About DigitalFor business

Google Shopping step-by-step guidance

Today we will discuss an instrument that helps a salesman and customer to easily find each other. A potential buyer can quickly go through offers with the price and select the best option. For an online retailer, it’s an opportunity to show the product and receive more sales. Sometimes for advertisers, it is even cheaper than search paid ads. Read below about Google Shopping peculiarities, who needs it, and how to make a setup.

Google Shopping is a service created to promote online stores. Due to this instrument, users can easily find products and compare prices without visiting the advertisers’ websites. This is an analog of the price comparison that shows a selection of products from different websites at the request of a potential customer.

The service appeared in 2002 and was initially called Froogle. 10 years after it received its current name.

Customers usually want to receive an answer to their requests as quickly as possible. They often google products using smartphones, so it’s not that comfy to open several tabs at once. Meanwhile, new format ads provide the most essential information on the first screen: product photo, name, and price. You can also add the product ranking based on reviews.

The service works according to the following principle:

  • the specialist creates an account in the Google Merchant Center;
  • he connects it to the Google Ads account;
  • uploads product feeds to the Merchant — data for advertisements creation are automatically driven from there;
  • the user sees product ads according to his request.
Google Shopping step-by-step guidance

Product ads are shown to users on the following platforms:

  • Google Shopping;
  • search partners of the systems — if you have enabled this opportunity;
  • Google search results;
  • display ads.

These ads may be displayed simultaneously with common ones. It increases advertising effectiveness as by seeing them at the same:

  • 90% of users open the website;
  • 83% make a purchase;
  • 77% open the page with a product;
  • 75% search for a company name in the search;
  • 73% add a product to the basket.
Google Shopping step-by-step guidance

Who needs shopping campaigns

  1. Retailers from competitive niches with a high cost per click. The customer instantly sees the price of the product and won’t click on the ad if the cost is not acceptable for him. Thus, the company will not pay for junk transfer.
  2. Stores with a wide range of products. Such a promotion type helps to present the product choice more clearly as well as showing multiple options. Two or three of your ads may get into the search at once. This increases the probability that a customer will choose exactly your website to make a purchase.
  3. Some goods primarily interest customers for their low prices. Companies that are selling such products require shopping campaigns. The example of these goods are televisions and specific models of phones, gadgets of well-known brands.
  4. Online stores that have a constant price changing, and its manual update require lots of time. Or, for example, companies that don’t have a PPC specialist who would be able to regularly adjust campaigns.

However, there are also some nuances. Several products usually require a thoughtful decision. For example, clothes, shoes, cosmetics. If a person is not looking for a specific model, then the price doesn’t matter that much for him. The compelling look, color, etc. are more important here. The same thing if a company sells complex products with many characteristics. A more detailed “acquaintance” with the products and specialist advice is required in such a case.

Want to know precisely whether shopping campaigns are right for you? Test them, and discover the result using end-to-end analytics that will show the cost recovery of ads, as well as call tracking that will track calls for each campaign. It is especially convenient when these two tools are included in one service right, as is the case with Ringostat.

End-to-end analytics allows you to automatically drive data from Facebook/Instagram and Google Ads ad accounts. You can also manually import the costs of organic, banner advertising, etc. This allows you to estimate the cost recovery of ads that are placed on almost any system.

🎯 Learn how to set up ads that will bring the maximum number of customers

Get Ringostat data on call sources and leads to optimize your ads

Specificities and advantages

PPC Specialist Eugene Glazyrin, comments on the advantages of such a format.

  1. Shopping ads don’t irritate potential customers yet — they are more remarkable besides other ads.
  2. Not all online stores were ready to quickly start this format, that’s why now it is still possible to be in the top due to the low competition. 
  3. Customers prefer shopping ads as it is a more comfy way to buy and requires minimum actions.
  4. You can easily compete with others if the price in your store is lower. Meanwhile, the cost per click might be less compared to the search ads.

How to set up ads in Google Shopping

Verification of the website conformity to the requirements

Your website initially has to comply with Google requirements. Otherwise, ads won’t pass the moderation. There are 9 rules in this list. You can find all of them via this link. Here are the most common ones:

  • website on HTTPS;
  • products don’t have to be forged and contradict Google policy;
  • transparent conditions of sales;
  • chart with an opportunity to pay for a product online;
  • description of the product exchange and return with conditions and terms;
  • contacts section.

It is possible to promote only the products that are available on the website.

Account creation in the Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center is an instrument that allows publishing information about your products and stores on Google services. 

You need to create an account before starting working with product ads.

1. Go to Google Merchant Center.

Google Merchant Center interface example

2. Select the country and store name, the time zone will appear automatically depending on your country’s choice.3. Then you will have to choose “Set up Shopping ads”. There is also an opportunity to select “Set up surfaces across Google”. This last one lets you: 

  • deliver rich product information on Google Search and other Google services;
  • reach customers when they’re searching for your products;
  • drive traffic to your website for order fulfillment.Pending tasks example

4. The next step is your website connection. You need to mention the URL to your site, link to the Google ads account, product data, shipping, and tax. All the hints are mentioned on the right.

Example of the Shopping ads interface

Feed creation

A feed is a table/spreadsheet that contains data on products. There are different ways to configure it, so we will better explain the required parameters:

  • format — XML;
  • permanent access by the link, for example, http://example.com/google_price/GOOGLE.XML;
  • everyday, at least every week feed creation from the website database in a similar file — thus, the feed will be updated.
Data example from the feed

Data example from the feed

Attributes that constitute the basis of a future ad can be driven to the feed. For example:

  • id — your product’s unique identifier;
  • title — your product’s name, brand — a type of product — attributes;
  • description — your product’s description;
  • link — page URL;
  • image_link — link to the image;
  • condition — new, refurbished, used;
  • availability — preorder, in stock, out of stock;
  • availability_date — the date a pre-ordered product becomes available for delivery;
  • price — the price has to be in currency actual for the region of display;
  • sale_price — your product’s sale price if it exists;
  • product_type — a type of the product depending on the website structure, for example, Interior Items → Hangers → Wall Hooks;
  • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) or MPN — Manufacturer Part Number;
  • brand — your product brand;
  • identifier_exists — for products that were ordered;
  • adult — products for 18+ audiences.

Part of these attributes are compulsory for feed creation, others are optional. You can find the full list with descriptions in Google support.

After the feed creation, it has to be connected with Google Merchant Center in one of four ways. Choose the following way if you want it to be updated regularly:

Options of feed connection with Google Merchant Center

Feeds can be on moderation for up to three days. After that, you’ll be able to see in Google Merchant Center, how many products are active, refused, etc.

Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts’ linking

The first step you need to do is go to the Merchant Center, click on the tool icon, and select Linked accounts in the Settings column.

You can link several Google Ads accounts to a single Merchant Center account, as well as one Google Ads account to multiple Merchant Center accounts.  

First step of Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts’ linking

Click on the Link in the opened window. Thus, you will send a request to Google Ads from the Merchant Center.

Second step of Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts’ linking

After that, all you have to do is to confirm the request from the Merchant Center. Open your Google Ads account — Setup — Linked accounts — Google Merchant Center — Details. There you will find the account you want to link. Simply click Approve, and that’s it — now you can create a Shopping campaign and advertise your products.

Third step of Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts’ linking

You can also read the article in Google Ads Help for more information about accounts linking.


  1. Google Shopping is a tool that helps retailers reaching more customers. A potential customer instantly sees offers from different stores with a price and photo. This simplifies the selection process and represents the product.
  2. Shopping campaigns are mostly suitable for a wide range of retailers, sellers of equipment and gadgets, stores from competitive niches.
  3. There are several steps to launch product ads: preparing a website to meet Google’s requirements, creating an account in Google Merchant Center and linking it with Google Ads, creating a feed, and campaign settings themselves
  4. Preparing the feed takes time, but after that, the data in the ad is automatically updated. Customers see only relevant prices and availability, and this increases customers’ loyalty.
About author

A full-time marketer with 3 years of experience in the B2B sphere. Started my path in marketing as a translator and content creator. Tried myself in social media outreach and email campaigns. I also worked with niche marketing (real estate) and partnership program (affiliate).