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It's 2018. Are your Google Shopping campaigns ready?

In what year 2017 for Google Shopping, is not it?

The real question is, however: How did your campaigns succeed? Stellar? Decent? Poor? Whatever the case may be, the simple fact remains that we are in 2018 – a new year, which means new opportunities to do better (even if you think 2017 was your best).

Without a doubt, you are already at work and busy with planning, logistics, meetings, budgeting, perhaps even turning into a new ecommerce solution, and all of this is an exhausting effort.

So, in the interest of saving time (and time is getting so much money), here are some things you SHOULD look for in your Shopping campaigns to make sure this year and Next year is your next "best" year .

The structure of the campaign is really everything

John Wanamaker, American merchant, religious, civic and political, often considered a pioneer in marketing, says it best:

His words continue to serve as a lesson to online retailers and search engine marketers.

The wasted advertising dollars are equivalent to the scourge of Google Shopping campaigns. Finding this waste and isolating it depends, and almost completely, on the structure or structural integrity of your campaigns.

Are your campaigns structured for maximum efficiency? Not sure? Here are two of the most common structural errors to look for.


There are many ways to structure a Shopping campaign, all of which come under the heading of "subdivision", or the process by which we group together similar or related products by defined product groups. In almost 90% of all the campaigns we manage, we see a misunderstanding or even misuse of subdivision tactics.

Over-structuring can exist in many forms. However, in most cases, this starts with a basic breakdown of the product group, followed by the excessive use of several sub-breakdowns. What you end up with is essentially a nightmare for managing offers and campaigns.

Take, for example, a retailer who first chose to make a basic campaign subdivision by product type. Then, for each subsequent distribution, they put in place custom labels.

They stopped there. Now, within the subgroup, there were several products, all of which were subject to the same max CPC, regardless of the individual product performance. Here is what it looked like:

In a campaign like this, you'll never know exactly which products drive conversions, and which consumes valuable ad spend without conversion.

Even worse, and unfortunately for this retailer, there is really no chance of saving a campaign like this. Trying to continue to subdivide to achieve true granularity will likely lead to further damage to the structural integrity of the campaign.

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He suffers from both overbidding and undercutting, as well as an almost total or total loss of control over granular management.

There is no direct way to get around this. Our team at Sales & Orders had to develop a specialized process for the transition of poorly structured Google Shopping campaigns. Campaigns that suffer from structural problems require a very dexterous hand and constant attention. Transition times vary depending on the complexity of the pre-existing campaign structure. Usually this represents about 30 days of shift management. However, in more cases than expected, the transitions must be treated with greater care and can last from 60 to 90 days.

You do not have to be like John Wanamaker in 2018. After a campaign transition, you will be able to know what half of your advertising will lose, and you'll be able to mitigate the risk of waste year after year.


Good news! If you find your campaigns in this state, there is still a lot of hope for a course correction.

Under-structuring is usually the result of the simplicity of things which is both a blessing and a curse. Just like over-structuring, the under-structuring of Google Shopping campaigns leads to the same problems of overbidding, overbidding and lack of granular control over advertising spending by everyone.

As the name suggests, however, the under-structuring looks exactly like what it means: a minimal or only very elemental subdivision was performed during the initial creation of a campaign . It's not as difficult to work with, minimal-frame campaigns are often easily corrected to achieve granularity.

What can it look like in AdWords?

In the example above, this retailer chose to keep it simple by using the Product Type attribute to create small groups of very similar products.

Yet, they still had several products grouped together, all at the same max CPC bid. The bid strategy was set to Enhanced CPC giving away bid control to AdWords.

Fortunately, there are not many products in this group.

If you find yourself in this situation:

  1. Click on the "+" icon (you can see it in the picture above).
  2. In the pop-up window, use the drop-down list at the top to select Subdivide [group name] by Item Number
  3. Click the double carrot icon (>>) at the top of the list of products.
  4. Finish by clicking Save.
  5. Look for the "Everything else" product group created automatically by AdWords, and be sure to exclude this group .

With this you will have achieved complete granularity in this group of products. Now, rinse and repeat for all others.

"Wait, what if I have a lot of products in a group?" "More than 200"

Good question! This is where it can get a little more complex and you will need a list of the exact product IDs that live in this group.

If you are lucky enough to have access to this data (most likely if your product feed is in a file type or even a Google spreadsheet):

Follow the same steps as above, but stop at # 3 and proceed as follows:

  1. Locate and click on the option to download the bulk values ​​manually.
  2. Copy your product ID list if you have them at hand.
  3. Paste the list into the field provided.
  4. Click on "Add values".
  5. Click Save.
  6. Exclude this group "Everything else".

For those who can not get these product identifiers, this method just will not work.

Although you can only get a maximum of 200 IDs maximum, the only other way around this limitation would be to switch to new Shopping campaigns. As you can see, it can be far too difficult to create and manage the ideal Google Shopping campaign using AdWords alone.

It's usually there that retailers should consider investing in a specialized platform such as sales management software and orders for Google Shopping.

DIY users and our team leverage our technology to create what we call pure ID Google Shopping campaigns. This approach eliminates the need for overly complex or excessive use of product groups, which can greatly complicate the effective management of your Shopping campaigns.

Pure ID campaigns help to ensure that each campaign product is its own line item and allows you to apply a single bid to each product based on its performance. With this, we can analyze the performance of each product while being able to understand this big picture at the same time.

There are additional hidden gems in the Pure ID-Level approach. They're just opening up your campaigns to a "hidden" (or at least, little-known) attribution model to find out how products interact with each other to drive sales you can not make. -being never even known.

Mobile campaigns (and sometimes tablets) dedicated

By taking what you just learned about the structure of the campaign, it's time to apply that knowledge to an opportunity to increase your direct Google Shopping earnings.

Today 's consumer is moving, even if it' s just going from the kitchen to the couch. You want to be there for these micro-moments. You leave money on the table (maybe also in the fridge) if you are not there.

So our question is: Do you have dedicated Shopping campaigns for mobile or tablet?

It's not enough to cover your main campaigns with bid modifiers, but when you create a mobile or tablet campaign, you can get more precision and manage consumer-specific bids on your devices. .

This allows you to identify the best ads on mobile devices or tablets and make sure you bid accordingly on them to generate additional revenue. Over time, you can approach the management of Shopping campaigns in a whole new way.

Now it is your turn

The big picture is just as important as the sum of its parts, but what happens when you do not really understand what's going on with the parties?

In the end, Google Shopping's profitable campaigns flow from knowing and not guessing. Specialized platforms like sales and orders do just that: eliminate guesswork.

Using what you have learned today, it's time for you to take a good look at 2018. Will you crush the 2017 numbers and move your Shopping campaigns to new heights?

About the author

Based in Bethpage, New York, Google Shopping's Sales and Order Management Software is one of the only platforms dedicated to helping retailers and marketers create, manage, and optimize profitable Google Shopping campaigns. . Recognized as a Google Premier Partner, Sales & Orders provides managed services for retailers looking to get the most out of Google Shopping and is the developer of Google Shopping by Sales & Orders, a free feed for BigCommerce merchants. For us, it's about giving priority to our retailers because they deserve the best chance to succeed and grow their business online.