- What is Google Shopping?
- How does Google Shopping work?
- Cost of advertising on Google Shopping
- Registration and setup of Google Merchant Center
- Creating a product feed for Merchant Center
- Moderation in Google Merchant
- Feed optimization
- Implementation of Google Shopping campaigns for the Shopify platform
- Shopify instructions
- Advantages of connecting Google Shopping to Shopify
- Requirements for a store to launch product advertising on Shopify
- Best Shopify modules for contextual advertising
Google Shopping is one of the most effective sources of traffic for online stores. Product ads appear in response to relevant search queries and contain the name, photo, and price of the product, which ensures the most targeted traffic to the online store website. At FireSEO, we have prepared a guide where we will explain what Google Shopping is, how it works, how to place your store, how to set up Merchant Center, and how to launch advertising on Google Ads.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a product comparison system that operates on the Google Ads advertising platform and the Google Merchant service. It allows retail sellers to advertise their products in a more attractive form for users than regular text ads. For example, when searching for office chairs on Google, you may come across a product block:
Example of product advertising. After clicking on such an ad, the buyer is immediately directed to the product page.
Here is an example of a block of text ads:
Why? Because they lack important elements for retail, such as a photo, price, brand, and customer ratings. This information helps to filter out users who are not interested in your products in advance, making the traffic more targeted and conversion-focused.
How does Google Shopping work?
Google Shopping is a completely different format that is not similar to search or contextual media network advertising.
Instead of bidding on specific keywords and creating ad groups with different ads and calls to action, the Google algorithm itself decides when to show ads based on the relevance of the search query.
This may seem like a disadvantage, but in fact, it is the opposite. Since products are easier to classify than arbitrary content, Google can automatically match products with relevant search terms. As a result, the advertiser pays for clicks on the most relevant queries, while spending less time managing the campaign. And if there were still displays for irrelevant queries, there is an opportunity to add negative keywords to block non-targeted displays in the advertising account.
To add a store to Google Shopping, you must have a full-fledged online store with a shopping cart where users can immediately order and pay for products online.
Advertising information is taken from the Google Merchant Center, where you need to upload a special file – a feed – with information about the store’s assortment. Then Google automatically turns the product names, SKUs, prices, photos, and descriptions into beautiful and simple ads that appear for relevant search queries.
Cost of advertising on Google Shopping
The cost of advertising can be divided into two components: the cost of adding your store to Merchant Center and creating an advertising campaign in Ads, and the cost per click on your ads.
Adding your store and launching an advertising campaign can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars on freelance platforms to tens of thousands of dollars at advertising agencies.
Why order Google Shopping from RegisTeam?
Google Shopping is a powerful tool for promoting your business online. It allows you to showcase your products as cards in Google search results, as well as in other Google services such as Google Images and YouTube.
RegisTeam is a team of professional marketers who specialize in internet marketing and advertising on Google. Here are a few reasons why you should consider ordering Google Shopping from RegisTeam:
- Expertise: RegisTeam has extensive experience working with Google Shopping and the knowledge necessary to effectively manage your campaigns.
- Optimization: RegisTeam can optimize your Google Shopping campaigns to increase clicks, improve conversion rates, and lower cost per click.
- Analytics: RegisTeam provides detailed reports on the performance of your campaigns, allowing you to better understand which products and campaigns are most effective.
- Support: RegisTeam is always ready to help you with any questions or issues related to your Google Shopping campaigns.
- Maximum Return on Investment: By working with RegisTeam, you can be sure that every dollar you spend is used effectively, and you will get the maximum return on your investment in Google Shopping advertising.
The cost per click depends on the topic, region, competition, as well as on the optimization of your feed and advertising campaign settings. However, you can limit bids and daily/monthly budgets and purchase clicks at a price that is profitable for you.
Registration and setup of Google Merchant Center
To begin, you will need a Google account. Then go to the main page of the Merchant Center and click the Create Account button.
Enter your company information: name, country, and time zone.
Specify how users can purchase your products – check the box next to “On my website”.
If your store is on Shopify, you can check the corresponding box.
Now you are registered in Google Merchant Center.Next, you need to follow the link and provide details about your business, specify your website URL, and verify ownership rights.
You can confirm ownership of your website using a Google Analytics script, Google Tag Manager, or by placing a special tag or HTML file on your site. There is no difference between them, so you can choose the most convenient method for you.
Next, you need to add a feed.
Creating a product feed for Merchant Center
The product feed should include everything: product names, descriptions, SKUs, prices, availability, condition, GTIN, etc.
Most CMS and cloud-based platforms for creating online stores have ready-made (or semi-ready) solutions that allow you to quickly and relatively easily create a feed for Merchant Center. Applications and plugins for creating a feed for the most popular ecommerce platforms:
Google channel For Shopify
Google Shopping by Sales & Orders for BigCommerce
Product Feed PRO for WooCommerce for WordPress
manyFeedGenerator for OpenCart
Despite the availability of ready-made solutions, often you cannot do without the help of a programmer. Ready-made plugins can generate the feed incorrectly (for example, skip some products, or important tags, conflict with other plugins, or simply give an error and not generate the feed).
There is also the option to prepare and manually upload a table with the necessary information, but if you have a large assortment, this option is unlikely to be suitable. The feed should be automatically updated, preferably every day, and contain up-to-date information on price and availability.
So, the feed is ready. We return to the Merchant Center, open the Products tab, and click Create Feed.
Next, specify the country of sale, language, and check the boxes next to Google Platforms and Product Listings.
Next, give a name to the feed, select the method of feed delivery – Scheduled fetch, and click Continue.
Next, we specify the frequency and time of feed uploading. By default, it is set to daily at 00:00. Until the products have been moderated, we recommend setting the update once a week so that the feed is not reloaded every day. Then, you can set daily updates at any time.
Also, add the link to the feed and click Create.
Next, we go to “Account Development > Programs Management” and make sure that advertising with Shopping ads is active. If not, we click continue and complete the necessary steps.
Almost done, now we need to link Merchant Center with Google Ads. To do this, go to Settings > Linked accounts and add the Google Ads account ID.
Now it is necessary to confirm the request to establish a connection in Google Ads. To do this, in the advertising account, open Tools and settings > Linked accounts, find Google Merchant, and click on Details.
Here you will see a request that needs to be approved.
Now the setup of Merchant Center is complete, all that’s left is to wait for the moderation. Once the moderation is done, you can start creating a campaign in Google Ads.
Google Merchant moderation
Unfortunately, many stores are not prepared for adding to Merchant Center, which leads to wasting time and resources on finding and fixing errors instead of getting traffic and sales.
The most common mistakes that we encounter and which lead to feed rejection or store ban are:
Online payment is not implemented, and payment can only be made upon receipt. According to Merchant rules, it is necessary to implement either online payment or send payment requisites to email within 5 minutes after placing an order. Google employees make a test order during verification, and if they do not receive the requisites within 5 minutes, a ban is guaranteed.
No option to order delivery to regions. Even if you work and advertise products only in one region, your website should allow ordering goods in any city in Russia. That means a person from Magadan should have the opportunity to order metropolitan crackers if they need to.
No information about product returns. It is necessary to create a separate page and describe in detail how the return process works: what are the conditions, where to write, when and where the money will be returned, etc.
There may be strange reasons for rejection. For example, one client could not choose some cities for delivery when translating the website into English (using the browser tools). As sites are moderated not only by Russian-speaking employees, everything should work correctly when translating (at least into English).
Overall, we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with all the rules of Merchant Center before registration and feed creation. This will save you time and nerves if the feed or store is rejected.
Optimizing the feed
Optimizing your feed is all about getting more high-quality traffic. You want Google to show your ads for as many relevant search queries as possible, especially long-tail and low-frequency queries, which are often the most precise and highest-converting.
For example, a user who searches for “queen-size white bed with a soft back” already knows exactly what they’re looking for and is much closer to making a purchase than someone who simply searches for “queen-size bed.”
Google decides which queries to show products for primarily based on the names and descriptions in your feed. To capture as many long-tail and low-frequency queries as possible, you need to fill in those tags as thoroughly and semantically as possible.
Photos also play an important role. High-quality photos attract more attention and clicks, which means you’ll get more clicks and sales.
Another critical point is the correct selection of the product category. This also determines which search queries the product ads will be displayed for.
Google offers a list of over 5,000 categories, which can be downloaded from the official documentation.
Creating a shopping campaign in Google Ads
You have successfully registered with Google Merchant, created and optimized your feed, and passed the moderation process. Now all that’s left is to create a shopping campaign in the Ads account to start displaying product ads.
To do this, go to your Google Ads account, navigate to the Campaigns tab, click on the blue + button, and select New Campaign.
Next, you will be prompted to select a campaign goal. Choose “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.” Then, select the campaign type as “Shopping.”
Next, you need to select the Merchant Center account from which you want to advertise your products. However, you likely only have one account, which will be automatically selected. Additionally, you need to specify the country of sale and choose the subtype of the campaign: Smart or Standard Shopping campaign.
It is possible that the Smart Shopping campaign may not be available, in which case you can only choose the Standard campaign. However, if the Smart campaign is available, it is better to choose it.
On the next stage, you will be prompted to specify detailed campaign settings.
- Product filters. If you want to advertise not the entire range of products or want to split it into several campaigns, you can filter products by brand, type, condition, or by special tags here.
- Local inventory ads. If you are promoting products that you sell in a physical store, check this box.
- Campaign URL options. Here you can add additional parameters for tracking, which are required by some analytics services. If you are not sure if you need them, leave these fields blank.
- Bidding strategy. For a simple shopping campaign, there are 3 bidding strategies available: target return on ad spend, maximize clicks with the ability to set a maximum cost per click, and manual bidding with the option to enable the conversion optimizer.
Target return on ad spend works completely automatically and sets bids to maximize conversions at a given profitability. To enable this strategy, you must have e-commerce set up in Google Analytics, import transaction data into Ads, and have at least 20 transactions in the last 45 days.
Maximum clicks is also an automatic strategy where the goal of the algorithm is to get the maximum amount of traffic. We do not recommend this strategy because the algorithm is not concerned with the value of the click, it only cares about the quantity and may miss out on more expensive but valuable impressions in favor of cheaper but useless ones.
Manually setting the cost-per-click is the simplest option that we usually start advertising with, and once enough conversions are gained, we switch to a smart bidding campaign. If conversions are set up and imported (and they should be), you can additionally enable a target cost-per-acquisition optimizer that can decrease or increase bids to get the maximum number of sales within a given budget.
- Budget. Specify how much you intend to spend per day. In this case, daily expenses can exceed the specified amount by 30% (and in very rare cases by 100%), but monthly expenses will not exceed the amount equal to the daily budget multiplied by 30.4.
- Campaign priority. If you have only one campaign, leave the priority low. If you have multiple campaigns, indicate which one is more important. For example, in one campaign, you have all your products, and in the second one, you have Black Friday promotional offers. It is important for you to promote the promotional products, as you have a separate budget for them, so you create a separate campaign for them and assign a higher priority.
- Targeting. If this is your first campaign with a small budget, I recommend turning off “Google Search partners” and “YouTube, Gmail, and Google Display Network”. This way, your ads will only appear on the most reliable platform – Google search. But if you need a large coverage, or you have enough budget to conduct tests, leave all platforms enabled.
- Location. Choose which regions to show your ads in. Don’t forget to expand the “Location options” and select the appropriate option. By default, it is set to “People in or regularly in your targeted locations and people who show interest in them”. This means that when setting up advertising in New York, ads will be seen not only by residents of New York, but also by people from other regions and even countries who have shown interest in New York in their search queries. In some cases, such a setting is justified, but more often it is recommended to use “People in or regularly in your targeted locations”.
- Start and end date. If you plan to start advertising right away, you don’t need to change anything – today’s date is already set by default.
Clicking Continue takes us to the final stage – creating an ad group. Here, you only need to give the new group a name and set a bid – the maximum price per click that you’re willing to pay. If you don’t have exact calculations of how much you’re willing to pay per click, we recommend setting a low bid – for example, $6-9 – and adjusting it based on the campaign’s results.
Click Save, and your Google Shopping campaign is set up!
Now, you need to do basic segmentation to assign different bids for different categories or disable unnecessary ones. To do this, open the Product Groups, click All products, and divide your assortment by type of products.
At the next stage, you can set bids and launch advertising.
Implementing Google Shopping campaigns for the Shopify platform.
In light of the growing popularity of the Shopify platform in the market, there is a logical need to understand the nuances of the platform itself and its potential for integration with analytics and advertising systems. Therefore, today we will focus on setting up Google Shopping Ads for Shopify through Google Merchant Center.
It turned out to be not as difficult as it seemed initially. With a little research on the internet and specialized forums, we were able to quickly set up and launch advertising campaigns.
The first and perhaps the most pleasant thing is that Shopify does not require a product feed. Or rather, it is not needed in the way that contextual advertisers who have dealt with Merchant Center setup are used to seeing it.
The first thing we need to do is log in to the admin section of our website and find the section with apps, and then go from there to the Shopify app store:
There we find the Google Shopping app and install it on our platform.
Next, we need to log in to our Google Merchant Center account directly from the Shopify admin panel, so that the systems can exchange data, or rather, Shopify can upload data to Merchant Center. After that, click the Publish button and the system sends our products to Merchant Center.
For the most part, it seemed like everything. Absolutely nothing complicated, but in fact the pitfalls began to emerge that prevented the normal launch of the advertising campaign.
As it turned out, the app automatically selects only one product category from the site and sends it to Merchant Center. Therefore, it is necessary to immediately check this setting and, if necessary, select all products (there is no option to select multiple categories – either one or all products):
It’s also worth noting that Shopify doesn’t create a product feed in Merchant Center in the usual sense. I mentioned that we wouldn’t need a feed in the traditional sense, but the system doesn’t create one either. Products are simply published and can be seen on the products tab, but there is no actual feed.
In fact, Shopify does not create a product feed in the traditional sense. I mentioned earlier that we don’t need a feed in the usual format, but the system doesn’t create one at all. The products are simply published and can be seen on the “products” tab, but there is no actual feed. All product attributes are also pulled directly from the platform. For example, the product description in the search results and in Google Shopping will be the same as the description on your website, and changing it in one place will change it in the other. Therefore, if your description is “beautiful” but does not include keywords, you will need to create a separate feed and give up the quick option of automatic data transfer. Or you can sacrifice the beauty of the description and save time.
In the Google Shopping app itself, you can also see which products have been published and which have not, and what you need to do to publish them.
For example, we encountered a problem where we had to create each size and color of a product as a separate item because previously one item included several size and color options. Additionally, for certain products, we had to create a manual feed through Google Spreadsheets with optimized product descriptions for search. The manually created feed and the automatically uploaded products from Shopify do not conflict and are available for use in advertising campaigns.
It is also worth noting that if the Google Shopping app is removed from the list of Shopify apps, all product data will be removed from the Merchant Center within a few days.
Advantages of connecting Google Shopping on Shopify are:
Google Shopping for Shopify is an additional advertising channel that allows for significant sales growth. In addition, the tool provides the following benefits:
- Targeted visitors. Regardless of how well-tuned the advertising campaigns in AdWords and other systems are, product advertising helps to get an additional flow of interested leads for the online store. Traffic from Google Shopping is targeted because the queries that the user enters in the search bar contain the product name, which significantly increases the likelihood of making a purchase after clicking on the advertiser’s website.
- Large traffic potential. Product advertising is displayed at the top of search results. In one of its studies, the search engine found that most e-commerce stores reported doubling their click-through rate (CTR) after connecting to Google Shopping.
- High return on investment. In most niches, advertising on Google Shopping is cheaper because the user immediately sees the product image and price in the ad, which leads to a high click-through rate. The higher the click-through rate, the cheaper each click becomes.
- Simplicity of setup. Compared to standard contextual advertising, with Google Shopping on Shopify, you don’t need to select keywords or come up with ad text. Shopify provides special applications for connecting Google Shopping, which help to quickly create a feed and place product advertising. At the same time, product information is updated automatically without the advertiser’s involvement.
Requirements for launching product advertising on Shopify
To connect an online store on the Shopify platform to Google Shopping, it must meet certain requirements set by Google. Let’s consider them below.
- A Merchant Center account. The Merchant Center is a free service which allows you to create and manage your product feed, as well as send information about all the products you’ve added to your online store to Google Shopping.
- Compliance with Google rules for product advertising. For example, photos must be of high quality. In addition, the sale of products that violate copyright or intellectual property rights, contain prohibited content, or pose a threat to the health and safety of customers is prohibited.
- Having a valid SSL certificate. In order to protect customers’ confidential information, such as their bank card details, the online store must have a valid SSL certificate. This is a digital certificate that encrypts information transmitted between the client and the server to ensure security. To obtain a certificate, you can contact the hosting support service.
- Unique IDs. Each product listing must be assigned a unique identifier. This is necessary for the correct display of product descriptions and prices, as well as to prevent duplicates.
Best Shopify Modules for Contextual Advertising
In this article, you will find a description of popular Shopify extensions for contextual advertising.
Feed For Google Shopping Feed.
A Shopify add-on for exchanging information about product listings with Google Merchant Center. It allows launching Smart Shopping campaigns directly from the Shopify interface. The extension also suggests which attributes of the selected product to specify to ensure it passes the GMC moderation.
Benefits of using this module:
- It is quite simple and quick to set up and use;
- A free plan is available for small businesses;
- Integration with GMC via API ensures that information is updated within 20 minutes from the moment of making changes on the website.
Data Feed Watch Shopping Feeds
A serious tool for generating feeds for GMC and other platforms. Unlike free modules, it offers the advantage of being able to:
- A powerful tool for generating GMC feeds and other platforms. Unlike free modules, it allows you to:
- Mass categorize product positions in the feed;
- Massively modify and add attributes of product positions in the feed;
- Generate feeds/lists for the most popular services: GMC, Linkshare, Facebook, Bing, Amazon, eBay, etc.;
- Generate feeds for GMC separately for any region where the Google Shopping platform operates;
- Generate feeds in a free format;
- Conduct advanced statistical data analysis.
- One of the notable drawbacks of the module is its high cost – starting at $59 per month if you have less than a thousand product positions and no more than three sales channels.
Simprosys Google Shopping Feed
This extension is the optimal solution for generating feeds uploaded to GMC in terms of the balance between cost, ease of use, and quality. In the current version, it also offers the ability to generate feeds for Bing Merchant (and Facebook feed generation is planned for the future).
The benefits include:
- Mass change of product characteristics;
- Generating a feed for Bing;
- Ability to generate promotional feeds for GMC;
- Export mode selection – only the basic version of the product or any of its modifications (color variations, etc.);
- Selection of product photos for export;
- Manual mode for starting data exchange with Merchant.
- The cost of the module depends on the number of product items in the store (price is per month):
- $4.99 – 500 items or less;
- $8.99 – 501 to 1,000 items;
- $13.99 – 1,000 to 5,000 items, etc.
Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing
An extension for those who are too lazy to set up dynamic remarketing. It transfers all the relevant codes from Shopify to AdWords.
Suitable for those who do not plan to spend a lot of time on diving into the GTM technology and do not want to manually specify variables in Google Analytics. A month of use costs $9,99, and you can test the module for free during the first three days.
Google Customer Reviews
An extension with an intuitive interface for advertisers participating in Google Customer or Products Reviews. The module collects reviews from your customers for uploading to Merchant.
The module is launched in four steps;
Ability to display the online store rating information on the pages of your website;
one-time payment of $25 and no subscription fee.
Suite For Google Shopping Feed
Allows you to integrate GTM directly into Shopify program code on your own. But you should pay attention to a number of unpleasant moments – a complicated process of setting up eCommerce (in order to implement the dataLayer on the “Thank You” page, you will need to find a programmer).
This add-on helps in solving problems with incorrect behavioral characteristics transfer by the integrated Google Analytics block, and also allows you to quickly run dynamic remarketing and monitoring of conversion of Google ads.
Stores with an assortment of 500 or less items can use the extension for free. If there are more items, you’ll have to sign up for a paid monthly subscription, which starts at $4.
As noted above, in the basic version of Shopify, even without the use of Shopify modules for contextual advertising, it is possible to integrate the online store with Facebook. But it is not always convenient to use such functionality because of several points.
For example, the basic version does not provide the ability to make changes to the product items, if you plan to adjust the product description or add images to the card that are missing on the website. You won’t be able to write your own categories in the catalog for Facebook, either.
The Facebook Product Feed module helps you get around this problem as well as a large number of other things. With an assortment of up to a thousand items, you won’t have to pay to use the extension. But for a purely symbolic amount ($29 per month) you can significantly increase the output of the module:
- No limit on the number of items sent to Facebook;
- Photo resizing in automatic mode to match the formats used in Facebook;
- vendor tags in the feed;
- selection of photo options to set as the main ones in the Facebook catalog;
- ability to set discounts, limit their validity period, etc.;
- technical support.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform, with the help of whose services and tools, you can create and develop a full-fledged online business. It is known for its ease of use, versatility, as well as the ratio of small price – big opportunities for merchants. Shopify stores are available in 175 countries, and in 2020 more than 200 million purchases were made on the platform from around the world. So, using our tips, you’ll be able to optimize your Shopify store on your own and attract traffic to it. The next question before you will be whether it is possible to convert traffic into sales. The Registeam specialists, who have a lot of experience in promoting online stores on the foreign market, can give you the answer.