What is Google Shopping and How Does it Work?

Google Shopping is powered by two platforms: AdWords and Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is where your product feed lives. We’ll get into the details of your feed momentarily, but in a nutshell, it’s the details of your products organized in a format Google likes. AdWords is where your actual shopping campaigns live and where you’ll set your budget, manage your bids, gain insights, and make optimizations based on performance.

The setup and management of Google Shopping ads is quite a bit different from setting up traditional text ads. With text ads, you’re creating campaigns, ad groups and ads that are focused around keywords that you choose. With Google Shopping, Google determines when your product listing ads show up. They consider your feed, your site, and your bids to determine what search queries trigger your ads. Because of this, setting up shopping ads has some strong similarities to SEO.

Success with Google Shopping boils down to three main areas for the most part:

  • Feed creation and optimization - Or, as we like to call it, feed mastery. This covers a lot of ground including your product data, product images, and price.
  • Bidding - There are several ways to bid successfully. We’ll show you our favorite ways to bid in this guide. Bidding can be complex. We’ve seen shifts in bidding strategies double the return on ad spend for different campaigns.
  • Monitoring and Optimization - One of the great benefits of Google Shopping is the ability to see granular performance data and to make granular optimizations. Proper monitoring and optimization can take a good campaign and make it great.
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