Google Shopping Ads and Everything Newbies Need To Know

google shopping ads blog cover

In previous article, I’ve mentioned about the Google Ads and the most powerful tool of it - Search Ads. However, there’s a new rising tool that will definitely catch your interest: Google Shopping Ads.

Also developed by the giant tech Google, they have successfully grown a marketplace for consumers all around the world. Google Shopping, along with search ads, subsequently becomes another most powerful ad tool for online business.

In this article, we will be going through all you need to know about Google Shopping Ads, from definition to instruction.

What is Google Shopping Ads?

Google Shopping Ads is a special ad type whose Google developed to specialize ad for shopping purpose. It makes promise to help consumer to look for product information easier and quicker.

google shopping ads
Source: Internet

Normally, when a product is listed and signed up for Google Shopping, it will appear in Shopping section. This Shopping section is authorized by Google Merchant Center.

google shopping section
Source: Google

Shopping Ads, though, will display the products that are running ads campaign in search results, using Google Ads system. From product image and title, to product vendor, Google Shopping can optimize and deliver the most-worth info of product to your customers.

How Google Shopping Ads works

It is operated based on two tools, which are Google Ads and Google Merchant Center.

If you choose Google Shopping Ads as your marketing tool, Google will automatically identify the time range that your ad is allowed to display. Based on the quality of info resources, website and bid price, Google thence use learning machine to adopt these info. After that, Google will automatically calculate when and where your ad will be activated to show to consumers.

Where Google Shopping Ads will display

Regularly, Google Shopping Ads will display on top of the first page of search results. It will display 25 search results in a row, using a carousel to optimize the look. If visitor uses a PC device, Google will show 5 out of 25 results in a screen. With mobile device, Google will show only 3 results in a screen for user-friendly interface and aesthetics reason.

google shopping ads distinguish
Source: Internet

Beside of showing ads on top, for some cases, Google can display ads on right, next to search results. This display type only shows on PC device, with a maximum of 9 results to be displayed.

google shopping ads display
Source: Internet

Benefits of using Google Shopping Ads

It can help to lock your target audience more precisely. It means that you can boost your conversion rate and your sales even more with it.

In fact, according to Smart Insights, across US online retail, Google Shopping Ads win 85.3% of clicks and had generated 76.4% of retail search ad spent. Moreover, a recent research shows that Google Shopping Ads has taken place in helping online business to significantly grow. The results is shown as following:

  • 35% of ad clicks is increased
  • 40% of conversion rate (CVR) is increased
  • Up to 25% of cost per click (CPC) is reduced
  • 1/2 of regular advertising budget is cut down

With Google Shopping, both entrepreneurs and consumers are beneficial from it. Whereby, consumer gets to receive more useful information for the products. This reduces the negative feelings of consumers when seeing other type of ads which makes them more willing to buy. Online business, thence, can take advantage of this pros to make more profits.

How to optimize your Google Shopping Ads

To actually having an effective Google Shopping ads campaign, you need to assess and prepare for different factors awaiting.

Configure an ads campaign

You need to pass through these 5 basic steps:

  1. Create an account in Merchant Center
  2. Verify your sign-up and authenticate your webstore
  3. Create data resources and import data (should use Google Sheets to do this)
  4. Link your Merchant Center account with your AdWords account (See instruction)
  5. Configure your account settings (Note that you will need to link your Google Analytics account to Google Shopping)

Essential configuration settings for Google Shopping Ads

1. Product categories

Different from transferring keywords to query like Search Ads, shopping ads depends on customer behavior to appear. In case you want to narrow down the target audience, you need to distribute your products in specific product categories. The price bids will be based on the level of product categories hierarchy.

2. Product attributes

When you create a new product, you need to inform Google about requiring product attributes. Product attributes include one item ID, brand name, category (e.g. Clothing > Jacket/Top/Bottom/…), product type, price, label, condition, distribution channels. Amongst these attributes, you will see that product type is quite similar to product category. Unlike product category that is limited by Google’s setup options, you can configure your own product type. It means that if there isn’t anything closely related to your product, you can make one.

3. Ad group

Putting product category in ad group will help you to scale down the keywords scope. Thus, it will help to target more precisely.

4. Create campaign using CSV import

If you don’t wanna go through each step to create a shopping ads campaign, you can use CSV file to import your campaign. Thus, you would need to follow the formatting for CSV template, as following:

Source: Google

You can also learn more about creating and editing shopping campaign using CSV in here.

Measure your Google Shopping campaign performance

After setting up your Google Shopping campaign, what you need to do next is optimize the ad. As an accordance, you need to pay attention on these listed factors:

  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Impression rate
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Cost per action (CPA)

There’s difficulty in measuring these factors, since Google automatically generate when and where to display ads. Thus, it will be hard for you to control the CPC, CPA and CTR. That is why for Google Shopping Ads, what you need to focus on measuring is the ROAS.

For example, you’d spent $5 for your Google Shopping campaign. Then, you converted $10 of revenue. Now assuming that you don’t have any other expenses, except ad expense. It means that you have a final profit equal to $5. The result indicates a good result by using Google Shopping. However, if you didn’t covert any sale, then you have a loss of $5, then it means that your ROAS linear is negative. You can pause campaign, revise it before re-launching it.

Besides, you should test on 30 regular products before running ads for winning products. The purpose of this is to help you in getting on with using data resources, and acknowledging the ROAS. This will make a base for running official ads for winning products. After that, you can focus on optimizing your advertisement to improve your ROI (Return on investment).

Additional notes you need to know

Google Shopping Ads requirements

Google Shopping includes several crucially-strict policies. These policies will play a role in assessing your ad campaign and products whether to have adequate conditions to run an ad. Thus, to make sure that your ad campaign will adopt all necessary policies, remember to check these factors as following:

  • Display all contact information on your webstore. A contact form won’t be enough, you should include your real phone number and also address as well.
  • Make sure to list all valid payment methods. E.g. “We accept Visa, MasterCard, PayPal”.
  • Mention Refund and Returns policy. Google Shopping needs this information to understand your process of handling mis-cases. Also, it’s a way to confirm your store’s transparency with Google. In this policy, you need to update all detailed information, from the processing date range of these kind of cases, to methods that you will refund and receive returns from customers.

Ad content requirements

When you run an ad campaign of Google Shopping, you need to provide these information:

  • Product images
  • Product title
  • Price
  • Webstore

Out of 4 information that you need to provide, pay attention to your product images, since that’s a converting factor. If consumers find attractive with your product images, your CTR and CVR will tend to increase.

Other requirements

Additionally, Google Shopping Ads will also required some other conditions for your ad to successfully launch. Thus, you need to assure that you can comply with the requirements, as following:

  • Your webstore needs to have e-commerce functionality, including: product info, cart page, checkout and make payment
  • Clarify your store policies: payment methods, shipping, refund and returns, warranty
  • Your website needs to have SSL certificate (HTTPS)


Above are the detailed definition, instructions and cautious notes that you need to prepare before heading your marketing activities to Google Shopping Ads. I hope this article can well help you in using and taking advantage of this powerful tool for your store’s benefits.

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