With a majority of consumers moving online for their shopping (66% prefer it to brick-and-mortar), it’s a better time than ever to have a WooCommerce store.
But it’s a challenge to reach purchase-ready consumers with consistency.
Google Shopping Ads let you advertise to consumers who are actively searching for products, but with an unoptimized campaign, you’ll struggle to turn a profit.
Only if you know how to optimize your product feed, titles, descriptions, categories, and more, will you see positive results.
In this article, we’ll show you how to optimize your WooCommerce Google Shopping ads campaigns to turn a profit and attract new customers.
Let’s dive straight in.
How Can Shopping Ads Boost My WooCommerce Business?
Everybody who has ever dreamt of starting an eCommerce store knows about Google Ads.
Most people think of them as text ads that show up for relevant search queries above organic results:
In this example, on-running.com shows a text ad for the search phrase “running shoes” to promote their products. It’s a text-based search ad, one of Google’s many advertising products.
For generic commercial exploration queries like this one, text ads are more likely to show up.
But these generic terms are only a small part of total search volume and don’t convert as well as more specific terms.
Long-tail keywords convert a lot better because you catch users right when they’re searching for a specific product.
If you can offer them the right product, there’s a decent chance they will buy it right then and there.
And Google shopping ads are perfect for that.
If you search for a specific product, rather than text ad, Google Shopping ads, not text ads, dominate the results.
On mobile, the only thing you can see above the fold is the shopping ads section.
You can’t even see the text ads, because the shopping ads are hogging all of the attention with all that real estate!
And when over 50.1% of searches happen on mobile devices, that’s a pretty big deal.
All the major retailers in the US have caught on, and are spending more on Google Shopping ads than on paid search.
If you want to leverage the power of Google Shopping campaigns for your own eCommerce store, keep on reading.
How Can I Create a Google Shopping Campaign for WooCommerce?
Creating your first Google Shopping campaign for your WooCommerce store might seem like a complicated task.
But if you follow along with the steps below, you’ll have it up and running in minutes.
Step 1. Set up and link your Google Merchant Center with your Google Ads account
First, if you don’t have an account, you need to head over to Google Merchant Center and sign up.
Once you’ve created your account, you will follow a tutorial automatically.
Choose Shopping Ads, and you can follow a step-by-step guide. (You can also do this with an existing account if you didn’t finish the setup yet.)
Add your Tax (not necessary for non-US businesses) and shipping information for your store.
At this point, you will want to link your Google Ads account (because it’s another quick and easy step).
Click the “Link your account” link at the bottom of the page.
Then link the relevant Google Ads account that’s tied to the same email address.
Confirm the link through the prompt (you may have to log in again) and go on to the next step.
Step 2. Use a plugin to create a WooCommerce product feed
Unlike some other eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, WooCommerce doesn’t generate a product data feed by default.
That means you have to install and use a WordPress plugin to generate a Google product feed.
While you do this, keep the Merchant Center tab open.
After that, create your first data feed by heading to Product Feed Pro > Create feed. Set the name, country (for language and prices), and the channel to Google Shopping.
Now, go to manage feeds, expand the one you just created, and copy the feed URL.
Go back to the Merchant Center tab, and click the “Add product data” link.
Then, click the blue plus button to create a new primary feed.
Edit basic settings like the country and language, and make sure that the Shopping ads destination is checked before you continue.
Next, set the name for your Google Shopping feed, and set “Scheduled fetch” as the input method. (The default Google Sheets method is not compatible with the WooCommerce plugin in this article.)
Then, complete your new primary feed by pasting the WooCommerce feed URL address:
And you’re good to go.
All that’s left is creating your campaign.
Step. 3 Create your first Google Shopping Ads campaign
With product data successfully imported and GMC and Google Accounts linked, you’re ready to create your first shopping campaign.
Head to your Google Ads account, and click the New Campaign link in the main dashboard.
Then, select Sales as your objective, and choose Shopping as your campaign type. You can choose a smart shopping campaign with automated bidding, or go standard for more control.
If you successfully linked the accounts, the relevant GMC account will appear.
Next, you can set the bid strategy, budget, networks (where your ad will appear), and devices. Starting small and leaving the network open for larger reach is a good idea.
Then you want to set the ad group type to “Product Shopping” to set up typical single-product ads in the search results.
Finally, set your bid well within your average profit margin per sale, and you’re ready to go.
How to Optimize Google Shopping Ads for WooCommerce
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to do a deep dive into actually optimizing your WooCommerce store for Google Shopping ads.
Step 1. Optimize your product categories and match with Google Taxonomy
One of the most important things to know when optimizing your shopping campaigns for WooCommerce is the official Google product taxonomies.
You need to make sure that the categories in your feed match up with the correct Google Shopping category.
You can do this in the “Category mapping” setting, accessed through the manage feeds tab.
From there, you can manually map each product category to the corresponding Google Taxonomy.
But if your categories are too general, this isn’t going to be too helpful.
Up next, we’ll cover how to divide your categories into more specific categories for more accurate targeting.
Step 2. Split your product categories into more specific child categories
To map your categories in a way that will help your campaign performance, you need to add more categories.
That way it will help Google show the right shopping ad at the right time.
After adding more categories, you can bulk edit the products to move them efficiently.
After selecting the products, you can choose the new category, and save the changes.
After making these changes, you can go back and map categories again for optimal results.
Step 3. Optimize product titles with specific attributes
The biggest Google Shopping advertisers understand that product titles are the new headline, product descriptions the new ad copy.
You can’t use selling words like “best” or “cool” or other vague adjectives.
Instead, you must highlight as many relevant attributes as possible.
Just look at the title of the number one product for the term “Nike Jordan 2019”. It includes keywords like men’s, sneakers, gym, adult, male, black, and more.
You should answer the following questions with your titles:
- What kind of product is it? (Are they gym shoes? Running shoes? Get specific.)
- Who is it for? Is it for men, women, kids, athletes?
- What color is it?
- What material is it made of?
The easiest way to edit the titles is to change the names of your product pages.
Select products with unoptimized names and click them to edit.
Save the changes to go live. (You can use bulk editing if you have a lot of products.)
Without the right title, your Google Shopping ad won’t drive the results you want.
Step 4. Split Google Ads campaign by product categories and adjust bids
With the optimized categories and titles in place, it’s time to adjust your bids.
But before you can do that, you need to split your shopping campaign into different product groups.
Hover over the initial product group called “all products” and click the plus sign to add a subdivision.
From here, you can subdivide your product feed by category or product type.
And now, you can adjust the bids for these new product groups one by one.
After creating a group, you can divide the group even further by child-categories of the parent product category.
You can even single out products by ID and create custom groups of products. That’s great if you want to promote a single product ad for an on-sale item.
For more expensive products with larger profit margins, you can increase your bids significantly.
For products with a large volume of searches, but a lower profit margin, you’ll want to adjust your bids down.
If you have a large budget, a vast catalog of products with varying prices and profit margins, you could use smart bidding options instead.
Step. 5. Take advantage of Google Shopping’s “on sale” label
If you ever run a sale or promotion, it’s not enough to push your product with higher bids.
You also want the potential customers to understand that they’re getting a great deal.
The button that says “Sale” is a great attention-grabber to help your product stand out.
To take advantage of this label, you need to edit the right price field when putting items on sale in WooCommerce.
Make sure that you add a “sale price” (you can even schedule it) rather than edit the main price.
Now you have to map the fields so Product Feed Pro communicates the sale to your Google Merchant Center.
Go to the Manage feeds tab, and open up field mapping for your product feed.
Now, click the “add field mapping” button, and select sale price both as the Google Shopping attribute and value.
This way, the plugin will automatically fill in the sale_price attribute for products — and Google will tag your products as being on sale.
Step 6. Add Google’s dynamic remarketing pixel to your product pages
Google Shopping campaigns aren’t just great for closing sales on the first visit —they’re also a great source for highly targeted top-of-the-funnel traffic.
If you have room in your budget (and everyone should) for remarketing, a shopping campaign is the perfect foundation.
To create efficient remarketing campaigns, you should add Google’s dynamic remarketing pixel to your product pages and ads.
With Product Feed Pro it’s as easy as going to the settings page, enabling the pixel, and copying and pasting the pixel ID.
Once you’ve saved it, the plugin will automatically include the pixel for all your product pages and product ads.
This will help show the appropriate Google ad to each user based on previous browsing history.
Get Free Exposure Through Google Surfaces
In April 2020, Google announced that US merchants would be able to showcase their products for free in the Google Shopping tab.
After you’ve set up your shopping campaign, you should also make sure that your products are viable for Google Surfaces.
You don’t need to sign up for Google Shopping Actions or other Google for Retail products to qualify for free listings.
Typically, as long as you select surfaces as another possibility for your feed, you’ll already qualify if you’ve come this far.
WooCommerce is a great platform for promoting and selling your products online.
But you won’t get anywhere unless you can attract potential customers to view and purchase your products.
Optimizing your Google Shopping campaigns with better titles, categories, and category-specific bids is the perfect way to drive more buyers to your WooCommerce store.
If you follow the steps outlined in our guide, you should be on the fast track to more sales and revenue.