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Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a product

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have been using PLA for quite some time now, getting good results, and most of my data is optimized. 

 

Recently I launched an improved version of a product that I carry on my site, which falls under the same KW as the original product. This improved version is slightly more expensive, but it has been steadily outselling the old version on the site for the last 2 months. I need to leave both products on site since they both answer a need, so I do not want to remove one of them (they both still sell very well). 

 

My issue is that since I have a lot of PLA history for the old product, I cannot get the new product to receive any impressions at all for the main KW. Even with small number metrics, all the info I have tells me that the newer version would receive increased CTR and conversion rate when arriving from PLA.

 

I have tried these things with very limited success.

1. Placed improved version item in a separate ad group with separate auto-target. I set the bid for this group at 4x the bid of the old product ad group. Results- a few more impressions (85 a day) compared to 1500 impressions a day that the old product ad group continues to receive. My CPC for this new ad group was also 50% more.

2.  Tried placing the head KW as a negative KW for the old product ad group with the thinking that since they will not be able to see the PLA of the old product they will get the new product instead. The first effect of this was that KW went to a completely different product (that is somewhat relevant the to KW). I put the KW for that ad group on negative as well, as I completely lost all impressions for that KW for the 2-3 days when I experimented with this.

3. Tried experimenting with data feed data in hopes of improving QS of the new item- no significant change happened. 

4. Tried bidding by specific product ID with a 4x bid- no significant improvement.

 

Since the product has been on site there has been a small resurgence in impressions and clicks, but nowhere near the established old product.

 

So to cut to the chase - is there any way in which I can increase the amount of traffic for this newer version of the product? The ideal scenario would be to switch the current situation so that the new product receives the majority of the PLA traffic. 

 

This issue is frustrating since this new product is one of our best sellers on the site, yet we cannot drive PLA traffic (which works great for us) to it. 

 

Hoping someone has a clever idea or solution that I may have overlooked.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Don,

Just a thought. Have you tried an upsell on the older product page? Present the product as you do now, but add a little info and a link to the new product? Wouldn't do much about the impression/CTR problem, but might help your conversions.

You're talking about keywords and negative keywords in a PLA campaign. Unless things have changed recently, PLA's do not use keywords you enter in the AdGroup. Instead, they are triggered by the product description you provide with your feed. I really don't know about negative keywords in a PLA AdGroup, I don't know whether they do anything at all. Maybe someone else on the forum can clear that up.

Best of Luck!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Pete,

Thanks for the upsell suggestion- although that will just continue the issue of more sales toward the newer version.

PLA is targeted by the KW of the product title, description and other things. You can't choose the KW but if your product is called blue widget people searching for red microwave shouldn't be able to find your product, since it's something else. This is why negative KW work to prevent someone searching for red widget to get to your product.

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
They both can't have the exact same product name and model number. So try putting the newer models full product name as a -negative kw in the older products campaign. If the names are mostly the same this won't help much but at least when someone is searching for the product with the model number it should put the correct impressions on the newer product.
Also why not try pausing the campaign with the older product and let the new product pick up the old and new product traffic?

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Peter,

 

Thanks for trying to help.

 

1. In my specific vertical- people don't search by model numbers, they search by KW, so it won't be relevant.

2. Like I said - if I pause the old ad group with the old product- then I just stop getting impressions for the KW at all, so it's a lose lose situation. The problem is that the new product must not have enough of a history for Adwords to recognize it as relevant for the PLA auction for that specific KW. 

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Hi Don

I am having a very similar issue. I have four almost identical products, the difference being each is in a different colour. I want Google to select the red as the PLA to display, when a more generic search of the products name is made ie toy drum.

I have been testing out different ways of suppressing certain products, without removing them from the feed, and have come up against the same problems.

The only solution that has had partial success has been to create a ad group with the the product id of the suppressed item, down bid it to a penny above the All Products auto target, and then negativise it with appropriate KWs. I have left it for a couple of weeks and whilst PLA impressions for those negative KWs can initially dry up, Google slowly picks up the preferred product. I can then remove the negatives from the former product.

This is far from ideal and I am very cautious as to the impact on Traffic.

Have you found any other workarounds yet.

Regards

Ian

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This is why you need to set up PLA's at the sku level. Then you could simply use the color as a 'negative' keyword at the Ad Group level and problem solved. This would force Google to show another color. In order for this to work you have to have an 'Ad group' for each individual product.

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Thanks for your reply peter.

I understand that SKU level groups would allow negatives to be placed against similar products forcing Google to the SKU, I want to display. The problem is that I have 1000's of products and managing the Account effectively would be nigh on impossible

My real issue is regards general searches ie balloons. Where I have say 3 SKUs that fit, but I want google to show the one I want, rather than leaving it up to them. Would putting the negative KW - balloons against the two I don't want showing, ensure the 3rd one will show? Or could no PLAs show instead, since this 3rd one has no CTR history etc and so might not be deemed relevant?

Thanks in anticipation.

Re: Product Listing Ads (PLA) - impressions for a new version of a pro

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Jmeager,

Like I said- from my experience "forcing" the correct product on specific SKU's has a lot to do with CTR history, QS, etc. That means if you have 2 ad groups or auto-targets that receive the same KW at somewhat similar impressions, than you can negative KW for one of them and it will force it to your preferred Ad group. However like I said before- if the new ad group or auto target does not have sufficient history, you might not get impressions at all for the new product.

In addition to being impractical for even medium sized data feeds, creating ad groups by SKU and then setting negative KW also falls short of the goal, as again you risk getting no impressions at all.

What I am going to try to do is set the old product's SKU with a significantly lower bid than the new product ad group and see if that helps improve the situation.

Just FYI- My new product is climbing steadily in the daily impressions that it's receiving, although its still receiving about a 1/5 of the number impressions of the old product ad group.

Will update if anything significant happens.