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What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is powered by two platforms – AdWords and Google Merchant Centre. Google Merchant Centre is where the product feed lives. AdWords is where the shopping campaigns live and where budgets are set, bids are managed and where optimisation are made.

For Google Shopping, Google determines when product listing ads show up. They consider the content of the feed, the website, and the bids to determine what search queries trigger each product ad. Because of this, setting up shopping ads has some strong similarities to SEO. Success with Google Shopping boils down to three main areas:

  • Feed Creation & Optimisation

    This covers product data, product images and price.

  • Bidding

    Bidding can be complex but getting the right strategy can double the return on ad spend for different campaigns.

  • Monitoring & Optimisation

    Proper monitoring and optimization can take a good campaign and make it great.

Setting Goals

For any marketing campaign, goals need to be defined to understand their success, or failure, and to learn how improvements can be made. We will work with you to define your goals before we do anything else. These goals are the benchmark of our success, but will also set what can be expected in terms of performance.

Two common goals are:

  • A target Cost-per-sale Margin (CPSM)

    What are you willing to pay as a percentage of the sale? If the average order value is £100, and you average margin is 35%, would you be willing to spend all £35 of profit from the order on the media spend (Google’s cost-per-click)? 10% to %15, is mostly like more acceptable, but once you decide the percent you are able to pay, this is what we will aim to achieve.

  • Build a customer base and make sales

    There are really two types of merchants: those who want to generate sales, and those who want to generate customers. Both types of merchants can make money, but only the later can really build a lasting business and brand. It is important to consider this when deciding on your CPSM. Taking life-time value into account is important to achieving a lasting success - by building a customer base that you can sell to again and again.

Understanding buyers Intent

The length and content of a search query can say a lot about a searcher’s intent. Usually longer, more detailed searches indicate a higher buying intent. For example:


Someone who searches for this term may just be researching the company, looking for a stock price, or possibly shopping. But you never really know.

“nike running shoes”

This person is actively looking for running shoes and knows the brand they are interested in, but they are not sure of the type they want and could still be in a research phase.

“mens flyknit size 11”

This person knows exactly what they want, are looking for the best price and seller to buy from, and are ready to buy now.

We will build and manage your campaigns in order to put the right product, in front of the right person, at the right time.

Account Set-up

There are three accounts needed to make Google Shopping work: AdWords, Google Merchant Centre, and Google Analytics.

  • google-merchant-logo

    Is where the product feed is managed, it is also where the tax , shipping rules and promotions are created..

  • google-adwords-logo

    Is where campaigns are created and where all the setting are configured such as target locations, device bidding, budgets & product bidding.

  • google-analytics-logo-new3

    Is where all conversion data and actions are collected. This data is used to make optimisations to the campaigns, to deliver the goals.

We will set all these account up for you and link them all together so the correct information is available for each account. If you already have these accounts, we will audit them and fix any issues that could be causing a loss of data integrity.

Product Feed

The product feed is simply where all the information about the products are formatted in a way Google accepts them. Google uses this information to determine if one or more of your products is relevant for a particular search query. In this regard, Google Shopping has similarities to SEO.

What are the top three key attributes?

Depending on the type of product you sell will require different attributes, not getting the information correct or complete could cause the products to be rejected, or will lose out on impressions and clicks.

Product Title

The product title needs to be accurate and descriptive or Google will not know when you show your product. This attribute is arguably the most important element of the feed. Like SEO the Product Title is similar to the Title tag of a webpage, in the simplest of terms.

What makes a great title?

  • Include target keywords the product should show for – but titles should not be stuffed.
  • The name of the product and any descriptive variations such as colour, brand, gender and size.
  • The placement of the key information at the beginning of the title - to make it stand.

Product Description

While not as important as product titles, descriptions are crucial components of the feed. Google pays close attention to the descriptions to help determine what keywords will trigger product listing ads.

What makes a great description?

  • Be concise and accurate when describing your products. Think of what a buyer needs to know to make a purchase.
  • Always be thinking of keywords and the different ways people can search to find your product.
  • Important information, and keywords should be written into the front of the description as is carries more weight here.

Google Product Category

This is a very important and required attribute in gaining visibility. Products have to be assigned to specific taxonomies set out by Google in order to be found and categorised. Getting this wrong can severely impact on the impressions products can potentially receive.

Choosing the right category:

  • Google’s taxonomy contains over 6,000+ categories and sub-categories, so most if not all, products will fit somewhere.
  • One way do discover these categories, is to search for the product on Google and look through those shown by Google, and choose the best fit.

We build, clean and optimise your product feed for maximum reach, and map all product data to appropriate feed attributes including Google Categories. With continued optimisation, regular auditing and error checking we make sure your product feed is the best it can be.


Bids (or Max. CPC’s) are the most important part of shopping campaigns. They play a key role in determining what queries PLA’s are shown for and the profitability of a campaign. Bid too much or too little could either impact on the return, or generate very few clicks.

What should the bids be?

There are several things to consider when determining a bid. The main being - price of the product, the cost-per-sale margin and conversion rate.

But until the campaign starts, it is difficult to know whether this is too high or too low, in order to deliver the right traffic, as:

  • Lower bids often drive long-tail and less competitive search queries, but these can also be more engaged visitors and so produce more conversions and a better return.
  • Higher bids produce greater visibility but mainly through more generic and broad phrases that converts less. However, this is not always a bad thing when using remarketing.
  • Competitors and seasonality will also impact on the CPC’s. If a competitor is running a promotion, or a seasonal change drives up CPC’s, the performance will be affected so needs to be closely monitored.

How campaign structure affects bidding?

By creating small, very targeted campaigns and ad-groups sub-divided by individual SKUs, helps to analyse and optimise PLA’s through managing the bids at a product-level. However, to create and maintain this type of structure takes a lot of work

  • The performance of shopping campaigns are maximised by setting the bids of each product.
  • Each product can be analysed to understand the performance and whether bids should be increased, decreased or removed altogether.

We have developed software to create and manage campaigns to show a single product view of how Google Shopping is working, and how products perform.

What is RLSA and how can it work?

What if bids could be increased for the most engaged customers or when for a searcher fits a specific profile? With Google’s RLSA, bids can be increased for audiences who, for example, have previously been to your website and:

  • Visited one page but did not go any further
  • Visited a single or multiple product pages
  • Added a product to the basket but then abandoned the purchase
  • Visitors who have made one or several purchases

Reporting & Optimisation

All marketing channels need some accountability and Google Shopping is no different. By analysing data, making optimisations and adjustments, can turn a mediocre campaign into highly performing success.

  • Product Reports

    There are a multitude of reports and data to analyse from products with and without impressions, clicks and sales. Each ones gives insight as to how individual and groups of products are performing.

  • Search Query Reports

    These reports show the actual queries searches typed in, that trigger product ads to appear. This report also allows you to see how keywords perform against impressions, clicks and sales.

There are many other reports shows the performance of Shopping campaigns against device, audience and locations.

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