Are you selling products online? If so, you have set up or are in the process of creating Google Shopping Campaigns. Assuming you have both a Google Ads and a Google Merchant Center account, these are the three most critical areas to master so you can elevate your shopping campaigns from perfunctory to proficient.


Person holding credit card preparing to make a purchase via Google Shopping Campaign Ad.


Feed Me

In order to craft a successful Google Shopping Campaign you will first need to properly establish your Google Shopping Feed. When setting up your Feed it is crucial to properly prioritize. The following outline should be used as a hierarchical model:


The following outline shows an example of a hierarchical model in the following order: title, description, GTIN, Google category, and product type.


A good feed setup should be based on this prioritization. Any other columns that may be relevant to your product category should be included as well. Remember, just because Google doesn’t state that the information is mandatory doesn’t mean it isn’t critical to helping your products match to the most relevant SERPs possible.


Data > Bias

When evaluating Google Ads Campaigns or Google Shopping setups it is important to remember to trust the data. If set up properly Google Shopping should easily identify which products customers are most likely to purchase. Therefore, trust your setup, break out the products that are selling or not selling, and bid accordingly.

Account Structure

Be sure that your campaign settings are aligned with your objectives. Objectives may include campaign priority, delivery, ad scheduling, bidding, etc. These are all settings you will want to learn more about and set according to your preferences. Most of these settings relate to how you want to manage your budget throughout the day, however campaign priority provides more nuance in regards to how to structure your bidding based on products and spending efficiencies.  

Negative Keyword Pruning

There are no keywords in Google Shopping, so you will need to become an expert at managing negative keywords. Develop a negative keyword strategy that caters to your specific needs. For example, you may use negative keywords in the typical fashion in order to prevent your ads from showing up in irrelevant searches or you may use negative keywords to direct searches to desired products and groups. Use your discretion, but know that you can accomplish more with these settings than meets the eye.

Ancillary Settings

These additional settings can help you fully optimize your campaigns.

Bid modifiers on audiences: This allows you to bid more or less for certain audiences you want to differentiate from the general search audience (i.e. re-marketing or email lists.)
Device bid modifiers:  Typically, more traffic is becoming mobile based. However it is also important to consider that more conversions are done on desktops.
Automatic price and availability updates: Google Shopping is very strict about feed pricing and availability matching values on landing page. Therefore, if you change the prices on your site often this is critical in keeping your products listed.


Hidden Gems

These are additional tasks you should do to optimize after the campaign has been created. It is important to periodically google your products. Take notice of how they appear in Google Shopping search results as well as the Google Shopping tab. You may notice a handful of things you wouldn’t wouldn’t normally notice without searching as if you were looking to buy.

Notice the competing products from merchants. For example,do they use promotions, free shipping, do they list better attributes for the same products?
Take note of your placement. Are you first, last, or somewhere in-between? Consider if this product is important enough to change your bid to appear higher in the search grouping.
If you are a retailer and not a manufacturer of your product you will want to be cognizant of your product grouping in the search results as well. This is determined by your GTIN. If you are not in your desired grouping this may be a good indicator that a GTIN change or adjustment is needed.

Always research and make sure you understand what google criteria is most important for your products. Are you a retailer? Are you a manufacturer? Are you both? Do you have private-label products? These business considerations will determine how to best optimize your feed so be sure to establish your business type and strategy before attempting to master your product feed. With this information you will be on your way to an advanced Google Shopping feed that’s expertly optimized and ready to sell products like never before.


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Ivan Walker is a Senior Media Manager at Response Mine who specializes in all things PPC. He is passionate about every aspect of Digital Marketing & specializes in Google Shopping & Paid Search Campaigns. When not optimizing to ROAS goals, or increasing ecommerce profits, you will find him mixing records for local musicians, going to his favorite comedy club or attending the next big concert on his ever-growing list.
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