Never Feel Overwhelmed Managing Large Scale Adwords Ecommerce Campaigns Again

Are you finding it a challenge to manage your large scale Adwords ecommerce accounts?

a competition concept, clouds with ladders on blue

Do you find that there are just too many split tests going on to be able to monitor them effectively?

Or perhaps you are not sure of the right structure that you need to be able scale and manage your large scale Adwords eCommerce campaigns effectively?

If your feeling overwhelmed then this article is going to help you get back on track and feel fully in control of your account

I’m going to teach you the ideal Adwords account structure that perfectly balances scalability with performance.

Plus I’ll show you the exact pieces of software that you need to automatically track your split tests, optimise your product feed and manage your bids at scale.

Use a scalable account structure

If you are managing ecommerce accounts that only have a few thousand adverts and products using single keywords and single product ad groups can work well.

However if you are instead working with an account with 100,000 products and 200,000 ads its a very different story.

Generally speaking when you have an account with more than 25,000 products or ads its best not to use single keyword or product ad groups as it will be too time consuming and very difficult to manage.

Instead you should make use of the 95/5 rule.

In most cases we find that 95% of the conversions that are generated in an ecommerce account come from 5% of the keywords.

This usually equates to the keywords with more than 2 conversions.

I would generally suggest structuring your account in the following way to balance scalability and performance:

  • Top performers campaign (containing all of the keywords with 2 or more conversions in their own single keyword ad groups)
  • Category campaign 1,2,3,etc (containing the keywords relating to the category in tightly themed multi keyword ad groups)
  • Brand campaign 1,2,3, etc (containing the keywords relating to the brand of products in tightly themed multi keyword ad groups)

You will also need to think about how you are going to segment your product feed so that you can balance performance and scalability.

We would generally suggest segmenting items by category within the product feed as products in the same category are likely to have similar ticket prices and will share the same set of negative keywords.

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Image Source

For your top performing products which will account for 95% of your conversions in most cases we would suggest placing them within their own single product ad groups.

This allows you to set bids for each individual product giving you the maximum possible amount of control and profitability.

Here is what the top performers ad groups would look like.

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Image source

To create single product ad groups when you have thousands of products it makes sense to use a piece of software that will automate this process for you.

There are two pieces of software that I like for doing this, Optmyzr’s Google Shopping tool and also Camto by Crealytics.

Get the right bid management software

Good bid management software will allow you to manage your bids at scale effortlessly based on your goals.

Bid management software is generally suggested for advertisers who are spending at least £100K /month on Adwords due to their being a cost of the software which generally starts at around £2K /month.

The type of software that you will need will depend on what your goals are for the campaign and if you have a defined fixed budget or not.

It is good to understand the maths behind bid management software so you can purchase the best solution for your needs.

Two great articles that I would suggest on this are “Bid management since explained” by David Rodnitzky and “Rule based v Portfolio bidding models” by Iestyn Mullins.

Generally speaking if you have a defined PPC budget for the month then using a portfolio bid management solution will be best.

Portfolio bid management software looks at your budget and looks to buy the maximum amount of sales for the budget.

For example if you have a £1000 budget and one keyword generates sales at £100 and one at £10 it will buy the maximum amount of £10 leads first before buying the £100 leads. As opposed to buying them at the same rate.

You will also want to consider how the bid management software will deal with attribution deepening on your model and how it will deal with long tail keywords.

Most bid management solutions will aggregate data to determine bids for your long tail keywords by grouping data from other keywords in that ad group / campaign / or that point towards the same URL for example.

There are several bid management solutions that you can explore:

Econsultancy also have a very detailed buyers guide that will help you select the right solution which you can appraise here.

Use scalable feed management software

Managing your feed if you have tens even hundreds of thousands of products can be a headache. Feed management software will allow you to automate tasks such as fixing product titles that don’t contain brand, size, or colour along with checking for broken links and images in the product feed.

They will also allow you feed your products into several different platforms such as Google, Bing, Facebook and Amazon which will save you time.

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A couple of great tool for managing your product feed at scale are Feedonomics and Channel Advisor that allow for this functionality.

Automate product level ad creation

If you are working with a large scale Adwords account the chances are that you already know that for the best results you need a very granular PPC account that has adverts right down to product level.

People searching for the exact product names such as “Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV”  are generally in the latter stages of the buying cycle and are much more likely to convert that people that are searching for more generic phrases such as “rolex watches”.

Creating adverts right down to product level manually when you have tens or hundreds of thousands of products that are frequently change is virtually impossible.

So the key is to use a piece of software that will create ads and keywords based on your inventory feed automatically.

doubleclick-logoA piece of software that allows for this functionality among others is Double Click by Google.

inventory-aware campaigns integrate with Google Merchant Center to apply changes to search campaigns based on the inventory levels and other settings like prices, descriptions and landing pages in a retailer’s feed.

You are then able to create a template that looks something like this that automatically insert values such as the name of the product, the brand and the price from your product feed.

 

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If you are not spending enough to justify using this type of software then an alternative is to use dynamic search ads. These will work in a similar way, however you will not have as much control over when your ads are shown and will not be able to add the price of the product to the advert.

Use scalable ad testing software

When you have even hundreds of thousands or even millions of adverts it can be very difficult to keep track of all you your split tests and see when they have reached statistical significance.

To stay in control you are going to need a piece software that integrates with the Adwords API and can calculate when your ad tests have finished and will notify you.

There are several different solutions that will allow you to do this, one of my favourite is Adalysis that was created by a friend of mine Brad Geddes (I’m not payed to promote this I just think its a great tool for eCommerce advertisers).

adalysis

This tool allows you to do a whole range of different things as well as just calculating when tests have finished and notifying you:

  • Test differen advert template pattens
  • Save test and advert data from past test (this is incredibly useful when you are testing at scale and frequently changing ads)
  • Create ads in advance that will automatically change the ads once the looser found. This is very useful to elevate wasted spend
  • Test based on 6 different metrics and change confidence factors.

Overall its a great piece of software that I would thoroughly recommend. Optmyzr is another good tool that allows for similar functionality, however I have not used this first hand so can’t vogue for it.

Conclusion

If you were feeling overwhelmed before managing a large scale Adwords ecommerce campaign then you should now have the necessary knowledge and tools to get back on track and feel fully in control of your Adwords account.

Using the 80/20 rule you should be able to build ecommerce Adwords campings that scale effortlessly with your business yet perform almost a well as if they were completely built using single keyword ad groups saving you a huge amount of time.

By using the right feed management software you should save yourself the huge headache of analysing and optimising your product feed manually and be able to feed it into several different platforms such as Bing, Amazon and Google.

Finally by using software to build and manage your account at scale you should be able to create incredibly granular PPC campaign right down to product level effortlessly and manage your split tests effortlessly across hundreds of thousands if not millions of ads.

If you have any questions about this article please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to get back to you.

wesley parker
About wesley parker

Wesley is Founder and CEO at Clicteq. He currently manages a £6 Mil Adwords portfolio across a range of different sectors. He regulally features in leading search publications such as Search Engine Journal, Econsultancy and Certified Knowledge. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Linkedin

2 thoughts on “Never Feel Overwhelmed Managing Large Scale Adwords Ecommerce Campaigns Again

  • Another solid article with helpful tips.

    Would you advise any AdWords specialist to make use of DoubleClick? I’m looking to manage our AdWords and Bing accounts.

    • Thanks Wienhan, Generally at around £100K/month spend or if you have a really big inventory that you are struggling to manage it might make sense to use it then to make your bidding more effective. If you work on a 10% increase in performance for example then you would need to calculate weather a 10% increase in profit would be greater than the cost of the software.

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