You have an e-commerce site? Are people searching online for the products you have on your site? If you answered yes to both, there is no good reason why you are not running Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on search engines (Google now, Bing soon). The fact that PLAs can show images of the exact product a searcher is looking for with an exact title and competitive price gives them a distinct advantage over other listings in the search engines. Namely, if the searcher typed in the exact product name, these ads are serving them the exact result they're looking for. This is exactly the purpose of search, isn't it?
As would be expected, all the case studies I've seen about these ads up to this point have shown better overall performance for search queries than paid search text ads. While they are more complicated to set up and run campaigns for than traditional keyword campaigns, this can be used to your advantage. This is because PLAs require that you learn how to set up and optimize a data feed, as well as learn how to set up campaigns and control ad serving within Google. The time and energy this requires just means more of your competitors are likely not implementing these types of ads themselves, or are doing a less-than-stellar job of it. This can provide you with a great opportunity in this space if you're willing to do what it takes to be great there.
The impact on traffic and conversions has been shown to be highly incremental. This means that it is mostly results that are above and beyond what you would attain from text ads and organic search results alone. This could be in large part because of their highly relevant nature and the fact that they are graphically more eye-catching. When you can serve a searcher an ad that is the exact item they are looking for and include a price, they will be more likely to convert. Therefore, the better you can control this within your campaigns, the better you'll do.
As of March 2013, we are seeing upward trends in CPCs because of advertiser adoption. But, they still perform better than text ads. Despite increased competition, you can see over 20% higher ROI from PLAs than non-brand text ads.
In order to make sure you are taking full advantage of these types of ads, you must know the details about how they work. Here are some you'll need to know...
- All Products Campaign
- All Products Ad Group
- Specific Themes Campaign
- Theme 1 Ad Group
- Theme 2 Ad Group
- Specific Products Campaign
- Product 1 Ad Group
- Product 2 Ad Group
Now you have an idea of what this ad type is and how it can help build an e-commerce business. If you have a site that sells specific products online, you would be well-served to make sure you pay special and close attention to PLAs, as they have become the foundation to any e-commerce search strategy.
Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.
Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
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