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    Are you a retailer and have just opened your first e-commerce site? Or maybe you need to increase traffic to your store’s website and thus get more potential customers willing to buy your products? 

    If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s high time you got acquainted with the Google Ads system, and you should especially focus on product ads. You will learn all the most important information from this article!

    product ads and their types


    To begin with, it’s most important that you understand exactly what product ads are in Google’s system, what they look like and how they differ from other ads. 

    Remember that this type of ads will work no matter what subject matter your online store has. You can sell books, jewelry, toys or even furniture. The most important thing is that you fill in the right information about your products, then properly prepare the ad, as a result of which you will facilitate the path of a potential customer to purchase your product. 

    What does product advertising consist of

    The basic elements that a product ad contains are photo of the product you want to advertise, name of the product and current price (you can also add information about promotions). Also very important is link to our product landing page! Adding the right URL will take the viewer right to the right page where they can make a purchase. Product ads are also hard to miss, as they always display above the organic results or on the right side of the screen. This ensures that they are always clearly visible to the user, which in turn translates into better click-through rates and effectiveness.

    How product ads work

    To display product ads, the system does not use keywords as with other ads, but rather product data it pulls from Google Merchant Center. It is very important that you fill in all the information correctly, as it will be used to display the right product for a specific query. When a user plans to shop and searches for a particular item on Google, he looks for it by typing in a specific key phrase. For example, let’s assume that our potential customer is looking for Adidas brand athletic shoes – this is the phrase he types into the search engine. In response, he gets traditional text ads and product ads. At this point, having a product ad, we are the first to catch the recipient’s attention. We introduce our product range with pictures of the shoes he is currently looking for. On top of that, our potential customer immediately sees the price he would have to pay for a given model of shoes. Here we can notice the first and at the same time the biggest advantage of product ads – they are very effective and reach a better-matched audience in a simple way. If a user sees that a particular model of shoes does not suit him (for example, color or price), he will not decide to click on the ad. On the other hand, if our product fits the tastes and preferences of the recipient, we have a very good chance of getting him interested in our offer. The user, seeing a list of all products on Google, has information on which store he can buy from, and after clicking on the ad he is immediately transferred to the product he is interested in. On the landing page he can read all the details and buy exactly what he was looking for. Thus product advertising has transformed the recipient into our customer

    Types of product ads

    Types of campaigns in Google Ads system under which we can create product ads: 

    • standard product campaign
    • performance max campaign
    • intelligent product campaign (no longer available)

    Standard product advertising

    Standard product ads display on the Google search network. In this type of campaign, we set the rate setting strategy, daily budget and also complete the products in our ad ourselves. We can add targeting settings, as well as campaign start and end dates. This feature is especially useful when we are displaying products from a promotional campaign and we are bound by a specific duration and time frame. This type of campaign also allows us to see a report of search terms, so we can update the list of exclusionary keywords on an ongoing basis and thus in the future not lead to a situation where our product is displayed to a user who is not interested in it.

    Intelligent product campaigns

    You will no longer see these types of ads in your Google Ads account. As of July 2022, the system slowly converted them to Performance Max campaigns, and as of September, smart product campaigns are no longer available. However, it is worthwhile for you to learn about this type of ads as well, because even though they are no longer used, understanding them will make your work with Performance Max campaigns much easier. 

    Intelligent product campaigns were created to effectively combine standard campaigns with ad networks (including dynamic remarketing). They were the first to make large-scale use of machine learning (i.e., machine learning) mechanisms, meaning that the system itself decided where and when to display our ad to the recipient, so as to maximize the effectiveness of the sale. 

    Intelligent Product Campaigns were developed to effectively combine standard campaigns with ad networks (including dynamic remarketing).

    In practice, this meant that we entrusted Google’s self-learning algorithms to manage the optimization of budgets, rates (they used automatic rate-setting strategies), as well as control the appearance of our ads. 

    Performance max, and product ads 

    The change from smart product campaigns to Performance Max campaigns caused a lot of confusion among advertisers and a great deal of uncertainty. In the end, it turned out that the product ads created by Performance Max campaigns are not very different from what used to be smart shopping ads – just like their predecessor, they are based on algorithms and self-learning systems. The product ads that a Performance Max campaign creates self-optimize, automatically set rates, and the resources we input (headlines, ad text and images) are combined in such a way as to ensure the best possible effectiveness. 

    Sounds familiar to you? That’s right! You think well – after all, flexible ads work in a similar way. So you are wondering what is the advantage of Performance Max campaign then? Its ads can display on all available networks on Google i.e. search network, ad network, YouTube, as well as Gmail, Google Maps and Discovery tab. This allows us to reach a much wider audience with our offer than before!

    Important – remember that if you have a standard product campaign and a Performance Max campaign running simultaneously in your Google Ads account, the latter will have a higher priority.

    Product ads in performance max

    If we want to advertise products from our store using Performance Max campaigns, we need to take care product file This is an important step in preparing our ad, because if we don’t do it, Google will automatically hook up to our ad all the products we have in Google Merchant Centre. 

    Next we need to complete advertising resources talking about our products. We enter text elements and add graphic resources. We can also attach a video file to our ads. Remember to add the right URL! If we advertise talking about a specific product in our online store – the link must direct to a landing page where the user will find exactly that product. On the other hand, if we advertise a specific group of products, it is worth ensuring that the landing page of such an ad refers to the category we are talking about in the ads. 

    The last element we need to keep in mind when wanting to create effective product ads in a Performance Max campaign is signal regarding the audience Here it is worth creating a list of keywords or indicating the interests of our potential customers. This will speed up the learning of Google’s algorithms, and advertisers will be able to better specify what search results their product ads should display on. 

    Product-groups – what-you-must-remember

    You’ve already created a product campaign and you see that all the resources of your assortment are lumped into one group titled. “All Products”, and you wanted to create separate categories? Don’t worry, you still have that option! 

    Google allows you to break down all your products into individual categories by:

    • Brands
    • Product identifier
    • Product type (you can create your own categories here)
    • Channel 
    • Channel exclusivity
    • Condition 

    Labels (here you can use the custom labels you have created) 

    This allows you to accurately match the product to the advertisement. If your store sells jackets and you would like to advertise women’s jackets and men’s jackets separately, you can now choose the right category for your advertisement.

    What you need to run product ads

    • Create and configure a Google Merchant Center account
    • Prepare a product file (product feed), and then upload it to Google Merchant Center 
    • If you don’t have a Google Ads account yet, create one. It is necessary for advertising your products
    • Connect your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant Center account
    • Configure the conversions you want to track in your Google Ads account
    • Start your first product campaign, observe the effectiveness of your sales and analyze the results in real time. 

    Why you should create product campaigns 

    In conclusion, let’s take another look at all the benefits of creating product campaigns:

    • Matching ads to your potential customer. If you properly and correctly complete the product file with your store’s assortment, you are already halfway to success. Make sure that the user sees all the necessary information in the ad – the name of the product, its current price, a photo, and that when he or she clicks on the ad, he or she lands on the right page of the selected product. Also, remember to keep an eye on the status of your products in Google Merchant Center.
    • The reach of product ads is much greater than with other ads. When a user searches for a specific keyword referring to a product in your store’s inventory, they will see several product ads. In addition, it is still worth creating text ads to further increase the reach. 
    • Manage product ads. Product ads do not use keywords, but attributes that you define yourself in Google Merchant Center. This gives you the ability to display your products in thematically related search results. In addition, in the Google Ads system, you can view your added product assortment, create product groups and adjust rates for them.

    Find out how effective product campaigns can be!

    Don’t waste your time wading through the Google Ads interface. Contact us today and we will help you realize the full potential of your online store.

    Let’s talk!

    How do you know which type of campaign will be most effective for your store? From the experience of specialists in our agency we know that there is no clear answer to this, so the best solution is to conduct various A/B tests and analyze the results. Only on this basis is it worth taking further steps and business decisions. 

    Good luck in creating effective product ads! 

    Let's talk!

    Dominika Andrejko
    Dominika Andrejko

    Hi, my name is Dominika Andrejko, and in the digital marketing industry I work in Google Ads and analytics. At UpMore, I joined the SEM team and would be happy to explain the intricacies of the latest GA4 and run campaigns on Google.