Are only some of your SKUs getting impressions within your Google shopping campaign? Learn a few ways you can make sure all your SKUs are getting visibility in your shopping campaigns.

One of the biggest issues all brands face, whether they have 40 SKUs or 200,000 SKUs, is a lack of impressions for their SKUs. You look into a shopping campaign and see that only a handful of SKUs are getting a lion share of the impressions, clicks, and ad send.

This is what is known as the Invisible SKU Phenomenon.

This happens across both smart and standard shopping campaigns. Even if you are using manual or smart bidding strategies, this issue won’t go away. This phenomenon isn’t something that only happens to shopping campaigns.

You see it happen in search campaigns that either have too many keywords in one ad group or tons of ad groups within a campaign. When you over index a campaign, the head terms, or top keywords that get searched a lot get the majority of the ad spend. Now this isn’t always a bad thing because usually a small number of keywords will make up a large portion of where you conversions go.

However, the phenomenon becomes a problem when you are trying to scale your brand and business. You don’t want to limit when your brand shows up in SERP. Limiting your chances at winning an auction and converting customers is never good. 

A good example is Our Place, which sells two pans. You don’t want to only take up 1 spot in SERP for your shopping ads. You want to make sure both your pans always come up.

An even better example is winter bike tires. Say you’re an ecommerce store selling multiple bike brands and each brand has a few different winter tires. You’d want to make sure you take over as much of SERP for the different brands and products/SKUs you sell for each brand.

How do you achieve this? There are 3 ways you can make sure the invisible SKU phenomenon doesn’t affect your brand and limits your exposure across SERP.

All In On Smart Shopping

If your brand loves to only run smart shopping, the easiest way to make sure all your SKUs get traction is to divide your SKUs by top sellers vs everything else. You put everything else in its own campaign and keep your top sellers in the original campaign.

This works great because you are making sure you don’t have multiple SKUs across your campaigns. That way, you ensure Google optimizes your best selling SKUs in their own container within your shopping campaign. Plus, when you increase ad spend for this campaign, you know it’s only going to your top selling SKUs.

Mix Smart & Standard Shopping

Similar strategy as above but you use a standard shopping campaign vs a smart campaign. You do this to have a bit more control over your SKUs and how they are showing up in SERP based on bids. This works better than our first option. If these SKUs don’t get consistent sales each week, Google could struggle to optimize your campaign without the necessary data.

You could even go a step further by having two or three standard shopping campaigns. You might have accessories in one campaign and your other products in another, like in our Our Place example. Basically breaking out SKUs by product category within your campaigns based on non-top selling SKUs.

Catch All Campaign

This option breaks out your campaigns by smart shopping first. You follow the path of opinion 1 and heavily focus on smart shopping by breaking out SKUs by top sellers and everything else. Then you add in a low bid standard shopping campaign. The standard shopping campaign would try to pick searches that your smart shopping campaigns would miss with your shopping ads.


Those are your 3 best ways to get around the invisible SKU phenomenon. This issue will come a lot more when brands go all in on smart shopping without doing any SKU optimization. Google’s goal is to spend as much money as possible and that will be on your selling top SKUs. This means you don’t get as much visibility on your non-top selling SKUs. Just make sure you are optimizing your SKUs and if you’re still struggling, follow one of the aforementioned methods to hopefully resolve some of the issues.