A Primer On Automating AdWords With Structured Data
Columnist Frederick Vallaeys explains several ways you can use structured data to create relevant and customized PPC search ads.
One of the PPC trends I mentioned in my last post — where I described 11 things to keep your AdWords healthy in 2016 — was the rise of ads from structured data.
There are several campaign types where AdWords currently handles the automatic creation of ads and targeting based on structured data, including Dynamic Search Ad campaigns and Shopping campaigns.
The momentum of ads from structured data is evident in Merkle RKG’s report from the last quarter of 2015, where they show continued growth in clicks for shopping ads and a dramatic increase in the share of that traffic coming from partner sites.
In this post, I’ll cover some additional ways you can start to leverage your structured data to automate the creation of highly relevant and customized ads, starting from the simplest and taking you all the way to a solution that uses AdWords Scripts.
What Is Structured Data?
Before going into what the available solutions are, let me explain what is meant by the “structured data” which is needed to be able to automate the ads.
Structured data is simply data that you maintain in a standardized and organized way. It could be as simple as a text file where you have one keyword per line or as complex as a relational database of products that includes product details, inventory levels and sales data for each item.
The key is that the data are maintained with a consistent structure so that you can reliably know what each piece of data is — for example, whether it’s a keyword, a product name, a price or something else.
Most companies already have structured data, usually in a database. However, you don’t need a database to be able to turn your data into ads automatically. In fact, it’s often easier if you have the data in a spreadsheet, since that’s what you can upload to AdWords.
Generating a spreadsheet from the data in a database should be a simple task for your database administrator (or you can do a simple CSV export using most common database management tools).
So if you have the data in a spreadsheet, whether an Excel file or a Google Sheet, you’re ready to start automating ads from a template.