What We Learned: A Day At SMX East

- Mark Schwartz

Shopping – filter like your coffee depends on it!

Last week at SMX East I was able to watch as one of my favorite minds in the industry, Kirk Williams of Zato, offered his ideas, best practices, and opinions on the state of PLAs and Shopping search.  It was a fascinating session, full of great energy and equally great ideas.  

It’s no surprise to those that use our Camato Shopping Platform to learn that people clicking on Google Shopping ads are already all the way down in the search funnel. That’s why last click performance is so high and many advertisers allocate the major part of their PPC budget on Google Shopping.

Shopping spend surpassed text ad spend in many markets already, during Q2 2016 and the trend is set to continue further.




To get the most out of your Shopping campaigns, Williams suggests to base your Shopping campaign structure on a query bidding strategy, as many other experts in the market do as well. Therefore you should have lower bids for more general queries such as [shoes] and higher bids for more specific queries as [nike shoes].




Other super-important  aspects to consider:

  1. Find the right filtering structure for your account.

The filter NB (non brand) > BR (brand) > SKU might not work for every advertiser.

Other possible filters could be:

  • NB Converting > NB not converting > Brand
  • TOP > NB > Brand
  • RLSA > NB > Brand


  1. Transition intelligently to the new structure.

Identify the ideal product grouping, build the new product grouping according to the previous point. Only pause your legacy campaigns after you gathered enough data and the new groupings picked up the traffic and are performing well.



  1. Choose the right bids for new product groups.

If they are too low from the beginning, you might not get any traffic at all. Read our study about pricing on Google Shopping for more details.

  1. Use the right negative strategy

Make sure to add all the search queries you don’t want to show up against as negatives in all your campaigns, and check through your search query reports regularly.


If you want to filter NB > BR > SKUs, ideally you have separate campaigns for NB and BR. Add the NB keywords as exact negatives to your Brand campaigns and viceversa, plus use the priority function to make sure the traffic goes through the respective campaigns.


  1. Showcase Shopping Ads to come soon out of beta – stay tuned!


  1. Bing Product Ads – pick the low hanging fruits and import your Google Shopping accounts into Bing!


The full article from Kirk Williams, search expert and self proclaimed coffee nerd about query strategy can be found on Search Engine Land, and the full SMX slide set on slideshare.


Mark Schwartz is the crealytics' US MD. He has over 20 years experience maximizing the operations of data-first marketing and digital advertising agencies. His experience as a leader of both start-ups and large scale agency networks has led him to inspire clients, engage co-workers, and transform agencies.

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