Search vs. shopping campaigns: What should you use?

Search and shopping campaigns: What are the differences?

When it comes to Pay Per Click Advertising, while there are many different types of campaigns that are highly beneficial depending on your business objectives, we want to look at two in particular: Search and Shopping campaigns.

Search and Shopping campaigns.

Both of these campaign types are extremely valuable for brands wanting to drive traffic and conversions. Choosing which one is right for your business, however, isn’t always as cut and dry as some might think.

A dedicated PPC agency in London will work closely with both of these campaigns and will be able to provide specialist advice on their pros and cons. Often, working with an agency opens up opportunities for maximising your business’ potential that might not have occurred to you – including what type of Pay Per Click advertising is most beneficial for your company.

But while you decide on which agency might best suit your needs, here’s some information on Search and Shopping campaigns. offers and how they compare to one another.

How Google Advertising works

Google uses pay-per-click marketing, which means you pay every time Google lets a visitor click on your ad.

Paid ads are usually shown at the top or bottom of the search results pages, and there are numerous factors that determine the cost per click of your ads.

The most essential one is the keyword. Some keywords are more popular than others, with higher search volumes, so naturally, these cost advertisers more. Other determining factors include user experience on your landing page, and the estimated click-through rate depending on the relevance of your ad copy to your keywords.

Google PPC campaigns are essential to any brand looking to gain visibility, drive relevant traffic to a site and gain purchase conversions. Depending on the market demand for your product or service, and the target audience, PPC campaigns can be a more refined method of attracting your customers compared to social platforms like Facebook. But with more people than ever relying on Google Search to find business, solve issues and Shop, PPC advertising should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy.

What are Google search ads?

Google search ads are a form of online advertising that show as text ads at the top of the Google search results pages.

With Search ads, while you’re limited to text-only ads, there are multiple options to making these more dynamic such as Responsive Search Ads, which dynamically generate headlines based on those entered upon set up, choosing those which are estimated to appeal to users the most depending on their search query.

When users click on search ads, Google redirects them to your landing page where you try to convince searchers to either buy something from you or share their contact details with you so that you can market to them in the future.

Google search ads can be used for advertising both products and services. And they are probably the only ad format that people prefer on their feed as 75% of users say paid search ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for on a website or search engine.

Since they offer convenience, investing in Google search ads is a wise marketing decision.

How do Google Search ads work?

When someone searches for a keyword that is relevant to your business, and the keywords that you’re targeting, your ad will appear as one of the paid search results on the results pages. This is dependent on your budget, the relevance of your ad and the quality score of your ads.

The goal is to get people who are already looking for the products or services you offer to engage with your brand. So, when they click on your ad, Google sends them over to your landing page – where the conversions happen.

Google search ads attempt to serve ads that are both relevant to your customers’ queries and relevant in the context of other content on the pages they are viewing.

Google allows you to bid on keywords of products that you want to be shown for. The search engine then shows your ad to the users searching for these keywords, and who fit into the demographic specifics you can adjust in your campaign settings. You are required to pay for every click you get from a visitor and the cost per click (CPC) completely depends on the popularity of the keyword.

What are Google Shopping ads?

Google shopping ads are placed at the top of Google search results, specifically under the ‘Shopping’ section, to help increase your advertising reach. They appear like product listings but with richer information about products from merchants websites. And depending on your settings, you can allow Google Shopping ads to be displayed on third party websites in an attempt to remarket users who have either clicked on your website or dynamically inserted ads into website banners and interstitial placements.

Google shows your ads to people who are looking for a similar product and a great thing about these formats is that you can promote short-term offers and discounts. This makes them extremely useful when you are hosting a sale – as these are more visual than Search ads.

Furthermore, Google Shopping ads can also be tailored to show to users who are in specific locations, such as if a user searches for a relevant product within the vicinity of your store – this way Shopping ads can benefit brick and mortar stores as well.

Another positive aspect of shopping ads is that the ad suggestions are based on your target customers’ previous searches and location, which makes them highly accurate.

But the absolute best part about them is that Google shopping ads get 85.3% of all clicks, making them a profitable advertising type.

How do Google shopping ads work?

Products are grouped into Product Groups. A group can have one product or many, based on your categorisation, and those products can further be subdivided into more segments.

For example, you can have “Shoes for Men” as a Product Group and the brands of those shoes can be split up into different segments. You can then specify the price you want to bid for those products or segments.

The only thing that you need to make sure you do is to have at least one group containing at least one product. As this is the anchor or parent group and it is what your ads will be bidding on. If you don’t have a group with any products in, your ads won’t show up!

Within Shopping ads, segmentation is key – as it allows you to more closely manage your campaigns and determine your bestsellers.

Which should you use?

If you want to promote a physical product, Google shopping ads are perfect for you. They allow you to offer product descriptions, images, and shipping information on shopping ads, so they are perfect for online retailers.

In fact, shopping ads were started for retailers and businesses whose products require a visual representation.

On the other hand, you might have to consider going for Google search ads if you want to advertise a service. You also have the opportunity to rank higher than your competitors on search results which makes your business more visible and more competitive.

That being said, both ad formats have some cons. For instance, Google Shopping ads are limited with regards to the product descriptions and product images, making it difficult for some brands to promote certain products which might be perceived to contradict Google’s strict restrictions.

Similarly, Search ads can be more expensive than shopping ads because they heavily rely on keywords. So, if you are selling a service in a competitive industry, you might have to increase your budget which can sometimes be challenging for start-ups or businesses with a smaller budget.

No matter which you use, Search or Shopping campaigns. You can always optimise your budget to get more clicks on your ads. All you have to do is improve your target attributes or work with a PPC marketing agency to hit the bullseye every time.