Google's Shopping Campaigns: Testing and Adjustments

After you've successfully built your new Google Shopping campaign, we recommend spending the first couple of weeks testing performance of a few ad groups of your campaign. After just a few weeks, you'll have enough data to see areas that need attention. You can make adjustments quickly within ChannelAdvisor, and in no time you'll be able to take all of the ad groups of your campaign live.

Test Your New Campaign

If you're just getting started with Shopping campaigns, you'll need to establish benchmarks for future reporting. It shouldn't take long to get a good idea of what's working, what's not working, and what needs to be adjusted.

Step 1: Set Up Your Tests

  • Select three to five ad groups from your newly created Shopping campaigns to use as your first test.
  • Include ad groups that have proven to be above-average performers in the previous PLA format or ad groups that contain products that have potential for higher margins.

Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

  • Pause all the newly created Shopping campaigns except for the groups you selected for testing.
  • Start with a CPC that you feel comfortable with, based on how much your products cost and how much revenue they generate. (You can also use past performance as a guideline.)
  • Remember, our goal is to maximize your return on investment.

Step 3: Wait and Watch

  • Allow these tests to run for 10 to 14 days so that you have enough data to make informed decisions.
  • When your products have been in enough auctions, you'll be able to compare your products against similar product types using Google's new benchmark tools.

Report Findings and Make Adjustments

Once you've collected a couple of weeks' worth of data from your test groups, you'll be able to identify areas that need immediate attention. Focus especially on your conversion rate and the search queries that are triggering your ads. Be cautious of new queries that are hurting your conversion rate. For example, if someone searches for "men's running shoes," more than likely they don't want shoelaces to appear in their results.

Make adjustments to your campaigns, ad groups, and product groups as needed, by either returning to the Product Group Generator, or using the tools of Actionable Reporting.

Based on the queries that are triggering your ads, consider adding negative keywords to your ad groups to prevent your ads from showing up in searches that include words like "free" or "review." And if certain ad groups are performing extremely well, consider increasing the budget for these groups.  


Apply What You've Learned

It's go time! Unpause all groups in your new campaign.

Once you new product groups have generated a sufficient amount of performance data, it's time to make any necessary adjustments. Pay special attention to the product groups that contain high-margin products or products that you know performed well in prior campaigns. Begin by using the competitive benchmark tools as a general guide for product groups that are underperforming.

It's also likely that you'll see performance patterns develop that are similar to those you experienced in your test groups. In these situations, try applying the same tactics you used to improve performance to these groups. If this approach isn't successful, examine the product group structure and consider alternative segmentations.

What's Next?

As with all advertising campaigns, it's imperative that you monitor performance on a regular basis. This is especially true during times of special promotions and seasonality. A combination of tools available in your accounts in ChannelAdvisor and Google AdWords will help you monitor performance to ensure that your campaigns are operating smoothly and delivering results:

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

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