New Goal-Optimized Shopping Campaigns in AdWords

The latest upgrade to Google Shopping campaigns was announced earlier this month, goal-optimized Shopping campaigns. This new campaign type will optimize your ads across networks for whatever you have defined as your conversion value using automation and machine learning. In most cases for e-commerce brands, this will be revenue so Google will work to get you as much revenue as possible within your budget constraints.

Let’s take a closer look at this new campaign type to understand how it works and the benefits it offers.

Ad Types & Reach

Goal-optimized Shopping campaigns combine both Shopping and remarketing on the Display network. This means ads within these campaigns can show on search within the Shopping unit, Google Display Network, Gmail, and YouTube.

The goal-optimized Shopping campaigns will run both product ads and Display ads. All ads will be created and placed automatically. All you need to do is link to your Merchant Center account, set a budget and country of sale, and upload assets (logo, marketing image, and ad text). Google will pull from your product feed and test different combinations of the images and text you provide.

Campaign Automation

This new Shopping campaign type will automatically optimize your bids, identify the right audiences, and determine where your ads show to maximize your conversion value.

For Search, search queries and predicted intent is used to determine which product from your feed should be shown. For Display, ads are personalized based on user engagement with your website. For example, if the user has previously visited and shown interest in products on your site, your product feed will be used to automatically create a relevant ad.

Bid management for goal-optimized shopping campaigns is fully automated using the “maximize conversion value” bidding strategy. AdWords will automatically adjust your bids to get the most conversion value within the budget you have set. You also have the option to set a target ROAS that AdWords will try to achieve while trying to maximize your conversion value.

Campaign Priority

An important thing to know before launching these campaigns is that goal-optimized Shopping campaigns take priority over standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns within your account. So if you have the same product included in a standard Shopping campaign and a goal-optimized Shopping campaign, the ads from the goal-optimized campaign will be eligible to serve rather than the products from standard Shopping or display remarketing campaigns.


Before you can create a goal-optimized Shopping campaign, you have to set up conversion tracking with transaction specific values. You need a minimum of 20 conversions across all Shopping campaigns in your account over the last 45 days.

You’ll also have to set up your global site tag to your website and have a remarketing list with at least 100 active users in your account.

Simplifying Management

Google is promoting this campaign type as a way for advertisers to save time on account management. Instead of managing Shopping and Remarketing campaigns separately, they are combined together making set-up more streamlined. You also don’t have to create ads, adjust bids, or determine ad placements.

Standard Shopping campaigns will continue to be available for advertisers. According to Google, “while standard Shopping campaigns will continue to provide a more manual option, the new Shopping campaign type offers a fully-automated solution to drive sales and reach more customers. Managing your Shopping campaigns has never been easier.”

I think account managers know that “easier” doesn’t always mean better performance (horrifying flashback to the initial launch of Enhanced campaigns) and usually means loss of control, but I am intrigued by this new campaign option and will be testing it out for my e-commerce clients.

Stay tuned for my next posts on goal-optimized Shopping campaigns which will walk-through the set-up process as well as evaluating the performance of these campaigns compared to standard Shopping.

Have you tried out goal-optimized shopping campaigns yet? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments!