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Google Shopping vs. Search Ads: What is Better for eCommerce?

Google Shopping vs. Search Ads: What is Better for eCommerce?

Both Google Shopping and Google text ads are effective platforms for selling eCommerce products, but have you considered which is better for your business? Here’s what you should know about Shopping ads versus Search ads.

What Are Search Ads?

Search ads for eCommerce allow you to advertise both products and services like search results. This type of ad doesn’t feature images but instead offers ad extensions that invite the searcher to see additional content.

Local extensions in Search ads help provide searchers with information that can’t be found in Google Shopping ads such as your store’s physical location or hours.

Vendors can choose when listings show by bidding on keywords to secure their ranking. This allows for a high level of customization to target shoppers when they are close to making a purchasing decision.

shopify ecommerce search result with ad extension

What Is Google Shopping?

Products on Google Shopping for eCommerce appear with an image and typically appear at the top of Google’s search engines results page (SERP) in addition to having a separate, dedicated web tab.

While you can’t bid on specific keywords when using Google Shopping, you can optimize your feed and provide detailed, accurate descriptions to guide your customers to your products. You can also implement a negative keyword list to impact who is finding your ads.

On a desktop computer, Google shows a maximum of 30 Shopping ads and 15 shopping ads on mobile devices. You can expect your products to appear more than once, however, it only allows for one search ad per advertiser. Your products may show up multiple times for one search.

party tent google shopping ads

How to Choose Between Search Ads & Shopping Ads

According to a study that Merkle conducted in 2018, Shopping ads amounted to 60 percent of all clicks across Google’s paid advertising platform. Their most recent study found similar results.

In another study, Clutch found that nearly half (49 percent) of people surveyed were more likely to click on a text ad while 31 percent would click on a Shopping ad. So, what gives?

Can Both Be Used Together?

Yes! Using both Google Shopping and Search ads for eCommerce can maximize your product visibility. Text ads even show up alongside Shopping ads which helps draw more attention to your brand.

Google even ran a study that showed both types of ads to shoppers made them 90 percent more likely to go to the retailer’s website. This is a testament to the fact that some shoppers use their eyes to make purchasing decisions while some focus more on the product specifications.


The ideal approach is using both Google Shopping and Search ads to drive your conversion rate and sell more units.

If you need help making decisions about your digital marketing efforts, our team at Catapult is happy to work with you to provide actionable ideas to grow your business. We’re happy to get started with a free consultation.

About the Author
Sasha Berson

Sasha Berson

Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Catapult Revenue, ensuring that all client’s revenue goals are met via Catapult’s marketing strategies.

Expert in: Marketing Strategy
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