Google Shopping Q&A – Part 1

Last week, I published a blog post “5 Questions About Google Shopping on Quora” which included some interesting questions like “How can Google Shopping drive more traffic and sales?” or “What is the best way to structure Google Shopping campaigns”. This post inspired me to go beyond Quora and check out some other platforms. And guess what? There are a lot of websites with a lot of unanswered questions out there. To stay on top of things I chose three of those platforms: RedditInbound.org and of course the Google Adwords Community. In Part 1 of this Google Shopping Q&A series, I am going to answer some questions posted on Reddit, Quora and the Google AdWords Community.

 

Questions:

  • What are the single most important things to do before jumping into a Google Shopping campaign? How do I fix my budgeting issues with 20k products?
  • How does Google determine what shows in the Google Shopping slots?
  • How do you research your competitors for Google Shopping ads? Are there any tools / processes out there that might help us understand how other people are performing? Should we be using custom GTIN / MPN’s to try and create more relevant ads?
  • Is Google Merchant Center still relevant? Has it actually ever been?
  • How does Google Shopping earn money?
  • Can you run a Google Shopping campaign on an Amazon listing?
  • Is it possible to list FREE products in Google Shopping ads?
  • How is “Google Shopping” different than Amazon or eBay?
  • Does Google Shopping allow used products?
  • What other countries are allowed for Google Shopping?
  • For single product companies, is listing your product on Google Shopping worthwhile?
  • How do you approach Shopping campaigns? Do you have the campaign dump to a specifically created landing page? Or the product page? Do you use remarketing? If so, how quickly do you begin your retargeting? What are the most important things I should be doing?

 

1. What are the single most important things to do before jumping into a Google Shopping campaign? […] How do I fix my budgeting issues this with 20k products?

First, you should analyze which brands and product types deliver the best performance. Also locate brands/product types which are very costly and do not deliver acceptable results. You can dive into this data via the dimension tab -> shopping – > brands or product types. When you are finished with this routine you will free some budgets which can be used for other products. To simplify manual management you should try to group your products together based on performance – like top sellers and cost drivers.

If you know which of your products perform well and which don’t, you can optimize the bids for every product, especially in the top seller segment. If you don’t have the time to set bids for every single product especially if you have many products to handle, you can set bids on different product clusters such as brand-product-type combinations, or you simply use a tool which gives you the opportunity to bid on item id level.

Full question can be found here.

 

2. […] How does Google determine what shows the Google Shopping slots? It doesn’t seem to be connected with bidding on individual products because I can be the number one listing on a shopping product within Shopping and not be in a top 6 search for this same exact product.

Of course, the bid plays a crucial role, but everything that leads to higher CTRs will help the listing, as it is of mutual interest for Google, the advertiser and the user. So as CTR is a major factor of the Quality Score of Text Ads, the predicted CTR most likely also plays a major role for Google Shopping Ads. So consider using Merchant Promotions, Product Reviews, Seller Ratings, Local Inventory Ads, Provide High-Quality Images that stand out compared to your competition, provide competitive prices, free shipping, etc.

Full question can be found here.

 

3. […] How do you research your competitors for Google Shopping ads? Are there any tools / processes out there that might help us understand how other people are performing? Should we be using custom GTIN / MPN’s to try and create more relevant ads?

SEMrush offers a tool for analyzing your competitors. They wrote a blog post about it, which might be interesting for you. You can find it here. 

Using GTIN /MPNs is required for some brands by Google, but it doesn’t change the relevancy of your ad. It’s more like a go/no-go-thing. I would not suggest using faked GTINs, if there is a GTIN for your item, use it. If there is really no GTIN available use the attribute identifier_exists and set it to “false”. If your competitor is cheating with GTINs just send a complaint to Google as it also harms the searcher’s experience.

To create more relevant ads I recommend to improve everything that leads to higher CTRs and a better match between the actual search query and your products. That will help the listing, as it is of mutual interest for Google, the advertiser and the user.So consider using Merchant Promotions, Product Reviews, Seller Ratings, Local Inventory Ads, Provide High-Quality Images that stand out compared to your competition, provide competitive prices, free shipping, etc.

Full question can be found here.

 

4. Is Google Merchant Center still relevant? Has it actually ever been?

Yes, it is! For Google Shopping it is of essential importance. The Google Merchant Center is used to upload the product data feed of your online shop to make it available for Google Shopping. Without it, it’s not possible to use Google Shopping.

Full question can be found here.

 

5. How does Google Shopping earn money?

Google is earning money for every click that is made on Google Shopping Ads placed on Google Search or the Google Shopping Channel. Online retailers (advertisers) have to pay a CPC (cost per click) when users click on their ad.

Full question can be found here.

 

6. Can you run a Google Shopping campaign on an Amazon listing?

No. With Google Shopping you are only able to target web properties of your own (you have to be able to claim the domain). So the only thing you can do is to set up a webstore with your products and run the Google Shopping campaigns for this store.

Full question can be found here.

 

7. Is it possible to list FREE products in Google Shopping ads?

In general, you are not allowed to advertise products with a price of “zero”. So if you would charge at least 1 Cent or 1 Dollar you will be fine. You are also able to advertise for cell phones and tablets with a subsidized price of “zero” for the device but you will have to state in the product title that this offer is only applicable to a service contract.

Full question can be found here.

 

8. How is “Google Shopping” different than Amazon or eBay?

There are many ways to distinguish Google Shopping from Amazon and eBay. I think the biggest difference is that Google Shopping doesn’t sell products itself, it only lists products of online retailers and provides links to their online shop. So it is more of a list and comparison of products and retailers. At Amazon and eBay you sell your products directly via their marketplace, so you don’t need to set up an online shop yourself.

Another comparison is the way they charge you. At Google Shopping you have to Pay per Click (on the ad shown in Google’s search result page) whereas Amazon and eBay charge per sale.

Full question can be found here.

 

9. Does Google Shopping allow used products?

Yes, it does. It’s possible to sell used products with Google Shopping. To do that, you have to set the attribute condition to “used” in the Product Feed. We just recently wrote a blog post about selling custom and used goods on Google Shopping where we explain how such a product feed could look like. If you’re a Google Shopping starter that might be interesting for you.

Full question can be found here.

 

10. What other countries are allowed for Google Shopping for the Google Merchant Center, PLA’s and AdWords?

Google Shopping is available in 23 countries. We created a Google Shopping Compendium which states every single one of them with further information on currency, shipment, taxes etc. It’s a nice overview of where you can use Google Shopping Ads and what must be considered when you start using them.

Full question can be found here. 

 

11. For single product companies, is listing your product on Google Shopping worthwhile?

Especially if you only sell a single product you should be present every time it is possible when a user is actively searching for your product. So you should also use Google Shopping. You can use the feed-upload-via-spreadsheet-functionality and setup your feed in minutes. For a single product, the whole process will take up to a maximum of an hour (from claiming the website over feed submission to setting up the shopping campaign).

Full question can be found here.

 

12. […] How do you approach Shopping campaigns? Do you have the campaign dump to a specifically created landing page? Or the product page? Do you use remarketing? If so, how quickly do you begin your retargeting? What are the most important things I should be doing?

  1. Default Product Pages will do it. But ensure you have the correct price and availability featured on them (“correct” in the meaning of it matches with the information provided by your product feed)
  2. Try to fix your stand-alone shopping performance first before you start remarketing. Even try to look into your conversion tracking, maybe there is some error. If your shopping performance is not that great, remarketing will not yield that incremental value you are expecting. Remarketing is also very dependent on the quality of your remarketing lists. E.g. consider a list of recent buyers, check-out-abandoners or very engaged visitors. Ensure that you are capable of marking these visitors first.
  3. The most important thing will be to work on your product feed. Try to provide the best obtainable data. Also, try to work on your product titles, do they really contain relevant terms users are searching for? After your feed has been taken care of you should try different bids to see how much traffic you are able to get and at which bids you will see performance becoming efficient.

Full question can be found here.

 

Conclusion

Those 12 questions are just the beginning of this Google Shopping Q&A! There are a lot more out there and we are going to answer the most interesting ones for you. If you have any questions yourself, feel free to comment! Also, check out my first related blog post “5 Questions About Google Shopping on Quora” where we covered some interesting topics as well. 🙂