How Proper Data Feed Helps Your Shopping Campaign

As soon as we type a product name into Google there are around as many as 10 pages that come in little boxes right at the front with different prices that are on different e-Commerce websites. These are shopping campaigns that are great for e-commerce sites. But what exactly goes into creating these shopping campaigns. Let’s have a look:

Google Merchant Center: Everything You Need To Know:

Image Credits: Smarter Ecommerce
Image Credits: Smarter Ecommerce


So, if this isn’t your first shopping campaign then you must be aware of the strict guidelines of Google AdWords shopping campaigns including the daunting task of finding the correct keyword-level bidding at the Google Merchant Center. So what is it actually?

The Merchant Center is where all the magic sauce is present, here the product data feeds live. The data feed consists of the list of all the products that you are selling and it’s just not any list – it has to be in a special format with information about the products (just like a spreadsheet!) Some of the attributes are:

ID – the unique ID that helps to identify your product.

Title – the name of the product -text that shall be shown when your ad goes live.

Description – text describing the product and would be the click-bait.

Product category – Google’s predefined categories that you’ve to choose from.

Product type – defined by you.

Link to the product’s page on your website.

Stocks Update


Sale Price

Note: These ads don’t require any text as they are automatically generated using the data in your feed, unlike Google Text Ads.

Maintaining Shopping Campaigns:

 Image Credits: E-Commerce Nation
Image Credits: E-Commerce Nation


Now it is very crucial to have well-defined product data feed if you’re planning to set up a new shopping campaign and is a procedural task. All the relevant information – like the product information, availability, pricing change needs to be updated correctly because in case of any mismatches, Google will not show any product ads.

Though some organizations prefer to get this done manually instead of any third party services or special software installed on their websites to keep the information updated regularly. Generally Google Spreadsheet shall give you a lot of control, but it isn’t generally advises in case you have more than thousands of products. Keeping the data-feed proper is the secret behind an effective Shopping Campaign and there are few things that need to be kept in mind:

Shopping campaigns generally don’t work on keywords relevance and in order to make your product titles and description has relevant keywords but also look appealing to a potential buyer, since Google uses the same data if your products are relevant to a search query.

Though a lot of people prefer using negative keywords to gain more control over the traffic – but it needs to be done in extreme caution – since any mistakes can lead to the wiping of all the traffic.

If the prices are 100% accurate, then make sure that the international prices are also correct, else Google won’t show any products if this info isn’t accurate.

If the shopping campaign runs in various countries, then you’d need to do a data feed per country. Shopping campaigns in AdWords are country-specific so setting up a new campaign per sales country is advisable.

Product Images: These need to be crisp, clear and high-quality as these are the first-impression builders of your shopping campaigns. Don’t be bothered to get it watermarked or branded, since they are least likely to get suspended.

Eliminate any 404/Dead Pages in the destination links since Google would cancel any products with dead links!

For all the first-timers, consider starting with a small data feed of products for some high-margin products. It really works!

Creating Shopping Campaigns:

Image Credits:
Image Credits:


So now after working on the data feed and linking your AdWords account to your Merchant Center, you need to create Shopping Campaigns. It is pretty simple – you just need to choose a Merchant Center product feed and a sales country. Once the campaign is created, you just need to organize your ad groups, since there are needed for organizational purposes only:

Organizations with a very small product data feed create only just one ad group, while companies with larger product creates split data feeds  by ad groups by brand or category.

Shopping Campaign Bidding:

Image Credits: Marin Software
Image Credits: Marin Software


After organizing your ad groups, it’s time to start bidding on product ads. The feed data automatically generates product ads and you don’t need to write any ads directly.

Shopping Campaigns works on entirely different search campaigns since there are no keywords there. So where exactly to place the bid on? That’s the coolest part, since you can set the bid on the actual products sold by you. So much control in your hands! You can set the bit for individual products, and it is called a ‘Product Group.’

First you need to picture all the stuff that you are selling in as one giant bin – that’s exactly what “All Products” is. Once you set a bid on the product group and provide ads for all the products and get the same bid. Since different products have different profit margins and also different level of competition, you need to set the bids based on these factors:

You can now take your products into smaller groups and set bids on them. If those bins aren’t enough for you then you can even make it smaller and can use the attributes in your product feed to segment the products. This concept is less complicated than the part of setting up a shopping campaign. It might have caught your notice that every time you segment a product group you always end up with “everyday else” group. It’s a catch-all used by Google to automatically take care of those products that don’t fit in the defined bins by you.

Shopping Campaigns: Organizing your product groups right

Image Credits: Outsource PPC Management
Image Credits: Outsource PPC Management


Let’s get through the final steps to get the shopping campaigns done right. A brief hint would be that it all depends on the ROI – the amount you need to spend on an ad for a specific product.

Even if you have a small data feed (i.e less than say, 200 products) it’s best if you get the item ID to set bids on a product by product level. After segmenting by the brand or category, go by the product ID. You can also use your website’s navigation to help you with the first level of segmentation. All the products can get organized in ways, thus reproducing into different product groups.

Similarly, if you have a larger data feed, managing bids by similar products where the profit margins are similar – either by brand, category, product type or through other similarities.

Organizing your business through product groups has ZERO bearing if Google considers the product relevant to a search query and the product groups are strictly used to set bids.

Seperate your “best sellers” into own campaigns or ad groups as the shopping campaign matures – that would help you observe these star products closely.

There you go, you’re all set for running your own ad campaigns. Don’t be afraid to go small first when starting a shopping campaign. Good luck!