11 steps to an effective Google Ads Shopping campaign

Setting up Google Shopping

Internet users love online shopping for saving time. Even a simple search for a product in the catalog of an online store brings discomfort to many. It is much easier to enter the desired name into the Google search box, see current offers and choose the best one. Saving shoppers’ time, product advertising is becoming more and more popular. And online stores have to compete not only for the top search results but also for purchases on Google Shopping.

Below, we’ll show you which settings will help you improve your Shopping campaign performance.


If you have already encountered the Google Shopping setting, you know that the system is serving Shopping ads based on your feed data.

Main preparatory steps:

  1. Please carefully read Google’s guidelines for setting up Shopping campaigns to avoid problems in the future.
  2. Clean up your site according to clause 1.
  3. Prepare data feed via the Merchant Center.

When creating a new campaign in Google Ads, specify its type – “commercial” and link it to your Merchant Center account.

Setting up Google Shopping

Moving on to campaign optimization.

Step 1. Working out the structure of the account

The structure where the campaign includes ad groups and product groups will not be the most convenient for further management. In this case, the cost per click will be set the same for different products. It is better to create groups using product attributes such as brand, product ID, etc. In addition to the standard attributes offered in Google Ads, you can use personalized ones, for example, sales volume, margin. There are custom labels to add this information.

Other options for building the structure are to use attributes as filters or proceed from the structure of the online store.

Working out the structure of your Google Shopping account

Step 2. Working with negative keywords

You need to find negative keywords and add them to the campaign settings. The goal of this step is to minimize budget wasting factors. Finding your product by irrelevant queries, users, unwittingly, lower the CTR and therefore increase the cost per click.

Negative keywords are the easiest to spot in search query reports. You can rely on standard negative keyword lists while checking to see if everything is redundant.

Minus words on Google Shopping

What can be attributed to negative keywords:

  • Irrelevant requests that shouldn’t lead to you. For example, “download”, “free”, “photo”, etc.
  • Queries on competitors. If your strategy does not provide for promotion at the requests of competing companies, and you do not want the search for their brands to lead to you, you should also eliminate competitive requests.
  • Requests for products that you do not have. For example, there are board games in your online store, but there are no games for children, deny the requests for “children’s games”. Another option for working with such requests is to analyze their effectiveness and, if there is a visible benefit, to expand the store’s assortment.
  • General requests. If a person is ready to buy, he will most likely look for a specific product, at least knowing its name or brand, and at the most knowing the model. If the user enters a general query, for example, “furniture”, “electronics”, “clothes”, most likely, there is no question of buying. Excluding general queries will eliminate non-targeted impressions, which means it will help increase CTR.

Step 3. Optimizing product names

Trade names (title) are written in the data feed. The titles that you assign to the product items will be shown in the search results. It is important to fit information relevant to the request into a capacious title. For example, your customers search Google for “fish oil” and they get the following results:

Optimizing your Google Merchant product feed

They all offer omega-3 capsules, but not all titles indicate it is fish oil. Let’s say your client is looking for this supplement for the first time and doesn’t know Omega-3 is fish oil. He will probably ignore the first two options. Therefore, we recommend analyzing queries and optimizing product names based on them before launching a campaign.

Remember to keep your headlines succinct and relevant.

Step 4. Product price optimization

Price for most buyers is the determining factor in the choice. Reducing the price of a product is not always possible and does not always lead to an increase in conversion. If you suspect that the CTR of some products is low because of the price, do the following:

  • Compare your prices with competitors.
  • Check if shipping is included in the price.
  • Try to reduce your maximum CPC.

If there are discounts on products, do not forget to indicate them in the feed using the sale_price attribute. The user will see the current price and discount.

Optimizing your Google Merchant product feed

Step 5. Working with Custom label attributes

As mentioned above, in addition to standard attributes, you can use personalized Custom labels. With their help, you can group products according to an important attribute for you (season, year of release, the intensity of sales, etc.).

Custom labels

No more than 5 Custom labels are available for one product. They can also be used to group goods by city and sales region, which is useful in case of uneven demand in different locations.

Step 6. Preparing high-quality photos

Buyers choose with their eyes. Therefore, the quality and style of the picture play an important role. Try to stand out from the competition by using live photos, interesting compositions, photos with a product in hand or on a model instead of standard catalog pictures.


Step 7. Checking the relevance of the pages

If before the user was ready to go from page to page for the sake of making a purchase, now it is important for him to make a purchase as quickly as possible. The information on the page where the ad leads must be relevant to this ad: name, price, photo, delivery terms, and discount (if any) – everything must match. The landing page should be clear and user-friendly, no matter what device the user visits.

Step 8. Bid management

The first weeks of advertising are more correctly called tests. They show which products are driving the most traffic and sales. During this period, you do not need to chase quantitative indicators, it is important to focus on quality. Therefore, it is worth starting with low rates. When the traffic becomes better, the CTR will increase, the bounce rate will decrease, you can increase your bids.

Step 9. Choosing a strategy

As with other campaigns, there are manual and automated bid strategies available on Google Shopping. The advantage of the first option is complete cost control. You can manually set bids for a specific product or at the group level. But the strategy becomes extremely inconvenient if the online store has hundreds or thousands of products.

In this case, it is better to rely on automated strategies that work on the basis of machine learning:

  • Optimized CPC. The system estimates the likelihood of conversion and reduces the cost per click if it thinks the user will make a purchase.
  • Maximum clicks. Bids are optimized to increase the number of clicks.
  • Target ROI. The user sets the conversion value, and the system adjusts the bids to bring the most valuable conversions.
Bid strategy

Step 10. Adjusting rates

It is not enough to launch the campaign. She needs to be watched. With your first statistics, you can adjust your bids to reduce costs and improve ad performance.

If your product ad is generating more conversions on the weekend, you can set up an upward adjustment every Saturday and Sunday. If your customers tend to shop in the evening, set the adjustment for a specific time. We recommend increasing rates gradually, starting with an increase of 20-30%.

The following adjustments are available in Google Shopping campaigns:

  • Specific times;
  • Days of the week and holidays;
  • User devices;
  • Audience specifics.
Google Shopping Bid Adjustments

Step 11. Adding remarketing lists

As with all Google Ads campaigns, you can use remarketing to bring users back to your site through shopping ads. You can create different audience lists by adjusting bids within each one. For example, for people who left the home page right away, you can set a low bid. And for visitors who have already made several purchases from you, you can increase the bid by 1.5-2 times, since the probability of conversion in this group is very high.

Using the proposed recommendations, it is important to focus on the characteristics of your products and target audience, and after each change – to track performance indicators. Remember that the quality of advertising depends not only on the initial settings but also on the timely response to changes in the market and consumer sentiment. Internet Marketing Agency wishes you effective advertising on Google Shopping!

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