Week 10: Finish Your Shopping Campaigns Transition

August 18, 2014

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor


Google has announced that all retailers have until September to transition their current Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns to the recently released Shopping campaigns format. After the transition date, Google will automatically force all remaining PLA campaigns into the new format without optimization or input from the retailer. Join us here each week for our ongoing Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns series, as we count down to September and help you prepare for the switch. Be sure to email us at marketing@channeladvisor.com with any questions you have along the way.

Now that you’ve increased your bids to the appropriate levels and your new campaigns are running smoothly, there’s just one last thing you need to do: Pause your old PLA campaigns.

Congratulations! After a long summer, you’ve crossed the finish line. While you’ll need to continue monitoring your new campaigns, especially when you add new products, take a few days off and relax, cool down and let those new Shopping campaigns work for you. You’ve earned it!

And if you’re just now joining us, you can still squeeze in most of the necessary steps before the August 31 transition deadline. But you can’t afford to wait any longer. For a quick summary of the steps you need to take, here’s a recap of what we’ve worked on this summer.

Week 1: Educate Yourself

Learn all you can about Google’s Shopping campaigns with our bundle of resources below.

Check boxWatch the recorded webinar with Google that explains the transition in depth

Check box Follow up by reading the webinar recap

Check boxCheck out the first blog post in this Shopping campaigns series

Week 2: Organize Feed

The first step in preparing your existing PLAs for the makeover is to ensure that all information under your category headings is complete and accurate. Focusing on the organization of your feed will help you make the most of your new campaigns.

Check box Re-evaluate your segmentation to take advantage of the better granularity

Check box Set up granular bidding to make sure your feed isn’t missing important attributes

Check boxCreate custom labels in your feed if the standard attributes aren’t sufficient

Week 3: Develop Campaign Structure

A healthy foundation is key for future success. Fill in any missing information and set the stage for upcoming successful campaigns.

Check box Organize your campaign based on how your customers search for your products online

Check boxPrioritize products within your existing PLA campaigns

Check boxBuild your basic campaign structure in a spreadsheet pivot table to experiment with the order of granular layers

Week 4: Build Campaigns with the Product Group Generator

Now that you’re organized and have mapped out your structure, build your campaigns with the ChannelAdvisor Product Group Generator — which, in an internal test, structured a campaign 37 times faster than building it manually.

Check box Set up your new campaign in AdWords, choosing “Shopping campaigns” as the campaign type

Check boxUse the Product Group Template to assign a global order to your segment levels

Check box Use the Product Group Template to choose appropriate attributes

Check boxAssign a default bid

Check boxRepeat steps of assigning attributes and bid levels until you reach the level of detail you want

Week 5 & 6: Begin Testing

To know what’s working and what’s not, compare the performance of your old campaigns to your new Shopping campaigns. Carving out time to test is vital for your campaigns’ long-term health.

Check box Select three to five ad groups from your new Shopping campaign, preferably ones that performed well under the previous structure

Check boxKeep old ad groups and campaigns live, as they serve as a metric benchmark

Check boxPause all newly created Shopping campaigns except for the ad groups you selected for testing

Check box Keep the cost per click (CPC) of those chosen campaigns the same as your old PLA groups

Check box Pay attention to conversion rate as well as to new queries that may be hindering it

Check box Let the test campaigns run for 10 to 14 days to gather enough data

Week 7: Report Findings, Set Expectations

After a couple of weeks of testing, you should be equipped with information about the health of your Shopping campaigns. Consider using some of Google’s new benchmarking tools to better understand what your metrics mean.

Check boxImpression Share: Lets you see the percentage of impressions you received out of the total impressions you’re eligible to receive

Check boxBenchmark Max Cost Per Click (CPC): Provides insight into how much other advertisers are bidding on products similar to those in your product group

Check boxBenchmark Click-Through Rate (CTR): Lets you compare your CTR to the rates of your competitors with similar products

Check boxBid Simulator: Estimates what the results could have been over the previous seven days at different bid levels

Week 8: Compare Old and New Campaigns

It’s finally time to unpause the remaining groups in your new campaign.

Check boxAdjust your new daily budgets to approximately 25% of the values of the former campaign

Check boxKeep the campaigns running side by side for about 7 to 14 days

Check boxMake sure your daily budgets account for both campaign types during this period

Check boxIf you have multiple Shopping campaigns running, consider using the Campaign Prioritization feature

Week 9: optimise and Adjust Your Budget

It’s now time to make any necessary adjustments — and apply the same steps you took during your first test period.

Check boxPay attention to the product groups that contain high-margin products or products that performed particularly well in prior campaigns

Check boxUse the competitive benchmark tools as a general guide for product groups that need extra attention

Check boxLook for performance patterns that are similar to those you experienced in your test groups

Check boxRearrange or add levels to your product groups if your bid modifications prove to be unsuccessful.

Week 10

Once you’re content with the performance of your new product groups, you can begin the ultimate transition:

Check boxIncrease the daily budget of your new campaign and decrease the budget of your former campaign

Check boxYou’re now ready to pause the former PLA campaign!

Check boxContinue to monitor the performance of your campaigns, especially when you add new products

Check boxTake a few days off. You’ve earned it!

If you have any more questions, run into bumps in the road or want to tell us how awesome your freshly polished campaigns are performing, shoot us an email at marketing@channeladvisor.com.