Are You Ready For The New Google Shopping Campaigns?

This past October, Google announced a new campaign type for Google Shopping which fundamentally changes campaign management for Product Listing Ads (PLAs).google-shopping-products-featured

Google Shopping Campaigns are currently in beta (you can request to sign up here), but are likely to become the main campaign structure for Google. This will revolutionize how you create Google product ads.

So, how can you avoid getting burned by the New Google Shopping campaigns? Read on to find out.

1. Choose Your Product Groups Wisely

Google has emphasized that the new campaign structure for PLAs is designed to make managing PLAs easier for advertisers. But with that ease comes a significant change to how product ads are created in AdWords.

Currently, advertisers use labels from their product feed to create product groups based on product attributes. For product attributes which aren’t a default column, advertisers can create product ad groups using the AdWords label column. This boils down to almost limitless possibilities on how advertisers can create ad groups. This freedom is great for advertisers who are knowledgeable about Google Shopping and proactively managing bids and campaign structure.

For less experienced advertisers, the current PLA structure is like handing a blow torch to someone who needs a match. Inexperienced advertisers can easily run into bid overlap with products in multiple ad groups or lack the ability to properly leverage product performance. In essence, this is why Google changed PLA structure to make creating campaigns more intuitive for advertisers. Here are some of the top mistakes advertisers make with Google Shopping:

  • Creating ad groups for every product (SKU) in the data feed
  • Allowing or being unaware of product bid overlap
  • Not leveraging bids to maximize or mitigate product exposure

New PLA Structure

Google Shopping campaigns work in a layering system. Instead of breaking out ad groups from all of your products, advertisers can create product groups as a subset of the All products ad group. Here is an example of how the new PLA structure works:

Google Shopping Campaigns are easy to use and intuitive for advertisers with less Google experience. For veteran advertisers, the new breakout is limiting — on par with putting training wheels on the bike you’ve been doing BMX tricks with for months. Veteran advertisers can still break out PLAs with the new campaign structure, but are more limited in terms of intricacy and scope.

For any advertiser starting to use the new Google Shopping PLA structure, it’s important to choose your campaign structure before you start creating product groups. Since every product group is a subset of the group prior, your initial product group breakout is very important.

The key to the new PLA structure is that all product groups are segmented out of the All Products group. So, the order in which you choose your initial product groups is pivotal.

2. Choose Your AdWords Labels Carefully

Along with a different product group break out structure, the new Google Shopping campaign update also changes AdWords labels.

Traditional PLAs allow merchants to insert AdWords labels in the product feed using the AdWords label column. What labels you choose to use, how many and how they overlap is up to you.

Here are some of the many, many ways you can segment your products using AdWords labels:

  • Best Sellers
  • Products over or under a certain price (pricebucket)
  • Seasonal products
  • Sale items
  • Pricebucket
  • Color, Size, other product attribute
  • Categories not in category column
  • Gender
  • Quick ship items

The revamped Google Shopping campaigns are designed to mitigate advertisers tripping over their feed creating complex AdWords labels, and reduces the number of AdWords labels available:

You can still choose to use any of the options for the above bullet list, but are limited on how many you can create. For advertisers who have multiple AdWords labels, hard choices will need to be made with the new campaign structure.

Google Shopping campaigns are still in beta, and Google isn’t asking advertisers to switch to the new structure quite yet, so don’t sweat your existing AdWords labels. However, if you decide to make the switch, or are just getting started be sure to use Google Analytics and your product data to choose which AdWords labels you use.

If you decide to use the new PLA structure, choose your AdWords labels deliberately.

With over 1 billion products on Google Shopping across 23 countries, and a 22% higher click-thru rates, Google Shopping is likely a large piece of your advertising campaigns.

Still have questions about this new structure? Ask in the comments below!