Why use Google Shopping Ads?

Last updated: May 24, 2020

Google Shopping is an advertising tool for retailers to sell their physical products online. They are a great opportunity to better present your products and store online. These types of ads will boost high quality traffic to your webshop or physical store. As a merchant you will need both a live Google Merchant Center and a Google Ads account to get started, but once you have provided Google with your Product Feed, it will use your data to show your products to potential customers around the web. In this blog I will explain you why you should use Google Shopping Ads for your webshop or store.

What is the difference in Google Shopping Ads versus traditional text based Search Ads?

Google Shopping provides a more visual approach to sell your products online. With a regular text ad, or Search Campaign, you can only use the power of -you can guess what is coming- words to make your products stand out from the crowd. Shopping Ads, on the other hand, will show a product picture, title, price, shop info and other things in a much more visual way. Statistics have proven that this approach is more effective in terms of conversion rate. We will dive deeper into these aspects in the next sections.

Does a click from Google Shopping result in a higher conversion rate then traditional text based Search Ads?

Yes it does, but there is more to the story. Google Shopping Ads are much more visual than the classic text ads, or better known as Search Ads. Shopping Ads give a better overview of your product at one glance. Good quality images are generally a big plus to when it comes to selling your products online.

Humans are Visual Creatures, so it is in our nature to respond more to images as we do to text. Here is a nice article on the topic if you want to read more about images: why images speak louder than words – by Gabe Arnold.

Google PLA Conversion Rates Are 30% Higher Than Comparable Text Ads on Desktops.


How can we explain this effect? Well, potential customers that click on Google Shopping Ads are automatically much more satisfied with what they see on the store’s landing (Product). The image, title, price are all exactly the same as what they have already seen before on google’s search page (SERP). And because your website visitor is getting exactly what he expects, it is more likely that he or she will continue the shopping journey and will actually buy your product. It all makes sense, or?

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Another huge benefit of this effect is that the cost per click (CPC) on Google Shopping Ads is lower than the traditional text ads. As said before, people can already see what the product looks like and what it costs before they click. So only the people actually interested in such a product will actually click on the ad and make you pay. Take a step back, how often have you clicked on a tekst ad yourself, seen the page and bounced back within 2 seconds? I have a million times by now.

Example of Simplify Everything

Case from Simplify Everything OG

So much for the theory, let’s take a look at some of our own data. Looking at one of our clients’ recent results on Google Ads, we can see that the conversion rate doesn’t always need to be higher on shopping ads in comparison to their Search Ads. However in this case, the search ads are massively outperforming the industry average which lies a little over 4%. 

The average conversion rate across Google Ads is 4.40% on the search network and 0.57% on the display network.


Regardless of the conversion rate, in this example the Google Shopping Ads still have a lower cost-per-click (CPC) and a lower Cost per Conversion. The ads therefore have a higher return on investment (ROI) then traditional search ads.

Where can Google Shopping Ads appear?

Google Shopping Ads can just as other types of ads be seen on Google’s search result page, Google’s own shopping page and on it’s Display Network.

Search Engine Result Page (SERP)

Source: Google.com – screenshot taken on 19/04/2020

You can clearly see the power of the Google Shopping Ads on the screenshot above. Yes, I have blurred out the text, but you get the idea. The shopping ads circled in red take up roughly 40% of the SERP above the fold -the visible page without scrolling- and the pictures make you instantly look at it. Since you are shopping for a new camera, these are the ads you are most likely to click on.

On the left in blue you can see the Search Ads on Google. They too take up a lot of attention on the page as they are on the top left corner of the screen. In most languages this is the spot where you start reading when being presented with a text.

The result marked by green is the first and only organic search result above the fold. This clearly proves the point of most marketeers, that you cannot live without paid ads in the modern online world. Who still scrolls down?

Google’s Shopping Page

Source: Google.com – Screenshot taken on 19/04/2020

If on Google you click on “Shopping” just above the search results, you will land in Google’s own online shop like environment. Here you can find, filter and compare all sorts of products as if you were in somebody’s online shop.

Every product seen here is treated the same as the product in Google’s Shopping Ads from the SERP. If you as a merchant, add your products to the Google Merchant Center, then your products will automatically appear here as well. Here too you pay per click to get visitors to your online store.

Display Network

The Google Display Network (GDN) is huge. By advertising on the Display Network you can especially create awareness of your products and store. But what exactly is it?

A group of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear.

Display Network sites reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide*. With the Display Network, you can use targeting to show your ads in particular contexts (like “outdoor lifestyles” or “cnn.com”), to particular audiences (like “young moms” or “people shopping for a new sedan”), in particular locations, and more.

Source: Google – https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/117120?hl=en

The Google Display network is particularly good for creating awareness of your products. You see these ads basically everywhere on the internet and within Apps. You have probably noticed them in our blog too.

For advertisers it is a relatively cheap way of showing your products or store to a large crowd of internet users and making them aware of your products and store. But because these internet users are not actively searching for your products are therefore less likely to buy of you straight away. Remember the difference in Conversion rate from before? 4,4% for Google Ads in the Search Network versus “only” 0,57% in the Display Network. But this is okay, they are not meant to convert just yet. 

Ads on the Google Display Network have:

  • Lower cost-per-clicks 
  • Higher amount of impressions
  • Lower conversion rates and conversion intent
  • Click-through rate (CTR) is lower as well
  • Lower cost-per-conversions

Can you expect Google Shopping Ads to always work out of the box for everyone?

No you can’t. Google Shopping Ads do not work out of the box for everyone. Advertisement cost money and if you don’t know what you are doing you should hire a professional to set-up the ads for you. We at Simplify Everything never spend an advertising budget on Shopping Ads alone, but always combine them with search and display ads to get the best results possible.

You have probably heard of the “Advertising Rule of 3 before”. This rule states that in order for a consumer to actively think about purchasing your product or service you have to hit them with the advertisement 3 different times. And I personally have the opinion that the consumer should preferably see it in 3 different locations as well. What are your thoughts on this? I would happily hear from you in the comments section below.

Google has it’s algorithms, and for these algorithms to work properly you must drive traffic, a lot of traffic to your website and allow Google to read and analyze this data. It is very important to add the right tracking codes to your website and link services as Google Ads and Google Analytics to each other. We use WordPress for all our websites and we have all the plugins needed to implement the tracking codes. The more data you can provide to Google, the better it can place your ads in the right locations and at the right time.

If you begin with your very first ads ever, you should be patient and allow Google the time it needs to learn. Don’t expect the best results straight from the start and don’t forget your cookie and privacy policy to keep it all legal.

In a future blog I will explain more on how to set-up shopping ads properly


Why use Google Shopping Ads? Simple, they make money. They are a great opportunity to better present your products and store online. If done properly, Google Shopping Ads make a lot of sense and in comparison to traditional search ads they have:

  • a 30% higher conversion rate
  • a lower cost-per-click (CPC)
  • a lower cost-per-conversion rate
  • a higher return on investment (ROI)
  • a better position on Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP)

We are here to help! Have a look at our page about online marketing and see what we can do for you.

Raymond Hollaar

Raymond is a Dutch guy with Hungarian roots, living in Austria. Can you still follow? Apart from loving the outdoor life in the mountains, he spends most of his time indoors playing with computers. He has over 10 years of experience with the design of websites and especially with e-Commerce.

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