In 2013, Google made the transition to a fully paid model for its shopping and image product listings, known as Product Listing Ads. Since this shift, sellers and advertisers have been scrambling to optimise their products and services for this traffic source. Product Listing Ads now make up a large percentage of AdWords traffic, so it’s crucial that businesses ensure they have fully optimised their PLA campaign. That being said, they need to make sure that you are getting good PLA traffic at the cheapest possible price.
What are Product Listing Ads (PLAs)?
Product Listing Ads, also known as PLAs, are cost per click (CPC) ads offered by Google AdWords. PLAs include product images, a short description, the price and merchant name, and will appear on Google search results pages on the top of the page (above organic results).
How Can You Make Sure Your PLAs Are Optimised?
1. Go Back to the Basics
It is no secret that Google doesn’t help advertisers, as they are more than vague on how to optimise the product listing adverts. That being said, Google does provide guidelines to explain the rules, formats and information needed to successfully get your product onto the feed, so make sure to research them and then implement them when sorting out your product listing ads!
2. Images are Everything
The paid model of Google Merchant relies on high quality images to get your products and services out there. It is common knowledge that a competent text ad will help achieve a high click-through rate, high quality score and therefore increasing visibility and decreasing cost-per-click. The same goes with image ads. Your images need to be of high resolution and entice potential customers. Good quality images will help dominate positions and increase clicks and thus sales.
3. Make the Most of your Titles and Descriptions
Put your SEO socks on and get to know the meta titles and descriptions. This is because you can’t control which products show for which keywords (unlike AdWords search ads). The only metric Google uses to match products to keywords is the information provided in the feed. This makes it crucial to optimise the titles and descriptions for the keywords you want your products to appear for. If you have multiple products that are similar, you need to ensure that the content you provide is unique and not the same across all your descriptions.
4. Don’t Make your Feed Look Spammy
If you have several rows in a feed for one product, such as a row for each colour of a specific sock, you must ensure that you implement the variant field item_group_id correctly. If you fail to do so, then you will be presenting Google with lots of different products with the same titles and descriptions when generating your feed, making it look spammy and hard for the search engine to choose what to match.
5. Provide Enough Information
Just because all fields are compulsory to fill in, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add the extra information. The more detail you can give the more chance Google has of matching your products with keywords. So, when you ensure that you use the full Google taxonomy category for every product, alongside sensible product taxonomy names from your site in the product_type field that use the keywords you want to be shown for.
6. Control the Products Shown
If you’re optimising for generic keywords, then it is imperative that you understand how to control the products shown in the feed. For example, if you have 100+ products for hair accessories that match this description which Google, they would have to rotate and work out which products get the most clicks. You know what products are the best sellers and the ones that have the best offers that will easily convert. This means you have a better chance of showing products that will get a good click through rate. This is done via the adwords_label field in the shopping feed and setting up an ad group that only filters these products.
If you have an ecommerce site yet don’t have PLAs set up already, here are 5 reasons why your business will benefit from PLAs. Taggr allows you to generate a product feed easily and rapidly, without any dev time or knowledge required. For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch.