Google Shopping Ads Vs Search Ads – What’s The Difference?


Google Shopping ads and Google Search ads are two different types of online advertising campaigns that e-commerce businesses can’t miss. Why? Because consumers are 63% more likely to click a paid ad on Google versus other channels.

Where people are most likely to click a paid ad

Sure, you need to use Facebook Ads, YouTube, and various platforms to maximize revenue. But, what’s the difference between Shopping and Search ads? Which one is better and when should you use them?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more! Let’s get into it.

What are Google Shopping ads?

Google Shopping Ads are a type of online advertising campaign that allows businesses to showcase their products directly in Google search results. These ads appear as a product listing ad (PLA) and include an image, price, and link to the product page on your website.

As you can see in the example below, Google Shopping Ads stand out from other search results because they show an image of the product, along with the price and a link to buy it on your website.

image 15

If someone is interested in buying the product shown in your ad, they can click on the “Buy” button and be taken directly to your website to complete the purchase. It’s incredibly effective for fashion and retail brands.

Google Shopping Ads are different than traditional-based search ads. Instead of trying to look for a specific product via a keyword/query, consumers can see the product, click it, and buy it versus navigating all over the internet.

What are the benefits of Shopping ads?

Google Shopping ads offer several benefits for brands. First, they help consumers find the products that they are looking for faster versus traditional search ads. They also allow brands to buy ad space on Google properties like YouTube and Gmail which leads to more exposure.

Finally, Shopping ads offer metrics which give marketers insight into how their campaigns are performing in real-time. These include things like clicks on your product, conversion rate of website visits from people clicking on your ad (not just an overall site visit), CTRs (click-through rates, cost per click/engagement, return on investment calculations over time, etc.

Are Google Shopping ads worth it?

Yes, Google Shopping ads are an excellent channel to drive sales and conversions. They can be an extremely cost effective way to reach consumers who are already interested in your product.

How much do Google Shopping ads cost?

Google Shopping ads typically have a CPC (cost per click) that is lower than traditional Google search ads. How much you end up paying will depend on a variety of factors, including the competitiveness of your product and how well you target your campaign.

Shopping ads can be purchased based upon keywords or via a shopping campaign template with preselected groups of similar products together. The latter helps save ad budget.

How are Shopping ads triggered?

Shopping ads can be triggered by a variety of signals, including keywords that are related to the product you’re advertising. They can also appear if people search for your brand or look at products in an e-commerce store.

Google Shopping Ads provide retailers with huge opportunities because they allow advertisers to target users who have already expressed interest in their goods/services via Google Search queries and other online activity. This is an extremely cost-effective way to reach consumers who are already interested in your product!

Where do Google smart shopping ads appear?

Google Shopping ads appear on Google Search. They are also available on, Google Images, and the Shopping section of Google Maps.

Google Shopping ads appear as a sponsored product in the main area of search results above the organic listings. They may also show up in other places on Google including:

  • The ‘Shopping’ tab on
  • In image search results.
  • In local business searches.
  • On mobile devices.

That brings me to my next point.

How do I start Google Shopping ads?

Getting started with Google Shopping ads is relatively easy. You’ll need to create a Merchant Center account and link it to your AdWords account. In addition, you’ll need to provide information about the products you’d like to advertise, such as their name, description, price, and image.

Once your products are uploaded, you can create a dedicated campaign. You’ll then need to create ad groups and choose the products you’d like to advertise in each group. You can also target your ads by location, language, and device.

Google Shopping ads are a great way to reach potential customers when they’re actively looking to buy something. They may be more expensive than traditional text-based search ads, but they can be a very effective way to drive traffic and sales. If you’re interested in giving them a try, contact us today for more information!

What are Google search ads?

Next, let’s talk about Google Search ads which most businesses and entrepreneurs are familiar with. Google search ads are the ones that show up at the very top of a Google search, and look like this:

Google Search ad examples

Google Search ads work differently than Shopping ads. With Search ads, you create an ad and choose keywords that you want to target. When someone searches for one of those keywords, your ad will show up in the results. You’ll then pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad.

Also, here’s a cool piece of data to keep in mind: Google Search ad clicks are up 40% year over year!

Google Search Ad clicks

This means that there are more opportunities to drive traffic and sales through Google Search than ever before.

When should you use Google search ads?

You should test Google Search ads to see if they drive conversions on a regular basis. Generally, they work best for businesses that want to drive traffic to a landing page or website.

how much do google search ads cost

The cost of running a Search Ad campaign varies depending on how competitive your chosen keywords are and how many people are bidding on them. However, as a general rule, you can expect to pay around $0.50–$0.70 per click ( CPC ).

Should I turn off Google Search partners?

No, you should not turn off Google search partners. While Search Partners may not be as relevant to your business as people who are actually searching on Google, they can still provide valuable traffic. In fact, a recent study by Marin Software showed that campaigns using both Google and Search Partner networks resulted in a 30% higher click-through rate (CTR) than those using just the Google network.

The cost of running a campaign with Search Partners is typically lower than running one only on the Google network, so it’s generally recommended to include them. However, if you’re having trouble measuring success with Search Partners or find that their clicks aren’t resulting in conversions, you can always pause or exclude them later on.

How do Google Shopping ads differ from search ads?

To summarize the difference between Google Shopping ads and Search ads, these are the main things to consider:

  • Google Shopping ads are image based and Search ads are text based.
  • Google Shopping ads can appear in several channels while search ads are limited to Google Search or Google’s partner network.
  • Google Search ads have stood the test of time while Google Shopping ads are a newer channel.
  • Shopping campaigns are more complicated to set up versus Search ads.
  • Shopping ads tend to be cheaper.

Wrapping up Google Shopping ads vs Search ads

Google is an essential channel for brands that want to drive sales and icnrease awareness. However, driving revenue at scale with ads through Google’s various channels is easier said than done. It takes some skill, patience, and a little it of elbow grease.

In particular, Google Shopping and Google Search are two of the most popular ad formats you’ll run. Google Shopping ads are perfect for e-commerce businesses. It showcases your product(s), its pricing, and shares a call to action to buy it. Search ads, on the other hand, are primarily text based unless you dabble in display.

If you need world-class media buyers to manage your paid ad campaigns, apply to become one of our clients today.

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