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Did you know Google shopping was once known as Froogle? The service was a free platform that displayed product data based on certain search terms. It was not until 2012 that it turned into a paid advertising model that retailers had to pay to be featured across Google & Google Shopping search results.

So, what are Google shopping ads, it is a Google service that allows consumers to search, compare, and shop for products sold by different retailers that paid to advertise their products. Google Shopping is image ads that display retailers’ products and prices.

What do Google Shopping Ads look like?

Google Shopping ads have several formats to appease the consumer such as carousel ads, local inventory ads, showcase ads, and free shopping ads. Whether the consumer is searching on a desktop or mobile device shopping ads will be eligible to show. These shopping formats do not only appear on Google’s search results, but they also appear on the Google Shopping tab, on search partner websites, and on YouTube & Google Display network. Below each ad is explained in detail and where it is more prevalent to show.

Shopping Ad Formats:

    • Carousel Ads: Most common ad format on desktop and mobile devices. Product ads are shown at the top of the page or on the right side on a desktop.
    • Local Inventory Ads: Retailers can opt in to use these types of ads to show the consumer that the product is available for pick up near the consumer. These are shown on both desktop and mobile.
    • Showcase Ads: Highlights products that retailers choose to represent their brand. Showcase ads are more prevalent on mobile devices but occasionally will show on desktop
    • Free Shopping Ads: Google launched free shopping ads that appear only on the Google shopping tab on mobile and desktop.

The above formats can also show additional shopping annotations that are layered into the ad which are subjected to change due to user test. A shopping ad will serve one ad annotation at a time, and are prioritized dynamically based on machine learning, include offer-level and user-level signals:

Additional Shopping Annotations:

    • Local Inventory
    • Automatic price drop tag
    • Product ratings
    • Free Shipping
    • Sale tag
    • Merchant Promotions
    • Return Policy
    • Condition

Foundations of Shopping Ads – Product Feed

Unlike text ads, Shopping ads are dependent on relevant product data that aligns with what consumers are searching for. The product data known as a product feed is the most important part of your Google shopping ads, which is uploaded or connected within Google Merchant Center. The product feed should have daily updates that mirror the product pages to ensure product data is current, accurate, and aligns with the landing page.

Feed Attributes

Within the product feed, there are certain attributes that require such as product id, title, description, link, image link, availability, price, brand, gtin & mpn. These are a few that are important to get started but there are many more attributes to include to enhance a product feed such as, color, size, promotions, custom labels, category, etc. The more attributes that are included in your feed is better as this will help build an efficient account structure.

Custom Label Attributes

Custom labels are an optional attribute that helps enhance your product data by segmenting products. There are 5 different custom label attributes that can be incorporated based on use.  There are many ways to use custom labels such as separating seasons, promotional, selling rates (bestseller, low seller, etc.), margin, holidays, and many more!

Optimizing Feed Attributes

Product data optimization can be made to the feed at any time to enhance the performance.  To set up google shopping ads for success you want to ensure that your product feed is optimized with keywords. It is so important to incorporate keywords into a product feed because shopping ads are not keywords based.

How to Setup Google Shopping Ads?

To set up Google shopping ads you will need to either upload or connect the product feed to Google Merchant Center, from there the feed is dynamically integrated into the Google Ads platform. Once the feed is set up in the Google Ads interface it is time to begin structuring campaigns. Shopping campaign structure varies from each retailer, however, always find the best way to segment products to increase a high share of voice. Google shopping ads’ success will be based on product feed optimization, targeting & bidding, and negative keywords. Important optimizations will be looking at search queries and utilizing these terms to either enhance product titles and descriptions in the feed or negating keywords from the campaign.

To Sum It All Up

Google shopping ads have many advantages for retailers. Shopping ads boost quality leads by featuring product information directly in the ad to help consumers make the decision to buy the product.

If you’d like to discuss shopping ads or speak to a Google shopping feed specialist, reach out to us by filling out a free consultation form!

Allie Salvatore
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