Google Shopping Campaigns may make Google Product Listing Ads easier for marketers and consumers to use, says ChannelAdvisor. The shopping campaigns are a "new way of managing PLAs [that] includes more granularity and better control over bids," writes the Morrisville, N.C.-based SaaS e-commerce solutions provider in "11 Steps for Mastering Google's New Shopping Campaigns." (Opens as a PDF)
The 13-page guide ChannelAdvisor announced on Sept. 12 provides a step-by-step way for e-commerce marketing to use the new shopping campaigns (Opens as a PDF):
1. Optimize the Feed
Optimize product data and images. It may be best to start with the most profitable items, as product attribute columns may be lengthy. (If it's not clear which products work best on PLAs, look at site analytics to find the most-purchased products.)
Product attribute columns directly match to search queries, which will now be in "groups" instead of "targets." Groups mean more granularity and, therefore, more relevant ads. "You can then organize and group your inventory into subcategories, such as brand, item ID, condition or product type and assign separate bid values to each."
As for images, ChannelAdvisor suggests marketers measure out 800 x 800 pixels and use various angles, but avoid placing multiple products in the same shot or watermarks.
2. Use Custom Labels
AdWords labels aren't required in these campaigns, but e-commerce marketers are limited to five custom labels.
3. Map the Campaign Structure
Marketers can organize inventory down to the individual product level. ChannelAdvisor says starting with a spreadsheet, building the basic structure on a pivot table, and replicating the successful parts of past PLA campaigns and on-site customer paths to purchase.
4. Build Product Groups
Set up the new campaign on the "campaign" page in AdWords, open the "Product Group Generator" template and segment, assign order to the ad groups from the drop-down menu, assign a default bid, then assign attributes and bid amounts for as many as five levels of segmentation. The guide advises that "each level of bidding overrides the bid of the previous level."