Add3 – Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Seattle & Portland

By now, I’m sure many of you have heard buzz around Google’s new Shopping Campaigns and some of you may have started to play around with the new structure a bit. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the Google Shopping Roundtable last month at the Google office in Seattle, I’m here to tell you the hottest tips and tricks for switching over your current PLAs and managing your new Google Shopping Campaigns.

photos from a google shopping campaigns roundtable event at the google offices in seattle/fremont 

What did you miss at the event?

The Google Shopping Roundtable was jam packed with leading members of the industry, eager to learn search marketers, and possibly even some of your clients. Initial presentations were made by Google’s own Claire Hugo in which she explained to us how to effectively upgrade your campaigns while utilizing all the great new features Google rolled out. Here were some of the high level highlights from Claire’s presentation.

1. Why upgrade?

  • Google has created these new Shopping Campaigns with retailers in mind. Advertisers are now able to browse products within AdWords and actually subdivide products in order to segment your top products out against the rest.
  • These new campaigns also allow for advanced reporting options. Not only can you now subdivide your products by best sellers and so on, but you can also view performance metrics by attributes defined by your merchant’s data feed. This will allow you to accrue the data you need in order to create a custom bidding strategy for your campaign.
  • And last but not least, Google has now added competitive landscape data columns in shopping campaigns that allow you to view benchmark data such as CTR and max CPC as well as an easy way to view impression share data.

2. Upgrade your campaigns!

  • Claire outlined two different ways to upgrade your campaigns: simply start fresh, or utilize your existing PLA to build out your new Shopping campaign. If you’re starting fresh, you’ll want to identify your top priorities when building out your structures. Keep in mind that the way you organize your product groups ultimately determines how you’ll be able to set up a bidding strategy for your products. Is it most important for you and your client to bid by certain products or by product performance–or both?! Using a “hybrid” structure will enable you to separate by product vertical and then sub-categorize based on the performance of products within each vertical. This option allows for you to get as granular as you need to divide your products in a way that makes sense for your client. Once an account structure is set up, make sure your bids are assigned appropriately. If using this hybrid method, you can set up a more complex bidding structure that will enable you to really focus and target the products that are driving results, and push down products that are less successful. Here’s an example of what this hybrid structure might look like:


  • If you want to utilize your existing PLA campaign, take the time to identify what is currently working and how you’ll want to take these strategies and apply them to your new Shopping campaigns. Ensure that you are prioritizing your targets from your old campaign and applying these targets in a way that integrates with the new structure. Next, you’ll want to analyze your existing targeting methods and identify any holes or missed opportunities that might benefit from additional targets. An example of such would be top performing products or high price-point products that might benefit from additional segmentation. Finally, you’ll want to review your bidding strategy and apply it as best as possible to your new campaign.

3. Revisit your data feed…

  • Before anything else, dive into your data feed. No one could emphasize enough, the importance of your data feed enough in these new Google Shopping campaigns. Your data feed is the only way Google knows which keywords to show your ads on so take care of any flaws immediately before upgrading. Next, identify any opportunities to add new product attributes. This is where you’ll add custom labels to your feed in order to further group and segment special product identifiers. Start this process by defining how each label will be used and assign these labels with possible values. Once your feed has all issues taken care of and custom labels are in place, you’re ready to build out your structures and launch your new Google Shopping campaigns.

Soooo, now what?

  1. Optimize your data feed and add in new custom labels.
  2. Generate a campaign structure with custom bids and build out your shopping campaign.
  3. Start running your new campaigns! None of us want to be caught with our pants down when it comes down to the mandatory shift from PLAs to Shopping campaigns in August, so test out your new campaigns with a low budget alongside your current PLA campaigns. If you rely heavily on the performance of your current PLAs, test the waters a bit with lower bids and budgets for your new Shopping campaigns. This will allow you to keep plugging with your PLAs, but enable you to start to accrue some Shopping data and better optimize your new campaigns without having to start from scratch. This way, by the time August comes around, you’ll already be a few steps ahead of everyone else during the final switch.

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