On the 9th Day of Content, Flint Studios gave to me… 9 steps for Google Shopping.
Google Shopping campaigns are used for advertising your products to users who are actively searching to buy. As Certified Google Partners, Flint Studios have the knowledge and expertise to provide our clients with the best Google Ad and Google Shopping strategies.
That being said, this Christmas, we want to provide you with the knowledge required to get started yourself with Google Shopping. From these 9 essential steps, we hope that you will feel fully equipped to set up your Google Merchant Centre, Product Data Feed and Google Shopping Ads.
1. Set up a Google Merchant Center Account
To have your products displayed in Google Shopping Results, you need to sign up for a Google Merchant Centre account. Google Merchant Centre houses your Product Feed which includes all of your items for sale, and their information.
A Google Merchant Centre account is pretty simple to set up. The platform is easy to navigate and allows you to manage your future Google Shopping Campaigns through Google Ads. Visit https://www.google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center/ to get started.
2. Optimise your Product Imagery
As well as the main product image which shows a clear view of the main product being sold, additional images should be used to show your product from different angles or with product staging elements. to
Customers buy with their eyes, so your product imagery is the most important element of your campaign. In the interest of providing a great shopping experience for customers, Google will actually reject products that include low-quality images.
Check out Google’s image guidelines to ensure your products have the best chance of being featured in Shopping campaigns.
3. Collect and Input your Product Data Feed
Next, it’s time to create your all important product data feed. Your product data feed essentially tells Google everything it needs to know about your products. Your product feed can be uploaded either manually by entering all of their information into a spreadsheet, or by using a plugin that can be set up to automatically pull through your product data once you have mapped your product details to the relevant shopping attributes.
It’s crucial that you enter all of this information in as accurately as possible because the content you input to your Product Feed will be used:
By Google to determine if your product is relevant to the user’s search query
Buy the user in their decision making process
It’s important You can find the full list of Google’s Product data specification here.
4. Link your Google Ads Account
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords is Google’s very own advertising platform, in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in the paid ad positions on Google’s SERPs.
In order to have your products appear in Google Shopping search results, you have to pay to advertise them there. While Google Merchant Center is how Google gets your product information, Google AdWords is where the setting up of your Google Shopping ad campaign takes place.
You’ll have to link your Google Merchant Centre to your Google Ads Account. Log into Merchant Centre, and find “Account Linking” in the top right hand corner under the 3 vertical dots.
If you don’t have a Google Ads Account, you’ll have to create one.
5. Create a Google Shopping Campaign
Once your Google Ads account has been connected to your Google Shopping account, you will now be able to begin advertising your products.
You can create Shopping Campaigns directly through Google Ads by opening the Campaigns tab and clicking the blue “+”.
- Choose Sales as the campaign goal
- Designate the campaign type as “Shopping”.
- Choose a campaign subtype.
6. Place Bids on your Shopping Campaign
Next you will need to pick your bidding strategy and set the budget for your campaign. Bidding is an important part of your Shopping campaign because it’s how you pay for people to see, click on, and interact and convert with your ads. Google states that “a sufficient bid and high-quality product data will earn your ad a higher rank.”
First you will need to select your bid strategy:
- Manual cost-per-click (CPC): setting your own maximum CPC for your ads
- Target return on ad spend (ROAS) & Enhanced CPC: involves tracking your conversion rates and analysing them to determine the most efficient bid for your products.
- Maximum clicks: Google Ads will automatically set your bid to increase your click-through rate (within the budget you have set)
Next is choosing your campaign budget. This relates to the amount of money you want to spend on average each day.
This money isn’t capped daily, instead, Google manages your budget on a monthly basis: meaning in a month, you won’t exceed your daily budget x the number of days in each month.
Your bidding strategy for Google Shopping is not something that you set up and forget about it and move on to another project. It’s something that you always need to be keeping an eye on, and knowing when your bids need to increase or decrease depending on your competition, your goals and product performance.
To help you pick the right bid, Google’s automated Smart Bidding will help you achieve your goals by allowing you to focus on the bigger picture, while Smart Bidding picks the perfect bid for each and every one of your product groups.
7. Target and Schedule your Shopping Campaign
Last but not least of your Google Shopping campaign, you will need to determine who you would like your ads to be displayed to.
Targeting and scheduling is a crucial part when setting up your Google Shopping campaign, because it determines who will see your products and when.
When you are picking the location of your ad, it’s important that you only choose locations that your business can ship to/ customers can get to.
Under “Locations” you are able to change the “Target and Exclude” setting which Google have set for you. Even though it’s recommended that you keep Google’s default choices, you can change them to ensure you are targeting and advertising to the best people in your target audience.
Remember to set an end date for your Shopping campaign if applicable.
8. Build Ad Groups
Ad groups help you decide what type of ads you’ll be running and how you’ll organise your bidding strategy for those ads. There are two categories of ad groups that you can pick from:
Product Shopping Ads
Product Shopping ads are used to advertise a single product from your Product Feed. This will create one big ad group for all of your products which you can filter down and create separate ad groups for your different product categories.
Showcase Shopping Ads
Showcase Shopping ads on the other hand, are used to promote multiple products as part of a product or lifestyle ad that best represents your company. You will charged cost per engagement (CPE) only if the user clicks on your add and spends at least ten seconds within it.
9. Monitor and Report Using Google Analytics
To determine whether or not your Google Shopping Campaigns are effective, you can set up conversion tracking through your Google Analytics account. This allows you to see exactly where your sales are coming from and whether or not your Google Shopping Campaign is helping you reach your goal.
How Do I import my Google Analytics conversions into Google Ads?
- Select “tools & settings” tab on your Google Ads account
- Click on “conversion””
- Click the “+” icon
- Select “Import” and follow the instructions
By connecting your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads Campaign, it allows you to see the full journey of your customers: right from where your ad click occurred until conversion. You are also able to see how long customers spent on your site, average pages per session and bounce rate.
All of this data which is readily available in your Google Analytics account will be extremely beneficial to your Google Shopping Campaign because it provides you with huge amounts of extremely useful data that you can use to optimise your Google Shopping Campaign.
To wrap up:
Making sure that you are getting the most out of your Google Shopping can seem like a daunting task: that’s why we, Flint Studios, offer our team of dedicated Google Shopping experts to help you achieve the most from your Google Shopping Campaign.
Give us a call on 028 9045 5554 and let us see how we can help you.