Whenever you create a Google Shopping campaign, it’s important to know exactly how products will appear when somebody sees one of your ads.

The two types available are quite different, so understanding which will work best for your particular products is essential if you want to maximise conversions and reduce inefficient spend – especially with Google Performance Max making it possible to further optimise each campaign.

In this article, we’re going to take you through the two ad types and show you how your products will appear in search for both.

What are the key types of Google Shopping ads?

Google Shopping has more layers than first meets the eye, with its ads tailored to specific situations. Knowing how users will interact with your ads means you’ll be able to pick and choose the right ads to display your products, leading to more clicks and conversions.

Product Shopping ads

These Google Shopping ads are created based on product data you’ve submitted in the Google Merchant Centre. They automatically display an image, title, price, and the name of your business – but without any extra content.  This can be either through Standard Shopping or Performance Max.

That means these ads are easy to automate and update, helping you make sure products are always ready to appear in response to the most relevant search queries.

There are plenty of ways to optimise Product Shopping ads, which include:

  • Balancing bids to make ads that attract the most clicks appear more often, while cutting ads that don’t perform as well. Something Upp.AI does automatically for you.
  • Having a single source of truth for all of the data you use to create your ads, so that no information slips through the cracks.
  • Supplying Google Shopping with all the information it needs to serve ads most effectively, via a dedicated platform like Upp.AI
  • Using optimised images and titles that present products in the best light (more on that later)

Local Inventory ads

To appeal to a localised audience and drive foot traffic to your stores, Local Inventory ads create a brand showcase that appears for shoppers in a specified area.

They take a created Local Product Inventory Feed (which is essentially just a list of which products are sold in which locations) and use that data when ads are pushed to the Google Display Network, which now includes Google Maps with the Performance Max upgrade.

And that means you can easily publish an appealing, easy-to-read group of ads which show off products on sites and apps across the web, supported by crucial information including opening hours and directions.

The placement of these ads can also be precisely optimised to make sure your store has more of a presence on sites and apps that are proven conversion goldmines.

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To best use different types of ads, it helps to know what they’re actually going to look like from the perspective of online shoppers. With Google Shopping, there are a number of filters that will impact how they’re displayed.

First of all, let’s look at how ads appear in search results. This type of carousel appears on all devices. Ads relevant to the search term – in this case, ‘blue summer dress’ – will appear within that carousel.

a screen shot of a website listing for blue summer dresses.

Shoppers can scroll through the different products shown, previewing the images, product names, brands, websites, and ratings most relevant to them. Because of this, descriptive product names are essential, to ensure your product appears in the feed.

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Your ad in Google Shopping

Google’s Shopping tab allows buyers to take a closer look at the products featured in the search carousel.

a screen shot of a dress shop page.

Here, your products not only have more visual real estate (making high-quality product images a necessity), but customers are also able to sort through different criteria to make the ads they see even more relevant to them.  When these filters are on, not having all your product data included in the ad might mean that it doesn’t appear – even if it’s relevant to the search.

Your ad with Google Shopping filters

This final image shows what can happen if you don’t have the right data linked to your product ad.

Many of the products featured in the previous image disappear when the ‘Blue’ colour filter is engaged. Listings disappear because they’re missing the colour data that could help them stay amongst the most prominent listings.  Having effective images and descriptive titles can help your Google Shopping ads appear to more shoppers.  And ensuring they’re backed up by comprehensive, high-quality data makes them more likely to stay in those top spots, even as a shopper filters their search and refines the results they want to see.

Taking the top spot in Google Shopping

As you’ve probably realised by now, getting to the top spot in Google Shopping has immense value. It’s where buyers look first as soon as they search for something, and then it’s where they look again once they’ve started refining what they want to see.

The problem is, getting there can be incredibly challenging – especially for retailers who often have thousands of products with very different descriptions that all need to be optimised in order to perform.

Purpose-built eCommerce software like Upp.AI can help ensure your products always appear when they are most likely to sell – but you have to have the relevant product data.

With the upgrade from Google Smart Shopping to Google Performance Max, a tool like Upp.AI is actually even more important. Performance Max’s features are powerful and extensive, but it still only optimises based on the data only Google has, not taking into account any crucial business data.  And with your ads spread out over Googles entire ecosystem, PPC Managers can’t optimise 1000’s of SKUs in real time and ensure that they are shown at the right time.

Upp. integrates more than 150 different data points, from your entire ecosystem into each product’s targeting within a campaign, and aggregates this against auction dynamics – meaning you’ll always have every box ticked to ensure the right products are being shown in the right places.

When it comes to setting up your Google Shopping ads, your product data may not be featured front and centre. But behind the scenes, that product data is a deciding factor on what does and doesn’t appear in search. The more data you use, the more relevant your products become for certain search queries – so the more complete it is, the more likely your products are to reach, and stay in, the top spots.

By taking the legwork out of inputting, managing and optimising as much data as possible using technology like Upp.AI, you’ll have more time to ensure you get your product data right as well as improve your ROAS and revenue outcomes in Google Shopping ad campaigns and elsewhere online.

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