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Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi folks,

 

We're struggling to get an effective, or better yet active, Product Listing Ad campaign up and running. This is really a first attempt at PLA's, although we've used the regular text ads for some time in conjunction with Google Merchant's free clicks. Since the move to a paid model, the intention was to replace our text ads with PLA's after reading some very positive reviews. Problem is, after weeks of trying different configurations and approaches, we still have no impressions on keyword-driven campaigns. I say keyword-driven campaigns for reasons that will become apparent. For reference, this is a UK based company.

 

Just for clarity, this is what we have;

 

- One adwords account with an ad extension mapped to one merchant centre account. This has been checked, it is the correct account and can identify items in the feed in that account. The ad extension is not filtered in any way at the extension level. All PLA campaigns utilise this extension.

 

- Merchant centre account has a perfectly valid feed, updated once a week. We've worked on and been working with this feed for over a year. Merchant is working just fine, and products are viewable. There are no known problems with this feed.

 

- One global PLA campaign featuring all products from this merchant centre feed, as is set up as an option when creating that linkage between merchant centre and adwords. This has a low CPC and budget, and is only here to cover all products. This will be referred to as the global PLA campaign for reference.

 

- Several product specific campaigns.

 

The product specific campaigns we have attempted come in a couple of varieties (we've been at this for weeks attempting to get it working, leaving several days between attempts).

 

- One separate campaign, with one ad group. That ad group has several closely related items identified (and verified) via the product ID using the auto targets. This ad group has a number of targetted keywords, similar to those we would use in a regular text ad, with pretty high CPC bids. This campaign has had zero impressions. It ran for some time and has been paused.

 

- One campaign with several ad groups. Most of these ad groups (bar one) are for one single product from the same set as the above campaign. Again, these are targetted by product ID using the auto targets. They each have a set of relevant keywords with reasonably high CPC bids. These individual product ad groups were an attempt to rule out any potential issue with targetting a group of items in the above campaign. These ad groups have generated zero impressions. The one exception to the ad groups here is a general group again, this time using no auto targets at all, just the extension as with the others. This one does, however, have a set of appropriate keywords. This was an attempt to completely rule out the auto targets as a potential issue. This ad group has generated no impressions.

 

The problem here is quite obvious, but what's strange is that the global PLA campaign has generated both impressions, and clicks as massively lower CPC bids. The only difference between this global PLA campaign and the ad group above is that the ad group has a set of keywords, and the global PLA campaign does not. They have the same maximum CPC, but the ad group overrides this at the keyword level.

 

What's strange about the keywords, is we have been steadily increasing the keyword CPC for the most relevant, putting them well within the margins for first page presentation. We run a keyword diagnosis on these keywords, and they return an estimated bid to put them on the first page. We then adjust that bid and wait. If we run that keyword analysis again, after a few days perhaps, the status of that keyword changes from 'Eligible', to 'Not showing (other)'. I can find no reason why they should not be showing.

 

So, to summarise, currently we have no way to create PLA's with keywords which result in any impressions. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else to try? We've lost a lot of time looking into this issue with no real idea of how to resolve it.

 

Many thanks,

 

Al.

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author alan g
September 2015

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi Al,

One important thing to note is that PLA campaigns don't use keywords to target the ads, so you shouldn't input keywords for that campaign.

The way we know how to target the ads is based on the Merchant Center feed attributes from the auto target you set. So if your auto target is 'all products,' then it pulls from all the attributes in your feed (brand, condition, ID, etc.) and matches that to what the user is searching for.

If you haven't been getting impressions previously, have you tried setting up a broader auto target like "all products?"

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author alan g
September 2015

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi Al,

One important thing to note is that PLA campaigns don't use keywords to target the ads, so you shouldn't input keywords for that campaign.

The way we know how to target the ads is based on the Merchant Center feed attributes from the auto target you set. So if your auto target is 'all products,' then it pulls from all the attributes in your feed (brand, condition, ID, etc.) and matches that to what the user is searching for.

If you haven't been getting impressions previously, have you tried setting up a broader auto target like "all products?"

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Coco,

Many thanks for your response. I've managed to miss that reading over the suggestions a number of times. We've not managed to get some impressions and clicks after a period of testing, so this was indeed the issue.

Thanks again,

Al.

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi,

I've been having a similar problem however I haven't included any keywords in my new product listing campaign ad groups.

Basically up until now the campaign comprised of 3 separate product listing ad campaigns targeting UK, USA & Australia with each campaign consisting only of one Ad Group containing all products from the data feed. Each of these campaigns have been receiving impressions and clicks and are working perfectly.

I've created separate ad groups within each of these campaigns targeting some of the main product brands to get better control over our ad spend and better analytics data but none of the new ad groups are showing any impressions or clicks. I unchecked the box "all products" when creating the ad group and validated each brand id with the merchant feed before creating the product targets for each one. I've left the CPC bid the same as the "All Products" ad group which has been receiving impressions but none of the new ad groups have received any impressions or clicks.

Obviously there is an "overlap" because each branded ad group is contained also within the "All Products" category but I presumed that these new ad groups would still show data.

Any help/ideas are much appreciated.

Cheers,
Sean

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Community Manager
# 5
Community Manager
Hi Sean,

Are you seeing impressions for the "All Products" auto target but you're just not for the auto targets that have Brand ID?

This is expected. If you have "All Products" as an auto target, the system is going to use that auto target since it encompasses all your products and looks at all your attributes. So if you're wanting to see performance broken out by Brand ID, pause the "All Products" auto target and just use your Brand ID ones.

Hope that helps!

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Coco,

Thanks for your prompt response. Yeah, I just presumed that the data would appear in both sets of ad groups. I've raised the default max cpc bids for the branded ad groups so they are a few cent higher than the "All Products" group. Will that be enough for data to start appearing in the more granular ad groups?

Thanks,
Sean

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Community Manager
# 7
Community Manager
Hi Sean,

It might. But we're always going to try to get you the cheaper click. So if Product X falls into "All Products" and "Brand ID X" auto targets, then we'll match it to the "Auto Targets" one if that's the cheaper option. So I only think you'd get visibility in those Brand ID auto target groups if the bid for the "All Products" was too low to even get your ad shown.

If you really want to see the performance broken out by the different brand IDs, just pause the "All Products" auto target. If you've got the brand ID auto target validated, you should be good to go. But as long as you have an "All Products" auto target, it's going to cannibalize the other auto targets.

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Coco,

Thanks again for your prompt response. Yeah that makes sense I suppose. The
merchant feed is made up of a very large inventory of products and I was
trying to dissect data for thirty or so of the main brands and leave the
All Products group as it is but if that is the case I'll just have to
create separate ad groups for all the product brands.

It's probably the best solution all round anyway to be honest but I was
just trying to gather up some analytics data quickly.

Thanks for clearing that up for me though, appreciate you taking the time
out to explain it.

Cheers,
Sean

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Sean another thing you could do is make your Brands negative keywords in your 'all products' campaign. So when you make separate pla campaigns for brands just enter those brands as negatives in your all products campaign.

Re: Product Listing Ads with no impressions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Peter, sorry about the late response. I did actually respond to this from my phone but it never posted.

Thanks for the input, that's what I did in the short term before adding each product brand as a specific adgroup.

Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice.