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Product Listing Ad Issues

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We have been a long time user of Google Shopping (Google Product Listing Ads). Recently over the last few days we have had major issues with conversions. Impressions are up but conversions and cost per conversion are down over 50%! We have tried to chat with representatives but they were of no real help (p.s. we loved it when you assigned qualified specialists, you could call, for each account). We are experienced with PLA Ads this and there are no real feed issues. Just a huge loss of conversions? How do we go about getting qualified help on this matter. Thank you.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Listing Ad Issues

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi Pat,

Thanks for posting to the Community. There are a number of factors that could have caused this to drop. The first is that with the holiday season approaching, many advertisers see major changes in traffic, cost per click, or number of competitors in their field. It could be that you are getting more clicks from people less likely to convert, especially if your rank has fallen. Has your volume of clicks and clickthrough rate been consistent? Have you made any major changes to your bids or budget?

The other factor to look into is the competition. Are there many other companies listing lower prices for the same products? Offering deals like free shipping or a percentage off? You might also dive into your Google Analytics account and take a look at how people are interacting with the site--whether the bounce rate and pages per session have changed dramatically, for example.

The other suggestion I have, though this may seem silly (and I'm guessing you've already done this) is to double check that your conversion tracking code or goal tracking is firing correctly.

Like I mentioned, there are a huge number of factors that could be the culprits here, but these are some initial thoughts!

Re: Product Listing Ad Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
We have checked everything. Our bids are competitive (actually our impressions are up YOY it is conversion rate, ctr, and cost per conversion that have dropped the most. and very suddenly! CTR is down 1%. Conversion rate is down 2%. Cost per conversion is almost doubled. We have been doing PLA's since its inception and never seen such a significant decrease. We do offer Free Shipping and pricing is very competitive. Our bids are set up to increase if a certain cost per conversion is met. All other bids are done at product level and are reviewed monthly. Good performing products get bids raised, low performers get lowered. No issues with bounce rate or pages per session. Any one else have any ideas or experiencing something similar? It would be nice to hear from someone from Google. Thank you.

Re: Product Listing Ad Issues

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

the person who answered the original question was
indeed someone from google -- a google employee.

each shopping holiday, especially the days leading up to cyber-monday,
can trigger extreme spikes in competitive bids and budgets, more
refined geographic and scheduled targeting, bid strategies centered
around product-groups, rather than specific items, that may allow
for more pertinent competitive statistics, effective utilization of the
merchant-promotions-program, merchants attempting to submit
higher quality (feed) data, removing low-performing items, while
increasing a site's performance, overall mobile friendliness, and
optimizing task-flows -- in addition to competitive pricing models
and potentially an extreme shift in the type and profile of buyers.

there is nothing that needs to change
for such external forces to dramatically
effect conversions.

posting more specifics may help others offer more specific suggestions --
for example, have there been any website changes or any specific, recent,
attempts to improve conversions? what is the exact website url? etc.

in terms of specific conversion related issues, usually, only a
support-specialist at google can look into account-specifics.

when contacting google, asking for a merchant-center,
product-listing-ad, shopping-campaign, support-specialist
can sometimes result in better account-specific guidance.

Re: Product Listing Ad Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I have contacted an account specialist and they we not very helpful. Your old system with dedicated account specialists available via the phone were a much better option. Customer service has declined. Sent from my iPhone

Re: Product Listing Ad Issues

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
First off, your situation is a strong indicator that your competitors have recently done a much better job at improving there account than you have or your data feed quality has dropped, along side the basics do take into consideration that seasonal competition influences every merchant.

It is hard for anyone in this community to explain what you need to do. As it is pretty much impossible. Each niche business and merchant is different. What works for one customer might not work for others.

If you struggle to find the route cause of the issue than you require to ether collect more data to find out the issue or hire a google shopping expert.

There are so many elements that play a role in conversions. If we give you a list of things to check, there might still be unexplained questions.

My advice is to look at Search Impression Lost, if it is higher than 10% than you are not bidding high enough or the data feed is not good enough in quality. But keep an eye out on your ROI.
Have you checked that your data has stayed the same? Have you checked there are issues?

If you do not improve your account on a weekly basis, your competitors will simply overtake you. A monthly checkup is not good enough. You need to spend allot more time to improve your account. Checking the data weekly is key to success.

In a drag race to advertising, staying idle too long will allow competitors to overtake.

Anyway take this reply as a wake up call, that you need to first check the data feed quality, have you improved it at all? Are the keywords still on topic.

Than check your search terms, see what has changed compared to the previous period.

Are you doing Audience remarketing? Have you updated your ad scheduling, device bid adjustment, location adjustment?

I hope you can see by now that the list goes on, and simply telling you what to check might not help you ether.

I hope this has been helpful, the final golden tip is. Experiment, try and always improve.
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