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6 Avoidable Mistakes When Setting Up Ads for Google Shopping

Google Shopping can be a great way to increase traffic and sales for your business, but if you incorrectly set up your Google Ads Shopping, you could be wasting your time and money.

Most people don’t know how to get their shopping ads in the Google Merchant Center set up correctly, so they lose out on potential customers and sales.

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This blog post will teach you six avoidable mistakes you can make in your Google Shopping setup process. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be able to save time and money while getting better results from your ads.

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Mistake #1: Not Using Conversion Actions (or Using the Wrong Ones!)

One of the most common mistakes people make with Google Shopping is not using conversion actions or using the wrong ones.

Conversion actions tell Google what counts as a conversion for your business.

That might be a purchase, a sign-up for your mailing list, or something else entirely.

Without conversion actions set up, you won’t be able to track how many conversions your Google Shopping ads are generating — which makes it hard to know if they’re working.

Similarly, using the wrong conversion action can also skew your data and make it hard to understand how your ads are performing.

AJ Blog Graphic - Conversion Actions

Let’s say you’re selling clothes on your website and want to track purchases as conversions. But you have other conversion actions, like signing up for your newsletter or adding items to a wishlist.

If someone clicks on your ad and buys something, that will be a conversion. But so will someone who clicks on your ad, signs up for your newsletter, and then makes a purchase later.

As a result, you won’t be able to tell how many sales were generated by your ad.

To avoid this mistake, ensure you’re only tracking conversions directly related to your Google Shopping campaigns — purchases, in most cases — and nothing else. That way, you’ll have an accurate picture of your ads’ performance and whether they’re worth the investment.

Mistake #2: Failing To Add Negative Keywords

Another mistake people often make with Google Ads Shopping is failing to add negative keywords — or adding them too late in the game. Negative keywords are words or phrases that you don’t want your ad to show up for.

AJ Blog Graphic - Negative Keywords

For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you might want to add “men” as a negative keyword so your ad doesn’t appear when someone searches for “men’s clothes.”

Negative keywords help ensure that your product listings are only being shown to people interested in what you’re selling.

That means more clicks and more conversions for relevant keywords. Adding negative keywords early in your campaign is vital so you don’t waste money showing your ad to people who will never convert.

No matter how small or large your product catalog is, take the time to do some research and add relevant negative keywords from the start.



Mistake #3: Focusing on the Wrong Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is essential for any type of paid advertising, including Google Shopping ads.

Keywords are search terms that potential customers use to find what they’re looking for online. If you want your Google Ads to show up when people search for specific products or services, you need to include those keywords in your ad copy and bidding strategy.

But here’s the thing: not all keywords are created equal.

Some keywords are general and broad (like “shoes”); others are specific and targeted (like “women’s size 8 black leather pumps”). While both types of keywords can be effective, they serve different purposes in driving traffic and generating conversions.

Broad keywords generally have high search volumes but low conversion rates because they’re too general — people searching with those terms may not be ready to buy what you’re selling just yet.

On the other hand, specific keywords usually have low search volume but high conversion rates because they target people who know exactly what they want and are ready to buy it now.

AJ Blog Graphic - Long-Tail Keywords

That’s why it’s so important to focus on targeting the right keywords with your Google Shopping campaigns — specifically, long-tail keywords with high purchase intent but low competition from other advertisers.

Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that are longer than general queries (hence their name!).

Because they’re so targeted, they usually have lower competition from other advertisers — which means you can get cheaper clicks and better ROI for your campaigns.

Mistake #4: Not Having an Ad Copy Testing Strategy

Ad copy is the actual text of your ad, and it’s one of the most critical elements of any Google Shopping campaign. That’s because your ad copy convinces people to click on your ad and buy your product.

You could have the perfect product and target audience, but if your product ad copy isn’t up to par, you will likely not make any sales.

That’s why it’s so important to have a solid ad copy testing strategy in place from the start.

If you’re not testing different ad copy, you’re likely not getting the most out of your Google Shopping ads. That means you could lose out on many potential sales.

You could also be wasting a lot of money on ads that aren’t performing as well as they could be.



What Is Ad Copy Testing?

Ad copy testing tests various elements of your ad copy to see what performs best. This can include testing different headlines, descriptions, images, and calls-to-action (CTAs).

By split-testing your ad copy, you can determine which version performs best and adjust your campaigns accordingly. Not only will this help you get more clicks and conversions, but it can also save you money by ensuring that your ads are as effective as possible.

Why Is It Important?

One of the main reasons why ad copy testing is so important is because it allows you to optimize your campaigns for maximum ROI.

Without split testing, you’ll never know which version of your ad is performing best or why. As a result, you could be wasting money on ads that aren’t converting well or missing out on valuable traffic by not having the most effective ad possible.

Ad copy testing gives you the insights you need to fine-tune your campaigns and get the most out of your advertising budget.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when testing your Google Ads Shopping copy:

  • Test one thing at a time: When you’re testing ad copy, it’s important to only change one thing at a time for your individual product ads. That way, you’ll know for sure what’s causing any changes in performance.
  • Keep track of your results: Be sure to keep track of the results of your tests so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. The best way to do this is to set up conversion goals tracking in Google Analytics.
  • Don’t forget about mobile users: These days, more and more people are using their phones to shop online. It’s essential to test different ad copies on desktop and mobile devices.
  • A/B test your ad copy: A/B testing is a great way to compare two versions of an ad and see which one performs better. You can easily use a tool like Optimizely or Google Optimize to A/B test your ads.

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Mistake #5: Insufficient Campaign Funding

A common misconception is that because Shopping ads are generated automatically from your product feed, they won’t cost much. But the truth is, if you want your Shopping ads to be seen by a broad audience, you need to be willing to invest in them.

This is because shopping ads are auction-based, meaning that the more you’re willing to pay per click, the more likely your ad is to be shown.

If you’re not willing to invest enough money into your Shopping campaign, your ads will get lost in the sea of other ads competing for attention in Google Search.

As a result, you’ll get very little traffic and few sales.

To avoid this mistake, set aside a predetermined budget for your Shopping campaign — enough to make a competitive bid on the keywords you want to target. In other words, your first campaign priority should be making sure you have enough budget to execute an Ads campaign that will perform.

Remember, everything is ROI based so if you spend a dollar your goal should be to make $2. Once you have your ROI number you’ll have a better idea of what your budget should be.



If you’re unsure how much to spend, start with a lower number and then increase it gradually until you find the sweet spot where your ads are getting good exposure, but you’re still making a profit on each sale.

Remember, maximizing your budget through split testing and negative keywords will help your daily budget go further and make sure your ads aren't shown for irrelevant keywords for your target audience.

Mistake #6: Solely Relying on Auto-Recommendations

While these recommendations can be helpful, they shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

The reason is that the auto-recommendations are generated based on historical data from other advertisers — not necessarily from businesses like yours.

As a result, they may not consider important factors such as seasonality or changes in customer behavior. Google may also not understand different subcategories or niche industries.

AJ Blog Graphics - Google Shopping Auto-Recs

To avoid this mistake, supplement the auto-recommendations with your research and analysis. Use tools like Google Trends to better understand how consumer behavior has changed over time and how this might impact your campaign performance.

Also, don’t forget to monitor your campaign performance closely so that you can adjust your strategy based on what is currently happening — not what you think should be happening.

Optimize Your Google Ads Shopping With Agency Jet

There you have it! Six mistakes to avoid when running Google Shopping ads. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other ways to mess up your campaigns.

But if you can avoid these six common errors, you’re already on the right track!

If you’re unsure where to start or could use a hand getting your campaigns up and running, our team at Agency Jet can help. We have years of experience optimizing online stores for top performance and would be happy to chat with you about how we can help get your business on the path to success.

Contact us today for a free store audit!