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Google Shopping Ads

Overview

This guide will walk through how to use Branch links in a Google Shopping Ads feed stored in Merchant Center.

This documentation supports the following Google Campaign types:

Google Campaign Campaign Type/Objective Branch Ad Format
Shopping Web and App Purchases Cross Platform

OS Support and Major Differences

Operating System Supported by AdWords Shopping Ads? Key Differences
iOS Yes Uses Branch link, must redirect to web
Android Yes Uses Branch link, must redirect to web
Web Yes Uses Branch link, must redirect to web

Looking for other Google Ad campaign types? Please check out our Google Ads Overview guide.

Setup

Prerequisites

  • To track installs from Google Ads you should integrate the Branch SDK into your app.
  • If you want to deep link from your ads directly to content, you should configure deep link routing.
  • Ads is a premium product priced on Monthly Active Users. Sign up for the Ads product to enable this functionality.

Enable Google as an Ad Partner

If you haven't enabled Google as an Ad Partner on the Branch dashboard follow this section to do so.

Ads Partner Management

  • Search for Google AdWords.

Find Google Adwords in Partner Manager

  • Enter values for the conversion IDs and labels. You can put in placeholders for now, but we recommend setting up install conversion tracking in AdWords before launching your campaign. For setup instructions on conversion tracking, check out Google Conversion Setup.

  • Click the Save and Enable button in the lower right hand corner.

Save and Enable Google Adwords in Partner Manager

  • Google AdWords is now enabled as an ad partner.

  • Finally, to create a Google ads link click the Create Google AdWords Link button in the top right hand corner.

Create Google Adwords Link

Feed Creation

Manual Method

If you need more customization for any reason, you can also convert your feed manually.

  1. Tell your Branch account manager, or support@branch.io, that you'd like to use Google Shopping Ads so they can enable your account.
  2. Find your Branch base domain by going to the Link Settings Page of your Branch Dashboard. Link Domain
  3. Take the link in the link column of your existing product feed, and URL encode it.
  4. Prepend the encoded link from the previous step with your Branch base domain and the following parameters: 3p?$3p=a_google_adwords&~advertising_partner_name=Google%20AdWords&~campaign_id={campaignid}&~ad_set_id={adgroupid}&~keyword_text={keyword}&~placement={placement}&$original_url=

For example, if your Branch base domain was example.app.link, your initial link:

https://www.example.com/?foo=bar

Would become:

https://example.app.link/3p?$3p=a_google_adwords&~advertising_partner_name=Google%20AdWords&~campaign_id={campaignid}&~ad_set_id={adgroupid}&~keyword_text={keyword}&~placement={placement}&$original_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2F%3Ffoo%3Dbar&~campaign=GoogleShoppingCampaign

Finally, replace the column adwords_redirect in your feed with the resulting link (create the column if it is absent). Repeat for each row in your feed.

Include all link data

If you want to track analytics in Branch, and you want to deep link to specific content in the app, be sure to append all necessary parameters, including deep link data and analytics tags, to the end of the link as URI encoded query parameters. In the example above, the customer uses $original_url as their deep link key, and ~campaign to set the campaign name that will appear in analytics.

Now that you have your feed, it's time to upload it to Google Merchant Center and use it in an Adwords Campaign.

Using Your Feed

Prerequisites

  • Be sure you have both a Google Adwords account, and a Google Merchant Center account, and that the two accounts are linked.

Uploading to Google Merchant Center

  1. In Google Merchant Center, navigate to Products then Feeds. Merchant Center Home
  2. Click the large blue plus button to add a new feed.
  3. Follow the prompts to name your feed, select feed language, and upload or connect your feed.
  4. Once your feed has been created, Merchant Center will take a few minutes to process it. Once that has finished, you're feed is ready to be used in your Adwords campaigns.

Using your Merchant Center Feed in Adwords

  1. In your Adwords dashboard, navigate to the All Campaigns page. AdWords Campaign View
  2. Click the red campaign button, and create a new Shopping Campaign.
  3. On the Shopping Ads Setup page, make sure the correct Merchant Identifier is selected (this should match the value in your Merchant Center Dashboard). AdWords Merchant Identifier
  4. Complete the ad configuration and name your ad group.
  5. You should see your new Campaign and Ad Group.

Adwords will automatically pull products from your Primary Feeds defined in Google Merchant Center for these Shopping campaigns.

View Your Data

The Ads Analytics Page on the Branch dashboard provides an interactive time series graph and table to view the performance of your Ad campaigns.

Example Ads Analytics Graph

The table shows summary data on the performance of each Ad campaign. On the right top side of the table you can find a download button to retrieve the chart's content as a CSV file.

Example Ads Table

Interacting with your data

Breakdown and compare aspects of your Ad campaigns' performance by using the Compare by + button to add a parameter to split the data displayed data by.

Then use the and + button to refine the data displayed to gain deeper insight into the performance of your Ad campaigns.

Troubleshooting

Google Adwords Valuetrack Parameters

Branch utilizes Google's Valuetrack parameters to collect more detailed information on the source of an ad click. Furthermore, we dynamically map Adword's campaign id and network parameters to a Branch link's campaign analytics Campaign and Channel tags respectively. Leave these tags blank to have them dynamically mapped.

See below for a table of Valuetrack parameters collected by default through Branch's Ad links and refer to the table in Google's Valuetrack docs for more parameters to append.

Default Valuetrack Parameters on Branch Ad links What it returns
{campaignid} The ad's campaign ID
{adgroupid} The ad's ad group ID
{keyword} For the Search Network: the keyword from your account that matches the search query, unless you are using a Dynamic Search ad, which returns a blank value. For the Display Network: the keyword from your account that matches the content.
{placement} The content site where your ad was clicked (for keyword-targeted campaigns), or the matching placement targeting criteria for the site where your ad was clicked (for placement-targeted campaigns)
{network} Where the click came from: "g" for Google search, "s" for a search partner, or "d" for the Display Network
{lpurl} The final URL of the ad link clicked

FAQ / Debugging

Q: Why is my feed not being approved in Google Merchant Center?

A: Take not of the warnings shown. Often these errors come from incorrect formatting of the original feed. Additionally, make sure your site ownership has been verified on Google Merchant Center.

Source

google-shopping-ads.md