Google Shopping Ad Group Structure Best Practices

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Structure Your Ad Groups

Merchants don’t need to create an ad group for each and every brand present in their data feeds. Doing such a thing can create an overlap between different ad groups and may even act as a hindrance in the proper generation of traction. 

Consider this example for a better understanding. Suppose you already have an Ad group for some brand Y – which sells office chairs – that has been set for $0.35 bid, and now you are going to create a new ad group for the products that fall in the price bucket $40-$100 at $0.45 bid. By doing such a thing, all the products from brand Y which fall in the price range of $40-$100 will now be bid at the higher bid i.e. $0.45, not $0.35, this is because Google uses the highest bid set for a product.

The same thing happens in the scenario where instead of creating an ad group on the basis of price bucket, you are setting up an Ad Group at $0.45 bid for chairs irrespective of their brand (such a thing is possible using Product-type auto target). Even in this case, your Ad Group for Brand Y will still not register any traffic because Google will still use the highest bid for the product that you are targeting. Also note that even if the products from your Brand Y are receiving traffic, no data will be collected for them which will prove to be a setback later when you analyze your ad group data.

Here is a visual explanation:

To know more about the Category and Product Type ad groups, do read the next section. Product overlaps is a very common occurrence and can be prevented by gaining a proper understanding of the know hows about creating products targets so that you can gain the maximum from your Ad Groups and bidding strategies.


Overlaps can be minimized by properly arranging your PLA Campaign by using the adwords grouping and adwords labels.

Create Category Ad Groups For Your Product Listing Ads Campaign

For your PLA Campaigns on Google Shopping, you can divide your Ad Groups into categories just like the ad groups that you create specifically for brands. However note that though both the things are very similar, yet they are not one and the same thing. Also note that these category-ad-groups are a lot like the categories that you see on the CSEs, but on PLAs one difference is that you have to get these categories identified through Ad Group validation.  

While creating the category ad groups you follow the same steps that are used to create a brand ad group. Make sure that these groups are based on your product categories; also, since all of your products are covered in the ‘All Product Ad Group’, it is up to you whether you want to create ad groups for all of your product categories or not.

If you choose to create an ad group for all of your product-categories, and you also have your All Product Ad Group too, every product in your data feed will be covered at least twice. That is, it will be covered not only in your All Product ad group but also in one or more of your category ad groups. 

The following snip gives a sneak peek into how a PLA campaign’s group structure looks like:

Note that in the above example, the lowest bid has been assigned to the All Product Ad Group. This is done because Google AdWords works on a bid ranking and the ad group which has a higher bid is given preference over the one which has a comparatively lower bid.

Creating category ad groups is a great thing to do but gradually. This is because, in the long run, it will help you built a well organized and sophisticated campaign that is based on your product listings.

Hence, it should not be done on the spur of the moment, plan it well, otherwise, it can give birth to negative effects and problems like budget-and-click spreads. These problems may lead to a high spend rise and decline of your listings early.

The following example shows an Ad Group which has multiple product targets:

While setting up the Ad Group, various product target filters will need to be selected, as shown in the following example:

While doing so, make certain that the brand name and the AdWords label should exactly match the data that you have provided in your Google Shopping Product feed. So, do double check the information, because, even if one product target is inputted wrong, the whole thing will be deemed unfit for the validation process. Here is an example:

As shown in the example above, at present, only three filters are being provided by Google, however, this number may change in the future.

Multiple Product Targets Ad Group Example:

For a better understanding consider an example where you are targeting a brand and price bucket which is part of your ‘Gift & Décor’ category. The following are the 3 key components that need to be dealt with:

From the three key components, the first two i.e. the category and the brand are already presented as the part of your feed, however, the third component – the AdWords label – unlike the rest needs to be added manually.


After you are done with that, this is how your product target will look like:

Note that all the modifications that you make to your data feed will take time to reflect; the validation tool takes 1-2 hours to recognize and accept the adjustments that you have made.


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