From PLA (Product Listing Ads) to Shopping campaigns, Google’s feed-based advertising platform has grown tremendously over the past 18 months. Increased ad real estate has yielded higher demand for advertisers but has also increased competition, making it harder to gain and maintain impression share at competitive margins. Below are a few tips that will help you scale and boost efficiency on your Shopping campaigns program.
Adding custom labels to your product feed can help you tremendously when setting up targets to your ad groups. Google allows you to add up to 5 custom labels which are labeled 0 through 4. These labels will allow you to categorize your products based on specific attributes. You can also use them to label products that are on sale or even best-selling products. You can then leverage these attributes when creating reports and optimizing your campaigns.
Example: If the product is a Women’s Running Shoe – Custom Label 1 = Women, Custom Label 2 = Shoe, Custom Label 3 = Running.
Brand vs Non-Brand
Even though Shopping campaigns are not keyword based, you can still split traffic between brand intended and non-brand intended searches. This can be done either at the campaign or ad group level (I prefer ad groups as it reduces the number of campaigns). In order to separate brand vs non-brand traffic, simply add your trademark name as a negative keyword to your non-brand campaigns or ad groups. This will allow you to quickly monitor and optimize performance towards new visitors rather than just driving people that are searching for your brand.
Product Type Optimization
Optimizing your product feed is one of the most important things you can do. This particular attribute (product_type) indicates the category of the product being submitted. This will help Google categorize your product and show it against the most relevant searches.
Setting up inventory rules is something that is often overlooked but pretty important if there is a chance you may run out of stock for a specific product during the day. This is something that can be setup on your e-Comm side. Let’s say a particular SKU is low in inventory (only 3 left) but you know that you sell about 4 to 5 of those a day. There is a good chance you will sell out before the end of the day. If that happens to a few of your products and exceeds 5% of your entire product feed, Google will take your entire feed down. A simple rule that says IF (Product QTY < AVG DAILY SALES) THEN DO NOT SUBMIT can go a long way to ensure that your feed remains live.
Along with custom labels, a good campaign structure will provide a solid base for a highly effective Shopping campaign. As best practice, I usually structure my campaigns very similarly to my custom labels. Higher category at the campaign level, and then creating ad groups sub-categorizing the products. This will allow you to more effectively manage performance by adding negative keywords and increasing or decreasing impression share for a specific product category.
Now that you have your bases covered, make sure to monitor SQRs (Search Query Report), filtering out irrelevant search queries that will drive up your CPA and category bids to make sure you are getting optimal impression share for top-performing products. Also pay close attention to your campaign budget caps, as you don’t want to run out of budget in the middle of the campaign and miss the opportunity to connect with a potential customer.