How You Can be a Pro

Google rolled out Shopping campaigns in February, 2014. These campaigns were introduced slowly, but eventually replaced Product Listing Ads all together. They make creating PLAs more intuitive and transparent and also streamlined the product information process. However, for those online marketers who are used to search campaigns with keyword-level bidding, Google Shopping can be a bit daunting.

Whether you are looking for a way to beef up your existing Shopping Campaigns, you’re new to the Google Shopping world or just need some quick tips; you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Google Shopping101!

Tip # 1: Optimize Your Product Feed

Optimizing the product feed is by far the most important component of Shopping Campaigns. The product data feed is a list (automatic or manual) of all the products you sell.

Google requires a specific format with special attributes that are used to describe your products. Without correct product identifiers, Google will disapprove your products and they will not be listed in Google Shopping. Make sure to read through this entire document when setting up your feed.

google shopping screen shot

Once you’ve set up your product feed, you are ready to optimize for Shopping Ads. Remember, you don’t manually write text ads like you would in search campaigns, shopping ads are automatically generated based off the data in your product feed.
Product Feed Titles– (less than 70 characters) Google seems to identify terms in the title as more relevant depending on how far to the left they are. Thus, keywords at the beginning of a product title are given more weight than towards the end. So, when you are rewriting your product titles in your feed, make sure to list the most important product descriptors first. A good general rule of thumb is “Brand, Gender, Product, Color, Size.” However, the order of information in your product titles will (and should) vary based on your products, your brand recognition and what shoppers are searching for.

Product Feed Descriptions– (500 to 1000 characters) Product descriptions are very similar to titles in that you should format them using the left to right order of importance. Remember, most shoppers are still in the research phase, so catchy hooks and robust incentives are nice, but not necessary. Make sure to include more concrete search modifiers. For instance, if you were selling DSLR cameras you’d want to include all of its specs: sensor size, resolution, flash type, weight, zoom/lens, etc. Then at the end if you want to be more salesy and descriptive, you can be.

Tip # 2: Optimize Campaign Structure

Unique to Shopping Campaigns is “product groups.” Product groups function similarly to search AdGroups, but they are separated out by product attributes, rather than shopping via There are 10 ways to add the first “layer” of product groups from the feed:

  1. category (Google Product Category)
  2. Item ID
  3. Product Type
  4. Brand
  5. Condition
  6. Custom Label 0
  7. Custom Label 1
  8. Custom Label 2
  9. Custom Label 3
  10. Custom Label 4

Make sure to divide your products accordingly, this will give you specific insight into each product group and you will be able to be more agile with you campaign.

Tip # 3: Utilize Shopping Campaign Tools

With Google Shopping came many tools that help advertisers leverage their campaigns. By utilizing these tools you will be better able to control your spend and target the specific audience best for your products.

Geo Targeting: This feature allows advertisers to increase or decrease bids based off of location performance data. Utilize this tool and modify your traffic based on location. This is very helpful to ensure you aren’t wasting any spend on unnecessary locations. Make sure you do your research so that you aren’t advertising to a location that isn’t buying.

Device Bidding: With more and more mobile shoppers, this feature allows advertisers to utilize mobile traffic correctly and accurately. Pay attention to conversion rates from mobile versus desktop and adjust bidding accordingly.

Time Of Day Bidding: Google has a custom Ad Schedule that allows online advertisers to adjust the time when products appear on search. Advertisers who understand their audiences buying behavior can then modify their bids based on the time of the day or week when the campaign will preform the best.

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