The great thing about a Google Shopping Campaign is that Google does most of the heavy lifting in the equation.
As the most important Google advertising option in the ecommerce business, their system automatically creates ads for your products, and matches them with relevant search queries.
In order to achieve this, you need to understand how Google Shopping structures, ads, and product groups work, and then build, and implement good campaign structures from the ground-up.
Just like in Google Ads, each Shopping campaign should include several ad groups, and within that you want to make sure that you’re dividing your products into the relevant groups.
However, once you’ve set up your shopping campaigns, it can be unclear about what more you can do, that’ll improve your business, and get you ahead of your competitors.
I mean, sure, you can follow Google’s default recommendation; increase the CPC and raise the budget.
But, does that mean you should do it?
Remember; spending money just for the sake of it will cut your profits, and even eliminate it altogether.
On the other hand, many ecommerce advertisers have a lot on their plates, with Google Ads, FB / Insta ads, etc., making it nearly impossible to spend the extra money for this.
So, what can you do?
In this article, we’ll show you the ways – both basic, and advanced – that you can follow, in order to take your strategies to the next level.
But, before we get into that, you need to know some basic elements in Google Shopping. It will also help to dial in your Google Analytics.
1. Google Shopping campaign priority options.
Within Google Shopping Campaigns, you have access to 3 campaign priorities; ‘high’, ‘medium’, and ‘low’ priority.
Ideally, you’d use high-priority campaigns for your newly arrived products, best-sellers, or clearance items. Usually those products you’d want to be sold above any others.
Medium-priority campaigns are ideal for Shopping campaigns, that point to product categories, product lines, specific regions, etc.
Lastly, low-priority campaigns would be your catch-all campaigns; the ones that cover all your products – or your store – in a single campaign.
2. Google Shopping ad groups.
Like with Google Ads, Google Shopping campaigns have ad groups too. You want to keep your groups as compartmentalized as possible. (i.e., limit the number of products to enable you to adjust bids and/or optimize quickly)
3. Google Shopping product groups.
Inside each of the Google Shopping Ad groups within a Shopping campaign, there are product groups (aka inventory subsets). One ad group can have up to 20,000 different product groups. They are segments of your products, that are relevant to that Ad Group, or in other words, the group of products that will use the same bid. You can have a product group of all your products or you can subdivide each group into 7 levels, for maximum segmentation.
- Product Type: Based on your inventory categorization
- Category: Based on the category taxonomy of your site or Google product categories
- Item ID: Based on the ID (identifier) of each of your products
- Custom Labels: Based on up to 5 theme-labels you can create
- Brand: Based on the product manufacturer
- Channel: Based on the sales channel where the product is sold
- Condition: Based on the condition of the products, such as new/used, etc
Now that we went over the basic elements, let’s get into the basic strategies that you can use, under different circumstances.
Google Shopping Strategies
1. One campaign with one ad group.
Due to the simplicity, this ‘beginner’ Google Shopping campaign structure is often an ecommerce store owner’s first choice. This means creating single campaigns that includes a single ad group.
For example, let’s say you’re a beginner seller, and have only one product type to sell; sneakers. As you only sell one product, the product group within your ad group wouldn’t be too technical.
This is obviously very easy to set up and monitor. Best suited for Google Shopping newbies.
However, this approach is very limiting in the long run, as you will need to identify, and exclude poorly performing products, from many products that are all lumped together the same group. It also makes it harder to see which search queries are bringing in the most sales – which you’ll need if you want to work on more complex structures that involve implementing negative keyword lists to sculpt queries.
2. One campaign with numerous ad groups.
The next basic Shopping campaign structures is a simple and single campaign, with numerous ad groups.
Let’s use the above shoe business as an example again, which has now branched out into a variety of casual shoes.
You can then create one campaign, that includes a variety of ad groups, based on product types such as sneakers, sandals, loafers, and so on. Or if you’re still just selling sneakers, you can create groups around product topics, such as price, brand, design, popularity, etc. This type of structure gives you clearer insight into which product types are performing better, as well as giving you the ability play around with adding different negative keywords to different groups.
The problem here is, since you’re running only one campaign, all ad groups will be sharing from the same campaign budget pool. So you won’t be able to set different budgets – and other settings – for different product types, or even products.
3. Multiple campaigns with multiple ad groups.
This structure involves having multiple campaigns with multiple ad groups. It’s ideal for online stores, with a variety of product types or brands, or for those that requires a tighter control over the budgets.
So in this case, our shoe seller, who now sells a variety of products, can create a campaign per category that he sells in. That means campaign would be built around a certain category or a type, with the groups focusing on individual products.
Each of your product types or groups will have their own budget, and tracking the performance can be segmented, based on these splits.
Keep in mind that this involves a lot more time and effort to set up, monitor and optimize for stores with many types of products.
4. 3 campaigns, 3 priorities.
As mentioned before, there are three priority options for your campaign and this campaign structure involves creating three campaigns, one for each priority.
High priority campaign would have newly-arrived products, products on sale, best-sellers, etc.
Medium-priority campaign would have product categories, brands, product lines, or specific regions.
Low-priority campaign would include all the products.
These are much easy to create and set up, and at the same time, they give you much more control over your bids and performance.
Dealing With a Limited Budget
If you have a smaller budget, can’t afford to spend much on ads, or on any resources you’ll need to build highly granular campaign sets, then start by limiting the number of products in your Shopping campaigns. You can filter your campaigns to only include those products that have a high impression AdWords share, or by grouping by popularity, based on your site’s sales stats. In other words, keep your campaigns small. Find the products that bring you the best ROI for your limited budget, and then as the sales increase, start adding to the budget to include high performers or new products to your campaigns.
That’s how you set up Google Shopping campaigns like a pro.