Comprehensive Guide to Google Shopping Ads in 2023


Your audience lives online, and you might never meet them face to face. But they still want to be heard. So if you want to reach them and give them an unforgettable shopping experience with the help of Google Shopping Ads in 2023, you need to know the basics. This guide provides just that – a comprehensive overview of how you can use Google Shopping Ads to draw customers to your eCommerce website and keep them coming back.

Setup and Scaling Google Shopping Ads For eCommerce

What are Google Shopping Ads?

To sum it up in one sentence: Google Shopping Ads are a killer way to get your product seen online. 

By setting up Google Shopping Ads, you can be sure shoppers searching for what you offer can find you easily. You’ll be able to manage your products’ visibility and availability while maximizing your return on investment with Google’s powerful targeting tools.

With Google Shopping Ads, potential customers can view product descriptions, reviews, images, and pricing choices all in one place. This gives them complete transparency and allows them to make informed purchase decisions more quickly. Google also offers other features like cross-sell and upsell capabilities and discount promotions options.

Ultimately, Google Shopping Ads is a simple yet powerful tool that eCommerce business owners should embrace if they want an efficient way to promote their products online.

Why Should You Use Google Shopping Ads?

To keep this blog post shorter than a novel, we’re going to break down the biggest reasons to use Google Shopping Ads into just three:

  • Reason 1: It’s the Only Way To Rank on Top of the Google Search Results
  • Reason 2: Show vs. Tell
  • Reason 3: Intent vs. Interruption
  • It’s the only way to rank on top of the Google Search results

Regarding ranking on Google, Google Shopping Ads are the only way to guarantee top placement. This is because Google Shopping Ads appear at the very top of Google’s search results page. In turn, you are giving your product maximum visibility. This means more eyes on your listing and higher click-through rates.

It also means Google Shopping Ads are becoming increasingly vital for businesses to remain competitive. But if you start investing in Google Shopping Ads now, it can help you stay ahead of the curve and keep your business at the top of search results…meaning more clicks and more business for you!

  • Show vs. tell

Google Shopping Ads not only get you higher visibility on Google search results but also give potential customers a great way to compare prices, view product images, and read customer reviews before they purchase or learn more.

ad review box with 5 stars

This is key to high conversion rates—it gives shoppers all the information they need right away rather than having them click through and search for additional details elsewhere. By providing information upfront, Google Shopping Ads play an active role in helping businesses close sales faster (and more frequently).

Intent vs. interruption

Another significant benefit of Google Shopping Ads is that they are non-intrusive and appear only when potential customers are actively looking for products. This means your Google Shopping Ads campaigns will be seen by people who already intend to buy instead of interrupting their search with irrelevant ads.

This makes Google Shopping Ads a notable way to connect with new leads and existing customers alike. In addition, Google’s advanced targeting tools allow you to create tailored campaigns that reach the right audience at the right time. 

What’s not to love about targeting shoppers searching for specific items or those who have visited your website before?

How Does Google Shopping Work?

Have we convinced you that it’s time to use Google Shopping Ads? Now it’s time to find out exactly how they work so you can make the most of this powerful eCommerce advertising platform.

We’re going to break down the key steps in getting started with Google Shopping in a minute, but here’s a quick overview of the process:

Google Shopping Ads are created in Google Merchant Center, where you can upload the product information that will be shown to potential customers.

This includes:

  • Product titles
  • Descriptions
  • Images
  • Pricing

Once uploaded to Google’s database, your products become eligible to appear in Google Shopping Ads that show up in Google search results or on other websites across Google’s Display Network.

You then have the option of setting up manual campaigns or automatic campaigns via Google Ads.

With manual campaigns, you have complete control over which products appear and when they appear as well as the bidding strategies used for each ad group.

With automated campaigns, Google takes care of all the optimization for you, giving you more time to focus on other parts of your eCommerce store. Google Ads also offers advanced targeting options for campaigns in need of more specific audiences.

Once you set up Google Shopping Ads and optimize them for maximum ROI, you can be sure the right audience sees your products at the right time—and we’ll share more strategies for doing so later in this post. This helps you drive more traffic to your website, thus increasing conversion rates and ultimately boosting the sales your business needs.

How to Add Your Products to Google Shopping

Google Ads Tag

Now let’s get into the details of how to add your products to Google Shopping.

We’re going to cover three key steps in this process:

  • Step 1: Setting up Google Merchant Center
  • Step 2: Creating Your Product Feed
  • Step 3: Creating a Google Shopping Campaign

Setting up your Google Merchant Center

First, you must have a Google Merchant Center account to add products to Google Shopping. If you don’t already have one, you can create an account by signing in to Google Ads and clicking the “Merchant Center” tab on the left sidebar.

Once your Google Merchant Center is up and running, you need to link it with your Google Ads account by following the prompts. Now, you can use Google Shopping Ads with your Google Ads campaigns.

Creating your product feed

The next step is creating a product feed containing all of your items eligible for Google Shopping Ads. Your product feed should contain those crucial details like item names, brand names, prices, item IDs, and other necessary information about each product. You also need to ensure your product feed follows Google’s data specifications and is up-to-date.

You can create a product feed manually or use Google’s Merchant Feed Services to sync your store’s inventory with Google Shopping Ads. Once you upload your product feed, Google crawls it for information about each item. If approved, the items in your feed will be eligible for Google Shopping Ads.

Creating a Google Shopping campaign

Once you’ve set up your account in Google Merchant Center and uploaded your product feed, you can make Google Shopping campaigns. You can choose between manual campaigns (which allow you to select which products appear on which platforms manually) or automatic campaigns (Google optimizes everything for you).

After selecting your campaign type, Google Ads helps you set up and customize your Google Shopping campaigns. This includes choosing keywords, setting bids, setting budget caps, and a lot more. Google Ads also offers advanced targeting options such as demographic and geographic targeting for campaigns that require more specific audiences.

Once you have finished setting up and optimizing your Google Shopping Ads campaigns, Google starts showing your products to potential customers searching for related items on Google search or other sites across the Google Display Network.

Strategies to Maximize Revenue when Using Shopping Ads

online shopping with credit card in hand

We know what you’re here for! One of the big reasons you’ve made it this far in this article is to get to the strategies for optimizing Google Shopping Ads, right? Well, you’re in luck.

Below are 11 key strategies you can use to maximize your Google Shopping revenues:

  • Set up separate campaigns for different products 

Certain products may require different targeting, bids, and budgets. Separating campaigns into various groups lets you customize them according to the product’s particular needs. This also allows you to analyze the performance of each product separately. 

Then, you can focus on the products that are top performers while also allowing you to make any necessary adjustments to underperforming products. 

  • Optimize bids regularly

Bids should be adjusted depending on different factors, such as the seasonality of demand, economic conditions, and Google’s ever-changing algorithms. By adjusting bids frequently and using Google Ads’ automated bidding strategies, you’ll know Google Shopping Ads are reaching their full potential. 

Still trying to figure out where to start? Google Ads offers a helpful bid simulator tool to help you determine the optimal bids for your ad campaigns.

  • Use negative keywords

By adding negative keywords to your Google Shopping Ads, you can eliminate irrelevant searches and be sure you’re targeting only relevant audiences. Why does this matter? The answer comes down primarily to cost and to get the most bang for your buck with your ads: Using negative keywords saves you money by preventing your ads from being shown to people who aren’t interested in purchasing what you offer.

Google Ads offers a list of suggested negative keywords that you can use to get started. You should also use Google Ads’ “Search Terms Report” to identify additional keywords your ads have been served for that don’t match your campaigns’ intent.

You can also use Google Shopping Insights to understand better how shoppers search for your products and which terms they use. This can help you further refine your negative keyword list.

  • Enable product ratings and reviews

Product ratings and reviews are essential when it comes to Google Shopping Ads as they give customers an idea of what other shoppers think about a particular item. Further, Google’s star rating system is advantageous as it shows customers how well-liked an item is at a glance.

There are all kinds of ways to encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews for your Google Shopping Ads, such as offering fun incentives or discounts. For example, you might offer a 10% discount on their next purchase if they leave a review. Or, you could create a creative email campaign to encourage customers to leave reviews.

  • Leverage Google Ads’ automation tools

Google Ads offers helpful automation tools that can help you optimize your Google Shopping campaigns. One example is Google’s Smart Bidding. This uses machine learning to adjust bids in real-time according to performance data and other signals. Additionally, Google’s Dynamic Remarketing feature allows you to target customers with ads related to their recent visits to your store or website.

However, we should remind you that Google Ads’ automation tools are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they should be used alongside other strategies for the best results. And remember, you should always keep an eye on how the automation tools are performing and adjust bids as necessary.

  • Create a mobile-first strategy

picture of hand holding iphone

Mobile devices now make up more than half of Google’s traffic, so having a clear mobile-centric strategy in place when running Google Shopping campaigns is a non-negotiable these days. Make sure you customize your bids for mobile devices and use dynamic remarketing ads to promote products from your Google Shopping feed.

While a mobile-first strategy makes the most sense for many businesses, this doesn’t mean you can forget about optimizing for a desktop. People still shop online via desktops!

Overall, you’ll want to optimize your content for different devices, which includes creating separate Google Shopping campaigns for mobile and desktop devices. That way, regardless of your shoppers’ devices, Google Shopping Ads will be tailored to their needs.

  • Target the right audience 

With Google Shopping Ads, you can target customers based on their interests, location, and other factors. Make sure you’re targeting the right audience with your Google Shopping Ads by researching which keywords and demographics are more likely to convert for your products. 

Some businesses even use Google’s Customer Match feature, which allows you to target customers who have already expressed an interest in your eCommerce business or products. 

As Google explains:

“Customer Match lets you use your online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers across Search, the Shopping tab, Gmail, YouTube, and Display. Using information that your customers have shared with you, Customer Match will target ads to those customers and other customers like them.”

  • Focus on search intent

One of the best ways to optimize Google Shopping Ads is to focus on user intent when creating ad copy. User intent or “search intent” is why someone searches for a particular product or service.

For example, if someone searches for “buy running shoes,” their search intent could be to purchase running shoes right away. Google Shopping Ads can help you target these users and craft ad copy that speaks directly to their search intent.

Alternatively, if someone searches for “best running shoes,” their search intent could be to research the best running shoes on the market, even if they aren’t planning to buy right away. Again, Google Shopping Ads can help you capture these users with ads highlighting your competitive advantages and why your product is the best.

We’re going to dive deeper into the four main types of user intent later in this article, so keep reading!

  • Improve product images

Product images can make or break a Google Shopping campaign; high-quality images are essential when it comes to attracting potential buyers. Make sure you have clear, sharp images taken from multiple angles so customers can get an accurate idea of what they’re buying before clicking through to your website or store.

  • Use different extensions and custom labels 

You can extend the reach of Google Shopping Ads by using additional extensions, such as Google Product Ratings or Merchant Promotions. Additionally, you can use Google’s custom labels to target customers with ads based on specific product categories or attributes.

For example, if you have Google Shopping Ads for shoes, you can create custom labels for “leather shoes”, “suede shoes” and more. That way, customers can find the exact product they’re looking for within your ads.

  • Optimize ad copy

Once you’ve set up your Google Shopping campaigns, continually optimize your ad copy for better performance—we’ll share more ideas for doing this toward the end of this article.

But for now, it’s typically best practice to focus on short but descriptive messages explaining why your product is superior to competitors’ offerings. So, include relevant keywords in the title and descriptions of your Google Shopping Ads so customers will find them quickly and easily.

You should also use value-based language when creating Google Shopping Ads. This emphasizes how customers can benefit from your product or service, and it’s often more effective than simply describing your products. This entails highlighting features like “free shipping” or “easy returns” to capture customers’ attention and encourage them to click on your Google Shopping Ads.

Finally, you can use Google’s Ad Customizers feature to create ads tailored to each customer’s needs quickly. For example, you can include information such as the price of a product, delivery times, and more in your Google Shopping Ads. That way, customers have all the details they need in one handy place before making a purchase.

Now, More on Search Intent

search intent pyramid


We promised we’d get back to search intent (AKA: user intent or audience intent), so let’s do that now.

When creating Google Shopping Ads, you’ll want to determine the type of user intent that best matches your product or service. 

There are four common types of search intent:

  1. Informational
  2. Navigational
  3. Transactional
  4. Commercial investigation

Informational intent

Let’s say someone searches for “how to bake a cake”. This type of search intent is informational—the customer is looking for information on how to do something and not necessarily looking to purchase a product or service. Google Shopping Ads aren’t the ideal solution when it comes to this type of search intent.

Navigational intent

On the other hand, if someone searches “Pinterest recipes,” they are likely looking for a specific site—in this case, Pinterest. Google Shopping Ads aren’t ideal for this type of search either, as users already know where they want to go.

Transactional intent

When someone searches “order running shoes,” their search intent is transactional; they are likely looking to buy something and not just research options. Google Shopping Ads are effective for this type of search intent as they provide customers with relevant product information, including images, pricing, and more.

Finally, there’s commercial investigation intent

This type of search intent is when someone searches for “running shoes online reviews.” Google Shopping Ads can be effective for this type of query too! In addition, you can use the Google Product Ratings extension to show customers your products are well-reviewed. Customers can also view additional information about your product before making a purchase decision.

Tips for Writing Google Shopping Ads Copy


Even if you’re selling an incredible product anyone would be excited to own, the nature of an online business means you need to reaalllly sell it. You can do this by writing compelling ad copy that optimizes every aspect of your product and explains why it’s worth the purchase.

Here’s how to do just that.

Strong headlines

Start with a strong headline or title encapsulating your product, including relevant keywords when possible. Make sure to use language that communicates both practical information (like size, color, etc.) as well as emotional benefits (like “luxurious” or “all-weather”). Keep the text brief to ensure customers quickly understand what you’re offering.

Use awesome CTAs

A CTA or call-to-action is the most crucial part of your ad. So, make sure it stands out and encourages customers to take action. Use words like “Shop Now” or “Buy It Here,” and don’t forget about any special offers you have available for customers, like “Free Shipping!”

(In this article, we break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of PPC calls-to-action to help you get the clicks and business you want!)

Highlight customer reviews

We shared some strategies before for encouraging customers to leave reviews. Once they do this, including these reviews can be a good way to show customers your product is worth the purchase. In fact, customer reviews are one of the best ways to convince potential customers to buy. Use this to your advantage by highlighting customer reviews in your copy.

Include a sense of urgency

When writing ad copy, you should always include a sense of urgency that encourages people to act today rather than wait. This could be anything from free shipping offers to limited-time discounts.

Detailed and unique product descriptions

In the body of your Google Shopping Ads, you should provide more details about your products. For example, include pertinent information like features and benefits, sizes, materials used, etc., as well as any special offers or features.

It’s also smart to include unique product descriptions or stories that make your product stand out from competitors and capture customers’ attention. Aim for creative, engaging, and convincing descriptions—this helps increase conversions!

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

When you’re writing sales copy, put yourself in your customers’ shoes—what are they looking for? What features would make them buy from you instead of a competitor? Then, strive to answer these questions with your Google Shopping Ads copy and use persuasive language that resonates with their needs.

To better understand what makes your customers tick, you can also look at customer reviews and ratings to gain insight into the features they value most. This lets you tailor your ads more effectively and increase conversions. Conducting market research and A/B testing can also help you find the most effective wording for your ads.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of your ad to measure how customers respond and which version produces the best results. Then, you can optimize each element of your ad, from headlines and descriptions to images. 

For example, you might find an ad with “Buy Now” performs better than “Order Today.” This type of research can help you create the most successful ads regardless of the variables you test.

When you’re done

Once you’ve finished writing, edit your ad for any mistakes or typos. Little mistakes can tarnish your authority and credibility, so it’s wise to take the time to get it right before submitting your Google Shopping Ads. Take the time to also read through it from a customer’s perspective to ensure it captures their interest and encourages them to click on it.

Get Started with Google Shopping Ads Today

Online Shopping

Even with everything you’ve learned today, there’s still so much more to explore. But don’t worry—we’ve got your back and have seen and done it all in the world of PPC. The team at Blue Water Marketing lives and breathes eCommerce marketing, and we can help you get the most out of your Google Shopping Ads.

If you’re ready to take the leap and start with Google Shopping Ads, contact us today for a free consultation! We’ll discuss your goals and create an effective PPC strategy that gets results. Let’s get started on making your business thrive in 2023!


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