Google has announced that all retailers have until late August to transition their current Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns to the recently released Shopping campaigns format. After the transition date, Google will automatically force all remaining PLA campaigns into the new format without optimization or input from the retailer. Join us here each week for our ongoing Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns series, as we count down to August and help you prepare for the switch. Get caught up with Part 1 and Part 2.
By this point, we hope you have a solid grasp on Shopping campaigns and have begun organizing your feed, filling in missing information and laying the groundwork for your future, high-functioning campaigns.
Now, it’s time to develop a campaign structure.
Like any good workout regimen, you want to make sure it’s designed to maximize efficiency and target the proper areas. Same goes for your Shopping campaigns — the structure is crucial to your success.
As you develop your campaign structure, keep these tips in mind:
Think about your website. Products on your website are likely grouped by categories and brands. And depending on the type of products, shoppers discover them in different ways. Think about your products from the consumer’s point of view. How do shoppers typically search for and find your products when navigating your site? Do they search for a brand like “Nike”? Or a category like “running shoe”? Try to replicate this thought process when organizing your product groups.
Consider the 80/20 rule of thumb. For many retailers, 80% of their sales can be tied to 20% of their total products. While the numbers may differ for you, it’s still a good idea to use your top-performing products as a starting point when building your new campaigns. Likewise, identify and prioritize the top performers within your existing PLA campaigns.
Don’t forget about pivot tables. To help you visualize your product groups, build the basic structure in a worksheet pivot table first. Using a small portion of your feed, experiment with the order of the layers until you feel comfortable with the structure.
As you build your Shopping campaigns, you’ll likely run into some questions. Some will be universal, and some will be specific to your situation.
To assist, we’ve addressed some of the questions we received after our Google Shopping Campaigns 101 webinar, as retailers began organizing their feeds and structuring their campaigns.
Q: Can you have multiple feeds within a single campaign? For example, a separate feed based on location for geotargeting?
A: Yes. Having multiple feeds within a single campaign is possible as long as they target the same country and language.
Q: Are custom labels solely a way for admins to organize the bidding process? Does grouping or labeling have any effect on how I show up in Google and who is searching?
A: Custom labels are intended to help retailers subdivide products into categories of their choosing. Providing more granular information for a product can potentially increase its relevance to a shopper’s query. For example, custom labels can distinguish best sellers, as well as sale or seasonal items. You can also use these same values for monitoring, reporting and bidding in your Shopping campaign.
Q: What if a product in our store fits multiple categories? For example, what if we sell sports equipment, and we have an item that can be used for multiple sports?
A: Just determine where it best belongs or segment it by something else as "top level,"such as brand. This will filter it into one product group to start.
Q: If we make a change on Google AdWords, will it sync with ChannelAdvisor?
A: Yes, it will.
Q: How do we add benchmark columns? I'm not seeing them under the “Dimensions” tab.
A: Under the “Product group” tab, look for “Customize Columns.”
Q: I’m unable to find click-through rate, conversion and benchmark data at the item ID level. I can only see it at the product group level. Is this accurate?
A: This is correct.
Q: Let's say I have Brand X and Brand Y that are both in Category Z. Is it better to do two campaigns or two ad groups in one campaign?
A: You only need separate campaigns for separate budgets or targeting — and you only need separate ad groups for reporting, negative keywords and mobile bid adjustments. We recommend keeping your campaign structure as simple as possible.
Q: Is there a way in ChannelAdvisor to apply custom labels to our products, and do those labels push to AdWords?
A: Yes, just create a business rule in your Google feed template so that it populates each SKU with the appropriate terms in the custom fields. Then pull those in through the Google User Interface (UI).
Q: Custom labels only allow a max of 1,000 unique entries. What do you suggest if we have thousands of unique entries?
A: It really shouldn't be an issue. You should only use custom fields for segmentation that can’t be accomplished with standard attributes.
Q: It would be a lot easier to be able to copy and paste Shopping campaigns. I’ve tried — why do I always come up with an error?
A: Unfortunately, a copy/paste function isn’t currently supported in the Google UI or AdWords Editor. We recommend using the ChannelAdvisor Product Group Generator to take the pain out of the transition.
Once you’ve mapped out your campaign structure, it’s time to bring it to life. Check back next week to learn how the ChannelAdvisor Product Group Generator can save you hours of work while building your campaigns.
As you transition, keep track of your progress with our Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns Roadmap.
And as always, if you have questions along the way, feel free to email us at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to incorporate the answers in future blog posts.