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How-To: Organize Your Google Shopping Campaigns

Published: March 9, 2016

Author: Stephen Bergen

Creating Google Shopping campaigns is a great way to feature products, especially for ecommerce businesses. The ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are very compelling and tend to have more traffic, more qualified leads, and a broader presence on the SERP. Here are a few suggestions on how to organize your Shopping campaigns to get the most out of them.

  • Create a tree that makes the most sense, getting more specific as you get lower in the tree. The more granular you get, the more control you have over bids. Additionally you can get the most insight from the data collected that can be used in combination with your search or display campaign reports.

    The following is an example of how a marketer for a furniture company, Bob, might structure his Shopping PLA: Bob wants to start with ‘category’ to segment by things like chairs, loveseats, ottomans, sofas, etc. and get an idea of which product lines are the most profitable. Then Bob could segment further by brand: La-Z-boy, Lexington, Ashley, Leatherworld, etc. This allows Bob to analyze each brand within a category, side-by-side and make adjustments accordingly. Finally, Bob wants to segment by item ID or he could use his Custom Labels. This allows Bob to have the most granularity and he can pull reports on which products are making the most impact on his conversion goals.


  • Utilize the Custom Labels columns. By taking some time to create a custom label column, or maybe more than one, you can segment your data and make it easier to group and bid. For example, if your shoe company has a SKU for each shoe, down to the size, you may want to group styles together and bid on all the sizes at the same level.
  • All too often, marketers think that since the Shopping campaign is referencing one, “all-powerful” data feed, it has to be a self-contained campaign and must be independent of all other buildout techniques and best practices. News flash: you don’t have to keep all your eggs in one basket. Splitting out your Shopping campaigns into whatever structure makes sense for the account can help segment data properly and help manage expectations. For example, you may want to break your Shopping PLAs into an Alpha/Beta structure (tip: you do), or maybe you want a specific product line to have its own budget.Don’t forget to exclude out any products you have in other campaigns so your ads aren’t hopping from one to the other, or getting outbid.
  • Don’t let data feeds scare you. For accounts with a smaller product list that’s managed with a manual upload, or has a static number of products, this step isn’t necessary. However, managing an account with automated feeds on a daily update, containing thousands of products going in and out of stock on a regular basis, can seem like a full-time job. Depending on who does the feed management and how often the feed is updated, you want to have a practice of daily monitoring for products that have been added/removed or those that have gone out of stock. By default, depending on the campaign structure, new products or product lines will come in under an exclusion, or at a default CPC that isn’t optimized. By staying on top of which products are populating and which ones are going out of stock, you can start gathering data on new products as quickly as possible and account for sudden changes in performance.

Each AdWords account has its own needs and nuances. By utilizing some of these organizational techniques, you may find that pulling reports, finding top performers, and researching trends will be easier. Also, you will save time on bid management, all while improving efficiency within your Shopping campaigns.

Ready to learn more? Check out 3Q Digital’s Approach to Google Shopping, or contact us to find out how you can make the most of your shopping campaigns.


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