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My Google Shopping Campaign Isn’t working…Help!

This question comes from Tony of Toronto, Canada:

My question is about Google Shopping Campaigns. I’m experiencing almost the same thing that I experienced almost a year ago. I’m seeing a huge increase in my impressions and clicks. It’s mainly on items that I never sell. However, I’m seeing very little increase in Add to Cart (ATC) or conversion.

What can be done about this situation? Is there any way that I can see the quality of this traffic, or where it’s coming from? In my case, the campaign is all for Canada. So it’s either showing up as “Canada”, but I’m not sure if there are bots or click farms out there.

I’ve been only able to respond by lowering my Google Shopping budget because I’m seeing a lot of products that I don’t sell very often getting a lot of clicks but with no conversion. I would appreciate it if you could get back to me with answers. Thank you very much.”

In this case, I assume that Tony is using Smart Shopping campaigns.

My first advise would be to stop using the smart shopping campaign and start setting up a standard shopping campaign.

To determine whether you’re using Smart Shopping campaigns or not, you can go to the Campaign settings. Towards the top of the page, choices are “smart shopping campaign settings” and “shopping campaign settings”.

Smart shopping campaign gives you very little control over anything. Once you’re using a standard shopping campaign, you will have more control, and you’re going to be able to fight the issue of having all these extra impressions and clicks especially on products that you don’t really sell much of. Because, most importantly, what you’re going to be able to do is to look at the search queries that are leading to clicks on your ads. Once you look through those, you can find and identify negative keywords to add.

Step 1. Set up a standard shopping campaign.

You won’t be able to switch your smart shopping campaign into a standard shopping campaign, so you’ll just need to set up a new standard shopping campaign.

From there, what you can do is to actually select the products that you want to include in that campaign. If there are products that you don’t really sell, just exclude them in the campaign and focus your efforts on the products that you actually want to sell. 

Step 2. Look at the search terms and add negative keywords right away.

This is going to be huge for you. Don’t wait until you see some of the irrelevant search terms on your search term report. Think about things that are related to your products that people might be searching for, or things that would never lead to a sale for you. Go ahead and add those things as negative keywords now as you’re setting up this campaign.

If you want some help with that, go to There you can type-in search queries and it will show you related words, you can get a list, select the negative keywords that you want, and then add those negative keywords to your campaign. There is a free version, and you can upgrade to the paid version if you want more results from that tool.

Adding those negative keywords right away is going to help a lot with your issue. Then, look at your search terms. To do that from a standard search campaign, you just go to the keywords section, then at the top, click search terms. (You don’t have that option at all in the smart shopping campaign, there’s no Keywords section). Once you’re in the search term report, you simply look through the terms and pick out the ones that do not make sense for your business, add those as negative keywords, and you should start to see drastic improvements of your results.

As you’re adding more and more negative keywords, that means only better keywords are making it through into your campaign. That’s going to improve your traffic quality significantly which should lead to better sales.

What is the bottom line?

Rarely have I seen a smart shopping campaign perform well. I’ve seen other discussions about this, where smart shopping campaigns usually do not work well. With this in mind, go ahead, set up and start with the standard shopping campaign. It’s a little more work but one that gives you more control over how successful your campaign will be.