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What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a PPC advertising platform that allows retailers to display the products available on their ecommerce websites.

These products are displayed on a carousel at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), meaning they’re usually the first thing a shopper sees after they’ve performed a search.

Find out if Google Shopping ads could work for you

How can Google Shopping drive more traffic and sales?

Google Shopping helps to drive more traffic and sales for your business by displaying ads in front of interested shoppers, and it appears on the most-used search engines in the world.

With your ad showing on the Shopping carousel, you increase the visibility of your products and brand name to shoppers - specifically those who are actively searching for similar products.

Depending on how you bid on Google Shopping, whether that's manually in-house, using an agency, or with an automated solution, you can make sure you target only the most interested shoppers, helping you minimize wasted ad spend.

What is the best way to learn Google Shopping ads?

Google Shopping is a bit of a beast, particularly if you choose to manage your bids manually: there’s a lot to learn and many details to take into consideration. But don’t let it overwhelm you - the benefits of the channel far outweigh setting up your ads.

Check out our comprehensive guide to using Google Shopping ads - it has all the information you need to successfully implement Shopping ads.

How does Google Shopping earn money?

Google Shopping is a PPC platform. Advertisers pay a bid price to Google once their ad has been clicked, and this is how Google makes money from the platform. The cost per click (CPC) is determined by how much the advertiser wants to spend on bids.

Retailers who place their ads as organic listings in the Shopping tab don’t have to pay for clicks. While it may sound appealing, advertisers appearing here earn fewer impressions and welcome less traffic to their website.

How to create Google Shopping ads

Actually setting up Google Shopping for your products is where it might get a little confusing, but our step-by-step guide to creating Google Shopping ads will keep it simple. Good luck!

How to change Google Shopping location?

The final section of your Shopping campaign set-up will allow you to target and/or exclude locations.

By clicking ‘location options’, you have the options of targeting and excluding locations, so you can make sure your ads are only showing in regions relevant to your audience.

Looking to select or exclude destinations in Google's Display Network? Check out our Merchant Center guide to excluding destinations in Google Ads.

How to get your products into Google Shopping results?

The two main factors Google ‘considers’ when displaying Shopping ads in the carousel are relevancy and CPC. 

If your competitors are bidding more than you for a search query, they’ll appear before you, pushing your ad further to the right, and further down the list.

But making sure your keywords are included in your product title and description for each product helps, as relevancy will help your ad rank higher.

Using negative keywords and bidding more aggressively for high-intent search terms helps your ads appear for the most relevant searches, helping you beat your competitors and take a prominent place on the Shopping carousel.

It's not just your ads, your product feed needs optimizing too!

How to optimize Google Shopping campaigns?

Some key things to consider when optimizing your Shopping campaigns:

  • Keep your product titles clear and concise
  • Product descriptions should be kept relevant
  • Ensure all imagery is of high quality and follows Google’s image guidelines
  • Implement a negative keyword strategy to make sure your ads are only showing to interested shoppers
  • Increase the CPC for high-performance items that tend to be the most popular
  • Bid on a granular SKU level to boost visibility and target high-intent searches.

Why doesn’t Google Shopping work for me?

There are some common issues that retailers face when using Google Shopping, and it’s important to address these to make sure the platform works for you.

Some problems you might be facing:

  • Products on Shopping can be disapproved by Google - if your product feed doesn’t match the product information shown on your landing page, or if your products don’t comply with the product data specification you may face disapproval. You can read more in Google's support Center.
  • Poorly written product titles and descriptions can stop your ads from showing for searches
  • Low-quality imagery can make your ads less appealing to shoppers
  • Using negative keywords incorrectly could lead to your products only showing for a small selection of searches so your visibility is damaged.

How much does Google Shopping cost?

Advertisers are only charged when their ads are clicked by shoppers. This cost is based on competition, as you’ll typically want to increase CPC for search terms that you’re trying to compete on.

Depending on your strategy, and since there’s no maximum or minimum bid amount, you can pay what you want on the platform. 

Technically, advertisers can place ads on Google Shopping for free. However, with the amount of competition, your ads are unlikely to show up in a prominent place on the carousel.

Does Google Shopping support agencies?

Google Shopping can be managed by an agency. Since the platform can be time-consuming for retailers to manage in-house, some retailers employ an agency to manage their campaigns.

What is a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS)?

A CSS enables advertisers to place ads on the Google Shopping carousel. To use Google Shopping, all retailers need to work with at least one CSS. For some retailers in Europe, you might even want to work with two or more.

Can you add reviews to Google Shopping?

From within Google Ads it’s possible to add star ratings to your Google Shopping ads. This shows shoppers how reputable your products and brand are, increasing your reputation and making your ads more attractive.

The Google Ads extension ‘Seller ratings’ pulls review data from your domain which can then be shown as part of your ads on the carousel.

Learn how to add star ratings to your Google ads

What management options are there for Google Shopping?

When it comes to Google Shopping management, you’ve got a few options:

  1. You can manage your campaigns manually which can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of SKUs in your product catalog.
  2. An agency can also manage your campaigns, or you can use an automated solution. Compare Bidnamic and Google Shopping agencies here
  3. In terms of bidding, you can use Google Smart Shopping to automate the process. This is a ‘black box’, meaning you don’t receive all of the data from your campaigns, making optimization difficult.

Google has retired Smart Shopping campaigns and has replaced them with Performance Max campaigns. Get up-to-date information on Google Performance Max campaigns here.

Take a look at how Bidnamic stacks up against Google Smart Shopping

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