A Brief Introduction to Google Shopping Campaigns

When running an ecommerce business, it can be difficult to get your products seen by the general public. Luckily, there are many ways to easily advertise your business in the places consumers are likely to go. Read on to learn all about Google Shopping campaigns and determine whether they might be a good fit for your ecommerce business.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a marketplace that allows consumers to compare and shop for products across different retailers who have paid to advertise their products. When you type a word into the search bar on Google, the first section of the page will show you products for sale that pertain to that keyword. (You can also click on the Shopping tab to view more options and apply filters to your search.)

Google Shopping example

Google Shopping comes second to Amazon as the most popular platform where customers start their product searches. A benefit to Google Shopping is that a consumer who already knows what your product looks like and how much it costs is more likely to convert.

How does Google determine when to show your products?

Unlike with Google Display Ads, Google Shopping campaigns do not use keywords—instead, you are bidding on your actual product. You also have the ability to show what products you want to be advertised, so if there are some items you do not want to advertise, you do not have to add them to the campaign. You can also control bids on audiences, devices, and locations.

Is Google Shopping right for my online store?

While a Google Shopping campaign can be great for an ecommerce business, it is not the best investment for all companies. What makes an ecommerce store a good candidate for a shopping campaign? Consider the following factors:

  • Number of products: Google Shopping campaigns work best when your online store has at least a few hundred products to work with; however, the more the merrier.
  • Brand authority: If you are the manufacturer of the item, Google will show your items before a reseller. This is not needed, but it definitely helps with the algorithm. For example, Nike would have authority over Dicks Sporting Goods for their products since they are the manufacturer of the items.
  • Competitive prices: Low prices and/or free shipping can stick out to a consumer who is comparing multiple products from different brands. We are all looking for the best deal, and this can be the best way to stand out from the competition. If your prices are not competitive, a Google Shopping campaign will only highlight that.
  • Quality Images: Images must meet certain requirements to be shown on Google Shopping. Having more than one photo can be very beneficial. For example, if you have an image that does not meet Google’s requirements, Google can pull an image that does meet that requirement for that product from the other images provided. The general rule of thumb is to have the product displayed on a white background, but this can also depend on the industry you are in.
  • Reviews: Although this is not a requirement, studies show that 92% of people read at least one review before purchasing a product. Having high reviews of your products can help you stand out from the competition.

How do I run a successful Google Shopping Campaign?

While Google does most of the heavy lifting for you in these campaigns, one of the best things you can do is to strategize your budget, cost per click (CPC), and bidding strategy. Some industries will be more competitive than others, leading to higher CPC for your items. When it comes to bidding strategies, there are a few you can choose from, including Target ROAS, Maximize Clicks, Manual CPC, and Enhanced Manual CPC. Each one is beneficial in its own way, and it takes trial and error to determine which one will work best for your products.

When first starting a campaign, it is important to remember that it can take time to catch momentum. Google prioritizes campaigns that have been running for a while over those that are just starting. If your campaign doesn’t immediately show results, don’t give up. Consider giving the bidding strategy about two weeks to run before evaluating its performance. This will give you a better understanding of where to increase or decrease your bidding and how to optimize your campaign.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Google Shopping can be an incredible addition to your marketing efforts for your ecommerce store. These types of ads can be a powerhouse for growing online sales. If you need help getting started, check out this blog with instructions on how to set up your first (or first in a while) Google Shopping campaign.