Set up Shopping campaigns for Product Listing Ads

With Shopping campaigns, you can promote your products using Product Listing Ads, an ad format that includes an image, title, price, your business name and more. You can create a Shopping campaign once you've submitted your product inventory to Google Merchant Centre. Merchant Centre holds your product information, and the Shopping campaign in AdWords lets you serve detailed ads for those products. Shopping campaigns also allow you to target your ads to specific users, set bids and improve performance with optimisation tools. Find out more about the Product Listing Ad format

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Note

Product Listing Ads can appear on Google Shopping and Google Search in these countries: the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Product Listing Ads only appear on Google Search in these countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Turkey.

Connecting your Google Merchant Centre account and product feed to AdWords

Before you can begin using Shopping campaigns to show your Product Listing Ads, you'll need to link your Google Merchant Centre account to your AdWords account. Google Merchant Centre is where you upload your product feed, a list of data containing details about the products that you sell. Once you link your Merchant Centre and AdWords accounts, all of the information in that product feed is accessible in AdWords, where you’ll use it to create your Shopping campaigns. Find out about how to link your accounts.

Setting up and organising your Shopping campaigns

Once you've linked your Merchant Centre account to your AdWords account, you're ready to create your Shopping campaign.

Guided tour: Create a Shopping campaign

Click the "Guide me" button below to go to your account and be guided through each step.

Guide me


Creating a new Shopping campaign

Here’s how to create a new Shopping campaign:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  2. Click on the Campaigns tab. Then click on + Campaign and select Shopping.
  3. On the “Select campaign settings” page, give your campaign a name. If you want to use the same campaign settings as another Shopping campaign, go to “or load settings from” and select the campaign from the “Existing campaigns” drop-down menu.
  4. Provide a merchant identifier by clicking on the Select account drop-down menu and choosing the Merchant ID. The ID should be the Google Merchant Centre account associated with the products being advertised in this Shopping campaign.
  5. From the drop-down menu next to “Country of Sale” select the country where the products in this campaign are sold. This setting defines which products from your Merchant Centre inventory are advertised in this campaign. It filters products based on the target country associated with the products.
  6. If you want to use the optional “campaign priority” and “inventory filter” settings, click on Shopping settings (advanced).
  7. Use the optional “campaign priority” setting when you have multiple Shopping campaigns advertising the same product and you want to determine which campaign (and its associated bid) will be used when ads for these products show. By default, all Shopping campaigns are set to “Low” campaign priority. To change, select “Medium” or “High”, depending upon how you choose to prioritise this campaign over other Shopping campaigns or regular Product Listing Ads campaigns with the same products. Find out more about the campaign priority setting.
  8. Use the optional “inventory filter” to limit the products that you want to advertise in your Shopping campaign, based on the Merchant Centre product attributes that you select. By default, the inventory filter is set to “None - Use all products in country of sale (recommended)”. To change, select Create custom filter.
    • In the two drop-down menus under “Matches all of the following”, select the attribute and corresponding value of the products that you want to include in your Shopping campaign.
    • To add an additional filter, click on + and make your selections as above. You are limited to seven attribute filters.
  9. By default, Shopping campaigns show products sold on an online website. If you want your Shopping campaign to include products sold in local shops, you should consider participating in Local Inventory Ads. Once you have submitted a verified Local Products feed to Google Merchant Centre, you can choose to include products from your local shops in your Shopping Campaign by ticking the "Enable local inventory ads" tick box. With the tick box ticked, you'll be able to filter or subdivide your inventory by channel and channel exclusivity. Find out more about using local shopping channels.
  10. Next to “Locations”, choose the geographical areas where you want the Product Listing Ads in this campaign to appear. You can choose to include or exclude specific locations.
  11. By default, Shopping campaigns show ads on the Google Search Network and on Google search partner websites. The Google Search Network includes Google.com and Google.com/shopping. Search partners include third-party websites that display and link to products for sale. Including search partners can help you to reach more shoppers, increase your visibility and improve traffic to your products. You can untick the “Include search partners” tick box if you don’t want to include them in your campaign.
  12. Your “bid strategy” defaults to “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks”, which means that you’ll set your own maximum cost-per-click bid (Max. CPC). You’ll do this in the next step.

    If you use conversion tracking and want to improve your potential for sales, consider using enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) bidding for your campaign or ad group. Once you have finished creating your campaign, you’ll need to create an ECPC flexible bid strategy (if you don’t have one already) and apply it to the campaign or ad group. Find out more about using ECPC bidding with your Shopping campaign.
  13. Enter your Max. CPC bid next to “Default bid”. This bid will apply to the first ad group and product group that you create in your campaign. You can adjust your bids later from the "Product groups” tab.
  14. Next to “Budget”, choose whe you would like to use an “individual budget” for this campaign or apply a budget from a shared library. For an individual budget, enter the amount that you would like to spend per day for this campaign (bear in mind that the actual amount may vary). Find out more about shared budgets.
  15. Select any additional advanced options for your campaign, including delivery method, ad scheduling, and dynamic tracking URL.
  16. Click on Save and continue.

You'll arrive on the Create ad groups page. In the “Ad group creation” section you'll have two options for creating your Shopping campaign's ad groups. You'll be able to make changes to these ad groups later.

Tip

If you want to use more than one promotional message in your Shopping campaign, create another ad group that includes only the products that you’d like to display with that message. You can do this from the Ads tab once you've finished creating your campaign. Additional instructions are available below in the Creating additional ad groups for your Shopping campaign section.

  • Start with one product group with a single bid for all products – This option will create one ad group containing one “All products” product group with one bid across your entire inventory included in this campaign.

    If you choose this option:
    1. Give your ad group a name.
    2. You'll have the option to enter promotional text for your ad. This promotional text can appear with any of the products associated with this ad group, so make sure that the text is relevant to all the products that you'll be advertising in that ad group. Find out more about promotional text guidelines.
    3. Click on Save and continue.
    4. You’ll be taken to your ad group's “Product groups” tab, where you’ll see one “All products” product group. If you used the inventory filter in your campaign settings, the product group will be called “All products (filtered)”.

      If you want to set the same bid for your entire product inventory, you can keep just the “All products” product group with the Max. CPC that you set as your default bid. Otherwise, click on the "Max. CPC" column to change your bid at any time. However, we recommend subdividing the “All products” product group into customised product groups based upon your advertising goals.
  • Create one ad group and generate multiple product groups based on the product attribute that you want – This option will create one ad group and generate product groups based upon the product attribute that you want: Brand, Item ID, Custom label, Product type or Google Product Category. You’ll also have the option to subdivide these product groups further by Item ID (unless you chose Item ID initially). This option may not be available for certain accounts.

    We'll assign suggested bids for these product groups based upon your previous bids on the products in these product groups. If no previous bids are available, we’ll suggest bids based on bids for similar items from other customers. We recommend reviewing your bids carefully before enabling your new Shopping campaign.
    1. Give your ad group a name.
    2. Click on the drop-down menu next to Subdivide by and select the attribute that you want to use (Brand, Item ID, Custom label, Product type or Google Product Category).
    3. If you want to further subdivide your product groups by Item ID, tick the box next to Subdivide again by "Item ID". This option won’t be available if you chose to subdivide by Item ID in the previous step.
    4. You'll have the option to enter promotional text for your ad. This promotional text can appear with any of the products associated with this ad group, so make sure that the text is relevant to all the products that you'll be advertising in that ad group. Find out more about promotional text guidelines.
    5. Click on Save and continue. This will create an enabled ad group.
    6. You’ll be taken to your new ad group’s “Product groups” tab, where you’ll see a list of the product groups created based upon the attributes that you selected.
Organising your campaign with product groups

Shopping campaigns use product groups to determine when items in your Merchant Centre account appear on a search results page. You create these product groups from the Product groups tab in AdWords, where your entire Merchant Centre product inventory is made available for you to subdivide by levels of product attributes such as category, product type, brand, condition, item ID and custom labels. You can use up to seven levels of product attributes for each product group. You can then set bids for these product groups according to your advertising goals.

When you first create your Shopping campaign, your entire product inventory is included in one product group called “All products”, which you’ll see on your ad group's "Product groups" tab. If you used the inventory filter in your campaign settings (described in the “Advanced settings for Shopping campaigns” section), then the product group will be called “All products (filtered)”.

You can use just this one “All products” product group if you want to bid the same across your entire product inventory. However, we recommend subdividing the “All products” product group into customised product groups based upon your advertising goals.

Each ad group in a Shopping campaign can have up to 20,000 product groups.

Bear in mind

A product can be included in only one product group – with one bid – in a given ad group. This will always be the most granular product group that the product belongs to.

However, the same product can be assigned different bids across ad groups and campaigns. When the same product is included in multiple ad groups within the same campaign, the product with the higher bid will be the one to serve the ad. When the same product is included across multiple campaigns, the highest campaign priority level – regardless of bid – will be the one to serve the ad. When campaigns with the same products are set at the same priority level, the highest bid will proceed to the ad auction.

Choosing how to view your product groups

You can change how you view your product groups by clicking on the Structured view button or List view button buttons that appear at the top of your ad group’s Product Groups tab. From either view, you can make bulk edits to the Max. CPC bids for any of your product groups.

The Structured view button view shows the structure of your product groups. You'll use this view for adding and removing subdivisions within your ad group.

The List view button view shows all of your product groups in a list. This view is useful for sorting your product groups by column or seeing an overview of how each of your product groups are performing. You won't be able to make subdivisions from here.

If you select product groups in one view and switch to another, then the product groups will remain selected in the new view.

Creating and managing your product groups

Here’s how to subdivide your inventory to create a product group:

  1. From the side navigation bar, select the ad group for the Shopping campaign that you’re interested in.
  2. Locate the product group that you want to subdivide and click on the + next to its name. For example, the “All products” product group.
  3. In the window that appears, select the drop-down menu next to “Subdivide [name of product group] by” and choose a product attribute that you’d like to use to begin defining your new product group. (You’ll probably want to use more than one attribute to define your product group. You can do this after you’ve created this subdivision by repeating the above steps). For example, “Subdivide All products by Product type”. The attributes listed are derived from your Merchant Centre product feed and include: category, brand, item ID, condition, product type and custom labels.
  4. After you select the attribute, select from the list of values that appears. For example, if you sell women’s shoes and selected the “Product type” or "Category" attribute, the values listed could include sandals, dress shoes and boots. Click on the arrow next to the values that you want to make up your new product groups, such as “Sandals” and “Boots”. If needed, enter any additional values manually in the text field below and click on “Add”.
  5. Click on Save.
  6. Back in the “Product groups” tab, you’ll see that “All products” has been subdivided into your new product groups (“Sandals” and “Boots”) and “Everything else in ‘All products’”. You can subdivide “Sandals” and “Boots” even further by following the same steps above.
  7. Once you’ve created the products groups for this ad group, you can adjust your bids for each product group by clicking in the Max. CPC column next to each product group name. Revise the bid amount in the window that appears, or click on “Excluded” if you don’t want the products in that product group to be advertised with this ad group.
  8. Click on Save.

Tip

Want to change your Max. CPC bids across multiple product groups at once? Here's how you do this:

  1. Select the box next to the product groups that you want to change the bids for.
  2. At the top of the table, click on the Edit drop-down menu.
    • Select Set to if you want to specify a bid amount for these product groups or exclude them from being advertised in this campaign.
    • Select Increase Max. CPC bids by... or Decrease Max. CPC bids by... to raise or lower your product group bids. While you can adjust bids for excluded product groups, the product group will remain excluded from this campaign until you assign it a new bid using the Set to option.
    • You can set an upper or lower bid limit for these product groups as well. Just keep the following in mind:
      • Upper and lower Max. CPC bid limits will limit the amount to which you can change your product group bids. For example: Let’s say that you have three product groups with different Max. CPC bids – £1, £3 and £4. You then decide to raise all three of these bids by 20% and set an upper bid limit of £3.50. When you make these edits, your three product group bids will become £1.20 (a 20% increase from £1), £3.50 (raised to the upper bid limit because the 20% increase was more than the upper bid limit) and £4 (unchanged because the existing Max. CPC bid was higher than the upper bid limit).
      • Lower bid limits can’t be set to zero. Use the minimum bid limit of £0.01 or, if you want to remove the product group entirely from this campaign, Select Set to from the drop-down menu and choose Excluded.
  3. Click on Preview changes to review a summary of the bidding changes that will be made.
  4. When you’re ready, click on Make changes to save these bidding revisions for the selected product groups.

 

Here’s how to edit an existing product group:

  1. From the side navigation bar, select the ad group for the Shopping campaign that you want to modify.
  2. Locate the product group you want to edit and click on the pencil icon.
  3. Next to “Subdivide [name of product group] by,” select the product attribute that you want to use create your new subdivision.
  4. Click on the arrow next to the values that you want to add to the product group. Click x next to the values that you want to remove from the product group.
  5. Click on Save.

Here’s how to remove a product group subdivision:

  1. From the side navigation bar, select the ad group for the Shopping campaign that you want to modify.
  2. Locate the product group that you want to remove and click on the pencil icon.
  3. In the window that appears, click on the rubbish bin icon in the top corner.
  4. Click on Save.
Creating additional ad groups for your Shopping campaign

Once you’ve created your Shopping campaign and first ad group, you can create additional ad groups with their own promotional text and bids. Ad groups in the same campaign will share all other campaign settings, including the campaign name, Merchant Centre ID, country of sale, inventory filter and campaign priority.

Here's how to create an additional ad group:

  1. Select the Shopping campaign that you want to create an ad group for from the side navigation.
  2. Click on the Ad groups tab.
  3. Click on the +Ad group button.

You'll arrive on the Create ad groups page. In the “Ad group creation” section you'll have two options for creating your Shopping campaign's ad groups. You'll be able to make changes to these ad groups later.

If you choose this option:

 

Tip

You can pause, remove or enable your Shopping campaign’s ad groups from the Ad groups tab. Just select the box next to the ad groups that you want to change, then click on the Change status drop-down menu above and select Enable, Pause or Remove.

  • Start with one product group with a single bid for all products – This option will create one ad group containing one “All products” product group with one bid across your entire inventory included in this campaign. You’ll be able to your create additional product groups and customise your bids later from the “Product groups” tab.

    If you choose this option:
    1. Give your ad group a name.
    2. If you want to add promotional text to this ad group, enter it here. This promotional text can appear with any of the products associated with this ad group, so make sure that the text is relevant to all the products that you'll be advertising in it. Find out more about promotional text guidelines.
    3. Click on Save and continue.
    4. You’ll be taken to your ad group's “Product groups” tab, where you’ll see one “All products” product group. If you used the inventory filter in your campaign settings, then the product group will be called “All products (filtered)”.

      Subdivide this product group as needed. You can also change your Max. CPC bid for the entire ad group or individual product groups by clicking on the “Max. CPC” column and entering your new bid.
  • Create one ad group and generate multiple product groups based on the product attribute that you want – This option will create one ad group and generate product groups based upon the product attribute that you want: Brand, Item ID, Custom label, Product type or Google Product Category. You’ll also have the option to subdivide these product groups further by Item ID (unless you chose Item ID initially). This option may not be available for certain accounts.

    We'll assign suggested bids for these product groups based upon your previous bids on the products in these product groups. If no previous bids are available, we’ll suggest bids based on bids for similar items from other customers. We recommend reviewing your bids carefully before enabling your new Shopping campaign.
    1. Give your ad group a name.
    2. Click on the drop-down menu next to Subdivide by and select the attribute that you want to use (Brand, Item ID, Custom label, Product type or Google Product Category).
    3. If you want to further subdivide your product groups by Item ID, tick the box next to Subdivide again by "Item ID". This option won’t be available if you chose to subdivide by Item ID in the previous step.
    4. If you want to add promotional text to this ad group, enter it here. This promotional text can appear with any of the products associated with this ad group, so make sure that the text is relevant to all the products that you'll be advertising in it. Find out more about promotional text guidelines.
    5. Click on Save and continue. This will create an enabled ad group.You’ll be taken to your new ad group’s “Product groups” tab, where you’ll see a list of the product groups created based upon the attributes that you selected.

 

Using your product attributes

You create your product groups using product attributes derived from your Merchant Centre product data. Here are the attributes that you can use to define your product groups:

  • Item ID: The identifier (ID) for each product.
  • Brand: The name of the manufacturer of a product (Example: Google).
  • Category: An attribute based on the Google product taxonomy. It can be submitted by the merchant or, if no category is submitted, may be assigned by Google. (Example of a category string: Clothes & Accessories > Clothes > Dresses) There may be cases where Google refines the category further when it’s submitted by the merchant. (Though we do our best, some products may be miscategorised.)
  • Product type: An attribute assigned by a merchant based on their own categorisation (Example: high heels).
  • Custom labels: A merchant can create up to five custom labels in their data feed. Find out more about custom labels. (Example of label values: seasonal, best-seller).
  • Condition: The state of a product (new, used and refurbished).

Bear in mind

To create the best possible campaign configuration, Google splits your product category and product type attributes into hierarchical levels as defined in the product feeds specification.

How to use custom labels

With Shopping campaigns, you use custom labels when you want to subdivide the products in your campaign using values of your choosing. For example, you can use custom labels to indicate that products are seasonal, on clearance, best sellers, etc. These values can then be selected to use for monitoring, reporting and bidding in your Shopping campaign.

You create custom labels as attributes in your data feed. You can have up to five custom labels, numbered 0 to 4. You should assign a specific definition to each of the five custom labels and specify the possible values for each. Then you use these custom labels consistently across the products in your Merchant Centre account, assigning appropriate values to each product according to your definition. Each of the five custom labels can only have one value per product.

Example of custom labels

Step 1: Assign definitions and possible values to custom labels

Custom label Your definition Your choice of possible values
custom label 0 Season Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn
custom label 1 SellingRate BestSeller, LowSeller
custom label 2 Clearance Clearance
custom label 3 Margin LowMargin, HighMargin
custom label 4 ReleaseYear 1900 to 2100

Bear in mind

Custom label definitions are for your reference only. The definitions aren’t entered in your AdWords or Merchant Centre accounts.

Step 2: Assign appropriate values to each product

Item ID custom label 0 custom label 1 custom label 2 custom label 3 custom label 4
Item no. 1 Winter BestSeller   LowMargin  
Item no. 2 Summer     HighMargin 2013
Item no. 3     Clearance   2012

Bear in mind

Every custom label can have just one value per product. Also, it isn’t necessary for an item to have a value for one or more custom labels. For example, some of your clothing items may not be considered seasonal, so you wouldn’t assign a value to those items for “custom label 0” in the example above.

How custom labels differ from “adwords labels”

With Shopping campaigns, you use custom labels instead of “adwords labels” to group your products by the values of your choosing. You assign specific definitions and possible values to each custom label, then use the custom labels consistently across all of your products.

By contrast, “adwords labels” in regular Product Listing Ads campaigns are loosely defined, meaning that you add values to each product as you see fit. For example, you can assign multiple “adwords labels” to a product.

Example of “adwords labels”

Item ID “adwords labels”
Item no. 1 Winter, BestSeller, LowMargin
Item no. 2 HighMargin, Summer, 2013
Item no. 3 BestSeller, 2012, Clearance

Bear in mind

  • You’re limited to 1,000 unique values per custom label across your entire product inventory. Products with a custom label submitted after the limit was exceeded won’t be included in product groups using this custom label. To correct the issue, update your Google Merchant Centre product data to reduce the number of unique values for the custom label to less than 1,000. Find out more about using custom labels in your Merchant Centre product data.
  • Both “adwords labels” and “adwords grouping” attributes can remain in your product feed without affecting your Shopping campaigns. In particular, if you’re continuing to use regular Product Listing Ads campaigns, don’t replace the “adwords labels” attribute with the custom labels attribute in your product feed. This could negatively affect your regular Product Listing Ads campaign performance. Instead, simply create new custom labels for your Shopping campaigns. This is also useful, for instance, if you use these attributes for other ad solutions, such as dynamic remarketing.
Using the campaign priority setting

Use the optional campaign priority setting when you have multiple campaigns advertising the same product and you want to determine which campaign (and its associated bid) will be used when ads for these products show.

By default, every campaign is set at the “Low” priority level. When the same product is included in more than one “Low” priority campaign, the campaign with the higher bid will be eligible for the ad auction. However, when you choose a higher campaign priority for a campaign, the priority level – not the bid – determines which campaign is eligible when the same product is included in more than one campaign.

If multiple campaigns are set at the same higher priority level, then the bid amount will be the deciding factor on which campaign will show the ad. The campaign priority will remain until the budget for that campaign is depleted or you change the priority setting.

To change your campaign priority for a campaign:

  1. Go to the Settings tab of the campaign that you want to edit.
  2. Select Shopping settings (advanced).
  3. Next to “Campaign priority”, click on Edit.
  4. Select the priority setting that you want: “Low” (this is the default), “Medium” or “High”.
  5. Click on Save.

Tip

We recommend prioritising only a subset of the products that you want to promote, such as items featured in a special sale. This allows you to easily manage bids on these items during the sale period.

You can do this by setting up an inventory filter for higher priority campaigns. The inventory filter is on the “Settings” tab of your Shopping campaign, under “Shopping settings (advanced)”, just beneath the campaign priority setting.

Promoting your products sold in local shops

By default, Shopping campaigns show ads for products sold from an online website. If you want your campaign to show products sold in a physical store location, make sure that you have a verified Local Products feed set up in Google Merchant Centre and take the steps below to get started. Find out more about local inventory ads.

Here's how to enable local inventory ads in your campaign:

  1. Click on the Settings tab of the campaign that you want to edit.
  2. Under Shopping settings (advanced), tick the box to enable local inventory ads.
  3. Click on Save.
  4. Now you can set up a campaign filter or subdivide your inventory into product groups by channel and channel exclusivity. Find out more about organising your campaign with product groups.
    "Channel" segments products by online or local availability.
    "Channel exclusivity" segments products by availability in one of the channels or both.
    For example, if you set up a product filter for “Channel”: ”Local” and “Channel Exclusivity”: “single-channel”, your campaign would include products sold exclusively in local shops, not online.

Example

Once you've enabled local inventory ads, you can subdivide your product inventory and choose different bids for channel and channel exclusivity. Here, products that are available in multiple channels (multi-channel) have a £2.50 bid. Separate bids have been set for products that appear in a single channel only. Products sold in local shops only have a £1.25 bid, while products sold online only use a £1.50 bid.

Subdivide by channel and channel exclusivity
Highlighting your Product Listing Ads with a promotional message

Immediately after you have created a new Shopping campaign, you’ll be taken to the “Create ad group” page, where you can add a promotional message to your ads to highlight special information that applies to all of the products in that ad group. These messages shouldn't be used as ad text, but rather as actionable alerts that differentiate you from the competition. Promotional text is limited to 45 characters, and keyword insertion won't work with this text or the product information text provided dynamically from your Merchant Centre account.

If you want to add another promotional message to specific products in your Shopping campaign, you’ll need to create a new ad group and promotional message, then organise the product groups in this new ad group so that it contains only the products that you want to display your new promotional message. Find out how in the Creating additional ad groups for your Shopping campaign section above.

Tip

Because AdWords promotional text must go through a review process, you could encounter delays in getting your message seen by customers. If you want to highlight a special offer or delivery/promotion with your Product Listing Ads, consider using one of these options instead of AdWords promotional text:

Adding or editing a promotional message in an existing Shopping campaign

Add or edit a promotional message from the Ads tab. Note that when you add or edit promotional text in an existing campaign or ad group, the previous version of your ad is removed and replaced by the new version. You can still view the removed ad on the “Ads” tab by clicking on “All but removed ads” in the drop-down menu and changing your selection to “All”.

Here’s how to add or edit a promotional message for your ad:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  2. Click on the Campaigns tab.
  3. From the side navigation bar, select the campaign or ad group that you want to add a promotional message to.
  4. Select the Ads tab.
  5. In the table that appears, click on the pencil icon next to “Product listing ad”.
  6. A “Before you edit this ad...” message will appear to let you know that making a change will remove the existing ad and create a new one. Don’t worry. This will only change the promotional message in your campaign. Your performance data, product groups and settings will remain in place. Click on Yes, I understand.
  7. Enter or edit your promotional text and click on Save.

Promotional text guidelines

Make sure your promotional text meets the AdWords policies on editorial standards and relevance, clarity and accuracy to avoid any unforeseen delays.

Here are a few common mistakes to avoid in your promotions:

  • Don't use promotional codes with consecutive zeros
  • Don't capitalise entire words
  • Don't use double exclamation marks
  • Don't use symbols or shapes

Examples

Promotional text Allowed? Reason
Use coupon code HALZ for £10 off at checkout It's okay to capitalise all the letters in the promotional code
We are the BEST out there!! Promotional text contains excessive capitalisation and double exclamation marks
Use coupon code Z00LZ to save 20% Promotional code contains consecutive zeros
Free 1 day delivery with any purchase of £100 or more It's okay to use consecutive zeros in monetary values
Lowest price | Discount on all products Promotional text contains a symbol
Free delivery on orders over £50 It's okay to use the pound sign (£) to indicate monetary value in promotional text
Buy a second one for 50% off It's OK to use the percent (%) symbol in promotional text

We recommend using promotional text that includes a specific benefit for your potential customer if they click on your ad. Avoid using vague or general descriptions.

Here are a few examples of less useful product promotions:

  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • Certified the best costume retailer in the South East
  • Low prices, guaranteed
Using negative keywords for your Shopping campaign

You can use negative keywords at the campaign or ad group level to limit the searches for which your ads will show. To add, edit or remove negative keywords, select the Shopping campaign or ad group that you would like to use, then click on the Keywords tab. Find out more about using negative keywords.

Tip

Manage Shopping campaigns in AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor is a free, downloadable application for managing your AdWords campaigns offline. You can use AdWords Editor to change bids on your product groups and Landing Page URLs. Learn more

Make changes to your Shopping campaign with bulk uploads

If you want to make changes to a significant number of your Shopping campaigns’ product group bids or landing page URLs, you could save time by using bulk uploads. You’ll do this by downloading an editable report, making changes directly in the document, and then uploading the updated report back into your account, where your new changes will be automatically applied.

For landing page URLs, you can make changes to all product groups that aren't subdivided, except for those marked "excluded".

Download a product group report

To make changes to your product group bids or Destination URLs with bulk uploads, you’ll first need to download an editable product group report.

If you'd like to view your data split into rows based on the options that matter to you most, such as days of the week, click type or device, then you can download a non-editable report using segments.

Bear in mind

With Shopping campaigns, you can’t segment impression share, benchmark CTR or benchmark CPC by device or click type.

Here's how to download a product group report:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  2. Click on the Campaigns tab.
  3. Select a Shopping campaign from the side navigation bar.
  4. Select an ad group in the campaign.
  5. Click on the Product groups tab.
  6. Make sure that the table is displaying all of the product groups that you may want to edit. Then, click on the download button, which looks like Download button.
  7. If you want to segment your data by device, day of the week or click type, click on +Add segment, then click on the drop-down menu and select the option that you want. Note that you won’t be able to download an editable report if you are using segments. Also, you won’t be able to segment your impression share, benchmark CTR or benchmark CPC data by device or click type.
  8. To download an editable report, tick the box marked Editable. Bear in mind:
    • You can’t download an editable report using segments.
    • You can only download editable reports in .csv and Excel formats.
    • Editable reports default to English, regardless of the user’s locale.
  9. Click on Download.

Tip: Save your original downloaded report

When a bulk upload is submitted, there is no automated way to cancel or reverse your changes. Therefore, we recommend that you always save a copy of your original downloaded report in case you ever need to see what your settings were before you made changes and submitted a bulk upload.

Edit your product group report

With your downloaded product group report, you’ll be able to review all of the product groups across your ad group and edit the max. CPC bids, tracking templates or custom parameters and destination URLs for product groups that aren’t subdivided.

When you edit your report, there are some general rules to follow to ensure that we properly interpret your change requests.

General rules for editing your product group reports

  • Don’t worry about deleting extraneous columns or the total rows. Simply upload the whole report and we’ll ignore what isn’t essential.
  • Make sure that you save your spreadsheet in one of our supported formats (.xlsx, .tsv or .csv).

Below are the columns that you’ll see in your editable product group report, along with instructions on how to make your changes. Depending upon the columns visible on your “Product groups” tab when you download your report, you will see additional columns, all of which are non-editable.

Column name Description Edit instructions
cam Campaign Shows the name that you gave your campaign. Editable (must also change campaign ID)
Campaign ID Shows the unique identifier that AdWords assigned to each campaign. Editable (must also change campaign name)
Ad group ID Shows the unique identifier that AdWords assigned to each ad group. Editable (must also change ad group name)
Ad group Shows the name that you gave your ad group. Editable (must also change ad group ID)
Criterion ID Shows the unique identifier that AdWords assigned to each product group. Non-editable
Product group Shows the full path of the product group in your product group hierarchy. Learn more about subdividing product groups Editable
Partition type Shows whether a row represents a subdivision or a unit. Editable
MaxCPC Shows the current maximum cost-per-click bid for the product group. You won’t see a value if the product group has been subdivided. To change your bid, edit the value in the column.
Clicks Shows the number of clicks on ads for the products in that product group. Use this information to decide how you might want to adjust your bid. Non-editable
Tracking template Shows the tracking template. Edit the template in the column. Learn more about tracking
Custom parameter Shows your custom parameters. Edit the names and values in the column. Find out more about custom parameters
Upload your report

Here's how to upload your spreadsheet:

  1. In your AdWords account, click Bulk operations in the left navigation window.
  2. Select Bulk uploads.
  3. Click Choose file… to locate your edited and saved spreadsheet.
  4. Click Upload and preview.
  5. When loaded, a preview of your changes will appear. At this point, you can see what your changes would look like, fix any errors in your spreadsheet then upload again, or ignore the errors and click Apply changes.
Viewing the results of your upload

Once your file is uploaded, you’ll see a new entry for that file at the top of the table in the Bulk operations section. Applied changes will have a Details link where you can view your past changes. For uploaded spreadsheets that you have not applied, you can choose to Preview, Apply or Remove.

What to do if there are errors
  1. Locate your spreadsheet in the Bulk operations table.
  2. In the row with your report, click Download > Errors only or click Details to look at the errors within your account.
  3. In the Results column on the spreadsheet – or the Status column if you’re looking at errors in your account – find the issue with each row, then fix that issue.
  4. Save the file then upload it in the Bulk Operations area.

Tip

You can use bulk uploads to efficiently make changes across all of your campaign types, such as creating new text ads, adding and editing keywords and creating ad extensions. Find out more about all the things that you can do with bulk uploads.

Best practices for setting up Shopping campaigns

Organise your campaign based on your goals

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to your advertising goals across your inventory. When creating your Shopping campaign, think about what you want to accomplish across your different product areas and how you can organise your product inventory into product groups and corresponding bids that align with these varied goals.

Example

Perhaps you want to promote your women’s sandals as well as your handbags from a particular manufacturer. Based on these goals, you might want to subdivide your “All products” product group and set your bids for each product group accordingly.

To create the women’s sandals product group, you’d subdivide your inventory using the “Product type” or "Category" attribute for sandals. To create the handbag product group, you’d subdivide by the “Brand” attribute. Now you have three product groups in your Shopping campaign: “women’s sandals”, “handbags” and a product group called “Everything else in ‘All products'”, which contains the rest of your eligible product inventory.

Now you’ll set bids for your new product groups to align with your sales strategy. This is a great opportunity to try the Bid Simulator tool, which estimates ad performance based on specific bids. Find out more about optimisation tools for Shopping campaigns.

Create a campaign promoting your best-selling products or other subset

Begin your Shopping campaign experience with your highest revenue-generating products, or other desired subset of your inventory. Create a separate Shopping campaign and subdivide your inventory into product groups containing only these products. Subdivide by the custom label attributes if you have a large number of these items. Then, bid by item ID for your individual top-selling items.

Next, you’ll want to group your lower-performing items into larger categories, based on your goals. Or, you can stop these remaining products from being advertised in this campaign entirely by clicking in the “Max. CPC” column next to that product group and selecting “Excluded”. Then, change the campaign priority to “Medium” in your Shopping campaign settings to prioritise this Shopping campaign above other campaigns with lower priority settings advertising the same products.

Prioritise your bestseller, seasonal and/or special promotion campaigns

Use the campaign priority setting in your new Shopping campaigns to ensure that the products that you’re most interested in promoting get the traction that they need. All campaigns are set to “Low” campaign priority by default. A “Medium" or “High” campaign priority means that the bids in that campaign will be selected over bids in all of your other campaigns with lower priority settings, including your regular Product Listing Ads campaigns. This prioritisation will remain until you change the setting back to “Low” or until your budget has been depleted.

Boost bids on your top converting items, brands and categories

Subdivide your inventory to create product groups that align with these top performers and raise your bids to help increase their performance. You can also try the Bid Simulator to get performance estimates for particular bids. Look for the Bid Simulator icon in the “Max. CPC” column of your Campaigns, Ad groups or Keywords tabs. Find out more about the Bid Simulator and other optimisation tools for Shopping campaigns.

Make sure that all your products are covered

To ensure that 100% of your product inventory is eligible to show on Product Listing Ads, consider creating a single, Shopping campaign with “Low” campaign priority, 1 ad group and 1 “All products” product group. Then, assign a low bid to this product group.

Be strategic with “Everything else” to reduce bid conflicts

To minimise potential bid conflicts, we recommend having no more than 100 “Everything else” product groups. Use the “Excluded” option on your “Everything else” product groups to bid on only the items that you specified in a given ad group. You can “exclude” product groups by clicking in the “Max. CPC” column of your “Campaigns” or “Ad groups” tabs.

You can also use the inventory filter in your campaign settings to limit the number of items that are eligible to show on Product Listing Ads. This can help reduce the number of bid conflicts across campaigns for your “Everything else” product groups.

Use benchmarking data to stay competitive

See how your competitors advertising similar products are bidding and performing by reviewing your benchmark maximum cost-per-click (CPC) and benchmark click-through-rate (CTR) data on the “Product groups” tab. For your priority product groups, set bids higher than the benchmarks to ensure that your top products remain competitive. Find out more about benchmarking and other optimisation tools for Shopping campaigns.

Bid by item Id (for advanced advertisers)

If you need to bid by item ID for a large number of items in your inventory (for example, more than 1,000 products), we recommend that you do the following to ensure that only specified bids at the item level will be used:

  • Include 1 item per product group
  • Consolidate as many product groups under 1 ad group as possible. Then, set the “Everything else” product group for that ad group to “Excluded”.
  • Maximise the number of ad groups per campaign. Then, set the “Everything else” product group at the highest level to “Excluded”.
  • Maximise the number of campaigns per account

 

Tip

Similar to text ads, Shopping campaigns allow 10,000 campaigns per account and 20,000 ad groups per campaign. If you need to exceed these limits, create multiple AdWords accounts to cover your entire inventory.

We recommend having at least 3 items within a product group in order to take advantage of competitive benchmarking metrics.

Managing your Google Merchant Centre product feed

Your Merchant Centre product feed contains groupings of attributes used to describe your products, such as category, product type, brand, condition, item ID and custom labels. We use those attributes to determine when your Product Listing Ads are eligible to show, so it's important that the content of your Merchant Centre feed is accurate and up to date.

You can find the latest information about setting up and maintaining your product feed in the Merchant Centre Help Centre. Here are a few of the most useful articles:

Best practices for your Merchant Centre product feed

Here are a few tips to help make sure that your product feeds are set up correctly:

Setting up your attributes

Check your product feeds to make sure that they are using the required attributes. Find out more about our attribute requirements.

Checking the quality of your product data

Check the product data that you submit to your product feed to make sure that it's high-quality data – fresh, accurate and comprehensive. To get an idea of how you can improve your data quality, sign in to your Merchant Centre account and review your data quality and data feed information. Read more about the quality of your data.

Check the products in your product feed

The products in your product feed must be labeled "active" in order for your Product Listing Ads to show. Find out more about "active" products.

Visit the Merchant Centre Help Centre to find out how to troubleshoot your product feed.

Using the Merchant Centre page to review your product information

The Merchant Centre page in AdWords gives you "read-only" access to product data for all of the Merchant Centre accounts that are linked to your AdWords account. From the Merchant Centre page, you can see information, like the status of the product feeds and the quality of the product information, which can be used to improve your Product Listing Ads.

Note

If you manage any of the Merchant Centre accounts that appear on your Merchant Centre page, then you must sign in to your Merchant Centre account to make any changes to the product information. If you don't manage any of the Merchant Centre accounts that appear on your Merchant Centre page, then you'll need to contact the owner of each Merchant Centre account and ask them to make changes to the product information.

To get started, click on the Tools tab and then click on Google Merchant Centre. You'll see a table with the following columns:

  • Merchant Centre Shop Name: A list of all the Merchant Centre shops names that are linked to your AdWords account.
  • Total Active Items in Product Ads: The number of active products in each Merchant Centre shop. Active means that the product has been submitted and accepted into Merchant Centre. If the product was submitted recently, it might not be fully processed and eligible to appear in your Product Listing Ads.

Click on the link for each shop name to see more detailed product information. Once you have clicked on the link, you'll see a Dashboard tab and a Products tab. Read the sections below to find out more about the information that you'll see on each tab.

Dashboard tab

On the Dashboard tab, you'll see three sections that show you more detailed product data. The sections are data health, data feeds and data quality signals.

Data health

The "Data health" graph shows you whether your products are eligible to appear or are currently appearing in your Product Listing Ads. In the graph, you'll see the number of products that are active, awaiting review or disapproved. Here's what each product status means:

  • Active means that the product has been submitted and accepted into Merchant Centre. If it was submitted recently, this product might not yet be eligible to appear with Product Listing Ads. Bear in mind that you have to create Product Listing Ads for your ads to appear.
  • Awaiting review means that we're reviewing the product to make sure that it complies with our policies before accepting it into Merchant Centre. Read more about our policies.
  • Disapproved means that the product has been disapproved and isn't active in the search results. In other words, the product isn't eligible to appear with your Product Listing Ads.

Data feeds

The "Data Feeds" table shows you a list of the most-recently updated data feeds for your product, including the date and status of the most recent upload. In the table, you'll see the data feed file name, the date the feed was last uploaded and the number of products that were inserted. Read more about data feeds.

Data quality signals

The "Data quality signals" table shows you the quality of the product data for a given retailer. In the table, you'll see the type of error and the percentage and number of times that error occurred during our last analysis of the product data. In Merchant Centre, we categorise these errors into levels based on the severity of the error. If you see a high number of errors, you might want to get in touch with your Google Merchant Centre contact to find out if these are critical errors. Read more about each type of error.

Products tab

On the Products tab, you'll see a table with a list of the products that are in the Merchant Centre account that you selected.

In the table, you'll see more information about each product, including the condition of the product, and the target country and language of the product. In the "Product Ads" column, the icons will give you an idea of whether the product is eligible to appear in your Product Listing Ads. Here's what each icon means:

  • The green tick means that the product is active and eligible to appear in your products ads.
  • A yellow egg timer means that the product is being reviewed to ensure that it complies with our policies.
  • A red circle means that the product has been disapproved.

You can also filter the products by their statuses by clicking on the "Status" drop-down menu (it'll be "Searchable" by default) and selecting the status by which you'd like to filter. Here's what each product status means:

  • Active means that the product has been submitted and accepted into Merchant Centre.
  • Searchable means that Merchant Centre and AdWords have processed the product and it's eligible to appear in Product Listing Ads.
  • Inactive means that we're reviewing the product to ensure that it complies with our policies or that the product has been disapproved and isn't active in the search results. Read more about our policies.

Note

When you filter the products, there may be products that you might not expect to see for a particular status. That's because it can take several hours for the most recent updates to your product information to appear in the table.

Once you've reviewed the product information in the table, you can click on the link for a product and see more information, such as the URL, technical details on the product and data feed and any product attributes that have been added to Merchant Centre. You can then use this information to check the attributes of various products in your Merchant Centre feed. Bear in mind that these attributes impact on how you create product groups for your Product Listing Ads.

Bidding best practices and troubleshooting

Here are a few tips to help you get started with setting bids for your Shopping campaigns:

  • Try setting the same maximum cost-per-click (Max. CPC) bid that you use for your existing text ads and then see how your Product Listing Ads perform.
  • You can change your bids as often as you like. However, consider setting a bid amount and then seeing how your Product Listing Ads perform. Once you've collected enough data, you can identify how profitable your product groups are with their current bids. Then you can adjust your bids accordingly.
  • Once your ads have had time to collect enough data, you can start using competitive metrics like benchmark CPC, benchmark CTR and impression share, and tools like Bid Simulator, to assess your performance, hone your bidding strategy and make informed decisions to improve campaign performance. Read more about monitoring and optimising your Shopping campaigns.
  • If you use conversion tracking and want to improve your potential for sales and get more value from your budget, then consider using enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) bidding for your Shopping campaign or ad group. ECPC uses your conversion tracking data to gauge which clicks seem more likely to lead to conversions and which ones seem less likely to convert. AdWords then automatically adjusts your bid accordingly, either raising your Max. CPC bid (up to 30%), or lowering it. Once you have finished creating your campaign, you’ll need to create an ECPC flexible bid strategy (if you don’t have one already) and apply it to the campaign or ad group. Find out more about using ECPC bidding with your Shopping campaign.
Troubleshooting your Shopping campaigns

Here are some common reasons why your Shopping campaign might not be receiving traffic:

You've recently updated your product feed in your Merchant Centre account

If you've submitted a product feed for the first time or significantly updated an existing product feed in your Merchant Centre account, then we'll review these products to make sure that they are in compliance with our policies. Bear in mind that the review process may take up to two working days. Read more about our policies and feed specifications to help minimise delays in the review process.

Your product group no longer contains any products

If you made significant changes to your product feed, then there’s a chance that products may no longer fall into a given product group. This means that those products could be included in a different product group with a different bid, or excluded from the campaign entirely.

To verify what products are included in your product groups, go to the “Product groups” tab and click on the dialogue box next to the product group name. In the window that appears you’ll see the number of products contained in that group and a sample list. Click on “View full list of products” to see all the products in that group. Create or remove product groups to match your new product feed categorisation and advertising goals.

Note

Aside from the above, there may be other more general reasons, such as search relevance, budget, bidding, location settings or other performance issues that may be affecting your Product Listing Ad’s ability to serve. Find out more about why your ad may not be serving.

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