As anticipated, Google has announced the retirement date for Product Listing Ads campaign type which will be the end of August 2014.
This comes as no surprise with the February release of the new Shopping Campaigns in Google AdWords. Shopping Campaigns have a different set up and more detailed product organization, but once they are set up they look and feel the same as the Product Listing Ad campaigns we’ve become familiar with.
If you have not tried the new Shopping Campaigns, be sure to start with optimizing your data feed. There are several reasons for a fresh data feed optimization:
- Attributes used in the feeds for PLA campaigns are also being retired (adwords_labels).
- Your feed provides the information needed to match searches and customers to your products.
- This will allow you the time to review your products and categories.
It will take a little time to set up your new Shopping Campaigns. Although the PLA Campaigns and Shopping Campaigns are similar, setting up new campaigns is an ideal opportunity to visualize the organization of your products for the best results in your new shopping campaigns. Look at how your feed is structured and your product attributes – begin thinking of categories/labels to group items together. Common groupings could be based on product types (i.e. all candles go together). Another grouping arrangement could be by your website structure or by brand if you sell multiple brands of the same product. The bottom line is you want items that go together with matching or similar keyword themes. If they do not match under a prefix label (i.e. brand or product type) create a custom label.
Once you have completed the optimization and the organization, THEN create your new shopping campaigns. During the campaign creation process keep in mind the benefits of the shopping campaigns so that you will best utilize these new features for maximum performance.
One setback: Shopping Campaigns are not yet supported in Google AdWords Editor. Perhaps an update of this tool will arrive before the retirement date of PLA Campaigns.