Most businesses who have E-Commerce run product listing ads, better known as PLAs. Google introduced PLAs in July 2012 then released its Local PLA listing option in October 2013. In April of 2014, Google showed us Google Shopping, the new and updated version of PLAs.
PLAs are the ads that you see on the side of your Google search with a picture, price and store.
As most of us know PLAs run on a .CSV feed that is taken from your E-Commerce store and uploaded into the Google Merchant Center. This data feed shows ads based on the information in the spreadsheet downloaded from your online store. Google will then display your products from your inventory when search queries are performed.
In April, Google upgraded the PLA campaign to a Shopping campaign. Although the interface is a little different, the management of the system and the features that are now incorporated are great. With Google Shopping you now have the ability to bid higher or lower on items in your store. For instance, you sell jewelry and you know that this Brand A is your top seller you may want to bid higher for Brand A and not so competitively on Brand B and Brand C. But, if Brand C has one item that is your second best seller you can make bid adjustments to just that one item but nothing else in Brand C. So you can see that there are much more options available with this new Shopping update.
But unlike most of the campaign updates that Google offers, the Google Shopping update is a little trickier, so let’s start with a timeline.
Today (June 18) kicks off the label change for the Shopping Campaigns. Your inventory file from your datafeed communicate with the Google Merchant Center to create your Product Ads. Today you will no longer see the Adwords_Labels column because it is being replaced with Custom Label #.
July 9th you will no longer have the option of a PLA campaign, everything will transition into the Google Shopping Campaign option. So the option to create a PLA campaign will be disabled and removed.
By July 12th you have (hopefully) made yourself more acquainted with the Shopping Campaigns and will be pausing your PLA campaign today. Today should be your last day running a PLA and first day implementing these new settings and new campaign :)
12 days in your Shopping Campaign should be starting to run great on July 24th! Depending on the goals, priorities, and budget of your campaign it is advised that you use the same campaign settings in your new Shopping campaign. If you haven't dug too far into your campaign, this is the perfect time to do an extensive analysis on your products and expand your campaign for optimization and increase exposure AND conversions!
So your main focus for July is to test your new Shopping campaign; learn the structure and the new features the update has given you. By planning everything on a weekly or bi-weekly basis by the time PLAs are completely disabled (in August 2014) your campaigns will be optimized and ready to surpass your previous PLAs performance! :)
If you need assistance during your switch or would like to learn more about your E-Commerce options, include your data feed, Google Merchant Center upload, etc. our team at Tandem Interactive would love to help! Contact Joe at JLaratro@Tandem-Interactive.com or call 954-281-9995! We would love to help guide you through the process.
Tip: Don't run Shopping campaigns with PLAs. The new Shopping campaign are replacing PLAs; keep them live while you are creating your Shopping campaigns and pause them when you are ready to switch over. Read more Google Shopping transition tips here.