Google has announced that all retailers have until September 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 September and help you prepare for the switch. Be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have along the way.
Now that you’ve increased your bids to the appropriate levels and your new campaigns are running smoothly, there’s just one last thing you need to do: Pause your old PLA campaigns.
Congratulations! After a long summer, you’ve crossed the finish line. While you’ll need to continue monitoring your new campaigns, especially when you add new products, take a few days off and relax, cool down and let those new Shopping campaigns work for you. You’ve earned it!
And if you’re just now joining us, you can still squeeze in most of the necessary steps before the August 31 transition deadline. But you can’t afford to wait any longer. For a quick summary of the steps you need to take, here’s a recap of what we’ve worked on this summer.
Week 1: Educate Yourself
Learn all you can about Google's Shopping campaigns with our bundle of resources below.
Watch the recorded webinar with Google that explains the transition in depth
Follow up by reading the webinar recap
Check out the first blog post in this Shopping campaigns series
Week 2: Organize Feed
The first step in preparing your existing PLAs for the makeover is to ensure that all information under your category headings is complete and accurate. Focusing on the organization of your feed will help you make the most of your new campaigns.
Re-evaluate your segmentation to take advantage of the better granularity
Set up granular bidding to make sure your feed isn’t missing important attributes
Create custom labels in your feed if the standard attributes aren’t sufficient
Week 3: Develop Campaign Structure
A healthy foundation is key for future success. Fill in any missing information and set the stage for upcoming successful campaigns.
Organize your campaign based on how your customers search for your products online
Prioritize products within your existing PLA campaigns
Build your basic campaign structure in a spreadsheet pivot table to experiment with the order of granular layers
Week 4: Build Campaigns with the Product Group Generator
Now that you’re organized and have mapped out your structure, build your campaigns with the ChannelAdvisor Product Group Generator — which, in an internal test, structured a campaign 37 times faster than building it manually.
Set up your new campaign in AdWords, choosing “Shopping campaigns” as the campaign type
Use the Product Group Template to assign a global order to your segment levels
Use the Product Group Template to choose appropriate attributes
Assign a default bid
Repeat steps of assigning attributes and bid levels until you reach the level of detail you want
To know what’s working and what’s not, compare the performance of your old campaigns to your new Shopping campaigns. Carving out time to test is vital for your campaigns’ long-term health.
Select three to five ad groups from your new Shopping campaign, preferably ones that performed well under the previous structure
Keep old ad groups and campaigns live, as they serve as a metric benchmark
Pause all newly created Shopping campaigns except for the ad groups you selected for testing
Keep the cost per click (CPC) of those chosen campaigns the same as your old PLA groups
Pay attention to conversion rate as well as to new queries that may be hindering it
Let the test campaigns run for 10 to 14 days to gather enough data
Week 7: Report Findings, Set Expectations
After a couple of weeks of testing, you should be equipped with information about the health of your Shopping campaigns. Consider using some of Google’s new benchmarking tools to better understand what your metrics mean.
Impression Share: Lets you see the percentage of impressions you received out of the total impressions you’re eligible to receive
Benchmark Max Cost Per Click (CPC): Provides insight into how much other advertisers are bidding on products similar to those in your product group
Benchmark Click-Through Rate (CTR): Lets you compare your CTR to the rates of your competitors with similar products
Bid Simulator: Estimates what the results could have been over the previous seven days at different bid levels
Week 8: Compare Old and New Campaigns
It’s finally time to unpause the remaining groups in your new campaign.
Adjust your new daily budgets to approximately 25% of the values of the former campaign
Keep the campaigns running side by side for about 7 to 14 days
Make sure your daily budgets account for both campaign types during this period
If you have multiple Shopping campaigns running, consider using the Campaign Prioritization feature
Week 9: Optimize and Adjust Your Budget
It’s now time to make any necessary adjustments — and apply the same steps you took during your first test period.
Pay attention to the product groups that contain high-margin products or products that performed particularly well in prior campaigns
Use the competitive benchmark tools as a general guide for product groups that need extra attention
Look for performance patterns that are similar to those you experienced in your test groups
Rearrange or add levels to your product groups if your bid modifications prove to be unsuccessful.
Once you’re content with the performance of your new product groups, you can begin the ultimate transition:
Increase the daily budget of your new campaign and decrease the budget of your former campaign
You’re now ready to pause the former PLA campaign!
Continue to monitor the performance of your campaigns, especially when you add new products
Take a few days off. You’ve earned it!
If you have any more questions, run into bumps in the road or want to tell us how awesome your freshly polished campaigns are performing, shoot us an email at email@example.com.