How To Optimize Your Google Product Listing Ads

The goal of this guide is to help new users set up and get the best results out of their Google Product Listing Ads Campaign. Using this checklist will result in lower cost per clicks (CPCs), more targeted traffic, and higher ROI on your ad spend.

Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are the results that you see in Google Shopping (or on Google.com) when searching for a physical product. Google PLA search results do vary from location to location and you will typically see 1 to 8 products on the search results page. Click “Shopping” to see all PLAs.

Benefits of PLAs

They attract clicks from potential buyers. Buying intent is huge when it comes to optimizing your ads for conversion. If someone is searching for “skateboards” they may just interested in researching size, or why some break more easily than others, or how many are sold each year…. they do not automatically have “buying intent”.

We attempt qualify these searchers by showing them PLAs instead of normal “Search Text Ads”. When a searcher clicks a PLA, they know they are going to an eCommerce store. They see the product image, the product name, and even the product price. Product Listing Ads provide the most qualified traffic available IF you set them up and optimize them correctly.

How To Get Your Products Listed

Google PLAs are taken from your product data feed. A product data feed is simply a .CSV of your product catalog. If you use Shopify, they will generate your data feed for you. This is done via the Google Shopping App.

To submit your Google Product Feed to Google (even if you use the Google Shopping App by Shopify), you will need to create a Google Adwords Account, a Google Merchant Center Account, and link them together.

Google Shopping pulls the following information from your Product Data Feed: Product Titles, Descriptions, Sizes, Colors, Price, Images, and Product Type. Instead of enter keywords, you can set negative keywords. Google will show you what keywords your PLAs are appearing for.

This is found by going to Adwords, clicking into a PLA Campaign, clicking into Keywords. The, identify generic keywords that have no buyer intent. The keywords we want are buyer specific and include product names, SKU #s, and brand names. The keywords you want to list as negative are generic niche keywords, and anything including “free”, or “cheap”, or anything else that does not fit with what we are offering.

Here is a link showing how to add negative keywords to your PLA campaign: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972?hl=en

PLA Requirements

  1. Don’t have pop ups that block key elements of your product pages.
  2. Have a Privacy Policy that can be linked to in your footer.
  3. Have a physical address listed on the homepage. I recommend using a Traveling Mailbox address instead of a PO Box. Traveling Mailbox gives Suite #s instead of PO Box #s and this looks more professional to potential customers.
  4. Display a phone number. When you first start, a Google Voice or a Skype # is fine. Eventually, I recommend you upgrade to a Grasshopper toll free phone number.

Best Practices for Ranking

Google PLAs are ranked 2 ways: Keyword relevance (that Google pulls from your feed) and Bids. Obviously you can always raise your bids, but the goal is to get as many qualified clicks for the lowest price possible.

We cannot enter Keywords into our Google PLA campaigns. The way that we can rank them and have some control over what we appear for is by optimizing our: Product Titles, Descriptions, Product Types (to meet Google Specifications)

Titles are the most important and we try to always display ours the way that the real buyers are searching for them. This is the template we use: Brand Name Product Name SKU# (and the rest of the title varies from niche to niche). Some sellers also take advantage of other unique product identifiers including gender, size, and year.

Some other sections of PLAs that can be optimized (depending on your niche) are Brand, Color, Size, MPN, Material, and Pattern. You can see a full list here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494?hl=en

Remarketing Ads

Even with all the negative keywords and with a product feed that is optimized, not every visitor will turn into a sale. This is why remarking is such a powerful tool.

Remarketing is a way to tag everyone who visits your store with a cookie and then have ads show up to them on Facebook and on other websites to remind them of your offers.

If you want to learn more about how to optimize your ads and grow a profitable e-commerce business, join our Facebook group.