Google Shopping is a competitive channel that is growing more crowded every day. Not only are Google Shopping ads becoming essential for retailer brands to be present, Google is giving their shopping ads more real estate on search engine result pages.
With growing competition from fellow retailers, businesses that rely on online sales should also worry about the Amazon elephant in the room that gulps up more space online every day.
In this rapidly growing and vital channel, there are numerous data points where you can find meaningful data to optimize your Google Shopping Campaigns.
One method to stay up-to-date with performance, and to save time with account changes, is to build a set of rules that impact performance.
There are various programmatic shopping providers that monitor and adjust campaigns, as well as AdWords scripts, that are dedicated to optimizing shopping campaigns, but that’s not what we are going to chat about here today. We are going to talk about automatic rules to optimize your campaigns that will save you time done the old fashioned way in the AdWords UI.
Why Automated Changes?
If you are hesitant to automate changes in your Goggle Shopping Campaigns, here are a few reasons that you should give it a go:
- Save time and brain space: you are busy, everyone is busy; let the robots take a few tasks off of your plate.
- Easily refining the consistency of your bid adjustments.
- Avoid possible distractions that can pop up during routine campaign maintenance.
- Streamline tasks or reports that you would be doing anyway.
Start With An Understanding of Goals
Achieving profitability from Shopping campaign automation starts with an understanding of a company’s goals and expectations. The price fed through the product feed never equals the cost per sale, so let’s avoid possible fires with a conversation centered on profitability and sales expectations. Once you and the retailer are on the same page, it will be easier to create a strategic map of automated rules.
Considerations When Creating Rules:
- What decisions can be automated that fit the business and advertising strategy?
- What is the cost of sale or ROAS goal?
- Is there a cost or spend threshold?
- Only create rules that are specific and purposeful.
- Schedule the rules to run in a timeframe that is logical.
- Each rule should only execute one action.
- Receive email notifications when the rule runs and makes updates.
- Continually analyze rules, measure their efficiency, and adjust accordingly.
- The long-term goal is to build a set of rules that will impact performance.
Now that you are totally convinced to give this a go, let’s get into a few high-level, automated rule examples that will improve your Google Shopping Campaigns.
Rules to Put to Use
Automatically Increase Bid on Products Without Impressions
Zero impressions equals zero conversions; duh, Batman. And zero product or campaign impressions are reasons to light up the Bat signal.
From new competitors, or increased bid requirements for visibility, Google Shopping can be a volatile and requires daily health checks. Creating a rule to automatically increase bids on products with zero impressions is an easy way to ensure that the ads have visibility. See the example below, complete with a Max. Bid, descriptive name and emailed results when there’s changes.
Stop Wasted Ad Spend
The purpose of this rule is to pause ineffective products within a campaign, unless it’s historically a best seller, and in this example it is labeled so. You’ll want to make sure things are labeled correctly before jumping into this rule.
Automatically Turn on Seasonal Campaigns, Ad Groups, or Products
Many shopping feeds contain products that aren’t sold year around, so the goal of this rule is to schedule when they should be live. This is a great rule to put in place as we near the holidays, such as Halloween, where products are heavily seasonal.
Other Rules to Consider
Here’s a couple of other suggestions for quick, automated rules you can leverage for some additional help in your Shopping campaigns.
- Campaign down alerts
- New product alerts
- Increase bids for top converters
- Budget alerts
- Budget forecasting
- Feed processing summary, and error report
Automated rules sometimes get a bad wrap, but my utilizing these suggestions (and the endless combinations out there), you can get some of your days back while still effectively managing your campaigns.
What rules do use and find helpful? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!