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Google Shopping: Scale Performance by Segmenting RLSA Audiences into Separate Campaigns

Published: January 7, 2019

Author: Abel Tesfa

Google Shopping is growing year-over-year and starting to make up larger parts of a company’s Search budget. When you’re increasing budgets, efficiency is the top driver to ensure success in Shopping strategy.
In order to do this, understanding the validity of Non-Brand traffic is the key in accomplishing this goal. Many digital marketers will ask: “Where is the best place to start?” Figuring out the role remarketing audiences play in your Shopping campaign structure will solve this question.
An effective way to raise spend in Shopping while maintaining or raising efficiency is segmenting Remarketing audiences (RLSA) in a separate campaign. This campaign segmentation adds volume to your current structure while increasing CVR rates.

Setting up the Structure

Structure is integral to Shopping and how it operates. An RLSA Audience Campaign needs to be set up in a specific way to ensure traffic is still flowing properly in the current campaigns.

  • Step 1: Build out a high-priority Shopping campaign. Priorities are key to Shopping success, as they dictates what products and queries are shown above others.
  • Step 2: Mimic the exact same structure as your current Non-Brand campaign. You want to make sure the exact same products are showing within both your Non-Brand and RLSA campaigns to avoid any type of product query competition between the two.
  • Step 3: Apply the remarketing audiences you want to utilize at the ad group level. If you are not using multiple ad groups, then campaign level is the way to go. Set all audiences to targeting! This is essential to ensure you are only targeting the audiences you apply to the current campaign.

  • Step 4: Add the same audiences to all other Non-Brand Shopping campaigns and add a -100% bid modifier to the audiences. Doing this will make sure that no remarketing audience traffic goes into the other Non-Brand Shopping campaigns.

Results after Restructure

Below is a graph showing conversion rates in high-volume months after restructuring a client’s Shopping campaign structure to segment RLSA audiences into a separate campaign.

The restructure occurred in mid-April. We layered a combination of audiences consisting of site visitors, cart abandoners, and converters in each ad group. While volume was low, we saw conversion rates almost 5x higher in the RLSA campaigns than in our regular Non-Brand Shopping campaigns. This gave us the necessary data to layer on more spend in our RLSA campaigns and thus increase overall Shopping spend for the program.

Tips to Consider

  • Volume: Naturally Volume will be small compared to Non-Brand Shopping campaigns since remarketing lists are only being targeted. This can limit the amount of adjustments you can make to the campaign. However, there is a positive correlation when more spend is accrued in Non-Brand as this builds up more users in the RLSA lists to retarget to.
  • Higher CPCs: Since the RLSA campaign is set to a high priority and is only utilizing remarketing audiences (which are usually smaller), CPCs are much higher compared to normal Non-Brand Shopping campaigns. Because of this, campaign adjustments can be important to ensure efficiency is being maintained. I recommend having a separate goal set up for RLSA to ensure you get the most out of using it to improve CPA or ROAS.
  • Bidding: There are two types of bid modifications that play a part in this campaign structure: product group bids and audience bid modifications. Playing around in this area is essential for success. Making more regular adjustments at the product group level will lead to better results than constant audience bid modifications will. Intent may be different for specific products at different points in time, so this can help in lowering the higher CPCs seen in RLSA Shopping.

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