WHAT IS GOOGLE SHOPPING
Google shopping, or Shopping Campaigns, is a special Google service for effectively advertising and promoting products for online stores.
A feature of Google Shopping is displaying banner ads with product information on Google and search partners. That is, the buyer immediately, without even going to the advertiser’s website, sees the necessary information about the product (image, price, short description, promotional offers, etc.), which allows to direct only users interested in a particular product to the website.
GOOGLE SHOPPING ADVANTAGES:
Cost per click is lower compared to other online advertising options.
Advantageous location of ad position – above the search results or in the side of the screen.
The buyer immediately sees the image of the product, which visually distinguishes this type of ad.
The data on the price and availability of goods in the feed is regularly updated, which allows the buyer to always see the latest information. This reduces advertising costs and increases customer loyalty.
A Shopping ad is displayed when the search query matches information from the feed, which means that the ad is shown directly to the target audience.
In search results, a user may see several of your Shopping ads, as well as text ads if they match your query. This increases the reach of potential buyers.
STEPS TO SET UP GOOGLE SHOPPING
Website preparation before launching Shopping campaigns.
Preparing a data feed.
Registering a company in the Google Merchant Center.
Configuring the relationship between Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts.
Loading data feed.
Creating a Shopping campaign in Google Ads.
1. PREPARATION OF THE SITE BEFORE STARTING SHOPPING CAMPAIGNS
Shopping campaigns have a specific set of ad placement rules:
The product on the site must have the status “Available”.
The product must not be classified as prohibited content.
The site must contain the correct contact information: phone number, email address.
A secure SSL server with a valid certificate must be used to collect and process sensitive user information (such as bank details or credit card numbers). The addresses of the pages where the user’s personal information is indicated must begin with https: //
The site must contain clear and concise information about the rules for the delivery and return of goods.
Information about the methods and terms of payment should be clear and accessible.
For a complete list of rules, visit the Merchant Center rules page
2. PREPARATION OF DATA FID
A data feed is a table file that contains detailed information about products. Such information is specified in the form of mandatory and additional attributes: name, description, availability, age group, product category, manufacturer code, product brand, availability, gender, condition, etc.
Google supports 2 data feed formats:
- Text format (manual way of loading data). In the manual option, product data is entered into Google Sheets and then uploaded to the Merchant Center. This method is suitable if the site has a small number of products. The disadvantage of this method is that you also need to manually keep the feed up to date. If this is not done in time, the items in the Merchant Center will be rejected.
- XML format (automatic way to load data). An XML file with the required data can be created directly on the site, which, of course, requires more in-depth technical knowledge or specialist assistance. This method is mainly used, since it eliminates the human factor when making changes to the data feed, as well as formatting errors. And the main thing is automatic data update.
Valid feed extensions:
- .gz – GNU Zip, compressed TSV format (recommended) or XML;
- .txt – TSV format;
- .xml – XML format;
- .zip – ZIP, compressed TSV or XML format;
- .bz2 – bzip2, compressed TSV or XML format.
The data feed must comply with certain design standards. If the information is in the wrong form, ads will not run. There are required and optional data feed attributes.
Id – product identifier. It can contain letters and numbers, but no more than 50 characters.
Title – product name, no more than 150 characters. Placed on the landing page, should not contain advertising phrases.
Description – description of goods, no more than 5,000 characters, without links to the site and advertising texts.
Link – a link to the product page on the site.
Image link – link to the product image.
Availability – product availability. Available values: in stock (in stock), out of stock (out of stock), preorder (pre-order).
Price – product price.
Brand – the brand of the product.
GTN – (gtin) international marking code.
MPN is the manufacturer’s code, which is indicated if there is no GTN.
Condition – product condition. Available values: refurbished, new, used.
For additional attributes that you can use in your feed for a more detailed description of the product, see HERE.
3. REGISTRATION OF THE COMPANY IN GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER
Important! Before registering a company, carefully read the Google Merchant Center rules, as violation of these rules may lead to the blocking of goods or your account completely.
Log in to your account and to start registration follow the link, click the “Sign Up” button.
Next, specify information about the store: where the company is located, what is the name of the store (not the legal name of the organization, but the name of the store by which users know it), the domain of the site. Click the “Continue” button.
Important! If the site sells adult products, be sure to check the box next to “My site contains adult products”. Otherwise, the account will be blocked after verification.
Verify the rights to the website. The easiest way to do this is through Google Tag Manager. Grant access as an administrator, then confirm the rights to the site in your Merchant Center account. You can skip this step at the stage of creating an account and return to it later.
4. CONFIGURATION OF LINK BETWEEN GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER AND GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNTS
To link your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, go to the Merchant Center interface, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Link to other services”. Enter your Google Ads account ID and click Submit Create Account Request.
Then go to your Google Ads account and confirm the request. If the Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts are registered to the same email, the connection will be established automatically after the request is sent.
5. DOWNLOAD DATA FID
To upload a data feed, go to the Google Merchant Center and in the dashboard on the left, under Products, click the Feeds tab. Click the add button “+”.
Specify the country of sale and language (in which language the information in the data feed is filled in). Select the services where you plan to promote the product: Display, Shopping Ads. Click the “Continue” button.
Next, enter a name for your data feed and select a download method. Click the “Continue” button.
At the last stage of account registration, enter the file name and specify the download schedule. Choose the time taking into account the updating of information on the site so that the user receives the latest data. If authorization is required to access the page, enter the password. Click the “Continue” button and upload the feed.
The maximum data verification time is 3 business days, but it usually takes less time – it all depends on the number of products in the feed.
To check the loading of an item and its status, go to the control panel on the left to the “Products” section and open the “Diagnostics” tab. Here you can see how many products are approved and ready to serve, how many are pending or rejected.
After you have registered your Google Merchant Center account, created and added your data feed, you can proceed to creating a Google Ads Shopping campaign.
6. CREATING A SHOPPING CAMPAIGN IN GOOGLE ADS
Create a new Google Ads campaign and select the “Shopping” campaign type. Click the “Continue” button.
Your Google Merchant Center account ID is automatically entered. Select the country of sale. Click the “Continue” button.
Next, enter the required data to create a campaign:
a bidding strategy,
country of sale.
Click the “Continue” button.
And in the last step, create an ad group. To do this, indicate the name of the group and the rate. Shopping campaigns do not need to create Shopping ads; they are generated automatically based on data from your feed in the Google Merchant Center.
After creating a shopping campaign, the following tabs will be available on the control panel on the left for managing and optimizing the campaign: “Ad groups”, “Product groups”, “Products”, “Settings”, “Ads”, “Keywords”, “Audience”.
Conclusions: Google Shopping attracts the attention of the target audience through ads with product images, and also makes it possible to effectively advertise and promote the products of the online store with a minimum amount of time to control up-to-date information about the price and availability of goods.