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PPC Prep for the Holidays: Google Shopping Ads Features To Use For Your Shopify Store by@Luke Fitzpatrick

PPC Prep for the Holidays: Google Shopping Ads Features To Use For Your Shopify Store

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Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke covers blockchain trends on Forbes.

Have you recently set up your Shopify store, or perhaps already operating one? Shopify's partnership with Google has made it easier to use Google shopping features to grow your business. 

As of May 2021, Google announced their partnership with Shopify, allowing seamless integration with Shopify. The partnership allows Shopify stores to directly link to Google ads, simplifying merging product inventory and payment options between Shopify and Google accounts.

In 2020 Google announced free advertising for retailers, giving everyone a chance to reach customers through Google shopping and appear in the product listings without paying. Google shopping ads are great for driving traffic and sales, as well as creating brand awareness. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Are the Different Types of Google Ads?

Google Ads is an online advertising tool used to promote products and services on Google, YouTube, and external sites, allowing users to choose a campaign according to their goals. Usually, a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising method only pays when the customers click on your ad.

If you have recently set up your online store, you also need to consider how to market it. Whether you want to drive more traffic to your store, increase conversions, create brand awareness or prepare your web store for the upcoming holiday sales season, you should choose the type that best suits your goals. 

1. Google Search Ads 

With PPC search ads, you will only pay when your ad gets clicks to your website. The ads display at the top of Google search results, including brief information about the business. 

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Goal: To drive traffic, increase sales and leads. 

2. Google display ads

Display ads are spread across different websites to get a broad audience reach and can help to promote your online store when people are browsing, either on desktop, mobile or app. These usually come in the form of clickable banner images with a catchy tagline. 

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Goal: To promote your business to a wider audience. 

3. Google video ads

Video content can help you to engage with your audience even more than banner ads, as you can reflect your brand values through video. With Google video campaigns, you can reach customers when they browse on YouTube. The video clips are usually around 6-15 seconds long.

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Goal: To drive brand awareness and increase top of the funnel (TOFO) leads.

4. Google shopping ads

Google shopping or Google product ads is the type we will focus on most throughout this article. There are different types you can leverage for your Shopify store. 

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With Google Shopping Ads, your audience can find you easily on SERPs when they are looking for their desired product. You would only pay when they click on the ad. 

For this, signing up to Google Merchant Center is a must. It allows you to sync your Shopify store, updating all product information automatically, and you can adjust product listings directly under your Shopify account.

Goal: To increase traffic and conversions. 

5. Google app ads

App campaigns are for promoting your app on Google search, YouTube or Google Play. These ads are optimized to reach the most relevant audience. 

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Goal: To drive brand awareness, and reach a wider audience.

Google and Shopify Integration

The partnership between Shopify and Google shopping has made it easier to sync Google and Shopify accounts. 

Suppose you are reading this and operating your web store on some of the best eCommerce platforms, like BigCommerce or WooCommerce. In that case, Google also partners with some of them for easier integration. 

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The primary Google and Shopify feature integrations include: 

  • Easily sync products to Google from your Shopify account through Google Merchant Center.
  • Get listed on Google shopping feed for free.
  • Reach customers faster and easier through Smart Shopping Campaigns.
  • Increase conversions with Buy on Google (Google Shopping Actions) checkout.

Sync Your Stock Through Google Merchant Center

Shopify stores had to create manual feeds of all products and upload them to Google Merchant Center. Now, all products you have in your store will sync automatically, making Google Merchant Center your digital warehouse. 

This way, you can easily set up Google shopping campaigns. You can do so directly from your Shopify account with Google Merchant Center. Other features, however, still require you to go through a Google Ads account.

What is more, you can import your Shopify store conversions from Google Analytics directly to your Google account. There you can choose the type of conversions to track — either from a website or app and import your goals. 

So if you are using Shopify for your e-commerce store, you can directly import your transactions data from Google Analytics to your Google Ads account. You can select your campaign goal accordingly, whether it is to drive sales, get more leads, encourage customers to return, drive website traffic, or focus on brand awareness. 

Google Shopping Actions

Google shopping actions have been available for retailers since 2018. However, Google shopping actions integration with Shopify is new. This feature isn’t online yet, and it will launch soon. As a Shopify store owner, it would allow you to track all orders and payments made through the Buy on Google button on your Shopify account. 

Shopify stores can offer their customers the possibility of buying directly on Google without being redirected to your store and using an accelerated checkout option with the Shopify Payments button Shop Pay. What is more, have all transactions data sync back to your Shopify account. 

Google actions allow customers to check out directly from Google, such as shopping search results pages, YouTube, Images, or Google Assistant, without being redirected to your stores’ site. 

Shopify + Google actions integration will enable Shopify stores to be listed with Google shopping actions while tracking all the purchases, payments, and customer data directly from their Shopify account. 

The Google shopping feature is beneficial for optimizing sales and conversions as it shortens the buyer’s journey and is perfect for acquiring new customers due to increased exposure. 

Google Shopping Free Listings

Google shopping ads aren’t new and launched in 2012, and a lot has changed since. After eight years of paid-only paid ads, Google brought back free listings on its shopping search pages in 2020 to step up its game to compete against Amazon. 

Google realized the need to enrich the Google shopping experience, as paid listings gave only a limited range of products. In turn, search results are more organic with genuine product offerings. PPC ads still make up many Google shopping campaigns and are best used in conjunction with free listings for optimal results. 

Thanks to the Google and Shopify integration, a great new feature for Shopify stores is syncing your products to Google Merchant Centre. The syncing allows your Shopify products to appear in relevant Google Shopping search for free automatically. Consider displaying your products in Google shopping before the holiday sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Boxing Day. 

The free listings have been beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses on Shopify, which might not have the same budgets to spend as their larger counterparts. You can read more about how to set them up for your Shopify store here

Google Smart Shopping Campaigns 

First, you will need to connect your Google Ads account. Then, you can create and track your automated campaigns directly within Shopify

Google smart shopping campaigns are an automated version of standard shopping and display remarketing campaigns by using automated bidding and ad placement to promote your products across most relevant placements (Gmail, SERPs, other networks). You can also learn more about how to set up Google smart campaigns via Shopify's guide.

Summing Up

Processes like merging your stock to a Google account to set up your campaigns used to be time-consuming. Things like automatic syncing have made it much easier to create your campaigns and fully use the advertising opportunities, both free and paid. 

Website visitors are unlikely to stumble across your site, with many other online stores directly competing with you. You need to be proactive with promoting your Shopify store and guide your customers through the buyer's journey to get them to visit and convert.

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