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Advanced Google Shopping Strategies: Branded vs. Generic Campaigns

More and more advertisers are allocating more of their budgets to advertising campaigns. Google Shopping, because Product Listing Ads get lower CPCs and higher Conversion rates. However, compared to Search Network Text Ads we have less control, which undoubtedly affects performance. adidas stan smith 2 That is, if I am publishing a Text Ad for my product ADIDAS Stan Smith  (once again re-released on the market, as white sneakers are back in fashion in 2015). put Keywords into my Ad Groups and use different types of matching to control when and how my ads will be published. For example [Adidas Stan Smith], it will only show my ad when typed by the exact search term.
But we do NOT have the same level of control in Google Shopping Campaigns.. Instead of bidding on keywords, we bid on products.. Google decides which search will trigger our ad, based on the ad titles and descriptions in our feed. In the example below, not even our slippers are shown.

This means that having well optimized Data Feed is of paramount importance so that our Shopping Campaigns will be successful. Even with a Feed optimized for one Keyword, there are going to be thousands of searches where our ads will show up, but not all of them will have the same value.

Let's see a real case. We have an Online Sports Store that sells all kinds of branded sneakers: running, basketball, soccer... and the most sold nowadays, "casual" type. We know that white sneakers have become fashionable and we have the aforementioned ones.  Adidas Stan Smitha remake of the 80's classics.

For Search Network campaignswe would bid for the following terms:
[Adidas Originals Stan Smith]
[Adidas Stan Smith]
[Stan Smith]
[Adidas Stan Smith womens]
[Adidas Stan Smith Mens]

The question would be, Would we want to appear in advertisements for the generic term white sneakers / adidas white sneakers? Possibly, but we would place different bids, with very low CPCs, a smaller budget and in separate Campaigns, versus [Adidas Originals Stan Smith].

Consumers who include the brand name, or product name in the search, are the ones who are at the last part of the buying process versus those who search for generic terms without a brand name..

Our customers want to keep going out for both, but it is vital to differentiate the strategy. Generic terms tend to deliver higher volumes of traffic to a website.
If we consider that Product Listing Ads or Google Shopping (whatever we want to call them) work very well, we will probably want to develop our strategy by impacting consumers at the final stage of the buying process.

The question is... Are they as valuable as those found in the first one? Maybe not. The problem with Shopping Campaigns is that we are bidding on items and you can't bid based on the value of the user's search a priori. We can adopt a different strategy in Shopping to control this:


We begin distinguishing two different types of terms: those that are brand and product specific and those that are not.
In order to control spending separately between branded/generic searches, we will create two Campaigns impacting each type of term. In this way, we will be able to bid differently when displayed and allocate differentiated budgets according to our interest.

First of all, what we are going to do in this strategy is basically to create duplicate campaigns. If we have more brands, we will create a campaign per brand and divide it by groups according to the type of product. If a product type has a lot of traffic, we bid specifically and mark them with tags.

Let's go back to our example.
We create a Shopping Campaign and filter to the level that only includes the Adidas brand.divided into two Groups of Ads, one for Women and one for Men (Do not forget that it is necessary that the attributes in the Data Feed are the corresponding ones) So we would have:
Now we are going to use Negative Keywords, for each Campaign to receive searches for Brand or Generic Terms in an efficient way..

That is, for the Adidas Stan Smith Campaign, we will add any general terms we have seen in the Shopping search reports or those we deem appropriate.

This will be a continuous process that we will have to carry out periodically, as we will see below. On the other hand, for the Generic Campaign, we will do just the oppositeIf you add any terms including the Brand and Product as negatives, add as negatives.
It could be something like this:Capture5


This is something we will have to do on a regular basis. Since there are going to be so many different searches that will cause our ads to be published, there is no other way but to add all the non-relevant ones that we come across.

It is it is advisable to have a calendar to remember to periodically do the Shopping Search Terms Report. (depending on the volume of products we have in our store, it will be of greater or lesser frequency: weekly, biweekly, monthly...).

To make it easier, we can create a filterFor example, by our most representative Brand Keyword, so that we get only generic terms and, in this way, this task is easier.
Make sure you are using the right matches so as not to block desired traffic.

For example, by adding white sneakers in "Broad Negative"., would also block ads for  adidas stan sneakers white . For these campaigns, most of the Negative Keywords have to be in the following keywords Exacta.                                                                 

If this process is too long and you don't have much time, you can filter by cost and impressions and focus on the first 100 results.


This will take much less time, as we will simply have to include the terms related to our make and model, such as adidas. This will ensure that any search term that includes one of the following words will not show the advertisements of this campaign.

Here, the concordance of the Negative Keywords has to be in broadso that we exclude most searches that are not our own. White Stan Smith Sneakers.


We already have two campaigns, we can start by optimizing our products differently in each one.

  • For Brand CampaignsFor the same reason, we will normally use a much larger budget that together with the ROI analysis we should always make sure it is sufficient. For the same reason, we will set much higher bids to appear in better positions, higher CPC the better the match with the Keyword.
  • For the Generic Campaignswe can take a look at the reports of  Google AnalyticsI can use it to see how many visitors are interacting on my site with those terms. This is also a good way to to add more users to your Remarketing lists and impact them with Dynamic Ads.

Admittedly, this is a constant process that requires continuous attention over time and will obviously consume much more resources than managing a single Shopping Campaign for all your products..

However, with this strategy, We will control bids much more effectively with independent budgets, so we will get an excellent optimization of our Google Shopping campaigns, which will undoubtedly result in our ultimate goal in this type of campaign: Success!

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