Benefits of Google Shopping Ads and How to Optimize Performance

Benefits of Google Shopping Ads and How to Optimize Performance

Google Shopping ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLA), are the ads that appear above organic search in google in the share of a tile with product image, price, and store. PLAs were launched in 2010 and have been growing in popularity ever since becoming an important part of many leading brands’ strategies.

These ads are great for eCommerce optimisation because they stand out in search results, and show well on mobile and in image searches. They serve as a useful layer of your marketing strategy driving awareness and credibility. You still pay per click and manage them through your AdWords dashboard like the rest of your PPC ads, but their other attributes are distinctly different.

They are much easier to manage because you don’t have to worry about keywords. Google uses your product data feed to display your ads in relevant searches. You still have control by manipulating attributes like title, category, and description. Let’s take a look how Google Shopping ads can benefit your eCommerce operation.

Benefits of Google Shopping Ads

Stand Out

Google Shopping ads appear on top of search results and meet shoppers that are have done most of their research with highly targeted and clear product offering. PLA ads stand out with their simplicity, informative clear message, and visual appeal.

Grab Attention

PLAs are the only ads in the search results boasting a photo, which immediately grabs the attention of the shoppers. Visual appeal is key in Google Shopping optimisation, it attracts buyers and makes them more likely to click and land on a product page.

Better Quality Leads

People who search for products on Google have already done some research and are close to making a decision. When they see a relevant product ad, they are more likely to follow the link to find out more about the product and make a purchase.

Higher Conversion Rates

Google Shopping ads have proven to have much higher conversion rates compared to text-only ads. On average conversion rates are 26% higher and also your cost-per-click is reduced by about 23%. This leads to more relevant traffic to your eStore at better CPC and ultimately boost your ROI.

Easier to Manage

PLAs are much simpler to manage on the back end easing your workflow. There are no keywords and Google uses your product data feed to match your products so searches. You can manipulate product data feed to optimize your ads with your product title, category, and descriptions.

Broader Reach

With Google Shopping ads multiple products can appear with a single query boosting exposure for your product line. That helps you raise awareness of new and related products.

Bids Benchmarking

Google also offers User Benchmarks so you can better place your bids by measuring against how industry rivals are bidding.

How to Optimize Performance

Use Quality Images

Photos are key in standing out among competitors and grabbing the attention of shoppers. Take good photos, using the appropriate background, lighting, and retouching to optimize conversions.

Add Ratings & Reviews

Rating and reviews can come from your website or from 3rd party sites. You have to have at least 3 reviews for a single product and a minimum of 50 for all your products in order to qualify. Once you meet these criteria you can contact Google to activate the feature.

Employ SEO Practices

Optimize your product data feed using best SEO practices to stand better chances of relevant listing. Improve your titles and descriptions, employing relevant descriptive terms that help Google link your products to searches.

Focus Your Campaign on Top Products

Stay on top of your analytics and use the data to target your listing ads to your best-performing products to boost conversion. Your top sellers can boost your traction and help you raise awareness for related products. By adjusting your ad groups and bids accordingly you will also improve your CPC.

Always Improve

It is important to keep optimizing and updating your data feed and send it to Google daily so the most current product information can take effect the next day. eCommerce optimisation includes diligent updates of all aspect of your PPC campaigns.

Store Size

The more products you have in your feed the more likely it is for Google to display them in their shopping ads. You should list as many products as possible and update your feed daily for better chances of listing.

Use Negative Keywords

Use negative keywords so you don’t appear in irrelevant searches. If you are selling men watches you can list as negative keywords, ‘women watch’ or ‘women accessory’.

Automate Extensions

You can add automated extensions to your feed so your ads can offer extra information like deals or discounts.

Use Your UPC Numbers

Your UPC number, also known as GTIN, helps Google understand what your product is and display it in relevant searches so make sure to include it when possible.


PLAs are becoming an important part of eCommerce optimisation and the marketing strategy of serious brands and marketers. Google shopping optimisation adds another touch point along your buyer’s journey that raises awareness and nurtures qualified leads to make a final decision and choose your product. The ads’ performance depends on your diligent effort to make them stand out and can boost your conversions and ultimately your ROI.


Rich Leese is a Google Certified junior PPC manager working on a wide range of our client accounts to help optimise and maintain great performance. Besides a love of marketing he is also into home brewing beer!


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