Goal-Optimized Shopping Campaigns: What Are They & How Do They Work?

Last updated on by Brandon Weaver in Google Ads

For online retailers with thousands of products, creating and managing Google ads is a time-consuming process. That’s why Google has come up with a solution, goal-optimized shopping campaigns, to save time on account management and boost ad performance.

At a glance, the new ad campaign type automates ad creation and bidding. No manual optimization or tedious account maintenance needed.

In this article, you’ll learn what goal-optimized Shopping campaigns are, how they work, where they show up, and how effective they can be.

What are goal-optimized Shopping campaigns?

Goal-optimized Shopping campaigns are another Google ad type that incorporates automation and machine learning to improve ad performance. With the new ad campaign type, you can set a goal for your campaign and Google will optimize your ads to maximize your conversion value.

For example, if you set this value to “revenue,” the campaign will automatically optimize your ad across all networks to maximize revenue based on your max budget. Google will optimize your bids, identify the right audiences, and determine where to shows your ads.

For search ads, search queries and predicted intent determines which product from your feed to show. Display ads are personalized based on a user’s engagement with your website and brand. If a user visited or expressed interest in a product on your website, Google uses your product feed to show a relevant ad.

Google also considers:

In summary, with one product feed, one campaign, and one remarketing tag set, all you need to do is add products to your campaign. Google handles the rest.

Where will ads show up?

Google Ads Shopping campaigns combine Shopping and Display remarketing campaigns. Since that’s the case, there is no need to create separate campaigns to show ads in both places. The campaigns show ads to relevant users (those most likely to purchase your product) on Google’s Search Network, Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail:

With shoppers researching products in many different places, Shopping campaigns enable you to show ads to consumers searching online, watching product videos, reading blog posts, and reading product ratings all from a single campaign.

This simplified process allows you to spend less time manually optimized ads and more time on other areas of your funnel (like perfecting your ecommerce post-click landing page).

Who can shopping ads be targeted to?

Goal-optimized shopping campaign ads have the same targeting options as traditional Shopping campaign ads. Like search campaigns, you can target Google users by location and product groups.

How are product groups used in shopping campaigns?

Product groups are a subset of your ad group and can be used to manage your inventory. All the products inside that group will use the same bid.

Shopping campaigns use product groups instead of keywords to decide when to show your ads on a search results page. You can separate products into groups based on category, brand, item ID, condition, product type, channel, channel exclusivity, or custom labels:

You can also create multiple levels of product groups. For instance, you can divide your products by brand and break them down further by category. This level of organization allows you to adjust your bidding by group for less or more profitable products.

What about YouTube Shopping Ads and Bing Shopping Campaigns?

YouTube Shopping Ads can be set up through Google Ads and shown in YouTube videos as cards:

However, with goal-optimized campaigns, there is no need to create a separate campaign to show your ads in YouTube videos. YouTube is already one of the places your shopping ads will show when using this ad campaign type.

Bing Shopping Campaigns work similar to traditional campaigns in Google (targeting users by location and search terms). You can even import your Google Shopping campaigns into Bing so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Bing offers some automation capability but using these features does require more manual setup than Google’s machine learning. For instance, Bing allows you to set automation rules for changing bids automatically and starting and stopping campaigns at preset times.

Some examples include:

How to set them up

All you have to do is link your Merchant Center account, set a budget and country of sale, and upload assets (like your brand logo, ad images, and ad text). Google will use your assets and test different combinations to discover the best performing ads.

Before jumping in, there are a few things you should know:

Since this ad type will show remarketing ads, numbers may look better than they are. It’s important to closely analyze the number of new customers your campaign is delivering versus customers who would have returned to purchase on their own.

Lastly, while automation has reduced the work needed to create high-performing ads, there are still a few things you need to do manually. In addition to uploading assets and different products, if you have different goals for different products, Google recommends having separate campaigns.

For example, you likely have different profit margins on different products. Thus, managing Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) targets through separate campaigns may improve results.

How effective are they?

Early users of goal-optimized Shopping campaigns have seen impressive results. For instance, Newlentes, a Brazil-based contact lens provider, launched a campaign that resulted in 57% more revenue at a 61% higher ROAS.

Turkey-based ecommerce platform, n11.com, decided to implement the new ad campaign type after they saw positive results with Universal App Campaigns. In their test of goal-optimized Shopping campaigns, n11.com saw an increase of 23% in revenue at a 9% higher ROAS.

Optimize every step of your funnel

Goal-optimized Shopping campaigns represent a great opportunity for retailers and ecommerce websites to improve Google ad performance. With automation and machine learning taking control, advertisers can spend less time tweaking their campaigns while automatically delivering the best ads to users who are more likely to convert.

The new ad campaign type is intriguing, but there is a lot more that goes into building a successful ad campaign beyond the ads themselves. To get the most out of your ad spend and receive the most ROI, advertisers must optimize their entire sales funnel, including both the pre-click and post-click stages.

To improve that process, read “The Marketer’s Guide to New Optimization Opportunities.” In the guide, you’ll learn crucial details marketers miss when optimizing their funnel, advertising misconceptions, and the difference between pre- and post-click optimization.

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