Introduction To Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

Back in October, Google discontinued what was known as Google Shopping and introduced what is now called product listing ads.

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Through their product listing ad program, they allow merchants to submit their product feeds that are then displayed within a ‘sponsored’ section on the search engine results pages. Since the launch of this program, a recent study by Kenshoo found that on average, PLAs receive a 73 percent higher click through rate than text search ads, a 35 percent higher conversion rate, a 36 percent lower average cost per click rate, and a 46 percent higher return on ad spend. You can read the full study here.

In order for your business to start to see results like those mentioned above, you must take the following steps:

  • Must have an accurate and complete product feed
  • Must have a Google Merchant Center account set up
  • Must have a Google Adwords account set up
  • Must have your Google Merchant Center and Adwords accounts linked together

Once you have linked the accounts together, you will then be able to set up and optimize your ad groups, launch your campaigns, measure your results, and then continually tweak your campaigns. Let’s talk about optimizing your ad groups and then measuring your results.

Ad Group Optimization

When you begin setting up your ad groups, you will want to set up groups that highlights your best selling products, brands, and/or categories. The reason you want to do this is because you can count on these to drive sales for your business.

One thing that is different than your traditional AdWords campaigns is that you are not bidding on keywords, you are using product ‘targets’ to determine when when your products will show up in the SERPs. You will want to be sure to control which products are eligible to appear in the ads section by using product filters. This will help ensure that the right products are being displayed to the right audience. You can also help control which searches your ads show up on by using negative keywords.

Performance Tracking

Once your ad groups are set up, optimized, and running, the only way for you to achieve maximum results on your campaign is to monitor your results and keep tweaking. As with any online marketing campaign, you will want to monitor your conversion rate as well as cost per sale. You should also be watching your ad groups average position and increasing your bids if you feel that your listings are showing up too low.

The last thing you should know is that PLAs are a new ad format and you should expect to make continual adjustments as you test new strategies to find what works best for your business.

Do you have any questions about product listing ads? If so, please feel free to comment below.

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