Learn Google Shopping
There are plenty of resources you can use to learn Google Shopping. Google has an extensive Shopping Help Center, in fact, it is where we go to learn Google Shopping’s new and advanced features. However, the Help Center is more technical and designed for the experienced AdWords user. This document will assume that you want to learn Google Shopping and have little prior knowledge of Shopping Ads. If you are an experienced AdWords user with some Shopping experience, you should find this helpful too.
Learn Google Shopping From a User’s Perspective
This is quite easy to explain. People use Google to search on their desktop and mobile devices to search every day. When they search for a product Google will then serve them an ad that has an image of the product, the name of the product and its price and availability. To learn Google Shopping from a user’s perspective is really quite easy: they search, they click and they buy.
Learn Google Shopping from a New Advertiser’s Perspective
Google Shopping Ads are the same thing as product listing ads (PLAs). There is no difference between the two, they have the same meaning but the name PLA does make it absolutely clear that you are advertising your product listings. This is still true for Google Shopping Ads, the ads come from a retailer’s product listings. Before you can run a Google Shopping campaign, you need to get your products into Google.
How to Get Products into Google?
To get your products into Google you need to set up a Google Merchant Center account. Once you have set up your Merchant Center account you will need to claim your website. The process of claiming a website is there to prove that you have the authority to advertise a particular website. The last step is to get your products into the Merchant Center so that they are accurate and kept up-to-date.
How to Start Google Shopping Ads
This part happens in AdWords after you have set up your Merchant Center account and linked it to your AdWords account. You create a Shopping campaign in AdWords, select the Merchant Center account ID, select the bid strategy and finally create the ad groups and product groups.
Understanding the relationship between AdWords and Google Merchant Center is the first step
- Merchant Center is where you list your products
- AdWords is where you set up and manage your Shopping Ads
Shopping ads allow users to see the product image and price before clicking on an ad. These Shopping Ads pre-qualifies buyers before they click the ad, giving the advertiser a better Return on Investment (ROI).
See the Google Shopping Explainer Video by Google.
Google Merchant Center is where you load your product data so Google can display your Google Shopping Ads. You cannot run a Google Shopping campaign without a Google Merchant Center account linked to your AdWords account.
Once you have set up your Google Merchant Center account, validated and verified your website, uploaded your product data with all the required product attributes and shipping information, you are now ready to set up and manage your Google Shopping campaign in AdWords.
If you plan to run a Google Shopping campaign in AdWords taking the exam is a good idea. It will give you a good understanding of how Google Shopping works and give you exposure to the many advanced settings and techniques. Be warned, this is not like AdWords fundamentals. The Google Shopping exam is not for a novice or the faint hearted. It will take 90 minutes and it requires some web development and Adwords knowledge.
There is also an Academy Ads online course available for Google Partners.
Here are some study notes from that course.