How to set up Google Shopping ads?

Google Shopping is a popular tool for making your online business more visible. They allow you to advertise products right where users search for them – on Google Search. In this blog, we’ve prepared a brief introduction to how Google Shopping works and how to set up ads on Google Shopping. You’ll also find out if it’s better to use standard Shopping ads or Smart Shopping Ads …

How Google Shopping works?

Shopping ads are a type of automated advertising on Google Ads. They work on a principle of displaying your product in an imaginary catalog on Google Search in case its name matches what the user is searching for. This allows people to compare products offered by different e-shops directly in Search.

Shopping Ads example

Instead of the headline, URL, and description as we know them from classic text ads, Shopping ads appear as a product name, image, price, and a link to your page with the concrete product. Keywords are replaced by the product name. However, you can (and it is recommended to) use both types of advertising at the same time – text ads and Shopping ads. This is because they don’t compete with each other and can appear at the same time, leading to even greater visibility for your products and higher conversions.

If you haven’t had a chance to get to know them yet, we’ve prepared a simple guide for you on how to set up your Shopping ads. Continue reading…

How to set up Google Shopping ads? Follow these eight steps:

  1. Set up an account in Google Ads and in Google Merchant

To set up your Shopping ad, you need to create two accounts – one in Google Ads and the other in the Google Merchant . The Merchant Center keeps track of the products in your e-shop, while Google Ads takes care of their advertising.

  1. Optimize your product gallery

As mentioned above, Google Merchant is a virtual inventory of your products and will provide the necessary information about them for advertising – except for the images. These will be taken from your e-shop.

Visual is very important to Shopping ads. Therefore, make sure your images are of high quality, your products are clearly visible, not overlaid with a watermark, and so on. Poor image quality may result in disapproval of your ad.

  1. Provide Google Merchant with the necessary information

You upload your product data to the Merchant Center using the product feed. You set the country and language for which your products will appear in Search.

Google supports two feed formats – .txt and .xml. The first is more convenient for smaller retailers, but the second is more universal. If you plan to use third-party tools, such as our BlueWinston app, to make the creation process more easier, we recommend the .xml product feed.
If you don’t have a product feed, you can also create one using Google Sheets. You must specify your products with the following information:

  • ID: number under which you register the product in your e-shop
  • Name: the name that matches the name of the specific product in your e-shop, including color or model
  • Description: product information that should match the description in your e-shop
  • Link: URL of the specific product website, starting with http> or https
  • Image link: URL of the main product image, starting with http or https again
  • Availability: Your product can only be advertised if it’s available
  • Price: The price must match the one in your e-shop and must be in the currency that corresponds to the country in which you are advertising
  • Google product category: Specify a specific product category
  • Brand: the brand of the product as it is known to customers

There are other attributes that are optional or mandatory only for specific product types. Learn about them directly in Google Merchant Center Help.

  1. Link your Google Merchant account to your Google Ads account

So the Google Merchant Center stores information about your products that Google Ads uses to create ads. These two accounts work together, so you need to link them. We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to link these two accounts.

  1. Create a Shopping campaign

You are creating the campaign itself in your Google Ads account. On the Campaigns tab, click the big plus sign (‘+’) and select the option to create a new campaign. Select a goal and choose Shopping as the campaign type.

Make sure you see the correct Merchant Center account from which Google Ads will be taking the product information.

  1. Set bids for products

Placing your products in an imaginary catalog works on the principle of auction – whoever offers a better price (we intentionally don’t write a higher price because a higher price is not a guarantee of success) has a chance to get a better placement.

So set the price you want to bid for your product placement. You only pay this price when someone clicks on your product. At the same time, determine your daily budget, which depends on how much you can invest in advertising each day.

  1. Target and plan your campaign

The penultimate step is to target your ad to users in the right places. Target only such locations where you can ship your goods. Otherwise, you will be unnecessarily throwing money into the air.

Also set the start and end of your campaign (if applicable) and save your settings.

  1. Build ad groups

Finally, you assign a campaign to an ad group to determine what type of ad it is. We distinguish between three types of ads – Product Ads, Showcase Ads, and Local Catalog Ads.

The first mentioned, product ads, are classic ads in Shopping made through the product feed. They appear as image, title, price, and product name. You are free from creating advertising for each product separately.

Showcase Ads allow you to advertise product groups. If a user searches e.g. “pots”, he or she will see a showcase of various pots directly in Search. In this way, he or she can see if he can choose from your offer.

Local Catalog Ads are an eye-catching format that lets users easily browse your products in one place. It helps to increase traffic to local stores. This type of ads, along with showcase ads, is only available in some countries.

That’s it! – You’ve successfully set up your Shopping ad! But what about getting your product advertising to an even higher level?

Get your products to other places with Smart Shopping Ads

The Shopping ads we introduced in this article will allow you to place your products on Google Search. Smart Shopping Ads, on the other hand, is a revolutionary thing that lets you list your products on four Google Networks. They are faster and easier to create (you can skip the entire process we wrote about above) and deliver demonstrably better results.

Try creating automated Smart Shopping Ads which are not only easier to create thanks to our BlueWinston application, but also get your products in addition to Search, to YouTube, Gmail, or Display Network sites through targeted ads and dynamic remarketing.

About the Author:

Marek Fule
Consultant for online business and marketing. Holder of every Google Ads certification. Account manager for BlueWinston and Shopping in EU. CSS Hero. Gamer.