Benefits of Product-Based Google Shopping Ads: A Case Study

There are countless ways to structure product Google Shopping ads. For a small retailer with just a few products, a single campaign with one or two ad groups makes sense for ease of management. But for large retailers with thousands or even millions of products, a robust campaign strategy and navigable account structure is crucial.

Background

Back in 2017, FT Optimize was hired on to help improve cost efficiency and strategically grow the Google Ads account of an online clothing retailer. One of the first places we looked to improve was the Google Shopping campaigns. At the time, there was just three Google Shopping campaigns, one for brand, one for non brand, and one that was specific to product names. Each campaign had just a couple of ad groups that were primarily catch-all. From January 1 - April 30, the CPA fluctuated between $20 and $30. In May, when we acquired the account, it was time to get to work.

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Setup

For optimal organization and clear insight into performance, and to have control over budget and bidding, we decided to keep both the brand and non brand campaign structure. We also wanted a structure more similar to the client website navigation for more granularity. Because of this, we made the decision to set up the shopping campaigns based on product category.

Once the campaigns were re-organized, each product was then set up in its own ad group with items representing the different color and size variations. With this set up, the campaigns now match similarly to the website navigation and the product feed. Most importantly, we now had much more control over bidding.

Since branded search terms perform very differently than non-branded terms, we wanted to have control over budget and bidding for each entity separately. This was achieved by using a combination of negative keywords and campaign priority settings.

Results

Throughout May we were transitioning the account and setting up the new Google Shopping campaign landscape. Therefore the goal for the month was to maintain performance so the CPA remained relatively similar to prior months. However, we saw a quick turnaround in performance in the coming months where the CPA consistently remained below $20.

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Next Steps

With significantly more campaigns and ad groups, you might think that adding new products would be challenging and time consuming; however, we developed algorithms to do this quickly and at scale. With new products getting released several times a month, this was essential to campaign management. With just a few quick steps in our proprietary tool, we are now able to insert new products and item level targets to their correct campaign.

Over the past year, we also have expanded our targeting to nine additional countries, which also needed to have all have their own campaigns. We automated the process to add new products into the international campaigns with just one additional step to the already-developed proprietary tool mentioned above.

Conclusion

Putting in the effort two years ago to set up the campaigns as we and the client desired have made it easy to manage, organize and expand the Google Shopping account. We can easily change bids depending on seasonality or the performance of different items.

We were also able to quickly turn around performance of the entire account. After bringing down the CPA to under $20 within a month of implementing our new strategy, we are still maintaining a sub-$20 CPA today. Additionally, we continue to grow the Google Shopping campaigns and we’ve increased monthly spend by 10x.

Need help managing your shopping campaigns? Contact us today!