How To Set Up Google Goal-Optimized Shopping Campaigns

In my last post, we took a look at the new Google Goal-Optimized Shopping campaign type and what it does. Today we’re going to walk-through how to set up a campaign.

Remember that before you can set up a goal-optimized campaign you must have the following:

  • Conversion tracking set up with transaction-specific values
  • At least 20 conversions across all Shopping campaigns
  • Global site tag added to your website
  • At least 100 active users associated with your account

Once you have all of those items in place, you are ready to build your first goal-optimized Shopping campaign.

Creating A Goal-Optimized Shopping Campaign

In AdWords, you’ll click to create a new campaign and choose Shopping as the campaign type.

After you select Shopping, a box will pop up where you can set a goal for your campaign. Recommended campaign settings will be selected to help you achieve that goal. Note that this is not where you will choose to make this a goal-optimized campaign.

If  you don’t want to use the recommended settings, choose “Create a campaign without a goal.” This is my preference as I like to have as much control as possible over my settings. You can always go back and add a goal later if you choose.

Next you’ll select your Merchant Center account and the country where your products are sold. Remember that each Shopping campaign can only have one country of sale and it cannot be changed after you create your campaign.

Now is where you’ll choose whether you want to create a goal-optimized Shopping campaign or a standard Shopping campaign. This selection can also not be changed after creation of the campaign is complete.

Next, you’ll name your campaign and set your budget.

When you set up a goal-optimized Shopping campaign, it takes priority over all other Shopping and Display remarketing campaigns for the same products. This means you’ll most likely spend money quicker in goal-optimized campaigns compared to standard campaigns, so set your budget accordingly.

The default bidding strategy used in goal-optimized Shopping campaigns is “Maximize conversion value.” You cannot change bids for these campaigns manually or set bid adjustments.

If you do have a specific ROAS goal, you can add it here.

After your campaign settings are complete, you’ll choose your product groups and upload ad assets. I would recommend following a structure similar to your standard Shopping campaigns. If you have campaigns split by brand or product type, do the same for goal-optimized campaigns so you can easily compare performance between the two.

You should also split products if you have very different return goals so you can set the proper target ROAS for each.

goal optimized shopping product groups

Finally, you’ll upload the assets that will be used to create the responsive remarketing ads.

Setting Up Responsive Ads

  • Logo: If you already have a logo uploaded to Merchant Center, no additional action is needed. Recommended logo size is 1200 x 1200 square.
  • Image: Upload a marketing image that best represents your business. Recommended size is 1200 x 628 and text can’t cover more than 20% of the image.
  • Text: You’ll add in a short headline, long headline, and description that detail your business.
  • Final URL: Enter the URL of the page on your site you want people to reach when they click your ad.

Something important to remember is these responsive ads will show to users who have visited your site but NOT expressed interest in a specific product. If user interest has been determined, data from your product feed will be used to create an ad.

Save your ads and your goal-optimized Shopping campaign is ready to run.

Google recommends letting goal-optimized campaigns run for 2-3 weeks before evaluating their performance. From my experience so far, I agree. In newly launched goal-optimized campaigns performance has looked awful compared to standard Shopping campaigns, but within a couple weeks CPA has gone down and return has increased.

In my next post, we’ll take a look at the performance of goal-optimized Shopping campaigns in my accounts and how it compares to standard campaigns.

If you’re already running goal-optimized campaigns, let us know what you think in the comments below!