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How to sell more with Google Shopping

How to sell more with Google Shopping

Posted in Concise Webinars, Google Ads by on July 23, 2020
Last updated on 10/05/2021
How to sell more with Google Shopping

If you want to sell more products online, then Google Shopping may be your answer. Your products can be displayed at the top of Google’s Search Results page, making it very easy for customers to buy. That’s the theory, but in practice, it’s not so simple. This webinar helps you learn the traps to avoid, and how to get Google Shopping right.

This Concise Webinar is presented by Gareth Lane and Richard Keeves. As with all of our Concise Webinars, it’s full of practical tips you can use immediately.


  • Smart Shopping vs Manual Shopping Campaigns. What’s best for YOU?
  • The importance of reviewing Search Terms in Shopping Campaigns
  • Using Keyword Research to find new Product Opportunities
  • And more


Google Shopping – Webinar Replay

Google Shopping – Webinar Transcript

Richard: Good morning everybody and welcome to this Concise Webinar. My name is Richard Keeves and this session is on Google Shopping. Gareth, is that you typing in the background there?

Gareth: It is me. I’m just typing. Hello everyone. My name is Gareth from Concise.

Richard: There we go so Gareth is going to be mainly presenting this session. Thank you very much for joining us. For those people who haven’t been to one of our webinars before these are what we call the Concise Webinars. We try to make them 100% educational. We make them concise and we focus on business information you can use, hopefully that you can use straight after the webinar.

We’re also not trying to sell anything but if you obviously do want help with some of this stuff we’re very happy to help you but that’s not the purpose of the webinar. The purpose of the webinar is really that we find it’s better to work with educated clients than people who don’t really know. We’re happy to pass that education on to whoever we can.

Before we begin. This session is being recorded hopefully. Generally it is and we will put these up on YouTube and on the Concise website. We’re very happy to take questions as we go along but there will also be a Q and A session at the end of the webinar. Now having explained some of the housekeeping I’m going to hand the talking stick microphone over to Gareth who will now talk more about Google Shopping.

Gareth: Okie dokie so Google Shopping. Google Shopping ads if you are unaware are the ads that appear at the top of the Google search that have products built into them. You’ll see pictures. You’ll see pricing and you’ll see websites that you can buy them from. I think once you’ve been pointed out where a shopping ad is it’s pretty obvious that it’s on the screen in the Google search and I’ll show you an example in a second.

One of the reasons for this webinar was to explain the difference between Google Smart Shopping and Google what you would call standard shopping or the old school way. Now one golden thing to remember is Google is still a public company so they will do anything in their power to deliver increased shareholder returns over time and so anything that they tell you is likely to be good for you is probably not so good for you and it’s probably likely to be good for them.

Anytime you read something that has been put out by Google about how to do something just keep that in the back of your mind that they have their own interests at heart over yours. To demonstrate that example…

Richard: Can I just say that that may sound a little cynical but the reality is Google is there to make money and they’re there to help you but they are definitely there to make money and they do that quite well.

Gareth: Yes and that’s not to say that I have anything against Google. I think Google’s one of the most fantastic things that’s ever been created almost as good as electricity in some ways but do remember that they are a business. This little line of text has been taken from Google’s website about Google Smart Shopping and I’ve highlighted the key red flags if you like in red.

If we just read it together so use Google’s machine learning technology, sounds cool, to optimize the Google Shopping campaign and maximize its reach and conversion rate. Now maximize its reach is not necessarily a good thing for small business when you are trying to get very targeted ads for ads that you want to convert into sales. Really you don’t want to maximize your reach you want to get best bang for buck. It’s slightly sort of misleading but it sounds good.

The next line with smart shopping the only two things a user or an advertiser so that’s you and me has to decide on are the objectives of the campaign and set up a budget. If basically I read that as if you don’t want to put much care and attention into setting up a Google Shopping ad then go with smart shopping and Google will do a wonderful job of using up your budget as quickly as possible. Not great for you.

Next line. The rest of the process is taken care of by the technology. Again sounds cool but who owns that technology? Our friends at Google. Who controls that technology? Our friends at Google so you don’t get to control much when you are using an automated machine which means you are likely to spend money quicker and you are likely to use up your budget quicker without getting the same number of conversions.

Next sort of section. Smart shopping automatically bids for us aka the advertiser and displays the ads in different Google networks. The range is broad. Broad is not good when it comes to targeted advertising. You don’t want to be a shotgun approach. You want to be a sniper, sniper rifle approach. It includes the Google search network, the display network, YouTube and Gmail.

Gmail is a is a lovely little thing that they’ve slotted in the end there which has a lot of impressions sharing, a lot of ads that can get shown very quickly which uses that budget. I’ve never particularly been in a situation where I’ve used Gmail and then want to see a shopping ad. If you use the manual approach then you get to control all these things about where you want the ads to be shown, where you want them to be, the location, the keywords and so on.

Yes, it takes longer. Yes, you do need to know what you’re doing but if you want the best results and you want to sell the most and sell the most the most profitably using Google Shopping we suggest the manual approach. I’m just going to show you a few little things on the screen now that will hopefully help you out.

One of the key concepts is to understand the search terms that people are using so when you set up a Google Shopping campaign the bot will automatically select a number of terms for you that it thinks are relevant. Okay so just quick little vision test. Can you see my screen okay?

Richard: Yes.

Gareth: Okay so this is an export out of a Google Shopping ad account. You can see here on the right the campaign type is shopping so that’s a Google Shopping campaign. On the left here you can see all the search terms. In Google Shopping, the bot decides what it wants to show the ads for. You don’t necessarily get to decide what the key terms are like you do with a normal Google Search campaign so the bot decides.

Now I’ve chosen this particular example because I find it really interesting that even though their brand name is creepy crawly most people on this webinar are probably familiar with what a creepy crawly is however the bot also sees it as a creepy crawly spelt with a C instead of a K. Now what’s really even more interesting about that is the number of impressions. This sort of first column here is the number of searches that someone that have triggered that ad. You can see that with a creepy crawly has 8600 triggers but the creepy crawly spelt with a C has nearly half as much.

If you came along and you didn’t realize that and you hadn’t sort of set that up as a term then you would not have triggered that that traffic. What I find even more interesting is the conversion rates over on the right hand side about what people are looking for versus what they’re converting. On the branded term they had a 42% conversion rate but on the spelling mistake they only had a 15% conversion rate and that makes me think well maybe that is actually something else. That could be a different business.

Then I went and had a look in a browser and I typed in creepy crawly. Creepy crawly here’s all the shopping ads. Okay that’s good. They look like creepy crawlies. Here’s an ad for creepy crawly pool cleaners and then here’s creepy crawly, the main website organic SEO listing. I then went and had a look at creepy crawly spelt wrong and had a look at what came up. Now you can see Google Shopping ads.

They’re selling creepy crawlies even though this one is a slightly different version with the different typo here and they’ve got Zodiac which is a competitor and Aqua Buddy which is a competitor. Then you have the organic listing of the brand but then you have creepy crawly pest control in Melbourne. Now we all know now looking at that that that’s probably not right. You would then need to look at these search terms and work out that while creepy crawly, did they actually mean a pool cleaner or are they looking for the pest control company.

That brings me onto something called negative keywords. Negative keywords is you teaching the bot what is wrong in what it thinks that it put up. Then so that looks something like this. This is done inside the google shopping campaign. You teach the bot what you don’t want. These are called negatives right? Here are some examples of things like that these ads don’t want to trigger under. eBook, if someone’s looking for an e-book on creepy crawly we don’t want to spend money on ads. If they’re looking for a filter, there’s no money in filters so we don’t want to trigger an ad for filters. Fixing, guide, how-to instructions, job, think about all those terms that if I typed in creepy crawly instructions or creepy calling maintenance or creepy crawly parts.

If you did smart shopping and this is the key little sneaky bit of information that Google doesn’t want you to know is you can’t do negative keywords in Google Smart shopping. In Google Smart shopping you just let the bot do whatever the hell it wants and it’ll spend all of your budget on terms that are irrelevant. You’ll get a lot of impressions, you’ll get a lot of clicks but you probably won’t get a lot of sales because you’re selling ads for the wrong things. Yes it does work itself out over time but it uses an awful lot of money to do that and a little bit of common sense and a little bit extra time at the beginning using a manual approach means you can you can have a bit of a sense check. That was the point I was trying to illustrate there.

I’m just going to in my screen a second. Any questions on that?

Richard: I don’t think there are. Carry on.

Gareth: Okay. Okay so second rule is to know your customer. Are they even looking in Google in the first place? This is a really important thing to work out. You can come up with a Google Shopping campaign. You can come up with a whole selection of key terms but are they even looking in the first place right? There are a couple of things, a couple of ways that you can you can do this.

I will just quickly reshare my screen to demonstrate. Now I believe we did do a webinar on this a few weeks ago on keyword research so if you would like the access to that then please send either of us an email and we will send you a link back to that but I’ll just turn it on. It’s a little app called keywords everywhere. What this does is it pulls in a whole heap of data into your search. I’ve typed in my creepy crawly up here and I’ve now got some volume information underneath. This is telling me that there are 1600 people a month searching for the brand name creepy crawly but over here we’ve also got some more volume and some even more volume again. This helps you work out what people are really looking for so creepy crawly parts, creepy crawly Bunnings, creepy crawly vtx7.

That one is a model number of a creepy crawly and that would be one that I would be very much saying is a high quality term that someone is likely to convert on. If you were trying to look for terms and you’re trying to look for things that that you could put in as negatives that you do you do want and don’t want. For example creepy crawly marathon you probably don’t want to trigger an ad on that then Keywords Everywhere is a really cool little app that you can use to help build out your keyword lists.

Okay any questions on that one otherwise I’ll move on?

Richard: Moving on. Please feel free to ask questions everybody if you want in the chat.

Gareth: Yes and then the third golden rule or the diamond rule if you like is to know your competition. Now again this is something that is often just never used in Google Shopping and it’s very easy to use if you know where it lives and is called auction insights right. I’m just going back to sharing my screen one second. You can all see that okay?

Richard: Yes.

Gareth: Yes and so what this is this tells you about who all the other um businesses are that are competing for the same products. Pool and Spa Warehouse is the number one on the list and they then have, there’s a column here called impression share. I don’t know why they called it an impression. They should just call it market share. It’s much easier to refer to as market share as the most easy thing to relate it to. Pool and Spa Warehouse has 39% of the market share of the ads shown for that term. You is me, the advertiser account. We’ve got about 25% of the market share.

What is really interesting with this is to see well do we want more market share, do we want a less market share. This particular example does own the product, manufactures the product and has all the licensing for the product. All of these other competitors are actually buying from them in the first place. They want to be seen to be there but they don’t necessarily want to have all of it.

You then see things like position so you can see who gets the primary position, who gets the top of the page and who’s always at the absolute top, abs top means the absolute top. This is again something that only applies in Google Shopping and is called auction or auction insights. It’s pretty easy to make sense of once you’ve had a look but it is hidden fairly deep in one of the menu so you do need to go looking for it but really, really handy to see who’s got the most share, what they’re doing, what sort of benefit and that will also help you find out more about your customers and your competitors.

Okay, back to our little presentation. That was really it for this. I was expecting to have a whole heap of questions as we went through there but our attendees must be all either bored or busy making coffees so if anyone does…

Richard: I think everyone everyone’s probably busy processing what it is you’ve been saying and thinking oh my goodness how does this apply and thank you very much Gareth for saying that we shouldn’t be using smart shopping because we now see that there’s actually advantage in learning some more of the depth and not letting Google just run everything.

When you said Gareth that it does pick up like smart shopping does pick up after a while but you can spend a lot of money in the process. In your experience with this, how long does it take for smart shopping, the automated process to actually kind of pick up what people are and are not looking for? Is it weeks, months or does it depend on budget?

Gareth: That is a good question. The easiest way to think about it is like a big sieve. You start with a big funnel and a big wide sieve and it’ll gradually over time pull in those corners. It works based on learning from conversion so without complicating the answer you have to work out how long your conversion funnel is first. For example you might have a product that someone buys the day, the day that they see it and so the bot will learn very quickly that I’ve run an ad, I’ve got a conversion. I run a different ad. I didn’t get a conversion. It was only a couple of days and it learns quick but for something like a pool cleaner, your typical customer is likely to do some research first. They might sort of read some reviews. They might shop around so the journey to purchase might take two weeks or it might take a month.

The bot will take a lot longer to learn and therefore spend a lot more money on ads before it works out what people want and what they don’t want but one of one of the key things is that negative keyword list. The bot wouldn’t know what to not show for so all of those little terms like books and reviews and things and parts and things that you know about your business it wouldn’t know. You’ll end up spending money on all those ads and all those placements while the bot learns. It’s a very good way of wasting a lot of money very quickly.

Richard: One of the things that you didn’t mention in this Concise Webinar is how people can easily get, how people running ecommerce stores can easily have their products being displayed within Google Shopping and how that is able to be set up and maintained like can you talk a little bit about the integrations and how things are able to be automated so that to people’s mind at ease in case they’re wondering.

Gareth: Sure so at the moment it only applies to e-commerce businesses and there are quite a lot of rules around which businesses are allowed to do Google Shopping and which aren’t. It’s pretty easy to find the requirements. You can just type into Google Google Shopping eligibility requirements and you’ll find a really well written list on the Google Support website which explains who’s allowed to do what and who isn’t and their policies.

Setting up a campaign appears a lot easier than it really is. There’s quite a lot of things that you need to consider when you set up a campaign. You also need to make sure your website has a certain number of conditions on it. Things like shipping, privacy information, inventory, price, currency. Normally it takes us as a ballpark about eight to ten hours’ worth of work to set it up so that gives you an idea of it’s not a one button click type process. You then get into the campaign setup where you need to set up bidding, budgets, where you want your ads to show, devices, locations.

For example that creepy crawly one, they might only want to show in WA, in Queensland because that’s where most people with pools are whereas the Google Smart Shopping bot wouldn’t know that and so it would just shine show ads everywhere. Again if you know more about your customers than the Google bot does then you’re likely to get a much better result.

Can happily paste a link to where to find the instructions and the guide but just keep in mind that Google will try and push you into a smart shopping campaign rather than let you do it yourself.

Richard: Thanks Gareth. Shiva has actually said he’s got a few questions about different rates in the previous slide. Shiva if you pop those questions into the chat then we’ll be able to address those and Sean as he said he’s just realized how hopeless his current understanding of Google Shopping is. Very informative guys. Thank you very much Sean.

Gareth: At least you’re honest mate.

Richard: Yes exactly. Now there’s a lot to this and now I think there’s another question coming in. Would you like to bring slide up about rates. Oh okay so we’ll, could you go back to that previous slide Gareth that you had.

Gareth: The market share one?

Richard: Yes, I think so. Shiva is saying that Shiva is curious to know what they how they rate in marketing.

Gareth: In market share?

Richard: Yes.

Gareth: The line that says you is the advertiser and the impression share is what we would see as market share. 23.48% means that they have about one in four time that they a seen on the ads in case you want to know what the over overlap…

Richard: What is the overlap rates?

Gareth: Overlap rate is when the same ads are showing at the same time. Pool and Spa Warehouse shows 75% of the time that my ad shows. My Dolphin shows 35% of the times my ad shows.

Richard: Okay that’s clear. What’s the position above right?

Gareth: Position above is Pool and Spa Warehouse 72% of the time in front of me. My Dolphin 92%.

Richard: So what percentage of the time is the business on the left above my ad?

Gareth: Yes correct. Yes.

Richard: Yes and top of page.

Gareth: Top of page is ads shown at the top of the page not first just the top sort of section. Mine are showing 46% of the time, Pool and Spa Warehouse are shown 59% of the time. Then this column on the right here that says abs stands for absolute so that means number one, the first place. Pool and Spa Warehouse get 27% of the time.

Richard: Gareth, given that Google Shopping ads are normally presented horizontally across the page and that these auction, this information is to do with google shopping does position above mean to the left in this case?

Gareth: Yes it does. Like this menu is for all types of ads as well so that it’s not like the menu labels are not specific to shopping. It’s one of those little top tips that you really need to know what you’re looking at in order to know what the numbers are actually telling you.

Richard: With Google Shopping the ads are presented as essentially a slideshow carousel that you can scroll across to see more and the best position is that on the left hand.

Gareth: Yes, correct. If I just go here so this ad here is considered first place and then this whole area is considered top of page. Then if I then scroll across that’s like almost like a page two, page three and then page four like so on.

Richard: Good stuff. Well, thanks very much. If anyone else has got any questions please feel free to ask either now or later and you can contact Gareth for expert insights but one thing we haven’t, we probably should mention that we haven’t is that anyone who comes to or participates in one of these webinars we’re very happy to have a conversation with you afterwards at no charge. If Gareth can, whether it’s five minutes or half an hour, very happy to. You’ve invested time to learn a bit about this stuff and if you’ve got any further questions please give Gareth a buzz. Send him an email and there’s no charge for that sort of…

Gareth: Yes but I do like bottles of wine so if you’d like to send me a bottle of wine in return then you’re more than welcome.

Richard: Ah there you go. There’s, very good. That’s that brings us to the end of this session. Just a quick one. We do run these every fortnight, these webinars. The next webinar is in the fortnight’s time, the 6th of August and this is about Trustpilot. Trustpilot is a review platform and it’s one that is quite handy but there’s also some traps about Trustpilot. There are some things that it’s good to know about what happens if you get a bad review on Trustpilot. What do you do? How do you go about seeing if that review needs to stay there forever or whether it can be can be removed? Also how do you make the most of Trustpilot?

This is our what you need to know about. There you go. That’s the session for the next webinar. If you want any more help or any info on this, the website concise.digital is a good place to start. The phone number is there. You send emails to hello and again Gareth, thanks very much for that info. That was a good session. I hope everyone enjoyed it. What time? It’s going to be 10 o’clock on the Thursday, the 6th of August. That’s 10 o’clock Western time Shiva. 10 o’clock is the time we run these.

Thank you very much. This has been a good session and hope everyone’s enjoyed it. If you’ve got any questions please feel free to get in touch. Gareth, you want to say anything there to add to wrap up.

Gareth: That’s it what you said. Thanks everyone.

Richard: What I said. There you go. Thanks everyone. Have a good day. Thank you. See you.

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