The Ultimate Guide Of Google Shopping Ads For Ecommerce - Bharat Mavens

The Ultimate Guide Of Google Shopping Ads For Ecommerce

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Google shopping ads for ecommerce businesses in most cases are more important than the classic search ads from Google. They offer a visual advantage with multiple ways to customize and personalize that most traditional ads do not.

Google Shopping represents 65% of all ecommerce ad spend on Google Ads. There is no concept of keywords in Google shopping instead they rely on product feed data provided to merchant center

With Google’s core focus on improving the shopping experience for users, now is the best time to jump on the Google shopping bandwagon and grow your ecommerce business. An optimized Google shopping feed on Google has multiple benefits

  • Rank higher than the competition
  • Higher CTR due to priority ad placement
  • Rank on more relevant terms where users are most likely to convert

So, today we cover everything about the Google Shopping Campaign for an e-commerce store of any size

Google shopping ads for ecommerce full guide infographic image

Google Shopping Ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), is a powerful advertising format for any ecommerce business and an ad type offered by Google that allows E-commerce businesses to showcase their products directly in Google’s search results. These ads are highly visual and display key information about the products being advertised, such as the image, price, product name, and store or brand name.

Because of the increased competition and a boatload of features, it’s critical to know the nitty-gritty of the inner workings of Google shopping campaings

What Are Google Shopping Campaigns?

Google shopping ads help reach customers at a time they are actively searching for the products. They showcase your products directly on Google Search results pages (SERPs), allowing potential customers to discover your offerings.

Where Are Google Product Listing Ads Visible?

An image showing footwear ads on Google shopping inventory

Google shopping ads are visible in Google search results page and in the shopping tab of the search results. The first full slide of inventory is occupied by sponsored ads from advertisers running ads for those products/keywords

Why Use Google Shopping Ads For Ecommerce?

Google is building its AI capabilities rapidly, with advancements in immersive shopping experiences for shoppers

  • Intent-driven targeting is the best use for Google Shopping Ads as it meets the buyer at the right place and the right time of the buying journey but for this intent, one must provide right signals to Google with an optimized Google shopping feed
  • Ease of Comparison Shopping for Users is one of the best add-on features compared to Meta ads which is another juggernaut in advertising
  • Local Integration: With features like Local Inventory Ads, Google Ads can drive both online and in-store traffic, offering a unique advantage for businesses with physical locations – something that many digital-only platforms can’t replicate.


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Advantages of Google Shopping Campaigns For Ecommerce

Here are the benefits of Google Shopping Ads for Ecommerce Stores

Benefits of Google shopping ads for ecommerce business


  • Increased Visibility: These ads appear at the top of Google search results or in the Shopping tab, providing high visibility to potential customers actively searching for products.
  • Better Qualified Leads: Since the ads display crucial product information, they attract clicks from users with a higher intent to purchase, leading to better-qualified leads.
  • Performance Tracking: Advertisers can track the performance of their Shopping Ads using Google Ads and Google Analytics to understand clicks, impressions, conversion rates, and more, allowing for data-driven optimizations.
  • Broader Reach: Shopping Ads can appear on Google Search, the Google Shopping tab, Google Images, and even Google partner websites, expanding the reach of your products beyond just the search engine.
  • Competitive Edge: For businesses, especially in highly competitive markets, these ads offer a way to stand out by highlighting product features, promotions, and competitive pricing directly in search results.

What Is A Google Shopping Feed?

It is a detailed list of products that an online retailer wants to advertise through Google Shopping. This feed is uploaded to the Google Merchant Center, a platform that allows businesses to manage how their products appear on Google.

Google shopping feed in a Google sheet example

The feed itself is structured as a file that contains important information about each product, such as its title, price, description, product URL, image URL, and more. This information is used by Google to create and display ads across its Shopping service and other Google services like Search.

The shopping feed converted to a Google shopping ad  for men

Shopping feed has its importance in 3 specific areas

  1. Visibility: By providing Google with detailed and structured product information, retailers can significantly increase their products’ visibility to potential customers actively searching for related items.
  2. Targeting: The detailed information in the feed helps Google match products with relevant search queries, improving the chances that the right customers will see the ads.
  3. Performance Tracking: Retailers can use the data in the Google Merchant Center to analyze how their products are performing, identify trends, and make informed decisions to optimize their ads and improve ROI.

Essentials of Running Shopping Ads

Here are the 5 requisites of running a Google shopping campaign for any ecommerce store

  1. Google Merchant Center
  2. Product feed with an approved list of products without any errors
  3. Connect Google Merchant Center to Google ads

How Do Google Shopping Ads Work?

4 Steps on how Google shopping ads work


Here’s a simplified explanation of how Google Shopping Ads work:

  1. The Power of the Product Feed:
    • You create a detailed list of your products in Google Merchant Center (GMC), including titles, descriptions, images, prices, and more. This list is called your product feed.
  2. Matching Products to Searches:
    • When someone searches on Google, your product feed data is used to see if your products match what they’re looking for.
    • Google’s system analyzes your feed and matches relevant products to the search.
  3. Creating and Displaying Your Ad:
    • If Google finds a match, it creates a Shopping ad using the information from your product feed.
    • This ad shows the product image, title, price, your store name, and other relevant details.
    • Your ad might appear at the top of Google search results or in other Google properties like the Shopping tab.
  4. Ranking Your Ad:
    • Google doesn’t show every ad at the top. It decides which ads are most relevant to the search and other factors like bidding strategies.
    • Relevance is key! The more your product title, description, and attributes match the search, the higher the chances of your ad appearing prominently

How to Structure Google Shopping Campaigns For Ecommerce Brand?

1. Product Segmentation

An image showing segmentation of products during setup of google shopping ads


In a Shopping campaign, the following structures can be used to segment products

Segment by

  • AOV
  • Margins
  • Best-sellers
  • Volume
  • Category
  • Per product

We have found categories to work best when segmenting, but don’t make the mistake of having products with high variance in price grouped into the same campaign. You might lose on one of the categories and never know about it just because the other category in the same ad group is profitable

2. Bid Strategy

Unless you have tons of conversion data and the account has been active for a long, it is best to start with a manual bid strategy with CPC expectations from previous data or Google Keyword Planner Data

The primary goal here is to collect search term data and make decisions on segmenting the campaign into multiple ad groups, excluding bad search terms, and optimizing feed (most importantly)

3. Negative keywords

Google ads negative keywords image

Always add negative keywords in the Google shopping campaign during creation and not just while it’s active and collecting data. Create a negative keyword list of brand names and competitor names and apply to this campaign

Even in negative keywords, you can add as per 3 match types – broad, phrase, and exact. For totally irrelevant terms use broad keywords. Google ads has a sneaky way to show ads even though negative keywords are added, so use correct match types to eliminate all irrelevant keywords

Optimizing Google Shopping Feed

Google Merchant Center Feed


This is the most important and hence kept at last. I have had several unprofitable campaigns take a 180 degree and turn fully profitable just because of constant improvement in shopping feed.

There are some basic parameters that must be filled for Google to serve ads

  • Product ID
  • Title
  • Description
  • Product Category
  • Product Type
  • Link
  • Image Link
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Brand
  • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
  • MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)
  • Condition

Your product title must try to provide most important information about product from brand name to color to product


An example of a optimized title in a shopping ad

What are all the ways to improve Google Merchant Center Feed for Google Shopping Campaigns?

  • Use the search terms data from shopping and search ads to add relevant keywords to title and description of the product
  • Add main search keyword in the beginning of title and in first 100 words of the description
  • Add other attributes related to products like size, color, gender, additional_image_link
  • Product more information using custom_labels
  • Use Google Keyword Planner to rank multiple SKU’s of same category on different search terms increasing the surface area for impressions and purchase

How To Set the Right Targets For the Google Shopping Campaign?

There is no single answer to this as the same product by two very similar companies can have different margins and unit economics and hence targets can vary.

The back-of-napkin math every ecommerce business owner should know – Unit Economics Calculator for E-commerce Brands

Unit economics calculator for ecommerce brands

Gross Margin = Sale Price (without tax) — Cost of Goods — Packaging fees — Shipping fees

Net margin (before marketing costs) = Gross margin — Discounts(%) — Return rate(%)

Now, if you are hiring an agency then the GM and NM should be fully clear for every SKU

To calculate a rough breakeven ROAS target

Breakeven ROAS = 1/(Net Margin (%))

Now for the CAC target

Find the historic AOV of your ads and then

Breakeven CAC = AOV — Net Margin

Google Shopping Ads vs Performance Max Campaign – Which Is Best For Ecommerce?

Comparison between two campaigns Google shopping ads and pERFORMACNE mAX CAMPAIGN


If two same products are running in both Performance Max and Google Shopping then according to Google, Performance Max always gets a higher priority

In accounts with high spends or high historical conversion data, Performance Max tends to perform better as it feeds on data from other campaigns and optimizes to deliver performances

If you have a new account then start with Shopping ads on manual bidding strategy and build up to 25 to 30 conversions in a month, until then the data is not sufficient to switch to Performance max or towards automated bidding strategies

Performance max generally performs when a group of products are advertised than just individuals as there is more data, always consider trying Google shopping ads for a single product over Performance max

Even though in accounts Performance Max campaigns are performing we still run a Google shopping campaign, reason?

If the performance max ads are not served due to automated bidding targets then at least shopping ads are served and you don’t lose out on impression and possible conversion from it

So, a catch-all shopping campaign are a must for all accounts irrespective of whether running a Performance Max campaign

Why Use Google Shopping Ads Over Google Search Ads For Ecommerce?

An example of a shopping ad

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Example of a search ad

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The biggest advantage of shopping ads over search is the former always occupies the top position in the search results page while the search ads are down below

Google Shopping ads have 60% higher CTR than standard text ads, due to two reasons

  • Many specific product attributes
    The inclusion of image, price, title, and offers all in one place with an ability to compare multiple products in one glance side by side is unparalleled in the ads landscape which provides massive value to customers looking for a product
  • Placement of ad
    Google Shopping ads have a higher position compared to search ads so it should be on a high-priority list for e-commerce brands

Shopping ads drive 76% of retail search ad spend, and generate 85% of all clicks on Google Ads or Google Shopping campaigns, which — especially for businesses not on Amazon

Speaking Of Amazon…
85% of all product searches start on Amazon or Google. In other words, more than four out of five people who (probably) want to buy something start looking for that something on one of these two platforms.

In recent years Google has prioritized more advancements in shopping ads than in search ads, from launching Performance max campaigns to AR/VR integrations in shopping. This clearly points to Google seeing clear results on shopping outperforming search ads and delivering better results for physical product brands

How To Scale Google Shopping Campaigns?

Scaling with Google Ads involves increasing your visibility and sales while maintaining a healthy return on investment (ROI).

Here are straightforward, actionable tips:

  • Expand Your Product Range: Add more products to your Shopping feed. More products mean more opportunities to appear in searches.
  • Optimize Your Product Titles and Descriptions: Use search terms data from shopping ads to improve title and description. This helps match your ads with the right searches.
  • Use High-Quality Images: Use clear, high-quality images for your products. Better images attract more clicks. Also add additional images to Google using the additionall_image_link parameter
  • Adjust Bids Based on Performance: Increase bids for products that sell well and lower bids for those that don’t. This helps allocate your budget to more profitable items.
  • Segment best-sellers: Create a dedicated campaign with only best-sellers from shopping ads and allocate higher targets and budget to improve performance
  • Use Negative Keywords: Add negative keywords to filter out unwanted traffic.
  • Segment Your Products: Group similar products together in your campaigns. This allows for more targeted bidding and ad messaging.
  • Monitor Your Competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ pricing and product offerings. Adjust your strategy to stay competitive.
  • Test Different Strategies: Don’t be afraid to test different ad strategies, such as changing your bid strategy or trying different product groupings.


To maximize ROI from Google Shopping Ads, focusing on key strategies such as intelligent bid management, meticulous product segmentation, competitive pricing, judicious use of negative keywords, to drive customers at lower CAC. These elements, when optimized improve ad relevance, enhance user experience, and boost your campaign’s overall performance.

While the ideal ROAS varies by business, understanding your margins and unit economics is critical to setting realistic targets and measuring success. Furthermore, navigating the landscape of Google Shopping Ads versus Performance Max campaigns reveals opportunities to scale your brand

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