How to Set Up Google Shopping: A Comprehensive Guide

PPC
June 27, 2023
20 mins
Content

Have you ever been on the hunt for a product and faced the need to choose from several different brands and labels? When you switch back and forth between several eCommerce websites, this can take a lot of work.

Enter Google Shopping. This little but powerful tab on the Google Search Result Page displays things that vendors worldwide offer for sale, precisely those relevant to your searches.

What Is Google Shopping

Google Shopping is a Google application that allows users to search for, compare, and buy physical products  from companies who have paid to market their goods. This is a comparison shopping engine (CSE), which allows customers to compare products and prices from several stores in one location. Google Shopping results are displayed as thumbnail photographs, along with the store and price of each item. It is presently supported in over 40 countries worldwide. 

Previously a branch of Google Ads, Google Shopping gave retailers and eCommerce companies another way to advertise their actual goods on Google. Setting up Google Shopping advertisements can be a little trickier though, because, unlike Google Search advertising, which is based on keywords, they are based on product data provided by retailers.

Why Do You Need Google Shopping for Your eCommerce Business

Here are some additional advantages of utilizing or selling on Google Shopping:

  • It adds a visual element to what would otherwise be a text-heavy search and purchasing experience.
  • Google Shopping allows you to appear as a web-search result, a text-only PPC result, and a Shopping result in Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
  • Google Shopping has been shown to convert at a 30% higher rate than text advertising.
  • Understanding how to create a Google Shopping campaign improves the shopping experience by providing visually attractive product photographs. 
  • Because of its targeting precision, Google Shopping draws customers who are more likely to purchase.
  • Product administration is simplified thanks to Google Shopping. It provides a platform for businesses to manage their product listings, making it easy for them to update them.

How to Set Up a Google Merchant Account

Google Merchant Centre is a cloud-based Google tool that centralizes and distributes product information across Google services.

Before starting setting up a Google Merchant account it’s worth checking whether your website meets its requirements. Let’s turn to Merchant Center Help for more details:

To read about those requirements in details click here. Google will send bots to your website to make sure it follows the policies and upon that will decide whether it is eligible for trade.

To start selling your items in Google Shopping organic listings, you must first sign up for a Google Merchant Centre account and then submit all of your products (including photographs and descriptions) via a product feed.

GMC validates the ownership of your website, calculates your taxes, and estimates the delivery costs for buyers. Whether or not you run Google Ad campaigns, you can utilize the Merchant Centre for free.

Note that you cannot sell services on Google Shopping, only products, and your website should be specifically eCommerce.

How to Sign Up for a Google Merchant Center Account

The first step in selling on the Google Shopping platform is creating a Google Merchant Centre account. You'll need a Google account like Gmail to achieve this. If you don't already have one, make one right now and head to the Google Merchant Centre by clicking here.

Click the sign up button and from there it’s pretty intuitive. Choose your email settings. 

Hit continue on the next page and enter your business info.

Now that you signed up for Merchant Center, fill up the blanks with your company's details. This contains your company name, country, and time zone. You will need to verify your phone number.

Choose the location where you want your clients to check out. Google offers many checkout alternatives, including on your website, on Google, and in your local shop. 

Choose a management platform. Select the tools you will use for your company. You may connect to these tools from your Google Merchant account.

Then choose your email settings. Select if you want to receive Google updates through email. You may opt-out at any time.


The last step is to read and accept the service conditions. When you're finished, your Google Merchant Centre account will be ready.

Adding Your Business Information and Website URL

Fill in the "Business address" field. The timezone for the Merchant Centre is determined by the country you choose under "Business address." You may change your timezone in your account settings.

Your business name might be the name of the company, website, or shop. The name you submit as your company will be used as the name of your Merchant Centre account, and users will see it across Google.

Please enter and verify a genuine phone number. You must complete the phone verification procedure before you can finish your Merchant Centre account onboarding.

To Register Your Website's URL:

  • Sign in to your Google Merchant Centre account.
  • Then, navigate to the About your Business page under Business information.
  • Under the Website area, enter the URL of your website. Ensure your URL starts with http:// (or https://) and contains your actual domain name.
  • Save your site.

Verifying and Claiming Your Website

Verifying and claiming your store's website are two critical stages in getting your Merchant Centre account up and running. After that, you won't have to do it again in most cases.

Step 1: Add your website address
  • Log in to your Merchant Centre account.
  • Click the tools icon from the navigation menu.
  • Select Business information from the "Tools" menu.
  • Select the Website option.
  • Enter your online store's URL, beginning with http:// or https://. Use a domain name that you own and manage.
  • Continue by clicking the button.
Step 2: Verify your website

You may use one of four techniques to verify your website.

  • If you can add HTML code to the site's index page you wish to verify, add an HTML tag.
  • Upload an HTML file if you have access to the server hosting the site you wish to verify.
  • If you are an account-level administrator for Google Tag Manager, connect your website to it.
  • If you have admin access to a Google Analytics account already connected to the site you wish to verify, connect it to Google Analytics. Using a third-party platform, such as Shopify, may not function.
Step 3: Claim your website
  • Sign in to your Merchant Centre account and click the Claim website icon on the bottom right. Only those who have validated the website are eligible to claim it. 
  • If you've previously built a feed, you'll need to re-download it after your website has been declared. 
  • Likewise, if you utilize the Content API, you must re-upload your feed to index it.

Creating a Product Data Feed

Whether you are a supplier, marketer, merchant, or manufacturer, the data feed may be leveraged to acquire new consumers.

A data feed is a technique of conveying data that is organized, current, and up to date. News feeds and product data feeds are two popular data feeds that are typically utilized on a website, app, or other online tool. The product data feed significantly simplifies the input of information about items accessible in an eCommerce business. 

How to Create a Product Data Feed

Well, this is where the road gets bumpy. According to Promodo's Middle Specialist in Contextual Ads, Eugeny Kolotylo, managing product feeds is the hardest part of selling products through Google Shopping. 

In case you are a small business owner and sell only a few items(let’s say up to 50), you’ll start with creating an Excel file and inputing all the possible data for each product. Include the following columns: item, ID, description, brand, price, price with discount, photo link. For detailed instructions watch this Youtube video. Later you will have to upload that file to your account. 

The challenging part of the story is when you need to make adjustments to your product feed, for example to change the price of a product, which can happen quite frequently and must be synchronized with the Merchant Center account. In case those updates are not synced your account will get banned. 

While in case of a small inventory you can make those changes manually, a bigger business needs a smarter approach to data. For shops with over a hundred items we recommend incorporating the data feed into your website using a plugin like schema.org or a custom code. Such an approach automatizes the process and saves you from hiring an entire team whose task will be to solely update the data. 

Many clients we work with are big eCommerce companies who have enormous inventories. We can’t create the data feeds for them, data feeds have to be created on the side of a client. But we write detailed technical tasks for the client’s programmers on how to add and configure data feeds so that everything works perfectly.

Evgeny Kolotylo
Middle Contextual Ads Specialist

In the end there should be one of the 3 types of data feeds on your hands - manual Excel file, an XML file from the website or a Content API integration. 

Creating Product Groups

The most important step is to categorize your merchandise. The ad group reveals the advertising you want to run as well as how to configure the ad bidding. 

On the page on the screenshot select the options suitable for you, feel free to select all the additional options, like dynamic remarketing and local inventory ads by clicking on them. 




How to Create Product Groups in Google Merchant Center

Here are the methods for producing product groups.

  • Create a new All Products Shopping campaign.
  • Make a new advertising group.
  • To add a subdivision, click + next to All Goods. 
  • Products may be split up to six times.

To manually add subdivision values as a list, follow the procedures below:

  • Select Manually add values in bulk.
  • Add one subdivision at a time (one item per line).
  • Confirm the changes.This is only accessible for a subset of the properties.
  • Set a maximum CPC bid for each product category. The top CPC may be set for you using an automated bidding technique.

Creating Google Shopping Campaigns

First, you will need a Google Ads account. If you don’t have one, you can create it directly from the Merchant Center. Click on the Settings icon, then select Linked accounts -> Link to Google Ads -> Create account and follow the instructions. If you already have one, then just link it using the account ID. 

After connecting your Google Ads account to the Google Merchant Centre, the next step is to create a Google Shopping advertisements campaign. Finally, we got to the point where you can use Google Shopping to market your goods.

Choosing a Campaign Type And Groups

This part is exciting but can also leave you feeling lost. The most popular option here is creating one campaign for all products. In this case the algorithm will choose on its own which products to market most, which can cause some of the products bringing in the most sales, while some of them will be left in stock. 

The other option is creating ad groups based on product brands, prices, margin, you name it, tailored for particular keywords. Our experts's lifehack for those who are not sure which campaigns to choose is to start with marketing all products under one campaign, see what sells and in the meanwhile pull out different products into separate groups. 

Let’s see how it works in an example from our expert.

Suppose you sell red shirts for women. You create an ad group for the keywords “shirts for women”, so when someone types this query into the search bar, they will see your product in their search engine. But here you need to make sure that your ad isn’t shown to the wrong audience, and thus your ad budget isn’t wasted. To help avoid that you will need to use negative keywords. Negative keywords make sure that your ad isn’t shown to someone who searched them. Let’s say in this case a good negative keyword will be “green shirts for men”. Creating groups and paying attention to keywords is a long process, but it bears fruit and ensures your ad budget is maximized.

Evgeny Kolotylo
Middle Contextual Ads Specialist

Think what you want to sell and how, think through the strategy before creating campaigns.

Setting Up Your Bidding Strategy

In your Google Shopping settings, you will be invited to select your bidding strategy and set your campaign budget. Bidding is the process of determining how much you are willing to pay for your product listing to show in Google search results when a user searches for a specific product.

First, choose a bid strategy. Google Ads uses "Maximize clicks" to automatically change your bids to acquire the most clicks for the money. To limit your expenditure on each ad, set a Maximum CPC bid restriction.

Next, establish a campaign budget. This is the amount of money you want to spend on average each day, but it is not restricted to everyday spending. Google, on the other hand, manages your budget on a monthly basis.

Finally, if you are running multiple campaigns, indicate a campaign priority so that Google knows which bid will be used.

Target and Schedule Your Shopping Campaign

The last area of how to set up a Google Shopping campaign is dedicated to campaign targeting and scheduling. This section is crucial because it determines who will see your product advertisements and when they appear.

The first two options, Networks and Devices, should remain unchanged. This is because they're informing you where your product adverts will appear.

Next, decide which places your ad will target. You may adjust the Target and Exclude settings under Location Settings, but we suggest sticking with Google's defaults. These alternatives guarantee that you are marketing to the most qualified audience.

Monitoring and Optimizing Your Campaigns

After you launch your Shopping campaign, you must monitor its performance to ensure you achieve the desired objectives.

How to Track Performance Metrics in Google Ads

Keeping track of clicks and impressions is a smart place to start. To track your success in your Google Ads account, select All Campaigns from the navigation bar on the left. Then, choose Ads & Assets or Keywords to obtain statistics tables that offer a full, customizable view of your data. You can keep the reports simple or go into greater detail about the effectiveness of your efforts.

Analyzing Your Data and Making Adjustments

You must track the clicks and impressions of your advertisements and keywords. These data are provided in columns in the statistics table for your account. If you don't see them, click the Columns icon, choose Modify columns, and then pick the columns you want to activate.

Why Does My Campaign Not Bring the Desired Results?

This is a complex question that needs a closer look as each case is unique. Feel free to contact our team for a Google Shopping audit if you feel stuck.

Here’s a few ideas from our experience:

  • Irrelevant traffic

Make sure you don’t attract irrelevant traffic and your ads aren’t shown to the wrong audience. Utilize the power of negative keywords and check the initial configurations.

  • Bad user experience

Your website should be easy to navigate and the user path should be clear and thought-through. 

We had a case when the client's ads weren’t bringing results. When we looked into their website, we found out that the check-out process consisted of 8(!) steps. In order to purchase an item, a customer had to make a reservation, confirm the email, receive a code on their phone, and fill out forms. It was inconvenient, and the users were leaving to other websites, where the purchase was more intuitive.

Evgeny Kolotylo
Middle Contextual Ads Specialist

  • Non-competitive pricing

Research the average prices for your offerings and make sure your pricing stays in the market range.

  • Unpopular product

In case you are selling some product that’s new on the market, run ads for the keywords that are similar for your product, but are already well-known. Pay attention to the seasons and what’s in demand. We recommend running the query for your product through Google Trends to see how many people search for it and when. 

Takeaway Message 

Google Shopping is an effective tool to reach new shoppers seeking a brand or product. Google's massive reach and targeting capabilities make it a valuable sales channel and a terrific way to locate consumers. However, attaining the desired outcomes requires time, patience, and strenuous effort.

Recap of the Steps to Set Up Google Shopping

To begin selling your items in Google Shopping organic listing, you must first create a Google Merchant Centre account and then submit all of your products (including photos and descriptions) via a product feed. You'll need a Google account like Gmail to achieve this. Next, you must add your business information to register your website’s URL. Then you need to get verification and claim your website. Setting up product groups is crucial for Google's shopping campaign and bid strategy. Afterwards, you have to track the performance of how to get on Google Shopping along with analyzing your data and metrics.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps for Your eCommerce Business

Remember that, like with most digital marketing, success with setting up Google Shopping requires stacking several things together correctly. The prospective payout should inspire you even more if you get engrossed in the details. Understand that improving your data, bids, and campaign structure is all about providing control and placing your goods in front of the correct prospects. Only a few ad platforms can reliably offer 1 to 6 returns. As a result, any time spent with Google Shopping Campaign is well spent.

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Written by
Anastasia Marchyshak

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Immersing myself fully in any topic I explore and my appreciation for simplicity are the driving forces behind my work.

Written by
Evgeny Kolotylo

Middle Contextual Ads Specialist

Published:
June 27, 2023
Updated:
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