Product Listing Ads (PLAs) provide a richer and more engaging search experience for shoppers. With the share of spend on PLA campaigns increasing, online retailers are investing more time and budget towards this ad format.
Thanks to the targeting functions available within PLA groups, a whole new world has opened up in terms of how we can optimise PLAs and Google Shopping pages. This in turn is helping advertisers to drive more performance from their PLA campaigns.
In this article we share our top five tips for managing and optimising your PLA campaigns;
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of structure – Use the Product Data Feed
As a starting point, use the Product Data Feed as the foundation for your PLA campaign structure. This is essential because Google directly interacts with the product feed to decide where and when an ad is shown. We would recommend that you continually monitor your data feed to make sure it is correct and fully up-to-date with your product inventory. This will ensure that your PLAs show the correct products and description details in response to relevant search queries.
2. Set up the right targeting method – Target by category, not brand
One of the first goals of a PLA campaign is to have the right bid set depending on the product being sold. Instead of using keywords, PLAs use targets which provide more flexibility over how and when you want your ads to serve. It is important to have a targeting structure that relates to profitability and provides the maximum ROI. Therefore, we would recommend grouping products together that are similar in type and price, rather than targeting each category purely by brand. Grouping each by AOV rather than purely by brand will ensure that each bid placed is appropriate to the expected return of each sale.
3. Place the right bid – A good baseline
In the same vein as top tip two, it is important to set a suitable bid according to the product you are advertising. We would recommend that you firstly organise your products into similar categories and prices. Then you will be able to use data on their average price per product, expected conversion rate and your target profit to find an appropriate entry bid. As the AOV and CR change, you can amend your bids accordingly to drive performance.
4. Have a safety net – Use a ‘catch all’ target
Websites change constantly. Therefore it is vital to ensure that new products don’t slip through your net and fail to appear when relevant search queries are made. We would recommend that you create an ad group targeting all products set on the lowest bid. This is a simple and low maintenance solution to enable you to profit from newly added products.
5. Narrow your targeting
With time and data you will be able to see what is working and what is not. Using these insights, we would recommend that you then optimise your campaign to a more granular level. This may be to take one category and create a new campaign targeting specific products. Or alternatively using your own custom made Adwords groupings in the Product Data Feed or simply adding certain negatives…it’s up to you!
We hope that you found these tips useful!
Good luck with your PLA campaigns and if you have any further questions on PLA set up and optimisation please do call us on 020 7186 2100.