It’s been seven months since Google moved to a paid model for their shopping results, now called Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Since then, advertisers and online merchants have been hard at work to find the very best possible ways to improve the performance of their PLAs and generate more revenue for their businesses.
For those who are unaware, PLAs are ads that are product specific and are displayed in the SERPs when consumers conduct product related searches. See the image below.
So far, these ads can increase your click through rates as much as 73 percent, increase conversion rates as much as 35 percent, and provide a 46 percent higher return on ad spend for merchants and advertisers. However, this is easier said than done. In order to get numbers like these, it is important to run through a few exercises to better optimize your product listing ads campaign. Let’s talk about five things you can do to improve performance.
Long story short, product titles indicate the search queries that your products are likely to show up for. When putting together your product titles, you should put some real time and effort into giving them a title that is not only descriptive of the product, but that also include keywords that people might be searching for. You should also remember to keep your titles to around 70 characters and put the most important keywords toward the front of the title as Google wil only show the first couple of words in the search engine results pages.
In addition to including your most important keywords in your titles, you should also include them in your product descriptions. When doing this, make sure not to keyword stuff your description, but use them naturally in your writing. Also, you don’t need to worry about where your keywords are in the description since they don’t actually show up in the PLA or the search engine results page, they are more for Google to be able to separate similar proudest you might have in your feed.
When setting up your PLAs, make sure that you have the proper pricing listing for each product, as Google will penalize any listings that inaccurately list the price of the product in question. Keep in mind that if you charge for packaging or have a minimum number of products that need to be ordered, that you specify.
One fantastic way to gain better control over your bidding, copy, and targeting is to crease a separate ad group for each product category. To do this, you can either use the categories set up by Google or create your own parameters to categorize your product listing ads. Also, you should be extremely cautious when putting bids on catch all ad groups, as Google will serve the PLA from the ad group with the largest bid.
Lastly, when you are setting up your ad groups, you should create custom targets that will focus on the first targeting option and your individual products IDs. This will help you understand what search queries each of your products are showing up for and help you understand which of your products are converting well and which are not. This will help you know which products need tweaks to ad copy as well as which products you should put more budget towards.
You should also take sufficient time to monitor the average position for your ad groups that perform well. The reason you want to do this is because if your average position changes and you haven’t done anything, this means that your competitors are probably getting more aggressive with their bids and you should do the same to remain competitive.
I hope that these tips have been helpful and try and remember that PLAs are still very new and will continue to evolve as time goes on. The most important thing to remember is to stay on top of your account and always be reading about new strategies and be testing to stay ahead of the competition.