Tips For Managing Product Listing Ads

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Tips For Managing Product Listing Ads

Post  royal on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:46 pm

Hi Everyone,
Following are tips for managing product listing Ads :

1. Set up a separate Ad Group for each product category. This will provide more controls for bidding, offer copy and targeting.

2. You can either use the product categories that Google uses for Google Shopping, or if those are ugly, or wonky, you can set up additional parameters to cluster products appropriately for PLAs. It’s a good idea to login to the GMC and click on a product to make sure that those parameters are live before turning on the ads. Again, most feed providers can and will help make this happen if you don’t manage the feeds yourself.

3. Use promotional copy if you can. Even generic offers like free shipping lift CTR.

4. Set initial bids somewhat higher than corresponding product-level AdWords bids for each category to gain traction. Unlike AdWords, you have to be in the top 2 or 3 to get any traffic, so bidding a bit more may be necessary for testing. And, you may find that the traffic value is higher (though in most cases it is not — see below).

5. Use negatives like you would with broad match search ads. Initially, Google didn’t think negatives would have an impact. We found that they did and shared that with the Google Product Team. Now they recommend them!

6. Have an “All Products” Catch-all in addition to the product category AdGroups. As new products and new product categories are added to the feed the catch-all will pick up any new categories that don’t have their own AdGroup yet or products that for whatever reason aren’t categorized.

7. Be careful with the bids on the catch-all AdGroup. Faced with the choice, Google will serve the PLA from the AdGroup with the highest bid, so any AdGroups tied to product categories with lower bids will be ignored. Try setting the catch-all bid to match the lowest bid of the PLA AdGroups. That’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a start.

8. Watch the results, and play with the bids. We’ve seen some fairly hard to explain behavior from this product, like dropping bids by 50% and seeing the impression and click volume triple, seemingly as a result. We’ve seen catch-all AdGroups generate traffic on products tied to product-category AdGroups with higher bids. Google preferred the lower bid? or, something was gummed up in the product category mechanics on their end?

9. An interesting side benefit: Kurt Krake of Search-Werks pointed out that pulling a search queries report from the PLA campaign can be a gold-mine for finding new keywords (and negatives) for your core AdWords campaign. Kurt also points out that it’s important to keep up with changes to the GMC feed requirements. Great tips from an old friend of ours!

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