Why You Should Stop Bidding On Brand or Category Level

Individual products may suffer when AdWords Managers define bids on Product Groups which contain different articles. The problem: People don´t take care of Product Groups as long as the performance is above their individual goal.



  • Optimizing on Brand or Category level could be expensive
  • Best-Practice is to define Bids on Product level
  • Check your Google Shopping Performance in Dimensions Tab
  • Use a tool which helps you managing the Long Tail


Many SEA experts set bids still on Brand or Category level. Although this approach is better than giving the same bid to all of your products, it is the best practice to optimize your performance with a product-centric Google Shopping campaign structure. However, why do so many AdWords Manager still set their bids on Brand- or Category level and not on product level? Because at the first glance, everything seems fine. Many marketers do not go into the details and just got distracted by their predefined goals. Let me give you an example: Here is a real account with a min. ROAS Goal of  7 before and after:

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In the first example, the AdWords Manager is targeting a Minimum ROAS of 7 and defines a max. CPC of €0,65 for all Nike running shoes. With this setup, he gets an actual ROAS of 10. Hence, it appears great but why is the ROAS after bidding on product level so much higher? Because of the product specific bidding, it was possible to cut off cost drivers and invest money into his cash cows.

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As you see the black Nike running shoe only produced costs and was way under the minimum ROAS of 7. With bidding on product level, it is possible to decrease the max CPC for bad performing articles. You can even set it to 0 to maximize the efficiency and get the most out of the media budget.

But why do so many AdWords experts still not define their bids on a product level? Because a manual approach is time consuming. Also, it ‘s hard to optimize products which have only two clicks and one conversion. This is a perfect example of the so-called long tail in Google Shopping. Many marketers and SEA experts have the classic Long Tail approach in their mind: 20% of the products (top sellers) are responsible for 80% of the revenue. However, if you observe the revenue generated from Shopping Ads, it can quickly be established that about 80% of the products are responsible for 80% of the revenue here, whereby only one or two conversions fall back upon the individual products themselves. If you have several thousand products in your product feed, it’s almost impossible to manage every single product manually.

Pro Tipp: One solution could be a tool which helps you managing your Shopping campaigns helps you setting the best bids like Whoop!. With Whoop! can help you setting the best CPCs for each product.

Try the first and only tool specially designed for Google Shopping!

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Check your Google Shopping Performance

You can analyze products/brands/categories in your Google AdWords Account which are performing not good enough in comparison to the costs they are causing, or maybe have a lot of conversions plus a high conversion value. The fastest way is to use the dimensions tab. Please also check our previous article about “How To Identify Winners And Losers In Google Shopping”

Example: Different Bidding on Brands

If you define your bids on a brand level, click on the dimensions tab (as shown in the screenshot below) and select Brand.


Now you can sort your brands by costs and take a closer look at the most expensive ones.


You can check now how every single article performs within the different brands. In this example, we analyze the brand Asics.

Click again on “View > Shopping” and select Item ID.


Now filter one of your top brands and take a closer look at the results on product level. If you can´t see some columns, select them through “columns > modify columns”.

In this example, you see a big deviation of CPAs. This is a typical case for a customer which should place bids on product level.


Determining the right Bid for every single Product

The example above makes clear why a bidding on brand or category level isn´t the best approach. You definitely should change bids for some of your products, but this is not a clean solution. What about the rest of all your products which deserve an own Bid?

To manually set bids for every single Item for a Shopping campaign with thousands of products sounds impossible. Our best practice advice: Use a tool which helps you managing your Long Tail with ease and stop wasting time with manual click-work!

Try the first and only tool specially designed for Google Shopping!

try whoop now