Complete Guide to Google Shopping Ads

Everything about Google Shopping Ads for online stores

Hi! We have a question! Have you already used Google Shopping Ads for advertising your products?

You should be aware that Shopping Campaigns work great for eCommerce companies! If you haven’t used them yet or think you can still take more advantage of your Shopping campaigns, you are reading the right article! We will share with you great tricks for boosting your shopping ads performance.


If you are familiar with search campaigns, you probably know a lot about keyword-level bidding, but Shopping ads work different, you will need to understand how the Merchant Center works!

  • Google Shopping Ads: formerly known as Froogle, is a website that integrates a price comparison engine, registered for Google Inc. It is currently under development.
  • Search campaigns: ads for a Search Network only campaign appear near search results on Google and other Google sites when users search for terms relevant to the keywords in your ad.

How to use the Merchant Center for my Google Shopping Ads?

For creating your Google Shopping Ads you need to have the list of the products you sell and want to advertise in your Merchant Center. This list should be in a special format that works kind of a spreadsheet. You will have to list your product IDs, title, description, product category and type, availability status, product link, price, etc. Google use all this data for matching your product to related search queries.


Google Shopping Ads
Product Data Feed Example

Your Google Shopping Ads will be built with this data and information you have in the Merchant Center. No need to write your ads per product as you do for search campaigns. Easier, right? But there is something you have to think about, your merchant center should always be updated or your Google Shopping Ads won’t be running. Keep your data feed updated manually, by hiring someone or using a software.

Campaign subtypes “Only for the Search Network”

Both “Search Network Only” campaign sub-types allow you to display text ads segmented using keywords in the Google Search Network.

Only for the Search Network: standard

Available functions

  • Geographic segmentation.
  • Basic bid and budget settings.
  • Common ad extensions to include a virtual phone number, a URL, a location or a link to a social network.
  • Segmentation by language.

Functions not available

  • Social and experimental configuration.
  • Ad schedule and ad serving method options.
  • Location options.
  • Mobile application extensions.
  • Advanced keyword match IP address exclusions.
  • Dynamic tracking URLs.
  • Remarketing lists for Search Network ads.

Only for the Search Network: all functions

These campaigns include all standard settings, as well as ad delivery methods and all ad extensions.

Special “Search only for the Search Network” campaign types

  • Call-only campaigns.
  • Dynamic search ads.
  • Promotion of mobile applications.

How do They work? (Shopping Ads)

Shopping ads use the Merchant Center product data you’ve provided, and not the keywords, to decide how and when the ads are shown. These data contain the details of the items you want to sell and we use them to find matches between a user’s searches and the products to make sure they show the most relevant ones.
Shopping ads are managed in Google Ads through Shopping campaigns, which are a simple and flexible way to organize and promote the Google Merchant Center product inventory in this tool.
You can advertise your store and products with three types of Shopping ads:
  • Shopping product ads: created from the product data you send to Google Merchant Center.
  • S. catalog ads: they are created in Google Ads by grouping related products. In this way, users can compare several products and click on the appropriate one.
  • Local catalog ads: use feed data provided from local inventory ads to attract users on the Google Display Network and help drive traffic from their local stores. 

How much does it cost?

Shopping ads, like other ad formats, participate in an ad auction. The exact way you’re charged varies slightly depending on whether you’re shopping product ads or Shopping catalog ads:
  • Shopping product ads are charged with the cost-per-click (CPC) system, that is, when someone clicks on your ad. You will only pay when a user clicks on an ad that points to the landing page on your website or to the one hosted on Google corresponding to your local inventory. More information about cost-per-click (CPC) bids.
  • S. catalog ads are charged with the cost-per-expansion (CPE) system, that is, when someone expands your contracted ad for ten seconds or more to see more content, and then clicks on it. More information about cost by expansion (CPE) bidding
  • Local catalog ads are charged using CPE, as measured by scrolling, touching or clicking on the ad.
When you create a Shopping campaign, you’ll decide how much you want to pay for each click or expansion. You will only pay the minimum amount necessary to qualify in a position higher than the advertiser immediately below you, and, generally, you will pay less than the maximum bid that you have defined.

Where do the Shopping ads appear?

You could see your Shopping ads in the following places on the Web:
  • Google Shopping (in some countries)
  • G. search, along with search results (separate from text ads) and Google Images
  • Search partner from Google websites, including YouTube in some countries (if your campaign is set to include Premier Google Partners)
  • Display Network, just in case they are local catalog ads
Shopping ads can be displayed along with text ads, because our intention is for customers to see all the products that match your search. Therefore, users can find the most suitable product before clicking to make the purchase and this can help the advertiser to close the sale.
Availability by countries. Currently, Shopping ads are available in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Spain, United States, Philippines, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. 

Components of a product ad

With Shopping ads you can include an image, a title, the price and the name of your store or company without creating a different ad for each product you put on sale.
The information shown in these ads comes from the product data that you have included in your Merchant Center account. You can also use other Google services, such as Store Promotions and Trusted Stores, to improve your ads in other ways. As Google is conducting tests to find out which are the best viewing options for this format, the appearance of Shopping ads may change. For example, the automatic image cropping feature could be included to further highlight the product.

How to create a Shopping campaign

Shopping campaigns allow you to promote products by offering users detailed information about what is sold before they click on your ad. If you use reporting tools designed for retailers, you can track the performance of your products over time.

Step by step, how to create a Shopping campaign:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click “Campaigns”.
  3. Click on the button with the plus sign (+), and then click on “New Campaign”.
  4. Under “Campaign type,” select Shopping and click “Next”.
  5. Select advertising preferences: campaign name, merchant, country of sale, inventory filter, bids, daily budget, campaign priority, networks,devices, geographic locations and local inventory ads.
    *The default settings can help you drive traffic to your products and increase conversions. If you want to limit where your ads can be displayed, uncheck the box for the networks you want to exclude.
  6. Click on “Save” and continue.
  7. Next, select the type of ad group you want to create, “Shopping product ad” or “Shopping catalog ad”.
  8. Enter some information to create your first ad group: names and bids and click on “Save”.
As you can see, making a campaign in Google Shopping is more complicated than a priori, it may seem. That’s why there are apps like Clever Ads that lend a hand to online business owners.
Obtain more info and download eCommerce Ads by Clever for your favorite platform: Shopify, PrestAshop, BigCommerce or WooCommerce.

Key tricks for your product feed:

  • If it’s your first time using Google Shopping, start first with a few of your high-margin products so you learn how it works before creating Google Shopping Ads for all your products.
  • Google is especially sensitive about pricing, if the price in your product feed doesn’t match the one in your store, your ads won’t show up! Take special care of this if you deal with international currencies.
  • Revise all your URLs, so they don’t end up in 404s pages. Dead-linked images won’t show your products!
  • If you advertise in different countries, create a data feed for each country. Google Ads campaigns are built per country.
  • Google Shopping Campaigns allow you add negative keywords to cut unwanted traffic to your Google Shopping Ads, do it! But be careful not to cut all your traffic.
  • Your product images should be high-quality! This is really important, they cannot be edited, watermarked, confusing or pixelated. Images should only include the product you want to advertise. The wrong images could break your ads.

Then, how do I create my Google Shopping Ads?

If you have your product data feed ready and your Merchant Center linked to your Google Ads account, it’s time for creating your Google Shopping Ads! And it’s really easy, you will just need to choose the product feed you want from your Merchant Center and a sales country.


Example of Google Shopping Ads results
Example of Google Shopping Ads results


Once you have your campaign created, organize your ad groups! How you organize them really depends on the size of your company and the  number of products you sell. If you have few products, you will probably just need one ad group, otherwise you can split your products by category, brand, type, etc.

Once you have organized everything, it’s time to take important decisions about your bidding in the different product ads.

Choosing the right bidding strategy for my Google Shopping Ads.

Google Shopping Ads don’t work with keywords, so what do you think you’ll bid on? You’ll bid on your own products! You can set bids on each of your products, or on groups of products. Each of your products will probably have a different margin for you, so it would  make sense to raise your bids for the products with a higher margin.

Most eCommerce owners group their products by category and then by its margin. If there are products that don’t belong to any of the groups you’ve made, they’ll go to an “everything else” group that Google create automatically. However, it can become really confusing, so we will give you some tips:

Bid by individual product

If you have less than around two hundred products, bid by individual product. Do a first segmentation by category, type or brand and then segment by product ID. So, better do it one by one.

Do the segmentation according with the organization

When having a lot of products, do the first segmentation according to the way you have your store organized. Then segment by similar profit margin products. Take into account that Google’s consideration of your product relevant or not for an specific search query won’t be influenced by the segmentation you make.

Take bidding decisions focusing on your ROI

For taking bidding decisions, focus on your ROI. Check how much you can afford to spend on Google Shopping Ads for each product or product group.

Set lower bids…

…than you would set for your search campaigns, and even a lower one in the “everything else” group.

Change the bid in your Google Shopping Ads

Take into account that changing a bid in your Google Shopping Ads might have immediate effect on the performance of your ads.

Advertise your special promotions in your Shopping Ads

An important piece of advice is: advertise your special promotions in your Shopping Ads! This will help you differentiate from the competitors that are advertised next to you!

Measure your performance

For monitoring your Google Shopping Ads performance, the best metric you should look at is your Cost per Conversion. The Search Impression Share metric also gives you a good sense of how much potential your products have to grow.

Separate your “Best Sellers”

Once you have run your Google Shopping Ads for a while, separate your “best sellers” and treat them individually, create their own campaigns or ad groups. These products are bringing you most of the money, so it’s worth it to have them controlled.

Segment your bidding strategy by location

Another thing to do when you have already observed the performance of your Google Shopping Ads for a while, is segmenting your bidding strategy by location. Bid more for the regions that are bringing you more value and traffic. Perform the same type of segmentation with device type, gender and age.

How Can Google CSS Help You Stand Out in Google Shopping Ads?

Google CSS, or Google Comparison Shopping Service, is a program that allows businesses to partner with a CSS provider and display their products on Google Shopping at a lower cost-per-click. By working with a CSS provider, you can take advantage of additional features such as custom branding and reporting tools, which can help you stand out in the crowded marketplace of Google Shopping.

One of the key benefits of using Google CSS is the increased visibility it provides for your products. With more than 50% of shoppers starting their product searches on Google, being able to appear in Google Shopping results is crucial for your business. By using a CSS provider, you can improve your product’s position in Google Shopping results, which can lead to increased traffic and sales.

In addition, Google CSS can help you save money on your advertising costs. With a lower cost-per-click, you can drive more traffic to your website without breaking the bank. By investing in Google CSS, you can get ahead of the competition and boost your online sales.

Advantages of shopping campaigns

  1. Better qualified sales opportunities: as a seller, you can increase the quality of your sales opportunities if you present the information of the products directly in the ads. Thus, you help buyers make informed decisions.
  2. Easy management of store-specific campaigns: for your ads to show on relevant searches, Shopping ads use the product attributes that you defined in your Merchant Center data feed instead of keywords.
  3. Greater presence: when a user performs a certain search, several of your Shopping ads can be displayed and, if relevant, a Shopping and a text ad can also be displayed simultaneously.
  4. Effective reports and competition data: check the performance of your products with the level of detail you want.

And, if You are still wondering about it, you have some doubts, or we just have not convinced you to put your products on Google Shopping, you can not lose sight of one of our star items with more than weight reasons to do it. Here you can see several reasons why your eCommerce should be on Google Shopping!

But, as a little resume this reasons are…

  1. Increase your ROI (Return On Investment).
  2. Get a better qualified traffic.
  3. Get a broader reach.
  4. Stand out among competition.
  5. They are simpler to manage.

Have you familiarized yourself with the PMAX campaigns from Google and Microsoft? They’re quite noteworthy and not to be overlooked!

We wish you best luck!!


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