Weeks 5-6: Begin Testing Your New Shopping Campaigns

July 14, 2014

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor


Google has announced that all retailers have until late August 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 August and help you prepare for the switch. Be sure to email us at marketing@channeladvisor.com with any questions you have along the way.


Congratulations — you’re now at the midpoint of the campaign creation process. All the prep work is complete and your overall structure is built. Now it’s time to begin comparing the performance of your previous PLA campaigns with your new Shopping campaigns. Allowing some time for testing is crucial for your campaigns’ long-term health. During this process, you’ll start to get a good idea of what’s working, what’s not working and what needs to be adjusted. After a couple of weeks — and some minor tweaks — your new product groups should begin to fire on all cylinders.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

To begin, select three to five ad groups from your newly created Shopping campaigns to use as your first test. We suggest picking ad groups that have performed well in the previous PLA format. You’ll also want to choose ad groups that have sustained enough performance that you can adequately compare metrics.

As you’re testing, keep your old ad groups and campaigns live and functioning as usual. They’ll provide your PLAs with consistency while you tinker with your new campaigns. Your old campaigns can also serve as a benchmark to measure your new campaigns against.

Next, pause all the newly created Shopping campaigns except for the groups you selected for testing. Once these new ad groups are active, keep their cost per click (CPC) the same as in your old PLA groups. This approach should give you a good idea of how well the new groups are performing versus the older groups.

While you’re doing this, pay attention to your conversion rate. If there’s a big difference in your new conversion rate, it’s likely that different queries are being matched to your new ads. Therefore, it’s also important to keep an eye on the search queries that are triggering your ads. Be cautious of new queries that are hurting your conversion rate.  For example, if someone searches “Nike running shoes” more than likely they don’t want shoelaces to surface.

Nike ExampleThere also may be an opportunity here to add negative keywords to the new ad groups to help improve performance. This is the time for testing, after all, so experiment away. You still have your old campaigns running as a safety net.

Finally, let these tests run for 10 to 14 days so that you have enough data to make informed decisions. You’ll be using the information learned here to guide the rest of your transition.


Check back next week, when we’ll provide a quick recap of all of the steps you should have taken to this point. Until then, keep track of your progress with our Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns Roadmap.

And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to email us at marketing@channeladvisor.com and we’ll do our best to incorporate the answers in future blog posts.