Posted on 2/4/2015 in Digital Marketing

A while back I wrote about the importance of account structure when optimizing a paid search campaign.  The key, we discovered, is structuring things in a way to facilitate maximum visibility into the value of every search query and bidding accordingly.  The better the structure, the more accurately we can predict ROI.  This is easily attainable with traditional keyword search campaigns as we can tell Google exactly where (keyword, ad group, campaign) a click should be attributed.

However, the execution of this strategy becomes a bit murky when trying to implement with Google Shopping campaigns.  The premise remains the same: Structure the account properly to facilitate maximum ROI, but we must be a bit more strategic when laying out the blueprint.

When we first started optimizing Google Shopping campaigns, we tested breaking out ad groups by individual product in an effort to gain the aforementioned visibility, but we quickly realized that while potentially effective, this strategy was totally unmanageable.  We tried the same with categories which were again effective, but difficult to manage.

Mirroring keyword campaigns was completely unmanageable, so we quickly came to the realization that we had to be more creative and use a unique Google Shopping Campaign attribute and create a series of funnels to guide Google to place clicks and impressions where we want them.

Understanding Campaign Attributes

Priority Level:

The Priority Level lets us decide by level (rather than bid) which campaign we want Google to serve an ad for.  Products in a “high” priority campaign will serve before similar products in a “low” or “medium” priority campaign for a given search, no matter the bid levels.

If multiple campaigns have the same priority level, the higher bid will win the impression.

With the addition of this unique attribute, we can now enhance the classic search tools we use for keyword campaigns.

Negative Keywords:

In Shopping Campaigns, we use negative keywords to prevent certain searches from serving ads in a given campaign.  For example, if we have a campaign through which we want to identify the ROI for a generic product search we would add all of our brand names as negative keywords for this campaign.  This ensures that all impressions in this campaign came from generic search queries.


This one is pretty straightforward.  When all else is equal, the higher bid will win the impression.

We can now combine Priority Level, Negative Keywords, and Bids to funnel every search to the campaign of our choosing.

Google Shopping Campaign Structure

Based on the example above, every search query would start out in the “Rest” campaign based on the High Priority designation.  If the search contains a brand name or a product-specific term, the negative keywords would prevent the impression from being served here forcing the search down the chart to the Medium Priority “Brands” campaign.

If the search was a brand term, the impression would be attributed to this campaign.  If it was a product specific term, the negative keywords in the “Brand” campaign prevent the impression from being served and force the search down to the last level.

Any search query making its way to the “Products” campaign has already passed through a series of filters designed to specifically cull out all general or generic terms.  We can therefore assume that any impression in this campaign is a high converter and we set the bids accordingly.

Setting up your entire product feed with this simple structure is a great first step to achieving maximum visibility and maximum ROI for your shopping campaigns.  Once you have mastered this technique, give us a call to help break the “All Products” out further to really maximize your ROI potential!

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