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Feed Optimisation for Product Listing Ads – It All Comes Down to the Right Placement!

Google’s product listing ads (PLAs) became a paid-for service a year ago. And since a lot has happened: Almost every online retailer utilises this prominent format to display an attention-grabbing product image and its price.

To maximise PLAs potential the ads need to be displayed optimally

To maximise PLAs potential the ads need to be displayed optimally

The higher the quality of the ad feed, the higher the delivery probability and the smaller the cost-per-click (CPC). Most online retailers predominantly spend their time on optimising the feed quality. But not all advertisers have enough resources to keep the feed on a high level, although this would result into saving money and attracting more buyers, especially in combination with having a highly detailed AdWords structure and an efficient bidding management.

To illustrate the differences in feed quality we will use one of our retail clients as an example. Due to an insufficient data feed its ads were rarely displayed and sometimes faulty. The potential wasn’t realised.

We then conducted feed updates in line with Google’s requirements by adding brand names to the title, adapting the description and removing superfluous HTML characters. In addition, regular text updates were done and necessary Google categories were added frequently. A granular configuration of the PLA structure in AdWords also enabled tracking the individual products – not just the product category – and with that exact bidding of the product.

The following graph shows the success of the optimisation measures:

Development of sales, CTR and CPC after optimising feed and campaign structure

Development of sales, CTR and CPC after optimising feed and campaign structure

Although the feed has only been adapted a few weeks earlier, an increase of traffic and sales is already visible. The click-through rate (CTR) has increased while the CPC continuously decreased. Overall, the campaign became more effective.

Conclusion

PLAs are an important factor for a successful search strategy. QUISMA’s recommendation for online retailers is to either find resources for a regular feed optimisation or to appoint an agency to unlock the potential of attention-grabbing PLA placements. This applies to both desktop and mobile searches. We will be posting a further piece on this subject very soon.



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