Google is taking on the e-commerce giant Amazon and has changed the way that their Google Shopping Adverts work. Google is opening up the e-commerce market, to help e-retailers target their audiences and to lower the barriers to entry to better compete with Amazon.  It should, however, be pointed out that in fact 35% of shoppers begin their search for products on Google and more than half (52%) of consumers that start their shopping journey on a search engine said they’re likely to click on the Google Shopping Results.


What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is now a free platform (since April 2020) that allows users to search for products, compare prices and features, and make purchases through the Google Shopping tab on their search. Google hopes that removing fees will open up its platforms and encourage a significant number of businesses to want to sell their products on the internet.

Google has steadily expanded Shopping’s reach, and that means more opportunities to reach shoppers. Shopping ads are not only shown in Google’s standard search results anymore. They are also visible on the Shopping tab, on search partner websites, in the price comparison Shopping service and apps, and on YouTube and the Display Network.


What do Google Shopping Adverts look like?

Google will show some shopping ads on its first search tab as per the picture of a search for outdoor furniture. There are quite a few results for this search term, so it shows the results that Google thinks are the most relevant for me.

Google Shopping Ads. Sierra Six Media PPC agency in Essex.

If you click on the “Shopping” tab you will see all the shopping results and now you have filtering options so users can narrow down their search to what they are looking for

Google Shopping Ads. Sierra Six Media PPC agency in Essex.


Paid vs Free Google Shopping

Google offering free shopping listings to any business means that new cash-poor entrepreneurs can begin accessing customers more easily and affordably. It is a good way to get started on Google shopping and to find your way around it. However, there are advantages of course, of paying for adverts through Google Shopping. Google Shopping ads amount to 82% of retail spend in the UK so there are a number of businesses that are seeing the value of using Shopping ads. This is because Google shopping results are shown to the user separately from the normal organic search results and are in effect its own shopping database which you can explore. Shopping results will reflect the closest match to the user’s search terms. Paid ads will now appear at the top and bottom of the page, alongside organic results. These will contain what Google calls “rich product information”, which usually includes the name of the product and its price, your business’ name, and a small photo of the product.


Getting started with Google Shopping

To know what it is you are selling, Google uses your product feed. You need to fill this in with your product ranges and details and submit it to Google (either manually or there are apps available to help you populate the feed if you have a large number of products). You need to register for a Google Merchant Center account for your business and through there you will find instructions, templates, and advice for completing a product feed.  

In order to use Google Shopping paid ads, you also need to have a Google Ads account. Google Ads is where your shopping campaigns can be managed, including setting budgets, managing bids, tracking and analysing results, and making tweaks to optimise your campaigns.

Once you have registered for the two accounts you need to select the campaign and link your Google Ads to your Merchant Center account. Then, select the type of campaign (Shopping) you would like to launch and then continue to create ads as you normally would.

The search giant doesn’t manually create product listings on behalf of retailers. Instead, it uses algorithms to pull data from your website and then uses these in Shopping results.

Your Google Shopping feed is just the data Google uses to display rich information about your products. There are no keywords that you chose (like you do with Google Ads), Google uses algorithms to crawl your feed and the data you provide to present the best results to users. Therefore, it is vital that you provide as much accurate data as possible and that you are optimising the key elements of your feed to ensure you are showing for your preferred search terms.  


Success with Shopping in Google

There is no one size fits all technique for succeeding using Google Shopping ads as each product type, business type, stage of the sales funnel, and other variables will need to be adjusted for each account. But the overriding method to successful Google Ads usage is to create the best, most relevant ads possible through an optimised product feed. You can do this by building a campaign structure that fits your desired level of control while still getting the best from Google. Finally, make use of what Google gives you, use the reporting data to make sensible optimisation and growth decisions.


Google Shopping Experts

This article is an introduction into Google Shopping, there is much more to it including testing, optimising, and reporting that Sierra Six Media can help you with. contact our PPC experts today for help with your Google Shopping campaigns, we can help you target the 52% of search engine users who click on a Google Shopping ad. 


Rachel Downes, Content Creator, Sierra Six Media.