Wondering how to set up a Google Shopping Feed? You’ve found yourself in the right place! Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know, including:
- Why Google Shopping is important for eCommerce stores
- How to add products to Google Shopping
- How to set up a Merchant Account
- Product feed setup
- Sorting your Google feeds
- Optimizing product images
- Creating a shopping campaign
- Shopping bidding strategies
…and so much more! So, whether you have yet to start selling on Google or simply looking to streamline and optimize your Google Shopping campaign, this guide has got you covered. Let’s get started!
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service offered by Google that allows eCommerce stores to list their products on Google.com, as well as other Google properties such as Google Images and Google News.
When a user searches for a product on Google, they may see results from Google Shopping and results from other parts of the web. Google Shopping results include product information such as the price, merchant name, product image, and a link to the product’s website.
Why Is Google Shopping Important For eCommerce Stores?
As the world’s largest search engine, Google receives over 63,000 searches per second – nearly 5.6 billion searches per day! In other words, when people are looking to buy something online, chances are they’re going to start their search on Google.
This is why Google Shopping is so integral to the success of eCommerce stores. Optimizing your product listings for Google Shopping allows you to reach a vast audience of potential customers who are already interested in what you’re selling. Not only that, but Google Shopping is also a great way to drive highly targeted traffic to your store.
Google Shopping is a paid advertising platform, meaning you’ll need to invest in Google Ads to get your products in front of potential customers. However, the Google Ads platform is potent and, when used correctly, can be an extremely effective way to drive sales and grow your business.
Getting Started with Merchant Center
The first step is to create a Google Ads account and set up your Merchant Center. When you’re setting up your Merchant Center, some of the key points to pay attention to include:
- Shipping settings
- Tax setup
- Google My Business Integration For Free Listings
- Connect or create a Google Ads account
When you’re setting up your Merchant Center, you’ll need to specify your shipping settings. This includes specifying your shipping origin, as well as your shipping destinations and methods. You’ll also need to select any applicable shipping rates.
Another important aspect of setting up your Merchant Center is specifying your tax settings. This includes specifying the countries where you charge taxes and the tax rates that apply to those countries.
Google My Business Integration For Free Listings
If you have a Google My Business listing, you can connect it to your Merchant Center account. This will allow you to list your products for free on Google.com and Google Maps.
Connect or create a Google Ads account
In order to start selling on Google, you’ll need to create a Google Ads account and connect it to your Merchant Center. This lets you create and manage your Google Shopping campaigns.
SKUs & GTIN numbers
Next, you’ll need to create an SKU (stock-keeping unit) for each of your products. An SKU is a unique code that is used to identify a product. You can create SKUs manually or using a tool like Google Sheets.
You’ll also need to obtain GTIN (global trade item number) numbers for your products. GTIN numbers are used to identify products globally. You can obtain GTIN numbers from your product manufacturer or from a GS1-accredited company.
Once you have your SKUs and GTIN numbers, you’ll need to add them to your product feed. This allows Google to match your products with the correct listing on Google Shopping.
Product Feed Set Up
The next step is to set up your product feed. Your product feed is a file containing information about the products you want to list on Google Shopping. The product feed includes information such as the product name, price, image, description, custom labels, and more.
Product feeds for Google Shopping accounts are created inside of your Google Merchant Center. We recommend getting familiar with Google Merchant Center when running Google shopping campaigns.
You can create your product feed manually by using a tool like Google Sheets or you can use a data feed optimization and management software like Date Feed Watch. Once you’ve created your product feed, you’ll be able to create specific campaigns inside your Google Ads account linked to the Merchant account.
Sorting Your Google Feeds
Next, it’s time to understand your Google Feeds into the primary and supplemental product feeds.
Primary product feed
This is the feed that contains your most important product information. It should include all of the products you want to list on Google Shopping.
Supplemental product feed
This secondary feed can be used to supplement your primary product feed. It can be used to add additional product information, such as product descriptions and images. You can have several supplemental product feeds, but you can only have one primary product feed.
Manage diagnostics and affected items inside your Merchant Center
It’s also critical that you pay attention to the diagnostics inside of your Google Merchant Center. After you upload your feed there could be potential issues that will prevent your products from being available in your Google Shopping Ads campaigns.
Go to Google Merchant Center > Products > Diagnostics after successfully submitting your feed. On the top of the page, you will see item, feed, and account issues. All these issues can prevent your products from being sold on different platforms available through your Merchant Center Account.
Each one of these issues will have their own steps to fix and Google provides insights into each of them specifically if you have any issues to resolve. Some common issues are “incorrect identifier [gtin], violations of google policies, invalid [gtin], and invalid landing page.
It’s also critical to manage your Google Shopping Ads and campaigns effectively. Google Ads can be a complex platform, but there are a few key things to keep in mind to avoid Item issues and common Violations of the Shopping ads policy:
- Utilize negative keywords to stop your ads from showing for irrelevant searches
- Bid on the right match types to control how and when your ad shows
- Organize your Google Shopping Ads account into campaign and ad group level structures that are based on product categories (more on that later)
- Use relevant and unique titles, descriptions, and images for each product
- Create a mobile-optimized landing page for each product
- Monitor your Google Shopping Ads account regularly for performance issues
Optimize Product Images
Optimizing your product images is vital to the success of your Google Shopping campaign, so don’t overlook this! Google recommends that you use high-quality images that are at least 100×00 pixels for non-apparel images, and apparel images should be at least 250 x 250 pixels. In addition, the image files should be in JPEG or PNG format and under 16MB in size.
You’ll also want to add alt text to your product images. Google uses alt text to help determine what an image is about. Google also uses it to provide a text alternative for users who cannot see the image.
Ensure Product Descriptions Are Accurate & Relevant
Inside your Merchant Center, it’s imperative to ensure your product descriptions are accurate and relevant. You risk having Google remove your products from Google Shopping if the descriptions are inaccurate or misleading.
Another reason this step is so important is unlike Google Search Ads, Google Shopping Ads show the products that are relevant to the user’s search based on the product title. The ability to bid on search terms is not possible instead, Google Shows the product based on the product title and other factors discussed later on.
To write accurate and relevant product descriptions, you’ll want to use the following tips:
- Include all relevant information about the product
- Use clear and concise language
- Avoid using marketing jargon or buzzwords
- Make sure the description is easy to read
- Don’t stuff keywords into the description
- Check for grammar and spelling errors
- Ensure product prices are accurate
Create A Shopping Campaign
Now back to the details of the most fun part – setting up your Google Shopping campaign!
To create a Google Shopping campaign, you’ll need to log into your Google Ads account. Then, click on the “Shopping” tab and select “Create campaign.”
Next, you’ll need to select your target country and language. Then, you’ll need to choose a campaign name and bidding strategy. Google recommends using the “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy for Shopping campaigns (more on that in a moment) but let’s get into the specifics of how to optimize campaign structure based on product categories first.
Optimize Campaign Structure Based on Product Categories
Once you’ve created your Google Shopping campaign, you’ll need to optimize the campaign structure based on Shopping Product Groups, including product type, category, and item I.D. Google Shopping Product Groups segment your Google Shopping Ads into campaign and ad group level structures based on product categories.
You’ll need to create separate campaigns for each product category to optimize your Google Shopping campaign structure. Then, you’ll need to create separate ad groups for each product type within each campaign. Finally, you’ll need to add the relevant products to each ad group.
For example, let’s say you sell clothing and accessories. You would create a separate Google Shopping campaign for each product category, such as “women’s clothing,” “men’s clothing,” and “accessories.” Then, you would create separate ad groups for each product type within each campaign, such as “dresses,” “tops,” “bottoms,” and “shoes” for the “women’s clothing” campaign; “shirts,” “pants,” and “shoes” for the “men’s clothing” campaign; and “bags,” “jewelry,” and “sunglasses” for the “accessories” campaign.
Once you’ve created your Google Shopping campaigns and ad groups, you’ll need to add the relevant products to each ad group. Google will then match your products to the correct listings on Google Shopping.
Choosing a Shopping Bidding Strategy for Your Google Shopping Feed
We mentioned that when it comes to Google Shopping bidding, Google recommends using the Maximize Conversions/Click bidding strategy. Still, other options include a Manual CPC bidding strategy or Target ROAS.
This bidding strategy automatically sets your bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. Google will optimize your bids based on your conversion data, so it’s important to set up conversion tracking before using this bidding strategy.
You’ll need to set a conversion goal for your campaign to use this bidding strategy. A conversion goal is the action you want customers to take on your website, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter. Once you’ve set a conversion goal, Google will automatically adjust your bids to help you reach that goal.
Manual CPC Bidding Strategy
As Google explains, manual CPC bidding “gives you control to set the maximum amount you could pay for each click on your ads.” This means you can set different bids for individual keywords or placements. Like we said, it gives you more control, but it also means more work because everything needs to be done manually. This takes us back to what Google recommends for your bidding strategy: a Maximize Clicks strategy. It takes the manual work out, and Google will automatically adjust your bids for you.
Google explains that Target ROAS “bidding helps you get more conversion value or revenue at the target return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) that you set.” This bidding strategy is similar to Maximize Conversions in that Google can automatically adjust your bids to help you reach your goal. Still, with Target ROAS, you can set a specific target ROAS for your campaign.
For example, if you wanted to achieve a 1:10 ROAS, Google would aim to get $10 in revenue for every $1 spent on your campaign. Google would then automatically adjust your bids based on this goal.
Target ROAS can be a great option if you have a specific ROAS goal in mind for your Google Shopping campaign. This strategy is ideal if your Google Ads conversions drive a direct ROI (i.e., online sales). However, if you’re not sure how much each Google Ads conversion is worth, or don’t have significant conversions in the campaign this may not be your best bidding strategy. We never recommend starting a campaign with this strategy.
To learn more about Best Practices for Shopping campaigns when using Target ROAS as the bidding strategy.
Monitor & Optimize Your Campaign
Now that your Google Shopping campaign is live remember to monitor it and make changes as needed. Google provides a few tips for monitoring and optimizing your Google Shopping campaign:
- Track your campaign performance regularly. You can do this by looking at your Google Ads reports.
- Make sure you’re getting enough traffic. If you’re not getting enough traffic, you may need to adjust your bid amount or add new product groups.
- Check your conversion rate. If your low conversion rate, you may need to adjust your bids, add new product groups, or improve your product listings.
- Monitor your cost per conversion. If your cost per conversion is too high, you may need to adjust your bids or add new product groups.
Target and Schedule
You’ll also want to ensure you’re targeting the right people with your Google Shopping ads. Google explains that there are a few ways to do this:
- Set up location targeting so your ads will only show to people in certain countries, regions, or cities.
- Again, use negative keywords to exclude certain words from your campaigns.
- You can also target your ads to devices such as desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.
- In addition to targeting, you’ll also want to schedule your Google Shopping ads. Google allows you to set start and end dates for your campaigns and daily budgets. This can be helpful if you only want your ads to run during certain times or days of the week.
When it comes to targeting your ads, it’s also helpful to create ad groups for product categories.
Create Ad Groups For Product Categories
Creating ad groups for product categories can be helpful because it allows you to target your ads more specifically—you can target your ads to a specific audience and set different bids for each ad group.
For example, perhaps you have a women’s clothing store. You could create an ad group for dresses, tops, bottoms, etc. This lets you target your ads more specifically and set different bids for each product category if you’re selling a variety of products, and ad groups for each product category so you can target your ads more effectively.
Google Shopping Best Practices
Next, let’s go over some best practices for Google Shopping to help you start selling on Google successfully! We will break these best practices down by product images and product listings.
Product Image Best Practices
When it comes to product images, Google has a few best practices:
- Use high-quality, professional images.
- Make sure your image is clear and focused. Google also recommends using images with a white background.
- Include all relevant product details in your image (e.g., color, size, etc.). This will help people understand what they’re looking at and make it more likely they’ll click on your ad.
Product Listing Best Practices
In addition to having good product images, it’s also essential to have strong product listings.
Here’s how to do that:
- Include all relevant product information. This includes things like the product name, price, description, etc. Google also recommends using structured data to provide even more information about your products.
- Use high-quality, keyword-rich titles. This means using titles that are clear and concise. You’ll also want to include relevant keywords so people can easily find your products.
- Write compelling descriptions. Google recommends writing descriptions that are both informative and interesting. Remember to include relevant keywords so people can easily find your products.
Google Shopping Feed FAQs
Still have questions? We’ve got you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions about Google Shopping:
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service provided by Google that allows online retailers to list their products in Google’s search results. Google Shopping ads show up at the top of the search results page, including product photos, prices, and other information.
Why is Google Shopping important for eCommerce stores?
Google Shopping is important for eCommerce stores because it allows them to reach a wider audience and increase their sales. Google Shopping ads are displayed at the top of the search results page, so they’re one of the first things people see when they search for a product on Google.
How to add products to Google Shopping?
In order to add products to Google Shopping, you’ll need to create a Google Merchant Center account and submit your product feed.
How much does Google Shopping cost?
Google Shopping itself is a free service. However, you will need to pay for your Google Shopping ads. The cost of Google Shopping ads depends on a few factors, such as your bid amount and the competition for your keywords.
What are Google Shopping campaigns?
Google Shopping campaigns use Google Shopping ads to promote your products. Google Shopping campaigns allow you to set a budget, target certain locations, and schedule your ads to run at specific times. Google Shopping ads appear on Google search results pages and are triggered by searches for products you sell.
Last Words: Start Selling on Google with Google Shopping
There you have it! Your guide to starting to sell on Google with Google Shopping. Keep these tips and best practices in mind to set yourself up for success. And of course, call the team of eCommerce experts at Blue Water Marketing for hands-on help.