In the previous chapter regarding Google Shopping for eCommerce success, we discussed how to optimise your Google Shopping product listing and boost organic traffic and sales. SEO is critical to sustain a business growth and increase ROI, however today agile marketing is essential to make your business succeed, particularly if you’re running an online store and confronting a fierce competition landscape.

Thus, in this article regarding Google Shopping for eCommerce success, I’ll take a month optimisation roadmap case as an example, and walk you through how to run Google Shopping ads, optimise the campaign in order to increase sales and revenue, in particular for the purpose to achieve a good profit margin.

You won’t learn about smart shopping campaigns in this piece, because it’s almost letting you adjust budget and bidding and resting of work are done by Google AI from my point of view, which you can’t really understand your business performance through Google smart shopping campaign. On the other hand, by the end of this article, you can learn macro and granular strategic Google Shopping ads optimization, and when each approach is suggested to use when setting up a real shopping ads campaign.

1st Week Optimisation Strategy

1) Limit Search Partners

When you’re setting up a new Google Shopping campaign, you’ll find default networks in the campaign setting. By default, Search partners and YouTube and Discover on Display network are checked.

Here is why you want to make sure to switch both of them off:

  • Google search partners: This enables your Shopping ads to be shown both on Search partner sites like BestBuy, Walmart, etc. These can potentially be interesting, but not from the start. At the start, you should firstly get an idea of the baseline performance of your campaigns.
  • YouTube and Discover on Display network: this will make your ads show up on YouTube or third party websites. The reason this is so damaging is that most people that will see your ads might be interested in your products, however they’re not looking for them at the moment. Instead, they are just passive to receive your ads message. That means that it might help boost the reach, but it will not help sales and revenue from the start and let you understand the baseline cost per sale.

Suggestion: It’s very important for your online store promotion to turn these off for increasing the quality of the people that see your ads from the start.

2) Google Shopping Ads Campaign Structure

Campaign structure gets to the heart of effective Shopping campaigns. A good campaign structure enables you to bid on the products and search queries that are most valuable to you.

You don’t want Google AI prioritises to rank your A SKU in a higher position when people search ‘security camera’, because of its higher conversion rate, however in the same product group of the same Google Shopping ads campaign, you have the other core SKU with the same bidding that are getting lower exposure.

When starting the 1st week campaign, if you are only targeting a single market in ads language, it’s the best to split each campaign by product collection, or even deeper by device models, and you can allocate each campaign with the same budget and same ads setting.

For example, Ring is selling smart video doorbells with different models, each model has an unique brand keyword and generic functional keywords. So Ring doorbell 3, Ring Peepholecam can belong under an independent campaign. It’s okay to split them by using ads group level under one campaign, but budget, schedule, bidding strategy, etc adjustment are on campaign level, it’s not convenient for you to optimise.

If you are targeting multi markets, you also need to activate multi market campaigns with the same set of products, which facilitate you to look into reports and optimise. For example:

Japan_Ring Video 3_JP
AU_Ring Video 3_EN

Google Shopping can syndicate your SKU product type, custom label, etc if you have set up on the eCommerce management platform, such as shopify, Woocommerce, Magento. Then, you can select which product collection, or model you are going to promote.

3) Enhanced CPC Bidding for conversions (Manual)

Except external SEM optimisation software,Google Shopping ads has 3 bidding strategies:

  • Target ROAS
  • Maximize Clicks
  • Manual Enhanced CPC

It’s a fact to understand that Google doesn’t care about your business and product profitability. Their focus is on getting you to reach target audiences meanwhile spending more. So you need to consider your campaign objective,SKU P&L for calculating target CPC and select a proper one to start, rather than blindly going into automated bidding strategies, because it might have bad results for your business.

(Note: If you like to learn how to leverage Google Analytics to install custom transaction and conversion tracking, please check out this article)

A Practical Guide to Set Up Shopify Google Analytics for Collecting Transaction Data Integrated with Your Profit Calculator

When we aim to drive sales and revenue, starting with manual eCPC would be a proper option.

The reason is the Enhanced cost per click or eCPC bidding strategy is very similar to Manual CPC, but Google has the freedom to raise the max CPC that you indicated if it thinks a specific click will result in a sale. So there are two pros by starting with it

  • Manually set up a CPC

Only you know what’s the promoted SKU P&L, so only you can set a proper max.CPC. For example, if your selling item is US$100 at retail price and I assume profit margin is 20%, that means at most the cost per sale is US$20, because you don’t wanna sell more but lose more money. If the conversion rate is 5%, 20 clicks convert into one sale, so max.CPC is US$1.

  • Reach the low funnel audience and test out baseline avg. conversion rate of each SKU item

In a way, you don’t need as many clicks as possible like using maximize clicks bidding strategy. Instead you need to drive as many sales as possible and see sustainable sales volume, in order to understand your SKU item market performance and forecast next round advertising budget if the target is expanding the sales number.

4) Single Product Ads Format

Basically there are two shopping ads formats: single product ads and showcase ads. We strongly suggest to start with the single product ads, because the single product ads can generate clicks to your online store by each SKU, rather than landing to a canvas min page first by having spent the spent.

5) Negative Keywords

In Google Shopping you don’t need to add any keywords. But you have the option to add negative keywords to make sure you don’t show up for certain search queries. In general, you won’t dislike high conversion rate and low cost per sale search terms, but there are 3 types of search terms you need to hold on and see if you should add as negative keywords

  • Irrelevant search terms

The lowest hanging fruit are the irrelevant search queries. These are searches that don’t have any value at all for your business. For example, ring doorbell installation instruction, ring customer service, how to return ring video doorbell etc. Basically, you can add them as negative keywords, such as customer service in phrase, or broad match.

  • Competitor search terms

Competitor search queries are searches that include a competitor’s name together with an interesting keyword, such as Google nest amazon, hello doorbell best buy, etc.As it turns out, the searches that include Amazon aren’t completely worthless, because customers are searching similar product models which you’re selling as well, and comparing pricing among different online marketplaces. Depending on your business situation, you can either add the marketplace name as negative keywords, such as amazon in board match, or leave them there.

  • Very generic search terms

Another group of search terms you’ll see in the search terms report of your shopping campaigns are very generic search terms, such as video doorbell, security doorbell, etc.Generally this type of keywords have very very low click through but have a huge amount of impression on Google Shopping.

If your selling items are already in a very competitive niche, I would suggest you to add as negative keywords in exact match, because CTR would affect your campaign quality score and impact cost per click at the end.

2nd Week Optimisation

You would repeat the 1st week’s part of optimization work still, such as negative keywords, adjust the bidding, budget, etc. However, after one week observation, some of the SKU items might stand out and are generating sales sustainably, so it’s time to further maximise these SKUs performance.

  • Optimise Google Shopping Ads Campaign Structure: Create independent campaigns for each high performing SKUs, lower weight on low performing SKUs, and continue new SKUs testing

As mentioned, we adjust budget, bidding strategy, search network, etc macro elements in ads campaign level. For avoiding good performing SKUs on air limitation due to budget spent by other SKUs in the same campaign, we can create a new campaign specifically for these good SKUs.

  • Activate search partners for high performing SKUs

For high performing SKU campaigns, we can activate search partners, which our shopping product ads would also appear in Google search partners, such as Best Buy, or other publisher sites. But normally it would increase cost per sale a little bit, so I would suggest looking into each SKU profit margin, and selecting SKUs that still have 20% profit margin from the baseline Shopping search ads.

3rd Week & 4th Week Optimisation

1) Target ROAS bidding vs Enhanced CPC bidding in high performing campaigns

Selling more doesn’t mean earning more. After 2 week campaign observation and learning, we need to compare the performance between target ROAS and enhanced CPC.

Different from Amazon Sponsored Product ads, Google doesn’t have target ACoS, but in fact they are the same thing, and you can see from the formulas below. But of course, ACoS is much easier for you to compare with profit margin number

ROAS = Revenue / Ads Spent
ACoS = Ads Spent / Revenue

Starting with the high performing SKU by creating one more same set of campaign except for the bidding strategy


2) Day Parting

You might be aware of one weird thing that midnight still has search volume, but normally those traffic have very low conversion rates. As mentioned earlier, we suggest implementing a multi campaign with the same set of products, which include GEO. Thus, you don’t need to worry about timezone conflict between locations when you are setting up ads schedules in the same campaign. You can lower the bid at midnight, or even pause the ads.

3) Activate Google Shopping remarketing ads

After 2 or 3 weeks campaign runs, you have accumulated a certain amount of audience data, which include new customers, abandoned cart and prospects, in particular if you are running social ads, collaborated partnership programs, email campaigns, there are lots of prospects from upper customer purchase funnel. So it’s time to convert more from the existing database by leverage remarketing.

Being said that, remarketing strategy doesn’t mean you just reach them and show the same ads again, we need to plan a mechanism based on the audience behavior and profile we are going to reach, which are calling to action, or providing new incentives.

  • High performing SKUs

High performing SKUs from Google Shopping ads doesn’t mean it only performs good in Google, if you find that these SKUs don’t perform well in facebook, display ads, it might just be dealing with the customer status and creative ads.

So creating a remarketing campaign for high performing SKUs and reaching those prospects from other channels are a good way to convert new search volume that are benefited from other channel brand awareness campaigns.

  • Testing Discount at Limited Time

You can specifically create a promotion price for a SKU and retarget those prospects in the past 30, 60 days who came to your online store, but just left the item in an abandoned cart, or just left your site. This approach can test if pricing is a matter of things for this segmentation customer.

4) Roll out Youtube Shopping ads, display dynamic ads for high performing and profit margin SKUs

In the 4th week, you might find high performing SKU campaign share of voice has almost closed to 100% and just fight for a high share of clicks number. This is nothing wrong with your strategy, but just admit one thing that Google shopping search volume is not unlimited.

So the question is how to generate more traffic in Google Shopping searching your brand product, or drive sales from other channels. In Google, Youtube and Display would be a good option.

I hope you enjoy reading Google Shopping Ads Campaign: Sales & Revenue Optimization Strategies. If you did, please support us by doing one of the things listed below, because it always helps out our channel.

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Google Shopping Product Listing Service (With Adding SEO elements)

If you are looking for a freelancer to help you on the Google Shopping ads campaign planning and optimisation as well, I’m able to help you on this and below has 3 service and quotation ($US) plans you can select. For details, please visit here and contact me.

By Louis Lu

Growth Hacker & Digital Marketer, with a proven record of over 11 years experience in 20+ Asian markets, and 25,000+ connections in Linkedin

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