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Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Google Community.


I would just like to put across what we have found in our company as the best way to set up PLA's.


At first we thought about adding PLA's to existing campaigns but this got confusing and started eating budget. We then thought we should just put an auto-target covering every aspect of the site in one ad group in it's own campaign. However in doing this we took away the ability to see where conversions were coming from and what was spending up most the allocated budget. And so we decided to split out the campaign into brands. By covering all brands on the site in different ad groups we were able to;


  1. We can do brand specific promotions
  2. We can monitor which are the best performing brands
  3. We can drop poor performing brands off which wouldn't be possible with all products.
  4. Easier to manage
  5. We can see which brands are bringing in the conversions
  6. We can set the PLA's our own budget so it doesn't eat other campaigns budget up
  7. Once the campaign has ran for a decent period we can see which brands are popular and possibly split off to advertise them if we haven't in the past. Opens up new opportunities for future campaigns.


So how exactly do you create PLA's?


Firstly create a search network campaign as you would any other, assigning it a budget, taking off display network and if you're like me set the ads to rotate. We then took an export off the sitemap of all the brand names and put them in AdWords editor, as they have come straight off the sitemap it makes it simpler later on when doing the auto-targets. Make sure to assign each ad group a desired max CPC. Finally once all the brands have been covered it's time to post.


Before continuing make sure AdWords is connected up with the Merchant Centre.


Open AdWords up and add product extensions to the Product Listing Ads campaign. This must be done in order for the feed to pick up the products. Go into each ad group and add the correct auto-target (Filtered by brand) this should be exactly the same as the brand name. Remember to validate before clicking save! If an error appears the brand either hasn't been spelt right or in some cases the brand isn't eligable for running PLA's


Once everything has been covered go into the individual ad groups and create ads for each and every brand. The benefit of structuring the account through brands means that you can add sales and promotions to the straplines or a brand related description, else you can simply put a brand USP i.e. Free Delivery.....


I hope this has been helpful and I'm open for any suggestions on where improvements can be made!


Let me know your thoughts!


Kind Regards,

Liam Bendelow

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Top Contributor Alumni
# 2
Top Contributor Alumni
Thank you for sharing your personal experience!

Google AdWords Top Contributor

Re: Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Liam,


How do you manage your product listing ad bids?


I don't see any type of Bid Simulator on the Ad Group level to help me determine how much to bid.



Re: Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Google Employee
# 4
Google Employee

Thanks for sharing those tips Liam! Great ideas. 

Re: Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

Great tips Liam - thanks for sharing!

Re: Product Listing Ads - Best Practices + Setting Up

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Liam & Google community,


Good post. We are also using PLA's in a similar way and we have seen some results. The conversion rate however is rapidly declining since we introduced the PLA's. I presume that that this is because here in the UK all advertisers are now switching on to this and competition is increasing. One thing I would like to do is apply a filter so that only items that are currently in stock show PLA's. Like many stores our stock changes daily. We also have some items available for special order only. In my experience though it is really only cost effective to use paid advertising for items we physically have in stock. From what I have read I think this may be possible by creating a label or group for products that are currently in stock then creating a product filter in our product listing ad campaign. Do you (or anybody else) know if it is possible to do this and if so how? I can create a label but I cannot see how this can be assigned to our availabilty attribute from our feed (or any attribute for that matter). Any help would be much appreciated.


Kind Regards

Jon Franklin