Shopping Campaigns

One Product Ad Groups For Shopping Campaigns : Enter The OPAG

For Google Ads marketers coming from search campaigns, there’s a lot less control when it comes to shopping campaigns.

Mainly because we’re not bidding on keywords. Google is deciding which products to show based on a users search query.

Also, the default way of setting up a shopping campaign doesn’t allow us to perform as many optimizations as we should be able to do at a product level.

So because of this, we need to try and stay on top of things as much as possible, so our campaigns don’t get out of control.

Not because we’re control freaks.

But because we want to be making money… Not wasting money!

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Source How it feels once you optimize your shopping campaigns

Sometimes we’re going to have parts of our PPC campaigns that are performing really well and others that aren’t.

But the more control that we have over those areas, the easier it is to manage them and improve our campaign performance.

In this blog post i’m going to show you exactly how you can structure your campaigns so that you can make bid adjustments on individual products, add negative keywords at a product level and a few other goodies!

The easy way or the not so easy way – Which will it be?

With most Google Ads campaign types, there’s an out the box way and a manual way to get them up and running .

There’s usually a way to implement new campaigns almost automatically.

Then there’s a way of doing the same thing but in a more hands-on way which which will usually give us more control over our campaigns.

The thing is, it wouldn’t matter so much if whether you use an out of the box way or a manual way if it gave you the same results.

But unfortunately, the way that you structure any type of PPC campaign can make all the difference when it comes to how successful they are.

And nothing is more true when it comes to the organisation of Shopping Campaigns.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…..

If you use the settings that Google Ads gives to you by default on your shopping campaigns, you are really going to find it tough to get them performing as well as they could.

Don’t play the default game unless you have to!

The default way for shopping campaigns to be organised is by creating one single ad group and then dumping all of your products into there.

But this isn’t the best way to organise them.


Let’s take this example here :

Screen Shot 2018 10 17 at 08.25.25

Search term : blue running shoes

We’re searching for “blue running shoes” but a pair of black running shoes is being displayed.

Uh-oh, we don’t want that to happen. So we’ll just go ahead and add “blue” as a negative keyword to that product.

But wait…. You can’t do that.

Negative keywords can only be added at the Ad Group level.

And if we add blue as a negative keyword, it will stop our blue products from being displayed.

So if we have all of our shoes regardless of colour in the same product group, then we wouldn’t be able to stop this from happening.

How It Works Out Of The Box

When you create a shopping campaign, you’re prompted to make an adgroup. An ad group in shopping, essentially does the same thing as it does in a normal search campaign.

They are a home for all of your product groups, which are kind of similar to keywords in search campaigns.

So when you create an ad group, an all products product group is added by default. This product group contains all of your products from your product feed.

If you run with this. This is going to give you the same bids, same negative keywords, same everything across all of your products.

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Hint : You probably don’t want to do that.

As i’m sure you’ll agree that this will cause a few performance issues.

Each product or type of product that you sell will usually have different margins, materials, colours, sizes etc.

So if we just advertise all of products grouped together, then we’re going to have zero control over how that is managed.

A Step In The Right Direction

If we wanted to try and make things a little easier for ourselves, we could split all of these products into multiple Product Groups.

We can Subdivide the All Products product group into multiple (sub) product groups to make things a bit more easier to manage.

Stay with me.

The options that we can split them up into are :

  • Category
  • Brand
  • Item ID
  • Condition
  • Product type
  • Channel
  • Channel exclusivity
  • Custom label

So we could for instance split the products by the category that you have defined in your product feed.

We would start by creating a new ad group and we would simply click the cross next to our All Products product group :

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 16.58.45

And then choose how you would like to subdivide the products :

Grouping by categories would potentially make more business sense than having all of your products grouped together,  as we could group products by the category that they are in.

But….. What happens if we sell different types of t-shirts, some priced at $25 each and other $250.

Would we really want both sets of products to have the same bids?

Would they have the same conversion rate?

The same ROAS?

Probably not.

We could split by Brand.

But again if we’re selling clothes, would we really bid the same for all products that are made by the same company?

Would we really want shorts and coats grouped together?

For most businesses, it’s not likely.

If you are going to go down the path of having all of your products in the same Ad Group, then i would suggest subdividing by Product ID at the very least.

This will allow you to to be able to adjust your bids at a product level, depending on how the product is performing.

OK, so we have a bit more control over our Shopping Ads.

But if you really want to be a Shopping Samurai then there’s only really one way to structure your campaigns.

Enter the OPAG.

OPAG stands for One Product Ad Group (aka Individual Product Ad Group & Single Product Ad Group)

If we have products which are our Money Makers and we want to make sure we’re always driving traffic to them to get the most sales, then we need to bring out the heavy artillery to make sure this happens.

On the flipside, if we have products which are eating up adspend and bringing in little return, then we don’t really want to be giving those products the same visibility as our money makers do we?

Enter OPAGs (surprisingly enough, it means exactly what it says).

We create an ad group for each of our products.

There’s a few, pretty big benefits to using them :

  • You can control bids at the product level
  • Make device bid modifications at the product level
  • Add negative keywords at the product level.

Using this campaign structure will give us a huge amount of control over which products are displayed and when.

We will usually be able to see a much better ROAS because of this because we’ll be promoting our Money Makers and decreasing the visibility of our low performers.

You can do this for what makes sense to for your business. If you don’t have the time to manage one product ad groups for all of your products, then you could create ad groups based on what does make more sense for you and your campaigns. You can follow these tutorials, but using the methodology and grouping the products how you want them.

Once you’ve decided on using OPAG’s (because you’re a Smart Shopping Samurai), we need to implement them.

There’s a couple of ways to do this : 

  1. Use the Google Ads UI
  2. Create them in bulk using Adwords Editor.
  3. Use a tool to create your OPAG Shopping campaigns. There’s quite a few on the market at the moment, that will not only help you manage building your campaigns out, but also the negative keywords too. Both Optmyzr and *** offer this as part of their service.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to use OPAGs, try picking out your best performing products and placing them into their own OPAG campaign. That way you can see the difference it makes, before going all-in.

How To Implement OPAGs in the Google Ads UI

If you don’t have many products (i.e. under 10) then you can do all of this pretty easily from within the Google Ads interface in a short space of time. If you have any more than this, then it will probably save you time by doing this using Adwords Editor (see below).

When you are in the Google Ads UI, if you open your shopping campaign and select Ad Groups from the navigation.

Click the blue button to create a new ad group.

If you give your new ad group the name for one of your products and set your max cpc.

You’ll have then created a product group with all of your products in.

If we click on the cross next to the “All products” title, we’ll be given the option to subdivide our product group.

If we click on the subdivide dropdown and select item ID.

You’ll then be able to select the Item ID / Product ID that matches the product that you’re trying to create the OPAG for.

Save your changes and you’ll be left with a single product in your product group.

BUT, you’ll still have all your products in this product group.

Which we really don’t want.

So we’ll click on the green circle and exclude it.

So what we now have is an ad group, with one single product group that’s for one single product.

Cool right?

But if you want to do this for hundreds or thousands of products, your best doing it in bulk.

How To Implement OPAGs with Adwords Editor

OK, so first up you’re going to need something called Adwords Editor. If you don’t know already, this is a desktop tool for managing your Google Ads campaigns.

Next we’re going to need a list of your Product Titles and Product IDs from your product feed.

The best way to do this data is to open a copy of your Product Feed that you upload to Merchant Centre in excel and copy the data from there.

Once we have our data, we’ll need to create a new sheet or workbook in excel.

We need to create 3 column headers titled campaign, ad group and id.

Then we want to paste our data in so it looks like this :

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 15.41.23

Now we’re going to build the product groups.

Unfortunately we need to create 3 product groups at a time (All Products, Subdivision, Individual Product).

It makes life a bit easier to do one product group at a time, but if you’re not working with too much data, you could probably do it all it one go.

So first up, i want to create the all products product group. But we’re going to set it as excluded.

We’re going to pair this up with our ad groups (product titles) and It will hopefully look something like this :

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 15.48.05

Now if you copy the column data, open up Adwords editor and click the make multiple changes button. You should be able to paste it in and create your first set of product groups.

Don’t worry if you see the error message “This product group is missing an ‘everything else’ subdivision. We’re going to do that next.

We’ll want to repeat this twice more.

The second time we’ll want to change the product group column data to * / Item ID =* .

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 15.48.05

And follow the same steps again.

Once you’ve imported them, you should see your error message disappear.

I’m not going to lie. The next bit is going to need a bit of concentration, but you’ll be pleased to know that you’re well on your way to shopping ads happiness!

Ok so if we open up a the sheet that we created earlier with our campaigns, ad groups and id’s in.

We’re going to write a formula in excel to get this ready to import into Adwords Editor.

In the 4th column, we’re going to enter the following :

* / Item ID=

Then in the column next to it we’re going using the formula  =D2&C2

What this does is take the product group string that we need and pair it with our product ID.

You should then be left with something like this :

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 16.07.34

So the column new string above will now be our final product group.

If we copy (you may need to copy & paste into a text editor first to remove the formatting) and then copy this back into our import sheet. This time the Product Group Type would be biddable. So it’s looks like this :

Screenshot 2018 10 31 at 16.10.25

And if you follow steps and import them into your shopping campaign.

VOILA. You have now entered the wonderful world of One Product Ad Groups!

How To Implement OPAGs using a tool

Probably the easiest way to structure your OPAG campaigns is by using a tool like Optmyzr. This will do all of the above for you in under a minute.

Time saved that you can spend enjoying the finer things in life…

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And that’s all there is to it.

We’re now ready to take on the world of Google Shopping campaigns in a much more controlled way. We’ve had to do some work but we’re now in great shape to manage our campaigns to try and make them as profitable as possible.

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Roshan Jha
Roshan Jha
1 year ago

helpful, very helpful, was looking exactly for that

1 year ago

Same here nice. But lets say you have 1000-5000 products. How would you manage that. You could either start from the top or I assume, you could make rules for shopping. For instance after a significant time products that have good ROAS a rule could be increase cpc also on device by X percent. And the other way around. Do you know if thats possible. Because dealing with 1 product for several clients would not be profitable.

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