stores you can use LiqPay, FONDY, WayForPay or Portmone.
  3. Implement delivery throughout the country with the ability to specify the exact address of the recipient.
  4. Indicate the company’s contact information on the website – address, telephone, email. It is highly advisable to provide at least two ways to contact you.
  5. Add pages with terms of delivery, return and exchange of goods, as well as a privacy policy.
  6. Fill in the required attributes in product cards – name, description, characteristics and photos. The information must match the information in the advertisements.
  7. Exclude from the feed products prohibited from advertising – weapons, counterfeits, psychotropic substances. The full list is available on the Google Merchant Center.
  8. Constantly update prices and availability in the feed to match the information on the site. Discrepancies may result in ad rejection.

Who will Shopping campaigns work best for?

Product campaigns are most effective for:

  • Businesses operating in highly competitive niches. When the cost of clicking to a website is high, it is extremely important to attract only “hot” visitors who are ready to immediately buy the product. The user will see the cost in the search results and will not open the site if it is too high for him.
  • Online stores with low prices. If your price stands out lower than your competitors, such an offer will clearly be in demand and will interest potential buyers.
  • Niche stores with a wide assortment. If you sell auto parts, components, consumables or tools, you probably have thousands of product items on your website. To get a conversion, it is important to precisely hit the user’s request, which is what Google Shopping provides.
  • Companies using dynamic pricing. If you often organize sales or the price on the site depends on the dollar exchange rate, manually changing the prices in the ads is time-consuming and impractical. In product campaigns, the cost is pulled from the feed automatically, which significantly optimizes the process.

How to set up Google Shopping Ads?

The effectiveness of advertising and the volume of attracted sales directly depend on the quality of setting up a shopping campaign in Google Shopping. Next, we will understand this process step by step.

Register in Google Merchant Center

First, you need to register an account in Merchant Center (a platform for managing product data). Click on the appropriate link in the Google Ads advertising account menu to go to the system website:

Open Google Merchant Center

After registration, fill in information about the company: name, website address, contact information, product category. You will receive an email from Google to confirm your account. Follow the link from the letter. After confirmation, log in to the Merchant Center using your account.

Linking your account to Google Ads

After creating an account, you need to connect it to your Google Ads advertising account. This will allow you to set up automatic uploading of product data to advertising campaigns.

Go to the “Settings” section and select “Linked accounts”:

Linking your account to Google Ads

Click the “Link” button next to our Google Ads account ID. You will then need to confirm the request in your Google Ads account. To do this, look for a notification (bell in the upper right corner of the screen):

Confirming connections with the account

Click on the “More details” link, and then confirm the request. After confirming the data, you will need to go to the “Company Information” section in the advertising account and fill out the required information and confirm the rights to own the site in any convenient way.

If everything is done correctly, you will see two green “birds”:

Confirmation of address and rights

Configuring automatic updating of the product feed

Automatic updating of product information allows you to optimize your work with the feed and eliminate the need to make changes manually. To configure auto-updates in Merchant Center, go to the “Automatic Improvements” section and activate this function.

Then we mark the necessary parameters for tracking: availability of goods, price, characteristics, etc. Google will automatically sync this data based on the content on your site. Now, after making changes to the description or price of goods on the website, you will not need to separately update the feed, which significantly saves time when working with a large assortment.

Uploading the data feed to the Merchant Center

Go to the “Products” section, and then find the “Feeds” menu item, then click on the blue circle with the “+” icon:

Add a new product feed

You can use several methods to download product data:

  • Upload a CSV file from your computer. This is suitable if you already have a ready-made structured file with product parameters.
  • Upload data from the site according to a schedule via URL. Data will be regularly imported into Merchant Center directly from your website.
  • Integration via Content API. The method allows you to transmit site content updates to the product feed as quickly as possible.
  • Download a table from Google Sheets. It’s convenient if you maintain a product database in a table and also regularly mark availability there.

When loading for the first time, it is best to use a ready-made CSV file or table. This will form the base the fastest. For subsequent automation of updates, it is better to configure the feed to be uploaded from the site via URL or API. This way, changes on the site will be instantly reflected in advertising campaigns.

Launch a shopping campaign

After preparing the data, you can create a shopping campaign in Google AdWords. To do this, in the work account interface, find the “Campaigns” section and click “Create”.

Select “Sales” as the goal, campaign type is “Trade”:

Creating a trade advertising campaign

Google will automatically offer to connect your previously created Merchant Center account. You need to make sure that its ID is specified correctly.

Next, set up the campaign parameters. You can create either a standard trading campaign with manual control or a “smart” campaign, where the system automatically optimizes the settings based on efficiency and goals.

Activate filters

Filters allow you to customize advertising for different regions and audience segments. This is relevant if you have different assortments in warehouses in different regions or if you want to show different products to different audiences.

To use filters, when creating a campaign, select the “with filter” option. Next, you need to assign special labels to products using the custom_label field in the data feed. For example:

  • custom_label_0 – name of the region or city.
  • custom_label_1 — price category of the product.
  • custom_label_2 – availability of a discount or promotion.

In the campaign settings, we set the conditions for displaying these tags. For example, show products with the value “Kyiv” in tag 0 to residents of Kyiv.

Results of our clients in setting up shopping ads:

Our company, as an official partner of Google, was one of the first on the market to implement this service in the accounts of its clients. The main advantage of this type of ad is that they stand out effectively against the background of text ads, thereby attracting more attention from an interested audience.

Thanks to the Merchant Center, users can quickly find the products they are interested in.

Example 1

Results of setting up product ads

As we can see in the screenshot of the results of one of our projects for the sale of construction sets and puzzles, Google Shopping is the leader in terms of the number of clicks received and effectiveness (goals achieved) and is more than 2 times ahead of other campaigns.

 

Example 2

in the project for the sale of sports equipment, Google Shopping trade ads occupied one of the leading positions and attracted 17.31% of the total sales:

Product campaign on the theme of sports equipment

Popular questions
  • Advertising is displayed before search results in the form of a showcase with product cards (the ad contains the price of the item, a photo and a title). Displays on display media are also possible if you enable this option in the campaign settings.
  • Product ads work well for online stores to sell products with a large share of brand and model traffic. For services, real estate, wholesale sales, etc. they don’t fit.
  • No, the system automatically creates them based on the product feed, I add a picture, cost and description. No additional settings are required manually.
  • On the contrary, the cost of trade advertising is significantly less. In addition, it often drives more targeted traffic and has a better conversion rate due to the increased relevance of this format for the user.

Google Shopping training marathon:

 
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