Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads

Richard Hill was next up on the podcast and Google Shopping ads was the topic of discussion, Richard who runs his own eCommerce agency has been in the industry for over 20 years and it was great to talk about the old days when Froogle was the place to go, simply uploading your shopping feed and in came a pile of orders for your eCommerce website.

This was due to us probably being the only guys uploading CSV files at that time. But was good to bring back memories of how things worked back in the early 2000s and it actually gave me insights into how difficult and more advanced Google shopping has become with increased levels of competition.

Optimise Your Ads

Often when people create Google shopping ads, they will be pulling data from their shop website that may be using platforms such as Magento or Shopify. Now there are many plugins that each platform have as well as third-party tools that will allow you to export the product data from your site and link it to your Google shopping (I recommend Data Feed Watch).

At this point, you essentially have a mirror of what is on your website such as price, product descriptions, availability etc. Now most people will carry out this process, run their ads for a couple of months and won’t get any results. This is because they haven’t optimised their ads.

For example, you could be selling Nike trainers on your website and the product title might read something like ‘Nike Air Max 97’

But your product descriptions might not include that keyword throughout the text, so you have to make sure that for each product that you have uploaded to your Google feed, the correct keyword optimisation has been done.

Another section you need to look at is your product categories. If your website doesn’t have all of your categories and sub-categories laid out correctly in a clear and concise format that you may find your products appearing in generic Google categories. For example, if you were selling something like wedding rings, your products could find themselves in a category as generic as ‘rings’ You want to make sure that you have sub-categories such as ‘men/woman’ and ‘Gold/silver’ etc so that your products will appear in the correct searches from a user.

Pull Your Feed Often

If you’re running a popular e-commerce store, you may run into the problem of products running out of stock often causing you to serve ads of products that are out of stock. An easy way to manage this is making sure Google pulls through your website feed every night. This will help keep Google and your website in sync as much as possible, another thing you can do is set your Google ads to stop showing once the stock of a product reaches a certain amount.

So if you only have one or two left of a particular product you can tell Google to pull that ad down allowing you to manage to the stock. You will obviously know how busy your store is and should be able to gauge the number that should be set.

Ad Groups Match Your Categories

A common mistake found on novice campaigns is people will have a website with thousands of products, the website will have each of them categorised but they have it all crammed into the one ad group. So for example, you could be selling a brand new iPhone 11 costing £1200 and also sell a refurbished iPhone 6 at £300. Having these in the same ad group, serving the same advertising needless to say, is pretty crazy.

I would suggest having your ad groups mirror your site navigation, while this means there will be a lot of ad groups, it allows for way more control and overall better optimisation for each of your ads.


One of the common mistakes we find when looking at a potential clients ad campaign is there is no tracking set up. So when we ask what kind of ROI they are getting they’ll give us a rough guesstimate. It’s important to work out the exact figures so you can determine if the margins will work for your business.

Get the Fundamentals Right

Before you start spending loads of money on your Google shopping ads make sure you have covered all the fundamentals first of all. What I mean by this is asking yourself a couple of questions first.

  • Is the product your selling in demand? (High search Volume)
  • Are your prices competitive?
  • Is your website User friendly?

A lot of people when setting up an e-commerce store will try and run before they can walk, it’s very important to have a solid foundation so you don’t end up shooting yourself in the foot when you start spending money on your Google shopping ads.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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