14 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Google launched Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in 2010, and since then the advertisers utilising them have seen fantastic results. In today’s blog post we take a look at what PLAs are, where you might see them and how they’ll help your business.

What are Product Listing Ads and Where Will I See Them?
PLAs are media rich ads that appear on Google’s search results pages along with ‘regular’ PPC ads. PLAs can appear for all sorts of searches – whether the query is generic or product-specific. Advertisers running PLAs pay on a cost per click basis, and the campaigns are managed through the AdWords interface, along with ‘normal’ PPC campaigns.

PLAs can appear at the top of Google search results:

Example of Product Listing Ads at the top of a Google search results page

 

Or they can appear in the right hand column:

Product Luis

 

Product Listing Ads also form the Google Shopping listings:

PLAs also form the Google Shopping Pages

 

PLAs will show for searches performed on mobile devices too:

Google Product Listing Ads also appear for mobile searches

 

When a Product Listing Ad appears as part of a regular Google search, it will often include an image, a price, a product title and a URL. When a PLA is hovered over, more detail is shown, such as a business USP. In the example below Victorian Plumbing show their ‘free delivery on orders over £250′ offer:

Example of a PLA showing a business USP

 

Why Should You Consider Product Listing Ads?

Domination of the Search Results
Google permits advertisers to have both a PLA and a normal PPC ad showing for a search query, this means more Google ‘real estate’ becomes yours. In the example below Phones 4u have both a regular PPC ad and a PLA showing:

'Own' more of the Google space with a regular PPC ad and a PLA

Better Return on Ad Spend
Many advertisers, including us, know that conversion rates are higher on PLA campaigns compared to regular PPC campaigns, which means the ROI is better – need we say any more?

Give Searchers Relevant Results
The nature of Product Listing Ads means Google searchers are provided with highly relevant results. For example, if someone searched on Google for a Honda lawn mower, they will be provided with a selection of Honda lawn mower PLAs where the prices of said mowers are visible. If a searcher is put off by a price they are unlikely to click on the ad, meaning the clicks you do get are likely to be of a higher quality and are more likely to turn into a conversion.

Getting Started with PLAs
In order to run Product Listing Ads, you will need to have a Google Merchant account and a product feed. Your product feed must adhere to a number of minimum requirements set by Google. Your Merchant account is then linked to your AdWords account where you can start to build out your PLA campaigns based on product brands and product types.

If you’d like to drive more online sales and see a better return on your ad spend, and you think a PLA campaign would help this, then why not get in touch with the search team at STAR Digital? We are all qualified Google AdWords individuals…

 

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