Google Shopping ads Not Showing? Here are 8 Reasons and Solutions

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IfGoogle Shopping ads not showing? You’re most definitely missing out on website traffic and potential conversions. If this is the case, don’t stress. Here are some common reasons your Shopping ads aren’t showing, and how to fix them. 

1. Shopping Ads Aren’t Showing Because Target ROAS Too High

If you have Smart Shopping campaigns, you have the ability to set a target ROAS on the campaign. If you have one set, Google will seek to achieve this goal at the cost of your particular ads showing if the target is not achieved. 

Check your Google Ads account and look at your conversion value over cost for the last 30 days on your shopping campaign. If the value is lower than your target ROAS it may be the case that Google isn’t showing your ad because it will not achieve your target. 

If you can lower your target whilst still remaining profitable, do so; products that previously fell below the threshold may now start showing.

2.Shopping Ads Aren’t Showing Because Budget Too Low

If your campaigns don’t have enough budget you’re limiting their reach. If you have a daily budget that is exhausted by 6pm, you’re closing the door on any searches that happen after that time. 

This means you’re missing out on potential impressions, clicks and sales. The data in your account will be skewed towards the beginning of the day, giving you an incomplete picture of user behaviour. This will hinder your ability to make data-driven decisions.

In ‘All campaigns’, look at the ‘Status’ column. If there is a red notification saying ‘Limited by budget’, your Google Shopping ads are not showing as much as they could. 

Limited By Budget

To fix this, consider giving the campaign more budget. You can click through to the ‘Budget Explorer’ for Google’s suggestions. Here are some practical ways to reduce the cost of Google Ads.

Budget Recommendation

Otherwise, you can enter a new amount manually. When your daily budget is no longer lower than the recommended amount, the red notification will disappear. 

3. Feed Not Optimised? Ads Wont Show

Unlike Search campaigns, Shopping campaigns do not use keywords. This makes optimising your feed information even more important.  Read “What is a Google Shopping Feed”  and “Google Shopping Feed – What You Need To Know To Get them Right” if you need to brush up a little.

Google uses your product titles and descriptions to decide whether the item is a good match for a search query. The more relevant information you provide, the more likely your ads are to show to potential customers. It also means that if your feed isn’t optimised, your Google Shopping ads might not show.

Optimising product titles and descriptions

  • Add attributes such as colour, gender, size and model
  • Consider the search terms you want to show for
  • Make sure the most important information is placed first as the ad text may get cut off on the page
  • Follow Google’s character limits: you can submit up to 150 characters for a title and up to 5,000 characters for a description

To further optimise your feed, include information for all relevant attributes. Every piece of information helps Google match your Shopping ads to the right potential customer.  You can use Merchant Center Supplemental Feeds to fill the gaps.

We do offer a Google Shopping Feed Management Service if you need help to get this right.

4. Google Policy Disapprovals

Google has a list of Shopping ads policies that all merchants must follow. If your products do not comply, they will be disapproved in the Merchant Center. This means they will not be active in your Google Ads account, and your Google Shopping ads won’t show to consumers searching for that product. 

To check this, log into your Merchant Center account. Select Products, then select Diagnostics. From here you can view a list of errors, disapprovals and warnings along with the percentage of your products affected. 

Violation Policy

Once you have identified the issue, work to resolve it. You will then need to wait up to three business days for these products to be reconsidered by Google. For a full analysis of common Merchant Disapprovals read our blog on the topic here.

5. High Competition

Like it or not, competition matters. Every time someone searches on Google an auction runs to determine which ads will be shown. With increased ad depth, it’s officially harder than ever to place on a page, let alone be at the top. 

If your Google Shopping ads aren’t showing, your competitors might be outbidding you. Check this using the Auction Insights tool. Click on your Shopping campaign, then click on the Auction Insights tab at the top of the page. 

Auction Insights

This will show you key metrics about you and your competitors. A good place to start is Impression share, which tells you how many times your ad showed versus how many times it could have shown.

6. Merchant Center Linking Issues

If your Google Shopping ads aren’t showing, your Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts may be incorrectly linked. As mentioned earlier Google Merchant Center allows you to upload product data and is essential to running Shopping ads. When properly linked, it allows your product information to transfer easily to Google Ads. 

To check this, log into Google Ads. Select Tools & settings, then Linked accounts. Find the window for Google Merchant Center, then click through to Details.

If the status is showing as anything but ‘Linked’, Follow the steps in  Set Up Merchant Center to link the two accounts. 

7. Billing Information

Without accurate billing information your Google Shopping ads will not show. It’s important to provide this to avoid any disruptions to your ads serving and Google’s Machine Learning. Google will usually flag this with a red banner at the top of the Google Ads interface. 

If you want to double check your details are up to date, select Tools & settings then Billing summary. From here, select Manage payment methods and either add or update your billing information. 

Once this information is up to date and the red banner in Google Ads has disappeared, it’s always a good idea to double check your account to make sure it’s spending again. To do this, change the date range to Today and select Cost as one of the metrics. You can check back over the course of the day to make sure your ads are spending, and therefore showing to potential customers. 

8. Google Shopping Product Categories

Google’s product categories help identify the products in your feed and match them to potential buyers. Alongside your product titles and description, this information helps Google to fully understand which category your product belongs in. Without it, your Google Shopping ads may not always show for relevant searches.  

Add the Google product category attribute to your products in the Merchant Center. You can choose from Google’s taxonomy, which includes 6,000+ categories. While this may sound simple, it can be easy to agonise over which category best describes your product. 

Try to be as detailed as possible. If you sell denim jackets, you could categorise them under Apparel & Accessories. However, it’s better to select Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Outerwear > Coats & Jackets. This gives Google more information to work with.

Set Yourself Up For Success

By investing time into figuring out why your Google Shopping ads aren’t showing, you’re setting your campaigns up for long term success. Once you’ve ironed out any issues, you can experience the benefits of Google Shopping first-hand. 

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