Complete PPC PLA Shopping Campaign Crash Course ─ Conversion Deadline Sunday!

Before you start packing up and traveling with family, remember that August 31, this Sunday, is the last day to upgrade your Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns.

Don’t panic!

Photo by Mycatkins (CC by 2.0), modified

In efforts to make this weekend much more enjoyable for you, here are some tips on upgrading to Shopping Campaigns I think will shine light on the “phases” that take effect in September if you do not upgrade your PLA campaigns.

lightbulb Tips for AdWords Shopping Campaign Conversion

  • If you haven’t already upgraded your PLA campaigns, the Google team, announced a new tool earlier this month, to help you create a Shopping Campaign from your existing PLA campaigns. The new campaign will include your campaign structure and bids based on your existing PLA campaign(s) and on their historical performance. Trust me, this tool will help you a lot of time! Note: Although the purpose of this tool is to help you upgrade your PLA campaigns instantly, not all campaigns will be compatible. If your campaign includes AdWords labels or “groupings” in your product targeting, you have to update your data feed with customs labels before any upgrading can take place.
  • Check out the AdWords Blog, where the Google team has provided the advertising community a great list of resources to reference for upgrading and optimizing your Shopping Campaigns. In efforts to save you the time and get your weekend started as soon as possible, review the following resources below:

Shopping Campaign Tutorial Videos

Instructional Hangouts on Air

Help Center Resources

lightbulb What Happens If You Don’t Transition Your PLA Campaigns?

Last week, Google AdWords shared another piece of news with the advertising community. If advertisers do not upgrade before Monday, the following two phases will take place during September.

  • Phase 1: Limited functionality of all regular PLA campaigns. You will not be able to make any edits to product targeting, max CPC bids, promotional text and destination URLs. The only thing you will be able to edit is campaign status and budgets.
  • Phase 2: Auto-upgrade to Shopping campaigns. If you do not upgrade your campaigns before deadline, your PLA campaigns will be auto-upgraded. Sounds easy right? Well not entirely. Although your campaigns will auto-upgrade during the month of the September, some settings and bids might not be included in the transition into the new campaign, due to “technical limitation” as described by Google. Once your PLA campaigns have been converted, your regular PLA campaigns will stop serving and remain paused.

Final Thoughts

To really enjoy this Labor Day weekend, make sure to upgrade your regular PLA campaigns before Monday. Avoid the forced phases and limited functionality of the automatic upgrade option. Also remember that although your PLA campaigns will be auto-upgraded if you don’t do it yourself before September, not all elements for your existing regular PLAs will transfer over. So, make this Friday count and dedicate some time to not only upgrade but also optimize your new Shopping Campaigns to receive the best results! And, if you find out about the transition a little too late or want some help cleaning up your campaigns once they’ve reached the phase stage, feel free to reach out to me and the BCI SEM services team where we’ve been busy transitioning multi-campaign PLAs for clients across a variety of verticals.

Resources to Help You Transition from PLAs to Shopping Campaigns

Diana Becerra is an SEM Analyst at Bruce Clay, Inc., a marketing enthusiast, and non-profit activist. She has a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in marketing and is currently attending graduate school in focus of obtaining a Masters of Business Administration. Before joining Bruce Clay, Inc., Diana worked in many areas of marketing, including public relations, communications, community program development, software development and brand management. She loves marketing, sports and sprinkles. Connect with Diana on .

See Diana's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (6)
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6 Replies to “Complete PPC PLA Shopping Campaign Crash Course ─ Conversion Deadline Sunday!”

very helpful guide on AdWords Shopping Campaign and getting more effective on the process. Thanks for sharing all the resources for more details.

Diana Becerra

Hi Bradley,
Happy to hear you found the guide helpful. Let me know if you have any questions on Shopping Campaigns.

Over here in the UK, Google have been telephoning PLA accounts offering to talk them through upgrading the account to shopping. I kept putting it off so a friendly Irish voice talking me through it was excellent customer service

Thanks for this important advisory … without it, there would a lot of unwary business people stuck in a bind after what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend!

There’s a lot of information here. I need an hour or two to go through all this on PLAs. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Diana Becerra

Hi Leena! Thank you for your feedback and I am happy to hear that you found my article helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know. Have a great labor day weekend! :)


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