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Google Releases Ad Group Level Controls for New Google Shopping Campaigns

Google created their new Shopping Campaigns to make PLA management easier for advertisers, promising that they will streamline bidding and reporting for PLAs, as well as help advertisers identify areas for growth. When we first heard of the new Shopping Campaigns in October 2013, we got our hands dirty by testing the campaigns with several RKG clients. We quickly realized a fundamental element that was missing: ad groups. Without ad groups, mobile modifiers, negatives and ad copy were only available at the campaign level. This was a concern for us, so we reached out to Google asking for the ability to manage these at the product or ad group level. As of Monday, March 24th, ad groups have been added to Shopping Campaigns along with mobile modifiers, negatives and ad copy being available at that level. Let’s discuss why this is such an important enhancement.

1. Ad Group Level Mobile Modifiers

This is probably the most important and influential control gained through the addition of ad groups. Based upon our migration to Enhanced Campaigns we know that the value of mobile PLA traffic varies greatly from product to product, especially for clients with large and varying product assortments. If a client were to sell both housewares and furniture, we know the value of mobile traffic for related searches is going to vary significantly. Now with ad group level mobile modifiers, we can account for this and arrive at the best bid given a searcher’s device.

2. Ad Group Level Negatives

When asking for ad group negatives, Google told us that we wouldn’t need them given how SKUs now serve from the most granular product group possible, but that doesn’t address the fact that negatives are also used to cut out poor converting traffic. This is something that cannot be accomplished at the campaign level. For example, we may want to add a specific brand name as a negative for kitchen appliances product groups but that same brand name could be relevant to and perfectly appropriate for our cookware product groups. With only campaign level negatives, we would have to choose between allowing irrelevant traffic for the kitchen appliances product groups or eliminating valuable traffic for the cookware product groups. Now with ad group level negatives, we can optimize for both situations.

3. Ad Group Level Promotional Copy

Until ad groups were released, promotional copy lived at the campaign level for Shopping Campaigns. This made it impossible to promote a category specific promotion through PLAs since ad copy would apply to all product groups in the campaign. Now there is more flexibility to message a client’s promotions in the exact areas where it is relevant and will provide the most impact. Given Google’s addition of Merchant Promotions, this is not quite as influential as the other ad group level controls, but it is still a positive step. We are very excited about the addition of ad groups to Shopping Campaigns and the new controls that come with them. These controls allow us to manage our PLAs on a more granular level and ultimately provide a better experience for the searcher.
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