Product groups in AdWords are a subset of an advertiser’s inventory of products. As the name suggests, a product group is a group of products. In shopping campaigns, ad groups consist of product groups which are equivalent to keywords in search campaigns. And, all the products in a product group use the same bid.
In this article, I have explained how to subdivide product groups, editing and removing the existing ones.
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How do Product Groups in AdWords work?
When you create your first shopping campaign, you see that there is one ad group with a product group called “All Products“. This product group includes the complete inventory of your products.
The best practice is that you divide your product stock into smaller groups with various subdivisions. This division allows you to collect performance data and use that information to bid more precisely on products.
How do subdivide product groups for strategic bidding?
AdWords allows seven levels of subdivision for every product group. The order of this division is solely your choice. The easiest method is to have all your products in a single product group and bid the same for all the products. However, it isn’t the best of practices.
Organizing your products by clubbing them into smaller product groups sorted by their brand or Google product category is a must if you want to monitor the performance of individual products. Every shopping campaign ad group can host up to 20,000 product groups.
Note: Setting bids on subdivided product groups is not possible.
How to subdivide Product Groups in AdWords?
You can determine product groups using attributes from the product data feed in your Google Merchant Center. There are eight different attributes to choose from:
- Item ID: Item ID is the identifier (id) for your products. Each product has a unique id.
- Brand: Brand is the name of the manufacturer of your products.
- Category: The category of products is based on the taxonomy of products defined by Google.An example of a category string following Google product taxonomy: Animals & Pet Supplies > Pet Supplies > Bird Supplies > Bird Cage Accessories > Bird Cage Food & Water Dishes
In merchant center product data, the “>” characters illustrate the hierarchical levels in the product category. If you do not assign the class to a product, Google might specify a category for your products automatically.
Note: Product group subdivision by category is available only for advertisers targeting Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
- Product type: Product type is a user-defined category of products.An example of a product type string defined by the user: Home & Garden > Kitchen & Dining > Kitchen Appliances > Deep Freezer.
- Custom labels: Google permits you to create up to five custom labels for your products. You can use custom labels to mark your products based on their availability, etc.
Examples of custom labels: Out of stock, in stock, sale, discount, seasonal, etc.
- Condition: The condition attribute defines the status/state of products in your inventory. The condition of a product can be new, used, or refurbished.
- Channel: Channels are where you sell your products, i.e., in (local) physical stores or (online) via e-commerce stores.
Note: Changes that you make to product attributes in your product feed won’t be reflected in product groups automatically. You have to update product groups manually.
Steps to subdivide product groups in AdWords
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click on campaigns on the left page menu and go to the campaigns page.
- Select the campaign which contains the product groups you wish to edit.
- Choose the ad group where these product groups are present.
- Click Product groups on the left page menu to reach the product groups page.
- Find the product group you want to subdivide and click + next to the name of the product group.
- A window appears from which you have to select the drop-down menu beside Subdivide [name of product group] by and pick a product attribute to define your new product group.
- Example: Let’s say you want to subdivide a product group “all products”. You will see “Subdivide [All Products] by custom labels”. This means that you’ll subdivide the “All products” product group by custom labels.
Note: If you like to use more than one attribute to determine your product group, finish with the current subdivision process and then repeat the steps above.
- Once you select the attribute to subdivide your product group, you will see a list of possible subdivisions. Beside each of these subdivisions, tick the checkbox to continue the division of your product group.
- Example: Let’s say you are selling Star Wars merchandise. And you want to divide the product group by custom labels. You will see the possible subdivision “available”, “sale”, “out of stock” etc.
- Google lets you add values manually to subdivide when you are diving using specific attributes. You can add subdivisions by clicking bulk add values manually from the bottom left of the window. You need to enter one value per line and then confirm.
- Once you are done with subdivisions, click continue. The next step is to review bids. You can view and edit bids for new product groups. If you click save without reviewing bids, new product groups will use the default bid of the product group that you subdivided.
- If you click continue to review bids, you can adjust the bids for each product group using the “New max. CPC” column on the right.
- Click save to proceed with the subdivisions of your product group and their bids.
How to exclude some products from Showcase Shopping Ads?
Once you have created a Showcase Shopping Ad, you can prohibit products from appearing in your Showcase Ads. You have to build a product group subdivision first. And then you can exclude it from your ads.
- Sign in to your AdWords.
- From the campaigns page, select the campaign that you want to edit.
- On the ad groups page, click the ad group which has your showcase ad. You will now see the product groups that are used in that ad group.
- For the subdivision that you want to exclude, in the Max. CPC column, click the pencil icon beside the product group’s bid.
- Click exclude and save to exclude the subdivision.
How to edit or remove subdivisions of Product Groups in AdWords?
- Click ad groups in the page menu on the left and reach the ad groups page.
- Select the ad group which includes the product groups you want to edit.
- Click product groups in the page menu on the left to go to the product groups page.
- Find the product group you want to edit and click on the pencil icon.
Beside Subdivide [name of product group] by, selecting the product attribute you like to use to build your subdivision.
- Click the checkbox next to those values that you want to add to the product group. Click x next to those values that you want to remove from the product group.
- Hit continue to examine bids if you are done editing. You can review and edit the bids for any new product groups that you created. If you click save without reviewing bids, new product groups will use the default bid of the product group which you subdivided.
- If you click continue to review bids, you can adjust the bids for each product group using “New max. CPC” column on the right.
- Click save to proceed with the subdivisions of your product group and their bids.
How to choose the view of product groups in AdWords?
You can alter how you see your product groups by changing those that appear at the top of the ad groups product groups page. From both views, you can bulk edit the max. CPC bids for all of your product groups.
The Hierarchy view shows the structure of your product groups. You can use this view for adding and removing subdivisions within your ad group.
The List view shows all of your product groups in a list. This view is helpful for sorting product groups by column or to see an overview of how each product groups is performing. You can’t make subdivisions from this view.
Note: If you switch between hierarchy and list views, the product groups that you selected on one view will remain selected in the other.
How to filter Product Groups in AdWords?
You can filter product groups to seek the data that is most relevant to you like clicks, conversions, or the average cost-per-click (CPC). Once you created a filter, you can save it and quickly access it later.
- Sign in to AdWords.
- Click campaigns on the left page menu.
- Select the campaign and ad group which has the product groups you want to edit.
- Click product groups on the left page menu.
- Click the filter button from the top of the product groups table.
- Choose the conditions that you want to set for your filter. The table automatically updates to display the data that match your filter.
- You can specify various conditions within a single filter. Click the filter section after adding one condition to add another. Click x to remove a condition.
- Select the save filter button and enter a name for the filter to keep the filter. Saved filters will be available when you select filter conditions.
- Click x in the filter section to go back to an unfiltered view of the product groups table.
In short, Product Groups are at the core of Google Shopping campaigns. Learning to adjust them as per the requirements is very important. Even though it is a little complex, playing around with different tools would help you get accustomed.
Visit AdNabu’s AdWords and PPC blog for more such informative blogs and DIY guides.