If you’ve got an online store and you’re not running any Google Ads or Google Shopping Ads, you’re leaving lots of money on the table and missing out on some huge opportunities.
But just searching ‘how to sell on google shopping’ and connecting your Shopify store to a Google Channel through some simple steps won’t necessarily bring you the best results and the best ROAS for your business. In fact, it might be losing you money because there are some MUST strategies and steps you need to follow to make your Google Shopping ads successful for your online store.
Tip: Don't Use The Google Channel App
I know this one sounds counterproductive. Both Google Ads and Shopify (or any other eCommerce platform you’re using) want you to use this app because it’s easy and the thinking is that if it’s easy for you to turn it on with a press of a button, it will be easy for you to spend money on the Google platform.
From my experience, it’s not worth it. Why? Because the app only allows you to run Google Shopping Smart campaign (not the actual Google Shopping Standard campaign) and there is very little visibility of the results and actual revenue generated.
Using the Google Channel app is easy, that’s for sure, but that’s about where it ends. Once this campaign is set up eCommerce stores aren’t able to change anything, optimise it or actually see if they got any sales from it. The app reports results, but these results are aggregated with everything else Google classifies as a result which could also be just a page view. So in my opinion, using this option is not worth it. I rather put in 15 minutes more into the Google Shopping campaign set up and actually have control of where my money is going and get some real results to grow my business.
Start With The Google Shopping Standard Campaign
The Google Shopping Standard campaign (access via Google Ads Manager) is the way to go. Why? Because it will give you full control not just over the audiences that you’re targeting and lets you optimise your budget around products selling more frequently and it lets you remove keywords from your campaign that are not relevant (more on that below).
On top of that, it also gets on average a 30% higher conversion rate compared to a regular Google Search Campaign.
Inside The Google Shopping Campaigns, There Are Ad Groups And Inside That You’ve Got Product Groups And Then Your Ads
So what is an ad group and how many ads should be implemented per ad group? There are different points of view on how to make the ad group set up most efficiently, but I like to think of an ad group as a part of the campaign that has the same focus. For example, if I have a jewellery store, I’d set up an ad group that would be selling only rings and another ad group that would be selling only bracelets. And the reason for this is because on the ad group level, you’ve got the ability to remove search terms that are not related to your campaign (more on that below).
WARNING: Only the Google Shopping Standard Campaign will let you remove Negative Keywords from your Ad Groups. The Google Shopping Smart Campaign won’t let you do any of this.
Generally, I recommend starting with having one campaign that contains at least one ad group (focussed on a group of products you want to be selling as a first priority) and inside that ad group, I would generally set up one product group. This product group is a selection of those products you want to be selling. Just like with the jewellery store example, my product group would resemble the focus of the ad group and hence if my ad group is focused on rings, the product group would be a selection of rings (all or just some rings) from my store.
Further to the question of how many ads should be implemented per ad group, once you have your ad group and a product group set up, you don’t have to worry about ads for your Google Shopping campaign as those ads are basically images of your products automatically pulled from your product group that gets the feed from your online store.
Continuously Optimise: Remove Negative Keywords From Your Google Shopping Standard Campaign To Achieve Maximum ROAS
So I’ve already mentioned those negative keywords. Let me explain what they are… Let’s say you’re selling handbags. And let’s say that they are quite premium and made out of leather and cost a bit. Removing negative keywords is all about making sure that you’re not paying to be in front of an audience who is not in the market to buy premium leather bags. Once you review your ‘search terms’ list, it will be quite obvious to you which search terms need to be moved to the ‘negative keywords’ list.
The most common example would be search terms such as ‘cheap bags’, ‘ bargain bags’ or even ‘how to make a cake shaped like a leather bag’. When you’re reviewing your search terms inside your Google Shopping Standard campaign just ask yourself if people who search for those terms are likely to buy the products you’re selling. If the answer is ‘no’, then move it to the negative keywords list.
Once you’ve moved those words into the negative keywords list, your Google Shopping campaign won’t be displaying your ads for those search terms so your campaign will be more optimised which means you’ll be likely having a higher click-through rate, higher conversion rate on your website and likely a much better ROAS (return on ad spend).
And what ROAS should you be aiming for? Depending on where you are at with your store, I personally recommend calculating your break-even ROAS (in other words, after you deduct the cost of your product and any other remaining costs from your profit margin, what’s the amount you can afford to pay Google Shopping Ads for each sale you make) and aim at doubling it as the first step.
If you are interested in learning more about Google Shopping campaigns, we’ve got a training video that’s related to exactly this same topic. In this video, Kristen and I share more information on what you need to know and why when it comes to setting up successful Google Shopping Ads.
— Silvia Myers
PS: Comment below if you have any more questions or any thoughts on this. I’d love to help.