Alternative Ads Strategy for Performance Max

With a standard shopping campaign you can funnel specific queries to certain campaigns, such brand queries and competitor queries through an ISO strategy - a worthy alternative to Performance Max.

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Google has retired its Smart Shopping Ads campaign and then launched Performance Max in a bid to change how advertisers use its smart campaigns. While some advertisers saw an improvement in cost per conversion and traffic, others are still skeptical as Performance Max does not provide much control on how ad dollars are spent.

While smart shopping campaigns are retired, advertisers can still opt in to testing the original standard shopping campaign.

But standard shopping campaigns are generally still a mystery – Google proclaims that they use Blackbox technology to deliver users the “most relevant” shopping ads. Compared to performance max it allows advertisers more control over which specific product SKUs show up in your Shopping ads.

With a standard shopping campaign you can funnel specific queries to certain campaigns, such brand queries and competitor queries through an ISO strategy – a worthy alternative to Performance Max.

ISO campaigns are an advanced Shopping ads strategy that uses priority settings and negative keyword lists to isolate and redirect aggressive ad spend to higher value search keywords. This strategy also allows dedicated budgets on keywords that are known to convert more, similar to how Text ad campaigns work.

However, implementation of ISO campaigns is more complex as it involves a more comprehensive structuring of Shopping campaigns, priority settings and continuous auditing of search queries and maintenance of negative keyword lists.

Creating an ISO Campaign Structure

An ISO Structure involves an ISO campaign and a corresponding broad match campaign. If an account has existing shopping campaigns, those campaigns can be duplicated and the original campaigns can be converted in ISO campaigns.

Assigning Priority Settings 

The campaign priority settings are found in Adwords Settings > All Settings > Shopping Settings (Advanced). Assigning priority settings ins imperative when a product SKU is present in multiple shopping campaigns. The settings provide a hierarchy for Google to follow when referencing a particular product SKU. The higher the priority setting of a campaign, the more probability that Google will serve an impression first.

Broad match campaigns should generally have a higher priority setting, but with lower keyword bids since it will garner more impressions. (Example: Leather bags)

ISO campaigns should have a lower priority setting, but with higher keyword bids as long tail keywords are funneled to these campaigns. These long tail keywords typically convert well as compared to broad match keywords.

Building Keyword Terms to Isolate

Using the search query report is handy in identifying keyword terms to isolate with an ISO Campaign Structure. Going to Shopping Campaign > Dimensions > View Search Terms and looking at 6 to 12 months’ worth of data for high converting keywords, depending on your level conversion goal.

Creating Negative Keywords and Search Terms

The high converting keywords are then isolated and added as negative keywords (both exact and phrase match) to the broad campaigns. Depending on the preference, these can be added as campaign negatives or shared across campaigns with negative keyword lists.

The creation of an ISO Campaign Strategy does not end with the negative keywords list. Regular audit of search term reports must be done to ensure if you are hitting your goals with the restructure and also to check if there are stray keywords. 

Therefore, an ISO Campaign is not a “set and forget” strategy but significantly lower ad spend and higher conversion efficiency will result with all the effort poured on it.

Reach Out To POPXOP

If you are interested to know more about implementing a Shopping ISO Campaign Strategy, reach out to us and we’ll gladly help you out

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