Shopping & CSS

Shopping Ad Campaign across Google Shopping, Bing Shopping and ESV Shopping.

Shopping ads

Google Shopping Ads is now the number one source of paid conversions for most e-commerce retailers worldwide. It is vital to maximise conversions at the targeted ROI, which requires a flexible 'devil is in the detail' approach to Shopping Ads management that Bell excels at.

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Microsoft Advertising

Smart shopping vs standard shopping?

This is a key question for us too. Smart Shopping is an automated format where you leverage Google's user data such as device or search intent, letting Google's algorithms do most of the work. Ads are also served in both display and shopping formats across the wider Google Display Network.

At Bell, we have seen great results using smart shopping campaigns over the last few years, but we also know that it isn’t the best solution every time. With Smart Shopping, you lose the ability to optimise many campaign aspects, such as adding negative keywords to remove irrelevant traffic, audience targeting and time of day scheduling. You also need enough data for Google's algorithms to leverage and throwing unrelated searches together will just confuse the algorithm. As a result, we usually recommend a mix of both smart and standard shopping campaign types for each client with underlying strategic structuring. 

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Strategic structuring

There is no one size fits all methodology here although there are some best practices. If we prioritise Smart Shopping, we tend to structure both thematically and by your business goals (i.e. margin, COS%, ROI). If we prioritise Standard Shopping then we devise a more granular approach.

For Standard Shopping our approach is dependent on client variables, such as brand vs non-brand, prices, product types, even breaking products into colours and sizes, in order to funnel the traffic with relevant queries. However, shopping structures can't be too granular as we need enough data to optimise your campaigns efficiently.

Feed optimisation is key

Google Shopping works a bit like SEO and optimising your feed is the key to success. Google even outline this fact on their own specs. Google Shopping is a keyword-less format where Google matches feed data to its searches. If only one key piece of data is wrong, your product may be disapproved by Google or inaccuracies will lead to lower visibility.

We are dedicated to optimising product titles, adding brand names, requesting better image quality, correcting categories, ensuring product identifiers are present (such as EAN, MPNS and UPC) and verifying the accuracy of other data such as price or promotions. At Bell, we work with you to ensure your feed is of the highest quality and if needed, we have an economical partner to get you up and running fast.

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Leveraging custom labels

We add custom labels to feeds to help strategically structure our campaigns by grouping products to certain labels. You can have up to 5 custom columns and 1000 different labels per column, which ensures any structure can’t be too granular.  

ESV Shopping, to CSS or not to CSS?

ESV Shopping is our agencies Comparison Shopping Service (CSS), available free of charge to clients in both the UK and France. After an EU anti-trust ruling in 2017, Google gave access to competitors in its shopping search results, which is why we established this service. The main defining feature of ESV Shopping is ads serving alongside each other will say 'By ESV Shopping' rather than 'By Google' when bought direct.

It can appear to many PPC people that not being in a CSS can be damaging to visibility, but this is most often due to the effect of Google's algorithms on Smart Shopping. At Bell, we strategically run our clients’ campaigns by directly using a combination of ESV Shopping and Google Shopping, to get more share of voice in the search results when it matters most.


Don't neglect Bing Shopping

In most markets, Bing has a large enough portion of your potential customers to make it worthwhile to chase those searchers. Bing claims its users have a higher average income than Google's. Although this claim can’t be verified, we do find the AOV is often higher and CPCs are lower on Bing (because there is less competition).

We usually find a decent percentage of cross-search engine traffic too. Bing Shopping also powers the likes of DuckDuckGo, Yahoo! Shopping and AOL, to name a few. In summary, Bing has a smaller audience with potentially better results which can really help increase your overall blended ROI. With ESV Ad Manager, we can easily duplicate your Google Shopping campaign structure onto Microsoft Ads.

Take advantage of the free listings

At Bell we ensure all our clients are set-up for the free listings since it restarted last year. You need to opt-in for 'Surfaces across Google' via the merchant centre and you will start receiving some nice bonus traffic, although it will not compete with the higher volumes of traffic that the paid Google Shopping listings will provide.

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