These days, almost everyone loves online shopping and thanks to the wonder that is the internet, buyers have near limitless choice. So, as a seller, how do you make your product stand out amongst the noise? Google Shopping might be just the answer!
Google Shopping has come a long way since it’s advent, as Froogle, way back in 2002. Having undergone many evolutions, the advertising service now provides sellers with the chance to capture the attention of buyers as never before! Say, for example, I want to jump on the latest diet trends and buy myself a spiralizer – you know, one of those gizmos that turns veg into noodles. A google search for “spiralizer” would have once provided me with a sea of text-only results and left me trawling several websites until I found the best deal, but not today. Thanks to Google Shopping, my search will now be rewarded with a glossy row of product images right at the top of the page, complete with price and supplier, so I can make a snappy decision and buy what I need. Here, we’ll take you step by step through how to get your products up there, where the world will see them first!
1. Optimise Your Product Listings
It’s important to realise that, with a little guidance from you, Google Shopping is going to get all it needs to create those eye-catching ads from your own eCommerce website. Before getting started with setting up your campaign, make sure that your product listings are up to date, and well-polished, with product images that are professional in appearance, and of a decent quality. Poor images will likely lead to the suspension of your Google Shopping account, so check out their helpful guidelines to make sure you’re on point.
2. Create A Google Ads Account
If you don’t have a Google Ads account already, now is the time to set one up. This will give you access to Google’s paid advertising services, including Google Shopping! Yes, that’s right – you pay for the privilege of appearing at the top of that search results page, but don’t worry. You will have control of your budget. We’ll come back to that later!
3. Create A Google Merchant Center Account
While Google Ads is what creates your advert for you, it is the Google Merchant Center that lifts all the juicy product information from your eCommerce site’s product page. The service is fantastically easy to use. First, we’ll show Google how to find what you want to sell, and then we put all of these puzzle pieces together.
4. Input Your Product Data Feed
Now comes the fiddliest step of the process. This can be seen as providing Google with a map of your product information, so that it can make useful matches for potential customers. Fundamentally, you’re going to provide Google with a spreadsheet of exactly what it requires. Start by going to your Google Merchant Center account. Click “Products”, then “Feeds”, and finally click the blue “+” icon. Don’t skip over entering your country and language, as that’s going to help you hit the right demographics! Choose a name for your product list, and then select how you are going to provide the information required. Google Sheets is the most straightforward way of completing this step, with a template to help you set things up correctly. You can refer to the Merchant Center guide to all of the different attributes, and if in doubt, make the most of the excellent support on hand.
5. Link Your Google Ads And Merchant Center Accounts Together
Now it’s time to bring everything together. Within the Google Merchant Center, look for the three dots at the top-right of the page. Click to open a drop down menu and select “Account Linking”. Next, click on “LINK ACCOUNT”, and enter your Google Ads ID. Hey-presto, everything is connected!
6. Set Up Your First Campaign
Now that Google has all the information it needs, you can get your advertising campaign up and running. You technically launch a campaign from the Merchant Center, but once it’s up and running, you’ll have to manage it from within Google Ads. We recommend setting the ball rolling from Google Ads, mastering the platform that you’ll be going forward with. From your Google Ads account, open the “Campaigns” tab from the menu on the left, click the blue “+” icon, and then “New campaign”.
You will be prompted to choose the goal of your campaign, which in this case will likely be “Sales”. Select “Shopping” as the campaign type, check your Merchant Center account is present and correct, and once again input that all-important country of sale. You will need to pick a campaign subtype – standard being the simplest for your first Google Shopping adventure and enter a campaign name too.
7. Decide On Your Bidding Strategy
Google refers to the way you pay for their advertising services as bidding. This system provides advertisers the chance to focus on different goals, such as clicks, impressions, or conversions. When it comes to Google Shopping, your end goal is likely to be sales! In this case, you will probably want to choose to bid for “Clicks”, so keep your eye out for “CPC”, which means “cost per click”. This means that Google will charge you each time someone clicks on your advert. More advanced users might instead aim for conversions, making use of conversion tracking on their eCommerce site. Discover more about advanced strategies on the Google Ads Help site, once you’ve mastered the basics. You can also use Google’s nifty Bid Simulator Tool.
8. Choose Your Campaign Budget
When you set a budget for your advertising campaign, Google will use it to get as much mileage as it can towards your bidding strategy goal. The budget specifies how much you want to spend on an average day but note: Google will use this to create a monthly kitty and may spend more or less on different days. For example, if I set a campaign budget of £10, then Google will know it can spend £310 on my behalf in the month of May, having multiplied the budget by the number of days in the month.
9. Set Targets And Decide On A Schedule
It is important that your advert is only shown to people who you can sell to. In the last step of the campaign creation process, be sure to select the locations where you can ship or deliver and exclude those where you can’t. There’s no need to alter settings such as “Networks”, or “Devices”, as Google’s pre-sets have you covered. Finally, set start and end dates for your campaign. Skipping this step will mean your campaign runs indefinitely – meaning your payments will too. We recommend setting an end date and making regular reviews of your Google Shopping results.
10. Build Ad Groups For Your Campaign
Now that your campaign is constructed, Google will prompt you to build ad groups. This facilitates different bidding strategies and allows you to steer what kind of ads people will see. The simplest, and most common choice is “Product Shopping Ads”. These will feature a single product, relevant to Google users’ search terms. “Showcase Shopping Ads”, in contrast, are more complex, featuring multiple products as a brand showcase, and are paid for through CPE, or “cost per engagement” bids.
You can create one big Ad Group containing all your products or split them down further into smaller groups. Name each Ad Group you create, and establish a maximum CPC bid for each one. It’s important to recognise that you won’t always pay the maximum you set, sometimes it will be much less! Fundamentally, you will be bidding against your competitors, and Google will place your advert depending on your CPC and overall budget. So, there you have it. Your Google Shopping campaign is ready to go. We wish you every success!