We already know that Shopping Campaigns work great for ecommerce companies. Today we’ll be sharing some great tips and tricks for how to make them work even better for you!
Let’s go shopping
If you’re used to search campaigns where you are strictly dealing with keyword-level bidding, Shopping Campaigns can be daunting…especially the elusive Merchant Center. What is Google’s Merchant Center exactly?
Google Merchant Center is actually where a lot of the magic happens in Shopping Campaigns. This is where your product data feeds live. A product data feed is a list of all the products you sell. And it’s not just any list; this list has to be in a special format required by Google with tons of attributes that describe your products (think spreadsheet!). Some key attributes of your product data feed list are:
No need to write text ads like you do for search campaigns – shopping ads are generated automatically using the data in your feed.
You can’t even think about setting up a Shopping Campaign in Google Ads until you get your product data feed defined and have a process in place to update it as product info, availability, and pricing change. This is super important because if your data feed doesn’t match your website, Google will not show your product ads.
Some companies do this manually using Google spreadsheets, some use third-party services, and some use special software on their website to keep this info up-to-date and in sync with their website. Using a Google spreadsheet certainly gives you the most control, but might not be realistic to manage if you have 1000s of products.
A good data feed is a huge factor in the success of your Shopping Campaigns. A few super-important things to keep in mind:
Assuming that you have gotten your product data feed in tip-top shape and you’ve linked your AdWords account to your Merchant Center, you’re ready to create Shopping Campaigns. Creating Shopping Campaigns in AdWords is pretty simple – the biggest difference is that you’ll have to choose a Merchant Center product feed and a sales country. Once you create your campaign, you’ll have to think about how you want to organize your Ad Groups. Ad Groups in shopping campaigns are really for organizational purposes only:
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Once you’ve organized your ad groups, you’re ready to start thinking about bidding on product ads. Remember, product ads are generated by your feed data so you don’t need to write any ads directly in AdWords.
Shopping Campaign bidding works totally different from search campaigns. There are no keywords in Shopping Campaigns! So, what do you bid on? Shopping campaigns are really cool because you can set the bid on the actual products that you are selling – this gives you a huge amount of control. You can either set the bid on individual products or you can set the bid on groups of products – either way, the thing you set the bid on is called a “Product Group.”
Picture all the stuff you sell in one giant bin – this is what Google calls the “All Products” product group. You can set a bid on this product group and ads for all products in that bin would get the same bid. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since different products have different profit margins and also different levels of competition. You’ll want to set your bids based on those factors.
Google allows you to take all of the products in that giant bin and split them into smaller bins so you can set bids on those smaller bins. And if those smaller bins aren’t granular enough, you can make even smaller bins to set bids on. To create these bins (product groups), you use the attributes you set in your product feed to segment products. This concept is by far the most complicated part of setting up a Shopping Campaign. A picture is worth a thousand words so here goes…
You may have noticed that every time you segment a product group, you always end up with an “Everything Else” group. Google does this automatically for you as a catch-all for the products that don’t fit in the bins you define.
Now that we have that concept down, we have a few tips for how to best organize your product groups.
Hint: The key is ROI! How much can you afford to spend on an ad for a specific product?
Once you have your product groups organized, you are ready to set bids on those groups. We’ve got some great advice to get you started:
The final piece of advice we have for you is around special promotions you are running – Google has this cool thing where you can tack on promotional text to your shopping ad. Your promotions could be something like “Free Shipping” or “5% off” or seasonally based like “Winter Blowout Sale! 25% Off!”
Make sure these promotions are relevant and match your website, otherwise Google won’t run your ads!
You are now prepared to start your first Shopping Campaign. And remember, don’t be afraid to start small as you figure out the process. Good luck and happy shopping!
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