The Ultimate Guide on Google Shopping Campaigns

In 2019 Adwords shopping campaigns generated 29% more revenue year-over-year. Whereas paid search revenue increased by only 13% over that period. Is it possible to increase conversions from Shopping ads in 2020? – Yes! Learn the best practices from real cases explained by our PPC Specialist Vladislav Platonov.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is one of the Google Ads tools that allows you to create product listing ads for Search Engine Results Pages and delivers great results for eCommerce projects.

Key benefits Google Shopping provides:

  • the user sees an ad with an image, the main characteristics of the product and the current price;
  • data on the price and availability of goods for sale is constantly updated.

How does Google Shopping work? As you may know, Google Shopping ads may look as follows:


Option A. Above the search results


Option B. In the side part of the search results

To launch the Google Shopping tool, you just need to follow 3 simple steps:

  1. Check Google Ads requirements:
  • all pages of the website need to be protected with an SSL certificate (https);
  • the user must be able to complete a full purchase cycle without the participation of a human: order, choose the payment and delivery methods;
  • the website should contain information about the refund options.
  1. Create a product feed and upload it to the Merchant Center.
  2. Create an advertising campaign in Google Ads.

A feed is a file made up of a list of products which use groupings of attributes that define each one of your products in a unique way. In Merchant Center, all of your products will be added to a primary or a supplemental feed. Once you’ve created a feed, it can be uploaded to any of the programs you’ve signed up for.

In this article, we will not discuss the step-by-step Google Shopping setup process. It’s pretty straightforward. Instead, we’ll discover ways of Google Shopping optimisation. And we’ll start with the Merchant Center.

Google Merchant Center is a service that allows downloading product data (feed) for their subsequent use in Google Shopping. Many people think that in the Merchant Center it is enough to upload a feed and that’s it. This is not true. Google Merchant Center allows you to completely change the data feed, i.e. create, replace and delete any attributes.

How to Submit Products to Google Shopping. Merchant Center

Add additional information to the ad title. The title can be extended by adding a product type or subtype to the standard description. For instance, by simply adding the phrase “mobile phone” to the model name, your store stands out from the crowd of competitors and attracts more attention from users. As a result, the CTR grows and the CPC decreases, thanks to the improved rankings.

How to add products to Google shopping? See how this can be done through the feed conversion rules:


The rule itself looks like this:

Convert id attribute for different language versions. Using the Merchant Center rules, you can also transform product ids by adding a number or letter to the current id value. This technique will help fill the search results and attract additional user attention, which will increase the likelihood of potential consumers coming to your website. As a result, the targeted traffic of the website will grow and the number of sales will increase.

Work the promotional products out. Another way of Google Shopping optimisation is selecting discounted products from the feed if the “sale_price” parameter is specified.

The rule itself looks like this:

Once done, make sure to filter your ads by the seller tag in Google Ads and assign high priority (if it’s not Smart Shopping).

This way you can promote your discount & special offers separately from other products. Say, setting higher CPC or decreasing ROMI will increase the reach of the campaign. Thanks to the offer, the conversion rate will increase, and the campaign will become more effective, despite the more expensive CPC.

Upload multiple feeds. Merchant Center provides an option to upload multiple feeds. This can come handy for the following purposes of Google Shopping optimisation:

  • to conduct testing;
  • as a safety net in case a feed breaks, so that you can roll a stable feed back;
  • to apply various auto-rules;
  • distribution by languages.

Roll back feed versions. If a feed is broken, it can be rolled back in the Merchant Center. To do this, you need to select the update date and download the necessary feed version.

Then download the file and disable auto-update so that the feed does not update to the broken version again.

Google Shopping Optimisation Best Practices

Now, we are done with the Merchant Center, let’s continue and figure out what the possibilities of the development of Google Shopping are in general:

  • expand the feed information to fit a newsworthy (title and description);
  • test ROMI settings;
  • test different images in the feed;
  • use Smart Shopping and regular Shopping in tandem.

Expanding the feed information to fit newsworthy content. The more careful the title and description are worked out and created, the better Shopping will work. More than that, you can add “keywords”. For example, you can add the phrase “black friday” to the title, and the respective products will be shown in the search results for relevant queries. You can do this using the feed conversion rules in Merchant Center.

ROMI tests. You can test which ROMI works more efficiently with your Shopping by lowering or increasing the ROMI %. After Shopping has “learnt” and worked with certain ROMI settings for some time, you can try to completely remove the ROMI setting in order to increase the efficiency of advertising campaign budget allocation. This method works if you have not reached your daily budget spending limit before.

You can also try replacing the background. Instead of the standard white, you can try different colours and bottom layers. At the same time please note that after replacing or changing an image, the update in the SERP can take up to 6 weeks to action.

Use a combination of Smart Shopping and regular Shopping

Try using Smart Shopping and regular Shopping together. Smart Shopping will pick up most of the traffic and transactions as it has wider reach, while regular Shopping will get cheaper transactions. To do this, make sure your rate in regular Shopping is set lower than the actual rate in Smart Shopping. For example, if the CPC set in Smart Shopping equals $1, then make the planned CPC in regular Shopping $0.8.

Vodafone Case Study: How to increase revenue from the paid traffic channel by 382% by optimising branded campaigns and Smart Shopping Setup.

LC waikiki Case Study: See how PPC can work to increase the online presence of a well-known offline brand. 

Important! Goods come to Smart Shopping not only from the feed, but also by means of machine scanning of your site. Because of this, in the search results you may come across the goods that are not in your feed.

Smart Shopping Ads are to be filled in. If you leave an empty ad, then in the Google Display Network, you will see an empty white square, and the link will lead the user to your website’s main page.

Let’s capitalise on the key points

Google Shopping is a profitable tool that can and should be optimised and improved according to various business needs. This directly affects the income from websites in most eCommerce niches.

What can be improved and how:

  • to stand out in the search results, supply the title and description with additional information;
  • fill in the search results, “duplicating” products using different language versions;
  • separate promotional or more marginal products and create separate advertising campaigns;
  • test strategies and ad campaigns settings;
  • change images for Google Shopping;
  • combine Smart Shopping and regular Shopping. 

Feel free to experiment with Shopping ads, use all your creativity and find the best solutions Google Shopping optimisation can offer. When combined with other PPC tools, they will boost sales in your online store. If you want to install or improve your textual advertising campaign, contact us and we will find the most suitable solution for you.

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The Ultimate Guide on Google Shopping Campaigns

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