Overview of “PLA” Ads in AdWords
Product listing ads are a unique ad format in AdWords that allow you to promote products that are for sale on your website. While it’s possible to use standard search or display ads to promote your products, product listing ads offer an opportunity to gain a special kind of visibility. They allow you to appear in searches on Google’s shopping website, which is shopping.google.com. Product listing ads also can appear in standard search results at Google.com.
How they work
Product listing ads work much differently than other types in AdWords. For one thing, it is not necessary to set any targeting methods, such as keywords or placements. It is also not necessary to create ads. The ads are created dynamically.
To run product listing ads, it’s required to have a Google Merchant Center account. Creating a Google Merchant Center account is free, and easy. To do so, go to Google.com/merchants.
The key element of your Merchant Center account is your product “data feed.” You must upload a spreadsheet that delineates the different products you offer, and the various attributes of those products. Your product feed will have information such as name of the product, description of the product, brand, price, and a link to an image of the product. This information is what AdWords will use as targeting information as well as ad creation information.
How to manage and optimize
To create product listing ads, create a campaign and choose “shopping” as the campaign type. In the campaign settings, it’s necessary to link your AdWords account with your Google Merchant Center account.
After creating a campaign, you will then create an ad group. However, this ad group will not contain any keywords or targeting information, and will not contain any ads. It will, however, contain what are known as product groups. You will organize the products in your data feed into groups based on certain attributes or labels defined in your data feed.
The way you organize your product groups depends on your business strategies. One important aspect of product group organization is bidding. Since product listing ads work on a cost per click basis just like other kind of AdWords ads, you will want to have a strategy for your bidding. This can be done at the product group level.
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