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PLA (Product Listing Ad) to New Google Shopping Campaign Migration Guide

Google Shopping Campaign

Updates: 12th August, 2014

Final Call

In this article I have explained how to migrate your PLA to Google shopping campaign manually. If you still did not upgrade the PLA campaign, don’t worry! Google adwords has just launched a tool that will automatically migrate your Product listing ads campaign to Shopping campaign.

Google shopping toolYou can check this Shopping campaign upgrade tool into Setting tab of your regular Google product listing ads campaign in Google Adwords. There are few restriction and limitation of this tool that can be found here at official document.

What are you waiting for? Just upgrade our PLA campaign before 31st August 2014.

Need help? Just write us by visiting our contact page. Our Google adwords certified professional will get back to you in 24 hours.

Published: 17th July, 2014

Google shopping noticeIn a recent announcement, Google said that New Shopping Campaigns will be completely replacing all regular products listing ad PLAs latest by August 2014. This only means that current PLAs will still be existent but under Shopping Campaigns rather traditional PLA Campaigns. The new Google Shopping campaigns are more retail centric and simplified experience for the campaign management as compared to the previous Product Listing Ads (PLA). This update has several beneficial implications for the advertiser too, wherein he can organize and browse through the feed inventory using AdWords. The experience is meant to be similar to how one would organize and arrange products in a real brick and mortar store.

The new and improved Google Shopping Campaign was first introduced in the 4th quarter of 2013, as a beta version. It was in the first quarter of 2014 that Shopping Campaigns were available to the global users and complimented by AdWords API support. You can find detailed information about this announcement published at official Google adwords blog in February 2014. The change in experience will allow advertisers to create highly customized campaigns and target markets that weren’t precisely attended to before. Both the small and big business advertiser will have granular reporting tools that will help improve the visibility at SKU/item level. Advertisers now don’t just have the control to adjust bidding but also have insights into bidding decisions that are based upon Impression Share Matrix and Competitor Benchmark.

As per recent updates, over 85% of PLA advertisers have already completed full migration from PLA to new Google shopping campaign. They are getting good results and enjoying benefits of additional retail centric features and competitive benchmark data.

If you are still in remaining 15% advertiser who did not migrate their PLA campaign, do it now before it automatically migrate. The process is very simple and will take a little time depending upon your size and complexity of the feed. Let’s discuss some important features and process to migrate the existing PLA to new Google Shopping campaign.

What’s new in Shopping Campaign?

#1  Product groups / Custom Labels

At present, the PLA Campaigns organize inventory through “product targets” specifying particular products that should target related searches. However, Shopping Campaigns will be using “product groups” in place of “product targets” allowing the search to be more granular and more controlled targeting by advertisers. This also makes it easier for the advertiser to segment products as per type, id, brand, category, condition, custom labels and others. Further, advertisers have the option to subdivide these products up to five times with custom labels to create highly efficient groupings.

How to use this feature?

Checkout given screenshot demonstrate Product Groups fetched by Google adwords from shopping feed. We can not only control the bid for each product group but we can understand the important metrics like impression share, benchmark CTR and can accordingly take the marketing decision for better ROI.

Shopping product group

The new shopping campaign will not support Adwords Labels attributes and introduced Custom Label to segment the products as per merchant’s requirement. You can use upto five custom labels like custom label 0, custom label 1 and so on. Here is the screen shot from one active shopping feed with different custom labels.

custom label feed

You can always visit official adwords guide to learn more about custom labels.

#2  Expanded reporting

PLA Campaigns were always limited with respect to level of granularity but Shopping Campaigns on the other hand allow advertisers to access performance visibility for every product as per its SKU and/or custom labels. You can clearly see how many clicks, impression and conversion generated by particular category of products. You can have better understanding of performance with detailed reporting provided by this new shopping campaign.

#3  Competitive Insights

As compared to PLA Campaigns, Shopping Campaigns are more robust wherein CPC/CTR Performance Benchmarking and Impression Share can be received at the group level. The Impression Share helps advertisers improve budgets and place better bidding strategies. Google is also expected to release a Bid Simulator that would offer Impression Volume predictions and change bids as per competitor response.

#4  API Integrations

Google is already in the process of various search management platforms and tying up with agencies that will help adds support to Shopping Campaigns. This integration is expected to come out soon and advertisers will be able to develop own offerings within product campaigns.

#5  Prioritize Campaign Advertising Same Products

This is an optional feature that can help you to set priority of campaign and its associated bids to display the product on user’s query. The default priority for shopping campaign is set to Low that can be modified to medium or low depending upon your requirements.

Apart from these, there are number of advantages offered by new shopping campaign discussed here.

How to Migrate PLA to New Google Shopping Campaign?

Once you decide migrating existing PLA campaign, you need to follow few simple steps for successful transition.

Optimize your feed

As I already discussed, the new shopping campaign will not support adwords labels or adwords grouping, you will have to use existing attribute for product grouping or will have to use custom labels explained above.

Create new shopping campaign

You will have to create new shopping campaign that can be done by following below steps:

  • Log in to your Google Adwords Account
  • Now click on + Campaign tab to see the list of all different types of campaigns available in Google adwords
  • Click on Shopping from the list and follow the instructions. Check below screenshot.

create shopping campaign

Please note that, the new advertisers will not find Merchant name in merchant identifier tab. It is mediatory to integrate your Google merchant account with your Adwords account to run your shopping feed. I have published detailed article explaining this integration process in more details (the article is about PLA but the integration process will remain same).

Pro Tip:

Don’t run your PLA and New Google Shopping campaign simultaneously. Pause your existing PLA campaign before you start running new Shopping campaign. This will avoid any conflict to trigger the product ads for particular query and will help you to understand the new shopping campaign and its features clearly.

The new Shopping Campaign is a huge upgrade from the previous PLA Campaign. The new tool is more intuitive and comes with exciting capabilities and possibilities. If you are still facing any issues or need expert guidance to migrate your existing PLA campaign, send your query now. Google adwords certified professional at OLBUZ will get back to you within 24 hours.

About the author

Jignesh Gohel is an eCommerce marketing consultant with over decade of experience in digital marketing. He loves writing about eCommerce marketing and Google adwords. Connect with him at twitter @jigneshgohel or Linkedin at jigneshgohel

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