How To Run An Effective Google Ads Shopping Strategy

How To Run An Effective Google Ads Shopping Strategy

Our previous two blogs in the series focused on Three Key Drivers For Growth On Google Shopping and Google Shopping Inventory Optimisation Tips.  

In this third and final part of our Google Shopping series, we focus on how to run an effective Google Ads shopping strategy.  Shopping campaigns enable you to showcase your products to customers online.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are taking advantage of shopping opportunities wherever they are, at any time of day and from any device that they have to hand.  To capitalise on this elevated shopping demand across digital devices, we’ll detail how to develop a strategy for your Shopping campaigns in order to establish a successful presence and acquire more potential customers.

Determine Your Objectives

You will need to establish your shopping campaign objectives before getting tactical.  Focus on what you want to achieve from your campaign and develop a plan to achieve the goals you set.  You could consider setting a target cost per sale or lead.  Google Ads offers a conversion tracking tool to help you monitor how many clicks lead to conversions and to determine the profitability of an ad. Once you’ve started tracking conversions, you can start calculating your ROI. The value of each conversion should be greater than the cost of obtaining the conversion.  Your campaigns should be consistent with a well-defined and appropriate shopping ads strategy.  Focusing on your business’s objectives is key to ensure sales growth.

Choose An Appropriate Campaign Subtype

If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to take advantage of Smart Shopping campaigns – a subtype that incorporates standard shopping and display marketing techniques.  Anyone with a Google Merchant Centre feed can create a Smart Shopping campaign which enables you to compress your management, increase your conversion value and reach a wider audience.  It allows for automatically generated ad placement and bidding (perfect for small businesses with little time), and enables the opportunity for easy integration with third party platforms for flawless tracking and marketing.

Create A Bidding Strategy 

Your bids will have an effect on both your visibility and results and you can choose between automated or manual bidding.  Automated bid strategies have many benefits and can help to optimise your ad spend.  It allows you to focus on the overall performance of the campaign rather than how to set the optimal bid for each product group.  This works well if you’re trying to increase the number of visitors to your website or the revenue generated by your business.

When considering your bidding strategy, you’ll need to weigh up your profit margins if you want to maximise sales for a particular product range. Whilst you can assign a bidding strategy to every product, this is time consuming and hard to manage. Instead, you can group items into product ranges.  For example; if you’re selling a range of shoes priced between £30-60, you may decide on one bidding strategy for that specific price range of shoes.  You no longer have to guess how to bid to maximise your performance. The bid strategy will bid for you in every auction by considering how each of your Ads perform in order to help you meet your goal.

If your objective is to increase the number of clicks through to your website, you will need to assign a daily budget and set up an automated bid strategy for your campaign.  By selecting maximise clicks, the strategy will bid for you to get the maximum clicks within your budget. 


The structure of your campaign is key for propelling forward with your objectives.  You will need to consider your goals across your various product categories and ranges and determine how to structure your product inventory to meet these goals.   

You could showcase your most popular products to draw your audience in. Prioritise these items, especially if you’re getting a good return on investment. Make sure all of your products include all of the most important relevant features, such as size, colour and strong brand names.  

Whilst there are various options for the structure of your Ads campaign, you could implement a three priority structure to include generic terms, brand terms and brand plus additional features or attributes.  

For example:


  • Draws in generic search queries – bedroom furniture
  • Could be used to create a negative keyword list for Brand terms against it


  • Triggers for specific brand search queries
  • Creates a negative keyword list for generic search terms against it
  • Create a sizes negative keyword list against it


  • Triggers for brand & size search queries
  • Creates shared negative keyword lists for generic search terms

Differentiate Your Bids

You can add an additional layer to your campaigns to differentiate your bids based on your potential customers to help you achieve your performance or traffic goals.  You could use the Targeting setting to display your products to shoppers in your targeted audience to bid on returning traffic only.  Bear in mind that this will restrict your reach to a much smaller customer group, will require setting up in Google Analytics and will need to be detailed in your privacy policy. 

You could differentiate this by maintaining your current bids for new traffic and creating new ones for returning traffic by utilising the remarketing options for your current campaigns.  The observation setting allows you to make bid adjustments depending on your audience.  You can determine your ads performance for one particular audience and then make adjustments accordingly to either target them exclusively or exclude them altogether. 

Optimise Your Ads

Once your Ads are established and collecting data, you will be able to use competitive metrics including Cost Per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR) to understand the performance, sharpen your bid strategy and adjust accordingly.  If they aren’t keeping up with your set benchmarks, then you may need to add more specific product data to your Ads so that they become more relevant.  You may also need to adjust your bids so that they become more competitive. 

You can monitor your products tab to check for areas that need attention and resolve any issues that have arisen.  Verify that your top products are enabled to show by filtering for the highest clicks or conversions and check the product status.  You could also subdivide your inventory so that product groups match up with top performing Ads and get more conversion for the same Ad cost.  

Your Google Ads shopping strategy is fundamental for success and when implemented correctly it connects your customers to your ecommerce store-front. Keeping your Ads optimised and up to date will entice shoppers to click and spend.

Here at Vertical Plus, we work in a different way to most ecommerce partners by fully utilising online software such as Google Merchant Centre. We work with ambitious businesses to help them grow and our performance based model ensures we will always give 100%.  We specialise in an all inclusive ecommerce package, designed to encourage growth.  We are so confident about our Google Ads strategy and shopping integration that we even contribute ourselves to the campaigns.  If you’d like to find out more about how we can achieve this for your business, then get in touch with our Sales Director Justin Smith.