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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 13, 2013

Top 3 tips for a strong PLA campaign

Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are fast becoming a feature among many retailer's budgets. But there is a science to the PLA that some may miss. Our expert weighs in on how retailers can do more with so-called 'simple' product listings.

by Kristina Knight

"[Retailers] need to optimize not only their Merchant Feed, but also the PLA campaign itself. Retailers should pay particular attention to the structure of their Product Targets and Ad Groups," said Greg deHaaff, Senior Director of Product Management, Adchemy. "Putting too many SKUs/products within a product target can reduce the quality of the match between the consumer query and product. Minimizing the number of SKUs/products within product target enables better control over their bids, more targeted promotional text and higher operational flexibility."

For brands, creating a product listing is less about the manufacturing side of a product than what the product offers the consumer. According to deHaaff the brands seeing the biggest impact from product listings are the brands who consider how shoppers search for a product and then use that information to engage the consumer.

Step One: Optimize the PLA copy.

"For example, let's say you have a kids shoe entitled "Fila Kids Finest Hour (Little Kid/Big Kid)". This is an actual product title found on a PLA. Remember that the first 25 characters of the product title are shown in the PLA. In this case, "Fila Kids Finest Hour (Little Ki..." is displayed," said deHaaff. "Next, consider some of the most common consumer queries -- perhaps "kids sneakers" or "kids athletic shoes." Finally, change the title of the item in your merchant feed to target those queries -- so "Fila Kids Finest Hour (Little Kid/Big Kid)" might become "Kids Sneakers -- Fila Finest Hour". The more your product title aligns with consumers' intent, the more matches, impressions, clicks, and conversions your PLAs will generate."

Step Two: Optimize the product images. The image size should be 150x150 and a .jpg file. Also, make sure the image is of the product, not the product packaging and test those images for the best display properties.

Step Three: Pricing, pricing, pricing. Make sure the product is priced competitively and that the product makes sense for the search query.

"For instance, if an advertiser displays a top-of-the-line, $300 upright vacuum for the query "cheap vacuum", they will receive very poor click through on a PLA that's going head-to-head with their competitors' light-duty $50 vacuums. Negatives are a critical tool that can be used in cases like this, to route specific queries only to those products that have the best shot of competing for clicks and conversions," said deHaaff.

You can learn more about creating product listing ads in part one of my chat with Greg and Adchemy here.

Tags: Adchemy, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, PLA tips, product listing ads

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