Mar 26

Google Shopping Campaigns: Best Practices

Use Performance Metrics

Check your sales vs. spend statistics often and adjust bidding as needed.

The best part of Google Shopping Campaigns (GSC) is the newly available performance tracking metrics. Select the "Dimensions" tab and then change the dropdown "View" to "Shopping" and select "Product Type", "Brand", or "Item ID".

Note: Make sure your AdWords conversion tracking is configured properly! »

Click "Columns" then "Customize Columns" and make sure you've added the "Conv. Value / cost" metric. This metric gives you big picture stats very quickly. Make sure that before you adjust bids there are plenty of clicks to ensure the data is truly representative.

Find both good and bad performers at the sku, brand, and "product type" level.

Note: "Product type" columns will likely be more helpful than the "category" columns. Product type is your internal categorization while category uses Google's standardized product taxonomy.

Once you've found items that are doing either good or bad, subdivide them out in the "Product groups" tab and adjust bids accordingly.

Review the competitive metrics available in the "Product groups" tab of AdWords. If your impression share is low and/or the Benchmark max CPC is well above your max CPC, you may want to raise bids

If the Benchmark CTR is significantly higher than your CTR, you may have product prices out of line with competitors, poor quality images, or product titles that aren't written cleanly.

Take the benchmark numbers with a grain of salt: Google claims to compare only to "similar products" but if you sell in a niche market these numbers may be way off.

Small Retailers

If you don't have professional AdWords management or in house AdWords expertise, you should stick with a single Google Shopping Campaign. This allows you to forget campaign priorities and other minutiae which can be troublesome.

Big Retailers

To control spend better, create multiple Google Shopping Campaigns. Designate one as your "default" which should be set to low priority and have a valid bid for the "Everything else" product group.

Create other campaigns that focus on brands, categories, high performers and low performers. These campaigns should be set to priority medium or high. In addition, these campaigns should have "everything else" product groups set to "excluded" – the default Google Shopping Campaign above will handle "everything else" items.

Use the "default" campaign as your experimental budget campaign. As products come into stock and accrue clicks in the default campaign, they should present performance patterns. Use these patterns to move the products into other more specialized campaigns such as high or low performers.

Custom Labels

Set custom labels to subdivide products into groups based on criteria that Google does not support. In particular, price tiered custom labels can be set very easily in the VersaFeed dashboard as shown below:

In this example, we set custom label 0 for all items between $100 and $500. Other price ranges can be set (all within custom label 0) to cover other pricing tiers.

It can also be helpful to use custom labels to define groups of products that are formed from many attributes. For example, you could use "custom label 4" as a general "grouping" tag like so:

  • If MPN starts with XYZ, price > $100, and description contains word "Acme" set custom label 4 to "Acme XYZ expensive"
  • If brand is Nike, category contains shoelaces, and price < $5 set custom label 4 to "nike shoelaces"
Note that you can re-use the same custom label as long as the products don't overlap. Custom labels can have up to 1,000 different tags specified which would allow you to create 1000 different "advanced" groupings (like the examples above). This is commonly overlooked by other analysts noting the disadvantage of only having 5 total custom labels.

Following these Google Shopping Campaign best practices will help ensure your companies prosperity on Google Shopping and Google Product Listing Ads. Feel free to contact us at any time for a personalized evaluation.

PPC Bidding PPC Best Practices AdWords Product Listing Ads Knowledge Base Google Shopping 

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