Google last month launched a new version of PLAs for retailers – Google Shopping – designed to both facilitate setup and provide more control for advertisers when managing their PLA activity. Whilst the radical change went so far in making the lives of advertisers easier, it came with its own headaches and quirks, and a further update to the product announced recently has made some improvements to this.
Everyone who works in search knows that within each campaign you can set up multiple ad groups in order to monitor activity clearly, ensure optimisation is effective and fundamentally to make sure all your ads are as relevant as possible to the theme of the keywords in your ad group. Logic would dictate that when rolling out a new feature that it would follow suit in this tried and tested formula – multiple ad groups within each campaign – but not within Shopping.
With only one ad group per campaign, the new Shopping format was difficult to transition to when moving from a granular approach under the old PLA system, but at the start of this month Google announced the addition of multiple ad groups per campaign, making optimisation and insight much more straightforward and allowing campaigns to be structured with tight Google themes and product targets.
Google also announced that a bid simulator for Shopping is also now available, helping advertisers judge the impact of bid changes on impressions, clicks and spend, similar to the feature within standard search campaigns. Combined with the benchmark CPC available within the interface, optimising this area of search has gone from an area with very limited insight to one where decisions can be made based on insightful data.
Setting up Shopping campaigns has been a manual process with no option to import settings from existing PLAs, but Google has decided to make this process easier – allowing an existing PLA campaign structure to be used in order to set up new Shopping campaigns. Just as with the transition to Enhanced Campaigns, any advertiser who does not want to get a jump on the competition and stay ahead of the curve will find their PLAs migrate to the Shopping format automatically by late August this year, however it’s definitely worth looking to move across to the more flexible product as soon as possible!
All in all the changes being made are creating a more simple, effective and exciting new method of advertising in search. Over the last two years PLAs have, for many retailers, become a major source of revenue and making the set up and optimisation easier will ensure that it remains an ever growing area for advertisers to focus on for sustained growth.