The Importance of Product Listing Ads

In Uncategorized by Jack Felstead


Product Listing Ads (or PLA) have been available on Google Adwords since 2012. Initially free of charge, these ads soon adapted the same CPC (cost-per-click) model as text ads and started showing up much more frequently on our computer screens.


The old saying “an image is worth a thousand words” definitely applies to PLA as customers can visualize the item they are about to click on before visiting the advertisers website. Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name instead of keyword match types, leading to a much more relevant and effective search result for its users. This also means PLA ads can have a much higher conversion rate than standard text ads.



PLA ads also display next to standard text ads, allowing advertisers to capture a much wider audience and target customers with two ads at once.




Last month Google re-vamped the PLA section within Adwords making it easier for advertisers to display their products multiple times, by segmenting their current PLA campaign into separate Google Shopping Campaigns.


Shopping Campaigns are a new way to structure Product Listing Ads within Adwords that increases product visibility for merchants and follows a layering ad system.


Below are some of the major elements/new features within Shopping Campaigns:


  • New ways to structure Product Listing ads based on product group layering
  • Ad structure which segments product groups from the “all products” group
  • Include new merchant friendly features such as benchmark CTR and bulk bid changes.
  • Allows merchants to access product information within Adwords, such as product title
  • Includes advertiser focused updates such as PLA competitive tools (e.g Impression Share, Benchmark Max CPC)


Segmentation and grouping is simple as the campaigns are linked to your Google Merchant Feed.  It is now possible to create campaigns to target “all products” within your Merchant Feed (this is the same as the previous PLA structure) which can then be segmented thanks to the “+Ad Group” and additional “+” buttons:- these are the keys to creating more granular bids for specific products and groups of products. The following is a list of all available product attributes:


  • Animals & Pet Supplies
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Baby & Toddler
  • Business & Industrial
  • Cameras & Optics
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Electronics
  • Food, Beverages & Tobacco
  • Furniture
  • Hardware
  • Health & Beauty
  • Home & Garden
  • Luggage & Bags
  • Mature
  • Media
  • Office Supplies
  • Religious & Ceremonial
  • Software
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys & Games
  • Vehicles & Parts


You can see how many products exist within each group and add them accordingly. Each product group can be subdivided up to 7 times to make search results much more relevant for potential customers, as with text ads the more detailed the better.


Advertisers can arrange their inventory by Product Types allowing them to establish bids accordingly:


  • Custom Labels (0-4)
  • Category
  • Item ID
  • Brand
  • Product Type


Thanks to this new structure, advertisers are able to place bids according to product types and more importantly, product values. For example, a retailer will want to place a much higher bid for an item that generates £2.000 in revenue than an item that generates £20 in revenue.


Retailers also have the possibility of displaying multiple PLA ads at once, for a single search query, by having various items (very similar to one another) within their Merchant Feed, for example, if an advertiser has multiple “blue linen shirts” available on their website and Merchant Feed, then it’s possible to display a variety of “blue linen shirts” to potential customers at any one time.


Here at MediaVision Interactive we´ve realized the importance of Google Shopping Campaigns (PLA), both as part of an integral online marketing solution as well as an effective sales tool.


About the Author

Jack Felstead