google adwords Archives - STRYDE

Five Killer Tips for Optimizing Product Listing Ads

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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.

google plas

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.

Product Titles

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 60 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.

Product Descriptions

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.

Product Pricing

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.

Ad Groups

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.

Ongoing Testing

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.

If you need help with your PLAs or pay-per-click marketing, please feel free to reach out to us.

What Are Enhanced AdWords Campaigns?

By | SEO | No Comments

After weeks of rumors swirling from some of the top AdWords advertisers out there, Google finally announced a change they are making to their advertising program called Enhanced Campaigns.

In short, Enhanced AdWords Campaigns are supposed to make it easier for advertisers like you and I to create compelling ads that target both desktop and mobile users. Their end goal is to simplify the process of creating and managing ads in a world that is driven by multi-device content consumption.

The problem with this approach is that advertisers have lost their ability to target users and control campaign messaging based on the type of device they use to consume content. In most cases, advertisers like to change bidding strategies and deliver different ads based on device and by June 2013, Google will have taken that option away from everyone and in essence, making those decisions on your behalf.

When explaining why they are making this change Google said the following:

With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place. Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.

To some, this might sound nice, but in my honest opinion, most advertisers (especially advanced users and those who have several million dollar ad spends) want more control over their campaigns, not less. I also think this will drive up the CPC (cost per click) for advertisers when their ads are displayed on mobile devices, which is not cool.

So what do you think? Is this change good or bad? You can get more information about Enhanced AdWords Campaigns here. We will also leave you with a video introducing you to the changes.

Introduction To Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

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


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.

Getting Started With Google AdWords & Pay Per Click Marketing

By | PPC | One Comment

Today as I was looking through our blog content, I realized that we have posted absolutely nothing about pay per click marketing. So, over the next few weeks we are going to write several posts about PPC, starting with this post where I will talk about setting up your PPC account.

For those who are unfamiliar with Google AdWords, setting up a PPC account with no history to go on can be quite a tricky task. There are so many things happening in the paid search space, where should you start? To begin, you need to build out your keyword set.

Build Out Keyword Sets

Before you can get started with PPC, the first thing you need to do is determine what keywords you are going to bid on. Since you have no historical data, you will need to run some small tests to determine what works and what doesn’t work for your business.

Initially, you will want to focus your test on smaller groups of keywords that are likely to perform well. When researching keywords to bid on, think like your customers. What words might they be using to search for. Keywords that are intent related or product specific are going to be some of the best words to start with, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time on those.

The AdWords keyword tool is effective in helping you come up with keyword ideas, but make sure to review the keywords carefull and pick those that are specific to the products and services that you offer. As you can see in the image below, if I were selling bedding on my website, bidding on words like bed or bed and bath are probably a bad idea, however, bedding linens might be a better choice.



Create Your Ads

After you have your keyword sets picked out, you will need to build out your ad messaging. The reason you group your keywords in to sets is so you can create specific ad copy that speaks to those keywords. For example, I wouldn’t want to run the same ad for SEO related keywords and content marketing keywords. Make sure that you follow the ad creation guidelines provided by Google and that you include a call to action to entice the click-thru.

Create Your Landing Pages

Just how you need to create separate ads for each keyword set, you will want to create a unique landing page for each keyword set as well. Same idea as above, you wouldn’t want to send SEO traffic to a content marketing page, so make sure you have a page for each topic and make sure you work to increase your quality score through premier content that’s relevant to your ads and keyword sets.

Keep It Super Simple

When you get started with pay per click marketing, you will see that there are so many options when customizing a campaign. One word of advice for beginners, you need to keep your campaign as simple as possible until you get a few campaigns under your belt. For example, setting up day parting strategies… not your best usage of time 🙂 A better use of your time would be working on messaging and making sure that your landing page is set up to convert the visitors you are going to be sending to it.

Start Slow

One of the things you need to do is set up a daily budget. This is a safety net that you need to put in place to make sure you don’t blow hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a short period of time. I learned this lesson on my first campaign when I lost over $600 in less than five hours. Another tip, make sure you check in on your account at least a few times a day to make sure everything looks good. In the above example, I set up the campaign and went to school and when I came home had blown a chunk of change.

Campaign Tweaking & Optimization

After you have some good data, you will want to start tweaking your campaign and optimizing it to perform at its highest level. That is what I will discuss in my next PPC post probably rolling some time next week, so stay tuned!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop a comment below.