How to use and set up Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads Blog by Vivacity Marketing
How to use and set up Google Shopping Ads
How to use and set up Google Shopping Ads Article

Table of Contents

So life as we know it has changed, due to COVID-19. The luxury of being able to walk into a store to buy clothes or go to a beauty salon for a facial, may seem like a distant memory.

But this presents a huge opportunity for ecommerce/online stores which I will discuss in this blog. And I will share why you should consider Google Shopping Ads and how to set them up for your products.


Did you know that over 87% of shopping journeys start online? If you are not leveraging this data, segmented geographically, to predict demand and inform stock re-allocation then you are missing a trick!” Smart Company


The Interactive Advertising Bureau says that one in four media buyers and brands have paused all advertising for the first half of 2020. But on the flip side, this means that there’s a lot less competition in the market, and a lot fewer ads in the digital advertising space.


What products are consumers buying online at the moment?

The types of products that people are buying online besides medical equipment and stockpiling toilet paper are:

  • Beauty products
  • Self care focused products
  • Exercise equipment
  • Home office equipment
  • Homewares
  • Clothes
  • Activewear
  • Underwear
  • Books
  • Toys and board games

So if you are a business that sells any of the above products online, I’d suggest you take advantage of Google Shopping Ads. Let me explain a bit more about what Google Shopping Ads are.


What are Google Shopping Ads?


Google Shopping is a Google service that allows consumers to search for, compare, and shop for physical products across different retailers who have paid to advertise their products. This is also known as a Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE). Google Shopping results show up as thumbnail images that display each product’s retailer and price.” Hubspot


If you are an online retailer and have an online store, you can use Google Shopping campaigns to:

  • Promote the products in your online store
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • And get more qualified leads into your business.


Let me give you an example. So while living this Iso-life I have been looking for skincare products online. Here’s what the search results look like when I searched for chemical peels at home:

Google Shopping Ads Example


As you can see from the image above the following information gets displayed in the Google Shopping Ads results:


  • A high quality product image
  • A short description
  • The price
  • The brand name
  • And in some cases the Google Reviews associated with that product


You can also click on the arrows on the right to expand and see more options and sort by price etc.

It’s a great way to compare pricing in the market, see what each brand is offering and really compare your options all in one place.

So it’s a great opportunity for your brand to be taken into consideration.

Here’s another example of teeth whitening kits that you can use at home, which I was also looking for last week:

Google Shopping Ads Example


In this image you can see down the left hand side you can refine your search by:

  • Price range
  • Condition
  • And if you click on any of the images on the right, you will then be taken to the retailers online store where you can find more information about each product.

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Why should you use Google Shopping Ads for your online store?

As outlined earlier these types of ads will drive traffic to your website, and drive sales into your online store. They will also build your brand awareness in your specific product category. But as well as this, these ads:

  • Are visual, so they stand out from the text heavy search results that you normally find in Google for service based products for example.
  • Shopping ads allow you to show up multiple times in the Google search results, you can show up as a website results, paid text ad and a shopping ad. This means you have multiple ways of being found.
  • And Google Shopping is proven to have a 30% higher conversion rate than a text based ad.

You can see how impactful these types of ads can be for your online store so next let’s look at what you need to do to set up these types of ads.


Getting started with Google Shopping Ads

Ok so now that we know why these types of ads are great for business, let’s look at the steps involved in setting them up.

There are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet to be able to set up a Shopping campaign and create Google Shopping ads.

You’ll need to set up accounts with Google Merchant Center and Google AdWords, and link them together.


You will need a Google Account like Gmail before you get started

You’ll need a Google Account (like Gmail) to sign up for Merchant Centre. If you don’t have a Google account:

  • go to
  • and click Create account.

Then when you’re ready, go to and sign in with your Google Account to get started.

1 . Set up your Google Merchant Account

Google Merchant Center


You will need to set up a Google Merchant Account to add your products to Google Shopping. Which you can do here.

Use these specification to format your product information for Shopping ads.

Submitting your product data to Google in the right format is important for creating successful ads for your products. Google Merchant Centre is easy to navigate and simple to set up just follow the steps and the prompts provided.

All of your products are housed here.

How many products should you upload?

If you are doing the merchant feed yourself, I’d suggest that you aim for your Top 10 best sellers to start off with. Then  you can gauge which ads people are responding to.

Image specifications for products

The images that are pulled through from your online retail store to the Google Merchant centre need to be high resolution high quality ads.

From the examples I gave you earlier, professional product shots are a must, as this is what will catch the eye of the person searching for solutions on Google.

The image needs to meet these size requirements:


  • For apparel products, images must be at least 250 x 250 pixels and cannot be larger than 64 megapixels.
  • For all other products, images must be at least 100 x 100 pixels and cannot be larger than 64 megapixels.
  • Images can’t be larger than 16MB in file size.


It’s always a good idea to invest in a professional product photographer so that you display your products in the best way possible, and this will increase you chances of browsers clicking on your products.


2 . Set up your Google Ads Account

Google Ads Account

If you don’t already have one you will need to set up your Google Ads Account. You can follow the instructions on how to do this here.

You will use the same Gmail address and account to set up you ads account and merchant centre.


3 . Next you need to link your Merchant Centre to your Google Ads Account

Once you have followed step 1 and 2 above the next step is the link the two accounts.

Google’s help centre has a load of useful resources to help you do this.

You can follow the step by step instructions for linking your accounts here.

Ok now you are ready to build your first campaign!


Creating your Google Shopping Campaign in Google Ads

Once your Google AdWords account is linked, you’ll be able to create a Google Shopping campaign and advertise your products. There are a couple different ways to get started:

  • Via Google Merchant Centre account. After you link your Google AdWords account via the Account linking page, you should be able to access it from the same place. From there, you can simply click Create Shopping Campaign.
  • Or via Google Ads which I will talk you through now.


How to create a shopping campaign via Google Ads account

Google Shopping Campaign

Follow these step by step instructions and if you get stuck check out the Google Support Centre here:

  • Log into your Google Ads Account.
  • In the page menu along the left, click Campaigns.
  • Click the blue + plus button, then click New campaign.
  • For “Campaign type”, select Shopping and click Next.
  • Choose your advertising preferences:
    • Campaign name. Enter a name for the campaign. You’ll use this name to find the campaign later. You can change the name after the campaign has been created.
    • Merchant. Select the Merchant Centre account that has the products that you want to advertise. If you don’t see any accounts here, you’ll check that you have linked your Merchant Centre and Google Ads account first. You can’t change the merchant after you’ve created the campaign. Learn how to Link Merchant Centre and Google Ads here.
    • Country of sale. Select the country where your products will be sold and delivered to. Ads will only be shown to people from the country that you select. To advertise, you’ll need to make sure that product data in the selected Merchant Centre account is available for the country you select. If no product data is available, there won’t be any products to advertise in the campaign until you add them. You can’t change the country of sale after you’ve created the campaign.
    • Inventory filter. You only need to adjust this setting if you want to limit the number of products used in your campaign. To do so, choose the criteria a product must meet in order to be advertised. Only products that match all the requirements you select will be added to your campaign. You can change this setting after the campaign has been created.
    • Bidding. Select which type of bidding to use in your campaign. First, select your bid strategy. Manual CPC (cost-per-click) means you set your own maximum CPC for your ads. With “Maximize clicks”, Google Ads automatically sets your bids to get as many clicks as possible within your budget. You can set a Maximum CPC bid limit to cap your spend on each ad.
    • Daily budget. Select how much you’re willing to spend on this campaign.
    • Campaign priority. You only need to adjust this setting if you’re advertising the same product in multiple campaigns for the same country of sale. Campaign priority determines which campaign’s budget will be used when products overlap in your campaigns.
    • Networks. By default, Shopping campaigns show ads in a few places: The default setting can help you drive traffic to your products and increase conversions. If you want to limit where your ads can appear, deselect the box for any networks that you want to exclude.
    • Devices. By default, ads can appear on any device, including computers and mobile devices.
    • Locations. You can use this setting to limit where your ads show to specific locations. You can change this setting after the campaign has been created.
    • Local inventory ads. You only need to adjust this setting if you want your Shopping campaign to include products sold in a physical local store. To advertise local products, you’ll need to submit local product data in Merchant Centre. Then, select the box for “Enable ads for products sold in local stores”.
  • Click Save and continue.
  • Next, choose what kind of ad group you want to create:
    • Product Shopping ad (recommended if you’re new to Shopping). These are individual product ads. These are created automatically using the information from your Merchant Centre account. If you want to create this type of ad, continue to the next step.
    • Showcase Shopping ad. These are several related products that group together in a single ad. The process for creating these requires some additional steps.
  • Create your first ad group by entering a few pieces of information.
    • Ad group name. Enter a name for the ad group. You’ll use this name to find the ad group later. You can change the name after the campaign has been created.
    • Bid. Enter the bid for the ad group. Once you create the ad group, this bid will be applied to the first product group in the ad group: “All products”. You can change the bid on the product group after the campaign has been created.
  • Click Save.
  • Once you click Save, your campaign is submitted!
  • You’ll be taken to the product groups page, where you’ll see one product group “All products” that contains all products in the campaign.

So there you have it, the steps to follow to set up your first Google Shopping Campaign.

Download your Google Ads Shopping Guide here

If you want to print off a copy of these instructions you can download a pdf version here. Enter you name and email address via the link and you will be email this blog in an easy to print off guide, so you can follow it the first time you set up a Google Shopping Ad.

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About Me

Vanessa Geraghty founded Vivacity Marketing in July 2017, and is a marketing strategist, marketing consultant and marketing coach. She is also a judge in the Inside Small Business Top 50 Small Business Leaders award.

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