Google's Shopping Campaigns: Structure and Product Groups

Before you can submit your feed to Google, you have to put some thought to how to structure your campaign. With Google's Shopping Campaigns, this structure can be segmented to mirror your current catalog...and with ChannelAdvisor's Product Group Generator , product groups can easily be created and bids can be assigned to each segment of the campaign structure.

Read on for considerations you should make as you're planning your Google's Shopping campaign structure and building your product groups.

In a hurry?
Check out the Creating Product Groups with the Product Group Generator Express Guide related to this topic. 


Map Your Campaign Structure

One of the primary reasons Google developed the Shopping campaigns structure was to allow retailers to organize inventory as they would in a store or catalog. With this new segmented structure, you can optimize performance down to the individual product level, by use of Product Groups.

Here's what we recommend.  

  • Use a standard spreadsheet to map out your campaign's structure before building it. This approach will give you more flexibility to experiment with different levels of granularity.
  • Build the basic structure in a pivot table. Using a small portion of your feed, experiment with the order of the layers with a pivot table in Excel until you're comfortable with the structure.
  • Replicate past campaigns. If you've run PLA campaigns before, consider replicating the existing product attribute order. If you had success with organizing your campaign by Brand and Product Type, for example, then it would make sense for those to be the first two levels in your new Shopping campaign. You can then proceed with more granularity, including additional levels of product attributes and custom labels wherever it makes the most sense for your particular business and products.
  • Look to your webstore as a guide. Think about how customers find products on your webstore. Most likely, at the highest level, your products are grouped by categories and brands. And depending on the type of products you sell, shoppers discover them in different ways.
  • Identify your top-performing products from your webstore. Using a basic reporting tool like Google Analytics, examine the search queries and conversion paths visitors take to find your products. For instance, if customers typically look for a set of products by brand, make that the highest level of your product groups. Likewise, if product category is more important to your customers, then you may want to structure your organization around category type.
Every retailer will build campaigns differently. Remember, too, that if the structure you choose doesn't perform well, you can easily experiment with additional granularity or create new product groups.

Build Your Product Groups

After mapping out your campaign, it's time to build your product groups. If done manually, this process could take you several hours or days, depending on the size of your product catalog. If you're using ChannelAdvisor's Product Group Generator, it should only take minutes to set up your entire campaign.  In fact, in an internal test, the Product Group Generator built an entire campaign 37 times faster than it took to do the same job manually.

Curious to know more about the Product Group Generator? Here's an overview of the steps you would take to set up a campaign, but be sure to visit our Setting Up Product Groups in Google Shopping Campaigns page for complete instructions.

  1. Set up the new campaign on your Campaign page in AdWords. As with all new campaigns, you'll simply choose the type of campaign (Shopping campaigns) and enter other basic information, such as country of sale and your budget.
  2. Create levels of segmentation. When you open the Product Group Generator template in ChannelAdvisor ( Digital Marketing > Dashboards > Google Shopping > Product Group Generator ), you're taken to the main interface page, where you can create levels of segmentation.
  3. Assign a global order to your segment levels after you choose your campaign from the drop-down menu. The first level is considered your Ad Group level. You'll notice that all of your feed attribute labels are available in the drop-down menu.
  4. Assign a default bid.  If you don't have comparable bid information from an existing campaign, we recommend erring on the higher side. You can always scale it back once you have some metrics to guide you. This approach can be used for each level of bidding. Because the Product Group Generator will assign every product in your feed to a product group, you can leave the "Everything Else" bid at $0.01.
  5. Assign an attribute to the second-level segment and assign a bid. Note that as your campaign becomes more granular, each level of bidding overrides the bid of the previous level. You can repeat this step of assigning attributes and bid amounts for as many as five levels of segmentation - but most campaigns won't require that level of detail.
Once you've completed these steps, click the  Save button to submit your new campaign structure.  You can return to the Product Group Generator template, or navigate to Actionable Reporting ( Digital Marketing > Marketing Management > Actionable Reporting > Product Groups ) to make changes.

What's Next?

After your product groups have been created, it's time to take a few weeks to test segments of your campaign, and make adjustments to improve performance. Visit our  Google's Shopping Campaigns: Testing and Adjustments  page for tips about this process. 

Return to  Google Shopping Strategy at ChannelAdvisor  to learn more about Google's Shopping campaigns.

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