The Complete Guide To Google Shopping in 2024

Close up to female hands holding smartphone using Google Shopping Service

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If your business has physical products to sell but not advertising on Google Shopping yet, you’re missing out on a lot. 

Google searches account for 36% of people’s product discovery, and being listed on Google Shopping can feature your products high at the top of people’s search results.  

As of 2022, Google Shopping ads generate 85.3% of all clicks on Google Ads and Google Shopping campaigns combined. They also drive 76% of search ad spend for the eCommerce industry. This means that they are getting a large number of clicks, and brands are investing huge portions of their ad budgets into this platform.

Here are some more Google Shopping ads performance metrics your business may be missing out on when you compare this with your own metrics:

  • Average click-through-rate (CTR) is 0.86%
  • Average cost per click (CPC) is $0.66
  • Average conversion rate is 1.91%
  • Average ad costs $38.87
  • Average ad budget is $770.41
  • Conversion rates are 30% higher than text ads

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Read on to find out more about how you can make use of Google Shopping for your business in 2024 in this comprehensive guide.

What Is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a Google service and Comparison-Shopping Engine (CSE) that lets consumers search for, compare, and shop for physical products across different retailers.  

Merchants accepted into Google Shopping are generally seen as higher quality and more trustworthy than brands that don’t make it. Having your products listed on the Google Shopping tab is often an immediate trust builder for users.  

From a consumer perspective, Google Shopping helps them easily discover and purchase products from local businesses and other online retailers instead of hopping between a lot of e-commerce websites. It’s like a digital mall where shoppers can enter, search for what they want, then see many different brands and products – all on one screen.

From a business perspective, Google Shopping benefits retailers because when a shopper clicks on a product link, they are sent to the retailer’s site to make the purchase. This helps drive website traffic, leads, and sales.

If you’re a business owner or marketer, you can apply for a Google Shopping account for free. You can then run targeted local inventory ads or run a promotion for your best-sellers. You’re only charged when a potential customer clicks on your products. You can also run paid advertising like traditional Google Ads. 

If you’re accepted into the Google Shopping platform, there’s no fee to list your products.

5 Google Shopping Benefits for Businesses

Not all merchants who apply get accepted, so not every brand or product will be listed in Google Shopping. When you get accepted as a qualified Google Shopping merchant, you get to enjoy these five (5) main benefits:

1. Trust by association

Your brand, products, and services will be seen alongside other big-name brands on the Google Shopping feed, which gives your brand authority. This provides strong social proof that you’re a quality retailer.

2. Better qualified leads

When a user goes to shopping.google.com, you know they have the intention to make a purchase, either at that point or in the very near future. 

Having exposure on Google Shopping often leads to increased sales, simply because the searchers there are already looking to buy, compared to a searcher browsing Google Search who might have several other reasons for searching.

3. Show up multiple times in Google SERPs

Google Shopping allows you to show up multiple times in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) – as a website result, as a text-only pay-per-click (PPC) result, and as a Google Shopping result. This increases your chances of being found by more people searching on Google.

4. Shopper-oriented design

Google Shopping’s shopping tab interface was designed particularly to highlight quality product photos and product descriptions, making it easier for consumers to compare and contrast products. Although it feels similar to the traditional Google Search interface, Google Shopping is optimized for images and quickly highlighting product features, especially when the platform is used on a mobile device.  

Mobile commerce (M-commerce) is fast becoming consumers’ preferred shopping channel, expected to more than double by 2025, and account for 44.2% of retail e-commerce sales in the United States by then.

5. Excellent reporting and metrics

Google has invested in making reporting and metrics easy to track when you run Google Shopping Ads because they ultimately want the businesses accepted into their platform to succeed as users are being exposed to quality businesses and products.

How Does Google Shopping Work For Businesses?

Your shopping campaigns live in Google Shopping ads. This is also where you’ll set your campaign budget, manage your bids, gain insights, and make optimizations based on campaign performance.

The setup and management is a little different from traditional text ads, where you create campaigns, ad groups, and ads that are focused on your selected keywords.

With Google Shopping, it’s Google that determines when your product listing ads show up, considering your feed, your site, and your bids to determine which search queries trigger your ads. Setting up Google Shopping ads is more similar to search engine optimization (SEO). Google constantly modifies its algorithm to make sure that only the most relevant and quality products show up in a search for its users.  

So, your success with Google Shopping means you have to already show up with your best from the outset. It will depend on how you create and optimize your feed, how you bid, and how you monitor your performance. A good thing with Google Shopping is you will be able to see granular performance data, so you will be able to make granular optimizations as well.

How To Add Products To Google Shopping

There are essentially eight (8) steps to adding products to Google Shopping. However, if you have a lot of products, it is recommended that you outsource to a Google Shopping data feed tool

These steps are:

1. Set up a Google Merchant Center account by signing up for one here. Provide the required information about your business, including which country your business is based, your business name, and your website uniform resource locator (URL). 

On the following page, read the Terms & Conditions and check the box marked “Yes, I agree” when and if you agree, then click Continue.

Enter your website URL into the box, then click Save and Finish.

Select one of the four (4) offered methods to verify your website URL, then click Finish.

You’ve now set up your Google Merchant Center account.

2. Optimize your product imagery and listings on your own website first before you market them on Google Shopping, as Google Shopping pulls the featured images from your website.

Google Shopping provides a highly visual experience and will actually deny your campaigns if the images are low-quality. Make sure to abide by Google’s image guidelines right from the start.

High image quality is strongly correlated with high user engagement and clicks.

3. Collect and input your product data feed. Your product feed tells Google all about your products and helps it find and display your products when people search for specific product terms and attributes.  

Website of Google Merchant Center

To set up your product feed, go to your Google Merchant Center account and click on Products > Feeds > blue (+) icon.

Enter your country and language. This will determine which demographics get to see your products.

Name your product feed and select how you’ll input your product information. Use this Google product data specification guide to format your product information.

Check out this guide on how to get your Google Shopping feed approved.

4. Link your Google Ads account by logging into your Google Merchant Center account. In the top right-hand corner, click on the three vertical dots to expand the menu. Then, click on Account Linking. Click Link account to enter your Google Ads customer ID. Once done, they’re linked.

If you don’t have a Google Ads account, you can create one from this same screen.

Why do you have to involve your Google Ads account? It’s how consumers see your products when you create shopping campaigns next. Google Merchant Center only lets Google get your product information. 

5. Create a Google Shopping campaign. From your Google Merchant Center account, click Create Shopping Campaign. Then, insert the campaign name, country of sale, and daily budget. After you click Create, you will be prompted to continue managing your campaign through Google Ads.

Log into your Google Ads account, then open the Campaigns tab on the left-hand side menu, click the blue (+) icon, and choose New Campaign.

Then, choose a campaign goal: Sales, Leads, Website Traffic, Product and Brand Consideration, Brand Awareness, and Reach, App Promotion, or create a campaign without a goal’s guidance. As you hover over each goal box, a further description of what the goal is about appears.

Then, designate the campaign type as Shopping. Ensure that your Google Merchant Account is displayed so that Google Ads knows where to pull your product data from. Then, indicate your country of sale, and choose a campaign subtype.

6. Place bids on your Google Shopping campaign.

Under your Google Shopping settings, select your bidding strategy and set your campaign budget. Bidding is how you pay for people to see, click on, and engage with your ads. Check out Google’s Bid Simulator Tool to see how bid changes might affect your ad performance.

7. Target and schedule your Google Shopping campaign.

This part determines who gets to see your ads and when. You don’t need to change the Network and Devices settings, as well as most other default settings, as these ensure that you’re marketing to the best prospects – those who are actively searching for your product in or near your indicated location.

Make sure you only select locations where you’re located and/or can ship to. Then, set the Start and End dates of your Google Shopping campaign. Your ad will continue to run if you don’t set an end date.

8. Build ad groups.

Ad groups determine what type of ads you’ll run and how you’ll organize bidding for those ads.  

There are two (2) types of ad groups you can run:  Showcase Shopping ads or Product Shopping ads.

Showcase Shopping ads allow you to advertise multiple products as part of a product or lifestyle ad that reflects your brand. You have to choose what set of products to advertise.

Product Shopping ads promote a single product, and you choose only that product you intended to advertise.

Once you’ve selected your ad group, enter your ad group name and set your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-engagement (CPE) bid. CPC bids are for Product Shopping ads, while CPE bids are for Showcase Shopping ads. Engagement occurs when a user expands your Showcase Shopping ad and clicks on or spends at least 10 seconds within the ad.

This now creates a single big ad group for all your products. If you want to further filter your products, you can create separate ad groups for them in different categories.

Finally, click Save to submit your campaign. Sit back, watch how your campaign unfolds, learn from the insights, and keep refining your campaign until you’re satisfied with it.

Google Shopping On Shopify

If you have a Shopify store, Shopify’s Google channel automatically syncs your products and other information about your Shopify store with the Google Merchant Center. To use Shopify’s Google channel, you need to meet these requirements.

Before September 1, 2022, you could update your Google product listings directly from your Shopify admin console. Starting September 1, 2022, though, the Google sales channel was already managed by Google.

Your 2024 With Google Shopping

Hands holding mobile with google screen in coffee shop

If your physical products aren’t being advertised in Google Shopping, consider adding this tool to your overall marketing strategy. It can boost your website traffic and increase your leads and sales from prospects who might not have otherwise found your business outside of Google Shopping.

FAQs

Who can use Google Shopping?

Most businesses may apply for a Google Shopping account. At the very least, they have to have a Google account before they can sign up for the Merchant Center within Google Shopping.  

Before creating a Merchant Center account and setting up your product data, make sure that your business complies with the Merchant Center guidelines here.

Is Google Shopping free?

For users searching for products online, yes. For businesses, it is free to sign up for, and then you have the option of investing in Google Shopping ads. Google Shopping does not charge you for listing your products, only when a prospective buyer clicks on one or several of your products.

How do I get on Google Shopping?

First, you’ll need a Google account. Then apply for a Merchant Center account within the Google Shopping platform.

Jeanette Patindol
Content Writer
Former company
About Author
Jeanette early-retired in mid-2020 from her 23-year academic career as an Economics, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Communications professor to dedicate the rest of her life following her bliss doing what she loves to do most: writing. She has been writing for publications and various clients on multiple platforms since she was 14 years old. Now, she intends to help individuals and businesses across the globe achieve their goals by creating exceptional content that resonates well with their audiences.
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