Time to say goodbye to Google Product Listing Ads and give a warm welcome to the much-anticipated Google Shopping. Google announced yesterday that as of late August 2014, everyone will be required to upgrade to Shopping Campaigns. No one likes change and it may sound like a shock at first, but if you’re already using PLAs – breath a sigh of relief! The new interface is not only more functional and easier on the eye, Shopping Campaigns should also simplify how you set-up, manage and bid on your inventory. If you are thinking about using Google Shopping for the first time, lucky you as it is easier than ever to get started with the new interface.
So what is this all about?
You might wonder if the migration from PLA to Google Shopping will have a huge impact on your advertisement efforts and what is going to change for you. When you have a closer look at the new interface, you will see that Google’s efforts were concentrated on three key areas of improvement:
Competitive landscape data
It will depend on your overall marketing strategy, size of business and campaign objectives to determine if the changes will prove to have high value for your business. In any case, it seems almost certain that the brave new world of Google Shopping will help you save time and arm you with powerful insights, and ultimately improve your ROI.
More granular campaign management
The new Shopping campaigns allow you complete access to your whole inventory within AdWords – divorced from your data feed in Merchant Centre. It is also easier to stay organised within your inventory and assign different bids to specific groups as you can now organise and group your inventory into subcategories.
Expanded reporting capabilities
In-line with more granular campaign management comes new reporting, and new segmentation opportunities in the report structure. Depending on how granular you set up your campaigns you can now pull reports on specific metrics like type or product ID. To not get lost in the depth of this new level of detail, you should decide which product groups really need in depth reporting, and which should be left alone for now. A good strategy is to focus on products which are influenced by seasonality or part of a clearance which needs closer monitoring.
Competitive landscape data
We as advertisers are all haunted by the question “How do I perform against my competition?”. The new Google Shopping Centre comes with some basic but still useful tools, helping you to identify where advertisers stand in the market and also identify areas for potential growth. Next to a bid simulator which is similar to the well known AdWords’ Bid Estimator, we also have access to benchmark CPC and CTR data helping them to identify areas for improvement. Also available is Impression Share, which tracks share of voice among available impressions, which will help when trying to separate ads from those of your competitors.
Find out more
Google has announced a series of Hangouts on Air to help small and medium sized businesses through the transition to Google Shopping. You can watch them here.