Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping is one of the most important ad formats that retailers can use as part of their online marketing strategy.  So what are Google Shopping ads?  If you do a search for a specific product, shopping ads will appear on the right-hand side of the search page.  They display an image, a price, and description that when clicked on will take the customer to the product page on the retailers’ website.

In the image to the right, the shopping ads will show on the right-hand side, highlighted in the green area.  The area in the red is where search ads will show and the area in the orange is organic search results.  If you’re a retailer, the green ads are very important to your online marketing strategy.

In addition, Google in Canada now shows “Shopping” as a search category, similar to “News” or “Images”.  Clicking on this allows people searching to view products that retailers are advertising through shopping ads.

 Google Shopping Listings

The Google Shopping listings page is not unlike how Amazon or eBay is structured however they only display merchant products that are being advertised.  The advertiser only pays when the person clicks on the shop button.

As you can see by the two examples below, the person can sort by the retailer name but also when viewing the product see which retailers sell that product.  They can compare pricing, shipping, and other decision influencing factors such as reviews, all within the one screen.

 Google Shopping Product Feed

The Product Feed is usually where retailers start to get confused or overwhelmed when trying to set up a Google Shopping campaign, and this is where Factor One, a certified Google Partner helps.

The product feed typically comes from your e-commerce shopping cart platform.  It needs to generate a feed that is sent to a Google Merchant Centre account.  The feed needs to contain the product name, image, description, pricing, sale information, shipping and other important details.  Every product must be approved by Google before it can be used for shopping ads.  The issue that typically arises where items are disapproved or if there are too many items that have violations an account can be suspended.

Having worked with many shopping campaigns and accounts we know what the pitfalls are and how to help you overcome them.  Our services include helping you manage the product feed and optimizing the information to help you compete and sell your products online through the Google Shopping format.



Each product you sell must have a unique value for each product.  If your product has invalid characters in the code it will be disapproved.

Each product must also have the GTIN code in the feed which is typically the UPC or Barcode.  Without it, your item will not be approved.


Image and quality are of utmost importance.  Images must be at least 250 x 250 in size, can’t include watermarks or promotional text and must have a unique URL for each image that can be crawled by the Googlebot.  Products that don’t meet the quality standard are automatically disapproved.


You must be able to show the availability of your products stock as either “in stock” “out of stock” or “preorder”

In order to participate in local inventory ads where your in-store stock availability is shown your stock has to match what you have in your store and should be updated several times per day to maintain accuracy.


Each product you sell needs to be mapped to the Google Product Category and can only be linked to one category.  Products that aren’t mapped will be disapproved.

Product category examples would be for clothing items that might be classified as Outerwear > Coats & Jackets.  The category you may use in your e-commerce cart may not match up or be the same as the Google Product Category.


Each product must have the brand name attached to it.  The brand name of the product must be the generally recognized brand by consumers.

Not having the proper brand name attached to your feed will result in a product being disapproved.

It’s important to have the brand name of your product as well because people searching for products often include the brand name in their search query.


An extended description is also required.  This not only helps sell your product to a prospective customer but it also helps with having your ad show more for searches that may include terms in your descriptions.

In addition, each product must have a unique name that includes variants such as size and color for apparel items.  Apparel products with the same name may be disapproved.

 Google Shopping Micro Moments

In North America, we pick up our phones on average about 150 times per day and spend on average 180 minutes per day looking at our phone.  That means each time we pick up our phones we’re spending about 1 minute trying to search for information or how to do something.  This means our patience is low but our expectations of finding the answers are high.

Shopping ads are designed for people who are looking for that specific product or brand and looking to likely buy at that moment.  Product listing ads serve the purpose of letting that customer know at that moment that you have the product, its price is listed and it’s in stock, ready to buy.  If you don’t have your product listed you’ll likely miss out on the sale.

As a retailer, these are the most important moments for your customers.

Mobile Advertising
Google Shopping - I Want To Go - Factor One - Google Partner
I Want To Do - Google Shopping - Factor One - Google Partner
I Want To Buy - Google Shopping - Factor One - Google Partner
I Want To Know 

65% of online consumers look up more information online now versus a few years ago

66% of smartphone users turn to their phones to look up something they saw in a TV commercial

I Want To Go 

2x increase in “near me” search interest in the past year

82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business

I Want To Do

91% of smartphone users turn to their phones for ideas while doing a task.

100M+ hours of “how-to” content have been watched on YouTube so far this year

I Want To Buy

26% of Canadians use their smartphone in store

29% increase in mobile conversion rates in the past year

Heightened Consumer Expectations

use mobile to start their search
purchased from another retailer because of incomplete information
prefer to shop on a retailers site that delivers personalized recommendations
will use mobile to buy a product online by 2020

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