Improving Campaign Performance

In addition to ChannelAdvisor tools like Actionable Reporting and the Digital Marketing Dashboard , Google introduced several helpful tools available within your AdWords account to help you analyze and improve the performance of your Google Shopping Campaigns:

Improve Performance with Benchmark Data

One of the exciting new features that Google is providing with its Shopping campaigns is the ability to use competitive benchmark data to compare your products with similar product types. This data is delivered through the Impression Share, Benchmark Max CPC, and Benchmark CTR tools found in your Google AdWords account.

It's important to note that benchmark data is based on similar product types and doesn't compare products at the actual SKU level. Therefore, use these tools only as a general guide when making changes to your campaign.

  • Impression Share:  The Impression Share feature allows you to see the percentage of impressions you received out of the total impressions you would be eligible to receive. This data can show you areas where you have the potential to spend more budget. If your impression share is low, we recommend raising your bid. Low impression share does not always indicate an opportunity to drive more conversions or revenue, though. You should always monitor bid changes closely to determine effectiveness. 
  • Benchmark Max CPC:  This tool provides insight into how much other advertisers are bidding on products similar to those in your product group. You can use this information to help determine how competitive your bids are with certain product types. Benchmark CPC isn't limited to the same search queries you're already appearing on, though. Although this information is valuable, use it as a general guide and monitor all changes closely. 
  • Benchmark CTR:   With Benchmark CTR, you'll see how your click-through rate compares to that of other competitors with similar product types. Think of this tool as a warning light. If your CTR is low, you may need to improve the data in your feed or increase your bids. Low CTR can also indicate that your ads are being displayed with the wrong types of queries. As with the other benchmark tools, monitor performance closely after you make any changes.

Use the Bid Simulator

Another helpful tool that Google released with Shopping campaigns is the Bid Simulator. If you're considering increasing or decreasing bids, this feature, also found in your Google AdWords account, can help you see how different bids could affect your traffic. The Bid Simulator estimates what the results could have been over the previous seven days of your campaign at different bid levels.

Using factors such as your ad quality, competitive bidding and product attribute data, the Bid Simulator provides estimates for clicks, costs, and impressions. This feature requires a sufficient amount of performance data and may not be available for product groups that haven't been included in enough auctions. It's also not currently available for product groups with the Item ID attribute.

Understand Campaign Prioritization

If you set up more than one campaign in the Google's Shopping Campaigns format, you may have products that are eligible to serve ads across multiple campaigns. Google's Campaign Prioritization tool will allow you to control the campaign from which these products are served, regardless of the bid amount you assigned.

Get familiar with Priority Levels:  Google priority levels include "Low," "Medium," and "High," with all newly created campaigns defaulting to the "Low" setting. If you have a product in a campaign set to "High," it's guaranteed to serve from that campaign, versus one assigned a "Medium" or "Low" setting.

For instance, if you have a product group for "Anniversary Sale," it may contain a product found in another campaign. You can adjust the campaign setting of the "Anniversary Sale" product group to "High" so that the product will enter the auction at the bid level assigned for "Anniversary Sale."

This feature can also be helpful for restricting when an underperforming product group is served. In this scenario, you could drastically lower the bid amount for that product group and raise its priority level to "High." As a result, the products in this group would only go to auction at the reduced bid amount and not be served through other, less efficient, campaigns.

What's Next?

Once your Google Shopping campaign is up and running at full speed, take time to think about how you can stand out from your competition. Google Merchant Promotions can help you do just that. Visit our Google Merchant Promotions page to learn more.

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

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